|Specifics: cover A|
The Expansion comes to its shattering end.
Sideswipe, sporting his new Earth mode, wages an all out assault on the Dead Universe lieutenant, Grindcore in the hills of China's Jiangxi Province. Around him, the rest of Hound's attack group struggle to disable Straxus and claim the space bridge the undead Cybertronians guard. Sideswipe, driven to prove himself, takes on the task of defeating the two enemies to allow his group access to the Space Bridge. Ultra Magnus provides an all-party tactical forum to share with with all his fellow autobots involved with the fight the information received from the Magnificence via Hot Rod.
The crew of the original Ark are seeking to bond the two universes through the spacial warp in the Benzuli Expanse. Three Negacores on Corata-Vaz, Rotan, and Bhul are set to accelerate the process once fully active and each is guarded by a super powered slave against tampering. Thunderwing is already under assault by the Wreckers on Corata-Vaz while Monstructor stands guard on Rotan and Sixshot on the fourth moon of Bhul. Jetfire is attempting to disable Thunderwing using an Axis chair of Garrus-9 but is facing resistance from the enemies' command setup on Gorlam Prime in the form of chief scientist Jhiaxus.
In the Benzuli Expanse, Cyclonus continues blowing huge holes in the Autobot science vessel Mirror-Manifold. Autobot officers Waverider, Groundbreaker, and Landmine sit silently as Cloudburst makes his final transmission. In true narrative fashion, the four are teleported to safety as their vessel succumbs to fire and explodes. Arriving in the hold of the Deus Ex Machinal cargo vessel Nightbird the quartet are presented with the fruits of Technobot labor, four complete sets of protective bio-armor.
Jetfire manages to freeze Thunderwing in his tracks using the Axis chair, allowing the Wreckers to reach the Negacore, and proposes the relocation of the cores before a mind controlled Bludgeon cuts in to threaten the Autobot scientist. In a sub-level of Garrus-9 Optimus Prime and Nemesis Prime begin to fight. The former Prime finds his new Darkness seems drawn to Optimus. Optimus observes that this is similar to the Matrix, which sought to pass though the Prime lineage, and realizes that Nemesis is pathetically fighting him to halt the inevitable process. Enraged, Nemesis blasts his enemy with forks of blue lightening, but someone is lurking in the shadows.
On Earth, Sideswipe is getting years of needed therapy out on Straxus' head plates and ordering the rest of the team to get on with the mission. After saying his goodbyes, Hound begins sending the group through the space bridge to their designated locations. We then see Monstructor fighting massed Deception forces and one very scary fem-bot. Straxus is down, though Grindcore continues to fight Sideswipe. On Garrus-9, Bludgeon takes a swing at Jetfire but finds himself brought up short by Jetfire's prattle, probably a first, pointing out the deformed Jhiaxus might have bitten off more than he can chew. Elsewhere, the new Pretenders are taking on Cyclonus. On Corata-Vaz the Wreckers are fending off the now active Thunderwing to give Topspin and Twintwist time to organize the complex unplugging of the Negacores, which they achieve. On Rotan, Fortress Maximus and Warpath are removing their core, while Hound and Road Rocket do the same on Bhul after somehow getting past the previously unmolested Sixshot. Skram informs Ultra Magnus that his task is complete with a minimum or convincing necessary. On Gorlam Prime, Jhiaxus moves to lock down the space bridge when he suddenly finds himself unarmed. Arcee is back with revenge on her mind.
Optimus, trapped in streams of blue lightening, implores Nemesis to put things right when Galvatron, proving that one doesn't need an emblem to act like a Deception, blasts his boss point blank in the back. The Darkness passes into Optimus as it's former host dies, seeking to control the Autobot leader. Galvatron explains his choices, sacrifice himself to the solar pool or pass it on. As Prime plans, Galvatron monologues the pull between him and the Darkness, the bond that links them that was only interrupted by the former influence of the Matrix on Nova Prime, a bond finally to be achieved. Prime chooses to pass on the Darkness to Galvatron, but then throws Galvatron into the conveniently close solar pool.
Cloudburst and crew transport the Negacores into the Dead Universe through the anomaly in the Benzuli Expanse. Under the much needed guidance of Jetfire they escape just in time, the cores explode, closing the anomaly. Under Gorlam Prime, Jhiaxus flees towards the pool portal, insulting Arcee even as she takes out his Micromaster guard. At the last moment, his path is blocked by the revenant Hardhead, allowing Arcee to finally make her point.
Optimus says goodbye in his own way to former Nova Prime. Sideswipe stands tall, if battered, over his defeated opponents and realizes he has proven himself to the only person who matters. Arcee finds Jhiaxus stubbornly won't stay dead, but decides it's a greater pleasure to kill him again. And again. And again.
In an epilogue, as years pass Gorlam Prime re-awakens into a new and remarkable form, and is renamed by its inhabitants as Cybertron. Jetfire observes a delightful list of future comic topics and a suspicious hand begins to emerge from the Solar Pool. Fin.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- None yet identified.
Items of note
- Cameos: ???
- None yet identified.
|Specifics: alt covers|
- Cover A: Sideswipe amongst rubble, fourth part of 4-issue image by E. J. Su.
- Cover B: by Nick Roche.
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