SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Transformers: Lost Light #15 by James Roberts, Brendan Cahill, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Joanna Lafuente and Tom B. Long, on sale now.
If you think Marvel and DC have the lock on exploring and exploiting long-term continuity, then you haven’t read the Transformers comics my friends. IDW’s exploration of the robot heroes and villains' continuity has been going for over a decade, and despite rumors that the this incarnation of Generation 1 will be coming to an end later this year, the current titles are still going strong.
They are however, seemingly building to a climax, which includes James Roberts wrapping up the saga of The Scavengers with a massive reveal that changes the future of the Transformers universe forever, should it survive the rumored reboot.
Transformers: Lost Light #15 brings together lots of disparate Transformers continuity over the past decade, including nods and references to The Last Stand of The Wreckers, Maximum Dinobots and beyond, but the main thing you need to know about first is The Scavengers. The Scavengers are a group of former Decepticons left aimless following the end of the war who now travel the universe getting into comedic misadventures and accidental heroics. To put it in superhero terms, if the crew of The Lost Light are Justice League International, The Scavengers are Justice League Antarctica.
They do have one real heavy hitter with them however, the Dinobot Grimlock; the only problem being that Grimlock suffered brain damage as a result of torture on the prison world Garrus-9 and isn’t as formidable as he used to be.
Most recently, The Scavengers have been hired to track down The Magnificence, a macguffin first introduced in a 2006 one-shot and while somewhat important in the first era of IDW’s Transformers timeline, it has been mostly forgotten about in recent years, until now. The Magnificence is described as an entire database of the universe and all knowledge contained within, so it’s understandable why it’s such a coveted item. It was kept within Grimlock’s chest for a while, but the Dinobot was tortured by Scorponok who acquired it, which is pretty much where we are right now.
More Than Meets The Eye
Another long-running plot point of IDW’s Transformers comics is that Cybertronians are effectively dying out. No new sparks are appearing and despite several attempts to propagate their species, it doesn’t look good for the future of their race. That’s where Scorponok and The Magnificence come in. Way back in Maximum Dinobots — and even further beyond that if you want to get into it — a human named Abraham Dante underwent a process called Binary Bonding to somewhat merge with Scorponok and allow the dormant Decepticon to live again. As such, Scorponok has a unique relationship with organics that most Cybertronians don’t have and sees a merging between the two as the future of their people.
Using the knowledge contained within The Magnificence, Scorponok created the first organic Cybertronian; implanting the spark of Rat-A-Tat-Tat into what looks like a human baby. Scorponok believes that by implanting Deception sparks into organic beings, they can then procreate to create new organic Cybertronians who can then have their sparks transplanted back into brand new robot bodies. The Scavengers manage to stop Scorponok and obtain the child, but find that they can’t teleport away without killing the child. Grimlock opts to stay behind, taking the baby into his chest where he once stored The Magnificence, parting ways with The Scavengers who end up locked in a cell on Garrus-9 with seemingly no way out.
The fate of Grimlock and the child are left up in the air, but it opens up future Transformers stories in a major way. If Cybertronians can live in organic hosts and create new Cybertronians through *ahem* traditional means, they completely change everything we know about Transformers and their relationship with life itself.
If the upcoming reboot is more along the lines of the adjustment of 2011’s The Death of Optimus Prime, then the continuity will remain intact. If it’s more of a New 52 style clean slate change, then we may never know the future of Grimlock and his Lone Wolf and Cub style adventures with this new organic Cybertronian. And that would be a shame.