On a divided Cybertron, the Tagan Heights are home to a battle that signifies the escalation of the war between the divided sides.



Ratbat thinks the Wreckers are a superstitious and cowardly lot.

In the Well of All Sparks, the Fallen reaches into Bludgeon's mind and offers him a glimpse at forbidden secrets, ensuring the loyalty of Bludgeon and his cronies.

Away, in the Tagan Heights, Springer and the Wreckers start a patrol, to keep the area out of the hands of Ratbat's Ultracons. Taking higher ground, he finds that Ratbat has unleashed Devastator.

Hot Spot and the rest of the Protectobots consider their alignment from the base they've made in the ruins of the High Council Pavilions. Hot Spot decides to take action in hopes of preventing Escalation.

Springer orders the Wreckers not to engage Devastator, but the team disobeys the order to give Springer the opportunity to get clear. Springer falls away and ends up suspended upside down in some loose wires, where he's taunted by Ratbat.

Bludgeon considers the tasks the Fallen appointed to him, and he plots to manipulate Grimlock.

Devastator continues to battle the Wreckers, his limited intellect manifesting in the way he rampages without consideration. The Protectobots arrive and combine into Defensor in hopes of quelling the combined Constructicons. The rumbles of their clash allow Springer to fall out of his restraints.

While the situation in the Tagan Heights grows worse, the Autobase is left abandoned, except for a lonely Jetfire.

Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Others


  • "The Dark Ages" is not on the cover under "The War Within", like all the other issues.


I opened a door, into a realm within, a dark forgotten corner of every Transformer. A relic of what we once were.
Serve me well, and next time I will leave the door... ajar.

—The Fallen wants you to read that in a deep Satan-ny voice.

Items of note

  • Cameos: Grimlock (Bludgeon's hologram); Soundwave, Octane, Blast Off (on monitors); Astrotrain, Hardcase, Krok, Horri-Bull (Predacon forces)
  • Springer springs. This ability was mentioned in his on-package bio but has rarely been used in any Transformers media.
  • Ratbat is a talky humanoid. But in "Countdown to Extinction", he's silent. Ratbat would later be seen with an early "even more talky humanoid" form in IDW Publishing's Megatron Origin.
  • Jetfire's new design for the series is based on Don Figueroa's scratch-build custom Transformer, Strikefire. Eventually the design was released as a figure in the Titanium Series.
  • When the Fallen offers Bludgeon a taste of the forgotten realm, several demonic robots are seen (one similar to Unicron), as well as a human skull and swords. This may have given Bludgeon inspiration for his later Pretender shell.
  • The "Wavelengths" section contain an article from the desk of Pat Lee.
  • The "Declarations of War" page has reader mail answered by Matt Moylan.

Covers (1)


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