ORIGINALLY POSTED ON COMICZONEAZ.com (site no longer active)
Transformers: All Hail Megatron #s 1-4, 6-10
Written by Shane McCarthy
Pencils by Guido Guidi and Robert Deas (issue 9)
“What a quizzical selection of issues,” you might be thinking to yourself.
Well, what had happened was, between shopping at my previous regular shop and opening my own store, I sort of missed a few comics, and apparently TFs: All Hail Megatron #5 was one of them. So I totally didn’t get to read it. But IDW released a 5-page teaser of that issue, and tfwiki.net is pretty much the ultimate Transformers resource, so I read their synopsis.
THIS is the Transformers comic I have been waiting for IDW to produce. Don’t get me wrong; the Infiltration, Stormbringer, Escalation, Devastation, and Revelation mini serieses, and the Spotlight one-shots are cool. Really cool. Some of them are amongst the best Transformers comics I’ve ever read. But, All Hail Megatron is the epitome of making this silly little child’s franchise a piece of mature entertainment.
Here’s the basic premise: The Autobots have been exiled to Cybertron, and Optimus Prime has been severely damaged. The Decepticons, meanwhile, have decided to take over the Earth and use its natural resources to create Energon (the Transformers equivalent of food), and use it as a central base of operations in their quest for Universal conquest. The Autobots on Cybertorn are embittered, having petty arguments amongst themselves, and accusing each other of being traitors. Also, they’re trying to remain a cohesive team and stand united in the face of adversity. Clearly, that part isn’t going very well. Also, Starscream is up to his usual undermining tactics. Except, this time, he actually manages to convince some Decepticons that he’s right. And, hoo-boy, does he seemingly convince the right Decepticons to convince!
But the best part about All Hail Megatron is that THINGS HAPPEN. One of the problems with most children’s cartoons (especially the ones designed to sell toys, like Transformers), is that the main characters mostly always stay alive. But in AHM, nobody is safe. Especially not the humans. In issue 6, the evil Decepticon Skywarp claims to have killed the population of Beijing, China. That’s over eight million people. Okay, even if he’s exaggerating? That’s a lot of people. The death toll is likely still in the millions.
Or, one of my favorite scenes is when some scared New Yorkers are hiding in the subway, and they hear a train. They’re thinking that this is their way out of there. But when the train arrives, it’s clearly Astrotrain, who transforms into his robot mode and KILLS EVERYTHING.
While you can totally see Starscream’s betrayal coming a mile away (because, you know, it’s Starscream), WHAT he manages to do, and the revelation of how the other Decepticons see him is somethingt that we never really got a chance to see, before this. And because IDW is allowed to kind of re-write TF history for this series, you may be surprised at who feels which way about the Decepticon Air Commander.
And when the Autobots find the OTHER faction trying to survive on Cybertron? Oh man, it’s quite a treat.
The only downside to this story is that you need to know what happened to Sunstreaker during the Escalation and Devastation series, and it sort of requires that you have a working knowledge of who the Transformers are, and why the Matrix of Leadership is important. So full-on TransNewbies may be a bit confused at first. But if you, like me, watched the original Transformers when you were a kid in the early 80s, this is the comic that you want to read. It’s literally as cool as you remember Transformers being, without too much stuff being changed.
I highly recommend this series if you have even a passing interest in the Transformers.