Recently I was reading "The Dark Knight Returns" trade paperback. Excellent story, by the way. The TPB comes with an introduction by Alan Moore where he talks about Frank Miller and what he did to help shape the legend of Batman. This will all come back to Transformers in a moment, but first I'd like to quote Mr. Moore. "Beyond the imagery, themes, and essential romance of the Dark Knight, Miller has also managed to shape The Batman into a true legend by introducing that element without which all true legends are incomplete and yet which for some reason hardly seems to exist in the world depicted in the average comic book, and that element is time. All of our best and oldest legends recognize that time passes and that people grow old and die. The legend of Robin Hood would not be complete without the final blind arrow shot to determine the site of his grave. The Norse Legends would lose much of their power were it nor for the knowledge of an eventual Ragnarok, as would the story of Davy Crockett without the existence of an Alamo. In comic books, however, given the commercial fact that a given character will still have to sell to a given audience in ten years' time, these elements are missing. The characters remain in the perpetual limbo of their mid-to-late twenties, and the presence of death in their world is at best a temporary and reversible phenomenon. With Dark Knight, time has come to the Batman and the capstone that makes legends what they are has finally been fitted. In his engrossing story of a great man's final and greatest battle, Miller has managed to create something radiant which should hopefully illuminate things for the rest of the comic book field, casting a new light upon the problems which face all of us working within the industry and perhaps even guiding us towards some fresh solutions." As it applies to Transformers, are we missing the element of time? Their war goes on endlessly for millions upon millions of years with little change. Autobots become Maxiimals. Decepticons become Predacons. The names change but little else does. Death seems to hold no power over the likes of Optimus Prime, Megatron and many others, who consistently "die" and come back to life, usually in a new body, keeping them young and fresh, ready for battle. Essentially stuck in their mid-to-late 20s. Batman can grow old and tired. He can become an old man. Optimus Prime gets an upgrade every few years, and he's perpetually young. How do you apply time to a species that is basically immortal? The Last Days of Optimus Prime attempted to give Prime a deserved send-off, but I'm left wondering if he truly did die. Is this the Transformers equivalent of "The Dark Knight Returns"? And if so, did it succeed?