Transformers Energon #21
Dreamwave (March, 2004)“What Lies Beneath” WRITER: Simon Furman PENCILER: Joe Ng INKER: Elaine To COLORIST: David Cheung & Jong-Im Lee LETTERER: Ben Lee
Unicron’s “Horsemen” do a number on the Autobots and nearly destroys Optimus, their target, until the Omnicons come along and distract them, telling Optimus that as a Prime he can connect to Cybertron by simply touching a surface. He is granted the “Spark Of Combination” and four combat drones that can “powerlink” with his new body. Also granted the spark are Hot Shot, Jetfire, Ironhide (a young cadet we met last issue), and an unnamed Inferno, who also combine and send the acolytes packing. This finally convinces the council that Unicron is back and that Optimus needs to get to Earth immediately. Meanwhile on Earth, Battle Ravage succeeds in grabbing Kicker and Alexis, and the boy may be exactly what the Terrorcons need.
What they got right: It’s nice to see even the Council isn’t completely stupid. The fight between the Autobots and Omnicons (still not digging that name, but that’s Hasbro’s fault) versus the Horsemen, who we finally see transform into their alt modes, looked good. The mystery built up around Kicker, hinted at last issue, is teased well enough.
What they got wrong: I suppose getting the “Spark Of Combination” could come with immediately knowing how to use it. However, unless Hasbro was insisting they get to showing off the Autobot Powerlink gimmick from the toys quickly, this could have used another issue to get a proper introduction to the gimmick, as could Inferno and showing off Jetfire’s new form.
Recommendation: I’m still enjoying the story even with Furman at the helm. You really should check this one out if you can look at Transformers beyond the classic line.