Starscream is fun to draw.
This bugged me when I started watching.
You mean to tell me the Decepticon army is made up majorly of…I hate to use the TV Tropes definition here, but…mooks?
That’s been around a lot longer than TV Tropes my friend.
That’s been the case since G1. Back then, it was recoloured versions of Starscream. Now it’s Vehicons.
Then the Sweeps. Drones are good for making a war seem moderately realistic without wiping out the core cast.
They’re even better for the CG animation budget.
Growing up on Power Rangers I’m use to the good guy’s killing mindless mooks so the Vehicon’s massive death toll doesn’t bug me so much.
…shit, when you put it that way I’ve got no room to complain, do I? >_<
And you have made me think of the word “Putties” for the first time in two decades. Awesome.
They toned it down after the first season of Transformers, but it was pretty standard to see loads of starscream-esque guys in those days. After the Insecticons showed up, tho, they just used them instead… And we were down to only SIX nearly identical guys (well, three had cone-heads, so that’s different I guess?)
Well if you saw the classic series, more autobots died than decepticons, and even then the decepticons apparently came back from the dead so technically no decepticons died in the classic series way back in the 80s.
The marvel comics more than made up for it by killing someone just about every damn week. Half of the time it was Optimus, though.
Decepticons died, but they showed up later because nobody in charge of the series cared that much about them. The problem was there were so few of them, while Autobots were a dime a dozen, so dead guys kept on being thrown into scenes to fill crowds. Like the Insecticons, despite their corpses being turned into Cyclonus and the Sweeps earlier.
(And only Starscream came back from the dead. Thundercracker, Skywarp, and the Insecticons were apparently dead by the time Unicron used their dead bodies to make new guys.)
Shockwave was supposed to have a conspicuous death scene in the animated movie as well, with him destroyed by Unicron’s attack on Cybertron. He didn’t really show up after that other than as animation errors, and in subsequent comic book adaptations the death scene was added back in.
I think Vehicons are pretty much supposed to be clone troopers. It’s morally wrong to set them on fire or make them fight to the death in arenas for sick fun but they are created to serve and die and probably don’t have more intelligence or sentience than they need to be obedient moderately useful cannon fodder and goons. They are disposable semi-competent low initiative help.
They kill them so much it bores them now. They just do it while angry birds loads the next level.
:T is my gravatar changin’? that’s wierd.
Dam…. I finally made it to the current comics…
Man, I wish I had that sort of energy before breakfast.
Energon flakes, it’ll energize you for your day before you even eat them!
How… Very sad.
Well, bad guys don’t count!
So the generic looking Vehicons are people right? They’re definitely not mindless drones, as in Beast Machines. I feel this is an important distinction.
I like to think that they’re the lowest-ranking Decepticons, and if they survive long enough and perform well enough they’ll get unique bodies of their own.
I figured they were a standardized combat model used because most of the Decepticon army was composed of the working class, not soldiers or warriors. So their original bodies probably weren’t very fit for combat and it wouldn’t be reasonable to make a unique design for each new body.
I like that. Mass-produce a lot to fill your hordes, and tell the ones who actually make it that they were obviously superior than all their nigh-identical dead comrades.
actually in G1 they specified that the decepticons were the warriors, and the autobots were worker bots. hence the innate violent nature of the decepticons.
Yeah, that was also how it was in Animated. But Prime is completely different. In Prime, the Decepticons were a mostly working class rebellion against an oppressive caste system. Much like in the IDW comics.
Indeed. Though I do wonder how many early supporters ditched the cause when Megatron began to show his more curropt nature. I can’t help but imagine that someone like Bulkhead, who we know to be a former construction worker, didn’t at one point have at least support Megatron to some degree. Even if it was just a passing support from the sidelines. Prime just seems a bit more complex then Animated where it was Autobot workers, Decepticon warriors.
most of the Decepticon army was composed of the working class,
They’re the Redshirt Army.
This sometimes confuses me too. I’ve heard them referred to as “drones” before. But in several episodes they not only speak but have personalities. Optimus was also once upset at Ratchet for almost killing a “low ranking decepticon” who wasn’t “warrior class.” So I think Whisky Tango may be right.
They’re “alive” in the sense that they seem to have emotions and the like. Breakdown even seems to give them encouragement in a scene or two…so yeah, the Autobots are sorta just slaughtering them a lot. Note that in the first episode or so, Bulkhead specifically tells Miko to “look away’ because for all intents and purposes, he was ripping out that Vehicon’s heart. Yeah. Bulkhead knew it was wrong.
They said you were evil. They never said you were competent.
I take offense to that!
Not because you are wrong, mind you. You’re definitely not wrong.
I laughed so loudly at this I scared my cats. Well done.
Also on a different but unreleated topic: When is Prime RID wave 2 coming to Australia damn it!!
And Canada! Hmm, scratch that. Let’s get some cases of guys that aren’t bloody Bumblebee! If you think the yellow wall is bad in the States, you should see it up here where the RID Bumblebees are sitting on the shelf right next to a wall of unsold First Edition Bumblebees.
No kidding…I went to Toys R Us a while ago, to see if they had RID Arcee (since Zellers, despite being closer, has a serious markup on the RID line)…a couple Wheeljacks, one each First Edition and RID Cliffjumper…then nothing but Bumblebees from both lines.
Heh, that reminds me of something I saw at TRU in February. There were two rows of DOTM, all Bumblebee, then two rows of Prime First Edition, all Bumblebee, then two rows of Prime RID, all Bumblebee. It was oddly beautiful. It’s… full of stars…
Now that’s an almost impressive level of pegwarming.
Jesus Christ, this is so in-character for Starscream I actually read it in Steve Blum’s voice.
Hmm i have a question.
I was told once the autobots were an underground resistance group and the decipticons were the actual ruling caste of Cybertron. So i am wondering if this is actually true, in any of the Transformers incarnations?
Because that were true from Deciptcons perspective the Autobots would be terrorists.
The exact history varies from continuity to continuity, but generally the Autobots were the original ruling caste. Sort of. It’s kind of complicated.
Suffice to say that there are several territories on Cybertron that have now been ruled by Decepticons for millions of years.
I don’t think the Decepticons were ever historically a ruling caste. Historically they’re always an insurgent force upsetting the status quo, even if that status quo is kind of not super great.
Now, nonhistorically, in the cartoon, they controlled Cybertron for a few million years while Optimus Prime and Megatron were sleeping on Earth, but by “they” I mean “just Shockwave” and by “Cybertron” I mean “five chicks and Alpha Trion.”
Surely the Decepticons must have been the ruling class in Shattered Glass?
Naw, the Decepticons didn’t name themselves until they consolidated into a counter army against Optimus Prime’s evil Autobots. Neither faction existed before Optimus Prime started the war.
That description does describe the Marvel Comics’ version of current day Cybertron, now that I think about it. Again, that’s the current day situation and not the way things began millions of years ago, but “underground insurgent force” Autobots against evil Decepticons who rule from mighty fortresses is pretty accurate to some of the stories depicted there. The situation differs by region.
Yeah but I’d hardly qaulify them as a ruling class in there. It seemed like pretty loosly alligned regional governors or warlords that pretty much made life hell for everyone under their “rule”, be it Autobot, neutral, or their Decepticon soldiers.
Yeah, Fort Max and Scorponok’s respective armies seemed pretty evenly matched, like they just showed up to play a game of football ever so often and then go home.
Can’t challenge the status quo too much. Not unless you have to sell new toys.
Isn’t the the influence of Shockwave, though, who’s adherence to the Status Quo is his big thing?
Not really, unless you consider logic the status quo, which based on the sheer amount of ridiculous decisions made throughout transformers history would seem to be a rare trait on Cybertron. Plus in the majority of continuities Shockwave loves meddling with Cybertronian life. If there were a transformer to make a race of atomic monsters or a pidgeon-rat, it’d be Shockwave.
Fort Max and Scorponok were warring factions on Cybertron in the Marvel stuff. In the Marvel stuff, Shockwave came to Earth with everybody else.
I thought he came to earth with the Dinobots or something. Did the lot of them not end up in a tar pit or something?
The Dinobots also came to Earth with everyone else. They just woke up before everyone else and fought in the Savage Land.
My original point being that in Marvel, Shockwave didn’t run Cybertron in everyone’s absence for four million years like he did in the cartoon. He was stuck on Earth.
Too many continuities in my head. They all kind of run together into a thick black Transformers flavoured sludge.
On the other hand, Airachnid’s confirmable body count is respectable – even if most are offscreen in the backstory, and one is a ‘Con.
Yeah, Airachnid kills a lotta folks. Starscream, though, man, he just won’t shut up about his one kill. It really deflates him to learn that out of millions of years of fighting Autobots, he’s apparently only offed the one dude.
I love that he never mentions that he didn’t actually catch Cliffjumper, he just finished him off. Like when a 5 year old goes fishing and dad reels in a monster fish and the boy hits it with the mallet. Then everybody involved praise him for the amazing fish he caught (wink, wink).
Heh…yes, this is true. Especially when he gets all huffy and offended when he thinks Airachnid has claimed credit for that one. Not the actions of a bot who’s got a few spark-snuffings under his belt.
So which continuity is this, again? Because I think I need to see a good Transformers show where Arcee blows lots of stuff up.
The current Transformers: Prime show on the Hub. Arcee is the best.
Arcee is, indeed, the best. Although Ratchet steals every scene he so much as scowls indignantly in.
“I am a cranky old man with all the best lines and a ton of regrets!”
“I needed those scenes!”
Aren’t they considered as only semi-sentient drone? also sometimes, I think Vehicons are a sort of Legion entity, a single mind sharing plenty of bodies.
Yeah, they are “drones”, except they speak and seem alive. They already talked about this earlier in the comments. But drones or not, they pretty much suck. Starscream is right, the ‘Bots haven’t killed any named Con, so he’s got the ad…
*Remembers when Bee punched Skyquake to death in mid-air*
…Hem, forget what I just said.
I think the Vehicons are only drones in the sense of “they’re not named characters so it’s okay to show the Autobots slaughtering them,” because as-stated we’ve seen them talk and display hints of individuality. They’re just relatively weak, which is why they never act on their own like pretty much all the other ‘cons have at some point or another.
I kinda wish the Autobots had some expendables as well, just to even the odds. But, if that were the case, they wouldn’t be THE UNDERDOGS(tm).
Also, Prime Arcee is awesome.
Also also, poor Breakdown. ;_;
Oh Starscream… That one kill really is the highlight of his villainous career ain’t it?
He’s a barely competent craven…when’s he going to get another one?
The Cyberverse toy gives him the function of Sabotage Expert, a marked change from his usual Air Commander role. As such, he’s probably directly responsible for a LOT of kills, but Cliffy is the only one where he was around to see the death happen. So he’s inordinately proud of the one kill he made face-to-face.
Well, if you go by his WFC origin he’s a scientist, not a warrior. Considering his main thing since siding with Megatron seems to be rebuilding his image as a “leader”, he’s probably proud of that one kill, even though he’ll probably never kill anyone else.
I always figured that Screamer has killed others before but he only brags about killing Cliffjumper because we as the audience really only know him. I know Cliff only appeared for like the first 5 minutes of the first episode before being offed but due to the commercials for the show, it gave the impression that he was going to be an important main character. We know that he isn’t squeamish about the prospect of killing somebody as evidenced by his attempt to kill Megatron after the Space Bridge explosion, or when he tried to kill Arcee twice. Once in the prequel comic before the show began where he managed to blow off her arm before being forced to flee and also in the episode “Partners” before Arcee herself manages to beat him down despite being badly injured by him.
He’s probably killed a lot of others either directly or indirectly before since the war has been going on for millions of years but he doesn’t mention any other kills because if he went, “I killed so-and-so”, us viewers would probably go, “Yeah so? We don’t know them so we don’t care.”
Actually now that I think of it, he has killed at least one other. In the Titan comics, Starscream is pitted against a huge Vehicon named Fearstorm in combat in a cage and the one who kills the other and uses the slain’s spark to free themselves from the cage gets to return to Megatron’s side.
If it helps, think of ‘drones’ more of a colloquial term that black and white description. Like how we might call human soldiers ‘grunts’ or even ‘sheep’. It doesn’t mean that’s what they ARE, just how they (according to those people) act.
So, to an Autobot, serving in an evil army might seem quite drone-esque – not thinking, just being given a task and doing it without consicence – despite the Vehicon’s displays of emotions and needing to be consulted/rallied. : )
This may be why the general ‘energon mine-disruption’ missions seem to have moved off-screen of late. Also a good reason we don’t ever seem to hear the Vehicons speak or errant conclusions might be drawn by the kiddies.
We hear them speak plenty these days.
Ah, right, the scene with Orion Pax slipped my mind.
But that makes it *worse*.
I’m almost done with season 1 of Prime and yeah, this is pretty much how it is. Arcee RULES.
Also, let it be noted that, despite his less than impressive kill tally, Steven Blum is still probably the BEST Starscream, no, scratch that, one of the best VILLAINS I’ve ever heard in animation, period. He’s awesome!
Prime Screamer is good but I think the best Starscream from Transformers: Cybertron. He took on an entire army of Autobots and pwn every single one of them, fought his own god, and laughed at Galvatron’s failure to recreate the universe.
Its like RPGs. You can kill all the members of your own species you want in random encounters, but you don’t actually start seeing the character angst about taking a life until they kill a named character in a cutscene.
I’ve always wanted to play a D&D character who acts this way. Wait until we get into a random encounter with orcs or something, and then go completely angsty about it afterward.
“I…I killed him…”
“Yeah, good job. That axe might fetch a decent-”
“No, you don’t understand! I had no choice!”
“I get it, clear self defense, no harm no foul.”
“It happened so fast! He ran at me, and I just stuck out my sword…my gods, what have I done?!”
“Dude, it was just some random bandit. No need to worry.”
“But what if he had kids, and needed to steal to feed them? What if his whole tribe is starving? Why couldn’t we just cooperate and hand over our money like he demanded?!”
“Because we need that money to help overthrow the Dark Emperor! My sword is only +2…”
“But don’t you see, this poor creature is as much a victim of the Emperor’s evil regime as any of us! Raised in an environment of evil, desperate for any way out of his poverty, knowing only how to prey on those weaker than himself! We should have been comrades, brothers in arms against a greater foe! Instead my blind hatred for the Emperor and his works led me to take a sentient life merely to preserve the coins in my purse! Truly in my battle with evil, I have become as corrupt as the forces I swore to destroy!”
And then, just as everyone at the table is pissed off at me, I demand extra XP for my excellent roleplaying. Heeehee.
DM: Rocks fall, you die.
You: … We’re on a floating city six thousand feet of the grou -
DM: ROCKS FALL, YOU DIE.
If the DM has to break the very fabric of reality to punish you, you win.
To be fair, the DM didn’t specify what rocks.
Like, the ones the city is constructed on top of.
Is it sad to say I’m actually less annoyed with the good guys getting in massive kills and more that Starscream kept bragging about his only one murder that it reaaaally pushed him into “Pathetic Even For the Standards of Starscream” mode? One kill or not, it was a really good eye opener for the beginning and cemented how threatening Starscream could be (and was). It’s not that Starscream doesn’t deserve to be kicked down and be the universe’s butt monkey, but after desperately bragging about Cliffjumper’s death to Airachid (which was embarrassing) and later, a nameless MECH soldier (which is just distressing), that specific badass moment is now a mockery.
I can’t believe this show is currently getting me to think Starscream is pathetic when that’s really part of his schtick. >< (Maybe I'm spoiled; TFA Starscream manage to both be a butt monkey and keep his pride and devious schemes.)
Is Starscream modelled after Faz, or is it the other way round?
All he/she/it needs is a chart.
Nah, they just follow the same basic facial formula: no nose plus insufferably smug.
Pardon, its the angularity of face, not lack of nose.
…but Faz’s face is a perfect circle.
Yes, but his nose is angular and draws the attention.
But what’s the shape of his penis?
Faz’s or Starscream’s?
Hordes of Nameless drones < Killing The Freaking Rock!
Recently I have become embroiled in the Transformers Myths, From The USA 1985 Gen 1 and 1986 Gen 2, Shattered Glass Etc Etc… Anyways my question is concerning This Shattered Glass, Autobots are Evil The Decpt. are good, Now my question is
Is Unicron consider the Good God in this stream? And if so does that mean I have to pretend that when Orson Welles did the voice of Unicron in the Cartoon Movie I have to pretend him as a good version now?
And with that Does that Mean Megatron gets a Matrix like device? I mean this brings my whole world crashing down
Shattered Glass is part of the Transformers multiverse, which includes just about every Transformers story ever made, with the potential exception of the new TFPrime stuff. In this multiverse, there is only one Unicron, and he travels from universe to universe as he pleases. And so Unicron in the Shattered Glass universe would just be Unicron. Same with Primus, who exists in all universes simultaneously.
And Megatron does not have a Matrix (neither does Optimus if memory serves). I think there’s been a single instance of Laserbeak being on Megatron’s shoulder, which is a sign on leadership no matter which universe you’re dealing with.
Perching on Megatron’s shoulder is so last year.
But still it would be fun to see Unicron and his world Munchieness be the good guy
They managed to pull it off with Galactus, more or less.
Damn you, Willis. I’ve spent the last three days in this chair, reading the entire archives of Roomies/IW/J&W/Shortpacked! and you have the gall to let me get caught up to the present? Now I have to wait for updates, like the rest of these losers. Bullshit. >:[
Well, when only one side has red shirts, the other side will have an impressive tally…
This is really a problem I had with the drone decepticons since Prime started. At first I was wondering how smart they were if they were actual decepticons they are. Even Optimus has no problem killing random drones and he’s all “Every life is sacred” all the damned time.
It gets even more confusing when there are some drones that are not warriors and those are not okay to kill but they look the same as every other drone. How do they even know which one they can destroy or not?
I like Prime but these decepticon mooks bothered me from day one.
It’s kind of a necessary weasel – you’ve gotta up the stakes somehow, and masses of disposable identical bad guys allows for both big ol’ fight scenes and lotsa good-guy kills, hence the good guys are both outgunned and fearlessly badass. Simultaneously, this means that any villain kills are threatening as all hell, ’cause they killed a main character, with a name and a distinctive design and everything! The logic is flawed, to be sure, but for the most part you don’t notice, especially if you’re a wee one, and the problem is that Screamer just won’t shut up about this one kill, which draws an uncomfortable amount of attention towards the kill-ratio-imbalance.
One death is tragic, countless others is a statistic…
Thats the message getting from this comic
And from Joseph Stalin.
Hey, this is all fascinating (okay, actually I find the whole Transformer saga plus retcons approaching infinity, somewhat tedious, but we each have our own favorite boring-to-the-uninitiated hobbies), but where’s the latest Shortpacked update? You updated DoA. What’ hoppen?
SP! only updates every weekday on storyline weeks.
O, wow. Sorry, David, I completely missed that. Any way to know in advance which weeks are storyline weeks?
As per the About page, I generally announce the beginning and end of them in the text below the strip.
Really? Cause transformer is my main hobby and the only one i collect merchandise from. Each to their own i guess
What about all those kills he did in level 2 of WFC?
So why did the Autobots paint them as villains? They didn’t say anything or feel sorry when half of the world crashed into a energon grid. Let them to die on empty planet in an alternate universe of the 1st movie. Kill everything in cold blood in the movies and collected their heads.
Arcee has decapitated vehicons with her FEET, HER FEET! She is like some kind of robotic goddess of destruction and war!
as awesome as it is to see Arcee the battle goddess of death decapitate a dude by twirling around on his shoulders while blowing out the chest plate of the guy standing next to him I can’t help but feel bad for the poor mass produced guys. After all, despite a lack of individuality we’ve seen on several occasions that these guys have opinions, talk to each other, hell they might even have FRIENDS, and they get cut down so callously.
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