The Wreckers suffer defeat at the hands of a supposed ally.
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The Wreckers issue #2
- Major characters (in order of appearance):
- Minor characters (in order of appearance):
- Originally published:
Several months after the defeat of Unicron, Rodimus Prime announces plans to send out teams of explorers to prepare for future menaces. Over the protests of Skids and Perceptor, Rodimus defends his policy of "aggressive caution". Glyph is looking forward to her mission, and is introduced to Tap-Out, her bodyguard. Rodimus wishes the crew well as their ship launches. Mere weeks later, the ship reconnoiters the Archa System. As it prepares to depart, an energy burst hits it, burning out the engines and sending it crashing toward the surface.
On a desolate world, the Dinobots can find no answers to their quest. Uncomfortable with the silent world, Magmatron orders all hands to return to their shuttle. A legion of zombie-like robots erupts from the planet's surface; the Dinobots fight their way through, only to find the final path blocked by a massive worm-like monster...
The Mutants have likewise arrived on their destination world to find themselves on a fool's errand. They are brought before a Quintesson judge, who takes little time to find them in contempt of court. The sentence: death by Sharkticon. Quintesson Judge Derodomontus watches, with Cryotek by his side; the two argue over the value of the Transformer race, and discuss in vague terms their plans for Cybertron... and the Wreckers.
Said Wreckers, meanwhile, are dealing with an overly-aggressive stowaway, as Devcon distributes beat-downs and obnoxious quips with equal abandon. Fractyl charges the invader, but a massive energy discharge causes him to collapse. Devcon finally notices Rodimus and Apelinq standing in front of him, and they managed to get him to stop hitting people.
On the ship's bridge, Rodimus explains how they were able to convene this new Wreckers crew. Devcon notes that he is the only Cybertronian Peace Marshall to survive Megatron's onslaught. Devcon isn't very happy about having Packrat -- "a two-bit thief with a conviction record six parsecs long" -- along for the ride, and even less so the Decepticons, who he claims are "nothing like him". The 'cons prove the point by keeping their mouths shut.
In the repair bay, Arcee, Ramulus and Apelinq are working to save Fractyl, whose laser core has become misaligned in the wake of the reformatting job by Arcee. The ship's Lifeline Cybernetic Diagnostic Module issues instructions, but needs an actual medic to carry them out. In a move born of desperation, Apelinq uses his transfer interlink to download the bodyframe of an old comrade into reality, then loads the diagnostic program into it. The resulting bot immediately begins repairs... and asking questions.
In the ship's aft hold, Spittor and Sonar are still recovering from their run-in with Devcon, when an explosion tears through the section. On the bridge, Devcon recognizes the hits as internal -- someone sabotaged their ship. With aft control circuitry failing, Packrat jettisons the section against Primal Prime's orders. Spittor, Sonar, and the Deployers are left to their fate as the rear section explodes seconds later.
Rodimus is furious at Packrat, but Prime orders him to man his post. Packrat is relieved of his duties and escorted off the bridge by Cyclonus and Devcon.
In the repair bay, Prime finds that Fractyl has been saved, but the "temporary" medic is becoming more and more permanent, as Apelinq can't dissolve the body back into the nonreality it came from. The new medic is exploring his world and his capabilities, pulling out a pair of huge swords as Arcee speculates that he won't be a problem... maybe. Prime restrains Ramulus from delivering a beat-down to Packrat, and is suddenly distracted by a vision of a leonoid Alpha Trion: "Your destiny awaits. Seek the future -- recover the lost. Beware the theft of your trust."
The ship arrives in orbit over the 9th planet of the Archa System, where Skywarp picks up an Autobot homing signal. Rodimus and Apelinq immediately recognize it as one of the Autobots' lost post-Unicron survey expeditions. Rodimus explains the mission... and berates himself as Apelinq tells Prime that three of the ships were never heard from again.
Cyclonus, meanwhile, notes to Devcon that Packrat is not to be trusted. Devcon, surprisingly enough, chooses to antagonize the Decepticon. Cyclonus doesn't care much for Devcon either, but recognizes that they have some common heritage now. Devcon says he's just along for the ride and plans to bail as soon as he can. What a jerk.
The Wreckers land and deploy. One team organizes a base camp; another establishes a perimeter; Primal Prime leads a third group on a recon survey. The new medic, dubbed CatSCAN by Apelinq, offers to come along as well.
Later that night, as the recon team advances through a forest, CatSCAN detects movement, and is sent ahead to investigate. He soon finds himself under attack from torch-bearing humanoids, who seek to defend their sacred ground. CatSCAN defends himself, but the Autobot Tap-Out soon joins the fray on the side of the natives. CatSCAN subdues him, but only angers the natives further. The others join him and are likewise targeted... but the arrival of Glyph calms the natives, as she identifies them as "The Protectors".
Glyph disperses the mob, attunes the Wreckers to the native Akalouthans' language, and introduces herself and Tap-Out as the sole survivors of the Sojourner's Passage. She notes that they've been awaiting rescue for some 300 years now. En route to the natives' village, Prime explains their vague mission, and mentioned that he's recently been reassured that the mission is of great importance -- a claim which causes Apelinq some silent discomfort.
Glyph explains that the natives have helped her and Tap-Out survive with energy derived from an energy-generating object called the Divine Light. Prime calls in the rest of the team; they arrive to celebration and fanfare among the Akalouthans. Glyph explains that they've been expecting the Wreckers for a thousand years. Glyph's text research shows numerous references to a protective force arriving to defend the Divine Light against "the five faced demons".
Later, Glyph takes the crew to the Dwelling of the Divine Light, where a spikey crystalline form is suspended atop a pyramid. Local myth claims that the object fell from the sky thousands of years ago; Apelinq finds its energy readings familiar. Packrat speculates it's worth a fortune; Cyclonus reminds him that he's watching. As the others leave, Cyclonus assigns Rotorbolt to monitor the thief's activities. Apelinq identifies the Divine Light as a battery of sorts with a unique power core. Prime orders the others to gather, and Devcon goes off to find Packrat and Rotorbolt.
Devcon finds Rotorbolt first -- pinned to a wall, mangled, and slipping into stasis lock. Devcon races back to the dwelling, with Prime, Apelinq and Ramulus following. But they're too late; the divine light has been seized... by Cyclonus! The giant air warrior tosses aside Packrat's battered body, vows to become steward of a renewed Decepticon Empire, and takes to the sky as Devcon swears vengeance.
Glyph arrives, and Prime breaks the news that the Protectors have failed...
Aboard the ship, CatSCAN reconstructs Devcon back into his old Autobot form, though he retains his jerk personality. Devcon rejects Apelinq's offer to stay with the team, casually jokes about callously killing a one-time partner, and flies off to hunt down Cyclonus.
Cyclonus, meanwhile, calls in to Cryotek to report success. Cryotek had anticipated Vector Sigma's interference, thus planting Cyclonus in the Wreckers' ranks to scuttle the plans. He scoffs at the Quintessons, who are intent on the conquest of Cybertron via the use of "legends and half-myths", and gloats that he has taken his first triumphant step....
AHHRG BLAUGLE BLAGH BLAR BLAR BLAUUGH!!!! IN CONQUERING TIME ITSELF!
Script: Rob Gerbracht ("Betrayal"), Simon Furman ("Primeval Dawn 2")
Pencils: Dan Khanna
Inks: Chuck Gibson, Terry Pallot, and Hi-Fi Design
Colors: Hi-Fi Design ("Betrayal"), Blond ("Primeval Dawn 2")
Lettering: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Post production and assist: Glen Hallit
The original printing of the issue featured only the Wreckers story. This print also included numerous coloring errors, as well as coloring work that obscured much of the art.
A "Director's Cut" of the book was later published, with all-new coloring. The new edition also included an all-new four page prologue, showing the departure of the Autobots' exploration teams under Rodimus Prime's leadership, and "Primeval Dawn Part 2" as a backup story. At the end it includes Dreamwave-style profiles for CatSCAN, Cryotek, Cyclonus, Devcon, Glyph, and Tap-Out.
The Director's Cut corrects many of the coloring errors (see list below). It also omits some of the original version's stylistic choices, such as the red warning lights bathing the bridge of the Wreckers' ship, the torch-lit forest on Archa Nine, and the dimly lit, doom-laden atmosphere of the Dweller's world. In doing so, however, it reveals that the drawings actually have a background.
- Devcon didn't used to be a jerk. He was a pretty nice guy. His behavior nowadays, particularly what happened after The Gambler, may explain why Slizardo was siding with the Decepticons in Grimlock's New Brain.
- Sharkticons based on Hammerstrike's design appear alongside the traditional Quintesson Sharkticon designs from Generation One on New Quintessa. However, these drones were miscolored as Hammerstrike in the initial printing; the "Director's Cut" reprint fixes this, giving them a black and purple color scheme.
- In the original version, when the Wreckers are repairing the shuttle, the whatever-the-hells Rodimus and Arcee are carrying are rendered as if they were background elements; no ink-lines, washed-out-even-for-Dreamwave colors. On top of this, the panel is so dark it's hard to tell Arcee is carrying anything.
- A page or two later, an image of CatSCAN running through the nighttime forest is very nearly completely black.
- In the original printing, the end of Cryotek's final line is obscured by its own font. The line is supposed to end, "...in conquering time itself!" but instead reads like Cryotek descends into incomprehensible madness midsentence. Like many other things, this was fixed in the "Director's Cut."
Items of Note
- Ramulus starts off the story in the green and tan color scheme that was going to be applied as a running change to his toy, but was never produced. Halfway through the story, Fractyl's discharging Spark energies cause him to morph into the burgundy and gray colors of his actual toy.
- The Quintesson's title of "free trader" for Cryotek is lifted from the G1 episode "Money is Everything".
- The story is archived online at the BotCon website, but as the original version; the backgrounds are comprehensible in this form (thought CatSCAN is still running in pitch black).
- The reason for executing the Mutants: unmarketable product. This is reportedly the cause of many deaths here.