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Specifics: covers
Transformers: Generation One: Prime Directive > Issue #1
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Lazarus has weapons for sale while Spike learns that he can't escape his past.


Humans have discovered the Transformers again after a year and a half of searching. Decepticons and Autobots are captured by a human organization and used as metallic puppets of war. Grimlock leads the Autobots and Decepticons in a slaughter of humans at an oil plant—and the slaughter is shown! The U.S. Government contacts the only person on record as ever having known about Transformers: Spike Witwicky, who currently is a working man taking care of his infant son, Daniel.

It is revealed that the Autobots had united with humans to defeat the Decepticons. Together, the two races built a giant ship known as the Ark II, which they planned to transport themselves and the captive Decepticons back to Cybertron. Also aboard were a handful of Earth scientists and Sparkplug Witwicky. The Ark II exploded before exiting Earth's atmosphere, and no humans survived.

However, the U.S. military reveals to Spike that it has found one of the surviving Transformer bodies...


Writers: Chris Sarracini (Chrislock)
Pencils: Pat Lee (Patimus Prime)
Inks: Rob Armstrong (Robonus)
Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia (Edwin Magnus)
Colors: TheRealT!
Graphic Design: Paul Villafuerte (Paulceptor)
Letters: Dreamer Design

  • Originally published: April 4, 2002
  • Chronology: Modern era

Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans


  • None yet identified.


"We have a Transformer of our own!"
"Really!? Which one!?"

U.S. Army General and Spike Witwicky

Items of note

  • The final page of the issue serves as a dramatic reveal of the Transformer that the U.S. forces have found. The collected volumes do not present this image in the same way, losing a lot of the dramatic impact.
  • Following the story is a 2-page fictional news article entitled "Reliving the '99 Ark II Tragedy—What Happened?"
  • James Raiz, Alan Wang and Kenny Li created a large lithograph that contained over 600 characters from multiple Transformers continuities. Each issue of Prime Directive came in two cover variants, Autobot and Decepticon, and each variant of each issue had a 2-page center spread which was 1/12 of the lithograph. Split up, it was 4 issues wide by 3 issues high.

Covers (6)

They're actually both looking for characterization.
Let's see what you can see...

This article is in need of images.

Specifics: alternate covers
  • Regular Cover: Autobots wraparound by Pat Lee
  • Regular Cover: Decepticons wraparound by Pat Lee
  • Alternate: Omega Supreme wraparound by Pat Lee
  • Alternate: Prime and Bumblebee wraparound by Pat Lee
  • Foil Cover: Battle wraparound by ???
  • Incentive Cover: Superion wraparound by ???