Wasted Characters

Over the last 25 years the Transformers have appeared in media from the exquisite to the scribbled and been licensed to the responsible and the... Pat Lee. Discussion of all the branches of TF media within!

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Luisito
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Wasted Characters

Post by Luisito » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:20 am

Firstly, I am new to this forum, although I have been a Transformers fan for over 20 years, since I had the toys as a wide eyed 4 year old.

I don't have much respect for the cartoons. Although they wre of course Hasbro creations, in my opinion, the Marvel comics were so much better. Especially Simon Furman's excellent UK collection. I still read them and get lost in the characters and storylines. They are my breakaway.

My point is, that I think it was such a shame looking back how many brilliant characters never played much of a part in the stories, despite having fantastic personalities. For example, Windcharger was the fastest Autobot and he had those cool Magnetic arms, however, he rarely appeared in the comics. Brawn was underused. I think Cosmos, Powerglide, Tracks and Warpath also didn't make enough of an impact on the Transformers universe.

I myself have thought of many pieces that could have been good. How about a Kup and Ironhide conversation? The two never met in the Marvel continuity although they were both Transformer OAPs and could have held a great dialogue. I was also disappointed with the amount of time that Optimus Prime got to spend with Ultramagnus in the Marvel comics, seeing as they were two of the toughest warriors.

Who else has characters that they believe should have been more involved in the comics?

Also do you agree that the amount of new characters generated from issue to issue/cartoon to cartoon, was the real reason the Transformers lost popularity? Too many characters were introduced, which kinda pushed the other great characters into the background.

What do you think?
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Re: Wasted Characters

Post by spiderfrommars » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:56 am

Welcome to the board! Lots of interesting points there.

Luisito wrote:
Also do you agree that the amount of new characters generated from issue to issue/cartoon to cartoon, was the real reason the Transformers lost popularity? Too many characters were introduced, which kinda pushed the other great characters into the background.

What do you think?


Killing off Optimus Prime in the movie was the real reason TFs lost popularity. Pretty ironic really, because it was the movie that led to some of the UK comics best epics and it actually benefitted from it (unlike the US comic or cartoon).

But even the UK comic started to lose momentum with the introduction of the Headmasters. From this point on we were dealing with a cast of thousands and ever more gimmicky characters. Not long after that we had Pretenders, and the TFs were really straying far off the original concept.

Sure, we still got some great stories and cool new characters, and the US comic eventually had a renaissance with Furman at the helm, but as a phenomenon, Transformers was a dead in the water for a time.

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Post by Hound » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:58 am

In some ways I agree. I would have loved to have seen characters like Bluestreak, Hound and Sideswipe get more exposure, but it would have come at the expense of some of the great characters that Furman was able to build up - like Scorpornok, Flywheels, Grimlock and Magnus.

The Kup and Ironhide thing was done by Dreamwave btw - uuuuuggggh
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Luisito
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Post by Luisito » Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:28 am

Yeah I saw Kup and Ironhide in Dreamwave. But I never read any conversations about the good old days... If you know what I mean hihi ;)
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Post by rusty_herring » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:33 pm

Even from the start of the cartoons I felt a lot of really promising characters got gipped and it carried over into the comics. I agree with Hound, Bluestreak and Sideswipe. I would've liked to see more Mirage too. I always thought Windcharger had a really cool power too and he was also completely wasted.

Headmasters just freaked me out altogether. Guy's heads turning into guy's heads turning into guys.... weird weird. It just didn't seem to have the same presence the earlier robots did. I never knew who was really who.
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Post by Guest » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:52 pm

Had they ever made one, I probably would've got myself a micro-headed targetmaster with a pretender shell.

However, I think it was a good thing Action Masters arrived too late to have any noticeable appearances in any media.

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Post by Impactor returns 2.0 » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:31 pm

what on earth ever happened to Mirage?

Bluestreak was on of these characters I loved early on, we see him in Dino-bot hunt, trying to contact OP, badley damaged, and saying he wont make it, I thought that was cool!
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Post by Best First » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:39 pm

The thing is a lot of the 'new' Action Masters actually had strong aesthetics and pretty good tech specs, i reckon there were some good characters in there.

For me the big one is Thundercracker - he was one of the original line up and supposed to have a moral issue with some of the Decep activities, i'd really have liked to have seen that explored, especially around the way peer pressure (possibly from the other seekers) and manipulation (Megs and Soundwave maybe) kept him in line, kept him quiet during atrocities etc. I think it could have really added some depth to what, at times, were a fairly card board bunch of villains in terms of how they joined and stayed with the 'evil' Decepticons.

I think we got this to some extent with Carnivac a lot later on but that was probably a different slant.

Maybe this will be addressed in the Megatrons: Origin seri... Oh.

Welcome to the board by the way. :)
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Post by Brendocon » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:42 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:what on earth ever happened to Mirage?


He was invisible.
Grrr. Argh.

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Post by rusty_herring » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:12 pm

For me the big one is Thundercracker - he was one of the original line up and supposed to have a moral issue with some of the Decep activities, i'd really have liked to have seen that explored, especially around the way peer pressure (possibly from the other seekers) and manipulation (Megs and Soundwave maybe) kept him in line, kept him quiet during atrocities etc. I think it could have really added some depth to what, at times, were a fairly card board bunch of villains in terms of how they joined and stayed with the 'evil' Decepticons.


For Decepticons, definitely. I think Thunder got especially jipped, I would've liked to see more Skywarp too to play off it.
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Post by sprunkner » Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:10 am

I actually thought the Kup/Ironhide bit was one of the better things in War and Peace. Fanwanky but not gratuitously.

I was always sad that Furman didn't continue the characterization of Blaster that Budiansky did.
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Post by Warcry » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:42 am

I think it's hard to narrow down a list of 'wasted' characters, for the simple reason that there's just so bloody many characters in the Transformers universe and so few of them have ever gotten any attention from writers. It would almost be easier to come up with a list of who doesn't have wasted potential.

I really think IDW has missed the boat a bit by focusing almost exclusively on 'big name' characters, with less-developed guys mostly being relegated to cameo status or slotted in as generic background goons. Even without changing the core cast they have in the 'ongoing' right now, there are countless opportunities to be explored. But even though guys like Thundercracker, Skywarp, Astrotrain, Hardhead and the like are there, Furman doesn't seem to be interested in using them for anything. Even Sunstreaker, who's become a major plot point, could easily be swapped out with any other Autobot and no one would be the wiser. And that's a shame, because guys like that have so much untapped potential and I hate to see it continue to go to waste.

I'm not suggesting that the comic focus exclusively on a bunch of random nobodies, because as awesome as that would be I kinda doubt it would be a sales hit. But even back in the days where he had to cram in half a dozen new toys every month, Budiansky occasionally managed to find the time to spotlight individual characters like Ratchet, Skids, Blaster, those idiot Pretenders in the Mechannibal story, etc... None of those guys were big names before he featured them, but by giving them some time in the limelight he made them into big names (well, some of 'em, anyway...I don't think very many people care about Landmine or Cloudburst).

It'd be nice if IDW could do the same once in a while, is all.

...

Aaaand since that rant went pretty far off topic, I think I'll also toss my weight in with the pro-Thundercracker forces. If anyone ever bothered to use him for anything beyond just taking up space, he'd be awesome.

The same goes for Ramjet as well, with the caveat that the author doing something with him needs to be...well...not crap.

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Post by rusty_herring » Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:36 pm

Holy crap! Another Winnipegger! :eek:
Unreal!

Sorry for derailing the thread... *cough* carry on
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