Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Flashformers, Mar 17, 2017.
Like in terms of writing quality, or in terms of being morally dubious?
To avoid childish simplicity, I presume.
I love it murky. It's great having bots and cons one can root for. I prefer warring (well, not anymore) factions both have their bonuses and maluses rather than being morally binary.
Agreed. This is something I love about IDW.
I mean in the morality part. I find it sickening the IDW authors try to make the Decepticons this band of misguided socially conscious freedom fighters who "lost their way" because when you look at their track record, even in IDW-verse, that is NOT what the Decepticons are at all. They really are a bunch of monsters, from the top to the bottom. Did they begin as well-intentioned activists? Sure. However, the Decepticons - as a group and individually - ended up becoming as bad as their leader. As individual members of their little band of merrymakers, the Decepticons killed worlds (who'd done nothing to them other than exist), killed their own members, conducted cross-species experiments, killed numerous Autobots and humans, killed their own world, and sold their own species into slavery - among others. And it wasn't just the boss Deceptions - it was the rank and file. From the bottom to the top.
This group is morally dubious? Maybe the Bolsheviks were morally dubious too? Or the Hutus? Or the Nazis? Because that really is who the Decepticons are: Robo-Nazis.
By contrast, the worst Autobots are who? Flame? Prowl? Impactor? Grimlock? All of them had crimes to their name, but none of them did anything like the Decepticons and with the exception of Prowl, they all were brought to justice.
There is no comparison between the Autobot and Decepticons. I'll even go one further and say there is no comparison between the KNOWN Autobot criminals and the Decepticon war crimes, leaving room for some yet unknown atrocity. It's not "childish simplicity" or "murky" at all. Based on their track records, the Autobots are the GOOD guys, and the Decepticons are the BAD guys. The Autobots may have less favorable characters - like Prowl or Impactor - but the Decepticons aren't murky at all. They are just straight up evil.
I have no problem with compelling characters on both sides. I love it. However, I do have a major problem with saying the BAD guys - who are legitimately bad - are actually okay and then saying they really are the good guys, while the good guys - who have fought the right way, with a few notable exceptions - are actually the racist, oppressive, bad guys.
Time to pack it in, everyone. The universe is over.
Yeah, much of what you say is true. Significantly less so since Roberts came into his own and phase two though.
There are notable exceptions to every single Decepticon being evil, however, but much of that didn't come into existence until ex-RID and MTMTE where examples like Skywarp started popping up.
I'd also argue that Soundwave isn't, nor was he ever, an "evil" Decepticon.
I'd also argue that aside from Optimus, and maybe Zeta, but every single other Prime was as horrible as any Decepticon; they were just occassionally restrained by the pre-war government but had they ever been let off the chain fully you would have seen anything the Decepticons had ever done and more. Imagine Sentinel Prime with no oversight. Then there's stuff with Onyx and whichever one they've been teasing as the next big-bad (Nominus? I forget).
The Autobots run amok is pretty much what you're seeing in the bizarro-universe of Lost Light. Yes, at least they're isolationists most of the rest of the galaxy has been spared the ravages but that's pretty much only the redeeming quality of that entire civilization.
I truly do wish we could have seen more interesting stuff during the actual war. I would have loved to see a kind of character take over the Decepticons that was in the vein of Grand Admiral Thrawn or Field Marshal Rommel. We got some flashes of that when Soundwave led the 'cons from time to time but it never a paramount archetype of any Decepticon leader which is a shame. I would have much preferred heroes and villains in equal amounts on both sides and it's unfortunate that the war had to end to finally see that come to fruition.
Anyways, last word is yours!
(1) What's the story with Gorlan Prime (whose inhabitants became Micromasters and renamed their planet 'Cybertron') and how does it relate to the "mold" for Cybertron found under Necroworld? The implication is that there have been many Cybertrons, and Cybertronians maybe had an organic origin.
(2) Is Fortress Maximus the vanished Pius Maximus? Has information creep gone so far as to make Transformers forget their individual origins? If so who else has this effected?
(3) Optimus Prime is likely the unknown "13th Prime" who joined everyday Cybertronians, just like in the aligned continuity. How did this happen? What was his role in the First Cybertronian War? Metroplex (and perhaps Autobot City) reognize him from the era of the Primes, his former life.
(4) If Alpha Trion fought in the First Cybertronian War, what happened to his army? Were not all primes equal?
(5) Was Optimus Prime aware that all Ultra Magnuses were different people over the 4 million year old war? How long was Minimus Ultra Magnus?
(6) How did Megatron turn Glitch into Tarn?
(7) The Knights of Cybetron glyph... I swear we've seen that somewhere before... Transformers: Cybertron or something. I see it and I get a "Cyberplanet Key" vibe for some reason.
When will we finally get a Spotlight: Starscream ?
Are the Seekers (Screamer, TC and Warp) now real brothers or just "brothers in spirit" ?
When will the Seeker be finally reunited resp. will they ever be reunited ?
I want the nameless generic Decepticons from Spotlight Cliffjumper to return in a flashback with actual names and personalities.
Not really. The thing I love about Roberts is that he makes his Cybertronians like humans in that NO ONE is ever entirely good or bad. Everyone is grey. Originally, the Decepticons were a group of "Freedom fighters". Were they moral? That's difficult to say. Megatron says that once he realized the Council was set up in such a way that ONLY violence could bring about change, he turned to violence. That was still an option he didn't HAVE to make. There are some Decepticons who, once seeing a "better way", left and became Autobots (Drift). There are some Autobots who want to fight against the "evil Decepticons" (Who did strike the first blow), so could be "good", but are morally bad people in other ways (Getaway). I would consider Fort Max a "Good guy", but he literally tore apart Decepticons who were begging for their lives. That's a "bad guy" thing.
If you want a realistic story, you have to realize that every group has it's good and bad, and they join for many different reasons. A lot of people feel the way you do, that the original story shouldn't be tampered with (Decepticons are bad, Autobots are good, and there is no grey area), and that's fine. There's nothing wrong with liking simple stories. I like vampire books or movies to always, always have the vampire evil and dead in the end, (no pitying the poor vamp for me!) But if you want a more complex, detailed and convoluted story, you need to make it as real as our own world and all it's complexities. And in that, everyone is grey.
Where is the magnificence currently? and is there any truth in that fan theory that Shockwaves experience at the end of dark Cybertron in fact transported him back to the beginning of time and transformed him into the all knowing meta device that is the magnificence.
It was last seen in the possession of the Autobots which is a bit odd as the next major arc all hail Megatron centred on the autobots not knowing who betrayed them and it would have been mega easy to solve said mystery with a simple question or maybe ask it something like what will be the next major threat to the Cybertronian race.
I think it could be interesting if the reason is they found out the thing sometimes lies or misleads so is in fact potentially very dangerous to those who give into temptation and use it for easy answers.
Uh... I know this comes down to personal notions of evil and good, but I'm pretty sure the Bolsheviks are the very definition of "misguided socially conscious freedom fighters who lost their way." They were trying to free their country from a colonial regime whose devotion to enforced peace agreements and whose out-of-touch royalty had pushed them into famine, resource shortage and a long unwinnable war. Lenin makes a great analogue for Megatron precisely because Lenin is, before he started conducting, yaknow, pogroms & genocide, a sympathetic, dynamic and literary figure. Roberts writes Megatron as a character with a lot going on under the surface--note the end of his issue in Chaos Theory, when he takes his words about nonviolence and throws them through a screen. Although Megatron never addresses it, the end of The Dying of the Light shows how he is constantly reframing his worldview under his outer actions. After being beaten in prison and released, he realized that violence could be a powerful tool.
I'm sorry, I don't understand this notion that the war in IDW has become too "morally gray." I suspect it's because we've never seen actual Decepticon war crimes onscreen, just the plans for said crimes and the repercussions of them, but we've heard plenty about such things. Megatron still supervised the purge of tons of organic worlds. Making the Decepticons an initially sympathetic cause is an inevitable piece of storytelling. We have to understand why people sided with them.
That's probably the only thing that I unequivocally DO like about the IDW continuity. Although I do agree with you that the execution of the idea has -- like IDW's execution of every idea in their continuity -- been undermined by inconsistency, to put it mildly.
We've seen "on-camera" (as it were) not only the K-Class sometimes coerced/forced Kamikaze bots AND the PoWs rebuilt into conscious emotion-triggered bombs that can only be defused by killing them, even ignoring the countless worlds destroyed and/or devastated by the Infiltration method that hasn't really been shown directly, both things that implicitly Megs must have either instituted or signed off on so I can fully understand how some people feel that the narrative emphasis on the Autobots failings and the "complex" (highly sympathetic) portrayal of the absolute (at this point) monster of "Autobot" Megatron doesn't fly.
It's the oldest writing trap, it's just so much easier to flavour a compelling villain than to sell the heroic character (because often showing that hard work).
If IDW Prime had half of the complexity of Megs we'd be onto a winner but for all the times his competence, dedication, skill and ability has been inferred and sometimes even shown he's far too often been handed an idiot ball for narrative's sake.
For me the "moral greyness" isn't IDW's fundamental flaw, it's a regular sympathy bias to the Decepticons, starting right back at them being established as initially being a freedom fighting movement and the following deemphasising of their atrocities.
Basically for me the main flaw is that Megs & the 'Cons have the origin that should be the Autobots' & Prime's, it's so much better as a basis for a more mature complex take on the Autobots than the mealy-mouthed "Prime chose to reclaim the out-of-usage term Autobot" which just doesn't cut it when placed in context next to Meg's freedom fighting, and the retcon of Sentinel Prime being an Autobot placing the baggage of originally being the corrupt oppressors on our "heroes".
I always have to laugh at Getaway, because he is the epitome of a character who is open to interpretation. I really don't see him as having done anything wrong. He did what SHOULD have been done, albeit in the absolutely wrong way. Similarly, I won't argue that Fort Max is a total psycho in IDW, but you can't really argue that the guys he killed were paragons of innocence. Demus was essentially a slaver, after all.
And I have to respectfully disagree. A good writer can write characters who are complex and deep without stooping to moral ambiguity. However, it is much harder to do and requires an immense effort from the writer. And a talented writer can build a complex world, with lots of details and convolutions, but can again do it without moral ambiguity to the level IDW uses.
That is my major problem with it too. The Decepitcons, however they started, cannot be sympathetic. If you want them to start out as freedom fighters, that's fine, but they loose the moral high ground to the Autobots immediately after they begin to commit war crimes. That they made all of the Autobots racist, elitist, bigots by proxy of making the Decepticons socially conscious protesters makes IDW so hard to swallow.
Perhaps it does come down to how we classify good and evil, but I would say the Bolsheviks were evil, just like the Nazis, even though they were part of the Allies in WWII.
How can you have a four million years of war and no moral ambiguity? That would just be totally unrealistic. This is not superheroes we are talking about, but solders and commanders of war, now veterans. Wars are inherently chaotic. Even if one party started morally clean, it won't last that long. There should be no "good guys" after four million years, only collectively slightly better guys, which is Autobot in this case.
Also, morals were not divided by faction lines in real life. Therefore Autobots should not be all innocent. Decepticons should not be all evil. Not even a single person should be entirely good or evil. Still, Autobots kept a better moral compass, even if they sometimes diverted from it. The point is at least they are still trying.
There is nothing wrong with Decepticons originating from freedom fighters. Seriously, they were a big faction. How could they attract so many followers if they did not have a point? The social background for their rise was well enough established in the comics. They just went bad in the middle of it. And the reasons they went bad, imho, is actually very important to the thesis of current continuity. Hatefulness and violence will only bring temporary fixes, but in the long run only create more problems.
By the way, imo the reason Getaway, and Megatron and Prowl, turned "evil" is their disregard of procedural justice. They think sacrifices must be made in order to achieve the end goal, but who is equipped to decide what sacrifice is too much? Who and what to sacrifice? In fact, the moment they decided to do things the wrong way, they sacrificed their principles, putting themselves beyond their people, and that is bound to go bad no matter what's their original intention.
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