Grimlock sans-mask in Rage of the Dinobots 4
Oh no, he’s hot!
Hrm. This is a thing that actually bugs me a lot. I prefer the idea of Cybertronians with visors or mouthplates as not having plainly humanoid facial features beneath them; to me, the ideal is that the visor is the character’s eyes; all that is behind it is the same structure that is behind the “lens” of a more human-faced Transformer.
Hmm… An interesting point.
Personally, I can go either way on the subject. In the case of this particular Grimlock as set-up through Fall of Cybertron and Rage of the Dinobots, I like the concept of there literally being more to him than meets the eye (durr hurrr). I am intrigued by the notion that behind the unmoving, robotic facade, that there’s something more biological, mobile, and human looking beneath. That the “real Grimlock” has been covered up by metal, claws, and scales, but could potentially be dug out.
However, I don’t think this is a necessary design component all the time. Cybertronains are, after all, robots. Part of the fun of this franchise is seeing just how many in-human characteristics can be piled onto a character while still making them emotive and likeable to the audience (see the Diagnostic Drone from Beast Machines).
And as such, they do not have to be bound by the same construction principles humans are in terms of faces. In fact, I myself tend to feel that characters like Soundwave of TFP and Tailgate of MTMTE are not “wearing masks”, but have faces like you suggested, with the masks components literally being part of their bodies.
On one hand, I agree entirely that it would be excellent for the robots to be “less human” and have more world building based around entirely “robot” robots, exploring ways to make them different and exert that they are NOT human.
On the other hand I LOVE THAT GRIMLOCK HAS A FACE. Because that means that THE VEHICONS possibly have faces. IN CANON. And I love the Vehicons.
…yes. This opinion is driven solely by my desire to have Vehicons be as relatable as possible~
…I realize that my hope of having the Vehicons portrayed as more relatable is not as good a reason to have this opinion as world building is for the contrary opinion… However, I reserve the right to cling desperately to my hopes. :U WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE AT THIS POINT??
Also I want to point out, Grimlock’s face is EXTREMELY IDW-esque. Like, especially compared to Magnus in that last panel there. it’s the nose. None of the TFP bots have noses but Grimlock… does??
Well whatever. HE’S LOVELY. THIS COMIC IS LOVELY. GO BUY IT.
Well… Um… Grimlock gets to have a nose because… he’s a special king!
In all seriousness though, I remember from way back in 2011, Jose Lopez (character designer of TFP), was talking about how the lack of noses on the Cybertronians was meant to make them very evidently non-human looking and thereby more alien. It was a deliberate choice to highlight the difference between humans and Cybertronians and all the implications this carried.
I suspect that Grimlock’s ultra human looking face is not accidental, given the events playing out within Shockwave’s lab. He’s in an extremely vulnerable position, in danger of losing control over his memories, body and life. So, we as the audience are asked to see him not as an indomitable robotic warrior, but rather as something mortal, fragile, and feeling. Seriously, look at those eyes in the third image…
Transformers in general has liked to do this: give the Autobots or other protagonists humanistic features, particularly in the faces. While the bad-guys are relegated to looking more robotic, or flat-out beastly. Then again, I think this is a principle you could apply to a lot of animation designs in general.