War and Peace #1

Title: New World Order
Publisher: Dreamwave
Release date: April 2003
Cover variants: Autobot, Decepticon, Holofoil, Shockwave incentive, Dynamic forces, Dynamic Forces purple foil
Price: $2.95
Writer: Brad Mick
Artwork: Pat Lee (pencils) Rob Armstrong (inks)
Rating: Art / Story

First appearance: Sandstorm, Broadside, Octane, Ultra Magnus, Scourge


Synopsis:

By Ian Arrowsmith

Scourge shows up on Earth to warn the Transformers of the impending arrival of Shockwave!

Nearly a year has passed since the Transformers reawakened on Earth following the explosion of Ark II. Now they are mysteriously summoned to an area of Alaskan shoreline, where an ancient cybertronian vessel is discovered.

The Autobots fall victim to a Decepticon ambush and - gripped in a battle with Megatron - Optimus Prime's only concern is the Cybertronian vessel marked with an Autobot insignia: it appears to be what summoned them all and Megatron must not have its contents. Skywarp attacks Ironhide using his ability to warp and catch the Autobot off guard from behind. Ironhide collapses onto the shuttle and causes it to open, just as Optimus pulls off a nifty move and pins Megatron to the floor. Before Prime delivers Megatrons epitaph, he is interrupted by Scourge - the once servant of Unicron, who appears to have come out of the Cybertronian vessel. Scourge tries to tell the assembled Transformers that cybertron has been unified under a new ruler, but before he finishes the message he is silenced by a powerful blast from no other than Shockwave!

Declaring himself ruler of Cybertron, Shockwave orders the Transformers to surrender and warns that defiance will not be tolerated. As if to back-up his point a squad of Triple changers emerging from Shockwave's ship and stand ready to enforce his will. Optimus questions this newfound unification and is told that logic dictates that if the earthen Transformers' conflict were to continue, it could reinfect Cybertron - something Shockwave is keen to avoid. Megatron pushes his Autobot foe out of the way and attacks Shockwave, only for Blitzwing to fire a sortie of missiles at him! With Optimus as his next target he Transforms into a tank and his turret comes frighteningly close to Prime's head, until Grimlock (still wearing his Decepticon insignia from the previous volume) crushes Blitzwing's turret. Megatron is still fuming at Shockwave's attempt to take him out but is soon floored and placed in stasis lock. The other Autobots are getting slagged and need to pull-out now. Seeing the Autobots united to retreat, Shockwave calls off the firefight and (with his foot on Megatron's head) gives the Decepticons the option of submitting to his rule or termination. They all sign up!

Having regrouped, the Autobots decide to leave a troop of Prowl, Mirage, Cliffjumper, Trailbreaker and Hound behind to perform reconnaissance. The rest return to base. Meanwhile the recruited Decepticons are escorted to Shockwave's spacecraft where they are told that they will be placed in CR chambers for the duration of the journey to Cybertron. Just as they are launching, Shockwave receives a transmission from a security team and instructs them to come to earth and join Blitzwing in rounding-up the fugitive Autobots. Also within the ship a figure is shown escaping from the CR chambers.

Back at the Ark, Ratchet repairs on the wounded as the others discuss the current situation with Optimus. Some want to return to Cybertron but others are sceptical about life there and what kind of peace has been imposed. Optimus with his wisdom knows that fighting amongst themselves wont solve anything, just as Grimlock appears to agree. With Mirage and Cliffjumper AWOL, Prowl and the others are on the run from some mysterious attackers and Thrust, Dirge and Ramjet reveal themselves. Under fire Prowl manages to escape to the forest where he finds some respite from the assault, trying to communicate with Optimus, he is surprised by Mirage who comforts him by telling him that everyone now gets to go home. The large towering figure of Ultra Magnus appears and asks Prowl to put down his armaments.

On board Shockwave's cruiser, Megatron starts to wake up just as the bay doors are opened by someone. He releases the airlock and Rumble and Frenzy hold on for dear life, as Megatron is sucked out into space. As he tries to grab hold of something his acceleration Starscream blasts him, the very Decepticon that has been creeping around the ship. Now deactivated Megatron drifts off into the open galaxy.

******

Comments:

Straight into the action with issue one. But what have the Autobots and Decpeticons been up to for the last year? Just sitting around? I know time has to pass in these things but do they really have to make it a year. Seems a bit long to be doing next to nothing.

Pat's artwork is again in his own stylised form, which is great for the most part it really does give the comic that nice fresh feel, only thing is that sometimes I think Optimus ends up looking a bit of a blocky character, but in general I like it, Its particulary great to see the Triplechangers on the scene, Sandstorm, Broadside, Blitzwing, Astrotrain and Octane all make an appearance. Not all of them do much but they all look great. Mind you there isn't all that much room to look at the artwork in this issue because its quite well packed with all the dialogue.

A lot of stuff happens and I'm still not sure about all of it. Did Scourge really step out of the ancient spacecraft or was he with Shockwave or something? So a little clarification in that respect would have gone a long way for me, as much as I like having some mystery in the stories I do think that its annoying when some details are confusing. I agree with the storyline though, I know there was the whole fear that this was Dreamwave partly re-treading the Generation 2 series, now it doesn't seem so bad. It could turn bad though, I don't want to see Ultra Magnus' character screwed up. The fact that Megatron is probably going to be out of the way for a while seems fun, and its good to see Shockwave's calculative manner back in action.

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