- The War won't be over until Megatron says so
Released: July 25th 2012
On a distant planet, someone describes the history and accomplishments of the legendary Phase Six Decepticon Black Shadow, while asking about the tendency of Phase Six 'cons to rebel. This someone, named "Tarn", is interrupted when one of his co-workers points out that Black Shadow isn't actually dead. Though he really wishes he was. He's just been found by the Decepticon Justice Division. Tarn, their leader, decides to talk with the badly injured fugitive, who tries to tell him that the war is over. Tarn responds that until Megatron says otherwise, it isn't. So Black Shadow has to die for letting the cause down. Having already experienced much of the skills of the rest of the D.J.D., Black Shadow is introduced to Tarn's ability: Weaponized conversation, which kills Shadow, and causes what's left of him to combust. The D.J.D. then move on to their next target, who committed the heinous crime of living...
On-board the Lost Light, Ratchet, Ambulon and First Aid manage to save Rung, something Ratchet declares is a bona-fide miracle. Five hours later, a more panicked than usual Red Alert visits the shrink, and shares his fears about Overlord, and his belief that "They" are going to kill him for knowing. So he leaves a data-slug in Rung's hand, and walks off, unaware that the Diagnostic Drone present has been watching, carefully.
Somewhere else, a Decepticon named Fulcrum comes to when a bunch of his fellows are trying to siphon his fuel. After a brief misunderstanding, he asks why exactly these 'cons thought he was dead. Their leader, Krok, explains that this was because aside from themselves, they're the only beings alive on the whole planet. Hurried introductions, courtesy of the drug-addled Misfire, quickly follow.
Back on-board the Lost Light, Chromedome visits Brainstorm to talk about Skids' gun, the one he didn't realize he had, that Chromedome stole when he wasn't looking. Brainstorm tells him it's called a 'binary gun' - although he's just invented the name. It's got a strange design - there's only room for two cartridges. But more worrying than that, it's Institute tech.
Back with the Scavengers, they talk about the planet they're on, and how despite it being a mass graveyard, it's just another footnote in the War. Conversation turns to how the war is over, a fact Fulcrum can barely believe, and he doesn't know how to feel about it. The Decepticons glumly speculate that the Autobots probably won. Then Spinister says the fire is giving him odd looks. Krok spots an Autobot in the flames, and shoots him dead.
In the sickbay of the Lost Light, an unknown figure arrives and takes the thumb-drive from the comatose Rung...
Daybreak with the Scavengers, and Misfire is distracted by his quest to find the Necrobot, a mysterious figure who appears over the corpse of every dead Cybertronian. However, instead of a 'bot, he finds a huge crashed spaceship; a Decepticon one at that. They investigate, and what they find is all kinds of disturbing. Misfire fnds a ceiling covered in brains. Krok finds a lab full of half-grown protoforms, and a robot made of wood. Fulcrum finds walls covered in what appears to be blood. They regather, and Misfire suggests turning and getting the hell away from the ship. Fulcrum however takes it as a sign of how random the universe is, and that they're finally free.
Then Krok reveals he's getting a call. It's from the D.J.D, informing them that they'll be there in fifteen minutes, and if they hand over the traitor in their midst, they get to live. Panic immediately follows, until Spinister points out Tarn counted eight life-signs, even though there's only seven of them. Then Krok notices something through a door. It's a stasis pod, and inside...
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Tarn mentions Black Shadow begged and sobbed and pleaded with the D.J.D. to stop torturing him. They didn't.
- And Then What?: Averted for the Decepticons in general, since there was a vague plan for if they won the war, but the Scavengers, having assumed the Autobots have won, don't know what to really do with themselves.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The P-6 Worldsweeper class of starships. They look totally awesome, but they have an unusual tendency to crash. This may be because the Decepticon insignia is not very dynamic or good for maneuvering.
- The Brute: Tesarus's first words on how he's bored, mere seconds after Black Shadow's gone boom.
- The Bus Came Back: Grimlock, last seen back in The Transformers: Maximum Dinobots, and mentioned during The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers.
- Call-Back: The Scavengers discuss the former Infiltration Protocol, which had been abandoned back at the beginning of All Hail Megatron. In addition to the previously established phases, there's the new Phase Seven, for when the war was finally over.
- The Cameo: Black Shadow's history is filled with them. The Wreckers, Optimus, Pyro, Kup, Nightbeat.
- Chekhov's Gun: Skids' gun, once again. Turns out Chromedome stole it during issue 4 when Skids was messing around with the serving drones as Swerve's.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: What the D.J.D. inflict on their victims. We get to see some of their handiwork in action.
- Cryptic Background Reference: On booting up, we hear the Scavengers call Fulcrum "K-Class", something apparently salute-worthy. This isn't explained until next issue.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Black Shadow inflicted one of these on the Wreckers, killing three of their number. In a nice turn, the D.J.D. have clearly inflicted one on him, none of them looking remotely damaged as they stand over him.
- Dumb Muscle: Spinister, a dramatic change from most depictions. That said, he's the first to point out that Tarn has apparently miscounted.
- Failed a Spot Check: It takes a few minutes for Fulcrum to notice Misfire is holding his fuel pump, the Cybertronian equivalent of a heart.
- Genius Bonus: The Weak Anthropic Principle, the name of the Scavengers' ship, states that only a universe that can support intelligent life will be noticed by other intelligent life.
- Giver of Lame Names: Crankcase isn't the most imaginative of Decepticons, thinking the best name he can give the Symbol Ship is "Mighty Starship".
- Grey and Gray Morality: Krok informs us that at one point both Megatron AND Optimus sealed themselves into little info-bubbles and ended up turning people's lives into numbers and decimal points and integers, and turned entire planets into graveyards as a result.
- Grumpy Bear: Crankcase.
- Info Dump: Courtesy of Misfire, who rapidly introduces the other Scavengers to both Fulcrum and the audience. It gets lampshaded.Fulcrum: (once Misfire has finished) That was relentless.
- Meaningful Name: The name of the planet the Scavengers are on is "Clemency". As in forgiveness, as in the thing they don't show to the Autobot they find, nor do the D.J.D plan to show them.
- Motormouth: Misfire. He's got attention span issues, and when we first see him, he's high on circuit speeders acquired from a dead Monstercon.
- Mythology Gag:
- When the supposedly dead Fulcrum comes back to life, Flywheels freaks out, thinking he's a zombie. The last time anyone used Flywheels, there were a lot of zombies about.
- The D.J.D. contact the Scavengers using a Communicube, also from the old comics.
- Only in It for the Money: Black Shadow was willing to do pretty much anything, so long as he was paid. The Autobots bribed him into destroying a fleet of warworlds.
- Perspective Flip: In the Scavengers' recounting the war on Clemency, Krok speaks of Optimus and Megatron as hero and villain, but doesn't name them either way, with them both doing exactly the same thing.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The lens of the Diagnostic Drone turns red when Red Alert mentions Overlord
- The Reveal: After several issues of being mentioned, the Decepticon Justice Division, and their leader, finally make a full appearance.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Tarn is capable of this, lowering the pitch of his voice, and modulating it to move in time with the listener's Spark. Then he just talks lower, and lower, and lower, until the Spark gives up. The results are explosive.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Cuts back and forth between the Lost Light crew and the Scavengers.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: According to Tarn, until Megatron creates the perfect utopia he promised, until even the concept of violence is unthinkable, every Decepticon who strays from the cause but a little must die horribly, and if it scares even one Decepticon into obedience, it's worth it.
- Villain Protagonist: The Scavengers take up most of the story, this issue, and as the fireplace scene shows, just because they're likeable doesn't mean they're nice.
- Warrior Poet: Tarn plays classical music and quotes Megatron's works as he converses with Black Shadow.
- The Worf Effect: Black Shadow gets an extreme version of this. Up until now, the only thing that was known about him is that he's a Phase-Sixer, making him a One-Man Army. This issue, he gets some backstory with the first few pages being devoted to talking about how badass he is, then immediately showing how easily the newly introduced DJD defeated him.