|Generation 2 > Issue # 11|
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Starscream tortures Optimus Prime and Megatron while Jhiaxus gets Biblical upon the Earth.
This issue contains a main story, "Dark Shadows!", and a backup story, "Tales of Earth Part Eight".
Starscream has bonded with the Creation Matrix and the Warworld, creating one super-powerful entity — with the intention of conquering the universe. Now possessing the ability to shape and mold the Warworld into anything his twisted imagination desires, he obliterates the attacking Cybertronian Empire craft. Now he intends to make Optimus and Megatron suffer for all the humiliations they've inflicted on him — they face "quite literally ... a whole world of pain!".
On Earth, Jhiaxus finds out the Empire has lost control of the Warworld because one of his subordinates was thick enough to leave Starscream on it. Enraged by this and the inability of his troops to defeat the Autobot-Decepticon forces, he declares he will personally take charge of the situation and kill everyone on the Warworld if it's not returned to him. Rook is smashed aside when he tries to offer input, and realizes that Jhiaxus is increasingly slipping back into the sadistic tyranny of his early days — the existence of the older generations is getting to him. Rook does the only thing he can: he contacts the Liege Maximo.
Megatron and Optimus continue to be tormented by Starscream, with no way to fight back — Optimus can no longer contact the Matrix mentally, thanks to Megatron separating it from him physically. The two leaders are swept towards a plasma energy core, with Megatron saving his old enemy (who is preoccupied with the desire to contact Jhiaxus and make him realize the threat of the Swarm) from death. However, this still leaves them dangling and at risk, and Starscream swiftly impales Megatron. Determined not to lose to Starscream, Megatron throws Optimus toward some cables so they can split up and divide the traitor's attention. Optimus almost doesn't make it, only for a cable to swing towards him; further down, Megatron gives Starscream the worst case of indigestion he ever had.
Admiring his nemesis' direct tactics and desiring for the alliance to be more than one of convenience, Optimus wanders through the unfamiliar corridors of the Warworld, knowing it'll take a miracle for him to get where he wants to go. Meanwhile, Megatron fights on and remains dismissive of Starscream even as he's about to be killed, but the traitor's attention is diverted before he can finish the job: Jhiaxus is leading the Imperial fleet in a coordinated assault! The Warworld is slaughtering wave after wave of Jhiaxus' men, but he just keeps sending fresh waves in...
Optimus reaches the Warworld's control center, bewildered at how the corridors seemed to shift around him as if they wanted him to reach it. Putting that aside, he contacts Jhiaxus to beg for a cease-fire and an alliance against the Swarm. Jhiaxus listens...
- Originally published: September, 1994
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Megatron: You know the Matrix better than any of us. It's been a part of you for as long as I can remember! Can't you... talk to it?
Optimus Prime: As usual, Megatron, you think only in terms of possession, control. The Matrix was never mine to command, not ever.
- See Errors, below.
"Spikes again, Starscream? Is that the limit of your imagination? You control an entire world — try, at least, to be original!"
"Better — uuu! — but hardly original!"
- —Megatron, three panels later, being crushed to death
Imperial: "We're losing a... staggering amount of troops. I believe it would be wise to withdraw the Twilight to a safe position and —"
Jhiaxus: "Is the second legion ready?
Imperial: "Y-Yes, but —"
Jhiaxus: "Send them in!"
- "Liege Maximo" is misspelled "Leige Maximo".
- In the bit of dialogue quoted above, Prime accuses Megatron of thinking in terms of "possession" and "control". This is a gross mis-characterization of what Megatron said, which was actually a quite reasonable request to try diplomacy.
Items of note
- Optimus Prime refers back to the Matrix's previous corruption in Matrix Quest. He does not, however, make the obvious comparison between this situation and Starscream's use of the Underbase (possibly because Megatron wasn't around during the Underbase Saga).
- Rook has known Jhiaxus since before the Empire left Cybertron behind and remembers his early years of butchery.
- After Rook calls the Liege Maximo, he apparently leaves Earth for the Hub, as that's where we see him next issue.
"Tales of Earth Part Eight"
San Francisco is wiped off the face of the Earth in a single, devastating blast. Optimus Prime screams at Jhiaxus to talk to him, that this serves no purpose, before collapsing at the enormity of how many have died because he took the alliance to Earth. At the Nevada basin, the Autobots and Decepticons watch the distant light and mushroom cloud in stunned horror.
On the Twilight, Jhiaxus orders for their guns to be fired again — even if it will kill his own troops on Earth. However, without warning, the Twilight is stopped in its attack by the Warworld. Starscream isn't corrupting the Matrix, it's corrupting him and making him protect all life on Earth. Optimus realizes that the Matrix-influenced Starscream had subconsciously been ensuring Prime survived and reached the control center, and that the Matrix cannot be truly influenced. There is yet hope...
And then it's gone. "The Swarm is here!"
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"No! — no! — no! — no! — NO! Jhiaxus, why? What possible good can this do? I beg you, break off your attack! Talk to me! Oh, Primus, how many lives? ...how many have I killed?"
- —Optimus Prime, witnessing the obliteration of San Francisco.
"What's happening to me, Prime? Help me! I don't want to be good!"
- —Starscream, also whiny.
Items of note
- Very few of the supporting cast appear in either story within this issue. Prime, Megatron, Jhiaxus, and Starscream dominate the issue.
- Grimlock has gained a bandanna from somewhere, and a "BIG GRIM" tattoo on his shoulder.
- War-Starscream-World attacking Megs and Prime by Derek Yaniger
- None yet identified.
- ↑ "Getting Biblical" is like "getting Medieval", but with more fire from Heaven.