Friday, 4 December 2015

The Darker Side of Transformers #9

Continuing our look at the darker parts of the Transformers franchise and history...

9. Whirl
A part of the original Wreckers but seemingly only for their introductory story arc and two cameos, Whirl was portrayed as being calm and rational but IDW's reimagining of the character is anything but and is arguably the most tragic character in More Than Meets the Eye.

Whirl More Than Meets The Eye

Our introduction to Whirl comes in MTMTE #1 where following the conclusion of Chaos, Whirl has stashed the corpses of some Sweeps, including possibly Scourge himself, and is in the process of dousing them in fuel about to burn them. The corpses have been acting as a captive audience for Whirl as he's spent weeks ranting and raving about his frustrations as Cybertronians have returned home. There are two subtle things about this page which are easy to miss - 1. That Whirl can hear the dead bodies talking back and 2. Whirl himself is stood in the pool of fuel so it's possible that he's about to burn himself alive with them, a theory backed up later on when Whirl is taken hostage by a psychotic Fortress Maximus and begs to be shot in the head and again in the latest issue which would be spoilerific to discuss in detail.

Whirl's lust for violence and lack of concern for himself leads to him escalating the war between the Ammonites and Terradores by assassinating the Terradore leader on a whim. We discover that Whirl murdered his arch nemesis Killmaster (see image below) and that the reason Whirl was kicked out of The Wreckers was for trying to mercy kill a comatose Springer. Even more shocking is discovering that it was Whirl who, in a roundabout way, started the Cybertronian Civil War after beating a captive Megatron when the future Decepticon leader was simply a philoshoper on social change.
Whirl More Than Meets The Eye

However Whirl's story takes a tragic turn as his origin is revealed - bucking Cybertron's system where every robot has to perform the function of their alternate mode, Whirl became a watchmaker. His change of career didn't go unnoticed by the Functionist Council who had the watchmaker's business destroyed. Destitute, Whirl went on to become a drifter and skilled fighter, eventually being forced into service of the Senate as an enforcer. Under orders he was forced to commit horrific acts, acts he'd later be punished for by the Functionist Council as part of their elaborate revenge on him. Whirl's punishment was Empurata: a process where the criminal's head and hands are replaced to make an example of them. With massive claws for hands, Whirl's career as a watchmaker was now over.

When Cyclonus questions why 4 million years later Whirl hasn't had the process reversed, he simply replies that the anger at his situation drowns out his conscience and that if the source of his anger was removed then he'd have to face the acts he's committed.

Therein is the horror of Whirl - a peaceful being driven to commit endless atrocities in order to not break down at the thought of what he's become.

Whirl More Than Meets The Eye