Prime tries to activate the Ark’s computer, Auntie, to use the Ark’s defences. Megatron blasts the controls, but that just causes Auntie to wake up in a bit of a state. Freezing all the Transformers in place with magnetism, she prepares to judge which group is in the right, and which should be exterminated.
Issue
019
Writer
Simon Furman
Pencils
Mike Collins
Inks
Jeff Anderson
Colours
Gina Hart
Release date
01/06/1985
Autobots featured
Optimus Prime, Gears, Prowl, Huffer, Mirage, Bumblebee
Decepticons featured
Megatron, Frenzy, Buzzsaw
Humans featured
‘Auntie’
Origin of
Death of
First appearance
‘Auntie’
Locations featured
Mount St Hilary, Oregon
Story synopsis
The battle continues within the Ark, and Optimus Prime senses that his troops are heading for defeat. But then he stumbles upon a plan and decides to awaken the Ark’s brain, ‘Auntie’, so that he can bring the ship’s defences online to give the Autobots a chance. Megatron sees Prime slip away from the battle, and sensing that Prime is up to something, follows close behind.

Prime taps away at the keyboard of a computer terminal, attempting to reactivate Auntie. Suddenly there is an explosion – Megatron has arrived to stop him. As the two leaders clash the Ark’s circuitry gradually kicks in, and with a sudden flash Auntie awakens, appearing high above Prime and Megatron.

At this moment, elsewhere aboard the Ark, all the battling Autobots and Decepticons are suddenly sent hurtling through the air, pulled to the walls like magnets and trapped, unable to move. Next Auntie declares that the fighting must cease, and states that she will hear both sides of the story before settling the dispute by eradicating the least deserving party.

Prime, realising Auntie’s memory circuits must be damaged, attempts to reason with her, explaining that the Autobots built her and that the Decepticons are their enemies. Megatron cunningly refutes this, claiming that it is all lies and that Prime is the real villain of the piece. But Auntie is not easily swayed, and the trial begins…
Remarks
And so Raiders of the Last Ark continues, displaying little of the essence that normally makes the UK Generation 1 comic so highly regarded amongst Transformer fans. The writing appears to be going through the motions, livened up only by the appearance of ‘Auntie’, which stirs up faint echoes of HAL in '2001: A Space Odyssey.' However, it’s a shame Furman had to take Auntie so literally, as ‘she’ worked much better as an unseen presence in the earlier comics. Collins renders her as a disembodied floating head that creates feelings more of amusement than intimidation. Furthermore, Optimus Prime’s decision to wake her at this point doesn’t make much sense. Shouldn’t he have attempted this back when the war first started again on Earth, instead of leaving it till the eventuality of a Decepticon attack?
Character development
When Megatron observes Prime leave the scene of the battle he is shrewd enough to realise that far from an act of cowardice, Prime obviously has a plan. Its strong evidence that Megatron can read his opposite number very well after fighting him for many eons.
Trivia
‘Auntie’ is the Ark’s brain. As Prime explains: “Until now, we’ve merely used the basic computer functions of the Ark, but Auntie was far more than that…she was the Ark!” This also explains why Auntie has not yet put in an appearance.

Prime wishes to get Auntie “to even a fraction of her operating capacity” in the hope that it will turn the tide of the battle. He reconnects the main terminals and types: “WAKE UP AUNTIE…WE NEED YOUR HELP…” This is enough to activate her (though it was possibly aided by the shock it received from a blast from Megatron) and the following stream of computerised thought occurs: “Memory…logic circuits reassembling…all systems operational…audio, visual and speech centres activated.”

Auntie is able to disable all the Autobots and Decepticons in one fell swoop by somehow magnetising them to the walls of the Ark. Prime and Megatron are also immobilised, held captive in some form of floating energy field.

Most likely from the damage of Megatron’s fusion cannon blast, Auntie is no longer able to differentiate friend from foe (though the Ark’s crash and the slow passage of time won’t have helped either as explained back in issue 2). Prime concludes: “Some of your memory circuits must be dysfunctional.” She has also forgotten her origins: “Nobody built me. Nobody’s fooling me.” In addition to this she has gained the tendency to play God, as she goes on to be jury, judge and executioner: “I shall judge your case. One group walks away, the other doesn’t. It’s as simple as that!”
Good quotes
Bad quotes
“I am Auntie!” Auntie states the obvious.
Mistakes
Story rating
3 star
Art rating
4 star
Media
Reviewed by
spiderfrommars

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