Dark Cybertron is the IDW 12-Issue Crisis Crossover event of the year for their Transformers Series, More than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise.The war between the Autobots and Decepticons is over - but when the relentless Shockwave enacts a scheme millions of years in the making, yesterday's nightmares tear apart today's peace. The big question - other than who will survive - is whose side will the Decepticons be on?The 12-issue series is being co-written by John Barber, of RID, and James Roberts, of MTMTE, with art by several artists, including Phil Jimenez. The relevant characters can be found here and here.
An Arm and a Leg: Several 'bots and 'cons end up losing one or more limbs once the Necrotitan fires its first salvo.
Skids loses his arms in the fight against the Ammonites.
Ascended Extra: Dreadwing was just a minor Decepticon, now he's on the cover of the series. Barber and Roberts addressed this in an interview, stating that, in addition to having a new toy, they made him more important because they choose him at random from a wealth of obscure characters.
Whirl says Cyclonus should totally promise to kill Hardhead when he least expects it for calling him a coward, referencing to the promise Cyclonus once did to kill him back in MTMTE #2.
Rodimus offers Ultra Magnus a Weak Energon Spritzer, a drink referenced by Tailgate as something Ultra Magnus would drink in MTMTE#6, and also referencing the fact that Magnus Can't Hold His Liquor as seen in MTMTE #13.
Metroplex's Thumb, first seen in Spotlight: Trailcutter.
Dark Messiah: Starscream, unwillingly. Shockwave, willingly.
Dead All Along: Brainstorm, as revealed by part 11. In fact, he's apparently been undead since right before issue 1 of More Than Meets The Eye.
Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Turns out Galvatron and Nova Prime aren't actually behind everything— that's just what Shockwave wanted them to believe. In reality, he wanted Nova eliminated to make it easier to harness the Dead Universe's energies, and he intends to use Galvatron as a conduit for them...
End Of An Era: For Nova Prime and Galvatron. However, there's a subversion with the Age of Primes, once Orion reclaims his title as Optimus Prime.
Enemy Mine: The Autobots and Decepticons end up having to work together to stop Shockwave's scheme. Lampshaded by Shockwave who even notes how utterly predictable it was. Also lampshaded by Starscream.
Starscream: Well, that's a start. The enemy of my —
Soundwave: Silence, Starscream.
Et Tu, Brute?: A revived Metalhawk pretty much lets Starscream have it for killing him in the first place.
Evil Plan: Shockwave plans to use all the functioning Regenesis Ores, in conjunction with the energies of the Dead Universe (using Galvatron), to... we don't know quite what yet.
Eye Scream: The "Rodpod" is taken into a trench in the foreign planet's sea, there they find a severed optic cable and realize that the trench is really Metroplex's eye socket, now a gaping wound on his face.
Expy: Taken to their logical conclusion, and following Shockwave's description of the ore functions, Shockwave just created the Transformers version of the Infinity Gems. And thus Shockwave himself becomes one of Thanos.
Family-Unfriendly Death: Hardhead is consumed by the Dead Universe when Nova Prime crushes his forcefield generator, disintegrating and blowing away on the wind.
Nova Prime himself gets an arm ripped off by Optimus before having a huge hole punched in his chest in short order.
Metroplex's defense systems utterly incinerate the Ammonite forces.
Flat Earth Atheist: Downplayed: Jhiaxus makes a point that the age of legend and myth is over and this is the era of Science, to contrast Cyclonus's more superstitious beliefs, but at this point most religious events could very well be chalked up to science.
Foil: Whirl lampshades this about Cyclonus and himself in Dark Cybertron #1, when defending Cyclonus from Hardhead's criticism.
Gallows Humor: Starscream, after being backstabbed by a revived Metalhawk.
Metalhawk: "I trusted you. I befriended you. And you killed me the moment it suited you."
Starscream:"Hey, if it's any consolation... I clearly didn't do a good job of it."
Loads and Loads of Characters: Each issue has a "Roll Call" section featuring headshots and names of the issue's most prominent characters. The lineup averages over a dozen characters and is constantly changing.
Killed Off for Real: Hardhead and Nova Prime. Also, Brainstorm's apparently been rendered undead by the DU since before both series began.
Oh Crap: The Dead Universe team has two in a row when they realize that the Dead Universe is infecting Cyclonus, and Nova Prime is still in control of Nightbeat.
One Steve Limit: Averted, there's two Tankors: one a Canon Immigrant from Beast Machines and the other Octane, whose toy was renamed Tankor for trademark reasons, which was carried over into the IDW comics. Unlike other characters, like say the Prowls, they both kept their names and Starscream lampshades it.
OOC Is Serious Business: Bumblebee remarks to Prowl that he's been anything but logical since they were exiled from New Iacon.
Plot Detour: A meta example; the events of this comic are essentially a plot detour for More Than Meets The Eye, with the crew of the Lost Light temporarily abandoning their quest for the Knights Of Cybertron to help out Orion Pax and his team.
Reality Warper: Nova Prime has become one, having gained a significant amount of control over the fabric the Dead Universe. This is precisely why Shockwave wants him out of the way.
Reluctant Ruler: Magnus taking leadership of the Lost Light crew after Rodimus, Orion Pax, Hardhead and Cyclonus jump into the Dead Universe.
Take That: The writers poke at Hasbro's meddling to include certain characters in order to sell toys by giving them some ridiculous dialogue, and then quickly forgetting about them.
Take That, Audience!: Ratchet's finger-wagging and criticism of Ultra Magnus seems a preemptive move on MTMTE fans that have suggested taking a 5 month break from the comic for the duration of "Dark Cybertron".
Talking to the Dead: Starscream is still talking to Metalhawk's corpse for reassurance. This time, Rattrap overheard him...
That's an Order: The Dinobots are initially not too keen on following Bumblebee, until he berates them.
The Prophecy: The events of Dark Cybertron were apparently foretold from the days before Nova Prime, Including Shockwave being the one behind most of the events.
"He shall arrive with a Titan; and adorned the Titan will be in Metal Black."
"And He shall arrive and stand alone while not alone; and time will rust and stars shall scream."
"And the symbol of the uncreator shall be clear, and his gaze shall unravel the Legacy of Primus."
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Prowl gives one to Bumblebee, pretty much calling him a doormat. Never mind that Prowl is being a Hypocrite since he himself took advantage of Bumblebee and was undermining him at every little turn, even before being mind-controlled by Bombshell.
Kup: I've been spiked by Squadron X, dipped in the smeltin' pool, framed for treason, shot into the sun - and I was the only 'bot still trapped inside the Nightmare Engine when everyone else woke up. I've seen off every rinky-dink, two-bit, catchpenny decepticon rust-picker, and I got the tends in my knuckles to prove it. End of the day? I'm ready for anything you can throw at me.
Made even funnier after Nova literally throws Cyclonus into him.
Stable Time Loop: Shockwave uses the time ore to drain energy from the universe that will eventually become the Dead Universe, essentially creating the Dead Universe.
The Starscream: The trope namer is a main character. Unfortunately for him, he didn't anticipate Rattrap being as skilled of a Starscream as Starscream himself.
Then Shockwave is this for Nova and Galvatron, although it is kinda relative as he only led them believe he was their dragon in the first place. Also, there are hints Metalhawk will be this to Shockwave.
Megatron:'I've led an army battling for freedom for millions of years —
Bumblebee:No, that's not what you led at all. You were a gang of destroyers ravaging the galaxy in the name of a cause you'd forgotten, except when you needed an excuse.
Orion also gives one to Rodimus, after Rodimus confesses to the Overlord affair, telling him he should have resigned rather than ask for a vote, and that the reason why he asked for a vote of confidence was because Rodimus thought he was gonna win.
Third Line, Some Waiting: You got the Cybertron thread, the Lost Light thread, and the Dead Universe thread, with each story being drawn by a different artist. It is expected to go into Four Lines, All Waiting based on the fact that a future issue will feature FOUR artists.
Title Drop: "Dark Cybertron" is the name of the prophecy, as mentioned by Rattrap.
Trailers Always Spoil: The Solicit asks which side the Decepticons will be on, December Solicitations say they team up with the Autobots. Same for some characters that make a return, like Galvatron, or events, like the appearance of the NecroTitan, which you can actually see as the big shadowy figure in the cover of Dark Cybertron #1, as well as this very page.
In addition solicits have already been released showing the aftermath of the event. This includes Optimus Prime and the Autobots returning to Earth, Windblade's debut, and most surprisingly, what appears to be, a Heel-Face Turn Megatron assuming command of the Lost Light.
The Watson: Shockwave has to explain his plans to someone, and Jhiaxus already knows them, so Dreadwing takes this role.
Villainous Friendship: The Decepticons get more set-up as this, with Blitzwing and Astrotrain seeming to have a type 1. Galvatron and Nova have a type 1 as well, saying they've fought together for many years and turning on each other was a fault of the Heart of Darkness messing with them. Indeed, Galvatron seems very saddened when Nova is killed.
Wham Episode: For both MTMTE and RID. Shockwave's Evil Plan finally kicks in, Orion Pax's team and the Lost Lighters battle the Dead Universe, Nightbeat and Kup are alive, Nova Prime and Galvatron are not actually behind everything, New Iacon is in ruins, and Starscream seems to be losing it. And after it's all over Orion and the Autobots are heading back to Earth, Windblade is causing trouble on Cybertron, Blustreak is joining up with the Lost Lighters, and Megatron is taking over the Lost Light's quest Oh, and Brainstorm has been Dead All Along.
What the Hell, Hero?: Orion doesn't react well to Rodimus's confession regarding Overlord. Or, more specifically, that he didn't resign afterwards, as Orion feels that if Rodimus were really ashamed of his actions than he would've taken responsibility rather than have the crew decide.
Xanatos Gambit: Shockwave performs two concurrent ones. The first? Finish gathering samples of all his functioning ores on Cybertron by having Metroplex teleported there to take on the Necrotitan. The second? Have Nova Prime end up in the line of fire so that Shockwave can better harness the Dead Universe's energies once he dies and his control over the realm is negated. This one technically fails thanks to Ironhide, but then Orion/Optimus got involved...