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Transformers: The Reign of Starscream #1
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

As the first issue in a series, this issue makes a great introductory issue. Starscream is a great character, and his Movie incarnation is a much more three-dimensional character than his original trite backstabber. This issue acts like a Spotlight for Starscream, mainly owing to Starscream's monologue, but half of it talks of events we've already known from the Movie, albeit with some bonus dialogue and revelations. There are attempts at retcon (Starscream not shooting Megatron, Brawl Reporting), which should have easily been placed in the Movie Adaptation. It is nice to see how things looked from Starscream's point of view, though. Milne's art is rather nice in this issue, and, actually, his complex style of drawing transformers fits in with the movie designs. It's nice to see characters like Blackout, Barricade and Scorponok given Cybertronian alternate forms. There are G1 references, including two giant shuttles, non-toy characters Prowl and Cosmos (the latter is not named in this issue), which is a bit worrying that Mowry would make this too similar to a fanfic. But the attempt to tie continuity issues together (that will be covered at the notes section), this issue is one of the better issues of the series, but all those movie flashbacks we could do without.


The Cybertron portions of this story take place after Transformers Movie Prequel #1, right after Megatron leaves Bumblebee for dead. The story seemingly attempts to reconcile at least some of the events of IDW's prequel mini-series and the second Target-sponsored prequel comic, with Wreckage thrown into the mix. However, the opening scene (where Starscream is talking to Megatron as the latter sets to leave Cybertron) directly contradicts the events of the Target prequel comic, where Starscream is with the other Decepticons when they see Megatron leaving the planet from a distance. The Cybertron scenes also contradict the Titan comic series.

That circular satellite thing on the right side of Starscream (page two, panel three) is supposed to be Blackout's Cybertronian alternate mode, according to the TPB sketches section. Okaaaaay. Scorponok also received a Cybertronian makeover.

Prowl says that Prime has "turned death into a fighting chance to live" based on Dr. McCoy's line in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, regarding the sacrifice of the Enterprise. Meanwhile, Dreadwing's line "Unlike your other soldiers, I will not fail you" is a nod to the scene in Transformers the Movie where Megatron makes a similar remark about Starscream.

Megatron and the Allspark head to the Eshems Nebula. Mowry says it's named after someone important to him. In page 23, J.R. Toys and Casper FX also references more of Mowry's friends, the former a possible reference to JRS Toyworld.

The appearance of the Autobot shuttle and the Decepticon shuttle, as well as the order in which they are launched, harks back to G1. Their existence may also be a tie-in with the Ghosts of Yesterday novel.

The 'TINK' sound effect as the Decepticon shuttle flies into the bomb cluster is a homage to th Ford Pinto scene in the movie Top Secret. According to Mowry, Starscream's monologue in page 14 references Some Great Reward, an album from Depeche Mode.

Brawl's name is Brawl, not Devastator, retconning for the possible appearance of the Constructicon combiner in Revenge of the Fallen. Barricade's fate is retconned to be similar to the movie, meaning he didn't die. Ironhide instead plonked him onto a pillar in the road chase.

On page 25, a truck with the label Latta is a homage to the original Starscream's voice actor, Chris Latta. Mowry originally wanted to place the name on one of the F22's cockpits.

Starscream closes the issue with a statement, 'We all know what conquest is made of'. Of course, the correct answer is 'the ashes of one's enemies'. Taken from his original G1 tech specs.

The Gabriel Rodriguez cover is a homage to the Marvel issue The New Order. Y'know... ARE ALL DEAD.


In Transformers Movie Prequel #1, we were shown that Bumblebee was repaired for a while before he set off in protoform mode to search for the Allspark. This issue kind of retcons it into Bumblebee being recovered into the Autobot shuttle (presumably he is repaired aboard), and then flying off to Earth alone. However, Prequel #1 clearly shows Bumblebee blasting out of Cybertron, so make of that what you will.

Movie Prequels #3 and #4 shows Starscream, Blackout and Barricade coming first to Earth at different places, while this issue has all of them landing on a same spot. This is similar to the Target comics.


Starscream (internal monologue): Taking their vehicle forms gives us the perfect disguise.

Starscream (internal monologue): For a moment, I have (Megatron) in my sights. The shot would be so easy. The impulse to fire nearly consumes of when... the human deals the final blow.

Barricade: "Where are
you going, Starscream?"
Starscream: "To save us all, Barricade. And that's Lord Starscream."

Starscream (Internal monologue): I have no fear, no ambition. Besides, we all know what conquest is made of.

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