An opening for leader of the Autobots creates a power struggle within the group. The Dinobots return so that Grimlock and claim the right to be leader for the sheer reason that he is the strongest. Meanwhile a Decepticon bean counter named Ratbat is cutting off the Decepticons’ use of the Space Bridge because of all the fuel expenditures. He’ll let Shockwave have one last crazy scheme and he sends Trypticon through to destroy the Autobots in The Ark. Yep, that plan should go perfectly.
The issue opens on some college students (Rachel Becker and Graduate Assistant, Marty Cooper) and their professor (Professor Robert Paaswell) in the Cascade mountain range looking at what they believe are dinosaur tracks. Trees are broken all over the place. The professor points out that the footprints are large enough and on scale with dinosaurs but they are not from dinosaurs. The professor points out that the edges of the footprints are two straight, almost mechanical and that not creature, alive or dead made their prints. He writes it off as an elaborate hoax. As they head out of the woods they see a Pterodactyl fly overhead. They are stunned and try to follow it, but it is too fast.
The Pterodactyl is Swoop of the Dinobots. The Dinobots have not been seen since their departure from the Autobots in Issue #19. Now they are living in the woods and stealing fuel from the humans. Swoop steals and entire oil tanker as the trucker sits in a diner having his dinner. No, it is not Bomber Bill, if it were, then he’d be all fired up and would have gone looking for the culprits.
Swoop flies the tanker of oil into the woods and drops it at the feet of the other Dinobots. They have gorge themselves because they need fuel to take on, The Autobots! Swoop has been spying on them and he has learned that Optimus Prime is dead. This is a perfect time for the Dinobots to come in and take leadership control of the Autobots. They will no longer be outcasts. They will be in charge.
Meanwhile over at the Decepticon base in Florida Soundwave, and Shockwave are talking with the Decepticon Fuel Auditor, Ratbat from Cybertron. Per Ratbat’s assessment the Decepticons on Earth are expending way too much fuel and are not sending enough to Cybertron. The amount of fuel that has been expended running the Space Bridge outstrips the amount of fuel that the Decepticons have sent them. Ratbat is shutting down the Space Bridge effective immediately. It seems like that would already have been shut down after Megatron blew it up and himself back in issue #25 but who cares about continuity anyway. Shockwave demands that the space bridge remain in use. All of those inefficient uses of fuel were under the leadership of Megatron. He’s the leader now and things will be different. He convinces Ratbat to send their deadliest Decepticon to destroy The Ark and once the Decepticons have The Ark and the vast resources of The Ark then the Decepticons can manage on their own.
When did the Ark get vast resources? It seems the Autobots are just trying to get by in every issue. If they did have vast resources then they’d have fixed up the Ark and left Earth. Actually they wouldn’t they feel responsible for the humans being vulnerable to Decepticon attack so they’d end up staying. Any wonder that their war has lasted so many millions of years.
Back at the Ark a council of Autobots has been convened and the subject is the future leader of the Autobots. We have Jetfire, Perceptor, Blaster, Hotspot, Silverbolt and Ratchet in attendance. They are trying to decide exactly who would be fit to be the next leader and who would embody the values of Optimus Prime. Their meeting is interrupted by Grimlock who tells them that he is the strongest and therefore he should lead. Perceptor tells him that his input is welcome as leader of the Dinobots but his demands are not. Grimlock loses it and tells them how Optimus Prime’s way caused his own destruction and under Grimlock’s rule the Decepticons would be destroyed. Grimlock then tells them he does not ask them to give him anything. Anything he wants he will take. Then he stomps out of the Ark like an over-sized two-year old.
Back int he woods, Rachel Becker is trying to sleep but she is too amped up with excitement. Suddenly there are incredibly bright lights out in the middle of the woods. Rachel gets up and goes looking for the source of those lights. She stumbles down to where she find the Space Bridge and what she sees crossing over the bridge terrifies her to her core. The Decepticon, Trypticon has crossed over from Cybertron to Earth and is headed for the Ark. Rachel runs off scared but realizes that Trypticon didn’t even see her so there is nothing for her to worry about. She gets a grip and decides to stay put until morning.
Trypticon is a city size Transformer. He is a giant T-Rex who can turn into a battle station. Trypticon converts into base mode. He sends out his scout, Wipe-Out, a small car that is rather sycophantic. While Wipe-Out goes exploring Trypticon shoots a sonic scrambler missile at the Ark and it causes the Autobots to lose control of their limbs until Warpath blasts the Sonic Scrambler into bits.
Elsewhere the Dinobots have regrouped and they are talking about beating up the rest of the Autobots until they make Grimlock the new leaders. They are cut short as they see The Autobots fighting Trypticon. The Dinobots watch from a ridge above the action and figure that they’ll let Trypticon soften up the Autobots and then they’ll come down and mop up what remains. Grimlock isn’t sure about this. He heads off into the woods and thinks to himself that he has wanted to become leader of the Autobots and he didn’t feel bad about knocking the Autobots around to get it but he doesn’t want to see them slaughtered by Trypticon.
Grimlock is walking through the wood with his thoughts and he nearly steps on Rachel. She does not go running away when she sees him. She figures that there must be some scientific explanation for his presence and Grimlock sees her not running away as a sign that not all humans are cowards as he ad once thought to be true. Grimlock walks away to get back to the other Dinobots. Rachel is thrilled to have seen proof of these creatures and she does not notice Wipe-Out creeping up behind her until he grabs at her.
When Grimlock returns to the Dinobots on the ridge he sees that the Autobots are getting decimated by Trypticon but they keep fighting. Another half dozen sonic scramblers are launched and the Autobots cannot control their motion. The Dinobots continue to watch and make snide remarks. Grimlock even remarks that he’ll be leader of piles of scrap son. They keep watching and they see Wipe-Out return to bring Rachel to Trypticon so that he can eat her. She tries to run away but trips. Grimlock sees this and recognizes the fleshling that he saw in the woods and before Trypticon can strike her down Grimlock leaps off the ridge onto his back. Grimlock begins tearing into Trypticon and gets flung off for his trouble. The rest of the Dinobots see that their leader has joined the fight and so they join in as well.
The five dinobots attack Trypticon and Wipe-Out. They are doing pretty well for a while but Trypticon fights back harder which only causes the Dinobots to retaliate with more ferocity. The fight is not going well for Trypticon, so much so that Ratbat sends the Space Bridge back to Earth and commands him to return to Cybertron. He has expended his whole fuel allowance in this raid. So Trypticon disappears back to Cybertron. The Dinobots decide to continue on to The Ark where they will get Grimlock made into the new leaders of the Autobots, their original intention on going toward The Ark. Rachel has seen the whole battle and when her professor and Marty arrive she tells them that there are no dinosaurs in the woods but she has seen something much more.
We then cut to The Ark where the Autobots are thanking the Dinobots for their help in the fight against Trypticon. They even say that Grimlock earned the title of leader of the Autobots. Grimlock says that even though he is the strongest, he is not fit to be the leader. Then Ratchet, Perceptor and Blaster tell him all the reasons why he is fit to be the next leader. We end with the Autobots cheering, “Hail Grimlock, Leader of the Autobots!” Let’s see how quickly they realize the folly of that decision.
This issue is titled – King of the Hill!
Grimlock, Swoop, Snarl, Sludge, Slag, Perceptor, Ratchet, Blaster, Omega Supreme, Wheeljack, Jetfire, Hotspot, Silverbolt, Warpath, Cosmos, Beachcomber, Seaspray
Shockwave, Soundwave, Ratbat, Trypticon, Wipe-Out,
Rachel Becker – College Student
Marty Cooper – Graduate Student
Professor Robert Paaswell – Professor of Paleontology
Comic Book Team for The Transformers Vol. 1, No. 27 April, 1987.
Writer – Bob Budiansky
Penciler – Don Perlin
Inks – Ian Akin & Brian Garvey
Letters – Janice Chiang
Colors – Nel Yomtov
Editor – Don Daley
Editor-In-Chief – Jim Shooter
T-Shirt I am Wearing – Marty McPrime from a Loot Crate.
I am an Affiliate of Loot Crate – Please use my code BENSPARK for a discount when you sign up – http://www.benspark.com/LootCrateDX