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View Full Version : Escalation #5 preview [SPOILERS]


Denyer
2007-03-09, 11:20 AM
http://www.idwpublishing.com/previews.shtml

Mostly on the first page, although that's quite an intense fight afterwards.

We've got tags: {spoiler}text{/spoiler} but use [ ] brackets.

edit: Nevermind, just don't read any more of the thread if you want to remain speculation-free...

snavej
2007-03-09, 01:00 PM
This looks pretty good but I always imagined that the fusion cannon would be a lot more powerful, especially with the addition of ore 13. Prime's armour should be able to handle some of the blasts but surely he should be thrown back half a mile or so.

Denyer
2007-03-09, 01:48 PM
Ore 13 (like energon) is a power source mainly for them (i.e. mechanical systems) I think. After all, they've got charges that can blow up planets, but attaching it to an arm would still have a lot of kickback unless purely a laser-type device.

Nevermore
2007-03-09, 06:32 PM
Page 3 is pure love. DAMN, page 3 and 4, that's the most impressive Optimus Prime I've ever seen. Su = LOVE.

zigzagger
2007-03-09, 07:20 PM
That is one intense battle, and now that I'm thinking about it, it has been awhile since we've seen these two duking it out. The panels with Prime transforming and aiming look fantastic! But now the question remains, who is the mystery Decepticon on the first page? Far too damaged to be Shockwave....Soundwave could be a possibility, with the Spotlight arriving shortly before this issue.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-09, 07:25 PM
My money's on Scorponok.

AutobotJazz
2007-03-09, 11:46 PM
Hell yeah...how long has it been since these two titans fought it out...never mind shooting at eachother, its gonna be no holds barred, despite the obvious repsect they have for eachother (just look at Stormbringer) they know what eachother is capable of just remains to be seen who'll come out on top...I'm betting Prime will have to get his tail rescued and then he'll be due some payback in the next story after Escalation. Just my thoughts though, I could be wrong!

HeavyArms
2007-03-10, 11:24 AM
It's looking good

Jaynz
2007-03-10, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
My money's on Scorponok.

Starscream, getting his 'classics' body?

Nevermore
2007-03-10, 06:02 PM
Keep in mind that the Machination has been around for quite some time.

And weren't Runabout and Runamuck after one of their employees and his discovery? Why'd they hunt him if Starscream was in league with the group?

EDIT: C'mon. This is either a blatant internal swipe or an equally blatant hint.

http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/994/zarakmachinationuq5.th.jpg (http://img78.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zarakmachinationuq5.jpg)

inflatable dalek
2007-03-10, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by Nevermore
Keep in mind that the Machination has been around for quite some time.


That's one of the reasons I'd say Scorponok If the present day page of Ultra Magnus was "29 Stella Cycles" after the bulk of the issue, and we assume a cycle is about a year (might be shorter, or even much longer if it's a fancy way of saying a Cybertron year) then that about thirty years for him to get his claws into the US Government as he did on Nebulos. Second best bet would be Soundwave as we know he was around at least briefly in the 80's.

Shockwave's highly unlikely as he's only just been dug up.

Megatimus
2007-03-10, 07:57 PM
I can only think it's Scorponok as the surgery throws off waves of Headmasters.

snavej
2007-03-13, 12:48 PM
Remember the time, way back in 1984, when Megatron shot Optimus Prime's arm in 'The Last Stand', issue 4, Marvel Comics? The arm vaporised! Why wasn't part of Optimus vaporised when he got hit in the chest in IDW Escalation, issue 5? I thought that Megatron was attacking strongly there!

This is all part of the ridiculous comics and cartoons method of giving characters lethal weapons and then letting other characters survive with minimal injuries after direct hits.

Denyer
2007-03-13, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Remember the time, way back in 1984, when Megatron shot Optimus Prime's arm in 'The Last Stand', issue 4, Marvel Comics? Remember how Wile E Coyote bounced back on TV, but animals on the road go thud-splat if you drive over them?

A better comparison would be with Megatron gutting Starscream, because it's the same continuity as this.

snavej
2007-03-13, 03:01 PM
The point is that the weapon is a fusion cannon. It uses the same nuclear process as the fusion bomb. The plasma generated is briefly hotter than the surface of the sun. At close enough range (a few miles), this is enough to destroy all known metals. This was demonstrated in atomic tests worldwide since the 1940s. Solid steel objects near test explosions completely disappeared. I repeat, how could Optimus survive a direct hit?

My own explanation is that Transformers have developed radical methods to strengthen metals. Since normal nuclear and chemical processes are insufficient to resist a fusion attack, Transformers would have to use very advanced methods, i.e. use their hyperspace technology to draw extra matter and energy from hyperspace. This extra matter and energy could somehow be used to massively reinforce conventional metals, thus making them incredibly resistant to damage, at least for a short time. If they kept the extra matter and energy too long, it would be too much for them and would do them damage. Imagine if part of your body suddenly became a thousand times heavier or supercharged with power!

Denyer
2007-03-13, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by snavej
The point is that the weapon is a fusion cannon. It uses the same nuclear process as the fusion bomb. The plasma generated is briefly hotter than the surface of the sun. That's at the centre of the reaction, though -- we can probably very safely assume that the weapon isn't generating a solid beam of that magnitude, because it'd destroy the weapon and the individual next to it.

snavej
2007-03-13, 05:23 PM
I refer you to the theory I expounded in my previous post about the use of hyperspatial matter and energy to make regular objects and people super-resistant to damage.

Also, human scientists know that it is possible to contain fusion plasma in a powerful magnetic field - it has been done in a few advanced laboratories. They are trying to build a fusion reactor for peaceful power-generating purposes but it is proving to be very difficult - for human technology!

Denyer
2007-03-13, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by snavej
human scientists know that it is possible to contain fusion plasma in a powerful magnetic field But for a beam focused from a cannon that field would need to be extended and shaped along the path of the blast -- the reactions aren't directional and would tend towards the widest arc possible.

I'd agree that conventional metals are almost certainly augmented either by extreme density or whatever dodgy Trek physics are popular in sci-fi this week for force fields, but a weapon being a shaped fusion reaction (rather than just drawing power from that reaction for explosive force -- there has to be particulate matter in there somewhere, it isn't travelling at light speed and can be dodged) is extremely unlikely and counter-intuitive.

snavej
2007-03-13, 07:00 PM
Transformers are very high-tech beings - they must be able to manipulate energy fields at great distances. Hence, they can create a 'tunnel' of containing magnetism or whatever for a blast of energy to travel through, all the way to the target or even beyond. We know that they make such things as extremely strong defensive force fields and the more delicate holographic humans.

Fusion blasts are not at light speed but are still at a significant fraction of light speed. Hardly anyone could dodge one because the power and acceleration needed would destroy the would-be dodger! Even if someone did just about dodge the blast, he/she/it would probably be damaged by the side-effects, e.g. the radiation and the electromagnetic pulse. To successfully dodge the fusion blast, it would be best to warp out using teleport technology, assuming one's reaction time was quick enough.

If I was Megatron, I would want a devastating fusion cannon rather than an ordinary laser or missile. I wouldn't use it all the time but I would like something that could blow big holes in virtually anything and have terrible side-effects on the surroundings just to emphasise my power. Great leaders need to carry a very big stick, so to speak, or else they get overthrown.

Denyer
2007-03-13, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Great leaders need to carry a very big stick, so to speak, or else they get overthrown. Or they put the emphasis of their efforts on defensive tech, and where there's scarcity of materials or components, the leaders and medical forces get them first. Being almost unkillable is more useful than being able to blow more stuff up.

I'd like some in-story explanation for why Prime and Megatron can shrug off blasts that would shred other TFs. If Furman's out there: pretty please?

Reckon it's very likely that Megatron weighs more than any of his underlings, when mass isn't shifted into containment somewhere.

Hardly anyone could dodge one
Characters seem to do so on a frequent basis. We have plenty of evidence that what might at first glance appear to be laser-type beam weapons aren't strictly.

Even if someone did just about dodge the blast, he/she/it would probably be damaged by the side-effects, e.g. the radiation and the electromagnetic pulse.
Again, you're building an argument that Megatron's cannon doesn't produce a directed fusion reaction. It may derive power somewhere internally through one, that's then used, but the blast itself isn't.

another tf fan
2007-03-13, 08:06 PM
this is all very interesting but you two are ignoring the real physics in play here.

the physics of this being a drawing on paper.

transformers tales always contain some element of "yeah, right".
it makes for better story telling. like in star wars how there is always gravity everywhere and there is sound in space. it just makes the story more on a human level.

but your arguments for the scientific possibilities of this are interesting.

Denyer
2007-03-13, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by another tf fan
this is all very interesting but you two are ignoring the real physics in play here. Would've gotten very boring here in the last few years without picking apart the possible mechanics...

At least TFs doesn't have an equivalent in-depth tome in the style of Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise.

Incidentally, I have no scientific qualifications past GCSE. Which probably helps my suspension of disbelief a lot when reading science fiction, come to think about it...

another tf fan
2007-03-13, 08:20 PM
Well your arguments were better thought out than most i hear around here.

but seriously we know why transformers can do seemingly impossible acts:

SUBSPACE

Brimstone
2007-03-13, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by snavej
The point is that the weapon is a fusion cannon.Is it? I don't recall Megatron (or anyone else) saying that it is in this continuity. Could just be a big gun.

(or I need to go back and re-read Infiltration and Stormbringer)

As for the dodging. Granted, they couldn't dodge a laser, but chances are, they couldn't dodge a bullet either. They're not dodging the energy/projectile of the weapon, per se. They're dodging the aiming of said energy/projectile. So, you don't have to be faster than light...you just have to be faster than your opponent.

But, I agree with Nevermore on this...page three has to be the coolest page of Transformers comics I've ever seen. Both the writing and the art gave me goosebumps reading it! They made us wait 10+ comics to see it...but it was well worth the wait.

snavej
2007-03-14, 10:53 AM
Going back to G1, on which Escalation is based, Megatron's cannon is always referred to as a fusion cannon. The fusion reactions occur inside the centre of the cannon, the main blast is channelled out of the barrel and down the 'force field tunnel' to the target. There is usually an emission of waste byproducts from the rear of the cannon, but this is quite weak. I'm not sure what those are but they were usually shown as being rather smoky in G1. They could be radioactive fallout.

In the mid 20th Century, people had seen the power of the atomic bomb and then the H-bomb. They thought that this power was kind of god-like: it could either be used to advance human society or destroy it. This is just the sort of power that Megatron would crave. The H-bomb is pretty hard to control but the fusion cannon is a lot more manageable in comparison

If one looks at the G1 tech specs and also Dreamwave's G1 profile books, Megatron also has the power to control black hole energy for short periods. This is in a whole different league, being much more powerful than nuclear fusion. If he can do this, then making and using a fusion cannon would be relatively simple!

tahukanuva
2007-03-14, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by snavej
Going back to G1, on which Escalation is based,

Yeah, and? Doesn't mean IDW has to call it that. They probably will, but don't have too.

snavej
2007-03-14, 11:01 AM
Modern warfare on Earth shows us that sufficient levels of offensive fighting is the key to victory in war. Those who rely on defensive strategies usually get beaten in the end because the attackers bring in more and more firepower to break the defences. Therefore, although defence is still important, it is most crucial to have offensive weapons and to use them swiftly.

tahukanuva
2007-03-14, 11:15 AM
I've never really understood the logic of Megs' cannon being his only weapon. If you're on a battlefield, and you're the guy everyone'll be focusing on, you'd want a weapon that'd be a little more rapid fire then a huge funking gun.

'Course, I'm not quite sure of the gun's rate of fire either, so...

Denyer
2007-03-14, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by snavej
If one looks at the G1 tech specs and also Dreamwave's G1 profile books, Megatron also has the power to control black hole energy for short periods. Although IIRC he used it a grand total of once in one Marvel UK story and it almost destroyed everything in the immediate vicinity, himself included. It's shown to be a weapon of either madness or last resort.

It's referred to as a fusion cannon. Nowhere is it shown to do anything but generate explosive energy and project it. For one thing, the energy required to shape a force field would increase exponentially the further the blast travelled.

Modern warfare on Earth shows us that sufficient levels of offensive fighting is the key to victory in war.Yeah -- kill them before they kill you. Unfortunately humans haven't quite mastered being practically immortal metal beings that can survive being reduced to a head or chip. Though the Cybermen are trying.

Originally posted by tahukanuva
If you're on a battlefield, and you're the guy everyone'll be focusing on, you'd want a weapon that'd be a little more rapid fire Yup, and he's often been seen in previous continuities firing off short inconsequential bursts, which strongly goes against the radiation being deadly to everything around.

Brimstone
2007-03-14, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Going back to G1, on which Escalation is based, Megatron's cannon is always referred to as a fusion cannon. Um...so? IDW's Transformers is not G1. Based on G1, yes, but it's not G1. And it sure as hell ain't DW Transformers (which specificially was the inbetween story of G1's Season 2 and the Movie).

IDW has its own continuity, and things like his cannon being a fusion cannon shouldn't be taken as a given. Not yet anyway (unless it did say somewhere in these comics that it is...then I will retract this statement)Originally posted by snavej
Those who rely on defensive strategies usually get beaten in the end because the attackers bring in more and more firepower to break the defences. Therefore, although defence is still important, it is most crucial to have offensive weapons and to use them swiftly.That wasn't what I was saying. I was just saying that your analysis on the destructive force on a transformer's body when trying to dodge a laser was inaccurate. You don't have to dodge the laser, you have to dodge the person shooting the laser.

snavej
2007-03-14, 02:43 PM
To wield black hole power without destroying the entire solar system is an achievement beyond most beings' wildest dreams, so congratulations Megatron!

The H-bomb is pretty much uncontrollable but a fusion reactor is kept under tight control. The little reactor on Megatron's arm could generate small bursts of plasma, or large ones, or rapid-fire ones, or sustained ones like a flame thrower, or other varieties that everyone can have fun imagining.

I believe that Megatron could also be carrying a variety of other compact weapons. We have already seen the energon morning star, the silver sword and the pistol in the 'holster' on his hip (G1 comic, UK). What else could be secreted in that massive frame?

inflatable dalek
2007-03-14, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Although IIRC he used it a grand total of once in one Marvel UK story and it almost destroyed everything in the immediate vicinity, himself included. It's shown to be a weapon of either madness or last resort.

Twice actually, Raiders of the Lost Titan Trade and at the end of the Prey arc.

snavej
2007-03-14, 04:37 PM
In order to reliably dodge bullets, lasers, etc., one has to have a reliable method of doing so, such as:
- reading opponents' minds
- seeing the future
- knowing where shots are going to go by making allowance for weapon type, power, state of repair, accuracy, etc.
- knowing the attack patterns of predictable opponents, e.g. Bruticus

Consider the AK-47, which is fairly accurate in rifle mode but a lot less accurate in fully automatic mode. How can one predict the unpredictable machine gun? An AK-47 from factory A could fire differently to one produced in factory B. How does one tell them apart in the heat of battle?

Also consider opponents who are unpredictable, highly intelligent, cunning or insane, or some or all of these. They might choose many different attack patterns in a battle. Only a psychic or electronic mind reader could predict what they will decide to do next.

snavej
2007-03-14, 07:53 PM
Quoting Brimstone:

'That wasn't what I was saying. I was just saying that your analysis on the destructive force on a transformer's body when trying to dodge a laser was inaccurate. You don't have to dodge the laser, you have to dodge the person shooting the laser.'

Imagine that an enemy is pointing a gun right at you at close range. You only notice him a few microseconds before he fires. At this point, you will be trying to dodge the shot and not the aimer. If you want to avoid damage, you have to move a metre or two before the shot hits you. If it's a bullet, you have a tiny fraction of a second. If it's a laser, you have even less time.

In order to move a metre or two in a tiny fraction of a second, you have to move at a huge speed. To avoid the laser, you might have to move at light speed. As Einstein said, the faster you travel the more energy you need to do it and the heavier you become. Travelling at light speed, or close to it, you will be supercharged with energy and will become incredibly heavy. The acceleration will kill you very effectively, whether you are human or Transformer.

Even if, by some miracle, you do survive, how will you slow down from such a speed without crashing into something and dying then?! Modern physics - sometimes useful to know about!

Terome
2007-03-14, 08:03 PM
I think it goes like this: Prime is cool and lucky, so he gets to take a shot in the chest and be okay. Same with Ratchet. Starscream is cool, but he is full of hubris. His coolness allows him to dodge some shots, but his hubris weakens his armour and he gets a hole in him. Blitzwing is neither cool nor lucky, so he gets horribly killed whenever someone looks in his direction.

This is powerful literary knowledge!

the_escaflowne_2k
2007-03-14, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Even if, by some miracle, you do survive, how will you slow down from such a speed without crashing into something and dying then?! Modern physics - sometimes useful to know about!

Useful, but in the case of giant transforming robots from another planet i think a little suspension of belief is on the cards. . .

tahukanuva
2007-03-14, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by snavej
If you want to avoid damage, you have to move a metre or two before the shot hits you.

Why? If it's a bullet, and it misses, then it's missed. With energy weapons you might get burned, but that wouldn't do much to a huge metal robot anyway.

Brimstone
2007-03-14, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Imagine that an enemy is pointing a gun right at you at close range. You only notice him a few microseconds before he fires.
.
<snip>
.
Modern physics - sometimes useful to know about! Oh, I'm sorry did you just change the argument of the debate and then act like a pompas jackass about it afterwards?

tahukanuva
2007-03-14, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by Brimstone
Oh, I'm sorry did you just change the argument of the debate and then act like a pompas jackass about it afterwards?

No, he's been acting like a pompous jackass the entire time.

Edit: There's a chance that may have been out of line.

snavej
2007-03-15, 11:13 AM
I think that this comes down to personal taste. Some people like 'cool Transformers', some like exciting stories, some like science fiction with science AND fiction in it (or at least an attempt at both). We are deep in speculation here, way beyond human knowledge of science and technology. The one who can persuade the most others gets to shape the story.

another tf fan
2007-03-15, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Modern warfare on Earth shows us that sufficient levels of offensive fighting is the key to victory in war. Those who rely on defensive strategies usually get beaten in the end because the attackers bring in more and more firepower to break the defences. Therefore, although defence is still important, it is most crucial to have offensive weapons and to use them swiftly.

I would agree with that. As my father (Vietnam veteran) once put it to me;

The goal is not to die for one's country but to make the other guy die for his.

snavej
2007-03-15, 02:20 PM
In a chaotic battle situation, a Transformer might be able to anticipate the attacks of a certain number of enemies but there are limits. The enemy around the next corner could be impossible to predict because all one's attention is focused on the first few dozen or few hundred attackers.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-16, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by snavej
I think that this comes down to personal taste. Some people like 'cool Transformers', some like exciting stories, some like science fiction with science AND fiction in it

Well, you won't get anything resembling real science in Transformers, it falls at the first stumbling block of humaniod aliens...

snavej
2007-03-16, 03:19 PM
Considering all of science fiction, there have been many different varieties of force field. Some let nothing through them at all, some block out only certain specific things and the rest are inbetween. For example, large objects and dangerous things might be blocked while subtle energies and less dangerous things could be let through. Hence, a force field could be tuned to keep in a fusion cannon blast but to allow the light and other radiation to get through. Thus, a person might be spared the full blast but receive enough gamma radiation to kill him/her. The visible light alone would be enough to cause blindness, even in some Transformers.

With regard to the energy needed for the projection of a force field over many miles, this might not be as great as first thought due to the projector having a detailed understanding of quantum entanglement ('spooky action at a distance', which human scientists have recently discovered) and the ability to make use of it. This would allow energetic particles to be teleported via a higher dimension to the points where they were needed. It would be done with similar technology to that used in interstellar drives. Humans have already managed to teleport a few photons across their laboratories.

snavej
2007-03-16, 03:30 PM
The humanoid form is a proven success in body design for intelligent beings. Why not use it for aliens? Not all Transformers are humanoid anyway - beast modes, Ravage, Laserbeak, etc. There is great flexibility, as we know. I think that, if the situation demanded it, Transformers could convert to different forms, e.g. three legs, Jabba the Hutt, hover balls, and so forth.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-16, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by snavej
The humanoid form is a proven success in body design for intelligent beings. Why not use it for aliens?

Not for aliens from a planet the size of Saturn or seemingly smaller than our Moon [The Cartoon, assuming there's no episode that contradicts [i]The Ultimate Doom]. And considering we only have one species capable of spaceship building on Sol III (I won't say only one inteligent species mind, as there's at least one not even remotely humaniod race thay could make a good argument for being as smart as us if we had a clue what those chirps meant) that's hardly a good representive sample.

Aliens are going to be that- Alien. They'll be more different from us than we are from the common garden slug. And for a species with such a drastically different origin as the Formies have they won't be humanion, or Buzzardoid or even Cassettoid.

Jaynz
2007-03-16, 04:07 PM
Dalek, um, no.

I see this argument a lot 'They're ALIEN! They're DIFFERENT AND STRANGE!" ... My retort to this is 'Why'? With all the varied life and conditions on earth, is there REALLY going to be such 'unimaginable' differences with alien life forms on planets which must be reasonably Earth-like?

I'm not saying we're going to see humans at Episilon Erandi... but I think any alien life we see will more than likely be classifiable in terms that we already know.

The laws and physics and biology don't spontenously change, after all.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-16, 04:17 PM
Well, ignoring the fact that humanoids have been on Earth for a relatively short amount of the total time the planets been sustaining life, that it's something of a fluke we're in charge at all (thanks to that Meteor/increased volcanic activity/Adric/whatever removed the dinosaurs) and the world isn't ruled by lizzards, that most planets (assuming same size and atmosphere) that could theoretically support life won't actually be all that much like Earth anyway because our evolution depended on circumstances created by our distance from the sun (and it's a very narrow margin for the climate we need, if Mars had ever supported much life it wouldn't have been that Earth like) then the point is valid. :)

snavej
2007-03-19, 11:21 AM
My own theory on this is that Transformers have to change their body designs every x-number of years in order to keep up with the arms race. Currently, they are mainly humanoid but in future they might have to turn into a different form, perhaps with sensors and weapons that point in every direction (like a sea urchin with spikes pointing everywhere. We know that they sometimes have to down-size to save energon and become Micromasters, Minicons, Minibots, etc. Also, some of them become giants so that they can gain massive strength and defensive bulk. Some have only one eye while others have compound eyes like insects. I'm pretty sure that they all have much better senses than our own.

I would expect them to make more use of alternate dimensions but they don't seem to be doing so very much. What is stopping them? Maybe there are powerful beings living in those dimensions that keep them out most of the time. Primus and Unicron must have influence in other dimensions. No one wants to risk going up against such god beings.

the_escaflowne_2k
2007-03-19, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by snavej
We know that they sometimes have to down-size to save energon and become Micromasters, Minicons, Minibots, etc.

Well thats in other continuities, so far (correct me if i'm wrong) there's been no mention of this occurring in the IDW continuity.

I would expect them to make more use of alternate dimensions but they don't seem to be doing so very much. What is stopping them? Maybe there are powerful beings living in those dimensions that keep them out most of the time. Primus and Unicron must have influence in other dimensions. No one wants to risk going up against such god beings.

Again as above, there has been no mention of either of these two within this new continuity, as for the lack of use of other dimensions, it could be down to Simon Furman not wanting to bog down every issue with pages detailing the exact workings of every single piece of technology/not wanting to use the use of other dimensions in his writing, he is afterall a writer and not a theoretical physicist (again correct me if i'm wrong). .

snavej
2007-03-19, 02:53 PM
Who wants to donate money to send Simon Furman on an advanced physics degree course?! He could do it part time so that he could continue to write Transformer stories and other fiction. I will look after the funds, none of which will be spent on the 'Snavej New Jacuzzi Appeal', honest.

dotCommunism
2007-03-19, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Who wants to donate money to send Simon Furman on an advanced physics degree course?! He could do it part time so that he could continue to write Transformer stories and other fiction. I will look after the funds, none of which will be spent on the 'Snavej New Jacuzzi Appeal', honest.

Since the only people who get worked up about advanced physics in a Transformers comic are pedantic twits, I don't think so. Maybe the money could be better training you to suspend disbelief.

Denyer
2007-03-19, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Who wants to donate money to send Simon Furman on an advanced physics degree course?!
Nobody else actually seems to think a controlled fusion reaction held in arc by force fields is feasible, versus simply using fusion to generate the power for the blast...

they might have to turn into a different form, perhaps with sensors and weapons that point in every direction
There's a very strong chance they've got them, though robot modes may favour focused sensor arrays rather than the spread field ones that would be necessary in vehicle modes. Xref: Megatron in the Joes G2 crossover.

Thankfully Furman's sticking to the NYAFU (Not Yet Another Unicron) deal in the main universe.

And alt-universes are incredibly played-out and cheapening. Along with time-travel, they're what science fiction series reach to when stuck for ideas. (Or in the case of TFUK, a quick way to reconcile increasingly divergent timelines whilst tidying the pieces away afterwards so as not to conflict too much with the US title.)

snavej
2007-03-19, 06:59 PM
If there is nothing to hold the fusion blast away from Megatron and his allies, then many of them will die simply by being close to the first shot. As was said in earlier posts, this would make the cannon worse than useless - a suicide device. A directed fusion weapon demands some method of protecting the users from the deadly effects. Fair enough, if force fields can't do the job, then something else has to be there instead. For instance, imagine if there is some way of 'programming' the particles in the blast so that they would all move to the target and nowhere else. When they reach a certain distance from the weapon, they would then be allowed to scatter. Don't ask me how it would be done! Let the real experts find a way. Perhaps one of the fans has an even better idea than mine on this topic.

The repeated depiction of the fusion cannon in comics, cartoons, etc. emphasises that Megatron HAS found a way to harness the nuclear forces in this way, in his own continuities. If we can't accept it, which is perfectly understandable given the current state of knowledge in the real world, then we should go back to the beginning and rewrite the stories with a more believable concept. Remember that there are rather a lot of ideas in comics and cartoons that are hard to believe for the rational skeptic. Also remember that science is moving forward quickly right now on our world, so the impossible becomes possible quite often.

With regard to science in stories - many great SF writers have worked hard to get the science right in their works and they are widely regarded as important in their literary field, so I don't see what would be wrong with introducing a little more science into Transformer stories once in a while. We the fandom would surely like to be seen as more than lowbrow, obsessed fantasists! We are bright and in touch with things, are we not? A general interest in new developments is a sign of mental alertness and openness. Of course, there is still a place for the more fantastical elements of the Transformers mythos. The primary purpose of Transformers is entertainment, after all - the original toys and stories were mainly for young children. Not many people thought that Transformers were outstanding educational toys but they did provide inspiration and open our eyes to loads of new ideas.

Denyer
2007-03-19, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by snavej
If there is nothing to hold the fusion blast away from Megatron and his allies
The arc of the blast isn't a fusion reaction. A smaller shielded reaction inside the weapon provides energy for a shot.

There's no evidence to the contrary except a fixation on the name "fusion cannon".

I don't see what would be wrong with introducing a little more science into Transformer stories once in a while. We the fandom would surely like to be seen as more than lowbrow, obsessed fantasists!
Yes, this is why we're saying no current science supports it, and the odds of any future science supporting it are incredibly low because we have a fairly good understanding of what "exponential" means.

snavej
2007-03-20, 10:56 AM
I thought an arc was a curve. Megatron's cannon fires in straight line bursts.

snavej
2007-03-20, 11:04 AM
Another fascinating topic - G1 Track's black light pistol, how does that work? (Joke.)

T.V.
2007-03-20, 02:28 PM
Even Tracks' black light gun couldn't save your non arguments from Denyer's common sense. ;)

snavej
2007-03-20, 04:30 PM
Which non arguments would those be?

T.V.
2007-03-20, 05:08 PM
Well, going in lengths on about Megatron's "fusion cannon" and it's supposed physical capabilities when,
a.) TF fiction hasn't been all that consistent over the years,
b.) Marvel-verse profiles don't neccesarely apply to IDW-verse TFs.
c.) TF never really bothered with physical accuracy.

Supose that TF would become more consistent and that Megatron truely had a "fusion cannon" and the ability "to tap into the power of a black hole." Then you'd have a character which is litterally a god.

Robots that transform and posses weapons that are seemingly no more powerful than current bombs and tank cannon shells and can be damaged/destroyed by such munitions would be totally helpless against a force that's able to drawn upon a great many times more than the entire Earth's nuclear arsenal.

Megatron would have more power than Unicron ever displayed in the comics and cartoon.

That alone makes the dodgy "fusion cannon" and "black hole tapping" explanations rather moot to begin with.

Balance of power (Humans/Autobots/Decepticons) is more important than physical (non) accuracy, because that's important for storytelling purposes.
Furthermore, if the TFs should be subject to physical accuracy, then the physical accuracy should be subject to power balancing.
In that case, about 90% of the technical abilities inside the Marvel profiles can be discarded, because they,
a.) skew the balance between the individual TFs too much.
b.) make little to no sense from a science point of view.

Therefore, simply for storytelling purposes the current Marvel profiles shouldn't be regarded as canonical material to the letter, because it sets you up for plotholes to the n-th degree if followed religously.

So it's wise to take them with a grain of salt. A handful at that.

Edit:
Having said that, I'm also not too happy about the inconsistency between weapon power and armoring as seen in IDW TF.
Roller blasting Blitzwing to pulp, when Ratchet can take a shot in the chest, irks me.
Prime (& Roller) and Megatron are IMHO too invincable compared to 'normal' TFs.
I it puts me out of the story to see them being on a different level while they look similar to other TFs, implying similar damage dealing and taking potential.
It's okay for them to be better than others, like an F-22 can beat an Su-27, but as it stands it's like Yak-3s vs. F-22s...

Denyer
2007-03-20, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by snavej
I thought an arc was a curve. Also refers to a bridge of energy (usually electrical) between two points -- lightning's a natural arc lamp, for example. "Line" if you prefer.

snavej
2007-03-20, 06:18 PM
So these are not really MY non arguments: they stem from the inconsistencies of the G1 tech specs, which I remember fairly well. Please, blame where blame is due!

I have heard it said that a straight line is a special kind of arc with no bends in it.

T.V.
2007-03-20, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by snavej
So these are not really MY non arguments: they stem from the inconsistencies of the G1 tech specs, which I remember fairly well. Please, blame where blame is due!Ah, but weren't you defending the "fusion cannon" and the ability to "draw upon the power of a black hole?"

Besides, as I said, it goes against common sense to assume that the tech specs are entirely valid for IDW's reimaging.

Wether it's in the tech specs, or a term used in Marvel comics or G1 cartoon, they don't neccesarely have to carry any weight in terms of IDW's Transformers.
Even then, Megatron's cannon could best be regarded as a "fusion cannon" in name only, since it doesn't yield the power as would be expected from such an earth scorching device.

snavej
2007-03-21, 11:33 AM
It is one thing to defend an argument or belief, but it is another thing entirely to create the argument in the first place. I will never claim to have invented any part of G1 but I will say that I found it hugely inspiring, fascinating and entertaining. Without it, we would be discussing something completely different, after all.

At the time G1 began, during the cold war, the threat of nuclear holocaust was very great, so nuclear fusion weapons were on a lot of people's minds. Most major cities were in danger of annihilation. No wonder the writers regarded such power as fitting for a super-villain. I think the tech specs were written in a hurry, to suit the rapidly growing Transformer craze, so they were not fully thought through. As we have seen, Megatron and his cannon are top priority targets for Autobots, so quite often his cannon is out of action due to battle damage.

Infiltration, Escalation, etc. show Transformers who are essentially very similar to G1 (one might say they were drawn better and look something like Alternators) and there is no disclaimer to say that they are distinct from G1, so it is natural to assume that they would be basically the same in terms of character, abilities, strengths, weaknesses and equipment. As the saying goes, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it may well be a duck! It is very easy to get confused if the situation is vague in the first place: people tend to see what they want to see (e.g. the Rorschach ink blot test). Not everyone has a mind like that of a detective.

Optimus Prime carries one of the most powerful lasers in the galaxy, proportional to its size. This is how he can equip Roller with such a laser and cripple or kill Blitzwing with one shot. Optimus also carries a god's power inside him (the Matrix), which can be used as a kind of super-weapon in times of dire emergency. It is not unreasonable to expect Megatron to crave a similar god-like power for himself, which in G1 he found in a black hole link. However, controlling a black hole is one of the most difficult things to do in the universe, so he can only usually get a tiny amount of black hole power at any one time - perhaps enough to destroy a building, a village or a group of Autobots. The risks involved are so great as to prevent the use of this power except in the worst predicaments.

Denyer
2007-03-21, 08:00 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Infiltration, Escalation, etc. show Transformers who are essentially very similar to
Minus the gimmicks. No sign of combiners, pretender tech is the aborted pipe-dream of maniacs, what of the -Master tech we've seen has been abortive, etc. More thought's being put into what's feasible.

Originally posted by snavej
there is no disclaimer to say that they are distinct from G1
Dreamwave did a G1 series (and tied it explicitly to several characters and concepts that were previously cartoon-only.) IDW are doing Transformers. Have you been reading any of the press surrounding the comics? Latest evidence of this being that Galvatron isn't Megatron.

Originally posted by snavej
so it is natural to assume that they would be basically the same in terms of character, abilities, strengths, weaknesses and equipment.
There are huge differences between even the previous continuities -- and much of the tech spec material never saw any fiction use.

Originally posted by snavej
and cripple or kill Blitzwing with one shot
Actually, Blitzwing mostly just seems to be crap. He didn't do Ratchet much damage at point-blank range.

Originally posted by snavej
Optimus also carries a god's power inside him (the Matrix)
No matrix so far in this continuity. The glimmer of light in Prime's chest in Stormbringer is confirmed as Don's artistic insertion, not scripted.

E.J.Su
2007-03-21, 08:01 PM
I am not speaking in official capacity, so I don't think everything I say here is accurate to what Simon is planning.

I do know that our continuity has nothing to do with Marvel or Dreamwave profiles.

I like to think that Transformers have technology to strengthen their armor plating.
with exception of Starscream, everyone that was "trashed" in the story so far has been in vehicle mode, maybe the Transformers deverse more energy to offensive fire power in vehicle mode. Perhaps Blitzwing spares even more defensive energy to "cloak".

another tf fan
2007-03-21, 09:35 PM
Hell yeah, EJ SU is posting on our boards.

Let me be the first to suck up:

Love your work!


ok, thats enough from me.

T.V.
2007-03-21, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by E.J.Su
I am not speaking in official capacity, so I don't think everything I say here is accurate to what Simon is planning.

I do know that our continuity has nothing to do with Marvel or Dreamwave profiles.

I like to think that Transformers have technology to strengthen their armor plating.
with exception of Starscream, everyone that was "trashed" in the story so far has been in vehicle mode, maybe the Transformers deverse more energy to offensive fire power in vehicle mode. Perhaps Blitzwing spares even more defensive energy to "cloak". Hello handsome! (talking to the avatar.. :D)

Thanks for the input.
Now.. where can I spot some more of your art, besides in IDW's TF comic? :)

snavej
2007-03-22, 12:59 PM
More clarity - yay! We are on another alternative continuity, but is it 'played out and cheap'?!

Denyer
2007-03-22, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by snavej
is it 'played out and cheap'?!
I think you may be misunderstanding (deliberately or otherwise) the comment about alt-universes and time-travel... they're quick fix plot mechanisms. Furman used them back in the day because he had to juggle characters around Budiansky's stories. Shows such as Red Dwarf and Trek used them when they ran out of other ideas, and Hasbro/conventions use confluence of realities as a cheap device to flog toys from different lines together. "He's an evil version of you from another dimension!" and the like is a cliché.

This is the first time we've had a continuity that's intended to be unified from the beginning and doesn't involve writers second-guessing around each other. It led to major inconsistencies in the original cartoon, original comics and with Dreamwave.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-22, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
IShows such as Red Dwarf and Trek used them when they ran out of other ideas,

Well, Trek tended to do them because time travel/alternate universe shows were often the most popular (I don't think anyone would call Mirror Mirror, Yesterday's Enterprise or Far Beyond the Stars creatively bankrupt.)

Denyer
2007-03-22, 02:48 PM
All Good Things? And yeah, they would. Pretty much every series of its its type has "the episode where the characters think they've dreamed everything" (DS9, Buffy, etc.) Since the TOS episode, the stock parody of alt-universes is bad guy versions and little goatees -- and even when Mirror, Mirror was produced it was cliché sci-fi writing.

People'd also call Who creatively bankrupt because it makes constant use of "do anything" plot devices, sometimes several within a particular episode.

One person's fun and escapist is another's lazy plot mechanic.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-22, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Since the TOS episode, the stock parody of alt-universes is bad guy versions and little goatees -- and even when Mirror, Mirror was produced it was cliché sci-fi writing.

Though everyone forgets that in Mirror Mirror the alternate with the goatee is in fact a decent guy. The quality really depends on what the stories are used for- If it's just an excuse to get your female cast in skin tight leather then yes, it's a little lazy. But the good ones usually tell us a great deal about the regular characters. After all, it was Dopplegangland that first told us Willow was "kind of gay", Yesterday's Enterprise shows how our characters would cope in a utterly depressing no-win war situaition and has Tasha Yar having to cope with the fact that when things get put right she'll be dead again, Inferno shows us what would happen if the Doctor wasn't there to save us, even something as campy as Mirror Mirror tells us a lot about the sort of man Kirk and the others could be if they'd lived just a slightly different life.

Jaynz
2007-03-22, 03:15 PM
"Mirror Mirror" was really a piece about Spock and Kirk, showing that they could still find understanding despite a literal world of difference. It was also the first time the cliche was used in a major TV show to that extent (though, of course, it had been used in writing long before).

Denyer
2007-03-22, 04:18 PM
Wasn't the first time in major TV sci-fi (The Twilight Zone took a more subtle approach, rather than having most characters be radically different) but it's the best-known.
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
if they'd lived just a slightly different life.
Yeah. It's the nearest thing official continuities have to "what if?" fan fiction, whilst being able to go back to the regular setup afterwards.

I think it's much harder to write a strong continuity with alt-universes and time-travel popping up, because once the plot device is on the table it becomes a fallback -- Marvel and DC have decades of this stuff piled up, to the extent people drop books and just wait until things are retconned out.
it was Dopplegangland that first told us Willow was "kind of gay"
Speaking of which, am I the only one pissed off that the "best of Willow" DVD is more about Oz rather than Willow?

snavej
2007-03-22, 04:42 PM
As the old saying goes, familiarity [with Sci-Fi and Fantasy concepts and characters] eventually breeds contempt. Breaks are needed to recapture the old 'magic'.

Denyer
2007-03-22, 04:47 PM
And nowhere is that more true than with Star Trek at the moment...

E.J.Su
2007-03-22, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by another tf fan
Hell yeah, EJ SU is posting on our boards.

Let me be the first to suck up:

Love your work!
Thanks Another tf fan. :)
Originally posted by T.V.
Hello handsome! (talking to the avatar.. :D)Just for you (http://www.protodepot.com/uploaded_images/hd04cover_tmp.jpg)
Thanks for the input.
Now.. where can I spot some more of your art, besides in IDW's TF comic? :) On my ComicSpace (http://www.comicspace.com/ejsu) page has a list of what I've done in the past (that I could remember).

T.V.
2007-03-22, 05:51 PM
Thanks man.

snavej
2007-03-22, 07:30 PM
Where could the Escalation Matrix be? Somewhere we might not suspect. A storage locker in Grand Central Station? The Restaurant at the End of the Universe? Ugly Betty's house? Or inside the cruelly neglected Wheelimus Prime?

Denyer
2007-03-22, 07:33 PM
Busy not existing.

snavej
2007-03-23, 11:22 AM
Who or what will give life to Escalation Transformers? Maybe they are not alive at all - maybe they are sophisticated drones and someone behind the scenes is pulling the strings.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-23, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Speaking of which, am I the only one pissed off that the "best of Willow" DVD is more about Oz rather than Willow?

Surely the best of Willow is every episode she was in anyway?

And Star Trek isn't getting all that long of a break really...

Denyer
2007-03-23, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by snavej
Who or what will give life to Escalation Transformers? There's a gradual path between artificial intelligence and sentience, as there's a gradual path between dinosaurs and birds.

snavej
2007-03-23, 04:37 PM
Yes, the evolution route. There's probably going to be a lot of potential back-story there.

Just found this interview:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=10079

Fusion cannon has, apparently, been confirmed, though no word yet on its capabilities.

another tf fan
2007-03-23, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by snavej
... cruelly neglected Wheelimus Prime?

:laugh: