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All Hail Megatron is the overarching title of a widely-promoted event in the IDW Comics Generation 1 universe in 2008–9.
The event spans the 12-issue All Hail Megatron maxi-series, a 4 issue "Coda" (appended to the main series for publication) and various Spotlight-series tie-ins. A standalone sketchbook and preview comic, "Focus on Decepticons", may be considered "All Hail Megatron #0".
The first twelve issues were written by Shane McCarthy and take place on an Earth under Decepticon control.
This series contains examples of:
- Alien Invasion: The first couple of issues is basically the Decepticons invading Earth and destroying whatever they want, specially New York.
- Author Appeal: Drift is pretty much only there because Shane McCarthy wanted to put his fancharacter in. He has gone on record as saying that Drift was essential to AHM's story (he isn't.) and that he doesn't know what he would've done without him in it.
- Author Filibuster: Sideswipe's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to his fellow Autobots is basically there because Shane McCarthy did not like the idea of the Autobots abandoning Earth for the greater good of the entire universe (ie stopping the Decepticons from getting their hands on Combiner technology) in the previous mini-series.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Allegedly, The Decepticons pretty much win the war. Prime is near death and his crew are trapped on Cybertron, and Autobot bases around the galaxy are overrun. Unfortunately, McCarthy did not really sell the idea to a sizable portion of the fanbase, due to Offstage Villainy.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Wreckers originally and later on, Omega Supreme.
- Body Horror: Hunter. To begin with, he's missing his lower body, his right arm, and has several cables going into his right eye and the back of his head, which has most likely rendered him comatose, if not outright vegetative.
- Book Ends: Almost all the events in AHM can be traced to Sunstreaker and what he went through in the Escalation miniseries, as seen in the Coda Flashbacks, with one of the main and most iconic flashbacks being Sunstreaker's disembodied head asking for a Mercy Kill (albeit completely re-written so Sunstreaker continues asking for a mercy kill rather than agree to work with Hunter). How does AHM end? With a vegetative Hunter, or what's left of him, hanging from cables, much like Sunstreaker once did.
- Break the Haughty: Sunstreaker. Incredibly arrogant and dismissive of humans and even some of his fellow autobots. Is reduced to a Shell-Shocked Veteran during the events leading to All Hail Megatron, and eventually commits suicide, or tries to.
- Continuity Snarl: Created by the Broad Strokes treatment of Furman's run and previously established characters, revelations, etc. Just for starters, the fact that the Transformers' existence had been revealed to the world in Transformers: Devastation, but here the world has apparently forgotten about the revelation of giant alien robots. It was Hand Waved by saying that the government blamed all of the Transformers' antics on the human organization The Machination, but this still creates problems when the man on the street's first reaction to the Decepticons is to ask if there's a movie being made.
- Darkest Hour: Megatron has conquered Earth, Optimus is in the brink of disrepair, the Autobot ranks are badly battered and the morale is at its lowest with the knowledge they have a mole within their ranks.
- Death Trap: Megatron and his troops defeat lure the Autobots into a trap and defeat them. So do they shoot them then and there? No! They send them through a spacebridge to Cybertron to be devoured by the Swarm. The Autobots manage to survive long enough to escape. To be fair, Megatron and his troops had planned to follow them through and see to it that they died, but like many overly complicated plans, that plan fell apart.
- Didn't See That Coming: The revived Autobots arriving to foil Megatron's plans.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Hunter plugged to a machine, missing his arms and his lower torso and basically catatonic looks quite a lot like Colter Stevens's fate in Source Code. They even get a Mercy Kill.
- Dull Surprise: In the Don Figueroa half of issue 13, Don debuted a new art style inspired by the movie's level of detailing. Unfortunately, it left both Optimus Prime and Ironhide with giant gnarling sneers frozen on their faces.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Sunstreaker - In the coda, we find out his head is still somewhat active and his life flashing before his optics, over and over. Same case can be argued with Hunter and the torture he suffered at the hands of Bombshell.
- Flawed Prototype: The Insecticon Swarm is, well, a swarm of these: a thousand malformed monsters per functioning Insecticon.
- I Call Her "Vera": Roadbuster wants to do this with an impractically huge jury-rigged cannon.
- Incoming Ham / Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: I.AM.OMEGA.SUPREME.
- It's a Long Story: Kup's answer to the other Autobots regarding Perceptor's sudden Badass Level-up.
- Jerkass: Spike Witwicky and his father, Sparkplug. Putting things in perspective, Sparkplug Witwicky loves to be a jerkass to his wife's guests while dreaming of the ways he could kill them all with a toothpick. As for Spike, how about making jokes about button-flies to survivors of the freaking Decepticon attack on New York? They end up making you clamor for the personas of the cartoon instead. They only get worse (while cluttering up more page time) in the Ongoing.
- Mad Scientist: Bombshell, Deluge.
- Man Behind the Man: Prowl, who had Perceptor install some subroutines into Kup, so Kup can be Prowl's proxy when it comes to have his advice being taken seriously.
- MacGyvering: How Bombshell hacked in to the Autobot mainframe. It is supposed to be taken seriously.
- Meaningful Background Event: Boy, Thundercracker sure dosen't look happy about all the destruction the other Decepticons are causing...
- Meaningful Echo: Optimus and Spike's dialogue while Sideswipes finds Hunter, and the subsequent actions.
- Mercy Kill: Sideswipe to Hunter, if you consider the Body Horror.
- Meta Guy:
- Bumblebee gets elements of this.
Ratchet: What about Drift? Isn't he back there?
- And later:
- The Mole: First, we're led to believe it's Mirage, turns out it's Sunstreaker.
- Monumental Damage: Most notably an over-the-top scene in issue 12 involving Omega Supreme, Devastator, and the Statue of Liberty.
- Moral Dissonance: So after delivering a long-winded speech about how Autobots should start valuing life (all life), what's the next noteworthy thing Sideswipe does in this series? Pull the plug on Hunter O'Nion's life support. All things considered, however, it was a Mercy Kill.
- No Ontological Inertia: One moment, Optimus is on the verge of dying, all of the sudden, he's like brand shiny new.
- Off-Model: Thanks to the fill-in artist, one of the issues is really, really bad, especially when shifting between Cybertron and Earth.
- Oh Crap: It's full of this.
- Power Walk: Kup and co. (Notice how Roadbuster's shoulders are scraping on the ceiling.)
- Pride Before a Fall: Ultimately the downfall of Megatron, who spends the story talking about how he planned for every contingency and that nothing surprises him. But he didn't anticipate the Autobots returning to Earth, and didn't think about the fact that the humans might be able to use Transformers weaponry. The end result: the Autobots defeat his forces in combat, and Spike shoots him in the face.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Thundercracker, who is disgusted that the Decepticons are no longer a Proud Warrior Race.
- Psychic Link: Sunstreaker and Hunter.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sideswipe gives one to his own people, because he feels the Autobots have strayed away from the ideals they were supposed to represent, and as such, they do kind of deserve the state they're currently at.
- Redemption Equals Death / Driven to Suicide: Sunstreaker. Having spent some time as a disembodied head in earlier arcs and becoming mentally bonded with Hunter took his toll on him. He also made a secret deal with Starscream, where the Autobots would get Megatron in exchange for Earth, instead the Autobots get ambushed, Optimus nearly dies and many Autobots outposts fall after a security breach in their access codes — This becomes too much for him to bear and sacrifices himself in battle to allow the rest of the autobots escape the swarm. He succeeds in his sacrifice, but fails in killing himself. See Fate Worse Than Death.
- Red Herring Mole: We're lead to believe that Mirage is responsible for the Decepticon ambush that nearly killed Optimus Prime, it turns out that's not really the case.
- Rousing Speech: Optimus rallies the Autobots to keep on fighting against the Insecticons.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Just about every Autobot to a varying degree, but most notably Sunstreaker.
- Show, Don't Tell: As with anything written by Shane McCarthy, this is all over the place. One page shows us Ratchet telling us how risky fixing Prime is and how it will be unbelievably difficult to pull off, especially since Perceptor abandoned science entirely in favor of snipering, and just a few pages later, Optimus Prime shows up fine and dandy.
- So What Do We Do Now?: Starscream poses this question to Megatron. He points out that with Optimus and the Autobots defeated the Decepticons have no real enemy to face on Earth as they can easily wipe out humanity. He also accuses Megatron of only fighting humanity because Megatron himself dosen't know the answer to this question.
- The Starscream: In issue 10, Starscream attempts to usurp Megatron's position with help from the Insecticons. This doesn't surprise Megatron, at least until he discovered the Constructicons had allied with Starscream, too.
- Ted Baxter: Megatron is supposed to be a Magnificent Bastard, but McCarthy's lack of talent for protraying villainous masterminds ends up making him look like one of these.
- Took a Level In Badass: Perceptor went from a Non-Action Guy with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness to a stoic expert sniper. One of the more controversial changes to the existing characterization. It also mysteriously meant that he have to give up science for...some reason.
- We find out the reason in later issues. Turns out it's because Turmoil blew a hole in his chest and shot him in the face. Perceptor took his level in badass because he feared he was useless in combat.
- Unusual User Interface: Bombshell basically converted Hunter in this, in order to access to Sunstreaker's mind.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Andy Reid set out to find his dead pal DJ's girlfriend, who might still have been somewhere in the ruins of New York City. It ends up being forgotten pretty quickly, and then Andy dies and the subplot is never resolved.
- Writer on Board: In spite of McCarthy's claims that "he's read everything IDW's put out" and "there'll be no disrespect coming from him" and that "there's no way he'd spit over what Furman's done", some fans believe (with good reason) that he went out of his way to get rid of many of Furman's plot elements and characters that he himself didn't like, such as Hunter O'Nion, Ultra-Energon, etc.
- Writing for the Trade: Which is why the first three issues can basically be summed up as "Decepticons kill humans in New York City".