Unicron #6 Discussion
Posted 13 November 2018 - 07:17 PM
If you don't want to wait for comiXology et al, it's available already via the IDW website:
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Posted 13 November 2018 - 08:56 PM
Over ten years ago, Transformers Armada's penultimate episode asked a question
"How foolish to battle in the name of peace...how absurd. You were programmed for war, Optimus. Without it, you would be just another Autobot. You are exactly the same as Galvatron, only you claim your objective is for peace. How does engaging in war translate as peace?"
This has long been one of my favorite Unicron stories, for asking a question, in its own spottily dubbed, targeted-towards-children anime way, that questioned the very idea of what Transformers are. And while that series told a story about Unicron manipulating Cybertron to his own ends and "Transformers Unicron" instead depicts events where Unicron is itself a victim screaming out for retribution, I can't help but feel shades of the former story, and the driving question that so challenged its Optimus Prime.
"Unicron" brings all of Cybertron's sins home to roost, and forces its characters to ask if they can live in a world without hatred, without the sins of the Primes, and even the cost of fighting back with hate, anger, and hatred. Too many stories all too easily to speak as if all hatreds are equal, that fighting back against oppressors will make you the very thing you oppose. But "Unicron" is more honest, in that Optimus acknowledges his sins and the rage and pain at everything Unicron has lost is valid, that his hatred and desire for justice is just as justified. But retribution is not found in perpetuating the cycle, and neither is it found in letting those same people who played a part in tragedy to continue shaping the future ahead.
This isn't about Lost Light, but I can't help but compare what ultimately became of Soundwave and Optimus to how that book handled Megatron. Throughout that book, Megatron was looking to others to decide his fate, to tell him if he deserved redemption. In the end, he accepts judgement and a fate decided for him. In the case of Optimus and Soundwave, who have played just as much a part in the cycle of conflict, who are just as complicit in the atrocities that are part of Cybertron's history, it's not about redemption or forgiveness. It's about leaving everyone else to decide, to give them a future. They lose everything to give the universe a future, and to put the dead to rest. Killer, victim. Prime. Cybertronian. Human. Even the Chaos Bringer himself.
This oft cited exchange comes to mind, because it's evocative of Optimus's final fate. It is the question he ultimately asks about himself. Where Megatron is about whether the galaxy can forgive him, Optimus instead decides that his time has past. That the only thing that can grant atonement is to live and die for the future you want to create, and to destroy the past you regret.
In the end, characters like Slide, Pyra Magna, Arcee, Skywarp, Thundercracker - they have to live with what they've done and any evil or misjudgments they've made. Windblade now has to lead a disparate collection of societies on a planet that sees them as invaders. There is goodness in imperfect things now, just as there was once dark things in their past. No one who has blood on their hands can simply sacrifice themselves as Optimus and Soundwave did. The legacies of the Primes and Cybertronian expansion will never truly disappear, just as the impact and memory of human wars, prejudice, and injustice will never vanish either. This is not about defending the unjust or demonizing the freedom fighters, it is about finding out what to do when the war is at an end, the revolution is over, and the old ghosts have been put to rest.
Ultimately, Armada came to a very different conclusion, but one that serve as parallels. In the end, Megatron decided to cut himself free, knowing that there was no place for him on Cybertron. Optimus Prime, his opposite number across different continuities made that same decision. Where Armada's hopeful future was ultimately undone by the, this is effectively the end of the IDW continuity we've had for a decade now, with only the coda of Optimus Prime #25 remaining. Of course, I'm not so naive as to think this was intentional, it's just an interesting connection I've noticed in my own reading, that resonates on account of them existing at opposite ends of my journey as a Transformers fan.
I don't know what IDW will do next with the Transformers license, but as a finale tho this saga, "Unicron" does not disappoint. Bravo, John Barber. Bravo.
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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:32 AM
There are many, many things about this issue I loved, but right now, for some reason, this really does it for me. = ]
Edited by Cabooceratops, 14 November 2018 - 01:52 AM.
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Posted 14 November 2018 - 04:09 AM
And speaking of that splash page, there's a very noticeable omission. Can't help but wonder if that'll come up in OP #25...
Posted 14 November 2018 - 05:37 AM
Edited by Jalaguy, 14 November 2018 - 05:47 AM.
Posted 14 November 2018 - 05:38 AM
oh man i can't wait for unicron #7
Yeah, that black hole is gonna give everyone on Earth memory problems and then the Autobots are gonna have to go searching for the Cyber Planet Keys on all the Cybertronian coloni- oh. Oh.
Posted 14 November 2018 - 05:45 AM
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