Recently, IDW pitched upcoming events in their Transformers titles very much from the left of field when they began soliciting artwork of leader and founder of the Decepticons, Megatron, wearing an Autobot symbol.
This move, while no doubt unexpected, in a way, doesn’t seem entirely implausible. Megatron is a character with as many qualities that redeem him as they do damn him. There has always been a sense of respect between him and Optimus; since the days of the Generation One cartoon through to the Unicron Trilogy. However it really and more recently has found its greatest expression in the Aligned continuity, which ultimately derives its cues from IDW’s Generation One narrative.
The IDW continuity – and the portrayal of Megatron therein – has perpetuated the dichotomy of a character with ruthless cunning alongside noble ideals since the publication of Megatron: Origin, if not beforehand. Chaos Theory, being published after but set before the incendiary events of Origin, posits a disillusioned worker, a pacifist, and a poet. Through the violence he witnesses and is subjected to, he becomes disillusioned and begins the first steps on his path to villainy.
The Decepticons’ initial revolt, as portrayed by IDW, is in some sense justified, with Megatron indulging both spoken and written rhetoric as much as guerrilla warfare. We find a character who appears like a giant robotic splicing of Pitt’s Tyler Durden and Crowe’s Maximus. All in a reasonably honorable quest to bring down the corrupt caste system oppressing Cybertron.
Aeons of conflict follow, spreading eventually to Earth, where Megatron is, at first, forced to clean house and maintain order amongst his army. Curiosity pulls him into full blown open conquest. However, he begins to doubt himself. Megatron’s inevitable return occurs and, in what could be seen as a tribute to Simon Furman’s convention fiction Alignment, he faces down a God that – having taken his army – threatens to take Megatron’s home planet and eventual prize from him.
After a while, you begin to think, “Is he really the villain after all? Are his and the Autobots aims really so incompatible?”
However, defecting to the other side? Willingly?
Parts of the fandom are definitely a little shocked but, based on forum responses alone, ultimately curious and hopeful. Not least because Megatron will be joining the Autobots – as solicits seem to state – aboard Lost Light, amongst her crew, in their continued quest for the Knights of Cybertron. More Than Meets the Eye is very much a character driven title and this situation could make for interesting reading even if there wasn’t a quest to follow.
The idea seems to be something of a soft reboot just in time for not only the next live action movie, but also the Transformer brand’s 30th anniversary. Allowing new readers (and perhaps even old ones like myself who lost track some time ago) to jump on board once the Dark Cybertron story reaches its conclusion.
I personally cannot wait.
TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE #28: DAWN OF THE AUTOBOTS comes out April 2014 by IDW Publishing.