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Comic Book / Revolutionaries

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You say you want a revolution? note 
"So many factions, all fighting one another. There is much wrong with your world."

The planet Earth of the Hasbro Comic Universe has been touched by many outsiders, be they Cybertronian, Dire Wraith, Microspace or otherwise... and among these is the mysterious artifact known only as the Talisman. When the strange obelisk becomes active in the country of Schleteva, it brings together four unlikely allies: Mayday, a G.I. Joe leader with something to prove; Blackrock, a Cybertronian who thought he was a man; Kup, a Transformer older than the universe; and Action Man, a British special agent with big shoes to fill. As the four of them uncover the mysteries of the Talisman, the Revolutionaries will find strange allies and delve into the secrets of their world and the alien influence on its history.

Described as "Marvel Team-Up meets Planetary", Revolutionaries is an action-comedy superhero Team-Up Series written by John Barber (The Transformers, Action Man, Back to the Future) and illustrated by Fico Ossio (Revolution, Skylanders); with a rotating team lineup — bringing in characters including Rom, Snake-Eyes, Mike Power and the Hearts of Steel Transformers — the series will explore the world of the Hasbro Universe and allow Barber to indulge his love of Continuity Porn and Mythology Gags.


  • Aborted Arc: Early promotion described the first issue as taking place in Kalistan, but the final version instead is in Schleteva — though an IRON Army logo still appears on the wall in one scene. (This was later explained away as being an I.R.O.N. owned facility instead.)
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: More than a few reviewers have picked up on the fact that the cast of characters includes a snarky, goateed CEO with a mechanical alter-ego, a time-lost hero from World War II, and a highly-trained government operative who's friends with a female combat expert.
  • Ancient Astronauts: The Talisman is an ancient alien artefact, with connections to the Cybertronians, Microspace and the Dire Wraiths, its actual origin is unknown, but the original owner appears to be Onyx Prime. Where he got it from is a mystery.
  • Arc Welding: Optimus remarks that the MASS Device is a human-made orbital bounce mechanism, the teleportation device used frequently throughout Furman's run, which has kind of fallen entirely by the wayside.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Sgt. Savage, yo! He also thinks "Optimus Prime" is a pretty rad name, too.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: After everything our heroes go through, Baron Ironblood and his team manage to waltz into Blackrock's tower and steal the Talisman back at the last moment.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The main villains are a team of G.I. Joe-adjacent villains: Baron Ironblood from Action Force, Doctor X from Action Man, Iron Klaw from G.I. Joe Extreme, General Blitz from Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles, and Tomax/Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe. That said, Ironblood is the Final Boss and will continue to pose a threat going into First Strike.
  • Big Dumb Object: The Talisman. It turns people into Dire Wraiths, it can wipe a mechanoid's memories, it gives cyborgs superpowers, it can create and control drones out of metal, and it can fly. It's pretty snazzy.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Centurion, thanks to decades of manipulation by Kreiger, has come to think all Cybertronians are abominations who need to be destroyed.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Centurion. Shot down over Earth, mind-wiped, forced to kill his former friends and allies unwittingly, regaining his real memories when exposed to the horror of WW1, before becoming the last 'bot standing in WW2, after which he was duped into being a pawn for Kreiger for decades.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Tomax reappears at the end of issue 3, with Baron Ironblood and Doctor X asking him to become the new Cobra Commander.
    • The Predacons reappear in issue 5, with most of them last having been seen during The Transformers (IDW).
  • Call-Back:
    • When captured and examined by Kreiger and co. in issue 4, Blackrock recites the same poem Pyra Magna heard in the 2017 Transformers annual, the same one Onyx Prime recited.
    • In issue 8, Blackrock has a vision of Onyx Prime in intraspace, much as Optimus did with Nova Prime alllll the way back in the dimension's last (and only) appearance way back in Escalation.
  • The Cameo: Young Mike Power owns a dog who resembles Lucky from Pound Puppies. Backmatter material implies that this dog is apparently Lucky's distant ancestor, suggesting that the cartoon also takes place in the Hasbroverse.
  • Canon Welding: In addition to taking place in the combined Hasbro Comic Universe, Revolutionaries incorporates the Hearts of Steel Transformers.
  • Combining Mecha: The Predacons return, able to merge into Predaking.
  • Composite Character: Sgt. Savage's "Screaming Eagles" have been merged with his WWII unit, including Savage, Blitz, and Grill.
  • Continuity Nod: Hoo boy. Given John Barber's tendencies, this is to be expected.
    • The first issue revisits much of IDW's G.I. Joe history: it takes place in Schleteva (from G.I. Joe vol. 4), involves Major Bludd working with the Oktober Guard (from vol. 3) and ends with Ian waking up on the Section Sabine moonbase (from vol. 1).
    • Issue 2 has Storm Shadow II and Baron Ironblood working with Doctor X.
    • Also, during issue 2, Kup name-drops Impactor.
    • Issue 3 revisits what Soundwave was doing on Earth all those years, and the history of the Adventure Team.
    • The opening page has, among the hieroglyphs on display, what looks an awful lot like Shockwave's head; also depicted are several of the Micronauts (tying in with what's going on in their title).
    • At the end of issue 3, Kup mentions he knows someone who writes screenplays. He's talking about Thundercracker's attempts at writing.
    • Issue 7 features Sgt. Savage fighting alongside Team Extreme, formed by Action Man and Natalie Poole from Action Man 1995 series.
  • Disney Death: Centurion sacrifices himself to protect the heroes from the Talisman's energy wave. He survives because he's not really Centurion anymore.
  • Driving Question: What is the Talisman? What is it's ultimate purpose?
  • Dynamic Entry: Kup's tactic for rescuing Action Man: come crashing through the roof of the moonbase that he's held in, causing Explosive Decompression that pulls half of the Red Shadows out of the base.
  • Eye Scream: Garrison Kreiger lost an eye to one of the Iron Drones in WW2.
  • Fake Memories: Shockwave convinces all the lost Eukarians that they're Autobots and Decepticons this way.
  • Fantastic Racism: Ironblood's beef with Cybertronians, he sees them as an inherent threat to all human life, and wishes to use the Talisman to kill them all. Optimus forcibly inducting Earth into the Council of Worlds just provoked him into gathering allies.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since IDW has some problems with delays through 2017, First Strike came out before the series had finished, revealing Ironblood and Kreiger get away scot-free, but Ironblood's secret identity gets out.
  • Foreshadowing: When Kreiger starts manipulating Centurion, he tells him he's "always felt alone in the world". Come First Strike, it turns out he was making the mother of all understatements.
  • For Science!: Shockwave shot down a Eukarian ship and found that all their memories had been wiped, so he convinced them they were actually Autobots and Decepticons. Why? He wanted to see what would happen.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble:
    • Mayday: The Realist
    • Action Man: The Optimist
    • Garrison Blackrock: The Apathetic
    • Kup: The Cynic
  • Franchise Immigrant: Ayana Jones, originally from Robots in Disguise, is repurposed as a member of G.I. Joe codenamed "Mayday".
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Centurion tries to justify his evil ways by pointing out that he was the only Transformer on Earth for decades. Kup shuts him up by mentioning that he was left alone in the Dead Universe for billions of years without descending into villainy.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Centurion. After first turning on his fellow Hearts of Steel Transformers and hunting them to the last 'bot, he then joins forces with Garrison Kreiger for several decades, until the Revolutionaries find him and tell him that he's not the last Transformer in existence. It looks like he's seen the error of his ways, but #7 reveals that he surrendered solely to fool the team into letting him into their base. Then at the end of issue #8, he dies and is reborn as a human-Cybertronian fusion, making it seem like he's turned over a new leaf... but then First Strike shows that the old Centurion is still alive and kicking inside his combined psyche, and at the first opportunity he shoots Blackrock in the back and runs off to rejoin Kreiger. He then reveals that it was a ploy to get close to Kreiger so that he could try and kill him in revenge for him abusing him as both Centurion and Mike Power.
  • Identical Stranger: Everyone aboard the Axalon just so happened to resemble a major player in the Cybertronian Great War.
  • Impaled Palm: Storm Shadow stabs Action Man to pin him to a wall in issue 2.
  • Kid Detective: Mike Power used to be one until his fateful encounter with alien technology set him on a different path.
  • Killed Offscreen: When last seen, way back in G.I. Joe, the Section Sabine Cobra base was cut off and stranded on the moon. They all died.
  • Lame Comeback:
    Kup: Hey, kid — did you make a human friend?
    Mayday: Yeah, kid. did you?
    Action Man: ...I have loads of human friends!
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Kup uses the Universal Greeting, everyone points out how ridiculous it sounds. And yet it still works.
    Orizon Rael: He sounds like he's from a kid's holo-vid. Nobody actually talks like that.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Garrison Blackrock is actually a Cybertronian, Mercy Gale is Doctor X and Baron Ironblood is Joe Colton.
  • Meaningful Background Event: At various points in issue 3, destroyed, steampunk-looking Transformers can be seen in the background.
  • Mental Fusion: Mike Power returns from the dead thanks to the Talisman, who downloads a copy of his consciousness into Centurion's body to create a hybrid being with the memories of both.
  • My Greatest Failure: On Mayday's first mission as a leader for G.I. Joe, the Talisman mutates her teammates into Dire Wraiths. While it wasn't her fault, it gives her a need to prove herself.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Major Bludd loses an arm, just like his original toy and Renegades incarnation.
    • Instead of the Red Shadows becoming Cobra, as seen in Action Force, they are here formed from the remnants of the Cobra-aligned Arashikage ninjas.
    • Kup communicates with the Micronauts with the Universal Greeting (bah-weep-graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong), which he claims saved him from being eaten once.
    • Soundwave and the Adventure Team encounter each other in the "Tomb of Amtoltec", from an old G.I. Joe story record; apparently, allies of General Blitz called it the "tomb of Binaltech".note 
    • One of the hieroglyphs in the tomb appears to depict the hexagonal chestplates worn by the Visionaries. Also counts as Production Foreshadowing.
    • The Hearts of Steel Transformers arrived on Earth aboard the Axalon, the starship from Beast Wars that has a history of carrying beast-formers around. Shockwave's ship is shaped like the Darksyde from the same cartoon.
  • Not So Above It All: When Mayday complains about storming a former Cobra base on Blackrock's back, she complains about feeling ridiculous, until Blackrock accuses her of hoping her life would turn out like this. She reluctantly admits it.
  • Odd Friendship: Between Action Man and Kup.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted; Garrison Blackrock the (nominally) good-guy opposes the villainous Garrison Kreiger.
  • Politically Correct History: Subverted; the African-American soldier Grill is seen as part of Sgt. Savage's WWII Screaming Eagles, but the Hasbro Heroes Sourcebook clarifies that Savage used his clout to have the Screaming Eagles become the first racially integrated army unit (living up to his history as a Captain America Expy).
  • Retcon: A big 'un in issue 5: The Hearts of Steel miniseries from way back when? All those Cybertronians were actually mind-wiped Eukarians Shockwave found and rebuilt, and their adventures, including beating up the Elder Gods, happened in the main reality. However, the miniseries was not strictly retconned into happening solely in the IDW universe but rather created two versions of the tale happening in different universes because Ask Vector Prime had already given the Hearts of Steel continuity its own universal stream designation separate from the IDW continuity and Wrath of Karza's final issue having the main Optimus Prime take on his Hearts of Steel body briefly due to the time hijinks going on.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Action Man, as an action comedy written by Barber and starring Ian Noble that lets him indulge his love of Continuity Porn.
  • Steampunk: The Hearts of Steel Transformers.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In issue 8, Blackrock decides to use those Titan Master powers of his to actually summon a Titan. Cue Metrotitan-sized cavalry.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The Predacons return in issue 5.
    • After disappearing in the first issue, Bludd returns in issue 8.
  • Totally Radical: Played for Laughs with Sgt. Savage, who is a walking 90's stereotype, having been catapulted from WWII into 1994 and then, several years later, to 2017. It makes him Two Decades Behind and/or a Disco Dan.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In issue 6, the team convince Centurion to come with them. In issue 7, he turns out to still be working for Kreiger, who points out in the next issue that they're hardly going to win someone he's worked over for decades with just five minutes of conversation.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: On entering Intra-space, Blackrock sees Onyx Prime, who tells him the Talisman is meant to be "inoculation" again an unspecified threat. Said threat, as it's been revealed, was Unicron.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Parodied. Kup claims he knows Razorclaw's weakness, and then blows his head off.
    Action Man: That's his secret weakness?
    Kup: It's a lotta people's weakness.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Bludd uses his teleporter against Action Man in his escape.
  • Wham Episode: Issue 7: Centurion is still working for Krieger, Blackrock is impaled by Storm Shadow and Joe Colton is Baron Ironblood.
  • Wham Line: from issue 7 when Baron Ironblood is unmasked
    Sgt. Savage: Joe Colton. How could you do it? You were supposed to be one of the good guys.
  • Wham Shot: We see Joe Colton wearing a hazmat suit in silhouette and he looks like Baron Ironblood.
  • Your Head Asplode: Razorclaw's "secret weakness" is being shot in the face at point-blank range, causing his head to blow up.