Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell

Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 3:15pm CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 46,681

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Via Comic Book Resources, we have a fairly lengthy interview with the creative team behind Transformers: Windblade, in particular issue #5: Mairghread Scott and Corin Howell! The two touched upon the general direction of the series post-Combiner Wars, the introduction of multiple characters from several branches of the robot franchise, their thoughts on their favourite characters so far and much more, including some concepts for Moonracer and Knock-Out. Check out some snippets below, and head here for the full interview!

CBR News spoke with Scott and Howell about what's next for "Transformers: Windblade," what it means for their title character to learn that Prime may not be the 100% altruistic hero she once believed him to be, and why giant, battling robots provide the perfect allegory to explore themes like politics, war, gender and more.

[...]

Starscream has been handling this all magnificently, maneuvering everything into place. Has it been fun to get to have him outpace the others and show off his political agility?

Scott: Starscream is one of my favorite characters and I've had a great time revealing just how cunning he is. He also has a big advantage because everyone else in the book wears their heart on their sleeve. Windblade wants to save Caminus. Optimus wants to save Cybertron. And Starscream just wants to do whatever's best for Starscream. That makes him a lot more flexible than our other characters, and he uses that flexibility to its fullest extent. When Starscream sent Swindle and Menasor to Caminus, I saw a lot of people exclaiming that this would be Starscream's last mistake, and by the end of "Combiner Wars" he'd be ousted from power. I think underestimating Starscream is a lot of people's biggest mistake.

Scott: So at the end of "Combiner Wars," Caminus and Cybertron are now connected via SpaceBridge, and the Cybertronians have learned of at least four other colonies. Windblade's new mission is to make first contact with these worlds and somehow convince them to ally with Cybertron's new Council of Worlds, but each colony will have its own unique challenges she'll have to deal with. We're also kicking open a lot of doors to continuities that haven't been explored much in IDW. We're including a whole lot of new Transformers, many of which fans will know from other iterations of the brand throughout the years.

[...]

The Transformers comics seem to handle sci-fi as allegory more capably than anyone else is able to right now. What is it about the Universe which makes them so suitable to introduce themes of politics, war, gender and the like?

Howell: I think it's because when you get to see huge talking robots fighting, you can be sneaky with some bigger themes like political disputes and rivalries or the cause and costs of war. Everyone reads it to have fun, but they come away with a little bit more than that -- or at least that's the hope, anyway.

Scott: When you are dealing with alien robots, you have just enough distance between you and the subject that you can explore difficult ideas and themes much more comfortably. "Transformers" as a brand has always dealt with war, battle fatigue, prejudice and factionalism. And while our main goal is to tell a really great story, it's always my hope that we're giving people the chance to explore the rationale, emotions and beliefs of people they wouldn't get the chance to do in real life.

[...]

Was it a conscious choice to pick characters from so many different versions of the franchise and unite them here?

Scott: My goal for introducing more diversity to the brand has always been about opening as many doors as possible. I never want a writer to think "I can't introduce Character X because they have no place in this universe." So Caminus got the ball rolling on introducing female Transformers, but now all these other colonies will have female Transformers, too. My next thought was how can we push this further and introduce more bots. I realized that we had a lot of G1 and G2 bots but what if you grew up with "Beast Wars" or "Animated" or any of the later generations of Transformers? I wanted something for those viewers, too. These colonies have allowed me to open even more doors and create a whole universe of possibilities for future stories and future characters. I want any fan no matter their age or what iteration of the brand they grew up with to be able to see their favorite Transformer fitting in to the story.


Transformers News: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview

Transformers News: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview

Credit(s): CBR


This article was last modified on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 3:16pm CDT

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Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715755)
Posted by .... on August 4th, 2015 @ 3:21pm CDT
Corin Howell is my favorite TF artist of all time, just saying.
I gotta say I LOVE Moonracer's design by her, she looks amazing! :D We REALLY need a toy from this design!
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715774)
Posted by Optimizzy on August 4th, 2015 @ 6:40pm CDT
SillySpringer wrote:Corin Howell is my favorite TF artist of all time, just saying.
I gotta say I LOVE Moonracer's design by her, she looks amazing! :D We REALLY need a toy from this design!


I don't agree with the first comment. But I do think a moon racer based on this would be nice.
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715775)
Posted by MasterSoundBlaster on August 4th, 2015 @ 6:42pm CDT
Those Knock-Out expressions... =P~
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715777)
Posted by deathdrive on August 4th, 2015 @ 6:48pm CDT
Please please PLEASE give us knockout as a female decepticon. Like she turned from male to female almost like how arcee did but to himself. I always thought transformers prime knockout would have been a great female character and the toy sadly did not allow me to just use my imagination. If the second sketch is indeed knockout.. then to answer the question in the sketch, dark eyes.
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715778)
Posted by fenrir72 on August 4th, 2015 @ 6:50pm CDT
So turn well established iconic characters upside down ala Megs, Starsaber, Deathsaurus etc. Wash Rinse Dry. Is that all the handbook of well worn out ideas have to churn out today?
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715794)
Posted by Black Bumblebee on August 4th, 2015 @ 7:25pm CDT
Quite frankly, I like Megatron as Autobot (and I know I'm far from the only one. After all, the most recent Megatron figure came with an Autobot sticker!). If you keep telling the same stories with no character growth, the brand becomes stale. As far as Star Saber and Deathsaurus... well... they're hardly iconic outside of Japan, are they? The comic needs to put their own twist on things. The old cartoons and old comics are still there. This is a new story.
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715801)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on August 4th, 2015 @ 7:40pm CDT
Black Bumblebee wrote:Quite frankly, I like Megatron as Autobot (and I know I'm far from the only one. After all, the most recent Megatron figure came with an Autobot sticker!). If you keep telling the same stories with no character growth, the brand becomes stale. As far as Star Saber and Deathsaurus... well... they're hardly iconic outside of Japan, are they? The comic needs to put their own twist on things. The old cartoons and old comics are still there. This is a new story.

Also in the Victory manga continuity Deathsauruas had continued fighting essentially to protect his and the other Decepticons' families, which parallels well with his IDW interpretation of not wanting to treat his comrades as disposable. As for star saber the villain interpretation comes from Transmasters UK a transformers fan club in the UK, which Nick Roche and James Roberts were a part of. So these character changes have some biases in the past.
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715830)
Posted by jrgreer74 on August 4th, 2015 @ 10:59pm CDT
If Knock-Out is a fem-bot now it would help explain his rather feminine behavior in TF Prime. He could of been in a transition period for all we know. His/Her "sex" matters nothing really being they are robots, but we can come up with our own conclusions. Either way the character is cool as they come IMHO! Who else has, or lacks having the balls to give Prime a Decepticon tattoo? EPIC! In reality, the changing of ones "sex" has become as easy as a scalpel, money, time, and hair dye. If it is seemingly easy for us, how much more for them when they can just scan/rescan? It would make for one heck of a story though. :lol:
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715959)
Posted by Evil Eye on August 5th, 2015 @ 12:39pm CDT
So wait, is Knock Out a fembot now? I always thought the whole appeal of Knock Out was that he was a preening, sadistic and extremely camp guy. Making him female removes most of his uniqueness.

If they wanna add more female Decepticons, how about making Cybertron Ransack and Crumplezone female? They barely had any personality beyond "incompetent troublemakers" so they're pretty much clean slates. Heck, if you wanted to go uber "progressive" you could always make them lesbians (Ransack always looked pretty feminine anyway, and Crumplezone...well...She could be the butch I guess? Or just keep him a guy, whatever works...).
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715975)
Posted by Va'al on August 5th, 2015 @ 1:15pm CDT
Why are people taking Knock-Out as being female?

The interview doesn't say that, unless I've completely missed it!

And then there's the arrival of Knock Out, as you mention. What drives (pun intended) the character, to your mind?

Scott: So many fans know that I've wanted to introduce Knock Out to the IDW verse for a while. Velocitron gave me a great way to introduce him and keep much of his personality intact. For this iteration of the character, he is still very vain and obsessed with his appearance, and thinks of practically everyone as beneath him. Corin did a great job of making Knock Out "act" with as big a personality as he had in "Transformers Prime." He makes his grand, sweeping gestures. He's designed to take up a lot of room on the page and it works tremendously well with Moonracer standing next to him looking completely over it. There's also a little bit more pathos we were able to give a nod to in this version of Knock Out, but you'll have to read closely to catch it.

Howell: Knock Out in terms of design was simple: take his "Transformers Prime" design and tweak it just a bit to make him more slender. Knock Out is kind of like Starscream in my mind minus the wings: he likes to race, he likes to look good and he likes to be the best of the best. I often referred to Knock Out as "The Sass-Master," considering the amount of sass-tastic, smug attitude that he constantly portrays. He's the complete opposite of Moonracer.
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715978)
Posted by King Kuuga on August 5th, 2015 @ 1:28pm CDT
Knock Out is still male in IDW. He's basically the same as his Prime version, even down to his relationship with Breakdown (recently confirmed as his Conjunx Endura), except that he doesn't harbor disdain for Autobots because he has no involvement in that war.
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715981)
Posted by Evil Eye on August 5th, 2015 @ 1:42pm CDT
Well thank goodness for that, I guess.
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715991)
Posted by jrgreer74 on August 5th, 2015 @ 2:24pm CDT
I agree totally with Delta Magnus on the thank goodness part! Though turning him into a fem-bot would of been interesting for them to explain, I'm glad he is the same character. He was my favorite bad guy in Prime, so keeping him the same is awesome. :D

Also, It was deathdrive asking for a fem-bot knock-out that lead to the discussion of him switching genders. No one actually stated he was/is.
Re: Transformers Team Talks "Windblade," New Female Characters - Interview with Scott and Howell (1715995)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on August 5th, 2015 @ 2:33pm CDT
For some reason people keep thinking that all transformers from the colonies are female, in fact a lot of people on other sites still think all the characters from caminus are women.

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