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Old 2013-12-29, 03:07 PM   #5
Terome
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There are two ways I think about this. In-universe, the set-up of Transformers reproducing asexually via their planet farting out sparks once in a blue moon is an idea I am fond of. Arcee being an attempt to 'introduce gender to our species' is a dumb idea that reflects Furman's very dim understanding of how living things work (see also: gene key). Barber seems to have tried to tidy it up a bit by introducing the concept of Nova Prime mucking about with repopulation schemes and Matrix codes and such but there's only so much you can do.

Though really I think Furman had the right approach back in Infiltration where characters like Sunstreaker and Bumblebee had female holo-avatars, presumably that they'd chosen themselves, and this was not in any way remarkable. Only Roberts seems to have remembered this and extended it to say that Whirl and Ultra Magnus also choose to represent themselves as female humans.

Then there's the out-of-universe angle. Barber has had a few problems landed on his desk and I presume from little I know of his character that he quite enjoys solving problems. His first problem is that Hasbro want him to include Starscream's Japanese girlfriend in the comics he edits. His second is that, with the welcome inclusion of more female readers of his comics, the historical approach to gender by those comics and the franchise is in need of revision. The same fanbase that is so enthusiastic about MTMTE is the same that will put him on the wrong side of history if he doesn't listen to them. The third is that the arguments about the inclusion and representation of transgender characters have become more convincing and harder to ignore since Arcee was introduced in the IDW run. The fourth is that he has a compulsion to massage continuity rather than outright change it.

So while I am more interested in the in-universe biology rather than the realities of the market, I understand the need for changes and I do think it is time, culturally, to put that particular house in order. It's a shame that it is this perfect storm that has forced hands as there were at least three perfectly low-effort get-outs set up previously: Transformers pick a gender according to their tastes when associating with organics; a population of NAILS emulated a sexually dimorphic species for a long time; Transformers are natural mimics and change their bodies all the time.

(On that note, I'd like to have Cybertronian modes that weren't the least bit humanoid and for the fashion of tetrapod forms and even specifics like vocal communication to only come in after encountering Earth. But I realise I am a big weirdo in this sense).

Alternatively:
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Hah, IDW are ****ing terrible.

 
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