After the events of issue #50 where Optimus Prime announced the Earth was now under Cybertron’s protection, there was no doubt going to be a lot of fallout from his decision. This issue deals with the ramifications of Prime’s choice and starts to show where the series will go from here on.
The Autobots are doing everything they can to show humanity they come in peace and mean no harm. Their efforts include having the Aerialbots airdrop fast growing trees in the desert, Jazz stepping in to stop Police brutality in Detroit, and the Victorian team standing in the way of terrorists in the middle east. The group really is doing everything they can to make up for past mistakes. The art (through the whole issues but especially during these panels) is spot on to help to show how hard the Autobots are working to try and promote good will.
Unfortunately, humans have had enough Cybertronians on both sides being on Earth and are quick to question and be skeptical of their intentions. A task force attempts to raid where they think the Autobots are hiding but find it abandoned with a message of “We are here to help” on the wall. Don’t really think it will help but it was amusing to see.
Just when you think the President would consider giving them a break, new team member Aileron stops by the White House front lawn demanding terms of surrender. She is not taking the death of her friend Sterling (who died in the crossfire in the previous issue) lightly. It’s interesting to see her be so risky with her decisions as she was one to talk sense into Optimus in previous issues when he wasn’t sure what to do next. Anger does have a way of clouding a robot’s judgement.
The Autobots are quick to show up and pull her out but not before the humans get footage of the incident which will no doubt be used in future issues against the Autobot cause. The issue ends with Optimus calling the different leaders of several factions in an effort to get their opinions of what has transpired. Hopefully, this will go farther than simply ridiculing Optimus for his decision. Cut him some slack. He’s just trying to carry the universe on his shoulders.
Considering this was the follow up to a major turning point in the series, this could have just been a lot of dialog where everyone simply discussed the importance of what happened. Instead, they showcase how things are different but the moments where they do talk about it gives the issue an overarching theme of awkwardness as the Autobots try to prove they are good but keep getting repeatedly rebuffed for their efforts. It begs the question, “How long can they keep getting rebuffed before they finally call it quits?” For the readers though, they should not call it quits on this series any time soon.