WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Transformers #1

As the Energon Universe era dawns, the Decepticons have a new leader. Starscream officially takes Megatron’s place in Transformers #1, fulfilling a long-held desire for the perpetual Decepticon lieutenant. Yet the major change brings with it many questions. Readers are already wondering whether Starscream be able to handle the burdens of leadership – and of course, asking what will happen when Megatron makes his inevitable return.

Transformers #1 – from the creative team of Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer and Rus Wooten – wastes no time in kicking the story off with a considerable bang.

After being re-awakened on a distant moon, Jetfire tracks his fellow Cybertronians to Earth. Unaware that war has broken out between the Autobots and Decepticons while he was away, Jetfire first inadvertently awakens Starscream.

Upon finding his damaged comrades in Transformers #1, Jetfire reactivates the crashed starship Ark’s computer Teletraan I to repair them. Unfortunately, this awakens Starscream, whose first act is to start attacking the comatose Autobots. To prove his ruthlessness, Starscream also turns his guns on Jetfire, shooting him point-blank in the chest. Starscream leads the re-awakened Decepticons to attack Optimus Prime and the remaining Autobots, before Prime makes the snap decision to destroy Teletraan I, thus preventing more Decepticons from being repaired and re-awakened. It is a shocking and action-packed start to Skybound Entertainment’s Transformers series, with the creative team making drastic storytelling decisions to ensure the Energon continuity stands on its own.

Starscream ultimately retreats due to a lack of Energon, realizing that he, Soundwave and Skywarp will need to find more of their valuable power source if they are to defeat the Autobots once and for all. “You have the most Energon reserved,” Soundwave tells Starscream, “Thus the harvesting is up to you.” When Soundwave points out this is what Megatron would do, Starscream cuts him off: “Do not say his name. I am the leader of the Decepticons now.” In essentially every iteration of the classic characters, Starscream is always plotting to take over the leadership role of the Decepticons from Megatron.

Now Starscream has finally taken Megatron’s place in this new continuity. However, as Transformers #1 depicts, he is far from off to a great start. Once he gets command, he reveals himself as a fairly poor leader, with Soundwave having to point out what that he is the one who should have to seek out more Energon for the rest of the Decepticons. It shows that Starscream is ultimately unfit for command, as he was motivated by a jealous need for power as opposed to Megatron’s megalomaniacal devotion to conquering Cybertron. Of course, the issue also begs the question of where Megatron is, and when, not if, he will arrive on Earth.

Megatron’s absence at the start of the series make its clear that there are some major pieces of Energon continuity lore still to be filled in as Daniel Warren Johnson’s Transformers continues to unfold. An eventual return also promises even more drama, with the tension between Megatron and his erstwhile lieutenant taken to entirely new heights, now that Starscream has officially usurped leadership of the Autobots’ villainous counterparts. Starscream may be the leader of the Decepticons to begin the new era of the Transformers, basking in his newfound power for now, but when Megatron makes his Energon Universe debut, the resulting showdown won’t be pretty.

Transformers #1 is on sale now from Skybound Entertainment

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