The Mary Sue blog have posted an interview with IDW's comic writer Mairghread Scott about her work on the Transformers comics and the development of the fan-built Windblade character. Learn some of the details about Windblade how was developed for the comic series, her role in the story and some of the ideas around female Transformers.
Jaydot: The TFWiki entry about Windblade is pretty sparse. We know she’s got a “fancy sword” and turns into a jet, and there’s almost literally no other info about her. Without getting into too much background detail, which I understand might be spoilery, can you elaborate at all on who/what Windblade is?
Mairghread: To be fair, beyond being a jet and a sword fighter I started with a pretty blank slate when I developed Windblade, so don’t fault the wiki for that one. The most important thing for me when constructing Windblade was to make her a fully three-dimensional (read: flawed) character, so if I had to pick one word to describe her I would say that Windblade is trying. She’s an optimistic, hard-working Transformers character who is genuinely interested in helping others, but she’s also been dropped in the aftermath of a millennia (for real) long war that she was not really part of, so while she’s a very competent character, she’s way behind the curve when it comes to knowing who’s who and what’s what on Cybertron. This actually makes Transfomers: Windblade a really good starting point for new readers because almost everything on Cybertron is as new to her as it is to someone just entering the brand.
Despite being a fan-made robot, there is some controversy over the idea of gender in Transformers in general. Some would make the argument that there’s no need for gender when you’re dealing with giant robots, that the binary falls more along the lines of robot form/vehicle form (or beast form), which nominally makes sense, but it’s pretty plain to see that most transformers are coded as male, one way or another. However, they get to be male without any justification – they just are, as if that’s the default. How much do you plan to address Windblade presenting as female, or do you plan to let her just “be” female without justification, much as the male Transformers are?
More female inclusion within the brand is a great thing and Windblade’s “female-ness” is unusual to many of our characters because of past continuity, so we will talk about it somewhat. But, on the flip side, I think the best part about female transformers is the fact that they aren’t defined by their sex/gender “in story” and I’m not interested in changing that. Windblade is a jet, Chromia is a bodyguard, and while the characters in story are aware that they both use the pronoun “she,” it’s far from the most important thing about them. When your world includes a hovering robot shark, people with two heads and your species can be anywhere from knee-high to planet-big, you tend to take a pretty broad view on “diversity.”
Read the complete interview with Mairghread Scott now at