In this issue we are introduced to Omega Supreme who is to be the defenses for The Ark. Optimus hatches a suicide mission to find out the secret of Devastator. The Autobot Refugees from Cybertron make a brief appearance. So do the Dinobots. Megatron does more crazy things and Donnie Finkleberg has a change of heart. Meanwhile Skids clips a human’s car and pays for it later. All in this one exciting issue.
We open on the Autobots at their base, The Ark. Optimus and Grapple are revealing a new Transformers to the ranks, Omega Supreme. Bak in issue #14 when Grapple, Hoist, Smokescreen, Tracks and Skids were introduced Optimus took Grapple aside and asked him to help be the architect of something. Well, Omega Supreme was that something. Grapple designed and built him and Optimus gave him life with the Creation Matrix. Grapple built Omega Supreme to guard the Ark. We’ll see if he fulfills his purpose.
Optimus then has Omega Supreme transform and he is incredibly huge. He pledges to Ratchet that none of his patient’s will be harmed while the rest of the Autobots go on a mission to attack the Decepticons’ base. The main object of the mission being, to discover the secret of Devastator so that the Autobots can build their own Gestalts or Combiners. When Optimus explains his plans he gets a lot of blowback.
Skids puts forth that the Decepticons’ base would be heavily fortified by now and this would be a suicide mission. Optimus explains that the Autobots will go in and fight to provoke Devastator to combine and then break off the attack. This rubs Grimlock the wrong way. He is angry that he and the other Dinobots are unable to participate in any fighting because of their alt forms. Now he is mad because Optimus says fight and then not fight. Grimlock decides that he will not follow a commander who will not fight. So the Dinobots leave. I like that in these few panels we learn exactly why the dinobots haven’t been around for 11 issues.
Optimus prime anticipated the Dinobots desertion and the plan will continue anyway. So Optimus, Wheeljack, Grapple, Bumblebee, Hoist, Tracks, Skids and Jetfile transform and roll out. There aren’t many in this raiding party and that is because Ratchet has a sick bay full of wounded so we are lucky that the 5 transformers from issue 14 are around. And I guess Wheeljack and Bumblebee have kept fairly healthy. We need Bumblebee in this one because he has the spy skills needed to get the Devastator info.
At the Decepticon base Shockwave has found and brought the Constructicons back so that they can fortify the base. I’m wondering, where were the Constructicons this whole time. Their absence was not explained as well as the Dinobots’ absence was. The Autobots beat them in issue 10 but they didn’t scatter them or detain them so why were they gone? I am unclear on that point.
Megatron and Shockwave continue to fight for power to command the Decepticons. While their fighting is not with their weapons or fists it is with words and actions. As the two are talking Donny Finkleberg comes up and Megatron explains that he is useful in creating the propaganda that is making people think that the Autobots are as much of a menace as the Decepticons. Then Megatron calls Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Frenzy, Rumble, Buzzsaw and Laserbeak to him. They are going to fly out and greet the Decepticons that came over on the Space Bridge.
The Autobots roll through a town on their way to the Decepticon base. They stay in vehicle mode and use their facsimile circuitry to blend in. Skids is distracted by all that he is seeing and he totally sideswipes a guy who is driving a car that looks just like Sideswipe. That guy is Jake Dalrymple and he’s fighting mad because Skids did not stop so he gives chase. The Autobots are stopped at an Army checkpoint and they use Jetfire to cause a diversion so that they can push through. The Autobots push through and Jake attempts to follow but is detained by the Army. It is not this guy’s day.
The Autobots get to the Decepticon base and again Skids questions the wisdom of this attack. Optimus says to press on and the Autobots attack the base.
Meanwhile the Decepticons who went to greet the other Decepticons from Cybertron get an unwelcome surprise when they see that it was Autobots who came over the Space Bridge. Shockwave tells Megatron to come back to base because the Autobots are attacking. Megatron sees this as a perfect time to attack the Autobot base as it is less defended with all the Autobots attacking the Decepticon base and so he orders his troops to go to the Autobot base. Donny Finkleberg overhears this and looks for an opportunity to escape because if Megatron is defeated then his usefulness to the Decepticons will have run its course.
The Autobots are talking hits but they are destroying the fortifications and defenses of the Decepticons’ base. Shockwave orders the Constructicons to form Devastator and this is exactly what the Autobots have been waiting for. Bumblebee records the whole transformation and tells the rest of the Autobots that he’s gotten what they need. Devastator attempts to destroy the Autobots with a giant boulder that gets shot to pieces by Optimus and Smokescreen and Skids. In all the fighting and confusion Donny Finkleberg makes his escape. Ravage, however has his scent and pursues.
No one, however pursues the Autobots. Shockwave tells Soundwave that he will destroy the Autobots at the time of his choosing when he is in command.
Back at the Autobot base MEgatron and his Decepticon troops arrive to find a tank and rocket booster guarding the base. The completely underestimate it at the peril of Skywarp. Skywarp is blasted to pieces in the first salvo from Omega Supreme. The rest of the Decepticons transform and attack but their weapons do not good. Omega Supreme’s tracks are electrified and they fry the Decepticons giving Omega a moment to Transform into his immense robot mode. MEgatron is not at all intimidated he asks Omega the question “Who are you ?” and the response is awesome. Omega has the best trash talk of any Transformer. Omega says. “I am the guardian of the gates” as he blasts Rumble and Frenzy to smithereens. “.. the junction of your destruction as he snags Thundercracker out of the sky and crushes him.”.. the laser lighting the way to your doom..” as his head turret blasts Buzzsaw to junk. “… the planner of your obsolescence..” as he tosses Thundercracker into a mountain. “.. the furnace that fires your demise..” as he clips Laserbeak. “I am the number you cannot compute, Decepticon.”, he states as he faces down Megatron.
Megatron sees all of his troops being decimated by this one Autobot and he has no fear at all. He tells Omega that he is nothing more than another Autobot coward. Then Megatron goes on the offensive and attacks only to be swatted away like a bug. He calls Laserbeak to come and pick him up and take him away. Omega Supreme has the last lines where he calls after Megatron, “Next time we meet Decepticon, your twisted wreckage shall join those of your brothers. I guarantee it.” Omega is the BEST!
Optimus radios to Omega that they are on the way back. Omega tells Optimus that indeed the Decepticons attacked and they suffered 75% losses. Omega took out Starscream, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Buzzsaw, Rumble and Frenzy. Skids hears this and apologizes for having any doubt in Optimus’ plans. As the Autobots return to base they come upon the Army checkpoint again and roll through it, however Jake Dalrymple is not going to stop until he gets satisfaction from Skids. He blocks Skids’ way and this gives Ravage time to blast Skids off a cliff. The Autobot convoy cannot stop or the mission will fail. So they roll on. I guess the Autobots do not have the motto, “Leave no Autobot behind.” Poor Skids.
Laserbeak deposits Megatron at the feet of Shockwave and you figure that this is a perfect time for Shockwave to retake command. MEgatron is defeated, he lost 6 of their ranks while on their mission. However, Megatron is ever the defiant one. He tells Shockwave that the apparent vulnerability at the Autobot Base was a distraction from the true motive of the Autobots raid on the Decepticons’ base. There had to be something that they were trying to accomplish and Megatron is certain that the Autobots achieved it. He also says that the fallen warriors can be replaced and that they can attack the Autobots at any time. Megatron’s argument wins over Shockwave and Shockwave concedes to Megatron’s leadership… for now.
The Autobots return to base victorious but there is no time to celebrate. Skids was lost, Optimus figures that he is dead, too. What the Autobots overlooked in this whole mission was the Human Factor.
I never really realized how callous the Transformers were to each other’s lives in the comics. Evan the Autobots. No one went after Skids. Jetfire couldn’t have swooped down and picked up his body? Really? And what is going to happen with the Autobot refugees, they didn’t try to contact the Autobots using a autobot frequency or something?
This issue is titled – Command Performance
Shockwave, Megatron, Starscream, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Soundwave, Ravage, Frenzy, Rumble, Buzzsaw, Laserbeak
Constructicons – Finally Make their Return
Scavenger, Mixmaster, Long Haul, Scrapper, Bonecrusher, Hook – They form Devastator.
Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Prowl, Ratchet, Huffer, Gears, Bumblebee, Bluestreak, Cliffjumper, Windcharger, Hound, Jazz, Brawn, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Trailbreaker, Mirage, Wheeljack, Hoist, Grapple, Smokescreen, Tracks, Skids, Jetfire and Omega Supreme.
Autobots from the Space Bridge – Blaster, Perceptor, Warpath, Beachcomber, Cosmos, Powerglide, Seaspray,
Dinobots – Finally return, only to leave.
Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Snarl, Swoop
Humans – Not seen in this issue
Buster Witwicky – Smart Kid, Carried around the Creation Matrix for a few issues.
Sparkplug Witwicky – Mechanic, Heart Attack Victim, Father to Buster
Jessie – Buster’s Girlfriend
“O” -Buster’s friend
G.B. Blackrock – Multi-Millionaire and secret fuel supporter to the Autobots
Circuit Breaker/Josie Beller
Bomber Bill – Trucker and friend to Huffer
Walter Barnett – Government Agent
Forrest Forsythe – Head of Triple I (Intelligence and Information Institute)
Humans – Seen in this issue
Donny Finkleberg – Robot-Master – Writer turned shill for the Decepticons
Jake Dalrymple – Human who gets sideswiped by Skids while driving a car that looks like sideswipe.
Comic Book Team for The Transformers Vol. 1, No. 19 August, 1986.
Writer – Bob Budiansky
Penciler – Don Perlin
Inks – Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Letters – Janice Chiang
Colors – Nel Yomtov
Editor – Michael Carlin
Editor-In-Chief – Jim Shooter
T-Shirt I am Wearing – Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters – from Loot Crate.
I am an Affiliate of Loot Crate and This month’s Loot Crate DX has an exclusive Transformers item in it Get it by using this link http://lootcrate.7eer.net/c/314901/237077/4019