I always loved the stories like space pirates and time wars that had epic battles with as many characters as Furman could muster. But then he would do the little stories that had a small cast and just really focused on a the character (flaws) of a select few and they really blew my mind. I think Megatrons revival here is brilliant and allow Furman's stories that follow Megatron up until and including time wars are done so well.
I first read Salvage! in the 1994 special. This wound up being the last new-to-me story that Marvel UK itself published and it held up well then and now. But I also already knew where Megatron would go and so it just stuck out how badly that mess came about.
The Action Force PSA story came to me much later so it's easy for me to be dismissive of it. But very similar messages were often pushed at me in childhood that were frankly idealistic about conditions on the ground and irritating when they failed to address practical problems. I grew up in Epsom where the town centre was (and still is) awash with pedestrian crossings (unusually Epsom has an A road running down its high/main shopping street) but outside it there were lots of busy roads with few to none pedestrian crossings, quite a few of which had stretches with pavements on only one side. And street parking in places was often very dense. It was impossible for me to walk to my first school or to the local park or to the Scout hut or to the town centre (all in different directions) without having to cross at least one busy road where the traffic was often relentless and the curves or hills meant it was hard to judge traffic in both directions plus cars tended to speed up on the straighter sections. (Today half of those routes now have proper pedestrian crossings of one kind or another.) Also you sometimes had to come out between parked vehicles because that was all there was. And traffic was never an accepted reason for being late. Never did these things ever try to address such nightmare roads; instead they made one feel stupid for not doing something that couldn't be done.
Good point on PSA road safety stuff generally, though to be fair on this one the short page count means it can't do more than cover the basics in the space. The Department For Transport should have put more effort into a more diverse series of messages though.
I must disagree that this is the last time we see the proper Magnus. He is in fine form in City of Fear. Just because he isn't getting all sweaty about Galvatron anymore doesn't mean he's not the same chap. Help makes him seem a bit less one-note. I must now PSYCHO PROBE you!
Pretenders next week. Very exciting. I did wear the exciting FREE! Pretenders sticker badge at the time but sadly was not the envy of my friends. It in fact caused nothing but deep apathy. The fools!
Do I detect some sarcasm on the part of the 'Next Week' blurb? Or just a Hasbro-dictated need to shill the new toys? Either way, it doesn't really seem fit to be taken at face value, especially as none of the original wave of Pretenders ever amounted to much in the comics anyway (oddly, the likes of Thunderwing and Bludgeon did in later years, and, of course, old favourites Grimlock, Bumblebee, Jazz and Starscream became Pretenders for a time).
I think that's true of a lot of the toy groups that got big promotion, especially when the gimmick itself isn't easy to write for. Pretenders and Micromasters really push the problems of scale to the forefront and in the former case the Autobot shells only really work as disguises on alien planets. And 1988 just had too many gimmicks to allow much development of any single one.
I recall discussing this on the Archive - who on Earth thought it was sensible to not only create a bunch of new characters, but then double the work you have to do by making the little men who came with them new characters as well? The Japanese approach was far more economical, at least in regards to the first wave of Headmasters.
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.
Action Force/G.I. Joe