Hey, all, you're back with Super Reads! We're slowly working our way through the end of IDW's Hasbroverse, this time with the second-to-last issue of Optimus Prime.
Hopefully this one gets posted without any troubles. Anyway:
There are SPOILERS ahead.
So, what do you need to know before entering this twenty-fourth issue of Optimus Prime?
First, let's look at what's going on in the event book, Transformers: Unicron.
The monster planet, Unicron, has made meals of each of Cybertron's colony worlds. Even the ones that weren't aware that they WERE colony worlds. This includes the Solstar Order's capitol world of Elonia and Cybertronian leader Windblade's homeworld of Caminus.
Before knocking off all of the colony worlds, Unicron set its sights on the main course: Cybertron. That world was devoured in Transformers: Unicron #4.
Yep. Cybertron is gone.
But don't worry too much for the people that were populating the planet. Most of them were transported off-planet via a magical lightning band. Most of the rest teleported away courtesy of Metroplex's spacebridge. All of the survivors ended up in the same place.
Specifically, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia in Africa.
For it is on Earth, Cybertron's final colony world, where the last stand against Unicron will take place. I guess Unicron saved Earth for dessert.
On a more personal note, we have the events that transpired in Optimus Prime #23. That... was an awful issue. I just want to get that out there.
OK, in a nutshell, Optimus' brave band of colonial followers raided the joint Cybertronian/ G.I. Joe base at Mount Rushmore (South Dakota, USA) in an idiotic attempt to free the Autobot, Jazz, who was being held on charges of murder.
Because Jazz totally killed a dude way back in the day.
I say "Optimus Prime's colonist followers" but they are no longer following Optimus Prime. Because of some hard work put in by the colonist, Slide, the entire group is pretty disgruntled. They are here without orders doing work that no one asked them to do with a plan that fell apart immediately.
In the insanity, one of the Joes, Mainframe, was killed by the colonist, Gimlet. In response to that, the leader of the Dinobots, Slug, killed the killer. The Dinobots were here to protect Cybertronian interests (this place is home to a hot spot of potential Cybertronian life being held within the Titan, Trypticon) and rallied to defend the G.I. Joes.
The battle was stopped after Jazz intervened... but mostly when the Junkions arrived with a host of Sharkticon mounts. And then it was even more soundly stopped when Unicron filled up the sky.
That pretty much catches you up on the craziness. So let's dive in!
Optimus Prime #24
A Sunrise Dark
Writer: John Barber
Artists: Andrew Griffith & Sara Pitre-Durocher
Colors: Josh Burcham
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: David Mariotte
This issue in a nutshell: Slide and Optimus Prime have a calm conversation about recent events as they wait for the end of the world.
• Thundercracker does some touch up work to his latest film before realizing that there's a massive planet eater that requires his full attention.
• Optimus Prime asks Slide for a run-down on her and her followers activities.
• Six hours ago, Prowl and the crew of the Peaceful Revolution approached Earth and wondered why Unicron hadn't already eaten the place.
• News crews arrive at Mount Rushmore wondering what the hell is going on.
• After learning that trouble is happening at Mount Rushmore, Optimus Prime sends Soundwave, Arcee and Rom to deal with it.
• After learning that his friend, Mainframe, was killed, Soundwave grieves by sending a message of mourning and remembrance to every electronic device on the planet.
• Yeah, probably even toasters.
• At Mount Rushmore, the ground begins to break apart but instead of signalling the end of the world, it signals the arrival of Prowl and the Peaceful Revolution.
• After some words are spoken, Prowl speaks about how everyone needs to stand together and then busses the Colonist followers and Jazz back to Mosi-oa-Tunya.
• In the present, Slide blames Optimus Prime for not being the guy she wanted him to be or whatever and then storms off.
• Optimus asks Arcee if he's a terrible person and Arcee tries really hard not to tell him he is.
• Everyone has their own final moments before the battle against Unicron.
• Prime continues to wonder if he's a good guy or not.
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #0
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #1
Super Reads Optimus Prime #22
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #2
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #3
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #4
Super Reads Optimus Prime #23
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #5 part 1
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #5 part 2
We open our story with a brave, daring secret agent being forced to make a decision between his mission or love. Does he shoot his girlfriend and maintain his cover or does he shoot his superior thereby blowing his cover and risking his life AND his girlfriend's?
He chooses love, killing his superior and saving his girlfriend.
This is a heavy rewrite of G.I. Joe: Cobra vol. 1. In the original story, G.I. Joe undercover agent, Chuckles, ended up killing his contact (and lover), Jinx, in order to maintain his deep cover status within the ranks of Cobra. Upon hearing the real story, Thundercracker HATED it so much that he changed it for its theatrical release. He's currently editing footage for the movie.
You'd think the former Decepticon Seeker would have more important things to do, what with the world ending and all, but it turns out he's not exactly AWARE that the planet eating... planet, Unicron, is currently hanging out around Earth, waiting to take a big bite out of the blue orb. When his dog, Buster, finally draws his attention to the window, Thundercracker finally gets a look at the big picture and realizes that it's time to save some lives.
In Mosi-oa-Tunya, the survivors from Cybertron have regrouped. It is here that Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, asks one of his colonist followers, Slide, WHAT THE HELL.
It's a tie!
OK, let's do a little continuity checking for funzies. Prime is asking Slide to tell him what happened in Optimus Prime #23 as well as the new information we're going to get in the current issue that follows up on that issue. Slide arrived in Mosi-oa-Tunya in Transformers: Unicron #5 so this meeting follows AFTER she showed up there but BEFORE the final battle with Unicron began (also in Transformers: Unicron #5). So this is the calm before the storm and the last chance for everyone to deal with Slide's little mutiny before the ball gets rolling.
In a nutshell, Slide's going to blame Optimus Prime for not putting her needs before the needs of the entire universe while simultaneously accusing him of not doing enough to help the entire universe. Prime is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. There's no real reasoning with her because all of this stems from the death of her brother during the first storyline in the Optimus Prime series.
It also stems from the fact that Optimus Prime is a wishy washy leader who doesn't really sell the idea that a he had a group of dedicated followers fight a four million year long war based mostly on his inspiring leadership. He is NOT that guy.
Anyway, Prime wanted a sitrep and that's what he's going to get. Let's head back six hours in time. Unicron is still hanging out over Earth. Prowl's ship, the Peaceful Revolution, is coming in for a landing as its crew wonders why Unicron is taking its sweet time in devouring Earth. Prowl can't explain it. Stardrive, the former Cybertronian Solstar Knight turned Dire Wraith host, believes that Unicron is letting everyone gather on Earth so it can destroy all that remains in one swoop.
The real story is that Unicron won't attack the planet until its one weakness, the Talisman, is removed from Earth's surface. But Stardrive gets points for creativity.
Down by the Mount Rushmore base, the battle has come to a complete halt following Unicron's arrival. It's gotten quiet enough for news crews to arrive on the scene, looking for answers to whatever's going on in the sky. Featuring prominently is Sofia Orazco, a journalist who got Jazz to tell his life story on camera. This turned out to be a set-up as G.I. Joe agents showed up looking to arrest the bot (for murder) so... Jazz isn't her biggest fan. Still, he vouches for her sticking around as everyone tries figuring out what's what.
Jazz tries to get a word in with Earth's delegate to the Council of Worlds, Marissa Faireborn, but she's on a call with the President of the United States, learning a little about Unicron while also learning about the arrival of Cybertron's population in Africa.
While Marissa is learning things from the President, in Mosi-oa-Tunya, Optimus Prime is learning how the Visionaries helped get the survivors of Cybertron to Earth (as shown in Transformers: Unicron #4). He's grateful for the assist but knows that it's just delayed the final confrontation. They've gotta get their "A" game on or this is their last stand. For real this time.
Soundwave, breaks into Prime and Windblade's conversation, telling him that his followers started some trouple at Mount Rushmore. In response, Optimus sends Soundwave, Arcee, and Rom to sort things out. In the present, Slide is upset that Optimus didn't make a personal appearance but he explains that he was dealing with the end of the world and, y'know, priorities. Slide doesn't care.
Back in the past, Soundwave gets a situation report from Sky Lynx (he's the flying robot dinosaur who turns into a space shuttle) but it's clear to see that one of the colonist followers, Gimlet, has been killed. Rom and Jazz stare up at Unicron. The spaceknight begins telling Jazz all that has happened since the Autobot helped him get a ride to Cybertron back in Optimus Prime #22. His home planet has been destroyed. So has Cybertron. Things are bad.
The Joe, Flint, is just as angry as ever. He sees that the Cybertronians have brought their little "end-of-the-world present" to Earth, forcing Earth to deal with their problems. And he's PISSED. Dinobot leader, Slug, reminds Flint that Mount Rushmore is host to Trypticon who houses a hot spot of sparks. The future of the Cybertronian race is literally RIGHT HERE and they have a stake in the survival of the planet.
During this argument, Soundwave gets some hints that something is being left unsaid. That something is the death of Mainframe.
Before Soundwave deals with the death of his human friend, we switch scenes to Los Angeles. Unicron's arrival has caused some serious gravity problems. Buildings are falling down. Our favorite Transformer, Thundercracker, is thankfully on hand to catch one of them, saving the occupants. A police officers approaches him, asking if the Cybertronian knows what's going on. Before Thundercracker can answer, another officer shows up with a cell phone.
This isn't going to explain why Unicron is in the skies to the population of the planet but it is going to show Soundwave mourning the death of his friend, Mainframe. The Decepticon has commandeered every signal on Earth to show him holding Mainframe's lifeless body as well as the memories the two shared. It's a sweet, touching moment. The Junkions on the scene think it could help change public opinion on human/ Cybertronian relationships.
At ground zero, it's PAINFUL. The broadcast signals are so powerful that they cause physical pain to those in close proximity to Soundwave.
When the show is over, the ground begins to erupt. Jazz thinks this is the planet coming apart. But it's not. It's actually the Peaceful Revolution breaking through the planet's surface. The pilot, Goldbug, made a mistake when transporting the ship planetside.
Flint has some issues.
Prowl exits his ship and immediately faces Jazz's accusations. This is a common occurance for Prowl because he's done tons of dodgy acts recently. That's why we call him a "renegade Autobot." Prowl tries to talk about how he's not such a bad guy before realizing that he didn't come here to explain himself. He came here to save what remains. After explaining that we're all in this together, everyone must have boarded his ship, leading to the Peaceful Revolution's arrival at Mosi-oa-Tunya in Transformers: Unicron #5.
In the present, Slide finishes telling Optimus Prime how this went down before telling him that the choice he made was believing he was the only one who could save everyone. Or something. Whatever. She's mad at Optimus Prime for reasons.
When Slide storms off, Jazz walks up, joking about how she has Prime all figured out. When Prime sadly agrees, Jazz realizes just how much her words affected him. Prime apologizes for not being there for Jazz when he was wanted for murder but Jazz is past that, now. He reminds Optimus that this isn't really about them anymore. This is about their future. Specifically, it's about the next generation and what kind of world is being left for them.
Finally, Optimus and Arcee meet up in the shadow of Unicron. This might be an extension of their meeting from Transformers: Unicron #5. Or maybe these two have multiple talks. It happens sometimes.
He's no Superman. He's no Forbush Man, either.
Arcee informs Prime that Slide wants Slug arrested for the death of Gimlet. Which is great except Gimlet had killed Mainframe just prior to Slug killing him. It's messed up but that's the chain of events. This is left unsaid all over the place but it's VERY clear that Slide doesn't value human life on the same level as Cybertronian life. "They aren't real people," basically. Regardless, no one's getting arrested.
Prime wonders if he did the right thing. Like, in general. Arcee doesn't have an answer. Prime isn't exactly the BEST leader ever but... eh. Unicron offers one hell of a different perspective to things. She responds, "Maybe all we can do is try to LOVE who we CAN and understand who we CAN'T."
Prime isn't a believer in the power of love. He probably wouldn't enjoy Thundercracker's movie about Chuckles, either. But Arcee offers sage advice. "Love can't HURT."
Well... maybe not the way YOU do it...
What follows is a montage of images depicting various cast members before the final fight. Arcee hugs her girlfriend, Aileron. Thundercracker pets his dog, Buster. Slide views a holo-image of her dead brother, Oiler. The Joe, Hi-Tech, sits vigil near Mainframe's body bag. Bump sits vigil near Gimlet's dead body. Slug hangs out on Trypticon's snout. The Solstar Knights, Rom and Livia, share a moment together. Jetfire and D.O.C. chill out. Flint rests a hand on his daughter, Marissa's, shoulder.
Optimus Prime stares up in the sky at Unicron, wondering if he has escaped the legacy of the Primes or if he's just another in a long line despotic Cybertronian leaders.
And with that, we have finished up the penultimate issue of Optimus Prime! One more issue of everything is left! I can DO this, people! See you soon.