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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Balancing Act


Reviewed by Blackjack

Background Information

Right, so before we get down and dirty with the review and the listing of trivia and cameos in this TPB, let good ol' me give a little rundown on the background of this thing, as some background information is needed to understand what I'm going to drone about for the next couple paragraphs. You see, the so-called 'Unicron Trilogy' was never supposed to be a Trilogy in Japan. The TV series Armada and Energon (Micron Legend and Superlink respectively in Japan) were created to be continuous, and the stories do fall in smoothly. Well, as smoothly as any transformer series could be, anyway. So Hasbro imported Armada and Energon with less-than-impressive dubbing and, in the case of Energon, horrendous editing.

Skip forwards a year or two after Energon finished, and Japan created a new Transformers series, Galaxy Force. It was supposed to be a fresh reboot, like Armada or Robots in Disguise, with the transformers arriving on Earth for the first time and blah blah blah. But for some reason unfathomable to us, Hasbro imported Galaxy Force as Cybertron, sequel of Energon. Now, as a series in itself, I watched Cybertron from start to finish, bar a few odd episodes I skipped. It was a good show. Not as good as Beast Wars, Beast Machines or even G1, but the dubbing and dialogue was excellent, although they did make too much use of stock footage and plot rehashing, and there's a massive pacing problem.

But Cybertron makes no sense whatsoever when viewed as a sequel of Energon. In Energon and even Armada, Earth was practically torn apart by the transformers' battles, and the transformers made all these cities with unimaginative names all around earth. What, 'Ocean City', 'Mars City' and all that. Plus, the Autobots had human allies on Earth. Not so in the Cybertron series... the humans didn't know what the hell is a Transformer, and it was as if the two species first met (as it is supposed to be in Galaxy Force). To make matters worse, guys like Optimus Prime say that they never knew about combination, although Optimus Prime combined with Jetfire as early as Armada, and practically everyone was doing it in Energon. Stuff like that. Also, Megatron and Starscream are back without explanation. Pathetic attempts made to try and gel Energon and Cybertron together extend to short dialogue references like 'oh, it's the armour of Unicron!'

So that gives us a continuity headache. Heh, just like almost any other Transformer series. Only worse.

Now let's rewind a few years back, onto the time where Armada and the first Universe line ran simultaneously. 3H productions created an unfinished Universe comic which worked on post-BM stories with all the Unicron and multiverse stuff, a rather fun attempt to cause G1, Beast Wars, Beast Machines, Armada, RiD and a new toyline to gel together in a DC-styled multiverse. Optimus Primal was resurrected and he gathered several other heroes from other timelines to fight off the multiversal evil of Unicron's heralds. This was supposed to tie in with Primeval Dawn (a BW story) and a Wreckers comic they had out. In any case, they went bankrupt or some such, and the license for convention comics was taken by Fun Publications, who made an attempt to tie up these loose ends before starting off their own comic series.

So basically Balancing Act is just that. An attempt to retcon Energon with Cybertron, as well as the unfinished Universe comics. Also, there's the need to introdump a couple of new convention-exclusive toys. Oh, and it's something like a fanfic.

This could only end well.

Review


You are blinded, old fool! This dimension is dead! Nothing you can do will stop it!

My head hurts. So the massive retcon answer to the continuity errors is 'Primus is a constant all the multiverse, and Unicron is able to travel through the multiverse. With Unicron's death in the Energon series, it creates a singularity which upsets the multiverse and causes the glitches and memory problems in Cybertron.

Of course, this raises a lot of questions and more continuity errors. What about Armada, or the G1 comics and cartoon, where Unicron 'died' as well? How come the multiverse didn't implode then? What about G1 comics, where Furman killed off Primus? The multiverse didn't collapse as well then. Regardless, at least it's an attempt to reconcile stories and continuities. At the very least effort was made to explain it (although, to be honest, this is just about the same as 'look, it's magic!').

So let's say that the Unicron Singularity was formed when Unicron died in... well, let's say everywhere/everywhen. And then the Singularity caused every imaginable minor and major technical and continuity glitches throughout the multiverse. But still, once you get over how...odd and nonsensical the Primus-Unicron-multiverse solution is, the story's a nice read. Instead of going 'let's put in everyone from old toylines and mash them up with new toyz thats gonna be awsum ZOMG', like 3H's Wreckers comics, Balancing Act uses a rather small cast, and instead of going all nuclear and fanwanky, it starts off with a simple enough plot after the initial infodumps.

The multiverse is collapsing, and the conflict's centered in the Cybertron dimension. Vector Prime gathers a ragtag force of Autobots while facing a multitude of threats brought into life by the Unicron Singularity. Meanwhile, new-toy-of-the-week Skyfall, not understanding jack shit, finds himself immersed in the conflict. The first Balancing Act parts are simply charming, and both Vector Prime and Ramjet are decent characters who are fun to have around. Ramjet, especially... he's just a nut! Despite not expecting it to come across as good (it's part fanfic, after all), it does have a charm, and makes sense... sort of... after a few re-readings. Certainly it's got more sense than AHM, and much cheaper to boot.

The supporting cast isn't that bad either. Skyfall is all for aimless drifting and side-searching, while understanding about his powers and searching for his mysterious origin, nicely creating up a characterization for future stories. Nemesis Prime and Sentinel Maximus both don't get much characterization than 'BEAT TEH OTHERS UP', and keeps asking stuff to Vector Prime and Ramjet, prompting them to introdump to the audience. Downshift and Safeguard, in their limited roles, prove to be fun sidekicks to the good guys. Meanwhile, Fire Convoy (RiD Optimus Prime -- I'm calling him that in this review to avoid confusion) and Ultra Magnus appear halfway through the comic, and I must say they're quite banal. This fact is made worse by the fact that the excellently-characterized Vector Prime disappears soon after their debut. Meanwhile, later additions into the story include an Over-Run, GEEWUN-ized Cybertron Soundwave and Unicron. All of them are what you would expect from them.

The story's divided into little bits, which flow rather smoothly. The first half of the book has the five-parter Balancing Act, while the second half is the six-parter Revelations. Dan Khanna's art is okay, and the pacing is not bad for the Balancing Act five-parters. The dialogue is not as simplistic as some modern comics, though (well, some). However, once Ramjet and Vector Prime disappears from the scene, about until Revelations part four, it all goes downhill.

Unicron's debut, while not spectacular, is serviceable, although there's a little logic hole (see goofs). But tossing the characters into the Minicon uprising is a wrong move. Without explaining what the hell is going on (much of the backstory is gathered from tech specs), the fights with the Minicons are rather dull and boring. Now if only they added some Minicons that the readers would actually knew who they are. I mean, for me it comes to a grand total of Perceptor and those whose names were given. If they had used those guys from Armada, like, say, Leader One or Swindle, it might've been interesting, and a nice closure to the begone Armada/Energon comic. But as it is, the final quarter of the story is downhill.

Sadly, these story arcs and some of Fun Publications stuff had resulted in the whole 'Unicron, Primus and the 13 are multiversal singularities', leading into some people claiming that the Fallen from ROTF and Dreamwave are one and the same. It's... best not to think about it.

Overall, though, it's a nice (if headache-inducing) read once you know what's going on, but my opinion on it is similar to the quote gleaned from Ramjet above. The Energon/Cybertron mistakes and indeed the whole multiverse thing is best left dead, and no amount of fanwank can cause all those stories to mesh back together. Still, at least they made an effort to create a plausible explanation-- 'Unicron Singularity did it', instead of what IDW is doing: retconning and rebooting every single mistake which would result in yet another mistake. Granted, blaming everything on a multiversal entity is not the best solution ever and certainly not original, but a solution nevertheless. However, in retrospect, this could've been done much effectively. For example; dropping the entire Minicon uprising entirely, and blatantly telling that the Unicron Singularity causes timestream fluctuations between Energon and Cybertron instead of being vague. Also, in my opinion Fire Convoy and Ultra Magnus should've stayed on the sidelines. After all, with all that character work done on Vector Prime, to have him teleported to earth out of the blue is just... stupid.

Still, it's not as bad as some of the trash they give out today, though.

Introdumps

Damn... where do I begin? Instead of clogging up the notes section, I'll just do an introdump section to list all the expository stuff done by Vector Prime and Ramjet.

To cement the gap between Energon and Cybertron: during the final battle between Vector Prime and Ramjet, the latter says that Primus' attempts and burning Unicron in a newborn star (at the end of Energon) caused the grand black hole, which ties to the opening dialogue of Cybertron, where the Autobots claimed that the black hole was created due to a battle with Unicron. Ramjet goes so far as commenting that a half-dozen planets died for Primus' mistake. And the memory gaps? Blame it on the Unicron Singularity. Anything else? Earth cities, people forgetting that transformers were on Earth in the past? It's that whole scary space-time thing that we mere three-dimensional beings cannot digest. (It's what one of those Hasbro guys said when asked about the topic.)

All of the original Thirteen are the first transformers created by Primus, each designated a Prime and a function. Most of them have abandoned their functions, but Vector Prime remained, his task to preserve space-time and the stability of the timestream. Like Primus and Unicron, the Thirteen are a multiversal singularity, meaning there is only one of them in the multiverse. Sort of.

Vector Prime can travel through the multiverse, it seems.

Unicron had always been bound to a physical body (presumably this stems from Marvel's origin of Primus and Unicron) and can only destroy one reality at a time. Unicron's very existence 'wreaks damage on the fabric of space-time, creating entropic eddies and quantum shockwaves capable of erasing entire galaxies from existence.' Later on in future instalments, it is revealed that Unicron's awakening had destroyed the GoBot universe. However, Cybertron is the 'stable axis of the multiverse', a 'multiplicity existing concurrently across the infinite universes'. If all the Cybertrons/Primuses are destroyed, reality crumbles. Unicron can't destroy all of the Cybertrons in the multiverse. The black hole causes realities to 'bleed' and mix with each other.

Ramjet wants to use the Dead Matrix to kill Cybertron's Primus and feed him to the black hole, causing the Unicron Singularity to replicate itself through the multiverse, consuming every Cybertron until it becomes the axis of the multiverse. Technically, it's a bit... weird, although Ramjet's insane, so what can we say?

The action of Octopunch awakening Primus in Marvel Comics had awoken Unicron, not in just the Marvel G1 universe, but enables Unicron to move through every other universes in the multiverse. Either that or awaken all the Unicrons in the other universes. (whichever fits your bill. After this issue it won't matter) So Octopunch caused all the continuity headaches. Death to him!

Primus imprisoning Unicron in an energon sun (at the end of the Energon series) backfired, destroying Unicron's physical body and creating him into a Black Hole, a.k.a Unicron Singularity. The Singularity's effect causes Cybertron to be placed in danger (in the Cybertron series) whilst causing realities to bleed into each other.

Herald of Unicron Ramjet had been imprisoned alongside four Minicons (Thunderclash, Thunderwing, Gunbarrel and Terradive -- presumably different guys from the ones in Armada). According to his bio, Ramjet spent years being disassembled and reassembled by the 'other gods' during his stay in the 'dimension between the dimensions' which accounts for his antimatter powers. He was released by the funky chaotic stuff from the Unicron Singularity. He can kill normal mechs with a single touch after his mutation in his extradimensional prison. That's right, Furman. Someone else thought of the 'death touch' before you did.

Vector Sigma and Alpha Trion exists in the Cybertron universe. It would be retconned that there is a Vector Sigma 'node' in every continuity.

While not explicitly stated, dialogue implies that the black hole also rewrites some parts of Energon. Either that or the humans forgot.

'Space-time distortions' are caused by the singularity, and Alpha Trion had been able to capture some of the distorted transformers, including Sentinel Maximus, last seen in the Wreckers comic series where Primus called him away.

Also, Ramjet claims that order without chaos cannot hold, and the multiverse would collapse without Unicron. But his position when saying so (trying to recruit Vector Prime) makes the claim a little dubious, so it should be taken with a grain of salt.

We get a glimpse of 3H's Universe comics' ending. Optimus Primal and his Autobots attack Unicron in the Pit when suddenly Unicron disappeared, possibly because of his death in the Cybertron universe. The Autobots hastily escape through a warp tunnel thing, while the heralds (Obsidian, Tarantulas et al) died. While Omega Prime expected to arrive on the BM universe, they ended up on the Cybertron universe. Of course, this suggests that the deaths of Unicron (in Energon, G1 comics and the G1 cartoon) all happened simultaneously, causing all other instances of Unicron to disappear and form the Unicron Singularity in the Cybertron Universe. Also, this suggests that 3H's Universe cast might reappear in future installments of Fun Publications comics as dimension hoppers.

Omega Prime was last seen appearing from a portal in Universe #3.

Also, we get an unexpected flashback to the truncated Dreamwave's Energon comic, where Over-run, connected to Cybertron, was killed by Starscream. However, this causes the Minicon to be uploaded into Cybertron's system and became one with Vector Sigma.

All the continuity problems in this book and every other continuities are considered null and void. The Unicron Singularity caused them. It's the cause (and the solution) for all our continuity headaches. End of story.

Notes

Vector Prime uses some scenes to summarize the chaos in the timestream, namely:
  • Vector Prime among the silhouettes of the Thirteen.
  • Vector Prime meeting the ancient protohuman which holds Dinobot's club from Beast Wars.
  • Unicron crushing a blue planet that bears a lot of similarity to Earth. He can hold the planet in his hand. So much for scale.
  • Autobots rallying while Vector Prime goes off into deep space. There's a cameo from that generic 'Big Red Autobot' from the Cybertron scene in Marvel comics' first issue.
  • Optimus Prime opening his Matrix to combat the Hate Plague, from G1 cartoon episode 'The Return of Optimus Prime Part Two'.
  • Buster Witwicky witnessing Shockwave talking to Optimus Prime's head, G1 Marvel #5. However, see goofs.
  • BW Megatron blowing up G1 Optimus Prime's head, BW cartoon, 'The Agenda Part 3'. Apparently Vector Prime helped to heal Optimus Prime to avoid the timestream going into collapse.
  • Stranglehold and the Primal Scream, from the Marvel issue of the same title. #60 I believe.
  • Vector Prime failing to prevent a planet from being destroyed by the 'ripples' caused by Unicron.
  • Unicron in his Armada body being destroyed and turned into a black hole, presumably from either Armada or Energon. I haven't watched the series personally, so I can't be sure.
One of the Thirteen looks like The Fallen, except that he's not ON FIRE.

Unlike the cartoon, (and like the comic) the Minicons can speak properly instead of bleeping and blooping. Safeguard also carries two adorable little lightsabers.

The scenes that happen in 'Balancing Act' and the first half of 'Revelations' happen on an evacuated Cybertron, while the Autobots are searching for the Cyber Keys. From the dialogue exchange between Vector and Alpha Trion, it was revealed that the Autobots have located one of the planet keys, giving us a vague timeline that it was about the time when they discovered the Speed Planet Key. The second half of 'Revelations' happens concurrent to the Cybertron episode where Primus transforms.

Maccadam's Old Oil House makes an appearance, as does Iacon, although both have been abandoned in the rush to evacuate Cybertron. Pink energon cubes also make a cameo in the Iacon scene. Kalis is yet another call-back to G1 Cybertron locations. Appropriately, Kalis is yet again attacked by zombies, like G1. (In this case Dark Scorponok).

Vector Sigma is described by Over-Run as a 'node'. This means that there might be other Vector Sigmas throughout Cybertron, or he's talking of all the Vector Sigmas throughout the multiverse.

The redshirt Jackhammer is blatantly based on G1 Frenzy/Rumble, although with piledrivers attached to his shoulders a la Alternators Rumble. The back-mounted gun is also MASSIVE. To make sure that he's a new character, he's both red and blue. Take that, FIRRIB and FIBRIR! Also, the name Jackhammer was used on an equally unlucky mutant from Marvel UK comics. His partner, Crush Groove, is a rather generic Decepticon, but from the kibble it's obvious he's a tankformer of sorts.

History time. Apparently Sentinel Maximus is the reincarnated form of Wreckers characters Apelinq and Primal Prime, Apelinq being reincarnated as the little cab in Sentinel Maximus' toy. Their combination into Sentinel Maximus was slated to take place in either issue four or five of the Wreckers series, which, like the Universe series, was truncated halfway. Fun Publications would much later release the conclusion as a text story, giving Sentinel Maximus an origin. His toy was named Hyperlinq for trademark reasons, though. While his backstory is thankfully not explored in this book (which is a smart move considering how many introdumps is in here), Sentinel Maximus displays Apelinq's ability to 'download' stuff from cyberspace, including his mace weapons seen in the Universe toy and random holo-jets. Also, while Sentinel Maximus looks all awesome and everything, the poor guy simply can't win a battle. Amusingly enough, his role extends to filling battle scenes and being beaten up by Ramjet, Scorponok, Unicron, Nemesis Prime, and even the Umbral Blaster Minicons. He would be a new Waspinator if only he got blown up more spectacularly.

Skyfall, hailing from Velocitron, is able to create an energon gun, as well as create energon-based forcefield/barrier thingies. His forcefields are quite strong, able to withstand a pummeling from Scorponok as well as the unleashed power from Vector Prime's Cyber Key. Ramjet's 'death-touch' thing blows it up, though. Landquake, meanwhile, is able to handle raw energon, and able to do 'energy to matter' stuff, although we didn't see much of what he did. Both Skyfall and Landquake are found in inscriptions of a very old age. Ooh, foreshadowing... in the real-world sense, this was a foreshadowing to the release of a gestalt toy, with Skyfall and Landquake each as one of the gestalt (much much later revealed to be named Nexus Prime) limbs. The gestalt is apparently one of the Thirteen, which explains, sort of, why Vector Prime is so protective of Skyfall and Ramjet recognizes him. Why can't they remember their origins? Meh, since the Unicron Singularity is apparently powerful enough to make the human race forget about the transformers (or vice versa), erasing a few memories should be child's play.

Nemesis Prime is a herald cloned from the Optimus Prime of a universe consumed by Unicron, and he carries the Dead Matrix, who could do to Primus what the Creation Matrix did to Unicron. How did he get the Dead Matrix? Don't ask Hey, they didn't explain how Optimus got the Creation Matrix in TFTM, no? Nemesis Prime is able to use blood-red energon pick-axes, as well as the massive gun. Sadly, he doesn't transform into his undead mammoth mode in this story.

Ramjet is so hardcore that he is surrounded by a purple aura that kills any normal transformer who touches him. Also, as the story progresses, his face becomes more demonic, more molten and more dark tendril-thingies appear. His mental state deteriorates as well. His speech bubbles are also black with jagged white borders and white text. His forces consist of Nemesis Prime, his four Minicons and a group of brainwashed Scrapmetal cannon fodders. Ramjet's wing-sword is able to change into a lightsaber just like Armada Starscream, from which he was repainted from.

Sentinel Maximus quotes Optimus Primal's catchphrase: "Well, that's just Prime!" at least twice.

That guy? Yeah, the one who says 'I got a splinter'? Who gets blown away as Ramjet flies out of the lower levels? She's called Quickslinger, a quasi-official female repaint of Cybertron Ransack. Some kind of fancharacter or something.

The funky dead universe powers revived Energon Scorponok in the colours of Cybertron's then newly-released Dark Scorponok toy. While he's not named in the story per se, it's a safe bet on who he is. Unless he's Blackzarak instead of Dark Scorponok. Anyway, Scorpy needs to feed on sparks in order to survive, a literal zombie, with a hunger for sparks instead of brains. Ramjet remarked in passing that anyone who Scorpy kills will become a zombie too. Safeguard and Vector Prime, meanwhile, claims that they have met zombies before. Might be a reference to those zombies from Marvel's City of Fear comics, although the zombies there were less... hungry. Scorponok's death happens both in the comic and the cartoon, so it works both ways.

Downshift makes his appearance first in his Energon body. After being seriously damaged by Nemesis Prime, the repair drones said that the damage was irreparable and a reformat was essential. Next time we saw him was after the few-weeks jump, and he is now in his Cybertron/Universe body. Sadly for a fanwank comic, no one commented on how much he looks like Wheeljack.

Over-Run being killed by Starscream takes part seemingly in the truncated Dreamwave Armada/Energon comic, where Over-Run was halfway in communicating with the planet. In the one-panel flashback, it showed him inside that pyramid-thing being stabbed by Starscream. He is now in Cybertron's computer systems and has no physical body. Of course, this is supposed to be in the cartoon continuity. But hey, with the singularities, it could be safe to say that the two continuities have been placed in the blender. Bottom line is, I'm past caring to sort this out. Blame it all on the Unicron Singularity.

Also, other than Downshift, Over-Run and Scorponok, Perceptor also makes a return from the Energon series.

Fire Convoy and Ultra Magnus arrived in the Cybertron universe after participating in a battle led by Optimus Primal (BW) against Unicron's heralds, presumably at the end of 3H Productions' Universe storyline. Fire Convoy and Ultra Magnus' Matrixes surged and they landed on the Cybertron universe instead. Over-Run claims it's his fault, sort of. It is implied that he tinkered around with Vector Sigma when he realised Nemesis was about to kill Primus, but it's never stated outright. The RiD duo’s inclusions seemed to appear from the CostCo exclusive repaint of the RiD toys. While the toys were supposed to be Unicron Trilogy reincarnations of the duo, Balancing Act uses the more recognizable RiD guys. For some reason they're still in their proper RiD colours, so it doesn't exactly promote the toys. But WHAT THE HELL, man.

Many Universe toys and characters from that line appear in the two-panel flashback. So many. At least ID-ing them are easier than Minicons. So apparently they fought the heralds at a place called 'the Pit', when Unicron disappeared, possibly because of his death throughout the multiverse. So they all tried to escape through a warp gate of sorts while Unicron's heralds like Nemesis Strika and Obsidian (and what might be Tarantulas' hand) tumbled to their death in some black liquid. Cheetor is in his ‘Night Slash’ body, complete with black paintjob and swords, while Sideswipe and Sunstreaker have been turned back into their G1 bodies instead of the Universe toys. The rest (Silverbolt, King Atlas, Optimus Primal, Rhinox) are how they looked like in the Universe comics. Repugnus and Fireflight are the Universe dudes instead of the G1 guys. Due to the art, it's hard to tell whether it's Roulette or Shadow Striker. Since she's being saved by the good guys, I'm betting on Roulette. I have no idea whether it's Ramulus or Longorn, though. Also, BW Rhinox is beating up Universe Tankor. This is awesome.

The drone repairing Downshift seems to be based on the repair drone on G1 Optimus Prime's trailer.

Statues of G1 Jetfire and G1 Grimlock adorn the hall where Fire Convoy stashes the Dead Matrix. Since this is the Armada/Cybertron universe, it's probably just an Easter Egg.

Soundwave speaks in G1-esque manner, with short sentences and whatnot. In the cartoon he's supposed to talk like a DJ. Fun Publications would later publish a bio that said the G1-esque manner is his ‘business voice’, while the DJ-voice he employs in the TV show is to gain social respect. Uh-huh. Oh, and Soundwave is confirmed to be a herald of Unicron after dropping some hints about it in the cartoon.

Laserbeak being able to sneak into seemingly highest-secret Autobot places is very reminiscent of G1 cartoon plots where Laserbeak would simply swoop into Autobot bases to gather information. Only, in here, Laserbeak steals a Matrix. Considering these Autobots are unable to tell when a mammoth and a half-melted death-monster had entered Vector Sigma, I don't think it's a goof.

The Yst-ians in the planet that Unicron destroys are a homage to Cardassians from Star Trek. Or so I've been told. There's nothing to say how long it takes between Unicron's arrival on Yst and its destruction, but given the cartoon's approximate timeframe, it could take about a week or so. Unicron’s essence (a ball of black green stuff... a spark analog?) was released from the Singularity, infects Yst and makes everyone there go bad and crazy and stuff, before being reborn in his Cybertron deluxe tank body. See goofs for the massive plot hole.

Vector Prime is 25 million years old, while the painting of Skyfall and Landquake is 20 million years old.

The Mini-Con civil war (or uprising) has only been mentioned in bios for the Cybertron series Minicons, as well as Fun publication bios. Until now. It's a little daft, as Anti-Blaze, Schyte, Checkpoint and Perceptor are about the only 'good' Minicons left, so to speak. Landquake and Ramjet (the Minicon) had gathered a whole swarm of Minicons (basically nearly every Minicon toy in the Cybertron toyline not used so far) and supplied them with energon weapons. Also, the Destruction team repaints (Monocle, Ascentor and Landslide), while Autobot-allied in the toyline, are seen amongst the bad guys. Whether this is an intentional error to bulk up the Decepticons’ side or simply a goof remains to be seen. The good guys said that if Megatron gets his hands on the Minicons, he would have more power than the Cyber Planet Keys.

Leader-1 and Wind Sheer from the Armada toyline could be glimpsed among the Mini-Cons. Wind Sheer is believable, but Leader-1 willingly tossing his lot with the Decepticons seem... unlikely. Regardless, we saw 'Leader-1' from the back and it's not drawn clearly, so...

Numerous generics are glimpsed among the Mini-Con battle, including generic Energon Skyblast-bodyforms which get slagged in every panel they appear in.

The Umbral Blaster seems grossly overpowered, able to take down Sentinel Maximus for a moment (although, he is Maximus...) as well as blow up a massive explosion which nearly killed Skyfall and Landquake.

It’s hard to say, but I think it’s safe to assume all the Minicons bar the good guys died in the battle. I mean, the Autobots kill lots of them, Unicron killed lots of them… So I’m assuming all of them died, to prevent headaches. Yay.

Primus' transformation occurs in the episode 'Cybertron'. As Soundwave makes his cartoon debut after that episode, it's safe to assume he survives.

Vector Prime's death, which happened in the episode 'Guardian' in order to make a pathway between Gigantion and Cybertron, is mentioned briefly when Fire Convoy's team meets up with Cybertron Optimus Prime. At the end of the story, Alpha Trion is repaired, and Fire Convoy’s team meets up with most of the main cast from Cybertron cartoon (Optimus Prime, Jetfire, Override, Scattorshot, Hot Shot, Red Alert and the humans). Fire Convoy and co wants to hunt down Unicron, while Alpha Trion and Over-Run promises Anti-Blaze aid in hunting down the remaining Mini-Con insurgents.

Skyfall and Landquake got themselves teleported into the Classics Universe, a parallel G1 comic Universe where Generation Two does not take place.

Goofs

Revelations Parts two through six weren't given their titles on the TPB. It took me a while to sort things out.

In the Marvel issue, Buster Witwicky didn't see Shockwave talking to Optimus Prime, as far as I recall. Could be wrong, though, but I remembered the scene being: Buster stepping into the room, seeing Optimus' head and shouting his name, all dramatic-like. Again, it's a possible alternate...

During the flashback to the Primal Scream thing, Primus is somewhat like a ball of energy, from which his face appeared instead of a massive face on the wall. But it's a possible alternate, so...

The amount of how 'melted' and plagued Ramjet's body is varies from panel to panel. At times he has some vine-like green/black tendrils, at times parts of him are molten and at times he has bulbous pores, although he's always melting and the tendrils are always there. Also, at several points (more noticeably when he was confronting Skyfall) Ramjet is holding his wing-sword while all his wings are intact.

So Vector Sigma, the all-important chamber with the MacGuffin inside doesn't have a decent alarm system? Vector Prime and the others must be blind as well as they didn't notice Ramjet and his pals come until they fired on Sentinel Maximus.

Skyfall is an Autobot, as he has an Autobot insignia. However, he is tempted by the words of a half-melted guy with Decepticon insignias on his wings. Must be that Aerialbot-trusts-Seeker syndrome.

For that matter, why is Ramjet wearing Decepticon symbols?

When both Skyfall and Ramjet shouts 'Stay where you are!', the shared speech bubble is in Ramjet's black format, so it seems for that one moment Skyfall's talking in Ramjet's voice.

In the cartoon, Vector Prime's Cyber Key creates a massive forcefield, yet in here it's a beam of light which blasts Ramjet (and causes him to be even more melted). Oh, and Vector Prime can slow time. Why didn't he use that power?

So... all the Autobots forgot what happened in Armada and Energon. Why didn't Downshift? He was in Energon, you know.

'Boot of Justice'? Come on! What kind of an attack name is that?

Fire Convoy, Ultra Magnus and Sentinel Maximus throws Nemesis Prime's body in an energon damping cell. I mean, come on.

Downshift was merely stabbed through the chest and still able to carry Skyfall and joke around, but the damage was 'irreparable' and he needed a reformat. In the same vein, Skyfall was caught in an explosion of devastating proportions (funky death-bringing Ramjet's energies, Vector Prime's Cyber Key attack and his own energon force field) and was knocked unconscious, yet he doesn't need one. New toys, see.

So after all those monologuing about how big of a chance of destroying Primus and the multiverse by not being bound in a physical body, Unicron is happy to be placed in a small non-planet body. So either Unicron and Soundwave are loony, or Ramjet is.

The Primus-Unicron-in-every-continuity stuff is a bit... shallow. What about the G1 cartoon, where Primus doesn't exist and Unicron was created by a monkey? What about the RiD continuity, the Movieverse continuity, the Animated continuity or the modern IDW continuity? No Primus and Unicron in those, so the explanation doesn't hold there. Blame it all on the Unicron singularity again, folks!

Not so much as a goof but just an oddity. Ramjet was just a herald of Unicron, yet his speech bubbles are 'decayed' and are in black. Yet Unicron, the Chaos Bringer himself has speech bubbles which are the same with the others. Apparently Ramjet has a more awesome and hardcore voice than Unicron.

Safeguard is miscoloured pink when Vector Prime was transported to Earth. The humans' hair colours are fudged up really badly in that panel too. Lori's supposed to have black hair, yet she's blonde. Bud is supposed to have blonde hair, but he has brown hair. (He also has what looked like glasses on that scene). Coby, meanwhile, trades his orange-ish hair for blonde.

In the flashbacks, Rhinox is probably miscoloured as gray, but the lighting makes it hard to tell. It does look like he's coloured gray, though.

Over-Run is a wrong shade of green in the flashback. As with other hyphenated transformers names, Over-Run is misspelt Overrun repeatedly throughout the scenes during the Mini-Con Civil War.

Soundwave's floating on the 'event horizon' of the black hole. By the laws of Physics, technically he should be sucked in. Perhaps Unicron could sense his herald's presence?

Oh, I can't say for sure but seeing the massive amount of Minicons (who actually aren't generics), there's bound to be a miscolouring somewhere. Not that the reddish shade helps to distinguish colours, mind.

The Minicon uprising is just stupid. After what the Decepticons had done to them, the Minicons would follow a Decepticon? Come on... and Anti-Blaze's group, which comes to a grand total of six (before the Autobots come to help) is able to fight off some twenty-odd Minicons with energon weapons and a Decepticon to a standstill of sorts? Seriously?

Also, the inclusion of the Minicon agitator named Ramjet, after seeing a badass tyrant named Ramjet die pages before, must’ve confused newbies greatly.

Primus' upper lip is coloured white. So instead of the stern, neutral expression he normally sports in the show, it looks like he's grinning idiotically in the spread.

Um, so can't the all-awesome almighty Primus catch a tiny tank Unicron? And those powerful Autobots and a swarm of 'good' Minicons couldn't chase him down?

At the final panel, Classics Megatron is missing his wing-like gun kibble, which should be visible in that pose.

Quote, Unquote

Ramjet: "Unicron is dead, and we're out of a job."

Alpha Trion: "Sentinel Maximus, you must rise! I am not configured for battle!"
Sentinel Maximus: "Ugh. Right. That was a lot of rockets to get hit with all at once."

Ramjet: "The Unicron Singularity will replicate itself in dimension after dimension until it replaces Cybertron at the center of a swirling, infinite hell of nothingness!"

Skyfall: "Fraggin' big 'bots and their slaggin' missile launchers."

Ramjet: "Primus must die! It is the only option left, unless you would sacrifice this universe!"
Vector Prime: "I am prepared to make what sacrifices I must to fulfill my duty."

Vector Prime: "If you fail, Sentinel Maximus, we will all die."
Sentinel Maximus: "Right. No pressure."

Ramjet: "You've lost, Vector Prime. Even now your god dies, and all reality with him. What will you do now? You have only minutes left."
Vector Prime: "I will destroy you, monster."

Ultra Magnus: "My brother believes even Unicron spawn like you can be redeemed without violence." -cracks knuckles- "I think he's an idiot."

Downshift: "Why didn't you contact us before now?"
Over-Run: "It's funny, you know? I can hijack an interdimensional matter interlink no problem, but it took me this long to write a vocal processing subroutine."

Unicron: "I am Unicron. I am the darkest corner of your mind. I am the cruelty hidden in your heart. I am savagery. I am rage. I am hate. Every murder you imagine, every bleeding fantasy, every vengeance. Every repressed urge, every unrealized perversion. I am all of these."

Unicron: "I am no mere force of nature. No phenomenon to be studied, codified and circumbented by the inventiveness of lesser beings. I am the collapse of natural order, a formless, infinite nothing petty corporeal minds cannot imagine. Total annihilation. Peace in an endless emptiness, the heart and totality of which I alone encompass. I am Unicron. I LIVE AGAIN."

Sentinel Maximus: "Didn't your kernel programmers teach you not to play with sharp things?"

Skyfall: "I'm no Autobot. And you're no Decepticon. I know you..."
Landquake: "The symbol on your chest calls you a liar."

Skyfall: "Unicron? Why do I get myself involved in these things?"

Unicron: "I will drink your spark as my victory toast, children of Primus!"

Downshift: "Hey, 'Con, are you seeing what I'm seeing?"
Soundwave: "Ugh... Finally the black hole destroys the world from which you insipid creatures hail."
Downshift: "I really don't think so, chuckles."

-Primus transforms-
Unicron: "No. Not you. Never."
Omega Prime: "Oh. Wow."
Sentinel Maximus: "Have all become one at last?"
Downshift: "Sweet."
Soundwave: "Impossible."

Skyfall: "Where the scrap are we?"
G1 Megatron: "Where you belong, Autobot. Cowering at my feet."
 
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