Friday, October 25, 2013


Writer: Simon Furman | Penciler: Andrew Wildman | Inker: Stephen Baskerville
Colorist: John-Paul Bove | Letterer: Chris Mowry | Editor: John Barber
Editor-in-Chief: Chris Ryall

The Plot: Optimus Prime leads his Autobots into final battle with Megatron and his zombie forces. Megatron reveals to Prime that he he has programmed the Ark to launch every nuclear missile on Earth  in the event that either Prime or Megatron should lose their duel.

On Cybertron, Soundwave continues to explore the Hall of Silence, while Hot Rod struggles to figure out what to do about the situation.

The Wreckers, Spike, and the human resistance attack the Ark, and Spike makes it inside. Kup manages to kill Ratchet after being inoculated against the Scraplet infection, frying Megatron's brain just as he is about to kill Optimus Prime. The tables turned, Prime kills Megatron instead. At that precise instant, Galvatron awakens elsewhere on Earth. The missiles are not launched after all, due to Spike frying the Ark's systems before Megatron's failsafe can kick in.

Lastly, on Nebulos, Scorponok invites Grimlock to join him, with the incentive of a new, fully-transformable body.

G1 Continuity: Not continuity per se, but the names of the humans fighting with Spike and the Wreckers are Nel, Mossof, and Daly [sic] -- all collaborators of Furman's on the original TRANSFORMERS U.S. comics -- Nel Yomtov, G1 colorist, Sarra Mossof, G2 colorist, and Don Daley, editor. Oh, also -- Kup flashes back to that time Megatron and Ratchet were fused into one super-creepy being in G1 #70.

Springer memorial pin-up by Jason Cardy
recalling his TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE line,
"I've got better things to do tonight than die!"
Body Count: Megatron executes Springer immediately upon Optimus Prime's arrival. This was a genuinely shocking moment for me, as Springer has always seemed one of Furman's favorite characters, and he had played a fairly major role so far in REGENERATION ONE. Also, Megatron and Ratchet are killed, and Megatron's zombies fall to the ground, presumably dead, upon Megatron's defeat.

My Thoughts: The knock-down, drag-out between Optimus and Megatron was pretty much exactly what I'd hoped for -- lots of brutal bot-on-bot action a la their classic confrontation in TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE. In fact, Furman parallels the movie a bit with Prime gaining the upper hand, about to kill Megatron with a boulder, until he decides he will not let himself be pulled down to Megatron's level. This then gives Megatron his chance to wound Prime, though the injury does not appear to be fatal as it was in the film.

The rest of the fight was fun too, with an army of Autobots to root for as they attacked Megatron's zombies -- and everything was lovingly illustrated by Wildman and Baskerville, two of the very best at showing robots falling apart and getting dinged and dented in battle.

I'm still trying to figure out where the stuff on Cybertron is headed. Soundwave is after Thunderwing's remains for Bludgeon, which begs the question of why Bludgeon already has someone who looks like Thunderwing standing on the bridge of his ship. Is it a new body awaiting Thunderwing's spark to reanimate it? And if so, why is Thunderwing so important to Bludgeon?

Also, Grapple reminds Hot Rod that the Hall of Silence houses the "Matrix reservoir". When last we saw Thunderwing, he was possessed by the Creation Matrix. Is he now the Matrix? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

One thing I'll say is that even with the light decompression I noted last issue, Furman is planting seeds and sub-plots aplenty, and drawing heavily on past continuity. In fact, of all these types of series, such as Larry Hama's G.I. JOE continuation and Chris Claremont's now-defunct X-MEN FOREVER, this comic is far and away the best at integrating twenty year-old plot points without being shy about it, and I like it. I haven't read the issues being referenced in over a decade, but I still remember everything. More writers and editors need to give their audience the kind of credit Furman is allowing here. He's picking up like it's been a month instead of twenty years since issue #80, while keeping the book accessible to newer readers as well.

Variant "retro" cover by Guido Guidi
I have three final thoughts: one is, what was up with the Scorponok reveal? I thought I had missed something. Yes, his return was telegraphed, as I noted previously, but his appearance here did not seem as dramatic as it should have been -- huge splash panel aside, nothing in the dialogue or narration indicated this was the first time we were seeing him. There should have been more of a revelatory air about his appearance.

Next -- we learn this issue that it was Ratchet's knowledge which allowed Megatron to seize the Earth's nuclear arsenals and reanimate his zombie-cons. So much for my Shockwave theory. But in that case, where is Shockwave? He was aboard the Ark when it crashed, and I still maintain that his absence among Megatron's zombies is too conspicuous. He must still be at large someplace. I hope we see him soon.

And lastly: I don't know what's up with Galvatron. This version of the character hailed from an alternate future, which is why he existed at the same time as Megatron. He was not connected to the "real" Megatron in any way. So how did Megatron's death awaken him? Hopefully Furman will explain.

Final Opinion: Great wrap-up to the first story arc, even if it could've been four issues instead of five. There are many threads in play at this point, and so far they're all of interest to me. This is the sort of dense, sub-plot heavy, tons-of-spinning-plates writing that got me into comics in the first place, and it's the absence of this style that has made me give up on Marvel in recent years. Keep it up, Simon!

Available as part of TRANSFORMERS: REGENERATION ONE, vol. 1 from

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