Transforming Leadership

Photo-A-Day #2388

I’ve been thinking about the leaders in the Transformers Universe lately. Mostly due to Eva asking me about the characters. She has some Transformers Rescue Bots including Optimus Prime and BumbleBee. She asks me about them and wants to know more and more so I told her that Optimus Prime is the leader and also BubmleBee is the leader (he is the leader on Earth in the latest ongoing series). So I was looking at my desk for inspiration and I saw four Autobot leaders: Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Hot Rod and BumbleBee. And I thought about them.

Optimus Prime is the most well known of the leaders of the Autobots. In nearly incarnation of the series Optimus s the Leader. He is selfless, strong and intelligent. His name means the first and the best. He almost always sacrifices himself in one way or another in the series. We know that he started out as Orion Pax a clerk. He had very humble beginnings and as the mythology around the Transformers has grown over the years his backstory has been really fleshed out.

Ultra Magnus sounds like a leader and apparently is Optimus Prime’s brother in one story or another. Optimus passed the Matrix of Leadership to Magnus in the 1986 movie. Ultra Magnus was leader for a very short period of time. He was so by the book and inflexible that he could not adapt.

The Matrix should have gone to Hot Rod instead of Ultra Magnus and it made its way to him eventually. I can’t say that I remember much of Hot Rod or Rodimus Prime as leader. He was in the later episodes of the cartoon until Optimus Came back and in the ongoing comic book series he has had his time with the Matrix of Leadership but he’s not formally the leader.

This brings me to BumbleBee. BumbleBee was always the character who understood humanity and he had a special bond with people. He tried really hard and wanted to live up to his hero Optimus Prime. The movie screwed up BumbleBee a bit by making him mute. But in another way by allowing him to communicate through the radio he again found his voice. In the series Transformers Prime BumbleBee again cannot speak and instead of using the radio he makes a series of beeps and squeaks like R2D2. I really hope that they give him a voice next season.

In the ongong comic BumbleBee became leader of the Earth Bound Autobots. The story got very convoluted with Optimus surrendering himself to a military group of humans. BumbleBee did not want to become leader but the rest of the Autobots elected him to the post. Once installed as leader he began to come into his own.

I like BumbleBee as leader because he’s grown up over the past 20 something years. He’s learned from the other leaders of the Autobots and will eventually become a strong leader. At least I hope that he will have the chance to do so. He’s got to gather the remaining Autobots on Earth and get them back into Disguise away from the humans, if that is possible at this point. If he can do that and stay one step ahead of the humans that no longer really trust the Autobots and rebuild that trust then he’ll eventually become a great leader. I’d like to see something like that happen. The series in the comics has been too bleak and needs some hope.

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