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Cowering in the Dead End, Prime seeks to keep Outback's spirits alive by revealing finally what happened when he disappeared...
Marvel UK issue #100
Writer: Simon Furman
Pencils: Will Simpson
Inks: Tim Perkins
Lettering: A. Halfacree
Colours: Steve White
Cover: Alan Davis
Editor: Ian Rimmer
- Major Characters (in order of appearance:) Optimus Prime, Outback, Ratchet, Prowl, Shockwave, Frenzy, Thundercracker, Zenag, Broadside, Sandstorm, Ultra Magnus, Emirate Xaaron.
- Originally published: 7th February 1987; Cover date ("off sale") 14th February 1987
Optimus Prime has taken the wounded Outback to the Dead End region of Cybertron in the hope that he can recover from his wounds, but instead his companion continues to weaken. Prime can hear the Wreckers coming in the distance.
Outback is despondent about his fate, but Prime tells him to never abandon hope. In order to raise Outback's spirits Prime decides to tell him of another time when he triumphed against seemingly insurmountable odds.
- Prime recalls how he, Prowl and Ratchet were forcibly transferred from Earth into a strange technorganic world. There they were fighting a race of cybernetic monkey-like creatures. Prime refused to countenance the use of lethal force despite the other Autobots telling him it was the only way to win. Suddenly Shockwave, Frenzy and Thundercracker materialise in the world, having been transported from the Decepticons' coal mine base. Target 2006 They see the Autobots fighting and Shockwave orders the Decepticons to wipe out the creatures. They do so with ruthless efficiency.
- Shockwave declares that it is logical the Decepticons and Autobots work together to escape the world. Prime is uneasy but agrees and explains how they came there.
- The Cloran were a peaceful cybernetic cat-like race who were driven from their home by the monkey-cyborgs. Upon their arrival the Autobots encountered the survivors and accepted a plea for aid. The Autobots then stopped the monkeys from invading neighbouring territories. The monkeys' leader Zenag was outraged and offered the Autobots a device that could return them to Earth, in exchange for allowing the invasion to continue. The Autobots refused...
- Shockwave declares that he will take Zenag up on the offer. Prime is concerned as Zenag is "evil, deceitful! He cannot be trusted!" And then he realises how similar this is.
- Shockwave, Thundercracker and Frenzy meet with Zenag and agree to destroy the Autobots. They attack, but are tricked when the Autobots seemingly succumb to Frenzy's sonic attacks, only to reveal they have shut down their audio sensors. Once the Decepticons are beaten, Prime describes how the situation of a peace-loving race coming under attack from a remorseless killer race seeking to extend their power into neighbouring territories is a carbon copy of the Transformers' own war. He wants time to put the theory to the test, when Zenag shows up and demands Shockwave destroy the Autobots now. Shockwave refuses, whilst Prime declares he won't fight back and goads Zenag to kill him.
- Zenag proceeds to attack Prime, ripping out part of his chest. Prime refuses to fight back, believing that it is important to realise that fighting must always be the last alternative. Zenag is furious...
The Decepticons show off their seaweed collection!
- And then Zenag and his entire world fades away. The six Transformers come to in a dark null space, with strange green creatures attached to all their heads. Ratchet analyses one of the creatures and deduces that it is a parasite that feeds off emotions, especially violent emotions. They are able to fashion illusions to provoke violent reactions. Prime adds that given time the creatures could have fashioned a reality from the illusions - and shows his side!
Outback is amazed at how close Prime came to being killed. Prime himself realises that he may have found an answer from the tale. He completes the story by explaining that when Galvatron returned to his own time, the Autobots returned to Earth.
Suddenly the Wreckers burst in and prepare to kill Prime. Broadside asks if Prime has anything to say.
Prime responds by saying he will not beg for his own life but asks for them to spare Outback. Prime had believed that his death would give Megatron his greatest victory, but realises that instead it was fighting back against his fellow Autobots and dragging the innocent Outback into his fight that is Megatron's real victory. Prime states that:
"If, as a result of my death, just one Autobot life is saved, then it will not have been without meaning and the real victory will be mine!"
Suddenly Emirate Xaaron and Ultra Magnus enter. Magnus has confided his suspicions to Xaaron, who realises there is just time to prevent a great mistake. He steps forward and welcomes his old friend Optimus home.
- Outback's wound is not consistent throughout the issue, at times shifting between his left & right sides and sometimes not appearing at all.
Items of note
- This is the first appearance of the Dead End region of Cybertron and the dimension Limbo, though it is not named as such in this story.
- For the 100th issue the story was specially extended to a full nineteen pages.
- This issue was reprinted in Collected Comics #13 (Holiday Special 1989) and the Titan Books trade paperback "Prey". The latter reprint uses the Collected Comics version, complete with the altered logo on the first page and the legend "CONTINUED IN COLLECTED COMICS 14!" on the last page.
- In spite of this legend, the subsequent story Resurrection! was in fact reprinted in issues #229-232 on the weekly comic.
- The cover was reused for Collected Comics #13 and again on the 1992 Summer Special, despite the latter not reprinting the issue.