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|Generation 2 > Issue # 3|
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Prime and the Autobots fight Jhiaxus and his Cybertronians on a planet where an entity draws out their most primal rage. Also, Bludgeon and his Decepticons return.
This issue contains a main story, "Primal Fear!", and a backup story, "Old Evils".
We begin in media res, with Prime and Jhiaxus fighting on an unnamed planet in the K'tord Nebula. Jhiaxus is glorying in the release of combat. Despite the gruesome injuries he is receiving and inflicting, so is Prime.
Overhead, in the Autobot shuttlecraft Darkstar, Hound is the only Transformer still intact; the corpses of Jhiaxus' troops surround him. Hound is desperately trying to reach anyone on the communicator. He begins taking out his frustration on the equipment, but then struggles to regain his calm. He begins recording a message about how Prime's Autobots, fleeing Jhiaxus, tried to hide in the K'tord Nebula, from which many ships never emerge. However, once within the nebula, tempers began to fray among the Autobots, and the Decepticons stopped simply tracking the shuttle, and instead attacked. Hound ends the message by saying it's not an SOS, but a warning that something about this planet causes uncontrolled fear and rage, so anyone listening should stay away.
Below, Grimlock, Kup, and other Autobots are fighting Jhiaxus' troops with vicious intensity. Prime manages to slip away from Jhiaxus for a moment, and begins struggling to find his pacifist core. Jhiaxus, deprived of the distraction of combat, begins suffering flashbacks to the tyrannical sadist he was a long time ago. He realizes that he's losing the icy control he's cultivated for so long. Prime returns, and tells him that only by confronting and facing down the violent savage within, can they truly evolve and become more than just pre-programmed responses. Jhiaxus silently agrees, and as they reject the unreasoning violence, tendrils of black psychic energy flee their bodies. Prime examines the energy, and realizes it is a non-physical living thing that feeds on rage.
Refusing to be manipulated by the shadow-stuff, Prime and Jhiaxus order their troops to stop fighting (having to physically restrain them in some cases). They declare a temporary truce, and Jhiaxus allows the Autobots to leave. On the bridge of his ship, Jhiaxus muses over what the experience on the planet has taught him, while ordering that the infestation be bombed from orbit, so the Cybertronian Empire can colonize the planet safely.
- Originally published: March, 1994
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Jhiaxus: All pretense of bravado is swept away by one last wheezing appeal for mercy! I tell them... I have none!
Optimus Prime: Jhiaxus... you're boring me!
"Let us see, Jhiaxus... Let us see which one of us begs for mercy!"
- —Optimus Prime, scary-ass individual
Grimlock: Me calm, but me still want to fight!
Blades: Yeah, well... even the most advanced races have their evolutionary throwbacks.
Items of note
- While the black psychic gunk bears a cursory resemblance to the Swarm (which features heavily in subsequent issues), it doesn't appear to be related to it.
- When Prime realizes the true nature of the creature attacking them, it coalesces into the form of a large black spider. This, coupled with its ability to feed off the rage of its hosts and its visual portrayal as black liquid, seems to suggest that it is an homage to the famous alien symbiote that was once hosted by Spider-Man, and went on to create Venom, although in the original Spider-Man comics the symbiote did not feed on rage.
Jhiaxus returns to his flagship, the Twilight. He angrily muses about how the "Fear Planet" incident reminds him of when the Decepticons of the Cybertronian Empire were darker and far more violent. He thanks the Maker that there are no such Decepticons now.
Meanwhile, in "another galaxy," just such a group of Decepticons are attacking an alien craft. Bludgeon, in his titanic Warworld battle cruiser, presses the attack against the frog-like space pirates. They fight back, briefly, before the weapons of the Warworld breach their hull, killing the inhabitants, while leaving the ship intact enough to pillage.
After their victory, Bludgeon muses about his next step. He has built an army of Transformer shells, but the only way to grant them life is with Optimus Prime's Creation Matrix. Bludgeon decides the only way to draw Prime away from the safety of Cybertron and the Autobase is to threaten that little planet Prime has protected in the past... Earth.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"How many times have I told you not to rouse me before I'm fully bloated!"
- —Captain Khyogi, who needs his own Rubber Ducky
Stranglehold: They're fighting.
Bludgeon: Good. I like it when they struggle.
- Optimus Prime vs Jhiaxus by Derek Yaniger
- None yet identified.