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Red Dave Prime
2013-08-18, 09:16 PM
Transformers Autocracy #4
“Cause and Effect”

Published Date: February 29th 2012
Written by: Chris Metzen & Flint Dille
Art by: Livio Ramondelli
Colours by: Livio Ramondelli
Edited by: John Barber & Carlos Guzman
Cover price: $0.99

Synopsis:

Face to face again, Megatron and Orion continue their discussion from Megaton’s’ time in Pax’s custody. He indicates how impressed he was with Orion standing up to the senate. Orion doesn't care for Megaton’s praise, particularly as Bumblebee is being kept at gunpoint for the duration of the conversation but keeps him talking while secretly getting word from Ironhide that reinforcements are enroute.. Megatron suggests that it was an inside tip that allowed the ambush of the Autobots in Nyon and that Zeta Prime was looking for Autobot Casualties to justify his policies. Using Laserbeak, Megatron replays the conversation between Starscream and Zeta to Pax, but doesn’t get the reaction he wants.

Aware that his back-up has arrived, Pax lashes out at Megatron. Before the Decepticons can react the rest of Pax’s squad attack and rescue Bumblebee before escaping on board Sky Lynx under a hail of gunfire. Megatron orders his troops to let the Autobots go, hoping that the idealistic Pax will confront Zeta Prime with what he has learnt from the Decepticon leader.

Orion does indeed question Zeta Prime about his plans to attack Nyon, only dressed down by his superior and accused of incompetence. Giving him a chance to redeem himself, Zeta orders Pax and his crew to hunt down the bomber from Nyon: a Cybertronian named Hot Rod.

Characters featured [in rough order of appearance]:

Black Wall, Megatron, Orion Pax, Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Bumblebee, Laserbeak, Zeta Prime, Starscream, Hound, Prowl, Ironhide, Skylynk, Skywarp, Hot Rod

Notes

Orion Pax had been after Megatron for three cycles but it’s not clear if this is from the events of “Chaos Theory” or “Megatron: Origins”.

Rodimus is named Hot Rod in this issue, a nice nod to his pre-Costa naming.

Goofs:

Back in Chaos Theory, Megatron and Prime discuss their first meeting being the battle of Sherman Bridge. Granted Megatron corrects Prime and we get the story of how they really first met but Autocracy stamps all over that here (and Monstrosity will continue that trend). You could make an argument that is Orion Pax and not Optimus Prime that Megatron is meeting here but that distinction wasn’t made in Chaos Theory and by the end of Autocracy, it won’t be a valid argument anyway.

Quote / Unquote:

“You’re a criminal posing as a revolutionary” – Orion Pax to Megatron. I like this line because at this point in their history, it’s not sure if even Pax believes this.

“Just tell Megatron us locals are pulling for him” – random chatter from the street indicates that the Decepticon movement still has some traction with the general populace at this point.

“That’s nice Kid, now shut up and run” – Ironhide makes it clear that he is older than many other Autobots.

“Always a pleasure Old timer” – ok Sky Lynk, we get it. Ironhide is old.


Review:

Continuity stomping aside, this is an alright issue. The dialogue between Pax and Megatron is pretty good with Megatron trying to manipulate his foe into joining him by playing on his own misgivings over Zeta Primes rule. It works well and both come off well. There is also a nice nod to the duel covers of Chaos Theory in one panel – I’d swear that Livio simply used Milne’s line drawings to paint over.

And a big thumbs up for the Autobots storming of the Decepticons hideout. Too often I feel that the early Autobot forces have been shown as incompetent – at least here you get to see why Prowl, Ironhide etc. would still be alive and in high positions so far into the future.

We also get the continued collapse of Pax and Zeta Primes relationship. What started off as a friendly meeting at the end of Shadowplay, started to run into ego in Spotlight: Orion Pax and now is clearly at a frayed end here. Considering all those issues run out of sequence it’s nice to see IDW get their continuity right for a change. Zeta is full on villain by this point and he is a natural opponent to the ideals of both Megatron and Orion Pax.

Things take a little nose dive at the end for me with the revelation that Hot Rod was the bomber from issue 1. It’s going to be an odd fit for this to work out and is another instance of a writer wanting to play with all his favourite toys, even if it doesn’t quite fit. Still, Autocracy continues to be an interesting, if flawed, look at the transition from Zeta Prime to Optimus Prime.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Blackjack
2013-08-19, 12:30 PM
Ah, yes. Bomber Hot Rod. I knew there was something else other than Metroplex that I hated this series for.

Sure, there's nothing particularly wrong or continuity-breaking (not off my head, anyway) about bomber Hot Rod, but it's a concept which I don't like.

Red Dave Prime
2013-08-19, 05:14 PM
Yeah, it's not wrong to have Hot Rod as a bomber as such, but it doesnt fit his character at all does it?