|Marvel U.S. > Issue #57|
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|Marvel UK > Issue #243–245|
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An actual Marvel US/UK crossover occurs this issue!
Ratchet's deep in denial, but Megatron is indeed back. He even greets Ratchet like an old friend. He decides to skip the "How I Survived" story and move right into the "My Insane Scheme" story, introducing Ratchet to the prototype super Pretender armor he has designed to implement said scheme. As Ratchet begins to measure just how deep in it he is, he thinks back and regrets not being able to contact Prime earlier.
To explain why, the narration jumps back several minutes to just after Optimus Prime and his team landed on Earth to confront the Air Strike Patrol. The factions are in the middle of exchanging insults and ultimatums when Prime's comm suddenly chirps to life with Ratchet's voice. Before he can say much, though, the radio is blown to pieces by quick-draw Storm Cloud. Now Prime really knows something is up, and bashes his way through the other Micromasters to wring it out of Storm Cloud. The cocky Decepticon says just the wrong thing, alerting Optimus to their real intentions: getting him away from Ratchet and the Ark.
Before he can get any further in the interrogation, Optimus is interrupted by the arrival of Scorponok and his Decepticons, whom the Air Strike Patrol had called in earlier. Though they actually owe allegiance to Megatron, it seems the Micromasters joined Scorponok's forces on Earth just for this opportunity — to call in their "fearless leader" for "rescue" and keep the Autobots busy (and damaged) while Megatron's scheme unfolds on Cybertron.
As for that scheme, Megatron explains to Ratchet that he's waiting for the delivery of a special guinea pig, who will be fully repaired into an instrument of destruction by the new Pretender shell. He needs Ratchet, however, to monitor and co-ordinate the process so that nothing goes wrong. When Ratchet balks, Megatron makes contact with Blackjack aboard the Ark, who has somehow managed to knock all the remaining Autobots on board offline, and is in the process of installing explosives that will destroy the entire ship at Megatron's command.
As Ratchet's situation sinks in for him, Megatron takes the opportunity to satisfy his earlier curiosity and relate the story of his survival. While he was believed dead after blowing up the space bridge several years ago while standing on it, Megatron was in fact blown clear of the explosion and crash-materialized on Cybertron. He lay deactivated for months before internal repair circuitry brought him back on-line, in an extremely disoriented state. He only regained his full faculties after crossing some Autobots assaulting Blackjack. The combination of the Micromaster shouting out his name and the sight of the hated Autobot symbol kickstarted Megatron's personality routines. He destroyed the Autobot duo, and began making plans with the Micromasters to reclaim a position on strength in the Decepticon army, and destroy his enemies in the process. As his tale ends, Megatron leads Ratchet off to meet his newly-arriving patient. Realizing that Megatron only plans to use one of the four shells at his command, an idea begins to form in Ratchet's cerebral-circuitry...
Back on Earth, the battle between Optimus Prime and Scorponok's forces has begun in earnest. Prime is pissed, more than aware that he's been led around by the olfactory sensors all day, and can do nothing about it. As the Air Strike Patrol leave their "honored leader" to fight the battle for them, Prime sledgehammers his way through half of Scorponok's fighting force. He only stops himself when Bomb-Burst of all 'bots reminds him of the danger to the humans still in the area. But while Prime's now ready to start a dialog, Scorponok is in no mood to talk after seeing his troops manhandled so severely, and begins stalking his way towards Optimus.
If seeing Megatron alive was a nightmare, Ratchet is now experiencing a psychotic episode. There's no way, no how, Megatron plans for him to reactivate Starscream, no matter what the reason. But it's true — Starscream will be Megatron's running dog. And the hits just keep coming...
- Originally published: October, 1989
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- Megatron is smiling like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man on page 2. Not necessarily an error... just really, really creepy.
- A bulk-sized Pinpointer is shown among the Autobots disabled by Blackjack.
Items of note
- The question UK readers had of "Well if that's Megatron, then who's...?" was answered around this time in UK #243–244, a flashback before this story of Megatron confronting Megatron II, aka Lord Straxus.
- A "reactor linkage" is located just where you think it is.
- Transformers Universe profiles for Cloudraker, Overkill, and Slugfest are found after the main story.
- Issue #245 of the UK comic also contained a four page Action Force mini-comic detailing how the European Action Force and its American counterpart G.I. Joe have merged to form G.I. Joe the Action Force, a name change that would be carried over to the back-up comic strips from issue #248 and the cover from issue #249, as well as the toyline. The mini comic was also given away free in some toy shops.
- On page 4, Optimus decides to point dramatically when he gives the Air Strike Patrol an ultimatum. The 'Cons aren't impressed by this.
- Darkwing and Dreadwind's "breezy" mission to recover Starscream's broken body was shown in UK story "Race with the Devil", one of only a few instances of crossover on the U.S. comic's part.
|Specifics: UK covers|
- U.S. cover: Megatron blasts Ratchet by Jose Delbo
- UK issue 243 cover: Megatron and his mean shadow by Andrew Wildman
- UK issue 244 cover: Megatron kills Megatron by Geoff Senior
- UK issue 245 cover: Tailgate in the Underworld by Andrew Wildman
- None yet identified.