Orion Pax the Cop
As seen in flashback in Post, Optimus Prime was forged under the name Orion Pax of Iacon. Noted to be unusually large, his forging was witnessed by the storyteller Alpha Trion who felt the young 'bot would one day be the subject of great stories. From a young age, as mentioned in Chaos Theory, Pax graduated from the Institute for Higher Programming and enrolling in the Academy of Science and Technology, while he was a skeptic, doubting the existence of the Knights of Cybertron. He went on to become a rising star in Cybertron's police force who served as an inspiration to his fellow officers, eventually becoming captain of the Rodion police force. He was notably liberal in his duties, even convincing his old Academy friend Ratchet to run a free clinic in the city's Dead End.
When the manual class miner Megatron was arrested for assault, Orion was intrigued by his treatise on non-violent resistance. After doing some investigation and discovering he wasn't guilty, Orion had Megatron released and told him that he had read his work and to keep working for change. In addition, Orion had his officer Whirl locked up for abusing Megatron while he was in jail—an action that made the Senate very unhappy, as they had actually orchestrated Megatron's arrest in order to silence his voice of dissent. A gang of Senate thugs tried to coerce Orion into releasing Whirl, and when he refused, they returned to break Whirl out and kill Orion. Convinced now that Megatron's belief in the corruption of the Senate was true, Orion took his attackers down with a mix of righteous fury and tactical skills, and then forced his way into the Grand Imperium. There, he made a defiant speech to the Senate, saying his eyes had been opened by Megatron, only to be forcibly removed from the building. But Orion's speech had succeeded in reaching one of the Senate's members: Senator Shockwave, who had for some time been searching for prospective new candidates to help free Cybertron from the Senate's corrupt stranglehold. Arranging for Orion's release, Shockwave had his injuries repaired and a cavity for the Matrix of Leadership added to his body, and the pair began working together in secret.
In the dark times that followed, as the Senate initiated the Clampdown, and the Decepticon movement inspired by Megatron's writings grew in strength, Orion continued to do his duties the best he could. After saving the derelict Drift from some thugs and delivering him to Ratchet's clinic, Pax witnessed a news report on the death of the current Matrix bearer Nominus Prime, allegedly the victim of a rust infection. Calling a meeting with Shockwave, Orion learned from him that the Senate were truly responsible for Nominus's death, and that a plan involving the Decepticons was currently in motion. With Decepticon sympathizer Senator Sherma having recently been murdered, Shockwave feared that fellow sympathizer Momus was in danger, and Pax rushed into action. Unfortunately, he arrived too late, and found Momus dead and officers Prowl and Tumbler fighting his murderer. Pax took out the killer, and upon discovering that he had been using a borrowed body from a Relinquishment Clinic, sent the other two officers to follow the lead. Pax himself, meanwhile, responded to a summons from Garrus-1, where an imprisoned Whirl, seeking revenge against the Senate that had abandoned him, informed Orion of a bombing plot Senator Proteus was masterminding. Regrouping with Prowl and Tumbler—who had discovered the Institute that the Senate was using to brainwash troublemakers—Pax and his allies realised that the Senate had planted a bomb inside Nominus Prime's corpse, intending to blame the destruction on the Decepticons, thereby allowing the Senate to send them all to The Institute to be corrected.
Recruiting some super-powered "outliers" from Shockwave's Academy of Advanced Technology to lend their powers to the effort, Pax led his team in removing the bomb—hidden in the form of a fake Matrix—from Nominus's body as it lay in state, though Pax had to defer to Ratchet in the actual bomb removal, which was wired in with complex locks. The theft successfully completed, the team departed, but, having not been contacted by Roller at the appointed time, Pax sped on ahead to investigate, returning just in time to find that Senate thugs Kroma, Macabre and the Heavies had attacked their safehouse to capture Shockwave. Pax took out one of the Heavies, but Shockwave agreed to surrender when Kroma threatened Roller's life. The remaining Heavy, Anvil, stayed behind to finish off Pax, but Pax used the Matrix-bomb to destroy his attacker. Believing that Shockwave would have been taken to the Institute, Pax had Tumbler lead him there, but they discovered the facility deserted: merely one of many Institutes, with no way of knowing in which Shockwave was being held. An Intimate Beheading When next Orion saw Shockwave, he had undergone not only empurata, but a complex form of Shadowplay that stripped him of his emotions. Though Pax believed that Shockwave could overcome what had been done to him, the "new" Shockwave told him that he was not the same 'bot who had befriended him, and to give up on him. It would take some time for the truth to sink in that Shockwave really didn't care any more.
Orion and Zeta
Sentinel Prime, the Senate's chief enforcer and part of the senatorial faction who'd whacked Nominus, wanted Orion Pax dead for interfering. Pax, Roller, and the outliers went on the run. Luckily, he'd made contact with one of Shockwave's other allies and disciples: Zeta of Sistex, who became his newest mentor and backer.
In 1st cycle 502, Zeta and Pax got wind of a new spark "hot spot" in the Alyon region: one the Senate were keeping secret as it was in the shape of a hand, the mythical digits of Primus pressing the planet into shape. Rather than allow the religious Functionist Council to use that for a power grab, the Senate were likely to kill the newborns. Pax and his crew fought to stop that, beating the snot out of the Elite Guard troops Sentinel kept sending. He requested reinforcements from Zeta and got... well, time travelers pretending to be Zeta's men. In the process, Orion found himself unwittingly talking to a future Megatron. He was confused by the maudlin talk and, when asked why he didn't try to tear down the Senate he knew was corrupt, he told Megatron he believed reform was the answer of revolution: they needed to course-correct.
Pax's "reinforcements" informed him that a Senate ship was bombarding the hot spot with radiation as part of an experiment (one that would kill many sparks). His team went out to prevent that and secretly transport the sparks to somewhere safe. In the process, Roller was badly wounded and MIA. An enraged Pax ended the threat by having Trailbreaker put a forcefield round him and Windcharger throw him at the Senate ship. Unfortunately, when the time travelers erased everyone's short term memories to cover their tracks Pax forgot that Roller had gone missing.
After the Decepticons killed Sentinel and most of the Senate with him, Megatron Origin #4 Zeta became Zeta Prime and formed the New Senate. Orion Pax stood by him as a friend and loyal soldier: he believed things were slowly changing for the better under Zeta. Together, they reformed the former senate's security forces into an army to combat the Decepticon insurgency; Orion named them the "Autobots", having previously decided to "reclaim" this pejorative term that other alien races used refer to Cybertronians. Omega's Conundrum Chaos Theory Part 2 While reviewing new recruits gathered for the Autobot forces by Kup, Orion was called out by an ornery veteran civil militia soldier named Ironhide, who didn't believe that a highly decorated police officer knew anything of real warfare, and had no business leading an army. Pax invited the old warhorse to teach him.
When Ratchet was captured by the Decepticons, Zeta had Orion upgraded into a new body so that he could carry out a prisoner exchange, though he lamented the loss of his lucky faceplate. Guided to the exchange point in the Rust Spot by Alpha Trion, Pax and hostage negotiator Nightbeat fended off an attack by the Slicers; the battle broke Pax's trailer open, revealing that the hostages they were carrying were two grunts named Rack and Ruin, who Orion encouraged to abandon the Decepticon cause. Proceeding to the Decepticon base, the team discovered that the whole exchange had been a ruse by Bludgeon to capture Alpha Trion. Pax fought back long enough for to allow the others to escape, and as punishment, Bludgeon strapped him to a shuttle and launched it at the nearest population center. Orion improvised by using an "instantaneous transformation" trick picked up from Rack and Ruin to break his bonds, allowing him to take control of the shuttle and crash it into an unpopulated area.Despite Orion foiling their plot, the Decepticons did get something out of the whole ordeal: confirmation through Alpha Trion that the ancient Titans were real.
Some time later, still in his upgraded form, Orion Pax, Kup, Ironhide and their team were on a mission to thwart an assassination attempt on Zeta Prime. Disenchanted racer Blurr stumbled into the midst of a firefight between the two units; as the Decepticon unit pulled out to continue its mission, Orion petitioned Blurr for help, asking him to use his speed to get word to Zeta before it was too late. The former celebrity balked, but ultimately the young soldier helped Blurr find what really drove him to race, and thus recruited him to the Autobot cause. Curiously, Kup was heard to refer to Orion as "Optimus" during this adventure.
Back in his original body, Orion would be approached by Tappet over the alleged killing of Hefter by Outback. While Orion assured Tappet that the investigation would run its course and adhere to the law, the civilian disagreed. Orion was then approached by Zeta Prime and the two's subsequent discussion led Orion to wonder if Zeta was any different a Prime than his predecessors. Orion later confronted Outback in a bar, which produced no meaningful leads on the case. Orion then took Hefter's body to the Ultirex Technoversity for Ratchet to perform an examination, where the medic found that the corpse's injuries did not match the official report. When Ratchet introduced Pax to Jetfire, the jet attacked Pax who quickly subdued him and revealed his Decepticon badge. To Walk Among the Chosen Promptly arresting the scientist, Orion took him to Prowl for an interrogation. A Lonely Pillar on the Plain The trio went to see the one who had recruited Jetfire into the Decepticons: Soundwave. The Outlier refuted Pax's allegations and claimed that the Decepticons had made moral compromises for their goals but were not involved with off-world weapon imports. B
Orion later watched a PSA with Zeta regarding the integrity of the police force, reaffirming Orion's doubt about his friend, who claimed Orion might one day bear the Matrix. Orion later met Prowl and Jetfire at the Cosmic Carnival, where the latter gave Orion the weapon that ended Hefter's life and revealed he knew when the next shipment of guns would arrive from off-world. Dance Among the Shadows Fitting Jetfire with a wire, Pax and Prowl sent him on his way to gather the evidence they needed. Upon learning that Soundwave had lied to him, all sympathy Orion had for the Decepticons evaporated and he swore to bring them down. Whatever the cost. Future Glories Lost The two cops broke in on the weapons trade, with Orion killing one of the Decepticons before all the weapons were remotely detonated by Starscream. Orion and Prowl cordoned off the crime scene, only to be joined by Outback, whom Jetfire tried to attack before Orion stopped him. Jetfire then renounced his allegiance to the Decepticons and Orion invited him to join the police in stopping them. Jetfire declined, saying that not everything the Decepticons had done was bad. Orion disagreed, feeling violence was the only way to stop them, something which would leave a profound impact on Jetfire for years to come. Feel Safe Without Regrets Orion later spoke to an angry Jetfire about the Decepticon philosophy and whether or not violence was a legitimate means of achieving change.
The trio was soon approached by Bumblebee, who confessed to bombing the Tygun factory after being assaulted by voices in his head. Jetfire discovered that a foreign signal was entering Bumblebee's processor and causing his dreams. Orion and Prowl tracked it to its source, followed by Bumblebee. The signal was the work of Shockwave, who was using Soundwave's telepathic abilities to broadcast hypnotic signals. Though the Decepticons escaped, Orion was impressed by Bumblebee's bravery. The young bot then requested to join Orion's unit.
Orion soon became the commander of his own six-bot counter-insurgency unit working directly under Zeta Prime, though he had grown angry and detached from his experiences. During a mission to arrest the arms dealer Swindle in Nyon, he lost his temper and almost beat the Decepticon to death in front of horrified onlookers. Law and Disorder He later admitted to Ultra Magnus that he was frustrated with his own failures and uncertain if they were really on the right side, since so many civilians seemed to hate them and the government. Dispatched by Zeta Prime to hunt down the spy Soundwave, Orion succeeded in defeating the Decepticon in spite of Frenzy's attempts to turn the fear and paranoia of bystanders against him. Before he could capture him, however, several other Decepticons arrived, taking his subordinate Bumblebee hostage and telling him Megatron wanted an audience with him. The Hunt for Soundwave Brought to a bar in Kaon, Orion listened as Megatron tried to talk him into siding with the Decepticons, claiming that Zeta was planning to drain energon from civilians, and had only sent Orion's team into Nyon in the hopes that they would die, giving him an official reason to attack the city. Orion stalled the conversation long enough that his allies could break in and rescue him and Bumblebee, then returned to Iacon and confronted Zeta with Megatron's claims. Zeta only told him not to question his motives before sending him on his next mission to capture the insurgent Hot Rod.
Tracking Hot Rod to the Acropolex in Nyon, Orion Pax and his men followed him into the depths of the building, where they discovered tanks of energon drained from the city's population by Zeta Prime, just as Megatron had claimed. Having seen the truth with his own eyes, Orion decided to turn on the corrupt government just as Zeta began attacking Nyon with his Omega Destructors. Ruins Leaving Hot Rod to evacuate the city, he and his unit tried and failed to defeat one of the Destructors. As they tried to escape, Nyon began to explode, and Orion realized that Zeta had set everything up to force Hot Rod's insurgents into self-destructing their own city. As Zeta arrived in person, Orion tried to fight him but was quickly dispatched by his vamparc ribbon. Purge Before Zeta could execute them, Orion and his team were saved by none other than Megatron and his Decepticons, who brought them back to Kaon for repairs. Though he still didn't trust Megatron, Orion Pax now knew he had told the truth about Zeta and agreed to join forces against him.
As their soldiers invaded Zeta Prime's Citadel, Orion Pax and Megatron were air-dropped into his chamber and confronted him in person. Though Orion lost an arm in the battle, he managed to destroy Zeta's weapon, and the corrupt Prime was finally killed by Megatron. As soon as everything was over, however, Megatron betrayed the Autobots and shot Orion in the back, casting him into the Undergrid beneath the citadel. Left for dead, Orion was drawn towards a distant light which turned out to be the hiding place of the long-missing Matrix of Leadership. As a voice called out for him to take the artifact, he did so and was suddenly overcome with the pain, fear, and loneliness felt by all living Cybertronians. Imbued with new clarity and wisdom, he realized that the Autobots were not meant to fight for unity—since in the eyes of the Matrix, all were one—but rather for the freedom of all sapient beings. As the Matrix repaired his body, Orion Pax declared that he was giving up his identity for his people: he was now Optimus Prime. Transformation Guided by the Matrix back to the ruins of Nyon, Optimus reunited with his allies amidst the wreckage. Revealing the Matrix and his new goals and desires to his friends, he then used talisman to awaken an ancient, slumbering life force he could sense beneath the city: Metroplex.
To raise the army he needed to defeat Megatron—who had seized control of Cybertron in his absence—Optimus recruited the aid of news broadcaster Blaster, who put out a rallying call for aid across Iaconian Newsfeed Service. Joined by thousands of freedom-seeking Transformers, Prime marched on Iacon. While Metroplex handled Megatron's "vamparc annihilator" weapon, Optimus engaged Megatron himself in a duel and emerged victorious with some timely aid from Hot Rod, though Megatron escaped with the vow that the war was just beginning. Vowing not to make the same mistakes as Zeta, Prime ordered a cache of illegal weapons discovered in the Undergrid destroyed, and thanked Hot Rod for his help. The younger 'bot was unsure if he deserved the gratitude, given his destruction of Nyon, but Prime assured him of his heroism, speculating that even he could bear the Matrix one day.
In the wake of the Decepticons' defeat, Optimus Prime inaugurated the Grand Convocation, calling on representatives of all the planet's various guilds and groups to work together toward peace. Former senator Dai Atlas loudly objected to his leadership based on his past as a combatant, and a weary Optimus conferred with Alpha Trion on how best to proceed. Pax called Dai Atlas to a private meeting to hash out their differences, Faces of Darkness but news of an attack on the Toraxxis mega-refinery interrupted their discussion, and both 'bots responded to the alarm. At the refinery, they discovered Grimlock's Dinobots facing off against the Decepticons, now under the command of Scorponok. Losing control of his monstrous alternate mode, Grimlock was ready to blow the entire refinery to destroy himself and all present, but Optimus was able to talk him down, only for Scorponok to trigger the explosion instead.
Though Prime and his men survived the refinery explosion, thousands died in the blast. Prime delivered a eulogy for the fallen, but the catastrophe was a turning point for Cybertron, as, under Dai Atlas's leadership, huge portions of the planet's population evacuated to seek new worlds. Optimus refused to abandoned his homeworld, and sent a science team to explore the refinery blast crater in hopes of finding a new energon source. Fallout Prime himself then called Kup in for information on the Dynobots, reviewing classified files that revealed that, on their last missions, they had adopted monstrous new alternate modes based on creatures they discovered in the caverns beneath Toraxxis. Underworld The science team soon returned to report their own meeting with these beasts, along with a reservoir of tainted energon and a colossal reptilian Transformer guarding it. Prime presented these findings to the Grand Convocation upon their next meeting, they were not enough to sway Dai Atlas from his course. To make matters worse, a riot erupted amongst the evacuating civilians at Starsreach Spaceport that Prime had to quell in person; no sooner had he done so, and the exodus resumed, than the Decepticons launched an attack. Massacre The attack caused Grimlock, who had come to turn himself in to Prime, to loose control and adopt his feral beast form; after he drove the Decepticons back, Optimus calmed the Dinobot down and got him under control. The Dinobots were impressed with Optimus, but despite his pleas, they still insisted on leaving the planet.
Returning to his quarters to vent some of his anger, Optimus was soon summoned by Bumblebee with more bad news: the Decepticons had activated the giant beast from Toraxxis. Prime asked Metroplex for his aid, but the city-bot had become so long on energy that he could not transform, and could merely offer Prime information, such as the beast's name: Trypticon. Prime organized a heavy weapons assault against Trypticon, but the barrage failed, and when Prime tried to intimidate the giant with the sight of the Matrix itself, it simply stomped on him. As Prime watched, however, the Dynobots came dropping out of the sky to join the battle, followed quickly by Megatron, returning from a recent off-planet escapade of his own. Prime passed out before he could see Megatron and Grimlock be swallowed by Trypticon, Annihilation and so did not witness them deactivating it from within. During the battle, Bumblebee and Ultra Magnus went to Prime's aid, replacing the Matrix—knocked from him by Trypticon's attack—in his chest.
Taking advantage of a temporary lull in the war, Optimus Prime took a brief sabbatical and travelled to the Grav-Haraan glacier with Ironhide. They eventually picked up an unusual energy signature, and discovered that it belonged to an Omega Sentinel, who claimed to be awaiting the return of Nova Prime. Optimus revealed that Nova had long since vanished and that he now bore the Matrix. Although saddened, the Sentinel offered to carry the two Autobots back to civilization, and introduced himself as Omega Supreme. Prime informed Alpha Trion about his discovery, but Trion warned him that Omega Supreme might feel out of place after spending so much time in isolation. Things took a turn for the worse after Optimus and the Autobots detected a mysterious object approaching Cybertron, which turned out to be a reinvigorated Trypticon, heading straight for Metroplex! Optimus ordered an evacuation and then commanded Metroplex to transform, so as to meet Trypticon head on. Although Metroplex was able to outfight Trypticon, the other Autobots were unprepared for the army of Junkions and a sudden flood of coolant, turning the battleground into a Sharkticon-infested deathtrap. Optimus ordered Omega Supreme into battle; the Sentinel revealed that he was waiting to kill Nova Prime for disgracing the legacy of the Primes, but confided to Optimus that would stand alongside Optimus. Primacy #3 Optimus rolled out to take on Megatron, and easily ran Motormaster off the road along the way. He finally confronted Megatron, who begged Optimus to kill him so as to spare him the mental torture of Pentius, the Quintesson who had fused his spark to Megatron's. Optimus instead used the Matrix to purify Megatron's spark and destroy the Quintesson presence. Megatron swore that he still hated Prime even after the Autobot leader saved his life, forcing the saddened Autobot leader to knock out Megatron with a single punch. Megatron was left imprisoned as Optimus broadcasted the news across Cybertron, calling for an end to the fighting and promising to hunt down the surviving Decepticon troops. Primacy #4 The victory was not to last however as Megatron's troops soon freed him.
Megatron would later incorrectly claim that his and Prime's first meeting took place during the Rorsha Campaign, when they battled on Sherma Bridge. Prime's side lost 5000 men but he sliced off the tyrant's cannon arm with his energon axe before he lost and got thrown off the bridge. Every Autobot and Decepticon stopped fighting to witness their duel.
As the war bore on, Optimus and Ironhide's student-and-teacher relationship evolved. Prime grew willing to go against Ironhide's counsel, once doing so to save the Autobots from Trypticon waiting in ambush, while also learning the benefit of sticking to your guns like the stubborn old soldier did, once insisting on saving Ironhide's life after a booby-trap left them badly damaged and hanging over a cliff-edge. Down the years, Ironhide developed a respect and awe for his protege, Old Ways eventually taking on the position of his official bodyguard. It was in this capacity, four million years ago, that Ironhide saved Optimus when he was ambushed by Soundwave and his cassettes while attempting to stop a Decepticon energon convoy. With Ironhide covering him from afar, Prime then proceeded to talk the convoy into surrendering without having to fire a single shot. During a party to celebrate this win, Prime declined Prowl's request to address the troops, and went out to converse with Kup and Ironhide, privately confiding in them that he foresaw the war going on without end. As the party continued, Decepticon assassin Axer made an attempt on Prime's life, but Ironhide saved him, throwing himself in the path of the blast.
Prime's actions during the long course of the war were many. As the conflict spread across the galaxy, he commanded the Autobot armed forced from the Autobot Orbital Command Hub. He was part of the 113th Battalion when they battled Black Shadow. Rules of Disengagement During the Simanzi Massacre, he prevented over a thousand Autobots and neutrals from falling into The Crucible. He was also involved in preventing the Black Epoch. At some point, Optimus had to berate Grimlock personally, insisting that the Dynobot let go of a grudge he had against Shockwave after the later botched one of Grimlock's energon-gathering missions. Grimlock didn't listen. Optimus battled Megatron many times, on multiple worlds: he lost half his face to Megatron's energon mace during the Battle for Hell's Point and retaliated by using Tremorcons' Geo-Scoop to drop a city block on his opponent, and he was nearly destroyed during the Siege of Massunstrad when Megatron trapped him in an anti-matter chamber. Optimus would get in his licks too, however; during the Vorsk Offensive, he nearly sliced Megatron in half; at Rada Mor, Prime nearly destroyed Megatron while defending some "sentient explosives". At the war's zenith, Optimus sealed himself in an Omniglobe to absorb the relentless flood of data coming in from countless fronts.
Some of Prime's other accomplishments of note throughout the war included battling shards of living rage, exorcising the Demonicons, and performing Hot Rod's rite of the Autobrand. During Earth's ice age a transmission of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee was intercepted by the Eukarian starship Axalon which served as the proximate cause for Shockwave rebuilding the ship's crew as Autobots and Decepticons.
700 stellar cycles ago, Prime and Megatron joined forces to battle Thunderwing. Driven by his belief that the already badly-degenerated Cybertron would soon become completely uninhabitable, Thunderwing had, through polydermal grafting, inadvertently turned himself into a monster whose subsequent rampage only accelerated the planet's collapse. In a final, futile stand at Thunderhead Pass, Optimus could only watch as Cybertron itself swallowed Thunderwing. Although this ultimately brought the planet to a point of no return, forcing all the Transformers to leave their world behind, Prime refused to allow Megatron to go through with his plan to destroy Cybertron itself to ensure Thunderwing was no more.
In the mid-to-late 19th century, Bumblebee reported his adventure on Xetaxxis that ended in the death of Sky Blast and Convoy to Optimus. After arranging for Minimus Ambus to retake the mantle of Ultra Magnus, Optimus commended Bumblebee for his bravery and noted the need to remain ever vigilant against the Decepticons.
In 2005, while on the Orbital Command Hub, Prime received a communication from Ironhide, presently stationed on the planet Earth as part of a unit led by Prowl. Ironhide's message warned the local Decepticon infiltration cell under Starscream had broken their infiltration methods and enacted siege mode prematurely, and Prime ordered the situation to be monitored. Soon afterward, when the Autobot science vessel Calabi-Yau sent a distress signal from above Thunderhead Pass, Prime decided to investigate personally, upgrading himself additional armor and armaments and ordering the Wreckers to meet him on Cybertron. Venturing into the planet's depths, Prime's team discovered that Thunderwing had been restored by Bludgeon and his followers. Faced with the planet-ravaging monster once again, Prime found himself willing to succumb to Megatron's way of thinking this time, and considered destroying Cybertron to remove the threat. Fortunately, it did not come to that: studying Bludgeon's files, Jetfire discovered that he had reanimated Thunderwing with an exceptionally powerful "Ultra-Energon" that would burn out in short order. His conscience still guilty over the past, Prime took on Thunderwing personally for the final exchange of the battle, unleashing massive amounts of firepower at monster, forcing it to exhaust its power reserves and ultimately, its life.
Continuing to investigate Bludgeon's files, Jetfire learned that the mysterious new Energon used to revive Thunderwing had originated on Earth. Linking this to Ironhide's message, Prime headed straight for the planet. He arrived while most of Prowl's unit were out on a mission, and when they returned, they were met by their leader, freshly reformatted with a new Earth truck body. After ordering that Ironhide and Sunstreaker return the humans the Autobots had befriended to their homes, Prime took some time to take in reports from other Autobots elsewhere in the galaxy, and was beamed further findings by Jetfire that worryingly indicated Decepticons had been active on Earth for many years.
It became apparent that the Decepticons had initiated Phase Two of their infiltration protocol when news reached Prime and the Autobots of suddenly accelerated unrest between the small European nations of Latveria and Symkaria. Tracing the cause to Decepticon array that was broadcasting an aggression-enhancing signal, Prime took his team into action, only to have them run into the superhero team known as the Avengers. Man and Machine, Part One With the human heroes also suffering the effects of the aggression wave, a short battle erupted between the two teams, which was halted by Ratchet and a quickly-created inhibitor device that brought the Avengers back to their senses. The united Autobot/Avenger team launched an attack on the array, but were soon met in combat by the Decepticons; Optimus was injured by a disproportionately powerful blast from Thundercracker, unaware that the Decepticons had boosted their powers using energy drawn from the captive Spider-Man. The super-charged Decepticons were beaten back when Prime, Bumblebee and Jazz linked their systems to Iron Man's Transformer-sized armor, giving him the power necessary to end the fight. Megatron attempted to force Prime to surrender by revealing that he had captured several of the Avengers, but Prime instead ordered a quick destruction of the array, prompting Megatron to emerge to join the battle. Man and Machine, Part Three The Decepticon leader refrained from engaging Prime directly, however, electing to save their conflict for a more personal moment; Prime instead joined his Autobots and the Avengers in bombarding Megatron with an overwhelming barrage of firepower, finally taking him down. Megatron teleported out, and Prime led his Autobots in withdrawing.
When word came in from Ironhide that Sunstreaker had been slain by an attack from an enigmatic human organization, Optimus Prime took Jazz and Wheeljack to recover their comrade's car-form remains from the civilian impound lot they were being held in. They arrived just as Sunstreaker's attackers were attempting to remove his body; their vehicle did not survive a head-on collision with Prime's shin. Subsequent examination of Sunstreaker's body by Ratchet proved that the remains were, in fact, not Sunstreaker, but rather a facsimile the humans had created to throw Prime's team off the trail. Escalation #2 Ironhide was eager to hunt down Sunstreaker's attackers, but Prime refused to let him, instead calling in reinforcements in the form of Hot Rod, Nightbeat and Hardhead.
Soon after, Prowl discovered that the Decepticons were causing political instability in the breakaway Soviet state of Brasnya and Prime ordered the Autobots into action. Escalation #3 While reconning the area, Prime left his Combat Deck to monitor the surroundings; it picked up Blitzwing, who thought he had got the drop on Prime, and Roller took out the unsuspecting Decepticon with a single shot. Megatron proceeded to orbital bounce directly into Prime's path, at last ready for them to battle one-on-one. Escalation #4 The fight went well at first, with Prime blowing Megatron's fusion cannon clean off, but the increased strength and stamina granted the Decepticon by Earth's Ultra-Energon allowed him to prevail, actually punching through Prime's body and crushing his spark casing. Prime only managing to survive by transferring his consciousness into his trailer, leaving Megatron to believe him dead. Recalling the circumstances of Thunderwing's defeat, Prime directed his troops to bombard Megatron with a hail of firepower, then returned to his body in time to deliver the final, point-blank blast that drained the last of the Decepticon leader's power reserves.
Prime's near-death experience left him somewhat unsettled; while his consciousness had been in transitional infraspace downloading to his trailer, he had sensed a presence of dread—the visage of his long-missing predecessor, Nova Prime. Looking for answers, Optimus Prime left Earth to visit Nova's contemporary, Omega Supreme. From Omega, he learned of Nova's belief that Transformers were a superior race that should remake the universe in their image, and he faced down the rampaging Monstructor, a legacy of Nova's tenure seeking revenge against Omega Supreme for locking him away. Appalled at Omega's actions as much as he was Nova's, Prime attempted to appeal Monstructor, but the deranged beast refused to listen, and Prime took him down hard.
After Prime returned to Earth, he organised the Autobots in proactive maneuvers against the mysterious human group that had been bedeviling them of late, permitting the relocation of their base the Ark-19 and calling in further reinforcements from Cybertron in the form of a unit led by Hound. In mid-transit, however, the Ark-19 was attacked by the latest addition to Megatron's forces, Sixshot. Devastation #1 Prime co-ordinated the evacuation of their human allies and the self-destruction of the craft to ensure it didn't fall into enemy hands, and while it appeared that he and his Autobots did not make it out of the ship before it blew. They soon revealed they had survived and prepared to take on Sixshot. Devastation #3 Optimus and the Autobots held Sixshot at bay, but battle ended in stalemate when both parties orbital jumped out to avoid an air strike from the U.S. military.
Regrouping on Ark-32, Prime received a communication from Jetfire informing him that Monstructor had been liberated from the Garrus-9 penitentiary. Considering the threat he posed if unleashed greater than that posed to Earth by the Decepticons, Prime ordered the Autobots to depart the planet to deal with this new crisis, redirecting Hound's unit to meet his team at Garrus-9.
Upon arrival at the prison, Prime and Prowl conferred with Jetfire and warden Fortress Maximus, then received a worrying report from Ultra Magnus, who, along with Hound's crew, had encountered Cyclonus and Thunderwing on Corata-Vaz. Recalling his out-of-body experience in Brasnya, Prime realized that recent events were somehow connected to Nova Prime; a theory that gained traction as more information began to come in from Jetfire and Omega Supreme. Seeking information, Prime dispatched Hot Rod and Dealer to recover the all-knowing Magnificence from Ki-Aleta, but in their absence, Prime's speculation was proven accurate when Nova Prime himself attacked Garrus-9. Optimus engaged his predecessor personally, discovering that he was now "Nemesis Prime", having been transformed into an undead monster by the power of the Dead Universe and its, "Anti-Matrix", the Darkness. In the course of their battle, however, Nova's secret fear proved true: like the Matrix, the Darkness sought to pass onto the current Prime. Nova refused to let the Darkness leave him and savagely attacked Optimus, but, just as victory seemed within his grasp, he was shot in the back and killed by his treacherous comrade Galvatron. With Nova's death, the Darkness leapt into Optimus, who struggled against its evil emanations. Galvatron offered Optimus a choice: kill himself by plunging into the prison's solar pool, or pass on the Darkness to Galvatron, who had coveted it for so long. Optimus seemed to choose the latter, taking Galvatron's hand and passing the Darkness to him, but after doing so, he did not release his grip on the villain, instead hurling him into the solar pool to his apparent destruction. Concurrent with this, the other Autobots using the information gained from the Magnificence to thwart Nova's plan to merge the living and dead universes, and as Optimus gazed upon Nova's dead body, he told himself he could not mourn the elder Prime's death, as Nova had truly died long ago. Spotlight: Sideswipe Heart of Darkness #1
All Hail Megatron
In the weeks and months that followed, Optimus Prime led a larger squad of Autobots back to Earth to deal with the Decepticon threat they had left behind. Everything in Its Right Place Upon their return, however, they discovered that while they had been away, the Decepticons had become splintered following an apparent power struggle between Megatron and Starscream. After a prolonged period of searching, Prime led the Autobots to a location where Starscream's "group" was, only to be ambushed by a unified Decepticon force, including a brand new gestalt, Devastator. The combiner sealed the Autobots' defeat, and Megatron tore the Matrix of Leadership from Prime's chest. The captured Autobots were led to a space bridge that would return to them to Cybertron, where they would be left to the mercies of the Insecticon swarm the Decepticons had populated the planet with. However, once his troops were through, Prime, last in line, quickly turned his weapons on the bridge machinery, destroying it. As the portal begin to close, Prime was hurled into it by a barrage of Decepticon fire, causing a catastrophic reaction that fried his circuits and knocked him offline. Left stranded on Cybertron with their leader comatose, the Autobots were forced to leave Earth to the Decepticons.
One year after Nova Prime's defeat, Prime's unit were joined on Cybertron by a team led by Kup, who brought with them enough energon for Ratchet to restore Prime to full functionality. He awoke just as Sideswipe was chastizing the demoralized Autobots on the self-destructive nature of their war, and delivered a rousing speech affirming his pride in his warriors and his unfazed intent to win the war. Prime took a moment to reconnect in particular with his old teacher, Ironhide, who had been hit especially hard by his brush with death, and the reunited pair then joined the other Autobots in plunging into battle against the Insecticon swarm. The timely arrival of Omega Supreme saved the Autobots, and he then ferried them to Earth for a showdown with Megatron's forces.
The Autobots returned to an Earth than had been devastated by the Decepticons in their absence, arriving at New York City just as the Decepticons were fending off attacks from a European air squad. Prime and Megatron faced off with each other once again, but rather than immediately clash, Megatron was puzzled by his old enemy's actions; both leaders had always maintained a policy of acceptable losses, and Prime had already abandoned Earth once, proving he held the planet in no particular regard. Prime claimed he had changed; no more would he allow their cold war to endanger innocent lifeforms. Megatron merely scoffed, revealing that the "innocents" Prime wanted to protect were about to drop a nuclear bomb on the city. Battle then erupted between the two, with Megatron emerging victorious after a fierce exchange of blows, but just before he and the Decepticons departed, human soldier Spike Witwicky landed a critical shot with an experimental weapon made from a Transformer. Prime finished the job by slamming Megatron in the head with his own fusion cannon, taking him offline. The Decepticons fled, leaving the Autobots to face nuclear destruction, until the bomb was stopped by the disenchanted Thundercracker. Prime then met with Spike, and proposed that the Autobots and human military work together to repair the damage done to the Earth. Spike was not confident that such an alliance was possible.
Some time later, Optimus met with Ironhide to discuss the elder Autobot's resignation from Prime's forces. Ironhide no longer trusted his own judgement following some bad decisions made during Prime's time offline, and Prime respected Ironhide too much to argue. Instead, the pair shared a drink and some reminiscence, and with some honest, emotional confession of much the Autobots needed him and how much he would personally miss him, Optimus convinced Ironhide to stay.
Optimus later took a moment to lament the state in which their war left the City of New York, before deciding to protect the Earth while in disguise. Ride-Along When Bumblebee got separated from the rest of the Autobots in the ruins of New York, and subsequently outed himself by rescuing some humans in danger, Optimus and the rest of the Autobots retrieved him.
Leader no More
Unable to work directly with humankind, and with Omega Supreme too low on energy to take the Autobots off-world, Optimus Prime had the Autobots go into hiding for the next two years. Many Autobots chafed under this order, and eventually, things erupted in an angry Hot Rod accusing Prime of allowing both his guilt and his need to protect something to trap the Autobots on a world that didn't want them anymore. Unable to defend against the claims, Prime was forced to allow Hot Rod to lead a mission to rescue the captive Prowl from the clutches of Skywatch; the mission went catastrophically wrong, resulting in Ironhide's death. Forced by this disastrous turn of events of re-evaluate his leadership in recent years, Prime concluded that he had led the Autobots down a self-destructive path, resigned his post as Autobot leader, surrendered himself to Skywatch.
Prime was brought to Skywatch's base by incredulous troopers and placed in transformation stasis, but was shortly freed by Spike Witwicky, who wished to talk with him. New Arrivals, Old Encounters Suspicious of the questions Spike asked about the other Autobots and his supposed desire to help them, Prime refused to divulge any information about his comrades and was moved to a holding cell. As leverage, Spike captured and brought in Hoist, Tracks and Beachcomber, suggesting that Prime start talking to help them, if not to help himself.
Prime explained his motivations for abdicating as Autobot leader to the human, expressing his hope that, without him, his men would learn to evolve and move beyond his mistakes—something that he had observed humans possessed a much greater capacity for than Transformers. Enemies of the System Presently, news came in of a battle involving the other Autobots and the Decepticons' newest combiner, Menasor. Spike convinced Optimus to help Skywatch prevent loss of innocent lives, and Prime heroically battled Menasor. After the combiner was defeated, however, the Autobots looked to him for leadership, only for him to declare that he was not retaking command, but returning himself to Skywatch's custody.
The Autobots—now under Bumblebee's command—and Skywatch began working together to hunt down the Decepticons remaining on Earth. Spike's father, General Daniel Witwicky, was skeptical of the plan, despite the thanks Optimus extended him for his work fighting the Decepticons three years prior. All His Engines In one of their earliest missions together, the united Autobot/Skywatch team responded to Transformer activity in Las Vegas, discovering that Galvatron had returned, and had inadvertently brought an interdimensional zombie infestation with him. Prime had the Autobots seal off Las Vegas to prevent the spread of the plague, The Transformers: Infestation #1 but the zombie leader Britt then began infecting Prime and the others themselves with the zombie virus. It was through Kup's intervention that they were saved, as he dragged Britt through a portal to the Dead Universe. Galvatron then demanded the Autobots submit to his authority so they could ready for a coming battle against a much greater enemy; when they unsurprisingly refused, Galvatron departed, leaving Prime to worry about what was lurking in the future.
A few months later, when the Combaticons publicly allied themselves with North Korea, Spike recruited Optimus and the Autobots to fight against them. The Land Ironclads Unfortunately due to an edict by the President of the United States forbidding any countries to collaborate with Cybertronians, the Transformers had to be transported to Korea in vehicle mode, in shipping crates, so that their activities could remain hidden from the government. They even had to attempt battling the Combaticons in vehicle mode, which did not go well for them. Ranks of Bronze After temporarily disabling the satellites watching the area, the Autobots were able to transform for their second engagement with the Combaticons, during which Prime smashed into Vortex and managed to bring the Combaticons' leader Onslaught to his knees. All was going well until the arrival of the Predacons, who had fallen in with the People's Republic of China. Hawk among the Sparrows Prime tried the diplomatic approach, trying to convince the Predacons to stand down, and although they were insulted by his dismissive attitude towards their partnership with China, they agreed to move on... until Onslaught shot Rampage in the back. A brawl between all parties ensued, but Prime took control of the situation by having Thundercracker, temporarily working with the Autobots again, destroy China and North Korea's energon production facilities, ensuring the Decepticons would have no reason to work with the humans any more.
While they were still overseas, word reached Prime's team of an assassination attempt on Bumblebee by a human wielding an advanced weapon. As they raced back to America aboard a Skywatch jet, Prime quieted arguments between the anxious Autobots and their human comrades, but remained quietly angry himself, insisting that there were endemic problems that needed to be addressed. Moments later, their jet was blown out of the sky, The Demolished Man but Prime and company survived the crash and completed the last leg of the journey home underwater in their vehicle modes. Woken Furies The team soon received a transmission that revealed the author of their current woes: Megatron had returned. Tracing Megatron and Soundwave to Albuquerque, Prime confronted his old enemy alone, only to find that one-on-one combat was not Megatron's plan: instead, he had dumped the captive Autobots in Albuquerque and flooded the city with an arsenal of Cybertronian weapons that controlled the minds of the humans wielding them. Prime was able to outsmart Megatron by deducing that Soundwave was linked to the weapons and shot him in the head to disable that connection. Megatron withdrew, Burning Chrome but a tracking chip Ultra Magnus had planted on Soundwave allow Prime to follow them to their foxhole, air-dropping in and dramatically crashing through the roof. Prime proposed taking the fight outside as a means of allowing Skywatch to drop a kinetic harpoon on Megatron; alas, even this incredible weapon failed to do much damage to the Decepticon leader's powerful new body, and the resultant fistfight between the two ended badly for Prime, as Megatron incapacitated him and dumped him on the Autobots' doorstep. When Optimus awoke, however, it was to a surprising revelation: Megatron had surrendered himself to the Autobots' custody. Prime could fathom no reason for Megatron to have done this, and Megatron himself offered no answers, save for the taunting revelation that Spike Witwicky had secretly gone off-grid and executed Scrapper. A shaken Prime charged Prowl with investigating this claim, then retreated into his private quarters to contemplate the chaos he found himself facing.
A short time later, Hot Rod returned from a sojourn in space, during which he had finally recovered the Matrix of Leadership from Decepticon clutches. He returned the talisman to Optimus, who in return dubbed him "Rodimus" as a sign of his maturation. But Rodimus also brought dread tidings: through the ministrations of Alpha Trion, Cybertron had become habitable again, but was being used as a staging base by Galvatron and his army. Refusing to see his homeworld conquered by the madman, Optimus announced to the Autobots that he was returning to Cybertron, and invited any who wished to accompany him. Most of the Autobots chose to join him, and they soon left aboard Omega Supreme's rocket with Megatron aboard; Orphans of the Helix just before departing, Prime gave Prowl "five minutes" to interrogate Megatron for information on his investigation into Spike.
During their trip, Optimus questioned Megatron further about why he surrendered, even releasing him from his bonds and having a civil conversation with him recalling their many past encounters and dueling ideologies. The other Autobots were more concerned with coming to a decision on what to do with Megatron, and cast doubt on Optimus's ability to make the right choice after how "cozy" the pair had been during their talk. An angry Prime returned to speak to Megatron again, but this time, the Decepticon leader smugly goaded Prime into shocking him with the variable voltage harness he was strapped into. Chaos Theory Part 1 Disgusted by his own actions, Prime talked with Ratchet and Rodimus about the Matrix and the weight of expectation it placed upon him. To prove to himself that he still had the wisdom to make the right decision on his own, Prime removed the Matrix from his chest and left it in Ratchet's care so that he could reach his conclusion free of its influence. Prime decided to leave the choice between imprisonment or death up to Megatron himself; Megatron chose death.
Arriving on Cybertron, Prime left Megatron to stew in his cell while he took his men out to approach Galvatron peacefully. As before, Galvatron proposed they put themselves under his command to battle a mysterious coming enemy, and when Prime refused, battle promptly began. Lamentations When Galvatron brought the captured Kimia Facility into play, turning its weapons on the planet from orbit, Prime flawlessly co-ordinated the Autobot response. When he realised that Galvatron was not shooting at the Autobots, but blasting a pathway into the planet, Prime rolled out to head him off at the pass. Numbers Alongside Ironhide, Rodimus and Drift, Prime pursued Galvatron down into the planet's depths, but during the chase, the enemy Galvatron had warned of finally emerged: the Dead Universe entity known as the D-Void. This alien intelligence possessed Galvatron's army and the Decepticons (who had been teleported to Cybertron by Megatron, this being the reason he had surrendered) and merged them into a giant "Deceptigod". Galvatron intended to stop its emergence by feeding the Darkness into Vector Sigma and destroying the planet, Kings but upon doing so, discovered that he had been played by the D-Void all along—destroying Cybertron would allow it to complete its emergence into the living universe. Optimus Prime plunged himself into Vector Sigma and released the power of the Matrix of Leadership, purifying the mega-computer and stopping the D-Void in its tracks.
Return of Orion Pax
Prime awoke in a barren wasteland, the Matrix lying before him, its crystal core split in two and its energies depleted. After briefly believing that he had died and passed on to the Afterspark, Prime realised that he was on Cybertron, but a Cybertron surging with primordial energies. Trekking across the wilderness, Prime found a shanty town made of spaceships where Iacon should have been, where after an altercation with some unfamiliar Cybertronians, he was approached by Sideswipe and Whirl. The pair brought him to Rodimus and Bumblebee, who explained that the purification of Vector Sigma had "rebooted" Cybertron, reverting it to a primeval state and sending out a signal that summoned the many Cybertronians who had left the planet millions of years ago back home. Unfortunately, tensions were running high, as these so-called "NAILs" look upon Prime and the Autobots as symbols of the war they had left the planet to escape. A full-blown riot soon consumed the city, which Prime quelled with a proclamation he delivered to the crowd: if the NAILs would allow the other Autobots to stay, he, the figurehead of the war, would leave the planet forever. Bestowing the two Matrix halves to Rodimus and Bumblebee, Prime departed at last truly feeling free and beholden to no-one. Optimus Prime was dead. Orion Pax was reborn.
After voyaging through space for some time, Orion was contacted by Hardhead with some strange news: a distress signal from the planet Arduria had awoken Hardhead's formerly-catatonic prisoner, Jhiaxus, who began screaming Orion's name. Investigating the Ardurian signal, Orion and Hardhead found that they had been lured into a Decepticon trap when they were attacked by Monstructor. His knowledge of the combiner from their past fight availed Orion little, as the monster's weak spot had been removed, and Monstructor was able to keep them busy long enough for his new master Bludgeon to free Jhiaxus. Realizing that Jhiaxus and Bludgeon were intending to hunt down all the planets that had been targeted by Shockwave's Regenesis program, Orion and Hardhead set course for the Lenocinium Velnero System and gave chase.
Arriving in the LV system, Pax's ship crossed paths with a Decepticon vessel that crashed on the world of LV-117, a planet unhinged from the flow of linear time by Ore-1, a product of Shockwave's Regenesis program. Following it down to the planet's surface, Pax's team explored the ship and discovered a mysterious sphere in its hold. Little did Pax realise that this sphere was a time machine, which, when he reached out to touch it, sent him on a confusing journey through LV-117's past and future. After briefly jumping into the near future, where he witnessed Jhiaxus, Bludgeon and Monstructor stealing the Decepticon ship and escaping, Pax was hurled into LV-117's past and began moving forward, heading back to the present day, encountering Bludgeon in each time period he arrived in. Pax encountered the Decepticon warmonger Turmoil abducting many of the planet's natives and rescued one, named Varta, and then found himself facing the end of LV-117 itself, destroyed by forces unknown. In this time period, he encountered Wheelie and an older Varta, and realized that he had been encountering Bludgeon in reverse-order, with the Decepticon traveling in the opposite direction through time to him. This meant since he had already seen Bludgeon and his comrades escape the planet, then it had already happened for them, so Pax could not stop it. His time-shifting journey at an end, Prime reappeared in the relative "present" after the villains had already departed, and gathered up his crew to follow them toward Gorlam Prime.
Lineage of the Primes
As they flew to Gorlam Prime, Hardhead was struck by a mysterious attack. Orion questioned what was happening but the attack halted soon enough. Arm the Lonely Pax's team appeared to beat Jhiaxus to Gorlam Prime, and they ventured underground to explore the caverns that had previously held a portal to the Dead Universe, also coming upon a mysterious ruined city. Returning to the surface, the team were approached by Waspinator, who was being pursued by the Monstructor Six, and came to his aid. Waspinator explained that they were after the subterranean city, which was, in fact, one of Metroplex's Titan brethren. Pax awoke the Titan, but at that point, Waspinator revealed that he was actually working for Jhiaxus, and took control of the Titan, spiriting it away to Cybertron. Worse still, the giant's transformation had destabilized Gorlam Prime, causing the spread of the death-inducing Ore-2 previously confined to the underground caverns. Their ship had been destroyed in the fight, seeming dooming Pax's team, but Pax revealed that his own ship, the Skyroller, had been following in their wake all along. Homecoming They quickly boarded the craft and blasted off, but seemed as though they would be unable to escape the gravity of the collapsing Gorlam Prime until the Lost Light, the starship of misfits crewed by Rodimus, appeared to rescue them. Welcomed in eagerly, Pax was given a tour of the vessel, but arrived on the bridge just as bad news was coming in—Starscream, who had been elected leader of Cybertron in Pax's absence—reported that a portal to the Dead Universe was forming in the skies over their homeworld.
Realizing that they would have to venture into the Dead Universe themselves to investigate, Pax tasked Brainstorm with jury-rigging a method of protecting themselves from its ravages while he shared a drink and a moment of dark reflection with Rodimus and Ultra Magnus. Shielded by forcefields of Brainstorm's design, Pax then led Rodimus, Hardhead and Cyclonus into the Dead Universe through the portal that Gorlam Prime had collapsed into, where they were immediately set upon by some native cyberwraiths. The creatures fled when Cyclonus, claimed by the Dead Universe again thanks to his forcefield generator breaking, moved to confront them, Black Metal but the stoic ancient Cybertronian refused Pax's offer of medical aid and insisted they continue on their mission to find the point that the Dead Universe was contracting towards. On the way, the team were unexpectedly met by Nightbeat, who had perished during the original Dead Universe incident, and was revealed to have been sustained by the undead realm's power. Nightbeat volunteered to lead the group to the Dead Universe's contraction point, Into the Abyss but it soon transpired that he had been brainwashed by Nova Prime, who had secretly survived his previous clash with Pax, and had led Orion's team into a trap. Finest Hour Sealed with a containment cube, Orion managed to crack their prison with a mighty punch, then pretended to lose his temper and staged a fight with Rodimus in order to distract Nightbeat from it. When Nova Prime subsequently arrived, Hardhead exploited the crack to smash his way out, but the cube re-sealed before Orion and the others could escape, and they could only watch as Nova destroyed Hardhead.
Transported by Nova to his citadel, Orion's team discovered that the evil Prime had Kup captive, and was in the process of turning him into a space bridge to escape to the living universe. Nova intended to use Orion and the others' sparks to energize the bridge, but fortunately, Rodimus was able to break Nightbeat's brainwashing with some odd numbers engraved into his palm, and he set them free. The Dead Are Not Enough As they set about liberating Kup, Rodimus explained the significance of the numbers to the perplexed Orion: they were the number of Lost Light crewmembers who had voted to have him removed from captaincy after recent catastrophic misdeeds. Orion surprised the younger 'bot with the angry declaration that Rodimus should have resigned outright, rather than take a vote. Any further discussion was halted when Nova appeared and challenged Orion to a final battle. Nova taunted Pax psychologically by using his mastery of the Dead Universe to shape-shift into the forms of past Primes, before assuming the shape of Orion himself, professing to show him what he could become if he embraced the true legacy of the Primes. Orion was shaken, but a speech from Rodimus rallied him: though many had held the title before him, Orion had made the name of "Prime" synonymous with himself, and with goodness and decency, despite the evil actions of those who had come before him. Energized by Rodimus's words, Orion rechristened himself Optimus Prime once more, and slew Nova once and for all.
With the Dead Universe collapsing all around them, Optimus and his team were in dire need of a way out, and found one when they heard singing emerging from Nova Prime's corpse. The Becoming Realizing that it was coming through from the living universe, they used Nova's technology to turn him into space bridge ...And the Damage Done and traveled through it, back to Cybertron, emerging through the unsuspecting Brainstorm's chest. Black Planet They arrived just in time to join the effort to stop Shockwave's plan to collapse all of reality into a black hole using his Regenesis ores; Optimus fought side-by-side with Megatron against the rogue scientist, and tried to reason with his old senator friend. His words had little effect, so Megatron opted for a more audacious method: recent experiences having opened his mind to a new way of thinking, he donned an Autobot insignia and declared that he was switching factions. Confused and distracted, Shockwave lost control of the time machine powering his plot, setting his mind adrift in time and causing his old pre-Shadowplay self to re-emerge. Horrified at what he had become, Senator Shockwave petitioned Optimus Prime to kill him, and Prime complied, with the vow to always remember his old friend as he had been. With Shockwave's death, the time machine collapsed into a singularity that threatened to consume them. Prime and Megatron made what appeared to be a hopeless dash for safety, but were rescued at the last moment by the Lost Light.
Along with Jetfire, he bore witness to Megatron melting his iconic fusion cannon in a pit of acid to prove he had given up on the war. In light of Megatron's defection to the Autobots, Optimus questioned what should be done with him and called Prowl, Magnus, Ratchet, Rodimus, and Starscream for advice. As leader of the NAILs, Starscream petitioned for a trial which Optimus agreed to. He also announced that he would be Chief Justice in the absence of Tyrest and subsequently appointed Prowl as prosecutor and Magnus as speaker for the defence. He then talked with Rodimus about his quest only to learn that the Matrix half he held had been destroyed and that they were seeking help from Thunderclash or "The Greatest Autobot Ever". Knowing that the trial could theoretically last centuries and having urgent matters to attend to Optimus tried to talk Megatron into letting Chromedome extract memories to use as evidence and speed up the trial, which the former Decepticon refused. At the trial he heard Megatron quietly plead guilty to all the charges Prowl read against him. Towards Peace Optimus listened to Gripper give testimony regarding the Decepticon Justice Division, following which Starscream spoke, not without grandstanding that Magnus and Prime reprimanded him for. Starscream stated that Megatron was an inept leader who started a revolution that he could not hope to control which devolved into a full blown war. The Cybertronian leader stated that Megatron did not deserve death but pity. Megatron then requested to speak to Magnus personally and Optimus allowed a thirty-minute recess. During this time Slamdance gave Optimus the news that Autobot approval ratings were way up due to the trial. When the trial resumed, Magnus informed Prime that Megatron now pleaded "not guilty". According to Magnus, Megatron protested that an Autobot trial could not be a fair one, least of all if the defendant and judge were arch-rivals. After beating up a few loyal Decepticons who tried to free Megatron, the former Decepticon leader invoked his right to be tried by the Knights of Cybertron. Optimus arranged for Megatron to be made co-captain of the Lost Light, which ticked off Rodimus. At the height of the trial, Megatron gave an impassioned speech denouncing the Decepticons and their ideals, up-holding his deal with Prime. Prime then visited Megatron in his cell and commended him on his change, noting that they could very well be trying to kill each other. As Optimus, left satisfied he failed to notice Megatron bury his head in his hands. In the aftermath, someone erected a statue of Optimus.
Shortly after the trial concluded Optimus gathered a small group of Autobots to go back to Earth and find Alpha Trion following a message passed onto him by Windblade. Before leaving he reminded Starscream that he ruled the people who lived in Metroplex and that Metroplex was himself an Autobot with the additional reminder that Ironhide and Windblade would be monitoring him Hello Cruel World He also told Chromia to contact him immediately if Starscream started scheming during his absence. A Long Way Down Prowl then raged at Optimus for the trial's outcome, only for Prime to make him realize he was angry because of Bumblebee's death and the fact that no-one noticed he was being controlled by Bombshell. He then invited Prowl to Earth, reminding him of his change on the planet. Detonation Boulevard He then spoke to Arcee about Hardhead's death and that his killer was dead. Arcee then asked to join him on Earth. The Mind Bomb Prime also invited his old friend Jazz to come along, saying he didn't hold Jazz's past on Earth against him.
Arriving in Earth's orbit, the Ark-7 was immediately attacked by Cybertronian-like weapons. Optimus opted to take a small force of Arcee, Kup, Jazz, and Sideswipe onto the planet leaving the Ark in orbit. The group found Thundercracker and after an information exchange, Decepticons led by Galvatron burst in and turned Prime over to the EDC. Attempts to reason with the EDC failed almost instantly and Prime gave the order for his men to attack the humans but not to inflect casualties while he fought Galvatron. When the battle was going south he ordered a retreat and went down Prowl's escape route. This led them into Poverty Flat. Surrounded by Decepticons, Prime suggested it was in the best interest of both parties to relocate the battle... only for a Prowl-controlled Devastator to jump into play.
Mid-battle a "Mind Bomb" stunned all the Decepticons and the Autobots retreated to the Ark aboard Sky Lynx. Optimus was ticked that Prowl had endangered humans and stunned to find that Prowl thought the EDC might kill the townsfolk to cover up Devastator. Prime refused to believe that humans were their enemies but Prowl and Jetfire showed him that the missiles that attacked Ark-7 were based on Cybertronian biology specifically their neurology, leading Prowl to suspect that the EDC had Alpha Trion's brain for study.
Having tracked the "Mind Bomb"'s signal, Prime ordered Jazz to scout the Marshall Islands and while he waited aboard Sky Lynx reminded Prowl of the chain of command. Jazz reported in that he found Alpha Trion's shuttle proving Prowl's theory. Leaving Prowl on Sky Lynx after another chewing out, Prime led his troops through the EDC's defences and stormed the beach only for Galvatron's ship to appear above them.Full Fathom Five The Autobots were saved when Prowl interfaced with the EDC's defence grid and destroyed the Decepticon ship. Prime's group was soon rejoined by the Constructicons, Prowl, and Jazz, where Scavenger revealed he was a re-doubled agent feeding false data to Soundwave. While Devastator provided cover, Prime had his men retrieve Trion and quickly retreat aboard Sky Lynx. Once en route, Prime chewed out Prowl who countered with perfect logic. Prowl then showed Prime the data he had recovered from the EDC and that he knew just who to find if they were to solve the mystery of the EDC's actions. I Dream of Wires Unknown to the Prime, Scoop transmitted images of the battle to Starscream back on Cybertron.
Per Trion's request, Optimus took him to the lunar surface for a private discussion. Trion revealed that he was one of the Original Thirteen Primes of Cybertron and recounted the events that led to the end of the First Cybertronian Civil War. Optimus was enraged to find out that Trion had, not only allowed but, encouraged Nova to become a Prime which eventually led to functionism and the Second War. Trion was unfazed by these accusations and told Optimus that the other members of the Thirteen had fled Cybertron in fear because Galvatron had murdered Nexus Prime. He also knew that Galvatron had stolen Nexus's Enigma of Combination and launched it off world to Earth but didn't know whether Galvatron had intended to or not. Regardless, Shockwave had known where it had landed and planted Ore-13 there. Shockwave also knew where the other Primes had fled to and sent his other Ores there. Optimus pondered the full implications of the Enigma's power when Trion revealed the chilling information that the Prime Galvatron once served was named Megatronus, prompting the two Primes to wonder if Cybertronian history was repeating itself. The Crucible Optimus searched Earth for weeks trying to find the Enigma but found nothing. He later spoke of this to Trion before having to leave to Cybertron. Officially he left to research the Enigma and check on Starscream but was actually going to celebrate his anniversary of becoming a Prime. Before leaving he chewed out Prowl once more and warned him not to take preemptive action against the Decepticons or the humans.
Landing in Iacon, he was greeted by Starscream, Windblade and Sludge. When the Dinobot mentioned murders, Optimus was intrigued with what was happening on Cybertron particularly due to the Decepticons' poor living conditions. A trip to the Decepticon ghetto only invited attack and necessitated saving by Starscream. City of Steel Briefly contemplating his distaste for flying under his own power, Optimus released himself from Starscream to pursue Heavy Barrel. He caught up with the Decepticon in an alley in front of corpses. Assuming he was the killer, Optimus incapacitated him before someone else shot the Decepticon dead. Under the advice of Barricade, Optimus and Windblade went to a bar where he found support for his investigation from Sandstorm and scorn from Gutcruncher. As Optimus conversed with Sandstorm, the bar went up in flames. Fight of Flee Once Sandstorm had calmed down, he explained to Optimus that the found evidnece was an outlawed (and supposedly destroyed) infernus bullet and its properties...which was enough for an eavesdropping Starscream to lead a manhunt for the Firecons. When the Autobots caught up with the ex-Decepticon, they discovered the Dinobots had nearly killed the Firecons. When Sandstorm was shot by a stray attack, Optimus scolded the Dinobots for their brutality. Quest for Fire Optimus later offered comfort to Sandstorm which prompted commentary from Windblade about the hypocrisy the Autobots held towards war and their seeming desire to return to it. Optimus retorted that the Firecons were innocent as their natural pyrokinesis meant they had no need for infernus bullets. Optimus then met the Dinobots whom he accused, Slug in particular, of being the worst Cybertronians as they lived for war and chaos. The discussion was halted by the murder of several Autobots which was all Starscream needed to murder all his former compatriots only for Barricade to refuse. Suspecting that the killer was only targeting those with high-profile war crimes, Optimus loudly announced every bad thing the Dinobots had done. His trap worked and lured out the killer: Sandstorm. After shooting Prime with an infernus bullet (which Prime simply ripped out of his body), the Autobot broke down and confessed his reasoning for the murders stating that he could not allow those who had committed such acts to roam free. Optimus sympathized but placed Sandstorm under arrest. Optimus then travelled to the ruins of the Undergrid to commemorate the anniversary of his ascension to Primehood. He then revealed to Windblade that while it had been a ruse to draw out Sandstorm, he meant everything he said to the Dinobots but he still had hope that a new future could be built.
The Council of Worlds
While making their way through the Decepticon ghetto on the outskirts of Metroplex, Optimus and Windblade were accosted by a gang of disenfranchised Decepticons. fortunately, the intervention of Ironhide and Chromia were enough to disperse the Decepticons. Windblade asked to meet with the group in private, which turned out to be inside Metroplex's space bridge chamber. There, she explained that the Titan's spacebridge was now fully functional and ready to make contact with Windblade's homeworld of Caminus and the other lost colony planets. Knowing that Starscream could easily use his combiner Superion to simply conquer the various worlds, Optimus appointed Chromia and Ironhide to guard the space bridge while he spoke to Starscream directly about the matter. The meeting didn't go particularly well; Starscream refused to open the space bridge until Superion was completely refitted, and accused Optimus of using Devastator for similarly destructive ends.
Optimus eventually suggested that Starscream ratify a constitution for Cybertron and establish an inter-planetary parliament so that every member planet could be fairly represented. Prime later called Rodimus aboard the Lost Light, although Rodimus wasn't interested in attending the first contact ceremonies between Cybertron and Caminus. They eventually decided to send a small group of representatives home aboard one of the ship's shuttles. Before long, Windblade alerted Prime that someone had hijacked Metroplex's spacebridge!
The "someone" turned out to be Swindle and Menasor, who were intent on looting the planet. A furious Optimus contacted Starscream, summoning him to the space bridge chamber. Although Optimus offered to join the fight against Menasor, Windblade insisted that he stay on Cybertron for the time being until she could explain more about Camien society. Instead, Optimus ordered Starscream to deploy the Aerialbots, who combined into Superion and dispatched Menasor. Windblade explained to Optimus Prime about her religion, the Way of Flame, and the fact that to the Camiens Optimus would be seen as a holy figure. Along with Windblade, Optimus travelled to Caminus, where he interrupted Starscream's meeting with the Forgefire Parliament. When the Mistress of Flame requested proof of his "divinity", he complied by opening his chest and revealing the Matrix of Leadership, impressing the audience of Camiens.
At the first press conference between the two planets, Optimus's presence bedazzled the Camiens and inadvertently overshadowed Starscream's opening remarks. The Mistress of Flame was not so impressed by Prime's willingness to accept Starscream's leadership of the planet, viewing it as borderline blasphemy. While cleaning up the rubble on Caminus, Optimus chatted with Superion about Starscream's political ambitions and what it was like to be a combiner; Superion was incapable of articulating his thoughts on the latter subject. Their discussion was interrupted by Prowl, who had gotten wind of Prime's recent adventures and was furious at the thought of Starscream taking control of the colonies. With no time to talk Prowl down, Optimus terminated the call. Windblade noted that Optimus had lied by omission, neglecting to tell Prowl about the Enigma of Combination. At the next conference, Prime once again upstaged Starscream by announcing that Starscream intended to form a Council of Worlds, forcing him to follow through with this idea.
Optimus took part in a summit on Cybertron with Starscream and some Camien representatives, although Starscream was less than enthused about having him on board. This was interrupted by Mirage and Chromia; the former told the group about a strange vision he had seen on his way back to Cybertron, while the latter informed them that Devastator was on the warpath. Optimus invited Mirage's escorts, the jokingly-named "Protectobots", to accompany him to the spacebridge. After Devastator took out Superion, Optimus tried to reason with the giant combiner, to no avail. Starscream took matters into his own hands by forcing the Protectobots to fuse into Defensor, who teamed up with Superion. The two Autobot combiners stood triumphant, tearing Devastator back into his components. Starscream was ready to kill Prowl for his machinations, but Optimus managed to convince Starscream to arrest him instead. Optimus mused that Prowl's concerns were not misplaced, and worried that Starscream now had two combiners on his side.
You would think that with all their recent disagreements, Prowl wouldn't want Optimus in his combiner, but then we all know why this is happening. Prime later visited Prowl in prison to talk about recent events, including the fact that he and Windblade were putting systems in place to curb Starscream's political ambitions. Optimus tried to reach out to his old friend and sympathized with Prowl's long history of being betrayed. Prowl merely told him that Optimus had now betrayed him as well. As they talked, they were interrupted by Mirage, Ironhide, and Sunstreaker, who had talked and realized that they had somehow gained the ability to share "mindspace" with one another. Optimus was also joined by Rattrap, who had gone behind Starscream's back and stolen the Enigma of Combination... all on Prowl's orders! With an angry Menasor on the loose and the other combiners reduced to infighting, Prowl ordered Rattrap to zap Optimus and his allies with the Enigma, turning them into a new combiner. You, Me, and the Universe Within the mind of his new gestalt, Optimus united their way of thinking—their belief in the strength of individuals, and their refusal to accept Prowl's numbers-and-statistics view of the world—to shut out Prowl's control of their merged form. Declaring themselves Optimus Maximus, the combined Autobots subdued the renewed threat of Devastator—rebuilt by Starscream but now out of control—then separated so that Prowl could be arrested for his crimes.
In the aftermath, Optimus contacted Arcee to update her on the recent developments, before visiting the incarcerated Prowl again with the hope that he could talk some sense into his old ally. Prowl simply replied that he had no place for morality, and that spending time as Devastator meant that he could no longer tell the difference between himself and the Decepticons. The two former friends finally came to blows, although Prowl's knowledge that a part of him would always exist within Prime convinced the Autobot leader to spare his life. Unbeknownst to him, Rattrap had spirited Prowl away the moment Optimus had turned his back!
At Metroplex's spaceport, Optimus was present with Tracks to see Mirage and the Protectobots off. Arcee soon arrived and confronted Optimus about his apparent unwillingness to thwart Starscream's growing ambition in creating an empire.
Optimus met with the Mistress of Flame on Caminus. Although Optimus tried to convince her that he was not a Prime in the Camien sense of the word, the Mistress insisted that he had been chosen by the Matrix for a reason. She also argued that Optimus should use his political clout to improve Earth's living conditions, just as Cybertron had reached out to the people of Caminus. On returning to Cybertron, Optimus met with Windblade to discuss the growing Council of Worlds. The duo intervened in a fight between Slug and some Camien proselytizers. there, he met Aileron, a young and idealistic Camien who viewed Optimus as a living god. Optimus confided some his doubts in her, including the Mistress's criticism of his passivity. At his new confidant's suggestion, Optimus went off in search of the Torchbearers. Aphelion As the two travelled into the Rust Sea, they stumbled across the Pyra Magna's crew of Torchbearers. A brief scuffle ensued, which ended with Optimus pinned down beneath Victorion's gravity powers. At the combiner's request, Optimus recited some of Cybertron's early mythology, including the story of the Matrix's creation. However, Prime stressed that he did not ascribe any supernatural importance to these devices, believing them to be simply advanced technology. Though disappointed in Prime's agnosticism, Victorion laid a claim on the Matrix of Leadership and pledged that she would build Optimus up into a worthy Prime.
Optimus The Conqueror
This chance came after a crisis at Iacon's space bridge, where Windblade's team struggled against a mob of disenfranchised Decepticons seeking a new life on Earth. Optimus, Aileron, and Sterling rallied Superion and Victorion (and a reluctant Starscream), who quickly reclaimed control of the damaged bridge. While Wheeljack worked to bring it back online, Optimus realized the only way to permanently end the struggle for Earth. As soon as the bridge came back online, Optimus stepped through to confront Galvatron's forces... and laid claim to Earth and its people, declaring it the newest member of the Council of Worlds!
This naturally didn't sit well with Galvatron or the humans, and a chaotic fight soon ensued, with Optimus leading the charge- much to Aileron's admiration, noting that Optimus had begun acting like the Primes of legend. With the Decepticons incapacitated thanks to an EDC mindbomb, Optimus pushed their advantage, forcing Galvatron and his inner circle into a retreat. There was no time to rest, however, as China's People's Liberation Army Mecha Force deployed a counterattack on the Cybertronians, blasting Sterling with an orbital killsat. Optimus deployed Aileron to take down the space-based weaponry while he coordinated the withdrawal effort on the ground. Aileron bridged back to Cybertron and returned with the Skyroller, whereupon Optimus and Aileron flew the Autobots to safety.
Optimus began to have second thoughts about his drastic actions while en route to the EDC's headquarters, although he knew that he couldn't go back. Once he had arrived at the Bikini Atoll, he rendezvoused with the original Earth team and Thundercracker, whom he formally inducted into the Autobots. While recharging, Prime was later plagued by a vision of the Dark Cybertron prophecy, although he was quick to shrug it off and supervise the renovation of Thundercracker's old home to support a temporary Space Bridge to Cybertron to extricate the wounded, although he had to put up with Alpha Trion's criticisms. Using the Skyroller's systems, Optimus broadcast a message to everyone on Earth and Cybertron, informing them that Earth was under his protection and that, above all, the Autobots were here to help humanity.
At this time, the Cybertronian race received the final message from Team Rodimus saying that they would die in six hours and detailing how they would like to be buried. As the Lost Light was not answering any hails, Optimus ordered everyone into the Space bridge to save them only for Jetfire to inform him that the message had been sent three weeks ago.
Under Optimus's supervision, the Autobots set about improving living conditions for humanity- planting crops, distributing technology to poor towns, and patrolling violence-stricken regions. Unfortunately, Prime was still plagued with nightmares regarding his perceived failures and poor judgment calls. Optimus apologized to Aileron for failing to live up to his godly reputation, although the Camien assured him that he had set the Autobots on the right course of action. On the Skyroller, Prime requested that Tracks try to open a channel to his Decepticon brother Needlenose, which set off an emotional chain recation that ended with Aileron storming off to confront the "ungrateful" humans. Optimus, Sunstreaker, and Victorion followed her to the lawn of the White House, where they rescued her from a pair of Seeker clones... although not without Optimus getting his arm blown off by another killsat. Back on the Skyroller, Aileron continued to give Prime the cold shoulder, prompting the Autobot leader to finally open up communications with other major political players and discuss the next step.
He first journeyed back to Cybertron to try and explain himself to the Council of Worlds only for them to condemn him. He then travelled to Caminus where he requested the Mistress of Flame divulge the knowledge she had regarding "The Arisen", the thirteenth of the Thirteen. The Mistress revealed she'd been studying the massive role Earth played in Cybertronian history, causing her to deduce that it was the lost thirteenth colony and that Optimus himself was The Arisen. Returning to Monument Valley, he prepared to depart for Sanctuary Station only for Arcee to pull him aside, telling him that Horri-Bull's I/D chip had been detonated by Soundwave and not Bumblebee. Prime used this information to blackmail Soundwave into working together to defeat Galvatron and the humans. The combined Cybertronian force regrouped in Monument Valley where they formulated an attack plan on the Nemesis. When the Earth Defense Command attacked them, Soundwave was eager to kill them but Optimus overruled him believing that the situation could be resolved peacefully. Soundwave, however, cared little for this and promptly opened fire on the humans backed up by Aileron. Since Alpha Trion, had only cryptic riddles, Optimus encouraged Soundwave to try and attack the humans mentally to quickly end the fight. As Soundwave began to melt the human brains, he realized the wrongness of his prejudice against them and fully joined Optimus. This caused the EDC to surround the Cybertronians only for Optimus to fully realize the words of Alpha Trion. Kneeling down, he summoned the stasis-locked Metrotitan to awaken causing the EDC to fly off with their tails between their legs. When he received word of Galvatron's escape, he ordered Arcee to pursue.
He and Soundwave caught up with Arcee as she was fighting the Decepticon in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter. The ancient warrior held off all three easily before Soundwave shot him in the back, allowing Arcee to destroy his fusion cannon, taking him out of the fight. Galvatron proceeded to mock them all before saying he would join them only because Onyx Prime was on his way to Earth. Optimus however, had never been after Galvatron's surrender and promptly shot him through the Spark, taking his head as proof that the threat had passed and presenting it to the President of the United States. He later commanded Metrotitan to transform to city mode, a form he dubbed Autobot City to function as an embassy on the planet. Metrotitan then sent a pulse wave into space to inform everyone about Optimus' deeds, something which troubled both Soundwave and the Prime.
His actions on Earth during the Great War and his subsequent annexation of Earth, were the focus point of Scarlett and Joe Colton's discussion of the Cybertronian threat to Earth.
His fears about the datapulse proved true when his predecessor Sentinel Prime not only showed up on Earth but revealed himself to be a Titan Master who hijacked Trion's body while leaving the Autobots to fight off his regular body. The fight led them to a large cache of Ore-13. Sentinel returned with Garrison Blackrock who revealed himself to be another Titan Master named Sovereign. The duo then tapped into Metrotitan's Space Bridge transporting them Soundwave and Optimus away from the city. White Light Optimus rebooted in the shadow of the deceased Titan Prion where Sentinel revealed himself to truly be Infinitus and the herald of Onyx Prime. He and Sovereign extended an invitation for Optimus to join them as the latter impaled Soundwave. Optimus managed to keep Sentinel talking long enough to bodyslam into Sovereign who Soundwave freed from Sentinel's control. The Titan Master duo then departed through a Space Bridge before Optimus ordered Soundwave to use the portal to return them to Cybertron so as to get medical help for Alpha Trion. Before they returned to Earth, Soundwave spoke to Optimus of the compromises they'd made and how the Cybertronian race had to move past its feud and focus on rebuilding the future for the Decepticon feared something else from the ancient past might return.
New World Order
Months later when Metrotitan went silent, Optimus called in Windblade from Earth to diagnose what was wrong with the Titan. Informed Before she could, the Titan detected an explosion of Ore-13 beneath Mount Olympus. Optimus was worried that this might happen to Autobot City (given that they were atop a much larger cache) or that the humans might view this as an act of war. As it turned out, the humans did view it as an act of war, with G.I. Joe launching an attack on Jazz and Arcee in Portland. Heading to the city to back them up, the Cybertronians were confronted by the humans' harmless weapons, before Soundwave destroyed all their electronics with a concentrated EMP attack. The Joe Beach Head then fired an RPG round in Prime's face, doing absolutely no damage other than angering the Prime. Before anything else could happen, an unknown alien showed up and atomized four Joes. Recognizing that the Cybertronians would be blamed for this, Optimus ordered his forces to follow the alien. Concorde Hymn The Cybertronians followed the alien, forcing it to make an emergency landing in Umpqua National Forest. The alien declared it was hunting beings known as Dire Wraiths, before it used Prime's weight against him, flipping him over. Optimus' troops managed to overpower the aggressive alien, before Optimus himself slammed into it in vehicle mode. He then aimed his ion blaster inches from the alien and politely asked it to repeat what it was saying earlier. The Divine Source of Liberty The alien introduced itself as Rom of the Solstar Order. Making peace with him, the Cybertronians brought him back to Autobot City. Here Windblade deduced that Metrotitan was silent because he was trying to force Optimus to mind meld with him, only for Windblade herself to undergo the process. She revealed that Micronus Prime had communicated with her and asked her to ask Optimus to send Ore-13 into the subatomic realm of Microspace. Remembering the recent debacle with Sentinel and the ruins of the Mini-Con colony, Optimus was skeptical of trusting another Prime, and tabled the discussion until they'd dealt with the current crisis on Earth.
As the main protagonist of the most popular line of books, Optimus gets centre stage in this heroic team-up shot. The group retreated to the Ore-13 cache beneath the city to compare notes on the Dire Wraiths' interest in Ore-13 and Windblade's knowledge regarding Micronus Prime and Microspace. Optimus believed their main focus should be on solving the crisis with Ore-13 on Earth, given their lack of knowledge on Microspace even as Aileron brought intel supporting that the Ore was disappearing into another universe. While the Cybertronians argued, the nearby Space Bridge came online, which Rom used to send the Ore-13 into Microspace. Optimus made him see that his desire to defeat the Wraiths was putting an entire universe at risk and the Space Knight relented. Optimus assured him that they all wanted to save the Earth and no one had to shoulder the entire burden. O Ship of State They soon took note of both Snake Eyes and the Heliopolis, with Rom and Windblade deducing the latter were the inhabitants of Micronus' universe. Optimus appealed to Snake-Eyes, making him see that M.A.S.K., Baron Karza and the Dire Wraiths were the real threats to Earth. Almost as soon as Snake-Eyes agreed to work with the Autobots, Optimus was forced to lead the last defence of the Ore-13 and the spacebridge against M.A.S.K. and an entire army of Dire Wraiths. During the battle, he totalled M.A.S.K.'s Rhino vehicle before being swarmed by Wraiths, who promptly abandoned him in favour of putting Miles Mayhem in his place, before the spacebridge opened to reveal Baron Karza, who merged with the Wraiths, becoming a towering fusion of Wraith, Microspace and Cybertronian power.
When the Baron began using Wraith magic to funnel Ore-13 into Microspace, Optimus pieced everything together and tried to rally everyone to fight together to fight their true enemy, but the organics were more interested in fighting one another. Optimus then grabbed Rom, Snake Eyes, and Acroyear and transformed, trapping them in his cab as he explained the situation and charged Karza an act that convinced Matt Trakker and the recently arrived G.I. Joe of his intentions. Optimus led the attack on the Baron but even with reinforcements, he overpowered them until Soundwave hit on the plan to stop their foe and save Earth by forcing him back into Microspace. Optimus then roused Metrotitan to carry the Autobots to safety, only to have his chest ripped open in a desperate escape attempt by Karza, with Optimus saved by an unlikely intervention from Miles Mayhem. Once the crisis had passed, Optimus admitted to the humans that he was wrong to claim their world out of the belief only he could defend it, inviting them all to work together.
When Rom took his leave from Autobot City to fight Dire Wraiths elsewhere, Optimus commented that Rom was an odd being, but without him the Wraiths would likely have ambushed Autobot City and conquered Earth via the Ore-13 deposit. Optimus decided against hunting down the Dire Wraiths in light of more immediate problems to attend to, but was convinced Rom would contact them (one way or another) if the Wraiths ever grew beyond the Knight's ability to handle. The Joe Beachhead held Optimus responsible for the new status quo forced onto Earth. Rom later remembered his initial meeting with Optimus and wondered if one day he and the Prime would be enemies.
Optimus later took Arcee and Jazz to investigate a Spacebridge fluctuation in Monument Valley where Optimus wondered if he'd brought hell to Earth by annexing it. After his subordinates had a "debate" about that, the three prepared to leave before a vengeful Baron Karza appeared, wearing the body of Micronus Prime, and swatted the three Autobots aside, Wrath of Karza #1 before placing them in a prison. Wrath of Karza #4 The three Autobots would soon be liberated by the Micronauts, in their search for allies against Karza's invasion. Wrath of Karza #3 After the Micronauts had captured the Sharkos, the Autobot trio joined in the attack on the Microspace forces, only to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of Acroyear soldiers before Acroyear destroyed them and a Time Traveler empowered Shazraella arrived. Wrath of Karza #4 Optimus used the distraction to simply pick up Karza, but the tyrant once again enerchanged with Micronus Prime, reassuming his towering form, and engaged the Autobots. Shazraella then used her powers on the Autobots, causing them to shift through the various alternate modes they'd held throughout their lives. When Shazraella's powers began growing out of control however, Karza begged Optimus for aid. Impressed by the would-be conqueror's morals, Optimus agreed but Shazraella proved too powerful for them. Their salvation came in the form of Oziron Rael, having ascended to become a Time Traveler. The Time Travelers removed Shazraella's power, before they proposed a treaty to Optimus between Earth and Microspace. Optimus agreed and swore to help the Microspacian refugees in any way he could.
Spurred on by the faith the colonists had placed in him, Optimus visited several of the colony worlds and recruited a new generation of Autobots.
Some months later, after the colonists had gotten settled, the Autobots responded to an anti-Cybertronian riot in Mexico City where Midnight Express was injured by a weapon derived from Cybertronian technology. This prompted Optimus to head to the White House and warn the President about the dangers of breaching the Tyrest Accord. Before any real progress could be made, Soundwave informed Optimus of an alien spacecraft approaching Earth. The Autobots set out to meet it at the Matterhorn, where Pyra Magna not-so-subtly indicated she felt Optimus was unworthy to have the Matrix. The spacecraft then arrived, burrowing into the Earth. To Walk Among the Chosen The occupants revealed themselves to be Junkions, who had come to trade advanced technology for Ore-13. Before Optimus could fully respond, G.I. Joe showed up and opened fire on the Autobots, ordering them to leave. This prompted the Junkions to leave as well. Back aboard the Titan, Soundwave revealed to everyone the tale of the "Battle of Junkion" that ended with either Shockwave or Prowl destroying Junkion. Eager to make amends, Optimus invited them aboard, though he himself felt the Cybertronians had no need for Junkion technology. He was proven wrong when they revealed a positron core that could potentially save Sideswipe's life. A Lonely Pillar on the Plain Optimus then left for Cybertron to try to convince the Council of Worlds to allow trade with the Junkions. He found support from the Mistress of Flame but fierce resistance from Starscream, who noted that Earth was still technically unaffiliated and that Cybertron needed all its resources to rebuild after Sentinel Prime's Titan attack. Optimus then took his leave.
Back on Earth, Optimus ordered Jetfire to contact Soundwave to gather all the leaders of Earth. He then confided his plan in Aileron who, aside from finding it very risky, felt he was letting his Prime status go to his head. Optimus replied that he didn't find the Matrix to be a religious artifact but said he was trying to build something out of the blind faith that many put into it. This statement displeased Pyra Magna, but Optimus (after a punch in the faceplate) told her to gather everyone on the flight deck. When everyone was gathered, Rum-Maj unleashed her horde of Sharkticons. Dance Among the Shadows The Junkions then rammed their ship into Metrotitan, who Optimus roused (much to the colonists' awe) to destroy the ship. As usual, Pyra Magna had complaints. Future Glories Lost The fight seemed won when Soundwave turned the Sharkticons against the Junkions, but when Slide encouraged Optimus to kill them all as he had Galvatron in revenge for Oiler's death, he realized the precariousness of the situation and the parallels to pre-War Cybertron. When the positron core was destroyed by a stray shot, Optimus threw down his gun and opened his chest to reveal the Matrix. He invited everyone to stand down so they could build a new future together without any killing. His words won Rum-Maj over and Prime ordered Metrotitan to set the ship down.
At a signal from Garrison Blackrock, Metrotitan flew to the Onyx tower in Buenos Aires and deposited Optimus Prime into the chaos. At Skywarp's direction, Optimus charged at a terrified Joe Colton, before Dire Wraith mutates swarmed the Prime, though Roadblock warned him that they were humans, forcing Optimus to pull his punches. Metrotitan soon transmitted a curative pulse returning the humans to normal. Garrison Kreiger soon activated the M.A.S.S. Device, teleporting himself and Colton away as Optimus tried to grab them. As Optimus reflected on the danger of humans with orbital jump technology, Sgt. Savage introduced himself to the Prime, finding his name to be badass. When it was discovered that Mike Power and Centurion had merged into one being, Blackrock suggested talking to Optimus.
Optimus later met with the President to discuss the Autobots' PR, specifically that Jazz (who was known for the killing of John Powell) was going to do a television interview. Optimus was willing to allow Jazz his freedom, but the President feared about the political fallout that the interview would bring. The Next Day, and the Next As the discussion continued Optimus saw through the President's words that Jazz was walking into a G.I. Joe trap and sent him a text message telling him to flee. Optimus then approached Pyra Magna and asked her to speak with him in private on Cybertron. What It's Really Like While there, the two discussed the origins of both Bumblebee and Pyra, the latter story convincing Optimus that Onyx Prime was still alive and returning, though Optimus himself found difficulty in accepting that Pyra's origins and ambitious nature were rooted in a poem and a nightmare. Nonetheless the two came to an uneasy peace. Ghost Stories When Sunstreaker and Arcee decided to humanely put Sideswipe out his suffering, they hooked him up to mnemopathis projector to have a last good day. Within the simulation, Optimus welcomed Sideswipe back to life. The Life of Sideswipe When Sideswipe's spark finally faded, Optimus greeted Sunstreaker and Arcee as they brought his body to Cybertron. An eager Aileron followed them to announce to Optimus that Earth had finally chosen an ambassador for the Council of Worlds. To pass the time until the choice was finalized, Optimus, Pyra and Starscream gathered in Alpha Trion's quarters, where Optimus requested Alpha Trion tell the story of the origins of the Autobot insignia. Of the three, only Optimus grasped the story's meaning, before the President called to announce Marissa Faireborn was Earth's chosen ambassador.
At the official induction ceremony, the events of Optimus annexing Earth were replayed on the news to set the stage for the ceremony. First Strike #1 Before it began however, he spent time with Blackrock and Centurion trying to help the latter make some sense of his jumbled memories before he was forced to take his leave, promising to see them again tomorrow. Unification Day: Dawn Optimus arrived at the ceremony, flanked by Arcee and Pyra where the three did a photo op, Unification Day: Dawn before an explosion sent the crowd into a panic. Telling Onslaught and Brawl to evacuate Starscream and Marissa, Optimus joined Ironhide in engaging the Red Shadows, but unknown to him was being targeted by the humans behind the crisis. First Strike #1 After dealing with some Iron Grenadiers, Optimus joined with Action Man to check up on Centurion and Blackrock only to find both had disappeared. Though Optimus thought the two had betrayed them (again), Action Man was resolute that Colditz had captured them and requested that the Revolutionaries be allowed to find their missing teammates. Optimus agreed but advised them to be back before dark.
Prime and Windblade then retreated to the Spire, where Elita One was preparing to execute Marissa for the human terrorist attack. Though Optimus insisted the problem was his fault (something which Elita wholeheartedly agreed to), Marissa managed to defuse the situation on her own before the Solstar Order arrived to place Cybertron under quarantine. First Strike #2 As the debate continued, M.A.S.K. and G.I. Joe were brought before the Council, with Elita ordering their execution. First Strike #3 Elita's decision was overruled in seconds, before she suggested mass deportation, convinced that all humans were on Cybertron to destroy Optimus as revenge for conquering their planet, a statement that caused Optimus to state Earth was not conquered. When Scarlett explained what Colton and Kreiger were likely planning an extinction level event, Optimus took her words seriously and tried to persuade the Council to act, only for Elita and Starscream to silence him. When Cybertronian Security Forces descended underground, Optimus tried to speak to Windblade only to be rebuffed, later explaining to Ironhide that she had tired of his constant military commander mindset, despite being one of the more moral Cybertronians alive. Optimus then visited Scarlett in her cell, where he admitted that millennia as a Prime had built up an expectation to always be listened to, before he thanked Scarlett for coming to Cybertron and trying to help. When Scarlett revealed she'd primarily come to try and save Colton from himself, Optimus sympathized, having gone through the same with Megatron, before he swore to be on her side when the time came. Optimus made his way to Metroplex's brain module, where Windblade was monitoring Ironhide and Sunstreaker's teams. When Colton disabled both squads, a horrified Windblade turned to a stoic Optimus in disbelief that Scarlett had been correct.
Optimus gathered Arcee and Soundwave before breaking Scarlett's team out of jail, only to find their path barred by Windblade, who asked him to stand down. Optimus refused, citing the danger to Cybertron and Windblade complied, noting that this would be the last time she bowed to his will. Heading underground, the group fought their way past Colton's myriad of traps. When they came upon a river of acid, Scarlett leapt right in, proving it to be an advanced hologram and prompting Optimus and Soundwave to comment on humanity's cavalier attitude towards their own safety. The group pressed on and managed to reach the core of Cybertron before Colton's cabal.
Optimus engaged Destro in combat before the Council of Worlds arrived to arrest everyone where he took a missile to the chest courtesy of Starscream. Though he tried to reason with Elita, he soon found himself engaging her and the Seeker in melee combat. When Garrison Kreiger activated the Talisman and revealed himself to be an alien being known as Merklynn, Optimus noted that the energon flowing through the Cybertronians had been altered somehow. Following Merklynn's creation of New Prysmos, he teleported all combatants back to Iacon.
In the aftermath, Optimus gave a television interview where he expressed hope at the prospect of humans and Cybertronians working together, despite the bad turn the day had taken. After presiding over Sideswipe's funeral, Optimus was ready to head back to Earth before Blackrock informed him that the recovered Centurion had found Cybertron's first protoforms since the war's end. Swift then revealed her role in finding the hot spot and that Starscream knew of the protoforms. Optimus and Blackrock then went to confront the Seeker who waved off their accusations before loaning them Slug to track down the Dinobots. Arriving in the wilderness of Cybertron, the group was greeted by Centurion, Sandstorm and the remainder of the Dinobots before Slug went berserk and attacked.
After punching Slug, Optimus found himself grabbling with Sandstorm. After Arcee discovered Trypticon guarding protoforms, Optimus sent Blackrock to retrieve Marissa Faireborn. After firing a warning shot at Slug, Optimus tried to reason with the Dinobot before Trypticon broke out of the ground and demanded the fighting cease lest the protoforms be endangered, with Optimus managing to reason with the Titan. When Faireborn arrived, Optimus put forth his suggestion that Trypticon become Earth's embassy on Cybertron so that the protoforms could be under his protection. Though Sandstorm was appalled by the low move, Centurion supported him for the move was one of peace.
To help Cybertron with its energy crisis and improve human/Cybertronian relations, Optimus oversaw the opening of an Ore-13 mine in Kentucky. After offering some comfort and advice to Slide, Optimus brought the Ore-13 shipment to the Council of Worlds where the Mistress of Flame requested a private word. The two discussed possibly prophetic "dreams" they had had before an eclipse unexpectedly struck. Hovering above was Nemesis, the Titan of Onyx Prime, with its master and Liege Maximo on the hull, the former intending to pass judgment on the latter and the rest of Cybertron. Optimus invited Onyx down to the surface to speak, an offer which the ancient Prime agreed to, for the sake of Cybertron was Optimus Prime's responsibility as The Arisen.
When Onyx was granted an audience with the Council, Optimus summoned Soundwave to Cybertron. During the meeting, Optimus found himself playing the mediator between Onyx and the Mistress's deference to him and Windblade's legitimate power. Reminded of Galvatron's last words, Optimus continually attempted to keep everyone satisfied only for Soundwave to barge in just as Optimus was badmouthing the deceased Decepticon leader. Before another word could be said, a mysterious explosion ripped through the Spire, Optimus shielding Marissa Faireborn from the blast. When the dust settled, Alpha Trion was found to have perished with Onyx taking the opportunity to smirch the Decepticon faction and claim the Primes would be retaking command of Cybertron and passing judgment for their fellow's demise. Another Mine Optimus Prime and Windblade cautioned clearer heads, and supported Soundwave despite the allegations. After sowing distrust among the Decepticons, colonists, and humans, Onyx revealed Soundwave's murder of Horri-Bull's to Needlenose and the other Decepticons, sparking a free-for-all in the streets of Iacon before he took his leave. As chaos mounted, Metrotitan arrived from Earth via Space Bridge and declared his loyalty for the purported "Chosen One", Starscream. Optimus recognized all this was Onyx Prime's doing, but could not reckon why, having Windblade carry him to Metrotitan to try and deter the Titan. After the Titan refused to heed Optimus's commands, the Prime fell from Windblade's grasp in the sky, only to be rescued by Onyx, aboard his skiff. Onyx then had Nemesis, open fire on Metrotitan, blasting a hole clear through his torso. Fearing the death of all his friends aboard Metrotitan, Optimus attempted to slay Onyx, only for his attack to be parried, and he himself to blasted point-blank by a concealed weapon. As Optimus convulsed, the bestial Prime removed his own face to show that he was, and always had been... Shockwave.
In his disoriented state, Optimus was chained up aboard Nemesis with Shockwave explaining that after the battle in Crystal City, he had been hurled back to Cybertron's prehistory, and that all of their history since the era of the Knights of Cybertron had been deliberately orchestrated by Shockwave as part of a multi-faceted scheme to start Transformer society anew. When Nemesis arrived above Crystal City, Shockwave threw Optimus into the black hole, so that he too could experience his own journey of enlightenment. The First Who Was Named Though the gravitational forces instantly destroyed Optimus's body, he soon found himself in a darkened landscape. Though initially believing he was in the Afterspark, Optimus soon realized he back in infraspace. As he took stock of his situation, he was approached by Bumblebee, who was eager for an explanation as to the nature of the realm. The Hallowing After confirming there was no duplicate Shockwave in infraspace, and learning that the realm was limited in size, Optimus decided to give up, content that their allies would find a way to save Cybertron. As Bumblebee explained his experiences talking to Starscream, Optimus doodled in the sand, chiming in to explain that the two were now minds without bodies before declaring the post-War mess as his fault for letting the title of Prime go to his head. Bumblebee instantly dissuaded such a notion, noting he was still Orion Pax and that the Matrix was only ever an idea. At his words, Optimus realized he could use the metaphysical weight of the Matrix to punch a hole through the singularity and back to the real world. Endless Forever By "opening the Matrix" within infraspace, Optimus was able to expel information from the singularity, creating a potential pathway out. Once the bridge was formed, Optimus insisted Bumblebee go and leave him, only for the scout to drag him along. The two found themselves inhabiting the body of Pyra Magna, communicating with her in antespace. As one, the three of them captured Shockwave, taking him alive in spite of a mutual desire to see him dead. Once the Decepticon was brought before the Council, Optimus scolded him for throwing away his chance at redemption only for Shockwave to reveal all he had done was embrace the arrival of chaos.
A few days later, Optimus awoke in a new body but found no chance at respite. Windblade instantly summoned him to view a recording from Velocitron, as the speed planet came under attack from an unknown anomaly. Windblade explained that, while Optimus was offline, Cybertron had come into conflict with the Prysmosian squatters, resulting in the Talisman sending out a summons to the object: Unicron, the uncreator. Recognizing that Unicron was responsible for destroying LV-117, Optimus marshalled the Autobot fleet to protect the other colony worlds, only for Unicron to constantly outmanoeuvre them. As Elonia came under attack, Optimus had the Ark-Zero evacuate the Elonians to Cybertron, but ultimately failed to prevent the Chaos Bringer from consuming the planet for its Ore-12. After explaining the magnitude of the threat to Rom, the Ark-Zero received a call from Prowl, who had failed to protect Devisiun from Unicron and the Maximals, and encouraged Optimus to set a trap at Unicron's next target, Caminus. Once the fleet was recharged, Optimus explained his plan to let Unicron eat Caminus so that he could enter the Chaos Bringer and find a way to destroy him from the inside.
When the Chaos Bringer arrived at the colony, Optimus coordinated the battle against the Maximal fleet until Nemesis touched down on Unicron's surface. After Bumblebee had rammed a hole through the Titan and into Unicron, he, Optimus, and Arcee ventured within their foe to destroy him. In short order, the trio found Unicron's amalgamated insides, among which lay a ruined Omega Sentinel. As they pondered the mystery of Unicron's origins, the monster's antibodies attacked them. Overwhelmed by the creatures, the three were forced to teleport back to the Ark-Zero, leaving Caminus to die. Back in Iacon, a wounded Optimus offered his apologies to Windblade before Starscream stole the moment and declared he would be Cybertron's saviour. Last Stand Escorting the Seeker to the war room, Starscream explained that he'd sent Bludgeon out into the galaxy and had the mad scientist form the "Decepticon Vengeance Division", a fleet of Decepticon capital ships with enough firepower to destroy Unicron. Though Windblade wanted to merge Starscream and Optimus's fleet, the Seeker insisted his ships were sufficient, while Optimus protested trusting Starscream. Before a consensus could be reached, Chromia called to inform the Council that the DVD was already squaring off against Unicron... to no effect. Soon enough, Unicron teleported into the skies above Cybertron, now having gained a robot mode.
As the fleet moved to engage their foe, the Council began debating tactics before Bumblebee and Aileron barged in, claiming to have learnt Unicron's origins. Arcee confirmed Bumblebee's claim adding on that the Chaos Bringer was a weapon of ultimate retribution formed from the planet Antilla, the first world the Thirteen had tried to colonize. Optimus then conferred with Shockwave who explained that he'd masterminded events so that when Unicron devoured Cybertron, the Talisman would "uncreate the uncreator" leaving the Transformers free to start their new lives and perfect empire on Earth. As Unicron began physically ripping into Cybertron, Shockwave sardonically asked Optimus to have Metroplex space bridge them to safety. Our Finest When Optimus failed to choose, Shockwave simply teleported himself away, encouraging his old friend to join him. Noticing the magical ribbon of energy that was teleporting away the citizenry, Optimus leapt into it, ordering Metroplex to space bridge himself to safety. Materializing in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Optimus shared a hug with Windblade before Prowl called informing him that Unicron was close behind them.
After being briefed by Windblade on how she'd managed to evacuate Cybertron, Optimus was confronted by Slide who bitterly recounted what he'd missed before denouncing him. Realizing that even standing by and doing nothing had been a conscious choice on his part, Optimus apologized to Jazz for abandoning him all those months ago. Everyone was then called for a briefing by Jetfire to explain how Unicron functioned and how the Talisman could be used to kill him. Before facing the ultimate enemy, Optimus took a moment to wonder if he truly was any better than the Primes who preceded him before deciding to remove his mouthplate, deciding to face Unicron as himself. Concealed beneath Starscream, Optimus was ferried to Unicron to lead the final attack.
As they flew to their foe, both Skywarp and Thundercracker were damaged forcing them to fall back. Unable to reach Unicron's core without Skywarp's powers, Starscream sacrificed himself, activating the Talisman so it could burn a path to their objective. As Optimus and Arcee followed it, facing off against a horde of the monster's antibodies, both tried to have the other retreat, Arcee refusing due to her guilt regarding Antilla and Optimus claiming the crisis was his responsibility as the Arisen. Before he could elaborate on that statement, the two reached the black hole at the heart of Unicron. Saying a last goodbye to his friend, Optimus leapt in after the Talisman.
Emerging back in infraspace, Optimus was confronted by the spectre of Unicron's creator. Though the Prime attempted diplomacy, the Antillan attacked with a vengeful fury. After Soundwave had managed to psychically link Optimus with the Afterspark, the Prime found the courage to stand up to the alien until the Talisman rebooted, its energies consuming the landscape. Encouraging the creator to let go of his hatred, Optimus asked who he'd been before the invasion. Unable to remember the Antillan instead spoke the name of his beloved daughter, the one whose death sent him on his crusade. Pulling the alien into an embrace, Optimus encouraged him to remember his daughter and light the dark hour he'd created. As the regretful man finally abandoned his vendetta, Unicron collapsed in on itself.
In the last few moments before his demise, Optimus reflected on his life, content in the knowledge that he'd tried to build a better world and that that legacy would inspire those who came afterwards to do the same.
- Whether or not Optimus Prime is the reincarnation of The Arisen, like in the Aligned continuity, is left ambiguous, with Arcee eventually deciding it was not important.