IDW Chain of Command

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by icanfly, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. icanfly

    icanfly Well-Known Member

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    Hey

    Was just flicking through the AHM trade (haven't got max dinos or last half of AHM), and was wondering how the Autobot chain of command worked in this universe. Obviously Prime is at the top of the pile, but Magnus seems to work on his own rather than in a command role, Fort Maxx seems to be only in charge of his prison, Hotrod seems to be an up & comer but shot down in his first command spot. Prowl seems to outrank Jazz in the early comics, but Jazz seems higher up in AHM. Springer being the Wreckers' leader seems to have some power, even trying to order Prime about on the battlefront, but then coming under Kup's rule in AHM. Grimlock seems to have no authoritive role other than his dinobots, but to be fair we haven't seen him interact with the rest of the army. Silverbolt also seems to have some authority as does Hound.
    How does this system work? I like how it seems to represent a real army more than just having Prime responsible for everyone, but who fits where???

    Regards

    JL
     
  2. kryptofred

    kryptofred super-con

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    In the early stuff it seemed like Prowl had his own command with Ironhide and Jazz as seconds. The we see that Springer, Hound and Hod Rod all had there own command positions too. So it seems likely that there's a pyramid of command with Prime at the top, then his generals and lieutenants with responsability flowing downward. As far as I can tell no real chain was ever established. Hot Rod does at one point indicate he and Prowl are of the same rank. AHM seems to have muddied the waters a bit, perhaps due to Prime being taken out and the command structure falling apart without a top, or maybe Shane just didn't do enough research.
     
  3. Cast

    Cast Roll the dice

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    The way I see it is this: Thanks to the suck fest that is AMH anything set in place before is fucked. The wreckers seem to have been disbanded and springer demoted and put under the command of an out of date bot that until recently was consided totally insain and un treatable. AMH makes no sense, I gave up trying to make anything good of that train wreck after the 3rd issue.
     
  4. artoni

    artoni Fangirl

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    He got better.
     
  5. Shockscream

    Shockscream Chairman of Nerd Day

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    I think it's stated in AHM that Jazz assumes command of the Earth unit during extreme/unusual times. Failing that, Prowl is in command.
     
  6. LEADERS_MATRIX

    LEADERS_MATRIX Wisdom of the ages...

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    Who got better? I have not been into this one.
     
  7. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus Your opinion was noted. Now get lost. TFW2005 Supporter

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    There seems to be a pyramid style of command with Prime at the top and various other leaders under him and such. We know that Prime is the top dog and we also know that Prowl had his own command on Earth and it is mentioned, in dialogue between Hot Rod and Prowl that they are both the same rank, but that Prowl outranks Hot Rod currently because he's on Prowl's turf... at least during Escalation when he wanted Hot Rod to do something specific that he wanted him to...

    Springer seems to be in charge of the Wreckers (at least in the original set of arks, before Shane-O-Macks AHM series) and they are their typical selves.

    Jetfire also seemed to be the leader of his team stationed orbiting Cybertron with Scattorshot as his second-in-command.

    To be honest, any chain of command that was around previously has probably been restructured or just ignored by Shane-O.

    Kup, supposedly. At the end of his Spotlight he was psychotic and untreatable and they couldn't repair him because he had never upgraded any of his parts through his long years and this made him, essentially, incompatible with any of the Autobot's current tech. AHM just throws this out the window without any explanations as to how he suddenly 'got better' due to Shane not really bothering (or caring) to pay attention to what came before his oh-so-awesome-self and DURIFUTUO.
     
  8. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I think Prowl is likely higher ranked, but is more of an administrator and long-term strategist. Jazz is more of a field intelligence officer, a spymaster. In the current situation, it made more sense to give control of the remaining Autobots to Jazz, since security and intel are his specialties. He's better suited to these circumstances, and that way he doesn't have to just advise Prowl or clear things with him first. Prowl is probably still formally in command, but recognizing Jazz's strengths, he has handed temporary command to him.

    Of course, it's probably just because McCarthy is in the "Jazz is 2nd in command" camp, but had to reconcile with Prowl clearly giving him orders in Furman's run.

    Kup was last seen in stasis with some pretty serious issues... however, in that same storyline, Springer acknowledged that Kup was the guy who basically taught a lot of Autobots everything they know. If Kup was healed in the intervening passage of time, it's possible that they returned him to duty at a rank befitting his role as mentor, trainer and most experienced officer.

    And on that... just because Kup is back doesn't mean that McCarthy screwed over the whole IDW continuity. Geez... get a grip. Time has passed. We didn't see Kup get fixed up, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. How many times in comics have characters that have been retired or killed off by one comics writer, been brought back by a subsequent writer who wanted to use them? It's really not a big stretch.

    Furthermore, the format of AHM has been to throw us into situations, and then gradually fill in the details. Sometimes this might be to cover McCarthy's tracks, but in general, this is proving to be a very compelling and interesting way to build a storyline. I would compare this to the structure of many anime series (as opposed to US cartoons)... the plot is not always linear. Often you are dumped into a sci-fi setting and are gradually brought up to speed on how things work in that world as you progress through the story. It's a great way to hold a reader's interest, as opposed to the more simplistic linear and expository method.

    Kup's return is not an important detail at the moment... I'm perfectly happy to wait and see if they fill in those blanks at a relevant moment.

    Just to qualify some of my statements, I was initially VERY skeptical of AHM. I really thought the first issue was a flaming turd of simplistic juvenile tripe, and I was just about ready to dump IDW... but then as the series progressed, it really grabbed me. AHM is uneven, but it has contained some of the most interesting character writing I've seen in a TF comic for quite a long time.

    That makes sense. There are ranks, but also different jurisdictions and different branches of the Autobot military. Lots of conditions apply.

    zmog
     
  9. kryptofred

    kryptofred super-con

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    The biggest hole I see with that, is that it's clearly stated only 1 year has passed since the end of Furmans stuff at the onset of the story-arc and nobody seems at all surprised to see Kup leading this group. I'm OK with the loss of Prime shaking up the command structure, it even kinda makes sense. But how hard would it have been to make one charactor comment on his re-apperance? He did it with Perceptor.

    I agree about the style being a good literary tool, but his overall dismissal of what has come before really ticks me off. Most of the blanks can probably be filled in without to much trouble but why create that dilemma in the first place? When Spiderman's writer wanted him to be single again Marvel didn't just shrug and let it happen because they knew the fans woudn't let it go. same should of applied here. (although the whole Spiderman thing still doesn't make sense to me.)

    Overall I like the story so far too. I love how it seems to mimic G1, and at the same time make it 10 times cooler. It's a terrific re-imagining of the old series'. It doesn't hurt that I hated what they did to Kup in his spot-light, either.
     
  10. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Well, a year isn't much time in Cybertronian terms, but a lot can still happen in that time frame. For all we know, Kup was cured and reinstated within a month of Devastation ending.

    But I agree... it would have been nice to have someone at least comment on it by now. Funny thing about the Perceptor shift... I'd forgotten. Had he actually shown up already in IDW? A year does seem like a short period of time for a character to have gone through such a big change... from absent-minded professor with a weakness for technobabble, to a silently efficient sniper and dual-wielding gunman? Really Shane? Really? The only thing that saves it is the fact that the characters seem as confused by it as the readers. :) 

    Yeah, well... Spiderman has a whole lot more continuity to be turned into an incoherent mess, not to mention several concurrent montly titles. But then, that's how the big comic companies do business these days. Anything goes, even if it makes no sense.

    Actually I REALLY liked the Kup Spotlight. I mean, that's probably the first time I ever particularly liked him as a character. A shame he was stuck in stasis at the end, but I think the story was good. Great use of Trailbreaker too. :) 

    zmog
     
  11. Cyber-Kun

    Cyber-Kun UNLEASHED!

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    I almost spit my dr. pepper at that comment :lolol 
     
  12. adamme

    adamme Well-Known Member

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    if you read the Drift Spotlight, there is a mention of him being restored, so presumably he got back into mental health as well and was one of the few survivors for the concentrated Decepticon attacks
     
  13. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    There is another issue not being addressed regarding command structure. On Earth, armies normally consist of tens to hundreds of thousands or even millions of individuals.

    The US Armed Forces has about 1.45 million active duty, and 850,000 reserve personnel. Does anyone here think there are even as many as 100,000 Transformers in the entire universe?

    Remember, according to the storylines, 3,000 Swarmcons is apparently a huge number. Big enough to bother the Pit out of Thundercracker.

    Very likely, most Transformers know a very large percentage of their species on sight. Command structure can likely stand to be a little informal if your entire faction consists of, at best, a couple of thousand soldiers. That may be highballing. It might be a few hundred per side.

    This is possible because they are, as a species, so long-lived as to be effectively immortal, incredibly difficult to permenantly kill, possessed of an array of abilities far beyond most other known life-forms, and each individiual, even the weaker members, are more powerful than any individual of most other species.

    Putting together a "typical unit" of beings like that isn't only unlikely, it would be actively foolish. You'd be compelled to tailor any command or unit structure to the individual abilities of each member since there is no "species standard". You can have human armies with trained individuals filling different duties, but it's not smart to make someone who can turn into a helicopter train as an artillery specialist, when CAS or aerial recon is something they're adept at by their very nature.

    In terms of "brainpower" roles, it can be all over the place, but tactically? You need to play to the strengths of literally every individual under your command. Bumblebee will never be the heavy infantry Roadbuster is, so it's foolish to try and make him that. He can supplement when necessary, but physically and structurally, he's not as well suited to a degree far beyond the differences humans exhibit.

    Thundercracker is not Onslaught is not Scrapper is not Rumble. The command structure must reflect that far more strongly than that from a species whose members are more similar.

    It's got to be loose. You have high command, command's lieutenants, then everything below them must be customized.

    - Coeloptera
     
  14. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Great post... good points. I agree completely... TF's military/social/cultural/biological structures should not be seen to be overly dependent on the human models we are familiar with.

    Despite how "friendly" they have come to be through the context of childrens' media, from a science-fiction perspective Transformers should be viewed as INTENSELY alien. Without necessarily tumbling headlong into Bayformer baby-eater territory, I think there's a lot of interesting potential for re-examining TFs through this filter... and part of me dies every time I read a comic like SPOTLIGHT: BLURR or MEGATRON:ORIGIN, and see TF society boiled down to a facile approximation of our own.

    Obviously, we don't want to look at them TOO realistically, and risk losing some of those fantastical cartoon qualities that make Transformers appealing, but a good middle ground is nice.

    zmog
     
  15. icanfly

    icanfly Well-Known Member

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    Some great points in there Coeloptera. I did find it interesting to see that Hotrod and Hound were included as lieutenants in this storyline, when theu haven't been depicted in that role before.
    I'd be interested to see how Grimlock or Ultra Magnus would fit if in the mix with the other bots. As I understand it though, Grimlock's unit are probably presumed dead after being MIA for so long, and UM seems to have been promoted above the regular army.
    Anyway, some good discussion here

    JL
     
  16. Rattrap Primal

    Rattrap Primal Geek Overlord

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    from what I can gather
    Optimus Prime: Commanding Officer
    Prowl: Unit Commander, Sol 3/ Earth
    Jazz: Spec Ops
    Kup: Trainer/ Drill Seargant
    Hot Rod: Trouble Shooter (I guess since Revelations he was redeemed somewhat in the eyes of the Autobots)
    Jetfire: Head Scientist
    Ultra Magnus: Enforcer
    Springer: Wreckers CO
     
  17. Fairlady_Z

    Fairlady_Z Official Voice of Flareup

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    Sound about right Rattrap, and add Ironhide as head of security.
     
  18. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Isn't Red Alert the "Security Director"? Of course, by the Specs, he and Ironhide have the same Rank... who cares about Red Alert anyway? :) 

    zmog
     

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