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View Full Version : Tailgate and the Legislators (Spoilers for trade-waiters)


Terome
2013-04-14, 09:54 PM
So when Tailgate had his cathartic confession to Cyclonus it seemed like we had a handle on him - he was a pathological liar who just wanted to be liked and was sad that he had been forgotten. That gels completely but there's one detail that doesn't quite fit...

In issue two, after the Legislators had been killed, Tailgate reaches over to one of their heads and says something like, 'I'll be over in a minute.' Later, he asks a specific question to Ultra Magnus about something the Legislators said (clause nineteen eighty four).

Now, if he can bluff head-first into a bomb-disposal situation, it is not a stretch to believe that Tailgate is capable of lying about anything. Playing dumb about clause nineteen eighty four isn't beyond him, nor is feeding Cyclonus a half-truth about who himself and his motivations. His entire persona as a guy who just wants to be liked could be in doubt.

So what on earth was he intending to do with that Legislator's head?

Anybody else noticed some instances where we have to take Tailgate's word for something?

Auntie Slag
2013-04-14, 10:13 PM
Yeah, there’s more than meets the eye with him. And another thing, in issue 15 he even manages to impress Hoist and Skids with an invention that’s purposefully kept off panel. Where has this skill for making things manifested itself from?

Further, nothing has been made of his panic attacks since the first issue, and the issue 12 where he addresses it himself as a way to keep calm whilst draining the bomb.
Its almost like there’s a little split personality going on with him. To the point where I’d wonder if his avatar would change under certain circumstances.

There’s lots of things about so many of the characters. The one that still bugs me is Rewind getting Shock’s name mixed up. Rewind... Mr. Database for a brain-guy.

Terome
2013-04-14, 11:00 PM
Interesting theory about the holoavatar. A baby implies innocence but also something freshly made.

I took the Rewind mistake as being a joke about just how interchangable those dudes were. And my first thought about his invention was a horn for Cyclonus but yeah, Hoist seems to be a vital component of that scene.

But the thing is that the accidental nature of his being on board the ship kind of excludes him being from some sort of evil sleeper agent. So what the hell is he?

Summerhayes
2013-04-15, 08:26 AM
He's a knight of cybertron!

No, I kid. kid. But from the mtmte 15 thread:

Maybe this has already been talked about; Tailgate's innermost energon being green (issue 12), THAT shade of green like the glowing ball found on Luna 2. Everyone else's energon is purpley.

There must be a significance to that. Does he share something with the Phase sixers?

Perhaps tailgate was a big, powerful legislator but got downgraded to a little body for some crime?

Also, where does the name legislator come from? Is it a fandom thing?

Terome
2013-04-15, 10:17 AM
He's a knight of cybertron!



That is Rung's job!



Perhaps tailgate was a big, powerful legislator but got downgraded to a little body for some crime?

Also, where does the name legislator come from? Is it a fandom thing?

Is the name not in the comics? I didn't make it up, did I?
Aha. From tfwiki:
"The name "Legislators" comes from the concept art for the robots, published in the first trade paperback volume for the series. "

And yeah, Tailgate's green energon is definitely something to do with something.

Did the Functionists become so powerful before or after Nova Prime? In my mind it is after he disappeared but I could be wrong. Anyway, it would definitely be a Functionist idea of a punishment to downgrade someone into a waste disposal bot for, say, claiming to be a champion kickboxer.

Knightdramon
2013-04-15, 12:08 PM
Legislators are named in concept sketches in MTMTE TPB 1.

I think you're reading too much into it. He just kneeled over to check the corpse a bit better, the corpse only said one word [number] so when something similar came up at Magnus's lessons, he asked out of curiosity.

If he already knew about it, then asking Magnus would make no sense at all.

I'm guessing that pretty soon we're going to get some mysteries unfolded about the Legislators...they're up and about in issues 17-19.

inflatable dalek
2013-04-15, 06:49 PM
I think Tailgate has some sort of comeuppance coming definitely, as sweet as we all think he is his lie nearly got Cyclonus and Rewind killed.

I did think it was odd Rewind didn't know the names of everyone on Ark I off the top of his head.

Rack 'n Ruin
2013-04-15, 07:26 PM
I did think it was odd Rewind didn't know the names of everyone on Ark I off the top of his head.

Almost as if someone with pointy fingernails had, shall we say, slightly edited Rewind's memories about the Ark 1, for reasons as yet unclear. Maybe.

inflatable dalek
2013-04-15, 07:28 PM
There are no goofs in this series, all our memories are edited!

Terome
2013-04-16, 09:52 PM
Legislators are named in concept sketches in MTMTE TPB 1.

I think you're reading too much into it. He just kneeled over to check the corpse a bit better, the corpse only said one word [number] so when something similar came up at Magnus's lessons, he asked out of curiosity.


Almost certainly but holding back is no fun. But I do think that, intentionally or not, there is a sinister tone to that panel of him checking the corpse. We also don't know how long he was checking it out for thanks to comics-fu.

Originally Posted by inflatable dalek
I did think it was odd Rewind didn't know the names of everyone on Ark I off the top of his head.

Yeah that is odd. Maybe he has a bit of database degradation and knew that there was a Tail-something on board.

But even so, since the Ark-I was this big old cultural touchstone to Cybertronians (Shockwave and Nightbeat presumably aren't the only ones who gave a fig about it) it would be as if 208 random British people couldn't between them name all of King Arthur's knights.

How mad is Cybertronian culture, by the way, that gumshoes like Nightbeat hope to one day track down a near-mythical lost ship? That would be like Philip Marlowe having books about Atlantis on his shelf. In between cases, he leafs through them muttering, 'some day. Some day I'll find you, Atlantis.'

Auntie Slag
2013-04-16, 10:48 PM
I agree with you about Tailgate and the sinister tone in that panel contemplating the head of the Legislator. As someone else said (probably Inflatable Dalek), Robert's does everything for a reason, and there's something he isn't letting on. Just like the panel where Magnus' face is all sinister and shadowy when they're discussing not bringing Red back on-line. Roberts must have given a direction to Milne about that, not even Cyclonus looks that sinister, even on his most sinister day at a Decepticon convention celebrating all things sinister, hosted by Spinister.

Knightdramon
2013-04-16, 11:41 PM
Not sure how this counts; we saw Ratchet gaze upon the monument of the ark 1 in shadowplay, and he's clearly around Tailgate for most of his time in the first issues.

Perhaps it's something as simple as somebody reading John when they should be reading Johan? Perhaps their recording devices weren't so hot back then, and even the films Rewind has are poor quality [in their own culture and definition]?

Not buying the whole Magnus angle on Red Alert guys. Ultra Magnus went all out and full of regret for opting out in LSTOW on Overlord, I think he'd have just jettisoned him off the ship the moment he'd know about it.

Perhaps it's the way we're seeing\reading it, but I still don't see anything sinister or persuasive about Tailgate kneeling over the Legislator and asking Magnus what those words mean.

And, just for fun, but not trolling you...Tarn is Roller. You've heard it here first people [actually, months ago when I called it]. ;) Discuss away

Auntie Slag
2013-04-17, 06:40 AM
He's certainly the right size and shape for Roller, and Ratchet made that point of the time in Shadowplay when they were all last together, suggesting there's still a payoff in terms of where we can expect to find Roller next.

Still not sure about Magnus. Last time his face went all shadowy like that was when he uttered the words 'thought warfare'.

For Ratchet to write 'bomb' next to disposal on Tailgate's arm, for him not to ask too many questions about Tailgate's ancient internals. But then it's not like he asked much about Rung. Either Ratchet's not very inquisitive or Tailgate has some Steve Jobs-like reality distortion field going on. Is he an early proponent of thought warfare? Is this why no-one remembered him in an entirely different way to Rung?

Why doesn't Rung ask Tailgate anything?

Terome
2013-04-17, 07:43 AM
Tarn as Roller would only fit a little bit. A lot of time has passed but the transition from 'Compassionate cop who watches TV' to 'Merciless killer zealot' needs a bit more fleshing out to say the least.

I guess Magnus' shadowy face could have been a red herring during the time when we knew someone was up to something, so who knows what portents that Tailgate panel holds.

But then...

Either Ratchet's not very inquisitive or Tailgate has some Steve Jobs-like reality distortion field going on. Is he an early proponent of thought warfare? Is this why no-one remembered him in an entirely different way to Rung?

Might be on to something there?

Knightdramon
2013-04-17, 07:59 AM
My rationale behind the Tarn\Roller thing:

Head shape is almost a perfect update from one another. Very, very, very similar shape and detailing. Wheel-like structures on the shoulders and similar size.
Ratchet did say it was the last time they were all together, but Roller did not die in Shadowplay. It's a tad far fetched to say that Roller was moved into another unit and they lost all contact.
At the time, Roller was brutalized by the Senate [more or less the guys he was working for] during their plan to mass subjugate all the Decepticons. A plan lead by Sentinel [Prime], the new defacto leader and super cop. Other senate-related enforces joined the Decepticons
Or lastly, he could be just shadowplayed [a big letdown, though] and coerced to join.

Auntie Slag
2013-04-17, 04:03 PM
Yeah, if Roller had died at some point in the last four million years then Ratchet may have said so. Instead he goes with 'the last time we were all together', and I could understand Roller's disillusionment with the Senate, and to an extent his worry of Pax's manipulation, and then Zeta and Sentinel just sorta ruining everything.

And I think it's quite fitting that the softly spoken Roller (that's the way he came across to me, I don't know if that was explicit though), should be able to sweet talk people to death. Decepticon's that is. Perhaps in this way he's still doing what he believes is right? from a certain point of view, as Obi Wan would say.

Red Dave Prime
2013-04-17, 05:23 PM
Kinda thought Ratchet meant the last time they were all together as a group, he may have met up with Roller since then. But I dont doubt Tarn being revealed as someone who was on the side of good. I'd prefer if it was by choice as opposed to shadowplay though.

Re: Rung not asking Tailgate anything - I get the feeling Rung knows much more about everyone and their motives but generally chooses to observe and not interfere over history - kind of like the observers from fringe.

God bless Roberts and Milne - they have us reading into things were there could very well be nothing, or simply distracting from the real stories.

Warcry
2013-04-17, 06:07 PM
But even so, since the Ark-I was this big old cultural touchstone to Cybertronians (Shockwave and Nightbeat presumably aren't the only ones who gave a fig about it) it would be as if 208 random British people couldn't between them name all of King Arthur's knights.
I don't see any issue with it. We don't have any idea how many people were aboard the Ark-1 to start with. If there were only twenty-odd Transformers aboard, like the Ark in the G1 cartoon/comics then sure, a lot of people would be able to name them all. But if it was a massive starship with hundreds or thousands of crew?

The Titanic is a big cultural touchstone in modern culture, and I'm sure a lot of people could tell you who the captain was, or name some of the crew. But could anyone recite the entire passenger manifest and crew roster? I figure the Ark-1 is the same way. Most people could probably name Nova Prime and a few of his top guys, but after that?

Auntie Slag
2013-04-17, 08:07 PM
You know, with Roberts doing everything in such a considered way I wonder why he chose the Lost Light as containing 200 crew members. That sounds like every Autobot going. There must be a hell of a lot of faceless types considering the amount still on Cybertron featuring in RID.

Even if he made 50 the crew number that's still plenty of people. So are we talking a known roster of 60 named Transformers and 140 Roberts-made characters?

Red Dave Prime
2013-04-17, 08:25 PM
Probably - But seeing as both MTMTE and RID seem to be happy to bring in robots from other series as well as making their own, he probably has a list of 100 definites followed by another 100 Roberts specials. I wouldnt be surprised if the reason is to allow him to do a real big death issue - slaughter maybe a hundred of the crew without it requiring everyone to be killed.

That has me thinking of something that bugged me with the Trailcutter issue - that decepticon ship dwarfed the Lost Light - how many cons were on there???

Knightdramon
2013-04-17, 08:33 PM
There's more bots we know of than "new" bots on board. Completely original bots, so far, are Shock and Ore, Rung, Spoke and Lockstock [not seen yet], Hyperion, Dipstick and Polaris?

Meanwhile, with each passing issue, there's bots we haven't heard or seen in decades popping up as part of the unseen roster. Just a week ago we saw a [repaint? new guy?] of Energon Landmine on board. Blades is onboard, revealed just in issue 15. Late G1/G2 guys, obscure minibots and so on. There's even some very well known guys [Smokescreen, Inferno, Sunstreaker] who haven't spoken a line yet.

Auntie Slag
2013-04-17, 08:33 PM
I dunno, seems rather cheap to kill off a bunch of unknowns. I don't think that's his style as he knows it won't have much impact.

I keep wondering how long one man can hold the reigns of a comic? I don't read any comic other than MTMTE and it's spotlights (Trailcutter due in the post the next few days). But say... is there a writer of Batman or Superman who keep working solo for years? Is it possible to get 100 monthly issues all penned by the same person, or is Roberts attempting some sort of herculean task here?

Red Dave Prime
2013-04-17, 09:41 PM
Ultimate Spider Man was written by Brian Michael Bendis for 150 issues (2000-2009)

The Walking Dead has been written by Robert Kirkman for 109 issues (2003-present)

Preacher has about 70 issues, all with Garth Ennis as writer.

So there is plenty of time for Roberts to continue - whether he wants to or can do is a different matter. From interviews he seems to have a fair bit mapped out so I imagine he has planned for up to 50 issues.

Auntie Slag
2013-04-17, 10:11 PM
Well then I think Whirl said it best; "Cool" :)

Red Dave Prime
2013-04-17, 10:40 PM
Regardless of writer, I would have thought that MTMTE sadly has a finite amount of story - it will need to reach a conclusion to their main quest at some point to work. After that, Roberts may well want to stick with the TF universe but in a different style or setting.

Summerhayes
2013-04-18, 07:36 PM
Well, the same ship and same crew can go on other adventures.

Knightdramon
2013-04-18, 07:57 PM
Well, their quest, even when completed, is far from finite.

Suppose they find the Knights. They'll have to befriend them, explain their situation to them. Learn of their secrets, interact with them.

Assuming all goes well, they'll have to bring them back to Cybertron so they can help with the reformatting system of the government and their culture [that's what they seek them out for, right?]. Then while building the society around them they'll have evil forces, not only the Decepticons, but Quintessons, the Galactic Police and so on.

And if it's still written by James Roberts, there's like 100 issues of story, or more, in that "summary".

Red Dave Prime
2013-04-19, 01:34 AM
All true thankfully. I was kinda thinking more the "ship on a mission" that its currently running. But fair enough, the story can (and should) branch off into a multitude of different angles as long as Roberts is writing (and who is to say that another quality writer may come along to take over later on)