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Red Dave Prime
2013-08-31, 07:02 PM
Monstrosity #4

Published Date: September 4th 2013
Written by: Chris Metzen & Flint Dille
Art by: Livo Ramondelli
Colours by: Livio Ramondelli
Edited by: John Barber
Cover price: $3.99

Synopsis:

Optimus Prime experiences a crisis of command as he is deserted by Dai Atlas, and is unable to convince Grimlock and the Dynobots to join up with him. Things go from bad to worse when reports of Trypticons rise and rampage filter through to him. Prime goes to Metroplex for help, but the metrotitan is unable to help due to his low power reserves. All he can offer is some information on the beast. Trypticon has links back to Mortilus and was originally sealed away by the Metrotitans.
An alternate strategy is devised to bury Trypticon under the buildings of Harmonex, using a mass bombardment from several different angles. The plan initially seems to succeed, but at the cost of one of Cybertrons most beautiful cities.

Back at the Decepticon base, Scorponok basks in Trypticons destructive power but is asked by Starscream to attend to his troops in the main hall as they wait to honour their “true leader”. Too late, Scorponok realises who that true leader really is. Megatron awaits him with a laser blast from a giant hand-held blaster. He pursues the fallen decepticon, mocking him before blasting him once more in the head. He leaves Scorponok to the waiting Terrorcons, only asking that he is kept alive to experience as much pain as possible. Megatron demands a repaired body and information on all that he has missed.

Meanwhile, the Autobots inspecting the fallen Trypticon come under attack from the same beasts that were encountered in the caves at Toraxxis. Ratchet realises that they aren’t inhabitants of the cave, rather they inhabit Trypticon. This distraction is enough to allow Trypticon to break free from the rubble and continue onwards. Optimus Prime tries to confront the monster using the power of the matrix but the matrix doesn’t respond to his pleas for help and he is crushed by Trypticon. As he lies severly injured, Prime wonders was Dai Atlas right all along and if he was the right choice to be the matrix bearer. Salvation of sorts arrives in the form of Grimlock and the Dynobots who take the battle to Trypticons minions.

Arriving on the scene, a re-fitted Megatron mocks Primes inability to take control of Cybertron and suggests he watches and learns as Megatron prepares to defeat Trypticon by himself. Before he can engage the beast, he is attacked by Grimlock. Prime pleads with Grimlock to keep his beast form in check, but before Megatron and Grimlock can lock horns they are swallowed by Trypticon.
The Autobots continue to try and fight Trypticon to no avail. With their resources stretched to their limits, they are unable to stop Trypticon heading towards his old enemy, Metroplex.

Within the giant robot, Megatron and Grimlock encounter resistence in the form of more of Trypticons minions. Despite their differences, the two fight side by side with Megatron even saving Grimlock from a fall into oblivion. The two locate Tryptiocns power core, a huge machine powered by the corrupted energon. As they attack the core, Grimlock is splashed by the energon and begins to change into his ultra-beast mode again. Regaining control of himself, Grimlock uses the extra strength to destroy the core, causing Trypticon to collapse, finally defeated.

As the autobots tend to the near-death Optimus Prime, Megatron once again mocks the fallen leaders need to rely on the Matrix instead of his own inner strength as Megatron has. Out of respect, he allows the autobots to leave unharmed, but not before he takes the shell of Trypticon back to Decepticon Headquarters. There, he feeds the spark of Pentius to the fallen monster, reawakening it to join the decepticon ranks.

Characters featured [in rough order of appearance]:

Optimus Prime, Alpha Trion, Trpticon, Bumblebee, Jetfire, Metroplex, Scorponok, Starscream, Shockwave, Soundwave, Megatron, Ultra Magnus, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Fire Flight, Sky Dive, Sling Shot, Ironhide, Brawn, Blue Streak, Sunstreaker, Blurr, Ratchet, Grimlock, Slag, Snarl, Swoop, Sludge, Dirge, Skywarp, Thundercracker,

Notes:

This issue collects the digital issues #10-12. The titles are “The Illusion of Control”, “Annihilation” & “Belly of the Beast”

It’s not entirely clear if it is Pentius spark that Megatron feeds to Tryptiocn, but I can’t think of where else Megatron would have gotten a spark or had one so close to hand. It should be noted that it is a green spark so it is either Pentius (who had a green spark) or a point one percenter.

The ending also explains Trypticons presence during the “big push” in Spotlight: Blaster.

It’s not explained how Trypticon produces the Minions - but he does produce a lot of them.

Trypticons creator is Mortilus – one of the five created by Primus. Mortilus was the Death Bringer and rebelled against the others.

Metroplex speaks as if Mortilus was alive at some point in his lifetime but other cybertronians aren’t as believing.

Metroplexs heart chamber resembles a giant Matrix.

Quote / Unquote:

“It might be the end of the world” – Bumblebee, the little scamp. Always full of optimism

“You may think of me unfair to challenge you in such a weakened state. Consider us even” – Megatron to the fallen Scorponok

“Do not speak unless spoke to Starscream. We’ll discuss your part in this coup later” – And it’s “As you were” in the Decepticon forces.

“You always kept your savagery in check against me – that will cost you” – Megatron not realising that he is setting himself up for a nasty punch-line against Grimlock.

“oh frag” – Megatron, just before Trypticon takes a bite.

“I… am… Grimlock!” – what, you thought only Megatron had dibs on that one?

Review:

Lacking originality, the conclusion to Monstrosity tries to create drama but fails thanks to a cast of characters that we all know will survive and a finish that makes you wonder why the creature was such a threat to begin with.

Of course we all know Prime won’t be destroyed. We also know that when Megatron and Grimlock get devoured that they will off course get to fight through. Which is a pity as the whole situation would have been interesting set in the present day where such knowledge isn’t available. Or if some unknown characters had been built up in the previous issues only to face their doom – much like what was achieved in LSOTW.
The past setting isn’t the only problem that we face here though.

There’s also a real lack of originality in the closing sections of this story. Trypticon (sometimes looking amazing, sometimes drawn like a giant robotic Barney) is basically Godzilla (even down to the small mini versions of himself) mixed with the Unicron of the animated movie. We all know the drill by now – swallow the heroes so they can destroy you from within. Seeing how easy it all is, it’s a wonder the likes of Omega and Metroplex can seem much of a threat – just send a discreet group of minicons in with some explosives and job done. It’s so obvious that you have to frown at a writer who would try this kind of thing. Think of something different man! It’s all so very one-dimensional of a plot that it undermines some of the better work done with Prime and Dai Atlas earlier on.

And there’s one other thing which has been running through a lot of IDW but I might as well address it here. How powerful exactly is Megatron meant to be? Seriously, while he isn’t too bad in this issue, throughout monstrosity he has been on a tear. Seriously damaged, he still managed to tear apart many a Junkion. He then uses his ability to simply attach other robot limbs to repair a damaged arm and knee before going off and taking out a few Sharkticons.

But he’s not done yet.

Terrorcons arrive. Terrorcons attack. Terrorcons get asses handed to them. Bad enough? Wait, there’s more. He arrives back on Cybertron and before he gets any repairs he takes down Scorponok as well. In a one on one fight (yes he gets the drop on him with one laser blast but still.)

I get that they want to show him in a positive light and it is nice to have such a strong villain but it’s a bit much. Still it does tie in nicely with the sheer bravado of turning up to take down Trypticon… by himself no less. How have the Decepticons not steamrolled the Autobots, even by this point? Wait, scratch that. How has Megatron not steamrolled the Autobots, the Decepticons and the Gobots by this point.

Ah well. On reflection, Monstrosity is neither a good comic nor a bad one. It’s a very well put together piece of fan-fiction. Read it in that light and you will be somewhat entertained. The fact that the cliff-hanger indicates we will get a third instalment of early war stories doesn’t exactly fill me joy though.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Red Dave Prime
2013-08-31, 07:03 PM
Not quite sure if I have the release date correct - might be the 11th of September.