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Second Generation!

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"...and he must let the world think that he is dead until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within him."

The Autobots and Decepticons learn the secrets of the next generation of combining Transformers due to a commercial message left in Buster’s mind by the Creation Matrix.

Marvel UK > Issue # 63-65
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Marvel UK issues #63-65

Writer: Simon Furman
Art: John Stokes (63) Kitson/Perkins (64), Jeff Anderson (65)
Lettering: Mike Scott(63 & 64), Annie Halfacree (65)
Colours: J. Firmin (63), W & P (64), T. Jozwiak (65)
Editor: Ian Rimmer

  • Originally published: 31st May 1986 – 14th June 1986


Note: This story follows up (in part) on the events of Victory! from the 1986 UK Annual.

After discovering that the Creation Matrix had left a message in the head of Buster Witwicky giving details of future Transformers, the Autobots attach him to scanning equipment to try and decipher the message. This causes Buster to dream that he is being chased across a desert by Shockwave. Buster is eventually rescued by Superion, who blasts Shockwave, only to be floored by Menasor. During the confusion Buster escapes but is ambushed by the Combaticons who combine into Bruticus. The fear causes Buster to jolt awake.

In order to better interpret and control the dreams Buster and Optimus Prime are linked together mentally. Little do they know that the Decepticons are tapping into the images by using the equipment that Shockwave designed to extract the Matrix from Prime’s disembodied head. The Next Best Thing to Being There!

The new vision shows the Protectobots evacuating an unnamed power plant. Blades then spots what he believes to be a group of human vehicles heading towards the plant. The Protectobots move to head them off only to find that it is the Stunticons. The Stunticons combine into Menasor, much to the delight of the watching Shockwave, who is impressed with the quality of the combination compared to the Constructicons.

The Protectobots combine into Defensor and quickly gain the upper hand. Soon however the Combaticons arrive and merge into Bruticus. Menasor and Bruticus overpower Defensor but are caught unaware when the Aerialbots arrive and combine into Superion. Superion and Defensor quickly gain the upper hand and defeat the Decepticons. At this point Optimus Prime and Buster awake impressed by what they have seen.

Meanwhile Soundwave is reporting events to Megatron who he is secretly in contact with. Megatron decides that it is time he retook control of the Decepticons from Shockwave. Megatron and Shockwave engage in battle, with Robot Master providing commentary as the battle is broadcast to the world.

At the Ark, the Autobots watch the battle but decide not to interfere, devoting their energies to developing the new Special Teams. Prime's work is interrupted by an alarm in the medical bay... the Dinobots have finally awoken, and are back to their old cranky selves.

At the coal mine, Soundwave note that the two combatants are equally matched, and are basically making a laughingstock of themselves. Their battle only ends when Soundwave impertinently tells them to stop. Equally outraged, Megatron and Shockwave allow Soundwave to show them how similar they are, and they agree to a joint leadership.

Meanwhile, an electronic signal arrives at the distant world of Cybertron...


  • At one point Menasor orders Dead End (as his right arm) to shoot Superion. However it is Drag Strip that is drawn. This was corrected in the Collected Comics reprint but the Titan Books reprint uses the original page.
  • Vortex appears colourised as Blades on his arrival. Soundwave explained in a letters page that he has special circuitry which allows him to change his colour to disguise himself as Blades, but also made it clear that he had just made that explanation up on the spot.
  • Cybertron was originally in orbit around Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our own Sun at 4.37 light years' distance. It is therefore highly unlikely that Cybertron now resides in "a galaxy far, far beyond our own". It's more likely that it is in a solar system far beyond our own, given the high frequency with which "solar system" and "galaxy" are confused in Transformers fiction.
  • At one point, Shockwave has two hands instead of his customary cannon. In the letter page for Marvel UK issue #185 Dreadwind claims that this was not an error, however, but a product of Busters imagination.

Items of note


On a single page, you can find three John Stokes panels (above) swiped from panels from a single page of Herb Trimpe's work in "Prime Time!".

  • Issue 63 came with a free gift, a fold out pamphlet themed around the Special Teams. The pamphlet had spaces to stick collectors cards which were included in the following issues up to issue 70. Several of these spaces were landscape-format, while the cards were all portrait, meaning that the completed pamphlet included dramatic pictures of combiners lying on their sides.
  • Seriously, these swipes litter the book.
  • This story was written because Hasbro UK specifically requested that the Special Teams be given a prominent story, despite them not yet having appeared in the US comic.[1] So as to avoid a future major continuity clash the option of a vision of the future was taken.
  • In the letters page Soundwave would often say "Puttup!" The word is revealed here to be the sound he makes when spitting. And no, it's not clear how he can spit without a mouth.



  • This story was reprinted in Collected Comics 10. For this printing the Drag Strip/Dead End error was corrected.
  • The story was reprinted again by Titan Books in the trade paperback "Second Generation". The Drag Strip/Dead End error appeared again.


  1. Simon Furman: "There were odd occasions where Hasbro UK would actually get it together and coordinate a story with a toy release. The Special Teams (in UK #63-65) story was one such instance, and in that case (because we were some way off reprinting the corresponding US issues) we had to work them in somehow (chronologically ahead of time)." - Interviews: Simon Furman - Part 1 'The Past'.

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