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Comic Book / The Transformers: Regeneration One

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We're back, baby. Again.

"Witness! The beginning... of the end!
Opening Narration

The Transformers: Regeneration One is a limited series published by IDW, written by Simon Furman, with Andrew Wildman, Guido Guidi, Stephen Baskerville, John-Paul Bove on art duties.

Set in the original Marvel Comics Transformers universe, the story takes place 21 years after the events of issue #80 (the final issue of the original Marvel US series) along with ignoring the events of the original sequel comic, Transformers: Generation 2, seeing as longtime writer Simon Furman wasn't overly impressed with how G2 panned out.

In addition to a Free Comic Book Day issue and #0 issue, the series ran for 20 issues, concluding with issue #100 and bringing a definitive end to the original Marvel Transformers comic.

Tropes found in this series include;

  • Alternate Continuity: The series intentionally ignores prior continuations of the Marvel comic, Generation 2 (which Furman wrote) and the Fun Publications Transformers Classics.
  • And I Must Scream: Unlike the rest of Megatron's lobotomized Decepticon army, he let Starscream keep just enough sapience to be aware of what's going but still unable to do anything about it. Or so it seemed at least...
    • Applies to and is even worse for Ratchet. He and Megatron were left mentally connected following their Body Horror fusion, leaving Megatron immortal so long as nothing happened to Ratchet and vice-versa. Megatron's solution to this being to leave Ratchet's disembodied head on his command sled.
  • Anyone Can Die: Oh, hello, Springer! Welcome to this continuity at last; now let's see your Ironhide impression! And then there was Megatron's death. Welcome back, Scorponok! Hey, look, it's Arcee! Oh, wait, already a corpse on Junkion. Holy hell.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 4. Following be reawakened, Megatron (with the help of the Ark's computer systems and a captured Shockwave) unleashes nuclear annihilation on Earth, with only a few scattered remnants of humanity left as a resistance and with most of the world's oceans boiled away.
  • Arc Villain: Megatron for the first arc, and Scorponok for the second. Bludgeon and Soundwave act as the primary foes in the third arc, with Galvatron acting as a wildcard. The fourth arc features Jhiaxus, and the entire book has the dark Matrix creature.
  • Art Shift: Issue #0 invokes this deliberately, with four different time periods being depicted by different artists, with coloring styles altered to suit.
  • Ax-Crazy: Whatever sanity Megatron had left his long gone. Wiping out nearly all of humanity in nuclear annihilation in hopes of getting Optimus' attention for one final dramatic confrontation.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Soundwave thinks he's the Big Bad as the leader of the "Neo-Decepticons" and makes an impression when he uses Cybertron's orbital satellites to kill the Last Autobot but he's easily overshadowed by other threats like Megatron, Scorponok, and Jihaxus. While also taking orders from Bludegeon. note 
  • Blessed with Suck: Nucleon, a concept introduced in the Marvel comic to promote the Action Master figures in the last years of the original G1 era, is shown to have this effect in the series. Traditionally it makes Transformers stronger with the side effect of losing the ability to transform. Furman expands on the concept and introduces other side effects;
    • Slag has gone full animalistic berserker, and his affliction is what sets Grimlock off on a journey to find a cure.
    • Blaster has become hyper-sensitive to any noise and has to be contained to a padded room.
    • Inferno is perpetually on fire.
    • Huffer causes anyone to breakdown to the molecule simply by touch.
    • Using his Nucleon-induced hyper sonic speed causes Silverbolt to blackout and slip into comas.
  • Brick Joke: In a nod to the final issue of the original series, issue #100 features the tagline "#100 in a four-issue limited series".
  • The Cameo:
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • The Wreckers, a creation of the U.K. version of the comic back in the 80s, make their first appearances in the American continuity in this series.
    • Despite ignoring the G2 comic, a version of Jihaxus, the Big Bad of the G2 comics, shows up in the series.
    • The shrouded plant-like figure to emerge from Cybertron at the end of the series is clearly supposed to be Botanica from Beast Machines.
  • Cowardice Callout: Kup decries Optimus Prime's unwillingness to take the possibility of a resurgent Decepticon faction seriously, which is implied to be a result of Optimus' horrific previous experiences when defeating Unicron causing him to shut out the idea that there are any loose ends where evil is concerned. Even after the Last Autobot is atomised by the Neo-Decepticons seizing control of one of Cybertron's Defense Satellites, Optimus refuses to take action. Disgusted with what he views as Prime's self-indulgent cowardice, Kup takes the Wreckers off-world to check on Earth — when Optimus finally arrives on Earth (which Kup discovered has been left an irradiated wasteland thanks to Megatron being able to rampage unopposed) to take action, Kup pointedly refuses to accept Optimus' apology because his cowardice and inaction cost the lives of countless humans (including Autobot ally Buster Witwicky and his wife Jessie) as well as several Autobots.
  • Crapsack World: Earth, with Megatron having nuked the planet.
  • Darker and Edgier: In comparison to the original Marvel comic, starting off big with it being revealed Megatron wiped out most of humanity in nuclear annihilation in the 20 year interim.
  • Dawn of an Era: The ending of the series sees Earth and Nebulos enter a new partnership that lets them recover from the damage of the Transformers' war. The surviving Cybertronians becoming ambassadors of peace throughout the cosmos. And finally in the series ending in the distant future, a dying Rodimus uses the last of his energy to rejuvenate Cybertron and bring about a new generation of Cybertronians.
  • Death Seeker: Bludgeon, having received a vision of his death, spends most of the series as this looking to make up for his defeat at the end of the original Marvel comic.
  • Distant Finale: The series ends with an epilogue set millennia after the conclusion of the main story, with an elderly Rodimus returning to a dead Cybertron to die. As he passes away, the remaining energy in his body rejuvenates the planet and a mysterious plant-like figure sprouts up from the planet's surface.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: This happens big time, especially considering that the series began with a Happy Ending Override. The Dark Matrix Fragment has been destroyed once and for all, the Great War is over, the galaxy is rebuilding, Megatron and Galvatron have been defeated, Spike overcomes his past, Grimlock redeems himself, and the remaining Decepticons pull a Heel–Face Turn. Optimus Prime is dead but thanks to his tutelage Rodimus will go on to lead the Autobots into a bright future. And perhaps best of all, the Transformers (even though Cybertron itself is lost) have managed to find a new purpose in existence beyond their Forever War... traveling the galaxy and helping the other races find peace. The ending shows Rodimus, eons later when he seems to be the last Transformer alive, finally dying and allowing his energy to essentially recharge Cybertron, thus giving a new generation of Cybertronions a chance at life. That life being the Maximals and Predacons...
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: By the end of the series, the Transformers as they were before are no more with Rodimus as the last man standing. However, following his death, he releases the Matrix's power back into the dead Cybertron, restoring life to it and laying way for new biomechanical life: Maximals and Predacons.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Kup is still very much this with the only things nobody gives him grief over are shooting Ratchet in the head and allowing Optimus to kill Megatron and having the Wreckers blow up the Hub Network. Roadbuster even flat out says maybe Kup is the one making a bigger problem than it needs to be, by giving the angry crowd something to get upset about in Destiny Part Two.
  • Happy Ending Override: The series starts by undoing the conclusion of the original Marvel comic. The Decepticons have come back to reclaim Cybertron, they have destroyed the Last Autobot, Earth is in ruins because of a revived Megatron and the Autobot's former ally Spike Witwicky now despises the Autobots and wants them dead. Despite this all, Optimus dispatches Megatron permanently, The Autobots defeat Scorponok for good, despite heavy casualties, the Dark Matrix Entity is destroyed, and Spike comes to forgive them, prior to making his final sacrifice.
  • The Hero Dies: Optimus Prime himself at the end of the series. Rather fittingly he dies in the arms of Rodimus who, thanks to Prime's teachings, will go on to become the new hero. However, the same issue shows Rodimus himself dying of old age eons later, But the sentiment still stands in that he carried on for Optimus in the interim.
  • Irony: The Last Autobot is the first casualty.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Botanica from Beast Machines appears in the final panel of the final issue.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: During Spike's retelling of Megatron's conquest of Earth, a blue energy being can be seen behind Fortress Maximus as he charges into battle. A clear reference to Circuit Breaker (Josie Beller), who due to being owned entirely by Marvel is otherwise Exiled from Continuity (even though IDW had been able to reprint stories featuring her in their Classics rereleases).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • #100 has the tagline of "100 in a Four-Issue Limited Series", a Call-Back to the humorous tagline of issue 80 in the original series.
    • They go unnamed but the military base the human resistance operates out of is clearly a former G.I. Joe facility. Spike mentions to the Autobots it formerly belonged to some elite military unit that the Transformers had previous run-ins with.
    • Bludgeon is shown operating out of the Warworlds he used in the G2 comic.
  • Never My Fault: Spike's decision to live his life and abandon the Ark led to Earth being devastated by Megatron. Naturally, Spike completely blames the Autobots for it and never owns up to the fact it was his bad decision and not anyone else's.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Megatron's army on Earth are the lobotomized corpses of Decepticons killed by Starscream in the "Underbase" saga. Whatever personality or sentience they had left were removed by Megatron, making them mindless goons.
  • Odd Friendship: Starscream and Shockwave, the latter even finds himself developing emotion because of it. The series ends with them, and Ravage, renouncing their old ways and becoming emissaries of peace throughout the universe.
  • The Remnant: The Decepticons are far past their glory days, with Soundwave's "Neo-Decepticons" being the only faction generally committed to retaking Cybertron and a relatively smaller threat in comparison to the other dangers in the series.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The Last Autobot's death sets up the tone for the series: It's only going to get worse from here.
  • Shoot the Dog: Kup finds himself having to kill the disembodied head of Ratchet in order to rob Megatron of his immortality and even the fight between Optimus and Megatron. Given the state Ratchet was in, it was also likely a Mercy Kill.
  • Shout-Out: One issue features a location called Eugenesis Plaza, named after the (in)famous Transformers fanfic Eugenesis. As a further reference, Hot Rod suffers some bad luck here, a reference to an assassination attempt performed on him in that story.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Megatron, who decides to completely nuke the Earth just because Optimus isn't there and Spike Witwicky who blames the Autobots for Earth's destruction and carefully leaves out the fact it was his own fault due to basically abandoning the Ark to live his own life and allowing some rich people to get in and reactivate Megatron.