Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by GFH, Mar 19, 2013.
Yup. Mass-displacement tech doesn't come standard in IDW.
As it should be.
Well, that still leads back to the question of exactly what happens during "transformation". What's the significance and distinction of an outer shell and inner skeleton if all of it is mutable at what is evidently a molecular level? Are only certain parts of a Cybertronian "programmed" to reconfigure themselves into propulsion systems, considering that even under normal conditions, muscles and gears and joints need to spontaneously rearrange themselves into power transmission systems, sealed engine bays, and what must be some kind of magical space thruster that doesn't require reaction mass (since we never see bots like Omega lugging around fuel tanks sufficient to get them into orbit, much less to anywhere else in the universe, warp drive or no)?
As for spark-inherent abilities, it's implied that abilities like Skywarp's teleportation and Tarn's necroblather are unusual cases stemming from rare sparks. Given that Decepticons often hover in midair with none of the backblast expected of sustaining a ten-ton robot aloft, one assumes some form of antigravity ability, one that is retained even after heavy damage. So yeah, it's never stated that flight is a spark-inherent trait, but there's nothing speaking against it, either. From a Functionist standpoint, it makes perfect sense: if you were "born" a flyer, then that's what you were intended to be/do, and if you want to be made into a flyer, then significant resources and expense are required to add in "assistive technologies" that would enable that, so rather than be a drain on resources, just play the hand you were dealt.
So, I guess my most basic question is: how can ANY Cybertronian transform into something else, with or without an "outer shell"?
Well, if anything, I think that the distinction (recently made) between the superstructure and the endoskeleton actually serves to confuse things rather than clarify them. But referring to Cybertronian abilities, I have always taken the approach that they aren't all derived from the same sources (though where you'd categorize each is mostly up to preference I suppose). Some abilities may derive from the "mysteries of the spark" while others are "built-in", developing from an express design process. Generally, the more powerful and, ummm... mysterious powers, I would see being a function of a unique spark ability (which Roberts seems to suggest with "outliers"), while other things, like a built in flamethrower or telescopic vision is simply due to mechanical innovation and specialization. Inbetween these categories, I imagine there could be abilities that are inherent in the spark, but need to be supported by material enhancements (such as the "branched spark" allowing for splitting/merging or your suggestion of flight powers).
On the flight power thing, I'm not sure I totally agree, though I certainly see where you're coming from. The "floating" you describe seems to be mainly a holdover from the G1 cartoon, and appears in other fictions seemingly at the whim of the artist or writer. I never much liked it myself, but your explanation makes perfect sense.
Speaking of Transformation, and it's affects on Transformers culture, can someone refresh my memory on something? Have we seen anyone who prefers to be in their alt mode? I remember G1 cartoon Tracks loved to stay in his car mode (Can you blame him? He turned into a Corvette.), and my brother once described Grimlock as "A T-rex that sometimes turns into a robot." With the way Roberts has been exploring transformers culture, and the affects of transformation, this strikes me as right up his ally.
Well, there was that dead neutral in issue #1 who changed shape after Ratchet pronounced him dead. It was said that dead Cybertronians take on their preferred shape, sometimes it being the alt-mode.
Oh my god!
Well, it's been implied by Barber that the Dinobots prefer their Dino modes, though there's been absolutely NO good reason given to back this up. It's like arbitrarily one day they just decided they love being dinosaurs. Which is actually pretty stupid, because chronologically, they probably haven't spent more than a year active in those modes. They upgraded back in Spotlight Shockwave, then were promptly stuck in shutdown for thousands of years, then woke up, had a few fights (mostly getting their asses handed to them), and that was it. I guess they really bonded with those modes during the millennia they spent deactivated.
Yeah, that was awesome. Those little bits are the stuff that make Roberts great for Transformers. The world always gets a bit richer when he's on the job.
I think we're supposed to just magically assume that it happened in the unknown period between Maximum Dinobots and their reappearance in the comic.
Maybe if we get some Dinobot figures in the 30th anniversary line, they'll have a Spotlight comic that will explain why they grew to like the dino modes.
You're talking about Rigor Morphis.
It could be their suffering from Mode Attachment.
Oh I get it alright. It's just this week I posted first, then waged through 19 pages of comentary.
I'm also thinking that of all the bots, Swerve dying without the ability to speak would really be poinent.
Well someone has to fly the ship. You ever see those actioners where the pilot gets shot on the airplane in the chaos? All the fighting stops until the plane pulls out of the dive. (of course this is ususally when the bad guy gets away with the only parachute. )
I really wish I had time to do this, (I used to be a passable artist, but I don't have any time/materials or reference pics)
Any artist out there wana do a "Pipes has resurected" pic for Easter?
(blasphamy,,, it's a talent.)
You forgot the "He died for YOUR (Chromedome's) sins!" prequel page
Except it wasn't actually an unknown period, was it? I'm pretty sure that passage of time was accounted for, but I forget exactly what it was. 2 years roughly, I think? Which feels like a long enough time, but maybe not so much for robots who live millions of years, and only changed their mods the equivalent of yesterday. Or maybe it's like getting a new pair of jeans that just fits so well, that you end up wearing them every day for 2 weeks because you're obsessed? That makes sense too.
That sounds like IDW's style. Do something sort of dumb, then use a spotlight to retroactively make it seem less dumb. Maybe.
Treating it as a pathology is an interesting approach, but I think that it doesn't make much sense in this case, since it would be unlikely that all 4 (possibly 5) Dinobots would all get Mode Attachment all at the same time. On a trivial note, Snarl's G1 bio notes that he especially hates the dinosaur mode he was given, and longed to return to Cybertron to get away from it.
Well Grimlock did fall in love with the holographic projection of a Tyrannosaurus Rex when choosing it as his alt-mode so they all could have become shortly attach to them or it could simply be they think dinosaurs are cooler than vehicles.
I meant unknown less in the not knowing how long, and more in the we don't know what HAPPENED in that period of time. All that we know is, they vanished with the monsters after Maximum Dinobots, then reappearared during RiD. We don't know what they did between those two events that might have caused them to love the forms. For all we know, the monsterbots could have stopped off to get fuel, and some of the locals on a planet piss themselves in fear over their dinosaur modes, so they think "Instant fear? We love that!" and thus decide to keep the modes.
Or they could be keeping their dino modes as a dig against Grimlock too. Hopefully we'll find out sometime.
Yeah, my point was just that when you considering how many forms Transformers seem to go through, and how individualized their feelings are about their alt-modes can be, it seems like it's a bit much that all the Dinobots just instantly became uniformly attached to these obscure extinct organic-based life-forms at the same time. I cited the Snarl thing just as an example of how even within a team, bots can have different feelings about their alt-modes, beyond "YEAHHH!! We're motherf***in' SPACE DINOSAURS!!! Woooo!!"
Yeah, that is true. Two years is funny for Cybertronians, because it can pass in the blink of an eye (or an optical shutter?), or a whole lot can happen. However, I'm still waiting for an explanation that isn't too transparently just "Dinosaurs rule, so Dinobots need to keep these modes."
Personally, I'd rather see a TF fiction where bots don't change alt-modes like we get haircuts, and so end up in the same form for a long time just for practical reasons, but it's too late for that in IDW , I guess.
I know what you mean. It wouldn't be TOO bad if they have a logical reason for it other than "time for an alt mode change!"
And it's not entirely too late for it, at least on the Lost Light. They could easily say they don't really have the resources to continually change the bot's alt modes without a reason, or say they used most of their resources repairing bots that Overlord tore up.
As for the RiD crew, well, there they really can't use that excuse.
So.....Animated? part of that fiction is a large array of pre-set body types, minutely changed per bot. each alt mode just adjusts around that body type.
I would say it's just a case of them being more powerful in alt-mode than robot. Slag can breath fire, Sludge can stomp things and whip with his head and tail, Swoop can fly, Snarl can get supercharged by the sun, Grimlock can move faster and chomp on things, although out of all of them Grimlock seems most comfortable using robot mode as well as dino. As for their disattachment from the Autobots, well they've always been a little bit apart in IDW. Only aligning themselves with the Bots instead of the Cons because of an underlying sense of morality. Then they were ostracised and treated as criminals before their pardon, and the main Autobot forces of earth didn't seem particularly bothered about helping them fight the Machination or Shockwave, so them not totally seeing themselves as Autobots makes sense.
One last thing on this issue (unless something else is kicked up) I'm amazed that nobody mentioned the whole "Women in Refrigerators" trope?
So is it "Rewind in Refridgerator"?
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