Title: Repeat Performance!
Original Release Date: May 1985
When did I first read it: Like issue #7, in ‘92, the summer holiday after the issue got released in Hungary (in one comic book that combined issues #7 and #8)
This one is a bit less exciting compared to some previous ones. It’s just showing three Dinobots (Grimlock, Slag and Sludge) in their Dino forms standing on what looks like a mountainside, with their backs to the mountain, looking at… something.
The art is decent, though definitely far from my favorite rendition of the Dinobots.
Coincidentally, in contrast to the Dinobots that appear in the issue, the ones on the cover are limited to the three that were first introduced in the animated series.
Ratchet begins his search for the Dinobots in the Savage Land and is soon lucky: he finds Slag in a tar pit. After digging him out, he accesses his memory banks and finds out what exactly happened in the past: The Ark modified 5 of the Autobots (Swoop, Grimlock, Snarl, Sludge and Slag) to transform into dinosaurs and sent them to fight against Shockwave. The fight initially did not go too well for the Dinobots, but due to Snarl collapsing a mountain, both Shockwave and the Dinobots were buried for a long time. Shortly after Ratchet learns this, Slag reactivates, ready to continue the fight.
Meanwhile, Shockwave transports Optimus Prime’s head to the captured aerospace plant (see previous issue), to begin the construction of the “next generation of Decepticons” with the help of the Creation Matrix in Optimus. Jossie Beller (who was injured by Shockwave in his oil drilling platform attack) is using the equipment Blackrock provided her to design and print circuitry that she places all around her right arm.
Ratchet contacts Megatron and sends him video proof of the Dinobots taking down Shockwave, confirming they’ll meet at the predetermined place on a mountain away from the Ark.
When they meet, Megatron makes clear he never intended to fulfill his part of the bargain, prompting Ratchet to reveal his hand: he had the Dinobots lie in wait for this occasion. The Dinobots attack Megatron, but he manages to quickly beat them down.
Ratchet tackles Megatron in order to try and push him over the cliff and while this fails, through the shock of the impact he manages to crack the ledge Megatron was standing on, making him fall. He transforms into his pistol mode to soften the fall, but doesn’t resurface after falling into the snow below. Seizing the opportunity, Ratchet and the Dinobots return to the Ark to free the other Autobots. In the epilogue, Jossie Beller uses the circuitry around her arm to zap the TV in her hospital room with some kind of energy bolt.
Thoughts on content
Both Shockwave and Megatron are shown to be very powerful foes in this issue. Since the Dinobots didn’t manage well against Shockwave in the flashback, it was no surprise that Megatron didn’t have much trouble with them besides the surprise element. His battle with the Dinobots also showed that Shockwave’s reliance on logic can cause him to be surprised, even though Snarl’s attack caused everyone to be buried (either under rocks or in the tar pit).
Art-wise the issue was quite good, apart from the cover. Both regular scenes and the battles were done nicely, both humans and robots are nicely drawn and expressive and while the fight scenes weren’t quite as detailed, they made up for it by “transporting” the action very well, the motion and impacts are nicely represented visually.
The story is sort of a mixed bag. Don’t get me wrong, the Transformers focused part I like a LOT, but this issue also represents the start of a character that in my opinion… was very much unnecessary – or at the least, not well done. Had they done her a bit differently, I might have liked Circuit Breaker more, but as it stands, she’s one of my least favorite characters in the comic series.
“Hide your personal computer! Trade in your VCR! No machine is safe from: Circuit Breaker!”