TransFormers Marvel Read Along

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Grimlock528, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Posts:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +1,036
    Even when he does reappear, he'll be pretty much unidentifiable as this Blaster, being essentially the Alliance's slightly hip secretary "Basically dudes, it seems Unicron did enough", whilst reading aloud to them, looking horrified in the background of shots, and getting blasted apart in the background of shots. A certain toughness will be implied by virtue of a) being one of the last five on Klo, and b) getting up again after what looked like a bad hit and fighting in the final battle whilst bandaged (?!), but that's it.

    The battles on the moon are good, and it's a pleasure to see most of Team Ark all together again, plus the occasional Wrecker. Perhaps Sandstorm, Broadside, and Twin-Twist have pen-pals on the Ark and Springer and Grimlock organised some kind of student exchange scheme? For UK fans, Skids' presence is harder to fathom, but maybe he has a brother. Maybe the original pre-crystal Skids was a Wrecker and came to Earth occasionally under the same scheme.

    Regardless, notably, the 'camera' more or less entirely stays with the Ark brigade during the battle, with Formic Morecambe's team almost ignored, apart from himself. He, once again, super super robot that he is, does absolutely nothing of consequence during the battle, other than abdicate responsibility to a floppy disk.

    Good, too, to see the final rescue of the original Decepticons.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Posts:
    731
    Trophy Points:
    137
    Likes:
    +1,080
    It's just too bad that at least 3 of them will promptly be killed again in the Underbase saga.
     
  3. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Posts:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +1,036
    Buzzsaw is just playing possum. Someday in the far, far future, when All Are One and there is no suffering, no evil, and robots everywhere live in idyllic and peaceful bliss, all conflict and strife forgotten, amd even Primus and Unicron have buried the hatchet (probably in Wheelie's spinal strut), an archaeologist will press the eject button on an ancient cassette player...
    ... and with a "Squawk!", the killing will begin again...!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Posts:
    7,810
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +9,551
    Forza Macaroni got to be the character most hated by the Marvel G1 writers. Furman too abused him.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Posts:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +1,036
    I suppose in hindsight, the fate of Fondue Mistlethwaite is not unprecedented. After all, the Dinobots and Constructicons both got the cold Budiansky-shoulder for a long time after their respective introductions, for the respective crimes of having alt modes that didn't blend in (look back at just how much of Budiansky's era, panel-for-panel, is "alien car gossiping in traffic" to see why this would be game-breaking) and being overpowered and green, and, of course, Budiansky ignored "The Movie Gang" entirely, until some of them started to pop up as Targetmasters. The difference though is that the Dinobots and Constructicons eventually got rehabilitated and accepted - once he found a use for them, in the first case, and once combiners were crawling all over the place anyway, in the latter, and both received additional stories from Furman anyway, who also went to town on the movie cast.

    Findus Marzipan, though, never gets accepted. He'll continue to be ineffectual, laughably powerless for his size and visible armament, and a giant non-entity until the Underbase saga is over, before being summarily written out. Even that write out doesn't really make much sense, but we'll get to that when we get to "Man in the Machine", assuming none of us are eaten by a vast mutant star goat first.

    In this episode, the crew of the Steelhaven are really only significant for being Goldbug's taxi to the Ark. It is, however, in a lot of ways quite nice to see just how unassuming, diffidently, but undeniably, Goldbug has started calling the shots. Old Bumbles has definitely come a long way, and I'd not really noticed how much that comes through in these issues, until this re-reading.

    It remains exasperating though, as it has since "Spacehikers", just how devoid of agency the Ark Brigade have become. Setting aside the question of actually how bad or good Grimlock's reign has been, the Ark crew all claim to hate his guts at this point, with only the Dinobots supporting him.

    So... why is he still in charge? Are the Dinobots really powerful enough to hold all the other Autobots in a reign of terror? If so, that's pretty inconsistent with their relative portrayals up to this point. Otherwise, you would have thought, after the end of "Spacehikers", as soon as Sky Lynx was clear, Jetfire or Prowl would have ordered the Ark's main guns turned on the Dinobots; Blaster may have agreed to surrender, but Grimlock's own troops didn't.

    Or, more likely, are we in a situation where nobody likes Grimlock, where most of them think he's a horrible person, and so the number one topic of conversation in the Ark rec room is invariably "Grimlock's an arse, and we're all going to vote Beachcomber next time", but, in practice, in private most of them think that, although hating on Grimbo is fashionable, his leadership's been pretty good for them personally so they won't rock the boat?

    "Anyroad, like, what's the alternative to yon Grimlock, laddie? Some great longshanked dollop wi' a daft name like Flambé Mascarpone or summat-like, wi' some little fella for an 'ead, what's also got a Dumb Stubbie for 'is own 'ead, like? Ee, sounds right daft to me. The kind of daft tuppenny-ha'penny gimmicky bloke that's going to come a bad end gettin' shot by a palm tree, or such like, I reckon."
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Posts:
    731
    Trophy Points:
    137
    Likes:
    +1,080
    Good question...I seriously doubt that the Dinobots could have handled Omega Supreme (although by this point he's shrunk in the wash or something, so maybe they could), especially not if the Aerialbots also form Superion. And then, as you say if, the Autobots all hate Grimlock, they should be able to turn on him and the Dinobots and win via numbers even without Superion and/or Omega.

    I think you're probably right that they don't like him, but that no one's managed to muster up the interest and courage to actually bother giving him the boot.
     
  7. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Posts:
    2,257
    News Credits:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +1,405
    Definitely one of my big problems with the whole storyline... the Autobots couldn't kick Grimlock out? I suppose they were all paralyzed with grief or whatever. Maybe some of them were more down with Grim's anti-human sentiment than we were ever shown. Would have been nice to see that somewhere.

    I suppose you could maybe say that Grimlock gives up so easily in the fight with Blaster 'cause he's sick of the whole situation. Maybe command wasn't what it was cracked up to be... but again, it would be nice if we got that on panel somewhere. Going back and rereading this particular issue, it seems like they abruptly ran out of space. Bob had an endpoint, I suppose (get the Autobots back to Nebulos to set up Prime and the Powermasters)... and had to tie up a year and a half of continuity in the space of 22 pages. It just falls kinda short.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2017
    Posts:
    594
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Likes:
    +758
    All amazing points.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Posts:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +1,036
    Interesting thought... what if Omega Supreme was one of them? That might explain their inability to oust Big Grim- not so much that Omega might turn on them, but rather that if Omega walked out with the Dinobots, then the remaining Autobots would be back where they were before "Command Performance"; without sufficient security at base to mount fully manned missions.

    Omega Supreme, after all, is dedicated from birth to the cause of protecting the Ark, and the safety of injured Autobots within it. Grimlock got the Ark airborne, which makes it vastly safer and easier to protect. Now, those injured Autobots are brave warriors- Grimlock respects them; his heel/face turn in "King of the Hill" is at least partly motivated by his horror at the idea of the Autobots being slaughtered when fighting back courageously, as well as in seeing courage in at least one human. Note in this issue, what finally swings it for Grimlock is "A lot of Autobots got hurt because of me."

    Grimlock's not really a bastard- his attitude is usually understandable, and while Prime handled the Decepticons fine during his tenure, his negotiations with the Humans were a rank disaster, so, on Grimlock's two main points: 1) Right, the Stubbies don't want us, so screw 'em, I'm going to keep the Autobots and the Ark safe, by getting it fixed, and 2) Someone who should damn well know just what I'm talking about, given that a ruddy human ripped his face and his squad's faces off and mounted them on a wall not long ago, just walked out on me, his fellow Autobots, and our mission, because he couldn't stand the idea of me saying that a fucking human who stole our stuff and used it to try to murder all of my people should get punished for it (note, incidentally, the similarity of situation between "Funeral for a Friend" and "King of the Hill"'s near-massacre of the Autobots on the fields outside the Ark- and be sure that Grimlock noted it too, and probably had every reason to think "The Mechanic still has our stuff; he could try to do what he did before, and what I just stopped Trypticon doing, again").... I'm not going to let that pass, Blaster.

    Indeed, you know, mentioning that makes me wonder about the thing that always struck me wrong about the start of this story arc- how Grimlock 'learns his lesson' at the end of "King of the Hill", but then debuts as "Mad King Grimlock" in "Mechanical Difficulties". Is having been installed as leader, having read up on the fact that the attack on the Ark that nearly killed everyone was the second such incident in a few months, that the first was caused by a sodding human, and that the Autobots are brainlessly incapable of either defending themselves against a human, or even of recognising "Yes, it's small and squishy... but it's wielding a powerful piece of tech and it's ready, willing, and able to willfully and knowingly try to murder you; no it doesn't deserve your protection; it deserves stepped on", what changed his attitude? That, yes, some humans can be valiant, and worthy of respect as much as a Transformer- but, equally, some humans can be as murderous and vile as the next Decepticon, and the Autobots will die out if they're not clever enough to actually recognise this- and that, it's Grimlock's responsibility to not let happen. If humans are worthy of respect as equals, then they're also to be held to the same standard as equals, and treated like any other enemy if they act like an enemy. Since Grimlock doesn't have the same "Yes, but I inflicted this war on them" caveat that Prime does, it's hard to argue that his attitude is unjust.

    By that same token, perhaps this explains Grimlock's attitude in "Totalled". He's jokey and goofy in his duel with Blaster because for one, he plays down his intelligence to be underestimated, as per Simon Furman, and also, because he's actually for the first time since the split talking to Blaster- and possibly quite surprised to find a valiant warrior who cares as much about the Autobots as Grimlock does. Wrong-footed, being Grimlock, he'll cover that with bluster and acting like dumb muscle. By the time of the Decepticon attack, he's already settled his differences with Blaster; namely that he doesn't really have important ones- and the fight has surreptitiously moved to being a contest of ability, rather than the grudge match it started as, when confronted with a common enemy- and given the last piece of evidence that he can trust Blaster, he's more than happy to do so; and to go into battle alongside someone whose abilities he knows and values because he's just tested them in combat himself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
    • Like Like x 5
  10. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    5,324
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +3,134
    Very interesting points @Swerve and @dj_convoy II in regards to Grimlock as leader. We immediately think of it being a failure, but was it really?

    First, were the other Autobots capable of dethroning Grimlock? There are some powerful Autobots in the troops (Brawn, Gears and Huffer were the strongest from the original crew and are back among the living), most notably of course Omega Supreme and Superion. However, considering that Grimlock became leader after he and the Dinobots defeated Trypticon, I do question if Omega or Superion would be able to overpower them. And back in "King of the Hill" Grimlock thought he and the Dinobots were enough to overpower the Autobots and take command by force. So it's not guaranteed that Omega or Superion would be enough, even with support of the others. And would they get that support?

    In history and current events there are numerous examples of a dictator who controls a country/people even though they could overpower him, and yet they don't. Because someone has to take the first step, be worried about the dictator being a step ahead of him/her, and be worried whether or not the rest will follow. They may want the leader gone, but are they guaranteed that the others do so as well, or will the others prefer to be safe? With Transformers who have been fighting a war for a long time and are much harder to kill, this likely is less an issue. Still, not counting excception (like new Autobots being built), we've been told constantly that Ratchet has problems repairing fellow Autobots due to a lack of resources. Those who would rebel, would risk spending a long time in sickbay due to an absence of parts -- ignoring if Grimlock would ever allow their repair. So I can see why

    Still, it does make you wonder. I definitely can see the argument that the Autobots secretly aren't completely against Grimlock. Of course, in the issue discussed this week, the Autobots chear for Blaster and Ratchet clearly objects to Grimlock ignoring the plight of the humans. I think @Swerve's claim that Grimlock was focused on keeping the Ark save and the Autobots inside, holds merrit. And the Autobots knew this. Their casualty rate certainly has gone down since Grimlock took over -- especially since they no longer went to fight the Decepticons -- but still. It must be something they've noticed. Their ship is repaired, they apparently have sufficient energy, all the wounded have been repaired and no new casualties. And it's not like humanity appreciated them: the Autoibots were constantly hunted by RAAT. The Autobots even considered the option that Blaster was indeed a traitor.

    I also think it telling that when Optimus died again, that time he at least had the insgiht to name a successor. And he still went with Grimlock (just with the reminded to treasure all life). Of course, Fort Max was gone at the time, but still it makes clear that Optimus didn't consider Grimlock's stint as leader a fiasco. And thus it is very possible that the Autobots, despite their misgiving about how he treated them and them no longer protecting humans, were content with their safer situation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    5,324
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +3,134
    # 41 Totaled

    After an attempt to rebuilt Optimus Prime failed in him exploding, the two Marvel storylines completely merge when the Autobots of the Steelhaven contact and meet the Autobots on the Ark. It’s not a pleasant encounter, despite Goldbug’s surrendering himself to Grimlock. Grimlock immediately considers Fort Max a threat and wants to settle who’s in charge through combat. Max still being too damaged results in Blaster getting a chance to get even and he fights instead. During the fight the Decepticons attack, an attack that is only ended after Grimlock and Blaster join the battle. But Fort Max has come to the conclusion that none of them is fit to lead and has sent Goldbug with three others to Nebulos to rebuilt Optimus Prime.


    Of the issues that form the Return of Optimus Prime, this is most likely my favourite (although the next issue was also much appreciated), and no, that’s not thanks to the lovely picture of Optimus Prime exploding at the start the issue (doesn’t hurt). That doesn’t mean there are no issues.

    Art is good. We may have excused Springer because he had to draw so many characters, but here Delbo is also tasked with a large roster of TF, and he delivers. I remember studying the pages trying to place them all. Scaling is a bit of a problem in some shots (like Jetfire being normal sized), but in a way I like how Omega is more toy size here than the large fictional size. Story wise we see the need for the Nebulon TF’s to contact the Ark (in the process of the issue learning that Steelhaven was a ship built with much more limited resources and armaments), the way contact is established is good, and the actions that follow comes logically from previous events and the different characters. And as pointed out by @Swerve, Blaster fighting Grimlock helps raise Blaster in the eyes of Grimlock, since Grimlock respects a good fighter.

    However, this duel immediately raised red flags with me, that I’ve hinted on before with issue #36, Space Hikers. There Blaster surrenders to Grimlock to save the children. With foresight of this issue I already asked: why didn’t Blaster challenge Grimlock? Because that’s exactly what happens here. A fight over who will lead. If that’s possible now, then it was possible back then. Actually, it would’ve made even more sense back then because Blaster was the leader of a rebellion who opposed Grimlock’s leadership and he was in much better health. Because that’s another issue: the super powerful Fort Max who’s a walking arsenal is supposedly too badly damaged to fight, and thus the much weaker Blaster who’s been tortured now for who knows how long, fights instead. It really does suggest Budiansky didn’t like having the super-powered Fort Max around (especially with a stronger Optimus incoming) and sidelined him.

    I loved the fight, and not just because this was the biggest fight since we’ve ever had in the series. And I loved the portrayal of characters: it’s Onslaught who came up with the strategy (he is the master Decepticon strategist), Ratbat is concerned about fuel consumption and considers the battle purely in that light, and it gives us an excellent display of Blaster and Grimlock’s weapons. However, I am troubled by the lack of influence of the Head- and Targetmasters during this battle. After The Headmasters mini-series establishing the great advantages these had over regular Transformers, we don’t really see them here save for Fort Max (and he’s just a fighter). Even in a surprise attack the Head-/Targetmasters should’ve been enough to turn the tide like Blaster and Grimlock eventually do. Also, did the future Powermasters do anything on board Steelhaven save watch the fight? Surely the approaching Decepticon spaceship should’ve been detected. On the very big plus side, as mentioned by @Longitudinalwave, kudo’s for remembering that there’s no sound in space and so the TF communicate by radio and Blaster & Grimlock don’t hear the fight.

    Despite these misgivings, I absolutely loved reading this issue. Action, characters, and truly wrapping up the leadership conflict after Optimus died. Too bad he’s coming back.

    (Final note, the Dutch translation that I read in the 80’s had one fun name for Fort Max that was of their own creation and thus missed in the English version: Frustrating Multihead.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Posts:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +1,036
    Two things which do bear remembrance I think. Firstly "Protecting humans". We've concurred to a large extent I think that, other than that detail, Grimlock made a fairly good showing. That's not to say that "protect the humans" is unimportant - Optimus is clearly not the only Autobot to think that trampling Stubbies into a fine paste then tap dancing on it is mildly tacky and gauche, but, equally, the Autobot Code is probably not a one-line document with "Be nice to Fleshlings" in it, or, even,"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings". Rather, that's most likely a part of the code, a part in which Grimlock comes up short compared to Optimus Prime, whilst surpassing Optimus in others. Blaster, meanwhile, is good at protecting innocents and at resolutely standing against Decepticons, and appears to be charismatic - but he's an abrasive, dogmatic and judgemental bot who seems - at this point in his career - incapable of properly delegating or making use of the talents of those whose loyalty he wins; he has to do everything important himself. That's a brave trait in a warrior, but a flaw in a commander. To summarise that, Blaster as he is at this point - and sadly, the comic follows his arc no further, could be a decent Autobot Leader, but not a very good Autobot Commander.

    He certainly shows potential; just as Grimlock improves markedly on subsequent runs, having learned from his mistakes, so too probably would Blaster if given a bit more of a chance and a bit less Starscream to the face. He learns a big lesson from Goldbug in "The Cure", and it seems to stick, so DJ Convoy's valued notion of, well, "DJ Convoy" Blaster as leader material, is certainly not far out.

    "Totalled" ends with three potential Autobot Leaders on the moon, all of whom having learned respect for one another, and that whilst all of them have some of the qualities of a truly great leader, they are all flawed in different ways, and thus that they can by working together achieve far greater things than at loggerheads with one another. This lesson learned, there is only one shining, obvious answer to the question "But who should lead the Autobots?"

    They should work together, learn from one another, learn from their mistakes, embody their advantage over the Decepticons by embodying a spirit of cooperation and respect for each other's talents, putting their strife behind themselves for the greater good.

    ... Nah.

    They should abdicate responsibility by resurrecting the dead, then get themselves killed or hide in a cupboard at the earliest opportunity to try to avoid any meaningful conclusion to the aftermath of the story arc.

    Of course, how silly of me not to guess.

    The second point I was going to raise, concerning Grimlock's reputation, is that we shouldn't see his position too much through our own lens.

    Most of us in the target readership of the comic, on one side of the Atlantic or another, are accustomed to some manner of democracy.

    Now, there are democratic aspects to the selection of the leader - Grimlock appears to finally be chosen by some sort of caucus of Autobot officers, Prime alludes vaguely to stepping down if other Autobots required it of him, in "Rock and Roll-Out", and Kup gets rather blunt about the Crisis act in "The Priçe of Life" and so on, but when appointed, an Autobot Leader's authority appears fairly absolute.

    Optimus attests that Autobots have the right to walk away if they choose, Grimlock considers that treason. Perhaps a different interpretation, or perhaps Autobot law does specify that resigning legally involves both formally notifying the boss that you quit- as Grimlock does on one occasion or two, and not just downing tools and sodding off down the pub in the middle of a mission because you've cocked it up.

    Notably, way back in #1, Optimus addresses an Elder as "Sire". What they have seems to be more akin to a form of constitutional feudalism, if such a thing could be said to exist, which might render the exigencies of Grimlock's approach to command slightly less unpalatable to Autobot perceptions and expectations than our own. In essence; they're kings or princes, or grand dukes, rather than Prime Ministers or Presidents.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    5,324
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +3,134
    I honestly never considered the Autobots a democracy. True, I prefer how selecting a new leader was handled in Marvel over the cartoon's "whomever carries the mcguffin" (and that when I actually prefer Rodimus Prime as leader). They're more of a military, but the XO is not always the best suited to take over. Prowl isn't a good leader (just read Robert's Eugenesis). So the best option is perhaps to have the dying leader appoint his replacement, but if that doesn't happen I think the Marvel solution is the best. Because even in Marvel it wasn't a democratic choice (at least not as most of us consider it). It's the teamleaders and those with high standing who determine what criteria the leader should have and subsequently appoint the Autobot they think best suits this. Considering Grimlock's tenure as Autobot leader (or better commander (*)) a failure, something I've always been guilty off, isn't based on that.

    (* Do we use different versions of the term? Because of the techspecs I've always seen the leader as the one in command of the entire army (Megatron was Decepticon leader), while a commander is in command of a section, like a team or just the Earth based Autobots/Decepticons. Of course, Hot Spot is considered the Protectobot leader, so there's that, but Silverbolt is Aerialbot commander... This to me also meant that Grimlock was just Earth commander and thus of similar standing as Fort Max.)

    No, until recently, I considered Grimlock's tenure as leader a failure simply because he lost sight of protecting the Earth and because he let command corrupt him. Both resulting in troops that, if possible, openly rebelled and/or were eager for someone else to take his place if opportunity arose. But because of points brought forward here, I'm seriously reconsidering this option. Sure, he failed to protect humans, but was this part of his mandate? Optimus felt it was because they (i.e. he) brought the war to Earth. But then we fall into the trap of considering the Autobots heroic and noble, a viewpoint I've always disliked. They're just ordinairy beings (albeit very durable robots that exist for millions of years). They have flaws: Huffer wouldn't object to leaving Earth if it meant going back to Cybertron, Mirage wondered if taking fuel from humans would be okay since they weren't TF's, several Autobots considered humans an annoyance because they interfered during the battles and couldn't see the difference between factions. They're not perfect, heroic, noble. So why should protecting humans at all costs (like shielding them from Decepticon fire resulting in themselves getting injured), be part of the Autobot mandate. Sure, as you said, protecting life that's in danger because the Decepticons threaten it, is likely part (!) of the Autobot code, and Grimlock fails in that regard. But in return he kept the Autobots themselves safe. During Optimus his command the list of casualties is long. Very long. With some being out of actions for many issues. With Grimlock as leader, there were exactly zero casualties. Until this issue. And Grimlock notes that he failed in protecting them here. Plus, the Ark was repaired, launched into space, they were self sufficient.

    The only way Grimlock failed as commander, is that he kept the Autobots too safe by effectively keeping them out of the war. And in the meantime the Decepticons executed raids, built a new base and could have become a serious, unstoppable threat. If Earth wasn't such a dreadful place for TF's to be with low quality fuel, this could've had serious repurcussions. I think the interpretation that Trypticon's attack with multiple injured and learning that just before a mere human caused many injuries as well, possibly did indeed play a part in his decision. He came to the rescue of the human because she showed courage, but once he learned how threatened the Autobots were on this planet (RAAT, the Mechanic, casualties of the Decepticons), he decided the best way to keep his people, his troops, safe, was to effectively remove them from the war.

    In the end, I don't consider his stint as Earth Commander a failure because he kept the troops safe, and I do consider it a failure because he did so at the expense of the long run.



    As for Blaster, Grimlock & Fort Max all stepping back and putting all their hopes on the resurrection of Optimus Prime... Back when Grimlock was elected I wondered who else could've become leader. The story creates an alternative in Blaster, but as @Swerve rightly points out, Blaster despite many good characteristics (charismatic, a good fighter and concerned about protecting those who cannot protect themselves -- most likely due to Scrounge), is flawed in other areas. Would he have made a good leader? Perhaps. I definitely think this is in area where the series failed, because it would've been very interesting to see another Autobot faction due to a disagreement about who was in command and how to run the faction -- especially since both leaders were flawed. And honestly, I can still see Blaster being a good choice to lead at this time. If only because he's not Grimlock or Fort Max.

    Theoretically, Fort Max would've been the perfect choice to lead. He shares many of the same ideals and principles as Optimus Prime and is powerful enough to earn Grimlock's respect. And if Galen still was at the core of him, he would've been perfect: Galen was a politician who is familiar with both the trappings and responsibilities of being a leader, plus as head of the peace keepers on Nebulon, familiar with tactics. With Galen dead and the college student Spike the new head...FM is basically useless. Just a strong bot with some memories of the original. Again, Galen's death is a very unfortunate decision. The story would've been better with him still the head.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
    • Like Like x 3
  14. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Posts:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +1,036
    Random thought, but, did that Palm Tree do permanent damage?

    Before it, Fawlty Minarets is presented as the ultimate weapon, the ethically dubious lynchpin of Galen's plan to use his massive upgrade to drastically tilt the balance of power, winning the war on Earth quickly, so that presumably then the Earth and Nebulan Autobot contingents could turn on Scorponok together and finish the war. After the Palm Tree though, not only does it take a couple of issues for him to be fixed, but, when he is, he seems a lot less powerful. So, maybe some of that damage wasn't entirely fixable?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Posts:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +1,036
    If we factor in Grimlocks' Marvel UK run here, as I strongly feel we ought, then, it becomes doubly telling that next time he's given stomps in and takes a command position, it's because Optimus is focusing too much on the end goal : - "Stop Unicron", and ignoring the "Decepticons running riot on Earth" issue.

    Perhaps the fairest assessment of Grimlock's first run as leader is- it's a stage in his development. It's where he learns that there's more to leadership than being cheered on by his Dino-chums while he beats the scrap out of the biggest targets around, and where he grasps the idea of responsibility- but not where he gets to the point of understanding the bigger picture. By the time we reach Generation II, he'll have got to the stage where he understands the bigger picture, in a sense, better than Optimus Prime does; in that he understands that the 'bigger picture' is not actually all important, and "Earthforce" is a fairly vital step in that journey.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2017
    Posts:
    594
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Likes:
    +758
    Transformers #42 is live to discuss!
    Optimus Prime—Power Master!!
    “People Power”
    Roll out!
     
  17. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Posts:
    731
    Trophy Points:
    137
    Likes:
    +1,080
    This is another issue I haven't read in a really long time. I own the first thirteen issues in a collected volume, and my brother owns issues #62-66 and #69-75 in another collected volume, but the other ones I have to get from the library, hence why it's been awhile since I've read most of them.
    Here's what I remember (not a whole lot):
    -My library didn't have the Headmasters series anywhere, so when I first read this issue, I was kind of confused by Nebulos. The planet and its distrust of Transformers makes much more sense now that I've read Headmasters.
    -Optimus Prime is back, in order to sell his new toy! It was nice to finally see him get brought back after several issues as a disembodied computer program, but he will be slightly different from here on out than he was before his suicide-over-video-game. Maybe it's Hi-Q's influence?
    -Hi-Q apparently wasn't all that interesting to me when I read the issue; I have very few memories of him, other than the fact that he made himself into a Powermaster for Optimus Prime. He'll basically stop existing as an independent character until after Prime dies again once this issue is over, right?
    -I remember really liking Darkwing and Dreadwind (and their Powermaster partners); I thought that their personalities were memorable and amusing.
    -The fact that lack of fuel causes Transformers to fall apart is a little weird, as is the idea that Nebulans can eat enough to fuel two full-sized Transformers.
    -Poor Bob Budiansky has to add five more characters to the cast. He made a valiant effort with the Decepticons; the Autobot Powermasters will fall more into the "Pretenders" category of characterization (or lack thereof).
    -Even before I reread "Totaled", I remembered both its plot and the plot of issue #44 (The Cosmic Carnival) much better than this issue. (I skipped over #43 completely because it was basically just "The Big Broadcast of 2006", an episode I'd seen prior to reading the comics and that I had never been especially fond of.) The fact that I was unfamiliar with the setting and a good deal of the cast at the time probably played a part in that.
     
  18. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Posts:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +1,036
    "People Power"... In Which Decepticons Do Lunch.

    Dreadwind and Darkwing are fun. A pair of snarky, sour pessimists who are simply a pair of Decepticons looking to do their job and get, presumably, paid for it. Oddly and disappointingly, they'll not end up actually part of any of the various regular Decepticon armies after this until the very end of the comic's run, instead continuing to operate on a kind of privateer basis.

    They're also excellently designed toys, with rather well crafted alt modes (visible arms notwithstanding) marking something of a return to form for the toyline. Whilst I'm glad to see Earth modes again - it usually seems to boost the intricacy and sculpt of a Transformer when it has to turn into something recognisable, it is a bit odd that Decepticon High Conmand presumably had them modified to transform into Earth aeroplanes... for a mission on Nebulos. Indeed, they only ever briefly visit Earth for "Race with the Devil" and "Dreadwing Down" during the entire run.

    Are we to assume that the two of them turned up at the Polyhex workshop with a note from whoever was Decepticon Leader that day saying:

    "Deer Inginears, pleez culd u make thees 2 luk liek air-o-plans fromm thet plannet wiv squishhies innit? Luv, Meggs" or similar?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Posts:
    731
    Trophy Points:
    137
    Likes:
    +1,080
    :lol  Maybe the current Decepticon leader just assumed that all squishy species used the same vehicles? Nebulans are all but identical to humans, after all. Maybe he just assumed they used the same vehicles as well.
     
  20. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Posts:
    7,810
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +9,551
    Makes sense for someone like Deceptions to rely on cultural approximation and assumptions!
     
    • Like Like x 1