Monday, September 23, 2013

The Transformers Thunderous Thirty #9 - Starscream

Today, we focus on everybody's favorite Decepticon, Ulchtar.

No... wait... that's not right....

What a different world we would have lived in, if Starscream, arguably one of the most prominent characters in the entire Transformers franchise, had kept the name he was given in the original story treatment by Jim Shooter. I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Marvel comics Transformers editor (and later writer) Bob Budiansky decided to change "Ulchtar's" name to something less bizarre.

Of course, whatever name he ended up with, Starscream came to be so well-known because of his persistent attempts to take over command of the Decepticons from Megatron (and, perhaps, because of Megatron's persistent inexplicable refusal to have Starscream destroyed for his insubordination... well, the animated movie notwithstanding, of course).

One actually wonders how Starscream got to the position of authority that he has (his Tech Specs function is "Air Commander"). None of the other Decepticons seem to respect him, and few seem to truly fear him. It would seem that to be an effective leader, you'd have to have at least one of those two qualities. Besides all this, let's face it, Starscream's a bit of a coward. He acts all tough for as long as he seems to have more power than his opponent, but the minute the tables are turned, he starts to panic and whine like a frightened child: "Please don't hurt me! I'll be good! Honest!"

That's not to say that Starscream hasn't had a few moments of triumph. In the cartoon, he was responsible for the (re)creation of the Combaticons, and had both the Autobots and Decepticons at his mercy... until the Combaticons turned on Starscream, too. In the comics, powered by the Underbase, he destroyed entire swaths of characters (conveniently no longer available in stores)... before he himself was destroyed (temporarily) by the very power source he was using.

That's just how it is for Starscream. He can indeed be truly dangerous for short stretches, but he inevitably fails due to his own impatience and incompetence.

But he's just so much fun to watch....

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