Transformers Escalation 2
9 month ago a senator and a general meet to discuss reassurances, unbeknownst to them the senator is being targeted by Runamuck in car mode.
In the present, Prime and the Autobots are on their way to perform damage control, by retrieving Sunstreaker's remains.
While reviewing Ironhides report again. Prime orders Ironhide to not engage the Decepticons in any way shape or form, because a knee jerk reaction might be just what they want.
Instead, Ironhide is ordered to return Jimmy and Verity to the ark 19.
The Decepticons in the mean time put their own machinations in motion and they involve facsimiles
Writers : Simon Furman
Artist : EJ Su
Colors : Zac Atkinson
Letters : Neil Uyetake
Editor: Chris Ryall Dan Taylor
The reporter on the news report on the last page, is named Archee Andrews. A reference to Arcee from G1. ( or possibly IDW Arcee, but this is debatable. )
Released 20 December 2006, Escalation 2 will be one of the last Transformers issues released in 2006 by IDW.
Nominally Transformers\New Avengers takes place during this issue and issue 1,
but the placement is rather sketchy.
Escalation 2 has the second major battle between humans and Transformers
and humans, once again come out victorious.
But again, this is not a problem.
Jazz and Wheeljack clearly underestimate the threat of the humans. ( and we as the readers do likewise. )
Both sides come out well though, the humans as well prepared and resourceful.
While the Autobots manage to get away, mostly unscathed after being hit by the unexpected.
In other words, they come out alive.
But the real big scene is small in it's depiction, but huge in its scope.
It's the scene where Optimus Prime stops the truck with the remains of "Sunstreaker."
With his legs !
Prime lets the truck crash against his lower legs.
Possibly killing the driver and if not killing him, injuring him severely.
And this is a huge, huge change in the character of Optimus Prime.
The original G1 Optimus Prime would never even contemplate doing something like this.
Let alone actually doing it. If he would do this, and possibly kill a human being there would be no end of angsting and handwringing.
And that is fine for G1 Optimus Prime.
This however, is not G1 Optimus Prime, this is a reinterpretation of Optimus Prime, who, while he has the same core values as the original Optimus Prime, is a totally different being.
A far more pragmatic leader who is willing and able, to resort to questionable tactics and not above getting his hands dirty, or to make morally questionable decisions.
As demonstrated by Prime's non reaction to letting the truck crash against his shins.
This scene is nicely under played, but shows the humongous difference between this Prime and his other incarnations.
This Prime also show cases an icy grip upon things, when he absolutely does not allow Ironhide to retaliate against the Decepticons for the attack, in the face of the uncertainties they encounter.
The rest of the issue is mostly a holding pattern, with Jimmy and Verity reacting to Hunter's possible violent death.
As well as Ironhide going in to more details about the infiltration protocol, explaining what exactly the facsimilies are supposed to do.
Which boils down to destabilizing geo political hotspots, to the point of all out war and letting humanity wipe themselves out.
And the Decepticons plotting and Megatron keeping his house on order,
but its still more of a holding pattern.
Sadly, a subplot involving possible facsimiles and American senators, which takes up the first and last page, goes nowhere.
Not just in this mini series, but in all up coming issues of Furman's storyline
the subplot is brought up and then unceremoniously dropped never to be addressed again.
And after All Hail Megatron runs roughshod over everything, the plot point is never even mentioned anymore.
But I would be remiss not to mention the plot point that sets this whole thing in motion.
Reclaiming Sunstreakers remains and then coming to the conclusion that the remains are fake, they are in the end just a car.
The whole attack from issue 1 was staged.
Which means that Sunstreaker and possibly Hunter are still alive.
Which is the note we end on.
Escalation 2 is partially a holding pattern ( the Decepticon segments ) but other then that, it's yet another high point.
Especially in show casing how different IDW Optimus Prime is. ( For the time being, sadly he would slowly be seen to revert to his G1 incarnation. )
It's just a shame that it opens and closes with a subplot that's cast drifting in the wind.
Because despite all the build up and ominous foreshadowing, the facsimiles subplots really go nowhere.