Monday, September 2, 2013

The Transformers Thunderous Thirty #6 - Laserbeak

When I wrote about Rumble, I commented on how only about a third of the original Transformers were actually Decepticons. Fully half of those are, in fact, characters that turned into cassettes when they were originally introduced. If these entries were done in the vein of my usual toy-centered Transformers posts, that would mean a bunch of entries with nearly identical alt-mode pictures. One of the reasons I'm looking to focus more on the characters in this series is an effort to shake that pattern up a bit, allowing for toy images, yes, but hopefully introducing a bit more variety into the mix.

Laserbeak is said to be the Decepticon interrogator. There is at least one time in the old Marvel comics where Laserbeak is seen to be involved in an interrogation, and by all appearances, he was no doubt generally successful in this role. That said, I don't think most Transformers fans specifically remember Laserbeak as an interrogator, first and foremost.

Although Laserbeak was occasionally seen taking part in major battles, he was much more frequently seen playing the part of spy. This is perhaps especially fitting given Laserbeak's well-established cassette alternate mode (or even the data disc mode used by the Fall of Cybertron version, seen here on the left), but the other cassettes seem to have used their modes for espionage-related purposes far less frequently than did Laserbeak. Even so, I wouldn't say that "spy" was Laserbeak's main function.

Laserbeak's main role, it seems to me, was to inform the world who the leader of the Decepticons was. Being something of a coward, Laserbeak was not an especially loyal follower, known to change shoulder-sitting preferences to whoever happened to be the commander of the moment. This bit of visual imagery was seldom (if ever) explained outright, but it was nonetheless fairly common. Need convincing? Take this little exchange from the comics when Shockwave conceded that Megatron was indeed more fit to command.

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