Woo! With GenCon in full swing and people getting their hands on starter sets, this is going to be an exciting week. Let’s keep rolling with our exploration of the characters being released in Wave 1, focusing for today on the Autobot Rares.
Arcee // Skilled Fighter
Arcee was (and probably still is) the most prominent female Transformer of all time, although she wasn’t the first. In “War Dawn,” a Season 2 episode that flashed back to before the Autobot-Decepticon war had begun, we were introduced to Ariel, who was the girlfriend of Orion Pax, the robot who would go on to become Optimus Prime. Ariel would be reformatted into Elita-One, who we’d see again in Season 2 as the leader of an all-female Autobot resistance cell on Cybertron.
Anyway, I digress. Introduced in the 1986 animated movie, Arcee rocked some Princess Leia-styled helmet earbuns and was a bit of a badass.
In the final few episodes of the original cartoon, Arcee underwent the Headmaster process, bonding with Spike’s son Daniel in order to save his life, thus permanently linking them together. This sounds like a fate worse than death.
Arcee has also become an important part of the IDW comics continuity.
I do not have enough beer in my fridge to explain her evolution from controversial introduction by Simon Furman to reimagining by John Barber, but the TF Wiki has a detailed summary if you have some time.
In-Game: I could definitely see Arcee as a glass cannon. She’ll be able to dish out damage quickly, but may not have a ton of health.
Autobot Cosmos // Recon & Communication
Cosmos was a bit of a joke in the original cartoon. He and Omega Supreme were the only spaceflight-capable Autobots, so he was basically always forced to fly up in order to serve as reconnaissance or as a transport.
In the IDW-verse, he became a beefed-up badass and was actually one of a small hand-picked team of Autobots assisting Optimus on Earth.
In-Game: Cosmos is already one of the characters that people are most hyped about, especially if they can pair him with Nemesis Prime.
Chromia // Special Ops
Chromia originally appeared as part of Elita-One’s crew of Autobot guerilla fighters in Season 2. Appearing to act as Elita’s second-in-command, it was fitting that she seemed to have a relationship with Ironhide.
In the IDW-verse, Chromia is a friend and bodyguard to Windblade, who was the result of a promotion by Hasbro where fans were able to vote on aspects of the creation of a new character. Chromia featured heavily in Windblade, Till All are One, and Optimus Prime.
In-Game: As a bodyguard, I could definitely see Chromia having the ability to protect other characters in some type of way.
Grimlock // Dinobot Leader
The infamous leader of the Dinobots, Grimlock has always been a fan favorite. In nearly all incarnations, he feels that he should be in charge rather than Prime, mostly because he’s more powerful. Oddly enough, Grimlock was one of relatively few characters to appear in all the seasons of the original cartoon. He had two really standout episodes in Season 3. The first was when he accidentally became super-intelligent and created the Technobots. He would sacrifice his newfound brilliance in order to give Computron the intelligence needed to defeat the savage Terrorcons.
His other major appearance was in “Call of the Primitives,” a fan favorite episode because it had distinctively amazing animation during a season when the animation quality noticeably dropped. In this episode, Grimlock saves the universe from a superweapon created by a genius by simply flipping a switch and then stomping all over his laboratory.
In the original Marvel comic series, Grimlock was also a featured character. He actually led the Autobots twice during the series. His initial reign was a disaster.
Shockingly, Optimus would name Grimlock as his successor after succumbing to injuries sustained in the battle against Unicron. Grimlock had shown some maturity, but still chafed at dealing with Prowl as his advisor and second-in-command.
In the IDW-verse, Grimlock was “adopted” by a team of ex-Decepticon misfits who called themselves “The Scavengers.” He served as their muscle during a number of misadventures.
In-Game: Grimlock absolutely needs to be a melee badass and will probably have some sort of synergy with his fellow Dinobots.
Optimus Prime // Battlefield Legend
Everyone knows Optimus Prime, so let’s talk about something cool IDW did in their comic books.
Megatron actually inspired Prime, in terms of philosophy and the belief that all sentient beings deserved freedom.
Shocking, right? See, in the early days, Cybertron had a functionist society, where a Transformer’s alt-mode determined their job and their station in life. Megatron was a heavy laborer and wrote long-form essays about how there should be a change in society, achieved through non-violent means.
During this time, Optimus was a cop who went by the name “Orion Pax.” A badass cop, at that.
Megatron was arrested for his involvement in a bar fight, where he was really only an onlooker. While imprisoned, he’s nearly beaten to death by Whirl.
Not long afterward, Megatron is released from his imprisonment by the station’s captain, Orion, who notes that after interviewing witnesses, they testified that Megatron was not involved in violence. Orion also tells Megatron that he read his political writings and was impressed, and that Cybertron needed more people like him. The experience radicalized Megatron, who would immediately renounce non-violence as soon as he left the station, throwing his datapad into a nearby screen, leaving behind a mark that would serve as the inspiration for the Decepticon symbol.
With Megatron’s writings serving as a spark, Pax would then go on to lead a revolution that would overthrow their functionist society.
In-Game: This version of Optimus will likely be the most powerful and the most expensive in terms of star-cost.
If you have any comments or ideas of your own, please comment below!
Next time, we’ll take a look at the Decepticon Rare characters. In the meantime, make sure you’re part of the online communities where we’re discussing the game and getting hyped!