comics rewind

MTMTE 32 Chromedome and Rewind (Fan Animated)

Why I Love Rewind and Chromdome

Besides that they are gay married robots (as if that weren’t an excellent enough reason). There are other things about their relationship that make them unusual in popular fiction and that I really appreciate.

First of all, I love that they didn’t have a meet-cute where one of them sees the other across a crowded room and falls in love because “he’s so beautiful.” It’s partly a function of them being non-human characters, but still I love that physical attraction is never mentioned. The love each other as people, not pretty faces. 

 But more than that, I love that they’ve both loved other people before. I like that they don’t have to be “the only one I’ve ever loved” to be special to each other. Rewind is the first person Chromedome decides not to make himself forget. In fact, he does it twice in the story; our Chromedome decides that he would rather live with unbearable pain than forget about Rewind, and Quantum Duplicate Chromedome decides he would rather be tortured and killed. Rewind says in his message that he’s terrified of outliving Chromedome, and Rewind 2 says he’d rather die than live without him. After Dominus Ambus, Rewind eventually got on with his life and loved someone new, but there is no After Chromedome for him. 

I love that, by the time Chromedome meets Rewind, he’s already given himself away completely. I love that compared with Dominus Ambus, a powerful political figure and intellectual who fought for civil rights and had earned the regard of many in his time, Chromedome has nothing to offer Rewind. He fails to protect him from danger, his body wasn’t strong enough to save him when he had a medical emergency, and he couldn’t even make him an offering of his innermost energon (again, because he’d already given it all away to other people). I love it because those things don’t matter - Rewind loves him anyway, more than anyone in the world. 

Chromedome only thinks that he’s second to Dominus Ambus in Rewind’s heart. He says so to Tailgate, but Tailgate is skeptical, and like him we’re not meant to take Chromedome’s story at face value. His version of events is warped by his lack of self-esteem. Tailgate says, “He can’t bear the thought of you putting your life at risk without him.” (I know Tailgate supposedly hates Dominus Ambus because of his accomplishments, but I like to think that he also hates him in a misguided attempt at solidarity). And very early on in the comic, when they go to investigate the sparkeater, we have this: 

If you think about the story of how they met from Rewind’s point of view, it’s a story about someone who reached out to him when he was at his lowest point and continued to stay with him and support him even as he searched the universe for someone else. (And ultimately, I think, helps him to move on).

And that, if nothing else, is what they offer each other: their unconditional support. We see Rewind comfort Chromedome after a nightmare, we see Chromedome sit with Rewind in the hospital, and in issue 38 we have this scene:

In one panel, in this short moment, they each come around to the other’s side; Chromedome admits that they are not exactly the same people as their duplicates, and Rewind acknowledges that they essentially are.

And that’s why my favorite love story is about space alien robots, and all my friends think I’m crazy.

Thoughts on MTMTE

Do you know what I really like about More Than Meets the Eye?

It might be heartbreaking at some points, but it is not cynical.
I know some people will disagree, but I think this comic is full of hope.

I think it’s not cynical because, Brainstorm didn’t pull the trigger.

Because Chromedome didn’t erase his memories of Rewind (twice).

Because Rung didn’t die, Ultra Magnus didn’t die, Tailgate didn’t die, and Cyclonus apologized.
Because Ravage stayed on the ship.

Because in an interview, James Roberts once said “most people are sensible and decent” and that always stuck with me

This is a comic that believes in people and their ability to grow and change

You could say that Trailcutter’s death was cynical because, oh look,
he risked his life to help someone and then died for it

But do you know what

I hate that in all the stories I read growing up, people made sacrifices to help others
and then as a reward for their selflessness, whatever they had sacrificed was given back to them

That’s not at all how it works in reality, and it’s not a good thing to teach children to expect.

I still think Trailcutter did the right thing, even though it cost him his life

Sometimes doing the right thing has a cost that you can’t get back
But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do