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Robots in Disguise Issue #18 iBooks Preview

Posted on 05-23-2013 at 08:20 AM by Sol Fury under Comics
STK530392
Apple's iBooks has uploaded a three page preview of IDW's Robots in Disguise #18. In issue #18 someone has a bad case of survivor guilt!

After the shattering events of the past two issues, we can't tell you who's alive and who's dead. But we will hint that one CYBERTRONIAN has to reconsider her worldview—while she comes face-to-face with some old enemies. We won't mention any names, but she's in for the fight of her life!

Check out the preview attached to this post.
Views: 3,416 / Credit: Sockie of the 2005 Boards!

Images for Robots in Disguise Issue #18 iBooks Preview

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CVprowl
one more week for this book? or is it two?
Lbsammills51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CVprowl View Post
one more week for this book? or is it two?
Two? MTMTE is out next week.
Sockie
Quote:
Originally Posted by CVprowl View Post
one more week for this book? or is it two?
iBooks previews are two weeks in advance. This won't be out until June 5. (presuming it isn't delayed)
Yggdrasil
Ooooh is that Tramontano on the colours?

I love her work! Next to Josh she's my favourite IDW colourist. Wish she was a regular for RID.

Although I wouldn't mind seeing more of Lafuente other that the covers.

I dunno I guess I'm just not feeling Perez on the RID colours. I still say that the Drift miniseries were his best colours for IDW.
MechaV
I am curious to see which Autobots and 'cons do renounce their factions and stay in the city.

Hell yeah, Flatline name drop. Love that guy.
Jalaguy
Oh man, did Barber just canonise G1 Flatline? <3 <3 <3

Also, I'd forgotten we were getting a fill-in artist for this issue, but their work looks pretty decent.
maku098
Quickmix is a medic, apparently. But a G1 Flatline appearing? I want this issue if they're gonna feature him.
Digilaut
Quote:
Originally Posted by maku098 View Post
Quickmix is a medic, apparently. But a G1 Flatline appearing? I want this issue if they're gonna feature him.
Starscream claims he has medical experience. That could mean a lot of things, ranging from 'he's had some training' to 'the guy has no idea what he's doing'.

In the last case, you have a guy who's not that good, and a character whose only appearance so far was in the movie comics, where he was a sadistic doctor.

Yeah, Omega Supreme and Superion will turn out alright.
Tripredacus
What is up with Bumblebee? Did he get punched in the face?
shroobmaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripredacus View Post
What is up with Bumblebee? Did he get punched in the face?
He just tried to destroy Megatron's fingers with his face. A very valiant move.
edgs2099
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digilaut View Post
Starscream claims he has medical experience. That could mean a lot of things, ranging from 'he's had some training' to 'the guy has no idea what he's doing'.

In the last case, you have a guy who's not that good, and a character whose only appearance so far was in the movie comics, where he was a sadistic doctor.

Yeah, Omega Supreme and Superion will turn out alright.
I think that is how he's going to convince Fixit to stay. "Well, you can totally go, we have former Decepticons: Dr. Hate, Dr. Death, and Dr. Doom to fill in if you leave.
vrba79
Fuck me! Starscream is actually making sense, and doing something that isn't self-serving!
edgs2099
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrba79 View Post
Fuck me! Starscream is actually making sense, and doing something that isn't self-serving!
Oh it is self serving, don't kid yourself. It's just not as simple as "I want to kill Megatron and be Decepticon boss". He now has a larger self serving plan, and the only difference is that while selfish reasons he has, it could actually lead to a better Cybertron in the end. I know Barber won't let that happen, but it is a neat thought that Starscream had saved Cybertron.
Nope
Is Dirge ok? He was ok in the last issue.
Jetstream
Seems like a lot of RID just seems to be internal monologues lately, anyone else find it a bit boring?
BB Shockwave
That cover... WOW.

As if they haven't been trying to make Arcee into the biggest TF Mary Sue ever (dwarfing even Shane's Drift or Cliffjumper)... that's like a cover specifically drawn to annoy people who criticised Arcee's portrayal.
soymonk
Flatline name drop. Gimme a Classics figure.
Antimatter
Quote:
Originally Posted by BB Shockwave View Post
That cover... WOW.

As if they haven't been trying to make Arcee into the biggest TF Mary Sue ever (dwarfing even Shane's Drift or Cliffjumper)... that's like a cover specifically drawn to annoy people who criticised Arcee's portrayal.
if she's anyone's Mary-Sue, she's Furman's. He wrote her exactly like the portrayal that bugs fans, but Barber's been trying to develop her. Under Furman she was a "level 9" threat in Garrus-9 under Fort Max's tenure, and he used her to keep Monstructor imprisoned when Decepticons attacked G9. She failed, but then she was sent after the freed Monstructor thanks to Jetfire. She then proceeded to kill and torture Decepticons in the process of tracking the pretender monsters down.

Barber's been giving her more depth while still being true to what she started out as, and has gracefully been ignoring the awful depths of what Furman had Jhiaxus do to her.
Chris McFeely
Well, to be entirely fair, he's been IMPLYING greater depths to the character without allowing us to understand why she's doing what she's doing as of yet. That really sees to be what this issue is for, to pull the curtain back on her "unreadable ninja" riff and let us see what she's been thinking.
Mechafire
Quote:
Originally Posted by shroobmaster View Post
He just tried to destroy Megatron's fingers with his face. A very valiant move.
SMOG
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetstream View Post
Seems like a lot of RID just seems to be internal monologues lately, anyone else find it a bit boring?
Yes. So far this one seems okay. But in general, it's been really bothering me more and more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BB Shockwave View Post
That cover... WOW.

As if they haven't been trying to make Arcee into the biggest TF Mary Sue ever (dwarfing even Shane's Drift or Cliffjumper)... that's like a cover specifically drawn to annoy people who criticised Arcee's portrayal.
True. But I kind of like the way she's drawn at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antimatter View Post
if she's anyone's Mary-Sue, she's Furman's. He wrote her exactly like the portrayal that bugs fans, but Barber's been trying to develop her. Under Furman she was a "level 9" threat in Garrus-9 under Fort Max's tenure, and he used her to keep Monstructor imprisoned when Decepticons attacked G9. She failed, but then she was sent after the freed Monstructor thanks to Jetfire. She then proceeded to kill and torture Decepticons in the process of tracking the pretender monsters down.

Barber's been giving her more depth while still being true to what she started out as, and has gracefully been ignoring the awful depths of what Furman had Jhiaxus do to her.
DISAGREE.

Furman may have made her that way, but it's Barber who insists on continuing to writer her in ways that reinforce her most irritating characteristics... and who seems to actually get off on it as well. It's not just her "threat-level" that makes her obnoxious, but how she is used in stories.

Also, I'm not seeing that much development in this character at all. If anything, I think her behaviour has been pretty contradictory and in service to the convolutions of the plot, rather than to any kind of internal or intuitive logics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris McFeely View Post
Well, to be entirely fair, he's been IMPLYING greater depths to the character without allowing us to understand why she's doing what she's doing as of yet. That really sees to be what this issue is for, to pull the curtain back on her "unreadable ninja" riff and let us see what she's been thinking.
Exactly.


zmog
Rewire
FLATLINE? That settles it, I'm camping out for this issue.

RiD has always been internal-monologue heavy. Whether it's around skulking political machinations or pitched city-wide battles, we always have the ubiquitous internal monologue boxes. At their worst, Barber uses them like bandaids, but much of the time I have no problems with them at all. If other people aren't noticing them, maybe no one else does either and they only stand out when they're a bad idea.

That said, I haven't liked a lot of the recent choices made in RiD so I am wary, and can only be tentatively (very) excited for this issue.
GizmoTron
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOG View Post
DISAGREE.

Furman may have made her that way, but it's Barber who insists on continuing to writer her in ways that reinforce her most irritating characteristics... and who seems to actually get off on it as well. It's not just her "threat-level" that makes her obnoxious, but how she is used in stories.
But he couldn't just suddenly change her portrayal either or that would be a huge and complete disregard over what Furman had already written and established for Arcee in the beginning, which has always been just as annoying for fans of the IDW universe.

Besides, I personally think a wildcard character like Arcee was needed to help make this kind of story work, to keep things unpredictable. But now with the first story arc over, we can have this issue finally get her POV in thoughts instead of just her seemingly random actions.
GizmoTron
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rewire View Post
RiD has always been internal-monologue heavy. Whether it's around skulking political machinations or pitched city-wide battles, we always have the ubiquitous internal monologue boxes. At their worst, Barber uses them like bandaids, but much of the time I have no problems with them at all. If other people aren't noticing them, maybe no one else does either and they only stand out when they're a bad idea.
Frankly this is Barber's version of Game of Thrones with robots, each chapter is told from a different character's POV. And for the most part, it's been working.
Pale Horse
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOG View Post
Yes. So far this one seems okay. But in general, it's been really bothering me more and more.

True. But I kind of like the way she's drawn at least.

DISAGREE.

Furman may have made her that way, but it's Barber who insists on continuing to writer her in ways that reinforce her most irritating characteristics... and who seems to actually get off on it as well. It's not just her "threat-level" that makes her obnoxious, but how she is used in stories.

Also, I'm not seeing that much development in this character at all. If anything, I think her behaviour has been pretty contradictory and in service to the convolutions of the plot, rather than to any kind of internal or intuitive logics.

Exactly.


zmog
Completely agree with this. She is the RiD equivalent of Spike in the sense that the more people hate her the more she shows up and does exactly what we hate her for.

Some scenes with this character, like her attack on the pen in issue 11 don't even make sense when the the complete narrative is viewed in hindsight(yeah yeah, someone said it was just in case Starscream was watching, but that's STILL stupid) unless it's just to show us how awesome she is.

Even more obnoxious than Arcee though is Beebee, who has had his fat face filling way too many panels in RiD since it's beginning. With issue 17 we finally got a really great Tfs tale, focusing on a character some of us actually care about, and then on the last panel it says, "Next Issue: BUMBLEBEE and the AUTOBOTS!!"

That really did feel like somebody knows how badly some of us have disliked the nature of this series for so long flipping us the bird.
Shatterpoint
I gotta say, I'm way more interested on what's going on here in RiD than MTMTE.
Shepard Prime
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOG View Post

If anything, I think her behaviour has been pretty contradictory and in service to the convolutions of the plot, rather than to any kind of internal or intuitive logics.
After RiD #15 and #16, I tend to agree but that's a symptom of almost all of the characters in RiD to some degree or another. I've been pretty supportive of RiD, even tho' MtMtE is my clear favorite by a wide margin but #14-#16 has been illogical plot where things were happening because the writer wanted it to versus the more natural ramifications of character motivation.

#17 w/ Shockwave was pretty awesome tho' so hopefully #18 continues the trend. If anything, it seems to me that action isn't Barber's strongpoint as I've generally liked the political and character stuff leading up to the reveals (and the RiD annual with Megs and Screamer was swell) but once the action hit plot holes and logic gaps killed Rid for me.
YoungPrime
Quote:
Originally Posted by GizmoTron View Post
But he couldn't just suddenly change her portrayal either or that would be a huge and complete disregard over what Furman had already written and established for Arcee in the beginning, which has always been just as annoying for fans of the IDW universe.

Besides, I personally think a wildcard character like Arcee was needed to help make this kind of story work, to keep things unpredictable. But now with the first story arc over, we can have this issue finally get her POV in thoughts instead of just her seemingly random actions.
Um yeah, Drift just called....
YoungPrime
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOG View Post

Furman may have made her that way, but it's Barber who insists on continuing to writer her in ways that reinforce her most irritating characteristics... and who seems to actually get off on it as well. It's not just her "threat-level" that makes her obnoxious, but how she is used in stories.

Also, I'm not seeing that much development in this character at all. If anything, I think her behaviour has been pretty contradictory and in service to the convolutions of the plot, rather than to any kind of internal or intuitive logics.
Exactly.

Furman made her but no one said she had to have more casualties than most Phase 6er's.

Putting her in situations where she's able to hack things ups would be plausible if he made character likable in the first place.
Coffee
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungPrime View Post
Exactly.

Furman made her but no one said she had to have more casualties than most Phase 6er's.
.
Since #1 of Robots in disguise?

2, both fairly minor characters. 3 if you count the nobody she killed through the wall. But to be fair they were named characters while Blackshadow's 1000's of deaths were all no names.

Am I like- missing a bunch of deaths here? and not just for robots in disguise, for mtmte too, before #15 all anyone talked about was how there was so much death in the series when the only main character death to occur was Flywheels. Sure there's more with Ultra Magnus and Tailgate dying, and Rewind and Pipes already dead. But all in all people seem to view both comics as equal to G2 in amount of deaths when it is barely close.
General Tekno
People talk about death in MTMTE because James Roberts offed most of the cast of LSotW after making us fall in love with them. It's not that they're just piles of bodies, but rather piles of bodies of characters we didn't care about before the story but now do.

He's also killed people in nasty ways in some of his pre-official work material.

But yeah, with RiD the death talk was because of Bombshell/Sunstorm/the Constructicons/Horri-Bull/Ratbat. Of which only two were actual deaths. And it was a great gambit too, as I totally bought it until my jaw came unmoored from my skull when I saw that splash page.
WoundSave
Quote:
Originally Posted by GizmoTron View Post
Frankly this is Barber's version of Game of Thrones with robots, each chapter is told from a different character's POV. And for the most part, it's been working.
well put.


from where im sitting, this issue looks pretty stellar.
SMOG
Quote:
Originally Posted by GizmoTron View Post
But he couldn't just suddenly change her portrayal either or that would be a huge and complete disregard over what Furman had already written and established for Arcee in the beginning, which has always been just as annoying for fans of the IDW universe.
Again, to repeat my earlier point, it's not just her "threat-level" that makes her obnoxious, but how she is used in stories.

What Furman did is done... nobody said Arcee can't be a badass. However, repeatedly using her in ways that only serve to maker into a smugly irredeemable, unsympathetic, unrelatable fanwank badass with no discernible personality beyond making other important characters look lame and insignificant... that's a whole other order of writing. Barber had loads of options and directions he could have taken with this character, and went totally Mary-Sue with her in the least interesting ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungPrime View Post
Um yeah, Drift just called....
That too. Roberts has actually redefined Drift, making him sort of an interesting character who is not dramatically changed from his origins, but who has been developed from his initial cliche in organic directions. In Arcee's case, Barber seems to have instead went with "less crazy, more irritating".

Quote:
Originally Posted by GizmoTron View Post
Frankly this is Barber's version of Game of Thrones with robots, each chapter is told from a different character's POV. And for the most part, it's been working.
Game of Thrones is not exactly high art, but at least it's reasonably compelling, with a truly expansive cast of characters, who all have very distinctive perspectives, and who transmit all sorts of valuable world-building information through their varied stories. Also, we actually experience their reality through their perspectives.

In Barber's case, we just get regular comics... sure, it often focuses on a different character from issue to issue, but in terms of "perspective", we mostly just get a lot of meaningless verbal diarrhea in caption form, representing meandering, uninteresting internal monologues, none of which seem to actually say that much, about the characters or in general.

I think the "voice over monologue" style can work, but I wouldn't say it's working particularly well here. It's far too bland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shatterpoint View Post
I gotta say, I'm way more interested on what's going on here in RiD than MTMTE.
That's just weird.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alekesam View Post
After RiD #15 and #16, I tend to agree but that's a symptom of almost all of the characters in RiD to some degree or another. I've been pretty supportive of RiD, even tho' MtMtE is my clear favorite by a wide margin but #14-#16 has been illogical plot where things were happening because the writer wanted it to versus the more natural ramifications of character motivation.
Oh, absolutely. I just think it's been particularly problematic with Arcee

This issue looks like it might be okay... based on 4 pages. At the very least, it might be nice to get some worthwhile character development for Arcee finally.

zmog
Chris McFeely
As far as the first-person-narration caption boxes go, I think RiD's a little written into a corner with them now. Sometimes - most of the time, I'd say - they work. But there are a few issues here and there where, heck, they just aren't very necessary. Where they don't do anything for the story but have someone talking over the top of it, not saying much. But they're there because they're part of the book's methodology.
SMOG
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris McFeely View Post
As far as the first-person-narration caption boxes go, I think RiD's a little written into a corner with them now. Sometimes - most of the time, I'd say - they work. But there are a few issues here and there where, heck, they just aren't very necessary. Where they don't do anything for the story but have someone talking over the top of it, not saying much. But they're there because they're part of the book's methodology.
Yeah, if you mean they are arbitrarily overused, even when the author has nothing to say, I agree. I think this was particularly in evidence during the recent big battle sequences, and... Bumblebee's (I think) ruminations in "voiceover". It just felt so utterly superfluous. He wasn't saying anything insightful, fresh or meaningful. It only served to pull us out of the immediacy of the action.

John Barber... you are not Terrence Malick. Give it up.

zmog
Shepard Prime
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOG View Post
John Barber... you are not Terrence Malick. Give it up.

zmog
WilyMech
It looks good. I mean it almost interesting to see how Starscream fail. I must admit Arcee looks good in this issue.

Fixit is sure in bind. I wonder if he would renounce the Autobond.
SMOG
Quote:
Originally Posted by alekesam View Post
To be fair, even Malick pushes it with the voiceover narrations sometimes.

zmog
ToddJumper
If that is meant to be Arcee, not liking that design at all. Too buff / blocky and masculine.
WilyMech
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddJumper View Post
If that is meant to be Arcee, not liking that design at all. Too buff / blocky and masculine.
It means she is drawn well from the previews.

The art is done well so far from the previews I am not crazy about the char as written.
Shepard Prime
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilyMech View Post
I mean it almost interesting to see how Starscream fail.
Me and a friend were talking about this a couple of months ago pre-devastator and pre RiD annual. I'd actually like to see him succeed to be honest. Keep him in character, self-serving and all but while being himself, actually win out for the greater good of Cybertron.

But to misquote Jules Winfield, that ain't the truth.

The truth is, Screamer will be busted from his killing Metalhawk. Someone saw it or has footage and that'll be what gets him thrown out on his kiester (or worse). I don't think Barber has the deftness it would take to write Starscream in character (which is acting in his own interest at all costs) while still doing good for Cybertron.

Roberts on the other hand...
RedAlert Rescue
The only half way sensible in-continuity explanation I can see for why there's not many/any female robots (when there was/should be) and from the fandom's point of view there has been for 28 years or more.

Is this ; There's none because Solus Prime was murdered.

How you build on that is up to you you could say Primus was upset so he put a hiatus on Fembots - and the IDW Arcee can be the means to bring them back (kicking a screaming).

But to have with no explanation the idea of Female robots treated as "Mutants" and not-natural is not only sexist (biologically inaccurate as it's males that are the mutation) but also completely out of whack with the "Aligned Continuity" unless the comics choose to address it sensibly to say why.

Simply getting on your high horse and saying "There wasn't any female Transformers in 1984" is stupid ; as it's more by luck that intent - it's quite possible the female Betras Ladybird/ladybug could have got a toy as the missing Deluxe Insecticon before Arcee ever showed up bar a twist of fate (in some markets at least). [Something I still hope a 3rd party corrects one day].

And pretty much every Transformers fiction since has had some sort of Transformers females like Minerva, Energon Arcee, Blackarachnica, and there was a lot of them in season 3 of the cartoon.

Speaking frankly I've always found teen-bot Orion Pax a lot more offensive than any Pink girl robots like Elita-1.

So yes having Arcee as a crazy ninja is bad enough but to have her as some sort of social pariah as well it seems more more a reflection on the character of those writing the comics than the character of Arcee.
She doesn't have to be a robot secretary like in Japan either Prime Arcee is almost ideal aside from some season 2 sulking she's done wonders for the character in terms of being taken seriously.

Anything else seems like a step backwards now to me.

So in conclusion I hope they don't keep this sexist stupidity up forever it's getting as tiresome as Prowl's personality.
SMOG
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddJumper View Post
If that is meant to be Arcee, not liking that design at all. Too buff / blocky and masculine.
I kind of like that, particularly because it gets away from stereotyped feminine cues that, in this case, don't make any sense for her anyway. Just because she's had a gender/sex applied to her (which never made any sense anyway) doesn't mean she needs to look like a doll... or alternately, doesn't mean that she shouldn't look like a Transformer (that is to say, as I have always said, that ostensibly female designs have always been inappropriately anthropomorphized compared to the supposedly "male" bots).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedAlert Rescue View Post
Is this ; There's none because Solus Prime was murdered.
Solus Prime is not part of this continuity... at least not yet.

Quote:
But to have with no explanation the idea of Female robots treated as "Mutants" and not-natural is not only sexist (biologically inaccurate as it's males that are the mutation) but also completely out of whack with the "Aligned Continuity" unless the comics choose to address it sensibly to say why.
I agree with the first part of your comment, but not the second half...

I agree that it's sexist to treat "female" as some kind of freak mutation/specialization. On the other hand, acknowledging that Transformers have no sex/gender (in this continuity at least) eliminates that problem. Having ornamentally overdetermined feminine traits are arguably more sexist than having none at all.

ie: the idea that "regular" Transformers are inherently "male" is an illusion, one that is only reinforced by introducing extra-girly feminine archetypes later on.

On the second point, for the time being, IDW's G1 is not supposed to be part of the Aligned Continuity, and in my opinion, never should be. The Aligned Continuity was always a problematic idea, and in some cases, it's better to leave some Transformers series separate.

Quote:
Simply getting on your high horse and saying "There wasn't any female Transformers in 1984" is stupid ; as it's more by luck that intent - it's quite possible the female Betras Ladybird/ladybug could have got a toy as the missing Deluxe Insecticon before Arcee ever showed up bar a twist of fate (in some markets at least). [Something I still hope a 3rd party corrects one day].
The flaw in that logic is that only the toys were imported from Beetras, and the Ladybug design was never made as a toy. Functionally, that toy and whatever Transformers fan-character would be based on it, doesn't exist.

Also, relying on the "should" or "could" arguments neglects the fact that Transformers were functionally genderless, asexual alien robots in the beginning (and in Marvel) and a substantial portion of the fandom prefers it that way. Arguing that Fembots need to exist in all continuities is perhaps unfair. Despite the fact that gender and sexual dimorphism has not been addressed in any way, Fembots DO exist in most versions of Transformers. I don't think it's too much to ask for one continuity to run with the "genderless" option... especially in IDW where James Roberts has done such interesting things by expanding somewhat on that concept and exploring the potential for emotional pair relationships outside of typical norms.

Quote:
Speaking frankly I've always found teen-bot Orion Pax a lot more offensive than any Pink girl robots like Elita-1.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by that, but I think I agree with you. Or rather, I dislike "teen Orion" as much as girlypink robots... but more or less for the same reasons.

Quote:
So yes having Arcee as a crazy ninja is bad enough but to have her as some sort of social pariah as well it seems more more a reflection on the character of those writing the comics than the character of Arcee.
Yes and no. I think Furman's handling of Arcee was a huge problem right from the beginning... but if we are running with his version of the character, then there are some perfectly good reasons for "her" to be a pariah (that are not directly tied to her being a "girl") ...

1. because she is reportedly a violent psychopath who until recently was a maximum security inmate due to her extremely volatile and murderous ways...

...of course it's never been really explained WHY she is a violent psychopath, other than being tortured and experimented on, and "made female" made her "crazy"... which is really a pretty awful explanation, politically speaking.


2. because, as you pointed out, she isn't really female. She isn't a "girl"... she actually IS a mutant. You can't just arbitrarily introduce a "female" into an asexual race. Science doesn't really work that way (Jhiaxus... crazy, remember). Arcee is a standard Cybertronian who was physically and psychologically operated on in ways that make her "different" than other TF's...

...again, a caveat here is that the community of Autobots could actually include her and support her, and help her find some kind of coping mechanism for her difference... something that has been avoided throughout this series, probably because Barber really didn't want to deal with the existential identity-politics can-of-worms that Furman left open on the counter.


Personally, I think that if you're actually interested in some of the potential for speculative fiction in Transformers, and exploring the conceptual territory of what male/female would mean to a bunch of aliens who do not have sexual gender, it would be a very good direction for the RID series to start addressing Arcee's past, her changes, and clarifying the nature of Jhiaxus' experiments, even if it means taking the discussion away from conventional ideas of male or female. But I don't think Barber's up to that.

Meanwhile, Roberts has opened the topic of TF love relationships, and introduced a (symbolic) same-sex couple into Transformers in a sensitive, genuine, intuitive way, one that works both within the science-fiction concept of IDW Transformers AND as a normalizing and implicitly gay-friendly development, without any of the usual fanfare that typically accompanies "coming out" characters in comics.

So yeah... I think the Arcee situation can be handled intelligently and sensitively, but probably not by Barber.

Quote:
She doesn't have to be a robot secretary like in Japan either Prime Arcee is almost ideal aside from some season 2 sulking she's done wonders for the character in terms of being taken seriously.
I'm not a big fan of Prime Arcee, and I don't think she's an especially well-written or progressive character... she still hasn't escaped the "token female" pitfalls...

BUT, I have to agree that she's considerably better than any version of Arcee we've gotten in pretty much any version of the fiction up till now, and she does represent a change in a positive direction.

Quote:
So in conclusion I hope they don't keep this sexist stupidity up forever it's getting as tiresome as Prowl's personality.
Out of curiosity, which portrayal of Prowl's personality are you objecting to? Because I think he was on track to be a pretty good character up to the point that Costa and Barber gave him a Spike Witwicky Complex.

As for "sexist stupidity"... we may have different solutions to that issue, but I think we would at least agree that things as they are now are not an acceptable solution, and that IDW finally has to sort out the mess that is Arcee (thanks to Furman, largely).

zmog
SMOG
Also, as an addenda to the above, I think that the best solution for the "male/female" question is this:

Transformers, while being an asexual alien race with history of gender, have been exposed to other alien species for eons. I think it's possible that they might have started adopting genders as a cultural affectation, even if there is no sexual or biological component to go along with it. Basically, bots who encounter organics, and say "I've seen females on this planet, and I think I identify with that "type" more than male types.. so I guess I'm female."

However, to this end, I think it would be better if the exceptionalized over-stylization of Fembot physicality were ended, since gender is primarily a psychological and social construct. So yeah, that basically means a less restrictive and stereotyped code for the physical appearances of self-identified Fembots.

The problem with this solution is that in a pan-galactic society, concepts of what is "feminine" or "masculine" (or in-between) would vary wildly based on the planet and particular culture - they are not universal - so there's no reason that these adopted "genders" would necessarily fall into recognizable tropes and binaries anyway. One Transformer may identify with a maternal caregiver role observed in traditional Earth cultures, meanwhile another might adopt a "female" tribal warlord archetype observed on the planet of the hyena-people, or whatever...

zmog

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