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Cyber City has fallen and the 'cons now rule what little remains intact. The Mini-Con ship hurtles out of control into a prehistoric world and crashes. Over the next million years that planet evolves... into Earth! A trio of school kids (Rad, Carlos and Alexis) are working on making a flying go-kart. They almost succeed but end up stumbling onto the Mini-Con ship, reactivating it and four of it's passengers. Both the Autobots and Decepticons are alerted to this and plan to move out. Meanwhile, the Mini-Cons have befriended the kids and built them a hover-car to thank them, and whilst out test driving it... Megatron appears!
Issue
003
Writer
Chris Sarracini
Pencils
James Raiz
Inks
Rob Armstrong/Erik Sander
Colours
Ramil Sunga / Alan Wang
Release date
01/10/2002
Autobots featured
Optimus Prime, Red Alert, Hot Shot
Decepticons featured
Megatron, Starscream, Demolishor, Cyclonus
Humans featured
Sparkplug, Grindor, Highwire, Sure Shock, Jolt, Longarm, Rollbar, Rad, Carlos, Alexis, Fred, Billy
Origin of
Death of
First appearance
Highwire, Sure Shock, Rad, Carlos, Alexis, Fred, Billy
Locations featured
Cybertron and Science City, USA, Earth
Story synopsis
Things start to take a turn for the worse with a couple pages of narrative explaining how the Decepticons gain almost complete control of Cybertron. Then, a few more pages are dedicated to showing the Mini-Con ship malfunctioning and half of it crashing on the moon and half of it crashing on Earth a million years ago. The half on Earth gets covered by soil and eventually becomes part of the landscape, except for the gaping hole that provides the entrance.

The narrative catches up to the present day and here's where things get stupid. We start off with some insipid banter between Rad and Alexis as the latter won't let the former in without saying the secret password of "booger burger." Kill me now. The pain continues as Carlos is introduced, Rad and Alexis argue more and finally they decide to unleash 'Project Supernova.' As the three stooges push the blanketed contraption, they catch the attention of Fred and Billy, the neighbourhood bullies.

Later, after some insipid dialogue, 'Project Supernova' is launched by pushing it off a ledge that, you guessed it, has the Mini-Con ship buried underneath. While in the air, the blanket falls off and reveals Project Supernova as a crappy cardboard airplane-thing with a dummy piloting it and being held aloft by balloons. The trio starts to celebrate, but the joy is interrupted by Fred and Billy, who use a slingshot to pop the balloons and send Supernova crashing into the ground. Suddenly disillusioned, Rad decides to go home, but not before retrieving the helmet on the dummy, which fell into that gaping hole I mentioned earlier. He falls down it and accidentally reactivates the Mini-Cons, which sends a signal to Cybertron. When the smoke clears, Rad is being carried by Sparkplug, accompanied by Grindor, Highwire and Sure Shock.

Back on Cybertron, both sides are now aware of the Mini-Con reawakening and make the preparations to head for Earth.

Back on Earth, the kids are at a loss as to how they should deal with the Mini-Cons. The four they encountered are holed up in Rad's garage and while Alexis and Rad argue, Carlos gives the Cybertronian refugees some tools to repair themselves. This instigates more arguing among the trio and they decide to wait until tomorrow to make any permanent decisions.

The next morning, the three kids gather in front of Rad's garage and argue about how they are going to approach the Mini-Cons. It's thankfully cut short by the Mini-Cons, who introduce a new and improved Project Supernova in the form of a hovercraft. Sparkplug convinces the kids to serve as 'tour guides' and they climb aboard the anti-gravity flyer and do some joyriding. They would have a lot less fun if they realised Megatron just materialised right behind them...
Remarks
Sarracini really drops the ball here. He had a nice flow going, but this issue and it's focus on the kids interrupts it horribly. As with most humans that come into contact with the Transformers, the kids are horribly annoying and should be crushed. Every scene they are in is just slow pain and they make Buster Witwicky look like Professor Morris.

There are a couple of other things that bother me as well. First, the hole that provides the entrance to the Mini-Con ship is bothersome. Given it's size and location, there is no way that it would have gone unexplored for a million years, and once you hit bottom, the Mini-Con tech is a bit hard to miss. Then there is the line about the Autobots "reduced to battling the tyrants from afar." Does Sarracini really mean to tell me that in one million years of warfare the Autobots never managed to ambush a Decepticon and grab his Mini-Con? Riiiight. And while talking about stupidities, why would the Mini-Con ship be equipped with a locator when the point was to get away from the two factions? Oy.

The best thing about this issue is Raiz's art, still as crisp and as captivating as ever. His Mini-Cons look nice and beaten, although he really needs to work on drawing kids. They all look rather bland and somewhat pasted on.
Character development
The larger Transformers don't get much spotlight in this issue (damn kids), but from the looks of it, the Autobots know that they desperately need Mini-Cons if they hope to win, and the Decepticons have become convinced that their victory is preordained.

The littler Transformers don't get much spotlight either (damn kids), but they show themselves to be kind and a bit observant as they spend their night in Rad's garage building a new Project Supernova.

Rad is the most dramatic of the trio of kids. He treats everything like it's a grand adventure with spies and so forth. He's a bit obssessed with codes and passwords and the like. He does get disillusioned a bit easily, as shown by his reaction to Supernova's crash, but he bounces right back and is eager to welcome the Mini-Cons.

Alexis is basically the polar opposite of Rad. She seems fairly down to earth and isn't afraid to insult Rad when he's being over-dramatic. She's also the most xenophobic as she's really sceptical as to what the Mini-Cons represent.

Carlos is a bit in the middle of the other two annoyances. He's enthusiastic, but doesn't get carried away like Rad. He is also the most optimistic, which is shown by his reaction to the Supernova crash. He's fairly independent too, since he goes ahead and gives the Mini-Cons tools while Rad and Alexis argue.

Fred and Billy are the obligatory bullies. They pick on others and this is thankfully their second-to-last appearance.
Trivia
All of the Mini-Cons on Cybertron either escaped on the ship or were with Megatron when he attacked Cyber City. There must not have been too many of them if they were all able to fit inside one ship.

The Mini-Cons on the piece of ship that hit the moon are far from dead. They eventually build the ship into a fortress and go on to cause trouble in issues 8 to 11.

Apparently the Mini-Con ship floated "aimlessly from galaxy to galaxy." This must mean that they were going VERY fast (possibly through hyperspace) and probably a significant amount of time passed between the leaving of Cybertron and the arrival at Earth.

Both the Autobots and Decepticons have access to an intergalactic space bridge.

Red Alert learns the origin of the Mini-Con signal by hacking into Cybertron's communications satellites.

Rad is short for Bradley.

The four Mini-Cons lost their powers of speech because their audio filters were damaged in the crash.

Apparently thousands of Cybertronians went into slavery because they feared for their lives. Just how many Transformers there are on Cybertron is unclear.

Autobot HQ on Cybertron is located underground, due to them being on the losing side of the war.

The rest of the Mini-Cons that were on the ship that hit Earth were scattered across the globe. Just how they went unnoticed is unclear.
Good quotes
Bad quotes
"That's my old name. I changed it this morning. You may now refer to me as... Agent Secret Agent." Rad.
Mistakes
The bullies are referred to in this issue as Sid and Seth. This is changed to their cartoon names of Fred and Billy in issue 8.
Story rating
1 star
Art rating
6 star
Media
Reviewed by
bobaprime85