Okay, decided to get in on the photocomic thing, but rather than try to out-funny anyone, I went in a different direction. It may start a little slow, but I'm gearing up for action/adventure, with a little intrigue and stuff on the side. Also, the photos will be supplemented with CG renders as needed, such as backgrounds. In fact, the first four panels will be entirely CG: HISTORY of the WAR OF STEEL: History diverges from mainstream G1 timeline roughly around the time of the Siege on Autobot City. Many of the "dead" weren't really dead, merely damaged beyond the limited ability to repair during and immediately after the battle. Some, like Brawn, Prowl, and Ironhide, are irrevocably dead. Others, like Mirage, have had new bodies built. Still others, like Wheeljack, were completely rebuilt AND reformatted, in his case he changed his name to Downshift. After the movie, Season Three never existed. Rodimus Prime proved to be an able military commander (leaning heavily on Ultra Magnus, his Executive Officer), and faced off against the Decepticons (led by the Unicronian Decepticons) in battle after battle. When the planet Nebulon and its near-human inhabitants were discovered, the combination of Nebulon medical knowledge and Autobot science allowed for the cyborgs who would be called the "Master" troops. The most common are the Micromasters (represented by Minicons in the strip), though there are also Targetmasters. Some Masters operate larger, Cybertronian sized bodies like mecha, detatching as the head or "engine" of their larger partner and having no alt mode of their own (other than head or engine). This is a significant deviation from the mainstream timeline. With the "Master" cyborgs of Nebulos and Earth supplementing the Autobots, and then the Decepticons as some medicos and "Masters" defecting, the war raged on multiple scales... until the present. THE WAR OF STEEL And now the cast summary, updated March 11, 2007: AUTOBOTS: Rodimus Prime: Chosen by the Matrix to defeat Unicron and his reconstructed Decepticons, he is preparing to hand down the Matrix to the Autobot the Matrix chooses. Ultra Magnus: No longer a car carrier but simply a (more modern) semi truck. Back in the 1990's he was badly injured protecting Optimus Prime, and required his trailer / armor to survive in Bot mode. In 2076 Downshift managed to repair the damage, and Magnus was reformatted into his current form. Downshift: Formerly Wheeljack, he was entirely rebuilt from the ground up after taking horrible damage in the battle for Autobot City. He's still the same old mad scientist and part-time medic, despite the new look and new name. Air Raid, Skydive, and Slingshot: The only surviving members of the Aerialbots. In 2023 the Autobots developed a weapon that caused the neomagnetic links of Combiners to fail, dividing them into their componant parts (coincidentally forcing Duocons into their alt modes). This made Combiners redundant, and relegated them to their normal bot modes. Of all the Autobot combiners, only these three Aerialbots still survive... and they're feeling the stress. Jetfire: (Represented by War Within Jetfire) Having never gone to Earth, Jetfire retains his original cybertronian jet mode. He is somewhat distanced from his older brother, Skyfire, however, as he has what he knows is an unreasoning sense of betrayal for Skyfire's vanishing shortly before the start of the Great War. Skyfire: (Represented by Classics Jetfire) The Skyfire from the G1 cartoon and larger, older brother to Jetfire, he has lost what little naivete he had after his betrayal by Starscream over a century and a half ago. Mirage: Also rebuilt after the Battle for Autobot City, Mirage is finding himself more and more comfortable both with the Autobot Cause, and with his position in the Autobots. Current Espionage head for Rodimus Prime. Cliffjumper: One of the few 'Original Eighteen' who didn't die or get badly hurt in 2005, he's finding that his slowly increasing rank and authority comes with complications he didn't expect - or want. Armorhide: Like Wheeljack / Downshift, Huffer was badly hurt in 2005, and renamed himself to go with his new alt mode. He chose to be blue instead of orange to honor his fallen 'cousin', Pipes. He now also has a trailer that opens onto a helipad which the Earth "Master" cyborg, Whirl (who took the name to honor the dead Wrecker) uses on their search nd rescue missions together. Hound: (Represented by Alt hound and camera tricks) Feeling somewhat guilty about surviving the Battle of Autobot City nearly unscathed and requiring only minor repairs, Hound has thrown himself into the role of a warrior and scout with abandon. Arcee: After an assault in 2087 that resulted in heavy structural damage, Arcee has been reformatted into a motorcycle. She tends to work alongside Hound as a Soldier / Scout nowadays, and looks up to the slightly older Autobot like a surrogate Big brother. Overhaul: Dating from the same 'series' as the late Brawn, Overhaul is a small but powerful Autobot who seeks to live up to the reputation of his 'cousin'. Grimlock: After his comparatively slow reaction times in dino mode resulted in the deaths of Silverbolt and Trailbreaker, he was reformatted into a sleeker, more modern vision of a carnosaur. He blames himself for his comrades' deaths, especially his fellow Dinobots, and hurls himself into battle with even more reckless abandon than ever before. Windcharger: (Represented by Cybertron Swerve) After being horribly damaged in 2025, Windcharger was reformatted into a convertible. His magnetic abilities are diminished slightly, but more focused. Inferno: (Represented by Titanium RID Prime) With the death of his 'cousin' Grapple, Inferno chose to be reformatted into an ever so slightly more modern fire engine, partly to shake off the memories that particular Earth form had. Ironhide: (Represented by Cybertron repaint of 'Bendy Prime') After being slain by Megatron immediately prior to the battle for Autobot City, Ironhide's spark entered the Allspark - or possibly simply floated in the ether. When his spark was accidentally drawn to the late Long Haul's Spark Extractor, it first blocked then destroyed the spark of the Decepticon warrior Thrust. It then took refuge in the sparkless body of Chalcyon, commander of the Third Division. Retaining his old name despite the new body, he has re-entered active duty with the Autobots, proving you can't keep a good warrior down. Known Fatalities: Brawn, Ratchet, Prowl, Trailbreaker, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Optimus Prime, Springer, Sandstorm, Broadside, Twin Twist, Topspin, Roadbuster, Whirl, Camshaft, Beachcomber, Cosmos, Blaster (and all his cassettes), Omega Supreme, Red Alert, Grapple, Snarl, Slag, Sludge, Swoop, Silverbolt, Fireflight, and the entire Protectobots, Technobots, and all other Autobot Combiners. EARTH AND NEBULON "MASTER" TROOPS, AUOTOBOT ALIGNED: Terrorsaur, Knockdown, and Swoop: Three Earth soldiers who (barely) survived in the battle where four of the five Dinobots were slain. They volunteered for master Cyborg reconstruction, and chose forms to honor their saviours. They stick with Grimlock like glue, and help keep him from sliding into fits of depression while in non-combat situations. Fireblast: A laid-backNebulon, and veteran of the Battle of Strega Pass. According to witnesses he even managed to take out one of the Sweeps in his missile carrier mode. Greylance: An Iowa farmboy all grown up, and long-time friend of Fireblast. He sometimes regrets that his beam cannon right arm cannot bend, but then its firepower saves him in battle, and he reminds himself why he did it. One of the rare Targetmaster cyborgs, often pairs with either Bumblebee or Cliffjumper as both mini-bodyguard and backup firepower. Alert: Originally the great-grandson of Spike Whitwicky and great-nephew of Daniel, Jonas Whitwicky somehow became good friends with Red Alert. When the Autobot died at Strega Pass, the aging Jonas volunteered for the conversion, and requested a human-scale version of Red Alert's original form. He is the smallest Master cyborg. Skyracer, Big Boom, and Wingblade: (Represented by Energon Saber Minicon Team) Two Nebulons and a human (Big Boom) who have recently joined the ranks. The impulsiveness of Skyracer, aggression of Big Boom, and the reserve of Wingblade compliment and balance each other nicely. DECEPTICONS: Megatron: Recently brought back somehow by the Constructicons. Whereabouts unknown. Starscream: Recently brought back somehow by the Constructicons. Whereabouts unknown. Skywarp: Recently brought back somehow by the Constructicons. Whereabouts unknown. Thundercracker: Recently brought back somehow by the Constructicons. Whereabouts unknown. Scrapper, Scavenger, Mixmaster, Hook, and Bonecrusher: Surviving Constructicons. Devastator defeated and Long Haul killed in the firt demonstration of the Autobots' 'anti-combiner' weapon in 2023. Stole the plans to retaliate and destroy Autobot combiners in 2025. Whereabouts unknown. Dive Bomb: (represented by Energon Dive Bomb) Only surviving Predacon. Whereabouts unknown. Hun-Grr: Only surviving Terrorcon. Whereabouts unknown. Onslaught: (Represented by Energon Barricade) Only surviving Combaticon. Reformatted in 2009. Whereabouts unknown. Ramjet: Last seen aiding a Sweep nest in 2127. Whereabouts unknown. Blastwave: (Represented by Signal Flare) Decepticon warrior. Alt mode is beam tank. Whereabouts unknown. Sideways: (Represented by Cybertron Sideways) Non-Cybertronian Transformer, escaped from slavery under the Quintessons in 2008. First joined Autobots in 2016, betrayed them and fled to the Decepticons in 2056. Bombshell: (Represented by Energon Insecticon) Only surviving Insecticon. Whereabouts unknown. Known casualties: Thrust, Reflector, Blitzwing, Astrotrain, Octane, Soundwave (and all his cassettes), Shockwave, Galvatron, Scourge, Cyclonus, all Sweeps, the Cyclonus clone Armada, all Stunticons, all Seacons, Long Haul, and the majority of the Predacons, Terrorcons, and Combaticons. EARTH AND NEBULON "MASTER" TROOPS, DECEPTICON ALIGNED: Snarl: A slightly insane human. Stays in tiger form most of the time as he hates his robot form. Is starting to believe he IS a tiger. Currently being hunted by Terrorsaur for "stealing" the name of a dead Dinobot. Overbite: Originally a human obsessed with the idea of lycanthropy, now a vicious and gleeful warrior for the Decepticon cause. Dreadwing: A nebulon pilot who defected shortly after undergoing the Master proccess. One of the original Decepticon "Master" troops, helped the renegades bring the proccess to the Deceps. Blitz: (Represented by Cybertron Shockwave) Human Targetmaster - first Targetmaster, in fact. Often partnered with Onslaught. Gunbarrel: (Represented by Cybertron Sky Lynx) Nebulon targetmaster. Often operates alone or wherever he feels like.