Comic Book: Transformers Maximum Dinobots
A series by Simon Furman with art by Nick Roche and James Raiz. After the IDW-verse got a reboot in the form of Transformers: All Hail Megatron
, Mr. Furman had to tie up some remaining Plot points from his run
, especially after having to cram so much into Revelation.
Cue this series which finishes those plots. Scorponok had landed on earth sometime ago and set up a human company called the Machination empire, which he used to further the technology of the planet, and make himself stronger. He captured Hunter O'nion and Sunstreaker and forcibly turned them into the first headmaster, cloning the later. He places Sunstreaker's consciousness in Hunter, and installs robotic organs and armor into him, allowing him to transform into a head. This hybrid of man and machine grabs a clone body and escapes. Meanwhile, Soundwave was trapped in Vehicle mode by Bludgeon's acolytes in his spotlight, and Shockwave was trapped on earth during his spotlight. Shockwave, Laserbeak and Ravage are all captured by Skywatch, a government organization devoted to finding and stopping transformers. Laserbeak and Ravage escape to find Soundwave, who was sold at a pawnshop in tape mode. Finally, the titular Dinobots, trapped on earth in stasis by Grimlock's actions, Grimlock escaped in his spotlight to cause trouble and is hunted by Scorponok, while Scorponok schemes to have the other Dy
nobots hunt him down. These events lead up to this series.
This series provides examples of:
- 10-Minute Retirement: Swoop get's pissed at Grimlock and abandons him with the other Dinobots after he revealed that his inability to let a defeat go was what got them into this situation. They then come back, in the same issue, to help him in the battle, having gotten over their bitter feelings. Also, there was probably no way off the planet.
- Action Prologue: The opening scene of the mini is that of the Dinobots wrecking a Decepticon outpost.
- Anti-Villain: Slag, most notably. Grimlock counts as well.
- Arc Welding: Of many of Mr. Furman's dangling plot threads.
- Art Evolution: It is at this point Josh Burcham starts using the cel-shading coloring style that is now his signature style of coloring Transformers comics, notably featuring in Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers and Transformers: More than Meets the Eye.
- Ascended Extra: Most notably the Monsterbots.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Grimlock is the leader and by far the strongest of the Dinobots, taking on all its other members at once, and later goes toe to toe with Shockwave while the other Dinbots struggle together against Scorponok who is in a similar league.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: How the Dinobots tend to tackle a problem.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Shockwave defeats Scorponok through calculating his exact strengths and weaknesses and defeating him by capitalising on the fear of his human half.
- Badass: Grimlock, being Simon Furman's Author'sPet is this naturally, taking on and slaughtering hordes of Sunstreaker clones and taking on Shockwave.
- The villains are pretty badass too, with Scorponok mortally wounding both Sunstreaker and Sludge in one shot and Shockwave taking Scorpy himself down.
- Hot Rod, Sunstreaker and the other Dinos all get their fair share of awesome moments too.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Soundwave achieves all his goals and later gets his payback against Earth.
- Become Your Weapon: Shockwave, of course.
- BFG: Again, Shockwave. An understatement in this case.
- BFS: Slag and Grimlock both wield huge glowy energy swords. It looks particularly big in the hands of a medium-sized Autobot like Hot Rod, to whom Slag passes his to briefly.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Scorpnok is the Biggest Bad, controlling the Machination and being responsible for most of the actions. Skywatch are the Hero Antagonists, trying to stop everything for the sake of the planet, and thus oppose the heroes. Shockwave breaks free of their control and goes after Grimlock.
- Bigger Bad: Megatron's looming over the horizon, his exploits explored in All Hail Megatron.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Monsterbots have this, although to what extent they qualify as heroes is arguable.
- Bloodier and Gorier: With Roche around and his abundant renders of mech-fluid and battle damage this was inevitable.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Hi Scorponok.
- Instead of killing Hot Rod when he has the chance, he lets him live so Hot Rod can see his masterplan unfold. Guess who tells Swoop Scorponok's weak point and allows the Dinos to defeat him later?
- The Machination is competent enough to place mind-control devices on all the Dinobots. Scorponok is incompetent enough to get rid of the mind-control just so he can see how the Dinobots react to seeing their old boss again. Naturally, they eventually choose to follow him, although grudgingly.
- This is a case of Tropes Are Not Bad though, as Scorponok's hammy, Bond-Villain homage is hugely entertaining and provides a great foil to coldly logical and efficient Shockwave.
- Broken Pedestal: Grimlock. The Dinobots lose all respect for him initially when they learn he was willing to sacrifice them for his revenge 4 million years ago.
- Call Back: Grimlock uses Sludge like a club, apaprently remembering Shockwave's usage of it back in Spotlight: Shockwave.
- Captured Super Entity: Skywatch has uncovered Shockwave, Ravage, Laserbeak, and the Dinobots (sans Grimlock) from Mount St. Helens. By the end of the series, they are all free from the organization's control.
- Characterisation Marches On: Scorponok, from a Tragic Villain who showed Hidden Depths, is now a Large Ham with no apparent depths to be seen.
- The Cavalry: The Monsterbots.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Dinobots and the Monsterbots, who couldn't care less about the Autobot's more moral principles as long as they get the job done.
- Converse with the Unconscious. Hunter when he tries to justify his decision to kill Sunstreaker, and Grimlock going on a very talky few pages to Sludge's dying form.
- Cool Sword: The Dinobots, especially Slag and Grimlock have awesome energy swords.
- Creator Thumbprint: Furmanisms and Furman's sometimes awkwards attempts to avoid them.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Scorponok delivers an offscreen one to Hot Rod.
- The Dinobots kill lots of Decepticons in the prologue with no apparent injuries on their side.
- Death Is Cheap: Think Sludge is dead? Nah. Sunstreaker after Hunter disconnected his Spark? Think again.
- Justified. since Transformers being practicall imposible to kill is an in-series fact and a plot point in IDW's Transformers serieses.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: The Machination is willing to work with Autobots, Decepticons and humans alike.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: No explanation required here.
- Evil Gloating: Scorponok really wants to engage in some of this with his captive Hot Rod, but the Autobot just isn't very interested in what he has to say. Even death threats fail to make him more respectful or attentive.
- Evil vs. Evil: Shockwave and Scorponok fight each other at the end to see who gets to kill The Dinobots.
- Explosive Leash: Skywatch puts a bomb into Shockwave's head to make sure he doesn't turn on them.
- Five-Man Band: Grimlock as The Leader, Slag/Swoop as The Lancer, Sludge/Snarl as The Big Guy, Swoop as The Smart Guy and Hot Rod as The Chick.
- For the Lulz: Aside from money, this is why the Monsterbots do what they do.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Grimlock and The Dinobots hire the Monsterbots for help despite despising them.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: Orange/Yellow/Red for the protagonists (The 5 Dinobots, Sunstreaker, Hot Rod), Purple for the antagonists (Shockwave and Scorponok).
- Good Is Not Nice: Hunter and Hot Rod are the only protagonists who aren't jerkasses. The Dinobots are ruthless, bloodthirsty and war-loving Blood Knights, the Monsterbots are mercenary and threaten to kill Grimlock if he doesn't pay them.
- In a flashback sequences Slag is seen shooting Decepticons who have already surrendered and later plays football with their heads. He even jokes about it later.
- Grimlock is willing to sacrifice his entire team to ensure he gets back at Shockwave. He is pretty much obsessed with vengeance and this is the crux of his character arc in the story.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Grimlock uses Sludge as a club to take down Swoop and Snarl.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Grimlock bisects one headmasters with his Cool Sword.
- Happy Flashback: Grimlock reminisces one of the Dinobots having the time of their lives murdering scared and outmatched Decepticons.
- Hope Spot: The Machination clones have been defeated, and it seems the battle is over for the Dinobots. The Scorponok arrives, mortally wounds Sludge and Shockwave too, both seeking Grimlock's head.
- How We Got Here: This story is basically one big setup and explanation for plot holes for All Hail Megatron.
- It's Personal: Shockwave is really angry at Grimlock for trapping him on earth for millions of years and wasting his time. He claims he wants revenge.
- Or not, given it is actually all a charade to buy time for Soundwave to get rid of the detonation code and to convince Skywatch he really wants to defeat and capture Grimlock. As soon as the detonation code is destroyed, Shockwave immediately drops the battle and just ups and leaves.
- Jerkass: Scorponok naturally. The Dinobots too, even to each other.
Slag: See, it's easier to easier keepin' tags on people we haven't ticked off.
- Sunstreaker is his usual jerkass and insensitive self.
- Repugnus is determined to out-do everyone else.
- Kill It with Fire: Grotosque loves doing this, while making bad puns to boot.
- Large Ham: Scorponok has essentially turned into this by this point, abandoning all pretenses of Tragic Villain he still had in Spotlight: Ultra Magnus.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the -ations and All Hail Megatron.
- Locked into Strangeness: The Dinobots only chose their dinosaur alt-modes to avoid suffering energon overload, and don't have the means to ditch them. Grimlock tried, but he's only managed to make a few 'cosmetic' alterations.
- Losing Your Head: Sunstreaker/Hunter's plot revolves around taking his original head back from Machination.
- Ludicrous Precision: Shockwave as ever.
- Mugging the Monster: Skywatch threatens Shockwave by stuffing him with explosives. An unusual case as Skywatch should by this point know what they are in for, but are still too arrogant to learn from their mistakes.
- No Holds Barred Beat Down: Scorponok delivers one to Hot Rod offscreen. Hot Rod is really banged up when we next see him, Scorponok knocks a piece of his cheek off and smashes his leg to stop Hot Rod from leaving.
- Nominal Hero: The Monsterbots barely count as this.
- Nothing Personal: As soon as Soundwave removes the Explosive Leash from Shockwave, Shockwave stops his fight, after getting the better of Grimlock, to tell him that he doesn't care about his revenge, it's all just theatrics for his "masters." He then leaves Grimlock, wanting to get on with his life. Grimlock disagrees, and detonates a grenade with them in a weapons factory.
- When he fights with Scorponok to see who will kill the Dinobots, Shockwave wins, but instead of finishing Scorponok, he tells him to uses his exit strategy and get out of there, Scorponok agrees.
- Off Model: Shockwave get's his gun bent in the fight, but it shows up fine later. One scene showed him with two hands and no gun arm.
- Sludge's ever-changing face due to 2 different artists.
- Oh Crap: The Headmasters get one when they realise Grimlock is far more powerful than Scorponok led them to believe.
- Snarl gives one when the Dinobots are surrounded by hundreds of Headmasters.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Shockwave's and Scorponok's bout initially comes off as this as they both brawl to see who gets rights to take revenge on Grimlock for generally screwing them over. However, while Scorponok genuinely seeks vengeance Shockwave simply wants to buy time till Sooundwave gets rid of the detonation codes.
- Playing with Fire: Hot Rod temporarily bursts into flames to destroy some Sunstreaker clones, he his left severely drained after employing the tactic though.
- Slag's primary weapon is a flamethrower he spews from his mouth in dino-mode.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Soundwave has been trapped in cassette player mode for twenty years after being shot by one of Shockwave's experimental weapons. He is rescued by Ravage and Laserbeak, but has to rely on Shockwave to undo the effects of the weapon.
- Shout-Out: Eugenesis, James Roberts' (Roche's friend and later partner when working on Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers) Transformers novel appears on a bookshelf.
- Issue 2's alternate cover is a homage to the famous 'Spider-Man No More!' cover.
- The scene where the Dinobots are tested out is a homage to Jurassic Park, as is the title font.
- Sociopathic Hero: Slag, who shoots surrendering enemies, plays football with their heads, and jokes about how soft they are. He probably gives Whirl a run for his money. He gained Grimlock's respect after he shot his commanding officer in the back.
- Taking You with Me: Grimlock decides to take both him and Shockwave down with a grenade. Both survive, of course.
- Tempting Fate: Grimlock asks whether things can get worse at the very start of issue one.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Abraham Dante and all the Machination Agents go missing after this series. Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers was to have Dante's consciousness taken out of Scorponok's mind, and Scorponok using Fortress Maximus's head, but this was not to be.
- Agent Joshua Red goes missing after this series. Transformers: All Hail Megatron implies he was fired, as the government officials give the position of the head of Skywatch to Sparkplug Witwicky, and further imply that Red wasn't American.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Invoked, unlike Optimus Prime, who's team took care not to kill or seriously injure any of the humans piloting the Sunstreaker clones, The Dinobots and Monsterbots do not care about them, and slaughter them by the dozens, and when it all comes down to it, they have no problem doing the same thing to their leader, though Ultra Magnus stops them.
- Villain Decay: The Sunstreaker clones, originally a serious threat are now slaughtered by the dozens. Justified in that the Dinobots are among the most powerful autobots and both Sunstreaker and Hot Rod (who himself kicked plenty of clone ass back in Devastation) are also considered skilled warriors.