What’s the best way to light up a Dark Cybertron? Get drunk with your enemies.
Metroplex just beat the snot out of Zombie Los Angeles, and it’s time to celebrate the fact that everybody isn’t doomed, the crew of the Lost Light is alive (well, most of them anyway), and the Autobots and Decepticons are too wiped out to fight anymore. Technically, the war has been over for as long as Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye has been running, but old habits die hard.
In Transformers: MTMTE #27, though, the hardest, oldest habit finally does die. Megatron, genocidal despot madman of the Decepticon army sometimes known as The Slag-Maker, finally admits he was wrong. As Rodimus Prime said at the end of the original Transformers: The Movie, “let this mark the end of the Cybertronian Wars as we move forward into a new age of peace and happiness.” All are threatening to actually become one here.
If only Shockwave’s mantra hadn’t become ’til all are none‘ instead.
There’s a lot going on here as the Dark Cybertron epic heads toward its conclusion, and MTMTE #27 is a bit of a breather issue after the massive city-fight and before everyone realizes that sending an undead Necrotitan to stomp out the city of Iacon was not the extent of Shockwave’s plan. Optimus Prime, Rodimus and friends have scored some ultimate victory over Nova Prime in the Dead Universe and are now trying to finagle a way back. Dinobots and Combaticons and the working class soldiers are actually singing songs together in a bar after four million years of enmity, while Brainstorm and Bluestreak argue over the proper pronunciation of “Necrotitan” and Swerve fanboys over racing superstar Blurr. Arcee sheds the pink to go hot rod red, while the mystery of Metroplex’s cabal of guardians who refer to each other as ‘she’ continues to go unsolved. Then there’s Prowl and Chromedome hashing out their beef, which later turns into Ultra Magnus butting heads with the most manipulative Autobot around, who has not been able to adjust to post-war life at all.
Most significant, though, is Megatron’s personal revelation – which may seem a bit sudden coming from a guy who was just crushing Iacon under Devastator’s bootheel only a handful of issues ago over in TF: Robots in Disguise, but since then, he’s been torn apart and frozen in a cage, then tortured and manhandled by Shockwave, one of his own subordinates, as nothing more than cyber-meat, and then lost his legs and had to be carted around by Bumblebee – a guy whose face he’d ripped off – to watch a massive engine of destruction not of his own creation wreak havoc with plague and power that would destroy more than he did with Devastator… and it was Megatron who actually wound up saving the day. It seems that, after millions of years of animosity, Megatron has finally remembered how the whole Decepticon revolution started as an uprising against a truly corrupt senate – as seen in Best TF Writer Ever James Roberts’ Chaos Theory story from a few years ago – and it’s a strong moment when he’s confessing to Bumblebee that he’s realized he lost the war the moment he gave the order to fight. There’s a hell of a lot more needed to earn this change of heart from the embodiment of all evil, but if anyone can be trusted to deliver it, it’s Roberts.
It may also help that Shockwave’s plan is likely to become the embodiment of all evil. It seems he’s taking a page out of Annihilus’ book from Annihilation and seeking the end of everything. He’s even summoned an Annihilation Wave of sorts in the Ammonite army, which have come to swarm Cybertron in great enough numbers that they blot out the stars, all to defend his “becoming the ultimate singularity,” to erase the entirety of the universe as the ultimate expression of domination. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I’d wager that Shockwave is about to transform into Unicron.
But that’s crazy, right?
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #27 is a great issue, filled with interesting character work and fantastic dialogue from Roberts and John Barber, and it really helps solidify the IDW TF comic notion that the war is over, and every Transformer we know can just be their own characters now rather than wartime functionaries, and that makes these books exciting. Livio Ramondelli’s darkly painted Dead Universe rendering suits that warped dimension well, reinforcing its otherwordliness, although it’s sometimes so dark it obscures what’s going on. Alex Milne was born to draw Transformers, as I’ve said many times, and he’s working with Brendan Cahill in this issue to do justice to the emotional words these beloved characters have been given.
Dark Cybertron hasn’t been perfect, but it seems to be putting to bed a lot of lingering old continuity threads from the previous regimes, and MTMTE #27 is a confirmation that the past will soon be the past and we’ll be heading off into completely uncharted waters, which is fresh, new, and inspiring.
Assuming Shockwave doesn’t kill everything, of course.