Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / First Strike

Go To

First Strike is IDW Publishing's 2017 Hasbro Comic Universe Crisis Crossover, primarily featuring characters from the Transformers, G.I. Joe and MASK lines.

As Earth reluctantly begins diplomatic relations with Cybertron, after Optimus forcibly annexed them into the Council of Worlds, the mysterious Baron Ironblood and his allies, after decades of planning, make their move. Their goal? To destroy Cybertron itself. But Ironblood has a deeper connection to some of those trying to stop him than they realize.

First Strike is a six-issue miniseries, written by Mairghead Scott and David R. Rodriguez, with art by Matt Dumbar. The main series also comes with back-up stories detailing how Ironblood assembled his forces.



  • Adaptational Villainy: Joe Colton aside, there's Merklynn. Already a massive Jerkass back in the original Visionaries, here the man is willing to outright kill entire planets just to bring about the supremacy of magic.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Merklynn successfully drains a great deal of Cybertron's energy, then runs for it. And he manages to awaken the Great Destroyer in the process.
  • Big Bad: Baron Ironblood is the one leading the charge against Cybertron, with the other villains working for him.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Merklynn hasn't managed to completely remake Cybertron, but he still plans to use the fragment of Prysmos he has recreated to conquer the galaxy. Colton is broken by the futility of his actions, Scarlett has lost faith in her mentor, Iacon has still been devastated by his attack, and relations between Cybertron and Earth are more fragile than ever. And then there's Cybertron's being drained of energy to summon Unicron...
  • Advertisement:
  • Bullying a Dragon: Strika tries pointing a gun at Soundwave for standing with G.I. Joe, apparently not recognizing or caring who he is.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A purple ant-former is seen in the crowd early on in issue 1. In issue 2, Shazraella enerchanges with her in order to give the bad guys some extra firepower.
  • Composite Character: Garrison Kreiger, based on General Blitz from Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles, is actually Merklynn from Visionaries.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Joe Colton walks in on Miles still committing experiments on Blitzwing, and is disgusted by the sheer cruelty his former teammate shows.
    • For all his long list of evil deeds, and his generally disgusting attitude, Miles Mayhem still thinks what Garrison Kreiger did to Mike Power was awful.
  • Everythings Better With Ninjas: Storm Shadow brings her ninja with her.
  • Exact Words: Garrison Kreiger's story to Colton in issue 5. All over the place. Later on, when he declares he still has "many worlds to conquer", it turns out he's not being poetical in the slightest.
  • Eye Scream: The back-up story for issue 3 has Miles Mayhem smashing open Blitzwing's visor and tearing out one of his eyes, just to attach it to the Switchblade.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Why Ironblood wants to kill all Cybertronians. He's also not too pleased with Miles Mayheim's prior team-up with the Dire Wraiths (for personal reasons) and Baron Karza.
    • Merklynn, to everyone who's not from Prysmos.
  • Foreshadowing: The additional story of issue 5 has a whole ton of it related to Garrison Kreiger, after The Reveal in issue 6.
  • Gainax Ending: The first 5 issues: driven by the conflict between Scarlett and her Treacherous Advisor Colton over their positions on the protection of Earth, and Optimus's ongoing conflicts with the Council of Worlds. Issue 6: focused on the practically out-of-nowhere threat of Merklynn and setting up Visionaries, with both Colton and Optimus being pushed to the side.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Centurion, yet again. During the Optimus Prime tie-in, he attacks the Revolutionaries and sides with Kreiger. It is soon revealed to be a ruse, as a way of getting close enough to Kreiger to kill him.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Due to IDW's serious problems with delays through 2017, Baron Ironblood's identity was spoiled before the issue of Revolutionaries revealed it, since the issue doesn't bother hiding who he really is.
  • Legion of Doom: Baron Ironblood's assembled a team including G.I. Joe's Destro, Major Bludd, Garrison Kreiger, the second Storm Shadow, and Doctor Mindbender, MASK's Miles Mayhem, and Micronauts Shazarella. Also involved is Iron Klaw (also from Joe) and Doctor X (from Action Man).
  • Macguffin: The Talisman, the plot device of Revolutionaries. Ironblood plans to use its abilities, which kill Cybertronians, on the entire planet. Merklynn instead uses it to drain a good portion of Cybertron's energon and terraform a portion of the planet into a pocket of magic with it as a starting point for his technophobic crusade.
  • The Magic Comes Back: With a vengeance. Merklynn will start a new Age of Magic across the galaxy, whether mechanical civilizations such as the Transformers like it or not.
  • Magic Versus Science: Merklynn holds all science in contempt, and seeks to renew the Age of Magic across the entire universe.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Joe Colton's reaction to unwittingly helping Merklynn.
    Colton: Nothing... it was all for nothing. And it's... my fault.
  • Noodle Incident: Miles Mayhem mentions there was some incident in Dolphin Bay that led him to assume Joe wasn't speaking to him.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Joe Colton was used to the weird science-based heroes of the HCU. Actual, proper, full-blown magic in the form of one of its most powerful wielders? Yeah, he's got nothing against that.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Miles makes a crack about Scarlett, asking how dangerous she can be if she's a woman. Destro remarks this isn't worth responding to. Storm Shadow (a woman) disagrees.
  • Red Skies Crossover: Micronauts (IDW) and ROM (IDW) have tie-ins in this crossover, but they have absolutely no connection to the Cybertron vs. Colton plot besides taking place during the same timespan. Similarly, the G.I. Joe (2016) and M.A.S.K. tie-ins have little to do with it other than Scarlett and her team being on Cybertron while they take place.
  • The Reveal: Garrison Kreiger isn't really who he says he is. He's not even human. He's Merklynn. That Merklynn.
  • Sequel Hook: As Merklynn disappears, he says his Visionaries are coming back to finish what he started, leading to the following Transformers vs. Visionaries series.
  • The Stinger: In a "coda" to the main series, Windblade and Metroplex discover that Cybertron's energy has been drained to send a signal somewhere out into space... where it reaches its target: UNICRON.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Joe Colton intended to use the other villains as this to save the Earth, but had no idea Merklynn was using him to get at Cybertron.
    Kreiger/Merklynn: Do you [Colton] think I didn't know I was a pawn to you in this?
  • Wham Line:
    • Not just because of what's said, but who's saying it. "Whispered secrets of a shattered age, I summon you: Renew this sage!" from Kreiger