How Would You Write It?

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Joeis4Jord4n, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. Joeis4Jord4n

    Joeis4Jord4n Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed on the site that the opinion of IDW's current titles(Optimus Prime/Lost Light/Till All Are One) is mixed. Some people like it, others don't. So, if IDW gave you the pen, how would you rewrite these titles? This is how I'd do them.


    Optimus Prime
    -I would establish a main villain in the series. This villain would be Thunderwing. Optimus Prime has raised a Titan which means he is believed to be the Arisen. Thunderwing, being the religious nut that he is, would try to shape Optimus into what he believes that the Arisen should be, a conquering tyrant. I would also have other villains like Scorponok and Bludgeon showing up.
    -I would push the Junkion storyline Back a few issues, and use the first few ones to introduce Thunderwing and Bludgeon, and explain how they have survived.
    -I would scrap the idea of Pyra Magna trying to work against Optimus Prime, and I would scrap the idea of Optimus Prime being some sort of atheist.
    -I would try and go deeper into the moralities of certain characters like Arcee and Pyra Magna.

    Lost Light
    -I would introduce the Quintessons into the series. The Quintessons hold secrets of the Transformers past, so they would be good for world building, which seems to be a key theme in Lost Light/MTMTE.
    -I would kill off/backseat Swerve, Whirl, Brainstorm and Nightbeat seeing as how they don't really contribute much anymore.
    -I would have Galvatron return, and have him aid the Quintessons.
    -I would put the Functionist storyline off until later.
    -Have the Lost Light crew captured by the Quintessons.
    -Have the Lost Lighters get split up and scattered across the galaxy
    -Introduce new characters who haven't really been used like Devcon and Smokescreen.

    Till All Are One
    -I wouldn't change anything in Till All Are One. To me, it's great the way it is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  2. lordcryotek

    lordcryotek Well-Known Member

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    First thing I'd do would be to fire Lawrence and Livio, then I'd up Roche, Milne, Barber, Scott, and Sara's pay and trust them to craft a good story while insisting Roberts take a break to crawl out of his own ass.
     
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  3. FoolishDoomedCreature

    FoolishDoomedCreature When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.

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    Step 1: Set the story millions of years in the future and make an IDW version of Beast Wars Uprising.
    Step 2: That's all, folks!
     
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  4. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Well, if we're going to talk like this, I'd fire everyone except Barber and then hire Scioli again, give them ONE book, no connected TF series, no crossovers with MASK, ROM or Micronauts. Just one great book, monthly. And it should go without saying, but it would be a whole new continuity.
     
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  5. SteelWheels

    SteelWheels Well-Known Member

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    Optimus Prime
    -Bring Prowl back into the story and not just have him in flashbacks (I just really love Prowl)
    -Make Arcee less fixated on Sideswipe

    Lost Light
    -Remove Anode and Lug from the story
    -Get Alex Milne back

    Till All Are One
    -uncancel it
     
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  6. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    I would keep the shared universe - cause it's kind of hard to undo now - but i would keep each franchise largely to their own comic. No shared events, more like an awareness of what is happening in the other titles and occasionally coming into contact with each other in other series.

    Lost Light:

    I would write Megatron out of Lost Light cause i blame him in large part for the derailment of season 2 and the large amount of "i don't give a damn" i feel for the start of season 3. Focus on the crew of the LL and how Rodimus is planning to get his ship back, spend some episodes on the mutineers, pursue the ideas teased in "Who's afraid of the DJD", Pursue Pharma, pursue more stories from the past, more worldbuilding, build out the GG and Black Box and turn them into legit longterm players in the IDW verse.

    Rename Optimus Prime into Cybertron:

    NO MORE DUMB, POMPOUS NARATIONS FILLED WITH CHEAP POPCULTURE MORALITY!!!
    NO MORE INTRODUMPS!!!

    Take the focus away from the current cast, let Starscream, meet with an accident.
    Give Cybertron a real goverment. Focus on more longterm storytelling: no more threat, dealt with, threat, dealt with...
    but engaging stories with an ever varying cast.
    Actual worldbuilding and real world politics. Have the Black Box federation or the Galactic Council have secret meetings with earth politicians. Explore the different colonies. Show Cybertronians trying to rebuild their world and take back from the wildernis. Show most of the "dead" Decepticons and Autobots to be still alive (why should only the popular ones get to be immortal?" And think about how you could build stories around them.

    In stead of Revolutionaries there would be one title shared among the different franchises that any writer can use to tell stories that would disrupt the flow of the regular titles too much, like the adventures of the Scavengers on earth, ROM having a fight with GI JOE, a short aside story that serves to introduce something into any of the regular titles...
     
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  7. Joeis4Jord4n

    Joeis4Jord4n Well-Known Member

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    I read that in a heartbeat
     
  8. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    Optimus Prime:

    - First things first, give Thundercracker something to do. Make him more than just a joke character, and give him something to keep him relevant. Make him want no part in what Optimus is doing, but have him keep getting dragged back into things for one reason or another. Maybe he can have built a high-tech radio tower which he uses to monitor earth, initially for television programming, but later for information as it becomes a high-powered information hub. he'd have personalized sky-spies flitting all over the place and gathering information where they can. He could be an information broker that others (from both factions, because remember he's neither now) go to to find out what they want to know. Maybe he's lacking a source of Energon or dog food and so trades information for it. Buster would be more like an embarassing secret of his. He'd be belligerent, condescending and gruff when confronting others, and only fawn over Buster when he's sure he's absolutely alone. I'd either drop the screen-play thing entirely, or have him start realistically bad at first, and have him slowly improve over time. By the end of the first "season" he would be writing emotional scenes that directly reflect the events occurring around him.

    - Soundwave never stops being bigoted to organics. Let him preach about the Decepticon manifesto, but maintain his disgust towards humans throughout. He'd be a hypocrite, and would be completely oblivious to his hypocrisy. I'd also give him less lines of dialogue. When he does preach it would be as if he's emotionlessly reading lines off a script in his head. Make his ideals seem more like a horrific obligation than a gung-ho pontification. When it comes to teaming with Optimus, keep him loyal through the blackmail over Horribull's death and nothing else. He'd reluctantly serve Optimus, knowing he has no other choice, and would at times show great frustration in being locked in Prime's iron grip. Prime in turn would be constantly looking over his shoulder, knowing both his lieutenants want him gone. Soundwave would still develop from here, perhaps he would gain opportunities to kill Optimus, but realize the necessities of keeping him alive, and postpone it, before eventually realizing he really believes in what Prime is doing. He'd maybe team with Pyra at one point, but soon realize he doesn't actually want what Pyra wants.

    - Pyra Magna-- I'd keep her mostly the same, but iron her out more. Keep her first throwdown with Optimus the same, but have her act completely professional when the Junkions attack. Remember in AOE when Drift and Bee got into that fight around the camp-fire, but then worked in perfect sync when it came to storming KSI? Do that. Have Pyra act as an effective lieutenant when it comes to tasks of great importance. When the fight is over, have Pyra apologize for her outburst, but from then on have her dropping sarcastic comments directed at Prime's leadership. Like, it would come off as a kind of friendly jab meant in good taste, but the context would be just dark enough to leave a sour after-taste in everyone's mouths. You know, like how in real life when people don't want to show they hate someone, and throw insults in a friendly manner, even though you can kind of tell there's nothing friendly about it? She could still talk about possibly usurping him, but in moderation, and in private like with Slide. She also wouldn't sound evil about it, but rather genuinely upset by what's going on. Another thing I'd do is make her, like, REALLY competent. Like she'd be actually right in all of her criticisms of Optimus, and Optimus would have to deal with the fact that despite being usurped, Pyra might actually make a better leader than him, he's just so used to leading that he feels he can't trust handing it over to her. And knowing this about himself irritates him.

    - I'd drop Prime's numbers considerably. If Kup and Skywarp MUST leave the book, then I'd dedicate an issue saying goodbye to them and wrapping up any arcs they'd have with other characters before moving on. Most of the Autobots would be against Optimus' decision to annex the earth. Maybe he'd do something unusually cruel beforehand, or someone would call him out on using his status to manipulate others, and only a small handful would choose to help him in his quest as a result. Cosmos would definitely be one of them, since he's the best. If Arcee's outranking Jazz now, then she'd best be there to act as one of Prime's advisers next to Pyra and Soundwave. She'd be the one Optimus actually confides in, and maybe even act as a mentor to him since she's, y'know, actually really old. Aileron could stay as the representative of those Optimus continues to inspire. I'm almost certain Jetfire can be cut from the present story. Jazz could also have his arc while also distancing himself from Prime's Autobots since he doesn't even interact with them anymore anyway. Sunstreaker doesn't really need to be there. Also maybe Sideswipe as well. In fact Arcee's whole obsession with Sideswipe is really shallow and unimportant, so I'd probably just cut him too? Ship him back to Cybertron to recover in a hospital. Soundwave's Decepticons would also be small in number, but refuse to answer to Optimus on the grounds that they're really just there because Needlenose - who they are actually inspired by - says to follow Soundwave. I don't know who would be allied with him. I guess guys like Sky-Byte, Waspinator, maybe Swift as Needlenose's immediate liason and the one keeping tabs on Soundwave. The Titan he raised would also probably be weakened considerably. It would move, but just barely, and would remain in city-mode most of the time. I think Prime's group would be restricted to: Arcee, Cosmos, and Sky-Lynx (as their main mode of transportation), Soundwave's group (though Needlenose would run the main Decepticon faction back on Cybertron), Pyra Magna and the torchbearers, and the colonists Aileron, Bump, Gimlet, Midnight Express, Roulette, and Oiler/Slide, though each would have more personality than just: "Optimus fanboy/girl."

    - When it comes to the Junkions, assuming Prime's forces are smaller than what they are, they'd be a much larger threat, and their main goal would be to annihilate the earth-bound Cybertronians and capture a space-bridge to Cybertron. It would mostly be Sharkticons vs Humans, with Prime's core group infiltrating the Junkion's ship to stop them directly. Optimus, Arcee, and the others would help the humans (in jets and tanks, of course), while the colonists infiltrate the ship and use their individual skills to reach the control chamber. Soundwave would NOT convince the Sharkticons to turn against their masters with a speech because holy hell that was terrible. Instead the Sharkticons would either A: Stand down upon realizing their masters' ship has been taken over, B: Get obliterated/forced into stasis with a deterrence chip kind of thing the Junkions use to enslave them, C: Get collectively annihilated by the Junkion ship's cannons, humanity's forces, and the Titan. Oiler could still die, but it'd be for a good reason, and we'll have already got to know him in the preceding pages. Perhaps he connects his mind to the ship's computer to find the codes needed to activate the Sharkticon's deterrence chips. He'd succeed, but tries finding a way to alter the code to incapacitate the Sharkticons rather than kill. Unfortunately, Optimus orders them to pull out while they still have the command codes, and while Slide protests, Oiler is forcibly disconnected from the computer by Gimlet or somebody, and has his mind fried as a result. This would give Slide an actual incentive to loathe Optimus (and maybe also Gimlet because hey, conflict), and her loss feel more real. It could also be interesting to show how a Devision connection works through the art, similarly to how we see Bruticus' mind in TAAO. Seeing that part of Slide die through the art could be absolutely bone-chilling if done right.

    - I literally wouldn't bother with the flashbacks past issue, like #3.

    Lost Light (I'm tired so I'll make this one quicker)

    - Save Anode and Lug for later.

    - Have Chromedome, Rewind, and Brainstorm stay on the Necroworld to care for the Necrobot's abode and study the data he's collected. Because man, their stories are done, let them have some happy endings. Well, maybe Brainstorm can stick around for an inevitable confrontation with Perceptor. Ah hell, maybe let Rung stay there as well. I can't think of what else he's good for now that we know what he does, anyway.

    - Have Rodimus act less insufferable. Less whiney in his bid for vengeance and more terrifying. Make him vow never to let anything happen to his crew again, while also making it about him in a way he'll refuse to admit.

    - Be more natural with the humour. It's far more forced now than it's ever been and its noticeable.

    - This is something that should have happened in Season 2, but... Megatron should still be a little evil. We saw bits of this in his planning, but just because he's on a redemption arc doesn't mean he has to act redeemed from the beginning. Make him give up the whole non-killing thing, and have him struggle between his old bloodlust and his desire to improve. Keep the audience guessing about him, more than they kind of did before. I'm still not sure if I'd still bench him in the functionist universe or not. If anything I think I'd just save all that for later down the line.

    - Keep Tailgate out of anything romantic with Cyclonus because jesus he's like 2, is given piggy-back rides and drinks from sippy cups. Ratchet directed a PSA about drugs at him.

    - Fucking put Whirl in the functionist universe. Holy shit, how do you miss that opportunity.

    - Refrain from using magic and calling it science. Like fuck, I loved MTMTE because of how grounded it was at the beginning, but giant Rung and magic teleporting wand are two things that are just too ridiculous for me to take seriously. Especially when it relies on essentially magic to save the day, and not the actual ingenuity or cleverness of the characters.

    - Getaway focused issue. Just please for the love of god treat him as more than just the bully the fandom pictures him as, please god he's such a good villain with great motives, don't fuck this up.

    - Don't add anyone else to the cast, it's already bloated, I'd just work with what I have.

    Till All Are One

    - Uncancel it.

    - Make Onslaught and Blast Off even gayer. No I'm serious, while they could lose words like "turn on" to describe their romance, I feel like we might as well wipe the slate clean of people who still find this kind of thing gross for the sheer fact its two gay robots and not because Onslaught is being manipulated. Make them kiss for real. Say it's because they saw it on an earthen tv show-- whatever. Flush out the toxicity in this fandom in one pull.

    - Give spotlight to some of the other minor characters. I loved the recent one because it focused on Blast-Off. I'd love to have seen the same with someone like Strika or Airazor.

    - Also lay off the cheesiness of Tigatron and Airazor's relationship. They didn't act like that in Beast Wars, and they wouldn't act like that here.

    - Foreshadow Vigilem better. The Revolutinaries one-shot is not nearly enough to set him up properly.

    - Either make Liege Maximo uglier, or make it so that his current appearance is a facade, and he has a true, gruesomer form he keeps hidden somehow. Gimme my pot-bellied G2 inspired Liege Maximo.

    - Oh, and I guess make Rattrap less of a generic grunt and more, I dunno, him.

    Eh, that's mostly it.

    I'm kind of cringing looking at some of the above posts that are like: "How can this be better? Uhhh how about more overlapping arcs!" Like guys, come on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  9. SteelWheels

    SteelWheels Well-Known Member

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    Issues 10-12 are suppose to be mutineers centric so we'll definitely get more focus on Getaway there. And I agree that he is a great antagonist. I personally think he's the most sympathetic of all the villains so far and so much could be done with his character. If Getaway ends up losing that complexity and becomes a one-dimensional villain I'll be super disappointed.
     
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  10. Splendic

    Splendic bleep blorp

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    I'd do a soft reset.

    - Quintessons crash Cybertron just as everything finally settles into peace.

    - It's revealed that the Transformers didn't originate there. They were tricked into populating the planet, so the Quints could build a warrior slave race on top of their WMD planet, but it turned out the Transformers were too war hungry to be controlled, and the Quints took off to avoid being overpowered.

    - They then "awaken" the planet, who turns out to be Unicron.

    - Transformers from all books team up to beat the Quints, and use a refilled Matrix to destroy Unicron... and their home planet. Destroying the planet, along with Vector Sigma, sends a signal shock through all Cybertronians, wiping their memories.

    - Without a home, and with no knowledge of their history (or factions, friendships, or rivalries), they band together into all new groups to search for their original home (the real Cyberutopia \ Primus).

    - The only bot with any knowledge of how things were is Megatron, who will eventually return as a reader avatar and the ultimate fish out of water, constantly struggling with whether or not to "right" what's been changed.
     
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  11. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    Well, i'm kind if cringing at your intent to further reduce an allready extremely limited cast and seeming aversion to an ever evolving storyline in favor of eventish stories in wich nothing ever really happens, so i think it's fair to say we look for different things in TF stories.
    I will say though that i agree with what you say about Pyra Magna and Getaway, i hope we will not be dissapointed in how they are portrayed in future issues.
     
  12. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Well, step one has to be to use your hypno-powers to make more people buy it. Otherwise, the Uncancel It idea is a non-starter.
     
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  13. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    I don't think there's anything limited about the current casts to be honest. The biggest complaint about the recent LL arc for example was the fact that there were three ongoing stories occurring in tandem, and still most of the characters served as voices of exposition and little else. Same goes for OP, so many characters have been unceremoniously dropped for one reason or another (Dirge, Needlenose, Wheeljack, etc.), and others kind of just hang around with no real point to being there. Might as well focus on a tighter cast and developing those before introducing anyone further. And I don't think I've mentioned once that I'm against evolving story lines. A story can still evolve over time, but you don't need to add several more threats to do that, you just need the events taking place to evolve from what you already have. Saying the comics will improve by adding Galvatron, the Quintessons and Thunderwing rather than maintaining focus on the already dangling plot-threads doesn't really feel right to me. And I'm not sure I've shown any kind of agreement to eventish stories whatsoever. If anything events and crossovers have been a major reason why I'm off the books currently.

    I mean, it's all wishful thinking anyway. I just felt that in this magical context where there was something I could do to go back in time and improve it, it'd be by giving the series the issues it desperately needs to wrap up its current plot lines.
     
  14. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    True, but i don't think Roberts handled them that bad. Although it could still have been done better they were quite well interwoven.
    That is a common complaint of Roberts.
    No arguments there.
    I don't see that as a solution however.
    My interpretation of you focusing your input on the current cast of OP.
    True.
    No, those were not my suggestions, but i do imagine them playing a roll in time. I fear any longterm potential Thunderwing ever had was thrown out of the window when Furman reimagined him as aan insensible raging monster. I still feel Stormbringer had it's charm and would have been more enjoyable had it been longer and featured longer flashbacks, but i never was a fan of the fatal blow Furman dealt to the hope of fans of the character who wanted him to play a roll of meaning in the IDW verse. I liked Barbers Galvatron. Barber was at his finest when he wrote the character. I would like him to bring him back, but i don't see why he should have to be a threat? Why can't he just be a character that plays a part in the greater plot. Same with the Quintesson. I love those sinister, scheming arrogant squids, but when they do get introduced into the IDW verse i hope it wont be in a 6 issue arc where they are slaughtered by OP, Arcee, Scarlett, Snake Eyes and ROM. Cause it is possible to have villains who don't immediately go for all out war against the heroes and get their army of thousands defeated by a hand full of opponents who barely suffer casualties. I've read such writing, it is not a myth. Same with a longterm story that incorporates several interwoven plot threads using a wide scala of characters. It is possible to write such things without getting the feeling someone ripped several pages out of your comics. It is even possible to do this without having character development suffer at the cost of the story. I've seen em do it man!
     
  15. Heliblade

    Heliblade Autobot Vigilante of Kaon

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    Optimus Prime: I would make it about the Autobots earning the trust of Earth's civilians. Just mingling with the people and earning good PR.

    Lost Light: The first arc would still focus on the Functionist universe, but any scenes taking place on Necroworld would be strictly about the other characters trying to find a way to rescue the others. The subplots about Anode and Tailgate would not happen until around, oh, issue #7 at the earliest.

    TAAO: Keep the plot as it is, but give other characters some spotlight.
     
  16. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    The only thing I think desperately needs a rewrite is the code in James Roberts' computer and other internet devices. They need to be rewritten to block Tumblr to keep it from influencing his writing style any more than it already has.
     
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  17. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    Optimus Prime - Focus on Optimus Prime and really get inside his mind and how this leader - who led through a 4 million year civil war - has grown. Stop making him a moronic, self-doubting (and alternately megalomaniacal) agnostic who thinks he's smarter than everyone else. Leaders, especially effective leaders, don't act that way and it honestly kills the entire universe and all of the awesome world building when the leader of a faction acts like a petulant child.

    Lost Light - Cancel it, and put Roberts in the hip pocket of an editor before turning him loose again.

    'Till All Are One - Rest in Peace.

    Revolutionaries - Cancel

    Wrath of Karza - Cancel

    Aw Yeah Revolution! - Cancel

    First Strike - Cancel

    I think if IDW really sat down and got back to the core of what made people love their Transformer iteration - their world-building, their characters, their good stories - then could write one great book. They would probably also find one REALLY good book is far better than a lot of mediocre to bad Transformer books with terrible Transformer flavored ones sprinkled in.

    Also, and this is just my two sense, but the whole of the IDW Transformer mythos hinges on Optimus Prime and Megatron being effective leaders, and when you turn their characters on their heads, the story falls apart. If they had rebooted entirely in 2012, or started with a newly ascendant Optimus Prime, or a Megatron who hadn't done named horrible things, their current stories would work SO much better. However, by doing it in reverse, IDW is trying to fundamentally alter their already set story and it fails because it more or less tells the readers all of the emotional investment they've done for 10+ years is for naught. In the same vein, doing silly things like Starscream being in charge, or Prime self-doubting, or Megatron's whatever bill of sale Roberts tried there, end up tearing the universe to pieces because those current storylines don't mesh with the meta-story.
     
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  18. Danny-Boy

    Danny-Boy Centurion

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    Why would you cancel the best title?
     
  19. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    LOL, because I don't think it's the best title? Seriously, though, IMO, 'Till All Are One and Optimus Prime are the best.
     
  20. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Active Member

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    I've actually been thinking about this subject for quite a while. I read an interview with James Roberts when MTMTE was starting out, and two bits really struck me

    "With Cyclonus and Whirl, I wanted characters who were more Decepticon than Autobot, even if Cyclonus is non-affiliated and Whirl, as you say, is an Autobot (although it’s hinted that Optimus recruited him purely to ‘claim’ him before the Decepticons did)."

    This bit makes me ask, 'Why not outright Decepticons, then?'

    "The Lost Light is crewed by decent- if flawed and wayward- Autobots, and I needed a few wild cards in there."

    Decent? Really? He has a funny idea of what 'decent' means...

    Anyway, there will be spoilers for MTMTE and probably RiD but also the old Ongoing and Autocracy, but I was talking with some friends and family about what it might have been like if there actually had been an integrated Decepticon crew from the start of MTMTE...

    An integrated Decepticon crew from the start of MTMTE would have made sense and built on IDW's past comics. In Autocracy, we are shown that Hot Rod was a leader of the poor and destitute. He was an insurgent who rebelled, violently, against Zeta Prime. Megatron personally asked Hot Rod to sign on with the Decepticons. Hot Rod ultimately did not sign on with the Decepticons, but he was aggressively courted by them, nonetheless. Then, in the Ongoing, Hot Rod gathered the disaffected from both the Autobots and the Decepticons, and he brought them together in peace to build a shuttle to leave Earth behind, because Earth was full of humans who rightfully hate them. There, Swindle first named Hot Rod "Rodimus" - long before he touched the Matrix, long before Optimus gave him any official recognition. Things fell apart. Also, Hot Rod/Rodimus was the first one to support Drift when others were down on Drift for his Decepticon past.

    With MTMTE, there was another chance, though. Rodimus could have helmed a fully factionally integrated spaceship, and given his background, he would have made a lot of sense as accepting Decepticons on his crew!

    Now, IDW's whole backstory of the war is really, really cool. IDW made the Decepticons oppressed and gave them good points and then turned the Decepticons into evil tyrants and cannibals. :| It's very poorly thought-out. However, IDW did that, and despite doing that, the Decepticons are ostensibly the "bad guys". The Autobots are ostensibly the "good guys". However, in the name of "character development" and "deep characterization", IDW has lately presented many outright evil Autobots and has then shuffled the Decepticons off into a corner. The Autobots mostly serve as protagonist, villain, and villain protagonist alike. In cases where a Decepticon villain could easily have been used, quite often an Autobot one is used instead. Now, the Decepticons do some things, but the action, both good and bad, is heavily weighted towards the Autobots, not 50/50 or even 60/40. (Also, there is a trend to de-Decepticon the Decepticons before allowing them to do interesting things. See: Starscream in RiD. See: Megatron in Dark Cybertron. I find this trend troubling.)

    So, if MTMTE had started with a factionally integrated crew, it would have helped rectify this problem of, "Decepticons don't do enough."

    My friends and I thought about which Autobots to swap out and with which Decepticon to swap them. (Please note: for some of these, the character they’re ‘’replacing’’ is still there; if the character is important enough that removing them would lead to drastic changes”).

    Fort Max -> Sixshot

    Fort Max has definitely been the poster child "evil Autobot" in MTMTE, going on a destructive rampage and being kept in the brig for the majority of Season 1. IDW is a new continuity and doesn't follow the old bios. Look at how the Ongoing treated Onslaught. However, anyone at all could have been plugged into Fort Max’s role, and it would have been equally valid. And, to be honest, I like the idea that Fort Max died in Last Stand of the Wreckers; it showed how horrific Overlord’s little reign truly was.

    So I am suggesting plugging Sixshot into Fort Max’s MTMTE role. Of the Decepticons, Sixshot has largely dissapeared in recent years; his last chronological appearance was Spotlight: Metroplex. Sadly, all the potential for character development he had, in his Spotlight, sort of disappeared when he spent most of his IDW role as essentially a brainwashed zombie, but if you plugged him into Fort Max’s whole role, it would give him an interesting depth. Sixshot’s trauma could come from being brainwashed by Jhiaxus in Revelation.

    Would it be utterly entrancing to see Sixshot have to go to Rung, an Autobot psychiatrist, for therapy, in order to stay a member of the crew? Oh yes. I think that whole plotline becomes more interesting, because Decepticons may well have different definitions of mental health than Autobots do. The potential for cultural conflict is delicious.

    Ultra Magnus making Sixshot the new enforcer of the Tyrest Accord? It would add even more depth to the change in the post-war world; now, a Decepticon who was responsible for scouring worlds of life can hold such a position. Now, I suppose that switching Fort Max for Sixshot would lose the dynamic between him and Overlord, but I think that so much more would be gained. Plus, seeing a Decepticon do things such as go on a destructive rampage but still be portrayed as sympathetic by the narrative would be a big treat.

    Ultra Magnus -> Soundwave

    There would be nothing better to emphasise that the crew is factionally integrated by having one of the “Big Three” Decepticons in the command chair. (Magnus is still there, don't worry).

    Soundwave would also shake up the dynamic because he’s pretty cold and pragmatic, bringing a darker twist on all the Ultra Magnus funny OCD moments. Unlike Ultra Magnus, who is by-the-book, but ultimately reasonable, Soundwave would bring a ruthlessness and an efficiency to the quest. He would be the one telling Rodimus it’s unwise to save that planet full of innocents or that breaking into that Galactic Council prison to rescue one Autobot is a waste of resources. He’d serve as the perfect foil to Drift, who deeply believes in doing the right thing. However, he’d evolve into a nicer character as the series went on, due to exposure to the crew. Issue 13 would be pivotal in this, with Swerve having a heart-to-heart talk with a drunken Soundwave. It’d also be pretty dramatically effective; it’s one thing having a former enemy as a rank-and-file crewmate, it’s another to have a former enemy give you orders. The crew (except his cassettes and a few former Decepticons) would dislike him.

    Why him? Because the new interpretation of Soundwave is really, really cool. He genuinely believed in the end of functionism and equality for all and, despite being a Decepticon, is actually quite sympathetic: IDW is a new continuity. Soundwave would, probably, still wear his Decepticon symbol with pride. There’d also be a little bit of philosophical tension; does Soundwave have the right to refuse to renounce his faction? There could be some interesting interactions between him and Drift, who he thinks a coward for trying to hide from his past, plus he’d be irritated by Tailgate’s desire to become an Autobot, saying that.

    Now, I know Soundwave's part of the cast of Optimus Prime now, but...

    Brainstorm -> Needlenose

    Needlenose was in Barber's series. That series, for the longest time, used him as a generic thug. Anyone could be slotted into his role and do it. So yanking Needlenose out of RiD and dropping him into MTMTE to replace Brainstorm is no big deal. Why him? Because Needlenose is fabulous. His bio doesn't say he's a weapons engineer, but Brainstorm's bio doesn't say that, either: IDW is a new continuity. If Brainstorm could be a weapons engineer, Needlenose could have easily been a weapons engineer, too, as the plot demanded. Just imagine Needlenose in a passive-aggressive rivalry with Perceptor. It would be a thing of beauty. Needlenose would be a perfect cheerful amoral engineer.

    Needlenose bonding with Nautica would also be really heartwarming. Nautica doesn’t care about his faction, she just likes him because he's a nice guy. Ratchet refusing new hands from Needlenose would also beg the question of whether or not Ratchet's just being biased against Decepticon work, which would be a fun question to ask. Or…

    Chromedome -> Mindwipe

    How about having two mnemosurgeons on the crew who worked for the New Institute and used to steal people's memories, rifle through the minds of the dead, and rewire people's personalities? And why not have this second mnemosurgeon be the guy called "Mindwipe", huh?

    How about having an ex-colleague – possibly even friend – of Chromedome’s to be a Decepticon? Think about all the mileage in that! Chromedome, an Autobot, could resent the fact that Mindwipe (his colleague and friend) joined the Decepticons. How much more interesting would it be to have the Chromedome/Brainstorm scene in issue 16 to see Mindwipe, a Decepticon, try to stop Chromedome, an Autobot, from erasing Rewind from his memory, showing a better side to him. Just imagine Mindwipe in a passive-aggressive rivalry with Chromedome. It would be a thing of beauty. Mindwipe would be a cheerful and eccentric amoral mnemosurgeon, a contrast to Chromedome’s mopey, cynical demeanour.

    Swerve -> Swindle

    Now I know people really like Swerve, but the image of Swindle running a bar would be super hilarious. I think it’s because Swindle and Swerve are pretty similar; they’re both charming, with a propensity to tell jokes, it’s just Swindle is significantly less moral than Swerve. Unlike Swerve’s “everybody knows your name” sort of bar, Swindle would probably be more of a “Moe Syszlak” type bartender (selling watered down, insanely expensive drinks, whilst doing criminal activities behind the counter).

    If Swindle had an unerring belief in Primus, it could serve as a bit of an irony; a religious spark hides behind the unscrupulous con-man. It’d make the discussion with Ore even better, because Swindle could be talking about how he, after millions of years of war, still maintains a belief in Primus. This is

    Swindle, a Decepticon, beating himself up over accidentally shooting Rung, an Autobot, would also be a good angle; this is a post-war world, where he can’t see the Autobot as an enemy anymore. He didn’t shoot an Autobot, he shot a friend. Swerve’s TV overdose would also have a bit more pathos; one of the anti-organic Decepticons watching and enjoying human television.

    It’d make the “Swearth” story even more heartwarming; a group of Autobots (and neutrals) convincing Swindle, a Decepticon who isn’t exactly the most moral of types, of his own self-worth; everyone went to save him. Swindle’d probably be a more moral, better character after that.

    Skids -> Kickback

    Kickback is supposed to be a smart, charming, friendly super-spy, but he's never actually written like this, because he's an Insecticon, so writers just have him show up to eat things. In fact, Kickback appears to be the unlucky one of the Insecticons, since, when they’re written at all, Shrapnel and Bombshell are the ones who get more focus (Look at AHM, Kickback only gets a couple of lines here and there). It's a shame.

    Kickback would show up much as Skids did - as an amnesiac, pursued by creepy robots. Readers who are aware of the Insecticons would be accustomed to seeing Kickback as a Decepticon, so they'd wonder who Kickback is, why he has no faction symbol, and what he did to forget such a huge swath of his life. (Answer: Tried to assassinate Tyrest.) Kickback would be charming and friendly! He'd be cute with Rung and Swindle; opportunities for some platonic Decepticon-Decepticon friendship there. There would be some hints of a more manipulative side to Kickback but nothing too heavy; the Trailcutter prank for instance.

    He would have been one of Shockwave's outliers, with Orion during their whole caper. He joined the Decepticons after the war broke out, was a guard at Grindcore and then disappeared. Then they're thrown into Tyrest's jail, and they meet Kickback's partner: Getaway. The Autobot Getaway. Now that would be dropping the hammer.

    Turns out that, yes, Kickback's a former Decepticon, but he's been known to do work for Prowl, when their goals align. After all, Prowl's always been a bad Autobot, ever since Spotlight Kup, so the idea of Prowl’s “Diplomatic Corps” employing outside agents (like Kickback) for certain “delicate matters” wouldn’t really be surprising. Getaway is Kickback's partner when he does little favours for Prowl, and hey, taking out Tyrest seemed like a good idea at the time... Then Kickback and Getaway are antagonistically cute together.

    (Bombshell would be the only Insecticon in AHM in my version).

    Pharma & Ambulon - > Decepticons

    Because the crew is factionally integrated, they respond to a rescue beacon at a Decepticon hospital, and they run into Ratchet's finest old student, who happened to sign on with the Decepticons when the war opened: Pharma. The story heavily hints that Ratchet is going to make this Decepticon the new Chief Medical Officer. First Aid was part of a team of Autobots who came to respond to the same SOS signal. The plague happened and they were the only ones left. Ambulon is a nice Decepticon who looks after First Aid and makes sure that he's fed and such. Pharma thinks that Ambulon's a bit soft.

    Ambulon and Pharma probably harass Drift about defecting to some extent. Possibly, the DJD comes up, and Pharma doesn't look too happy... When chaos breaks out, First Aid is released and helps with the medical emergencies. Pharma tries to pin the blame on Ambulon, but it turns out that Pharma did something to offend the DJD, so he created a plague to... try to keep the DJD away, since no one wants to be infected with horrible diseases, and awesome speak-y powers won't kill plague, to try to buy himself time.

    After things are resolved, First Aid and Ambulon both join the crew!

    Pharma later kills Ambulon for "betraying" him. Pharma and reality aren't on proper speaking terms. :| But hey, it ends up with First Aid killing Pharma - killing one Decepticon for killing another Decepticon. Anyway, even though Pharma was violently anti-caste, as a Decepticon (he probably ran a free clinic full-time, before the war, instead of just moonlighting the way Ratchet did), he was still prejudiced against the constructed cold. Just because he has good opinions about one subject does not stop him from having disgustingly bad opinions about another subject. So he worked for Tyrest against the constructed cold.

    Also, being a Decepticon explains why Pharma looks so much like Starscream!

    So, that was about as much as I came up with. Obviously, there would be many background Decepticons in the crowd shots? The whole thing about attacking the Seacons would be have to be handled very differently. Having Overlord on board the ship would also pan out a little differently, too. Overlord might try to convince Soundwave go with him and/or to turn on the Autobot crew members – he'd refuse, vocally. There could be some interesting interactions between the various Decepticon cast members and Drift, plus Cyclonus saying that he is not a Decepticon would be more along the lines of pointing at a group of people and saying, "I'm not them," rather than a more hypothetical thing.

    Also, Tailgate wanting to be a Decepticon would be a much more interesting plotline if there were actual Decepticons there to speak up on their own behalf. It would be extra-juicy if Needlenose explained that he joined the Decepticons - and became a weapons engineer of mass destruction - because Optimus's friends didn't like Needlenose's artwork. Actually, if there were Decepticons on the crew, that would be good because, when Rewind is called in to show footage of Decepticon war crimes to Tailgate, that could be delightfully awkward on all parts?

    "Rewind, is that- "

    "Yeah."

    "But he's - "

    "Yeah. There's a reason why we don’t really trust him."
     
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