Does anyone think the Headmasters are weird?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by BreakY, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I actually really liked the US Headmasters concept: two beings, from completely different backgrounds, forced to work together, combined as a single entity, in order to gain the upper hand in a war.

    It's this 'melding of minds' concept that intrigues me the most, and gave rise to a whole host of dramatic storytelling opportunities. In the Marvel comics, the addition of Zarak to Scorponok's psyche slowly mellowed the character, so that by the end of the run, Scorponok/Zarak died a hero.

    In the 'Headmasters' comics, we saw the impact of the bond on the two mistmatched minds. The usually-lethal Scorponok refused to kill Zarak's daughter in an uncharacteristic act of kindness. Zarak was nearly driven insane with Scorponok's evil thoughts.

    Then we had the comics' take on the Spike/Fort Max bonding: Spike wanted no part of the Autobots, but was plagued by strange dreams and visions until he made peace with himself and re-formed with Fort Max.

    Then there was 'Worlds Apart', where we got an insight into how the mismatched Gort and Highbrow worked well together because of the one thing they had in common - righteousness and justice.

    All the way through, I thought the whole concept was really interesting, opened the door for some dramatic moments and conflicts, and gave comic writers Bob Budiansky and Simon Furman the scope to have fun and develop these interesting characters.

    It's quite telling that, in both the comics and cartoons, the Headmasters got so much more development than the Targetmasters, simply because the entire concept was a writer's dream.
     
  2. Edwardmus Prime

    Edwardmus Prime Curious and Creative Man

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    I always did find the human/Nebulan concept like from the Rebirth to be weird. First, I am not sure how contorting into the shape of a head could possibly be comfortable for a human/human-like creature. Doing it all the time so your big guy can move around with his head still there would probably not be particularly fun. Then, there is the dependence. Why give up total control like that? Any processing boost might not be worth it when you still have the other guy running around, being independent and all. Then there is, what if they were killed? Now, going by the idea they are completely separate, what means death to a normal Transformer just means dead guy attached to you. How do these two minds even work together?

    I haven't watched Rebirth in a while, so pardon me if I got something incorrect.

    From what I can tell, I do prefer the Japanese idea for the Headmasters. A smaller robot being the actual entity while they have a larger, more durable body to attach to answers a lot of questions. Then there's the added interactivity with smaller creatures, which can be useful for Autobots.
     
  3. Optimus.Magnus

    Optimus.Magnus Swingin' the chain

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    I always preferred the US version and the way two minds augmented one another or could complement one another on physical tasks(especially the Powermasters and Targetmasters). However, some of the members here put forward a good point regarding longevity I hadn't thought of before, for some reason (I'm usually good about that kind of stuff).

    Doesn't change my taste though, nor my extreme distaste for the Japanese continuation. With the progression of the core series, then Headmasters, and so on, it more or less shows that if you give Japan a series about giant robots, sentient or not, it will gradually but inevitably turn into a mobile suit Gundam. Of course, in a franchise based on Diaclone, that's somewhat returning to its roots.

    I wonder why the US went with sentient machines and Japan kept going back to pilots. Bet someone could write a paper comparing the various values of the two cultures and how that plays out in pop culture tropes.
     
  4. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    I always preferred Targetmasters. It's like getting two Transformers for the price of one. Neither one is compromised by the other, but they work together perfectly. Unlike Headmasters, that make no sense on their own. A headless body or a bodiless head. Powermasters kinda work, but attaching an extra engine seems pointless.
     
  5. BumblebeeFan71

    BumblebeeFan71 Loyal Starscream Follower

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    The only thing I've seen of Headmasters was the US version in the three part finale "The Rebirth" and I definitely found the concept of headmasters off-putting while I welcomed the idea of Targetmasters.

    I get what they were going for with the two minds bond together but I felt like it took away some identity from the Transformers that became Headmasters. They felt more like robot suits rather than living beings especially since they established that they would be stuck in vehicle mode unable to transform if their partner abandons them. It kind of why I felt the Targetmasters did this better because making them the weapons seems like the better idea for two minds working together and they still retain they're identities because it doesn't feel like one is controlling the other.

    Also on a side note, I don't like Headmasters because of what it spawned with Arcee and Daniel. I get they were trying to establish a close bond between friends but the way the wrote their lines, especially near the ending made it creepy and off-putting. I mean seriously that did not sound like something from two friends.

    "It's good to be together again. Arcee, I just wanna say...Arcee...I...I..."
    "You don't have to, Daniel. I feel the same way, too."


    I mean geesh, thank god she's not a headmaster in the Japanese continuity.
     
  6. herugrim

    herugrim Defiler of Energon

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    Used to think the whole -master gimmick was cheesy. Why require a full sized robot to be reliable on a smaller (easier to lose) robot to function?

    Then Cybertron came along and we needed a plastic key to unlock the same basic features that for some reason everyone was okay with. "To Hell with that lame combination gimmick from Energon, or the decepticons having hidden battle modes that could be used without locks. Cyber Planet Keys FTW!!!" Gave me a better appreciation for using a smaller toy that actually has it's own functionality rather then a plastic key. Revisiting Armada made me realize that there are a lot of clever things engineers can do with smaller robots integrating with bigger ones.

    In terms of fiction, I never liked the Nebulon thing done with US fiction. The normal robot is dormant until the smaller one sacrifices his personality temporarily to allow the main robot to be a person, for a little while. Why bother? And the head is such a minor limb. I'd rather have them turn into weapons, or just combine themselves into normal robots.

    But I can dig the Japanese version. The idea that it's the same personality, originally contained in the smaller robot but using the larger form as a 'battle mode' sounds better to me. I like to think of the headmasters as long lost cousins to Cybertronians, like an off shoot race engineered by Quintessons on another world, or maybe a faction that splintered from Ancient Cybertron and evolved into smaller forms to match their pacifistic beliefs, or maybe even Unicron's take on combiner technology, a slave system where the robot's personality is suppressed into a smaller unarmed robot until 'activated' into his main form for specific uses, rather than a team working together for a common goal.

    As gimmicks go I don't like it as much as Combiners, Triple Changers, and Base Formers, but they rank higher than pretenders, lights and sounds, and Cyber Planet Keys.
     
  7. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    I think Titans Returns is finally winning me over the Headmaster concept.
     
  8. 2003 Megatron

    2003 Megatron Fem-Bot I have no Mum, she choked on it ;)

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    Not really to me.
     
  9. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    Did you ever stop to think what the Headmasters might think of you? ;) 
     
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  10. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I never really liked the idea of Headmasters. I tolerated Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Cyclonus, and Scourge as Targetmasters, and was forever greatful that they didn't become Headmasters.
     
  11. Zappit

    Zappit Well-Known Member

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    I didn't think it was weird. I thought it was just stupid. I get the idea of smaller bots using larger frames. It seemed like it could have been a natural direction for the Micromasters, but the smaller bot just turning into a head was dumb. Not only did losing the head ruin the toy, the little bot had very limited playability. If a Micromaster could have been given a flip-plate for a face, I'd have been more on board.

    The human/Nebulan mind-meld made it even worse. It seemed to add very little, and really, weren't Cybertronian minds just superior to organic ones? Yes, it made sense to add a fleshy obvious weak point to the giant robot soldier.

    I'm so glad IDW hasn't built on the concept in their universe.
     
  12. Fretburn

    Fretburn We need Instrument TFs

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    They did. See Sunstreaker/Hunter O'Nion and Skorponok from the very early days in their run which. That was very much a mind meld situation exactly like the old Marvel Headmasters.
     
  13. Zappit

    Zappit Well-Known Member

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    True, but they didn't keep it going. Sunstreaker was traumatized by the Headmaster experience and really doesn't like humans now. Zarak was killed during Ultra Magnus's raid on Scorponok's lab. That's about as far as they went. That was the end of it.
     
  14. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    Well I was actually just referring to the original cartoon and toys.
     
  15. Bass X0

    Bass X0 King of Muay Thai

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    Micromasters didn't exist in 1987.
     
  16. Zappit

    Zappit Well-Known Member

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    True. Forgot that. I just would have rather seen more functionality in the head figure than it just being a head.
     
  17. valisihaud

    valisihaud A Troll Among Men

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    Except that Head masters and Titan masters were established to be followers of Onyx Prime during the RID12/The Transformers run, and also there was the resurgence of Sentinel Prime as a Titan master during the titans return event.
     
  18. Bass X0

    Bass X0 King of Muay Thai

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    It was a mini-figure able to ride inside the vehicle. That's as functional as mini figures got back then. Those toys couldn't be too complex after all given it was the 80s.
     
  19. Optimum Supreme

    Optimum Supreme Go boom!

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    The American version always sounded cool to me right from Marvel's first solicitation of the Headmasters limited series (well before you could even see them in the toy catalog sheets, even longer before the Rebirth cartoon mini) where it was just a blurb like "have you ever wondered what would happen if a transformer and a human were merged into one being?" No other clue about how it would play out.

    The Japanese version, meh, how is a tiny robot merged to a bigger robot any different than a super mode like Ultra Magnus? Or the eventual Power Master OP (less the barely needed Hi-q)? Or any of the Optimuses from RID and on through the unicron trilogy?
     
  20. FanboyX

    FanboyX is a real boy

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    I really don't care for the US version of the -master lore. I'll give the Marvel comics a shot if i get a chance, but Rebirth is the lowest point in G1 animation.

    Japanese version of the Master lore is fine by me! If anything, I think the Brainmasters are the weird ones.

    Toywise I owned Siren but wasn't overly attached. Dont remember if I lost the head before it got sold off but lets assume
     

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