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Escalation issue 1

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The Transformers: Escalation > Issue # 1
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With Optimus Prime's arrival to Earth, the Decepticons prepare to destabilize Earth as the Machination makes its move.


Synopsis

The Machination team, led by Drake, use a sophisticated VR simulator to train on different scenarios on how to destroy a Transformer. This setup turns out to be in the back of a large camper van parked near Lake Michigan, where the humans are monitoring the lake shore for Autobot activity.

At the bottom of said lake, aboard Ark-19, Ratchet is informing the humans that Prowl has decided to send them back to their normal lives. Hunter and Jimmy express their desire to stay, while Verity shrugs it off, saying that this is just one more rejection in her angst-prone life.

At the Decepticon command bunker in Oregon, Astrotrain briefs Megatron on the potency and proliferation of Ore-13 on Earth. Megatron marvels that it appears to be naturally occurring on this planet, but has suspicions that its existence isn't completely natural.

As the three humans pack up to leave, Jazz's holomatter avatar stops in to say goodbye. He and Ratchet have both grown fond of their human charges, but it is Sunstreaker and Ironhide who are tasked with ferrying the humans back home. Although Ratchet and the humans blame Prowl, it seems the Autobot lieutenant was acting on Optimus Prime's orders. Prime informs Prowl that they aren't the first Transformers to visit Earth; evidence has been uncovered that both Shockwave and Soundwave have been to the planet... but where are they now?

As Ironhide and Sunstreaker surface from the bottom of Lake Michigan, they are picked up by Drake and his team. Other vehicles are deployed by the humans to track the Autobots. Unaware that they are being pursued, Ironhide chides Sunstreaker to drive the speed limit.

In the meantime, Megatron brings his wayward unit to heel and offers to overlook their traitorous actions under Starscream just this once. The Decepticons agree to this reprieve. Megatron then orders Astrotrain to begin Phase Two by activating "the facsimiles."

Outside of Lebanon, Michigan, the humans tailing the Autobots make their move. While Ironhide and Sunstreaker are separated in traffic, Drake's team causes a jam, deploys a smoke screen, then temporarily immobilizes Ironhide while moving in on Sunstreaker with a disabling electrical charge.

Ironhide, with Verity and Jimmy aboard, frantically smashes and weaves through the other cars caught in the jam, but the humans deploy a bazooka. By the time Ironhide catches up with Sunstreaker, the yellow Autobot, with Hunter inside, is nothing more than a burning wreck.

Credits

Writer(s): Simon Furman
Art: E. J. Su
Colors: John Rauch with Zac Atkinson and Aaron Myers
Letters: Chris Mowry
Editor(s): Chris Ryall and Dan Taylor
  • Originally published: November 29, 2006


Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans


Errors

  • While stuck in the traffic jam caused by The Machination, Sunstreaker moves from the rightmost lane of the highway, to one lane to the left when viewed from inside Ironhide.

Items of note

  • Among the reports that Prime monitors in the issue's opening pages are:

Covers (4)

Escalation01B
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  • Cover A: Sunstreaker targeted for destruction; art by E. J. Su
  • Cover B: Ironhide, Jimmy and Verity mourning over the fate of Sunstreaker and Hunter; art by Klaus Scherwinski
  • Cover RI-A: cover A uncolored
  • Cover RI-B: cover B uncolored

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