Prime discovers the moon is surrounded by a mine field (including, unknown to him, Rad's mine!) and plans on blowing them all up. Meanwhile, the Mini-Cons have managed to evade Megatron and are preparing to evacuate the moon. Leader-1 has assumed control of the base and goes about unleashing it's full firepower and his hatred against the Decepticons! The Mini-Cons realise what Prime is about to do and realise they have to save Rad! Sky Blast risks the minefield to tow Rad's mine to safety aboard Prime's shuttle. Megatron manages to reach the control centre and snatches Leader-1 and the Destruction Team whilst the rest of the Mini-Cons head to Earth.
Issue
011
Writer
Simon Furman
Pencils
Guido Guidi
Inks
Elaine To
Colours
David Cheung / Shaun Curtis / Rob Ruffolo
Release date
01/05/2003
Autobots featured
Optimus Prime
Decepticons featured
Megatron, Cyclonus
Humans featured
Sparkplug, Leader-1, Dualor, Drillbit, Buzzsaw, Mirage, Astroscope, Sky Blast, Payload, Wreckage, Longarm, Rad, Carlos, Alexis
Origin of
Death of
First appearance
Sky Blast, Payload
Locations featured
The moon, Lincoln, South Dakota
Story synopsis
We start off this issue by meeting the parties guilty of bringing Rad into the world. No, not Hasbro, his parents. No names are given and they serve only to set up an 'ironic' moment by saying how good it would be to have their son out among the stars. Whatever.

Getting back to what's important, the once-formidable Mini-Con stronghold is currently falling apart around Sparkplug and Mirage while the latter explains the situation with Rad and the mine. The exposition is cut short by the arrival of Megatron, who comes up right through the floor. Mirage leads Sparkplug away from the scene while Megatron checks in with Leader-1. The Mini-Con informs him that the base is essentially theirs for the taking. Megatron quickly changes it to "mine," not "theirs," and orders Cyclonus to begin his approach.

Meanwhile, Optimus Prime is on his merry way in that shiny new shuttle he got from Jetfire. Carlos and Alexis, the two remaining annoyances, are there too, via 'simulcrum' technology, which is basically responsive holograms. A proximity alarm then goes off, alerting Prime to the spacial mines. He isn't worried, since the shuttle is perfectly capable of demolishing all of them. This is where we are supposed to go "Oh no, Rad!" I won't tell anyone if you don't.

Back at Megatron's new playpen, Sparkplug and Mirage have come to the Space Team (composed of Astroscope, Sky Blast and Payload) in an attempt to get the recall code for Rad's mine. Astroscope is too busy tucking his tail between his legs to be of any service, which causes Sparkplug to crank out a mini-speech on 'working together' and 'Dualor's base is a prison.'

Elsewhere, the house that Dualor built is being laid waste by a severe Megatron infestation. After blowing a large hole in the roof (what, no explosive decompression?) he gets a call from Leader-1 telling him about a large gathering of Mini-Cons in the stratodome. Leader-1 neuro-loads the location, but just as Megatron enters a suspicious-looking silo devoid of Mini-Cons, Cyclonus tries to report a buildup of sub-surface artillery. The transmission doesn't get through and Megatron watches as the walls in the chamber close around him. Cyclonus then gets bombarded with artillery outside, while Megatron gets pummeled by laser fire.

Back in the Astrolab, the Space Team has agreed to help, but the recall code used is worthless and Prime's arrival has instigated a first level activation of the mines, with the command override locking them out. Optimus, realising he's been noticed, sets the firing control to automatic. Running out of options, the Space Team then gets the mines into low orbit in an attempt to buy some time.

Meanwhile, Leader-1 is taking out some pent-up aggression by pouring the lasers on Megatron, and is really getting into it, unloading a LOT of resentment. He's unaware that Dualor has regained consciousness.

Back with the spaced-out ones, plus Mirage and Sparkplug, Sky Blast has just flown off in an attempt to haul Rad's mine out of the field. Astroscope is a bit worried that Sky Blast may be perceived as on an attack course, but Prime has no desire to start shooting. Sky Blast grapples the mine and, once Optimus has decided he poses no threat, the Mini-Con tows Rad into the shuttle's cargo bay.

Back at Dualor's funhouse, the Destruction Team leader punches Leader-1 into the control console just as he was about to finish off Megatron. Dualor is ready to finish off Leader-1 when the console explodes, allowing a certain Decepticon to get his bearings.

Right outside, Cyclonus, clearly not in touch with reality, opens fire on the shuttle. This serves only to give Prime an excuse to scratch his trigger finger.

Meanwhile, Leader-1 realises that Megatron is now free and he starts to make a break for it. His retreat is cut short by the arrival of a rather upset Decepticon leader, looming over him just as the Mini-Con heads for the horizon.

Elsewhere, the Mini-Cons have just finished evacuating the base and Megatron is only able to watch as they head to Earth. He consoles himself by the fact that he can now inflict some damage with his three new Mini-Cons. Payback's something, right Dualor?

Aboard the shuttle, Rad is reunited with the simulcrums of Alexis and Carlos while Prime promises Sky Blast that he will pick up the Mini-Con's friends. Prime ends the storyarc by proclaiming that the Mini-Cons are in for a lot of changes. How true.
Remarks
A good issue. Furman really helps Armada find its stride with this issue and story arc, and juggles the multiple characters well. There are a few flaws within, like why Cyclonus can't pick up the armed surface missiles or why Prime suddenly switches firing control to automatic. Carlos and Alexis really should have just been left behind as well. These are just minor nitpicks however, and easily overshadowed by the virtues this story packs.

Leader-1's revenge is played perfectly and it's very believeable that he would become so engrossed in killing Megatron that Dualor would just go ignored - a mistake which costs him and the Destruction Team dearly when Megatron captures them. A bit of sympathy goes to Leader-1, but for Dualor it's a case of instant karma. As I've said, a good issue.

While Guidi draws Megatron a bit too large for my liking (a flaw rampant in Dreamwave), his art is otherwise pretty good. Kudos on Megatron's grin at the end.
Character development
Apparently, Prime feels that the kids should witness the rescue attempt first hand. Why he couldn't just phone them or something is unknown. Or at least hit the mute button. He proceeds with caution throughout the issue, careful not to take any drastic steps that could worsen the situation and endanger Rad. He's experienced enough to recognise Sky Blast's non-hostile approach (not sure why the comm was down), but it was kind of a risk to let him haul a mine in, though. He waits for the Mini-Con to get aboard before firing on Cyclonus and later graciously complies with Sky Blast's request to pick up the others.

There is only one thing on Megatron's mind this issue: destruction. He almost gleefully tears down the base and regards the Mini-Cons like a kid in a candy store. He's vain enough to correct Leader-1 when the Mini-Con says the base is "ours", saying it's "mine." The arrogance of trusting Leader-1 is still there and results in a world of hurt for the Decepticon. Once free, he wastes no time seeking out the Mini-Con and is very eager to see what "damage" he can do now that he has the Destruction Team at his disposal.

Sparkplug is very concerned with Rad's safety once Mirage informs him of the mine and looks to Mirage for a solution. He briefly gets shell-shocked by Megatron early on and has to be hauled away by Mirage. Later, he's ready to crank out the inspiration when the Space Team tries to run off without helping, talking about how "We were all supposed to be working together, to create a better world... not burying our heads and looking out for number one," and taking another chance to call the base a prison. His outlook may tie into a wider Mini-Con philosophy, since it seems unlike a personal credo. He hangs close by during the rescue attempt and has to be held back by Mirage when the recall code doesn't work.

Leader-1 shows his sadistic side this issue. He plays along with Megatron's attack and dupes the Decepticon into the silo where the lasers are set up. Once Megatron is inside, the Mini-Con releases a million years worth of hatred forged by constant slavery and abuse. He really comes out of his shell telling Megatron he hates him: "here's the ordeal, the agony, the ignomy, the disregard... right back at you!" He appears to have a high regard for his own intellect, because it's something he mentions when ranting at Megatron. Of course, he becomes so consumed with gaining his long-sought vengeance that he overlooks Dualor and that puts an end to his plans. He seems ready to try and grab power for himself, but once Megatron is free, it is time to run for the hills.

Dualor is one to get revenge first, ask questions later. He doesn't take the time to notice what Leader-1 is doing, which robs them both of the chance to be rid of Megatron. Punching Leader-1 into the console frees Megatron and dooms them both to some pain. He placed Rad in the mine to deter Prime, knowing that an outright confrontation could start an insurrection.

Cyclonus is ready to get some payback for his humiliation by the Mini-Cons, but he gets a little too triggerhappy when he tries to assault a heavily-armed Autobot shuttle.

Mirage seems to be one to have a grip on things. He knows full well that there would have been a rebellion if the Mini-Cons had been ordered to fight Prime directly and goes to Sparkplug for help. He hauls his fellow Mini-Con away from Megatron and to the Space Team, which plays a key part in saving Rad. He's the first to come around, since he "drew a line, one he would not cross."

Astroscope and the Space Team have the first reaction of running away and not stopping to help when asked. They are swayed by Sparkplug and show their electronic capabilities and quick-thinking by being able to manipulate the mines into a lower orbit. Sky Blast personally goes to save Rad and is skilled enough in his flying to actually grapple the mine and signal Prime of his non-hostile intentions via his approach. He, of course, asks Optimus to pick up his fellow Mini-Cons.

Thankfully, the only dose of Rad we are subjected to is his reunion with the simulcrums, during which he shows a weary acceptance of the somewhat weird situation his friends are in. We do learn that his grades at school aren't that good. Alexis and Carlos show the obligatory enthusiasm for being in space and Carlos is very gung-ho throughout the issue.
Trivia
Simulcrum technology is a holographic projection system that allows the user to actually feel the environment that s/he is being simulated into. A hoverdisk is used to transmit the words and actions into a form under it.

For some odd reason, the kids have Autobot insignias on the back of their jackets. Guess the Autobots are currently 'fashionable.'

Rad's parents are astronomers and Rad has expressed interest in becoming one. They work at the Cosmocorp Research Centre.

Megatron keeps the Destruction Team around for the next couple issues, but they are conspicously absent from the gathering in issue 18. Their ultimate fate is left to out imagination, but it probably wasn't pretty.

Megatron has a comm-unit installed in his left face guard.

The defenses for the moonbase are controlled from Forward/Tactical and total control of them is handled there. From it, a damper field can be placed around specific comm-channels. The equipment is also prone to exploding when damaged. The moonbase itself is equipped with escape capsules located in the stratodome. Various silos are located within the base and Omega-1 is where Megatron was trapped, which is where the base's sub-surface artillery comes in. These silos probably all have the same internal defense capabilities. The orbital mines used for defense can be recalled for maintenance using a specific recall code that doesn't always work. They can also be pulled into a low orbit. When an enemy is approaching, an automatic first level activation is switched on for the mines and it blocks all command overrides. It does not, however, block commands to reposition orbit.

The Autobot shuttle/gunship is equipped with sonic warheads, proximity alarms, automatic firing control, a Mini-Con ID data scanner, comm-channels, cargo bays and is designed for short-range space combat. Try finding one of those at your used-car dealer.

Leader-1's face guard can retract, which explains why he didn't have it in issue 1. He can also neuro-load locations to Megatron.

Body-sized capsules are used for transporting various Mini-Con stuff, including Sky Blast's rubber ducky.
Good quotes
"Destruction Team, eh? Well then... let's see what damage we can do!" Megatron.

"Ah... nice. I do so like the homely little touches. What a shame I shall have to bring your playhouse tumbling down!" Megatron, who gets all the best lines.

"You and Megatron belong together! You both believe your own hype!" Dualor.

"We were all supposed to be working together, to create a better world... not burying our heads and looking out for number one." Sparkplug.
Bad quotes
Mistakes
Story rating
7 star
Art rating
7 star
Media
Reviewed by
bobaprime85

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