United EX Story #2 – “In The Blazing Alps” Translation
“In The Blazing Alps”
Written by Andrew Hall
Source: United EX Rollermaster vs. Choppermaster Back of Box
In the deep snow among the Swiss alps, an Autobot helicopter, Choppermaster, hovered as he issued commands to four drones, which in turn struck their practice targets with unerring accuracy.
“Controlling these drones is no problem. The merge test should be a cinch.”
The next moment, he was struck by a burst of cannon fire from the ground.
“How do you feel now, Autobot?”
As Choppermaster plunged to the ground and slumped down in robot mode, a Decepticon stood regally before him with enormous claws outstretched.
“You seem to have lost your vigor. Perhaps “Rollermaster” should seize those toys of yours… Unite!”
Responding to Rollermaster’s command, the four combat drones came together as his arms and legs. The Decepticon’s newly-formed Prime Mode wasted no time in bathing the training grounds in a sea of fire.
“Sorry to say, but that outfit doesn’t suit you!”
Choppermaster emerged from among the flames, his partner Firebug having converted into protective armor to shield him.
“I’ve heard that old folks can’t figure out the latest toys. I’ll show you how to play!”
Detaching from Choppermaster’s chest, a gatling gun emerged from Firebug as he slid into the Autobot’s hand. The next moment, Rollermaster was ablaze with flames.
“My body… it’s burning! What trickery is this, Autobot?!”
“You like the taste of incendiary gel? Guess nobody told you, I love playing with fire!”
The two continued their combat, unaware of the gaze focused upon them…
Function: Arctic Commander
A mysterious agent rumored to be a commander of Fortress Darkmount. Holds great personal interest in Power Core technology. Skilled at combat in frigid regions.
Function: Aerial Warrior
A warrior admitted to the Master Class at Jetmaster’s recommendation. His attitude poses frequent problems, but his genius-level comprehension of chemical weapons allows him impressive variety in their use.
The Allspark’s comments
In this installment, we meet our first Decepticon United EX character. Mirroring the Autobots’ “Master Class”, the United EX Decepticons are calling themselves “Master Chaos” and somehow are just as capable at using the limb drones as the Autobots.
We also see our first use of the Targetmasters in this story. Hidden as armored chest plating, Firebug emerges and converts into Choppermaster’s hand gun. Firebugs first appeared in the aptly named “Firebug!” story in The Transformers (UK) #188. They were creatures native to Furnacia, a world of heat and flame. They developed thick skin to protect themselves from the high temperatures of their home world. Unfortunately, their planet eventually burnt itself out, and the Firebugs fled to other worlds to survive. Most to the ice planet Thessin, but at least one made it to Earth where he wreaked a little havoc for the Autobots until they were able to relocate him to Mercury, a much more suitable environment for the little bugger.
Rollermaster’s Targetmaster has been given the name “Spanner”. Also in the Marvel run of comics, Spanner was a peaceful scientist that was enslaved by the cruel Straxus. And when Spanner’s research into the experimental Space Bridge technology reached completion, Straxus found another way to make the neutral robot useful to the Decepticon cause… He had Spanner’s still living body converted into the parts needed to build the bridge!
One last G1 reference, this time hidden in the image rather than in the text, gives us a look at how the drone limbs are transported to the training rounds – Choppermaster is leaning against a Micro Trailer. Micro Trailers were used in Zone as a way for the larger Transformers to transport the Micromasters from location to location. (If you missed this reference, don’t worry. It had to be pointed out to us as well.)
So then who are Rollermaster and Choppermaster? Rollermaster’s Targetmaster being Spanner, his mention as being a commander of Darkmount, and his tech spec numbers matching the United figure make for strong hints. Rollermaster is the Dark Lord Straxus in a new body! (Megatron’s probably relieved that it’s not his this time!)
Choppermaster is a helicopter who likes to play with fire, and is a friend of Jetmaster’s (who we’ve deduced was Micromaster Tread Bolt). Add to that the title of the story, and this strongly suggests that he is the Micromaster Blazemaster, from the same Sky Patrol Team as Tread Bolt. At least for him, his name change wasn’t a big leap; he was always a “-master”!
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