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Whose Lifeforce is it Anyway?

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"Whoa. Shiny."

Can Longtooth finally do the right thing?

Generation One (Marvel UK) > Issue #249
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Marvel UK issue #250

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Staz
Lettering: Stuart Bartlett


Cybertron—To the annoyance of Doubleheader and Pincher, Longtooth is doing another death-defying charge on the Decepticons! The "fearless Longtooth" is beginning to grate on them, with Pincher stating he thinks Longtooth doesn't care if he's hit.

After the mission, they're called back to Autobase by Xaaron to be briefed on a mission involving the Creation Matrix. Longtooth is suddenly terrified, as he's not brave at all, but is secretly a selfish coward. Long ago, before the Ark launch, he was left alone after a battle that saw thousands die. He desperately tried to keep a comrade alive solely because he was too scared to be on his own, but Optimus Prime saw this and believed Longtooth was being altruistic. With considerable effort, Prime broke off a fragment of Matrix energy and gave it to Longtooth so he could save his friend.

Instead, Longtooth gave in to temptation and kept the fragment, ensuring he would always have an "extra life" in case he was badly injured. His comrade survived purely by luck. Longthooth has since constantly thrown himself into battle out of guilt and with an in-built "out".

He barely listens to the mission briefing—to search for the lost Matrix—and on the way out, he sees a group of Autobots, fresh from battle and mourning the death of their comrade, who had sacrificed himself. Unable to live with his actions anymore, he sends the Matrix fragment to Earth, where it can help the many deactivated there. "I can never undo what's been done—that shame is mine to bear..." but now he has a chance to start over.


Items of note

  • Apparently, Xaaron didn't mention they wanted the Matrix back because of Unicron, killer of worlds. Surely Longtooth would've paid attention to that.
  • Longtooth has a Pretender shell four million years ago, despite organic life being a shocking new concept in the first Transformers issues. This is one of several stories that includes this contradiction, including "The Magnificent Six!"
  • This is Longtooth's debut, and he's presented as a selfish, cowardly loser—quite an odd thing for a character debut, but it's certainly more striking and memorable than his later hunting-a-whale.
  • The issue title seems to be a nod to the British-then-American improvisational comedy show, Whose Line Is It, Anyway?
  • With this issue the cover logo changes from Action Force to G.I. Joe the Action Force. This had been explained as a merger between the European and American groups in a mini-comic given away with issue #245 and reflected a change in the toyline packaging.

Thanks for helping me... pull myself together.

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