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1988 Finback

Posted by:
Perceptor at 2008-12-05 10:04 am   (site update)

In my informal poll, site visitors expressed similar opinions, so we'll continue with the characters of 1988 rather than 2008!  Back then, (unlike today) we were starved for good new Transformers stories and those we got left plenty to be desired!  Transformers (Marvel Comics) issue #40 was of particular interest because it featured the international debut of both the Autobot and Decepticon Pretenders.

The first 6 pages of which were very small panels, each crammed with text!  The idea was that Optimus Prime had been destroyed in episode #24.  BUT, thanks to the last second heroics of computer nerd, Ethan Zachary, he saved our beloved Autobot leader.  In his own words,

"But in a computer-simulated battle you lost to the Deceps, who, I'm sure, cheated.  As a consequence you were destroyed in real life.  But I copied your mind onto a floppy disc before that happened."

Thank goodness!  Isn't it AMAZING what could be stored on a floppy disk back in then?  Surely, many of you are thinking, what's a floppy disk?  Think of it like a CD-ROM, except it was bigger and only held less than 1/1000th of the amount of information as a CD.  BUT, Ethan figured out a way to download the personality of Optimus Prime, just before his body was destroyed in issue #24!

Fortunately, the coolness of the issue was (somewhat) redeemed a few pages later when Scorponok creates the Decepticon Pretenders!  Among them was today's character of the day, FINBACK.  His all new character page is now available for your viewing pleasure in the 1988 Transformers Section!

Sabrblade. said,  - 2008-12-05 11:07:14
Eh, this guy's okay, I guess. He wasn't given a Masterforce counterpart. Only Bomb-Burst, Skullgrin, and Submarauder did.

And, was there really a good reason for Scorponok to create the Pretenders in the comic? Besides "to sell toys".
Bass X0 said,  - 2008-12-05 11:13:28
Cool. I would love to see the transformable robots from this era to be repainted for the modern day. The Cybertronian look appeals to me.

Just look through the RiD, Robot Masters and Universe repaints of toys created during G1 and G2. The modern color schemes always look awesome with the numerous paint applications instead of stickers and a minimum amount of paint that the original toys got. Just look at Club Exclusive Seawing - the new repaint looks so beautiful in beast mode compared to his original toy; certainly the best looking Club Seacon. The robot mode could have done with some extra paint applied though.
Seawing pic:

A few months ago, I was studying my Cloudburst and Bomb-Burst inner robot toys imagining what molded details on the toys would be painted if they were to be released today. I found it quite interesting.

Anyway, Finback. I don't really know him that well; just that he's a sickly old sailor who needed his shell to survive. He hasn't really done much and that he's not that obscure for me to develop a strong desire for him to come out of obscurity and do something of actual interest.
Perceptor said,  - 2008-12-05 12:14:14
Yeah, these toys were in desparate need of better writing. Hontestly, they made toys w/o any consideration of how or why they would fit into the Transformers story.

Why did Scorponok create them? Why was Frankenstein created? Because scorponok was an evil genius mastermind and apparently wanted to try. Not much other reason. Apparently there was an advantage to being a 4 story organic monster terrorizing the citizens of Earth rather than a 3 story robot.

Even more puzzling is the non-explanation of why it is an advantage to take a 3 story robot, and "disguise" him as a 4 story human in a space suit.

It's like Animated Bumblebee said when he saw Animated Ultra Magnus transform, "Oh yeah, no one is going to notice THAT!"

Still, I think the cool things about these toys are the much more Cybertronian robot and alternate modes. At that time, it was a very unique aesthetic that I enjoyed then and now. To me, that's what makes them cool.
mightwork said,  - 2008-12-05 15:45:20
I wonder if the corrosive disease that Finback has is the same that Megatron had in the episode 'Cosmic Rust'?
Sabrblade said,  - 2008-12-05 16:47:25
Well Perceptor, what's more puzzling is why did Scorponok change six newbies that just came from nowhere into Pretenders, instead of changing six of the more battle-experienced soldiers that they currently had? (again, aside from "to sell toys")
Jumpercliff said,  - 2008-12-05 17:40:50
Oh, man I just came up with a really funny YouTube video idea! Finback "singing" Cameo's Word Up, since his belt almost looks like a codpiece!
Sabrblade said,  - 2008-12-05 22:12:00
Quick question. How come Bomb-Burst doesn't have a "Name in Japan" or "Japanese Name" line of text on his page?
Jumpercliff said,  - 2008-12-05 22:50:04
He does, I think the Lukis Bros. didn't put it there yet. In Japan, he was called "Blood".
Bass X0 said,  - 2008-12-06 07:19:23
"Isn't it AMAZING what could be stored on a floppy disk back in then?"

I like to think the Matrix remade the floppy disk to be able to store his spark when it sensed that Prime was about to be destroyed to preserve him.

"why did Scorponok change six newbies that just came from nowhere into Pretenders"

Who says they were newbies? They can have equal battle experience fighting battles that the comic didn't show.
Sabrblade said,  - 2008-12-06 09:17:03
Jumpercliff, I'm not asking, "Why doesn't he have a Japanese name?", I'm asking "why isn't it mentioned in his character page?" Since Skullgrin and Submarauder have theirs mentioned.
Byrer prime said,  - 2008-12-06 10:19:20
With all the size and mass-shifting going on, the Autobot Pretenders, at least, should have been normal sized human. I laughed so hard when the comic said to help them fit in, but they're taller than the building.
Sabrblade said,  - 2008-12-06 14:39:28
Well, in Chojin Masterforce, the Autobot Pretenders are normal human sized in their human forms. They grow in size when they turn back into their robot modes. The Decepticon Pretenders do the same, but their demon forms are taller than the average basketball player human, but shorter than their robot modes.

EDIT: Oh! I know who the next one is! It's Bugly! I saw him on the main page!
Bass X0 said,  - 2008-12-06 15:43:20
Byrer Prime - the large human forms were created for a one time only battle - they were not created so the Autobots can walk around amongst humans without being detected. The Decepticons wrongly believed that the larger the human the larger their cowardice (probably unaware of even the basic details about humans) and the Autobots played on that belief to gain the advantage when they counter-attacked.

Still a dumb plot but then it was an eighties Budiansky story.
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