Reinforcements, Part 3
"I gotta hurt you now. You're just too disturbing to live."
|"Reinforcements, Part 3"|
|Publisher||IDW Publishing, Ted Adams|
|First published||March 9, 2017|
|Cover date||January 2017|
|Written by||Chris Ryall and Christos Gage|
|Art by||Paolo Villanelli|
|Colors by||Alessandra Alexakis|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Editorial assistant||David Mariotte|
Rom attempts to convince his skeptical comrades of his mission to protect Earth. Meanwhile, Darby tries to get back into the world.
In the dark of night, two gentlemen enter a religious building with the sign "Friends of our Enemies". Though the audience within is small, they are eager for spiritual enlightenment and are soon greeted by the movement's founder: Kagan Knight. Though Knight sardonically admits to Earth being a less than ideal place to live, he offers to show them other worlds.
Back at Cooper's Mill, medics load the unconscious Camilla Byers while pondering the cause of her ailment. Under stealth cloak, the three Space Knights watch the humans depart (after Livia does a quick scan to confirm they're all human) before Rom and Orphion resume their debate. Agreeing to talk away from any humans, Rom leads his fellows away while explaining how unusual the Wraiths are acting on Earth...an explanation that only confirms to Orphion that Earth must die. Rom however is contemptuous, angrily saying that all the Solstar Order has ever done since the war began has been react and fearing that their order will soon fall if they do not change their ways.
Reaching the climax of his speech, Kagan Knight reveals himself to be a Dire Wraith Sorcerer. Under his magics however, the humans only see beauty even as he drains them of their souls. In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Darby's grandmother overseers her granddaughter going on a totally not a date with fellow PTSD recoverer Ruan Sablik. Though neither Darby or Ruan feel totally ready to walk outside again, they take their companionship in stride.
In the skies of California, Grunt and Beach Head have caught up with Rom though they now pick up the additional signals of Orphion and Livia as the three Knights descend into Blind-Eye Cave. Upon landing, Orphion scolds Rom for his sentimentality regarding Earth noting that they defend the galaxy and not just one planet while also highlighting his numerous protocol breaches such as failing to request a new partner when his last one was killed or not having destroyed Earth. Rom gives his retort voicing his displeasure at the Solstar Order's mindless devotion to protocol and again highlighting the anomalous Wraith behaviour on Earth. Though the news of Wraiths mimicking plants and a potential second war against the Cybertronians gives Orphion pause, he reveals a hologram of the Wraith infestation on Earth showing the planet is infested to the core with Wraiths. Confident that Solstar diplomates can placate the Cybertronian government, Orphion prepares to follow through on destroying Earth only to be shot unconscious by Beach Head and Grunt. Livia is quick to respond with a barrage from her Neutralizers which the Joes prove able to dodge before activating a jammer preventing the Knights from forming the weapon. Agreeing to non-lethal maneuvers (after a quick Analyzer scan), Livia and Rom proceed to trounce the humans in melee combat.
After Knight has finished draining the humans, he grumbles about how little energy he got. Though his minions are quick to point out that a given soul is more precious, Knight can only wonder hope that the great one will be pleased. In the sub-levels of Vandenberg Air Force Base, a rather disinterested Dubosky is meeting with the overeager Leonard Song who explains that Space Knight armor uses the internet to keep its pilot abreast of all things on alien worlds. Though Dubosky is skeptical, his interest is soon gained when Song reveals that Rom is still plugged into the internet and the link may be exploited to assume remote control of Rom's armor.
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Space Knights||Dire Wraiths||Humans|
"Why did you not request a new partner when yours was killed, as regulations require? Why have you not shattered this world already? Surely you are aware of the Cybertronian presence on Earth. You, of all Knights, know the horror that results when Wraiths merge with them!"
- —Orphion plants many plot threads and spawns countless internet theories.
- Issue #3 establishes that Space Knights travel in pairs. Here we learn Rom's partner fell in battle and Rom never requested a new one.
- One of the emergency personnel tending to Camilla suspects Transformer involvement only for his partner to dismiss it on the grounds that the size of the average Cybertronian prevents such precise damage to a human.
- It is revealed that Space Knight armor has cloaking capabilities, but said function consumes high amounts of energy, explaining why Rom has never used it before now.
- Darby introduced Rom to Blind-Eye Cave in issue #2.
- Orphion states that "horror" results when Dire Wraiths merge with Cybertronians. The extent of this statement would be revealed in issue #2 of Rom vs. Transformers: Shining Armor and...it's not pretty.
- G.I. Joe learned of the Dire Wraith infiltration in Revolution, including in Revolution #1 when Action Man alerted Mainframe of Countdown's anomalous whereabouts. How the Countdown Wraith can still be freely running about in a U.S. government facility is unclear.
- Rom says he fought alongside Beach Head and Grunt, referring to the events of Revolution #5.
- One of Orphion's screens shows the White House. The Transformers Revolution tie-in established that Dire Wraiths had infiltrated the White House.
- In attempting to deter Orphion from destroying Earth, Rom refers to it as Cybertronian territory, the planet having been annexed by Optimus Prime in The Transformers #50.
- Rom destroyed Cooper's Mill in issue #2.
- The Wraiths mimicked the trees and flowers of Mantlo Park in issue #1.
Real world references
- The first of the converts mentions having been to both Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous as well as trying to find enlightenment via Jesus and Buddha.
- Solicited for release in January, this issue arrives two months late in the second week of March.
- Leonard Song says the corpses found in Cooper's Mill read as fully human to genetic tests despite Revolution establishing that Dire Wraiths still possess Wraith DNA in their shapeshifted forms. Either some castes of Wraiths are able to mimic DNA while others aren't, Doc's heritage allowed her to see the true nature of the corpses, or there was a miscommunication in the writing room.
- Regular cover: Rom surrounded by Wraiths by Paolo Villanelli and Will Robson.
- Subscription cover A: "When Warriors Clash!" by Drew Moss.
- Subscription cover B: Retro Rom by Jeffrey Veregge.
- Retailer incentive cover: Rom follows a Wraith swarm by Tom Kelly.