Friday, December 9, 2016


Writer: Simon Furman | Pencils: Joe Ng | Inks: Tracy Ho | Additional Inks: Ferd Poblete
Colors: Rob Ruffalo, David Cheung, & Josh Burcham | Letters: Ben Lee

The Plot: Following a long and bloody campaign led by Ultra Magnus, the reunified Autobots have overcome the Decepticons and Ultracons and forged a loose peace on Cybertron. As Magnus and Grimlock prepare for the ratification of the treaty, Starscream and his Predacons plan to attack.

Later, in Iacon, Ultra Magnus greets Shockwave and Ratbat, representing their factions. Grimlock receives word that a pair of ore transports are en route to the city, and he orders the Dynobots to shoot them down. Meanwhile, Starscream invades the Iacon council pavilion and assassinates the elder Transformers inside.

The Autobots, Decepticons, and Ultracons fight back against the Predacons and Motormaster snipes Ultra Magnus from above -- but Grimlock leaps into the blast's path and takes the shot instead. As Grimlock dies in Magnus's arms, he, Ratbat, Shockwave, and thier allies are surrounded by an army of Decepticon clones led by Megatron.

Continuity Notes: This story takes place between WAR WITHIN: THE DARK AGES and MICROMASTERS (remember, I'm covering these issues in publication order rather than chronological order). As noted above, while the Decepticons are still splintered into three factions, Ultra Magnus has unified the Autobots since the last WAR WITHIN series.

Optimus Prime and Megatron (at lest until the final page) are both still missing as in THE DARK AGES. Meanwhile, Iacon has been pretty much completely rebuilt since then.

The clones serving Megatron are of the same type as the small group he would utilize in the ongoing GENERATION ONE series, where they were identified as relics from the "Age of Internment".

Body Count: Starscream assassinates the high council -- something referenced in the G1 ongoing via flashback as well -- and, of course, Grimlock perishes as well.

My Thoughts: Well, if nothing else comes out of this series, at least Grimlock is dead.

Look -- I don't want to root for Grimlock to die; I really don't. But Furman has spent so much time over the decades propping him up the end-all, be-all uber-Autobot, superior to Optimus Prime in morality, superior to Ultra Magnus in strategy (seriously; Magnus comes off a dope here for not foreseeing Starscream's treachery), that the character, at least from Furman's pen, is a huge "Mary Sue". He's just the best there is at everything and I can't buy it.* In the world of TRANSFORMERS, Optimus Prime is the best at everything and all other Autobots live in his shadow.

At any rate, we know Grimlock's not actually deceased -- he's back in action for the "present day" portions of Dreamwave continuity beginning with PRIME DIRECTIVE. So, if nothing else, this is but a brief respite from that bright, shining center of Simon Furman's universe that is Grimlock.

* Sometimes I think Furman based his Grimlock on Chris Claremont's Wolverine -- he has noted Claremont as one of his major writing influences -- but failed to realize Claremont's Wolverine had some weaknesses to balance out the awesomeness.

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