Marvel Comics Group (January, 1985)
WRITER: Louise Simonson
PENCILER: Mike Chen
INKER: Akin & Garvey
COLORIST: Julianna Ferriter
LETTERER: Joe Rosen
EDITOR: Ann Nocenti
Note that as of this writing I don’t have this issue in my collection but since it’s the only one missing of a four issue miniseries I decided to use the internet to at least read this issue for review purposes. I do want to get an actual copy sometime in the future.
Before the Destructors tear Sawtooth apart he manages to tell everyone about the Protectors’ mission to rescue man and that Slaughter was aware of it all. Slaughter still orders his dismemberment but leaves him functional, further making some of his people question who is in the right. The spy, who turns out to be Motormouth, tells him that Runabout is searching for the battlestation containing Man, and he sends Backfire to destroy her, but both are knocked out in the battle. Runabout is rescued by the station’s guardian, Stinger, but after Slaughter’s attack his and the station computer’s memories are damaged and they don’t remember why they’re on guard. They do give her a transfer ring, which is needed after Slaughter attacks the Protectors, leaving them to the same fate as Sawtooth while going to destroy man for good. Runabout, directed to the battle area by Sawtooth, manages to repair her friends, except for Geo who is beyond repair. Now the Protectors, like it or not, must fight to save humanity.
What they got right: This is a good set-up for the third act. Motormouth’s betrayal is hinted at enough in hindsight so you do believe this was the plan from the start. The threat is at the peak, preparing for the final issue.
What they got wrong: So the non-toy character isn’t the spy…she’s cannon fodder to show that Starriors can be damaged to the point a transfer ring can’t destroy them. I’m not sure that was necessary. Also, hope Motormouth wasn’t your favorite Protector figure because he’s a traitor, and Slaughter gives him the same dismemberment treatment because…he betrayed the guys Slaughter wanted him to betray? I’m starting to think something is seriously wrong with Slaughter Steelgrave’s programming beyond deciding Starriors should replace humans.
What I think overall: The story is getting really good. The conclusion is next issue and I’m hoping it matches the lead-up.