This is a continuation from part one because for reasons unknown, I couldn't post the whole thing in one article. Sorry for the crazy.
Jetfire is left to greet Prowl and the rest of his crew. And Jazz! It looks like G.I.Joe let him go. If you're wondering what the hell this is all about, this is all explained in Optimus Prime #'s 23 & 24. #23 is a seriously frustrating read but, in a nutshell, the kid colonists, led by Slide, attempt an unsolicited rescue of Jazz (he's in jail because he killed a human way back in the day), end up killing a Joe (Mainframe), and in response the one who killed the Joe (Gimlet) is killed by Slug. #24 explains how Prowl and crew wound up on the scene and I'll be covering that next and probably linking this article to that one when I'm finished.
For now, let's move on to more pressing matters. Jetfire isn't exactly HAPPY to see Prowl, what with Prowl's status as a "renegade Autobot," but as is the theme for this issue, we've got bigger priorities to deal with right now. Prowl tells the Autobot's resident scientist that Unicron is killing stars with every feeding. We've noticed that after a planet is consumed, the stars around Unicron blink out. Jetfire thought it was just some trick with the lighting or maybe some dark aura surrounding Unicron post-meal. It's not. The stars are REALLY going out. And that's a big deal.
So big is it that Jetfire calls his own very important meeting.
Jetfire deserves his moment. But I still miss Wheeljack.
Attending this very important meeting are all your favorite Cybertronians. We've got Optimus Prime, Arcee, Starscream, Windblade, Aileron, Stardrive, and Chromia. While everyone is supposed to be listening to Jetfire, Bumblebee tries to get Stardrive's attention, reminding her that they met a couple hundred years ago. Stardrive is not amused.
To business: Unicron started its life as Antilla, a planet that hosted one of Cybertron's first invasion armies. Instead of joining a new Cybertronian Empire, an Antilla unleashed a doomsday device, destroying the planet and everyone on it while setting it up to turn into Unicron in five to six million years. Long term planning people! Antilla orbitted a black hole. When Antilla became Unicron, the black hole served as a first meal. With a black hole in its center, Unicron is connected to all of the stars in the galaxy by a complicated web of quantum tunnels.
(At this point, Starscream jokes about Unicron having a black hole in its chest since that's a commonly held misconception regarding Megatron)
Jetfire continues to explain that every time Unicron goes about devouring a colony world, it sucks up the energy to DO that through all those quantum tunnels. And it's happening across the galaxy throughout time itself. These stars are dying before they could ever live in some cases. Sure, Unicron has eaten a lot of colony worlds but it's been killing STARS to do so.
This is tragic but with time being totally limited, Optimus just needs to know one thing. Where does a bot have to drop a Talisman in order to kill the big bad and save the rest of the galaxy?
Meanwhile, in Toronto, Shockwave has formulated his newest best plan ever. He'll take the Talisman from Mosi-oa-Tunya and have his Maximals deliver it to Unicron, killing the planet eater and allowing him to rebuild the tattered remains of the Cybertronian Empire. He calls up Bludgeon, certain that his lieutenant will happily follow his orders.
WHY THE HELL DOES SHOCKWAVE THINK BLUDGEON IS FOLLOWING HIM? Bludgeon is legitimately the least loyal Decepticon in the history of disloyal Decepticons. And yet, everyone keeps on trying to get him to do their bidding.
Anyway, when Bludgeon receives this call from Shockwave, he straight up tells the one-eyed Cybertronian that he's serving Unicron until the end. The Maximal will retrieve that Talisman but they won't be doing it to destroy Unicron. It'll just make Earth a whole lot more edible.
Back at Mosi-oa-Tunya, Optimus and Arcee share a moment before things get serious. Prime knows that this is where things come to an end, "one way or the other." He's not against sharing these last moments with Arcee, but he feels that her time would be better spent with her girlfriend, Aileron. Arcee admits that it's her relationship with Aileron that is troubling her. After all, if this is the end, she doesn't want to give up what she has so recently discovered.
The two Autobots share a moment "when the IMPOSSIBLE is still possible" until they are interrupted by Aileron who comes to warn them that the Maximals are inbound. So are the Joes. And friends!
The combined Earth Forces arrive in all of the jets you could expect. I you're a G.I.Joe fan, you'll notice Skystrikers, Conquests, and Phantoms. Leading this massive military maneuver is Zilong Qian, Talon, in a red Mecha Force jet. It's a brutal battle with jets exploding all over the place. To their credit, the Earth Forces manage to take down several Maximals but it's just an overwhelming engagement. Before the end of the two page spread, the Maximals have broken through the line of jets.
During this chaotic air brawl, we see Spike Witwicky, the Transformers' usual human companion, go from being that cocky bastard who brags about facing off against Megatron to being shot out of the sky by a random Maximal. This version of Spike is widely different from his original cartoon version, with an ego that belives he's the center of any action going on. So it was nice seeing his involvement curtailed early on.
As the Maximals approach Metroplex in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, we get radio chatter indicating that Destro has aided the Autobots by linking up his Mass Device teleportation system with Metroplex's spacebridge. This additional oomph gives Metroplex that ability to teleport, frustrating the Maximals' efforts to secure the Talisman.
The radio chatter also indicates that command of Earth Forces has passed from Talon to Mayday. Mayday showed up a lot in the Transformers series by John Barber and then had a central role in the Revolutionaries series. She's pretty cool but it means that Talon has also been taken from the fight.
At Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, Soundwave announces the arrival of someone he wasn't expecting.
This would explain Flint's irrational rage against Transformers. All Hail Megatron would also explain it.
It's Thundercracker. He's here to talk to Marissa Faireborn. Marissa is hoping her best Cybertronian friend can cheer her up, what with the world ending and everything. He doesn't do that at all. Instead, Thundercracker hands over Buster, telling Marissa to watch over her. He's gotta go make the world safe for his dog. After telling Buster how much he loves her and declaring his trust in Marissa, he transforms to jet mode and thunders off.
Back in Toronto, Snake Eyes, Tempest, and a whole lotta Red Shadows stare down Beast Megatron.
"Hey, Beast Megatron! What's the opposite of Noooo?"
That's right. His name in this continuity is "Beast Megatron." I am so certain Shockwave named him that it's not even funny. After all, Shockwave isn't really great at naming things and it's not even the FIRST time he's named someone after Megatron. The first follower he made after killing Onyx Prime he named "Megatronus." It's a theme.
Shockwave also named his second Titan "Nemesis" even though that name was already taken by a Decepticon flagship. He SUCKS at naming things.
Anyway, before Tempest can try her hand at single-handedly destroying a Cybertronian, Snake Eyes tells her to hold off so that Helix can shoot BeastMegatron through the neck with some sort of laser pulse rifle. That's one down. Now, they just have to deal with Optimus Primal and Rhinox. who are bearing down on our heroes as we speak.
No worries! Our reinforcements have reinforcements! Before Optimus Primal can do any more killing, he's knocked to the ground by Stardrive. Primal takes this poorly, announcing how far out of her league Stardrive is as he kicks her off. Clearly, someone wasn't around last issue when Stardrive took out over a hundred Maximals all by herself. As she wraiths up for round two, she notices that Tempest and the Red Shadows also have some Dire Wraith enhancements. She begins a conversation about this as our story shift focus to Prowl.
Prowl is in vehicle mode and he drives past this action on his way to Shockwave's base of operations in CN Tower. He's got his eye on the prize but since there are multiple prizes, here. He contacts Starscream to ask if the former... everything... is doing his part.
Starscream claims that he is. He's heading away from Earth right now and is joined by the G.I.Joe Decepticon, Skywarp. When Starscream talks about all the conquering he's going to do after all of this goes exactly according to plan (hahaha), Skywarp calls him on it, seeing that of everyone who COULD have joined him here, only HE did. He's sad to learn that Dirge is dead but happy that Thundercracker isn't here. They have some bad blood between them.
Speak of the devil. Here comes Thundercracker. :)
It's a good thing he's here, too, because he has the most precious of cargo: the Talisman. Now, all they've gotta do is fly past the former Decepticon Vengeance Division and it's on to Unicron!
Easier said than done. When Bludgeon sees three seeker jets flying right at him, he unleashes his combiner on them. That'd be Monstructor. One of Bludgeon's underlings informs him that Metroplex spacebridged away but so did Trypticon. Bludgeon doesn't care. Things are going too well for anything to interfere.
Monstructor exits the ship and starts climbing his way towards the three Seekers. Pyra Magna, still clinging to the side of the ship after her failed attack in Transformers: Unicron #3, wouldn't usually have a problem with someone wanting to kill Starscream but, as is our theme, "bigger fish to fry." Not that she's in a position to assist Starscream or the other Seeker jets. But that's ok! Metroplex and Trypticon are here to clear the way.
Offer expires while you wait. Satisfaction: Guaranteed.
While both Metroplex and Trypticon are capable of doing large amounts of damage all on their own, Blackrock is aboard Metroplex to direct his efforts. Centurion is doing the same within Trypticon. And that's not all. These Titans are loaded with an army of Cybertronians who are ready and willing to push back this final assault on Cybertron's last colony world.
Now, it's Bludgeon's turn to be surprised. How could his plans fall apart now, when victory was all but assured?
As Starcream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker fly past this conflict, only Thundercracker finds the Decepticon Vengeance Division's initials hilarious. "DVD." I made that connection in Transformers: Unicron #3. But of course I did. Thundercracker and I share a hilarious sense of humor and I am totally ok with that.
Now, however, isn't the time for jokes. Unless I make them. Then, it's totally time for jokes. But for these three Cybertronians, now is the time for the final fight against Unicron.
Did I say "three?" Well... five. While Thundercracker'sTalisman cargo was clearly visible, Starscream and Skywarp's payload was covered in shadows. And they didn't do any talking, either. Arcee is being carried by Skywarp. Optimus Prime by Starscream.
It's Thundercracker's and he's laughing all the way to Unicron.
Since this is the end of everything, Prime has gone into battle without his traditional faceplate on. This has been seen as a sign, showing that he's no longer using old, failed tactics and is trying new, more empathetic strategies.
It's either that or his faceplate was so damaged that it finally fell off.
Visionaries Back-up Story
Writer: Magdalene Visaggio
Artist: Fico Ossio
Colorist: David Garcia Cruz
Letterer: Curtis Fandango
Editor: David Mariotte
This issue in a nutshell: Virulina and a few other Visionaries wake up on a past version of Prysmos and find that their future is their past.
• The leader of the Darkling Lords, Virulina, wakes up in a forest that turns out to be on her homeworld of Prysmos.
• But that's crazy because Prysmos has been destroyed.
• Joined by Galadria, Witterquick, and Cindarr, the four theorize that they've managed to arrive on Prysmos in the distant past.
• Virulina starts taking stock, preparing to find other survivors while setting up some shelter and other survival purposes.
• Looking out into the horizon, the four Visionaries learn that the key to their future resides in the past.
• They're their own ancestors, aren't they?
You might be asking yourself: "But what about the Visionaries?"
That's a good point, you. What ABOUT the Visionaries? In Transformers: Unicron #4, the Visionary leader, Leoric, was the guy who came up with the plan to use Visionary magic on the Talisman to make it blast out a magic teleportation wave, rescuing almost the entire population on Cybertron. The only guys who didn't make the trip to Earth were the Visionaries themselves.
So what happened to them?
Our story begins with Virulina waking up. You might be wondering who Virulina is. You might be wondering how I pulled up that name since the story itself doesn't name her until the second page. It turns out I actually read Transformers vs. Visionaries and retained JUST a little information. I could have also looked at the second page of the story. Or gotten the answer off the internet. But I actually got it from previous reading! Yay, me.
OK, to clarify, Virulina was the leader of the Darkling Lords after the survivors of Prysmos found themselves on Cybertron. She isn't the first leader of the Darkling Lords but she's the first one we see in IDW Hasbroverse continuity. If the name "Darkling Lords" isn't too on-the-nose, they're the evil aligned Visionaries. The good Visionaries are called the Spectral Knights.
So, Virulina wakes up, wondering how she fell asleep in the middle of a forest and wondering if this is forest land surrounding the Cybertronian-bound city of New Prysmos or if she ended up on Earth. Virulina remembers Leoric attempting to transport everyone to Earth to escape Cybertron's destruction but everything after that is a blur.
She plucks a fruit from a nearby tree and is SHOCKED by it for some reason. It's only when we look at the next panel that we realize that it wasn't the fruit that surprised her. After all, New Prysmos was surrounded by native Prysmosian floura and fauna. No, the site that shocks her is that of Mount Valarak. That's a mountain that she would only see if she were back on her home planet Prysmos. Except Prysmos is destroyed. Hence the shock.
A voice from behind her echoes her emotional state and, surprise turning to rage, she turns to face it. Virulina ends up confronting Galadria and Witterquick from the Spectral Knights as well as Cindarr from her own faction. Witterquick swiftly explains that no one knows what's going on and this isn't some wierd combat tactic. This should be easy to believe because Leoric and the Spectral Knights had totally defeated the Darkling Lords in Transformers vs. Visionaries and they'd have nothing to gain by this ruse.
If that wasn't enough to convince Virulina that this whole bit isn't a Spectral Knight trick, Cindarr adds in his own assurances that they are, indeed on Prysmos. He even points out the three suns. Totally not something you'd see on Cybertron OR Earth.
So this is a lot like Prysmos, right? So: what the hell?
Galadria believes that they're dead and in paradise. Cindarr is less convinced since this doesn't seem so paradise-y. His theory, after looking around a bit, is that they've been somehow transported to the past, arriving on Prysmos before it was populated by the Visionaries and their people.
That's the best theory anyone has going so they go with it. Virulina quickly takes charge, ordering up some basic survival stuff like housing and telling Witterquick to look for others. Because it's likely that it wasn't just these four who found themselves transported through time.
Before everyone starts following those orders, they all take a moment to stare into the horizon.
I made a "looking directly at the sun" joke for the Micronauts' back-up last issue. Apparently, I have themes.
Witterquick remarks that Virulina was trying to find "a world and future for the people of Prysmos." It turns out that future was the past and the world was... still Prysmos. Virulina smiles awkwardly at her good fortune. The future looks bright!
The PAST looks bright?
Whatever. Did the Visionaries just write themselves out of continuity? Because I think they wrote themselves out of continuity.
And with that farewell look at the Visionaries, our issue has drawn to a close! Woo! One more main book in this series (and two more tie-in Optimus Prime issues). The end is closing in around us! See you then.