The official Transformers facebook page
has posted a Creator Commentary for Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #13. Series writer John Barber gives us his thoughts on the first five pages, which we've mirrored below for those without facebook access.
PAGE 1- Starscream is talking to the comatose Megatron, who was heavily blasted by the Autobots in the previous issue. Given these 2 have so much history between them across the Transformers franchise, how do you go about putting another spin or direction with them, showing us something brand new between them?
JOHN BARBER: I think there’s been a conceptual change in their relationship. It isn’t that Starscream is trying to usurp Megatron, or trying to fill Megatron’s shoes anymore—it’s that Starscream has found more of a Starscream-way to get what he wants. The problem is that he knows Megatron will bring in the old status quo of Autobots versus Decepticons—and Starscream knows neither of them will win that way.
In next month’s TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: MEGATRON comic that Nick Roche wrote and drew, we see them at an earlier point in their history—not long before the start of the current ROBOTS IN DISGUISE and MORE THAN MEETS THE EYES comic book series, The relationship then is very different. I think comparing the two comics really makes the changes that occurred to Starscream over the last couple years.
PAGE 2- Starscream continues talking to Megatron, until he sees him smile. Right now, does Starscream really believe in the whole peace concept, or could this just be another one of his games that he plays?
JOHN BARBER Starscream is a complicated fellow. This whole issue is from Starscream’s point of view—and it’s the second of those in a very short amount of time. So despite the fact that we, as readers, really get to see in Starscream’s head… I don’t think the answer to what Starscream really believes in is clear yet.
I think he’s being pretty honest in what he says to Megatron, though.
PAGE 3- Starscream reacts to Megatron’s “smile” as rioting continues on Cybertron. When planning out RID, was this scene something you thought up very early and worked on from that point?
JOHN BARBER: Well, Megatron’s return was part of the story from day one, and the impact that return would have on Iacon was planned from the beginning. Starscream’s relationship with Megatron—or his relationship with the idea of Megatron—was definitely key to the whole story of RID, so that was pretty solidly in place.
The idea of Starscream trying to talk Megatron out of what Starscream assumes he’s doing… that came a little bit later. I mean, the series wasn’t constructed to work toward this scene; this scene came out of what the story was working towards.
PAGES 4 and 5- Chaos continues on as Needlenose continues to lead the rioting and Starscream reflects on what happened the previous year and where he stands. Is the established peace about to literally blow up in its face from this point? The planets future is starting to look dark again.
JOHN BARBER: I don’t know if it ever looked that bright. But you’ve hit the question right on the head, so to speak. There are enough Decepticons—and we’ve definitely seen enough Autobots, too—that, at some level, want the war to continue. It’s the only life they’ve known, and there are also millions-of-year-old resentments that don’t die easy. The Decepticons have been pushed to the side for the entire run of RID. There’s only so far you can stretch them before they break.