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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
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Other Books
and Titles

DREAMWAVE TRANSFORMERS COMIC ISSUE GUIDES

Energon #19-28

|#19|#20|#21|#22|#23|Summer Special|#24|#25|#26|#27|#28|#29|#30|

#19 - "This Evil Reborn"

[cover]
[cover]
Regular Cover: Guido Guidi
Alternate Cover: Pat Lee

Cover Date: January 2004

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Guido Guidi
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: David Cheung
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Ten years after Unicron attacked Cybertron, the planet is seemingly at peace, with most of the Decepticons absorbed into the community. However, Optimus Prime is still not happy, and fears another attack from Unicron. The High Council are sceptical of this. However, Scorponok has under his command a small group of disenchanted Decepticons. They are working for Unicron, whose Quintesson assistant gives them huge power in return for finding him Energon. Prime meets with Over-Run, now a quasi-engineer able to connect with Cybertron itself, who has created the Omnicons. At his advice, Optimus mentally links with the planet, and finds that not only does Unicron still survive, and Megatron is trapped inside him. He realises Unicron is on his way to a rich seam of Energon on Earth.

Notes: Hot Shot has a new body [modelled on his Energon toy]. Prime is answerable to a High Council. Starscream is left for dead by Scorponok's Terrorcons. Thrust and Demolisher are among those blending in with the Autobots since Unicron's initial attack. The Terrorcons are Scorponok, Tidal Wave, Battle Ravage, Cruellock and Divebomb. Megatron was absorbed into Unicron in Armada #18, the same fate awaited Rhinox, Terrorsaur, Airrazor and Cheetor, who are now heralds, sorry, horsemen, for Galactus... damn, sorry, Unicron.

Errors: Where did that High Council come from? A couple of Guidi's notes have been left on page 6.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Thrust, Jetfire, Prowl [first appearance], Inferno [first appearance], Cyclonus, Rodimus [first appearance], Red Alert, Scavenger, Hot Shot, Avalon [first appearance], Battle Ravage [first appearance], Divebomb [first appearance], Tidal Wave, Cruellock [first appearance], Insecticon [first appearance], Starscream, Scorponok [first appearance], Sky Blast [first appearance], Signal Flare [first appearance], Ironhide [first appearance], War, Famine, Pestilence, Death.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Over-Run.

Notable Others: An Alpha-Quintesson, Unicron.

Production Notes: A third version was issued, renamed Energon #1, and exclusive to Wal*Mart stores. This comic, as well as a new cover, also included a poster.

Review: I don't really know what to make of this comic... There's a nice broad canvas laid out, and the continuity carried over from Armada is nice, and leaves some good building blocks. But it's very fractured - there's much too much going on. It's also a little stale - another Optimus vision to back up prophecies of doom, another unwanted Unicron plotline [complete with TF:TM's reformatting visuals], and chunks stolen from Marvel's Galactus books, among other sources. The art's pretty indifferent, while the characterisation and dialogue is often terrible - e.g. the Ironhide sequence, one of Furman's all-time lows. It's going to be a difficult issue to judge, and might be best reflected on after a couple more. There are some elements of promise in here, but it's not a really engrossing read, and the series, on this evidence, could go either way...

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#20 - "What Lies Beneath", Part One

[cover]
Cover: Guido Guidi

Cover Date: February 2004

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Guido Guidi
Inks: Elaine To, Ferd Poblete
Colours: David Cheung, Elliot Kravchik, Jong-Im Lee
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: In Australia, the human company Alterenergy are close to uncovering the Energon seam, but are attacked by the Terrorcons. A kid nicknamed Kicker, son of one Dr. Jones, who owns Alterenergy, escapes on a bike. Jones also employs Rad and Carlos. They recognise the Terrorcons as Transformers, but the Australian air force have already launched a counterstrike. Kicker runs into Alexis, protesting at the site, but both are pounced on by Battle Ravage. Back at Alterenergy mobile command, Rad sets off to find Kicker. The Terrorcons easily beat back the air force. Elsewhere, Alexis and Kicker are able to escape Battle Ravage when she blinds the robot. Carlos then sends a distress signal to Cybertron. There, the council disregard Optimus' warnings about Unicron, but allow him to head to Earth alone to gather evidence of what's happening there. Hotshot, Ironhide, Inferno and Jetfire all offer to join him, but then Cybertron is attacked by Unicron's horsemen.

Notes: Kicker's name is Chad Jones, and he's 16. His dad is Dr. Brian Jones. Carlos is based on the Alterenergy satellite Combat Alpha. This issue takes place ten years, two months, three days and some odd hours and minutes after their last experiences with the Transformers, according to Carlos, who really needs to get a life. The Australian Air Force use F-19 Vipers. Levitacus appears to lead the Council of Elders.

As this is Guidi, there are of course a few in-jokes. The Land Rovers seen on the splash page, and with Alexis' hippy friends, are all based on the original Brawn. Some have claimed Kicker's bike looks like High Wire's alt mode, but I can't see that myself... Surprisingly, he doesn't bother much in the Cybertron shot on the penultimate page, with only a couple of vague stabs at Wheeljack's Cybertronian mode.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Battle Ravage, Cruellock, Divebomb, Scorponok, Insecticon, Tidal Wave, Levitacus, Avalon, Optimus Prime, Inferno, Hot Shot, Jetfire, Ironhide, War, Death, Famine, Pestilence.

Notable Others: Kicker [first appearance], Dr. Jones [first appearance], Rad, Carlos, Alexis.

Review: Pretty awful. In fact, every bit as bad as Rad & co.'s debut in Armada. The plot is non-existent, the same old "evil robots attack humans who are totally defenceless" rubbish which has been a staple of filler Transformers comics for years. Furman seems to be making a stab at pitching Transformers as more political by having the Council sanction Prime, but what he's actually doing is making the story horribly dull. The script is stilted, with some diabolical lines. Furman seems to be half-heartedly sending up the kids, which comes across as silly when 90% of the issue focuses on them. Guidi's art is passable, with the splash page a high point, and some very generic humans the low point. The whole Energon line has yet to grab me [Armada was a slow burner too], but really I'd expect this to be worked around by a good comic. With this, though, you could substitute the Terrorcons for Armada Megs and his gang with few problems. Very disappointing.

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#21 - "What Lies Beneath", Part Two

[cover]
Cover: Guido Guidi

Cover Date: March 2004

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Joe Ng
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: David Cheung & Jong-Im Lee
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: The horsemen do severe damage to Cybertron, with the Autobots unable to stop them. Meanwhile, on Earth, Scorponok plans to take a significant amount of Energon for himself, while Battle Ravage continues his pursuit of Kicker and Alexis. The Omnicons buy the Autobots some time on Cybertron, allowing Optimus Prime to uplink with Cybertron, and receive a full upgrade. After taking a beating, the horsemen withdraw. Having seen this threat, Levitacus authorises Prime's journey to Earth. It may be too late, though, as the Terrorcons have caught Kicker and Alexis, and Scorponok discovers there may be more to Kicker than he thought.

Notes: The horsemen are as follows - War [formerly Rhinox], Death [Airrazor], Famine [Terrorsaur] and Pestilence [Cheetor]. Optimus Prime now has four modules [named as Optimus 1, Optimus 2, Optimus 3 and Optimus 4] which can boost his robot mode.

Optimus Prime's new form is based on the Energon toy. Jetfire also gets an upgrade, to his Energon design. Unseen by us, both Red Alert and Hoist have upgraded to their Armada Powerlinx versions.

Errors: On page 5, Inferno is spelt "Nferno"

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, War, Famine, Pestilence, Death, Ironhide, Inferno, Cruellock, Tidal Wave, Scorponok, Insecticon, Divebomb, Battle Ravage, Jetfire, Strongarm, Sky Blast, Arcee [first appearance], Signal Flare [first appearance], Demolisher, Red Alert, Thrust, Hoist [first appearance], Levitacus.

Notable Others: Kicker, Alexis.

Review: Hmmm. Better than last issue. It's well-scripted, but the problem is we know Prime's due a new body, and the horsemen just feel like a device to get him into his Energon form, rather than a creditable threat. The Terrorcons also suffer from a lack of frame-time, and with the imminent return of Megatron, Scorponok doesn't look like being established as more than a side character. The Omnicons' speech patterns are deeply irritating already, and Ng is a second-rate Pat Lee clone, with the art lacking dynamics and showing some abysmal proportion work.

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#22 - "What Lies Beneath", Part Three

[cover]
Cover: Joe Ng

Cover Date: April 2004

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Guido Guidi
Inks: Rob Armstrong
Colours: David Cheung & Jong-Im Lee
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Scorponok notices that Kicker's body reacts when Energon is nearby, and realises how useful this is. Rad and Carlos observe, unaware the Autobots are due to arrive soon. On his way through the Spacebridge, Optimus seems to receive a message from Megatron. The Terrorcons go to meet the Autobot force, and Rad uses the chance to try and rescue Alexis. However, Battle Ravage stayed behind on guard. Rad gets Carlos to send his skimmer into the Energon tanks, knocking the Decepticon out, and alerting his comrades, who return to their base, having heavily beaten the Autobots. Meanwhile, inside Unicron, Megatron has managed to form a new body for himself.

Notes: Megatron was absorbed into Unicron in Armada #18.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Scorponok, Cruellock, Battle Ravage, Insecticon, Divebomb, Tidal Wave, Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Jetfire, Inferno, Levitacus, Hot Shot.

Notable Others: Kicker, Rad, Carlos, Alexis.

Review: A decent opening to the issue covering what happened to Megatron, but it then slides off the rails, with a tired, undynamic fight scene really putting the final nail in the coffin. Once again, a new set of characters are able to overwhelm the good guys... Battle Ravage versus the humans is also getting hugely tiresome, while the Scorponok/Tidal Wave rivalry seems horribly forced. Not very inspired at all, and Guidi's not been on form since returning for the last issue of Armada.

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#23 - "What Lies Beneath", Part Four

[cover]
Cover: Joe Ng

Cover Date: May 2004

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Joe Ng
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Jong-Im Lee, Stuart Ng, Josh Perez
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: The Terrorcons assault Alterenergy until Kicker relents, and agrees to work with them. Meanwhile, the Autobots meet up with Rad and Alexis. They engage the Terrorcons once again, this time attempting to overload them with Energon. Hot Shot uses the distraction to get past the Terrorcons to where Tidal Wave is guarding Kicker and the Energon. Strongarm and Sky Blast help, and bring Kicker a suit of armour. The Autobots withdraw just as the Energon blows, Kicker having intentionally caused the Terrorcons to tap an impure source. Unicron promptly teleports the Terrorcons away.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Scorponok, Cruellock, Divebomb, Jetfire, Ironhide, Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Inferno, Tidal Wave, Insecticon, Battle Ravage, Arcee, Signal Flare, Strongarm, Sky Blast.

Notable Others: Dr. Jones, Kicker, Rad, Carlos, Alexis.

Review: A very tired conclusion to Energon's first arc. Repetition has been the name of the game for the title so far, and there's more of the same here, combined with the highly implausible arrival of the Omnicons and the cop-out with the Energon and Kicker. Very few saving graces for this one, with some trite dialogue, and utterly abysmal art from Ng - the two-page spread actually induces nausea it's so poorly rendered.

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Summer Special - "Perspective"

[cover]
Cover: Don Figueroa

Cover Date: May 2004

Script:
Simon Furman [based on an idea by Aaron Archer]
Pencils: James Raiz
Inks: Erik Sander
Colours: Elliot Kravchik & Sigmund Torre
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Megatron has returned to lead the Decepticons, and is berating his troops for failing to damage the Omega Supreme prototype in Ocean City. Snow Cat blames the failure on a sub-sea earthquake. Slugslinger, also part of the team, blames his failure on an electrostatic security perimeter. Sharkticon, the third member of the team. He blames a strategic lockdown protocol. Megatron then calls Slugslinger in and promotes him, saying his lies impressed him the most.

Notes: This story takes place outside regular Energon continuity.

Aaron Archer is part of Hasbro's design team for the Energon toyline. Jetstorm, Runway and Sonar are in their Energon forms.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Snow Cat [first appearance], Slugslinger [first appearance], Sharkticon [first appearance], Jetstorm, Runway, Sonar.

Notable Others: Kicker.

Production Notes: The Summer Special also included the Generation One story "Welcome to the Jungle", the Robots in Disguise story "Ultra Magnus... to the Rescue?" and the Beast Wars story "Ain't No Rat".

Review: Inconsequential and slight. It's a pretty silly idea, and feels very kiddy. Setting it in an alternate reality doesn't help either...

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#24 - "Aftershock"

[cover]
Cover: Joe Ng

Cover Date: June 2004

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: James Raiz
Inks: Rob Armstrong
Colours: Jong-Im Lee, Josh Perez, Elliot Kravchik
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Ironhide is overseeing the construction of a planetary shield array for Earth, but keeps getting distracted, and a lecture from Jetfire doesn't help. Later, Ironhide and Cliffjumper are heading across Cybertron's 'badlands' to a Smelting Planet when they're jumped by Tidal Wave. Cliffjumper is knocked out. The Terrorcon was one of those who held Ironhide prisoner, and forced him to make weapons. Tidal Wave bullies the Autobot, reminding him that he used to kill Autobots whenever Ironhide refused to help, and demands he lead the Decepticon to a disused bunker to acquire a Seismic-Shock warhead for Scorponok. Ironhide agrees when Tidal Wave threatens Cliffjumper. Jetfire sets out to find the missing duo, but completely misses the off-line Cliffjumper. Ironhide has taken Tidal Wave to the bunker, and the Terrorcon reveals the warhead will be used to destroy Earth. He threatens to destroy a Mini-Con settlement. Meanwhile, Jetfire finally finds Cliffjumper, and sets off in search of Ironhide. Ironhide himself throws Tidal Wave by arming the warhead and jumping the Terrorcon in the confusion. Tidal Wave uses a portal to escape, and Jetfire arrives. Ironhide watches the warhead disarm itself, having built them with an echo cavity in the first place. Back at Autobase, Jetfire and Rodimus congratulate him for overcoming his demons.

Notes: The Autobots are planning to place a shield array on Earth, with Jetfire acting as a liaison with the various Earth governments. Ironhide was held prisoner by the Decepticons, and specifically Tidal Wave, for "over 50" Megacycles. Once again the Autobots are referred to as a peacekeeping force on Cybertron rather than a race, something which stretches back to the first few issues of Armada. Seismic-Shock warheads are capable of cracking a planet open.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Ironhide, Landmine [first appearance], Jetfire, Rodimus [first appearance], Tidal Wave, Cliffjumper [first appearance].

Review: By far the best issue of Energon to date - though to beat the previous five issues, it doesn't need to be any great shakes. It isn't, but it downscales the cast, giving some fine characterisation to Ironhide and Tidal Wave, and leaving out the interminable gimmicks of the last arc. A good script from Furman which is well-written enough to excuse the obvious conclusion. There's also the massive boon of more cracking pencils from Raiz - surely the only reason he doesn't have a regular Transformers run is due to internal politics?

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#25 - "Omni-Potent"

[cover] [cover]
Cover: Joe Ng
Incentive Cover: Pat Lee
Cover Date: July 2004

Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Joe Ng
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Jong-Im Lee, Josh Perez
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: The Transformer war has well and truly returned to Earth, much to Optimus Prime's dismay. They have established the Ocean City HQ undersea, and he wants to maintain good relations with Earth's governments. The inexperience of the Omnicons isn't helping, and Prime sends them to Yukon with Hot Shot for a training mission. At Base Site One, Kicker is helping Ironhide construct the towers for the shield array when the Omnicons arrive with Hot Shot. Strongarm and Arcee conspire to damage the base unit, causing Hot Shot to loose his temper. The Omnicons head off into the tundra, and Hot Shot and Kicker have to track them down via their Energon traces. The four Omnicons have been knocked out and captured by Snow Cat. The Decepticon is working for Scorponok, planning to plant a virus on the Omnicons that will drain energy from the shield array and feed it to Unicron. The Omnicons link mentally and meet Over-Run in their collective consciousness. They bust out, but Snow Cat flees, leaving them in a booby-trapped town. They head after him with the Energon weapons turned off, knowing the Decepticon can use their armament against them. They check out the battlefield and defeat Snow Cat, delivering him to a surprised Hot Shot. Eight days later, Prime sets off to Cybertron for reinforcements, only to be diverted by Megatron, and finds himself inside Unicron.

Notes: Snow Cat's loyalties lie with Megatron.

The robot glimpsed inside Unicron is clearly based on the original Scourge.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Sky Blast, Landmine, Arcee, Signal Flare, Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Ironhide, Strongarm, Snow Cat, Megatron. Over-Run appears in the Omnicons' shared dream sequence.

Notable Others: Kicker, Unicron.

Review: Another decent enough issue. The script is once again a little on the obvious side, and we don't seem to know them any better after a feature issue than we did beforehand, but against that Snow Cat is great value, and there's a great ending. The best part are the visuals - I don't know what happened to the real Joe Ng this issue, but the visuals are crisp, clear and well proportioned. Best of all, though, is that the snowbound setting really brings out the best in DW colouring team. Another step in the right direction for a title which seemed set to struggle.

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#26 - "Multiplicity", Part One

[cover]
Cover: Joe Ng

Cover Date: August 2004

Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Alex Milne
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Jong-Im Lee, Josh Perez, Sigmund Torre, Yvonne Poon
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: On Cybertron, Prowl and Jetfire discuss Optimus' disappearance in the Spacebridge. They petition the High Council for more resources. Prime is actually inside Unicron. There he converses with the spark of Megatron, which wants to be placed inside the new body it's built. On the shores of the Black Sea, Kicker and the Omnicons have found an underwater Energon source. They're attacked by Mirage, formerly known as Tidal Wave, and Slugslinger while Kicker is underwater, cutting his oxygen supply. In LA, Rad and Alexis are gauging human reaction to the Autobots' role on Earth, which isn't all positive. Alexis isn't so sure the Autobots' motives are benign, causing Rad to storm off. She gets in a taxi for the airport, but Rad catches up to apologise, Just then, thousands of Terrorcons attack Earth, with Prime stuck watching. Rad is also helpless as Alexis' taxi is destroyed.

Notes: Presumably the opening three pages are set before issue #25. Tidal Wave has been rebuilt into Mirage at some point since #24, presumably by Unicron - though he claims to have a new boss. Alpha Quintesson, Unicron's lieutenant is mentioned.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Inferno [flashback], Hot Shot [flashback], Jetfire, Prowl [first appearance], Levitacus, Megatron [spark only], Signal Flare, Arcee, Strongarm, Sky Blast, Mirage [first appearance], Slugslinger. Plus loads of Terrorcon clones.

Notable Others: Kicker, Unicron, Rad, Alexis.

Review: With the main plot kicking back in, the quality slides once again... this is a hugely convoluted read. The first few pages are jarring, and poorly executed - the TV news reader's infodump is downright painful... The scenes on Cybertron are repetitive, and the council's about-face is highly unconvincing. Dropping the Mirage/Tidal Wave thing in just like that makes the reader feel a little lost too... It's a poor script, which masks a solid pencilling debut from Milne.

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#27 - "Multiplicity", Part Two

[cover]
Cover: Alex Milne

Cover Date: September 2004

Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Alex Milne
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Jong-Im Lee, Josh Perez, Sigmund Torre, Yvonne Poon
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Mirage and Slugslinger, on a mission from Unicron's servant, Alpha Quintesson, battle the Omnicons, buying time for Sharkticon to recover Kicker. Meanwhile, Prime watches as Earth is ravaged, weighing whether he can trust Megatron to destroy the Terrorcons as he promises once he's in his new body. In LA, a delighted Rad finds out that Alexis escaped the taxi in the nick of time. On Cybertron, news of the attacks reach the Autobots, and Jetfire mobilises the reinforcements granted by the council. Back in Unicron, Prime has agreed to Megatron's deal, but is immobilised by Unicron's defences. Unknown to anyone, though, Councillor Avalon, one of the high council, is in league with Alpha Quintesson.

Notes: Tidal Wave fell out with Scorponok following the events of #24. As previously mentioned in #19, Thrust and Demolisher work with the Autobots now.

The Street Action Team are in their new Energon scheme.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Mirage, Slugslinger, Sharkticon, Arcee, Sky Blast, Strongarm, Signal Flare, Divebomb, Cruellock, Battle Ravage, Optimus Prime, Megatron [Spark only], Jetfire, Prowl, Landmine, Thrust, Scavenger, Hoist [first appearance], Landquake [first appearance], Bulkhead [first appearance], Quickstrike [first appearance], Red Alert, Cliffjumper, Rodimus, Beachcomber [first appearance], Tow-Line [first appearance], Downshift [first appearance], Grindor, High Wire, Sureshock, Perceptor [first appearance]. Plus loads of Terrorcon clones.

Notable Others: Kicker, Unicron, Rad, Alexis.

Review: A bit better than last issue, but it's still rather fractured. The cop-out from the cliff-hanger concerning Alexis is pure movie serial trash, and the sudden introduction and betrayal of Avalon is very cheap. In addition, the scenes of Prime inside Unicron are highly reminiscent of Optimus and Megatron's battle inside the Starscream/Warworld hybrid from the Generation 2 comic, and some of the dialogue is atrocious. On the plus side, the story is moving in the right direction, Milne continues to provide great visuals, and at least there should be some action next issue.

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#28 - "Multiplicity", Part Three

[cover]
Cover: Alex Milne

Cover Date: October 2004

Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Alex Milne
Inks: Elaine To, Ferd Poblete
Colours: Jong-Im Lee, Josh Perez
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: At Cyber-City's Deltos-Five Energon ore processing plant, currently staffed by Demolisher, all the reactors begin malfunctioning. A ghostly figure emerges from behind the former Decepticon, and attacks him. Earth is still under heavy attack from Terrorcon hoards, though, and the Autobots are barely holding their own. Rad takes Alexis to the Alterenergy plant in El Segundo, where he has something that might help - EVA. Meanwhile, Unicron has sent Scorponok to Base Site 1. Inside Unicron himself, Optimus battles the defences to free Megatron. Elsewhere, Kicker has charged up again, and sets about saving the Omnicons. Hot Shot's team on Earth are about to be overrun, when Megatron arrives... Back on Cybertron, Starscream is back, having somehow charged up his body from Demolisher.

Notes: Thrust usually works at Deltos-Five, but is instead with the Autobots on Earth. Starscream disappeared at an Energon Processing Plant in #19 - though it wasn't named at the time, it could well have been Deltos-Five. His new form is modelled on the Energon Starscream figure. Alterenergy has a US West Coast Division. The Terrorcons have attacked Los Angeles, Toronto, Tokyo and Moscow. Dropshot has been repaired since being sliced in half by Bludgeon in Armada #16 - anyone's guess why though... So Scorponok can kill him in an issue or so? Megatron finally moves into his new body.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Demolisher [drained by Starscream], Starscream, Landquake, Perceptor, Cliffjumper, Bulkhead, Jetfire, Ironhide, Overload, Dropshot, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Strongarm, Mirage, Sky Blast, Slugslinger, Arcee, Signal Flare, Sharkticon, Avalon, Thrust, Hoist, Red Alert, Prowl, Beachcomber, Rodimus, Hot Shot. Plus loads of Terrorcon clones.

Notable Others: Rad, Alexis, Unicron, Kicker, Alpha Quintesson.

Review: We have seven plot threads here - Demolisher/Starscream on Cybertron; Jetfire's team in LA; Rad and Alexis; Base Site 1; Megatron and Prime in Unicron; the Omnicons and Kicker; and the battle in Toronto - spread over 22 pages. That's 3-4 pages a strand, which means by the time Furman's brought us up to speed on each, it's pretty much time to move on... considering the writer has 20+ years' experience [well, okay, he barely worked professionally between killing an alarming number of Marvel titles in succession and getting the TF:WW gig, but...] this is abysmal stuff, especially since Furman spent most of his time working with Transformers UK's precise narrative space. The plot itself isn't especially interesting... We all knew Megatron was coming back, and the cover finally brought the unwanted return of Starscream [I wonder if he'll play sides off against each other? That'd be a big surprise, wouldn't it...?]. With Megatron, the reader's long lost patience waiting for a development that has been hanging there since #22 that they don't really care when it's happened. Rad and Alexis could have been dropped easily, and we all already knew that the Autobots were getting nowhere fast against the Terrorcons... Dull and wildly unfocused.

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#29 - "Multiplicity" Part 4

[cover]
Cover: Alex Milne
Cover Date: November 2004

Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Alex Milne
Inks: Elaine To, Ferd Poblete
Colours: Jon-Im Lee, Josh Perez
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Megatron easily slices his way through the Terrorcon clones over Toronto, before switching to Tokyo and doing the same. In LA, the Autobots' reserves are depleted, by Rad's arrived in the EVA, to try and take Energon to Jetfire's team. Just off Turkey, Kicker revives the Omnicons, and they drive Mirage's squad off. In Tokyo, the remaining Terrorcons withdraw, while Megatron's moved on to Moscow. Rad is able to deliver the Energon to Jetfire, when Megatron arrives. Jetfire attempts to speak to him, and finds that Prime is in Unicron. Meanwhile, Scorponok attacks Base Site One, easily knocking out the Autobots there, only to come up against Megatron.

Notes: Hoist says "I pretty much died myself once" - it's possible, as in the cartoon, that he's Smokescreen in a new body [following the damage he received in from Megatron in Armada #15], something given more weight by the fact Smokescreen himself hasn't been seen in Energon. It would seem the Terrorcon clones lack intelligence. EVA stands for Energon Volant Accumulator. Transformers can 'breathe' Energon.

Errors: Would Overload really leave the Base Site open from above, considering the Terrorcons have shown flight abilities?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Hot Shot, Megatron, Hoist, Beachcomber, Jetfire, Thrust, Prowl, Cliffjumper, Tow-Line, Bulkhead, Perceptor, Sharkticon, Slugslinger, Mirage, , Strongarm, Arcee, Skyblast, Signal Flare, Downshift, Blurr, Inferno, Landquake, Sureshock, Grindor, Highwire, Ironhide, Dropshot, Overload, Scorponok.

Notable Others: Rad, Alexis, Carlos, Kicker.

Review: A rather good action issue. Megatron's actually presented as powerful and vengeful, without being out of his bloody tree. The plot finally starts heading somewhere, and the big fight between Megatron and Scorponok looks interesting. The EVA seems a little pointless, while the sheer lack of fuss at Base Site One is a bit unbelievable, but aside from that it's a well-done, competent installment.

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#30 - "No Exit"

[cover]
Cover: Alex Milne
Cover Date: December 2004

Script:
Simon Furman
Pencils: Marcelo Matere
Inks: Ferd Poblete, Erik Sander, Elaine To, Rob Armstrong
Colours: Jon-Im Lee, Sigmund Torre, Rob Ruffolo
Letters: Ben Lee

Synopsis: Megatron and Scorponok have a brief stand-off, before fighting. Scorponok's hyper-mode seems to give him an edge, but Megatron has a personal teleport system which keeps him ahead of the Terrorcon's attacks. Scorponok is cut off from Alpha Quintesson, while Ironhide has regained consciousness. The Autobot watches on, and tries to think of away to protect the Base Site. Megatron eviscerates Scorponok, but by then Ironhide has a shield up. Megatron tells him he never planned to kill them anyway - they just need to know he's back. On Cybertron, Jetfire reports back to the Council, trying to locate Optimus Prime. Avalon communicates with Alpha Quintesson, who is unable to locate Optimus Prime. The Autobot leader is still inside Unicron, and is ready to fight back.

Notes: Scorponok was one of Megatron's subordinates beforehand - the flashback would seem to be set between the Decepticons harnessing a group of Mini-Cons in Armada #2, and the activation of the beacon by Rad, Carlos and Alexis in Armada #3. Wheeljack was already part of the Decepticons by then.

Errors: Dropshot appears to have reverted to his grey/red scheme as seen in Armada, rather than the blue scheme seen in the past two issues.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Scorponok, Divebomb [flashback], Thundercracker [first appearance, flashback], Skywarp [flashback], Cruellock [flashback], Wheeljack [flashback], Thrust [flashback], Cyclonus [flashback], Megatron, Starscream [flashback], Demolisher [flashback], Terrorsaur [flashback], Ironhide, Overload, Dropshot, Jetfire, Avalon, Optimus Prime.

Notable Others: Alpha Quintesson.

Review: Another splendid, action-orientated issue. The flashback is terrific, especially all the little Armada cameos, and it adds some depth to both Scorponok, and his dynamic with Megatron. The big battle between the two is also superb, emblazoned with some terrific dialogue as Megatron and Scorponok take both physical and mental chunks out of each other. All in all, it's the best Energon issue to date - such a shame it had to end here...

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