If you saw the incredible interview I was fortunate enough to have with Mastermind Creations lead writer, Ceno Kibble, I’m sure you know exactly how much hard work is put into not only MMC’s toys, but their comics and fiction as well. Ceno Kibble approached me about a week ago and suggested the idea of a writer commentary, not unlike the extra commentary you find on DVDs and Blu Rays. What you’ll find in the articled below is a page by page breakdown of “Cyclops’ Plan”, which was the included comic for KM-05 Screecher, MMC’s first foray into the Eliminators. Ceno Kibble and I both hope you enjoy!
CK: I won’t have loads to say about this issue, as I only edited it and re-wrote the dialogue. This was the second issue I worked on, unfortunately I missed the issue that was packaged with Cyclops (as I was just starting to work for Mastermind Creations and the issue had already gone to print). The first comic I worked on was the Hexatron pack-in comic, which will be released soon.
This idea for this story came from Penguin One, who also wrote the issue and the original dialogue for the issue, the concept of having a Lenin miniseries came from him, and I took the ball and ran with it!
Fun Fact: Screecher was originally going to be called Air Screech, but it was felt to be slightly clumsy and therefor changed.
CK: Okay, so the date is 1869 and the President is Andrew Johnson, a Democrat. The date and President tie this to the first three months of the year, as in March of 1969, Ulysses S. Grant succeeded Johnson as the 18th President of the United States.
Interestingly (to me at least), Johnson had no Veep, so wasn’t sure who the other guy stood next to him is, and having checked with the creative team, he’s just a random advisor.
CK: Some of the dialogue feels clumsy to me. My bad, I did my best to make my dialogue fit the bubbles available, but the art and layout was already in place when I got involved.
CK: The use of the word “slaves” is always a heated one, but all too recent in the history of America at this point. The story is set only six years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln said: “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong … And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling … I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.”
Here we have Screecher looking to return the US to this way of life; this highlights the difference between his plan (backward looking) and Cyclops’ plan (forward looking).
CK: America is only four years out of the Civil War at this point, referred to by several historians as the first modern war, because of all the advancements made during this time period. Some of these dubious “advances” include -
- The submarine
- Mine fields
- Water mines
- Trench Warfare
- Wire entanglements
- Aerial reconnaissance (Balloons)
- Military telegraph
- Repeating rifles
- Scopes for rifles
- Military railroads
- Steel Ships
- Working machine gun
- Army ambulance corps
- Revolving gun turrets
- Railroad artillery
- U.S. Secret Service
- The Medal of Honor
- Battle photography
- Double Barreled Cannon
and of course, The Ironclad, Cyclops’ very own alt. mode. Given all those developments, it’s no wonder Cyclops wants to force the entire world into a war to speed up technological development.
CK: Here we introduce Annihilator and the Crow Battalion into the battle, and we ignore my typo of Batallion. Ugh.
Part clone, all soldier and hopefully coming soon with the final part of this story included.
CK: Our take on Screecher’s personality is close to that of the UK comic, where he is a bit of a bad ass who is feared, rather than a coward, but as always he is backed up by his lackeys, so his bravado may be forced.
Note the Vehicon-esque head on the Crow Battalion.
CK: The only thing of note on this page is a close look at how Warper’s weapons differ to Screecher’s, this was planned very early on in the design of these figures.
CK: We tried to showcase as many of the features of the toy as we could in the pages of the pack-in fiction. Here we see Screecher attach his blades into his rather Klingon-esque Bat’leth.
CK: Did I mention Annihilator is a bad-ass? He’s more a force of nature in these stories than a real character. I like to think his personality is so one-dimensional and focused on destruction, that thinking and speaking cause him actual, physical pain and cause him to lash out in anger. His lone comment of “Yield” is the only time I have him speak in the entirety of this story, and honestly, if I could change it now so he never speaks, I would. I prefer him to use grunts and pained noises as his only form of vocal expression. Sometimes you can say more with a “nnhn” than you can with forced soliloquies.
CK: As always, when faced with certain defeat, Screecher acquiesces. This is where we see Cyclops full masterplan, with the reveal of organic robots of Hitler, Stalin and Vladimir Lenin (who will ultimately become the protagonist of our story). The other two we will leave for another time, but I swear the one on the left is David Duchovny.
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