War and Peace #5
Story: Countdown to Extinction
Release date: August 2003
Cover variants: Autobot, Decepticon
Writer: Brad Mick
Artwork: Pat Lee (pencils) Rob Armstrong (inks)
Rating: Art / Story
Synopsis:By Ian Arrowsmith
The Dinobots are unleashed on Cybertron and that spells bad news for Shockwave's followers!
With the Dinobots down and Ultra Magnus partly to blame, it is up to the recently rescued Autobots to take the battle to Shockwave and reclaim their freedom. Optimus Prime is at the forefront of the offensive to retake Iacon, issuing orders, sacrficing himself to save Huffer, and making an impression on Hot Rod. A flashback to resistance HQ, sees Prime galvanising the Autobot factions into a single fighting force.
Two breems ago Ultra Magnus had met Perceptor to check upon the condition of the Dinobots. The scientist explained (in his usual unfathomable way) that they were a little worse for wear, and Grimlock revived briefly to mutter the word 'traitor'. Magnus went to see Shockwave and discovered him emerging from a repair chamber, back to full capacity. Word arrives that the Autobots are invading Iacon, and Shockwave orders Blitzwing to prepare their defences. Soundwave is dispatched to find Starscream in case he is making trouble. Starscream has set a camera to delay and sneak into the control centre to watch the proceedings unfold. Soundwave joins him and reveals himself as an unlikely ally, so Starscream shows his appreciation with a gift which he picked up in Epsilon - the cassette Ratbat!
Meanwhile Ultra Magnus confronts Shockwave and demands an explanation for all the strange occurrences of late; the break out in Epsilon, Guardian robots being reactivated and the prepping of the smelting pools. Shockwave tries to justify it but Magnus smells a rat and storms off... but a shot in the back means he doesn't get far! Nearby, with explosions coming thick and fast, Optimus transforms and batters Thundercracker and Skywarp aside. He goes inside Shockwave's HQ and finds the wounded Magnus, who points the way and falls unconscious. Prime finds a hidden chamber with a hybrid Autobot/Decepticon insignia on the door, along with some undecipherable script. He confronts Shockwave and is overpowered by the Decepticon, who removes the Matrix from his (Prime's) chest cavity!
Elsewhere Hot Rod and company are having difficulties with a massive guardian robot. Everyone seems to be staying out of harm's way though. Suddenly they are all distracted as the sky is lights up signifying that the matrix has been activated! Starscream realises his time is up and that its time to go... while Shockwave relishes the chance to unlock all of Cybertron's secrets and Magnus seems to get something off his chest.
Well now it seems Hot Rod has been promoted because now he like Optimus and Magnus gets some thoughts in print. Again from the Autobot's side of things this is largely an Optimus Prime show kind of issue as what he does seems to take up half the issue, not that I'm complaining, its just we only get to see glimpses of the other starring characters. I suppose its still the same comment as before, that so much stuff seems to happen and we only get to see so much of it, I guess I'd really like a detailed story sometime, because I think that way I would get to know the characters more.
I am really starting to like the way that Pat Lee emotes the Transformers though, he just seems to know how to make little alterations to their faces or even just their eyes to add something more to them. I don't think he conveyed Shockwave's power very well though. I mean it just seemed to easy for him to floor Optimus when he still looked like the average Transformer, it just seemed a little strange that's all, would have really preferred there to be some kind of omnipotence in the air. That didn't really get there until the matrix was revealed. Roll on issue 6 I want to see what it does.