Tuesday, 30 October 2012

#52: Kickback (1985)

The problem with 1. being part of a team and 2. not really having a cool power, means that sometimes, characters are left behind and overshadowed by the 'cooler' members of the team. This is certainly the case with Kickback. Whilst it's true that all the Insecticons are cool, some are just cooler than others, and Shrapnel with his electrical powers and Bombshell with his mind control abilities were just that little bit cooler than Kickback, whose main power was kicking things really, really hard. Yes, he had the gift of the gab and could blackmail people into doing what he wanted them to, but at the end of the day this wouldn't have played well in the G1 cartoon, it just wasn't as exciting. So poor Kickback stayed in the background, consigned forever to gruntdom, bulking up the ranks until he got his head caved in by Kup in Transformers: The Movie. Then he got turned into a Sweep by Unicron, and then inexplicably turned up again in Five Faces of Darkness, seemingly none the worse for wear. That, sadly, is about as exciting as it got for Kickback.

It doesn't get much better in the comics. In Marvel Comics he was summoned to Earth by Megatron. That's it. In Dreamwave, he joined in with an assination attempt and got interred by Jazz after trying to take over the Earth with his clones with the other Insecticons; and in IDW, he's been around. But again, always in the background, and always being overshadowed by Bombshell and Shrapnel.

Poor Kickback.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here. Kickback's toy is the coolest out of all the Insecticons. Don't get me wrong, they're all great, but there's something about Kickback that's just that little bit more awesome. I think it might be that he has a little bit more articulation than the others, and his grasshopper mode is just so, so well done. Like I say though, all of the Insecticons are cool, so you're onto a winner with any of them, if I'm being honest.

Kickback then, is always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Just because he can kick things really hard, he's deemed to be not as cool as the others, and is therefore always just outside your field of view. He's the plain jane of the Decepticons, just crying out for someone to come and do a makeover on him. You know, like Sandy from Grease.

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