Thursday, April 13, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Kup vs Kickback



Like some other characters I’ve mentioned, Kup was first introduced in the 1986 movie. He was the foil to Hot Rod’s brash young character, being a grizzled soldier who always had a story to go with whatever was happening. Of course the question was: if he’s been an Autobot soldier so long, why hadn’t we seen him before? Shut up, that’s why. Mostly Kup just tags along with Hot Rod in the movie, sort of like his babysitter. At one point he loses his arm and Hot Rod reattaches it. He tries to negotiate with the Sharkticons by using the nonsensical “universal greeting” of Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong. (Fun Fact: I used a portion of the universal greeting in the Tales of the Scarlet Knight series in a spell Emma Earl would recite to summon her magic armor.  The other half was what Pee Wee Herman's genie would say.)

Kup frequently appeared in the third season of the TV show. In a spotlight episode, he crashes on a planet where as a young Autobot he fled from a terrible monster and left some prisoners behind; he gets a chance to rectify this mistake. Like Hot Rod in the “Rebirth” miniseries he became a Targetmaster with a gun that transformed into a little dude. There really weren’t any other toys of him until a reissue a couple of years ago. 

He appeared in later issues of the Marvel comic book.  In the IDW comics he's kind of the drill sergeant for the elite strike group The Wreckers and even has a cigar.  I mean why not?  It's not like Autobots have lungs, right?  They can't get cancer either.

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Kickback was one of the “Insecticons” who came along in the second series of toys. He looks sort of like a cricket or grasshopper. I guess a cricket makes more sense since he’s black and purple, though he has wings too so he’s not even really a cricket. He’s a bug, OK? The Insecticons had their own little club that was dedicated to devouring mass quantities of energon. In one second season episode they reproduce en masse, threatening to turn Earth into a barren husk.

In the 1986 movie Kickback and the Insecticons try to prevent Hot Rod and Kup from getting to Autobot City; Kickback gets his head run over by Kup. The Insecticons were then recycled into “Sweeps” or henchmen of Scourge by Unicron.

In Transformers Prime there are "Insecticons" but they're mostly just drones that turn into some kind of flying beetle looking things that make a weird chortling sound.  Later there's one called "Hardshell" that gets something of a personality.  Near the end of the series the Insecticons are lured to a moon of Cybertron with Airachnid, who has turned into an energon vampire and it's implied she'd basically going to use them as food.

The Insecticons haven’t really done a whole lot in the comic book.  Kickback was recently reissued as a toy that's kind of tiny and really I still have no idea what kind of bug it's supposed to be.

1 comment:

  1. Kup seemed to be part of the inspiration for the movie-verse Hound. Kup always seemed like he was the replacement Ironhide since we known what happened to that guy like 5 minutes into the film. Kup never made much of an impression on me.

    Kickback was kinda the same...he never really did much and didn't overly impress. The new toy was welcomed because they did Shrapnel and Bombshell (or whatever they call them now, we all know who they are) back in 2014...not sure why the heck it took 3 years to finish the set. They also finally released a Brawn figure to finish out the reissues of the original 1984 Autobots.

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