Comic Book: Transformers: All Hail Megatron
All Hail Megatron
Decepticons! The humans have had their chance, now... tear them apart!
is the overarching title of a widely-promoted event
in the IDW Comics Generation 1 universe in 2008–9.
The event spans the 12-issue All Hail Megatron maxi-series, a 4 issue "Coda" (appended to the main series for publication) and various Spotlight-series tie-ins. A standalone sketchbook and preview comic, "Focus on Decepticons", may be considered "All Hail Megatron #0".
The first twelve issues were written by Shane McCarthy and take place on an Earth under Decepticon control.
This series contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: In issue 6, Starscream makes a clearly meaningful comment about Scourge and the possibility that he might try and overthrow Megatron. However Executive Meddling prevented Shane McCarthy from using Scourge or the subplot that was planned for him, forcing McCarthy to fall back on the usual "Starscream betraying Megatron" story.
- Andy Reid is searching for DJ's girlfriend Meg; after he dies, the plot and all connotations to the main story are lost.
- Achilles in His Tent: Omega Supreme has lived in seclusion since the Golden Age of Cybertron only nominally allying with Autobots and generally believing the Cybertronian race may be beyond salvation. However, after being attacked during the Surge, he returns to save the Autobots on Cybertron and begins to work more closely with the main Autobot army.
- Adaptational Villainy: Issue #15 was the start of Prowl's character being developed into a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose scruples didn't matter in the face of a millennia long war.
- Alien Invasion: The first couple of issues are basically the Decepticons invading Earth and destroying whatever they want, specially New York.
- Always a Bigger Fish: In a side-story, Sixshot persues the Throttlebots to an abandoned city on a faraway planet. Unfortunately for him, this particular issue is Spotlight: Metroplex.
- And Then What?: Starscream poses this question to Megatron. He points out that with Optimus and the Autobots defeated, the Decepticons have no real enemy to face on Earth as they can easily wipe out humanity. He also accuses Megatron of only fighting humanity because Megatron himself doesn't know the answer to this question.
- Ascended Fridge Horror: Some fans have pointed out how the Transformers are basically walking Paranoia Fuel because of their ability to transform into Earth vehicles. One could be hiding near you at any moment. McCarthy realized this and included two scenes where Astrotrain pulls a horrifying trick and pulls into train stations in train mode before transforming and slaughtering all the civilians inside.
- Sparkplug's group is attacked by Dropshot, who was hiding as one of their missile launchers all this time, and panicking he asks if they can be under their noses all the time, where else can they be? Then it cuts to the plane with the Nuclear bomb, and inside a Decepticon symbol flashes, as Tankor heads to New York.
- The Bad Guy Wins: The Decepticons pretty much win the war, Optimus Prime is near death and his crew are trapped on Cybertron, and Autobot bases around the galaxy are overrun.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Wreckers originally and later on, Omega Supreme.
- Body Horror: Hunter. To begin with, he's missing his lower body, his right arm, and has several cables going into his right eye and the back of his head, which has most likely rendered him comatose, if not outright vegetative.
- Book Ends: Almost all the events in AHM can be traced to Sunstreaker and what he went through in the Escalation miniseries, as seen in the Coda Flashbacks, with one of the main and most iconic flashbacks being Sunstreaker's disembodied head asking for a Mercy Kill (albeit a truncated version of the original scene so that Sunstreaker is only seen asking for a mercy kill rather than agree to work with Hunter). How does AHM end? With a vegetative Hunter, or what's left of him, hanging from cables, much like Sunstreaker once did.
- Break the Haughty: Sunstreaker. Incredibly arrogant and dismissive of humans and even some of his fellow autobots, he's reduced to a Shell-Shocked Veteran during the events leading to All Hail Megatron, and eventually commits suicide, or tries to.
- Bug War: The stranded Autobots vs. the Insecticon Swarm.
- Continuity Snarl: Created by the Broad Strokes treatment of Furman's run and previously established characters, revelations, etc. Just for starters, the fact that the Transformers' existence had been revealed to the world in Transformers: Devastation, but here the world has apparently forgotten about the revelation of giant alien robots. It was Hand Waved by saying that the government blamed all of the Transformers' antics on the human organization The Machination, but this still creates problems when the man on the street's first reaction to the Decepticons is to ask if there's a movie being made.
- Darkest Hour: Megatron has conquered Earth, Optimus is in the brink of disrepair, the Autobot ranks are badly battered and the morale is at its lowest with the knowledge they have going through a spacebridge to Cybertron to be devoured by the Swarm. The Autobots manage to survive long enough to escape.
- Didn't See That Coming: The revived Autobots arriving to foil Megatron's plans.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Hunter plugged to a machine, missing his arms and his lower torso and basically catatonic looks quite a lot like Colter Stevens's fate in Source Code. They even get a Mercy Kill.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Andy Reid was the human point of view for three issues, saving survivors and untiting them. Then Astrotrain dropped an entire Subway ceiling on him.
- Dull Surprise: In the Don Figueroa half of issue 13, Don debuted a new art style inspired by the movie's level of detailing. Unfortunately, it left both Optimus Prime and Ironhide with giant gnarling sneers frozen on their faces.
- Executive Meddling: The reason we don't get see much of the Decepticons trashing cities and conquering the planet. Shane wanted to have more scenes showing the Decepticons conquering the Earth, but Hasbro vetoed it. Also the cause of the Aborted Arc mentioned above.
- Eye Scream: To get the crosshair eye, Perceptor needed to widen his eye-socket, so he shot himself in the eye with a blow-torch. Presumably, he turned off his pain receptors.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Sunstreaker - In the coda, we find out his head is still somewhat active and his life flashing before his optics, over and over. Same case can be argued with Hunter and the torture he suffered at the hands of Bombshell.
- Flawed Prototype: The Insecticon Swarm is, well, a swarm of these: a thousand malformed monsters per functioning Insecticon.
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: Ultra-Energon, the Earth's abundance of this power enhancing fuel is largely ignored by both sides throughout this story arc. However, the fuel's drawbacks may have served to dampen its appeal.
- I Call It "Vera": Roadbuster wants to do this with an impractically huge jury-rigged cannon.
- Incoming Ham / Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: I. AM.OMEGA. SUPREME.
- Interservice Rivalry: The Insecticons and the Seekers. Implicitly the Constructicons and the Seekers, as the former have replaced the latter in Megatron's favor.
- It's a Long Story: Kup's answer to the other Autobots regarding Perceptor's sudden Badass Level-up.
- Killed Off for Real: Hunter, Deluge, and Dropshot. Subverted with Sunstreaker and Thundercracker.
- Mad Scientist: Bombshell, Deluge.
- Man Behind the Man: Prowl, who had Perceptor install some subroutines into Kup, so Kup can be Prowl's proxy when it comes to have his advice being taken seriously.
- MacGyvering: How Bombshell hacked in to the Autobot mainframe.
- Meaningful Background Event: Boy, Thundercracker sure doesn't look happy about all the destruction the other Decepticons are causing...
- Meaningful Echo: Optimus and Spike's dialogue while Sideswipes finds Hunter, and the subsequent actions.
- Mercy Kill: Sideswipe to Hunter, if you consider the Body Horror.
- Cyclonus was just about to pull this on a dying Scourge until Galvatron showed up.
- Meta Guy:
- Bumblebee gets elements of this.
- The Mole: First, we're led to believe it's Mirage, turns out it's Sunstreaker.
- Monumental Damage: Most notably an over-the-top scene in issue 12 involving Omega Supreme, Devastator, and the Statue of Liberty.
- Moral Dissonance: So after delivering a long-winded speech about how Autobots should start valuing life, what's the next noteworthy thing Sideswipe does in this series? Pull the plug on Hunter O'Nion's life support. All things considered, however, it was a Mercy Kill.
- Off Model: Thanks to the fill-in artist, one of the issues has it, especially when shifting between Cybertron and Earth.
- Oh, Crap: It's full of this.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The way the Decepticons managed to get all the Autobot intelligence, and disable all their global defenses, was through a comatose and mutilated Hunter and its bond with Sunstreaker.
- Power Walk: Kup and co.◊ (Notice how Roadbuster's shoulders are scraping on the ceiling.)
- Pragmatic Villainy: While many Decepticons go for some grandiose or sadistic showing, Astrotrain is always thinking about the most effective solutions. When the human ground forces advance, he recommends sending the Insecticons to outmaneuver them, but Megatron wants more finesse, and sends in the violent Frenzy. When hunting for survivors, Spectro and Spyglass like terrifying them and taking them apart; Astrotrain just finds where they're holed up and instead of attacking them, knocks the ceiling in, burying them before they escape (this doesn't work for Andy's group though).
- Pride Before a Fall: Ultimately the downfall of Megatron, who spends the story talking about how he planned for every contingency and that nothing surprises him. But he didn't anticipate the Autobots returning to Earth, and didn't think about the fact that the humans might be able to use Transformers weaponry. The end result: the Autobots defeat his forces in combat, and Spike shoots him in the face.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Thundercracker, who's disgusted that the Decepticons are no longer a Proud Warrior Race.
- Psychic Link: Sunstreaker and Hunter.
- Put on a Bus: Deluge and Dirge were left on Cybertron with the Autobots advancing on them. Transformers: Robots in Disguise would finally resolve what happened to them.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sideswipe gives one to his own people, because he feels the Autobots have strayed away from the ideals they were supposed to represent, and as such, they do kind of deserve the state they're currently at.
- Redemption Equals Death / Driven to Suicide: Sunstreaker. Having spent some time as a disembodied head in earlier arcs and becoming mentally bonded with Hunter took his toll on him. He also made a secret deal with Starscream, where the Autobots would get Megatron in exchange for Earth, instead the Autobots get ambushed, Optimus nearly dies and many Autobots outposts fall after a security breach in their access codes — This becomes too much for him to bear and sacrifices himself in battle to allow the rest of the autobots escape the swarm. He succeeds in his sacrifice, but fails in killing himself. See Fate Worse Than Death.
- Red Herring Mole: We're lead to believe that Mirage is responsible for the Decepticon ambush that nearly killed Optimus Prime, it turns out that's not really the case.
- Rousing Speech: Optimus rallies the Autobots to keep on fighting against the Insecticons.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Just about every Autobot to a varying degree, but most notably Sunstreaker.
- The Good Guys Always Win: Shane McCarthy noticed this about the original cartoon (and most other cartoons) was his inspiration for writing the story. He felt it was about time the good guys got taken down a notch.
- The Starscream: Ya think? In issue 10, Starscream attempts to usurp Megatron's position with help from the Insecticons. This doesn't surprise Megatron, at least until he discovered the Constructicons had allied with Starscream, too.
- Took a Level in Badass: Perceptor went from a Non-Action Guy with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness to a stoic expert sniper. We find out the reason in later issues. Turns out it's because Turmoil blew a hole in his chest and shot him in the face. Perceptor took his level in badass because he feared he was useless in combat.
- Unusual User Interface: Bombshell basically converted Hunter into this, in order to access to Sunstreaker's mind.
- What Could Have Been: A lot got changed in the writing and planning process, which might explain some of the more infamous Continuity Snarl. Amongst other things:
- Kup was supposed to be the traitor instead of Sunstreaker.
- Roadbuster was going to be Killed Off for Real by Megatron.
- Scourge was going to appear and be part of an Evil vs. Evil subplot.
- There was an explanation for the design changes the seekers went through but it was cut for space.
- Wheelie was supposed to have a role, but his subplot had to be cut.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Andy Reid set out to find his dead pal DJ's girlfriend, who might still have been somewhere in the ruins of New York City. It ends up being forgotten pretty quickly, and then Andy dies and the subplot is never resolved.
- After the whole event; Sarah Bridge and Charles are never mentioned again, while Spike and his dad become important in the next series.
- Writer on Board: In spite of McCarthy's claims that "he's read everything IDW's put out" and "there'll be no disrespect coming from him" and that "there's no way he'd spit over what Furman's done", some fans believe (with good reason) that he went out of his way to get rid of many of Furman's plot elements and characters that he himself didn't like, such as Hunter O'Nion, Ultra-Energon, etc.
- Writing for the Trade: Which is why the first three issues can basically be summed up as "Decepticons kill humans in New York City".
If you think I'm — that is — mankind is just going to accept you, you've got another think coming.
'You brought your war here. Your kind, good or bad, caused all of this.''
Any chance of a union between humans and your kind? It's long gone.