Monday, December 2, 2013

The Transformers Thunderous Thirty #19 - Huffer

Although it's fair to say that most of the characters in the Transformers franchise are combatants of one type or another, it's equally safe to say that many of them are not fighters, first and foremost, but are rather support personnel. Those you call upon to make sure that everything is working properly so that the ones who do fight are able to do so effectively.

Huffer is a construction engineer. This puts him in a category similar to Wheeljack, insofar as it's his job to create whatever is necessary for the Autobot cause, and indeed their functions do overlap to some degree. The main distinction is that Wheeljack works mostly on equipment and/or machinery, while Huffer maintains the buildings and/or installations themselves.

Huffer's personality is also different than Wheeljack's. While Wheeljack is pretty much always upbeat (even when he's done something to injure himself), Huffer is a complainer.

It's not so much that he's a defeatist. Indeed, just after he's told you something can't be done, he's almost certain to go ahead and prove that it can. He seems not to realize just how reliable and capable he really is, even after he's demonstrated his abilities again and again.

This almost certainly stems from Huffer's intense homesickness. Back when the Transformers saga began in 1984, the Autobots were not only trapped on Earth, but had been dormant for roughly four million years. They weren't entirely certain that their home planet of Cybertron even still existed, and even once they'd proven that it did, they still weren't able to get back there for quite some time. Indeed, depending on what version of Generation One continuity you follow, Huffer wasn't necessarily even still around to enjoy getting back home once the Autobots were finally able to do so.

Notwithstanding Huffer's pessimism, I have to admit that I rather like him. Sure, he's cranky and cantankerous, but he gets the job done. If I had to chose between a friend who was optimistic but flaky, and one who was grumpy but reliable, I'd almost certainly go for the latter.

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