Transformers: All Hail Megatron #7
Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Guido Guidi and E.J. Su
(Covers by Casey Coller, Trevor Hutchison and Guido Guidi)
Summary: A Flashback to when the Swarm was created on Cybertron. A generic car Decepticon tells Megatron that they've finally had success. He introduces him to Bombshell--apparently the first truly intelligent bug drone (as opposed to the rest of the Swarm). Satisfied he is all they say, Megatron tells him there is somebody he'd like him to meet... In the present on Cybertron, Jazz relates what happened to his unit to Kup as the Autobots travel along. There'd been a stalemate between Autobots and Decepticons... the Autobots had been fed information that the Decepticons had a schism between Megatron and Starscream and went to exploit it, by taking on Starscream's troops. Little did they realize it was all a trap--they were outnumbered and massacred. The Decepticons used their newest weapon--Devastator to finish them and capture them all. The Decepticons mock them, telling them they were betrayed by one of their own and then send them all to Cybertron via a portal to rot... but before they can finish their plans, Optimus Prime makes one final play and destroys the portal machine while getting critically injured in the process, but assuring the Autobots safety on the other side. Meanwhile, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker have a talk--he tells Sunstreaker he hasn't been the same since being a Headmaster back on Earth, etc. Sunstreaker refuses to deal with it and storms off. He goes to Ironhide and both decide to finally confront the Autobot traitor--Mirage. He beats Mirage senseless all the while Mirage tries to proclaim his innocence. Ironhide storms off as the others arrive and see what's happened.
Comments: And with that ending, we now know for an absolute certainty that Mirage is innocent (in case we had any doubts before). I had a thought--I wonder if Bombshell tortured or used a cerebro shell on Drift so he'd betray the Autobots (that way, when he's revealed as the traitor we can still reform him and keep him in future stories as a good guy. I had this thought when Megatron said he had somebody he wanted Bombshell to meet and we never see who).
I'm surprised to say this was a good issue--the first in the series so far. We actually had some real story in it. Yes, it was a flashback mostly but at least it moved things along instead of going at the snail's pace the rest of the series has so far. This series is now on issue seven and only now have we really gotten any story movement. If it had only been six issues, we could've gotten a far better paced story out of it... I bet Ironhide won't get any punishment for his treatment of Mirage (just a feeling. They'll likely schluff it off as a mistake/stress when Drift--or whoever--is revealed to be the traitor). I also wonder something: with all of this careful planning on the Decepticons' part, they beat the Autobots but then just assume the Swarm will deal with the remnants instead of going and making certain they're all dead? That seems sloppy to me (and reminiscent of that joke in Austin Powers. "I'm going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death..." then without watching assume it all went as planned). Of course, a lot of stories do that, so...
The art was okay this issue but with both Guidi and Su doing some of it, it was a bit inconsistent in places. I would've rather seen Guidi do it all to retain the same style (I like Su too but it should be one way or the other, not both).