It’s interesting to look back at my review for the first issue and review my speculation about just how Ironhide had been returned to life. I’m glad to see that none of the standard sci-fi avenues for resurrection were correct, and indeed that this isn’t actually a resurrection at all in the standard sense of the word. It’s more like buying a new computer and installing an older operating system on it, or something to that effect. Ironhide’s comeback is something uniquely possible because the Transformers are mechanical life forms. So, issue four. Ironhide goes out to kill every remaining member of the Swarm on Cybertron, all by himself. I have to admit that I still have something of a problem with this, given how much trouble a whole squad of Autobots had with them back in “All Hail Megatron”. I could come up with a couple of explanations, such as Ironhide’s new body being a lot tougher than the standard Autobot body, or that he’s fully charged by Alpha Trion’s battery pack, while the Autobots stranded on Cybertron were operating on low power. It still seems unlikely that one bot could prevail where fifteen or twenty really thought they were going to be overwhelmed. And I didn’t exactly get the other shoe that I thought would drop. I was half-convinced that Alpha Trion had some hidden scheme in place, and the cover where Ironhide has obviously attacked Alpha Trion briefly convinced me that I was right. But I wasn’t… Alpha Trion was absolutely on the level and serious about wanting Ironhide to take out the Swarm single-handed. I’ve explained why I thought this was unlikely, but apparently Alpha Trion is just crazy enough to think such a plan is viable. And to be fair, he was right. It did work. But that aside, its fun watching Ironhide smash the mutant Insecticons and watch purple goo go everywhere. It’s really fun when he finds the wrecked Wreckers spaceship from AHM and turns the batteries on the Swarm quite enthusiastically. And then he takes out presumably hundreds of them by self-destructing the ship. Also fun is Ironhide’s indignation when Metroplex stomps the remaining Swarm into pulp. “Why didn’t you just do that to start with?” AT’s explanation for why he didn’t makes sense. And his explanation for how he knew to bring Ironhide back is hilarious. Several things in this storyline exist not only to service the story, but also to tie up some loose ends from “All Hail Megatron”. The Wreckers’ spaceship is one such loose end, the Swarm is another, and obviously Sunstreaker’s return would be a big one. But there’s a final revelation that really solves a major problem with “All Hail Megatron”. The radiation present on the planet during “Stormbringer” was lethal after prolonged exposure, but it’s just about gone by the time the Autobots are stranded, despite Jetfire predicting that it would take hundreds of years for the planet to repair itself. It turns out that Alpha Trion is responsible for cleaning up the atmosphere, and that his planetary recovery project has been going on for some time, long before he brought Ironhide into the picture. It’s a retcon, but one that ties up a big plot hole, so I’m glad to see it. Good for Mike Costa, who’s clearly read Furman and McCarthy’s storylines and has made the attempt to adhere to past continuity, and to use that continuity to tell new stories. Overall: I’ve enjoyed this series far more than I thought I would four months ago. I had assumed it was going to be a flashback storyline since Ironhide was killed in ongoing #1. Instead we’ve gotten an Ironhide that’s missing 4 million years of memories, mad genius Alpha Trion, and the restoration of Sunstreaker. This has been an excellent little series.