The 'bots are confused. Having lost Prime they return to their base to find another Prime there, but he's not theirs even if he is 'a' Prime, and he's dying. He has a chilling warning for them that "Chaos is coming" and, with the message given, he dies. Meanwhile on Cybertron, five mysterious Transformers appear. On Earth the 'bots and Mini-Cons are trying to work out what's going on. They track down the new Mini-Con but suddenly a powerful purple Transformer appears (Galvatron from G1) and begins to blast everyone in sight, Autobot and Decepticon alike. Elsewhere, the real Prime discovers himself to be on Cybertron. Not his Cybertron, but a Cybertron about to be consumed!
Issue
014
Writer
Simon Furman
Pencils
Don Figueroa
Inks
Elaine To
Colours
David Cheung / Espen Grundetjern / Stuart Ng / Rob Ruffolo
Release date
01/08/2003
Autobots featured
Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Red Alert, Smokescreen, Jetfire, Blurr
Decepticons featured
Megatron, Starscream, Demolishor, Cyclonus, Thrust
Humans featured
Sparkplug, Mirage, Astroscope, Leader-1, Jolt, Over-Run, Galvatron (G1), Scourge (G1), Thunderwing (G1), Bludgeon (G1), Dirge (G1), Spinister (G1)
Origin of
Death of
First appearance
Locations featured
Silver Ridge, Nebraska, San Francisco, California, Big Sur, California, Utah, Cybertron
Story synopsis
Things get rolling with Hot Shot and the rest of the arctic team returning to base via space bridge. Smokescreen greets them with a bit of happy news - they've got Optimus Prime. Wait, scratch that, make it an Optimus Prime, as we get a beauty shot of a messed up G1 Prime. Fanboy fun count: +1

Speaking of the Autobot leader, in downtown San Francisco a Mini-Con named Over-Run is busy searching for the big red guy. He heads to a construction field to try for an 'uplink'.

On Cybertron, five familiar silhouettes materialise out of a ball of light right next to Decepticon HQ - it's Generation 1's Galvatron, Thunderwing, Scourge, Bludgeon and Dirge. Galvatron reminds them that failure is not an option. Fanboy fun count: +1

Back at Autobase, Smokescreen informs those assembled that 'Optimus' was just there when he got back from Death Valley. Y'know, those Autobots really need to learn to lock the screen door. Hot Shot asks Astroscope for answers, and the scientist suggests that it is an 'alternate', a being from a parallel dimension's Cybertron. Red Alert then gets a bit too close and has his hand grabbed by 'Prime' and the near-dead Autobot delivers a message: "The walls... crumbling. Chaos... is coming...", and so the now-dead Autobot fulfils the obligatory ominous death scene requirement for all apocalyptic scenarios.

Checking in on our Decepticon friends, we find their space bridge is acting wonky, but no one there knows how to fix it. Quickly disinterested, Megatron then bellows for Leader-1, who reports that the malfunction is due to outside stress on the space bridge system. Immediately expecting an attack, Megatron orders the place on high alert.

Back at Autobase, a somewhat similar scene is being played out as Hot Shot and Jetfire try to puzzle out who is behind the 'other' Optimus. Hot Shot reveals that the Space Team is prepping a probe of some sort to scan dimensions and monitoring space bridge activity. Jetfire agrees to do the same in regards to the latter. Sparkplug then informs Hot Shot that the scan picked up a strange trace in Big Sur, California. Hot Shot orders Sparkplug and Jolt to assemble their team...

Getting back to our new arrival, Over-Run bemoans his lack of 'sub-light slipstreams' as he tries to use a makeshift satellite dish. He's unaware that a certain particle-cannon wielder has materialised not too far away. Fanboy fun count: +1

Over at Big Sur, Hot Shot and co have found Over-Run's 'trans-dimensional vessel' which is basically several metal beams arranged in a three-way globular pattern. Sparkplug asks what it means and Astroscope replies that they have a visitor who may know where Prime is. Astroscope picks up a spatial pulse 96 miles due north and they all pile in the hovercraft to investigate, unaware they are being monitored by Starscream. The aerial Decepticon orders Demolishor to retrieve the object located at the Autobots' former position, while he follows the Autobots themselves. Thrust, seeing Starscream in a hurry, decides to follow.

Later, the Autobots arrive at Over-Run's location, much to his relief, but a 'Bwthoom!' courtesy of Starscream knocks the Autobots away. He's about to capture the Mini-Con when he is smacked away by the one, the only, the purple, Galvatron! And look, he even has his own ominous background lightning now! The harbinger wants 'it' and fires up the particle cannon when Over-Run says no, but delivers the blast to Hot Shot when the Autobot tries to interfere. The purple-helmed one again demands the Matrix and in response, Over-Run tries to initiate a self-destruct. This little scene is interrupted by Thrust, who just gets smacked aside by Galvatron.

The harbinger turns back to Over-Run, but the Mini-Con isn't there, only a Mini-Con shaped crater. Remembering that Unicron doesn't like to be left waiting for his foot rub, Galvatron enters a portal and leaves. Mirage, hiding Over-Run with his invisibility, assures the new arrival of safety, but his assurance basically falls on deaf ears. Oh, fanboy fun count: +5

Checking in on the real Optimus Prime, (bet you thought we forgot all about him) we find the Autobot leader wandering the ruined remains of Cybertron, finding nothing but scorched landscape. That, and a rather jumpy Spinister stammering about something that is going to "eat our world!" Hmmm, whatever could that be?
Remarks
Oh. Yeah. Armada really starts to kick into high with this one. While most story edicts (and this was certainly an edict from Hasbro) suck, Furman takes this oppurtunity to bring back some old friends as a part of the transition from Armada to Energon. It really gives the franchise a much needed kick, though it is a tad late. Plus: no damn kids! However, there is a minor retread feeling, since the idea of Prime vanishing and heralds causing upheaval is straight out of Target 2006.

While just the set up, the arrival of the harbingers is handled well enough to leave you wanting more. 'Prime's' death scene, while a tad cheesy, is a good kind of cheese and the scenes with Galvatron are just kickarse. He swiftly and brutally takes out all opposition, be it Hot Shot, Thrust or Starscream. Of course, we haven't seen anything yet...

Well hot and damn, Don Figueroa is on the pencils. Let the rejoicing begin. His Galvatron exudes menace and looks great just swatting aside the Transformers. His dying Prime is a wonderful visual and the silhouettes for the harbingers are used to great effect.
Character development
Optimus Prime is very bewildered by his new environment and tries to convince Spinister that he means no harm.

Jetfire seems to have assumed overall control in Prime's absence. He keeps a cool head, but is baffled by the situation.

Hot Shot is clearly frustrated by his inability to find out what is happening. He instigates things from Earth, suggesting that he is Prime's second in command. He's very eager to get going once the scan finds something, saying, "it's time we got proactive!" and is brave enough to try to tackle Galvatron.

Megatron gets easily frustrated when his goons can't fix the space bridge. Once he learns of the outside interference, he immediately expects an Autobot attack. He's also made sure that the Destruction Team and Leader-1 were punished for their insubordination in a special cube. It seems he likes to dish out pain.

Starscream is not a mechanic, that's for sure. He also enjoys getting a yelp of fear from Over-Run, but it isn't Starscream the Mini-Con is afraid of...

Demolishor is just as useless as Starscream in the mechanics department.

Thrust follows Starscream discreetly, curious as to what could get him so interested. He then jumps into the fray with Galvatron.

Sparkplug calls Prime 'my' before correcting himself. Apparently, being the Autobot leader's personal Mini-Con has left a mark on Sparkplug.

Leader-1's initially sarcastic tone quiets when Megatron threatens to send him back to the punishment cube. We know from issue 11 how much he hates Megatron, but he still has to work with him and doesn't seem to need to hide his feelings.

Astroscope is well-versed in data concerning parallel dimensions and the like. He manages to use this to set up a probe. He's both excited and amazed at the trans-dimensional technology.

Over-Run is very nervous and with good reason. He's eager to hook up with the Autobots and willing to blow himself up to keep Galvatron from the Matrix.

Galvatron = badass. He just lays the smackdown left and right this issue, but is fooled by Mirage's deception. However, unlike his predecessors, this Galvatron obeys Unicron's orders to the letter. He says little and lacks in the charisma department, especially when compared with the nutjob of Marvel UK and the schemer of Marvel US. Nice to see Furman trying something new.

Spinister is a frightened, gibbering wreck.
Trivia
Apparently, there are "parallel Earths and Cybertrons, some subtly different, others radically so." A parallel dimension is, "separated from our universe by a quantum event horizon." In one fell swoop this explains the myriad of Transformer continuities, from Armada to G1, from comic to cartoon, from Marvel to Dreamwave, from... you get the idea. A little overdue, but welcome.

This issue includes yet another 'Prime' death scene.

Leader-1's "you bellowed" is a lifted line from Beast Wars, where it was spoken by Black Arachnia to Megatron in Part 1 of The Agenda.

Autobase is equipped with a medical chair with small welders in the armrests, and a monitor overhead for the vitals.

Assuming that Over-Run originated in the same universe as the not-G1 Prime, it would seem that Mini-Cons can link with G1 Transformers. This seems bolstered by the fact that the scanners at Autobase read not-G1 Prime as the Armada Optimus. However, it is possible that Over-Run hails from a reality where the larger Transformers couldn't link with the Mini-Cons. Over-Run's exact origins have yet to be revealed.

Astroscope and others have tried to access alternate realities while on Cybertron, but there was not enough energy.

The 'Punishment Cube' is used by the Decepticons to, well, punish errant Mini-Cons, like the Destruction Team.

Cyclonus has been placed in a kind of glass water tank for healing purposes.

Over-Run mentions the 'Dark Ages'- a possible tie-in to G1?

Sub-light slipstreams can retrieve from anywhere on the globe in 3.5 seconds. Over-Run has apparently used them a lot.

Over-Run's vessel is a trans-dimensional vessel with a nucleon power cell. Nucleon is also the power source from G1 that reenergised several Transformers, but impared their ability to transform, making them Actionmasters.

Over-Run is in possession of 'the Matrix', but it's not the glowing disco ball we all know and, er, love. In this case, it is not held by a Prime and is smaller, making it a 'Mini-Con Matrix'.

In the alternate dimension Cybertron is a burned-out husk. Interestingly, Unicron visited it before, but did not consume it. Spinister is apparently the last Transformer alive, suggesting that maaaayyybe Unicron planned it that way?

The inter-dimensional jump creates a stress on the whole space bridge network, which is picked up by the Decepticons' monitoring equipment.

The Decepticons have deployed spy satellites and ground cameras to spy on the Autobots.

When Galvatron materialises on Earth, he's right next to a car with '1984' on the license plate. One would think that 1986 would be better, since it's when Galvatron first appeared.

The Autobots use a hovercraft with large aft thrusters for transport.

Autobase is equipped with up to, and probably exceeds, five hangers.
Good quotes
Over-Run - "No, you can't! You don't understand. I - AAA!"
Starscream - "Hey! That's more like it - abject terror. You've just made my - *WHAM!*" (Starscream then gets bitch-slapped by Galvatron)

"Hey! Pal! Pick on someone your own - *DOOM!*" Hot Shot, being used as target practice by Galvatron.
Bad quotes
Mistakes
Story rating
8 star
Art rating
9 star
Media
Reviewed by
bobaprime85

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