Friday, December 25, 2015


Note: TRANSFORMERS #4 featured a short story spotlighting Megatron as part of "Megatron Month". The TRANSFORMERS SUMMER SPECIAL continued Megatron's saga. I have opted to cover both stories together.

Note 2: Rest assured, the irony of reviewing a "Summer Special" on Christmas Day is not lost on me. This is just how the schedule happened to fall.

Writer: Brad Mick* | Pencils: James Raiz | Inks: Erik Sander
Colors: Elliott Kravchik | Letters Ben Lee

The Plot: Megatron is found drifting in deep space by the eccentric Junkion, Wreck-Gar. Wreck-Gar nurses Megatron back to health and takes him to his homeworld, the Planet of Junk. There, Wreck-Gar salvages a trio of Decepticon clones to serve Megatron, then Megatron kills the Junkion.

Story: Brad Mick* w/Adam Patyk | Pencils: Pat Lee
Breakdowns: Joe Ng | Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia | Inks: Rob Armstrong
Colors: Alan Wang | Letters: Ben Lee

The Plot: On the planet Beest, Megatron and his clones battle Razorclaw, the former leader of the Predacons, now locked in his lion mode with no memory of his past life. After fighting Razorclaw off, Megatron pursues him into the jungle and defeats him. Later, Megatron makes changes to Razorclaw's systems and reunites him with the rest of the Predacons. At Megatron's command, the Predacons unite to form Predaking.

Continuity Notes: Readers will recall that we initially saw Wreck-Gar pick up Megatron at the very end of WAR AND PEACE, and then the two of them were together, scavenging for clones on the Planet of Junk, in GENERATION ONE #0.

"Runnin..." makes it clear that six months have passed since Starscream jettisoned Megatron into space in WAR AND PEACE #1. I'm not sure if this fits very well with the timeline Mick has presented so far, as the events of WAR AND PEACE seemed to occur over a pretty short span, and the entirety of the Sunstorm arc in GENERATION ONE took place in roughly two days. I would suggest that time could have passed between the two series, but unless Starscream's crew spent six months traveling from Cybertron to Earth, that seems unlikely as well.

Megatron identifies Wreck-Gar as neither Autobot nor Decepticon, but says he can "smell the stench" of both on him.

The clones Wreck-Gar unearths are, according to Megatron, leftovers from "the Age of Internment". I believe that, had it not been cancelled, Dreamwave's third WAR WITHIN mini-series would have explained the clones' origins.

G1 References: As in the original G1 fiction, Wreck-Gar peppers his speech with random references to Earth television (TV shows, commercials, etc.). But unlike G1, not every single thing out of his mouth is TV-based.

In the pilot three-parter of the original TRANSFORMERS cartoon, Megatron had several generic Decepticon jets under his command, all light purple with the Starscream/Skywarp/Thundercracker character model. The jets promptly disappeared after the pilot, but they are clearly the inspiration for the three clones found in these stories.

It's heavily implied that Megatron modified the Predacons, giving them a newly established ability to form Predaking. This is a bit outside Megatron's normal realm of expertise.

Battle Beasts References: The planet Beest is shown to be inhabited by the Battle Beasts, a collectible toyline produced by Takara in Japan and imported to the United States by Hasbro in the eighties. This is not the first TRANSFORMERS/BATTLE BEASTS crossover, however; an episode of the Japanese HEADMASTERS cartoon also featured an excursion to planet Beest.

Body Count: Megatron shanks -- yes, shanks -- Wreck-Gar on the final page of "Runnin...", then blasts him with his fusion cannon as well for good measure. In prior fiction Junkions were known to rebuild themselves pretty easily though, so Wreck-Gar may not be definitively dead even despite his grievous injuries.

My Thoughts: Mick has taken a very odd tack with the first (and, unfortunately only) year of his ongoing TRANSFORMERS series: he's completely sidelined both Optimus Prime and Megatron from the action. But where Prime is comatose and entirely out of the picture as he undergoes repairs, we at least get to check in with Megatron from time to time. First it was GENERATION ONE #0, then the backup in issue 4, and finally a short story in the SUMMER SPECIAL.

Thing is, "Runnin With the Devil" really just retells events we've already seen. We know Wreck-Gar found Megatron in WAR AND PEACE, and we know that he took Megatron to Junk and equipped him with some clones in G1 #0. There's not enough new stuff here to make this recap worth it -- especially since, publication-wise, the stuff we're retreading happened only a few months earlier! The only new information we receive in "Runnin..." is the bit about the "Age of Internment" and the only new event is the demise of Wreck-Gar. The majority of this already short story is a duplication of stuff we already know, making all but the final page feel superfluous.

"Welcome to the Jungle", on the other hand, actually furthers Megatron's story in a significant way, uniting him with the Predacons and giving us some really cool-looking action scenes as well. The artwork in both these stories is good, though I'm not a fan of how dark James Raiz's installment is. But, with the help of the dynamic Joe Ng on layouts, Pat Lee turns in what is probably his best TRANSFORMERS work to date.

Megatron has a small army now, between his clones and the Predacons, and with Wreck-Gar's ship he can go anywhere in the galaxy. The question is, will he do anything with these resources before the series is cancelled in just a few more issues?

* Due to working in Dreamwave's editorial department, writer James McDonough scripted his first several TRANSFORMERS comics under the pseudonym "Brad Mick". My reviews will use the Brad Mick name until the point where McDonough is officially credited by his real name.


  1. ...I actually forgot all about this comic.
    Which shows just how much impact it had on me in the long run I suppose.

    1. It's pretty inconsequential, and could easily have been covered in the ongoing via a few sub-plot pages, so it's not surprising you don't remember it. I had forgotten I even had it until I actually dug out the comics for these reviews. I had to extend my schedule for a week to make room for it!

    2. Now that I do finally remember the thing.
      I still can't tell you a lot about it.
      I remember it had an abysmal RID story ( I hate RID )
      A Beast Wars story and an Energon story.
      But I can't remember the details.

      In the mean time, I posted 3 new reviews on Focused Totality.
      And ended 2015 with Infiltration 6 and Gold digger 4
      I have sewn up all the mini series and extraneous issues and I'm moving in to the main series for Gold Digger and the Dragon.
      So things are finally starting to move along with Focused Totality.
      ...Despite things not exactly going as I wanted them too.

      Anyway, happy new year !
      Let's see how much I can bollocks up my schedule this time around

    3. Thanks, happy New Year to you as well! I didn't have a chance to visit Focused Totality last week, but I intend to catch up this week.

    4. Hope your new years, was great.
      I noticed you stopped by Focused Totality.
      I replied to each comment.

    5. I did; I conducted a marathon reading of everything you put up over the past couple weeks yesterday. I'll get back over there to look at all you responses when I have some time.