At long last, this issue we get the answer to the question that’s bugged me for months: how the hell did Getaway convince Blaster and Perceptor to turn into filthy mutineers? I can buy it from some obscure, background-filler, appeared-47-issues-ago-so-I’ve-forgotten-their-name-SORRY, but Perceptor? Blaster??
And the reason is both slightly unsatisfying and completely believable. And I can’t get into it if I’m going to dance around the plot points, so fair warning: see below for a completely spoiler-filled discussion of Lost Light #11.
What’s the reason, you ask? How did a bunch of good guys get behind a sociopath like Getaway? The answer is: they were lied to and they wanted to believe the lies, and that’s the beginning and end of it.
(Okay, there was also a ray gun that wipes people’s memories, but mostly it was the lies.)
As Getaway tells Froid (because who is a sociopath going to get therapy from but another sociopath) there’ve always been crew members who couldn’t accept Megatron being on board. That’s the hook Getaway used to get most of the crew on his side.
I told Rodimus about the injustice of Megatron being allowed to go about his business as if the whole genocide thing was just a PHASE.
And he has a point. Megatron was a force of nature who wiped out entire planets for millions of years. It’s understandable that a lot of people would get behind someone who promised them justice.
Except Getaway was never interested in justice. He doesn’t care what Megatron did, not really, he only sees Megatron as the way to get what he wants: power over everybody.
Getaway has painted himself as a revolutionary, a rebel, and a mastermind for years. A protector of truth! A beacon of hope! To no one’s surprise, he’s just a thug. He wants control and will throw anybody under the bus the second they stop being convenient. He lies every time he’s caught, and then lies to cover up the lies, and is furious when no one believes how completely sincere he is. He’s all about the short term solutions because he’s convinced the long term problems will never actually happen. He’s not even that bright, he just takes advantage of the fact that no one wants to believe someone they like will lie to their faces about everything that’s important to them, that someone they trusted would shoot them in the back if it was easier than helping them out.
(Does any of this sound familiar?)
And everyone who’s stood by him is watching, open-mouthed, as the lies keep piling on each other until they stop being anywhere close to believable, and he keeps lying, insulting their intelligence and no one’s stepping in to do something because everybody’s too busy standing around going “wait, this isn’t what I thought it would be, this isn’t what we wanted!”
(Getting the idea yet?)
And in the middle of all his plots and plans there’s a genuine call for help, and he says that they don’t have time for the distraction, that’s not their job anymore, “what business is it of ours to intervene?” They’ve got their own plans, they can’t be going around helping people.
(Come on, five letters, starts with a T.)
Mind you, James Roberts is across the Pond and maybe it’s only my US-centric mind that thought he was talking about Trump. (There’s a hell of a lot of people in the Brexit situation arguing we shouldn’t be going out of our way to help people too.) Maybe he’s not talking about Trump or Brexit, maybe he’s not even talking about anyone in the real world.
You could argue that Getaway’s like many other fictional villains who’re watching their Carefully Laid Plans crumble around them because they can’t keep track of the lies, and they’re getting in deeper and deeper with Really Horrible People and they’re in Complete Denial about how they Never Had a Plan in the first place it was always grasping for power and one badly-thought-out-lie after another, and that could be any villain. Any fictional villain I mean.
Except the crew hears that Getaway may have left Rodimus to be killed by the Deception Justice Division and he actually says “It’s fake news” and of course Roberts is talking about Trump and yes it’s on the nose but he’s also got a point.
Getaway’s done what he’s done. The point isn’t “How did this happen?” The point is “What happens next?”
Maybe the Lost Light crew will stand behind him. No, I’m serious. There have to be a few bots on board who think getting Megatron off the ship is worth every underhanded thing Getaway did. I wouldn’t think so myself, but I also wasn’t personally victimized by Megatron, so my opinion might not weigh as much as theirs.
Maybe the crew was tired of the ship always going in the wrong direction, and they like that Getaway has a plan for success that doesn’t involve putting themselves in danger to help people they don’t know. Personally I’d think success doesn’t mean much if you’re ignoring a call for help, but I’m neither wealthy or powerful, so my opinion there means as much as you think it does.
Maybe the crew thought it was time for “the grownups” to be in charge, that all this flighty, back-and-forth, going nowhere nonsense needed to stop, that the ship needed to take care of itself damnit, to boot out anybody who wasn’t productive, and for everyone to stop being so whiny and make the tough decisions and everybody’s going to be better off in the end, except if they’re dead, and we didn’t need those guys anyway.
Judging by the look on Blaster and Perceptor’s faces, I don’t think they’re buying that one either. But I always did like those guys.
I said the answer was “slightly unsatisfying” because (aside from the brainwash gun) (and Sunder’s mind control) (geez that guys’s creepy) it was really just good people making a decision that didn’t turn out to be the right one, and that’s disappointing. But I wasn’t in their shoes, so I don’t get to be all judgy about their choices.
Moving forward, though, I sure hope the crew figures their shit out.
I know a lot of people aren’t going to be happy with this issue of Lost Light, some because they’re on the other side of the political divide, and a lot of others because they don’t want politics to come messing with their comic books. I’d hope Transformers doesn’t turn into political satire all the time (I like to escape from real life with pretty robots and explosions) but I respect Roberts choice to use the book as a sounding board for his views (but he and I have similar political views, so this isn’t going to irritate me the way it will some others.)
All joking aside, I’m trying to respect your views no matter what side of the divide you’re on, I meant it when I said I have no right to be judgy about your choices if I’m not standing in your shoes. (Unless your choice is to cause physical harm to someone, in which case, eff off.) I have some pretty strong opinions about Trump, but I’m not going to change your mind by making fun of you. I hope everybody can still find a way to talk about this.
OH AND THE ART. We had gorgeous colors by Joana Lafuente and Priscilla Tramontano, and excellent art by both Jack Lawrence and Alex Milne! (I missed you Alex, please keep drawing all the things.) It was quite the A-Team of art this issue, I loved all of it. The fact that Getaway can be at turns snide, smug, wheedling, triumphant, and enraged, all without a mouth or nose, really brings it home how well this team can draw these bots.