Its 2008 and Death’s Head chases Cyclonus and Scourge all the way to Junk. He beats them up good and proper like the cool dude he is. Then a Junkion appears and offers Death’s Head a handsome reward to save his race who have been enslaved by a being of vast power. Death’s Head orders the two Decepticons to help him out but it is to no avail. The Junkion is destroyed and the bounty hunter along with Cyclonus and Scourge have their minds ensnared by…Unicron!
Issue
146
Writer
Simon Furman
Pencils
Geoff Senior
Inks
Geoff Senior
Colours
Steve White
Release date
02/01/1988
Autobots featured
Rodimus Prime, Inferno, Smokescreen
Decepticons featured
Scourge, Cyclonus
Humans featured
Death’s Head, Unicron, Wreck-Gar
Origin of
Death of
First appearance
Locations featured
Junk, Cybertron
Story synopsis
It's the year 2008, Death’s Head is on the prowl, and Cyclonus and Scourge are the targets! After betraying Death’s Head back in issues 133 and 134, the intergalactic bounty hunter is out for a bit of revenge and unfinished business, namely, fulfilling the bounty on the two Decepticons, that was set by Rodimus Prime.

Tracking the two Decepticons to the planet of Junk, Death's Head prepares to finish his hunt! After blasting Scourge with a missile from his ship, Scourge crashlands on Junk while Cyclonus flies away to safety in the hopes of avoiding the wrath of the bounty hunter. As Death's Head's ship circles around to finish the job, Scourge takes aim at the ship's fuel tank. However, just as he aims, Death's Head appears behind him and fires, blasting Scourge to the ground! This entire time, Death's Head's ship had been on auto-pilot!

Scourge begs for mercy while Death's Head prepares to finish the job, commenting on Scourge's lack of courage. However, it is all a ploy as Cyclonus comes from behind, blasting away at Death's Head! Death's Head fires a missile of his own back at the airborne Decepticon, however, when it appears to miss, it circles right around as it is a heat seeker! Forced to transform to get rid of the heat from his engines, Cyclonus lands on Junk only to get smacked on the back of his head by Death's Head's mace!

But just as Death’s Head is about to finish off the two Decepticons, a Junkion appears out of the ground pleading for help! The Junkion appeals to Death’s Head to aid him and his fellow Junkions, who have become enslaved by a mysteriously powerful being! Although Death’s Head is against simple heroics, the promise of a huge cash reward sways him into accepting the Junkion’s proposal. As a side effect Death’s Head also realises he may need Scourge and Cyclonus alive to deal with whatever being this is, promising the two that if they help him, he will let them go. However, unbeknownst to them, Death’s Head plans to kill they anyway afterwards as it would be poor business etiquette to renege on a contract.

Meanwhile on Cybertron, Rodimus Prime is saying goodbye to Wreck-Gar, who has decided it is time to return to Junk in order to aid his people. Along with Smokescreen and Inferno, who are there to give the Junkion a lift to the planet, the three take off on an Autobot shuttle to repatriate Wreck-Gar.

Back on Junk, the Death's Head and the others agree to use the Junkion as a distraction, so they can lay explosives underneath their foe. Soon the unlikely allies hop over the final hill obscuring their foe and begin to enact their plan! However, as soon as the Junkion climbs over, he realises that he has been duped this entire time! This mysterious enemy had been subtly manipulating him into retreiving Death's Head, and the two Decepticons! The poor Junkion is then immediately killed by a powerful energy blast from off panel.

Death’s Head, Cyclonus and Scourge, despite their attempts at fighting back, are then immediately made captives by the sheer mental willpower of this enemy. It is then that we see who the foe really is... Unicron! And his giant head is swarming with Junkions as they set about constructing him a new body!
Remarks
Fun stuff all around, and the return of Unicron, all in a few pages! Plotwise, one truly has a sense of an excellent story arc developing here, that not only includes fan favourite Death’s Head, but also the two creations of Unicron, Scourge and Cyclonus. It's a great way to kick of 1988 (the story itself is set on New Year's Day to add to the fun) and another post-movie story is most welcome. In addition, the pacing and dialogue of the story are excellent, albeit very quick, as we get a satisfying battle early on, which segues nicely into the main overall plot, namely Unicron.

Most anything Death's Head says is either hilarious, memorable or just plain cool. And like other Furman characters with speech impediments, Death's Head is simply badass. For instance, "What's in it for me, eh? Not a charity, you know! Simple heroics not cost effective, yes?" is just a great taste of his dialogue. In addition the manner in which Death's Head agrees to check out what enslaved an entire planet is done so nonchalantly that it just serves to further support his badass nature.

Artwise, Senior just shows once again that he knows Transformers. Every panel is crisp, clear and is able to show action and movement. Particularly good examples of Senior’s work occur on page 4, panel 2, featuring a great picture of Scourge smirking as he lays a trap for the unsuspecting Death's Head, while Page 6 features a hilarious moment as Cyclonus is struck on the back of his head by Death's Head, knocking him unconscious.

More importantly however, throughout the entirety of the issue, Death's Head's facial expressions are fantastic (not easy when you realise he hasn't really got a standard mouth or eyes). An original creation of Geoff Senior, Senior naturally 'gets' Death's Head the best, with fabulous panels illustrating him throughout the issue.

Finally the last splash page of Unicron was actually a huge surprise ending for readers at the time, for even the story's name was kept secret till the last page to maintain suspense for the inevitable return of the Planet Devourer. In any case the picture is excellent, as well as the enthralled looks of Cyclonus, Scourge and Death's Head.

One minor niggle remains. Despite the abilities of the Junkions, wouldn't it simply take ages to create a new planet body for Unicron? Or at least one would think.

This issue was reprinted in UK issues 290 and 291, as well as the Titan trade paperback 'Legacy of Unicron.'
Character development
Death’s Head is highly intelligent, has excellent combat capabilities, and is even able to resist Unicron’s mental hold somewhat. He also isn't rash enough to destroy Cyclonus and Scourge before knowing what he's up against next. The Junkion helps convince him not to waste "raw materials." He has no qualms about telling the two 'cons that he will let them go after they help him, though secretly he plans to honour the previous contract on their lives still. His plan to thwart Unicron is well thought through, its just that he underestimated the demi-god just a little.

Unicron knew all along about Death's Head's plan, and was just toying with him and the Junkion. Ensnaring minds is probably partly how he gets his kicks. That and his main hobby of munching planets of course.

Cyclonus is a bit arrogant but still fairly faithful to Scourge... except at the start of the story where he abandons his comrade: "Sorry Scourge old friend... can't help you! In this case, looking after Number One... is the only policy!" But he comes back later to help Scourge. Eventually.

Scourge has no honour in him at all. He's quite willing to lie to Death’s Head in order to avoid death. However, at first he seems to welcome the fact that he's going to go down fighting and that he's had enough of running. He's also clever enough to deduce that the bounty hunter is only motivated by money, and that its unlikely he's chased them all over the galaxy just for revenge. He tries to fool him by begging for his life when he knows Cyclonus is closing in from behind.

Wreck-Gar is concerned about his kin on Junk.

Rodimus Prime is sad to see Wreck-Gar leave as he considers him to be a good friend.
Trivia
This story is set exactly 20 years in the future - this was the first UK comic of 1988, and the story's set on New Year's Day 2008.

Death's Head's spacecraft is vulnerable to explosion if a well placed shot is made to it's fuel tank.

Apparently the Junkions are amongst the richest traders in the galaxy.

Death’s Head ship is capable of combat in its autopilot mode.

Death’s Head has heat seeking missiles.

Unicron has incredibly powerful mental abilities, to such an extent that he can control others. He has enslaved the entire Junkion race. The Junkion that pleaded for Death's Head's help was also under his control all along.

Death’s Head is able to resist the mental control of even one as powerful as Unicron, but only for a fleeting moment.

The shuttle that Wreck-Gar uses is identical to the shuttles found in Transformers: the Movie.
Good quotes
"What's in it for me, eh? Not a charity, you know! Simple heroics not cost effective, yes?" Death's Head.

"Goodbye, Wreck Gar... may all your programmes be serials!" Rodimus Prime.

"You are but one of the beneficiaries of... the legacy of Unicron!" Unicron.

Scourge – “Hah! Hoped for more intelligence… yes? Die bounty hunter...“ Death’s Head – “Think not!”
Scourge – “Aieee!”

“Hmm. Bad for future business not to honour an agreed contract. Best to betray Cyclonus and Scourge and hunt them down anyway, yes?” Death’s Head.
Bad quotes
Mistakes
Story rating
9 star
Art rating
8 star
Media
Reviewed by
Computron

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