Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / The Transformers: Unicron

Go To

The Transformers: Unicron is a 2018 six issue Crisis Crossover comic and the final storyline of the IDW's original Transformers universe, which rebooted after the mini-series.

Thanks to the machinations of the evil Shockwave, Unicron, the world eater, approaches with an endless appetite. After feasting on all of Cybertron's colony worlds, it moves in for the main course of Cybertron itself (with a side of Earth). And despite the desperate actions of the heroes it’s starting to look like no force in the galaxy can stop the end from coming.

Warning: As the final story of the IDW Transformers comic series, this article contains unmarked spoilers for previous comics.


The Transformers: Unicron provides examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Rom joins the main Autobot crew as a major supporting character.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: A number of them, but the most notable are Bumblebee and Aileron bonding over their shared feelings of being ignored and Optimus and Arcee’s conversation just before the final battle.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Optimus, of all people, is deeply amused when Arcee cracks a joke about his constant heroic speeches.
    Optimus: This is the end. One way or the other.
    Arcee: Thank Primus, I was afraid I'd have to hear one of your inspiring speeches.
    Optimus: Sorry, Arcee. I can think something up if you give me a minute.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Unicron's creator is a purple-skinned Rubber-Forehead Alien rather than the exceptionally ugly space monkey thing that was Primacron.
  • Advertisement:
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Beneath all the destruction and death he caused, Unicron’s Creator is just a man who lost everyone he loved in Shockwave’s invasion of Antilla and turned to revenge after crossing the Despair Event Horizon. Even in death he knows no peace, as he is bound to Unicron through Infraspace. Ultimately, Unicron is stopped when Optimus manages to convince the scientist to finally let go of his pain and move on, defeating the monster with compassion instead of bringing more pointless violence into the world.
  • All There in the Manual: The final issue contains a bit of back-matter revealing the last remaining Ores left unrevealed, and which colony worlds were for which Prime (and in some cases, the names of the Titans who settled on them).
  • An Arm and a Leg: Skywarp loses one of each limb in the final battle, but thanks to Thundercracker's intervention, he survives the experience.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Convinced they’re about to be torn apart by Maximals, Sparkstalker uses what he thinks will be his last words to tell Lightbright he loves her. Fortunately, Dirge intervenes.
  • Anyone Can Die: Hoo boy. By the end, Cliffjumper, Wheeljack, Dirge, the Mistress of Flame, Omega Supreme, Elita One, Obsidian, Scattershot, Blurr, Cosmos, Sky-Byte, Laserbeak, Slip-Stream, Trypticon, Starscream, Ironhide, Monstructor, Bludgeon, most of the Dinobots, Soundwave, Optimus Prime, and almost everyone on the Cybertronian colonies are dead.
    Aileron: This is for everybody who ever died in this stupid war—and for everybody who's about to.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: A major theme of the story. Unicron’s coming brings death and destruction... but it also inspires people to do whatever they can to help their fellow man. Everyone faces their moral crucible and while some fail, like Shockwave, the majority do not.
  • Apocalypse How: Unicron inflicts Planetary-level apocalypses whenever he eats a world, and is threatening to step up his game to Universal by feeding off the energy of stars to power himself up.
  • Arc Number: As with Robots in Disguise and Optimus Prime, thirteen. There are thirteen Cybertronian colonies, and Unicron was one of those thirteen.
  • Arc Welding: One last time, from John Barber.
    • Elonia, the Space Knight homeworld, is confirmed to be the home of one of Shockwave's Regenesis ores, something that fans had previously speculated.
    • The events of Transformers Vs. Visionaries turn out to be part of Shockwave's plan - specifically, the corruption of Cybertron's energon supply. How exactly that works is as yet unclear, given there's been no prior hint of collusion between old One Eye and Merklyn, but the Visionaries' invasion did come as a result of the Talisman, which Shockwave has a connection to somehow.
    • The creation of Unicron was connected to the creation of the Dire Wraiths, and may have had something to do with the destruction of Prysmos.
    • The Talisman is confirmed to be a part of Unicron, neatly explaining a lot of the things it managed to do since its introduction in Revolutionaries.
    • Bludgeon pegs Victorion's gravity powers as being connected to Shockwave's Regenesis Ores, specifically Caminus' Ore-4, rather than just being something Victorion had just had from the minute she was created.
  • Back for the Dead:
    • Cliffjumper, last seen in a major role some years before, is already dead by the time of issue 0, having run afoul of the Planet Eater.
    • Dirge, who was a main character in the first year of Robots in Disguise, returns to save a few Camiens from the Maximals... and then immediately gets torn to shreds.
    • Omega Supreme, comatose since the early years of Robots in Disguise, finally succumbs to his injuries and dies shortly after communing with Bumblebee.
  • Back for the Finale: Everybody. From major characters that had been written out like Bumblebee and Shockwave, to Mauve Shirts like Sata and the Vis Vitalis crew, just about every notable character in the IDW continuity is making a return for the Grand Finale.
    • Averted for most of the cast of Lost Light, who's finale happens largely divorced from the events of Unicron.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Rom and Soundwave in issue 1.
    • In the finale, Superion and Victorion team up to kill Monstructor once and for all.
  • Backup from Otherworld: Soundwave uses the Enigma of Combination to draw together the spirits of all the heroes who have died in Infraspace, where Rung/Primus leads them into aiding Optimus against Unicron’s Creator.
  • Badass Normal: Snake Eyes and Helix prove to be more than capable of keeping up with Transformers in combat during the assault on Shockwave’s fortress.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Stardrive’s nature as a wraith-robot hybrid is a Lovecraftian Superpower at best, but she’s still the same heroic person as before.
  • Betrayal Insurance: Rhinox rigged Shockwave's newest arm cannon so it couldn't be used against him, having figured that since Shockwave had lied to and betrayed everyone else, he would eventually do the same to him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Junkions and Sharkticons join the final battle just in time to save Flint from being killed by Maximals.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Unicron and Shockwave are both defeated once and for all, and the people of Cybertron and Earth are looking at a bright future, sharing Earth as their home. But it comes at the cost of millions of people killed in the battle against Unicron, including Optimus himself.
  • Body Horror:
    • The fate of those on planets eaten by Unicron - they get mushed together into horrific new forms to serve as his antibodies.
    • People like Bludgeon and the Maximals who align with Unicron are mutated into monstrous, Dire Wraith-Transformer hybrid forms. The Maximals’s beastial forms are revealed to be Pretender Shells, used to hide their deformities.
  • Book-Ends:
    • John Barber's storyline began with Optimus metaphorically dying and being reborn as Orion Pax. It ends with Optimus actually dying, his last act being to declare himself Pax once more.
    • The mini-series itself begins and ends with a shot of a Elonian girl playing with her pet; the first time on Elonia, moments before Unicron's attack, and the second time on Earth, with the rest of the Cybertronian refugees.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Prowl shoots Rhinox with a Vamparc Ribbon.
  • Break the Haughty: The destruction of Elonia and devastation of their numbers greatly humbles the remaining Space Knights, helping them finally realize that maybe Rom’s idealism wasn’t as silly as they thought it was.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Most of the attempts to fight Unicron directly end like this, motivating the characters to look for more esoteric methods. Even Shockwave’s “best” plan for taking him down involves sacrificing Cybertron to poison him.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Chromia, last seen disappearing with a crew to hunt Liege Maximo at the end of Till All Are One, finally reappears with an explanation for where she's been. She and her crew found Liege alright, and then the Maximals crippled their ship.
    • Monstructor makes his grand return after having last been seen at the end of Dark Cybertron, by arriving to utterly curb-stomp Victorion when she tries to attack Bludgeon.
    • Prowl and his team return in issue 3, last seen a while back dealing with some Maximals.
  • Call-Back:
    • LV-117 is one of the planets eaten by Unicron, via Timey-Wimey Ball the characters knew of its destruction years before it happened, thanks to Optimus' visit in Robots in Disguise issue 10.
    • Soundwave tries to speechify the Maximals into turning on Unicron, like how he got the Sharkticons to calm down in Optimus Prime. Since the Maximals are significantly more Ax-Crazy, they just shoot at him.
    • The flashback to Unicron's origin ends on a world orbiting a black star, a piece of imagery that's been recurring in Barber's Transformers works for some time.
    • When talking about Omega's part in Cybertron's blood-soaked past, Bumblebee quietly laments that he probably needed to commit genocide to realize it was wrong, adding "sometimes we need to do that", a lesson Megatron and Soundwave have both gone through in IDW's works.
    • As he dies, Ironhide murmurs "Pax Cybertronia, I understand it now". The character's association with the phrase was a major part of his characterisation in the first year of Robots in Disguise.
    • Bludgeon's world-sweeper ship ends up crashed into the White House, one of the images Optimus foresaw in Robots in Disguise issue 50.
  • The Cameo:
    • Proxima, Javelin and Roadmaster, from The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, briefly appear in issue 1.
    • Scorponok from the 2015 version of Robots in Disguise appears in issue 2.
    • The crew of Bludgeon's ship are the 2007 Classics Demolition Mini-Con team (only at full size).
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ore-4, which was introduced in Optimus Prime just as this story was starting up, and confers the power of gravity. Unicron's absorption of it is what prevents him, a being the size of a planet, shredding Cybertron apart the minute he gets near it.
  • Combining Mecha: In addition to Victorion, Superion, and Monstructor making appearances, Soundwave proposes using the Enigma of Combination to combine the entire population of Cybertron into one, but Jetfire shoots this down, saying that the resulting combiner would still be too small to stand a chance against Unicron.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Livia wonders if Unicron's just a souped-up Decepticon Warworld.
    • The worlds Unicron eats, which contain the Regenesis ores include: Tsieshi (where Kup spend several years alone in Spotlight: Kup), Gorlam Prime (a major part of the Furman run), the dead world of Prion (home of the also very dead Mini-Cons, wiped out by the Black Block Consortia), and Arduria (visited during Robots in Disguise). On the panels showing their destruction, there's even brief glimpses of each planet's defining features (Tsieshi's crystals, Arduria's rocs, Prion's arm, etc.).
    • During their chat in the prison, Starscream notes the last time he and Shockwave spoke, it was a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, and Starscream's looking for an excuse to kill them for that.
    • While investigating Unicron's innards, Optimus, Arcee and Bumblebee find a mural of a Quintesson, a fragment of the planet LV-117, which Unicron ate. LV has some kind of connection with the five-headed aliens which has been unexplored ever since it appeared waaaay back in Spotlight: Wheelie.
      • They also find the corpse of a member of the Omega Sentinels, of which Omega Supreme has been repeatedly mentioned throughout the continuity to be the last of. Guess we know how he ended up as a last one now...
    • Windblade notes this isn't her first "Shockwave-plans-to-destroy-everything" encounter. Her introductory role was in Dark Cybertron, which was one of those plans.
  • The Chosen One: According to ancient Cybertronian legend, the Arisen, last of the Thirteen Primes, will return to destroy Unicron. Which might be a problem, what with all those legends about the Thirteen being big stinking lies...
    • Although, given the series' ending and the identity of the Thirteenth Prime in Transformers Universes where the legends were real, perhaps that prophecy was fulfilled.
  • Create Your Own Villain: During his time imitating Onyx Prime, Shockwave figured it was a good idea to turn Cybertron's aggression outward rather than inward. As a result of their colonization efforts, Unicron was created, and is now destroying entire planets. Good going, Shockwave.
  • Crisis Crossover:
    • GI Joe and Rom are both prominent members of the cast, as Elonia was destroyed in Issue 0 and Unicron is making his way to Earth.
    • The final issues of Optimus Prime directly tie into this storyline.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Monstructor versus Victorion. Monstructor utterly demolishes Victorion, ripping through her defenses and forcibly decombining the Torchbearers by tearing Stormclash off her.
  • Darkest Hour: By the end Issue 1 even begins, Unicron has destroyed every Cybertronian colony with the heroes unable to make any significant resistance.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marissa Fairborn, in response to Elita angrily ranting about Starscream being Starscream, just tells her to stop or "we'll be here all day".
  • Demoted to Extra/In Name Only: The Maximals, who are in no related to their Beast Wars incarnations other than their appearance and are nothing more than Unicron's cannon fodder. To exemplify this, we see multiple versions of the Beast Wars' Megatron fighting against the heroes in the first issue.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Shockwave, having known Unicron was coming, made sure Cybertron's energon was contaminated, so that when Unicron eats it, he'll get the worst case of indigestion he's ever had.
  • Dirty Coward: When Unicron begins tearing Cybertron apart, Shockwave reveals just what a selfish coward he really is; he casually teleports away, not caring in the slightest that he’s leaving everyone on Cybertron to die in order to save himself.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Unicron himself is essentially this for Antilla, the very first planet to be destroyed by the endless wars of the Transformers. To really hammer it in, his robot mode is revealed to be, essentially, a gigantic Antillan.
  • Doing In the Wizard: A common theme for the series all the way to the end.
    • As explained in Optimus Prime, Shockwave is responsible the Prime mythos and all the Cybertronian legends and prophecies.
    • Unicron, who is usually depicted as the Cybertronian equivalent to the Devil, is a doomsday device created by an ancient alien race that was attacked by Cybertronian expansionists. He never fought Primus and he was only lured to Cybertron and the colony worlds by Shockwave's machinations.
  • Do Not Go Gentle:
    • Rom’s attitude after Elonia’s destruction; he knows there’s a good chance the heroes will lose and Unicron will destroy everything... but he’s still going to fight and do everything he can to help, because that’s what heroes do.
    • The GI Joes likewise come to this conclusion when Lemuria comes under attack.
  • Dramatic Irony: Caminus, the first Cybertronian colony to rejoin Cybertron, is the final colony to be consumed.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • All the Cybertronian colonies get eaten, off-screen, by Unicron, before issue 1's even started.
    • The Dinobots confronting Bludgeon. After a brief cutaway, Sludge and Snarl are dead, with Slug the only one still standing.
  • Dying as Yourself: In a way; Optimus casts aside the title of Prime as he dies alongside Unicron’s Creator, referring to himself Orion Pax just before his death.
    I was forged Orion Pax. As war began, I was called Optimus Prime. Now some call me The Arisen, the Thirteenth Prime. But the masks are gone now.
  • Dying Declaration of Hate: Facing imminent death by Maximal horde, Pyra Magna tells Aileron to inform Optimus that she blames him for everything. Aileron then retorts she'll do precisely none of that.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • Wheeljack sacrifices his life to save millions of people on Elonia, and spends his last moments cheerfully saying there are worse ways to die.
    • Both Dirge and the Mistress of Flame die taking on a huge swarm of Maximals, with the former killing several dozen (and only being stopped when he’s literally torn in half), while the latter saves the population of Caminus by holding the line singlehanded.
    • Blurr runs faster than he ever has before and manages to ensure everyone on Cybertron gets teleported to safety by the Visionaries, then dies with Cybertron as it explodes around him.
    • Cosmos, Sky-Byte, and Laserbeak sacrifice their lives to save everyone on Sanctuary Station, holding off Bludgeon’s army despite being totally outgunned.
    • Starscream and Soundwave both give up their lives to salvage the battle against Unicron, the former activating the Talisman and the latter overloading himself with the Enigma Of Combination to bring the spirits of the dead to Optimus Prime’s aid.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Unicron doesn’t just eat Cybertron; he completely rips it apart with his bare hands. We get to see it happen from Blurr’s perspective and it’s utterly terrifying.
  • Eldritch Location: Turns out Unicron's insides are as weird as the rest of him. Everything he's ever eaten is still in there, mashed together.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • In the face of Unicron destroying everything, Bludgeon joins up with the good guys and leads the Decepticon armada into battle. Except not really. He’s actually a Unicron worshipper and when the planet eater unleashes his Maximal army, Bludgeon happily lets them storm his ships and slaughter his crews.
    • Played straight with Cobra, the Dire Wraiths, and a bunch of other villains, who all join in on the Last Stand.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Side-effects of serving Unicron include warping into a monstrous, spikey dire wraith-Transformer hybrid bodies, like Stardrive.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Bludgeon believes Unicron will bring about the ultimate evolution of the Cybertronion race, and sees the Maximals as “the ultimate Decepticons”. Needless to say, he’s out of his gourd.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Despite pressure to do so even from the President, Marissa Faireborn refuses to have Trypticon, filled with newborn transformers, sent to Cybertron to face Unicron.
    • Soundwave refuses to let a huge portion of people living on Cybertron be abandoned to die as a lucky few flee.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • The Mistress of Flame never once loses her faith in the Primes and heroically sacrifices herself to save the people of Caminus, using her last words to kindly reassure them that good will prevail in the end.
    • Roadblock and Scarlet prepare to do so when they believe Maximals are about to break through to them. But as it turns out, those coming through were actually Helix, Snake Eyes and Skywarp who were here to help.
    • Blurr gladly faces his end, simply happy that he managed to save Cybertron’s people.
    • Realizing that a sacrifice is needed to activate the Talisman and defeat Unicron, Starscream spends his last moments content, saying he expected that such a sacrifice would be necessary and that it would fall upon himself.
  • Fatal Flaw: Elita One’s Pride finally proves to be her downfall; rather then listen to Optimus Prime or any of the other heroes, she arrogantly tries to attack Unicron head-on, promptly getting herself and everyone on Carcer killed when her plan fails.
  • From Bad to Worse: Unicron would be bad enough as is, but he's absorbing the power of Shockwave's Regenesis ores with each planet he eats, becoming even stronger.
  • Gallows Humor: Just before the final battle, Optimus confesses his fears to Arcee and notes that everything ends now, no matter who wins. Arcee says that’s good, because she can’t take anymore of Optimus’s Rousing Speeches. Optimus chuckles and says that he’ll probably think a speech up if he’s given a moment.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Unicron is treated as a force of nature more than a character. While In-Universe people try and ascribe emotions or greater intent to his actions, Unicron is an engine of destruction, designed to lay waste the kingdoms of Cybertron.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • Wheeljack dies happy, gently smiling as he remarks that there are worse ways to die than saving a world.
    • As he activates the Talisman and seals his own fate, Starscream just smiles and asks the others to say goodbye to Windblade for him.
    • Ironhide dies happily surrounded by his friends, having finally lived to see the day when all are one.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: As the final battle draws near, pretty much everyone from across the Hasbro Universe (minus the Lost Light cast) shows up to help save the day. And even they show up in a way - when Soundwave channels the spirits of the dead, Rung and other casualties from MTMTE/LL, such as Pipes, Ravage, and Trailcutter, are visible among them.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Long ago, a desperate scientist attempted to create a weapon that would end all wars by destroying all life. The end result? Unicron.
  • Grand Finale: For the entire IDW continuity.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: How Dirge dies, at the hands of Rampage.
  • Handwave: Unicron's the size of a planet, so why isn't his mere presence just tearing planets apart before he eats them? Why, Ore-4, with its power of gravity.
  • The Hero Dies: The mini-series, and the IDW continuity as a whole, ends with Optimus Prime sacrificing himself to destroy Unicron and secure the future of both the Transformers and humanity.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In Issue 0, Wheeljack stays behind on Elonia as Unicron devours it to ensure the planet's inhabitants could be teleported to the Ark.
    • In Issue 1, the Mistress of Flame allows herself to be overrun by the Maximals so that the Camiens can escape to safety.
    • In issue 2, Omega Supreme uses the last of his strength to give Bumblebee a psychic vision revealing Unicron’s true nature so that the heroes will have some kind of chance against him, dying in the process.
    • Attempted but tragically failed in 3 when the crew of Carcer try to ram Unicron, but are blasted out of the sky before they can reach it.
    • In issue 4, Blurr gives his life ensuring that everybody escapes Cybertron. Meanwhile, Cosmos and his team die stopping the Maximals from swarming Sanctuary Station.
    • Optimus Prime, Starscream, and Soundwave all die ensuring the plan to stop Unicron works. Meanwhile, Slug, Snarl, and Sludge die taking Bludgeon down with them.
  • Hope Spot: In issue 2, the Decepticon armada puts a stasis field around Unicron and for a brief moment, it seems to be working... then Unicron sends out his whole Maximal army and Bludgeon lets them take over his ships. He’s a Unicron worshipper and the whole thing was a set-up.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: A major theme; even as Unicron wrecks havoc and the heroes face horror after horror, in the end they’re still going to do everything they can to save the universe because even in the Darkest Hour, there’s some hope.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Unicron himself obviously. Soundwave suggests fighting fire with fire by using the Enigma of Combination to turn everyone on Cybertron into one giant combiner. Sadly, by that point Unicron is too big for it to make any meaningful difference, so the plan is abandoned.
    • In the climax, Garrison Blackrock and Centurion serve as Titan Masters for Metroplex and Trypticon, flying them into battle against the Maximal army.
  • I Choose to Stay: Cosmos, Sky-Byte, Laserbeak, and Buzzsaw choose to stand their ground and defend Sanctuary Station rather than flee, knowing full well they’ll probably die doing so. They all do, except Buzzsaw.
  • Idiot Ball: Starscream decides to trust Bludgeon with a massive fleet. Y'know, the guy who previously betrayed Starscream when given half a chance. The same Bludgeon who tried to use Thunderwing to burn the galaxy to the ground? Mr. Skull For a Face Bludgeon. Screamer figures that the guy who previously turned on Megatron in favour of his own ends and helped Shockwave nearly destroy the universe will now suddenly follow the party line. Surprise, the first chance he gets, Bludgeon reveals he's been working for Unicron and disappears.
  • I Let You Win: Shockwave reveals that he’s only a prisoner right now because he let it happen; once he’s ready to leave, he just teleports out with zero fanfare.
  • Ignored Epiphany: The Mistress of Flame gives her royal hammer to Pyra Magna before her Heroic Sacrifice, clearly intending for Pyra to become the new Mistress and regain her faith in others. Pyra, being disillusioned as she is, interprets it as some kind of veiled insult.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Shockwave lured Unicron to Cybertron and the colony worlds so that Cybertronian race could start anew, free from its "tainted past." The same past that Shockwave created while he was masquerading as Onyx Prime.
  • In Medias Res: The story starts after Unicron has already consumed almost all the colony worlds.
  • Ironic Death: Played in a surprisingly heartwarming way; Cosmos, who’s spent almost his entire life alone and constantly being forced out of action, dies fighting alongside his friends.
  • Kick the Dog: Elita One gladly tries to abandon whole ships to die during the battle to defend Cybertron, using them as nothing more than Cannon Fodder to clear the path to Unicron. The Torchbearers are so disgusted that they abandon Elita herself to go save said ships from being overwhelmed by Maximals.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Slip-Stream doesn’t even finish giving an order before his jet gets shot down by a Maximal. Ace has to pick up where he left off.
  • Jerkass: Pyra Magna, having become even more disillusioned with Optimus than she was before, spends all of issue 1 grumbling and complaining about everything.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: That said, one of her complaints that what's happening is Optimus' fault is... sort of true. Optimus' annexing Earth back in "All Hail Optimus" prompted Joe Colton's attack on Cybertron, which was what woke Unicron in the first place.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the final issue, it's pointed out that the shadowplay done to Shockwave didn't mean he wasn't a dodgy person even before then, something born out in flashbacks through More Than Meets The Eye and Robots in Disguise.
  • Large Ham: Bludgeon, as is kind of typical of him. This time it gets a Lampshade Hanging when immediately after he declares the Decepticon Vengeance Division will "kill death", his bridge crew are weirded out by it.
  • Last of His Kind: Due to circumstance, a few Cybertronian colonists manage to get away before their planets get nommed... but not much. Fireshot and Vanquish mention that of the Devisuns, which there weren't that many of to begin with, barely more than a hundred are left. Moonracer mentions there's a handful of Velocitronian survivors, and it’s confirmed in a report by Circuit that some ships escaped from all of them, and reached Cybertron the with news. A precious few ships, but at least some.
  • Last Stand: Earth ends up being the staging ground for everyone’s final stand against Unicron.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Due to IDW's severe issues with delays, the preview for Issue 0 gives away one or two spoilers for some of Optimus Prime's plots, like Bumblebee returning, while Issue 1 inadvertently reveals part of the conclusion for that comic's Grand Finale, like Shockwave living, and the Maximals joining Unicron.
  • Late to the Tragedy: The Space Knights discover the fate of Velocitron when they find Cliffjumper and Override’s corpses laying amongst the ruins of what used to be Tempo. Later, Optimus Prime and his team journey into Unicron and discover remains of all the worlds he’s eaten.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Spike, having been shot down in the dogfight, mutters to himself how he thought he'd always play a bigger part in the final battle.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Elita One foolishly has Carcer and the Torchbearers attack Unicron head-on, ignoring Optimus Prime and Chromia’s pleas to fallback and defend Cybertron. It gets her and everyone else on Carcer killed, while Victorion gets savagely beaten down by Monstructor.
  • Legacy Character: Cobra Commander’s status as this is amusingly lampshaded when all three Commanders arrive to help in the final battle and end up sitting next to each other.
  • Meaningful Name: The Maximals, so named because they're the offspring of Liege Maximo.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Unicron was created to take vengeance on Onyx Prime and his minions for invading and demolishing Antilla. Only it seems Unicron’s creators didn’t know or particularly care that he would attack all Transformers, as well as any non-Transformers on Cybertronian colonies, almost all of whom weren’t even born when it happened.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Demolition Team keep stepping on Bludgeon's gravitas by having absolutely no idea what the hell's going on, even after they've been mutated by Unicron.
  • Morton's Fork: There are two options when it comes to Unicron.
    • Either they try face him and either somehow defeat him or they all die.
    • They evacuate the few they can in the hope of escaping and leave behind billions to die.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Implied to be how Omega Supreme feels over the destruction of Antilla, as he was one of the Omega Sentinels that the Thirteen Primes used in that invasion.
    • Also how Arcee feels about her own role in Cybertron's past invasions of other worlds.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Unicron increases in size with each world he eats, a fact established waaaaaay back in his Transformers: Universe profile and used exactly nowhere else since.
    • Issue 1's design from Primus is based on the look given to him in More Than Meets the Eye's annual, but with the red and blue colouration from The Transformers: The Ultimate Guide, and the addition of a glowing chest circle, a takeaway from his Cybertron incarnation.
    • The Decepticon armada faces Unicron outside G Nebula 89, an area of some importance to Transformers: Masterforce and Transformers: Victory which not incidentally has some association with another Eldritch Abomination and planet-destroying weaponry.
    • The Maximals being the "spawn" of Liege Maximo is a nod to the Cybertronian Empire of the Generation 2 comics, who were all produced by The Liege Maximo budding endlessly.
    • This is not the first version of Bludgeon who's chosen to throw his lot in with Unicron. A version of him in Dreamwave's Armada comic was one of his heralds.
    • This version of Unicron is the creation of an alien scientist, mimicking his origin in the original 1984 cartoon.
    • Starscream's death recalls his iconic demise in The Transformers: The Movie, but it's under far different circumstances.
    • Unicron is finally killed when Optimus and his Creator use the Talisman to collapse him into the black hole in his core; a sly nod to Unicron collapsing into a black hole after he dies and threatening to suck up Cybertron in The Unicron Trilogy.
    • At the end, Grimlock and Swoop are the only original Dinobots still alive, just like they were in the original Beast Era.
  • Neutral No Longer: At the end of the first issue, Starscream decides stop watching from the sidelines and insert himself into events once more, attempting to reclaim his status as the chosen leader of Cybertron by telling the surviving colonists that he can stop Unicron. He's also wearing his Decepticon insignias and waving a Decepticon flag, giving up the neutral stance he had been promoting since before Dark Cybertron.
  • Never My Fault:
    • After she gets Carcer shot to hell with her failed plan, Elita One begins cursing the Autobots and Torchbearers, as if it’s their fault she’s gotten herself and her crew killed.
    • Joe Colton takes the whole situation with Unicron as a vindication of his anti-Transformer crusade... conveniently ignoring that his attack on Cybertron is what directly led to Unicron waking up to eat everything.
  • No Name Given: We never do learn the name of Unicron’s Creator, as he himself has forgotten it thanks to The Fog Of The Ages, though one may presume he’s meant to be this continuity’s version of Primacron.
  • No Place for Me There: Slug happily dies to take down Bludgeon, feeling that he had never had a real place in the post-war world anyways.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: Almost every hero who’s died in the whole IDW series appear in Infraspace to help Optimus take down Unicron for good.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: Shockwave allows himself to be taken prisoner by the Council of Worlds so that he can explain his motives to Optimus; the moment Unicron arrives and begins chowing down on Cybertron, he simply activates a teleportation device in his body and leaves for Earth.
  • Pet the Dog: When Windblade figures out an alternative to Starscream’s “teleport New Iacon away and leave everyone else to die” plan, Starscream not only doesn’t object, he flat out says that he’s going to put all his trust in her, like she did to him once.
  • Psychic Link: Omega Supreme briefly forms one with Bumblebee to help him realize just what Unicron really is. The exertion of doing so in his weakened state kills him.
  • Putting the Band Back Together:
    • Unicron’s attack leads to the recently broken up MASK reuniting to help as many people as they can.
    • In the final battle, Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker reunite to fly together on one last mission; carrying Optimus, Arcee, and the Talisman into Unicron to save the universe.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Before the final battle, Thundercracker’s comic relief status drops entirely; he just solemnly leaves his dog, Buster, with Marissa and asks her to take care of Buster if he doesn’t make it back, then says goodbye to them both.
  • Official Couple: The main one here, with both halves being main characters, is Arcee and Aileron.
  • Old School Dog Fight: During the climax, G.I. Joe’s flyers have a massive-scale dogfight with the Maximals.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: People that Unicron consumes alongside their worlds are horrifically fused together with other victims to create revenant zombie-like monsters designed in Unicron’s image. They serve as his “immune system”, and are powerful enough that one badly wounds Optimus.
  • Ramming Always Works: Averted. The surviving crew of Carcer try to take Unicron with them by FTL-ramming him, but Unicron simply vaporizes the ship with an eye-beam before they can even fire up their quantum engines.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Windblade gives one to Cybertron as a whole after learning that early Cybertronian expansion and conquest led to the creation of Unicron.
    Bumblebee: (To Starscream, who wants to abandon Cybertron): You'd leave billions of people—Cybertronians, colonists, Elonians—to die?!
    Windblade: Of course he would! This is what Cybertron is. This is what it does to people. Cybertronians caused this! Not me — not Camiens, not Elonians — not any colonists! We're paying the price for your sins!
    • Prowl subjects Shockwave to an absolutely awesome one, calling out how hollow and useless his nihilism and cruelty really is before using the Enigma of Combination, info ripped out of Shockwave’s head, and the faith of everyone else to give Optimus the help he needs.
      Shockwave: Faith is a lie! I invented it! Faith will not stop the uncreator!
      Prowl: You still don't see. Soundwave believes in a higher power, sure. But guys like you and me—we don't have to. All we need to believe in is the inherent good of doing good... and that someday, ultimately, that will be enough to stop evil.
      Shockwave: Logic is neither good nor evil. None of us are. We contain the capacity for both.
      Prowl: Faith is just one path to the ultimate trick: confronting the evil in ourselves... and defeating that.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Starscream finally completes his Redemption Quest by sacrificing his life to activate the Talisman and defeat Unicron. Down on Earth, Bumblebee smiles and says he always knew Screamer had it in him.
    Starscream: Like I said, I always knew this would come down to me!
  • Refusal of the Call: The Mistress of Flame leaves Pyra Magna her hammer before she dies, seemingly naming her as her successor. However, Pyra, while committed to helping her people, has no intention of continuing what she considers the hypocrisy of the Primes and the Mistress and leaves the hammer in the ground.
  • The Remnant: Only Rom, Livia, Sata, and a tiny number of other Space Knights survive Elonia’s destruction. Many of them feel the group is effectively over and done, but Rom convinces them to stick to their oaths.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Shockwave is willing to sacrifice everything to stop Unicron... not because it’s the right thing to do, but because he can’t rule the universe if it’s been devoured.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Matt Trakker comes to this conclusion after seeing how everybody is setting aside their differences to save the world from Unicron.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Spike recounts his involvement in the events of The Transformers: All Hail Megatron... or rather, goes on about he supposedly took Megatron down singlehanded, conveniently leaving out the work of the Autobots and military.
  • Shoot the Dog:
    • Efforts to rescue the Elonians are hampered by Emissary the Titan inadvertently messing things up. So Arcee stabs him in the brain, killing him instantly, but allowing the Cybertronians to save some of the Elonians.
    • Shockwave’s plan for beating Unicron? Poison Cybertron’s ecosystem and core in the hope it will poison Unicron as well when he eats it. Yeah Cybertron will die... but at least there will still be a universe left to live in.
    • Starscream proposes using the space bridge network to evacuate the population of New Iacon, even though it mean leaving the 30% of the population that doesn’t live there to die. Starscream knows it’s bad, but it would at least mean that some of Cybertron’s people avoid getting eaten. Ultimately, it’s decided to only be used as an ultimate last resort.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Issue 2 is titled "Stranger Eons", after the couplet from the works of H.P. Lovecraft: "That which is not dead can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death may die."
    • Blurr’s death in issue 4 is a homage to The Flash’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
    • Starscream's comment on seeing the Council of Worlds for the first time since his arrest? "You've redecorated. I don't like it."
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Shockwave attempts to get Starscream to join his cause by promising that after Unicron destoys Cybertron they can work together to take over the rest of the universe. Starscream refuses and decides to enact his own plan to save Cybertron.
  • Sins of the Father: Unicron is, essentially, trying to punish the Transformers and everyone tied to them for the destruction of Antilla, a crime committed by Onyx Prime and his Omega Sentinels millions of years ago. Unicron doesn’t seem to know or care that nearly everybody involved in said crime is long dead.
  • Skewed Priorities: Slide continues bitching about Optimus even as the final battle with Unicron rages on and Trypticon dies right in front of her. Her fellow colonists and the Dinobots both take her to task for it and it ultimately gets through to her; she realizes how mistaken she was about Optimus and joins with the Torchbearers to reform Victorian and take down Monstructor.
  • Sole Survivor: Buzzsaw is the only member of the Sanctuary Station team to survive. By the end, Grimlock and Swoop are the only original Dinobots left, while Thundercracker and Skywarp are the last Seekers note .
  • Spanner in the Works: Shockwave’s Evil Plan has big problem; he couldn't account for people he didn't know about prior to going back in time. As a result, he’s Out-Gambitted by Windblade (who convinces the Visionaries to teleport everyone off Cybertron), Snake Eyes and Prowl (who lead a strike team to attack Shockwave’s temporary base in Toronto), and Stardrive (who’s Wraith powers let her easily tear through his henchmen.
  • Spoiler Opening: The series takes place after the final issues of Optimus Prime, which were being released at the same time as this series.
  • Stable Time Loop: The fate of the Visionaries; their final spell has the unexpected effect of flinging them back in time to prehistoric-era Prysmos, and proceed to kickstart their own civilization by deciding to settle down there.
  • The Stars Are Going Out: Whenever Unicron eats a planet, a ton of stars go out. He’s using quantum tunnels to feed on them in order to power himself up even more.
  • The Starscream: Shockingly, not the Trope Namer, but rather Bludgeon, who turns out to be a Unicron worshipper.
  • Straight for the Commander: Rather than fight wave after wave of Maximals, Victorion goes straight for Bludgeon, correctly figuring that he’s the one coordinating them. Unfortunately, Bludgeon was anticipating such a move and has a bodyguard; Monstructor.
  • Straw Nihilist: Bludgeon's reason for siding with Unicron.
  • Taking the Bullet: Skywarp leaps in front of a Maximal sword to save Thundercracker. He lives.
  • Taking You with Me: Attempted, and failed, against Unicron by Carcer’s crew. Done more successfully by Slug, Snarl, and Sludge against Bludgeon and his Maximals.
    Bludgeon: Your final moments are wasted, killing the already dead. You ensure hate wins!
    Slug: Nope. Cause this ain't the end. An' if we're gonna get past right now, we gotta let go of the hate. An' that means lettin' go of both of us.
  • Talk to the Fist: Eventually, Arcee gets fed up of Starscream's voice, and punches him in the face.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: The Decepticons gather up all their old military tech, which has been lying around since the end of the war, to fight Unicron. It does nothing.
  • Throw-Away Country: Shockwave begins his final attack on Earth by levelling Toronto.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The solicitations for Issue 4, as well as previews for the last issues of Optimus Prime, reveal that Shockwave's scheme to kill Unicron with the poisoned Cybertron will fail and Unicron will continue on to Earth.
  • Uncertain Doom: A lot of supporting characters from Robots in Disguise and Till All Are One (Rattrap, the Combaticons, Airachnid) are unaccounted for when Cybertron gets destroyed. Given they aren't seen on Earth, they're probably dead.
  • Unsound Effect: "SMOOCH", as Arcee plants a kiss on Aileron.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Bludgeon starts freaking out when all the heroes unite to launch their final assault on Unicron.
    • Shockwave is left a broken husk of his former self after his plan falls apart, his minions abandon him, and the heroes stop Unicron without him, exposing all of his nihilism and ruthlessness as hollow and useless.
      Shockwave: I thought... I would make us strong...
      Stardrive: Take it from me: strong doesn't mean right.
  • Villainous Friendship: After being informed of his death, Skywarp confesses that he had always liked Dirge as a friend, even if he never showed it.
  • Walk into Mordor: Optimus, Arcee, and Bumblebee try to do this by heading inside Unicron in search of answers. It doesn’t end well.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • Pyra Magna and most of the Space Knights except Rom still can’t resist showing dislike towards the Autobots, even with all of existence on the line.
    • Slide decides that when Unicron is munching world after world is the perfect time to try and get rid of Optimus.
  • We Can Rule Together: Shockwave tries to offer this to Starscream. It doesn’t work.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite the situation, the option of using Bruticus to fight Bludgeon and Monstructor never comes up, and the Combaticons are utterly ignored by the story.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Numerous characters get called out with this.
    • Optimus Prime gets one several times for his role in this.
    • Stardrive calls out Prowl for the decision to abandon Divisun to its fate to try set a trap on the next planet Unicron targets instead.
    • Elita is on the recieving end of one from Victorion for Kick the Dog actions.
  • Where It All Began: Optimus's final battle takes place within a representation of Antilla, the planet where the terrible legacy of Cybertron first began.
  • You Shall Not Pass!:
    • Attempted by the Decepticon Vengeance Division and then the rest of the forces on Cybertron.
    • Arcee also tries do this to Windblade who she wrongly believes to be running away.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: