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Games of Deception

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Specifics: Diamond edition cover



A crew of Autobots arrive on Earth in pursuit of Bug Bite, who seeks to take control of the Decepticons for his own purposes.

Synopsis

Note: The events of this story follow directly from Crossing Over: Part 6.
Bugbitelikesyou

And YOU, reading this comic! Don't think I don't see you!

Aboard the Autobot battle cruiser Graviton, Ultra Magnus and his crew arrive in Earth orbit, having followed a tip from Weirdwolf's abandoned Nebulan partner, Monzo. The crew assumes Earthen alternate modes and heads to the surface, while Huffer remains on the ship.

On the surface, Dreadwind laments leaving Darkwing behind, being stuck with Bug Bite's crew, and the general state of the universe. Bug Bite is waiting for a contingent of Megatron's forces to arrive.

Much further south, Optimus and Jetfire return to Autobase Prima with the inert form of Rodimus, having barely escaped a Decepticon contingent that included Devastator. Prime orders Barnett's forces to stay away from the Decepticons. Inside, Grimlock makes contact with Springer from Magnus's crew and flies off to meet them. Mirage observes this and follows, invisible.

Starscream, Ramjet and Skywarp arrive to meet Bug Bite. While Starscream discusses Bug Bite's proposal, Dreadwind and Weirdwolf catch wind of Mirage and blast him. Magnus's crew observes this with displeasure from a nearby cliff. Starscream is set to execute Mirage, when Bug Bite blasts him and his crew with modified cerebro-shells, gaining control of them. Bug Bite's control is not perfect, but enough for the job.

The observing Autobots are prepared for this, however, and have a shell-jammer standing by. Bug Bite leads his followers away to meet with Megatron, and Swoop tracks them.

At Decepticon Earth Base, Megatron consults with the captive head of Shockwave about Bug Bite. Bug Bite and company, with Swoop still following, arrive at the base. Elita One arrives and disables Ravage, who is guarding the entrance.

Dreadwindgod

"Well, I don't like you because you're choking me to death."

Formalities are short between Megatron and Bug Bite, as the latter makes his play almost immediately, his troops opening fire on Megatron, Soundwave and the Constructicons, implanting them with cerebro-shells. Megatron, retaining some free ability under Bug Bite's partial control, demands an explanation for his action. Bug Bite explains that he comes from a parallel universe, one of quadrillions that exist, and one that was ravaged by some unknown action in this one. Some few managed to escape, including Bug Bite, who has come for revenge.

Megatron, however, is not so easily controlled; he's immune to the shell's effects. He throttles Bug Bite, who orders his troops to defend him—just as the Autobots jam the cerebro-shells. Decepticon fires on Decepticon, just as the Autobots burst into the room firing. In the chaos, Bug Bite makes a grab for a weapon, but Megatron kills him at point-blank range. Springer destroys the Decepticon computers, and the Autobots rescue Mirage and make a clean escape, leaving Megatron surrounded by lot of wreckage and deactivated Decepticons. He swears lethal vengeance.

Grimlock join Magnus's crew as they head back into space to continue their hunt for Bludgeon.

Featured characters

Diamond Edition

A slightly expanded version of the comic with a different cover was sold through Diamond, making the comic available through standard comic shops. It lacked the convention information, but added in its place:

  • A new interior cover credits page with a CGI render of Thrust by Trent Troop
  • Springer bio (lines by Dan Khanna, colorist unknown)
  • And some ads.

Items of note

  • This issue was available at BotCon 2007 and promoted the various exclusive toys available at the convention. All of them make an appearance except for Alpha Trion and Beta Maxx.
  • The events of this comic take place after the conclusion of the 2007 arc of the Fan Club comic.
  • Despite the effort that Magnus's crew puts into finding "disguises"... none of them are ever shown transforming.
  • Bug Bite's modified shells seem to leave the victim in a normal state most of the time, until he activates a control mechanism. While under the shell's control, Dreadwind continues to moan and complain, Thundercracker is happy to see Skywarp, and Starscream makes threats against Bug Bite.
  • In the dark of Megatron's private chamber are Ratchet's chassis and Galvatron's arm-cannon, both presumably salvaged during the interim between the end of the Marvel Generation One comics events and the Classics storyline.
  • Frenzy (he's blue in this continuity) is present among Megatron's crew.

Errors

Dirge DeathTimelines

Whoever he is, he's dead!

  • The Graviton doesn't look anything like any of the ships from the Decepticon battle fleet it was stolen from.
  • In the second panel of the first page, Springer stands so close to Magnus that Springer's face appears buried in Magnus' arm.
  • On page 5, Starscream momentarily speaks in a different font.
  • Mirage shouldn't have the power of invisibility in this Marvel Comics-based story; that was a power exclusive to the original cartoon.
  • Alex Milne also drew what appears to be the cartoon's Ark. Though the Ark is still smashed up beyond nearly all recognition, Milne's version still appears to use the cartoon's five rear exhaust ports (versus the four the ship had when it crashed) and the cartoon's rounded hull shape (versus box-like). It's been claimed by Pete Sinclair that these attributes are due to coloring or inking errors, and that Milne referenced the crashed Ark in US #79 in his art.
  • A dearth of commas in dialog makes for some bumpy reading. For example, on page 16, Bug Bite says, "Those of us who could fled, some seeking a solution."
  • Not an error per se, but it's possible to mistake Dirge's deactivated form for Ramjet, as the light-on-metal gleam makes it look as much like a white head with a shadowed side, rather than the blue head with a metallic shine that's intended.
  • Strongarm's name is parsed as two words instead of one. Bug Bite has the opposite problem.
  • Rodimus is damaged enough that he needed to be carried back to the base. He was not that badly damaged at the end of Crossing Over. Also we did not see Skywarp taking damage to his nosecone shown here.

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