Issue #7: Warrior School!
Man, Ratchet looks pretty scared on this cover... I mean, scared in a 'dull surprise' kinda way. He's telling Buster to run for it, cause "Megatron is the mightiest of Decepticons!" Really? Not the guy whose tail we saw getting kicked last issue, then. Here's an idea, doc; why not try shooting' Megs with that gun? The gun in your hand? That you're already pointing at him? Also, why is Buster suddenly in some sort of bright orange all-in-one outfit? Is he doing community service or something?
Okay, we're off and running with a gang of teens out campin' in the woods. I've seen those Friday the 13th movies; they're probably smokin' doobies and then doin' the nasty. Serves 'em right when a tree comes down. Take that, hippies! Aw, turns out it's just Ratchet and his annoying sidekick Buster. Guess they decided to come down the mountain the scenic way.
Hmmm, at least Buster's found time to change clothes between issues. Not before time; he's been wearing that pink T-shirt and jeans combo since issue 1, and it's gotta be pretty ripe by now. Ordinarily these four cool kids wouldn't hang out with a stone-cold lame-o like Buster, but seeing as he's got a weenie-cooking giant robot with him, they let him stay. Well, until he pitches a MAJOR FREAKOUT, the tool. Way to ruin the party, Captain Bringdown.
Anyway, we cut to Blackrock Aerospace now, and here's Gabe and Ferdy, a couple of blue-collar shlubs. Gabe finds an abandoned tape deck in the parking lot, and instead of handing it in to lost property, just steals it. Not only does Blackrock employ thieves, he also continues his habit of RIDICULOUSLY OVER-THE-TOP DEFENSES, including in this case a private army and what look like large mortar cannons. SERIOUSLY? Is this allowed; does the government let you stash your own artillery in the middle of a town if you're rich enough? I guess so...
Anyway, sucks to be Dishonest Gabe, as that tape deck turns out to be... (dramatic pause)... THUNDERCRACKER! ...nah, it's Soundwave. "As ever, these fleshlings are no match for the cunning of SOUNDWAVE!" What cunning, you jackass? You sat in a parking lot and waited for someone to pick you up! How long have you been there, anyway, like three days? Anyways, he and Laserbeak promptly take over the factory, although in a bizarrely nonlethal manner. Seriously, Soundwave's like the A-team; he just shoots the guns out of peoples' hands and junk.
Kinkwave's happy, but ol' G.B. pitches a minor hissy fit. I guess it IS unfair that they keep picking on his stuff. Hey, Decepticons! There's a whole bunch of Trump stuff out there you can steal! He decides to take his mind off things by heading over to the Blackrock Chronic Care Institute, which bizarrely DOESN'T seem to be protected by ground-to-air missile silos, although I guess they could be round the back.
Poor little Josie Beller's pretty much paralysed, at least until DC reboots her character, but incredibly she's still working for G.B. Has the girl never heard the phrase "no win, no fee lawyers"? If anyone has the right to a workplace malpractise suit, it's her. But I guess at least she's keeping busy, and not dwelling on the whole 'giant robot attack' thing.
Ratchet sneaks back into the Ark; I guess the Decepticons thought that even posting two guys at the front door seemed a little paranoid. He has a little chat with Prime's head, who strangely rather than exhorting him to steal away with the former's bonce or try to reactivate some of his comrades, chooses to go all Mister Miyagi on the hapless medic. How ya gonna teach him to wax on, Prime? You ain't got no arms!
Buster makes it home, having unfortunately run into Jesse and 'O' on the way. You can see his contempt for them by the way he makes 'O' pay for a drink from the vending machine rather than, say, getting one from the house. Anyway, Buster throws an almighty wobbler and throws them out, incidentally activating UNHOLY TELEKINETIC ABILITIES. Jeez, guys; guess you shouldn't have made fun of his first period.
Ratchet has given up on the sneaking and is pretty much just wandering aimlessly about the corridors, so it's no excuse that Megatron catches him and uses a Vulcan death pinch on him. He's gonna kill the dumbfounded doc, until Ratchet convinces him that... something something Dinobots... something something beat Kinkwave... to be honest, his whole plan is a little hazy. Then they both do that weird unscrew-hand, pour-out-fuel thing and do some weird oath thing involving setting fire to it. Guess it's more binding than a pinkie swear. Things aren't looking good, Ratchet... this calls for the clenched-fist-fizzy-eyes pose of angst!
Oh. Actually... nothing really to fix this time round. Good job, Nelson! Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day!