Wednesday, November 6, 2013

10 Transformers That Need More Exposure Part II

I hope everyone enjoyed the Part I of this two part article.  Without further ado, here is the second half.


Look, I know that Jazz has been featured a lot in the IDW comcics, but I don't believe he's been used to his full potential.  Up until the soft reboot that was All Hail Megatron, Jazz was just another Autobot.  He was featured in the background, did some neat things like fight alongside Wolverine, and that was about it.  Then All Hail Megatron happened.  The best thing to come out of that series was Jazz got something of a reboot himself.

With Optimus Prime severely damaged, Jazz was in command of the Autobots.  Jazzimus Prime, so to speak.  While he didn't do much during his time in command, a very interesting Spotlight issue was published that really established a different side to the cool cat Autobot.  It turned out that Jazz is a one man wrecking crew.  Millions of years ago, Jazz rescued an injured Tracks behind enemy lines and took on the Predacons single-handed.  That's one bad 'bot.

Once Mike Costa launched the Ongoing series, Jazz got to kill a human and then get taken out of the field.  After the Chaos event, Jazz wrote poetry.  I'll say that again.  Jazz left the Autobots to join the NAILS and now writes poetry.  Ugh.

Really and truly, just read the last paragraph again to understand why Jazz is an under served character.  This guy could be the Jason Bourne or James Bond of the Autobot ranks.  Instead, he does nothing.  I don't begrudge anyone for writing poetry.  I fully support the arts, but Jazz isn't a poet.  He's a special ops agent who needs to be in the field doing what he does.  Unless this is some sort of setup by James Barber and Jazz is just undercover.  If so, bravo good sir, bravo.

I'm guessing Devastator is the only gestalt the Decepticons have?  Sure, Menasor showed up that one time, and then there's Monstructor.  I don't count Monstructor as a Decepticon in the comics since he really works for Jhiaxus.  So that leaves Devastator.  Lonely Devastator.  What confounds me is that the Decepticon gestalts outnumber the Autobot ones 2-1, and yet we only get Devastator.  The giant who can't think because his components are always arguing.  Like all of the other Decepticon combiners.  Except for Predaking and, most successfully, Piranacon.

What do you get when you have six, sometimes five, robots that like to hunt so much that they love to stay combined to the point that their leader has to install a timer so they don't run out of Energon?  A ferocious killer, of course.  Piranacon is the ideal gestalt.  He's apparently so ideal that no one has decided to use him in anything.  Except for that one time he grabbed Scorponok's ship in the Marvel series.  The Seacons as a whole haven't gotten any love in the IDW-verse.  Except for the mention that Nautilator sounds like Megatron.

Gotta stretch before you grab a spaceship.

Look, I get that Devastator is the first.  I understand that Monstructor is all new and shiny, that Menasor and Bruticus are sexy to a lot of writers' because they were in the cartoons.  That leaves poor old Piranacon out in the cold.  Just think about a gestalt fight where the gestalt isn't slow and stupid, but quick, agile, and cunning.  Seriously, just think about it for a bit and see if you don't agree with me.  I know I do.

Viewfinder, Spyglass, and Spectro - the original gestalt?  I'm a big fan of this guy (guys?).  Reflector got a lot of love during the first season of the animated series, but has pretty much disappeared since.  He showed up once in the Marvel run, once in the Dreamwave run, and a few times in the IDW-verse.  That was before Viewfinder wound up with a steel beam in his chest and died.  So now Reflector is no more, I'm assuming, which is stupid.

Reflector should be out there blackmailing his fellow Decepticons, bartering their compliance for power.  Maybe reporting back to Megatron.  Being a spy, Reflector should be under Soundwave's purview anyway, so perhaps there's that.  More than that, I'd like to see how the rest of the Decepticons react around him, with all three components talking at the same time.  I'm certain they'd be unnerved by him.  How do you refer to a being like Reflector?  Plural or singular?

"Let's see what we can see what someone does with me."

Sure, more and more people are using cell phones to take their pictures now, so maybe that's why he's not being used as much.  Then again, many, many people still use cameras.  It's not like cameras are going away anytime soon. 


In the IDW-verse, the Decepticons currently have Devastator and Menasor.  Maybe Monstructor, but I tend to think of Jhiaxus as more of an opposing faction to the rest of the Transformers, so that leaves Monstructor off the table.  And the Autobots have...squat.  It's time to rectify that.  As Skids told the Ammonites in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #22,  "We're close to perfecting combiner technology!"  So why not let the science bots known as the Technobots experiment on themselves to become the first Autobot gestalt?  What's that?  Most of them died on the Kimia facility?  Doesn't matter.  Hardhead was dead and he came back.  Ditto for every other Transformer.

Computron is my favorite of the Autobot combiners.  You know, all three of them.  Quick little rant - Why are there only three Autobot combiners?  That's just ridiculous.  Say there's an all out gestalt battle, how do they overcome those odds?  Idiotic.  Sorry, rant over.

Where was I?  Ah, yes, Computron is under used.  The Autobots seem to be full of science bots, but I don't think too many of them are an analytical as Computron.  Will Grimlock be the one to unlock the keys of combiner technology allowing the Technobots to do their thing?  Who knows?  I'd like to find out. 

The Technobots, as a group, have really led something of a charmed life in the IDW books.  They went from being non-entities to being featured pretty heavily in Furman's later "-tion" books and the Stormbringer miniseries.  To have 3/5 of the team killed defending Cybertron from Galvatron is fitting, I suppose, but I know that James Roberts can bring them back.  He has to.

Logic dictates it.

Talk about a clean slate.  This guy hasn't been in anything.  He's been mentioned in the comics, but that's it.  One time in Regeneration One, but that's it.  He may be the deep cover agent that Springer mentioned in the comics once, but nothing has ever materialized from that seemingly throwaway statement.  There's also the matter of IDW still needing to release their proposed miniseries about Punch.

There's just so much potential with Punch that I don't even know where to start.  Deep cover agent reporting back to Prime about the workings of the Decepticons?  The psychological toll that it's taking on him being a double agent?  The near constant threat of being caught?  What if Punch were actually a triple agent?  Perhaps he had been found out and turned by the Decepticons.  Man, that I'm getting delirious just thinking about it.

I'm actually surprised that James Roberts hasn't planted this guy into a comic somewhere.  Still, there is hope that Punch will get the exposure that he deserves.  In 2010, IDW did announce a miniseries starring Punch with some sort of top secret creative team.  You know, at the rate that Nick Roche works, he could be writing and drawing this.  That would be very welcome. 

Well thus ends the second chapter of this topic, and with it, my contribution to the topic.  For now.  Are there any characters that you think are deserving of more screen time?  Let me know what you think.


  1. Hey Optimal,
    Great article! I would have to say that since I've been on a sort of combiner kick myself as of late, I agree that Piranacon and Computron have been sorely misused, even in the comics. It would be great if they did some sort of "Spotlight" run on these two (though they would need multiple issues to really delve into the little talked about history of these two). I have Piranacon but still haven't found a Computron in the condition that I want and at a decent price.
    Keep up the good articles!
    - -

    1. Thanks! Well, Skids did say that they were close to creating a combiner, so hopefully some time will be devoted to this. Or even a Spotlight would do.

  2. I enjoyed this and Part I - at the moment, the Seacons' greatest exposure was as the main mooks during Masterforce. That was enjoyable enough but of course they didn't get any individual characterization.

    Also, Punch did get some brief screen time in "The Rebirth," where he was shown spying on a Decepticon and then walking into the next room and transforming back into an Autobot. It was literally "Hi, please buy my toy, OK, see you later." I think he had some scenes in Headmasters, too. But yeah, I'd like to see him handled by modern writers.

    1. Ah, Punch's infamous "My counterpart is close - real close!" line. That was literally a 30 second spot to get his butt handed to him by the Decepticon Clones. Sad.