Print
Category: Comics
Hits: 2216
With Brawn seemingly out of the picture, Ravage guns down Starscream and blames it on the Autobots. With his leadership secure and his troops now rallied against the Autobots Megatron is pleased. Meanwhile Brawn is revealed to be alive, having proved his loyalty and saved by Mirage's holographic powers, which were increased by the initial electrical accident.
Issue
017
Writer
Simon Furman
Pencils
Mike Collins
Inks
Mike Collins
Colours
Gina Hart
Release date
04/05/1985
Autobots featured
Optimus Prime, Brawn, Mirage, Jazz, Prowl, Bumblebee, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, Hound, Gears
Decepticons featured
Megatron, Starscream, Ravage, Soundwave, Frenzy
Humans featured
Origin of
Death of
First appearance
Locations featured
Oregon, USA
Story synopsis
Starscream fires his missiles at Brawn and the Autobots back at the Ark watch the screens, horrified, as Brawn is blown to smithereens. As Starscream gleefully flies away from the scene, knowing that all charges against him will be dropped, he is suddenly shot down by Ravage, who has been seeking revenge ever since he got blasted by Starscream in issue 13.

Starscream crashes in the desert and the Decepticons arrive. They are confused as to what has happened, but Ravage lies and tells them that the Autobots’ observer attacked Starscream. This enrages the Decepticons who then want immediate retribution. Megatron knows the truth however, and laughs heartily at the way everything has worked out so nicely.

At the Ark the Autobots grieve for their fallen comrade Brawn. But then to everyone’s surprise Mirage returns with Brawn safe and sound. Mirage explains to the gathered Autobots that the electrical surge that initially turned Brawn against the Autobots also increased Mirage’s ability to project holographic images. His instructions, once Brawn had proved his loyalty, were to intervene using his new powers. Thus Brawn had not been blown apart, it was merely an elaborate illusion. Optimus Prime happily welcomes Brawn back to the ranks of the Autobots, and everyone cheers on approvingly.

At the Decepticon base Megatron continues the charade that the Autobots shot down Starscream, using it to fire his warriors up for revenge. He announces that there will be an attack on the Autobots and proclaims that this time they will be finished once and for all…
Remarks
“This little episode has resolved itself so neatly,” says Megatron in this issue, which is very apt. Like an episode of the cartoon, we are presented with a very simple plot that eventually ends with everything the same as it was when the story began and no progression at all. The fact that Brawn was not killed was an interesting twist, but only the most gullible reader would have believed that Brawn really did die in the first place. Also, why did Prime put Brawn through this exercise in the first place? The official line seems to be to prove his loyalty, but how fighting for his life against Starscream proves that is not clear at all.

No improvement art-wise either, though Collins does finish with a nice intense close up shot of Megatron.

Ultimately the issue’s story is again too short. At just 5 pages this time you’re left with the strong impression that one normal sized 11-page story was split over 2 issues to drag it out.

The Enemy Within was printed partly in black and white, though later would be reprinted in full colour in Collected Comics 4.
Character development
For Megatron’s character there is a rare moment of levity here. He laughs loudly in Ravage’s presence, obviously smug that everything has sorted itself out and amused by the irony of it all: “We have destroyed an Autobot, taught Starscream the error of his ways and given you your revenge on him.” Later he is able to use the whole escapade to his own ends, spurring on his troops and manipulating them in tandem with his own bloodlust. Originally it was Starscream that had advocated attack, but now Megatron has managed to “give them what they desire” under his own terms. He knows what buttons to push when he fires up his warriors: “Now is the time to crush the Autobots…this time there will be no mistake, the Autobots will perish…and the Ark will finally belong to the Decepticons!”

Trivia
The Decepticon fortress has an Infirmary and a War Room.

Mirage implicitly mentions his power to create holographic images of himself. Thanks to the Transformers Universe, we know that he does this using his electro-disrupter “and can even use the disrupter to give himself the illusion of a different physical appearance, which he can sustain for up to six minutes.” This issue reveals that the electrical surge that turned Brawn into a mad dog also increased Mirage’s powers of illusion: “My power was increased a thousand-fold. I found I was able to project images of whatever I pictured in my mind. Autobot, Decepticon, even the audio-visual monitor at the battle site, saw Starscream’s missiles destroy Brawn, who was in fact safe in the cave.” Presumably this new ability eventually wears off, as we never see Mirage exhibit these incredible powers again.

“It is time to bang the final nails into the coffins of… the Autobots,” says Megatron. This suggests that Megatron understands the term “coffin” and the finality of human death. Or it could be a human expression that he has picked up on Earth. Mirage also adopts a human phrase: “Why all the long faces?” In issue 27 we learn that Ratchet’s memory banks include an Earth fact file that has, amongst other things, Earthen expressions. Its possible that most Transformers are equipped with these to both further understand the planet as well as aid communication with its inhabitants.

Good quotes
Bad quotes
“Yes – we’re with you – the Autobots are finished!” The Decepticons in unison. Had they been practicing?!
Mistakes
Story rating
4 star
Art rating
5 star
Media
Reviewed by
spiderfrommars