|Generation One (Marvel UK) > Issue # 31|
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Ratchet and the Dinobots return to the Ark to discover that Shockwave has left a nasty surprise for them.
Marvel UK issue #31
(Story also appears in: Marvel UK Collected Comics #6)
- Major characters (in order of appearance): Guardian, Swoop, Grimlock, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Prowl
- Originally published: 19th October, 1985
Seeing Guardian holding the battered body of Swoop, the other Dinobots charge to avenge him, despite Ratchet's warning. Their frontal assault is effortlessly beaten back, but Ratchet is able to overload Guardian's cranial systems by firing his laser scalpel into the battle droid's cerebral access port. Guardian flees into the depths of the Ark. Grimlock demands that Ratchet repair Swoop immediately, but Ratchet replies that he has an entire Arkload of Autobots to repair, and that Swoop is not at the top of his list of priorities. Telling the Dinobots to keep Guardian occupied while he works, Ratchet storms off. Angry at having lost face and resentful of the dressing-down, Grimlock orders his amused troops into action.
On his way to find his deactivated comrades, Ratchet passes the headless body of Optimus Prime. Ratchet assumes that, as long as Prime is of use to Shockwave, he'll have to keep him alive. At the Blackrock Aerospace Plant, Shockwave tells Prime that he exists only to serve the Decepticons, and that despite his unwillingness, he has given life to six Decepticon brain modules. Prime is privately thankful that giving life to these six used up the last vestiges of Matrix power in his mind, and that the power now resides within Buster Witwicky. Meanwhile, Buster is trying to fix a broken tape deck, to be overwhelmed by another terrible headache. As he recovers, he sees that the tape deck is now fixed.
In the Ark, Ratchet has succeeded in reactivating first Prowl and then Wheeljack. Wheeljack is having difficulty concentrating on his task of tracking Guardian using the internal scanners, due to his recent reactivation, but shrugs off Prowl's offer of help. Prowl then returns to Ratchet for a status report. Ratchet observes that some Autobots are badly damaged, and that he had to give up on Sunstreaker completely, but that Jazz (his current patient) should soon be up and running. Wheeljack calls Prowl and Ratchet to see the unexpected readings he's picked up, who are suitably shocked.
Elsewhere in the Ark, Snarl and Grimlock are being followed by a decidedly unstealthy Guardian. A sudden and well-executed attack from all four Dinobots inflicts heavy damage, and the Dinobots prepare to finish the job. At the same time, Prowl confirms that there can be no mistake - "there's a high density thermo-nuclear bomb in one of the Ark's corridors. And it's mobile!" Wheeljack gets a visual of the corridor, to reveal the wounded Guardian prostrate at Prime's body, as the Dinobots advance. Grimlock aims his gun at the cranial access port, and Wheeljack confirms - Guardian IS the bomb, booby-trapped by Shockwave. If Grimlock pulls the trigger, the others conclude, he'll not only destroy Guardian, but them, the Ark, and the entire mountain!
Items of note
- References to other Transformers continuities/issues:
- Swoop was injured by Guardian at the end of the previous issue.
- Ratchet uses his laser scalpel as an offensive weapon, with far more effect than in "Warrior School". The other mentioned weakness of the Omega class battle droid, vulnerability to a strong magnetic field, was exploited by Windcharger to defeat Guardian in "Raiders of the Last Ark".
- The scene with Shockwave and Prime foreshadows the events of "The Next Best Thing to Being There!".
- Sunstreaker was destroyed by Shockwave in "The New Order" as a graphic demonstration of his power to Megatron.
- The title continues Simon Furman's early predilection for movie titles, this one coming from The Wrath of Khan.
- Machine Man: "If This be Sanctuary?!" part 1
- The story was repreinted in Collected Comics 5 (1987 Spring Special) and again in the 1994 Holiday Special. However both reprints omit the page featuring Buster.