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Race with the Devil

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"It's behind you!"
"Oh no it isn't!"

Can the Triggerbots stop Darkwing & Dreadwind from retrieving Starscream's corpse?

Generation One (Marvel UK) > Issue # 215-218
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Marvel UK issues #215-218Edit

Writer: Simon Furman
Art: Andrew Wildman
Lettering: Glib

  • Originally published: 22nd April 1989 - 14th May 1989


Darkwing and Dreadwind have been hired to collect something for a mysterious employer, and the Triggerbots have been dispatched to shadow them. Since the Decepticons have noticed and are firing on them on page 1, they did a crap job. A vicious dogfight erupts around Earth's Moon, ending when the Autobots fake their death. They're now able to follow the Decepticons without a problem.

The Decepticons land in southern Peru, where archaeologist Susan Hoffman and her assistants the Real Ghostbusters are searching for the shrine of the Juluth, a tribe unchanged since the days of the Incas. The Decepticons search for what they came for, only to be gunned down. Hi-Test and Throttle run in terror and are intercepted by both the Autobots & Susan (who is annoyed to find herself dealing with robots again). They spill the beans: they were hired to find the dead body of Starscream (killed by the Underbase energies in Dark Star!... and that body is now walking around!


What's in your head, in your he-eee-ad, zombie, zombie...

While they have a clear shot at the zombie, Backstreet first makes sure the humans are evacuated - giving it time to disarm the other Triggerbots and injure Backstreet. With the Energon levels low, Dogfight can't battle it in jet mode, so they run away instead. Backstreet tells them to leave without him (and Dogfight says he deserves to be left behind for what he did). Eventually he convinces them to go to protect the humans while he holds the zombie back. Meanwhile, Hi-Test and Throttle return to their Powermasters and bring them back online with an energy boost; Dreadwind knows they have to complete their job, and realises the Nebulans can defeat the zombie...

Override goes to protect the humans, while Dogfight decides to use his jet mode to fight Starscream after all - by attempting to ram it! When he gets brushed aside, Backstreet tries to reason with the zombie, realising that there's an intelligence behind it: the Underbase. Starscream's murderous impulse is driving it, but he convinces the Underbase to fight it. It takes control... at which point the Nebulans run out and absorb all its energy until it falls dead. The Decepticons take the corpse, not caring they've killed the Underbase, but Backstreet feels it won by taking control.

While all this has gone on, Susan and her team found the Juluth, who believe Starscream's corpse to be their death-god Myaz and plan to sacrifice them to appease it. Susan escapes and is rescued by Override; he's forced to let the Decepticons leave with Starscream in order to save her friends. The Triggerbots later worry what this may result in, but Susan reminds them they did a good job here today and should deal with the future when it happens.

Continuity & ReferencesEdit

  • This foreshadows the upcoming Back from the Dead!, Furman's first US story, where we'll discover Darkwing & Dreadwind's employer was Megatron and Starscream will be brought to life again.
  • It follows on from the then-recent events of Dark Star!.
  • Susan Hoffman has run into the Transformers twice before - Ancient Relics! and Ladies' Night.

Items of noteEdit

  • This was the first UK story to be printed in black and white since Raiders of the Last Ark nearly 200 issues previously. The unannounced change caused some readers to think there had been a printing error. The resulting anger when it became clear that the change was permanent dominated the letters page for several weeks.
  • This was originally meant to be a 2-parter, but the change in format in #213 led to it being hacked into four parts.
  • Susan Hoffman's assistants resemble the Real Ghostbusters, an in-joke as Wildman was drawing the title for Marvel UK at the time.
  • Through his dialogue in Parts 1 and 3, it seems Dogfight doesn't like Backstreet at all.

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