Webcomic / Insecticomics
was a Transformers Fan Web Comic
by Melissa DeHaan, also known as Wayward Martian. Originally, the comic was a series of amusing pictures of toys done for no real purpose, which explains the bad photography and writing. Eventually, the comics became more and more frequent and around episode 100, Wayward decided to make it a triweekly thing. The photography began to get better, the cast expanded and Wayward began using props and eventually whole sets, but the irreverent sense of humor remained.
disclaimer reads as such:
''In the context of the Insecticomics, the characters are not toys, but actual Transformers. Just really small and living in a human's apartment. Unless they're in the suburbs of Pollyhex. The fact that they're mass-produced and sold as toys by humans doesn't bother them, and toy stores are an accepted way to increase the size of one's army. They also never question why there's characters from pretty much every generation running around, or how, say, Waspinator and Thrust exist simultaneously. Or why Vector Prime can teleport but he carries a rubber sword.
Basically, the whole thing doesn't make much sense and "internal continuity" are words unknown. Welcome to the Insecticomics.''
The comic (a known Long Runner
) came to an end at exactly 900 strips and 9 volumes.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: Arguably, many Decepticons (especially the Insecticons and Starscream's Brigade) have become this (Punch Clock Villain and Villain Decay also may apply). Kickback himself observes that their activities have become less a war between good and evil and more shenanigans for general amusement.
- All Humans Are Prudes: The given reason of why Transformers porn isn't shown.
- Aliens Steal Cattle: The most likely explanation for where the cattle that Bombshell and Shrapnel got for Kickback came from.
- Also when Terrorsaur and Waspinator try to steal said cattle.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Hilariously inverted here with Stryka and Obsidian.
"Didn't we disown you? Go away."
- Ambiguous Gender: All the Transformers.
- Animated Actors: The character from the 2007 Transformers movie are portrayed as actually being Vehicons hired to play those parts. (Strangely, movie Jazz, the only movieverse Autobot, seems to be accepted as normal Jazz.)
- Artifact of Doom: At one point, Override takes a knockoff of Megatron's fusion cannon out of the spare parts bin, and some of the other Autobots worry the knockoff might be this when she begins acting more aggressive than usual.
- Art Shift: When Grimlock tells the story of how he got his new body and mini-Dinobots, the comic shifts for several strips to actual art in crayon-drawing style. Arguably some of the most awesome strips in the archives.
- Back from the Dead: Starscream comes back as a ghost when his body is destroyed and hangs around pestering people until it's repaired. Conveniently, this meant he could also rescue Thrust from beyond the grave.
- Best Her to Bed Her: Grimlock seems to operate by this type of logic- Defeat someone, and they have to marry you. Considering this is Grimlock, his definition of "defeat" is odd.
- BFG: The Hydra Cannon a.k.a. Galvatron.
- Bifauxnen: Override, who is widely considered in the comic to be a very attractive female bot, but has a body type not terribly distinguishable from the males. During Lady Jaye's moral guardian antics, Override uses this to her advantage to mock and confuse the human into giving her only one censor bar.
- Big Eater: The Insecticons. But then it's kind of their original canon shtick.
- And Unicron. Well, duh. But also he's at least once depicted as speaking entirely in grunts and the word "Yum".
- Brick Joke: I Am Best Assemblydrone on Planet Basket!
- In an early comic, the Insecticons get into one of the Transformers fandom's infamous "Rumble Is Red Frenzy Is Blue" arguments. A number of comics later, while one of said cassette-bots (the blue one) is speaking to the Insecticons, the final line is "Wait... aren't you Frenzy?"
- After spending most of the comic out of action, Energon's Megatron finally comes out of retirement to take back control of the Decepticons in the final strip. The Insecticons are just as surprised as the audience.
- Broken Aesop: The comic pokes fun at fangirls quite often, while at the same time being a host to some of the more prominent traits.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: This episode of Masterforce Theatre. Mostly as a way to poke fun at revenge seekers in this universe.
- Calvinball: Transformers playing chess drinking games can devolve into this.
- Butt Monkey: Pepsimus Prime, a huge corporate shill who gets bashed around by everyone.
- Catch Phrase: "Don't wanna. Can't make me."
- The Casanova/The Vamp: Thrust, if you're a boat.
- Censor Box: Lady Jaye makes all the transformers wear one to "protect the children". To get around this, Bombshell transforms into weevil form... only to have Lady Jaye drop a huge censor bar on him.
Lady Jaye: Better safe than sorry.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Averted. There have been several longer and more serious story arcs recently compared to the comic's rather nonsensical origins, but they are usually balanced by jokes. One comic specifically states Wayward wants to avoid drama as much as possible, since she feels the more serious a Transformers photocomic becomes, the more like children's toys the "actors" look.
- Chick Magnet: People with power are extremely attractive to those with aquatic alt-modes... regardless of gender. At one point, just to prove this to another 'bot, someone shouts "What's that? You've merged with the Underbase?" This prompts every single aquatic in the apartment to practically teleport there.
- This is brought up during The Fallen's Hostile Show Takeover of Ask Vector Prime A Question: On Cybertron (or at least most incarnations), there are no oceans. Thus, that attraction is a survival program that comes with being a boat-bot, i.e. having a useless altmode in an eons-long war. This also applies to robots like Thunderblast (who can fly and thus is useful in boat mode), though in her case it's noted that she's power-hungry and likes manipulating those more powerful than her.
- Completely Missing the Point: Quite a few humans, Moral Guardian Lady Jaye included, keep forgetting that the Transformers are robots, have no real genders (it's all cosmetic), and can't have any sort of actual "interaction".
- The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Talking Geewunner smack in a bar full of mixed-series Decepticons is considered suicide.
- Crossover: Wayward is on good terms with Shin Goji of Twisted Kaiju Theater (another toy-based comic, this one Godzilla-themed), and they have had several crossovers. In one case, Shin Goji himself was mistakenly shipped to the Insecticomics household and found it very frustrating that his normal litany of cursing was bleeped out due to the Insecticomics being a slightly more family-friendly strip.
- Cuddle Bug: Blinky. Literally.
- Deader Than Dead: What happens when Armada doesn't like you.
- Death Is Cheap: But only for certain characters. According to a guardian of the Allspark, Starscream is getting to be as bad — or worse! — than Optimus Prime.
- Distressed Damsel: The Fallen and Sideways attempted (and failed badly) to hold Lazorbeak hostage.
"Insect! We have kidnapped your friend-with-benefits!"
Kickback (later): Predacon women can liberate themselves.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: "I won't date anyone with less than ten points of articulation." "Women aren't supposed to think like that!"
- Dungeon Bypass: Thrust does this in strip #646
"I'm a jet and you didn't put a lid on your maze, idiot."
- Eldritch Abomination: The bat-like Transformer that attacked Thrust in the afterlife. Supposedly, it's a Firstforged named Armada.
- Everyone Is Bi: This isn't completely true, but among the Insecticomics, Transformers' gender preference is regarded as akin to preference for a certain sort of vehicle mode or paint color. It helps that they're physically incapable of having sex, though they can apparently "make love".
- Fan Fic: The entirety of the Insecticomics could theoretically be considered fanfiction. However, Dreadmoon himself is based on a character of same name from Wayward's Transformer fanfiction, which in some circles has become so popular that other people have also written Dreadmoon fanfiction that uses Wayward's works as its 'canon'.
- Certain fanfiction trends, especially those relating to Mary Sues and slash, are routinely played with and mocked. The Masterforce Theater Presents one-shots are specifically devoted to these concepts.
- Five-Bad Band: Discussed.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Dreadmoon and Skyfire. Their leader is occasionally a ghost, they're in the same neighborhood as the powerful servants of a chaos god, they have been visited by said chaos god, they've encountered an artifact that brings life to inanimate mechanical objects, and their resident old guy is a time travelling agent of Primus. And still they mock Thrust for his tarot cards.
- Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: The "Ask Vector Prime" series.
- Gender Bender: Lazorbeak was originally male, until the Insecticons decided to vote to change his gender in order to make the comic more equal opportunity. After initial concerns, she really got into it.
- Thrust declared himself female in an effort to thwart Moral Guardian Lady Jaye's protests, and then just stuck with it. It is not clear exactly how everyone can tell that she's changed genders, but they can.
Wayward: Thrust is remaining female until the prevailing attitude of, "Oh, it's just a silly little phase, she'll come to her senses someday," goes away. Which is to say, Thrust will be female forever.
- The "other Transformers can tell" shows up even earlier, as one of the first things Lazorbeak's brother asks on arrival is "When did you become a girl?"
- Genre Savvy: At least, fanfiction-trope savvy.
- Though as the comic goes on, many of the characters (especially Kickback) seem to be catching on to the comic's own Signature Style as well.
- The Glomp: Blinky does this a lot. And in one set of strips, Override is glomped by White Chromia, then herself glomps G1 Chromia when she shows up.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Glow effects are often added to the toy's "eyes" to demonstrate anger. This trope is taken to the extreme for the Fallen, who is actually on fire.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: what much of the Decepticon-Autobot interaction has become. Examples include Bombshell and Elita's on-off relationship, Prowl and Barricade getting energon-drunk together, and Starscream and Skyfire's ongoing romance.
- The strip "Good Cop, Bad Cop VII" overlaps this with Kidnapped by an Ally, as Dreadmoon (as a favor to Ultra Magnus) "kidnaps" a very stressed Prowl and takes him back to the Brigade's base to relax and play a friendly game of chess.
- Grammar Nazi: Spelling correctly or you'll be hit with a chair.
- Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": Shortround actually writes fanfiction portraying him as the ultimate warrior of the Decepticons (Cybertron canon has him very far removed from that) and finally getting Thunderblast. Bombshell and Kickback find themselves wondering who'll be the first to strike him down when and if the story gets out.
- Hilarity Ensues: The inevitable result of pretty much anything anyone does. Some characters, especially the Insecticons, deliberately aim for this.
- High Class Porn Star: Debacle, aka 'Debbie'. You know, the one who did Daebola?
- Improbable Weapon User: Animated Prowl shows that he can do this when Lazorbeak challenges him to use a six-foot party sub as a weapon. Poor Lazorbeak...
- Incendiary Exponent: The Fallen will occasionally burst into flame when he's upset or emotional.
- Jerk Ass: According to Override, everyone from Speed Planet is to some extent.
- Kindhearted Bug Lover: Liege Fabulo. Blackout is scorpion-specific.
- The Lad-ette: Override, who at one point describes herself as "A man in the body of a woman, but no one can tell because I'm gay." She even suggests a belching contest as a way to settle a dispute at one point.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The cast page identifies the series as having a cast of over four hundred.
- LOLScorpions: Blackout's Scorponoks tend to be these.
- Love Triangle: Dreadmoon is quite obviously in love with Starscream, who is quite firmly with Skyfire and doesn't seem to care what Dreadmoon thinks. (Well, he does care, he just classifies it as "useful".) Thrust, meanwhile, seems to like Dreadmoon but is content with hitting on him and taking him out on occasional dates (and is dating Flamewar on the side). There's also Shortround, who crushes on Thunderblast, who will only hook up with people more powerful than she is.
- Really, a large portion of the primary cast is/was/is off and on in relationships with other members of the cast. The only difference from the above relationships is that most of them just don't care who else their SO hooks up with.
- Medium Blending: Wayward occasionally draws the comic, usually to get effects or characters that cannot be managed in a photocomic. In this strip, one of the characters crosses over from being a toy to being drawn.
- Mega Neko: Animkee, Wayward's cat.
- Mirror Universe: The latest story arc has Kickback get sent to a "Cracked Glass" universe due to a teleporter accident.
- Moral Guardian: Lady Jaye.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Prowl wielding a six-foot-long party sub... and beating up Lazorbeak with it.
- Narrator: The narrator, nicknamed Gary, is actually a Vok and as such technically a character within the comic himself. So he's used pretty much every narrator trope at some point:
- Interactive Narrator: Taken about as far as it's possible to go, as Gary not only chats with the characters on occasion, but eventually takes on humanoid form to be at the big fight.
- Lemony Narrator: Arguing with Gary can earn you a Take That! in the narration boxes.
- Unreliable Narrator: Of course, he rarely gets away with it without someone calling him on it, so he generally sticks to what's actually going on.
- Negative Continuity: Vector Prime hates this, since, being the guardian of the space-time continuum, he has to fix it. He especially hates G1's continuity problems, and at one point tries to kill Jetfire for all the problems his personal history has caused the old bot.
- Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: A rather literal variety, as Lazorbeak takes ninja classes in an attempt to actually become three out of the four. (She winds up having her beak handed to her by Prowl wielding a six-foot party sub.)
- No Fourth Wall: The characters freely acknowledge that they're in a comic, especially at the start of every "volume".
- No Hugging, No Kissing: The annoying fanboy insists that Transformers must never, ever do "mushy stuff" of any kind.
- Noodle Implements: Transformers porn (that is, porn made by Transformers for Transformers, not porn made of Transformers by fans with strange fetishes). Even after watching it, Sassy Devine didn't understand it.
- Also the arc where Blackarachnia and Tarantulas broadcast Megatron and Dinobot II going at it. We never see what's going on but it involves kitchen implements somehow.
- Noodle Incident: Barricade did something to Michael Bay's car. Everyone wants to know what, and even asking sends him into a rage.
- There are several references to "the business with the zombies". It doesn't occur onscreen, but among other things it resulted in Dreadmoon owing Ultra Magnus a favor. (It's heavily implied this ties back in some way to the 'City of Fear' arc in the Marvel UK run of the comic, which involved Ultra Magnus and the Ghost Town of Kalis, Dreadmoon's Doomed Hometown.)
- Number of the Beast: Strip 666 features both versions of the Fallen, an agent of Unicron.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: The entire cast is made up of a truly impressive collection of action figures, some of which were made in small numbers and never released outside Japan, or were "first 100 to enter convention" sort of exclusives, etc.
- Oh, Crap!: As characters like Vector Prime and The Fallen are regulars or guests, happens whenever someone tries to beat them up, which naturally isn't often.
- One Steve Limit: Mostly averted, as various toylines included different characters with the same name.
- For example: there are no less than three active Megatrons in the strip - Beast Wars, Energon (who retired at the end of volume 2) and Classics.
- There are no less than five active Starscreams: G1 (using an actual G1 toy, an Energon variant in G1 colors, and a Classics toy), Armada, Energon, Cybertron and 2007 movie. When the "Six Weeks of Christmas" story happened, all five (plus the G1 Energon variant, a new Animated Starscream, a tiny version of the G1 figure and what appears to be a small version of the 2007 movie version) appeared in the ninth strip.
- Name reuse is referenced by Beast Megatron when he tries to get some Terrorcon Dinobots to obey him, only to be told they only answer to Scorponok. Thinking they mean his former lieutenant (who eventually reappeared some volumes later), Beast Megatron says he's been dead for years, only for Energon Scorponok to show up and reply that they mean him. Megatron then bemoans that he hates name reuse.
- The G1 Constructiconsnote try to play it straight, G1 Bonecrusher forcing his namesakes in the Energon/Constructicon Maximus team and the Universe/Build Team repaints to change their names to Killdozer and Spanky, respectively.
- Operation: Jealousy: Averted in the "Zany Scheme" arc, in which Thrust tries to convince Dreadmoon to date him in order to make Starscream jealous. Dreadmoon doesn't go for it, and winds up throwing Thrust across the room after Thrust tries to push through the plan anyway by kissing Dreadmoon in Starscream's presence.
- Original Character: Dreadmoon (originally a sculpture and later a custom repaint of Energon Mega Class Dreadwing) is the most prominent, but a few others, like Snowcrash (portrayed by Shattered Glass Starscream, a redeco of Cybertron Voyager Class Starscream), the Devourist (a priest of Unicron portrayed by a Cybertron Deluxe Class Unicron toy) and various humans, have also appeared.
- Overly Prepared Gag: Kickback set up one in this strip. Doubles as a Shout-Out to The Lord of the Rings.
- Painting the Medium: Characters actually leave the panel twice. (At least.)
- Parody Religion: The Unicronian Priest is turning his, Sideways's, and the Fallen's loyalty to Unicron into this, much to the latter's chagrin. There's also the "Church of Primus is a Bastard" From Ask Vector Prime a Question.
- Parody Sue: Angelle Darque, complete with long-winded self narration. Taken Up to Eleven with Sassy Devine, who is actually an ex-Mary Sue.
- Phrase Catcher: As inveterate pranksters, the Insecticons (and particularly Kickback) often end up with less than pleased Transformers pointing to a door and roaring "OUT!"
- Photo Comic: Usually, although on a few occasions Wayward will draw the comic herself.
- Pizza Boy Special Delivery: Used during the Deviant Robot Sex! arc when Kickback bribes the pizza girl to pretend she is coming inside the house to have sex with them, in order to further convince a certain annoying fanboy that they are all having a gigantic orgy. In reality, they're simply having a party and aren't exactly sure how one would have sex in the first place without genitalia.
- Porn Stash: LOCUST PORN — view here (The comic in question, not the locust porn...)
- Practical Joke: Usually the Insecticons, who seem to view it as their calling in life.
- The Prankster: See above. The Insecticons are this in general, but it particularly applies to Kickback. He often has nothing better to do than make life vaguely annoying for someone else.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: All of the Transformers.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: At least some stories and character upgrades came about because Wayward found and bought older figures on eBay or at conventions, or got new toys that had just been released (such as the Classics and Movie lines). Also why G1 Soundwave stopped appearing - the figure broke.
- Rock-Paper-Mach Shot: *blam!*
Thrust: "Autobots aren't supposed to do that!"
- Sailor Earth: Used for pretty much every character that is toy only, as the most characterization they get is a blurb on the back of their box. Dreadmoon is a special case, as the author actually 'made' him by repainting an Energon Dreadwing toy.
- When justifying Armada Skywarp's ability to create portals, Megatron notes that Skywarp "didn't have any stats, so I wrote him some".
- Screw Yourself: Sideways asks his upgraded female counterpart if it's weird if he makes out with her... about five seconds after they meet. During the Shipping arc, Starscream is shown to have hooked up with one of his former bodies.
- Shout-Out / Mythology Gag: Quite a few.
- Sniper, a hilarious send-up of Barricade's interrogation scene from the movie.
- Show Within a Show:
- The Chaos Priest's evangelical show and several others shown in one-panel gags.
- Several former members of the movie cast now work on the Spinoff Babies show "Michael Baybies", which combines Muppet Babies-esque whimsy with Michael Bay's trademark love of things exploding.
- There's also the movie series "Debbie Does Daebola", which is exactly what you think it is.
- They also seem to get As The Kitchen Sinks, the Soap Opera parody from the first generation Transformers. It's even sillier, as you'd expect from being translated to the Insecticomics.
- Shrink Ray: Tarantulas has one at one point.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Boats adore powerful people.
- Slash: Out the wazoo. Which, as it's pointed out, Transformers don't actually have.
- Squee!: This happens fairly regularly, with both humans and Transformers alike being guilty of it. Blinky is especially noted for his tackle/squee moments.
- The Starscream: Natch.
- And without Starscream officially a member of the Decepticons anymore, Megatron is terribly bored, because his underlings are scared witless instead of trying to take power from him.
- Status Quo Is God: Averted, namely with changes in leadership and groups/subgroups. And Thrust's gender.
- Straw Fan: There's a fifty-fifty chance that any human character in the comic is one of these. Strangely enough, there's also at least a slight chance that even these characters will be treated with some dregs of respect. The recent Unicron arc actually seemed to indicate that Wayward at least sympathized with a Straw Fan Mary Sue's desire to be at the big fight and do all she could, even if that was effectively nothing.
- Shadow: A male straw G1 fanboy. He has an obsession with there being "no mushy stuff" in Transformers. His disdain for other people being happy and loving makes the Daleks take a shine to him.
- Angelle Darque: A Mary Sue who has such a bad case of bad Transformers fanfic clicheness that she narrates her own life... badly. Her biggest claim to a significant identity is that she's female.
- Sakura-chan: One of the saner fangirls that hang around, she doesn't particularly bother the Transformers... she just has odd ideas about characterization. She's described as harmless... but not bright.
- "Rover" Davis: No first name given (until Kickback gives him a nickname). The "normal" fan, his biggest straw tendencies are that he's a bit awkward and makes a few poor decisions (like trying to run away and become a human companion to Transformers).
- Take That!: The fake finale was one toward the final strip of For Better or for Worse
- The Unreveal: Optimus Prime appears in shadow at the end of an early strip...only to be revealed as Pepsimus Prime, an actual Prime repaint that feature Pepsi colors and logo. He's characterized, naturally, as a tremendous corporate shill (as opposed to Optimus's more common personality) and becomes a Butt Monkey.
- Vagueness Is Coming: This comic, with the Fallen sensing something and setting off to confront it. It's actually just Angelle Darque.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Said Pepsimus Prime reacts to Coke like it's a caustic acid. (Well, y'know, moreso than it actually is.)
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Subverted as being yet another of White Chromia's fics.
- The comic also uses this for its actual ending, showing what happened to the cast after the final storyline.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: As much as the Insecticons can be called 'wholesome'.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Discussed in Ask Vector Prime a Question: Vector Prime could destroy Megatron by teleporting him into a star or something, but Megs' fangirls would kill him.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Dreadmoon and Skyfire both end up feeling this way toward each other when they realize that they both think that Thrust's concerns about Starscream's latest plan are silly, due to Thrust basing them off astrology readings.