10- Sentinel Prime turns on the Autobots – Transformers Dark of the Moon
Bringing up the rear of the pack comes one of the more recent events occurring in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Sentinel Prime had been billed as an “great” good guy and mentor to Optimus Prime by Micheal Bay and the villain of the film had been pegged as the evil Shockwave, to the delight of one-eye fans. Little were we to suspect that Sentinel Prime would betray the Autobots at a key moment of the film and kill the much beloved Ironhide. In some versions of the script, he was meant to kill the Autobot twins, Mudflap and Skids, but this didn’t make it into the film.
The moment has a bit of emotional impact due to Ironhide’s decomposition into rust, but this is not touched upon in the film after it happens even once! This is Optimus Prime’s right-hand man that’s dead here, and we don’t hear a thing about for the remainder of the film. The plot of the film tries to convince us that this betrayal was many, many years in the making between Sentinel and Megatron but after piecing the plots of all 3 films together, there is just no way this makes sense. Ultimately, the movie takes a sudden dark turn after this event and the siege and resultant destruction of Chicago is a direct result of Sentinel Prime’s allegiance with Megatron.
For non-super fans and people avoiding spoilers, this event was most likely a major twist in the Transformers movie plot. Fans digging for any information on the film most likely knew the twist was coming before they saw the film, and so this event was at least a bit predictable. The film’s marketing department did a pretty good job of keeping a lid on Sentinel’s Decepticon ties though so this event should receive notable mention in this top ten.
9- Overlord discovered to be prisoner of the Lost Light – Transformers: More Than Meets The eye
Is this the golden age for Transformers comics? I’ll put my energon on “yes” and usher in the most recently occurring event in this top ten from the last page of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye issue 6. In this final panel of the book, we have an upset Red Alert peaking through wall’s crack, discovering very top-secret cargo near the bottom of the Autobots’ ship. Unexpectedly, we discover the lethal Decepticon Overlord is being held incapacitated, and clearly against his will. Overlord has always had an almost mythic role in the minds of Transformers fans. He had a large base-bot toy that has never been available in the United States. His toy commands high prices worldwide and he finally received serious characterization in the highly-acclaimed “Last Stand of the Wreckers” comic book, in which he was the main antagonist and displayed a level of sadism that was new to Transformers.
We have not seen him since his near-death at the hands of Springer during the climax of “Last Stand of the Wreckers.” Many had anticipated his return in “More Than Meets the Eye,” but the eventual reveal in issue 6 created intense excitement as well as more questions than it answered. Who put him there? Does anyone aboard the ship (other than Red Alert) know he is there? Who rebuilt him (last we saw, he was missing limbs and all but skeletal)?
This issue was followed up with the introduction of the very dangerous Decepticon Justice Division, whom has Overlord at the top of this hit-list. Having recently discovered traces of Overlord’s energy signature, the DJD is en-route to meet up with our heroes aboard the Lost Light, which we’re all assuming will culminate with deaths, explosions, and utter insanity.
Although the story has not yet been told in full, readers have been biting their nails with anticipation for what Overlord’s discovery could mean and the comic has been in free-fall mode ever since. It remains to see what the outcome of his presence, but no one was expecting everyone in this comic to come out alive.
8- Forest battle – Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
It’s hard to claim that any of the events in Revenge of the Fallen deserve to be on this list, but if I had to pick one highlight from the entire movie franchise, it is definitely the forest battle where Optimus Prime takes on Megatron, Starscream and a Blackout clone. After discussing with many fans, this is THE SCENE from the entire movie franchise that made allowing Michael Bay to have his way with us worth it.
I have to wonder though if there may be some sort of generation gap involved with the importance of this scene. Do young transformers fans choose a different battle scene? Would the highway battle from movie 1 stand out as more epic in their minds? Did the initial transformation of Barricade while interrogating Sam have more “WOW” factor? Hard to say, since I was not able to view these movies with fresh eyes. To me, as a long-time surveyor of Optimus and Megatron battles, this took the cake for battle scenes and my overall excitement level was at its highest during my first viewing of what we all have come to call the Forest Battle.
The sense of scale of this scene probably took a cue or two from The End of Evangelion, and who else loved Optimus hitting Megatron with a tree? Such bliss. It even culminated in the apparent death of Optimus Prime, and our first look at Cybertronian loose teeth. But more on that later…
7- Return of Megatron – Transformers Animated
One thing that was absent from most of the start of Transformers Animated was the Decepticons, and most importantly Megatron. The method the writers chose to tell the Animated story was somewhat unique to Transformers: the main antagonists were human villains. This was changed significantly during Season 2 and 3 though, when Hasbro realized they weren’t planning to sell toys for the villains. The big payoff at the end of season 1 of Transformers Animated was the triumphant return of Megatron as a dual-blade helicopter. The scene was dark and many thought that Megatron had murdered Professor Sumdac during his metamorphosis from a immobile head and body to a full-fledged warrior of destruction. We later learned that Megatron was keeping Sumdac as some sort of pet, but it took the break until the next season to discover that.
After a full season of an incapacitated Megatron, seeing him come to life was incredibly satisfying and set the tone for the rest of the run of the show. The Decepticons were completely over-powered compared to the Autobots and the return of their leader signified a heavy sense of dread that the Autobots themselves must have felt. Voiced by Corey Burton, the original voice of Shockwave, we now had our first good look at a new style of Megatron that no one dared to challenge, that is except the immortal all-spark-infused Starscream.
All in all, the arrival of Megatron showed that Animated had a lot more to offer than just being a kids’ show. Definitely the most anticipated and ultimately game-changing event of the series, Megatron’s return reminded us to never underestimate his devious and manipulative demeanor, even if he is lying around the room in pieces.
6- Ultra Magnus takes off his armor – Transformers Dreamwave
Compared to where Transformers comics have gone most recently, it’s almost sacrilege to give praise of any kind to the Dreamwave comics run of the early 2000’s. The Dreamwave era was something Transformers fans had devoured instantly but years later, it’s easy to see where they feel short on many levels. The art is still one of the great successes of the company’s uses of the Transformers comic license, but even that has its critics.
There was one major plot point that had a resounding impact for the fandom and that was the finale of the second volume of Dreamwave’s G1 series. During this pivotal moment, Ultra Magnus removes his battle armor and reveals in canon for the first time that he is a white clone of Optimus Prime. He then attempts to thwart Shockwave, who has already activated the matrix, and evidently doomed Cybertron after inadvertently sending some sort of beacon to a previously dormant Unicron. It’s a shame that we’ll never know the true outcome of this event since the comics were never fully resolved due to Dreamwave’s demise.
The impact for this was a legitimization of the white Optimus Prime figure included with the G1 Ultra Magnus toy. Many a young transfan had made up their own reasons for the white Prime figure during make believe battles. Now for the first time, the white prime was not just being swept under the rug but being celebrated and revered. Magnus essentially saves Optimus Prime and redeems his previous deeds from the previous five issues. The scene had nostalgia value, great art, and made for one heck of a wrap-around comic cover.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article!