I really struck gold when reading the pages of Transformers #54 from July 1989. The story KING CON (clearly a King Kong ripoff) opens “somewhere in the swamps of New Jersey.” There’s some guys on the hunt for a “creature” that they claim the cops were too afraid to come check out. Keep in mind that we aren’t about to read a Jersey Devil story because he hangs out in the Pine Barrens and the Transformers visited the Pines before. You can read about that via this post.
After several “creature” sightings at the Meadowlands, Cecilia Santiago, a reporter and host of New York Talks, decides to take matters into her own hands and investigate. There’s a bad lightning storm on the horizon and it’s intensity is increasing.
Meanwhile, in the Meadowlands, the Decepticons have constructed a new base under a garbage dump. Naturally, whenever building a villainous secret underground base in NJ, it MUST be under a garbage dump. Where else would it be? Their plan is to use a “storm maker” that they created to convert the energy that they harness from the storm and then by using a giant converter they will turn it into Energon cubes – the source of energy for all Transformers. Getting all this so far? And Megan Fox is nowhere to be found 🙁
While Cecilia the newswoman is nosing around with her camera crew in the Meadowlands swamps looking for the creature, she winds up getting taken hostage by the Decepticon Pretenders.
For those who aren’t up on their Transformers terms, this issue introduces the Micro Masters (smaller and more fuel efficient Transformers) and also features the Decepticon Pretenders. On the Transfomers Wiki, the Pretenders are defined as “Transformers fitted with special external armor shells that can disguise their very nature as robots.”
Iguanas, a big purple lizard looking Decepticon Pretender, is put in charge of running the cables from their equipment in the NJ swamp across the bottom of the Hudson River and connecting the final piece to the lightning rod at the top of the Empire State Building.
After escaping the clutches of the Decepticons, Cecilia hitches a ride with the Autobots (the good guys) and has to head into the Lincoln Tunnel to make it into Midtown Manhattan before the Decepticons destroy half of New York City. Notice that this was ages ago, back when the toll for the Lincoln Tunnel only cost $3 dollars. Today it’s $13 freaking dollars during peak times!