|Marvel U.S. > Issue # 60|
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|Marvel UK > Issue #252–254|
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Optimus Prime deals with Ratchet's death.
Aboard the Ark, Optimus Prime listens to the computer recite the names of deactivated Autobots, finally breaking down when it reaches the recently lost Ratchet. While Prime laments the loss of another friend and the apparently increasing futility of their struggle, the logical mind of the computer can only point out the mathematically sound principle that Ratchet traded his life for the return of Grimlock, Jazz and Bumblebee. A sullen Prime asks the computer to calculate the most logical course of action to avoid further loss of life in the war. Its response: to stop fighting. This causes concern for the other Autobots, who worry that in his present state, Prime may just do that.
Meanwhile back on Cybertron, the Classic Pretenders lead the Micromaster Rescue Patrol and the Double Targetmasters on a another successful fuel raid. Their rebirth has given a much-needed boost to the Autobot resistance on Cybertron, but the Decepticon threat to Earth and its more abundant resources means they will be soon heading back there. Meanwhile, Decepticon leader Lord Thunderwing is increasingly displeased with the Autobots' growing success and orders Bludgeon, Octopunch and Stranglehold—the Mayhem Attack Squad—to find and kill the Autobot Pretenders.
On the orders of Optimus Prime, the Ark lands on the Moon, and he goes out to brood alone, perhaps forever. As the others discuss options, Hot Rod has already come up with a plan to use a remote-controlled Mark V Guardian drone and pretend it's run amok to convince Optimus to come to rescue them all and snap out of his funk. Unfortunately, fact and fiction blur when the Mark V's flaw of unpredictability manifests, and it really does run amok and attack the Autobots.
Searching through the ruins of Iacon, the Mayhems track the signal from the specially irradiated fuel that Autobots stole to the old Council Chambers, just as the Classic Pretenders and Rescue Patrol prepare to travel via the trans-time dimensional portal to Earth. As Emirate Xaaron wishes Bumblebee well, making the first mention the Pretender has heard of their god Primus in years, the Mayhem Attack Squad burst in and Bludgeon reprograms the controls with his sword, transporting both the attacking Decepticons and Autobots bound for Earth to parts unknown.
On the Moon, Hot Rod's misguided plan actually works as Optimus Prime lays into the Guardian drone, physically tearing it apart, as he realizes that simply giving up dishonors the memories of every fallen Autobot. He vows to continue fighting with all his might.
Elsewhere, the messed-up trans-time dimensional portal deposits the traveling Autobots and their Decepticon attackers in bizarre yet strangely familiar tunnels. Walking towards the light, the Autobots discover themselves face to face with their living god, Primus.
Next issue: The honest-to-gosh origin of the Transformers!
|Writer(s): Simon Furman|
|Pencils: Jose Delbo|
|Inks: Dave Hunt|
|Colors: Nelson Yomtov|
|Letters: Jim Massara|
|Editor(s): Don Daley|
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- The Rescue Patrol's alternate modes are drawn massively out of scale during the initial battle.
- In his first appearance, only Stranglehold's face is flesh-colored; the remaining bare-skinned portions of his Pretender shell are white.
Items of note
- While not seen destroyed "on-screen" by the Underbase-powered Starscream in "Dark Star!", Perceptor and Powerglide are listed in this issue among the deceased, lending weight to the belief that effectively all earlier members of the Autobot forces without organic enhancement were eliminated.
- It has to be said that the foreshadowing on page 14 (repeated mentions of Primus, needing to wake him and meeting their maker) is laid on pretty thick.
- With this issue, Simon Furman begins to bring across an increasing number of Marvel UK-exclusive concepts, such as the updated version of the Mayhem Attack Squad and the Guardian droids, plus characters like Emirate Xaaron and Primus.
- Transformers Universe profiles for Misfire, Pointblank, Slugslinger, and Sureshot are found after the main story.
- Issue #252 back up story is "Edge of Impact".
- Issue #253 back up story is "Shadow of Evil".
- Issue #254 back up story is "White Fire".
- U.S. cover: Bludgeon attacks the Classic Pretenders by Jose Delbo
- UK issue 252 cover: Kup accusing Longtooth of murder (from "Edge of Impact") by Gary Erskine
- UK issue 253 cover: A demonic snake-like Unicron attacks Rodimus Prime (from "Shadow of Evil") by Stephen Baskerville
- UK issue 254 cover: A shadowy Unicron attacks Rodimus Prime (from "White Fire") by Stephen Baskerville
- None yet identified.