Energon Universe - ongoing Transformers and G.I. Joe comics from Skybound

LBD "Nytetrayn"

Broke the Matrix
Staff member
Council of Elders
Anyone else digitally subscribed to Void Rivals through Amazon/Comixology and not get #8? Usually you get charged for an issue a week or two in advance, but it looks like my subscription hiccupped and paid for #9 early (two weekends ago) and skipped #8 entirely. I suppose at this point I'll just wait until May and get #8 at half price, and then read it and #9 back-to-back...

I can't subscribe to books any more, but I do pre-order them, and I'm usually charged once they become available.


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Transformers #7 is out!

And it's good! We have have a new artist starting with this issue and I think they knock it out of the park! There's just really solid action in this issue and it's drawn well. I think this will work if Daniel Warren Johnson can't draw every issue.

I do feel like the first half of this comic is better than the second half, though. Not because the second half is bad or anything. It's just that the first half has all this action and battles and new stuff in it. And the second half more deals with the fallout of the last issue and has quieter emotional moments. I think I would have flipped these pages around, just for pacing reasons, myself. But, that's a nitpick.

So, yes, this is a very good issue. It's just satisfying for a number of reasons.

We start off on Cybertron, kind of out of nowhere. It's kind of a oil-bath, since we lose a lot of characters in pretty quick succession. But, they're all trying to rescue...someone. I honestly can't tell who it's supposed to be, because they've basically been put through a chop-shop and stripped for parts, for some reason. It MIGHT be Ultra Magnus? But, later on in the issue Arcee mentions Ultra Magnus already being dead. So, maybe it's Windcharger or someone else? Whoever it is, it looks like they have a "blue" head and red shoulders. That's all I can really make out, right now.

I do feel bad for the Kup, Huffer, and Warpath fans, though. I don't expect these characters to stay dead, but it's rough that they're really only here to be blown into little bits.

Then we get Soundwave challenging Starscream for the leader of the Decepticons. And...they don't fight fair when leadership on the line.

"You kicked my Ravage" OOOOH...that's the GOOD karmic comeuppance, right there. This fight is so one sided, I love it. Yeah, this cover is a liar. And I'm okay with that. Soundwave rips out Starscream's "heart" and plans on using his parts to repair everyone else. Soundwave is now the leader of the Decepticons! *looks over at the Cobra Commander mini* Well...for now, anyway.

...And then we go back to Carly talking to Arcee about being mad at Cliffjumper. Yeah, do you see my complaint about maybe switching some of these pages around? It's not bad, Arcee does blow up some cans real good. But, after those last two scenes, it's really hard to compete.

Also, she is not "Arbee". She does NOT have the MEATS!

Spike's still kind of sad about his dad being dead, which is fair. But, he doesn't seem mad at Optimus about it. Which is nice.

We DO see that Optimus now has memories from Sparkplug about Spike as a baby. So, yeah, I guess Optimus did absorb some of Sparkplug's mind or "soul" when he entered the Matrix. That's....weird, but I'm here for it. I'm willing to see where they go with this.

And...Skywarp is still aware while being hooked up to Teletraan inside a wall. That's...kind of a horrifying visual. They just plugged him into a hole in the wall to repair the computer, I guess.

And the Autobots decide to take the fight to the Decepticons!

...Cool, but I still think they should have ended this issue on Soundwave winning the leadership of the Decepticons.


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I feel it it is Ultra Magnus, becuase I can kinda make out the square blue part of his chest. I think Arcee only believe's him to be dead; and well if that is him he kinda looks dead. So not hard to believe why she might think that.


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Corona did very well, to the point that if I hadn't known there was going to be an artist switch I might not have noticed. Good stuff. Also, looks like they've switched over to a more standard, readable typeface for the human dialogue, which I appreciate.

I agree though that I think this issue could've benefited from being presented in a different order. Arcee's mention of Ultra Magnus (and the visual of him alive and complete) would've worked better before the shot of his picked-over corpse I think (as it is, his identity is a bit of a mystery when he first shows up). And as Zaku said I think it would've been stronger to have all the Autobot portions first and then the Soundwave/Starscream fight make up the last half.


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Cobra Commander #4 is out!

This is another pretty exciting issue. We get a few twists. A few reveals. A few hints for things. It's keeping my interest. It's been a pretty solid book, so far. Hopefully, it can stick the landing with the final issue next time.

So, in this universe, I guess Energon Crystals are "expanded" to produce Energon Cubes. Kind of unique, I guess. At least, it's a way to connect two of the major forms of Energon we usually see in these books.

Golobulus turns on Cobra Commander. I expected that eventually, but I was thinking it was going to happen later down the line.

Cobra Commander's new claw looks familiar, but I can't quite place it. I'm sure it's a reference to something, but I'm not sure what.

And soon, CC will be meeting Destro. We knew that was coming due to covers, but it still should be pretty exciting when it happens.


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Not much to add, except that this issue continues to be why I like this better the Duke. It always feels like something is happening.


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Duke #5 is out!

This is a satisfying enough conclusion to this miniseries. I think if you've followed along with it so far, you can kind of guess what happens. There really aren't any mind-blowing surprises here. But, it was a fun little action-packed book. This was fun, but not incredibly substantial. A fun action movie style romp setting up the origins of GI Joe. It's a pretty good start to the GI Joe side of this universe. But, I wouldn't call it "necessary reading" per se.

We also get a preview for the Destro miniseries. And it's looking okay. It seems like it'll be continuing the action of this particular miniseries. It doesn't really give you a "hook" to make you excited to pick up the Destro mini, though. It's just more action. And that's fine. Maybe the book itself will have a greater hook, but the preview is just kind of there for me, right now.


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I love that we get a low-key version of Profit Director Destro in this book. That is totally not a look I expected to see.

But my big question, from the Destro preview:

Is that Miles Mayhem?


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Is that Miles Mayhem?

Given the country is called "Darklonia", I honestly have to wonder if one of the characters is actually Darklon?

That character does have history with Destro, too. So, it might just be part of some larger "clan war"? Maybe.

But does Destro have his clarinet?
Unfortunately, no. But, I'm sure once we get the preview for the Scarlett miniseries, we'll get to see Storm Shadow taking out the trash.



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July Solicitations are out!

Not much to say about these. The solicitations are kind of generic. But, I will point out that Scarlett #2 has a "Spoiler" cover. I think we can all guess who's going to show up on that.

...Clearly it's Shipwreck. I mean, who else could Scarlett of all people run into in the Arashikage village?

Agent X

Kreon Bastard
The FCBD 2024 "Energon Universe Special" came out today, with 3 short stories for the 3 books: Transformers, Void Rivals, and (upcoming) G.I. Joe:

Story 1: Flashback to the battle on the Ark as it plummets to Earth. Megatron gets his arm cut off, kicked out of the ship but hangs on and demands Starscream helps him up. Starscream shoots him (who didn't see that coming?) and Megs falls to the Earth. Flashback end, and he reactivates within Cobra-La (after CC#1) and goes on an un-armed rampage demanding his pieces. He is confronted by Goloblus (spelling?) and his guards, paraphrases line from the movie, is getting his aft handed to him and makes a escape, swearing revenge on Starscream.

Story 2: Skuxxoid is confronted by his buddy Slizardo at gunpoint. Sliz reveals he has a new employer: Hot Rod, and he (Hot Rod) want the info he picked up during the first couple of issues of Void Rivals. Hot Rod goes on his quest Skux says he's tired and is going home, and some guy observes this and report to his "Emperor' and like hell i can remember anyone from rivals.

Story 3: General Hawk and Duke are arguing over bring the Baroness on to the team they're making.. Later the Baroness is in Rome and get jumped by to armored soliders. Duke rides in and get Baroness out and convinces her to join. Hawk is later met by the 2 soliders; Flint and Lady Jaye. Hawk reveals he's forming a second team Duke can NOT know about.


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Looks like they also released the FCBD issue, at regular price, as the "Energon Universe Special 2024" this week for those who couldn't make it to FCBD.

Transformers #8 is out today as well!
Somewhat of a quiet issue, but setting up some new pieces on the board, and still providing some good character moments, like Thundercracker's reluctance to slaughter humans, or Carly's continuing desire for vengeance. Different role here for Astrotrain, be interesting to see where it goes (my guess is that Soundwave will not be so quick to turn over Megatron given the chance). And man, we always joked about how Skyfire was basically just the Autobot air taxi service in the cartoon, but now he's been turned into a literal shuttle and can't even see... pretty horrific.

Kinda wish we got a few more pages of the Elita One plot though (especially with her on the cover). Skywarp's turn, not unreasonable, but felt a little rushed as well.


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I wonder if they’re going to play up the Decepticon Triplechangers as powerful, crazed warriors. Astrotrain certainly seems to be both. I could see Blitzwing taking cues from his Animated self


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The Energon Universe Special came out on Free Comic Book Day. And I just wanted to make sure that the special that came out yesterday was the same thing. It is. Except for the cover, there's identical stories inside. So, don't worry about getting both if you already have the FCBD version.

That being said, it's pretty essential reading if you're following...ANY of the Energon Universe books. We get reveals for ALL the titles. So, yeah, make sure you pick this up in one form or another, because stuff happens! Preferably, the FCBD version, because selling that same issue for $4 less than a week afterwards feels a little iffy, but I guess it's good for people who couldn't make it to Free Comic Book Day or who's stores just didn't order it.
In the first story, we see Megatron's backstory in this universe. Someone really liked the 80's movie, because this is almost a recreation of that. Poor Brawn.

Then, in the present (...I guess) Megatron wakes up and escapes from the clutches of Cobra-La! And, I guess Transformers are ridiculously easy to repair in this universe, because Megatron can just re-attach one of his arms and it just heals on it's own. Almost makes it feel like using other Transformers for parts is kind of unnecessary, over in the main book. Anyway, Megatron is on the road to get his revenge on Starscream!

I feel like I should recognize Golobulus's "centaur" form, but I don't.

But, this gets my vote for the best story of the bunch.

In the second story, we get to see what the Skuxxoid's been up to since we last saw him. He's meeting up with his old partner Slizardo and....Hot Rod! Honestly, I was halfway expecting Devcon. *shrug*

Anyway, it sounds like Springer's trying to track down the Void Rivals crew in order to find a way to save Cybertron. I guess Hot Rod will be showing up at some point in Void Rival's, too.

Man, if you had told me that the Skuxxoid would have been as important to the Transformers comics universe as he has been years ago...I probably would have believed you, but I probably would have asked why. Anyway, this might be the last we see of ol' Skuxxy for a while. He's going back to his wife and kids. Hopefully, they all don't get blown up in a event or something later on.

And no, I have no idea who that is who's watching all this happen in the shadows. I'm pretty sure this Void Rivals character hasn't shown up yet. But, even if they did, I'm just not that interested in those characters, yet.

And the third and final story features Baroness being recruited into GI Joe! She even gets special patriotic armor and everything! Hasbro WILL sell you that toy and you're gonna buy it! Don't lie to yourself.

But, she was also being chased around by...ninjas? Oh, wait, those aren't ninjas...those guys are Flint and Lady Jaye! And they're forming...GI Joe Dark!

...Okay, they aren't calling it GI Joe Dark, but that's basically what it is. A "secret ops" version of GI Joe they're keeping secret from Duke...for reasons, I guess. "Need to know", probably. "Special Forces"? "Elite Forces"? "Sigma Six"? I don't know what they're going to call it, but I'm SURE nothing bad will happen from keeping this a secret down the line. No sir!

Again, I feel like I should recognize the "ninja armor" they wear while trying to "recruit"/"kidnap" Baroness, but I just don't. I really need to brush up on my GI Joe lore, I guess.

Also, Transformers #8! Because I was slow getting to the comic shop this week!

It's another solid issue! Although, this one's a bit of a downer, I'll admit. I mean, Daniel Warren Johnson's stuff can often get a little grim or depressing sometimes. That's just par for the course with his work. But...yeesh. Sometimes I worry about him, a little.

Otherwise, yeah, stuff is happening. It's mostly setup, but it's fairly eventful setup.

Spike's still sad about his dad..."ghosting" him. And he's still thinking about Jimmy. And I'm still sure Jimmy's probably going to turn up alive, somehow. He's getting brought up too much to just be a backstory. Maybe he'll be this universe's Rom or something.

Calling Laserbeak "Lazerbeam"...so disrespectful. And Carly's still holding a grudge with Cliffjumper. Poor guy can't catch a break.

They're still being coy about who Elita-1 is saving. It's probably Ultra Magnus, but why are they being so vague about it? And...yeesh, him begging for death is dark. Even for this universe. This universe can be so grim, sometimes! I'm guessing they're actually in Trypticon or something and that's why she can't find her way out? The rooms are all transforming and rearranging themselves around her?

Huh, Thundercracker is trying to spare some human's lives. It doesn't work, since Soundwave doesn't want any witnesses left alive, but still. Interesting that Thundercracker's the one with a soft spot. I think someone read a bit of IDW's run on the book!

It almost feels like Optimus is planning on trying to recruit Skywarp to the Autobot side. It'd be a interesting twist, but I doubt that's the way it ever would have gone down.

...And I guess Carly kept some of the weapons around! She's gotten VERY used to heavy artillery in a VERY short amount of time.

"Sorry I blew you up. It was a accident" Heh.

Huh. It kind of sounds like all the Autobots were on different planets before the war on Cybertron started. Interesting little tidbit.

Okay, the scene of the Nemesis getting dredged up from the bottom of the sea is just really cool!

And Optimus is still getting flashes of Sparkplug's memories. I wonder how long it'll be before he starts craving some of the soda that Cliffjumper is carrying around inside of him? Maybe a hot dog to go with it? Maybe he'll really get into re-runs of MASH?

Jetfire's back! Or...half back. A weird, half-life where he's stuck in his vehicle mode, craving death. Is the author of this comic feeling okay? I'm starting to worry about ol' DWJ. Can someone check in on him or give him a hug or something?

And Astrotrain is awake. And a little grumpy.

And Arcee offers to make Carly her "Iron Apprentice". I'm sorry, but all that makes me think of is the Iron Chef.

And finally, Soundwave manages to contact Shockwave back on Cybertron! Decepticon reinforcements are coming! Place your bets, folks! Who are we gonna get? Combaticons? Predacons? Scorponok? Nightbird?

And we get a preview for the Scarlett miniseries! I don't know how I feel about the art. It's stylized, but maybe not in a great way? I'm not in love with the art style, but maybe it'll grow on me? Most of the art for these minis eventually ends up working out better than I expect. I'm probably just being overly critical.

Anyway, they end on a shot of a girl in a red dress with a Arashikage symbol on her thigh. That's probably Jinx, right? I'd check out her face, but even the artist can't be bothered to pay attention to her face with that much leg in the way. Not sure if this book will end up being more "spy" or "ninja" by the end of it. From these few pages, it definitely feels more "James Bond" than "Bruce Lee".
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Void Rivals #9 and Cobra Commander #5 are out!

Let's start with Void Rivals. This issue finally feels like things are picking up a little for this issue. We get some action that actually feels like it matters, finally. If you somehow missed it, a fairly major Transformer character is showing up in this book from now on. And I think plots that have been long simmering will finally start boiling...pretty soon. They're still setting things up, but I can see actual events happening soon, now. Maybe. Finally.

So, if you dropped this series, this issue might be one to maybe try to pick up to see if you want to continue it. You won't have missed much, and you might get some answers to why this book is supposed to matter...soon...ish...maybe.

How does one of the characters survive that spear through her gut from the end of the last issue? Why it's super easy...barely a inconvenience. You see...it's merely a flesh wound and she's FINE. Yeah....that was kind of a fake out that didn't mean anything. Sure she's wounded for the rest of the issue, but I doubt there will be any long term consequence for her. Maybe there was a last-minute change in plans for the plot, but that kind of felt pointless and meaningless.

Who wants more Skuxxoid?! ....*crickets chirp*....Well, TOO BAD, you're gonna get more Skuxxoid and you're gonna like it! We get three pages where he returns home only to find it dark and empty. I guess he forgot that his wife and kids left him (or they're dead, it's a little hard to tell). So, he sits all alone in the dark...sadly brooding over the path his life has gone down as he questions his life choices. ....what is this plot line? I honestly thought we were done with Skuxxoid after the Energon Universe FCBD special. Now, we're dealing with his family drama? Why?! Where is this going, Kirkman?!

Anyway, Springer finally shows up. And he just doesn't understand what's going on. I feel great kinship with Springer, especially after that whole Skuxxoid tangent. He thinks the Void Rival guys are robots until they tell him otherwise. And Springer has a fight with Proximus. The little guy even chips his sword, so he's pretty tough.

Meanwhile, the main Void Rivals guy finds the other girls' green USB drive from a few issues ago. So, we might finally find out what THAT was all about.

Also, on Quintessa, a Scientist tells a Judge that they might have found a lead about finding the Zertonians. And that they might be connected to...Zerta Trion! The Scientist gets killed for even mentioning that name.

I had to look up if we've actually had a character named that before, and I don't think we do. So, I guess Alpha Trion's cousin is going to be important to this series down the line, or something. *shrug* Anyway, stuff does seem to be happening.

Over in Cobra Commander #5, I feel like there's actually less to talk about.

Yeah, it's a fine continuation of this miniseries. But, it goes basically how you would expect a prequel to go. Although, there is one twist at the end, which might lead to something interesting. And I *think* we get to see a location from a classic GI Joe cartoon episode, but I'm not entirely sure that was the intent.

It kind of just...stops, though. I mean, we all know where this is going. But, I don't know, I has hoping for something a bit more "spicy" I guess. Otherwise, this has been a really fun miniseries. I recommend it to anyone who wants to follow the Energon Universe. Important stuff happens in this miniseries. I think it'll be leading to...something later on. There will be follow up to that twist ending, I'm sure.

I guess Destro has multiple outfits, since we get his "playboy" suit and his more traditional "collared serpent" suit this issue. The man dresses for the occasion, I guess.

I'm sure "grape soda and chocolate donuts" are a reference to something, but I'm blanking on what. Maybe something from someone's tech specs/bio cards from the toys?

Then we find out that Cobra Commander has been busy building...Springfield! From that classic traumatizing Shipwreck episode. I think anyway. They never call it that, but I think that's what they're going for.

We get CC's "Old Snake" and "General" looks, this issue, too. So, I guess the artist just felt like drawing a lot of outfit changes this issue.

Anyway, CC offers Destro access to his Energon in exchange for joining...COBRAAAAAA! So, Cobra is formed at last. *yawn* Yeah, yeah, we all saw that coming, what else you got?

Well...how about Cobra-La going into SPACE to take the fight to Cybertron?! Yeah, that's going to be something that'll play out in a crossover or something, soon. I'm actually kind of excited for that. Bio-tech vs...tech-tech! I feel like this COULD lead to something "Beast Wars" or "techno-organic" related, eventually, but I probably shouldn't get my hopes up. Still, it's a cool twist that I didn't see coming right at this moment.

Also, Solicitations for August are out!

Not much to say about these, but there is a 40th Anniversary Special coming out. But, it seems to be one of those "facsimile editions" where they're reprinting the first Marvel issue with ads as it was back when it originally released....at modern comics prices. So...that's probably a pass for me, unless there's something new in there.
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