"Clarity of thought before rashness of action." -- Shockwave, 1985
“Hmmm…. Can I afford that? Ah, f*ck it! Ring that s#!t up!” -- James Jacobs, 2011
Transformers: Dark of the Moon opens this week, and yes, I am without a doubt going to see it. I mean, besides the fact that it’s a Transformers movie, people (even though the last one was more disappointing than a comic-on without fangirls sporting extra sexy “outfits” – see my last post!), it apparently will also feature one of the coolest characters to ever grace the entire more-than-meets-the-eye mythos: Shockwave, yo!
Shockwave is a bit of a conflicted character if you look at him across the various formats of the Transformers. On the one hand, the animated series portrayed him as nothing more than Megatron’s bitch. On the other hand, voice actor Corey Burton, in spite of those constraints, gave us a uniquely cerebral and calculating personality that was, quite frankly, one of the most memorable aspects of the show.
It’s just too bad that Shockwave barely got any screen time.
In those rare times in which he was featured, however, Shockwave had a way of always rambling on about what was logical versus what wasn’t. Think of it this way. If he were a man, he’d be like “I don’t get it. She says she wants a bad boy. So I gave her a Dutch oven. And now she’s mad! That bitch is just illogical!”
He was basically the Spock of the Transformers universe. Very even-tempered. Not much ambition, other than to make Megatron a happy little Decepticon.
In the comic books, however, Shockwave was a lot more aggressive, often even attempting to take control of the Decepticons from Megatron himself! And unlike Starscream, he actually succeeded a few times.
He was the not-so-little Decepticon that could… every so often.
So yeah… while I loved the vocal performance behind Shockwave’s cartoon appearances, what I really enjoyed was the power hungry sumbitch we got to enjoy in the comics every month. It probably goes without saying, of course, but I had the toy when I was a kid. It also goes without saying that I bought a few more in recent years. Just because… you know… who needs a house and mortgage of their own, anyway? But as fun as the new purchases have been, nothing compares to how it was back in the day. In fact, I still remember how I got him when I was a kid. You see, every so often, I accompanied my enabler, err, my dad on one of his trips to the mechanic for a grease-and-oil change. And sometimes, right after these trips, if the mood was *just* right, he would take me to Toys ‘R Us, which was a rare treat since I usually went to Child World for my molded plastic and die-cast metal needs. Anyway, on one of these trips, I was walking past the Transformers aisle, and lo’ and behold, there he was: Shockwave in all of his malevolent glory! He was way bigger than any other Decepticon in my collection at the time, and it wasn’t often that my dad would allow me to get a Transformer of this size, so I knew I had to be my charming best to pull this one off. I can still remember the conversation to this day. It went something like this...
“Dad, look! Shockwave!! Cool!!! Gimme, gimme, gimme!”
“I don’t know son, this one’s a little expensive…”
“But, DAD! It’s SHOCKwave! Are you fucking kidding me?? This is awesome. Can I have it? Can I??”
“…wouldn’t you rather I just buy you a nice brand new Playboy? It’s got boobies.”
“But Dad, nothing’s cooler than Shockwave. He’s so logical! Please! Look, he’s not even a car, but I think his headlights are on.”
“You can find headlights on in Playboy, too…”
“What was that?”
“Ohhh… nothing. Fine. You can have this. Just promise me you won’t still be buying this stuff when you’re 36.”
“Alright, now get outta here.”
…And that’s how it happened. Got the toy. Went straight home. Popped in some batteries. Played with the thing in robot AND laser gun form. Creamed over the cool laser gun sounds. I fricken loved it.
And I fricken love it to this day. In face, last night I had a dream that me and ol’ Shocky were sharing an ice cream cone on a warm summer afternoon. Then we hugged it out, bitch… Ari Gold-style. And, by the way, if you find any of this “shocking,” then “wave” goodbye to your fanboy status, cuz I know all you TRUE Transformer fans feel me! Word.