The series of posts in this category (Behind the Scenes) is intended as an introduction to the Heroic Decepticons. It may include my personal point of view about the fandom, the canon and fan fiction, as well as my reasons and motivations behind writing for the Heroic Decepticons.
The Heroic Decepticons Alternate Universe(s) is a (set of continuities part of a larger) multiverse that contains many canonical elements, mainly from G1 but it may also adopt characters and concepts from any and all other official continuities, whether cartoon, comic book or live-action movie. Most of the official Decepticon character profiles have been revised and altered to suit Heroic Decepticons as a necessity. The Heroic Decepticon multiverse is not based upon Shattered Glass. In basic terms, it is like the normal G1 canonical universe but the main Decepticons are heroic and not evil. Unlike Shattered Glass, however, it is not a “mirror-verse” where the two sides swap roles and the Autobots are essentially evil.
The Heroic Decepticons multiverse is vast and comprised of various continuities. Each of the categories listed below can be further sub-divided into either past, present or future.
- (HD1) – The main (“official”) universe. Episodes from the Rise of the Decepticons series form part of this main universe (set in the past).
- (HDT) – Alternate timelines of HD1. These timelines share the same basic world as HD1, but fundamentally differ in terms of the events that take place. For example, The French Bug and other related one-shots all share the same alternate timeline (set in the present).
- (HDA) – This category includes all other alternate universes that are separate to HD1 and HDT. For example, Transformers: Heroes is set in one of these alternate universes, in the future.
- (HDF) – Alternate universe (fantasy). These are timelines or universes that have no bearing whatsoever on the main Universe, and are primarily intended as pure “make-believe”, which may involve one or more nonsensical, fantastical or otherwise far-fetched plot, world or setting. Before We Were Famous falls into this category (set in the past).
This can all get confusing, but I’ve done this so as to not limit the myriad possibilities of expressions that is possible for the Heroic Decepticons.
Just as a side note – while it is possible to tie the Heroic Decepticons multiverse into G1 canon by filling in the gaps and providing an alternate explanation for some critical canonical events that wouldn’t necessarily contradict the established mythos, I am reluctant to explore this avenue because it would be a bit of a stretch and I don’t really like the direction the stories would have to take in order to achieve such a tie-in.
I should point out that every character in Heroic Decepticons is unique; there is no duplicate or namesake character, or unrelated versions of the same, even if he or she appears in two or more Heroic Decepticon alternate universes. For example, there is only one Heroic Decepticon Megatron, not several such as a G1 version, a Galvatron (who would be a separate character in Heroic Decepticons), a G2 version, an IDW version, a Beast Wars version, an RiD version, a live-action movie version, a War for Cybertron version, an Animated version… and so on and so on. So the same Heroic Decepticon Megatron who appeared in Rise of the Decepticons will be the same one who stars in Heroes, or The French Bug. It will be the same unique character even if he or she may appear in different stories that are set in separate Heroic Decepticon continuities or in alternate Heroic Decepticon universes. In other words, the same character may have alternate versions of themselves, but it won’t ever be a completely different character.
So if the Decepticons are heroic, and the Autobots aren’t evil, I hear you say, then who are the villains in Heroic Decepticons? Well, that’s a good question and I will answer it by simply saying that the Heroic Decepticons multiverse is populated by a vast number of different species and alien worlds (including but certainly not limited to Earth and Cybertron), any of which may include villains of varying degrees of wickedness. Whilst the Autobots as a whole can’t be categorized as “evil”, per se, that doesn’t mean that there doesn’t exist shades of grey in their midst – be it ignorance, bigotry, vanity or bitterness – expressed through certain characters to varying degrees. Same goes for several non-heroic “Decepticons”. In other words, many different kinds of characters from all spheres of life may exhibit such undesirable traits from simply being naïve or self-serving, to being the full embodiment of evil itself. In Heroic Decepticons, I strive to convey the quality of a character or species as I feel they naturally are or would be, without contrivance. Some portrayals may differ slightly from one universe or continuity to the next, but overall they should remain consistent. So in short – there is no shortage of possible villains in the Heroic Decepticon multiverse.
One good example of this is Sentinel Prime. This character, who is based off the live-action movie version and to an extent the comics rather than the Animated version, is very sinister in his role in Heroes, whereas in the series (Rise of the Decepticons) he is a little more flexible, a little more give-and-take. How are these two slightly different versions of the same character reconciled? Well, it might be explained by the fact that the two continuities he appears in are set in vastly different timelines; the latter describes tales of the Decepticons’ early adventures, during a time when they had just formed (the Second Era, or Golden Age of Cybertron). Heroes, on the other hand, is set in the distant future (the Fourth Era), which may explain much of the two Sentinel Primes’ personality differences (Heroes, by the way, also exists in an alternate universe – see above). Would the early Sentinel Prime be capable of doing the things that Sentinel Prime from Heroes would do? The answer is yes… although it would be unlikely, because he has simply not lived long enough to develop into a darker version of himself – yet it is certainly within the realm of possibility for this Heroic Decepticon character. Furthermore, any character’s personality traits are partly the result of their accumulated experiences, which may change from one alternate continuity to the next as their history alters, and hence this change may in turn be reflected in their personality. However, Sentinel Prime is a unique, individual character who is consistent throughout.
It is true that I have strong feelings about the Decepticons – hence why I started the Heroic Decepticons in the first place, as an alternate to canon. Now, just because the canon represents the authoritative source for (most) fans, as a fan fiction author and Transformers fan I have come to understand something different and have chosen to disregard official profiles and story as mostly false, and instead wish to offer an entirely different perspective of the characters whilst retaining all the familiar traits that I feel are true and that honour them. I won’t get into the whole ‘but how can fiction be true?!’ thing here because that is a topic that requires its own essay (but what I will say is that in the realm of cause there is no distinction between fiction and reality), but for now I’m just going to make a few statements based on my own perspective.
It’s one reason why I love to write about the Heroic Decepticons. It gives certain characters the opportunity to shine, to show the world who they really are. Again, the world (which is made up of all the readers and fans) can choose to accept them or not – it doesn’t really matter – what matters is that the outlet, the expression for such alternate characterizations and story telling, is allowed to exist. I am compelled to write the characters and their stories in a particular way, and would not be able to write them differently even if I tried. I strongly believe that, as a serious author (fan fiction or original), one should write his/her stories to honour his/her characters, and not the other way around: write the characters to glorify the story or even the writer. My advice is that if you always respect the characters you write for, I can guarantee you that your story will turn out exactly as it should. Not even canon gets this part right much of the time.
So it’s no secret that I don’t respect much of canon, but what I will do is acknowledge the fact that canon does reflect a lot of truthful (what I consider to be truthful) elements, though a lot of misinterpretation exists along with those elements. It’s also interesting to note that as far as character representations go, it’s primarily the Decepticons who have been majorly misrepresented or under-represented, as opposed to the Autobots’ character portrayals, which are more in alignment with the true nature of those characters (I have a good theory as to why this is so, but I won’t go into that here). Henceforth, this is another reason why I want to write about the Heroic Decepticons. I want to give the Decepticons an opportunity to be themselves, if you will, without being hindered by dogma or misconceptions or established mythos. Not all “Decepticons”, mind you – some of them really are not that “heroic”, but I don’t really consider those to be true Decepticons – Overlord, Scorponok, Lord Straxus, Unicron, to name just a few. In the same way that not all Autobots have good intentions. Just like in real life, one shouldn’t stereotype an entire class of people (or mechs) based solely on their allegiance, origins, function, race, or whatever.
The world of official Transformers is riddled with alternate realities, timelines, continuities and multiverses ad infinitum, more so than many other fandoms, so what’s one more? In fact, there’s a myriad more Transformers universes out there even beyond the ones that are officially recognized, including those conceived by other fan fiction authors – which can be equally valid in the realm of creation. But this isn’t a coincidence. So I ask, why so many? And, why do none of them really show the Decepticons in their truest light (at least, to a level that I am happy with)? Shattered Glass comes close, but it is not ideal. One reason: The Decepticons’ true nature has never seriously been questioned, since authoritative sources have already provided us with the answer. And yet, here I am, unhappy with the official narrative and unable to accept it. So, I looked for an alternative explanation that could satisfy both my intuitive understandings and my love for these characters. What I discovered was not only a pleasant surprise, but it also helped me to understand and connect the dots about certain current events and the state of our world – themes which I find regularly weave their way into my stories – not always consciously. Is this a coincidence? I think not. I won’t elaborate on that too much, although my ongoing web novel Heroes certainly hints at and attempts to explore some of them.
In the following blog posts I’m going to go into a bit more detail about each Heroic Decepticon character and attempt to offer some insights into who they are and the particular roles they play.