Released: June 2008 Publisher: IDW Number of covers: Two regulars and one incentive Cover price: $3.99 Writer: Simon Furman Artwork: EJ Su, Kris Carter (colours), Chris Mowry (letters) Rating: Art / Story
Those who made Cybertron into a wasteland will feel the wrath of Cyclonus.
Cyclonus soars above his former home planet Cybertron, having come to see the devastation for himself. As he surveys the ashen landscape below his circuits well with fury and he resolves to make those who waged the civil war pay dearly.
Nearby Ark 12, under the command of the Autobot Hound, is on course for the prison outpost Garrus-9 - Optimus Prime's orders. Sideswipe - sat at a bank of controls is sulking that their mission to rescue his 'brother' Sunstreaker from the Machination on Earth has fallen by the way-side. But as he remonstrates the ship comes under sustained attack from Cyclonus.
Hound orders a full retaliation and Cyclonus appears terminated by the missile onslaught only to miraculously revive and resumes his attack. The Autobots send a distress call to nearby ships - a call that is answered by Ultra Magnus, who turns up guns blazing and succeeds in driving Cyclonus off. In reality the Cybertronian's retreat is more to do with the fact that the clock is ticking before he, Cyclonus, must return to the dead universe.
A brief interlude sees Optimus Prime, Jetfire and Prowl within the prison gathering information about the recent 'break out' of the Monstructor Six by the Decepticon Banzaitron and his followers. While, aboard a Decepticon battlecruiser in space, Arcee hangs a Decepticon upside down from the rafters and threats all kinds of nasty things to get him to talk.
And elsewhere the Autobot detective Nightbeat discovers a log entry for his recent trip to Gorlam Prime, a planet he can no longer remember visiting. Its as though somebody has erased part of Nightbeat's memory, and the only solution is to return to Gorlam Prime and get some answers. He calls Hardhead and asks him to come along.
Meanwhile on a planet called Corata-Vaz, Cyclonus - a survivor of the first Ark expedition - touches down and inspects a device called the Nega Core, which he has come to reactivate. Suddenly he is confronted by Magnus, Hound and the other Autobots and is forced to unleash the Nega Core's guardian protector, Thunderwing, who keeps everyone at bay just long enough for Cyclonus to escape.
Back at the Dark Universe the servants of the dead, lead by Nova Prime - now called Nemesis Prime - prepare to return to the light.
Revelation was intended to be the six issue 'next chapter' in Simon Furman's new Transformers G1 saga, and would have been followed by 'Expansion' at some point later in 2008. But it was not to be, as, early that year IDW pulled the rug out from under Furman's well laid plans, and announced a new direction for the Transformers comic courtesy of Australian writer Shane McCarthy and his All Hail Megatron storyline. This meant Simon would have to wrap-up his space epic in four Spotlight comics - no small feat.
So it is probably to be expected that Spotlight Cyclonus wouldn't - and couldn't - be a spotlight in the typical sense, where the focus is on a single character and the story gets under the bonnet and finds out what makes them tick. There is fair attempt made - for example we discover that Cyclonus is a contradictory soul, obsessed with order and yet possessed (perhaps literally) by a savage all-consuming fury. His response when he sees the devastation on Cybertron is to punish those responsible with violence of his own. The irony it seems is lost on him, or perhaps it is just that he is a slave to a controlling force: think Unicron in Transformers the Movie and substitute for Nemesis Prime and the 'expanse' here.
In a kind of sequel to Spotlight Galvatron we learn that Cyclonus was also aboard the mysterious First Ark and we also discover that he can't die. When he is taken out by a barrage of missiles he resurrects and returns fire, almost like a creature from an RPG shoot 'em up. He's a badass villain but there's something redeemable about him that stops him being truly evil.
It's more than can be said for Sideswipe who is coming across as a bit of a dick this issue. He's sulking over Sunstreaker and the change in orders - surely this sort of thing has happened lots of times in his years of war experience? - and is generally a negative influence in Hound's crew. I bet Hound would shove him out of the first airlock if he got the chance, but his rebellious streak does at least bode well for the fourth part of the Revelation saga where Sideswipe spotlights.
Other thoughts: I'm not sure what the Nega Core is but it sounds ominous - especially as its got Thunderwing to guard it; it's good to see Magnus back in the book and to a lesser extent Arcee, and also to see Warpath and some little known G2 characters like Skram getting airtime. Long-time geewunners will also be heartened to spot Lord Straxus - or at least a bot who looks very like him - lining up in Nemesis Prime's crew.
All in all not a bad start for Revelation - it feels more a mini-series than a spotlight and I can't pretend to fathom what all this dead universe stuff is about, but at least the plot is whizzing along. And apart from a condensed looking Cyclonus alt-mode, the art is of EJ Su's usual high standard too.