A bit of a weird one... At this point in the series Whirl isn't usually the type you'd think cares about anybody, but in this issue he shows that yes, he does care if somebody else is upset, and takes it upon himself to get Trailcutter to open up about his problems, then tries to get him to stop caring so much about those ridiculous Rodimus Stars.
Whirl, who hates absolutely everybody and has been injured, admits during the hostage situation that he trusts Rung (and considers him a friend). He also tries to keep Fortress Maximus' attention on him meanwhile so that Rung is in less danger.
The end of issue #6 has Rung comforting Max after he is shown footage of his torture at Overlord's hands thanks to Rewind being poised outside the window of Rung's office. Max is crying on the floor while Rung tells him not to watch and that they don't have to do anymore that day. Despite the fact that Max had just taken Rung and Whirl hostage, had ripped off Rung's thumb because he was using its built-in radio to transmit the conversation to Rodimus, AND was about to kill one of the two, Rung still recognizes it's all because of how deeply Max has been scarred by his experiences in Garrus 9 and Rung still has a "duty of care" towards Max as his patient. The fact that almost immediately after this Rung's head is blown apart because Swerve is a terrible shot and missed Max makes the whole thing even sadder.
The Decepticon scavengers. Sure, they've got their personality quirks, and they're not shy about killing, but it's kind of nice to see Decepticons who aren't actively out to kill anyone so much as they're just trying to get by.
Fulcrum, near the end, reveals that he's rather elated at the idea of the war being over, and not having to follow orders that could get them all killed.
Rather than turn over one of their own to the DJD (established as delivering a Cruel and Unusual Death to anyone who makes their hit list, and anyone who protects their intended target), the scavengers (established as the biggestscrew-ups the Decepticon army ever had to offer) decide to fight. They may be crazy and silly, but they protect their own.
Afterwards, when the scavenger team notices that Grimlock is still alive, and trying to get up, they're worrying over what to do. Fulcrum makes the decision:
Fulcrum: The war's over, Crankcase. We help him up.
In the Annual Swerve has a Dead Person Conversation with Ore about faith, and what to do when the War ends all the while pretending to be Pipes. He "confesses" his guilt over shooting Rung, and asks for his opinion on the matter. After hearing some selfish reasons, Ore tells "Pipes" that he considers Swerve a scumbag, but later elaborates on it, and helps Swerve come to terms with what he did.
Ore: "Take your mate Swerve - he's beating himself up because he shot whatsisface, yeah?"
Swerve: "Yeah. Yes. He feels terrible about it."
Ore: "See that's important. If it didn't bother him then he really would be a scumbag."
The end of issue 11 with Skids bringing Rung out of the Coma.
When Cyclonus gets hurt, little Tailgate is the only one to really show concern about it.
In issue 12 we have Whirl giving a transplant to Rewind after he accidentally trapped him with a bomb with Cyclonus (which Whirl never admits to doing). Chromedome is so happy that he hugs Whirl. He offers Whirl anything, anything at all as thanks. What does our so-called Heroic Comedic Sociopath ask for?
Whirl: Okay, enough with the hugging.
At the same time as the above scene with Chromedome and Whirl is going on, Tailgate pours some of his Innermost Energon-that is, the Energon around his own spark casing-into a vial to leave near Cyclonus as part of a ritual Cybertronians partake in to show how much they care about another that he learned about from Chromedome. Rewind has many such vials that have been left for him; Cyclonus has none. However, as he's leaning over Cyclonus to deposit it, Cyclonus awakens and grabs Tailgate's arm, causing him to drop the vial so it shatters on the floor. When asked what he was doing, Tailgate awkwardly tries to say that it was just a ritual, only for Cyclonus to coldly rebuff Tailgate for thinking they share a bond and that Cyclonus doesn't care and finds him pathetic. He then turns to leave, but then stops, looks back at all the vials that were left for Rewind, before finally turning around and silently kneeling down to help Tailgate pick up the pieces of the vial, signifying that they do, in fact, share a bond.
Just before everything goes to hell, Rung goes to Fortress Maximus' cell, where Maximus apologizes for threatening and torturing him several issues back. Rung just clasps the remorseful warrior's hands gently.
Rung: ...I've been around for a while, now...I've learned to forgive anything.
Ratchet's instructions to Rodimus as he and Drift are about to face down Overlord while he seals off the Medbay.
Ratchet: Tell First Aid he's ready, tell Whirl he can have my hands and tell all my patients they'll have to make new appointments.
Quite honestly, the fact that Ratchet is willing to donate his hands to Whirl of all 'bots (a pair of working hands being the thing Whirl has wanted most ever since he'd had Empurata forced on him) says a lot about Ratchet right there.
It might say something about Whirl too, if Ratchet thinks the psychotic rotary might put them to good use.
Also referring to Drift as his friend the line before. Throughout the comic, the pair of them have often had issues, almost coming to physical blows during the Annual. But when it counts, Ratchet doesn't hesitate to stand with him.
Issue 16 has Rewind's last message to Chromedome which basically amounts to Rewind encouraging Chromedome to move on and be happy without him and before saying "I love you" to him one last time.
"Your attention for a moment. This is Rewind, showing you edited footage from my database. I've probably got 0.8 seconds before game over, so hear me out. I've always been terrified that you'd die before I did, because you and me apart strikes me as intensely wrong. So promise me something. Be brave. And be strong. And keep going without me. And another thing: no more injecting. It will kill you. And remember: you deserve to be happy. The New Institute was the old you. You're a better person nowstubborn and frustrating, but wonderful. And to think, I will never see you again. One more thingone last thingbecause I don't say it enough: I love you."
In a more subtle moment, Cyclonus comes to the funeral to the surprise of Tailgate. He explains that Chromedome invited him. The same Chromedome who had once wished Cyclonus dead.
Brainstorm stepping in to convince Chromedome to preserve Rewind's memory.
Made even more heartwarming because Brainstorm has had this conversation with Chromedome before, he expects it to turn out the same way it always has, but he still tries.
Also a case of Heartwarming in Hindsight; it's seeing his only friend deal with the loss of Rewind that causes Brainstorm to...escalate his plans with the briefcase. You can see him looking down at it in a rather troubled way during the funeral. Millions of years Brainstorm's been working on his plan, all for his own benefit, and this is what causes him to consider how he might help others as well.
In issue 17, when the away team on Luna-1 discovers the planet is a giant "hot spot" of a billion Cybertronian sparks just waiting to be born, their reaction is quite touching. The looks of pure joy on Rung and Ratchet's faces when they realize just what Luna-1 actually is is especially good.
A rather subtle one: As the ship approaches the portal to Luna 1, Rodimus brings the crew up to the bridge and tells them that their going in. He asks if any of the crew wants to leave now and basically admits that he would understand if they all left him. No one leaves.
In issue 18, there is something heartwarming about Whirl asking Cyclonus to join him in buying time for the others to escape, and Cyclonus going along with it. And remember, they both hate each other.
Skids explaining how far he'll go to protect the crew of the Lost Light after they took him in to the horde of Legislators he's currently fighting.
Skids: You're here because of me. Anything you do-anyone you hurt is on my head! How dare you?! How dare you show up and attack my friends? I turned up on their doorstep with memory loss and a far-fetched backstory and they took me in. They took me in, no questions asked. Well, maybe they should have asked questions! Maybe if they'd asked questions we wouldn't be here and good people wouldn't be dying on my behalf! And I'll tell you something else-I'd sooner die-I'd sooner die ten times over-than see any of them come to harm. In summary? I win.
He does win, too. At least momentarily.
Cyclonus hints that he's in Luna-1 searching a cure for Tailgate.
Also, the fact that Whirl seems to earnestly attempt to turn a new leaf with Cyclonus..
When Tyrest flicks the killswitch, we see the effects throughout the universe... and over on Cybertron, Soundwave is cradling a dying Ravage. Even a scheming tape deck loves his kitty. This is even more heartwarming after you read the "Soundwaves" story in Robots In Disguise which came out right around this time, where you find out that Ravage, along with Buzzsaw and Laserbeak, saved a maddened and dying young Soundwave from suicide.
Tarn, of all people, shows concern for Kaon when the latter suffers from the effects of the killswitch.
Remembering Tyrest's words on how Forged Cybertronians are less inclined to negative character traits, we also see that characters you thought were Jerks must by extension have a Hidden Heart of Gold - guys like Whirl and Cyclonus.
Cyclonus and Whirl seem to finally bury the hatchet after fighting together and Whirl giving Cyclonus the idea on saving Tailgate. Apparently so does Chromedome, although Cyclonus was oblivious of Chromedome's resentment.
Tailgate makes Cyclonus a replacement horn for the one Whirl knocked off. It's adorable.
Cyclonus singing to Tailgate on his deathbed. then Cyclonus finally saving Tailgate from his cybercrosis. Bonus points to Chromedome as well, accompanying Cyclonus on his vigil, the same Chromedome that in Issue 12 remarked he wanted Cyclonus dead for his attack on Kimia.
Another unexpectedly heartwarming moment is when Kaon is saved from the Killswitch's effects, he is shown being nuzzled by his obviously concerned-looking Pet; that is, his pet sparkeater turbofox. It even looks like Kaon is crying in relief due to the oilstains leaking from his eyes.
If you look at the wide-open tilt of Whirl's optic when Cyclonus turns away when he's told Tailgate will die, he almost looks a bit... sad to see Cyclonus like that. Whirl can feel sympathy for others. You just can't see it on him.
When the killswitch is being deactivated, Ratchet congratulates Rodimus with a smile. The next line just makes it all the better.
Ratchet: Brainstorm's going to be okay! Everyone's going to be okay.
The issue ends on Ultra Magnus approaching Cyclonus to talk about how he managed to save Tailgate from dying. Magnus notes that it was an extremely risky thing for Cyclonus to do (not knowing whether or not it would kill him), but Cyclonus brushes it off as not important. Magnus then rather warmly welcomes Cyclonus aboard as a member of the crew, being really the first person on board the Lost Light besides Tailgate to show him acceptance instead of hostility. When you compare this to the scene in the second issue which had Magnus warning Cyclonus he'd come down hard on him if he slipped up, it's a pretty awesome indication of how far both characters have come.
Ratchet reveals that he knew that Minimus Ambus was Ultra Magnus all along and knew all the other Magnuses as well up to the original himself. The medic then tells Ambus that he is not like the original Magnus, because they were all unique and as far as he is concerned Ambus will always be the real "Ultra Magnus" as far as he is concerned.
As part of his documentary Rewind asks some of the crewmembers if they're happy with their lives. When he asks Chromedome he gets this in response:
Skids gives Megatron an awesome What the Hell, Hero? speech that convinces Megatron to save the planet below from the alternate Lost Light's quantum foam.
Megatron convinces Ravage to become a genuine member of the crew and it's strongly suggested that Ravage has had a Heel Realization.
Terminus' encouragement to Megatron, telling him not to give up his goals.
Megatron: Perhaps I should stop writingjust for a while."
Terminus: On the contrarywrite more. Write quickly. Write while you still can. Pin your thoughts to the page likelike wraith-flies, so that others may study the patterns on their wings. The people are hungry, Megatron. You need to keep feeding them.
It's sad, but look at Trailcutter's hand in the morgue. Someone (possibly Whirl?) remembered how much he cared about getting that Rodimus Star and made sure that he could take it with him.
Despite the horrors of the alternate-present resulting from Brainstorm's meddling with time, one thing does stand out as being heartwarming. Because the Great War apparently never happened in this Functionist-dominated Cybertron, the Decepticon movement died out or was eradicated millions of years ago, and thus, Pharma never went insane and he and Ratchet are seen amicably chatting with each other in one of the crowd shots.
On the very last panel, when the Functionist Council activate Rewind's obsolescence chip, note what Dominus Ambus is doing. He's holding Rewind. Even after they took his ability to speak and think, he still loves Rewind.
Megatron's conversation with the past-version of Orion Pax. It's perhaps the only time the two can simply talk to each other as friends. Even better, it ends with Orion asking Megatron to join the Autobots in standing against the evil and corrupt. Megatron simply smiles and says he will eventually.
Rodimus tries to save Trailbreaker from dying in the future, and after making him promise not to go out and donate fuel to anyone, he tells Trailbreaker he's a good person. Too bad it doesn't take.
Chromedome comforting Rewind after he shoots the spark taking up Megatron's body. Notably this same scene has Rewind call Chromedome "Domey" for the first time since they reunited.
Later during the issue's epilogue we see that Chromedome and Rewind are finally sleeping in the same room again, and the two can be seen holding hands as they rest.
The happy/sad smile Brainstorm has in the flashback panel upon seeing Quark "one last time". "Best detour I ever made," indeed. Crosses over with Tearjerker.
The end of the issue with the crew happily singing "Power Of Love" together after having a big movie night at Swerve's bar.
At one point, Perceptor blushes when admitting his mistake with the paradox lock. It's rather adorable.
A lot of the DJD's interactions with one another in this issue. It's shown that as awful as they are, they all genuinely care for one another, acting almost like a family when they're not in the field.
There's something rather heartwarming in a twisted way as Tarn explains to Deathsaurus how the DJD's newest member Nickel has restored his faith in the Decepticon cause and even snapped him out of an attempted suicide by making him realize it is larger than Megatron and can survive his denouncement of it.
The entire issue basically qualifies. Highlights include:
Brainstorm's trial, in which the judges agree that he can't be held accountable for what his duplicate did, that his technically being a Decepticon is irrelevant seeing as the war is over and a Decepticon and former Decepticon already dwell on the ship, and that the information he passed to them as a mole was never harmful to the Autobot cause. Not to mention that Chromedome, his only friend, serves as his defense, and that the trial ends with Brainstorm pleasantly shocked that he isn't being banished from the ship, because "This is my home". Now raise your hand if you thought he was going to say "You are my family".
Brainstorm making up with Nautica. She stormed out of his trial in anger, but as a peace offering he added yet another function to her wrench: a button that causes the wrench to say "Brainstorm is an ass". She smiles and declares it her new favorite.
The main plot of the issue is basically Ratchet, a grumpy caregiver who usually dwells just this side of Dr. Jerk, taking care of the emotional well being of all his friends. He scolds Rodimus on his Double Standard in how he treated Brainstorm and Drift, advises Swerve on how to help his failing business, gets Rung to contact Hoist as a grief counselor (presumably over Trailcutter), convinces Skids to hang out with Rung who is feeling lonely, helps Ultra Magnus deal with the loss of his datapad, and convinces Nautica to forgive Brainstorm by revealing how selfless his actions truly were: if he had succeeded in preventing the war, he would have never even existed, since he was a Made-To-Order soldier.
Ten, the seemingly non-sentient Legislator who works in Swerve's bar turns out to not only be intelligent, but to have the soul of an artist. He draws a beautiful mural of his friends, makes Tailgate a new hoverboard, and turns out to be a big fan of Ultra Magnus. He left Magnus a doll of his true "Minimus Ambus" self as a gift, which Magnus worried was a sign he wasn't respected by the crew. His last scene has him taking Ten out for a drink, unashamedly showing his true form. And it turns out the datapad he lost contained a poem he had written.
After casually admitting that he voted to have Rodimus removed as captain, Ratchet doesn't hesitate to admit Rodders is among his favorites.
As for why Ratchet is going around solving everyone's problems, the reason is he's leaving. He's discovered how much he really liked Drift (whom he argued with constantly), and departs the Lost Light to seek him out, even taking along a Drift doll he assembled in Ten's workshop.
Even the cover is sweet: Ratchet holding his fellow crewmembers affectionately in his hands while smiling.
Skids and Nautica dance together to help Nautica blow off some steam. Nautica professes a lack of self worth compared to her best friend, and Skids has this to say.
Nautica: I try to like her, but she makes it very hard. She's a fantastic dancer - and actor - and acrobat. But by the spark of Solus Prime, she won't let you forget it. Compared to her, I'm -
Riptide and Ravage hanging out together at the party at the end of the issue. They aren't bickering or anything, just spending time together like honest friends. Even more so given that Riptide had previously been the most distrustful of Ravage back in Slaughterhouse.
Cyclonus making Swerve realize that he isn't being ignored or hated by pointing out that the entire crew came down to Swearth to find him.
The crew gives First Aid a going-away present for his brief trip back to Cybertron. It includes a picture album that Rewind made, which features a photo of the Lost Light's medical staff happily posing together.
After performing life-saving surgery on Swerve, Velocity expresses her gratitude to First Aid - she's never saved a life before, and can't stop smiling.
Minimus has a little Ten doll in his desk.
Chromedome calls Rewind "My love". Rewind doesn't protest and they snuggle a bit. Yup. Gay robots.
And he even tells him that if Rewind decides not to find out if Dominus is dead and spends another four million years searching, it won't matter because they'll search together.
Misfire and Grimlock have grown close since we last saw the Scavengers, with Misfire trying to help Grimlock learn how to read and write again. Misfire is even trying to be more patient so he doesn't lash out at Grimlock when he makes mistakes. When Grimlock drains his tank all over the floor (and over Misfire's feet!), Misfire almost hits him, but stops himself because he feels so sorry for him.
When the Scavengers discuss pawning off Grimlock, Misfire in particular doesn't want to do so, insisting that 'He needs me. Or I need him'.
While he was complete scum, the first thing Demus did after Fortress Maximus tossed him back into the room with the Scavengers was to tell them to run.
While everyone else is debating Grimlock's fate as if he's not right there, Spinister turns to him and asks him if he'd rather go with Fort Max or stay with them.
Spinister: What do you want to do, Grimlock? Stick with us or go with him?
Crankcase: Here we go. "Me Grimlock."
Grimlock: M...M... Misfire.
Spinister devising a means by which the Roboids (actually Cybertronians who have basically been lobotomized) may be returned to normal. Even Fort Max has to admit that not all Decepticons are bad.
The Scavengers deciding that they will find all the lost Decepticons, the ones that don't want to fight and are just looking for a place to belong, and help them. Remembering that the Decepticons were originally outcasts who were oppressed, it is nice to see that, just maybe, their original goals will be achieved.
Whirl takes the time to listen to Cyclonus' issues regarding Tailgate and Getaway, even if he's rather brusque and frank when he tells Cyclonus that Getaway might be better for Tailgate. However, in the aftermath of their conversation, it's evident that seeing Cyclonus distraught had an impact on Whirl—he then goes to Getaway and Atomizer to make sure that whatever they're up to doesn't hurt Tailgate.
When it becomes clear that Getaway plans to use Tailgate as an Unwitting Pawn to make Megatron kill him so the latter will be convicted for murder, Whirl tries to warn Cyclonus. Even when shot by a memory-erasing Thought Bullet, he manages to project a cryptic clue to Cyclonus that the latter is able to decipher.
Tailgate and Cyclonus coming to the mutual realization of just how much they mean to one another. It becomes a massive Tear Jerker, however, when Cyclonus throws himself in front of Tailgate to protect him from the gunfire of the Lost Light's security team.
Cyclonus survived being shot, and he and Tailgate were cleared of all charges when Getaway's scheming was exposed.
Also worth noting is that Megatron apologized to Cyclonus for the whole misunderstanding. Megatron.
In flashbacks, we discover that Skids, during his imprisonment on Grindcore, was commissioned to fix the teleporters of the prison so the prisoners could be sent offworld for things like slave labor. When the work is done, Tarn intends to send him offworld, but Skids asks that his cellmate Quark be allowed to take his place.
Horrifically subverted when Tarn reveals to Skids what the "teleporter" REALLY does...
Megatron, at the end of the issue, tries to convince Rung not to resign from the job of ship's counselor due to his past. Also one for Rung, who insists that he doesn't want to compromise his own integrity, worrying that his advice really might be flawed.
A tiny baby sparkling gets dropped off outside Swerve's, and Whirl, Swerve and Nautica all have to work out what to do with it. They take quite an attachment to the sparkling - especially Whirl, whom the baby starts copying with a singular optic and claws.
Whirl even switches his Spark into shutdown so that he can hide the Sparkling in his sleep chamber with him, even though it almost kills him. WHIRL.
The intro video, while a Tear Jerker, has some moments:
Velocity saying that even after everything, her time on the Lost Light was the best of her life, and that she wants her body recycled so somebody who needs the parts can have them.
Chromedome doesn't need to make a message for a loved one, because Rewind is there with him, and they want to be interred together.
Optimus Prime, realising the Lost Light is in danger, immediately planning to drop everything and go to help them.
The crew accepting Megatron enough to let him coordinate them in battle, with Megatron and Rodimus now close enough to banter with each other.
Subverted at the end when the rest of the crew launch a mutiny under Getaway because they all hate him.
Megatron getting to say "Autobots, roll out!". You just know he'd been wanting to.
Megatron leading a class on the Knights of Cybertron and commending his students for their essays.
Even more with Riptide, who he offers to give extra help to.
Swerve making another custom ringtone for Velocity.
Swerve regrets his treatment of Ten, and wants to make it up to him. Of course, this nice outing to the Necrobot's world isn't turning out so good, but he had no way of knowing that.
Brainstorm affectionately suggesting that the reason the DJD has withdrawn is that they heard Tailgate was inside, and he is The Dreaded.
Megatron's HeelFace Turn is finally complete as he decides to stay behind to protect the organics, and doesn't try to guilt anyone else into doing the same. Turns out the screams he heard last issue were from the many organic species he decimated during the war, and he finally realizes there is no meaningful difference between them and Cybertronians. He goes out to surrender to Tarn alone.
Rodimus tells him "Well said" in response to his speech...and pats him on his Autobot badge, acknowledging that he's finally living up to it.
A humanizing moment for one of the DJD—Kaon lets Drift, Ratchet, Ten, and Ravage go after they take his pet Sparkeater hostage. Seems the resident Psycho Electro of the DJD really does care for his pet.
Sadly, his colleague Helex is less impressed, shooting down the team's escape shuttle anyway.
Though doomed to fail, Megatron's attempts to convince Tarn to let the rest of the exiled Lost Light team go in exchange for giving himself up.
On a related note, Megatron's insistence that he's not in the least bit ashamed of what he's become.
Megatron: The thought of anyone tampering with my mind used to terrify me. But if Prime's chemicals have kept me in line... then maybe that's a good thing. I'm better like this.
Though a little tense here and there, the reunion of Drift and Ratchet with the rest of the team.
The look Drift gives Rodimus when he asks for his friend to forgive him says everything he needs to know; he already has.
Upon seeing how distraught Kaon is over the abduction of his pet, Tarn takes a moment to give him a reassuring hug.
Horrifically subverted when Tarn then proceeds to tear Kaon's head off and crush it, citing the latter's empathy as a weakness.
The final shot of the issue, that of the near-dead Megatron clutching the Autobot symbol Tarn broke off in a tight grip, shows just how much he believes the above quote.
Chromedome finally found Dominus Ambus. He's been turned into The Pet, and he can fix him - but it will kill him. He's completely willing to bring Dominus Ambus back to life if it means Rewind will be happy. And then Rewind cuts his arm off to stop him because he can't let Chromedome sacrifice himself. Years of believing that Rewind would choose Dominus over him are finally proven wrong.
And the end of the issue, Rodimus brings everyone in for a group hug. They've been his loyal friends and he's glad they came on the quest with him. And even Whirl joins in the group hug!
Nautica undergoing with the rite of amica endurae with Brainstorm, Nightbeat, Velocity, Rung, and Skids, who all happily agree. They may be about to die, but they're going to die as friends.
It's comical, but Whirl makes it clear that he thinks Cyclonus is being a fool by not confessing his feelings to Tailgate, and them spending the rest of their lives (all 24 minutes of it) together.
Cyclonus' response is sweet too - he straight up thinks Tailgate is just too good for him...and he knows Tailgate will survive because...
Cyclonus: Because I'll split this world open and tear down the sky before I allow him to come to even the slightest harm.
Nautica holding her amica endura Skids' hand just before Chromedome sparks his memories of Grindcore to trigger the spark surge they need to fight off the Decepticons, an act that will inflict untold amounts of trauma on Skids. Later on, Nautica is seen tightly hugging Skids' body after said trauma sends him hurtling over the Despair Event Horizon and kills him.
The reason Megatron's not willing to fight? He's scared that he'll plunge back into his dark, sadistic ways just to cope with the trauma.
Followed up by Ratchet telling him that the Fool's Energon never truly sapped his strength or altered his will—it was just a placebo, used because they couldn't give Megatron a real sedative. In other words, Megatron's personal realizations and desire to become a better Cybertronian? That was him the whole time!
The thing that finally convinces Megatron to fight? Seeing Ravage brutalized. Cue Megs strapping on a fusion cannon, going outside and blasting every member of the opposing force he can see...just so he can gather up the wounded Ravage and hand him off to the Autobots, telling them to take shelter while Megatron himself holds the line.
While the specifics are somewhat ambiguous, Ravage's dying words confirm that he has had his faith in Megatron renewed, and doesn't want him to lose his way again.
The reveal that Terminus and Roller are alive. They just went missing because of more time travel hi-jinks.
Terminus' appearance has a profound effect on Megatron, who seconds ago in the throes of a Freak Out had angrily refused to let Ratchet remove his fusion cannon. The moment he sees Terminus he disengages it himself and rushes over to embrace his old friend.
While Rodimus had come to appreciate Megatron in the last few issues, his face truly shows concern when rescuing Megatron from the anti-matter filled panic-bubble.
Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Revolution #1
Misfire worried that Grimlock lost it when he finds him digging for something on earth. From the dirt, Grimlock suddenly pulls a huge sword, and charges at Misfire... only, rather than attack, he sadly presents him with the weapon. Realizing that the sword is Grimlock's, left on Earth before the Dinobot leader was taken to Garrus-9, Misfire is thrilled that Grimlock has displayed a real memory, having feared that he was lost for good when he ran off. "Never so happy to lose a bet with myself," Misfire grins... to which Grimlock smirks and replies, "Loser...
A side note, the aforementioned sword bears the names of Grimlock's Dinobot comrades, all carved in the hilt.
While upset about Cons4eva lies, Crankcase still decided to help him out with the 'crossover' thing as he still views him as a friend and wants him to be happy.
Lost Light Issue 4
In the FunctionalistUniverse, Megatron is barking orders to reinforce defenses and get as many helpless citizens out of the line of fire as possible. After he's finished giving orders Minimus Ambus looks at him and says perhaps the nicest thing he's ever said to the former Decepticon leader. Megatron even give him a small and genuine smile in response.
Terminus wants Megatron to abandon the quest and his attempt to face justice for his actions, instead staying in the Functionist Universe to lead the resistance. When Megatron refuses because Rodimus and Minimus wouldn't understand, Terminus says he is not beholden to them, only to his conscience.
Megatron: They are my conscience!
Lost Light Issue 6
The last panel of the issue has Megatron's smile when his communicator picks up a call from someone very important...the Functionist-timeline version of Orion Pax.
Anode manages to revive Lug for real thanks to the flower the Necrobot planted containing her residual spark energy and the sentio metallico the two of them recovered just before Anode was saved, though it's apparently going to take some time for Lug to recover fully.
On a Meta level IDW achieve what neither DC nor Marvel managed, they reformed a former major villain, and ended his story with him alive and the reformation intact!
Lost Light Issue 7
After being rejected by Tailgate, Cyclonus goes on another one of his Self-Harm sprees. Cue Whirl gently taking his hands away from his face, and sitting down next to him. Character Development indeed.
Lost Light Issue 15
The Scavengers, who voted to sell Grimlock not long ago, don't entertain the thought of betraying him for even a second now.
Misfire telling the rampaging Grimlock that he'll always be there for him. Grimlock calms down just in time, and says "I know."
Grimlock chooses to protect the baby by storing it in his chest cavity, even though it means he won't be able to use the transmat portal. The Scavengers refuse to leave him, but he shoves them through and prepares to confront Scorponok's forces alone.
Though it highlights just how far Tarn had fallen from where he was previously, Nickel reveals that the communicator he gave her has a recording of his voice - using his full spark-stopping intonation, - telling whoever's hearing it that they're currently paying for messing with his friend with their life.
Lost Light Issue 16
Upon learning that they are in the Afterspark, Cyclonus immediately transforms and flies off. He doesn't stop flying until he finds what he's been looking for: Tailgate, who has been waiting for Cyclonus to find him so they can ascend together. The last panel on that page is a double-sized one of the two embracing.
Lost Light Issue 18
As the Lost Lighters await ascension, Velocity has a tender moment with Swerve, giving him a sincere compliment that - from the bashful smile on his face - he doesn't get often.
Velocity: I like you like this. More -
Swerve: More what? More quiet? Quieter? (Drops his voice to a whisper) Because check this out...
Velocity: No, no. More...more heartfelt. It suits you.
Another takeaway from that scene - Chromedome and Rewind holding hands with Dominus Ambus, and the version of Rewind that got killed by Overlord.
Ultra Magnus shows up to help Rodimus fight off the stone guardians - even when tempted with eternal peace and resolution, he decided that Rodimus would probably need his help, and came running.
Despite the initial confrontation, Nautica has no problem teaming up with the Scavengers when they both realize that their current situation is more than either of them thought.
As the illusion falters and the resurrected Autobots begin to fade, Cyclonus embraces Tailgate and finally confesses his love. And then Tailgate doesn't vanish, having apparently been real all along. Even Ratchet, who is so determined to know the truth that he smashed the "trapped light", doesn't care how this is possible if it means a happy ending.
Whirl once again shows his Character Development, as he demands silence from Rodimus as Cyclonus says his goodbye, then kindly tries to help Cyclonus up. And there's the fact that he called Ultra Magnus to try to prevent the "ascension" of his crewmates, sensing that something wasn't right. This is the same Whirl who, at the beginning of the series, couldn't have cared less about any of them.
The reason Cyberutopia looks like the Afterspark? Because the strongest willed among the crew wanted to be there more than anything else, and the moon picked up on that. It's Cyclonus, wanting to see Tailgate again.
A somewhat meta example, but the Scavengers are teaming up with the Lost Lighters. Really, considering that both teams are a bunch of misfits with no other place to go, the former have finally found like-minded company!
Lost Light 19
Swerve and Misfire immediately bonding
Ultra Magnus stepping in between Grimlock, who definitely does not like him, and a decepticon he's just met to try protect the latter from being presumably torn apart. Luckily the scavengers and Grimlock have a history and there was never any real danger but it's the thought that counts.
The reaction that the Scavengers have to Grimlock returning.
Misfire runs over immediately to him with a big smile on his face to give him a hug.
Grimlock, usually The Stoic about things like this, returns the favour.
Misfire: Grimsy! You're alive!
Ultra Magnus: Best to keep your distance, Decepticon. Grimlock has a tendency to
Ultra Magnus: -hug people?
After finding out that he's okay and asking what he's been after, Misfire then immediately asking after the welfare of the baby, concerned for her too.
Even Crankcase has a smile on his face the whole time about this!
Offscreen but the fact that Krok apparently told Rodimus that in piloting abilities, Crankcase counted as the best.
How, despite everything, Rodimus is completely determined to find a way to save all of the sparkeater mutineers.
Lost Light Issue 20
Remember that Doorstop Baby Whirl nearly sacrificed his life for, only to learn it was a vicious swarm of scraplets in disguise? Well they apparently got added to the ones in the oil reservoir and took over. When a massive Combining Mecha is sent against the crew, it recognizes Whirl, turns into a giant hand to gently caress him, and then turns against Getaway.
Just the implication that scraplets, previously shown as hordes of vicious little parasites akin to tiny piranha that eat people alive, can feel love and fondness for someone who treated them well, proving that at least one swarm of the things can be more than just tiny monsters.
Rodimus, who since issue 1 of the relaunch has been obsessed with Revenge on Getaway, can't bring himself to let the traitor die. He charges into a blazing inferno to save him, and as he does so his blue and purple paintjob (which symbolized his intent to kill Getaway) burns away to reveal his true colors.
After Cyclonus kills Star Saber, he shows just what makes his (humble, devoted) faith superior to Saber's (cruel, zealous) faith. When Star Saber killed Dai Atlus, he made sure the last thing he heard was "Primus hates you". When he himself dies, Cyclonus says "May Primus forgive your sins... as one day he may forgive mine."
Misfire again showing concern for organic lifeforms, when he asks if using a device will be safe for the Mederi telepaths.
Lost Light Issue 21
Velocity going over to try get Swerve to snap out of his shellshock about seeing the rift so that he can run, reminding him it could also count as a good thing as it's on his list of things he wanted to see on the quest.
Also heartwarming is how clearly like a good friend Velocity actually listened to and remembered Swerve's list enough to cite several example on it, even if she did get the name wrong.
Rodimus telling all the mutineers that he's forgiven them.
Perceptor: I'm sorry Captain...we never meant-
Rodimus: Save the apologies for later.
Rodimus: Hey! Guys! Obviously you're forgiven.
The scene with all aboard the Lost Light has this all aboard the place, such as with Chromedome and Rewind huddled close together, Chromedome's head popped on top of the archivist's.
Rodimus refusing to let any of his crew be left behind while a chosen few are taken to the Grand Architect's ship, especially with the speech that follows that doubles as a Moment of Awesome.
Lost Light Issue 22
This issue pretty quickly puts to bed any concerns that Megatron might have regressed during his time in the Functionist universe; indeed, he's become even better. He's no longer a Byronic Hero, Anti-Hero or even Anti-Villain; he's just a straight up Heroic Autobot now.
After centuries in the Functionist universe, Megatron has finally achieved his original dream from before the War, before the Decepticons, the one he'd once mentioned to Ratchet during the events of Dark Cybertron; he's become a medic, and apparently a damn good one too, given he's able to repair Drift from a zero point, a condition that was thought almost impossible to recover from. And his "fusion cannon" is no such thing; it's actually a gigantic med-kit. Indeed, he even reminisces to Drift about the last time they met, when he first inducted Drift (as Deadlock) into the Decepticons, saying that while he knew Drift would be a great Decepticon, he's an even better Autobot, and then when Drift thanks Megatron for saving his life, Megatron in turn thanks him for "leading the way".
After managing to rescue part of Team Rodimus, Megatron comes to greet the group he saved, which includes Ultra Magnus (who took Megatron's apparent betrayal of them very badly). Even with the realization that Megatron might not have betrayed their trust, Magnus still can't bring himself to fully reconcile with him, which Megatron accepts, merely telling Magnus he would be worse if their positions were reversed.
Megatron is not only delighted to see the Scavengers (saying it's been a long time since he's seen any Decepticons, since as a faction they don't exist in the Functionist universe) he actually knows who they all are. Bear in mind, according to Banzai-Tron the Scavengers are the five worst Decepticons of all time, and yet Megatron still knows who they are, even after the indeterminate centuries he spent in the Functionist universe. He's also painted his version of the Lost Light (which he calls the Last Light) purple, telling Swerve "it's a good color".
It gets better. Megatron doesn't just know the Scavengers names. He knows their nicknames. Misfire's real name is Flyhigh, and Krok renamed himself after his dead pet. Not only did Megatron know who they were, he knew what they called themselves.
Lost Light Issue 23
After Adaptus reveals that Rung is Primus, the rest of the Team's reactions range from the incredulous to the mocking. Except for Nautica, the only one to suggest they should actually just ask him if he is.
Rodimus forbidding Megatron from returning to his ship as the Functionist Primus bears down on the final Cybertron doesn't seem like it might be this, but the actual exchange says otherwise.
Megatron: The Last Light's unattended. I'll gather my crew, and head back before—
Rodimus: No. I'm not letting you out of my sight.
Megatron: Still? You still think I'm going to betray you?
Rodimus: Who said anything about betrayal? I just think we're at our best when we're together.
Lost Light Issue 24
Before Rung prepares to create multiple Matrices, he takes a moment to address fan-favorite couple Chromedome and Rewind, telling them that they're very lucky to have one another and that they ought to forgive themselves for their pasts.
Further relating to Rung, the last thing he does before getting to work: taking a moment to remember Skids, then erasing all the records of his past therapy sessions in order to protect his patients' confidentiality.
And the big kicker? Rung - or rather, Primus - likely knew that creating this many Matrices at once would be fatal for him. But he never hesitated. The legends might've gotten a fair bit detached from reality, but no one can deny that Primus was the Big Good for a reason.
As the struggle to protect the Matrix-Bearers unfolds, we get several shots of long-time friends, Vitriolic Best Buds, and even potential lovers re-affirming their bonds, platonic or otherwise:
Also note that Rodimus doesn't call Whirl a warrior, a Wrecker, a maniac or anything of the sort. He calls Whirl a watchmaker - the role Whirl chose, rather than any of the ones forced on him by the Senate or by circumstances.
And after everything, after being responsible for millions of deaths and millions of years of brutal conquest and suffering, he doesn't call Megatron a tyrant or a despot, but a poet, his defining trait as the nascent revolutionary during the Functionst Era. Rodimus recognizes that as bad as Megatron has been, he originally meant well with his anti-Functionist stance, and a part of him still intends to do the right thing.
When, one by one, the Matrices are opened
Ratchet's gleeful expression at his success. For someone who doubted miracles and the divine, seeing such giddy delight is positively adorable.
The approving look Cyclonus gives Tailgate when the latter manages to open his own Matrix.
Misfire helping out an injured Swerve with his own Matrix. The two might've only just met, but they're Fire-Forged Friends.
Also doubles as a Call-Back to a Not Quite Dead Ore telling Swerve that one of the things that he and Shock planned to do after the war ended was befriend a Decepticon. The Duobots may be dead, but Swerve seems to have remembered that dream.
Whirl opens one of the Matrices. Whirl; who, at the beginning of the series, was so full of bitterness and self-hatred over what he's endured and the part he played in starting the Great War, is able to pass the morality lock of a Matrix and open it. Also doubles as a tearjerker, with Whirl being critically wounded.
In the aftermath of the opened Matrices, Functionist Cybertron - now freed of the control of the Functionist Council - sends a life-giving pulse-wave to Luna-1, re-igniting the Hot Spot and giving the "lost generation" of Cybertronian sparks another chance. But what could cause such a miracle? The pattern that a host of green sparks forms from orbital view leaves a clue...
Rung/Primus: Don't forget me.
Lost Light Issue 25
We observe Ratchet's funeral. At first it looks like his monument has the words "There is no meaning" on it, which would suit the cynical medic...but then a later panel reveals that the full inscription is "Without love, there is no meaning".
Ratchet and Drift became a couple for many years. Despite their differing outlooks, Drift has come to question his supernatural beliefs enough to consider a more rational explanation for his visions, and Ratchet has lightened up on his hardline rationality to accept answers that require the fewest leaps of faith (rather than none). He calls this "meeting half way" while affectionately holding Drift's hand.
Tailgate and Cyclonus are still happily together, and when they learn that Whirl (who is more responsible than anyone for their relationship) is having trouble adapting to life outside the LL and has served multiple jail sentences, Cyclonus invites him to live with them. Whirl joyously embraces Cyclonus, in a parallel to their interaction in the first issue where Cyclonus hugs Whirl only so he can whisper a threat.
Ratchet has left Whirl his hands. Whirl is grateful, but doesn't want them because he's finally at peace with himself and accepts that he isn't broken and doesn't need fixing.
Although Rewind has tragically succumbed to a neurological condition that has left him miniaturized and unable to transform, he and Chromedome are still very much in love. CD has even had a port installed in the back of his head that he can plug Rewind's memory stick form into, allowing them to communicate non-verbally.
Anode and Lug retire from their life of treasure hunting to settle on Luna 1 and "raise some kids", i.e. Anode will use her skills as a Blacksmith to bring the next generation of Cybertronians to term. Rodimus also recommends her to Prowl for this, showing his respect for her.
Tailgate tells Crankcase how important it is to tell people your feelings about them. As the Scavengers fly off to collect their baby from Troja Major, Crankcase gives Cons4Eva a call to join them.
Not only does Grimlock leave with the Scavengers, so does Nickel. They may drive her crazy, but that's what family is for.
Cyclonus gives Rodimus a kiss on the cheek to thank him for everything.
Ultra Magnus learns that Megatron anonymously wrote his favorite poem, and when Megatron bemoans the four million years he spent as tyrannical leader of the Decepticons, Magnus—the long-time butt of stoicism jokes—regards the sullen Megatron with visible compassion, empathy, and pity. He goes on to look directly at Megatron during his speech about the friends made aboard the Lost Light, visibly cheering Megatron up. He eventually serves once again as Megatron's defense attorney, and is convinced by him to dispose of his armor. Megatron tells him "You're so much bigger without it".
Rodimus, immature egotist though he may be, lied to the Galactic Council and said that it was Megatron who was able to open the Matrix, not him. In parallel to the last time they met in a jail cell, Rodimus admits he questions the justice of Megatron's fate. And it turns out that for over 800 years in the Functionist universe, Megatron kept one remnant of his old life; his Rodimus Star. He returns it to Rodimus, who leaves it at Ratchet's grave.
Rung has again been forgotten (except possibly by Rewind), but it turns out he left behind a legacy; the Cybertronians who are born from Luna 1 all resemble him.
The Lost Light crew look over the map on Rodimus' desk like a family album, reminiscing about the many great adventures they had.
Ultra Magnus gives a toast to the crew, thanking them for being his friends. He even admits he had fun.
Brainstorm suffered an injury, and now needs a life support system built into his famous briefcase to get around. It contains a clock that Whirl made for him, indicating that Whirl has finally regained his skills.
Perceptor states Brainstorm's brilliance, finally giving him the acknowledgement he craved. He even imitates the gesture Brainstorm did to him, pointing at his forehead and declaring them "simpatico".
And the big one: the Lost Light crew are allowed to take the ship on one last jaunt before it is decommissioned and Megatron has his trial. They manage to replicate the accident that began the series, resulting in a quantum duplicate of the ship and the crew, which is sent into a parallel universe. Although one set of them will never know if they succeeded, the other set arrives in uncharted territory with a whole universe to explore...and all the time there is to explore it. Although this IDW Transformers universe may be coming to a close, they are all still out there somewhere.
It was revealed by the creators that originally this end was for when the series was handed off to a different writer. But with that version of the IDW Universe ending the ending took on a new meaning, with the cast of Lost Light escaping into the new IDW Universe.
When it was discovered that colorist Josh Burcham would be leaving the book for a time to work on something else the fans, rather than whining about it, gave an outpouring of support and wished him luck with his new work over his Tumblr.