Title: The Enemy Within!
Original Release Date: March 9th, 1985
When did I first read it: Some years ago when I was catching up on the old comics
We see Brawn attacking Sideswipe, with Jazz and Sunstreaker standing in the background, looking shocked. True to form, the cover is just a colored version of one of the panels in the comic. But at least the cover image was a solid choice, as it depicts one of the main points of the story arc. The title text reads “THE ENEMY WITHIN – Has Brawn changed sides?” and above the Transformers headline readers get the information that this issue is the start of a new story.
In this first issue the 2 main story-lines run parallel without intersecting yet. On the Autobots’ side we see Brawn complaining about the duration of the work he is helping with and then he gets electrocuted due to what seems to be a wiring fault. After regaining consciousness, he lashes out at his teammates, attacking Sideswipe (as seen on the cover), almost crushing his head between his hands before being pulled away. In response to the Autobots trying to calm him down and declaring that they are his friends, he calls them his enemies and creates his own exit by smashing a part of the outer Ark hull, leaving the other Autobots wondering what happened to him.
During this, Starscream challenges Megatron’s leadership, proposing an immediate attack on the Autobots. Though Megatron intimidates him into backing down and leaving, Starscream did manage to put some doubt into the mind of his fellow Decepticons. Megatron sends Ravage after Starscream to find out what he is planning, but Ravage is discovered. As he tries to flee, he is cornered by Starscream and buried under several tons of rock. At the end of the issue we see Starscream attacking a U.S. Air Force base.
Thoughts on content
Fans of the Transformers comics will note the fact that this story arc notes the first instance of Simon Furman’s writing. For those not “in the know”, with time he became one of the most well known writers in the Generation 1 era of TF comics, writing some of the best story arcs both in the UK and the US comics. While this story is comparatively basic (it is set somewhere before the end of the original 4 issue US comic run), as far as the Decepticons are concerned, it does make good use of the existing characterizations. The Autobots on the other hand… this first issue only really gives us a bit of material for Brawn, but most of it (besides him being annoyed about always being asked to work) is due to the accident.
The art for the issue is decent, except for the character models being based on the toys. This makes characters like Brawn look quite impractical, with his claw-hands and all.
UK Issue #14 – Part 2 of “The Enemy Within!”