#17 (The Smelting Pool)
"There is nowhere you can hide from the power of FERAK!"
Ferak was used to create a 'mood' for the two-issue Saga of "Return to Cybertron". Ferak made himself out to be in incredibly powerful warrior, but seemed to be little more than a bully. He first arrived on the scene terrorising three "slaggers". (Transformers who the Decepticons consider 'outdated' and 'obsolete'. They're used for spare parts.)
His chase of these three showed a typical scene in the Decepticon-dominated Cybertron. The weak are suppressed by the strong, and driven underground, with no help or hope. A sad tale really.
Ferak's role besides a 'mood setter' was limited to showing how tough Blaster was. This was the beginning of 'Blaster as the super-guy', as per Bob Budiansky's writing. (Furman pretty much dropped Blaster as the hard-case warrior and consigned him to a life as a secondary earthquake monitor reader.)
Ferak first came into view chasing Telus, Rotorbolt and an unnamed Autobot. He told his companions to leave the "Slaggers" to him. He wanted to hog the fun of killing them for himself. He killed Telus and Rotorbolt, leaving them to be scooped up by a Decepticon Harvester unit. Rather than just kill the other slagger he decided to make more sport of it. This proved to be a fatal mistake.
Blaster stumbled upon Ferak as he was harassing the unnamed slagger and attacked him. Blaster identified Ferak as a Decepticon "Hunter-Seeker sky ship". (This title MAY be the source of the fan-name 'Seeker' used to describe the first and second year Decepticon jets, unlikely though. Ferak COULD be one of those first-year jets, just with strange wings and a modified cockpit. As we never saw him Transform it's really impossible to say.)
Ferak's conflict with Blaster was short lived. Blaster shot him with his electro-scrambler, leaving him helpless. While Ferak was plummeting towards the ground, Blaster grabbed him and trashed him. That was the end of Ferak.
Probably would have had standard Skyraider tech specs or stats. High speed, medium intelligence, reasonable firepower, mid-range endurance.
He never had a toy, however the "Body" of Ferak's jet mode does bare SOME resemblance to the standard look of a first year Decepticon jet. Though the wings are completely different, it's easy to see how he could Transform much the same as Starscream. Add in different wing attachments, and a nose-cone which can swivel around to blast slaggers and you've pretty much got him down pat.
Maybe in the comic-books the standard Skyraider alt mode was more of a flat jet type than a pyramid jet?
Because Ferak never Transformed it's really hard to tell whether my assumptions are correct. Without the robot mode to refer to, he could easily have been just about any sort of Transformer. There is a little bit of evidence against my theories, too: Ramjet, Thrust and Dirge do not quite resemble the body form of Ferak when on Cybertron. It's possible, though, that they'd already had their bodies modified to resemble Earth-type vehicles, in anticipation of the invasion of Earth. Possible but unlikely.
Despite being little more than a dramatic device, Ferak is actually quite an intriguing 'Hi-then-die' character. His blustering gave you a sense of who he was, and that makes him all the more interesting. He was a bully, who liked to beat up the little guys, but who couldn't cut it when a real warrior showed up.
On the other hand, when it comes to the comics being killed by a surprise attack by Blaster isn't really that humiliating. After all, being slaughtered by someone who could go toe-to-toe with Grimlock in hand-to-hand combat is a better death story to tell in the afterlife than, "I got blasted by some Throttlebots" or, "Flak, this Micromaster, blew my head off."
A nice little 'slice of life' character.
US Issue #17
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