Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Don Figueroa
(covers by Don Figueroa)
Summary: We get a summation of the war to this point... now, the Decepticons are gone, for the most part, and the Autobots remain on Earth in disguise, ever vigilante for the return of evil. At a power station somewhere, Breakdown appears and attacks. The new effective Skywatch responds and quickly puts him down with their advanced technology. Fearing he will be killed while incapacitated, Prowl transforms and tries to stop the humans but they quickly stun him too. Skywatch knew all about him and were just trying to flush him out with the ruse of killing Breakdown (instead of just incapacitating him). Spike confidently explains to some police there that he knew about Prowl all along because he's paid to know these things. As he drives off, he doesn't realize Streetwise is also there and reports the events back to headquarters. At Autobot Headquarters, Prime tells the others to go and upgrade their systems so they won't be susceptible to the humans stun tech any longer. Hot Rod questions why they're still here--Megatron is dead and the Decepticons aren't coming back! He convinces Prime to authorize a rescue mission to get Prowl back... Hot Rod leads his team to the Skywatch facility that night but everything goes wrong. They get Prowl back but Hot Rod almost dies--Ironhide saves him by apparently sacrificing himself instead. Prime lays his old friend to rest and apologizes for sending him there in the first place... He goes to the other Autobots and resigns as their leader. He tells them to pick a new leader and then goes to the humans and surrenders himself.
Comments: An interesting first issue of Costa's run. First off, let's get this out of the way--I used to love Figueroa's art but I can't stand this new style of his. He's trying to make the TFs look more realistic and it just doesn't work for me. I hope he either abandons it or leaves the book after a short run. As for the story... it runs as a story smoothly. They don't try to decompress it or anything. We start with an opening and the issue ends on a definite note. None of this three-issues-to-tell-one-issue's-worth-of-story nonsense. As for the story contents... I knew this would happen at the end of AHM #12. The Autobots would have no point in staying on Earth but still would anyway and slowly get picked off by the humans. An annoyingly predictable start point (why don't they monitor from orbit or something?) Prime is back to self recrimination since he seems virtually incapable of ever doing anything happy and actually leading his warriors (that was why I enjoyed Furman's last story to-date in AHM #13--Prime actually did something useful and didn't cry in his beer for once). As usual, when the going gets tough, Prime quits and runs away--why did they elect this idiot to lead them again? Otherwise, the story was decent... I just hope the Autobots rescue their comrades and get the hell off Earth already. Leave those lousy humans to their fate--maybe the Decepticons can come and nuke the planet or something. I still have some shred of hope Costa will go somewhere interesting and original and surprise us all with this. But it really is time for Optimus Prime to get over it and get on with things.