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The Mini-Cons are working on rescuing Optimus Prime, who is busy having a chat with the powerful entity responsible for all of this. The Cybertron-based Autobots manage to take control of the space bridge and discover it is being used to unravel the boundaries between realities. The Mini-Cons manage to locate Prime just as an exploding space bridge throws Jetfire into his reality. Prime receives the Mini-Con Matrix which upgrades him. He then merges with Jetfire and, after having tried his best to attack their foe, makes his escape.
Issue
017
Writer
Simon Furman
Pencils
Don Figueroa
Inks
Elaine To / Rob Armstrong
Colours
David Cheung / Eric Burns / Rob Ruffolo
Release date
01/11/2003
Autobots featured
Optimus Prime, Jetfire, Overload, Blurr, Rhinox, Sideswipe, Red Alert, Cheetor (BW), Rattrap (BW), Optimus Prime (RID), Prowl (RID)
Decepticons featured
Megatron, Thrust, Tankor (BM)
Humans featured
Sparkplug, Over-Run, Commetor, Mirage, Highwire, Astroscope, Wreckage, Knock Out, Bonecrusher, Runway, Sonar, Jetstorm, Sky Blast, Payload, Unicron, Bludgeon (G1), Scourge (G1), Thunderwing (G1), Dirge (G1), Spinister (G1)
Origin of
Death of
Bludgeon (G1), Scourge (G1), Thunderwing (G1), Dirge (G1), Spinister (G1)
First appearance
Locations featured
Silver Ridge, Nebraska, Cybertron
Story synopsis
We start to reach the climax with Sparkplug's Mini-Cons around Over-Run's Null Reality Pod. Over-Run explains that he, Sparkplug, and one other will use the pod to find Optimus and power his return to this reality. Commetor, filled with the urge to explore (and Hasbro's orders to pair him with Jetfire), volunteers to tag along. That is, once they find exactly where Prime is stranded.

Speaking of the noble leader, on a quickly destabilising Cybertron, we find him trying to talk some sense into the local nutso. Unfortunately, Spinister is now the local suicidal nutso and, despite Prime's efforts, he gives himself up to Unicron and is sucked up into the Chaos Bringer. Optimus is about to meet a similar fate, when he finds himself encased in a sudden forcefield. Prime is then confronted by a Unicron-controlled Spinister. When asked how he arrived, Optimus can only supply a simple 'I don't know' and the Autobot tries to question Unicron's intentions. What he finds out is that the fallen god has decided to turn the multiverse into an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Meanwhile, Jetfire and co have entered the 'master space bridge Nexus' in Decepticon HQ and while Blurr and Sideswipe access the controls, Overload and Rhinox stand guard for "our sword-happy friend." Jetfire orders the Nexus shut down and briefly catches a glimpse of Optimus in the space bridge portals. Before he can figure out what he saw, the image is lost among various other realities. Blurr then reports that the command controls are locked out. Jetfire, rather than waste time, decides to go with that ever-fun alternative - demolitions.

Back on Earth, the harbingers have finished beating up Thrust for his lunch money, but don't have the information they wanted. Thunderwing then gets some kind of transmission reporting that the Nexus has been breached. They set off to investigate...

Elsewhere, Megatron is on a power-high from his victory over Galvatron. Amid the remants of the harbinger's corpse, the Decepticon leader loudly proclaims his triumph, much to the upset of the Land Military Team. Springing into action, they hit Megatron with all they have and, surprisingly, manage to free the Star Sabre. The Air Defense Team then heads off, but not before checking in with Sky Blast and Payload, who report that they have finally located Optimus. The spacial coordinates are transmitted to the null-reality pod and the Mini-Cons are on their way.

Back at the Nexus, Jetfire's fun is interrupted first by a guns-blazing Bludgeon in tank mode and then by the arrival of the other harbingers. The rest of the team clears out while Jetfire stays behind to detonate the bombs. Just before everything goes 'boom' the Autobot spies a space bridge portal that leads to the reality Prime is in and Jetfire dives in, narrowly escaping the harbingers and the following, satisfying 'boom'.

Prime is, of course, thrilled to see a friendly face, but is unable to do anything besides deliver a dramatic explanation of Unicron. Things are looking hopeless, so of course this is when the three Mini-Cons arrive. Sparkplug immediately links with Optimus while Over-Run hands Prime 'the Matrix' causing the Autobot leader to go see-through for a moment, before providing him and Jetfire with shiny new Hasbro-powered colour schemes. The two then use their Hasbro power to combine into the, uh, OP/Jet and they use their big honkin' gun to lay a hurt on Unicron. However, this only delays the Chaos Bringer and Over-Run then gets all assembled out of there.

So, once back on their own Cybertron, Prime checks in on Autobase : Earth. What's left of Red Alert reports that, while Megatron has buggered off, things are still wrecked and Smokescreen is critical. Prime orders for Smokescreen to be transferred to Cybertron and for Longarm to broadcast a Mini-Con call to arms, to prepare against Unicron...
Remarks
A good climax to Worlds Collide, if it can be called that. While Prime may have returned and the harbingers are defeated, the matter of Unicron remains unresolved until next issue, so really this is Worlds Collide Part 4 of 5.

Still, plenty of good stuff all around this issue. Spinister's death and possession is cool and it either plays off or rips off Xaaron's possession by Primus back in G1. I'm thinking the former. Jetfire continues to please and when he jumps through the portal and leaves the harbingers caught in the explosion its exciting stuff, as is the scene when Payload homes in on Prime and sends the Mini-Cons.

The brief glimpses of Beast Wars and RID we see in the space bridges are some nice little details. Plus, like with War Within getting Dreamwave on track by kickstarting the continuity backstory, Furman gives a similar service here by bringing all the Transformers continuities under one roof. He makes Beast Wars, RID, Armada and G1 all as valid as the other, alternate realities making up the big picture.

While the combination of Optimus and Jetfire may seem hokey when discussed aloud, when you read it, it actually makes a certain kind of sense, unlike the painfully obvious Hasbro-demanded combine-fest of Energon 21.

The only real nitpick I have is that Megatron so easily loses the Star Sabre and then doesn't complete the destruction of Autobase, but the latter is excusable since he saw all of its defenders fall in battle. Still, he should have checked what they were defending. The Star Sabre thing just kind of stretches logic.

This issue may be an example of Furman's hit-or-miss climaxes, but I'm not really sure. What I am sure of is that the arc's main fault is that it's too short, and I now want a 12-issue limited series that brings in ALL of G1!

Don's art is, well, what can I say that I haven't said already? Everything flows smoothly - his OP/Jet is impressive and his shots of Jetfire's team fighting Bludgeon are great.
Character development
Even with everything crumbling around him, Prime remains defiant, trying to convince Spinister to fight back. He isn't deluded about his situation, and recognises that his end may be coming soon, and is rather surprised to be saved by Unicron. Of course, Prime wants some answers, but doesn't get any. When Jetfire shows up, Optimus is glad to see him, but a tiny bit of Spinister's drama seems to have rubbed off when Prime explains Unicron. Once the Mini-Cons arrive, he's happy to have Sparkplug with him and, once boosted by the Matrix, he combines with Jetfire and then briefly slows Unicron's advance. Once back home, he issues a call for all Mini-Cons to gather in defense of Cybertron.

Megatron is still on a rush due to his victory over Galvatron, so much so that he releases the Star Sabre when the Land Military Team fires upon him. Instead of checking to see that Autobase was finished and just what Hot Shot was defending, he heads home to sulk.

Jetfire is still the commander this issue, barking orders to his troops about guarding their flank and shutting down the Nexus. He does briefly get distracted when he sees Prime, but gets back in the game once Blurr tells him about the locked controls. Instead of waste time, Jetfire simply orders for the place to be levelled via explosives. He stays behind when he learns the explosives must be detonated manually, ready to sacrifice himself to stop the harbingers and destroy the Nexus, and barely escapes the harbingers by jumping into a portal that leads to Prime. Once there, he displays a bit of flippancy regarding Unicron and later combines with Prime to halt the chaos-bringer. When all have gotten back home, he acts a bit pessimistic about everything, saying, "not good... not good at all. The rift... if that's what it is... is widening. All that effort and struggle, and we managed to achieve precisely nothing."

Sparkplug, eager to get to Prime, volunteers to come with Over-Run, and once he meets up with Optimus, the Mini-Con gives the Autobot leader all the power, including the locked stuff.

Over-Run gets a bit distracted thinking about his home, clearly still a bit shell-shocked from its destruction. He soon snaps out of it and pilots the pod to Optimus and gives Prime the Matrix, which powers them all enough to get back home.

Bludgeon loses his sense of subtlety this issue, going all-out against Jetfire's team. The other harbingers head back once they learn of the breach in the Nexus, that is once they kick the oil out of Thrust for information and then discard him. Then they all get blown up.

Jetfire's team continues to obey orders, but are rather reluctant to leave their commander alone inside the Nexus. Blurr is especially reluctant to leave his commander behind: "No! Unacceptable. There has to be another way." This causes Jetfire to order him to leave. They all look worried when the base goes up in flames, as they assume Jetfire is inside.

Commetor is very fond of exploration, enough to tag along with Over-Run's mission to find Optimus. As he says, "exploration, charting new frontiers... it's what I do."

Spinister has lost all hope: "I just want there to be an end." Ultimately, he just lets Unicron take him: "Oblivion, I welcome you!"

The Land Military Team charges into battle once they see Megatron with the Star Sabre. They know he can't be allowed to keep it and their actions prevent Megatron from becoming a larger threat. Wreckage boldly goes forth, saying, "we have a very slight element of surprise, one last, desperate shot."

The Air Defense Team scrams once free of Megatron's grip, having decided that, while they prefer the devil they know over the devil they don't, it was, "never meant to be more than a one-battle stand... we're... not that type of Mini-Con."
Trivia
The Null-Reality Pod is designed to transport three Mini-Cons.

According to Over-Run: "We will need the optimum combination of Mini-Con energy to power Optimus Prime's reintegration with this reality."

The harbingers were able to lock out the command controls of the Nexus, leaving Jetfire and his team no choice but to crank out the explosives.

Smokescreen's condition is described as critical.

Unicron describes Prime as, "not of this world, this reality-stream."

Unicron delivers his mission statement: "This reality will be consumed, then another and another." Whereas the movie Unicron was content to munch moons and planets, and in the Marvel comic went on to consume stars and galaxies, this appears to be the hungriest Unicron of all, intending to eat whole realities (apparently he never heard of weight watchers). Already in this issue, the gateway between the reality he exists in and the Armada one is starting to open. The harbingers messing with the Nexus has lead to, "multiple space bridges, punching holes," through several realities and, "subjecting local space to intolerable stress. The 'rift' outside Cybertron has now grown dangerously large.

The 'Mini-Con Matrix' was designed to house the power of a world's Mini-Cons and give that power to Optimus so that he could fight back against Unicron. The upgrade it gives Optimus causes him and Jetfire to change colours and combine into a single being capable of momentarily halting Unicron's advance, clearly placing it in the mega-powerful category. The upgrade also allows Over-Run to create a portal in space that brings everyone back home.

Unicron can place Transformers in a sphere for communication purposes. He can also possess a Transformer to serve as an Avatar, similar to Primus and Xaaron in the Marvel series. However, Unicron seems only able to do this to Cybertronians that are broken-willed and ready to die, if not already dead.

Inside the Nexus, Jetfire glimpses images from Beast Wars (Cheetor and Rattrap), Beast Machines (Tankor), and RID (Optimus and Prowl). There is also Leo Convoy from the Japanese series.

Jetfire and co are equipped with heavy demolitions equipment.

Thunderwing can detect Nexus breaches, or Bludgeon simply called.

'Chaos-sweep parameters' are apparently used by the harbingers to detect victims.

The Air Defense Team regains control once free of Megatron's grasp.

Alternates realities found: 64,145,907. Later: 79,890, 007. Spacial coordinates can be transmitted within seconds of locating the desired reality.
Good quotes
"I beat him! All that high and mighty attitude... and now he's just scrap! Tremble Earth - let this day mark the end of days!" Obligatory Megatron quote.

"It is armageddon - an enemy beyond reason, beyond comprehension. It knows us! And we, in some dark, forgotten corner of our being... know it!" Optimus Prime.

"In my experience, faced with something this big, you need to find a bigger stick!" Jetfire on seeing Unicron.

"Jetfire... I think we've just been given our 'stick'." Optimus Prime, once Matrix-powered.

"Make them understand... the future ends now!" Optimus Prime.
Bad quotes
Mistakes
Story rating
8 star
Art rating
9 star
Media
Reviewed by
bobaprime85