Sunday, 11 December 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Autobots' Lightning Strike

Ladybird Books was a well known publisher of cheap children's books. In the 1960s and 70s, they were well known for their storybooks and educational books. In the 1980s, they branched out into publishing pop culture storybooks, including He-Man, She-Ra, Action Force and Transformers.

Autobots' Lightning Strike was first published in 1985. It was written by John Grant. Art was done by Mike Collins and Mark Farmer. The audio book version was narrated by Peter Marinker. It takes place in a micro-continuity within the G1 comic timeline.

The plot for the book is When the Autobots witness the incredible power of a lightning storm, Optimus Prime puts Huffer to work on finding a way to harness its energy, in hopes that they can use it in the rebuilding of their spaceship. After a week of work, with a little help and lots of complaining from Gears, Huffer succeeds in erecting a massive lightning rod in some nearby mountains, connected to an energy converter in a cavern beneath.
Unfortunately for the Autobots, Laserbeak has been observing the construction and reports back to Megatron, only for Soundwave to believe mistakenly that the Autobots have built a radio mast. The lack of a detectable signal from the tower only convinces Megatron that the Autobots have developed a highly advanced communications technology, but Starscream believes that it should be destroyed, and he conspires with Rumble to go against Megatron’s orders and do just that. Further observations by Laserbeak allow the Decepticons to learn of the existence of the cavern, and Starscream and Rumble sneak off to carry out their plan, with Megatron and the other Decepticons on their tails.
Meanwhile, with a thunderstorm having been forecast for that evening, the Autobots converge on the lightning rod to test the equipment. Keeping their distance for safety’s sake, the Autobots conduct the test from afar and fail to notice Starscream and Rumble make their way into the cavern. Upon discovering the inactive machinery, however, Starscream believes that it doesn’t work, and he pauses to mock Megatron–just long enough for Megatron himself to enter the scene with the other Decepticons. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes the tower, and the machinery in the cavern surges to life, scattering the Decepticons and overloading their mechanisms. Skywarp is caught between modes, Ravage automatically ejects and attacks Megatron, and Starscream’s null ray projectors are mangled when he attempts to turn them on the converter. Battling through the arcs of electricity surrounding them, the badly damaged Decepticons manage to escape into the night sky as the amazed Autobots watch them go, unaware there had ever been a threat.

If you're interested, you can check out the audio for the book at the above link. Overall, it's an interesting story. A great introduction for many children into the world of Transformers.