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Old 2014-12-26, 05:44 PM   #37
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
Warcry's Avatar
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Originally Posted by Auntie Slag View Post
Now we have Nut Job, Meggy, Megs, Pax, Domey and so on. 'Rodders' was pure icing on the cake, and so perfectly timed in this, effectively the Christmas issue.
It's actually not a new thing -- you'll find a bit of this if you go back to the original cartoon. The one in particular that stands out to me is Rodimus Prime and Springer, who would occasionally lob a friendly "Rod" or "Spring-o" to one another.

But I agree that it's nice to see, because it's a sign of friendship and affection between the characters and that's something that we so rarely see in TF fiction. I can't remember the last time that a writer made it seem like their characters actually cared about one another in a positive way. The focus always seems to be on who they hate, an not who they like or love.

Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Well, the holo avatars are meant to represent how the characters see themselves in human terms (hence Tailgate being a baby), and Whirl has a female avatar.
So does Ultra Magnus, though. And nobody wants to argue that he's a girl.

Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Roberts also said in a tweet a week or so ago he's all in favour of readers deciding which of the rest of the cast they're going to view as "female" regardless of the (technically incorrect anyway for everyone except Nautica) actual pronouns used in the text.
Maybe I'm just super-cynical, but I thought that was pretty textbook pandering to the Tumblr crowd who've inexplicably latched onto a book about giant robots and tried to characterize it as a standard-bearer for their curious ideas about gender. I'd be really surprised to find out he's put much thought into the idea, beyond "they're giving me money, so I shouldn't tell them they're crazy".

(Also "estriol" sparks apparently aren't a thing now, that bit got edited out in the TPB on account of it being incredibly silly.)

Personally I don't put any stock into whatever gender the Transformers identify as. They don't have a biological sex, and their society has always been mono-gendered (with the mainstream TFs being all 'male' and the Camiens being all 'female'), so they don't have any concept of traditional gender roles. If Whirl decides to identify as female it means nothing, because the concepts of male and female have no meaning to the Transformers as a species. It would be an affectation, nothing more.

(Personally I think he uses a female avatar because Arcee is the only female he'd ever met at the time he chose it, he respects the fact that she's even more of a bloodthirsty psycho than he is, and he thinks it's a way to underscore how much of a nonconformist loose cannon he is.)

Now, if he suddenly decides that he's a car at heart and wants to change what he transforms into, then you'd have a good allegory for human gender -- alt-mode has been clearly portrayed as a major source of a Transformer's identity, like gender and race in human society. But that seems to be a pretty rare event. Of the top of my head, the only character in the IDW stuff who's undergone a full-scale overhaul of his alt-mode (as opposed to fairly cosmetic changes, like Starscream going from one type of plane to another) is Megatron, who has gone from mining vehicle to tank to gun to jet. I'd like to know whether there's a deeper meaning to that, or if it's just a way of saying "screw you, Functionists!"
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