The Transformers: Escalation
|The Transformers: Escalation|
|Publication date||November 2006–April 2007|
|No. of issues||6|
|Main character(s)||Autobots, Decepticons|
|Written by||Simon Furman|
|Artist(s)||E. J. Su|
The Transformers: Escalation is a six-issue comic book mini-series, published by IDW Publishing, based on the Transformers and following on from The Transformers: Infiltration. The series launched in November 2006 and ended in April 2007. The series is available in The Transformers: Volume 2.
Escalation begins by showing Prime deciding to send the humans home for their own safety. Escorted by Ironhide and Sunstreaker, they are attacked by the Machination, a shadowy organization wanting to acquire Transformer technology for themselves. Sunstreaker and Hunter are seemingly killed. The Autobots rally to find his corpse, but the Machination prove more than ready for Jazz and Wheeljack. Optimus Prime stops the truck with Sunstreaker's corpse, and they discover it is a fake.
While this has been going on, Megatron has begun his campaign, sending his troops to escalate tensions in trouble spots (with Skywarp and Thundercracker bombing a Middle Eastern power station) and activating facsimiles (loyal clones) to see that tensions rise accordingly. Megatron, having taken the form of a pistol, personally journeys to the disputed Soviet state of Brasnya, attacking both sides. The Autobots mount a response, trying to capture the facsimile and a battle breaks out, with Prowl and Hot Rod capturing the facsimile. Prime confronts Megatron, but is no match for the Ore-13-enhanced Megatron and seemingly killed. Prime survives by briefly transferring his consciousness into his trailer and alerts the Autobots to Megatron's weakness: the more he exerts himself, the faster Ore-13 will burn out. Prowl's troops distract Megatron long enough for Prime to recover and put the now severely weakened Megatron to flight. However, their mission has failed, as the facsimile is dead.
Back in America, Ratchet and Ironhide disobey orders to track down Sunstreaker, as Jimmy tracks the materials used to make the decoy to a specific garage. The Autobots are unable to enter because of the sophisticated defenses, so Verity and Jimmy go in, but are knocked out by the defense systems and trigger a self-destruct mechanism. Ironhide intervenes and manages to rescue them, but the self-destruct goes off and seemingly kills him. However, Verity has snagged something from the Machination base.
The story ends with several revelations. Megatron decides to call in Sixshot to accelerate Earth's destruction, unaware the Reapers will be following in his wake. The Machination and their backer, a shadowy, badly damaged Decepticon, have completed some sort of surgery on Hunter, and begun to produce copies of Sunstreaker's body for use in their "new world order". And it is revealed that Skywatch, a mysterious defense organization, has not only dug up the bodies of Shockwave and the Dynobots, but have in their custody Laserbeak and Ravage.
Beyond Escalation, Furman hopes to have the Headmasters and Predacons appear. He also would like to have the Japanese G1 characters appear at some point. The Transformers: Devastation introduces the multiple Sunstreaker Headmasters and the Predacons had a small role in The Transformers: Stormbringer.
Escalation picks up on several other plot threads introduced in other IDW G1 stories.
In relation to The Transformers: Spotlight
- The Dinobots and Shockwave, dug up here by Skywatch, were buried in Spotlight: Shockwave after a battle between the two ended in both being buried in lava.
- Laserbeak and Ravage were also discovered by Skywatch in Spotlight: Soundwave after a battle between Soundwave and Bludgeon caused the volcano they were in to explode (though only Laserbeak was shown at the time).
- The story of Sixshot and the Reapers was first explored in Spotlight: Sixshot.
- The mysterious face that Prime sees in the limbo realm of "infraspace" is Nova Prime, which is expanded on in the Spotlight: Optimus Prime and referred to in Spotlight: Galvatron.
- Hot Rod and Nightbeat both join Optimus' crew after their perspective Spotlights. Indeed, Hot Rod still retains the alt-mode from his issue.
In relation to The Transformers: Stormbringer
- Prime's method of defeating Megatron — by causing him to wear out his Ore-13 by exerting himself more — was the same method which led to Thunderwing's defeat in that story, explaining how Prime knows of this weakness.
- Hardhead was part of Optimus' crew, first seen in Stormbringer.
- In issue 4, the name of the garage that the Machination is using is "Ideas and Design Works" — the full name of Transformers publisher IDW Publishing.
- There are a host of items in the garage referencing various other Transformer lore. These include a poster bearing the words "Kiss Players", leaflets on "Seibertron cars" and the sale of "Binaltech air filters"