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|“||So long as you stand in my way-so long as anyone stands in my way, I will respond by killing. Murder on an industrial scale. Because in the final analysis, I would happily wade across a river of corpses, chest-deep in rust and grease and engine oil, just to crush the spark of the last Autobot standing. And I would not do so simply as a means to an end. No. I'd do it, Prime, because it would give me pleasure.||„|
|~ Megatron to Optimus, Chaos Theory|
Megatron is the main antagonist of phase 1 of IDW's Transformers series, including the titular main antagonist of All Hail Megatron. While Megatron would continue to be an antagonist of Robots in Disguise, the events of Dark Cybertron would lead him to abandon the Decepticon cause and join the Autobots.
All Hail Megatron
While the Decepticons were occupied fighting the Reapers (a group of hostile aliens) the Autobots left Earth to deal with an even greater threat– a violent invasion orchestrated by the Dead Universe. Exploiting their enemies' absence, Megatron and his troops arrived to Earth, and when the Autobots arrived, they could not find them, as the Decepticons ingeniously escaped their clutches several times for months. Secretly abducting Hunter O'Nion, former Headmaster partner to the Autobot Sunstreaker, Megatron and his soldiers returned to Cybertron, where Megatron had Deluge conduct experiments that spawned a swarm of monstrous Insecticons. The experiments culminated in creating Bombshell, who Megatron employed in a series of key tasks in his plan.
The Insecticon obtained several Autobot codes and secrets from Hunter's mind, completed Shockwave's long-gestating combiner process, granting the Constructicons the ability to combine into Devastator, and created a working space bridge. The Decepticons later executed a battle strategy that led the Autobots to believe they fled Earth. The plan worked, and the Decepticons used this dupe to their advantage, as Devastator crushed the Autobot infantry beneath his feet and Megatron finally beat Optimus Prime– and tore the Matrix of Leadership from of his chest. He then forced the Autobot forces to go through Bombshell's space bridge that led to the Insecticon-infested Cybertron; however, Prime was able to save his captured Autobots by destroying it although at a great cost, as it severely damaged him and he fell into a coma. With the Autobots being either missing, trapped on Cybertron, or dead, Megatron led his army of Decepticons– including his new weapon Devastator– to storm New York City, causing astronomical damage, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and quickly taking over the entire city. After only a day, Megatron stood with the whole American eastern seaboard at the point of his oversized fusion cannon.
As the Decepticons began to assault other countries around the globe, Megatron was questioned by Starscream on what the next step in his plan was. Megatron was recalcitrant and obstreperous, so he merely informed him that it was merely time to savor their victory, but Starscream accused him of not having any plans post-victory, and was merely allowing his men to run wild to distract them from any notion of taking power for themselves. What Starscream did not realize was that Megatron did indeed have a plan: to defeat the Autobots, he had created an army of killers and monsters, but in order to create his perfect rule, that army would have to be destroyed, the dissenting, objectionable, and distasteful elements obliterated before Megatron's peace could dawn. Megatron was not distracting his warriors, he was waiting to see which of them would question and turn on him.
Silently sorrowful to already know that such dissent would begin with Starscream, an otherwise-model Decepticon, Megatron withdrew to Israel for some silent reflection amid wholesale devastation. Megatron was hardly shocked to see the Insecticons sided with Starscream, but was surprised and almost overwhelmed when he discovered Devastator joined Starscream's ranks as well. Even still, Megatron remained victorious as he beat both traitors. Yet, Megatron and Starscream were forced to team up yet another time to defend the space bridge from the rebelling humans, and what came to their surprised was that the Autobots charged into battle as well.
After assuring Starscream that he would be leader in the future, when his time was done, Megatron confronted Optimus Prime, unsurprised that his old foe had survived, but did not expect him returning to Earth. Both leaders had always maintained a policy of acceptable losses through their million-year-long war, so Megatron assumed Prime had come back for selfish reasons– to reclaim the Matrix– but Prime insisted that he had changed, and would no longer allow their war to endanger innocents on this scale. Megatron scoffed at the notion, revealing the "innocent" humans were planning to nuke New York, killing millions to get rid of the Decepticons, but Prime retorted that it wasn't just about the humans, but also about the difference between Autobots and Decepticons. The two came to blows, but Megatron triumphed in short order and commanded the Decepticons to depart, leaving the Autobots to be killed by the humans' nuke, but just as he was about to leave, he was blasted in the head by human soldier Spike Witwicky, wielding an energy blaster reverse-engineered from Cybertronian technology. Injured and disoriented by the blast, Megatron was finished off when Prime smashed him in the face with his own fusion cannon. Starscream picked up his damaged leader and ordered the Decepticons to retreat, as he wanted to take leadership rather than have it fall into his hands.