Jazz explains to Sammy what he is, and is joined on the road by Mirage and Trailbreaker. They are attacked by Decepticons who badly injure Trailbreaker, but Mirage and Bluestreak take them out. Sammy is taken to meet Optimus Prime and is told that the object under the castle is in fact an Autobot rescue craft.
Steve Parkhouse
Mike Collins
Mike Collins
Gina Hart
Release date
Autobots featured
Optimus Prime, Jazz, Mirage, Trailbreaker, Bluestreak
Decepticons featured
Thundercracker, Skywarp
Humans featured
Sammy Harker
Origin of
Death of
First appearance
Locations featured
Stansham Wood, the M4 motorway, and other sites in Southern England
Story synopsis
Evening, and Jazz is driving through Stansham Woods with Sammy in his front seat. He explains that he's taking Sammy to meet some of his friends. Jazz explains that he is a Transformer and that he was the robot that Sammy saw in the woods in issue 9.

Cue the appearance of Mirage, who transforms and tails Jazz. Jazz introduces himself and Mirage to Sammy. Then they rendezvous with Trailbreaker, who takes up the tail of their convoy.

Two unmarked aircraft suddenly dive towards the convoy. Their first strike takes out Trailbreaker. Sammy asks Jazz what's happening and Jazz replies that it's a Decepticon attack.

As one of the jets begins its second assault, Mirage lives up to his name and disappears from sight, completely disorienting the jet, which crashes into a low bridge...

Jazz congratulates Mirage, but warns of the other jet, which is coming at them head-on. It fires and Sammy suddenly spins the steering wheel, guiding Jazz out of danger. Jazz applauds Sammy for saving him, but Sammy replies that he was only trying to save himself.

Mirage deadens the happy moment by reminding them that the jet is still around, as they pass under a bridge, where a car is stopped. The car transforms into Bluestreak who has the jet in his sights. He fires and it's a direct hit. The jet crashes spectacularly to the ground and Bluestreak cautions Jazz to be more careful in future.

Arriving at their destination some time later, Jazz wakes Sammy up and transforms and they walk towards an Autobot shuttlecraft. The shuttlecraft's doors open, and Optimus Prime stands inside, welcoming Jazz and beckoning Sammy inside.

Inside, Sammy is questioned on the Man of Iron. Sammy replies that the legend has been around for hundreds of years, and that he looks a bit like Jazz. Jazz replies that it's because he comes from the same place that they do. Prime continues, saying that they are Autobots from Cybertron, and that they've come to the UK because they've tracked a signal from "halfway round the world to Stansham." The signal is Cybertronian in origin and has been acting as a beacon for millions of years. Autobot scientists sent a rescue craft for their Earthbound brethren and that craft is under Stansham castle.

Sammy butts in saying that if the army keep digging, they'll unearth the craft, to which Prime replies that they mustn't, as it will attract the Decepticons, who will destroy the craft, the castle and Stansham village!

Jazz explains that the unexploded bomb the Decepticons dropped was actually a probe, and that there are Autobots under the hill. They have to get to them first!
A welcome, if brief, return for the Decepticons, while the activity at the Castle takes some time off.

The storyline seems a bit weak in terms of detail here, (the second jet's demise can be summed up in two lines in the above synopsis, while the actual art covers about a page.)

There is a change of artist as Mike Collins takes over from John Ridgway's first two issues. This may have something to do with a change in focus, as the majority of frames are concerned with motion and lots of fast paced action, while in the previous two issues they were mostly static. The Transformers are all shown in their toy forms, even so far as Mirage and Bluestreak's transformations and Bluestreak and Jazz's ample chests.

Man of Iron Part 3 was reprinted in US issue 34 (recoloured by Nel Yomtov)and Collected Comics 3 (in full colour), where it was given the subheading "Chapter Three: 'You've Got Friends?'"
Character development
Optimus Prime initially seems indifferent towards Sammy, referring to him as "the human" and remaining silent whilst Jazz talks to Sammy. After Sammy has said all he knows, Prime shows a more compassionate side, referring to Sammy by name and trying to translate a sense of urgency about their mission.

Jazz is shown to be concentrating on the mission, but his strategy leaves something to be desired as, although he is carrying Sammy, he proceeds to lead the convoy. A bad decision, as it leaves him wide open to frontal attack. One wonders how he got the role of Patrol Leader.

Mirage is shown as a bit of a show-off, although to be fair, he does take out a Decepticon jet without any physical contact or other offensive action, so he's got every right to show off there.

Trailbreaker doesn't really get much airtime. He's really only in it to take a hit and that's about it. The other Autobots are willing to just leave him behind, although this could just indicate a strong sense of urgency in their mission or that once the immediate threat had passed, Bluestreak would be able to recover him.

Bluestreak seems a bit cocky when radioing to Jazz about the jet he'd just "brushed off his tail", but when he's getting down to business, he's seen to be someone who prefers caution to rashness, appearing calm and collected as he takes only one shot on the Decepticon jet and hits it dead-on.

Sammy is shown to be understandably a little out of his depth, however he seems to take everything in his stride, his kidnapping seemingly forgotten. He even falls asleep while on their journey.
Trailbreaker, although apparently badly injured, is not fatally wounded.
Similarly, the Decepticon jets heal fast too, as they appear fully functional in their battle next issue.
Mirage uses his electro-disruptor circuits to scramble the Decepticon's sensors. This implies that he doesn't actually turn himself invisible, but just affects the observer's sensors. This means that although he is shown to disappear, he's probably still visible to Sammy, who doesn't have Cybertronian sensors, his eyes being completely different.

Although the Ark is disabled, it appears there are functional shuttlecraft on board, capable of transporting Autobots anywhere on the planet, and possibly beyond.

The appearance of Optimus Prime suggests that in issue 9, the "Autobot Leader" that Jazz radioed was probably him, but it's not conclusive.

Jazz tells Sammy that his actual name is unpronounceable in English. This probably means that all the Transformers' names are translated for our benefit throughout the comics and cartoons.

The Autobots use the callsign prefix 'Autobot' when radioing each other.

Autobot scientists on Cybertron must have had a good idea of the region in space where the Ark crashed. The fact that their beacon was never answered may be the reason why there were no further expeditions.
Good quotes
"Friends? You've got Friends?" Sammy.
Bad quotes
"Is that a spaceship?" Sammy.
Both Decepticon jets are shown in blue, however Skywarp's colour is black.

Throughout the Decepticon attack, the Autobots are supposed to be on a motorway, however, when Trailbreaker is hit, he's shown to be on what looks like a country road.
Story rating
6 star
Art rating
6 star

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