War Within: The Dark Ages #6
Release date: March 2004
Cover variants: Regular cover
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Andrew Wildman (pencils) Erik Sander (inks)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Omega Steve
Jetfire gives the order to unleash the force field and stop the unbinding.
Shockwave's space gun mode looms large in the sky and unleashes a powerful blast of energy against Mindwipe and Bugly. The Fallen's third disciple, Bludgeon, leaps upwards and slices the attacker his sword. Shockwave should have never come alone, he taunts. Suddenly Trypticon, Soundwave and the seekers arrive to demonstrate that he has back up after all. And then some! Below ground, The Fallen glows with white flame as a huge laser beam cuts into the seal of Primus. Once it is opened the sleeping god will be exposed, and the dark master Unicron will come. The laser is being powered by the sparks of four unique Transformers, Jetfire, Grimlock, Hotspot and Blitzwing, who are all strapped down. Jetfire and Grimlock regain consciousness and try to figure out a way to break free.
Above ground, the disciples are in big trouble, and it hardly matters that the Insecticons and Lightning Strike Coalition are now joining the opposition against them too. Swoops gets word from Prowl at HQ in Iacon that some mysterious energy source has been detected beneath their feet, and it could have something to do with this outnumbered threesome.
Just as Jetfire tries to compute a solution, and Grimlock relies on brute strength to break his bonds, Bugly and Mindwipe are speedily shot and subdued. Bludgeon escapes underground to go to his master, The Fallen, but Skywarp teleports in and zaps him. He activates the lift and the invasion begins. Jetfire convinces Grimlock that it would be a waste of time to attack The Fallen, he is too powerful to be stopped, but perhaps they can thwart him by working together. Trypticon batters through a door, and Jetfire radios Prowl and asks him to standby to initiate a containment force field on his mark. Bumblebee flicks the switch and energy from the Well of Sparks fills the bubble and engulfs The Fallen. He vanishes and the well is sealed once more.
The Autobots and Decepticons return to the scene some hours later and seal the ancient chamber with individual energy barriers - one for every faction. There is a feeling that the knowledge contain within must stay hidden until they are ready. It will be opened on the day that "all are one", a suggestion from Shockwave that seems to strike a chord. Jetfire and Grimlock make their peace and Jetfire looks to the stars, convinced that this episode offered a glimpse of their future and a bigger war to come.
Back in March '04 when I first read this comic I wasn't sure what was going on. What exactly was The Fallen trying to accomplish by opening the Well of Sparks, what would have happened if he did? And what happened to The Fallen when he was engulfed by the well's energy?
Since then I have had a chance to read Simon Furman's Ultimate Guide and it has led me to draw some more conclusions. The book explains that The Fallen was one of 13 original Transformers built by Primus. Their job was to maintain their master as he roamed the universe in planet mode creating life. But when Unicron attacked, sections of Cybertron were contaminated by his evil, and The Fallen betrayed his creator and brothers to aid the dark god. The battle was endured prematurely when Unicron was cast into a black hole and transported many millions of light years away. According to the book The Fallen was chucked out with him, but that contradicts his comments in Dark Ages 5 where he talks about being awoken from his slumber. Maybe he was below ground or on some planet somewhere and when he was revived, and journeyed to Cybertron for revenge. If so then it is possible that he was deposited into the black hole, not at the same time as Unicron, but by the Well of Sparks in this issue. It would explain where he disappeared to, but on the other hand maybe he is incarcerated in the chamber? In any event some explanation about where The Fallen came from would have been welcome during the series.
A couple of other things I wondered about, was just who Slag decks as they are waiting to go below ground. As far as the readers were aware, The Fallen only had three servants, so who is this guy? Likewise Grimlock is seen scooping up two slumbering Transformers, which I assume are Hotspot and Blitzwing, but don't look like either. Does he run into a portal or ram the wall with them, I can't tell.
The part about "all are one" was a nice touch. This is a saying we hear a lot in the Movie and is explained a little more for us here. And the silhouette of Unicron in the final panel was cool. Even if you haven't read the Ultimate Guide, this is your clue that The Fallen's plans had something to do with the dark god of chaos. Overall Dark Ages a nice mini series which expands the Transformers myth. It is a little slow in places and lacking clarity in others, but it is redeemed by the choice of characters and some new ideas (such as The Fallen and the factions). Roll on volume III.