To no one's surprise who reads this blog, I've been thinking about the Transformers again lately.
The comics, not the movies, and I've especially been thinking about them in the context of Buddhism.
Buddhism is fueled by the idea of change, of impermanence. It was born as a response to the inevitable human conditions of old age, sickness, and death.
Transformers are less vulnerable to those conditions. Individual Cybertronians measure their years in the millions. Parts can be replaced, fallen friends rebuilt.
In that context, how possible for them is any lasting change? Less bound by the positive and negative feedback of irreversible consequences, what motivation is there for real growth, for permanently ceasing hostilities, for Megatron to permanently change his ways, for the Autobots to break their dependence on Optimus Prime to come back yet again to save them, for Starscream to stop wash-rinse-repeating his cycle from ambition to self-destruction, for Hot Rod to mature and temper his recklessness?
The Transformers' situation is practically a meta-comment on comic book characters in general.
Consider Spider-Man. For over fifty years his life has been a never-ending barrage of villains, clones, costume changes, secret wars, deaths, rebirths, alternate timelines, crossovers, team-ups, and World Shaking Events...only to be eternally, inexorably reeled back by the slow gravity of the status-quo.
What would that do to a being, do you think?