The "Windblade" issue

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by transtrekkie, May 2, 2014.

  1. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    This came up in the "Things you hate about the franchise" thread and I wanted to continue the debate without further derailing the thread so I'm making this one here. And there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to have a civil discussion on this.

    And the quotes I wanted to pick up from:
    Yes, we are. Our biological make up requires us to eat meat for survival. On a fundamental level, that requires killing other animals, which can be interpreted as "war like". That's a bit of stretch I know, but the point still stands.

    Actually, anyone who's seen Jurassic Park knows that it's actually the reverse: All mammals start of as female and just require a certain hormone at a certain embryonic stage to make them male. So in real life, female is actually the default gender.

    But, I see why you're mad about that and it makes sense. Getting to how this relates to the comics and TF in particular, I don't blame you for being miffed about this. I would be too. For one thing, this is the only TF fiction where this has ever needed explaining because it's the only one where it's ever been established that they were inherently genderless (and they are genderless, I'll address the use of male pronouns later on). No other version of the franchise has this. G1 never needed to explain why Arcee, Elita-1, et. al were there, everyone just accepted it and moved on. Same Animated, AEC, with every other iteration up until IDW and Furman's Spotlight: Arcee. And really what he did was to essentially level the playing field. He established that there's no gender at all, male or female. It's even addressed in story when Arcee thinks "They're doing it again. They're not even aware of it. "her". "She"." The problem with this is that up until that issue, the other characters have been referred to as "he" or "him". This is the fault of the writers since we're human and we have two genders and will ascribe those pronouns to the characters that get written. In a real setting the IDW Cybertronians would likely be using more generic pronouns such as "it", "that" or "this". But, we as humans write with the pronouns that we're familiar with.

    I think this also raises the question of how human something has to be before we start ascibing these features on them? I mean, no one looks at a toaster and thinks "He's making toast again." But if the toaster looked more human we might. But at what point would that happen? And, is it based solely on how human something looks or is there some "personality" component to that as well? Does something have to be sentient in order to have those properties applied to them or does it just need to look human?

    At the end of the day, we're talking about robots. Technological beings. Machines. Machines don't inherently have gender, so in context, this whole thing really shouldn't be an issue at all. In theory. Where this breaks down is the fact that we're really not talking about machines. These are characters in a story. They're being used to tell a human story which requires the characters to anthropomorphized to a level where we can relate to them as humans. Thus, robbing them of aspects like gender makes story telling more difficult. And limiting gender in the story setting is even worse because it makes it harder to tell more stories in that setting. And on top of that, it risks alienating a good portion of the potential audience.

    As for roboboobs: I have horrified many a friend with Transmetal Blackarachia. Complete with removable bra.

    Anyway, the issue does raise some interesting questions, so discuss.
     
  2. Shortwave

    Shortwave Autobot fembot

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    Dude don't insult the Roboboobies.

    I have theorised that Cybertronian life began as Energeon eating bacteria. as you know life is "Plastic " to its enviroment thay is why all life on Cybertron is inherantly biomechanical.
     
  3. Haloid1177

    Haloid1177 Hey, That's Pretty Good

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    I guess the last 3826393 discussions on this topic just weren't enough ugh.
     
  4. Shortwave

    Shortwave Autobot fembot

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    Yup.
     
  5. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    Why would we want to spread anything that happens in a thread whose only purpose is to contain mindless bitching?
     
  6. Shortwave

    Shortwave Autobot fembot

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    To spread said contained mindless bitching.
     
  7. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    Show one. I looked and couldn't find any. Otherwise I would have just posted there rather than starting this one.

    Well excuuuuuuuse me for thinking a topic worth discussing. Yes, clearly I am in the wrong here. For thinking I could discuss something on a discussion board. My God, you're right, that's just madness.

    Actually, I suppose the real madness was assuming there could be a civil discussion. I forgot which fandom I was addressing.
     
  8. Shortwave

    Shortwave Autobot fembot

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    Umm i was discussing this. and Cybertronian evolution.
     
  9. Rexidus

    Rexidus Autobot

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    This is very much a dead horse shouting match issue. There is never a discussion on the matter any more. It's always two sides refusing to budge. Every topic where Windblade has been brought up derailed into robo-gender threads.
     
  10. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    I often told my friends "Hey, I didn't design this".

    It's an interesting idea and in fact, I think it's one theory that's actually a part of IDW now. I seem to recall an issue of MTMTE where they were discussing various theories and this seems to be a variation of what was referred to as the "Random gears" theory.

    Indeed and I appreciate the response.
     
  11. DerVernichter

    DerVernichter Well-Known Member

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    Wait... you tell us that Transformers don't need gender because they are warbots and you don't need gender to wage war... and then you say that we ourself are war mammals. But we mammals DO have gender... in spite of it not having to do anything with waging war... WUT???

    Okay, jokings aside, it's probably best to look at gender in Transformers (IDWverse ones in particular) as male nipples: they don't serve any function, but they are derivative of something that did. To me, Nightwing's theory of Cybertronians evolving form cyborg organics á la Gorlam Prime seems the best point to start explaining: as the proto Cybertronians became more and more machine, they lost the need and\or capacity to sexually reproduce, so gender disappeared, but masculine traits became more widespread for some (probably cultural) reason, with female traits popping up occasionally due to dorman feminine robo-genes in one's CNA. Asinine pseudo-scientific logorrhea that makes its utterer look like a blabbering psychotic FTW!

    In retrospect it would've been a lot better for Furman to choose a track like this instead, and I'm saying this as one of the lunatics who've actually enjoyed Spotlight Arcee.

    Apropo explaining gender, the way Chromia was ignoring Rat Trap's questioning of her using a feminine pronoun has made me think: what if they pull a Killmaster on the whole thing in that it becomes a running joke where they bring it up every now and then but never actually bother to explain it? The comics are still pretty great (especially MTMTE), and the fembots are pretty likeable so far, so I could go either way... Oh, and there's also the question of how much they are actually females or males? Is it only like an appearance thing, or something more?

    I do hope though that, should they introduce some new fembots\cons to the continuity, they will be as versatile in shape as the dudebots. While I tought Sarah Stone's art in Transformers: Windblade #01 was a bit inconsistent in quality at places, I did like the fact that She made Windblade and Chromia so different in stature and figure instead of making them look like mere retools of the same basic endoskeleton. I'd love to see a Glyph based on that glorious WFC Bumblebee cutsom I saw so long ago...
     
  12. Cevel

    Cevel Well-Known Member

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    I find it difficult to believe that you haven't found those threads. Simply search for "Arcee" or "female". Hell, search for "sexist".

    We've had numerous discussions on this issue, boter here and in the news forum. It's always, without fail, lead to sexist remarks, hurt feelings, bannings, deletion, and just plain unpleasantness. We had Simon Furman linked to threads about the issue, and he didn't take it very well. We had other IDW employees look into them and become totally appalled at how terrible posters on here were being.

    You wouldn't be treading any new ground. You'd simply be bringing up the topic yet again and inviting more strife.
     
  13. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    Yeah, it does sound somewhat contradictory, but our genders don't have anything to do with us being "war mammals" either. Also, I'm loving the term War Mammals. I think we should call ourselves that instead of humans. Put that in a natural history museum. "Ostralopithicus, and next to that, War Mammals!!".

    Fortunately, in continuity, it's been pretty well explained (I think, I haven't read Windblade yet, but that's my understanding). From a meta perspective, the tendancy is because they have to seem human and be relatable. As much as I enjoyed Spotlight Arcee as well, I think it might have worked better to show Arcee as the successful result of experimentation with perhaps a failed "Male" analog as comparison. Then it would have levelled the playing field and made it clear that no one else had a gender.

    Then there's still other questions that get raised by this in a larger sense not even relating to TFs: Again, how human do machines have to look before we start thinking of them in human terms? Is the T-800 human enough to fit that? Should it automatically be called "He" because it looks like Arnold? Or is it still an "It", an object and nothing more? What about Data from Star Trek? Number 5 from Short Circuit?

    Well that would explain it, I don't usually go into those forums. I mostly stay in the GD and TF GD forums and that's about it. I will sometimes look at other ones if I see a topic I'm interested in discussing but that's carried mostly by thread title than content (at least on the face of it).

    Incidently, I had a look through here and even in the thread for the Windblade comic I didn't see any discussion on this.
     
  14. Cevel

    Cevel Well-Known Member

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    Probably because by the time the issue came out, people knew not to bring it up. That, and it seems to have exceeded most people's initial expectations.
     
  15. DerVernichter

    DerVernichter Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about it, I wrote my first paragraph halfways jokingly anyway. Still, I do think one could make gender in robots work as a sort of now functionless statement that has somehow remained from an earlier evolutionary state (that is, if one uses an origin story by the lines of the aforementioned Gorlam Prime theory). And yeah, War Mammals does sound pretty awesome. In a better world, it could be the TNMT rip-off to end all TMNT rip-offs.

    Personally, I was content with the IDWformers being essencially genderless in spite of the majority looking masculine (after all, just because a cloud has the shape of a dog it doesn't mean it's actually a dog), since it'd be pretty interesting to see how a species that knows nothing about sexual affection can develop feelings similar to love. That being said, exploring this area is still not out of question since, despite Cybertronians now apparently having two genders, sexuality seems to be a non issue. Non of the characters seem to found their opposide sex attractive in the way humans would. Surely it has something to do with them reproducing asexually. Nevertheless, I can't think of an occasion where an a Cybertronian has admire another's appearance in any shape or form in the IDWverse, so that really might be a non issue. Affections like that between Chromedome and Rewind or Cyclonus and Tailgate seem to be based solely on their personalities and shapre experiences.

    Gender hasn't been explored yet in Windblade as far as I know. The closest to some revelation that I know of was Rat Trap being all like "So, what's the deal with you referreng to each other as "she" anyways?" and Chromia being not giving a single damn about the question. That's what made eóme think it might turn into a running joke like talking about Killmaster in MTMTE: he occasionally gets brought up and he seems to be a big deal, but nobody enlightens the reader of anythin apart of him being "that one 'con with the staff". It'd be kind of funny if they'd do the same with explaining genders.
     
  16. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    Look, message boards have their own culture, institutional memory, etc. I'm sorry that you didn't run the right search in the right forum to see what a dead-horse, toxic issue this is here.

    However, I really do have to ask what seems like a good idea about spreading the wealth from such an obviously radioactive thread. Institutions such as that exist for the stability and enjoyment of everything else. My apologies for snapping at you, FWIW.

    For my part, I can scarcely imagine what I can say about "the Windblade issue" that I haven't said a thousand times in a hundred places. It's a restorative step after "Spotlight: Arcee" almost torpedoed this whole continuity and doomed it to be the territory of an exclusive cadre of fanboys; other continuities don't require this step thankfully, so we can argue there about "how" to portray fembots rather than "whether" to portray fembots.

    More importantly? The Windblade issue (issue #1, by Scott and Stone) is very good.
     
  17. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    Oh yeah and I definitely got a laugh out of it, so it's all good. I figured the Gorlam Prime thing would be the easiest answer as well, but I haven't read the book yet so I dunno if it's an actual thing yet or not.

    Well I can see your point, the "Things you hate about the franchise" thread has the negativity right there in the title. But I guess I thought it had produced a topic that could be discussed on it's own merits free from the original thread. I just didn't know the shitstorm had already come and gone. And, I will admit, I didn't look very hard either. Anyway, we're good and I'm sorry if snapped back. I dunno, I guess I thought it would be fun to use TF as an opportunity to discuss the humanization of machines, even to the point of looking beyond just the franchise but even in sci-fi in general.

    And you're right, the real issue should be if the comic is good. I'll get to find out tomorrow.
     
  18. That Guy

    That Guy Well-Known Member

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    I figured I'd weigh in since you quoted me. My point is that in IDW the war isn't all the TF's are about. Heck, it's been over for 2 years now.

    The word warbot I think carries the implication that what you're describing was purpose built for war. That I feel is an innaccurate description of the bots and cons. They are artists, scientists, lovers, lawmen, racers, bartenders and garbage disposal units who got caught up in a war. Most existed before the war even began.

    As for Windblade, she was a controvertial topic, but I agree with the previous posters when they say the material speaks for itself, it's fantastic. I think you'll get a better discussion seperating any concepts you want to discuss from Windblade herself.
     
  19. WoundSave

    WoundSave Well-Known Member

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    I would say most of the heated discussion occurred in the previews and interviews threads in the news and rumors forum.

    is flogging a dead horse at this point, but I would say most of the very active participants in this forum (comics) plant themselves in the spotlight Arcee bad, more fembots good camp.
     
  20. Transfotaku

    Transfotaku Transformer Otaku

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    Hey OP: You're wrong.

    First off, the thread title is all wrong. It should be 'The Windblade "issue"' and not what you got.

    Second off, you think predator traits equate war. Predator traits equate predator traits.

    Third off, you use JURASSIC FREAKING PARK as a 'source' for an argument. Really? What do you want to use next for your science, Star Trek's technobabble?

    Fourth off, mammals DO NOT REPRODUCE THAT WAY. Reptiles do. Reptiles in fact need the right kind of temperature to hatch at one gender or the other. Mammals, notably humans since that's what you talk about, don't pick gender based off how you say. The fetus is genderless at first, yes, and the reason why men have nipples is because the fetus develops nipples before gender is 'picked'. The chromosones you have dictate the DNA you get. No other factor, not hormones, nor temperature, nothing. And guess what? This is a mammalian thing! All mammals do it!

    You know what the only REAL issue is with Windblade? THAT WE DO NOT HAVE MORE OF HER! OR HER TOY! (yet)

    That's it. Seriously.