Yep. I was doing so well covering Transformers: Unicron and Transformers: Lost Light that I thought it was the perfect time to add one more Transformers book to the mix.
Oh yeah this is Super Reads. Welcome!
This is the bit where I give you a big old warning of things to come:
There are SPOILERS ahead.
Just so we all understand. Now let's get to some complicated backstory that I try to make simple but probably end up making more complicated. And go!
If one character's tragic backstory was expanded on the most during IDW's "Phase Two" of their Transformers saga, it's Shockwave. You'd think he's not so complicated. He's a cold, calculating scientist that works with the Decepticons. Simple, right?
Shockwave wasn't ALWAYS that guy. WAY back in the day, Shockwave was known for his emotional outbursts and his challenging of authority. When we first meet him, chronologically, he's apprenticed to a guy named Jhiaxus. Jhiaxus was the morally challenged head of science during the reign of Nova Prime (one in a long line of truly awful Primes and the last one to hold the true Matrix before Optimus Prime). Unlike his mentor, Shockwave possessed a pretty strong moral center with most of his principles based on equality.
He also ended up running the equivalent of Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters where young Cybertronians born with powers beyond those of their peers could learn to harness those abilities for the greater good. No, really.
However, most of his time was spent challenging a corrupt Senate and attempting to find an heir to the legacy of Primes that would more serve his needs and those of Cybertron. To this end, he ended up fixing up a badly damaged police captain named Orion Pax (the future Optimus Prime) and adding a chest feature that would allow Pax to possibly hold the Matrix in the future. Pax wasn't his only protege but, for our purposes, he's obviously the most important. The two would meet and discuss the state of their world and became good friends.
Unfortunately, this is where Shockwave's outspoken nature in the Senate caught up with him. He was arrested and while in custody, the punishment of Empurata was employed. This was a terrible procedure where they replaced your hands with claws and your head with that one eyed look. It lowered your status in society and was generally awful. And if THAT wasn't enough, the Senate also had Shockwave's mind altered. Instead of being a bot ruled by his emotions, Shockwave was essentially denied access to his emotional centers. It would take a great deal for him to feel ANYTHING.
And that's how we got the Shockwave that we see today. Without his emotions to tell him to care about right and wrong, Shockwave started to commit atrocities that would have made his former self scream. This is also the point where he allied with the Decepticons and started working on making Megatron a combiner of his own. This took millions of years.
In the meantime, he went ahead with his insane plan to seed other worlds with Energon Ores that would be used to repower Cybertron. Of course, THIS plan was also bereft of any morality because using all of the Ores in conjunction would reduce the entire universe down to a single point in order to power Cybertron... which would ALSO be reduced to a single point. So it wasn't really a workable plan for people living in reality but Shockwave didn't care.
When this plan failed, Shockwave was blasted back in time and found himself capable of some form of time travel. With this ability, he managed to set up a LOT of Cybertron's mythological systems and even killed one of the ancient Primes, Onyx. Fashioning a suit of armor out of Onyx Prime's corpse (gross), Shockwave took the Prime's place and led this Prime's followers, a menagerie of beast Transformers. And it's all the more tragic because Onyx Prime seemed to be one of those magical Primes who wasn't completely awful and was actually a decent guy.
Anyway, Shockwave set up pretty much everything, including directing his original self to place those earlier mentioned Ores on Cybertron's lost colony worlds. When all his scheming was done, Shockwave, in the guise of Onyx Prime, returned to Cybertron with his army and assaulted the planet. He eventually surrendered and his army escaped.
But was that his plan the whole time?
We've got the tough continuity down so let's try something easier. Like Optimus Prime's band of colonist supporters working on Earth!
Being the last of the Primes and suddenly being confronted with a number of colonies who have revered the Primes for their entire existance is probably a weird place to be, especially when you're like Optimus Prime and barely believe in any ancient myths and DEFINITELY don't think of yourself as some sort of god made manifest.
But despite his lack of faith, the colonist who have joined Optimus more than make up for it. When Optimus declared Earth a member nation of Cybertron's Council of Worlds, a number of colonists joined him on Earth, enthusiastically ready to help spread the Prime's vision to the organic masses.
They've served well but the colonists' vision of Optimus Prime has altered when faced with the reality of WHO this Optimus really IS. I'm not saying Optimus is completely terrible. His heart is (usually) in the right place. But he's a terrible leader. Prime is constantly out maneuvered by his opponents and during the millions of years his Autobots ended up battling the Decepticons, Optimus' command style seems to have let the flood gates open for atrocities to happen without him being entirely aware of what was going on. In short, he's a good guy who has always been over his head... at least when written by John Barber.
While most of Optimus Prime's colonist followers kind of blend together, you should keep your eye on Slide. She was from Devisiun and was one half of an oil tanker alt-mode that ended it's usefulness when her brother, Oiler, was killed early on in the Optimus Prime run. She's super salty about it and completely blames Optimus for leading her and her brother into an impossible situation and then not showing any personal empathy.
And she's not WRONG even though Optimus made the best decisions for the situation. He just didn't do the follow through. To my knowledge, he never showed Slide how deeply he honored her brother's sacrifice. Prime is all about broad, sweeping strokes but misses all the fine details. He misses the little people. And it's gonna bite him. And it SHOULD.
If you missed it above, Earth is a member of Cybertron's Council of Worlds. And they deserve their spot! Earth was the setting of the final conflicts in the Cybertronian Great War. They were the planet that stepped up and helped end the most devastating galactic war that we know about. They're also a planet that has seen any number of non-Cybertronian invasions and is still standing. And thriving!
A lot of credit for that has to go with the unnamed President of the United States and her ability to weave the complicated web of alliances with Optimus Prime, Cybertron, the Junkions, and what have you. Seriously. This President might have a constant scowl going but that because she's in a crappy situation and is still managing to make the best of it for the world.
Key in aiding her efforts is Marissa Faireborn. Marissa was head of the Earth Defense Force, the American division that was supposed to protect the world from extra-terrestrial threats (but mostly Cybertronians). At the time, they had formed an alliance with the Decepticons because Earth hated Megatron more than they hated his followers and, with Megatron wearing an Autobot symbol, suddenly the Autobots looked like the bad guys.
It took the EDC a while to realize they were making a mistake but when they did, Faireborn released her Autobot prisoners over to Optimus Prime... and then almost immediately regretted it. Because Optimus very publicly annexed Earth, proposing to make it part of the Cybertronian Council of Worlds. Things quickly slid downhill and Marissa eventually lost her command and was replaced by General Joe Colton, the namesake of the G.I. Joe team. General Colton ended up replacing much of the structure of the Earth Defense Force with that of G.I. Joe.
And then he turned out to be a Dire Wraith, one of the magically imbued enemies of... well, pretty much everyone but ESPECIALLY the Spaceknights from Elonia. Guys like Rom. Summoned to the White House, Marissa Faireborn ended up saving the President from a Dire Wraith infiltration with the help of her friend, former DecepticonThundercracker (who is literally what awesome looks like-- he's great). After this incident, Faireborn decided that she had had enough of playing hero to an ungrateful nation and went on a well deserved vacation with Thundercracker.
Thundercracker eventually got her back in the thick of things, negotiating for her joining G.I. Joe (which had fully replaced the EDC). While Marissa didn't actually DO that, she DID end up teaming up with them and got a job as government liason between the Cybertronians and Earth which eventually led to her post as Earth's representative on the Council of Worlds.
THAT has been a struggle because upon Earth's entry in Cybertron's Council, the REAL General Colton staged an attack on Cybertron that nearly destroyed the planet and ended up bringing the Visionaries into IDW's Hasbroverse. So he has a lot to answer for and it's been Marissa's job to smooth things over. Good times.
Optimus Prime #22
"Unstopped and Unstoppable"
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Sara Pitre-Durocher
Colors: Josh Burcham
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: David Mariotte
This issue in a nutshell: We fill in the gaps leading from Shockwave's attack on Cybertron into Unicron eating Elonia and the build up to the defense of Caminus.
• This comic pretty much has a different scene on every page so while we don't REALLY change scenes a billion times, it feels like we change scenes a billion times.
• But not literally.
• Optimus Prime wakes up screaming from a recurring nightmare to find Wheeljack hovering over him, checking out his work after restoring Optimus and Bumblebee to working bodies after the last storyline left Prime WITHOUT a body.
• Windblade shows Prime a video depicting a scene from four hours ago showing Cliffjumper, Subsea, and Rest-Q spacebridging to Velocitron only to find the place in the middle of a fatal assault by a giant planet eating planet.
• Windblade explains that the monster planet is probably named Unicron and that is probably the name of Primus' opposite.
• On Earth, Rom and Jazz find their individual adventures crossing over which puts Jazz in the position to help Rom when the spaceknight recieves an emergency distress headache as his home planet faces an imminent Unicron appearance.
• Shockwave tells a story to a crowd of onlookers (including Rhinox) as he is carted to his brand new prison facility.
• The story is about Antilla, the planet that would be Unicron, and how Shockwave settled the planet with his most loyal followers.
• Prowl's team tracks Maximal movement in deep space as Stardrive gets her own emergency distress headache, indicating that all the Spaceknights past and present are learning of the danger facing Elonia.
• Jazz drives Rom to Mount Rushmore so that the Spaceknight can use Trypticon's spacebridge (Tryp is hanging out on the mountain) to make the journey to Elonia in time to help.
• G.I. Joe ends up arresting Jazz and the news travels quickly to Autobot Headquarters on Earth where it is received by the loyal followers of Optimus Prime and also Slide who really hates Prime now and is trying to undermine his authority as much as possible.
• The events of Transformers: Unicron #0 unfold.
• In the aftermath of the destruction of Elonia, Optimus Prime reconnects with Prowl through Pyra Magna and the two confer with each other on how to handle Unicron... as the planet eater wolfs down another colony world: Devisiun.
• Starscream and a band of unlikely followers set up base withing a dead Titan on Cybertron when Rhinox arrives, giving Screamer an invite to visit Shockwave in prison to discuss the fate of life, the universe, and everything in it.
• Prime vaguely reveals his plan to face Unicron over the colony world of Caminus.
• On Earth, Slide tells the other colonist followers that Prime plans on letting Caminus die.
This issue was intended to release inbetween Transformers: Unicron #0 and #1. The actual story begins BEFORE #0 but half-way in is where that issue would take place (I'll tell you when). From that point, the story leads into the events of issue #1. So let's look in on the aftermath of Shockwave's invasion of Cybertron and the quick build up to the end of everything.
A sunrise dark shall cast a pall upon the empire
And time will rust.
And he shall stand alone while not alone.
And adorned the Titan will be in black metal.
And the stars shall scream.
And the symbol of the uncreator shall be clear.
And his gaze shall unravel the legacy of Primus.
Thus shall the adversary rise.
A black star unstopped and unstoppable.
This is an ancient prophecy that speaks of the end of everything. It seems every civilization has its apocalyptic myths and Cybertron is no different. Why did I lead with this prophecy? Because Optimus Prime is dreaming about it. The words hang in the air as he is confronted with images of himself standing in front of an Autobot banner (set in red and black) with flames surrounding him. In Prime's hands are a partially crushed globe of Earth and a staff bearing the severed head of Galvatron.
This is replaced with an image of a black star pulsing with energy.
It's an ominous dream (and not the first time Prime has HAD it) that causes Optimus to wake up shouting "NO!" right in Wheeljack's face.
Moment of silence for the guy making his last appearance after his death. :(
Did I mention that Optimus kind of died during the last story arc? Because he kind of did. At least, his BODY did. His mind proved much harder to kill and he ended up sharing the brainspace of Pyra Magna with another old companion that everyone thought was dead: Bumblebee. Naturally, that wasn't a state that could be allowed to continue permanently so Wheeljack was called in to put those minds in brand new bodies supplied with brand new sparks provided by Trypticon (who is not near as evil as you probably think he is). Wheeljack is the Autobot's resident fix-it-bot and his crazy scheme succeeded without a hitch.
Her job done, Pyra Magna disconnects the tube that helped empty her head of all those foreign thoughts and gets a quick check out from Wheeljack, probably intent on leaving so she can take a mental shower to get the image of Optimus Prime living in her head... OUT of her head. She is NOT one of Prime's fans.
Bumblebee is nowhere in sight and Optimus begins to wonder if he really teamed up with the little yellow guy when Windblade (Cybertron's current leader) enters the room with Bumblebee in tow. Prime is overjoyed to see Bumblebee alive, claiming that Bee is the "conscience of the Autobots" and that things just haven't been the same since he died. Windblade breaks up the happy reunion, saying that another incident requires their attention.
We switch over to witness an event that happened in the recent past. Cliffjumper leads a team consisting of Subsea and Rest-Q through the spacebridge to the Cybertronian colony of Velocitron. It appears that they've lost contact with the planet and this happy trio is going over to investigate. Cliffjumper is a name you might have heard before because he's a classic Transformer, a minibot released in the first series who bore a strong resemblance to Bumblebee except red and he transformed into a sportier car.
Cliffjumper's team thinks this is a waste of time and even though Cliffjumper puts greater weight on the mission, he still doesn't think this is going to be anything they can't solve in a reasonable time frame. However, as soon as he passes through the spacebridge, Cliffjumper is faced with a chaos beyond his understanding. He's also been separated from the rest of his team even though they all went through the spacebridge at the same time. Before his eyes, the citizens of Velocitron are running in a panic... and behind him...
"If I turn around, I'm just gonna look stupid... and either way I'll be dead soon."
The image pauses because this entire sequence has been a recording of Cliffjumper's failed mission to Cybertron and this is where the video ended. Windblade is showing it to Optimus Prime because, well, this monster planet just killed a colony and maybe telling Prime what's going on is a good idea. Even though Windblade wears that Autobot symbol, her faith in Optimus Prime is low, especially after he defied the will of the Council of Worlds during the First Strike event (he thought leading a joint strike team with G.I. Joe against the aggressors was a good idea and... he was right). But still, Optimus is too good a resource not to keep in the loop when worlds are dying.
But wait! There's more! It turns out that while Optimus Prime was getting his new body, Transformers vs. Visionaries took place. That means I have to give you an update on what THAT whole things was about. OK, at the end of First Strike, a device called the Talisman was activated on Cybertron. Through some ancient form of magic, it recreated an underground city called New Prysmos. The city was populated by a human-looking race called Prysmosians (probably) who were protected by magic-weilding warriors called Spectral Knights. The guy responsible for this spell was called Merklyn and he intended to make the entire planet over to resemble his destroyed homeworld of Prysmos. This led over to the Transformers vs. Visionaries event where we learned that Cybertronians are especially susceptible to magic and a faction of the Visionaries known as the Darkling Lords attempted to finish Merklyn's plan and remake Cybertron in Prysmos' image. That obviously didn't happen but when the Spectral Knights and a select group of Cybertronians stopped them (and Merklyn again), New Prysmos was raised to the surface and a good 100 square miles had been terraformed and filled with Prysmosian wildlife.
At the same time, the Talisman sent out a message much like the message sent out at the end of First Strike. The first one was "Welcome. Death." This second one was "Unicron."
Windblade doesn't recognize the term but if she were to take a guess, she thinks it's the name of "Primus' opposite." So it's possible that the people of Cybertron didn't actually KNOW the name before or maybe Windblade, being from a colony world, didn't know it. Either way, it's likely a name no one will ever forget.
Meanwhile, on Earth, the Spaceknight Rom is fighting a bunch of humans who have the advantage of Cybertronian derived weaponry. You might be wondering why he's fighting humans when his whole deal is fighting Dire Wraith hostiles acting on Earth. Well, it's not that these humans are Dire Wraiths in disguise. They've just made an alliance with the Dire Wraiths and he wants to get to THROUGH these guys to get to his actual target. Arriving for an unexpected crossover is Jazz who shows up tracking the Cybertronian tech.
Jazz is the coolest Autobot you're likely to meet if you actually met Autobots. Which you don't. But if you did, he'd be really cool. Except, a long ways back, he killed a human who had been threatening the Autobot leader at the time, Bumblebee. The bigger problem here beyond just killing a human is that Bumblebee had already talked the human down and was no longer in danger. Earthlings find it hard to tell different Cybertronians apart so it wasn't until Jazz was specifically identified that he became a wanted bot. He spends his time running from the law while tracking down illegal Cybertronian tech.
Jazz and Rom make short work of their opponents before Rom is struck with the mother of all headaches. It's actually an alarm, telling the Spaceknight that his home planet of Elonia is is insane danger. If only Rom had some way of returning home with the speed to help deal with the problem...
Don't worry. Jazz has you covered, Rom.
Back on Cybertron, Shockwave is being led to his prison cell in chains (yes, CHAINS) through a crowd of Cybertronian citizens. While walking, Shockwave recounts the story of how, when he was masquerading as Onyx Prime, most of his people settled on the planet Eukaris. His best followers, however, followed him to another planet: one that circled a black hole and resided at "the heart of our galaxy." This planet was known as Antilla.
Each of the colony worlds was claimed for a Prime. Eukaris was Onyx Prime's. Antilla was Alpha Trion's... not because Alpha particularly wanted it but because Onyx (who, remember, was Shockwave) gave it to him.
Shockwave's Autobot guards are sick of his rambling on and expect the crowd is as well. And maybe they are. But somewhere in the mass of Cybertronians is a bot named Rhinox who looks VERY interested in what Shockwave is saying. You might remember him from his appearances on the Beast Wars cartoon. Rhinox made his only previous appearance in this continuity showing up after Onyx Prime and his followers left Cybertron, being left behind to guard Onyx's empty capitol. At the time, he mused about what he would do with himself now. Spoilers: we're not gonna learn what he's been doing for the last ten million years.
While Shockwave surrendered at the end of his strike on Cybertron, his Maximal army didn't. They packed up and left in his spaceship that looked suspiciously like an eyeball. We catch up with that eyeball ship somewhere in outer space. Also catching up with it? Prowl and his team of like-minded individuals.
Prowl is described in the comic as a "Renegade Autobot" and that's the best descriptor you're going to get. He had a pretty big falling out with Optimus Prime a few years back and we have also learned that he's been behind any number of atrocities committed in the name of furthering the Autobot agenda of defeating the Decepticons and, y'know, basically peace. Prowl's missing eye is a reminder of that falling out with Prime.
The rest of his team is comprised of Stardrive (a Cybertronian who grew up on Elonia as a protoform and served as a Spaceknight in the Solstar Order until she had a falling out with Rom and the rest), Wheelie (the Autobot who speaks in rhyme), Garnak (the large token organic in the group), Goldbug (the Throttlebot leader who looks a lot like Bumblebee because his original toy and character was a grown-up Bee), and the other two surviving Throttlebots, Chase and Rollbar.
Just like Rom, Stardrive gets a huge headache caused by Unicron's impending assault on Elonia. Ever the caring leader, Prowl tells her to stop focusing on Elonia and start focusing on figuring out what these wayward Maximals are up to.
We'll learn more about that in due time but for now, we journey back to Earth. Specifically, we're at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, USA. Standing over the monument to four of the United States' Presidents is the Titan, Trypticon. Sitting on his nose, talking about his feelings, is the Dinobot leader, Slug. Trypticon is one of those rare Titans who still has the ability to communicate with something akin to words. He's also a gigantic robot tyrannosaurus and with Slug turning into a robot triceratops, the two have something in common. Theirs is a beautiful relationship.
MUCH closer to the ground, the unnamed President of the United States meets with the Earth representative on Cybertron's Council of Worlds, Marissa Faireborn. The United States (and the world at large) has played host to TWO Titans at present and another community of Junkions has built a refugee city at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, sharing it with Optimus Prime as his base of operations on Earth. The President wants certain assurances that the Cybertronians aren't looking to further inhabit the planet and, y'know, take over the place. Faireborn tries to give her those assurances, claiming "You have my personal GUARANTEE- No Cybertronians are going to take over this place."
That would sound less than a guarantee anywhere but the President looks around at the Mount Rushmore land and recalls that a similar statement was probably issued to the Lakota who used to live on these lands. We suck at honoring our OWN treaties-- what's to keep Cybertron from breaking THEIRS?
As this conversation closes down, the President and Marissa recieve a visitor: Jazz. He drives up with an escort of G.I. Joe VAMPs (it's an assault car my brother had when we were younger-- so I recognize it ;) ). Jazz is driving in his pal, Rom, intending on getting Rom spacebridged to Cybertron to give the Spaceknight closer access to Elonia and since Trypticon is probably easier to get to than Bikini Atoll, this is where he went. All Titans are equipped with their very own spacebridge. Jazz wasn't thinking about getting arrested for this act but to help out his friend, he's willing to take that fall.
The news of Jazz's capture makes it's way to Bikini Atoll and is delivered to Optimus Prime's colonist followers via Wreck-Gar. Wreck-Gar is one of the leaders of the Junkions, a mechanical race that has fallen from the heights of paradise to the depths of... getting your planet blown up as collateral damage in the Cybertronian Great War. Wreck-Gar's body was blown up during the Junkions' failed invasion of Earth but it doesn't seem to have killed him or anything. Keeping him mobile is another Junkion named Detritus who looks like a Junkion version of the Autobot Hound. Detritus wears Wreck-Gar's head like an amulet.
After Wreck-Gar tells the tale, the colonists start gossiping about the situation. Even though their faith in Optimus Prime has been shaken, they still believe that the Prime will fix everything. All except Slide. She lost her faith a long time ago and it's a wonder that she remains. It seems that she's allied with Pyra Magna in an effort to weaken and overthrow the Autobot leader. To this end, Slide attempts to stir up emotions in her comrades in arms.
To Roulette, Slide talks about how Velocitron has just disappeared. Since Roulette is from Velocitron, that's a tough situation to be in. To the others, Slide paints Jazz as a "bot who cared too much" instead of a guy who made the wrong call and killed a human. That revolution has been properly stirred.
OK, RIGHT HERE is when Transformers: Unicron #0 takes place. For a quick refresher, Unicron devoured the planet Elonia which turned out to be one of Cybertron's lost colonies. A third of Elonia's population died but, thanks to Wheeljack's sacrifice, the rest of Elonia's people and wildlife was transported off-planet. We learn in this issue that they end up on Cybertron. The Spaceknights of the Solstar Order suffer great casualties when they attempt to defend their homeworld.
Now that we're caught up, let's continue.
Optimus Prime's flagship, the Ark-Zero, heads back to Cybertron. Prime and his team are all accounted for as is Rom. Optimus consoles Rom on the tragedy visited upon Elonia. Arcee, Prime's second in command, moves things forward, interested in finding a solution that ends with the destruction of Unicron. They still don't EXACTLY know what Unicron is but Arcee is confident that they can find a way to end the giant murder planet.
The first problem is finding out where Unicron will strike next. Pyra Magna might have the answer. Pyra is leader of the Torchbearers, a group of Camiens that militantly furthers the Camien state religion, the Way of Flame. She's no fan of Optimus Prime but has been his ally for a while now, doing her best Starscream impresion of undermining his authority whenever possible. She reveals that she's been in contact with a guy who might know a thing or two about a thing or two.
It's Prowl. Like I said above, Prime and Prowl don't talk anymore... but they'll talk now.
Prowl and his team are in the midst of fighting with Shockwave's Maximal army. Prowl tells Prime that even though Shockwave is locked up, the Maximals are almost certainly still fulfilling the one-eyed scientist's agenda. When Stardrive asks about Elonia's fate, Prime gives Prowl's team the full update: Elonia is no more, Velocitron is gone, and it appears that Eukaris has shared a similar fate.
Upon hearing the news, Stardrive goes a little... Dire Wraith. Because she's kinda sorta infected with a Dire Wraith and I don't think it's been properly explained how that works. When a Dire Wraith previously infected a Cybertronian, the results were an uncontrollable monster. Stardrive seems to keep her Dire Wraith infestation mostly contained unless her emotions get to her.
Goldbug and Garnak try to get Prime to send a fleet to their present location...
But this book uses a LOT of time travel so who knows?
...but that fleet would arrive too late.
Unicron has arrived at the Cybertronian Colony of Devisiun. Like, it's already getting set to eat the planet. Prowl sees the Maximals departing and knows the time to save Devisiun has already passed. All they can do is meet Unicron at its next target and... do a better job than they've done here. Stardrive can't believe that Prowl is giving up on this planet to the point where it shatters her faith in the renegade Autobot. She storms her way back to Prowl's ship, muttering that maybe everyone in the universe is awful.
Still, Prowl's got a point. They need to meet Unicron on a battlefield where some success could be reached. I'm also wondering if Prowl couldn't have given Cybertron a heads up that something was attacking Devisiun to give the population a chance to evacuate. But maybe this assault WAS just that sudden.
Back on Cybertron in the outskirts, Starscream is building a Decepticon compound inside a dead Titan, because it's a better home than the Decepticon ghetto and he likes the poetry of it. Joining him are Needlenose, Acidstorm, and the two Tankors. The Tankors surprise me because they seemed happy to be working with Ironhide in Cybertronian Security. Fat Tankor was last seen chronologically at the end of the Transformers vs. Visionaries series with no mention that he was going to give up on his dream of learning magic just to live in a Decepticon compound.
Besides, siding with Starscream doesn't seem to be the BEST idea. At all.
Starscream tells us that he's working on bringing all of the Decepticons home which we'll learn in Transformers: Unicron #2 means he's sent Bludgeon out to gather his army. That won't work out for him. After talking a good game on Decepticon unification, Starscream receives a special guest: Rhinox.
Rhinox says that he's got a message from Onyx Prime who non-hipsters might know as Shockwave. Starscream needs to meet good ol' Shockwave at his prison cell to discuss the fate of pretty much everything. This is a meeting Starscream HAS to go to... and it happens in Transformers: Unicron #1, already on sale!
Optimus and his crew are back on Cybertron and discussing plans for dealing with Unicron with Windblade. Based on Prowl's observations, the Maximals are heading in a general direction towards Caminus, meaning that's Unicron's most likely next target. Pyra Magna hopes that after all the planets Unicron has eaten in the recent past that it won't immediately head to Caminus, it's appetite at least temporarily sated.
Arcee and Aileron give word on fleet readiness. Windblade wonders how, even WITH the entire Cybertronian fleet, can they stop an intruder planet. Oh, don't you worry, Prime... has... a... plan...
Time and place, Prime. Time and place.
We watch that plan being enacted in Transformers: Unicron #1. Spoilers: it does NOT succeed but at least the citizens of Caminus (most of them, at least) are able to get off-planet before their world dies.
Back on Earth (one last time), the colonists listen to a Cybertronian news report listing all the dead colony worlds. The people FROM those colonies are in grief and only Midnight Express has hope that Optimus Prime will be able to stop his home of Caminus from meeting a similar fate. Slide crushes that hope, revealing that she's talked with Pyra Magna and learned that Prime is going to let Caminus be devoured, claiming THAT is he entire plan.
Well... his REAL plan is defending the planet long enough so that he and a select team can infiltrate Unicron in an attempt to kill the planet's brain or spark or anything else that might deal a lethal blow. We know that FIGHTING Unicron directly is next to impossible but that doesn't play in with Pyra Magna and Slide's narative that Optimus is an unfeeling, disconnected monster.
So, after revealing her version of Optimus Prime's plan, Slide starts slotting positions for her revolution against the Prime.
Man, that is one WHIRLWIND of an issue! Following this comic, you can catch up on all the excitement in Transformers: Unicron #1... and then hopefully back in Optimus Prime #23. We'll see you there!