I have a long standing love/hate relationship with horror and splatter films, particularly the ones from the 80s. Though they near always result in bad sleep and nightmares, I still watch them, coming back for that surge of adrenaline and the feeling like your heart is about to leap from your chest (and there is something to be said for watching them with someone who doesn’t mind if you cling to them in your fright).
With all the hints about this upcoming issue that trickled down to me via friends and social media I knew I was in for something more than just “a hit to the feels”. With my reptile brain fully engaged, heart beating in my chest I made the dubious decision to sit down and read this issue late at night. And yea beware, for below there be monsters (and spoilers).
As much as I was keen on unraveling the mystery of this other Lost Light we saw in the cliffhanger, it was with a dry mouth I poured over the first pages. When our remaining group of Autobots, plus Ravage, land inside what used to be Swerve’s I near held my breath. Normally if I watching a scary movie, I’d have a pillow to hide behind at this point, but now I had to look at the pages, so I could read the dialogue. Though vaguely comforted (though not really) by the reminder that this is most likely a future Lost Light, I still felt somewhat sick to find the first body sprawled on the floor.
I was actually grateful when Skids began to accuse Megatron of causing the death and destruction of the ship (Magnus’ fatal wound was caused by a fusion cannon, Megs old trademark weapon). It resulted in an almost light-hearted scene as Megatron protests, but eventually falters, realizing that he is no longer qualified to predict his own future (and unlike Rodimus he doesn’t try to saw off a body part). Megatron suggests he and Ravage get locked up, to give the others some peace of mind.
Within the dark space of a storage cupboard (almost wrote closet) the old leader has a face-off with his former Decepticon comrade that made me forget the horrors that lay outside. This feels like the first properly honest conversation Megatron has had about how he feels and thinks about himself at present. Megatron is old and tired, not sure who he is anymore (as Ravage suggests) and filled with loathing for the monster he perceives he had become. Why didn’t he just become a neutral, a regular Cybertronian? Ravage asks. Because becoming an Autobot felt like the easiest way to get away from his old self, Megatron solemnly responds. Ravage sadly notes that he does not like Megatron speaking like this, what has become of the old leader they all loved? Perhaps he’s dead, Megatron notes.
“Dead? Or just resting?”
And then the lights come back on and the horrors are back, for inside that closet are more bodies, screaming in death. Megatron prods them for how they died; he notes that this place has been visited by “the biggest monsters of all”.
Reading on because I must, I almost have the last nightmarish visions blotted from my mind with a humorous sequence when Nautica and Nightbeat, headed for the engines, find Brainstorm’s unlocked briefcase and they have a peek inside (good job on making it tricky to read the panels in order by the way), finding it empty.
Let’s just say that the feeling that this is a Transformers comic version of a really gruesome horror movie continues right through to the end and I need to shut off the voice in my head that suggests I see the scenes of dead crewmembers like a Transformer would, particularly when Nautica and Nightbeat find poor Tailgate (and then another intriguing headless body in the basement). I spent a good deal of the issue rocking back and forth, keening.
Then near the end, Skids and Megatron seem to have simultaneously come to the same conclusion about who caused all this murder and mayhem and I regret that I had those thoughts that it would have been “neat” to see the D.J.D’s reaction to Megatron’s defection. The realization that those five psychopath killers have actually managed to murder every single Transformer on the ship…It chilled me to the bone. And I echo the sentiment that it is time to find your friends and run like hell.
But wait, Nightbeat has a very, very valid point. The now headless body of Overlord still hangs under the ship in its cell, so how can this be “our” Lost Light, where we all know Overlord got out and went on a killing spree that included Rewind as one of the notable victims? Is this a case of alternate history, slightly altered or…
And then, just as it becomes time to leave (before explodey happens, I presume) Ravage notes a new scent and like a midwife pulling a newborn from its dying mother Megatron extracts none other than Rewind, beaten up but alive, from the broken shell of the Magnus armor.
Thus, at the end of the horror I am left with a glimmer of hope, for from this dreadful place something good has been found.
It’s just a question of how long that will last. I’m looking at you, Roberts.