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Prime and Megatron end their battle, while the Autobots try to save the planet from Starscream's destructive plans.
It is the first arc of the reign of Optimus Prime as leader of the Autobots... and things are not going that well. With plasma pumped from Cybertron's core shot upwards through the city, Iacon disintegrates in flame and molten metal. Both Shockwave and Prowl order their respective armies to evacuate from the carnage.
Optimus, armed with a weapon and advice from Grimlock, hunts Megatron. An attempt at an ambush fails, and Prime has the upper-hand against his rival, powered by a new resolve.
Ironhide, Wheeljack, and Kup fight against the Decepticons, trying to stop Starscream's destruction of the surface. Starscream ignores the combat, too preoccupied savoring the demolition of his rivals. Motormaster tries to get the drop on the Autobots, but Grimlock interrupts. Prime follows after Grimlock.
With the machines overloading and Autobots attacking, Prime orders his soldiers to get clear. He sends a radio message to Wheeljack with the command for Wheeljack to use his make-planetary-turbines-stop-working missile on the planetary turbines. Wheeljack fires the missile and ruins the Decepticons' plans.
The underground Autobots take Megatron's drill-elevator to the surface to reunite with their surviving comrades. With the city gone, the Autobots agree to Prime's plan to leave the planet, but Prime announces that his experiences within Cybertron have convinced him that the planet has a greater purpose that can't be abandoned.
Within the tunnels, Soundwave finds Megatron, who has a few gaps in his memory.
In private, Optimus relates to Grimlock about their battles with their respective dark sides. Prime shows Grimlock a golden disc he received from Gravitas, containing the wisdom of his predecessors, but Prime decides that it's best to toss the disc away, declaring that he would rather choose his own path.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Autobots—Gone! Shockwave—Gone! Iacon—Gone!"
"Starscream, please—listen to me! The mechaforming platform isn't compatible with the energy from the planetary turbines. The system's overloading!"
- —Happy Starscream and scared Scrapper
"You don't understand, Megatron—I'm playing by your rules now! No limits, no consequences, no quarter asked or given. I welcome it, this dark part, the twisted ugly thing within. Whatever it takes...to get the job done"
- —Optimus Prime
"Sixteen cycles of hard graft in advanced nano-mechanics. A sustained cluster of symposiums with the finest techno-theoretical minds on Cybertron...and it all comes down to this!"
"You live, that is all that matters. We survive...to fight another day."
"You see this? It was given to me by Gravitas, just after I became Prime. It contains the combined wisdom of those who came before me. But you know what? I choose my own path!"
- —Optimus Prime, telling Grimlock that he wants to be different
Items of note
- Cameos: Gravitas, Scavenger, Long Haul, Rumble, Hook, Blitzwing, Octane, Diaclone jet-helicopter Triple Changer, Marlboro Wheeljack, Vortex, Bonecrusher, Mixmaster, Skids and Trailbreaker.
- Scavenger has tread-arms. At the same time as this comic was being published, another Scavenger was sporting a similar look as he stomped faces in the Armada universes.
- The unreleased Diaclone triple-changer is visible in the explosions of Iacon.
- Bumblebee is holding a battle mask which, when he puts it on, would make him look more like his toy.
- Optimus Prime's lobotomy of Megatron apparently made Megatron forget why he started the war in the first place (leaving only Starscream knowing close to the whole truth). This lobotomy will last until Wreck-Gar repairs Megatron in Generation One #0.
- Why does Wheeljack have "make-planetary-turbines-stop-working" missiles? Has someone attempted to move Cybertron out of its current orbit before Megatron decided to do so?
- Prime defeating Megatron; art by Don Figueroa, Elaine To and Rob Ruffolo.