2 years ago, I made an astute claim that Tarn’s true identity was that of Roller. I like to tout that I was the first one, but since no one reads this blog, I have yet found a need to base that claim. So for the sake of fun, let’s just assume it was me. Thanks.
Since that time, More Than Meets The Eye has evolved into an ever-expanding mystery game that fans have ravenously gobbled up. It’s about as adult as Transformers has really ever been to this date and part of what makes it so great is the criss-crossing on and off ramps that James Roberts has erected along the Lost Light’s super highway of plot lines. The issue where the Decepticon Justice Division was first introduced is what actually got me to care about the More Than Meets The Eye story. I’ll spare a lengthy explanation of them, because if you’re reading this, you already know the drill: a new member takes on a new code name and identity when they join the group. Since their leader, Tarn, wears an awesome Decepticon face-mask, no one knows who he used to be. Since this was my jumping-on point for the series, the answer to who Tarn actually is has been my swan-song mystery for the story, and it feels like we are inching ever so close to the reveal.
Today More Than Meets The Eye issue 39 was released and it’s the issue fans of the DJD have been waiting for. You know that moment in last season’s Game of Thrones when we got a glimpse of what’s going on with the White Walker’s behind enemy lines? Remember in Lost when you saw what life was like on the other side of The Island? Yeah, it’s totally as good as that. We got an entirely Decepticon-sided story today and the fuel is put on the fire! So today we will question it again: just who is behind the mask? WHO IS TARN?
#1 – Tarn is Roller
This is the most prevalent theory, at least ever since I suggested it! I’ve seen numerous posts and social messages suggesting this since my original post in 2012. The similarities are obvious. Same build, height, discs on the side of the head, the shape of the thighs, the wrists…
Match this with the known past of Roller:
- He’s a point-one-percenter
- He’s got a habit (addiction?) of drinking steroids, C32 to be exact, in his Kremzeek
- He’s been scarred on his left eye
- He was around before The Great War began
- He’s been in contact with the writings of Megatron, suggested by his close friend Orion Pax
It doesn’t take long to match up the tidbits left by Roberts the past few issues. All signs point towards Roller being an ex-Autobot convert to Megatron’s ideal Decepticonism. Roller becoming Tarn also would mean that Tarn has always been the real Tarn, not a replacement. Tarn makes a point to note that he was there ‘before the Decepticons started’ in the latest issue of MTMTE.
I had this to say earlier today on why I believe Roller could’ve become Tarn on Bottalk in a discussion about this issue and I’d like to share it.
His friends left him to die, as far as he sees it. He takes his abandonment personally and clearly has never spoken to any of his old ‘friends’ since the incident. He was lost, alone, probably suffering withdrawal from the substance in that kremzeek drink, and probably had nothing to latch onto mentally, emotionally, or even physically other than the teachings of Megatron.
Imagine Decepticonism like Scientology. They prey on the meek, the misguided, and the deranged. Give them some peace, a rock to cling to in a turbulent ocean of chaos, and they started eating out of the palm of your hand. It’s comforting and it can be a-tune to a drug if it clicks with the right mind. Roller may have been in this weak state, near death, and now suddenly he had a new mission in life. He also maybe wants revenge, but instead of taking it out on those that hurt him (Prime, Trailbreaker, windcharger, skids) he focuses that pain and anger onto his victims. He would probably cower in shame if he ever was confronted by Optimus Prime.
And now, eons later, Megatron, his messiah upon high, has again turned his back on everything Tarn held dear! He is one of the few characters in TF mythos that has been equally smited, in his perception, by both of the faction leaders! He’s truly a tortured soul on a new level for Transformers fiction.
All signs point to Roller, in one way or another. It seems almost obvious at this point… but a little too obvious?
#2 Tarn is Thunderclash
Another funky thing about the Decepticon Justice Division is that there is an Autobot mole within the group! This seems insane considering what they do for a living, but the legend of Agent 113 persists. One amongst them is feeding information to the Autobots. The only bot that we think knows the identity of the mole is Springer, who is currently out of the game.
I’ve heard a variety of theories over the past year or so, and the Agent 113 thing is something I have only recently really intercepted. It’s mostly in the dialogue and goes as far back as The Last Stand of the Wreckers, so it’s currently easy to overlook. Many think it is Vos, who speaks in ancient Cybertronian. Others have mused that it may be Kaon, who bears a seeming resemblance to the victim of Whirl’s angry shot from a spark-eater gun in issue 37. Then there are those that believe it to be Tarn himself, which would be ultimately shocking given his demeanor. Shocking, that is, unless he turned out to be the famed Autobot Thunderclash!
If you look at Milne’s sketch of Thunderclash, you see some of the same resemblance to Tarn’s body that you can see with Roller’s sketch. This theory is admittedly a big stretch, but after reviewing the designs, I find it hard to say the Roller-resemblance is concrete without also considering Thunderclash. We really don’t see a lot of Thunderclash in this series, especially with his noteworthy reputation. He claims to be gimped to his ship because of a certain injury, but perhaps this is just to stay hidden within it’s safe walls while not parading in his Autobot clothes.
There is a mountain of evidence that could be flung may way to say how this theory is full of malarky, but it’s worth noting. Annnnd, I totally just made it up today.
#3 Tarn is (an) Ultra Magnus
We’ve learned the secret of Ultra Magnus and how the Ultra Magnus we’ve been privvy to during the entire IDW run isn’t really who we thought he was. He is actually, Minimus Ambus, now exonerated in Combiner Wars Leader Toy form. But what about the previous Magnii? Supposedly they’re all dead, and that is why the armor is passed on. But what if… just what if one of them decided to expel themselves from the armor in order to take up the Decepticon ideal? Would that point-one-percenter load-bearing Transformer take on the identity of Tarn? The issue today revealed that Tarn does have a knack for detail-oriented office politics such as performance reviews. That does seem awfully Magnus-like…
Still, this is quite a stretch but I needed at least a few plausible examples before I get to the final and most shocking of all the ideas…
#4 Tarn is Dominus Ambus
It’s just so shocking, I feel like it must be true. As if Chromedome and Rewind haven’t had enough pain already, Rewind could learn the grisley truth that his missing cohort has turned to the dark side. We got a glimpse of a future Dominus Ambus in a timeline where Megatron didn’t exist and he was still an idealist, but aimed at thwarting the Functionist Council. We know he is a spark brother with Minimus Ambus and shares a body style, but that could also mean he is a load-bearer and could easily graft to the body of Tarn the same way Minimus grafted to the Magnus Armor.
Could this be why Rewind was the sole-survivor of the misfit Lost Light crew that the DJD murdered? Was it more than just leaving him as a record of the attack? Could Dominus not bear to kill his lost love?
The idea just had never crossed my mind and if Roller is in fact what we are intentionally being lead to believe, Dominus Ambus would be the perfect switcher-oo!
So what do you think? Is this even a mystery worth discussing? Do you have any other theories to bounce off the board? Am I completely off my rocker? Does it even matter?
Unfortunately, The Allspark.com has been down all week so my typical discussion lurk can not occur, so I decided to post these theories publicly. Hopefully you enjoy them and can come up with your own conclusions until that day when the mask truly comes off.