Starscream graces the cover of Transformers issue 10.

There is not much new in Transformers 10. But at the same time, this issue does a good job of continuing to advance the story and lay groundwork for what is to come. It shows how everyone gets where they are during the war. The story for the most part follows a day in the life of Megatron. The one big reveal in this issue reveals how Megatron maintains his plausible deniability.

More Bureaucracy

Senator Megatron heads to the Senate for a meeting. Bumblebee and Elita-1 escort Megatron to the Hall. Once there, Megatron sits through a pointless bureaucratic meeting where nothing happens. Pax begs Megatron to calm his Ascenticons down and bring them into the fold, so there can be some unity in the wake of Rubble and Brainstorm’s deaths. Of course Megatron hates this and does little to assuage the fears of the council.

Mob Mentality

Upon leaving the Senate Hall, a mob sees Megatron and blames him for everything that has happened. They yell and throw crystals. Megatron’s first response is to attack back, but Bumblebee convinces him to leave the mob to him and Elita-1.

Whatever his plan, the bots of Cybertron are now linking Megatron and his Ascenticon to the unrest. Whether justly or not, Megatron now shoulders the burden of this uprising, even if it wasn’t going how he wanted. What is a bot to do?

Plausible Deniability

It is this next part of Transformers 10 that reveals so much about Megatron and his plans. It also sheds light on his dual nature that doesn’t line up with what we know about him.

Megatron rolls out into nowhere and enters a cave. Who stands before him? None other than Shockwave. What this scene does so well is set up Megatron’s overall concept of event, yet his innocence in what happens.

Megatron conscripted Shockwave to run the terrorist side of the uprising so Megatron can claim the middle ground of the uprising. In other words Megatron can claim plausible deniability for any and all violence. This is all very reminiscent of Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious from the Star Wars saga. The best way to guarantee a war is to control both sides.

The other thing I like about this scene is how it shows why Shockwave ends up being who he is the during the war. Megatron can control the war or be on Earth while Shockwave runs Cybertron because Shockwave is already leading a major group. Also, the fact Shockwave remains tentative about stopping the violence, even at Megatron’s behest, shows Shockwave’s personal strength as well as his tactical strength (and ruthlessness being the terrorist leader).

Notable Side Notes

I love the back and forth between Bee and Elita-1. It shows they are both there because they honestly believe in the Ascenticon message. However, it also shows the ignorance of both as they are being played. Standing against injustice is one thing. Just make sure you aren’t playing into a greater evil’s plans.

Cyclonus continues to be a fascination in this title. We know so little about him, yet he obviously went through some extreme trauma that continues to haunt him. This quick little scene in the medbay adds more depth to him, but it provides no more answers.

The standoff between Prowl and Soundwave also speaks volumes to what lies ahead. Prowl, being head of security, possesses every right to walk into the building and take Barricade in for questioning. Soundwave’s response makes Prowl none too happy. It also draws a line between law and resistance that will become dangerous if not resolved properly.

The Final Page

Nothing much happens on the final page. A group of Transformers walks from a shuttle to the main gate, where they are met by Ironhide. In the group just happens to be Starscream, Skids, Hound and two females. And a big reveal of Sentinel Prime. It’s just a group of leaders, but the way they are drawn, next issue will have a bunch of Transformers consequences for the characters and the readers.