Friday, January 22, 2016


Written By: James McDonough & Adam Patyk | Pencils: Don Figueroa
Inks: Elaine To | Colors: Espen Grundetjern & Rob Ruffalo | Letters: Ben Lee

The Plot: Starscream conducts war games, pitting his Combaticons against the captive Sky Lynx, but their exercise is interrupted by the arrival of Predaking. Meanwhile, Megatron arrives at Decepticon headquarters beneath the sea, where Soundwave, Rumble, and Frenzy pledge their fealty to him.

In Washington D.C., Marissa Faireborn reports to her commanding officer, who reprimands her over losing her team and cooperating with the Autobots. The General orders Marissa to reactivate "Project: Centurion" against her wishes. In Alaska, Ratchet, Jazz, and the other Earthbound Autobots reunite with Prowl and his group, who have arrived on Earth and begun construction of Autobot City.

The Combaticons merge into Bruticus but even combined, their might is no match for Predaking. Starscream retreats to Decepticon headquarters, where Megatron reveals himself and reassumes the mantle of leadership from his traitorous lieutenant.

On Cybertron, Blitzwing's corpse is discovered by an unknown Transformer, while at Autobase, Ultra Magnus hands out assignments to the Autobots who had remained with him on their homeworld. The Quintessons observe this meeting and prepare to send their female Transformers out on a mission.

Continuity Notes: Sky Lynx is seen in robot mode, and is given a speaking role, for the first time since his appearance way back in WAR AND PEACE.

Though his face is deliberately hidden from the audience, Marissa's superior is clearly Spike's brother, Buster, who we learned last issue had joined the military some time back. He has a photograph of Spike and Sparkplug on his desk, and he wears a name badge that reads "Witwicky".

According to Witwicky, Project: Centurion was originally conceived by Marissa's grandfather, Nathaniel Faireborn, but Marissa points out that Nathaniel discontinued the project when he realized how dangerous it could become. This reasoning is further used to explain why humans have never reverse engineered any Transformer technology.

Omega Supreme, not seen since issue 6, is shown working among Prowl's men on the construction of Autobot City.

Megatron reveals that he's been in contact with Soundwave since shortly after Starscream assumed command on Earth in issue 1. Presumably he used a transmitter on Wreck-Gar's ship for this. Megatron has brought Shockwave to Earth with him, though there's no sign of Astrotrain or any of the other Decepticons from last issue.

Megatron delves heavily into his own history this issue, explaining to Starscream that he was once a Cybetronian gladiator, but realized the elders for whom he fought were hiding something from their people. Megatron journeyed beneath Cybetron to uncover the secret and learned that what the Transformers thought they knew of their origins was a lie, and that the Quintessons had infiltrated Cybetron. This led to Megatron forming the Decepticons with the goal of protecting the universe through conquest.

Further, when Starscream mentions Sunstorm chasing him around the world before they found the hidden chamber under the Earth's surface, Megatron quotes a bit of Cybetronian scripture: "And the sun and its brother shall storm over the new world to reveal the beast and destroy it."

The shadow of the Transformer who finds Blitzwing is that of Sixshot, the Decepticon with six alternate forms.

G1 References: Starscream trains the Combaticons on the island where he first reactivated them on Earth, a nod to their debut in the G1 episode "Starscream's Brigade".

Project: Centurion is not described in detail, but it involves exo-suits, the transforming battlesuits worn by Spike and Daniel in TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE and beyond. One such device is seen on Witwicky's desktop monitor. The name "Centurion", meanwhile, may be a reference to a character from the British G1 comics -- a robot which contained the mind of a human scientist.

The Autobots are seen placing a metal foundation for their city which is the same gold color as most Autobot bases in the original cartoons, including the original Autobot City from TRANFORMERS: THE MOVIE. However, Hound is shown displaying a holographic model of the actual transforming city-robot, Metroplex, who is traditionally colored white and black.

The female Transformer revealed on the story's final page is Elita 1, Optimus Prime's romantic interest from the original cartoon series. (I still find Transformer romance kind of creepy.)

GO-BOTS References: In the gladiatorial arena, Megatron is shown to have defeated Cy-Kill, leader of the Renegade Go-Bots from Galoob's toyline. At some point in the nineties, Hasbro acquired the rights to the Go-Bots and has used them sporadically since then.

IDW References: Megatron's past as a gladiator was used again by IDW Publishing for their TRANSFORMERS comic book continuity, and I believe it's become Megatron's accepted canonical backstory in most official versions of the story since.

Body Count: It's hard to tell for sure, but Bruticus looks pretty dead after Predaking is finished with him. And Blitzwing, whose demise was mentioned but not seen last issue, is shown here to be very, very much deceased.

My Thoughts: And thus comes the unceremonious end to Dreamwave's TRANSFORMERS series, just as it was getting good (again). We'll talk a bit about the series' cancellation next week as we look at the solicits for what might have been, so this time let's try to focus on the issue at hand: Once again, it's a good one. All the praise I typically throw this series' way applies here as well: Dialogue is spot-on, artwork is brilliant (even Figueroa's humans seems marginally improved from last time), coloring is gorgeous, etc., etc. etc.

Beyond all that we have more mythology from McDonough and Patyk, as they explain the rise of the Decepticons and drop some hints about the Transformers' origins. The first of those items features an idea I've never really liked, though it's rooted in the original toyline: Megatron declares that the Decepticons, as noted above, "...dedicated [themselves] to the protection of the universe through conquest, in the tradition of our noble ancestors."

This concept seems to be based on the quote from Megatron's G1 toy packaging, "Peace through tyranny." I just don't like it. That quote, plus the premise provided in this issue, seem to imply that Megatron is simply a misguided soul, a being who's goal is to make a better universe by ruling it with an iron fist. Most of the earlier TRANSFORMERS continuities disregarded this stuff and made Megatron out to be a megalomaniacal tyrant, a robot whose only goal was power for its own sake. A villain with no nobility about him whatsoever.

Marvel's TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE mini-series, which collected writer Bob Budiansky's original, unabridged character bios in the style of THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, had a different quote for Megatron: "Everything is fodder." I don't know if this was his original quote but it was changed for the toy packaging, or vice versa, but in either case it works much better for the Megatron I like. I don't want a Megatron who thinks he's "protecting" the universe or who has peace as his end goal. I want a Megatron who is an unrepentant warlord, who lusts after power for power's sake, and who has no scruples or goodness in his cold metal soul. I want Megatron and the Decepticons to be black and I want Optimus Prime and the Autobots to be white, and I don't want "gray" to exist in the realm of the Transormers (Autobot double-spy, Punch, notwithstanding).

But maybe that's just me, because it seems that since the Dreamwave days, most interpretations of Megatron have favored the gray, to the point that he even became an Autobot in the current IDW continuity!

On the other hand, I appreciate McDonough and Patyk paying some attention to the Transformers' origins here. Throughout this series we've seen Autobots and Decepticons alike invoke the name of Primus, the Cybertronian god-figure introduced by Simon Furman in the G1 comics, and make reference to his scriptures. Personally, I've never liked the Transformes having a creation myth. I much prefer the cartoon series' concept that they were built by the Quintessons as slaves, but eventually revolted. It's clean and simple and, for me, works much better for a bunch of alien robots over the idea that they evolved from an ancient god who crashed into a planet and created them in his image.

This issue finds Megatron revealing that everything the Transformers thought they knew about their origins could be wrong. Obviously we'll never know which direction McDonough and Patyk were headed with this, but given that the Transformers all seem to believe in Primus, my guess is that Megatron discovered Primus truly was a myth, possibly a fabrication of the Quintessons, who did in fact build the Transformers in this continuity. And if that's the case, I'm quite pleased with the idea.


  1. I don't mind a grey antagonist, those are generally much more interesting and believable then a cartoony bland, evil for the sake of evil, muhahahahing how evil he is, cardboard cut out of a character.
    Such as G1 Megatron. ( in most of his guises. )
    Sauron for example, wasn't much of a villian either, his reason to be evil was err to be evil.
    At the end of 6 books we knew nothing about him or his reasons to want to conquer Middle Earth, other then generic evil.
    I don't want a sympathetic Sauron but I want a better reason then just evil.
    Gollum, who still had a capacity to be good, was a far more interesting character.
    Moustache twirling evil, just isn't interesting, it's bland.

    Beast wars Megatron,was a much more interesting character, because he believed himself to be right.

    Having said that, I disagree with Megatron becoming an Autobot as well because its so at odds with how he has been portrayed in the rest of the IDW comics.
    In the Furman penned stories, Megatron is cold distant collected and pragmatic.

    In the three Flint Dille penned stories, ( Autocracy, Primacy and monstrosity ) he is a unrepentant monster.

    In most others he swings between these two, but in Roberts MTME issues Megatron has become a martyr, who led a revolt against the oppressive regime of Cybertron.
    The Decepticons were originally THE GOOD GUYS and he became a tyrant.

    And while I think that's a wonderfull idea, which throws the whole conflict on its ear and gives us something genuinely new in a long, long time in the portrayal of a franchise that has become stagnant. After all how many more times can you rehash Autobots VS Decepticons ?
    It is utterly at odds with Megatron's portrayal in the other titles.
    People can change, but they don't go from unrepentant monster to atonement like that.
    Especially not in the wishy, washy way it was done in Dark Cybertron.
    This is a Megatron, who once said he would wade through a sea of bodies to crush the last spark of the last Autobot, simply because it would give him pleasure.
    How does that stroke with him being an Autobot ?

    So called freedom fighters, often turned in to the next tyrant, just look at Communism.
    We are all equal, but some are more equal then others.
    And Megatron turning in to a tyrant is as such believable. His eventual face turn could have worked if the reason for that, was a lot stronger then it was in Dark Cybertron and if he wasn't depicted as a monster
    I find it hard to reconcile Autobot Megatron, with Infiltration Megatron or even muhahahahing All Lail..err All Hail Megatron.

    ....Okay I think I ranted quite enough about that.

    1. I don't want Megatron to be a 2-D cardboard villain; I just don't want him to be "misunderstood" either. To me, Megatron should be a war-monger. He loves to fight, he wants to fight, and he will provoke war whenever possible to keep himself entertained. He shouldn't fight because he wants to bring peace to the universe; he should fight because he enjoys it, and he should never want to see the war end.

  2. Part 2 because my original essay, erhm post was too long.

    I did always like the revelation that Marissa's superior is Buster ( or Butch, but probably Buster.) Because I'm a comic book fan although it wouldn't quite stroke with Dreamwave's cartoon continuity.
    Nathaniel Faireborne is\was supposed to be Flint, from Gi-joe but Dreamwave didn't had the rights to use him.

    Actually what's creepier about Elita-1, is that Optimus Prime and her were build at the same time, by the same person. Which under circumstances as we understand Transformers life, makes them siblings, ...uhm eww.

    I am in two minds about Transformers and romance.
    On one hand I don't think it has any sort of place, these are robots after all and genderless ones at that.
    On the other hand, they are living beings they just happen to be robots. Which doesn't mean things like gender and romance are precluded for them.
    I do have a few choice, well more then a few choice words, when I arrive at Spotlight Arcee though.

    Hasbro only has the licence to the names from the Go- bots line and the fiction, when they bought Tonka in 1990.
    The actual Machine-robo toys belong to Bandai and it will be a cold day in hell before we ever see a Hasbro branded line of re released Bandai, Machine- robo's labelled as Go- bots again.

    Anyway, this thing is creeping up on 3 pages now, in MS Word,
    so I think I'll stop ranting here.

    1. I never thought about Butch. That would've been something out of left field!

      I took it that Nathaniel was supposed to be Flint's father. In the original Sunbow continuity, Flint (Dashiell Faireborn) was Marissa's dad, and in Dreamwave's continuity, Nathaniel is her granddad. Thus, Nathaniel Faireborn begot Dashiell, who fathered Marissa.

      It's an alternate universe, but this is hinted at in Dremwave's second TRANSFORMERS/G.I. JOE miniseries (of which only one issue was published) in which someone compares Flint with Nathaniel.

  3. Okay, a third comment then, but this is the last one honestly.

    I just thought you may like these:

    They are a bit pricey at 79 dollars

    But I like them almost as much as the class of 85:

    My favorites of that set are,Bonecrusher and Scavenger.They just seem so expressive despite lacking a mouth or much of a face, especially with their blue visors.

    1. Those are cool little super-deformed Constructicons! I think Scrapper is my favorite, though Scrapper is always my favorite.

      Though I've blown through my Constructicon budget for the decade, having recently purchased the Japanese version of the new "Combiner Wars"/"Unite Warriors" Constructicon set. I don't buy a lot of Transformers these days, but that one was too good to pass up. I mainly just focus on the Masterpiece figures at this point. I'm psyched for the upcoming Ironhide and Ratchet, finally in the G1 character model forms.

  4. Wrong post sorry, that post was supposed to go to the Death of Superdude omnibus review.

    1. No problem, I see you reposted it there so I'll delete it here.