Since this issue's running late on the west coast, SPOILERS FOLLOW for those who haven't read it yet. Nice. A definite improvement on the already good first issue. We’re moving away from the setup/establishment phase and into different stories as various characters choose the direction they want to go. I like where Costa is taking the characters. With Prime gone, the Autobots have to choose a new leader. In a military unit, I’d have expected the second in command to step up and take the job, but I guess that’s not the way things work in the Autobot military. About half the group want to remain on Earth, while the other half, who follow Hot Rod’s example, want to blow the joint and go anywhere but Earth. Problem is, the only way they can leave is if Omega Supreme takes them, and he won’t go without Prime. We get to see a few other Decepticons who are still on Earth, with Scrapper and Swindle among them. They attack the Autobots on sight, and the Autobots return fire, but ultimately the battle ends when Hot Rod and Swindle decide that with the war over, there’s no reason to fight. They all just want to leave Earth and go home, or whatever the equivalent is with Cybertron out of the picture. Plot wise, this could be a very interesting direction to go. I’ve often wondered just how certain militant Transformers could possibly adjust to peacetime, and if Costa actually takes some time to explore that type of situation, then I’m all for it. We’ve never really seen the Transformers post-war. There’s a lot of potential here. Continuity looks good to me, though I’m sure the nitpickers will find plenty of faults somewhere. They always do. Cybertron is still uninhabitable so it’s not an option as a place to settle, Omega Supreme is still on Earth, Scavenger wants revenge on Omega Supreme (presumably after the events of AHM #12), Ultra Magnus still considers himself the enforcer of the Tyrest Accords… though with the war over, should the accords still apply? Prowl gives a bit of a justification for his defense of Breakdown last issue. And so on. A number of little details like that jumped out at me during my initial reading of the issue. I get so tired of reading “AHM isn’t in continuity” complaints, so I hope we don’t go through that all over again with the ongoing. It seems very apparent to me that attempts are being made to very visibly remain true to all that’s come before this story, so I have to applaud Costa for that. And in the end, who gets voted leader of the group remaining on Earth? In any other continuity, it wouldn’t be believable, but here it’s entirely possible that Bumblebee is known and trusted to the point that he’d win such a contest. The Autobots at least know Bumblebee and know what he’s capable of, so he’s not entirely a shot in the dark. That being the case, it’s yet another interesting twist to throw at the reader. It’s not just a cliffhanger, it’s potentially a major bit of development for the character of Bumblebee, and that’s always welcome. I have to end with Spike, the major who knows there are good and bad Transformers out there but doesn’t care. The guy who expects a counterattack after the capture of Prowl, and yet leaves his troops to deal with it on their own while he’s picking up chicks with his alien car. The guy who looks like he is indeed going to suffer some consequences for his irresponsible actions. Making the main human character in a Transformers comic the very opposite of likable and heroic is an unusual choice. This is not good old familiar Spike; this is a jerk who I really don’t like. He’s also potentially far more interesting and has plenty of room for growth, if Costa chooses to take the character somewhere. In the end, this issue leaves me wanting to know what happens next. That’s the type of feeling I’d like to have after just about any issue that I read. I’m calling it a success.