Another group of Mini-Cons, led by Jolt, discover Megatron is loose on Earth and move to help Sparkplug. Meanwhile, the Decepticons and Autobots are duking it out but the Decepticons get the upper hand. They are about to run off with Sparkplug and co. when Jolt and his team arrive and powerlink with the Autobots, which is enough to cause Megatron to order the retreat!
Issue
005
Writer
Chris Sarracini
Pencils
James Raiz
Inks
Rob Armstrong/Erik Sander/Ferdinand Poblete
Colours
Shaun Curtis / Alan Wang / Ramil Sunga / Rob Ruffolo / David Cheung / Chris Walker / Elliot Kravchik
Release date
01/12/2002
Autobots featured
Optimus Prime, Smokescreen, Scavenger, Hot Shot, Red Alert
Decepticons featured
Megatron, Starscream, Cyclonus, Demolishor
Humans featured
Sparkplug, Jolt, Rollbar, Liftor, Longarm, Grindor, Sure Shock, Highwire, Rad, Carlos, Alexis, Louie
Origin of
Death of
First appearance
Louie
Locations featured
Science City and Sun Valley, USA
Story synopsis
The issue starts, interestingly enough, in a junkyard. Must....resist....easy....joke. It seems that Rollbar has gotten himself into a trash compactor that is slowly being crushed. His cries for help, and after scaring off the local humans, attracts the attention of Liftor, Jolt and Longarm. The latter two attempt to rescue Rollbar by pulling the closing walls apart while Liftor simply hits the 'off' button. Heh.

Rollbar gets lifted out of his hard place, and the four Mini-Cons then head back to their little hide-out, discuss how to find the other Mini-Cons and switch on a television that Longarm repaired. They catch a news report covering the chase from last issue and Jolt is ready to run to the rescue. Rollbar advocates caution, but Jolt runs off anyway, prompting the others to follow.

Meanwhile, Megatron and Optimus Prime are having a war of words. Not quite as interesting as guns. The two trade barbs while the kids and Mini-Cons look on, waiting for Smokescreen to slam into the cliffside Megatron is on. It falls apart, taking Megatron with it. Now very upset, the Decepticon leader immediately moves to engage Prime and the two trade punches. While they do so, Scavenger finds himself cornered by Starscream and Cyclonus. He's rescued by Hot Shot and Red Alert and the 'battle' is joined.

Meanwhile, Megatron shoots Optimus into a wall, causing it to start collapsing onto the kids. They survive (damn) and with the Mini-Cons, start to make a run for it, only to run into Demolishor, who grabs the Mini-Cons. Deciding that enough is enough, Megatron breaks out his stash of Mini-Cons and starts to wipe the floor with Prime.

Things are starting to look bad, but the Mini-Con cavalry of Liftor and cohorts arrives. They surprise Demolishor, causing him to drop Sparkplug's group. They powerlink to the Autobots, causing the Decepticons to run like wussies. With that done, the kids are introduced to Prime, the Mini-Cons agree to an alliance, and the issue ends with Optimus ordering a search for vehicle downloads.
Remarks
Hmmmm... I guess this is an okay ending to Armada's first story arc. Frankly, the storyline never recovered from the death blow struck by the third issue.

Among this issue's faults is the opening sequence of Rollbar in the trash compactor. It seems rather silly that he would just 'fall asleep' as his dialogue seems to indicate. Then there is the problem of exactly where his group came from. If they were thrown from the ship shortly after the crash, how did they go unnoticed for so long? If they were still inside the ship, why didn't they come out with Sparkplug? I would think that he would check the ship thoroughly before leaving. Odd.

The fight this issue is also a bit wonky and Sarracini's trademark 'bar brawl' storytelling style doesn't help. I'm not sure why it takes Smokescreen so long to run into the wall, given his alleged strength we saw this issue. Then there is the scene where Scavenger gets cornered. He's just standing there with this really intense expression on his face the entire time and doesn't bother to turn around to face his enemies, who really should have just shot him. Also, the scene where Optimus has his hands around Megatron's neck is weird, as he apparently removes them just so Megatron can blast him. Odd.

At least Raiz's art is nice and shiny again this issue. Megatron looks great when blasting Prime with his cannon.
Character development
Optimus Prime seems to know Megatron pretty well, and can push just the right buttons to keep the Decepticon leader talking. He delivers plenty of lines like, "A smarter leader would have destroyed us long ago," and, "Your inferior intellect will be on full display." He probably made a lot of little robots cry on the Cybertronian playgrounds. He's also very willing to kill Megatron. At least, it seemed that way right before he removed his hands from the Decepticon's neck. Prime also shows his trademark respect for freedom by offering the Mini-Cons the choice of working with the Autobots, or leaving. He even says the old, "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" quote from his G1 Universe profile. Rather noble, considering how one-sided the war has supposedly been so far.

Megatron is very weak to attacks on his ego, and Prime utilises this. There is probably some truth to Prime's claims about Megatron's lack of ability, given the Mini-Con advantage the Decepticon possesses. His decision to retreat was probably wise, but it still made him look like a wuss. He also admits that Optimus is beginning to annoy him. His frustration with not obtaining victory, even with the Mini-Con advantage, is showing through.

Smokescreen is apparently the strongman of the Autobots. He took awhile to slam into that cliffside, but he got the job done. He also shows no compunction about going head-to-head with Megatron.

Starscream shows a tendency to gloat over what he perceives as a sure kill. He's also very sure of his fighting skills and holds the Autobot leader in low regard, calling him a "coward." His line about, "I need no one. Bring as many as you've got. I'll take all of your heads," shows his confidence, but also hints as to some loner qualities.

Demolishor shows a desire to replace Starscream, who he calls a "loudmouth." His line about, "Megatron will be so happy with me when he finds out what a good job I've done," suggests that he's a big suck up.

Jolt is very concerned with the safety of others, and is very willing to rush off at the drop of a hat. He also seems to prefer a dramatic touch.

Aside from his habit of getting into trash compactors, Rollbar seems fairly bright. He advises the creation of a plan for finding the other Mini-Cons, instead of just wandering around. He's a tad reluctant to help Sparkplug, for fear of Megatron. He's also the one who thought up linking to the Autobots.

Liftor seems to be an interesting fellow, since he was the one who figured out that the trash compactor could be stopped by the 'off' button. He's not really a fighter, as he keeps saying, "This is crazy," when getting ready to battle the Decepticons.

Longarm is rather clever, as he repairs an old TV, which gets them the news report on Sparkplug, while the others are trying to find parts for their communicators. He's also the one who insists on having an equal partnership with the Autobots.

While the kids get less spotlight this issue, they are still annoying. Alexis calls Optimus a blabbermouth, Rad is quick to call all assorted a 'team' at the end of the issue, and Carlos refers to the trio as 'superheroes.' Still, they are a bit brave, standing up to Demolishor. They earn the line: "They're so weak, but they act as though they've the strength of ten Decepticons."
Trivia
Mini-Con body structures are durable enough to withstand the push of a trash compactor, but not for long.

Mini-Con eyes are referred to as optic circuits. This is probably the same with the Autobots and Decepticons in Armada.

Liftor is capable of minor repair work on other Mini-Cons. He mends some of Jolt's circuits, which were damaged in the crash.

'Energon Converters,' upon explosion, can cause damage to the Transformers.

The news station the Mini-Cons watch is 'DNN'.

Starscream is apparently chief lieutenant.

Megatron can activate the space bridge by voice.

The scene with Rollbar at the beginning could well be a reference to the G1 Rollbar's unfortunate encounter with a car crusher (in 'Toy Soldiers').

Smokescreen is strong enough to topple a cliffside.

Apparently a shot from Megatron's cannon, at point-blank range, isn't enough to kill Optimus Prime instantly. Huh.

Transformers physiology seems similar enough so that Mini-Cons adapted for Decepticon use can easily link to Autobots.

The Mini-Con demand for equality with the Autobots is a major sticking point for much of Armada, and very much influences some of Prime's decisions.
Good quotes
Jolt - "Uhh, shouldn't we be saying something really dramatic right about now?"
Longarm - "Shut up Jolt!"
Jolt - "That wasn't what I had in mind."
Bad quotes
"Who's the big red blabbermouth?" Alexis.

Mistakes
Story rating
4 star
Art rating
6 star
Media
Reviewed by
bobaprime85

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