Here's a little something extra for all of you who've been patiently awaiting a new TFWe (also, I was in the mood to write an editorial). As you might recall from our debut issue of TFWe, I wrote an article on the virtues of the various nominees for last year's Transformers Hall of Fame, and I would like to share some thoughts if I may for this year's campaign. You see, as the Hall of Fame moves into its third year, we are presented with an opportunity. An opportunity to tell Hasbro who the characters we truly love from the Transformers franchise are. But moreso - we are also presented with an opportunity to garner some recognition for those series that lie outside the popular conception of Transformers. Allow me to elaborate. For your average joe in the street, Transformers was a series from the 1980s. They remember Generation 1, the cartoon. Some might remember reading the comic. Some might remember the later toys, but most think of the cartoon, the early episodes pre-movie with Optimus Prime, Starscream, Megatron, Jazz and all the rest. The fandom at large remembers and justifiably loves Beast Wars, the series that gave many of us the intelligent writing and well-written characters we'd always wanted. But what I am getting to is that there is a whole universe of Transformers shows, comics and characters beyond these two extremely well-loved eras. Series, characters, comics that are excellent in their own right yet simply do not get enough love or attention. What we have here with the Transformers Hall of Fame is an opportunity. What we have here is a chance, as a fandom, to win some love and recognition for those great, forgotten characters. To bring them to Hasbro and say "there's more to Transformers than Generation 1 and Beast Wars!" Now some of you might, justifiably, think that I am posting this purely because I support one such character. And it is true, I feel Sky-Byte is a perfectly worthy candidate for recognition. But there are so many more than just Sky-Byte. There are so many more, from all parts of the franchise, who are worthy of the nomination, of simply making it as far as the final five and receiving that recognition. Below I list a few of the non-Generation 1 and non-Beast Wars candidates who I feel are worthy of recognition. Thunderwing - Marvel Comics - A major character throughout the latter issues of the comic, Thunderwing was written as a new Decepticon commander and a Decepticon capable of bearing the Matrix. His role in Matrix Quest and the issues leading up to it were a defining moment. Since then he has returned to play a major role in comic arcs including IDW's Stormbringer miniseries. Bludgeon - Marvel Comics - Thunderwing's sucessor, master of Metalikato (which originated with him and has since entered the Transformers multiverse as a form of martial arts, usually, the one that gets mentioned when a martial art gets namedropped). If Thunderwing was significant for his role, then Bludgeon surely also deserves recognition for being the leader in the later issues of Generation 1, and indeed, for his potentially imminent renaissance in issues 81 onwards. Minerva - Masterforce - 2005 Boards Veteran member Aernaroth has written an excellent justification for Minerva, check it out here. Sky Byte - Robots in Disguise - Sky-Byte, as I have often said, is emblematic of Robots in Disguise - a light-hearted character who represents a light-hearted series. Everything that is good about this series that is not afraid of taking itself lightly is embodied in Sky-Byte. Ultimately though he is just, plain and simply, an awesome character. He's a flying shark that sings and recites haiku - and in a testament to the writing in Robots in Disguise, this never seems to get overdone. He is quite possibly the greatest comic relief character to have ever graced Transformers, right up there with Waspinator - except did Waspinator ever balance a ball in his nose, or take a fish personality test? Hot Shot - Unicron Trilogy - Hot Shot was the leading Autobot in Transformers Armada - he was one of the very few characters who was created for that series (if inspired by Bumblebee) who would go on to feature in Energon and Cybertron - the other two series that make up the Unicron Trilogy. He represents the Unicron Trilogy just as Sky-Byte represents Robots in Disguise. The trilogy represented Hot Shot's growth from cocky rookie Autobot into a seasoned warrior. He was initially planned to continue as the rookie Autobot character in the early drafts of Transformers Animated, back when it was Transformers Hero. How ironic that the Autobot inspired by Bumblebee at the beginning should come full circle and give inspiration to the Bumblebee of a whole new generation. Bulkhead - Transformers Animated / Transformers Prime - Yer bulky buddy might be the newest character on this list, but he is a character with real potential. The definitive clumsy giant Autobot of recent years, Bulkhead immediately endeared himself to fans by accidentally smashing stuff when trying to fight Decepticons, with his catchphrase of "sorry, my bad!" even making it on to the soundchip of his Leader Class toy. For Transformers Prime, Bulkhead was brought in once again due to the death of Ironhide in Transformers Dark of the Moon. The fact that the "big guy" Autobot of choice after Ironhide could be a newcomer like Bulkhead speaks volumes of how this new addition to the Transformers universe has quickly become an important part of the series. Scourge the Black Convoy - Robots in Disguise - Scourge - not to be confused with a certain flying soapdish (I kid, Generation 1 fans!) - was the first true "evil Black Optimus" to see the light of day in the US. Before Nemesis Prime ever was, there was Scourge. He took the whole concept of an evil Optimus Prime and firmly established it with a rockin' paintjob. His lasting legacy to the Transformers franchise is evident in the number of black, gray and teal "Nemesis Primes" who have come along since - Scourge was the first of them, the one who got it all going. He couldn't have done it without a solid portrayal in the show which, like Sky-Byte and all the others mentioned here, endeared him to the fans. So while you consider your nominations and votes for the Transformers Hall of Fame now and in the future, remember - there are many more characters than just the original 1984 cast and the Beast Warriors in the Transformers universe. So very many who have made an impact on the fandom or on the franchise, who are worthy of your support. And ultimately it does not even matter if they are not the ones who win the final poll - simply by seeing a final five with a diverse range of characters, I believe, will be enough to demonstrate to Hasbro and the powers that be that our beloved Transformers franchise is more than just the two big events, that the fandom knows, loves and enjoys the vast diversity of different characters who have been featured along the way. Whoever you end up choosing to vote for, choose well and follow your heart. Good day, good fortune, and godspeed.