[SPOILER - highlight to read]: Starscream becomes Megascream after a bargain with Unicron. Megascream even combined with Soundwave,Astrotrain,Dirge and Thrust to defeat Optimus Prime. Hot Rod inadvertently caused the deaths of Springer,Ultramagnus,Perceptor and Arcee. He still becomes Rodimus Prime.
It has some fun bits, but was not a great take on the idea.
[SPOILER - highlight to read]: Not exactly, he uses the matrix to suicide-take out Unicron, without ever becoming Prime.
And yesh, those deaths were even more unneeded than the movie deaths! None of the movie-original characters were treated well, Ultra Magnus was a real jerk to Hod Rod throughout despite Rod *not* being involved in Optimus's death.
Not just Hot Rod, but Ultra Magnus and Springer: [SPOILER - highlight to read]: Mangnus is a dick for no reason, and most of the movie cast dies horribly in a crash
Overall, I didn't like the story. Everyone acted way out of character, Starscream's "reformatted" form basically looked like someone stuck Galvatrons arms and legs on his body, and Hot Rod was abused worse then Simon Furman ever did in his UK stories. (Furman openly admitted to hating Rodimus, and had him look like a chump in h2h vs anybody, but even he allowed him to outsmart Deaths Head and rough up UK Galvatron in a gun duel.)