Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: EJ Su
(covers by Don Figueroa and Andrew Wildman)
Summary: On some world in the cosmos the Decepticons pursue Dreadwind. They finally catch up to him where he begs for their mercy then shoots them and tries to escape. They catch up to him and shoot him dead (he's been stealing Energon rations for some time and now that his brethren have found out they show no mercy). All the while, a voice narrates about the Decepticons... we cut to Shockwave for a panel then Soundwave and then Starscream. He tells Bombshell he wanted an equation for energon processing but Bombshell tells him survival of the fittest will see to who survives. He shows Starscream something else instead--his newest invention--the cerebro shells, which he can use to control anyone. Starscream is ultimately impressed by them. We switch to Earth where Optimus Prime meets Sparkplug for the first time... he's uncertain about Spike's alliance with the Autobots but Spike manages to convince him of their usefulness. Megatron thinks Prime is a fool for placing his faith in the humans... back at the Decepticon base, Megatron's damaged hand clenches and he thinks how he will soon return! (Megatron narrates the entire issue with a reveal at the end. It is obvious who is speaking for most of the story anyway).
Comments: This issue doesn't see any real action but exists to show us what the Decepticons are up to. To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed that Starscream isn't actually doing something. For some reason I just assumed he'd be plotting something instead of just cooling his heels (which is exactly what Megatron did on Earth in AHM and Prime did afterward). Obviously Megatron is still somewhat functional... hopefully he'll be back in the story some time soon (I also hope someone follows up on Galvatron and co. at some point too). Storywise, didn't they already use cerebral shells on Beachcomber in an older spotlight issue? I just double-checked and am right (it happened in Spotlight Blaster). I guess we shouldn't expect IDW's editors to remember this stuff though (I'm a fan and don't get paid to edit the stories but I catch stuff like this constantly). I welcomed EJ Su's return to art duty on this issue (not sure if it's for good or just a one-off but I'll take it). For some reason all his TFs have some kinda weird "camo" thing going on this time around. A decent issue overall.
(cover "B" by Andrew Wildman)