Prowl, Original Fandom Ghost

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Title: Prowl, Original Fandom Ghost
Creator: ckret2, ferenofnopewood
Date(s): original post May 23, 2019
Medium: Tumblr
Fandom: Transformers
External Links: "Prowl, Original Fandom Ghost", Archived version
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"Prowl, Original Fandom Ghost" (originally untitled) is a tumblr post originally written by trashform (formerly spagetti-dinner), and expanded upon by subsequent commenters.

Topics Discussed in the Post and Comments

  • Prowl/Jazz
  • Fandom ghost

Original Post

spaghetti-dinner: I didn’t know shipping transformers was a thing until a couple years ago but…

Someone explain to me the Jazz and Prowl ship where did it come from? Like I don’t remember them interacting much in G1 if at all. Then Prowl goes and dies in the movie. Is the grounds for this ship from Animated?? If so do people bring that relationship over into other continuities? Cuz I see a lot of posts and stories about them in a G1 context.

I’m so confused. someone explain.

#help #transformers #jazz #prowl #where this ship come from #tf #did they even talk in g1 #nobody likes prowl in IDW #not even jazz #I have questions #ship #explain


ckret2: The short answer: back in the 90s or very early 00s (i forget which decade but like, around that time) there was one author who wrote G1 Jazz/Prowl crackship fic, even though they barely interacted in G1, and people liked the dynamic so much that everyone started writing fanfic about it, until it became one of the most popular ships via the power of sheer fanon. There’s no canon basis. In fact, what friendly relationships they DO have in modern canon series—particularly TFA and IDW 2005—are probably based on their popular fanon dynamic, not the other way around.

The long answer: it’s basically an example of this phenomenon.

What’s particularly interesting is that Prowl’s most common fanon interpretation—cold, serious, rigid, orderly, clean—isn’t present AT ALL in the G1 cartoon where the ship supposedly originated. It came from fics. Now we see Prowls like that (see: IDW 2005, again, for at least some of those traits), but people who say “they were shipped because Party Guy and Strict Guy go together well” aren’t clear on the cause and effect. Prowl was re-characterized as a Strict Guy in order to put him into a ship with Jazz. It’s just not part of G1 cartoon canon.

troublesomeknight: I don’t know if that last part is entirely true. While G1 cartoon Prowl isn’t the strict guy he’s portrayed as in fanfic, his Marvel comic self definitely is like that. So I always thought it was more that since cartoon Prowl barely gets any screen time or has any personality to speak of, people were using his marvel comic personality in fic. Or maybe they were using it for the shipping, but I still thought it was the comic that people were pulling from for the characterization.

#transformers #also there's his toy bio

ferenofnopewood: I am Very Old, and can vouch for the fact that a lot of the Marvel Comic characterization crept into general Transformers fandom back in ye olden dayes. The reason should be pretty obvious if you compare the comics to the cartoons. The comics were hokey, but they had a great deal more substance on the “distinctive characters” front than the cartoon did. In the original cartoon, well…Most of the Transformers who weren’t Optimus Prime, Megatron, or Starscream were pretty interchangeable with each other. (Yes, even dear Bumblebee was pretty damn bland.) This wasn’t nearly as much of an issue in the comic, where there was generally more space to show off individual personalities.

Also, no one really drew a distinction between the comics and the cartoons at the time. It’s kinda like writing for a fandom that has both manga and an anime adaptation of said manga - unless things diverge pretty spectacularly, most fics are gonna exist somewhere in the mist between.

So yeah. Prowl being a straight-laced hardass? Almost definitely a result of the comics, not the Fandom Ghost.

As an aside, Prowl and Jazz might be a relatively early example of this particular hot guy/cold guy slash ship. Everyone knows Star Trek was the cutting edge of slash fandom, but Transformers wasn’t that far behind. Certainly there was a lot more slash there - and a lot more variety of slash (thanks to the fact that robot porn was already a pretty niche and open-minded genre) - than showed up in other fandoms of the time.

So basically, what I’m saying is…The Fandom Ghost might actually be Prowl himself.

EDIT: The original Jazz/Prowl crackfic hit sometime in the early 90’s, if memory serves me. Like 93 or 94 at the latest.

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