Original release date: March 1985
When did I read it first: Around August 1991 when it was published in Hungary (with issue #5 bundled in the same comic book)
Well this is certainly a far cry from your usual “action pose” shot on the cover… Megatron and Shockwave are shown fighting, with Shockwave blasting apart the rear piece of Megatron’s arm cannon. This all seems to be taking place in the clouds while a USAF helicopter is flying across the picture in the foreground. I wonder what the pilot is thinking…
In the bottom left corner there’s a picture of Spiderman’s black costumed head in a box with white background… again, completely out of place as he’ll never appear again after his cameo in the earlier issues.
The issue starts out with Shockwave putting his plan into action, attacking Blackrock’s oil platform, quickly dispatching the defences. In the process the operator of the defences, Josie Beller, gets electrocuted and is carried to safety by G.B. Blackrock. After succeeding, Shockwave calls the functioning Decepticons to the platform, angering Megatron at the sight of their departure.
After Shockwave’s return to the Ark, Megatron frees himself from the repair station he was essentially bound to and attacks Shockwave, a blast sending him flying out of the Ark. Megatron pursues and the fight continues, but Shockwave manages to defeat Megatron quickly as his wounds have not fully healed, making him susceptible to short-circuiting from water. Defeated and weak, Megatron is carried back to the Ark, where he is shown as a symbol of what would happen with anyone that opposes Shockwave.
Parallel to this, after Buster discovers his head, Optimus asks him for help, which he agrees to, going against his father’s wish in the previous issue. As Prime tells him to, Buster presses two of the wires from the contraption Optimus is connected to against his forehead, seemingly electrocuting him, making him pass out. After Buster regains consciousness, he returns to Ratchet, telling him about his findings (neglecting to detail the part that Optimus asked him to do). Later the two witness Shockwave carrying Megatron back into the Ark and the issue ends with them huddled together, trying to fight off the despair that’s starting to settle in.
Thoughts and Conclusion
Well this issue certainly didn’t do much to lift the spirit… it’s a great continuation of the story arc though. The rivalry between Megatron and Shockwave so far majorly goes in favour of Shockwave, but they gave Megatron a handicap for the fight, making the outcome not a decisive judgement on which of the two is superior while at the same time giving Megatron a motivation for revenge.
When I first read this issue, I wondered what exactly happened with Buster, I guess I just didn’t think “comic-logic” enough… besides that mystery, the issue ends on a somber note again, with the overall situation unchanged for the Autobots (so bad, that Ratchet apparently defected to the Decepticons on the last panel, via art error… whoops). On the other hand, the Decepticons again managed to improve their situation, having “acquired” a new base. One that includes a source of fuel to boot.
Overall though, the art was good in this issue, the fights look nice and dynamic, the panel with Shockwave getting blasted out of the Ark even being extra-detailed, though also using a different model for him that looks much closer to the toy.
The issue ends without a “preview quote” for the next issue, which just serves to put more emphasis on the atmosphere of the last panel, nicely done, if that was intentional.