Friday, December 30, 2016


Though Dreamwave's WAR WITHIN: THE AGE OF WRATH mini-series ended in 2004 with issue 3 when the publisher went bankrupt, issues 4 through 6 were all solicited and in subsequent years Simon Furman made his scripts and/or synopses for the issues available to the public at conventions. All solicits and additional information courtesy of the Transformers Wiki, though they can be found elsewhere online as well.

Writer: Simon Furman | Pencils: Joe Ng | Inks: Tracy Ho

Issue 4 Solicit: ALONE! Stranded on a strange alien world, far, far from Cybertron, Turbomaster Flash is about to realize there really is no place like home... even when home is ruled by arch tyrant Megatron and his legions of clone warriors. The terrible truth behind the invasion and conquest of Cybertron is finally revealed. Now all Flash has to do is stay alive long enough to tell someone!

Issue 5 Solicit: HE'S BACK! Optimus Prime, right? Well... maybe. But then again... maybe not! Blaster's desperate bid to free the enslaved Autobots lies in ruins, his and his entire team's lives are Megatron's to take at his will. But in their darkest hour, a hero returns to the fray, a force too powerful to be contained even by death's dark dominion. Prepare to be shocked senseless all over again!

Issue 6 Solicit: Last Stand! Finally... the battle you've been waiting for! Optimus Prime returns to take on his archenemy Megatron. But is Prime the 'bot he was? Scarred mentally and physically by his nightmarish exile, Prime plainly may not be up to the job! But if he can't beat Megatron and stop the rise of his second-generation clone army ... who can?

Continuity Notes: According to more detailed summaries of issues 5 and 6, Perceptor would have learned that Megatron's clones were powered by the same energy which runs through all Transformers.

It would have been revealed in issue 5 that Megatron was in league with the Quintessons (a startling revelation which, as I noted previously, would have been robbed of all its surprise thanks to the spoiler cover on issue 1).

Grimlock would have been reincarnated in the body of one of Megatron's aerospace clones, and it would have been revealed in issue 5 that he had some ancient connection to the very first Transformers, and his spark was kept alive by the Transformers' god, Primus, since all the Primes were out of the picture at this point -- which explains why the Fallen considered his spark special in THE DARK AGES. (Does this sound like bad fan fiction to anyone else?)

Perceptor would have used his research on the captured aerospace clone to take all of them offline, while Optimus Prime would have emerged from the space bridge portal when the Turbomasters attempted to use it to find Flash.

In issue 6, Primus would have re-energized Optimus Prime and the Quintessons would have later determined that whatever they wanted lay not just in Cybertron's core -- which is why they had Megatron mining it with his Autobot slave labor -- but also within Prime himself. This would likely have tied in with the Quintessons' plot to capture Optimus in the aborted GENERATION ONE ongoing.

Flash would have alerted all Transformers that Megatron was in league with the Quintessons, turning the Decepticons against him to end the story.

Body Count: After passing the revelation about Megatron along to the rest of his people, Flash would have perished, presumably at the hands of the Sharkticons.

My Thoughts: Based on the above, it sounds like Furman would have lost me somewhat in the second half of AGE OF WRATH, but I still see shades of the best of his three WAR WITHIN series here. For me, a big part of why it's the best is the tie-in with the then-ongoing GENERATION ONE series. As I noted in my coverage of issue 2, up until AGE OF WRATH, it almost felt like Furman and James McDonough & Adam Patyk were writing about two separate TRANSFORMERS continuities despite Dreamwave's claims to the contrary.

So to see this series address the aerospace clones who served Megatron in GENERATION ONE, and to see him bring in the Quintessons too, feel like major steps toward a cohesive universe. The fact that all this is wrapped up in a story featuring the return of Megatron and his rematch with Optimus Prime, as well as the long overdue WAR WITHIN debuts of the likes of Ultra Magnus, Blaster, and Perceptor -- not to mention Nightbeat, a character Furman historically writes very well -- is terrific.

That said, as noted above, the Grimlock shenanigans in AGE OF WRATH would've been way too much to take. It's apparently not enough for Furman to make him the coolest, strongest, smartest Autobot of all, but apparently he needs to be special too, with a direct lineage to the original Transformers and an indestructible spark granted him by the Transformers' god. I will seriously never understand why Furman heaps all this stuff of Grimlock, of all characters. Optimus Prime, I'd understand. Ultra Magnus, I'd understand. Heck, even Hot Rod or Springer or Blaster! But I just can't buy Grimlock as the end-all, be-all greatest Transformer who ever lived.

Plus, I'm not exactly thrilled with the appearance/influence of Primus in these unpublished issues. One of the things I liked about the GENERATION ONE ongoing is that McDonough and Patyk were moving the Transformers away from Furman's ill-conceived creation myth origin and in a direction which seemed to favor the Sunbow idea that, being robots, they were built by the Quintessons. I just find that origin a lot cleaner than Furman's mystical nonsense. For me, the Transformers work best without magic or mythology.

Nonetheless, THE AGE OF WRATH would have been a fine installment in the WAR WITHIN saga, and it's really a shame Dreamwave's collapse cut it short.


  1. Thank you for covering what would have happened. I've never read any information as to how the series would have ended. I was a huge fan of this as it came out and haven't read it since.

    Reminds me of Soul Saga that ended with issue 5 and issue 6 never released in the US and only came out in a TPB format in Germany and Stephen Platt didn't even draw the whole thing even though he was the only one credited.

    1. Glad this post was informative to you! It's a real shame Dreamwave's bankruptcy situation prevents IDW or some other publisher from continuing any of these stories. I'd love to see AGE OF WRATH wrapped up in a proper comic book format, and I also wouldn't mind seeing McDonough and Patyk close out the G1 ongoing in a "REGENERATION ONE" style mini-series.