Monday, March 1, 2021 • R.I.P. Edition • Putting the yellow back into journalism.

Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #6

Written by SuperginraiX on Wednesday, January 30 2019 and posted in Features

Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #6

The fall of the IDW Hasbroverse.

Last issue, people! We have reached the end of our journey. So let's do this after this brief warning:

There are SPOILERS ahead.

So, where are we and how did we get here?

AntillanScientistThe history of Unicron is... really stupid. It always is! In the IDW Hasbroverse, Unicron used to be the planet Antilla. This planet was the first one that was forcibly added to the Cybertronian Empire during the reign of the Thirteen Primes.

The native Antillans didn't like that so much so they fought back. They lost. Hard.

In response to the imminent destruction, one Antillan scientist lit off a doomsday device that not only killed the planet but also destroyed the Visionaries' planet, Prysmos. Anyone who someone DIDN'T die from the doomsday explosion found themselves living the cursed life of a Dire Wraith. So... no good came from this except that Cybertron had a dead world on their hands.

But this was just part one in the Antillan scientist's idiotic plan for revenge. The doomsday device also SLOWLY transformed the planet into the planet devouring entity that now ravages Cybertron's colony worlds. And when I say "SLOWLY," I mean it took millions of years, visiting revenge on Cybertronians who had no idea what sin had been committed in their distant forgotten past.

But wait! It gets dumber. Unicron's only weakness is a device called the Talisman. This was the heart of the original doomsday device and was initially located ON Antilla. So Unicron would have borne its own weakness all the time... except Shockwave unearthed the device and start the Talisman on a ridiculously convoluted path to Cybertron that took a few million years on its own.

In fact, the Talisman beamed half of Cybertron's energy to Unicron to activate it. So... Unicron would never have been a threat if the Talisman had remained on Antilla?

Basically, this is all Shockwave's fault.

UnicronAgain.pngUnicron's path of destruction has stormed across the known universe where it has proceeded to devour all of Cybertron's colony worlds as well as Cybertron itself. The survivors of this devastation have made the journey to Earth. Cybertron's final colony world. Here, they make their last stand against the world eater and its followers.

If eating all those worlds isn't bad enough, at the heart of Unicron is its first meal, the black hole that Antilla used to orbit. Unicron draws energy out of the black hole. TREMENDOUS energy. That energy has to come from somewhere and, it turns out, the black hole is destroying planets in the past. The whole universe is being unmade.

But no one has the time to deal with that right now because they're in a fight for their lives.

All they have to do is fly through Unicron's Maximal army (led by the ever disloyal Bludgeon) and drop the Talisman into whatever is at Unicron's core. Easy peasy.

Everyone is going to die.

ColonistFollowers.pngThis issue is where the events happening in the Optimus Prime tie-in issues do their... tying in, I guess.

As swiftly as possible, Optimus has a group of acolytes that I lovingly refer to as his Colonist Followers. They totally believe in his hype as a Prime and have joined him on Earth to help bring the planet into the Council of Worlds.

That is, until they stopped believing in him. One of their number, Oiler, died, and his sister, Slide, took it BADLY. She basically blames Optimus for everything and has helped sow dissent in the ranks of his followers. The Colonist Followers acted against all reason and attempted to rescue Jazz from incarceration (he was arrested for a murder he totally committed). Things went horribly wrong and a Colonist ended up killing another human (the G.I. Joe, Mainframe). In response, the Dinobot leader, Slug, killed that offending Colonist.

Things got temporarily cooled down because, well, the world was ending. But that doesn't mean that there isn't some bitter anger over this whole thing.

TransformersUnicron6Transformers: Unicron #6
Writer: John Barber
Artists: Alex Milne, Sara Pitra-Durocher, Andrew Griffith, & Kei Zama
Colors: David Garcia Cruz
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: David Mariotte

This issue in a nutshell: With the help of Earth's defenders and a lot of space magic, Optimus Prime ends the threat of Unicron, saves the universe, and plops a black hole in the Earth solar system.

Bullet Points:
• The Aerialbots, Windblade, and Jetfire join Soundwave and Marissa Faireborn at Mount Rushmore.
• The battle in space clears the way for Starscream and his Seekers to deliver Optimus Prime, Arcee, and the Talisman to Unicron.
• For almost all of this issue, Slide is a complete asshole.
• Shockwave asks Bludgeon for help just like last issue and, just like last issue, he is betrayed but this time Rhinox ALSO betrays him.
• Skywarp saves Thundercracker and then Thundercracker returns the favor, passing the Talisman on to Starscream.
• Starscream activates the Talisman which begins to melt its way through Unicron's surface on a direct path to its core.
• Starscream dies doing this and, soon after, Ironhide dies in orbit while fighting Maximals.
• Rhinox is killed by Prowl and Shockwave is taken into custody to be used in the big magical attack later in the issue.
• The Talisman reaches Unicron's core, a black hole and dives in with Optimus Prime following soon after.
• Bludgeon's flagship shows up at Mount Rushmore with Monstructor smashing his way down to attack the Aerialbots' combined form: Superion.
• Within the black hole, Optimus meets the scientist whose doomsday device killed all remaining life on Antilla and eventually created Unicron.
• The scientist is here to fight.
• The Dinobots arrive to fight Bludgeon and the Torchbearers rally to fight Monstructor with Slide becoming their new leg.
• Soundwave activates the Enigma of Combination which works with the Dire Wraiths' magic to connect Shockwave's essence to the souls of those Cybertronians who have died with this magic vibe being beamed directly to Optimus Prime who uses it to, y'know, end his fight with that Antillan Scientist amicably.
• A lot of Dinobots sacrifice their lives to crash Bludgeon's flagship on top of the White House but the President survives to fight off the Decepticon and Maximal survivors with some help from G.I. Joe, the Junkions, and the Sharkticons.
• Optimus makes peace with the Antillan Scientist and they hug it out as Unicron implodes on its black hole center.
• Bumblebee and Aileron save Arcee (and probably Buzzsaw).
• Everyone settles down for a long era of peace including guys like Thundercracker and Skywarp who managed to survive their battle against the Maximals!
• Pyra Magna becomes the new Mistress of Flame, the spiritual leader of the Cybertronians, while Windblade continues on as the ACTUAL leader and everyone works on peaceful coexistance.

Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #0
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #1
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #2
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #3
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #4
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #5 part 1
Super Reads Transformers: Unicron #5 part 2

Mount Rushmore is the home of the last Cybertronian Sparkfield. It's usually held within Trypticon but since he's out fighting Unicron and its forces above Earth, the Sparkfield is resting on the ground and being tended to by some newly created Cybertronians (including Generation Two Sideswipe). This is also where Soundwave and Marissa Faireborn (Earth's Representative on the Council of Worlds) spend their time during the Final Battle. Marissa is taking care of Buster, Thundercracker's pet dog, while Thundercracker carries the Talisman to Unicron.

Soundwave informs Marissa that the President of the United States is on her way back to the White House. The rest of the World's leaders who made last issue's Very Important Meeting have also made their way home. Incoming are Windblade, the leader of Cybertron, as well as Jetfire and the Aerialbots. We'll circle back to them later.

For now, we go high into the sky to witness the Final Battle against Unicron up close and personal. The Titans Metroplex and Trypticon are dwarfed by the size of Unicron but they aren't here to directly attack, anyway. They're just here to clear the way. Directing the Titan's efforts are Garrison Blackrock (inside Metroplex) and Centurion (within Trypticon).

"Clear the way" for what? For the infiltration team! Starscream and his Seekers (Thundercracker and Skywarp) fly together one last time, delivering Optimus Prime, Arcee, and (most important) the Talisman to Unicron. The plan is to land on Unicron, use Skywarp's teleportation powers to 'port inside the monster planet, and then let the Talisman do its thing. It's just so crazy it just might work!

When the fliers get into deep Maximal territory, things start to fall apart. Thundercracker gets hit and, since he's the one tugging around the Talisman, he's kinda essential. Skywarp laughs at his comrade's misery (these two have issues stemming from Thundercracker saving humanity from nuclear destruction at the end of All Hail Megatron) but Arcee yells the G.I. Joe Seeker into going to Thundercracker's rescue.

There are a lot of Cybertronians fighting Maximals around Unicron but let's look in on the Colonist Followers from the pages of Optimus Prime! Most of them are doing their part except for Slide who is still so salty that she can do nothing but gripe about how Optimus is just using the Final Battle as a way to consolidate his power base.

So.  Grumpy.

In a montage scene, we get a look at how the defenders of Earth are fighting Maximal forces all around the planet. Miles Mayhem, Iron Klaw, and Doctor X direct their forces (including Predaking) in Venice, Italy. Two Action Men do their thing in London, England. In Detroit, G.I. Joe leader, Scarlett, assists M.A.S.K. leader, Matt Trakker. In parts unknown, Spike Witwicky laments his small role in the Final Battle to his G.I. Joe squad leader, Talon. The Dire Wraiths engage hostiles in Siberia. Strongarm rallies Frenzy and Rumble to her side in Sao Paulo.

Finally, in Toronto, Mayday leads the aerial counterattack against Shockwave and his trio of Maximal servants. Snake Eyes, Helix, and Tempest (who is listed by her old code name "Storm Shadow") are already engaging Optimus Primal on the ground. In CN Tower, Shockwave sees his grand plans for a new Cybertronian Empire crumble to the dust. He places another call in to Bludgeon who, last issue, pretty much made it clear that he wasn't going to follow Shockwave's orders any more. Even so, Shockwave is SUPER SURPRISED that Bludgeon... isn't going to follow his orders any more.

Bludgeon's super power is that no one expects him to betray them even after he's done it.

The hits keep on coming, though. After realizing that Bludgeon is no longer on his side, Shockwave is surprised again when his faithful servant, Rhinox, attacks him from behind.

In Earth orbit, Thundercracker finds himself surrounded by Maximals. Before he can take some critical damage, Skywarp teleports in front of him, taking a sword to the chest for the effort. Skywarp tells Thundercracker to get clear and make sure the Talisman gets where it needs to go but everyone's favorite Seeker can't leave a comrade behind and throws the Talisman towards Starscream in order to stay and help Skywarp.

Starscream catches the device and is seriously ticked to be the last Seeker on this mission. The Talisman was essential but Skywarp was also integral to their plan as he was going to use his teleportation abilities to get them through Unicron's thick outer crust. Since that part of the plan has gone out the window, Starscream activates the Talisman NOW so that it can do its thing and burrow its way to Unicron's core, knowing full well that the consequence of activating the device is death. He muses about how Windblade won't even "TRY to conquer" Earth just before hitting the switch.

The Autobots in the skies above Unicron are surprised at Starscream's noble sacrifice (well, not Bumblebee) but there's little time to think about it. Before he can blink, Ironhide is torn in two by a particularly savage Maximal (modeled after the Mutant, Icebird). Jazz tries to get help but, as Ironhide points out, the help he call for is Ratchet who isn't even here (he's part of the Lost Light cast). As Ironhide dies, Aileron rallies the remaining Autobots for another charge.

You know who isn't joining that charge? The Colonist Slide. She just ran into the Dinobots and found another reason why she doesn't want to lift a finger to help anyone out today. She totally blames Slug for the death of her comrade, Gimlet, and gives the Dinobot leader a piece of her mind. The two yell at each other for a panel or two before Swoop reminds them both that they have MUCH BIGGER FISH TO FRY. Slide relents. For now.

Back in Toronto, Shockwave frees himself from Rhinox's grasp and tries to kill his former follower with his arm gun... which fails to fire on the Maximal. This all makes sense since Rhinox PROVIDED Shockwave with that particular arm cannon. Rhinox tears the gun off of Shockwave and aims it at his former leader, claiming that after Shockwave revealed that he was never really Onyx Prime, Rhinox found no reason to REALLY follow him.

Rhinox isn't going to be killing Shockwave because he dies first, a victim of a giant energy blast to the head, courtesy of renegade Autobot, Prowl.

Extra points for creativity.

Shockwave assumes that it'll be Prowl killing him today but, again, he's wrong. Prowl smiles at his Decepticon opposite, claiming that Shockwave is "going to LIVE through this."

Inside Unicron, Optimus Prime and Arcee are following the Talisman as it sinks further into the monster planet, fighting Unicron's internal defenses in the process. On the journey down, Prime recognizes that Arcee has been doing her level best to keep any potential tyrants in check, including him. He also thinks that Unicron might be his own fault as he wasn't able to fix so many of Cybertron's problems. At the same time, he thinks that he MIGHT make it out of this alive since his prophesy is all about being "the Arisen, one of the thirteen PRIMES." Arcee tries to convince him that she knew all Thirteen Primes and he wasn't one of their number but the Talisman has reached its final destination and is super distracting.

The Talisman sinks into the core of Unicron, which is the black hole it swallowed as it began its journey. Prime leaps in after it, telling Arcee that she has to live, what with just getting a girlfriend and everything. For Optimus, "This is ALL I have." Which is sad, really. Arcee turns around to find a horde of Maximals incoming. Time to make the doughnuts.

In Toronto, Prowl drags Shockwave through the streets as the Decepticon rants about who he is and how he got that way. "Blah blah blah," am I right? Anyway, Prowl reaches Stardrive and she uses her Dire Wraith abilities to interface with Shockwave which in turn connects Shockwave to the the communication deck that Jetfire is manning at Mount Rushmore, which in turn connects it to the Enigma of Combination that Soundwave was seen holding back in Transformers: Unicron #3.

We move on over to Mount Rushmore where Prowl and Soundwave's beautiful plan is coming together. The Aerialbots combine to form Superion which is something they haven't done in a WHILE. In their combined form, they unleash the Earth Enigma, a device created by Galvitron out of Earth's communication network (or something). The energies of the Earth Enigma crackle all over the planet.

It's a great plan but we're not there yet and we've just hit a major snag by the name of Monstructor. Monstructor was the first gestalt combiner and is nigh unbeatable. Bludgeon's flagship has arrived at this site and Monstructor leaps from it, attacking Superion and threatening to unmake this entire plan before Soundwave is ready to unleash it.

Hey, remember when Optimus Prime dived into a black hole? Oh, man, good times. Well, he's landed on the other side to find the Talisman has struck home on what looks like the original landscape of Antilla but Prime claims that it's really Infraspace, a realm between life and death. He's been there before so whatever the case, the feeling he's getting is similar.

Optimus isn't alone. The only other resident of this realm is the Antillan scientist who unleashed the doomsday device on his own planet. It seems that from within this black hole, he is directing Unicron's actions. Prime tries to talk things out with him but is only met by the unnamed scientist's fists. It's fighting time!

At Mount Rushmore, Monstructor is kicking the crap out of Superion. Windblade is trying to figure out where she could strike at Monstructor to deliver the most damage when help arrives in the form of the robot space dragon, Sky Lynx! He's brought the Dinobots and the Colonist Followers here to help even the odds. The Dinobots land on Bludgeon's flagship, intent on taking the ship out of the sky. As they make their way aboard, Pyra Magna finally rallies the remaining Torchbearers who have been recovering from a previous battle with Monstructor on the hull of Bludgeon's ship. They make ready to disembark the ship to help Superion in his fight against Monstructor.

Also on the ground, Soundwave is about to unleash the powers of the Enigma of Combination. This little device has the power to make more gestalt combiners and while that might be a side effect of Soundwave and Prowl's plan, the INTENT it to use the Enigma of Combination in tandem with the Earth Enigma and in connection to the Shockwave's very being to,,, well, we'll get to that.

First someone's going to have to kick Monstructor's ass and, unfortunately, the Torchbearers are missing a leg since one of their number, Stormclash, died in Transformers: Unicron #3. That's where Slide comes in. The Colonist Followers are still aboard Sky Lynx, arguing about what they should be doing to help. It seems after all her grousing, Slide has finally decided to help out. With the power of the Earth Enigma swirling around her, she leaps out of Sky Lynx to create a new leg for the Torchbearer gestalt, Victorion. Joining Superion, Victorion helps mop the floor with Monstructor.

Seeing his prize combiner facing ruin, Bludgeon orders his ship to fly off to Washington D.C. As he does this, Bludgeon finds himself facing off against Slug and his Dinobots. Slug easily releaves Bludgeon of his weapon, the Void Scepter as the two-headed Dinobot, Strafe, makes certain that the flagship can't turn back around and threaten Soundwave's plans. This thing's on a collision course with Washington!

So... Soundwave's plan. Let's get to that. With all the forces swirling around, Soundwave (and his limitless faith) is able to tap into every Cybertronian who has died, bringing back their spirits.

Sad moment. :(

These spirits are mixed with the core personality of Shockwave via Stardrive's Wraith magics and the whole slurry is beamed to Optimus Prime in Infraspace. That means he's given a healthy dose of all the good and bad that make up the Cybertronian race. While all that's happening, Prowl has a good talk with Shockwave over what "faith" means to guys like him and Shockwave. It's all about overcoming the darkness in their own souls and making a better world. And stuff.

Since he was the central point for forces beyond his own understanding, Soundwave's body is unable to withstand the powers around him and his body crumbles. He dies peacefully, believing he has done exactly what he needed to do to save the universe. And Earth. But, still. Sad moment, here.

In Infraspace (or whatever), Optimus Prime is filled up with all the delicious soul energy and even though the Antillan scientist is beating him around the room, he would rather end this thing peacefully. Optimus KNOWS what the Cybertronian race did to Antilla. He knows what they've done to countless worlds. But he still can't abide Unicron raging around the galaxy. So, one way or another, Unicron dies today. That being said, he's rather not punch this scientist.

As he talks, the Talisman continues its path to Unicron's core. Whatever Prime does doesn't really matter because Unicron is going to die regardless of his sacrifice.

Speaking of sacrifices, back on Earth, Bludgeon's flagship crashes into the White House. Slug claims that this is the end of BOTH of them. They've gotta die so that hate dies with them. And, while the White House is a mess, the President has survived and, with the help of G.I. Joes Flint and Chameleon, they're shooting any Maximal that is still alive enough to attempt exiting Bludgeon's flagship. Pretty soon, they get some reinforcements from Junkion leaders Rum-Maj and Wreck-Gar and their army of Sharkticons.

At Mount Rushmore, Windblade figures they've done all they can to assist Optimus Prime and recalls all Earth defenders back home as she doesn't see the point of unnecessary sacrifices this late in the game. While most people listen, Bumblebee and Aileron fly down to Unicron in an attempt to save Optimus Prime and Arcee.

In Infraspace, the Talisman is doing its job and destroying everything. The Antillan slips from what remains of the ground, cursing Optimus as he falls into the void. Prime grabs his hand and pulls him back up, giving him a short history of the many names he's had over the past few million years. Now, however, he drops all those names and goes back to his original moniker. He's Orion Pax again. Now, who is this scientist? The Antillan can't remember. What he CAN remember is the name of his daughter, long ago killed by Cybertronians.

Orion Pax decides that name is enough. Instead of that daughter's name being spoken in rage, now he asks that the name be spoken in hope. The two hug it out as their world ends.

In the "real" world, Unicron collapses in on itself. Aileron and Bumblebee fly in close to save Prime and Arcee. They see someone and Bumblebee reaches out to grab them.

Meanwhile, the Antillan's daughter's name blasts outward in hope and love, lighting the darkness and giving hope to, well, everyone. Whether they are on Earth or have never even heard of Cybertronians. Space magic, people.

Marissa Faireborn holds Buster tight, believing that Thundercracker has made the ultimate sacrifice. She's wrong. With a signature "BOOM," Thundercracker flies in, still in very good condition considering. His companion, Skywarp, has seen better days but he still functions. When they land, Thundercracker gets a lot of affection from his dog (Buster) and hugs from his best friend (Marissa). Skywarp smiles at Thundercracker's fortune, believing that while TC might "still be an idiot, but is a SEEKER for sure."

On the moon, Aileron gives Arcee a big ol' kiss after saving her life. Bumblebee looks on happily with Buzzsaw, who somehow survived the assault on Sanctuary Station back in Transformers: Unicron #4 and has been flying to Earth ever since.

The battle in Toronto has been won. Shockwave is in custody, this time for REAL. He is totally disillusioned after seeing all of his meticulously stupid plans fall spectacularly apart.

At Mosi-oa-Tunya, we see an Elonian girl who looks a LOT like the one we saw in the opening pages of Transformers: Unicron #0. She's crying because her parents didn't make it. Down come Solstar Knights Rom and Livia. When they learn of the Elonian's plight, they seem to get the idea that maybe they should look into adopting...

Sunstreaker gets a moment where his Insecticon pet, Bob is playing with Buster and DOC (Jetfire's little helper bot). He calls out to his dead brother, Sideswipe, telling him that he would have really liked this peace thing.

Windblade's former bodyguard, Chromia, congratulates he on a win, thinking that this'll be a nice little planet for her to take charge of. Of course, that's not Windblade's way at all. She's not here to rule. She's here to coexist.

The White House battle is also near it's end. While the Dinobots mostly died, Decepticon Swift pulls Swoop and Strafe from the rubble. The President of the United States realizes that while the fighting is over, peace is going to be a whole lot more complicated. Well, that's the job, right? She tells Flint to get Marissa on the phone so they can get the ball rolling.

Back in Mosi-oa-Tunya, Pyra Magna takes up the hammer of the Mistress of Flame. And also the mantle of spiritual leader. And! She asks Slide to officially join the Torchbearers. When she accepts, Slide admits that maybe she was totally wrong about Optimus Prime. He wasn't trying to consolidate power during this whole fiasco. He was trying to save them, knowing that, since this was Unicron and he was Optimus Prime, he probably wouldn't survive the experience.

And he did NOT.

In the sky above, the sun is joined by a black hole. Which is WEIRD! Pyra uses it as a metaphor for the light and darkness that resides in us all. She also realizes that Optimus Prime might not have been as awful as she thought. (maybe). We leave the Hasbroverse, now, with one final image of some of the survivors enjoying a well earned peace after.... well.... all of THAT. Everything. They've had to deal with a lot of stuff and I'm not just talking Unicron.

And that's game, people! We have reached the end of Transformers: Unicron! Woo! Thanks for sticking with me through this whole journey. It was fun! We've got one epilogue issue with Optimus Prime #25 and then we will be well and officially done! So join me for that. One final Super Reads on the Outhouse!

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