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Countdown to Extinction (comic issue)

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Specifics: covers

As the Autobots begin their final push against Shockwave's oppression, Ultra Magnus finally meets with Shockwave for explanations.

Transformers: Generation One: War and Peace > Issue #5
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Writer: Brad Mick
Pencils: Pat Lee
Inks: Rob Armstrong
Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia
Layout assists: Ferd Poblete
Colors: Espen Grundetjern, Pat Lee, Alan Wang, Rob Ruffolo, Ramil Sunga & Gary Yeung
Letters: Ben Lee


Synopsis

The Autobot resistance rushes into battle against Shockwave's fortress, defended by the Guardian robots. While Prime leads the united front, Hot Rod recounts how only three breems ago, Optimus quickly brought together the divided Autobot resistance groups into a single fighting force.

Ultra Magnus consults with Perceptor over the state of the Dinobots. Magnus orders the Dinobots to be quickly repaired (despite the hostilities Grimlock retains towards Magnus). Magnus then leaves to go finally meet with Shockwave and get a much-needed explanation.

Shockwave, repaired after his battle against Grimlock, is glad to see that all events are proceeding as he arranged. The one loose end however, is Starscream. On Shockwave's command, Reflector (from the monitoring womb) locates Starscream in the alleyways. But their input deceives them as Starscream ambushes Reflector and takes control of the womb. Soundwave arrives to join Starscream, who pays for Soundwave's service with the cassette-bot, Ratbat.

Ultra Magnus finally confronts Shockwave and demands an explanation on why Shockwave has let the situation on Cybertron degenerate (suspecting Shockwave was responsible for the unleashing of Menasor after discovering a component of Frenzy at the site of the rampage). Shockwave, as usual, dismisses Magnus to go defend against the Autobot attack. As Ultra Magnus leaves (unsatisfied with the meeting), Shockwave readies his gun.

Witnessing the murder of Ultra Magnus on a nearby monitor, Optimus Prime transforms and drives into Shockwave's citadel, while the other Autobots provide cover-fire. Making his way into the command tower, Optimus only briefly stops to demand information regarding Shockwave's whereabouts from Skywarp.

In Shockwave's throne room, all Optimus finds is Ultra Magnus. The two leaders make amends with each other, and Optimus vows to find the underlying cause of the events. Magnus points Optimus in the direction that Shockwave has retreated to, where Optimus finds a secret tunnel. Carefully venturing towards the grand heart of Shockwave's scheme, Optimus opens a door with a mysterious logo, but the glorious light from inside blinds him.

Outside, the Autobots continue their battle against Shockwave's army, without their leader. Where Hot Rod's gunfire fails, Ironhide succeeds using some ingenuity and liquid nitrogen. Before the two have time to relax, Springer reminds the two the battle isn't over.

Inside, Shockwave overpowers Optimus, tearing open and pulling the Matrix out of his chest. From the pinnacle of Shockwave's tower, a bright light shines magnificently, (with a solid beam of light shooting off into the distances of space to some unknown destination). Deciding that Shockwave's agenda has gone far enough, Starscream decides to lead his team off-planet again.

While Shockwave starts to gloat that everything has gone perfectly according to plan—Ultra Magnus reawakens!

Quotes

  • None yet identified.

Items of note

  • The title of this issue was borrowed from the G1 episode "Countdown to Extinction".
  • Ratbat is silent in this issue, while in the (chronologically earlier) series The War Within: The Dark Ages he was quite verbal. Soundwave continues to remain speechless.
  • Although unstated, it was presumably Starscream and Soundwave who directed footage of Shockwave's betrayal of Ultra Magnus to the outside.
  • Ultra Magnus turns gray as he deactivates, much like Prime turned gray during his death in The Transformers: The Movie.
Ancient Transformer Symbol
  • Hey, see that combined Autobot-Decepticon logo? Good.
  • That's the Greek alphabet on the door to Shockwave's secret chamber.
  • When Optimus opens the door to the secret chamber, one of the panels is seen from Shockwave's perspective. On his heads-up display, "The Transformers Are All Dead" is written (mirrored). This quote comes from the memorable cover of early Marvel issue "The New Order".
  • Dude, Unicron. Does Shockwave know that his use of the Matrix sent some kind of signal to Unicron? The world may never know.
  • The "Wavelengths" page has a letter from the desk of Don Figueroa.
  • The "DW Letters" page which has fans' mail answered by Matt Moylan and a piece of fan art by Minoh Kim.

Covers (2)

  • Cover A: Starscream and Laserbeak monitoring events (left), and
  • Cover B: a video display showing Optimus standing over a defeated Ultra Magnus (right), art on both by Pat Lee. The covers can connect to form a single image. Note: Laserbeak doesn't appear in the issue itself.

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