Comic Book: Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers
"Welcome to the team. Just be prepared: sometimes in the Wreckers, your first day is your last."
A 2010 Transformers
mini-series from IDW Publishing
, following the adventures of a Ragtag Bunch Of Misfit Autobots
who join the Autobots' elite suicide squad, the Wreckers. The veteran Wreckers and the recruits try to liberate an Autobot prison facility from the rogue Decepticon Overlord.
The series quickly became a fan-favorite among die-hard Transformers
fans due to its colorful cast of previously unused characters
, straying from the main series' strict use of "classic" Generation 1 characters. It helps that the series was written by James Roberts and Nick Roche a pair of well-liked Promoted Fanboys
A character sheet can be found at Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers
See also Transformers: More than Meets the Eye
, which is also written by Roberts. It's set in the same universe and continues many of the themes and plot points of this story.
This series contains examples of:
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- The Alcatraz: Garrus-9 started out as this. Then Overlord repurposed it.
- Alien Sky: G-9 has a red sky.
- Ambiguous Ending: Subverted with the Data Slug. The series ends with Prowl looking at it, and the narration talking about applied pressure, implying that he's going to destroy it. Verity is later revealed having a copy of the slug, further clouding the waters, and the writer's intentionally left it up in the air to whether or not Prowl went through with it. The original ending had Prowl destroy it, but later books reveal he had kept it.
- And This Is for...: Impactor does this a lot.
- Anti-Villain: Prowl is creeping closer and closer to this with each fresh appearance. Here he's happy to send Autobots to die horribly just so he can suppress information that he doesn't want to get out about the atrocities the Autobot army has committed. Chances are, he probably even calculated the odds of Springer surviving, since he's one of the Autobots that has openly challenged him at times. This is later expanded in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
- Ambition Is Evil: Averted. Overlord had no ambitions, he didn't want control of the Decepticons, or leadership, he just wanted to kill things, but Megatron thought he did. Prowl is also doing dubious things, but All Hail Megatron established that he wanted to bring an end to the war, and not seek glory.
- Angst Coma: pringer goes into one after his mutilation at the hands of Overlord. Despite being completely repaired and rebuilt, he suffers from "zero point" a seemingly incurable affliction that prevents his spark from powering his body. Rung suggests that Roadbuster read Ironfist's stories of the Wrecker's past exploits to the patient and it ultimately seems to work.
- Anyone Can Die: One of the first things fans learned about the series was that the Decepticon Skyquake would be in it. He dies on page 3. Previous Wreckers stories were known for their high body count among the protagonists, and this one follows in proud tradition.
- Arc Number: 113 in Bullets.
- Art Shift: The Battle of Pova flashbacks. The ones detailing the truth are more dark and gritty compared to the more clean and colorful of the "official" report.
- In both cases, the panel borders are yellowed and have lines across them as though wrinkled, mimicking the appearance of a comic that's a decade or so old. Other flashbacks to significantly long ago follow suit.
- Ascended Fanboy: Ironfist, a Wreckers fanboy who has been chronicling their adventures in his spare time, now gets to join the group himself. Then he has a mental breakdown when he finds out the reality of it isn't the adventurous fun he was expecting.
- Also writer/artist Nick Roche himself, an Irish Transformers fan now writing the characters he read in the UK Transformers comics.
- Co-writer James Roberts counts as well, having been a Transformers fanfiction writer. He even uses a character, Autobot psychologist Rung, from one of his fan novels.
- Ascended Fanon: The Transformer mosaic. Originally a Fanon piece created by the same authors of the miniseries, as a thank you to their readership, it has now become part of the canon after being published in the trade.
- Autobot psychologist Rung also counts. Originally created as part of the fan novel Eugenesis, he became part of the canon with the psychological profiles of the Wreckers, fully cemented when "Bullets" was published as part of the trade, and is now a main character in the Transformers: More than Meets the Eye ongoing series.
- Audience Surrogate: According to Word of God: "[Ironfist] is a fanboy, just like you. He blogs; he enthuses; he squees."
- Author Catch Phrase: Simon Furman's infamous "Furmanisms" are parodied here. Ironfist's datalogs feature many often-repeated phrases colloquially known as "Fisitronisms." When Skyfall told him about this he was a little upset, since he hadn't been doing it deliberately.
- The Big Bad, Overlord, is a calm, measured sadist who loves carnage for the sake of it. He's almost like a Giant Mecha version of Mr. Teatime.
- Stalker is so very much this. He might even be sicker than Overlord.
- Backpack Cannon: Ironfist and Guzzle are both weird versions. Ironfist's lightformer cannon is worn like a backpack but he has to take it off to use it, and Guzzle never uses his tank mode turret in robot mode (though its barrel is smoking on the cover to the trade, which is also this article's page image) - probably because it would be almost impossible to aim.
- Badass Bookworm: Before joining the Wreckers, Topspin was a cartographer. And Perceptor finally achieves this as well, regaining the "Bookworm" part he lost during All Hail Megatron.
- Badass Creed: Wreck and Rule!
- Badass Grandpa: Kup.
- Baddie Flattery: Don't worry, Rotorstorm, Overlord thought it was funny. Won't stop him from shooting you in the face, but he laughed.
- Batman Gambit: Prowl's entire plan. Then again, it's his normal modus operandi.
- Battle in the Rain: The real events on Pova.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ironfist is probably one of the only Wreckers in history to be a pretty nice guy. He's also a brilliant (if regretful) weapons designer and the use of most of his work is considered a war crime.
- Bittersweet Ending: By the end of the series, Overlord's imprisoned and the Wreckers manage to get the Aequitas data, but Springer is comatose, Rotorstorm, Topspin, Twin Twist, Snare, Pryo, Ironfist and the Autobot prisoners are all dead, and the Wreckers are effectively over and done. On top of it all, it's hinted that Prowl intends to destroy the Aequtas data slug to cover up the the Autobot army's various atrocities. That said, Guzzle and Impactor are afforded a fairly happy ending, all things considered. And Ironfist sees justice done to Skyfall and his datalogs completed by Verity, if nothing else.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Deliberately Invoked by the writers to drive home the point of these being serious injuries, robots or no.
- Blood Knight: Overlord. Everything he's done is because he desperately wants a one-on-one showdown with Megatron.
- Guzzle and Impactor among the protagonists.
- Boom, Headshot: Ironfist invents cerebro-circuitry-seeking bullets. In other words: automatic headshots. Guzzle is delighted. Ironfist neglected to mention to Guzzle that the use of them constitutes a war crime (see above). Of course, that might've made Guzzle happier.
- Bread and Circuses: Overlord's motivation is that he didn't get enough of this under Megatron's rule, so he's turned an entire planet into a non-stop source for Gladiator Games and Blood Sports.
- It's revealed that even THAT was all a ploy so that Overlord would get the showdown with Megatron he's always wanted.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, adorable Ironfist. Also a case of Kill the Cutie.
- Brick Joke: Meta-example. According to Transformer superstition, the Shimmer is a bad omen that foretells your imminent and inescapable death. In reality, it (or at least, the thing all the characters we see encounter) is Springer's holo-projection that appears to potential Wrecker recruits. Which is exactly what you get.
- Guzzle, the only one of the new recruits to originally turn down Springer's initial offer, is the only one to survive Garrus-9.
- It was also seen by Kup in Spotlight:Kup when Springer was trying to reach out to the old man. Of course, with Kup's broken state of mind, it just made things worse.
- Gideon's Glue is also green and is said to shimmer in the light, too. Hm.
- Broken Ace: Rotorstorm is just that good..until you find out that he's actually a Shell-Shocked Veteran who's putting on a good face.
- Broken Pedestal: When Ironfist learns why Impactor was imprisoned, he gives Perceptor the OK to kill him.
- Brown Note: The Shimmer is an in-universe example. It's actually a holo-projection of Springer... in some of these cases. Legend sure didn't start with Flattop.
- By-the-Book Cop: Prowl, to the point that when he apprehended the vicious criminal Violator, he had the guy bolted down as he read the list of his offenses - not just the crimes, but the exact verses and chapters of the Code that he had transgressed against. On day 3, Violator activated his own kill switch rather than keep listening.
- The Caligula: Overlord has hints of this, as noted by Nick Roche, which is also the reason why he has that grecoroman bust look to him in the first place.
- Callback: "Not More of Your Poetry." When Bullets had been released with the Hardcover, the ongoing had shown Impactor telling this to his friend Megatron. When the two meet again on opposite sides of the war, saying this line causes him to hesitate long enough for Springer to save Impactor.
- Verity sports a small tattoo of a green alien head on the back of her right shoulder. This is in tribute to her dead friend Hunter O'Nion, who throughout Infiltration wore a shirt with a similar green alien head on it.
- Chekhov's Gun: The deterrence chips.
- Ironfist's head looks like it had a gunshot wound to his right temple. Turns out it is and has been killing him for the last 18 months.
- Cluster F-Bomb: According to the trade, Dipstick's dialogue appears abridged due to heavy swearing. To be fair, the guy has a right to be upset - the new Wrecker recruits fouled up his whole construction operation by fooling around.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Stalker does this to Twin Twist.
- Combining Mecha: Subverted. See Crowning Moment of Funny and Gallows Humor. Note that, technically, Overlord himself is a combiner, having two vehicle modes that combine to form his robot mode, not unlike the Duocons.
- Rung also mentions in passing a patient of his who suffers a variation of Phantom Limb syndrome; he's convinced he forms the leg of a larger robot.
- Continuity Porn: Ironfist's. Bio. Ironfist is credited with inventing Cliffjumper's "glass gas" gun and building Optimus Prime's ion rifle (but Optimus mistook him for the similarly obscure Autobot Skyfall), along with a few other Continuity Nods and Mythology Gags.
- Issue 5 continues the porn with bios for Pyro, Guzzle, and Impactor. In fact, Impactor's bio hints at Marvel UK's Death's Head!
- And the Transformer mosaic adds even more to it. Ironfist, with a schematic of his own head showing the cerebro-seeking bullet.
- Guzzle tells Kup about some friends of his who were killed trying to rescue someone. When Kup asks if he was worth it, Guzzle simply says it depends on who you ask.The guy they were trying to rescue was Kup. He killed them.
- Cranial Processing Unit
- Cryptic Background Reference: Casual references to major stories that have never been told, such as the Roadbuster affair, the Lava Wars, the Nightmare Engine, and the Black Epoch.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Kup versus some Decepticon guards.
"Hold this, stay there, an' get ready to take notes."
- Overlord vs Fortress Maximus.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Rotorstorm's status as an emotional cripple is the result of the torment he suffered at the hands of Jetstream, his IAA instructor whose relentless browbeating gradually evolved into daily brutal and unprovoked beatings. Fans would later know Jetstream as Whirl, and when Rotorstorm won a medal, he was in the front row cheering him on.
- Dangerous Deserter: Overlord is the most infamous deserter in Decepticon history. Megatron (who is The Juggernaut in this continuity) gave Overlord the choice of being one of the Decepticons' resident Mechs of Mass Destruction, or refusing and being hunted down and murdered by Megatron. Overlord took the second choice, and has survived for what is implied to be a very long time.
Overlord:"And what if, unlike these two, I aspire to be more than your little pet warhead?"
- Darkest Hour: How
Fisitron Verity describes the dire situation of the Wreckers at the end of the series. Although to be fair, she also mentions there's still hope as long as life persists.]]
- Defector from Decadence: Decepticon Snare, who is terrified of Overlord's death carnival reign.
- Dead Hand Shot: The cover of the final issue.
- Death Seeker: Pyro, but only because he wants a Dying Moment of Awesome.
- Deconstruction: Of pretty much the entire of Transformers franchise. In particular the comic completely tears apart the War Is Glorious, Black and White Morality, Anti-Hero, Never Say "Die", and Ascended Fanboy tropes. The comic also takes special time to display in graphic detail just how utterly horrific actual warfare between Transformers would be in real life.
- Darker and Edgier: Moreso than a hell of a lot of the other IDW titles, even years later. The quote at the top of the page should tell you what you're getting into.
- Dirty Business: Prowl's intentions behind
retrieving Aequitas preventing Aequitas' data falling into Decepticon hands. Turns out some Autobots and Decepticons are Not So Different. Had the data gone public, it would have caused great damage to the Autobot cause.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Snare says that Overlord told his Decepticons that "play makes you free". This is a reference on the German political slogan "Work makes you free", which the Nazis by ironically displayed at the entrances of many concentration camps.
- One of the sites of Flame's atrocities, Babu Yar, is named very similarly to a famous historical massacre site on Ukraine.
- Drill Tank: Twin Twist.
- Driven to Suicide: Arguably, Topspin, by extension of the torture Twin Twist is going through.
- Skyfall drinks a hidden sample of Gideon's Glue rather than face an angry mob who have found out that he was responsible for Ironfist's death.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him
"Fisitron": It's a story of sacrifice and betrayal. And of good people dying in stupid, pointless ways.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Pharma and Ambulon are first mentioned in Bullets as two of the doctors, along with First Aid, to be stationed at Delphi.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Snare's motivation.
- Eviler Than Thou: The Overlord pulls this on Punch Clock Villain Skyquake in the first few pages.
- Evil Only Has to Win Once: Two-villain version - when Shockwave tells Overlord that he isn't the first Phase Sixer to try and bait Megatron, Overlord responds that he only needs to be the last (i.e, the first one to win).
- Explosive Leash: The deterrence chips.
- Expy: Pyro is Optimus Prime without the wisdom and experience, inspired by the fact that he looks like an Optimus wannabe. Emphasis on the "wannabe." In fact, he made himself look like Optimus Prime on purpose due to his obsession with Optimus.
- He even tries to have a motto that sounds similar to Prime's.
- Extreme Melee Revenge: Used by Perceptor's team against Overlord after he kills Rotorstorm, to little effect. Look closely at the panel where they're lunging at him - Topspin drops his gun. Though they were deeply, deeply pissed at the time...
- Eye Scream: Stalker holding a scalpel up to Impactor's optic is made no less freaky by Impactor being a robot. Ironically, Impactor's the guy who shoots Overlord in the eye with a harpoon in the very next issue. And then there's Overlord ripping out one of Springer's optics along with his face.
- Face Death with Dignity: Topspin. Pyro as well, of all characters.
Ironfist: I think you have your motto.
- False Friend: Skyfall to Ironfist.
- Fandom Nod: Ironfist mentions the Wreckers' mission at "T'Muk," a reference to the Transmasters UK (or "TMUK") fanzine where the co-writers got their first break.
- Fan Nickname: "Wrookies", for the newbie Wreckers.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Fortress Maximus. Pure Nightmare Fuel Body Horror. His optics ripped out, limbless and comatose, plugged into Aequitas' chamber and turned into, as Perceptor described it, a living lock-pick. And Twin Twist, tortured to the point that it drove Topspin to suicide.
- Overlord is treated to one as well. Let's see, first he's riddled with thousands of tiny deterrence chips that all explode simultaneously. This strips him of his external plating, leaving him a skeletal chassis that's on fire for several pages with no end in sight. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Impactor goes so far as to refuse to kill him, because actually paying for what he's done is exactly what Overlord deserves.
- Faux Affably Evil: Overlord.
- Final Speech: Subverted with Snare, who is killed mid-sentence.
- Finish Him!: Verity tells Impactor to finish Overlord off. He refuses and has the Decepticon brought in alive instead.
- Five-Man Band: The new Wreckers recruits are tragically flawed examples of the types.
- The Hero: Pyro, who is naive, superficial, and kindhearted to a fault. At least that's what he wants the world to think. In reality, he's an arrogant, selfish Glory Hound.
- The Lancer: Rotorstorm, who hides his insecurities behind this persona.
- The Big Guy: Guzzle, an impulsive brawler who doesn't seem to know the meaning of fear.
- The Smart Guy: Ironfist, an idealistic fanboy with a knack for inventing things.
- The Chick: Verity Carlo, the token squishy human.
- The other Wreckers also fit in the Five-Man Band archetype
- Flanderization: Since Overlord was a complete blank slate, the authors took his only previous appearance in the continuity - an Easter Egg cameo of Overlord cheering on Megatron at a gladiatorial match - and built his personality and motives around a love for gladiatorial combat.
- That would fall more so within Western fiction - portrayal of Overlord in Japanese fiction was a wee bit different.
- Foreshadowing: In Bullets, Rotorstorm notes that a headshot at close range would be a nasty way to go. You have three guesses as to how he dies. The first two don't count.
- For Science!: Apparently the folks at the Kimia Facility have a bit of a habit of regularly inventing utterly horrible weapons just because they can, especially Brainstorm.
- Foregone Conclusion: Given the title of the miniseries, you knew the body count was gonna be high.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Ironfist, who has just invented a new cannon and gives Impactor a new harpoon hand. His previous inventions include Optimus Prime's ion rifle and Cliffjumper's glass gas, the Cerebro-Seeking Bullets and Gideon's Glue.
- Gallows Humor: Facing down the Big Bad, Rotorstorm orders the Wreckers...to combine. Which they can't.
- Genre Savvy: Ironfist and Pyro realize they have higher chances of dying because they are not famous (in or out of universe) like Springer, Perceptor or Kup. They are right.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Utterly failed, as, according to the writers, Hasbro wasn't fooled this time around by the typical Transformers standby of Unusual Euphemisms and Double Entendres. Among the vetoed comments were "clutch-munching piston-licker" and Rotorstorm asking if Overlord was having a "penal dysfunction problem". "Spawn of a glitch" was almost vetoed until it was pointed out that it had already been used previously in the IDW comics.
- Gladiator Games: What Overlord turns G-9 into. Interestingly, Kick-Off's success in the pit is due to experience; he'd been a part of a brutal forced combat circuit as a prisoner in a Decepticon pen on Polyhex.
- Glory Hound: Pyro. He refuses to take the Heroic Sacrifice to activate Aequitas because it's just not cool enough for his death. He does however sacrifice himself to buy Ironfist and Perceptor time to escape.
- Godzilla Threshold: Brainstorm's inventions are so insanely unethical than only the imminent destruction of reality itself could justify using them.
- Gorn: Death is rather unambiguous here. 'cept with Guzzle.
- Green Eyes: Snare and Stalker.
- Grievous Harm with a Body : Overlord knocks Kup around by Dual Wielding Guzzle.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Guzzle meets the same fate as Jazz... except that he survives.
- Hand Cannon: The Judge
- Harpoon Gun: Impactor has one. It replaces his right hand.
- Heel-Face Turn: Snare.
- Hero-Worshipper: Ironfist adores the Wreckers. Pyro has an...unhealthy obsession with Optimus Prime. He even had his chest cavity modified to accommodate the Matrix, "just in case." In fact, his assault on the Tremorcons was slavishly meant to parallel Prime's actions up to his final battle with Megatron.
- More than that, Pyro has a fully diagnosed MENTAL ILLNESS he's so obsessed with Prime. Apparently it's something that affects plenty of Autobots and even a few Decepticons. When Rotorstorm first sees Pyro, he claims it's the worst case he's ever seen.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Topspin and Twin Twist. Arguably, Pyro.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Impactor, originally a Knight Templar, is pushed to the brink thanks to Squadron X.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Springer kills Stalker with his own "endoscopic claw", a horrific-looking torture device.
- In a sadder example, Ironfist is revealed to have shot himself in the head with a prototype brain-seeking bullet several months ago. It was working its way towards his brain through the series, causing the fainting spells. Long thought an accident, the text story in the back of the trade reveals that it was sabotage - and Ironfist's "friend" Skyfall was behind it.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Of all the Autobots Ironfist could have befriended, Skyfall really should've been at the bottom of the list.
- Hypocritical Humor: After Rotorstorm's death by headshot, the comic cuts over to Kup's squad, where Guzzle comments about how fun it is to blow up Decepticon heads with Ironfist's special brain-seeking bullets.
- Even more jarring when we find out Ironfist was a victim of one of those bullets as well.
- I Call It "Vera": Guzzle's Weapon of Choice is a whopper of a handgun called "the Judge."
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A bit-part Decepticon mook called Treadshot. Who already died in a previous series in the exact same way. Whoops.
- Word of God says that neither "deaths" were truly fatal, and it usually takes the destruction of the head to kill a Transformer here (hence why Guzzle survived).
- Improbable Piloting Skills: Rotorstorm manages to fly two vehicles through heavy enemy fire simultaneously. He's just that good.
- Indy Ploy: The Wreckers' standard modus operandi.
Turn up and shoot...'bout as fancy as it gets with us Wreckers. You wanna spend all day calculating "tolerable margins of error"? Call Prowl
. Much simpler with me, kid.
- Ironic Echo: "Not exactly Prime's Fivefold Maneuver, is it?"
- The Predators' reaction to Overlord is echoed by that of the Wreckers.
- In "Bullets", the text story at the end of the trade, "It's over — finished!" is given by Skyfall as an example of a "Fisitronism." Months later, the now-deceased Ironfist uses a prerecorded message to expose Skyfall as his murderer and ends the message with the phrase.
- Rotorstorm, in the Bullets shortstory.
Rotorstorm:A head shot at close range...not a pleasant way to go.
- Irony: After Springer's team lands, extracts from Fisitron's unofficial Wrecker's training guide are superimposed over the team disobeying each and every one of them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Inverted: Pyro is a great hero on the surface and a Jerk Ass at heart.
- Kick the Dog: Pyro. He claims that Verity and humans in general are worthless because they're so fragile, and insists that Ironfist be the one to take a Heroic Sacrifice because the death just isn't cool enough for him.
- Kill 'em All: By the end of the series, the only Wreckers who are both alive and active are Kup, Roadbuster, and Perceptor. All of the others are dead (Ironfist, the Jumpstarters, Pyro, Rotorstorm, Rack'n'Ruin), in critical condition (Springer), AWOL (Guzzle and Impactor), or have left and/or been kicked out of the team (Broadside, Sandstorm, Whirl, Verity).
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Snare, while asking for a Mercy Kill.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Springer.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: In record time. The cover for the second printing of issue #1 spoils the last page.
- Living on Borrowed Time: Ironfist. Both Ironfist and Prowl are well aware of this; it's actually the entire reason Ironfist is on the team in the first place.
- Ludicrous Precision: Shockwave, as usual: "You've had control of the Last Resort for 11 months, three weeks, four days, 15 hours, 55 minutes and 11 seconds, and only now do you choose to reunite me with my body?"
- MacGuffin: The Wreckers are assigned to rescue someone, or something, called "Aequitas." It's a computer used to "calculate guilt," the judge and jury of Garrus-9. The Wreckers are not impressed.
- Mad Scientist: Brainstorm is briefly explored in "Bullets". He's been working as a weapons developer and thus far all of his creations or ideas have been considered insane, unethical, and/or insanely unethical. When Ironfist and Skyfall run into him he's got his latest creation cuffed to his wrist - a briefcase that, when opened, reveals the thing you least expect and kills you.
- Of course, Skyfall and Ironfist also fall under this.
- Manipulative Bastard: Prowl, as usual.
- Maximum Fun Chamber: The Spark Extr̶ainction Chamber (sic).
- Meaningful Name: Verity Carlo and Aequitas, Veritas et Aequitas, Latin for Truth and Justice.
- Mercy Kill: Snare and Topspin and Twin Twist.
- Mood Whiplash: First, Rotorstorm makes the "Combine!" joke. Then Overlord reduces his cranium to so much debris.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Brainstorm and Skyfall in Bullets, Ironfist in Out of Bullets.
- Morton's Fork: See Sadistic Choice.
- Mythology Gag: by the dozen, especially to the Marvel US and UK comics.
- Na´ve Newcomer: Ironfist.
- Names To Distrust: "Why should I trust you? You're a Decepticon. Named Snare."
- It seems Impactor never liked Snare even after all the stuff he did for him, because he killed the poor guy without even letting him finish a sentence.
- Never Learned to Read: In the Zero Point short story, we find out Roadbuster never bothered to learn how to read until he was taking care of a comatose Springer, following the events at Garrus-9.
- Never Split the Party: The first rule of the Unofficial Wrecker's Training Manual.
- No Mouth: Ironfist (in the present day), Guzzle, Pyro, and Stalker. Subverted with Snare, as he's shown to have a mouth under the faceplate when he's shot in the head by Stalker, and Skyfall who is described as unclipping his faceplate before drinking poison to commit suicide.
- OC Stand-in: Pyro, Ironfist, Rotorstorm, Snare, Overlord.
- Oh, Crap: This is the standard response amongst the Wreckers (even Twin Twist, Topspin and Kup) when they find out that they're going up against Overlord. Which was a mirror of the reactions the Decepticons themselves initially had to Overlord arriving to take control of Garrus-9.
- Only Sane Man: Technically; Guzzle, according to Rung, is the only one of the new Wreckers to not have any outstanding psychological issues. He has personality flaws, but in general functions at a higher level than Pyro, Ironfist, and Rotorstorm.
- Orifice Invasion: "Get out of his mouth!"
- Parental Abandonment:
Verity: Wow, you're like the mom I never had.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Megatron offered Overlord the same position occupied by Sixshot in earlier comics. Sixshot's role in the Decepticon army was singlehandedly razing planets.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Guzzle might verge on Super-Deformed, but he's tough.
- Powered Armor: Verity Carlo picked up a suit of armor sometime between her last appearance and here.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: If the passwords to the Aequitas computer are ever lost, it can only be rebooted again via a completely willing Transformer lethally donating their spark to it. Topspin ends up doing that willingly, but Prowl's plan was to have Ironfist be the donor.
- Power Walk: When Springer and the rest of the Wreckers welcome the new recruits.
- Pretty Little Headshots:
- Overlord averts this using his laser to shoot Rotorstorm in the head. It blows out the back of his cranium, and the promotional art, showing the dead characters, has his forehead blown off as well.
- Also Averted with Guzzle's more conventional gun, which has bullets that seek out the head, and blow them apart.
- When Stalker shoots Snare in the head (with a laser), it blows off his mask, and leaves his "brain" exposed.
- The Psycho Rangers: Squadron X
- Putting on the Reich: Upon opening his version of Garrus-9, Overlord claimed that "Play will set you free."
- Pyrrhic Victory: The Wreckers win, but they're effectively over and done.
- "Rashomon"-Style: The Battle of Pova. The joke is in the name - POV(a).
- Reality Ensues: In-universe, when Ironfist realizes, after a minor Heroic BSOD, what the Wreckers ultimately are.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Overlord.
- Red Shirt Army: Springer is obligated to tell all recruits that the Wreckers' survival rate is 42%. Ironfist points out that it's actually 38% if you count Rack 'n' Ruin as two robots instead of one. While this math is a little faulty considering the number of known Wreckers, it still helps to illustrate their situation.
- Replacement Scrappy: In-universe, the new Wreckers are poor substitutes for the variously occupied Broadside, Whirl, Roadbuster, and Sandstorm. This is compounded by the fact that Autobot forces are spread pretty thin as it is, meaning the new guys aren't exactly ready for primetime.
- Also because Prowl intentionally chose them as he believed that it was a suicide mission, met the psychological requirements needed to activate Aequitas, and because he didn't want anyone to know what was in Aequitas.
Ironfist:"It was always going to be one of us — the second stringers"
- The Resenter: Skyfall to Ironfist, even though if anything it should be the other way around.
- Restraining Bolt: Megatron had Shockwave upload a virus into Overlord's cerebral circuitry that prevented Overlord from even considering how to defeat Megatron. Shockwave removes the virus in exchange for his freedom from Garrus-9.
- The Reveal: Ironfist was living on borrowed time. Verity Carlo was the one who wrote the Wrecker's Last Stand datalog as Fisitron. And Prowl's Batman Gambit was not for Aequitas' data to be recovered, but for it to be destroyed and lost forever.
- Riddle for the Ages: Even the writers don't know what Prowl did with the data slug.
- It was revealed in a later issue of the ongoing that Prowl still has it.
- Sacrificial Lion: Arguably, Fortress Maximus and the Wreckers as a group.
- Sadistic Choice: When someone wins twelve fights in Overlord's gladiatorial arena, they get two choices: commit suicide, or fight Overlord. As Snare points out, it's not really a choice.
- Secretly Dying: Ironfist.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Shimmer, described as a fast-moving greenish optical illusion, is believed to be a harbinger of imminent and inescapable death. The greenish shimmer seen by Flattop, Ironfist, Pyro, Guzzle, and Rotorstorm is Springer's holographic projection used to recruit new Wreckers.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Impactor, Rotorstorm and Ironfist.
- Flattop and everyone else who was at Babu Yar. Flattop was actually going to be invited to join the Wreckers but fainted when he saw Springer's hologram boot up, thinking it was "the Shimmer", an Autobot legend said to foretell death.
- Shoot The Fuel Tank: Perceptor does this to cover his escape from Overlord.
- Shoulder Cannon: Impactor, though he's never shown to use it in robot mode.
- Shout-Out: When debating whether or not to hail a damaged craft, Verity asks if she should use her "Uhura mode." It is not clear whether or not this has been used for the Boldly Coming approach.
- Overlord tells his troops to 'please attend carefully', quoting the Ainely/Simm incarnations of The Master from Doctor Who. James Roberts apparently likes to think he sounds like the latter version.
- Verity calls Rotorstorm "Hitman", a reference to professional wrestler Bret "Hitman" Hart, who is known for pink wrap-around sunglasses.
- Part of "Fisitron's" narration in the last issue is based upon Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. At the end of the issue a book of Tennyson's poetry is on the table.
- Impactor references an episode of the British sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf when talking to Overlord ("One way or another, you killed a lot of my friends today").
- Significant Anagram: Ironfist's pen-name, "Fisitron".
- Smoking Is Cool: Kup constantly chews on a cigar. It was explained in an earlier series that it's actually full of stuff that stops him from going mad due to withdrawal from toxic radiation from a planet he was marooned on for some time.
- Someone Has to Die: Activating Aequitas.
- Squee: A sig image of Ironfist shouting "SQUEE!" was noticed and referenced by co-writer and artist Nick Roche on his blog.
- Stepford Smiler: Rotorstorm, who is trying to hide the fact that he's horribly scarred by his past experiences in the war. His bravado covers up a world of self-doubt and insecurity.
- The Stinger: In Word and Deed, we find out that Ironfist did leave a back-up of the Aequitas data, and Verity is safekeeping it.
- Stripped To The Endoskeleton: Overlord winds up reduced to a flaming endoskeleton after Springer shoots him with a chaingun loaded with deterrence chips, which Ironfist triggers shortly thereafter.
- Stupid Good: Ultra Magnus. A duly appointed enforcer of the Tyrest Accord, it should have been in his best interest to verify the content of the dataslug that contains Aequitas' records, or at least make a backup of it. Instead, he decided to trust Prowl to do the right thing, by giving him the only existing copy.
- Suicide Mission: It becomes quite apparent that the mission to Garrus 9 is this. There's a disturbing implication that part of the reason Prowl sent the Wreckers specifically to Garrus 9 was to... dispose of Springer, who was one of the people who questioned and challenged his decisions the most.
- Switching P.O.V.: While the POV changes several times through the history, part 5 is made to look like Ironfist is narrating the events, only to find out it is Verity, after he died on the way back from Garrus-9.
- Super OCD: The short story Bullets reveals that First Aid develops one after being contacted by Springer to help him look for something very specific. Since then, he's always checking injured autobots that drop by his medical outpost for a very specific injury. He seems to grow out of it by the time he appears in Transformers: More than Meets the Eye but he still has a collection of Autobot Insignias.
- Synchronization: Topspin and Twin Twist
- Take That: In the first issue, two somewhat chunky Autobots with car hoods for chest get decapitated during the Decepticon assault. Colorist Josh Burcham decided to color them like Skids and Mudflap from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for the enjoyment of fans that hated those two characters.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Played for Laughs in a story Kup tells about how Prowl lectured a Decepticon with all of the wrongs he committed against the Tyrest Accord, which caused the Decepticon to commit suicide... due to unbearable boredom.
- Tank Goodness: Impactor and Guzzle.
- Tear Off Your Face: Overlord does this to Springer. He survives, but is in critical condition on life support.
- Tempting Fate: Springer is pretty Genre Savvy about this. After outlining his rough plan, he asks, "What could possibly go right?"
- Thanatos Gambit: Ironfist and the datalog that proved Skyfall's guilt regarding his own accident and the Gideon's Glue leak to the Decepticons.
- This Is Reality: Ironfist gets a nasty dose of this upon actually fighting with the Wreckers. For one, it seems that in all his research he never realized that the Wreckers are usually a Red Shirt Army...
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Kup jokingly threatens to do this to Verity after she makes a disparaging remark about his hygiene habits.
- Title Drop: Sorta. In Fisitron's last entry: "This is the story of the Wrecker's Last Stand".
- Token Evil Teammate: The Predators are the bad guys, but Skyquake displays loyalty to Megatron despite being fairly independent, and Fearswoop and Snare are very uncomfortable under Overlord's rule, but Stalker, he's enjoying the whole ride, Torture, Death, Overlord, and all.
- Snare briefly becomes this for the Wreckers towards the end.
- Tonight Someone Dies: The promotion for the third issue used this tactic.
- Torture Technician: Stalker.
- Unfortunate Names: An Autobot foreman named Dipstick. Kick-Off's final victory in the pit was againt a Decepticon named Borehole.
- Unusual Weapon Mounting: Overlord can kill you with his abs.
- Uriah Gambit: Springer is one of the few Autobots who openly defies Prowl at just about every turn, and knowing Prowl, he sent Springer on a Suicide Mission. Springer does survive, although he has his face and one of his optics ripped off by Overlord, and has been down and out for the count ever since as he remains comatose and on life support.
- Viewer-Friendly Interface: Verity's font in her letter to Ultra Magnus is... significantly large.
- Villainous Breakdown: Odd case. Overlord loses all will to keep fighting when Verity tells him that Megatron is dead and no longer around for a fight.
- To make it even sweeter, not only is Megatron dead (as far as the good guys know), but he never cared about Overlord enough to bother looking for him at all. Hell, the most likely scenario is that he was told about what happened on G-9 at one point and soon forgot about it entirely.
- War Is Glorious: Ironfist's idolized view of the Wreckers, and seemingly Pyro's ultimate desire.
- War Is Hell: An odd choice for a franchise that takes refuge in cool, but the series' reception indicates that it works pretty well.
- What Could Have Been: A lot of things got changed or edited out in the writing process. In the earlier versions Rotorstorm's death is completely different, Scorponok was the main villain, Grimlock had a big role, the hinted at Guzzle/Kup confrontation actually happened, and Overlord was defeated by the Wreckers knocking him into a pit with a psychotic, out of control Grimlock. An earlier draft also had Springer, Perceptor or Kup die. Two got vetoed out, they decided not to follow thru with the third option.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Fortress Maximus disappears for the entirety of issue #4. He shows up again, being carted around by Ironfist in issue #5.
- On the villains side: Fearswoop. Skyquake, Stalker, Snare, Wingblazer, Borehole, Treadshot and Overlord are all accounted for the first six dead, and Overlord in custody. It's presumed that he and the rest of the cons ran away when the ordeal ended.
- What the Hell, Hero?: The Batman Gambit mentioned above - the morality of the goal is iffy enough to begin with, the methods (sending a team that included several severely mentally scarred 'bots on a literal, but known only to him, suicide mission) were beyond the pale.
- What a Senseless Waste of Life: Discussed by the authors themselves in a podcast, where they mention that part of the theme is "good people dying in pointless ways". Also uttered in-universe by
- Whole Episode Flashback: Word of God states that Issue 5 is this.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Ironfist.
- The Worf Effect: Before readers find out that he was nearly an official Person of Mass Destruction, Overlord dispatches Fortress Maximus with blinding speed.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Not necessary in the book, but it is possible that Roche & Roberts created Ironfist's "Fisitron" pseudonym so that Hasbro could make a new toy for him without bumping up against trademark issues with the Marvel Comics character of the same name. This is exactly what happened when a toy of a Transformers Animated version of Ironfist came out.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Arguably, the Shimmer. See Brick Joke.
- Your Head A Splode: Rotorstorm
- You Killed My Father: The reason Guzzle changed his mind about joining the team? All of his friends died on a mission to save Kup, and he's just itching to confront the old oilstain about it. As far as can be told, he never found the time to do so.
Wreck 'n' Rule!
You see, this is one of those stories with a moral.
And the moral is simply this: Life Persists.