Hello! I've got a question based on IDW continuity. A lot of people are calling Soundwave as a 'Decepticon mama' or 'Sound-dad', and of course, I kinda understand the reason for it. However, for example, in Ex-rid or OP, I've noticed that Rumble and Frenzy are becoming more independent, also they have been kinda forced to become the cassettes, so the question is: - what does these guys really think about SW; do they CARE about him? The similar question apply to him too. Thank you!
Ah, such interpretations of Soundwave’s relationship with his cassettes go all the way back to G1! As soon as he petted Ravage that one time, that was it!
To answer such a question about IDW, our first port of call must surely be this image from All Hail Megatron, in which Soundwave howls in rage and despair over a wounded Rumble:
Also, here’s Frenzy, from the Bumblebee mini-series, full-on losing his marbles after being separated from Soundwave.
(This was when they were playing Frenzy as dangerously mentally unstable, a depiction of the character that originated in All Hail Megatron, but which has since been forgotten, mmmaybe for the best.)
Taken together, these would certainly indicate that they share a similar link with Soundwave that we’ve seen his other cassettes do, and that Soundwave looks on them with as much fondness as the others.
But it does feel a little like these past instances have been… let’s say “deliberately forgotten,” as they don’t mesh so well with the wider continuity’s handling of Soundwave’s relationship with his various cassettes. In the years since AHM and Bumblebee’s publication, Robots in Disguise established that Soundwave met Ravage, Laserbeak, and Buzzsaw long ago, and they took care of him when he was destitute, unable to control his mind-reading powers.
(This always makes me a smile a little when I hear Soundwave referred to as being “fatherly” to his cassettes; if anything, in IDW, it seems like Ravage was the one who was “father” to Soundwave in the early days!)
But even before the above stories were written, Megatron Origin had depicted Rumble and Frenzy as workers in the mines with Megatron, who only got partnered up with Soundwave and re-engineered to transform to fit inside his chest as part of an undercover mission, so they could hide inside him to ambush the Senate. As you note, they weren’t really happy about it and tried to argue their way out of it, until Megatron… uh, convinced them to see things his way:
Additionally, there’s never been any evidence that Rumble and Frenzy went with Soundwave to Earth in the 1980s like Laserbeak and Ravage did, so they could have spent several decades off doing their own thing without him.
It’s not particularly illogical, then, to think that their relationship with Soundwave would be quite a bit different from the animal-cassettes, purely as a result of personal circumstances and shared experiences (or a lack thereof). But that’s not to say they don’t LIKE one another - in addition to Soundwave’s display of emotion above, the two were quick to come to Soundwave’s aid when the other Decepticons turned on him soon after their exile from Iacon:
But later, they were also willing to go behind his back and hunt humans with Galvatron, so they’re not absolutely bound to him. In fact, Laserbeak and Buzzsaw went on that mission, too! Tsk, you wouldn’t get that kind of trouble out of Ravage!