Title: Man of Iron – The Conclusion
Original Release Date: February 23rd, 1985
When did I first read it: In 1991, when this issue (and the other issues of this short story) was published in a pocketbook format
Looking back, all the covers of this 4-issue story are just reused panels from inside the issue, but the first two weren’t quite so blatantly obvious about it, with the additional sound effect text of the last two issues and especially the multi-panel copy of the third one… On this cover we see Jazz in vehicle form crash into one of the Decepticon Seekers in robot mode, accompanied by a large “KRAAANG” sound effect text (Turtles gonna sue!). It looks like Jazz was either using a ramp to jump from or he was driving on higher ground before.
The military continues their investigation underneath the castle, but they didn’t have much success obviously. After a while, the “Man of Iron” surfaces and fires on one of the military jeeps, making it explode. Then out of nowhere one of the Decepticon seekers appears and easily destroys the Man of Iron with two shots. Meanwhile the Autobots arrive in their shuttlecraft and begin their attack. Jazz drives out of the shuttle, lets Sammy jump out and catapults himself into the Decepticon at the castle. Sammy runs to his dad and they get out of the area as well as the military. The Autobots and Decepticons fight and after some losses, the Decepticons flee. After the fight, Optimus Prime decides that they must destroy the rescue ship. In a short glimpse into the ship, we see that there is another Autobot inside, a navigator, waiting to be reactivated. But instead, we see Jazz firing at the craft, vaporizing it and its contents. After everything is done, we learn that Sammy never saw Jazz again and besides some dreams of the Man of Iron, his life returned to normal.
Thoughts on content
While I liked how the action was depicted, it was kind of disappointing how unceremoniously the “Man of Iron” was dispatched, though I guess it DOES make sense given how long he has been “out of the action”, while the Decepticon in contrast has been active in the ongoing war. Pacing-wise the issue was fine, I think. While the battle itself seems to be a bit glossed over, it fits the overall style of the story, so I don’t mind it too much.
What DID bother me was how they just got rid of the rescue craft without even checking inside. While I realize that the navigator-bot could not have been rescued due to continuity issues, they should either not have had that bot in the craft at all or written up a reason why he could not be reactivated. The way they did it, it really seems out of character for Optimus and Jazz, there really didn’t seem to be a great hurry in the moment after they dispatched the Decepticons.
Overall, I think this 4-issue story was decent for its time. Considering how early this was written, the author didn’t have much material to build on and it had to be written without affecting the general continuity even then. They didn’t succeed on all accounts (as mentioned before, how they handled the end), but gave the comics a distinct feel that’s different from the other TF comics before and after by going more for the human perspective.
US Issue #9