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Transformers: Escalation #1 (of 6)
#11 of an ongoing arc
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek


This takes place after Stormbringer for Prime, and a few days after Infiltration for the Earthbound Autobots. The present day segments of Nightbeat and Shockwave have also happened by this point.

It's not yet clear how many of the Stormbringer cast have come to Earth with Prime, but it would seem Springer and Jetfire are not on board as they're taking part in the tele-conference rather than just coming into the same room as Prime. Though not seen here Nightbeat was picked up by Prime on route to Earth in his Spotlight issue. Exactly what happened to Shockwave, and the part he played in placing Energon on Earth, can be seen in his Spotlight issue. The mystery of Soundwave's presence on Earth will be explored in another Spotlight in March 2007.

On page 15 a car of the same make of Sunstreaker's alt mode can just be seen in the Machination truck. This coupled with the fact that the car targeted in the sights of the bazooka doesn't have the EMP missile shoot into the side of the real Sunstreaker a few panels earlier would suggest a clever substitution has taken place. The cliffhanger itself is very like that of the Furman-written Energon issue 26.

If not for Hunter's protest Sunstreaker would happily have fired at unarmed humans. Whilst this is in keeping with his 'G1' character, it seems the rest of the Autobots also have a more pragmatic approach than in previous continuities. Ironhide has no problem smashing his way through cars with people in, whilst Prime doesn't want to get to close to their human visitors because he might have to sacrifice their species.

Megatron here forgives the bulk of the Decepticons for their actions under Starscream's command in Infiltration, but makes it very clear this is a last warning. We don't as yet know what the facsimiles are.

Pages 6, 9 and 10 were previewed in various IDW Transformer comics in the build up to the issue's release.


As the humans themselves point out, why do the Autobots go to the effort of programming a Sunstreaker-starring arcade game for them? And even if they would, why would the humans want to play it? They were nearly killed a few days earlier in similar events to those in the game. Would a July 7th survivor want to play a game called Tube Bomber! ? It's like Dreamwave Spike and his giant robot T-Shirt all over again...

Considering the Autobots themselves are still Decepticon targets even if the humans aren't, wouldn't it be safer just to take Verity and co. to the nearest train station rather than driving them all the way home?

Issue Review

This issue is a very strong opening installment. We have lots of fantastic character work on both the Autobots and Megatron and lots of threads from preceding comics picked up on and developed.

The big problem is that we have more pages of people playing computer games of fighting Decepticons than actually doing it for real — the main plot itself is rather stationary.

However, this is still a very entertaining read, and even if the bluff over Sunstreaker's seeming death doesn't quiet work, it sets up the new arc nicely.

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