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Agent Zero

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Posts posted by Agent Zero

  1. The Iacon elite (Autobots) don't necessarily have to be religious - but perhaps it had religious roots in its distant past. For example, Turkey is secular state, yet its flag features the Star and Crescent, a symbol widely associated with Islam (and originating from the Mesopotamian/Sumerian moon god, Sin). Australia and New Zealand are also both secular countries, yet our flags have the Union Jack which comprises of three different Christian crosses (St. George's Cross, St. Andrew's Cross and St. Patrick's Cross).

    All fair examples. It's just that with the Autobots using a symbol based on the face of Primus and their leader having a title that's derived from Primus' name, it just seems natural that they would have a religious bend to them.

    Plus they had Optimus Prime quoting the Covenant of Primus to open the last episode of TF: Prime. Though I would have chuckled if Bulkhead had yelled "keep it in church!"


    So just because a state (and in G1 Cybertron was divided into Greek-like City States like Iacon - I'm assuming this is still the case in IDW's Neo-G1) features a religious icon in its symbol, doesn't necessarily make it a religious state. :)

    I think the Cybertron of the IDW-verse is divided into city states that have a few overarching institutions like the Senate and the security forces led by the Prime. In #23 they mention an electrical storm hitting states, so I assume the individual cities all have their own independent government, but there's a larger organization they also belong to.


    Or how about this -- the Autobrand is culturally ingrained as a holy icon on Cybertron, thus it is used as a symbol of divinity. The Iaconians use it as their symbol of authority (government by divine right?). But perhaps the Iaconians also use religion to promote oppressive doctrine. It'd be like what happened to the Swastika -- originally a religious symbol (and it is still used by many religions as a holy symbol today), it is now commonly associated with Nazi fascism.

    Well except in the Autobrand's case Optimus Prime saves the symbol.

    The whole thing seems interesting, it's a certain level of disconnect to learn to that the security forces we saw in All Hail Megatron being led by a Prime and wearing the Autobrand weren't Autobots, at least not by the definition Orion Pax gives us in #23.

  2. Perhaps you could paint it over with some metallic purple model/miniatures paint? I know it won't look the same as vacuumised chrome, but it's better than nothing. :)

    I might look into that, thanks for the suggestion. Luckily I'm within walking distance to a hobby shoppe, and there's a Games Workshop a half an hour away.

  3. 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.

  4. Ugg, the chrome came off when I moved (he got take out and crammed into a few to many boxes). I wish it was still there, but I keep telling myself it's battle damage/a weathered look. If that excuse flies for anyone it's Megs.

  5. 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.

  6. IMG_20110316_220934.jpg


    A figure from the Energon shelf... who was very underrated. :)

    I want this guy repainted in silver, red, and gold for Generations.


    Also, Megatron defeats the MegaZord.



  7. Here it is, 4:30-ish in the morning, and I can't sleep. So I decide to fidget with some of the Real Gear bots. (forgot how nifty they were.) Then I start to think, "I bet they were disappointed at not being in any movies." ...until it dawned on me, three of them got together, and decided to act as a stand-in for one of this summer's hit movie stars.


    picture_293.jpg (Everything was fixed in the computer, of course. ;) )


    I didn't actually have an idea where to post it, since it's not really a custom(they're just stacked ontop of each other)..and they're not really active. but :shrug Still fun. :P

    That's pretty cool.

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