Monday, February 4, 2008

Scorponok: True Leader of the Decepticons

Over on the Allspark, a group of us are debating the merits of joining the Official Transformers Collectors' Club. Rightly or wrongly, there are a lot of folks who complain about not getting the stuff they've paid for. Since I've never had a problem with this whatsoever, I'm probably less than sympathetic, but it's widespread enough that it needs to be taken seriously.

One of the arguments I'm more sympathetic to is the quality of the club fiction, especially the comic. Some of us are trying to be part of the solution to that problem, rather than just complaining about it, but there's only so much we can do. The most specific complaint I've taken part in myself is that the comics featuring "Classics" characters, which are said to take place in the old Marvel comics continuity, haven't actually resembled that continuity very well. I've said in a couple of places that, although there are occasional "easter eggs" that reference the old comics, none of those have been central to any of the stories, and the stories themselves could have taken place in just about any of the myriad G1 continuities already in existence. Pete Sinclair assures us that Classics isn't done with yet, and that tie-ins to the comics will be more clear by the time it's all done. But we're still waiting....

In one of the discussions of this matter on the Allspark, it's been suggested that the portrayal of Megatron is more like his cartoon version than the comic. This is a criticism I can't agree with. For one thing, cartoon Megatron is a bit more of a hot-tempered manic with ludicrous scheme-of-the-week plans to take over the world. The Classics version of Megatron has been made out to be a much more meticulous planner, able to wait things out for the long haul. Of course, this doesn't necessarily resemble the Marvel comics version of Megatron, either, but as Pete himself pointed out, we don't actually get to know who the Marvel comics version of Megatron is all that well.

So I did the math: Megatron is only around for about one-third of the comic's run. In fact, he can only really be said to be in command of the Decepticons for a little over a dozen of the 80 issues of the original Marvel comic. That's really not very much for the "legendary" leader of the Decepticons.

In fact, Headmaster commander Scorponok held the leadership of the Earthbound Decepticons for far longer: About 38 issues from start to finish, before his untimely demise at the hands of Unicron in issue #75, arguably the most well-written death in the entire Transformers saga. During this entire time, Scorponok never had his command of the Decepticons taken away from him (unlike Megatron, who didn't even serve as leader for as many issues as Shockwave did), although two attempts were made (although, to be fair, the fact that nothing much came of these two attempts at coups d'├ętat isn't really because of any strength on Scorponok's part).

So, I hereby dub Scorponok the true leader of the Decepticons!

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