PDA

View Full Version : The Decepticons and science (some mild RID #17 spoilers)


Terome
2013-05-26, 10:15 PM
So I understand that, as cartoon villains, the Decepticons need to have some scientists on board to provide them with wacky gadgets and plot devices. Mostly they don't tend to bother but occasionally a writer will try to make sense of this and in Robots In Disguise this week we have an interesting scene: Before the war Megatron approaches Shockwave and asks him to work on a special project for him in secret. In return, Shockwave can chase down whatever personal interests he likes.

So we can presume that guys like Thunderwing and Mixmaster and... um, Bugly were given the same sort of deal at some point: latitude and resources to pursue the crank of their fancy in an ethics-and-criticism-free environment. There is historical precedent for this: Tofim Lysenko in the Soviet Union comes to mind.

But can we assume that the Decepticons consistently have the technological edge because they give a lavish playground to a few prodigious geniuses? They don't seem to have enough of a society to keep a proper academic structure afloat. Though it does bring to mind a weird bit in IDW where Megatron smashed up Thunderwing's lab in a fit of ethical pique. That was like two thirds of your military R&D, Megatron!

Incidentally, all scientists in Transformers stories seem to work alone and in a wide range of fields. I do wonder if the very inconsistent tech level we see of the civilisation is a result of their knowledge being bound up in a handful of individuals. Seeing as Cybertron always has areas that are mysterious or altogether unknown, it might be the case that as a race they simply aren't very curious.

Or maybe the wacky guys who built Cybertron had already figured everything out and a 'scientist' on their planet is more of an ancient historian.

Knightdramon
2013-06-03, 11:13 AM
There's much more guys around in the science and doctor departments. Deluge, Rossum and whatnot were still doctors/scientists.

Megatron's plan with Shockwave was almost two-fold. He gained an inside man in a Senator chair and a guy to build freaky stuff.

However, besides the gestalts, the Decepticons aren't necessarily more technologically advanced. The autobots still have guys like Perceptor, Brainstorm and others. Kimia is a huge research facility brimming with them. Heck, in transformers terms, even Swerve could be classified as a bot of science!

Red Dave Prime
2013-06-03, 01:06 PM
As long as you can make a Gestalt, you are a scientist. Transformer law #278

Terome
2013-06-03, 03:41 PM
Kimia is a huge research facility brimming with them. Heck, in transformers terms, even Swerve could be classified as a bot of science!

Oh yeah, I forgot about Kimia. That does break the lone mad-scientist paradigm quite neatly. Still, the way it was portrayed, you'd think it was the only facility of its kind that the Autobots have.

Swerve's an interesting case - he's the only specialist we've met so far.

The line between a medic and a scientist also seems to be kind of blurred, which is appropriate for a race literally made of technology. But that's less the case in more modern takes where Cybertronian biology is supposed to be as mysterious to them as ours is to us.

inflatable dalek
2013-06-05, 02:34 PM
Maybe they'll be more follow up later, but the Megatron/Shockwave deal seemed to wind up incredibly lop sided in Shockwave's favour didn't it?

"Right, I know your boss made a gestalt, so if you make me a gestalt I will give you the one greatest thing someone in your condition could want for and which only I can give you... new hands!"

"And a new head? I'll even settle for one that looks inexplicably like Goldbug, as I understand all spare heads do nowadays."


"No, just the hands, I'm not a miracle worker"

"OK, that's a good deal, but even though my boss was able to build a gestalt ages ago, it's going to take me a really, really, really long time to get it right. Say, 400 million years. Give or take. Just to do the one".

"Well, that sounds reasonable to me, and certainly less effort than just finding where Monstructor is being held and breaking him out. I promise to let you take as much time as you like with no harassment or hurrying up until no earlier than 1984. As long as you promise not to just pretend to try and make a gestalt and instead just focus your energies into continuing your insane mentor's project and/or plotting to usurp me".

"As if I would. Could I have at least one new hand now so I can cross my fingers?".

Red Dave Prime
2013-06-05, 04:49 PM
Read the above with Eddie Izzards voice for both characters.

Funny x ten

Knightdramon
2013-06-05, 05:06 PM
"OK, that's a good deal, but even though my boss was able to build a gestalt ages ago, it's going to take me a really, really, really long time to get it right. Say, 400 million years. Give or take. Just to do the one".



Well, Monstructor was uncontrollable and banished on an asteroid by Omega Supreme.

I'm guessing Megatron wanted something that could be controlled and under his command, not a rampaging monster.

So far, Devastator is the only gestalt that has worked well, right? Menasor was a mess quickly reconfigured by Swindle, after all.

Rack 'n Ruin
2013-06-05, 09:07 PM
Maybe they'll be more follow up later, but the Megatron/Shockwave deal seemed to wind up incredibly lop sided in Shockwave's favour didn't it?

"Right, I know your boss made a gestalt, so if you make me a gestalt I will give you the one greatest thing someone in your condition could want for and which only I can give you... new hands!"

"And a new head? I'll even settle for one that looks inexplicably like Goldbug, as I understand all spare heads do nowadays."


"No, just the hands, I'm not a miracle worker"

"OK, that's a good deal, but even though my boss was able to build a gestalt ages ago, it's going to take me a really, really, really long time to get it right. Say, 400 million years. Give or take. Just to do the one".

"Well, that sounds reasonable to me, and certainly less effort than just finding where Monstructor is being held and breaking him out. I promise to let you take as much time as you like with no harassment or hurrying up until no earlier than 1984. As long as you promise not to just pretend to try and make a gestalt and instead just focus your energies into continuing your insane mentor's project and/or plotting to usurp me".

"As if I would. Could I have at least one new hand now so I can cross my fingers?".

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This forum needs a "Like" button! :lol:

Terome
2013-06-05, 09:10 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This forum needs a "Like" button! :lol:

I would like a 'Agree with curt nod and sip of brandy' button.

inflatable dalek
2013-06-05, 09:33 PM
Just send me money people.


There is a bit of a spoiler for RID 18 in there for those who haven't read it. Probably should have mentioned that first...

Well, Monstructor was uncontrollable and banished on an asteroid by Omega Supreme.

I'm guessing Megatron wanted something that could be controlled and under his command, not a rampaging monster.

So far, Devastator is the only gestalt that has worked well, right? Menasor was a mess quickly reconfigured by Swindle, after all.

One of the flaws with the Annual (which I otherwise think was top notch stuff and is looking increasingly like it might be Barber's peak) is there wasn't really much of a hint that Monstructor was out of control; everything he did seemed to be exactly what Nova and Company wanted him to do, Dai Atlas (who was seemingly unaware of the whole "glue'em together!" plan) was the only one to go "Awwwwwwww shiiiiiiit" when he saw it.

Plus, in the time it took to develop Devastator, I think Megatron could have lived with Monstructor-level "Point'em at something and they'll fight it" combiners as a make do.

Having now read Chaos, there's something hilarious about Megatron having to kill the biggest Decepticon combiner ever (and amazing that all his shots must have only zapped sweeps as all the named characters who got sucked off into it turned out to survive. What are the odds?).

Terome
2013-06-05, 10:12 PM
One of the flaws with the Annual (which I otherwise think was top notch stuff and is looking increasingly like it might be Barber's peak) is there wasn't really much of a hint that Monstructor was out of control; everything he did seemed to be exactly what Nova and Company wanted him to do, Dai Atlas (who was seemingly unaware of the whole "glue'em together!" plan) was the only one to go "Awwwwwwww shiiiiiiit" when he saw it.


It's not exactly clear what Jhiaxus wanted to do with Monstructor. I'd be happy with him just having a basic curiousity about the concept. It's worth a chortle that Nova Prime was interested in making a limited number of Cybertronians more numerous through spark-splicing while Jhiaxus was thinking more along the lines of sticking them back together. They are like a Laurel and Hardy skit, those two.

Seeing as Megatron has beaten up every gestalt he's come across, I honestly think he's not interested in them as a military option but for some sort of Communist proof-of-concept performance art. Trying to wring any sort of meaning or intention out of Chaos is a fool's game but there is half an idea in there about Megatron having to personally shoot holes in a literal gestalt of war dead peppered with his friends.