Are there good human characters in TF fiction

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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Kurona » Fri May 12, 2017 2:14 pm

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william-james88 wrote:Would marissa fairbourne count? and did she add much to the franchise?

She certainly does count, and her IDW counterpart does add quite a bit to the franchise. Not the most important character, but she stands out, has a lot of character building and her relationship with the Transformers is interesting. One panel in particular that always stands out in my mind to see how far she came in a few years is this one from issue 50:

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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Sabrblade » Fri May 12, 2017 10:28 pm

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There's one more character I'd like to give praise to, but I don't think he can really count since, while he is from a cartoon, the cartoon he's from is only tangentially related to Transformers, and that is the Challenge of the GoBots cartoon.

The character from that show that I wish to speak of is my favorite character of that show, who is not a GoBot, but is instead the human Matt Hunter. Of the Guardian's main three human allies (alongside Nick Burns and A.J. Foster), Matt was awesome. Legitimately.

I loved his cynical, sarcastic, straight man personality. Compared to how Spike and Sparkplug Witwicky of the G1 Transformers cartoon would often just accept or be in awe of the Transformers and everything they said and did, Matt in the GoBots cartoon would instead often speak his mind bluntly and recognize when something was too ridiculous even for that show's standards, calling out those absurdities as though Hanna Barbera was using Matt as a means to insert a layer of self-awareness into the show. If something completely nonsensical or unbelievable happened in that series, Matt would be right there rolling his eyes accompanied by a response like "You gotta be kidding me!" or "Oh brother!" This also helped to emphasize how much of a good head he had on his shoulders, presenting him as one of the most rational of thinkers in that show.

Plus, unlike many of the Transformers' humans allies, Matt was a man of action who was quick to leap into battle when necessary, never hesitating to pick up a laser rifle and open fire on the Renegades, either right alongside the Guardians or even in cases where he was the only one around to engage the Renegades by himself. That's hardcore. :michaelbay:

He's even gotten a few hits on Cy-Kill himself a few times, earning the Renegade leader's acknowledging Matt as a constant thorn in the Renegades' sides whose irritating threat to the Renegades' plans was not to be taken lightly (which also shows how differently Cy-Kill and Megatron viewed humans, as Cy-Kill had shown multiple times to have seen some valuable usefulness and resourcefulness in humankind, while still seeing his race as the superior one, but I digress).

However, this isn't to say that Matt was perfect. Far from it. The times where he didn't seem well written were mostly in episodes where something was wrong with either just Leader-1 or all the Guardians in general, and yet UNECOM (United Earth Command) couldn't realize that the Renegades were behind it. And sadly, there were more of these kinds of episodes than what was necessary, and most of them tended to put Matt among the humans who were honestly fooled into thinking that Leader-1/the Guardians had genuinely turned evil, despite all the other episodes that had Leader-1/the Guardians in a firmly healthy and trustworthy relationship with the humans. It was episodes like this where the follies of 1980s cartoon stock plots really came to the forefront, and Matt's characterization suffered for the plot demands of those episodes.

Thankfully, though, the number of those dumb episodes was far outweighed by all the other episodes that had Matt acting in-character, so outside of those isolated dumb instances, he was genuinely cool.
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Kurona » Sat May 13, 2017 6:03 am

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Once again, Go-Bots shows its superiority to Transformers :KREMZEEK: :KREMZEEK: :KREMZEEK:
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Insurgent » Mon May 15, 2017 3:29 am

Sabrblade wrote:I honestly don't get all the love for Circuit Breaker since she came off as being a classic Marvel stereotype of a radical ignoramus who was so thoroughly convinced that the hero characters were just as evil as the villain characters and willfully refused to see otherwise.

It's like how J. Jonah Jameson is so insistent on believing Spider-Man to be a criminal and a menace, but with Circuit Breaker actually having the ability to take action against the Autobots herself, discriminating all Transformers as a single race of evil alien robots in her delusional obsession to 'kill all robots'.




She was like that up until Decepticon Grafitii. By the end of that story, she was starting to come around. She showed growth of character and an honourable side when she let those Autobots go. She also let Jazz go in obe of the earlier stories, or maybe the christmas story? Because he put himself in danger to save an innocent kid.


She's best remembered for being the 1 dimensional megalomaniac but read her stories from DG onwards and you can see she's having character growth. She just went catatonic too soon and never really got to see her arc out to completion.
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Sabrblade » Mon May 15, 2017 9:41 am

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Insurgent wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:I honestly don't get all the love for Circuit Breaker since she came off as being a classic Marvel stereotype of a radical ignoramus who was so thoroughly convinced that the hero characters were just as evil as the villain characters and willfully refused to see otherwise.

It's like how J. Jonah Jameson is so insistent on believing Spider-Man to be a criminal and a menace, but with Circuit Breaker actually having the ability to take action against the Autobots herself, discriminating all Transformers as a single race of evil alien robots in her delusional obsession to 'kill all robots'.




She was like that up until Decepticon Grafitii. By the end of that story, she was starting to come around. She showed growth of character and an honourable side when she let those Autobots go. She also let Jazz go in obe of the earlier stories, or maybe the christmas story? Because he put himself in danger to save an innocent kid.


She's best remembered for being the 1 dimensional megalomaniac but read her stories from DG onwards and you can see she's having character growth. She just went catatonic too soon and never really got to see her arc out to completion.
But even after "Decepticon Graffiti!", she still harbored an obsession with killing the Transformers. Though she showed restraint against attacking Sky Lynx in "Monstercon from Mars!", she only did so because she didn't want any of the civilians getting hurt. Had he been alone, she undoubtedly would have let loose on him just as she later did to Skullgrin when he was revealed to be a Transformer underneath his Pretender shell. And though she again restrained herself when Carissa Carr was put in danger by the fight between herself and Skullgrin, once she convinced Skullgrin to save Carissa and get her out of harm's way, she went right back to attacking Skullgrin arbitrarily simply because he was a Transformer (not a "Decepticon", a "Transformer"), despite his having caused no real trouble before all this started.

And when she returned in "The Human Factor!", her obsession had waned no further, with her still waging her own anti-robot campaign, still convinced of her own delirium that "There's no such thing as a good robot!" And while it seemed like Blackrock had gotten through to her last bit of humanity at the end of the issue, her next appearance revealed that she didn't join the Neo-Knights because of what Blackrock said after all, but because killing robots is what brings her pleasure. She was downright psychotic in her attacking Scorponok, wanting him to beg for his life before she would kill him. And when she mistook Nightbeat for having shot her in the back (it was Shockwave), she descended even further into her pathological hatred for all robots: "I've listened to enough of your lies, Blackrock. There are no good or bad robots-- --JUST DEAD ROBOTS!" Only the appearance of Shockwave (the one who originally harmed her body way back in the first place) put her unhealthy rage to good use, but it was still unhealthy rage.

And finally in the Unicron issue, when she was overwhelmed by the sheer number of robots and the sheer size of Unicron, Blackrock was left with no choice but to re-jog her madness to get to her to help fight Unicron. Her efforts were completely rooted in her mania, rather than her sanity. She never grew past her paranoid hatred, as that was her key character trait that made her who she was.
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Shadowman wrote:This is Sabrblade we're talking about. His ability to store trivial information about TV shows is downright superhuman.
Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Kurona » Mon May 15, 2017 10:26 am

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It sounds like an interesting character study on how blind rage and prejudice without any logic or facts or even just trying to understand anything about the people you're attacking can turn you into a wretched, horrible shell of a person; and that understanding and compassion is needed to realise that you have to discern between good points and bad points; good people and bad people to become a decent person and live a healthy, happy life without needless sacrifice or death.

Or am I reading too much into it and she's just portrayed as any other raging psychopath
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Sabrblade » Mon May 15, 2017 10:37 am

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Kurona wrote:Or am I reading too much into it and she's just portrayed as any other raging psychopath
In a nutshell, her views on the Transformers were basically like how J. Jonah Jameson views Spider-Man (apropos considering it was Marvel Comics who created her).
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Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby william-james88 » Mon May 15, 2017 11:18 am

Sabrblade wrote:
Kurona wrote:Or am I reading too much into it and she's just portrayed as any other raging psychopath
In a nutshell, her views on the Transformers were basically like how J. Jonah Jameson views Spider-Man (apropos considering it was Marvel Comics who created her).

Not knowing anything of that character, any comparison to J Johan Jameson would lead me to believe thats a very 1 dimensional character. However, it would also lead me to believe that she would be the best cast character in a live action movie :lol:
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Sabrblade » Mon May 15, 2017 11:24 am

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william-james88 wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:
Kurona wrote:Or am I reading too much into it and she's just portrayed as any other raging psychopath
In a nutshell, her views on the Transformers were basically like how J. Jonah Jameson views Spider-Man (apropos considering it was Marvel Comics who created her).

Not knowing anything of that character, any comparison to J Johan Jameson would lead me to believe thats a very 1 dimensional character. However, it would also lead me to believe that she would be the best cast character in a live action movie :lol:
If cast well.

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Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Kurona » Mon May 15, 2017 3:17 pm

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Loooordy I forgot how bad that outfit design was; it gets worse every time I look at it...

Someone was paid to design this. Someone was paid to look at this and approve it. Someone was paid to publish it. As a main character of a long-running comic.
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Burn » Mon May 15, 2017 3:40 pm

I haven't looked into this thread for a while ... and what do I find? The typical "You're wrong for having your own opinion post and I will ram down your throat why".

Gosh I long for the day I can simply state my opinion and not have the regular Galah jump up and tell me I'm wrong. >:oP
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Kurona » Mon May 15, 2017 4:48 pm

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Burn wrote:I haven't looked into this thread for a while ... and what do I find? The typical "You're wrong for having your own opinion post and I will ram down your throat why".

Gosh I long for the day I can simply state my opinion and not have the regular Galah jump up and tell me I'm wrong. >:oP

... what? Sabr just disagreed with you and gave reasons for his own opinion when asked. He didn't say you were wrong for having your opinion or for liking Circuit breaker, he just disagreed on her being a good character. There's really nothing wrong with what he or anyone else here is doing.
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby ScottyP » Mon May 15, 2017 7:18 pm

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Wasn't Circuit Breaker in Regen One? Someone do please answer that, I don't want to have to read any of it again.

I can't believe Verity Carlo hasn't been mentioned. Her and Spike are the best defined within IDW's universe which really doesn't have a great deal of human characters pre-Revolution. Spike might be the best definition of a heel in Transformers that I can think of. His killing of Scrapper in the Costa run still enrages to this day, and it let to just so much potential for future stories that are still being uncovered.

Verity has, to be frank, seen some stuff. Her friend Onion was turned into a head, later dies. Her friend Impactor does something extra heroic, later dies, and yet later has his corpse splattered against the front window of Springer (or was it Kup?) while she's riding inside. Her friend Stakeout guarded her for a long time, got ground up inside Tidal Wave's T-Cog, later died but at least he got to say goodbye to his bro Carnivac first. Currently has a robot friend in Springer. Aww, crap.

Another one I don't see mentioned is Alexis from Armada. While many of the shop's characters are walking tropes at the start, most of them evolve in smart ways and her doing so through a friendship with Starscream of all people made for quite the journey.

Finally, though I could go on nearly endlessly, Stella Holley. Did you know that Stella has bar dollars?
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Sabrblade » Mon May 15, 2017 9:58 pm

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ScottyP wrote:Wasn't Circuit Breaker in Regen One?
Briefly, in a flashback in one issue. While the bulk of ReG1 had Spike Witwicky as "Circuit Smasher" instead.

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ScottyP wrote:I can't believe Verity Carlo hasn't been mentioned.
Oh snap, yes for Verity! She's definitely a good human character. :APPLAUSE:

ScottyP wrote:Another one I don't see mentioned is Alexis from Armada.
When I last watched Armada, something about Alexis kept rubbing me the wrong way, even in the Starscream arc. I dunno, maybe it was something with how her dub actress voiced her. I still need to sit down and watch the Japanese version at some point (got the Karyuudo Fansubs version downloaded), so maybe that version's Alexa might appeal to me more.
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Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Insurgent » Mon May 15, 2017 11:24 pm

william-james88 wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:
Kurona wrote:Or am I reading too much into it and she's just portrayed as any other raging psychopath
In a nutshell, her views on the Transformers were basically like how J. Jonah Jameson views Spider-Man (apropos considering it was Marvel Comics who created her).

Not knowing anything of that character, any comparison to J Johan Jameson would lead me to believe thats a very 1 dimensional character. However, it would also lead me to believe that she would be the best cast character in a live action movie :lol:



Will, please don't just take sabr's word as law on CB. Both Burn and I hve given good examples of her being more than a one dimensional character. If you don't see it sabr or don't like the character, that's cool. I know many don't. Yeah, the irrational hatred for all ttansformers is her main driving characteristic, but there are more elements to her personality buried under that hatred that do pop out on occasion as i mentioned. She has severe ptsd and sometimes people can't get past that.


Jj hates spiderman because he doesn't trust people who wear masks (in the versions I've seen, don't know about the conics themselves) cb is dealing with immense physical and mental stress that she clearly can't cope with. A comparison of the two is really only applicable in that both hate the protagonist with a burning passion.



Aaaahhhh!!! Verity! Can't beieve i didn't mention her. I ws going to when i first opened the thread. I woud certainly put verity among the top. Having not seen rescue bots, and not having sari, i would put verity as 1, cb as 2.
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby william-james88 » Tue May 16, 2017 7:37 am

Insurgent wrote:Aaaahhhh!!! Verity! Can't beieve i didn't mention her. I ws going to when i first opened the thread. I woud certainly put verity among the top. Having not seen rescue bots, and not having sari, i would put verity as 1, cb as 2.

:-? So I guess that would make it:

5. Blackrock (G1 Comics)
4. Circuit Breaker
3. Agent Fowler
2. Verity
1. Rescue Bot Humans

Honourable Mention:
Sari (because she technically cant be on the list)

I think thats pretty solid. Now the big job is getting all those previous comments and making small paragraphs out of em. Thanks for the help people!
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby ScottyP » Tue May 16, 2017 8:14 am

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Woah now slow down, that's what this was about? Thought you were just chatting. Agent Fowler? No Marvel G1 Spike? There's "hey what's good" and "hey what's the best ever" which are quite different things.
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby william-james88 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:32 am

ScottyP wrote:Woah now slow down, that's what this was about? Thought you were just chatting. Agent Fowler? No Marvel G1 Spike? There's "hey what's good" and "hey what's the best ever" which are quite different things.

Yup, I wasnt hiding it, hence the heated discussion for circuit breaker ;)

If you look back at this thread you will see a lot of mentions of Fowler and none of Spike (I think). People seem to have Fowler as the best ever, definitely in terms of humans on TF tv series. They also liked Agent Simmons, but I chose to ignore that :twisted:

When it comes to the marvel comics, it seems Spike isnt cared for as much as Circuit Breaker and Blackrock. What do you think? Is Marvel G1 Spike superior to Circuit Breaker ir Blackrock?
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Sabrblade » Tue May 16, 2017 8:51 am

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If given some time, I could probably try to write up something a little more thorough for each of the Rescue Bots human cast, or at least for some of their betters, as what I wrote before barely touched upon them personally (other than Madeline Pynch).
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Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby william-james88 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:07 am

Sabrblade wrote:If given some time, I could probably try to write up something a little more thorough for each of the Rescue Bots human cast, or at least for some of their betters, as what I wrote before barely touched upon them personally (other than Madeline Pynch).

That would be much appreciated. Like give some examples as to why that cast is so great.
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Sabrblade » Tue May 16, 2017 9:17 am

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Insurgent wrote:If you don't see it sabr or don't like the character, that's cool. I know many don't. Yeah, the irrational hatred for all ttansformers is her main driving characteristic, but there are more elements to her personality buried under that hatred that do pop out on occasion as i mentioned. She has severe ptsd and sometimes people can't get past that.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate her as a character. I just frankly don't get the appeal that she has as a character.

I do recognize her case of PTSD, but I don't feel that her methods of coping with it were particularly healthy, and I do feel that there have since been much better-handled, more respectful depictions of Transformers characters who suffer from PTSD (Stiletto from Beast Wars: Uprising arguably being one of the best cases), as Circuit Breaker's case in a vacuum could be easily misconstrued into implying "PTSD leads to mad supervillainy", which would be an unfortunate misrepresentation of the condition and its victims.
Last edited by Sabrblade on Tue May 16, 2017 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Shadowman wrote:This is Sabrblade we're talking about. His ability to store trivial information about TV shows is downright superhuman.
Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby william-james88 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:21 am

Kurona wrote:Loooordy I forgot how bad that outfit design was; it gets worse every time I look at it...

Someone was paid to design this. Someone was paid to look at this and approve it. Someone was paid to publish it. As a main character of a long-running comic.


It can be worse, someone approved this haircut being published in an ofshoot of the best selling Marvel book:

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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Sabrblade » Tue May 16, 2017 10:04 am

Motto: "It's not done right if it's not done well."
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william-james88 wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:If given some time, I could probably try to write up something a little more thorough for each of the Rescue Bots human cast, or at least for some of their betters, as what I wrote before barely touched upon them personally (other than Madeline Pynch).

That would be much appreciated. Like give some examples as to why that cast is so great.
Might take a while since there's a bunch of them (and since I've recently been devoting much of my time to working on a Beast Machines-related project for the past few weeks). Got any deadlines in mind for this?
"When there's gold feathers, punch behind you!!"

Shadowman wrote:This is Sabrblade we're talking about. His ability to store trivial information about TV shows is downright superhuman.
Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby Insurgent » Tue May 16, 2017 11:15 am

Sabrblade wrote:
Insurgent wrote:If you don't see it sabr or don't like the character, that's cool. I know many don't. Yeah, the irrational hatred for all ttansformers is her main driving characteristic, but there are more elements to her personality buried under that hatred that do pop out on occasion as i mentioned. She has severe ptsd and sometimes people can't get past that.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate her as a character. I just frankly don't get the appeal that she has as a character.

I do recognize her case of PTSD, but I don't feel that her methods of coping with it were particularly healthy, and I do feel that there have since been much better-handled, more respectful depictions of Transformers characters who suffer from PTSD (Stiletto from Beast Wars: Uprising arguably being one of the best cases), as Circuit Breaker's case in a vacuum could be easily misconstrued into implying "PTSD leads to mad supervillainy", which would be an unfortunate misrepresentation of the condition and its victims.



But that's just it. She isn't handling it healthily. She's refusing all help, and she's lashing out at anything remotely like what traumatised her. There are plenty of stories of people who don't deal with it well and eventually get the help. But what of those who don't get the help? What of those who just spiral further into their suffering? But you can occasionally see glimpses of their original personalities still shine through every once in a while, as you can with Josie when she lets Autobots go. But yes, as time goes on, she also starts to become consumed by her coping mechanism. But at teh same time, she shows the potential for growth.


If anything, it's a great example of why people who have PTSD need to have the help they need. Because, while sure, it won't definately lead to supervillainy, it's a good showcase of what happens when people try to deal with this stuff by themselves. It's a warning that although these people may be lashing out, there is still a person there, there is a reason for it, and although they may not ask or want your help, it's something they need. I can see your point about the wrong message and ptsd leading to supervillainy, but I don't think it gives that message. Not that far. It says these people need help, but lashing out may be the only way they can cope. It's not healthy.

Please understand I don't fully know PTSD, nor do I know anyone who suffers from it, so if I said anything wrong or that might be offensive, I apologise.

I may have got lost from the original point. But personally, I love the character. I think she has some great layers to her personality as the stories went on.



Mind you, I also found the Drift miniseries a fascinating story about a young man looking for something to believe in that won't betray him, as what always happens in his life. So maybe I just find hidden meanings where there isn't always any?
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Re: Are there good human characters in TF fiction

Postby william-james88 » Tue May 16, 2017 11:40 am

Sabrblade wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:If given some time, I could probably try to write up something a little more thorough for each of the Rescue Bots human cast, or at least for some of their betters, as what I wrote before barely touched upon them personally (other than Madeline Pynch).

That would be much appreciated. Like give some examples as to why that cast is so great.
Might take a while since there's a bunch of them (and since I've recently been devoting much of my time to working on a Beast Machines-related project for the past few weeks). Got any deadlines in mind for this?

I dont need much. I just want you to point out some people and say why they are awesome in a sentence each. We already have the mark hamil and Tim Carry characters down, I just need another or two to give a general sense of why this cast deserves to be number 1. Since we are all debating this now, I will wait a while to put it up so that it doesnt feel like a redundant conversation. So just write a few lines when you can and by all means write it here so that we see how cool that cast is.
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