#15 (The Enemy Within, Part 3)
Later reprinted in UK Transformers issue #315 as The Enemy Within, Part 5, in full colour.
"Mine is the power to warp the very surface of Cybertron! LET'S SEE WHAT IT DOES TO YOU!"
Earthquake, along with his 'partner' Tornado, was used to illustrate a little bit about Transformer culture, and to give Megatron an idea on how to kill Starscream. He had little point other than this, and his singular appearance (not counting reprints, mind you) was fairly unimpressive. However, I actually quite like what little I saw of him. Then again, I always do like the Obscure characters, don't I?
He was designed to be the other pole to Tornado. He was a gruff warrior, a rebel Decepticon. His powers were centred in brute force and pure strength (As opposed to Tornado's speed).
Earthquake took part in a trial-by-combat, a Transformer custom. The rules are simple: two shamed/convicted warriors face off in battle. The one who wins is cleared of all charges or shame laid against them. The one who loses, well they're dead. Or, as Megatron put it, "As a warrior race it is only fitting that we should have the right to fight for our existence -- no matter what the crime."
We were introduced to Earthquake not
directly, but in a flashback. Like his friend Tornado, Earthquake is long dead
before any of the events which took place on Earth from 1984 onwards. In fact,
Megatron himself witnessed Earthquake's death.
On earth (early in their time on earth) the Decepticons had hit a major crisis. Starscream had been judged a traitor, and had called for a trial-by-combat to clear himself of the charges against him. Megatron was presented with a problem: here was his chance to dispose of Starscream once and for all. But who among his ranks would be suitable to fight such a powerful Decepticon? Who was dispensable enough?
He viewed an old history-tape of a Trial-by-combat, in which two Decepticons, Earthquake and Tornado, faced each other in mortal combat.
Earthquake was a Decepticon rebel, with the power to cause Earthquakes by touching his hands to the ground. He'd opted for trial-by-combat, presumably rather than execution, or torture. Good choice, if he survived.
He fought Tornado with all his might, but eventually the two became so entangled that the energies from their two combined powers blew them both to smithereens.
Having viewed this battle Megatron realised the best way to dispose of Starscream was to find a warrior whose brute force would oppose Starscream's speed perfectly. He chose the recently disgraced Autobot Brawn, who would be the perfect Earthquake to Starscream's Tornado.
As an interesting aside, what is a Decepticon rebel? This implies some sort of organised rebellion against Megatron. Did some sort of large-scale rebellion occur against Megatron, from among his own ranks? How hard did he quash it? Very hard, one presumes.
Another interesting thought is that, if Earthquake and Tornado both died in the trial-by-combat, how many other criminals had killed each other in these fights? How many times had there been no victor, just a dead body? Maybe WE should go back and review the history tapes?
Earthquake I would give a high strength and firepower. Perhaps Rumble with endurance and strength? Of course, unlike Rumble, Earthquake actually has to lean down and touch the ground to make earthquakes. Rumble just jumps around like a gooney-man... or he just stands there and rumbles his legs... or he changes his arms into piledriver thingies...
Dammit, at least Earthquake is CONSISTENT.
Then again, Earthquake only appeared once (not counting reprints).
It's hard to see the point. Earthquake was drawn rather vaguely with no really strong features. Only his face was drawn with obvious continuity from panel to panel. He also had no alt mode features. What the heck could he transform into? A second robot mode? Maybe he could stand on his head and call that his 'upside down robot' mode. No, he's not really toy material, is our Earthquake.
I like Earthquake, what I like about him is that he's down-to-earth. Well, he is for a Decepticon. He definitely doesn't scoff like Tornado does, and seems a much more gruff character. Again, the question must be raised: Was there a Decepticon rebellion back on Cybertron all those millions of years ago? If so, what happened?
Sadly, this question has not been answered anywhere in the great annals of Transformers history. Not even in a UK text story. Oh well.
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