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Goktimus Prime

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So I just read #23 and I like how the narrative keeps jumping between current day and the past, as well as expanding on just how corrupt and just downright evil the Autobot regime was and further justifying the rise of the Decepticons -- building on what we saw in Megatron Origins. I also like how it was Megatron who inspired Orion Pax too. ;) (a bit cliché perhaps) Still not impressed with the way Milne draws mouths though... so lacking in a range of expressions (it's as if they're all Muppets or something). The different ways that Optimus and Rodimus experienced their bonding with the Matrix was interesting too.

 

One thing that bugs me with the writing here - and tbh a lot of TF writers are guilty of this (even Furman), is that the Transformers are often portrayed as being too Earthly. It kinda bugs me that we see written English on ancient Cybertron... that makes no sense, but I suppose I can suspend disbelief and tell myself that it's meant to be Cybertronian text but we simply perceive it as English (kinda like a Universal Translator for text I suppose - although I wish they'd just use Cybertronian text... they did that with that comic featuring Animated Cheetor, and I had fun "translating" the Cybertronian text -- quite rewarding actually :)). But then there are some things which even the universal translator excuse can't explain, like:

+ "Megatron with an R" -- umm... okay.

+ The "Militant Monoform Movement" being 'Triple M.' Okay, I know that the Cybertronian alphabets contain the same letters as the English Roman alphabet... and in the same order to. Great coincidence, eh? But let's accept that. But what are the odds that, in the language of Iacon, that the words for 'militant,' 'monoform' and 'movement' all happen to start with the letter "M"?! Somebody buy a lotto ticket!

 

And this is one thing that I liked about writers like George Arthur Bloom and to greater degree, Bob Budiansky -- they made the effort to make the Transformers seem otherworldly and remind us that they were aliens. Orci and Kurtzman also did this well in the first Transfromers movie -- just little things like:

+ Thundercracker commenting that Earth is "so flat." (Bloom)

+ Bumblebee not understanding English idioms ("I didn't know human teeth had skin!") (Malek, Robbins)

+ Autobots initially thinking that human vehicles were the dominant life form on Earth and humans were maybe their pets or something (Budiansky)

+ Bruticus freaking out at the sight of an 'icky' human (Budiansky)

+ Ratchet commenting on Sam's pheromone levels (Orci, Kurtzman)

 

I really enjoy these subtle little touches that some writers put in to help build extra believability in the fantasy worlds that they create. :)

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I would imagine that a suspension of belief is in order. I also felt that they did a good job of further explaining Earth culture assimulation with the Junkions learning their style of language from television airwaves, Autobots(movie) learning from the internet and the Autobots watching soap operas in the Ark during Prime Target. Prime telling Spike he was going for a "lay-off" was pretty funny.

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I would imagine that a suspension of belief is in order.

Yeah, but there's only so much belief I can suspend. I mean, "Tron as in electronic" -- the odds of the word for 'electronic' in a super-ancient alien language on another planet being spelt the same as in Modern English... rrrrrrriiiiigggghhhhtttt....

 

Perhaps the Ancient Cybertronians spoke Rigelian... an alien language which by astonishing coincidence is identical to Modern English!

th_simpsons-kang-and-kodos.jpg

 

I also felt that they did a good job of further explaining Earth culture assimulation with the Junkions learning their style of language from television airwaves,

Only that the Junkions didn't do it to assimilate to Earth culture. They were already doing it on the Planet of Junk. ;) And who's to say that they only receive broadcasts from Earth? They could tuning in shows from other planets too. Although G1 did pretty much almost show them exclusively quoting and watching Earthen TV. Another astonishing coincidence?? :P Although it's possible that they did watch shows from other worlds, but we just didn't see them watch those shows or quote from them. Probably because those other planets don't have Monty Python... or do they??

 

 

Autobots(movie) learning from the internet and the Autobots watching soap operas in the Ark during Prime Target. Prime telling Spike he was going for a "lay-off" was pretty funny.

+1. Yup, those were kewl moments of Cybertronian social faux pas. ;)

Edited by Goktimus Prime

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I usually just let the language thing go because in reality, how would they have names like Bumblebee, Black Arachnia, or Inferno on Cybertron? I loooove how they used G1 Thundercracker's tech specs in the storylines. Things like that make the stories epic and make me crazily wait for the next issue. What I do need help from you all with is this new series a new telling of the Transformers. Are we supposed to forget what happened from the original storylines. It's like there are so many different continuities!!!!!

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I usually just let the language thing go because in reality, how would they have names like Bumblebee, Black Arachnia, or Inferno on Cybertron?

You're right, although I guess I've just gotten used to it that I can accept it. I like how Beast Wars retroactively obscured their names on Cybertron, e.g. Airazor being referred to as "Chromia 10 Pilot" etc. ;) And in the movieverse they said that their names were designations (like code names) that they'd assigned to themselves after arriving on Earth. On Cybertron they could just serial numbers for names for all we know. :P But I guess we can suspend some disbelief and believe that whenever we read their Earthen names that they're really saying their Cybertronian names, but we just see it as their Earth names.

 

But stuff like "Tron as in electronic" and acronyms that happen to be the same as in English? HIGHLY improbable considering that these similarities seldomly occur among the various languages on Earth - and when they do it's usually because the words were borrowed from that language or those languages share a common linguistic ancestry. But considering that the Cybertronian languages were developed on another planet and was being spoken millions of years before Modern English, I just can't swallow it. You wouldn't even get the same correlations between Modern English and Old English -- let alone between Modern English and an alien tongue!! I mean, Monoform Militant Movement in Old English would be... umm... anhiw guð (or maybe orlege?) onhreran... I'm sure my translation's wrong as I don't know the adjectival form for guð/orlege or the noun form for onhreran, but I suspect it would be a suffix variation, so the initials letters would probably be the same and thus form the same acronym -- AGO, or AOO. Certainly not MMM. ;)

 

I loooove how they used G1 Thundercracker's tech specs in the storylines. Things like that make the stories epic and make me crazily wait for the next issue.

YES!! Especially considering that Thundercracker has had a LONG history of being a very interesting yet underused character. He's arguably one of the most interesting Decepticon characters out there, but he's seldomly developed. In fact, it was a running joke for a long time, prompting me to make this photo skit back in 2004...

madboard01.jpg

 

madboard02.jpg

 

madboard03.jpg

I still think Thundercracker is underused, but IDW have certainly taken advantage of him more than any other TF story writers!! :)

 

What I do need help from you all with is this new series a new telling of the Transformers. Are we supposed to forget what happened from the original storylines. It's like there are so many different continuities!!!!!

The continuities are all separate.

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Continuity

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Multiverse

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Universal_stream

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Multiversal_singularity

http://marvel.wikia.com/Earth-91274

http://marvel.wikia.com/Earth-120185

Note: G1 was initially intended to exist on Earth-616, but #3 blew that out of the water. ;)

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Well Goktimus, you can be comforted to know that the Go-Bots had the same issue. Although it seems like they borrowed a little from Star Wars as well.

 

Also, During Heavy Metal War, Chip was telling Ironhide that Optimus and Megatron's fight was like gladitorial combat. Ironhide told Chip maybe he'd understand if he knew what Chip was talking about.

 

I just think with the cartoon, they didn't realize the full potential of what they created and with season 2 being a full blown commercial for newly released Transformers, they didn't have the time to come up with cleverly detailed back stories. Beast Wars did a much better job but I'll chalk it up to a more developed mindset.

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You're right, although I guess I've just gotten used to it that I can accept it. I like how Beast Wars retroactively obscured their names on Cybertron, e.g. Airazor being referred to as "Chromia 10 Pilot" etc. ;) And in the movieverse they said that their names were designations (like code names) that they'd assigned to themselves after arriving on Earth. On Cybertron they could just serial numbers for names for all we know. :P But I guess we can suspend some disbelief and believe that whenever we read their Earthen names that they're really saying their Cybertronian names, but we just see it as their Earth name. But stuff like "Tron as in electronic" and acronyms that happen to be the same as in English? HIGHLY improbable considering that these similarities seldomly occur among the various languages on Earth - and when they do it's usually because the words were borrowed from that language or those languages share a common linguistic ancestry. But considering that the Cybertronian languages were developed on another planet and was being spoken millions of years before Modern English, I just can't swallow it. You wouldn't even get the same correlations between Modern English and Old English -- let alone between Modern English and an alien tongue!! I mean, Monoform Militant Movement in Old English would be... umm... anhiw guð (or maybe orlege?) onhreran... I'm sure my translation's wrong as I don't know the adjectival form for guð/orlege or the noun form for onhreran, but I suspect it would be a suffix variation, so the initials letters would probably be the same and thus form the same acronym -- AGO, or AOO. Cert

 

Ha, I never thought about the movie verse using the "designation" as a code name on earth. WOW, one of the redeeming factors of the movies. Now that makes sense!!! I also see where you are coming from with the Cybetronian language. Why not just do what they do in other comicbooks? Place the Cybertronian language in there, and put what it means in subtitles. I remember when the old GI Joe comic books did that with the military jargon and as a kid I loved that!! And yes, I will admit, when I read that "Tron as in electronic", it did bother me for a bit. I dare say it was kind of corny for the seriousness of the storyline.

 

YES!! Especially considering that Thundercracker has had a LONG history of being a very interesting yet underused character. He's arguably one of the most interesting Decepticon characters out there, but he's seldomly developed. In fact, it was a running joke for a long time, prompting me to make this photo skit back in 2004...

madboard01.jpg

 

madboard02.jpg

 

madboard03.jpg

I still think Thundercracker is underused, but IDW have certainly taken advantage of him more than any other TF story writers!! :)

 

Yes, Thundercracker was definitely not used like he should have been. With his specs saying hendoubted the Decepticon cause, it was about time they used that interesting bit to build up his character. He definitely was one of the most interesting Decepticon characters. They should have done a Spotlight on him instead of Ramjet. While I enjoyed Ramjet's spotlight, that story was more befitting of Starscream. But, a Thundercracker Spotlight would have been awesome!!! And that photo story......friggin hilarious!!!!!! I LMAO at that!!

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the help. I was just curious, because I didn't start reading the new series until "All Hail Megatron" and I thought it was a continuation of the G1 storyline. I forget there are so many continuities.

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Generally speaking I liked Chaos Theory Part 2 (Ongoing #23), but they ruined it continuity wise at the end by trying to make the IDW-verse like the new Aligned Continuity.

Some background before I get to my main complaint.

In the new Aligned Continuity the Autobots as a faction emerge as Orion Pax's faction looking to reform Cybetron's society and government peacefully. The powers that be make Orion Pax the new Prime, giving way to Optimus Prime. Megatron feels betrayed (he wanted to become Prime/be the face of reform) and forms the Decepticons to achieve reform and seize power for himself via violent revolution. The Great War starts.

Prior to #23, the Autobots of the IDW-verse had proceeded Orion Pax/Optimus Prime for hundreds of millions of years (maybe even longer). The Autobrand is used at the base of a statue honouring Nova Prime, Omega Supreme is wearing the Autobrand in a flashback to Nova Prime's era, and Sentinel Prime and his security forces wear it in Megatron: Origins (I think they may even be refereed to as Autobots). That is to say that in the IDW-verse it was clear that the Autobots were a faction that stretched back in time.

Which is fine. Two continuities, two different backstories.

 

The problem comes in Ongoing #23. The Autobrand is again presented as representing Cybertron's rulers (Orion Pax has a collection of Autobrand medals he received for various exploits). Yet near the end Orion Pax enters the Senate chamber to confront the Senate on their corruption and claims that the races that watch over Cybertron call Cybertronians Autobots, meaning automatons. Orion claims it can also mean autonomous, free thinking, and claims the term as his own, stating that an Autobot will be someone who fights for his right to think freely and work for change. The term Autobot, as Orion Pax uses it in this issue, is coined as a term to represent a movement that will oppose the corrupt Senate and government of Cybertron. Orion Pax will become Optimus Prime, reaching the highest office in that government, and he as Prime will lead the Autobot faction, which uses as its symbol the symbol of the government that Orion Pax coined the term to oppose. Not to mention all of this conflicts the backstory that came before.

 

And again all of this was done to make the IDW-verse seem closer to the new Aligned continuity. I get that Hasbro wants the Aligned continuity to be THE continuity, but retconing on-going stories to match it, contradicting everything that came before, bugs me.

 

One thing that bugs me with the writing here - and tbh a lot of TF writers are guilty of this (even Furman), is that the Transformers are often portrayed as being too Earthly. It kinda bugs me that we see written English on ancient Cybertron... that makes no sense, but I suppose I can suspend disbelief and tell myself that it's meant to be Cybertronian text but we simply perceive it as English (kinda like a Universal Translator for text I suppose - although I wish they'd just use Cybertronian text... they did that with that comic featuring Animated Cheetor, and I had fun "translating" the Cybertronian text -- quite rewarding actually :)). But then there are some things which even the universal translator excuse can't explain, like:

+ "Megatron with an R" -- umm... okay.

+ The "Militant Monoform Movement" being 'Triple M.' Okay, I know that the Cybertronian alphabets contain the same letters as the English Roman alphabet... and in the same order to. Great coincidence, eh? But let's accept that. But what are the odds that, in the language of Iacon, that the words for 'militant,' 'monoform' and 'movement' all happen to start with the letter "M"?! Somebody buy a lotto ticket!

I don't mind this at all, actually. The sign thing doesn't bother me in the slightest. There's a scene from the Senate chambers with a statue of Prima, with a plaque that reads "Freedom is the Right of All Civilized Beings." I like that touch, because it displays the level of aloofness that the Senate and Prime had prior to the war, and it symbolizes how Optimus, as Prime, has really really reformed the office/lived up to the ideals of Prima perhaps more so then those that came before him with his slogan "freedom is the right of all sentient beings."

 

The spoken word is slightly more troublesome, but in the end of the day I disregard the problems associated with it completely. Why? Every sci-fi story ever has at least one "magic wand." A magic wand is a literary device used in science fiction literature to make something happen that, if you stop to think about it, couldn't happen. Stuff like, for example, almost every Star Trek alien species being humanoid.

Here, the "Megatron with an R" thing doesn't bother me because it's a nice little nod/joke at the expense of bureaucracy. Wheelarch, in #22, is portrayed as your standard bureaucrat. He refers to Megatron as "Megaton," and Megatron replies "Megatron, with an R." Wheelarch repeating this upon hearing Megatron's name in #23 is just a fun little jab at a seemingly out of touch bureaucracy that doesn't care. It's a funny joke that adds to the plot that wouldn't be possible if such a strict observation of the Cybertronian/English barrier were upheld. So I have no problem with a magic wand being employed to introduce the English language to pre-War Cybertronians.

At the end of the day if it's well done and for a good purpose a magic wand gets a pass.

Edited by Agent Zero

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It could have been done better - there are other ways you can demonstrate banal bureaucracy without having to introduce Modern English into an ancient alien world in another galaxy.

 

As for the whole "Autobot" thing -- do the pre-Optimus Autobots actually call themselves Autobots, or are they just known as "Cybertronians"? I might need to read Megatron: Origins and some other older IDW issues again, but I don't recall them referring to themselves as "Autobots" did they? The Autobrand symbol isn't so bad... it's possible that it's merely the symbol of the Cybertronian government and when they become "Autobots" under Optimus Prime, they just continued to use that symbol. Much like how in Star Wars when the Republic became the Empire, they used basically the same logo - just with two less points on the star. It's possible that the Transformers were all just collectively known as Cybertronians, and they didn't start calling themselves Autobots or Decepticons until the civil war broke out.

 

Another alternative is that they do call themselves Autobots, but with a different meaning. So to the Autobots themselves they may be "Autonomous robots" (as you pointed out, 'free thinking') but to those who oppose them, they call them "Automatons". So I personally don't see a problem with them using the Autobrand logo itself... after all, it's basically an image of Primus. :)

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It could have been done better - there are other ways you can demonstrate banal bureaucracy without having to introduce Modern English into an ancient alien world in another galaxy.

This is true, and honestly I would have preferred it if they had gone that route. But for what it was, it didn't bother me. I do agree though, both the Triple M and "Megatron with an R" thing caught me off guard at first.

I stand by my assessment on the signs though. Your universal translator explanation works on those.

 

As for the whole "Autobot" thing -- do the pre-Optimus Autobots actually call themselves Autobots, or are they just known as "Cybertronians"? I might need to read Megatron: Origins and some other older IDW issues again, but I don't recall them referring to themselves as "Autobots" did they?

I'm not 100% certain on that, now that I think about it, but more after the next quote.

 

The Autobrand symbol isn't so bad... it's possible that it's merely the symbol of the Cybertronian government and when they become "Autobots" under Optimus Prime, they just continued to use that symbol. Much like how in Star Wars when the Republic became the Empire, they used basically the same logo - just with two less points on the star. It's possible that the Transformers were all just collectively known as Cybertronians, and they didn't start calling themselves Autobots or Decepticons until the civil war broke out.

Which makes sense and all, except that Orion Pax used the term Autobot as something in opposition to the Cybertronian government. Which makes it odd that he would 1) become Prime at all and 2) that he would use the government symbol as the symbol of his Autobots, which he initially formed to non-violently protest the government. I mean there's still plenty of story to tell, and maybe Optimus becomes Prime and adopts the government symbol because he takes the view that the system is good, it just needs reform, and he'll stand up for Cybetronian civilization. In opposition to Megatron who wants to tear it all down by violent means.

 

Another alternative is that they do call themselves Autobots, but with a different meaning. So to the Autobots themselves they may be "Autonomous robots" (as you pointed out, 'free thinking') but to those who oppose them, they call them "Automatons". So I personally don't see a problem with them using the Autobrand logo itself... after all, it's basically an image of Primus. :)

This is true, which is why I prefer to think of the Autobots as, in some ways, a religious organization. Even if that's not flushes out/supported in any fiction. I'd go on, but then I'd start to wonder into Personal Canon territory.

 

As for Thundercracker, I agree it's nice to see him getting his due, and IDW has been consistent in their portrayal of him. In All Hail Megatron he's hesitant when ordered to shoot down a luxury ship filled with Cybertronian civilians.

Edited by Agent Zero

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