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Comic Book / The Transformers: All Hail Megatron

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"Decepticons! The humans have had their chance, now... tear them apart!"

The Transformers: All Hail Megatron is the overarching title of a widely-promoted event in the IDW Comics Generation 1 universe in 20089.

The event spans the 12-issue All Hail Megatron maxi-series, a 4 issue "Coda" (appended to the main series for publication) and various Spotlight-series tie-ins. A standalone sketchbook and preview comic, "Focus on Decepticons", may be considered "All Hail Megatron #0".

The first twelve issues were written by Shane McCarthy and take place on an Earth under Decepticon control.


  • Aborted Arc: In issue 6, Starscream makes a clearly meaningful comment about Scourge and the possibility that he might try and overthrow Megatron. However Executive Meddling prevented Shane McCarthy from using Scourge or the subplot that was planned for him, forcing McCarthy to fall back on the usual "Starscream betraying Megatron" story.
    • Andy Reid is searching for DJ's girlfriend Meg; after he dies, the plot and all connotations to the main story are lost.
    • After it is revealed that Sunstreaker betrayed the Autobots, Drift tells Ironhide that the Decepticons had knowledge that Sunstreaker couldn't possibly have known, meaning there was another traitor in their midst. Immediately after this is forgotten and never brought up again, however the next page shows Hunter being tortured by Bombshell, implying that Hunter is the source of the con's information... which makes even less sense, as Hunter was Sunstreaker's headmaster partner, so whatever Hunter would have known Sunstreaker would have known as well. Originally Kup was going to be the traitor, as a way to get revenge on Prowl for what Prowl did to him in the coda story 'Everything in its Right Place'.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Omega Supreme has lived in seclusion since the Golden Age of Cybertron only nominally allying with Autobots and generally believing the Cybertronian race may be beyond salvation. However, after being attacked during the Surge, he returns to save the Autobots on Cybertron and begins to work more closely with the main Autobot army.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Issue #15 was the start of Prowl's character being developed into a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose scruples didn't matter in the face of a millennia long war.
  • Alien Invasion: The first couple of issues are basically the Decepticons invading Earth and destroying whatever they want, specially New York.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: In a side-story, Sixshot persues the Throttlebots to an abandoned city on a faraway planet. Unfortunately for him, this particular issue is Spotlight: Metroplex.
  • And Then What?: Starscream poses this question to Megatron. He points out that with Optimus and the Autobots defeated, the Decepticons have no real enemy to face on Earth as they can easily wipe out humanity. He also accuses Megatron of only fighting humanity because Megatron himself doesn't know the answer to this question.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror:
    • Some fans have pointed out how the Transformers are basically walking Paranoia Fuel because of their ability to transform into Earth vehicles. One could be hiding near you at any moment. McCarthy realized this and included two scenes where Astrotrain pulls a horrifying trick and pulls into train stations in train mode before killing them all by simply transforming, letting his size in the cramped area collapse the ceiling on top of the civilians inside, crushing most of them.
    • Sparkplug's group is attacked by Dropshot, who was hiding as one of their missile launchers all this time, and panicking he asks if they can be under their noses all the time, where else can they be? Then it cuts to the plane with the Nuclear bomb, and inside a Decepticon symbol flashes, as Tankor heads to New York.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: This arc is simply: What would the Decepticons do if they unconditionally won and the Autobots were rendered unable to help them. The Decepticons lure the Autobots to a massive Space Bridge, ambush them all and Megatron brutalizes and RIPS the Matrix of Leadership right out of Optimus Prime. The wounded Autobots are then forced to stand on the Space Bridge and be teleported to the ravaged Cybertron, before sending a horde of Insecticons (who in this continuity, with the exception of Kickback, Shrapnel, Electron, and their leader, Bombshell, are mangled and horrifically deformed Decepticons Megatron allowed them to experiment on to create a new army) through to hound the helpless Autobots on a dead world with no resources. Optimus is left near death and his crew are trapped on Cybertron, and Autobot bases around the galaxy are overrun, leaving the Decepticons free to slowly butcher humanity at their leisure. The same would be done in Transformers: Dark of the Moon four years later.
  • Beta Outfit: Virtually every character resembles their original Generation 1 forms in the name of recognizability. For characters such as Ratbat, Astrotrain, and the Seekers, who were given modern forms during Furman's run, their decision to adopt alt-modes that are twenty years out of date is particularly jarringnote .
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Wreckers originally and later on, Omega Supreme.
  • Body Horror: Hunter. To begin with, he's missing his lower body, his right arm, and has several cables going into his right eye and the back of his head, which has most likely rendered him comatose, if not outright vegetative.
  • Book Ends: Almost all the events in AHM can be traced to Sunstreaker and what he went through in the Escalation miniseries, as seen in the Coda Flashbacks, with one of the main and most iconic flashbacks being Sunstreaker's disembodied head asking for a Mercy Kill (albeit a truncated version of the original scene so that Sunstreaker is only seen asking for a mercy kill rather than agree to work with Hunter). How does AHM end? With a vegetative Hunter, or what's left of him, hanging from cables, much like Sunstreaker once did.
  • Break the Haughty: Sunstreaker. Incredibly arrogant and dismissive of humans and even some of his fellow Autobots, he's reduced to a Shell-Shocked Veteran during the events leading to All Hail Megatron, and eventually commits suicide, or tries to.
  • Bug War: The stranded Autobots vs. the Insecticon Swarm.
  • Continuity Snarl: Created by the Broad Strokes treatment of Furman's run and previously established characters, revelations, etc. Just for starters, the fact that the Transformers' existence had been revealed to the world in Transformers: Devastation, but here the world has apparently forgotten about the revelation of giant alien robots. It was Hand Waved by saying that the government blamed all of the Transformers' antics on the human organization The Machination, but this still creates problems when the man on the street's first reaction to the Decepticons is to ask if there's a movie being made.
    • Another handwave came much later when the Revolution crossover happened; it had this continuity fused with the G.I. Joe (IDW) titles (which up to that point had been in a separate universe), so the question was asked, where had the Joe Team been when all this went down? Turns out, all of the IDW Joe titles up to that point had happened after this.
  • Darkest Hour: Megatron has conquered Earth, Optimus is in the brink of disrepair, the Autobot ranks are badly battered and the morale is at its lowest with the knowledge they have going through a spacebridge to Cybertron to be devoured by the Swarm. The Autobots manage to survive long enough to escape.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: In the worst way. Andy Reid is the human point-of-view character for most of the early issues, trying to survive the Decepticon invasion of Earth while also trying to find his dead friend DJ's girlfriend. Then he dies when Astrotrain attacks the subway station he and other humans are sheltered in, and none of his subplots ultimately mattered.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The revived Autobots arriving to foil Megatron's plans.
  • Disappointing Promotion: Starscream takes over the Decepticons after Megatron is left comatose following a combined Autobot/human counterattack. As can be expected of the Trope Namer for The Starscream, he'd been aiming for the top spot for a good, long time. And yet he's painfully aware he only became leader because Megatron was struck down by Optimus Prime and he managed to retrieve the Matrix of Leadership as the Decepticons retreated with Megatron's unconscious body. Instead of leading a powerful conquering army, he's stuck trying to lead a demoralised and defeated one, and by the time Megatron is revived three years later the Decepticons have effectively disintegrated.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Hunter plugged to a machine, missing his arms and his lower torso and basically catatonic looks quite a lot like Colter Stevens's fate in Source Code. They even get a Mercy Kill.
    • Megatron asks Optimus Prime why he fights for a people that hates and fears their kind:
      Megatron: You came all the way back here to save these people?! Why, Prime, because they're innocents? They captured and tortured one of your own. They've sent a plane carrying a weapon that will slaughter millions of people just to get at us. You're a fool.
      Optimus: It's not just about saving them, Megatron. It's about who we are! It's about the difference between us.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Andy Reid was the human point of view for three issues, saving survivors and uniting them. Then Astrotrain dropped an entire Subway ceiling on him.
  • Dull Surprise: In the Don Figueroa half of issue 13, Don debuted a new art style inspired by the movie's level of detailing. Unfortunately, it left both Optimus Prime and Ironhide with giant gnarling sneers frozen on their faces.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Brainstorm appears in the background throughout the series. He would go on to play a much greater role in subsequent fiction.
  • Eye Scream: To get the crosshair eye, Perceptor needed to widen his eye-socket, so he shot himself in the eye with a blow-torch. Presumably, he turned off his pain receptors.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Sunstreaker - In the coda, we find out his head is still somewhat active and his life flashing before his optics, over and over. Same case can be argued with Hunter and the torture he suffered at the hands of Bombshell.
  • Flawed Prototype: The Insecticon Swarm is, well, a swarm of these: a thousand malformed monsters per functioning Insecticon.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: Ultra-Energon, the Earth's abundance of this power enhancing fuel is largely ignored by both sides throughout this story arc. However, the fuel's drawbacks may have served to dampen its appeal.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: Shane McCarthy noticed this about the original cartoon (and most other cartoons) was his inspiration for writing the story. He felt it was about time the good guys got taken down a notch.
  • I Call It "Vera": Roadbuster wants to do this with an impractically huge jury-rigged cannon.
  • Incoming Ham / Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: I. AM. OMEGA. SUPREME.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The Insecticons and the Seekers. Implicitly the Constructicons and the Seekers, as the former have replaced the latter in Megatron's favor.
  • It's a Long Story: Kup's answer to the other Autobots regarding Perceptor's sudden Badass Level-up.
  • Killed Off for Real: Hunter, Deluge, and Dropshot. Subverted with Sunstreaker and Thundercracker.
  • Mad Scientist: Bombshell, Deluge.
  • Man Behind the Man: Prowl, who had Perceptor install some subroutines into Kup, so Kup can be Prowl's proxy when it comes to have his advice being taken seriously.
  • MacGyvering: How Bombshell hacked in to the Autobot mainframe.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Boy, Thundercracker sure doesn't look happy about all the destruction the other Decepticons are causing...
  • Meaningful Echo: Optimus and Spike's dialogue while Sideswipes finds Hunter, and the subsequent actions.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • Sideswipe to Hunter, if you consider the Body Horror.
    • Cyclonus was just about to pull this on a dying Scourge until Galvatron showed up.
  • Meta Guy:
  • The Mole: First, we're led to believe it's Mirage, turns out it's Sunstreaker.
  • Monumental Damage: Most notably an over-the-top scene in issue 12 involving Omega Supreme, Devastator, and the Statue of Liberty.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The series begins like this: The Decepticons have successfully rallied around the Earth and exiled Optimus's main forces to Cybertron with Optimus himself on life support. Subsequent stories would label this moment as "The Surge" a particularly strong Decepticon push late in the war that nearly killed Optimus, destroyed several Autobot cells, and toppled Garrus-9. Further, Decepticon science had significantly advanced with the incorporation of Combiners and the Space Bridge into their army. At theend of the book, Megatron very nearly has the human resistance and the Autobots killed with a nuke.
  • Painful Persona: In the aftermath of The Climax and subsequent revitalisation of Cybertron, Optimus Prime reveals that he's long gotten weary of having to put up a façade of stoic nobility but continued to do so because he was aware of how important to morale he was. With tensions between the Autobots and returning Neutrals at an all-time high, he offers to resign as Autobot leader and exile himself in exchange for de-escalation of hostilities. As he was seen as a living symbol of the just-concluded war, the Neutrals agree and Optimus departs, feeling lighter than he has in centuries thanks to finally being able to be Orion Pax again.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The way the Decepticons managed to get all the Autobot intelligence, and disable all their global defenses, was through a comatose and mutilated Hunter and its bond with Sunstreaker.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: While many Decepticons go for some grandiose or sadistic showing, Astrotrain is always thinking about the most effective solutions. When the human ground forces advance, he recommends sending the Insecticons to outmaneuver them, but Megatron wants more finesse, and sends in the violent Frenzy. When hunting for survivors, Spectro and Spyglass like terrifying them and taking them apart; Astrotrain just finds where they're holed up and instead of attacking them, knocks the ceiling in, burying them before they escape (this doesn't work for Andy's group though). It's funny because in the previous series, the Decepticons had actually went for the stealth approach, as per a protocol Megatron himself strictly endorsed. However, it can justified with the Autobots now beaten and stranded on Cybertron, they no longer have effective opposition and therefore no longer need to bother. Astrotrain, it'd seem, prefers it the old way.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Ultimately the downfall of Megatron, who spends the story talking about how he planned for every contingency and that nothing surprises him. But he didn't anticipate the Autobots returning to Earth, and didn't think about the fact that the humans might be able to use Transformers weaponry. The end result: the Autobots defeat his forces in combat, and Spike shoots him in the face.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy:
    • Thundercracker, who's disgusted that the Decepticons are no longer a Proud Warrior Race.
      "The Decepticons were forged through honorable combat, not senseless slaughter. Everything we have done here has brought dishonor to the Decepticon name."
    • Cyclonus in the coda.
  • Psychic Link: Sunstreaker and Hunter.
  • Put on a Bus: Deluge and Dirge were left on Cybertron with the Autobots advancing on them. The Transformers: Robots in Disguise would finally resolve what happened to them.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sideswipe gives one to his own people, because he feels the Autobots have strayed away from the ideals they were supposed to represent, and as such, they do kind of deserve the state they're currently at.
  • Redemption Equals Death / Driven to Suicide: Sunstreaker. Having spent some time as a disembodied head in earlier arcs and becoming mentally bonded with Hunter took his toll on him. He also made a secret deal with Starscream, where the Autobots would get Megatron in exchange for Earth, instead the Autobots get ambushed, Optimus nearly dies and many Autobots outposts fall after a security breach in their access codes — This becomes too much for him to bear and sacrifices himself in battle to allow the rest of the autobots escape the swarm. He succeeds in his sacrifice, but fails in killing himself. See Fate Worse than Death.
  • Red Herring Mole: We're lead to believe that Mirage is responsible for the Decepticon ambush that nearly killed Optimus Prime, but it turns out that's not really the case.
  • Rousing Speech: Optimus rallies the Autobots to keep on fighting against the Insecticons.
    Maybe we have lost our way. How do we differ from the Decepticons if our methods so closely echo their own? We stood against them, we said no, and yet during all this, we too have cast aside the weak. We too have allowed others to suffer as we strive to put an end to what we have deemed to be evil. I have fought alongside all of you more times than I can count. And each time I have done so I have been proud. I have been amazed. But ask yourselves, if we falter now, if we give up, where does that leave us? Where does that leave those in need? If we really have lost our way, how does welcoming death ensure our return to righteousness? I don't have all the answers, but I'll say this: I plan to stand, I plan to fight, and I will do so with pride if even one of you would have the courage to stand at my side. This is a war I still intend to WIN.
  • Rule of Two: Megatron and Starscream have a Sith Master and Apprentice dynamic going on; Megatron acknowledges that one day he will have nothing left to teach Starscream, and his time as Master will be over.
    Megatron: One day, you will lead the Decepticon armies. You will rule over them as you've always wanted and will have done so by crushing me beneath your heel. The right to lead is one that cannot be given, it must be taken. This is something I see before you.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Just about every Autobot to a varying degree, but most notably Sunstreaker.
  • Shout-Out: One of the alternate covers features Megatron taking a picture with Reflector that is a straight reference to The Killing Joke.
  • The Starscream: In issue 10, Starscream attempts to usurp Megatron's position with help from the Insecticons. This doesn't surprise Megatron, at least until he discovered the Constructicons had allied with Starscream, too.
  • Team Power Walk: Kup and co. (Notice how Roadbuster's shoulders are scraping on the ceiling.)
  • Third-Party Peacekeeper: with Optimus Prime on life support. Morale is at an all time low, with Ironhide in particular blaming Mirage (who he suspects is a traitor who leaked information leading to their situation) for everything. Jazz spends much of his time shoring up morale as best he can, sharing stories of hope and the like to keep everyone together. When Ironhide tries to ignore him and assault Mirage, Jazz smiles and suggests he go for a walk, tacitly reminding the old soldier that while very friendly, Jazz is also the head of Special Operations and fully willing and capable to taking him apart with his bare hands. While they don't fully reconcile until later, Jazz's interference does ensure Ironhide and Mirage are in a condition to actually do so once Autobot reinforcements arrive.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Perceptor went from a Non-Action Guy with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness to a stoic expert sniper. We find out the reason in later issues. Turns out it's because Turmoil blew a hole in his chest and shot him in the face. Perceptor took his level in badass because he feared he was useless in combat.
  • Unusual User Interface: Bombshell basically converted Hunter into this, in order to access to Sunstreaker's mind.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Andy Reid set out to find his dead pal DJ's girlfriend, who might still have been somewhere in the ruins of New York City. It ends up being forgotten pretty quickly, and then Andy dies and the subplot is never resolved.
    • After the whole event; Sarah, Bridge, and Charles are never mentioned again, while Spike and his dad become important in the next series.
  • Writer on Board: In spite of McCarthy's claims that "he's read everything IDW's put out" and "there'll be no disrespect coming from him" and that "there's no way he'd spit over what Furman's done", some fans believe (with good reason) that he went out of his way to get rid of many of Furman's plot elements and characters that he himself didn't like, such as Hunter O'Nion, Ultra-Energon, etc.
  • Writing for the Trade: Which is why the first three issues can basically be summed up as "Decepticons kill humans in New York City".

If you think I'm — that is — mankind is just going to accept you, you've got another think coming.
You brought your war here. Your kind, good or bad, caused all of this.
Any chance of a union between humans and your kind? It's long gone.

Alternative Title(s): Transformers All Hail Megatron