The War Within #4
Release date: January 2003
Cover variants: Regular
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Don Figueroa (pencils) Elaine To (inks) Rob Ruffolo (colors)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Motormaster
Synopsis:By Ian Arrowsmith
Megatron and Optimus are shown a vision of a distant time and place!
Iacon is under attack and Optimus prime and Megatron lies unconscious within Cybertron, having been blasted off a bridge by Starscream. The voices continue to speak to Optimus and as he awakens he spots Megatron's sword set in the ground.
Starscream assumes command of the Decepticons and his first act is to download the information contained within Laserbeak. If it is true that Megatron was seeking to transform Cybertron then perhaps Starscream should recreate it in his own image. Almost as soon as Optimus has regained his thoughts a large explosion erupts to his side. Megatron has found him and with the walls seemingly changing around him, has decided the only way to get things done is to blast things to bits in his tank mode. With ferocity Megatron resumes his attack on Optimus.
Grimlock, having received a new mission from Prowl in the previous issue, meets up with Kup, Ironhide and Wheeljack. In-between scenes of Jazz and other Autobots taking out essential hardware and artefacts from Iacon, and battling Decepticon forces, Grimlock explains to the others that the plan is to refortify at another location and gain the tactical advantage over the Decepticons.
With their battle underway Megatron seems to have the upper hand over Optimus, however making the classic arch-villain mistake, Megatron reveals his plan to use the matrix to power Cybertron. Optimus vows to stop him over his dead body before tossing Megatron into a bunch of power cables. A scene change back to Decepticon headquarters sees Starscream completing his review of Laserbeak's information. It has revealed that there is a mechaforming substructure and Starscream thinks he could start the process over Iacon. Over at the afforementioned Shockwave and his forces are attacking some Omega Supreme-like sentinels and have almost decimated the area. Shockwave declares its time to finish things off.
Megatron is glad to have a Prime that fights him rather than preach to him. Optimus blinds his nemesis with his headlights, and in truck mode with guns blazing, charges down Megatron. Their battle rages with Megatron smashing Optimus' windscreen and flooring him. Megatron reveals how he was disappointed not to have found the Matrix on Sentinel Prime's body, while pounding Optimus' chest and cracks his plating, exposing the power of the matrix to both of them. In a flash of light they are both seemingly transported to somewhere alien to them, but appearing earthen. Meanwhile, Grimlock still not decided on whether his mission is a rescue mission for Optimus or not, tells his troop to attach lines to the side while they jump into the hole where the forum of enlightenment once stood...
The pace speeds up as Megatron and Optimus duke it out within Cybertron. Their battle provides the backbone for all that takes place in this issue.
We get some good fight scenes going between the two of them and we finally see Megatron in his tank mode making a dramatic entrance, and yes it does look cool. The process of Megatron transforming back to robot mode is of particular note, all of the art and especially the lighting effects look good for Megatron and Optimus. Lots of information is revealed about everyone's plans and you can't tell whether or not it's a writers repair job when Megatron reveals to the audience that the matrix was never on Sentinel Prime. One thing, which I have quite liked about the war within issues so far, is the use of onomatopoeia all the words they use such as, "chssk" and "skkak-aaaaak!", really match up well to what you could imagine them to be when you think about it, they really add some impact.
What would have been nice to see is some more of the action happening at Iacon because it seems that over the last few issues you wonder what Shockwave has done out of sight to get to the point where he can say "let's finish it off". Oh and it is a wonder Megatron's Fusion Cannon manages to stay fixed to his arm when his other guns and shield manage to fall of so easily.