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Knightdramon
2013-11-01, 01:43 PM
We're less than a week to the first issue of the BIGGEST CROSSOVER EVER THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING FOREVER, as IDW puts it.

They made a similar comment for Chaos, and it brought two great series, so I'll take their word this time.

The known;

The three factions on Cybertron are nearly under attack/revelation by Shockwave
Soundwave, as the head of the Decepticons at the moment, knows part of what's going on.
Starscream is nearly clueless, but he's got the numbers under his wing
Bumblebee is again clueless, and he's got a few Autobots that are in disarray. He's got a makeshift Devastator and the Dinobots around, though.
Orion Pax and Rodimus throw themselves into the Dead Universe for some reason


The almost known/semi-revealed;

Megatron gets back to action
The Lost Light is under attack by something/some force
Galvatron comes back
Nova Prime possibly comes back
There's something going on about Shockwave using a Necrotitan to subdue Cybertron


The speculation;

Nova Prime is still alive, trapped in the DU once again, and Prime and Rodimus somehow get him back to life/around. Unsure if he'll be a villain or if he'll join the cast against Jhiaxus
It's still unclear what Shockwave wants to do, besides "bring Cybertron back to its Golden Age". Which involves using a Dead Metrotitan revived by Ore 0 or something.
While the whole bringing the planet back to the best age sounds benevolent, the fact that it's carried out by the biggest villains of the race while using a zombie titan seems fishy
This appears to be Jhiaxus' master plan, finally free of any sort of obedience to Nova's scheme. Which is why I believe, if Nova will come back, he'll be opposed to it. Chiefly because he won't be at the top.
Galvatron will probably re-materialize like Prime did. It just takes longer for him, somehow.

inflatable dalek
2013-11-01, 02:37 PM
A Titan gestalt will be created that will then sit down and explain to the reader every single remaining continuity error in the entire IDW universe.

More seriously, I just don't want it to suck.

Terome
2013-11-01, 04:10 PM
Also, time-travel will happen. We may get two Cyclonii.

Skyquake87
2013-11-01, 10:23 PM
A Titan gestalt will be created that will then sit down and explain to the reader every single remaining continuity error in the entire IDW universe.

Barber appearing as himself ...? :swirly:



I hope it isn't rubbish too. otherwise i will be sad.



stupid dead universe.

Summerhayes
2013-11-01, 11:50 PM
It will finally get all the continuity-fixing out of Barber/ Roberts' systems and then MTMTE and RID will more or less carry on from where they were but even better than before.

zigzagger
2013-11-02, 08:13 AM
Well... if MTMTE absolutely has to be interrupted for the goddamned Dead Universe and Titans juiced up on Ore-Whatever, at very least I expect to see Kup.

That aside, expectations are set to low.

Auntie Slag
2013-11-02, 10:09 AM
I only read MTMTE.

So Dark Cybertron begins in MTMTE issue 23 and takes over that comic for five issues. Then in order to continue reading the Dark Cybertron plot I then have to buy RID issues 28-32. After that everything carries on as normal with the two titles?

OR... does Dark Cybertron somehow involve both comics at the same time, so next month I have to buy Issues 23-27 of MTMTE and RID to get the full Dark Cybertron story?

For anyone following one of these comics casually, this sounds like an almighty balls-up of an idea.

Denyer
2013-11-02, 03:04 PM
It runs concurrently in both books, with a "special" Dark Cybertron titled issue at each end. Basically a ploy to try to get people to read the disappointing RID title, although realistically it's more likely to harm sales of both.

At least there's a lack of people here who'd be suggesting that folk not buying the title (because they're waiting out the bullshit) shouldn't comment, or folk buying and slating should stop buying (because people who're primarily pissed off at the impact on the one book they're enjoying are such a downer)... admittedly, I haven't been keeping up with other forums in some years.

The dead universe was already a lot of hand-waving, followed up by a crossover about nasty things from beyond that casually killed off a character that was getting some development, and now we've got Shockwave brand "a wizard did it" magic rocks. More science in the science fiction would be nice.

They made a similar comment for Chaos, and it brought two great series
I feel like I've missed something here. Chaos was passable, mostly lifted by a couple of Roberts issues and a novelty "in the future" story that -- if in canon -- serves mainly to limit the scope for the continuity. The rest (Heart of Darkness, the rest of the fortunately abandoned ongoing, Autocracy/Monstrosity, RID) staggered between filler and tripe.

Terome
2013-11-02, 03:08 PM
At least there's a lack of people here who'd be suggesting that folk not buying the title (because they're waiting out the bullshit) shouldn't comment, or folk buying and slating should stop buying (because people who're primarily pissed off at the impact on the one book they're enjoying are such a downer)... admittedly, I haven't been keeping up with other forums in some years.

It's a curious form of tribalism. I guess it's a desire to keep those comment streams neat and tidy?

Knightdramon
2013-11-02, 03:40 PM
I feel like I've missed something here. Chaos was passable, mostly lifted by a couple of Roberts issues and a novelty "in the future" story that -- if in canon -- serves mainly to limit the scope for the continuity. The rest (Heart of Darkness, the rest of the fortunately abandoned ongoing, Autocracy/Monstrosity, RID) staggered between filler and tripe.

Chaos was advertised as something that would change the transformers world forever, blah blah blah, typical marketing ploy.

It did, however. Because once Chaos was done, we finally moved away from Earth, the writing became much better and "The Death of Optimus Prime" was actually a great read.

Denyer
2013-11-02, 04:08 PM
So assuming that Dark Cybertron "changes everything forever" -- and that the positive things come after it's out of the way -- how do we see that affecting the one good and one not-as-good series running at the moment?

MTMTE is still (tangentially) about locating the Knights of Cybertron and owes a certain amount to Trek and Red Dwarf, but didn't make much of the Circle of Light or dimension hopping at the end of the arc -- which may have been because that plot line was compressed due to Dark Cybertron. If so, that's a significant black mark against being forced to take a time out for an "event" crossover. The "changes everything forever" should be an end to distractions hereafter.

RID is essentially a static setup; there are ongoing spats between handfuls of ex-war characters, but no driving plot other than rehashing loose ends. The characters aren't getting to move on and do anything interesting -- whereas I could well see that a "soldiers of fortune" A-Team storyline might suit either the 'Cons or 'Bots, and involve them getting out to see some of the galaxy, setting themselves up as petty warlords or peacekeepers.

What would everyone else do to improve RID and give it some direction? Let's assume that DC does what it says on the tin and carrying forward previous elements is optional.

Terome
2013-11-02, 04:16 PM
I take all that talk to mean that the books will start up again with much the same premises but will have encountered some cross-pollination with characters. eg. Soundwave is now on the Lost Light! Swerve lives happily ever after with Blurr! We killed Trailbreaker! Kup is in it now!

I can see MTMTE beginning with a new lead on the Knights thanks to the Titan business and RID going with, I don't know, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions for the Decepticons or something.

I, for one, would like to see Megatron returning to the main cast but not as a villain, but as a retired burnout who does a bit of mining on the side, for old times.

The big question is what they are going to do with Optimus - send him back out for more adventuring? Seems like a headache to draw him back to Cybertron and such now. It's not like he's going to take a Starscream-ruled Cybertron lying down.

Knightdramon
2013-11-02, 04:28 PM
Well, for starters, Roberts and Barber hinted at a possible third ongoing series after Dark Cybertron.

Onto things that might change; with the last "schism" saga, we went from two factions at war to a redesigned way of storytelling- a quest and the aftermath of war.

Maybe we'll get something similar out of it this time; another soft "reset" without screwing up the plots-or lack of thereof.

Because, all badassery aside, neither series has actually progressed to the story we were solicited. Barbers got as close to elections on Cybertron as Roberts got to the knights; both serving as future reference points in order to have the bots do something.

Since RID is all about trying to unite the two factions in peace, it'd be interesting to try and unite them in war. Use the galactic council or something else as a point of reference, and team them up; have them come to terms with each other while doing what they've been doing for four million years.

In that specific regard, RID has not suceeded. The Decepticons are still opressed, only for a different reason now, and the neutrals didn't really do anything to the story other than put pressure on Bumblebee or get beaten up by Decepticons.

Denyer
2013-11-02, 04:45 PM
I'd be perfectly happy if Megatron and Prime sacrificed themselves to stop Shockwave, and Cybertron was also destroyed in the process. All three things lead to rehashes, and could be interestingly explored in flashback without overwhelming ongoing plots. (Assuming RID moves on from "there are a few spats on Cybertron".) Either that or have Cybertron taken over by Titans and booting everyone else off.

Based on what we're aware of so far and with the fact there's a "MTMTE; where next?" thread already, this is a de facto "RID; where next?" thread because the latter title is Dark Cybertron... the book's spent the last few months killing time / setting up the crossover, and the division of focus probably looks something like:

http://i.imgur.com/e2U7QmN.png
http://i.imgur.com/e2U7QmN.png

I can see MTMTE beginning with a new lead on the Knights thanks to the Titan business
Yeah... plus a bit more on the Circle of Light wouldn't go amiss.

Has there been anything official to suggest a reversal on Kup? Could be an interesting complement to either an "Autobot freelance peacekeepers" or a Lost Light story.

By Golden Age do we think Shockwave has particularly Functionist leanings? It's quite a -cough- logical fit.

Where does Primus fit into this? Any further sign of making a big deal about BW characters?

Terome
2013-11-02, 06:01 PM
Has there been anything official to suggest a reversal on Kup? Could be an interesting complement to either an "Autobot freelance peacekeepers" or a Lost Light story.

Nah, nothing official. An upcoming solicitation mentions a returning character. It's just conjecture at this point. Seems like a good opportunity though.

By Golden Age do we think Shockwave has particularly Functionist leanings? It's quite a -cough- logical fit.

The problem I'm seeing is that Shockwave doesn't have any sort of ideology. He's always been focused on accumulating power to serve his own ends. Exactly what his own ends are is anyone's guess. He certainly wasn't keen on Functionism pre-Shadowplay. His reasons for bringing back the golden / dark age are currently opaque.

I might be wrong on this, but wasn't Functionism post-Nova? Nominus established the Senate and all that business, didn't he? Nova had his Round Table buddies to tell people what to do and liked a ruck, I don't think he was into dividing the population up along religious lines.

Knightdramon: the neutrals didn't really do anything to the story other than put pressure on Bumblebee or get beaten up by Decepticons.

Yeah, that was a real missed opportunity. Metalhawk was a walking plot-point-in-waiting and Sky-Byte faded away after he arrived. The noddy guy and the tank guy were little more than crowd-stuffers. It's a particular shame as Griffith put quite a lot of welly into coming up with weird and wonderful designs for them. Even after Starscream becomes the Mayor he still only talks to ex-Autobots.

Are we to assume that all significant Autobots or Decepticons are either on the Lost Light or back on Cybertron by now? Barring groups we know of like the Scavengers, DJD and the Impactor & Guzzle Power Hour?

Denyer: Where does Primus fit into this? Any further sign of making a big deal about BW characters?

I suppose the brute mechanics of the toys will influence things - Rattrap will need an issue to go along with his toy. Rhinox will probably show up at some point.

Do you mean Primus the story or Primus the god? The fact that Starscream has a picked-by-Primus reputation among the people will surely be revisited. Skids might have met Primus (or his closest approximation) on the other side of that portal. Roberts has gone on record on preferring ambiguous deities and mythology to verifiable ones so I would bet against seeing the Guiding Hand literally appear.

There was some loose Unicron talk a while back from Jhiaxus though. Don't like that.

Yeah... plus a bit more on the Circle of Light wouldn't go amiss.

Aren't they a dead end? They went to ask them about the Knights and, after some delay, it turned out they didn't know better than anyone else. Seemed like they were more of a way to get Cyclonus a magic spark-saving sword than anything else. Tyrest and his space bridge are the real sign-posts pointing the way, surely?

inflatable dalek
2013-11-02, 07:28 PM
But I would say all the major change was put into place after Chaos. The Costa run into Death of... ended exactly the same way it began: With the aftermath of a major event where the war is officially over, Megatron is presumed dead, Optimus quits and the Hot Rod buggers off to do his own thing whilst Bumblebee is in charge for no readily apparent reason. The only difference is it's on Cybertron rather than Earth.

Effectively it took Costa two years to dump the reader in exactly the same place he started.

@Slag: Yeah, I don't know how fair the pre-promotion is being but it does seem to be very much one story over the 12 issues that won't really make sense if you're not reading both. You're also getting Barber co-writing MTMTE for the duration, so if his stuff isn't your bag this may not be the best time for you (on the other hand, Roberts is co-writing RID so that books fortunes may improve).

To be honest, with sales figures pretty much level (at least last time I looked) I suspect the number of people not buying both books (even if one is more out of a sense of obligation) is probably far too small for it to either alienate many or equally have much opportunity to bring many readers over from the one book to the other.

EDIT: Whoops, managed to miss a whole page of this thread...

Denyer
2013-11-02, 09:11 PM
I might be wrong on this, but wasn't Functionism post-Nova?
Yep. Just trying to work out what Shockwave might see as a desirable social order. Assuming he doesn't just want drones.

Are we to assume that all significant Autobots or Decepticons are either on the Lost Light or back on Cybertron by now?
I really hope not... the meanness of scope is one of the most disappointing things about the continuity. There's a whole other planet of Cybertronian types, a supposed population of returnees to Cybertron, inferred mass casualties off-camera in AHM, a rescued population and moon covered in sparks in MTMTE, and all the time the focus remains on a handful of characters. For all his faults, Furman bounced around a bit with lots of outposts and fronts.

Do you mean Primus the story or Primus the god?
Assuming there's anything more to come with the disconnected tosh going on with Ironhide and Alpha Trion, a notionally good-aligned force would presumably have problems with an undead reality and undead-making magic rocks. It might be an opportunity for the nonsense to cancel itself out.

There was some loose Unicron talk a while back from Jhiaxus though. Don't like that.
Which writer?

Aren't they a dead end?
The way I'd suggest handling it is a couple of "younger" characters amongst them joining up with the Lost Light, so as to not make the whole thing feel so abruptly curtailed.

Unicron
2013-11-02, 09:16 PM
I can see MTMTE beginning with a new lead on the Knights thanks to the Titan business
A new lead doesn't need to come from the Titan quagmire. Hell, I don't even expect a 'new' lead, as Bumblebee should be holding a reasonable old lead: The other half of the empty Matrix. I'm thinking that's what points the Lost Light back towards Cybertron and into the Dark Cybertron mess, probably picking up Optimus along the way after he gets ambushed by Jhiaxus' other old mad science student Scorponok (I kid, but wouldn't be shocked at this point...)

Despite all the other ways this whole Dark Cybertron thing could go wrong, I think I'm most concerned about this resurrection ore nonsense. Yeah, it could be nice for Roberts to get back some nice toys to play with, like Nightbeat (always thought that was a crap death, and he'd fit in with the whole Quest thing). But I worry they're going to do something stupid like bring back Pyro or Ironfist.
If they do use it to revive long dead characters, I really hope there will be some side effect or consequence of it.

Terome
2013-11-03, 12:09 AM
Yep. Just trying to work out what Shockwave might see as a desirable social order. Assuming he doesn't just want drones.


It's tricky, isn't it? He isn't the most civic-minded of folks. Maybe he is literally going to turn back the clock to prevent the Ark-1 going into that wibbly space thing, presumably stopping things like the rise of Functionism, the creation of the Senate and the start of the war.


I really hope not... the meanness of scope is one of the most disappointing things about the continuity. There's a whole other planet of Cybertronian types, a supposed population of returnees to Cybertron, inferred mass casualties off-camera in AHM, a rescued population and moon covered in sparks in MTMTE, and all the time the focus remains on a handful of characters. For all his faults, Furman bounced around a bit with lots of outposts and fronts.


It's been really lacking. For every delicious hint of a larger world and history ticking away behind the scenes there has been another indication that the same eight or ten people have been responsible for everything within a four million year radius.

Roberts is particularly frustrating at this - he makes a real effort to expand things but still puts every interesting thing the Autobots have ever done as something Prowl had a hand in.

A notionally good-aligned force would presumably have problems with an undead reality and undead-making magic rocks.


I dunno, Primus had plenty of cause to get stuck in during the war or during Chaos or Infestation and whatnot. I think the Transformers are on their own in the universe.


Which writer?


That was Barber in one of those time-travelly RID issues. Jhiaxus shouts about Chaos Coming while a world is destroyed. Evocative!

The way I'd suggest handling it is a couple of "younger" characters amongst them joining up with the Lost Light, so as to not make the whole thing feel so abruptly curtailed.

Wasn't there a bit of that in a paragraph of The Sound Of Breaking Glass? But yes, a Circle of Lighter who sat out the war could be a surrogate Tailgate in Season 2.

Unicron: Hell, I don't even expect a 'new' lead, as Bumblebee should be holding a reasonable old lead: The other half of the empty Matrix.

Do we know where that is right now? Bumblebee took it with him, right? Starscream didn't inherit it along with his nice office?

I think I'm most concerned about this resurrection ore nonsense.

There is potential for it to be used for some pretty awful stuff, especially when you combine it with time-travel ore and portal-to-dead-universe ore. I do trust that Roberts doesn't follow the Red Dwarf influence up to Series 8 to simply resurrects everybody ever.

Unicron
2013-11-03, 12:55 AM
Do we know where that is right now? Bumblebee took it with him, right? Starscream didn't inherit it along with his nice office?
As far as I know, the last we saw or heard of Bumblebee's half was when he was holding it in Death of Optimus Prime, so it's a safe bet he still has it.
Hmmm... weird. Now that I think about it, it seems kinda conspicuous that it hasn't come up since then. Assuming they aren't going to go "Here's your spare key Rodimus, try not to lose this one", then it's almost a certainty that it'll play a save-the-day role in Dark Cybertron. Only question is whether it gets destroyed like Rodimus' half. That would qualify as a 'changes everything forever' deal.

Knightdramon
2013-11-03, 11:00 AM
Despite all the other ways this whole Dark Cybertron thing could go wrong, I think I'm most concerned about this resurrection ore nonsense. Yeah, it could be nice for Roberts to get back some nice toys to play with, like Nightbeat (always thought that was a crap death, and he'd fit in with the whole Quest thing). But I worry they're going to do something stupid like bring back Pyro or Ironfist.
If they do use it to revive long dead characters, I really hope there will be some side effect or consequence of it.

I think the whole Nightbeat thing will be a flashback. From what it appears, it can only ressurect bots in the vicinity. Nightbeat's body, as far as we know, was never recovered from Gorlam Prime's catacombs. The Wreckers are probably buried on the spaceship station they have in Debris, so they're way out of range.

Unicron
2013-11-03, 01:15 PM
I think the whole Nightbeat thing will be a flashback. From what it appears, it can only ressurect bots in the vicinity. Nightbeat's body, as far as we know, was never recovered from Gorlam Prime's catacombs. The Wreckers are probably buried on the spaceship station they have in Debris, so they're way out of range.
I know the ore's effect is limited to that one area, but there's nothing stopping them from coming up with excuses for getting a body there.
I'm betting we'll get a few panels somewhere of the Constructicons hearing of the miraculous effects of that region and dragging Scrapper's carcass over for a quick patch-job.
Anyone deciding the dead should be returned to home soil.
Jhiaxus could have grabbed Nightbeat's body to be revived as another minion, since he should still have that mind control junk in his head.

Yeah, some of those are stretches, but I'm still worried about it. We've already had enough cheapened death with all the fake outs in MTMTE, I don't want the Wreckers' deaths to be another victim.

Terome
2013-11-03, 02:28 PM
Perhaps there will be an epilogue where the Autobots make a mission to Earth to go about the solemn business of retrieving Jazz's arm so that it may live anew.

Denyer
2013-11-03, 03:08 PM
There is potential for it to be used for some pretty awful stuff, especially when you combine it with time-travel ore and portal-to-dead-universe ore. I do trust that Roberts doesn't follow the Red Dwarf influence up to Series 8 to simply resurrects everybody ever.
Eh, I suspect he's a big enough fan to be aware that there wasn't a series eight.

Ore-13 made sense... powerful energon substitute, and by no means would ores 1-12 or 14 onwards be successes... but we're supposed to believe that Shockers wields godlike power over reality, even unintentionally?

Primus had plenty of cause to get stuck in during the war or during Chaos or Infestation and whatnot
Mmm. Which is going to be a major source of plot suck when someone gets around to introducing him because they've run out of other ideas.

It's tricky, isn't it? He isn't the most civic-minded of folks. Maybe he is literally going to turn back the clock to prevent the Ark-1 going into that wibbly space thing, presumably stopping things like the rise of Functionism, the creation of the Senate and the start of the war.
Now there's a novel idea for a reboot. Wouldn't trust them to not squander the possibilities of a reset timeline, but something like this (plus possibly an ouroborus that sees Shockwave play into his own creation, and not available for use as a get-out-of-thinking plot device going forwards) might be the only vaguely credible way out of the pax cybertronia straightjacket that Barber's been tightening.

inflatable dalek
2013-11-04, 08:29 AM
I'd actually have no problem with Unicron showing up over the course of this story- IDW have done very well on holding of on him and it would actually be kind of neat to kick off the anniversarry with the "Big" villain of the franchise.

Plus, Chaos would have probably made more sense if they'd just used Unicron there, you'd have swapped one evil from the dawn of time out to destroy all life with poorly explained origins and motivations for an evil from the dawn of time out to destroy all life with decently defined origin and motivations. It was almost completely pointless it not being Unicron in that story- If you're going to avoid the obvious you need to do more than just change the names.

Denyer
2013-11-04, 11:10 PM
If they ditched the Primus/Unicron duality and steered clear of the clichés (some hope, though) I wouldn't have too much of a problem with it. There are more interesting things going on with the cod-mythology of Adaptus, etc.

Who coined the term "d-void" within the IDW universe?

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/D-Void

Cybertron was a dead world
And what the hell does that actually mean?

Terome
2013-11-05, 12:07 AM
Seems to me that Cybertron had been 'dead' ever since someone stuck a giant computer in its core and everybody decided to be robots from now on. Transformers don't seem to need a web of biomass to support them and they sure don't fit even the broadest definition of an organism.

So I supposed 'dead world' here means, 'everyone who would normally be there is out on holiday.'

Would Mars have fit D-Void's purpose? That's a place that (possibly) had a thriving biosphere but which nowadays has none and has lost most of its atmosphere. Surely there must be planets all over the damn shop that fit that description.

As for the name, I don't think we've been told. My guess is on Abnett and Lanning. It has their sort of flavour to it2. I think I read somewhere that 'Deceptigod' was Roberts. It's not a big step up.

Knightdramon
2013-11-05, 12:43 AM
And what the hell does that actually mean?

Just on top of my head, not able to sustain or create life on its own anymore; which is partly true; Shockwave decried the short supply of energon [hence all the placebos] and it no longer gives out spark surges [hence Nova trying to create more life on his own].

Vector sigma dying completely at the end of Chaos might have something to do with that as well, but to be honest, with the way the IDW mythology is set up now...

we don't know what's normal and what's not.

We don't know if Cybertron is, once again, Primus' body.
We don't know if the Guiding Hand were true bots or not.
We don't know much about Vector Sigma and what it does.

inflatable dalek
2013-11-05, 08:34 AM
If they ditched the Primus/Unicron duality and steered clear of the clichés (some hope, though) I wouldn't have too much of a problem with it. There are more interesting things going on with the cod-mythology of Adaptus, etc.

I think they'd be sensible to keep the Marvel backstory (though I could happily drop a lot of the multi-verse bobbins added over the years), it's got the nice big epic mythic aspect and I think there's good reason it's gone from the relative (at least from the POV of most of the American and Japanese creators working on the franchise) obscurity of a British book where it was done on the sly to being the de-facto backstory for those characters. If it aint broke, don't fix it.

To be honest, most of the problems with Unicron/Primus stories don't have anything to do with the origin. Hell, right of the bat with Legacy it showed there was more you could do with the character than straightforward movie rehashes, something that gets forgotten far too often.

Denyer
2013-11-05, 07:25 PM
If it aint broke, don't fix it.
It is broken -- it's dull as ditchwater by this point.

"Legacy" was notable for the Shockwave/DH/Cyc/Scourge bits, the big battle scenes and the origin, rather than beginning a recursive loop that should've ended with the weak recycling of Aspects of Evil, rather than being rehashed by lots of subsequent comics and non-comics media.

inflatable dalek
2013-11-05, 09:01 PM
It is broken -- it's dull as ditchwater by this point.

Horses for courses of course, but I think the big epic servants of a Universe saving war idea is still big and epic and interesting, certainly as much as anything else that's likely to be created. Certainly more so than anything that's likely to be created by either Barber or even Roberts- I've gone on before about how I found the whole P.R.I.M.U.S thing from Eugenesis to be the one weak point in that book because it was so silly both in terms of idea and the way it was explained in a "Let me exposition at you two characters who don't really care as this planet explodes around me" way.

When was the last time Unicron was done in fiction? The Titan comic fiveish years ago? That's a decent enough gap for everyone but the die hard* fans, for anyone else (and I suppose there might not be anyone else reading but it would be nice if the comics were being created by people who didn't think they were just writing for the really anal fans who remembered minor continuity issues from 8 years ago and wanted them explained... ah bugger) who doesn't constantly reread or talk about old stuff it probably feels like ages.


EDIT: And of course, within seconds of writing that I remembered Prime. Though that showed how the Unicron thing can be done in an original, fun way if nothing else.

Denyer
2013-11-05, 09:46 PM
everyone but the die hard* fans
On the one hand, you've got MTMTE, which is well-regarded because it's not the same tired old stuff, and tries to be a good comic rather than a tick list... and on the other RID, which isn't using previous material as a springboard so much as suffocating inside it.

It's not a question of how recently Unicron/Primus has been rehashed. It's been done a lot, and in ways that flogged it to death, like the matrix being a catch-all solution. Leave a continuity long enough and some tosser or tossers, bankrupt of ideas, will feel the need to insert Unicron, femmebots, a literal afterlife, etc. as if it can't possibly be complete without filling out the full bingo card.

IDW bringing in the matrix was the thin end of the wedge.

silly both in terms of idea and the way it was explained
Versus the Transformers being the chosen offspring of an embodiment of good (or law, if preferred) from beyond time and space? It was a moderately novel concept that Furman borrowed from the series' own movie, from Marvel/DC comics and from monotheistic tradition -- the main reason it didn't come off as childish was by making it explicit that Primus was fallible and a bit of a bastard.

Is there anything wrong with the concept of alien robots that change shape, or with character-driven writing, that needs to see the plot turned over to forces beyond the control of the cast, or that are indistinguishable from magic?

Denyer
2013-11-05, 11:34 PM
So I supposed 'dead world' here means, 'everyone who would normally be there is out on holiday.'
Yeah. Fleshed out a bit by MTMTE background, the whole spark fields thing, but even so we're back to "of all the races in the galaxy, they're special" kind of remaindered-fantasy-novel plotting.

My guess is on Abnett and Lanning. It has their sort of flavour to it2. I think I read somewhere that 'Deceptigod' was Roberts. It's not a big step up.
Could maybe understand it if a (crap) label applied by others, but the wiki page includes a frame of the creature introducing itself. At least the latter doesn't appear in the fiction, apparently...

We don't know if Cybertron is, once again, Primus' body.
We don't know if the Guiding Hand were true bots or not.
We don't know much about Vector Sigma and what it does.
They were doing so well with the legends and vagueness, before the time-travel loops and matrix and fixations on combiners. Characters having an aspiration of meeting a creating being is an opportunity for rich symbolism; making that a matter of "fact" in-continuity can only ever be a disappointment. The next stage is pulling an Animal Man and breaking the fourth wall.

Terome
2013-11-06, 07:54 PM
It's not a question of how recently Unicron/Primus has been rehashed. It's been done a lot, and in ways that flogged it to death, like the matrix being a catch-all solution. Leave a continuity long enough and some tosser or tossers, bankrupt of ideas, will feel the need to insert Unicron, femmebots, a literal afterlife, etc. as if it can't possibly be complete without filling out the full bingo card.

...

Characters having an aspiration of meeting a creating being is an opportunity for rich symbolism; making that a matter of "fact" in-continuity can only ever be a disappointment. The next stage is pulling an Animal Man and breaking the fourth wall.



I'm with you on the rich symbolism route. There's an interesting story in the use of the Autobot symbol throughout history - one of the genuinely good things about Megatron: Origin was establishing it as the standard of authority rather than any specific group.

Conversely, MTMTE's 'Primus' annual story kind of dropped the ball by hewing too close to boring old Anglicanism. We get shorthand for Primus-worship without much elaboration of what it means to believe in the guy. Does it mean a belief Primus can intervene in the every day, that he is a consoling voice to speak to, that he is literally out there somewhere having adventures with his Guiding Hand friends? Is Primus a Platonic sort of god, representing the act of creation and all creative acts, does he have a set number of legends or can anyone come up with some new ones?

Unicron is pretty ripe too - devil worship is, as far as I am aware, quite a new and limited cultural phenomenon but most gods have dirty work that they take care of if you ask them in an oddly specific way. Are there Transformers that believe in Unicron? Is that an odd thing for them to do? Are weapons and physical laws named after him? What do the Decepticons, being of a vaguely atheist bent, think of him? Entropy and panphagy aren't necessary malevolent concepts - I can imagine Unicron featuring in goodie or baddie pantheons depending on historical circumstances.

But in the end you're right. On a long enough timeline the gods will just turn up in the flesh and start yelling at people.

I say all that but I did once put together a Unicron series pitch for IDW where he was a real, physical dude. I don't imagine I'll ever dust it off and send it in but there's a theoretical chance the tosser who will ruin it all will be me.

Denyer
2013-11-06, 11:06 PM
It's not that there isn't the potential for an interesting storyline on gender as performative act by non-biological lifeforms, incidentally, but unfortunately it's always something that the worst writers will gravitate towards thoroughly ****ing up.

Unicron or Primus as a character, minus the incarnate deity stuff, could be interesting in a Kahless kind of way, whether still operational or a shell found near to some fragmentary surviving records -- it doesn't follow that having been able to create life, the creator has a fully understood or even reproducible process.

On the general subject of ridiculousness, Shockwave manages to create time-travel and super-magic-not-dying rocks, there's FTL travel and teleportation, etc... but Cybertronians apparently don't have a straightforward, scientific way of backing up sparks? Social unacceptability I could see, but inability to is an odd omission.

Death's Head
2013-11-07, 12:27 AM
That is, of course, the problem of Sparks versus Brain Modules. James has gone some way to rectifying this with Rossum's Trinity, but there's still some uncertainty, particularly with regard to 'body-gloving' and the spark-storage seen in Garrus 9. Is the spark merely an interchangeable organ, like a heart, or does it somehow hold the Transformer's personality? What then for the brain? What if you bung someone else's brain module into a body with a different spark, or vice versa?

Skyquake87
2013-11-07, 09:26 AM
The above not helped by what Beast Wars showed of Sparks - in that they did contain effectively what is the Transformers 'soul'. Maybe the Spark is informed by the information received from the brain module, resulting in some kind of 'personality' being encoded into it?

That would explain in some ways drone Transformers that have brain modules but lack sparks and how they function. Er, maybe.

Terome
2013-11-07, 12:35 PM
On the general subject of ridiculousness, Shockwave manages to create time-travel and super-magic-not-dying rocks, there's FTL travel and teleportation, etc... but Cybertronians apparently don't have a straightforward, scientific way of backing up sparks? Social unacceptability I could see, but inability to is an odd omission.

There were hints, earlier on, that pre-war Cybertron was capable of great things which are now simply no longer possible due to devastation and brain drain. The Prime show used that idea quite well with Ratchet being unable to fix Ultra Magnus' hand and getting kind of sad about it. The hotspots thing is a good variation of that theme and really could be mined for a lot more drama - it's proper Children Of Men stuff. The entire species were faced with a gradual extinction and went a bit loopy. I can imagine that amongst the Galactic Council it's seen as the main catalyst of the civil war. Perhaps it happens all the time to mechanoid races.

But the more stories and characters we get from that era the more conventional it seems. You could probably get a really interesting story out the idea that, say, Nova Prime & co were restored from back-ups as soon as they went missing but nobody really took to them because they were no longer in Forged bodies or didn't have certain special powers or whatever and so, dejected, they took on new and less ostentatious identities or simply left to start a personality cult with a handful of true believers.

Anyhow, what I am saying is that I agree with you that arbitrary technological limitations are a dumb idea and block off some roads that would be neat to travel.

Denyer
2013-11-08, 10:46 PM
Is the spark merely an interchangeable organ, like a heart, or does it somehow hold the Transformer's personality?
I've always gone with the assumption it's encoding information as energy -- and probably is subject to the observer effect; whereas teleportation in the IDW universe (certainly the orbital bounce variant) seems weighted towards concentrating and projecting a stream of information between points, rather than skipping the physical universe entirely.

Whereas memories can be shunted around, a spark would tend to be somewhat proof against forced reprogramming.

I'd say a brain module contains a spark for Cybertronians, but brain modules in general might not imply sentience.

There were hints, earlier on, that pre-war Cybertron was capable of great things which are now simply no longer possible due to devastation and brain drain.
But meanwhile you've got Brainstorm, Pharma and others blithely ignoring what we think of as fundamental physics. Not buying it any more than archaeotech in W40K being superior to everything else -- the current generation has a pretty good idea of how to do some incredibly fantasy-type things.

There's definitely a Children of Men seam to be tapped, and I can see why AI (and possibly even other mechs) would be looked down upon, but fundamentally I don't see there's actually much difference between encoding a personality as light/energy or any other way. Particularly not with Cybertronians where the tendency is for them to be quite dumb, rather than the multi-dimensional intelligences of Culture minds.

You could probably get a really interesting story out the idea that, say, Nova Prime & co were restored from back-ups as soon as they went missing but nobody really took to them because they were no longer in Forged bodies or didn't have certain special powers or whatever and so, dejected, they took on new and less ostentatious identities or simply left to start a personality cult with a handful of true believers.
I think by this stage it'd hurt consistency too much to imply restoration from storage was ever common; but there does need to be some detailing of why it isn't, and the cultural taboos that apparently mean both sides would rather lose valuable military assets than deal with the concept of backing up in ways beings with lifespans potentially measuring in the millions of years bracket would engage with that usefulness.

Also, I'm calling this now... Rewind may have left some form of backup. It's even in his name.

inflatable dalek
2013-11-08, 11:18 PM
OK, wacky speculation time (off my own back but so obvious it's probably been thought up by every other message board as welll)...


Remember how Revelation ended with Galvatron remembering who he really was before he got chucked in the Solar Pool?

Remember how Heart of Chaos completely ignored this?

Remember how there's a time machine knocking about the IDW Universe that we know is likely to still have a decent part to play because of that message from the future back in MTMTE #1?

So Galvatron actually really is Megatron after all, at some point in the future (and possibly a long time in the future) the later gets transformed into the former and (again, possibly a good long while after that) is subsequently thrown back in time as an amnesiac.

Red Dave Prime
2013-11-09, 03:27 AM
OK, wacky speculation time (off my own back but so obvious it's probably been thought up by every other message board as welll)...


Remember how Revelation ended with Galvatron remembering who he really was before he got chucked in the Solar Pool?

Remember how Heart of Chaos completely ignored this?

Remember how there's a time machine knocking about the IDW Universe that we know is likely to still have a decent part to play because of that message from the future back in MTMTE #1?

So Galvatron actually really is Megatron after all, at some point in the future (and possibly a long time in the future) the later gets transformed into the former and (again, possibly a good long while after that) is subsequently thrown back in time as an amnesiac.

Ha, I was thinking something similar today while mulling over the image of the 2 fighting. However, I think we will see a slight twist on the tale with time travel playing a part but Galvatron being sent back in time to be reformated into Early Megatron. Either way, I do think that there is going to be some link between the two and the time travel bit would help iron out any plot problems.

Terome
2013-11-09, 11:24 AM
Dalek: So Galvatron actually really is Megatron after all, at some point in the future (and possibly a long time in the future) the later gets transformed into the former and (again, possibly a good long while after that) is subsequently thrown back in time as an amnesiac.

It does sound like a genuine Barber idea. It would be a way of getting rid of Megatron without wacking him. Whether it's a good way or not I don't know.

Denyer: Also, I'm calling this now... Rewind may have left some form of backup. It's even in his name.

!!!

Makes too much sense. The only thing counting against it is that 'his database is too valuable to be lost in battle' bit from Before/After.

But you're right - widespread backups would be too confusing at this point.

But meanwhile you've got Brainstorm, Pharma and others blithely ignoring what we think of as fundamental physics. Not buying it any more than archaeotech in W40K being superior to everything else -- the current generation has a pretty good idea of how to do some incredibly fantasy-type things.

Yeah, while I do appreciate a good magical doohickey, especially to land a gag in a protracted manner, all that stuff does indeed raise a lot of questions. Although, I have gone on about this before, but it seems that institutions like Kimia are rare and strange among the Autobots and we've only ever seen lone Decepticon scientists. Guys like Brainstorm are still very cagey about what they are up to and Tyrest was quite actively supressing high end technology for whatever reason. There is a bit of wiggle room with the notion that Cybertronian science - meaning the shared, self-checking and progressive cooperation of a scientific community - is long gone and all anyone is left with is prickly savants, surviving bits and pieces and foreign imports from much more sensible cultures.

Like a lot of things, the NAILS would have been a great way to shine some light on this. Wouldn't Cybertron and the ruins of Kimia look like something from after the fall of Rome?

but fundamentally I don't see there's actually much difference between encoding a personality as light/energy or any other way. Particularly not with Cybertronians where the tendency is for them to be quite dumb, rather than the multi-dimensional intelligences of Culture minds.

I was thinking about how dumb they are the other day. There has been mention of brain modules being almost religious objects copied, Chinese Room style, from some sort of template. If the current crop of Cybertronians are descended from service organisms or a product line perhaps they were made with certain hard limits, the way a Culture spacesuit or weapon will be set to 0.9 intelligence, disqualifying it as a citizen. It meshes a bit with the old puzzle of why Cybertronian modes have cockpits - they could be a race of Google Cars left on their own for an aeon or two.

Denyer
2013-11-10, 12:26 PM
Like a lot of things, the NAILS would have been a great way to shine some light on this. Wouldn't Cybertron and the ruins of Kimia look like something from after the fall of Rome?
What's surprising is that most of the NAILS haven't left again. They might as well, for all that they seem to have been used.

'his database is too valuable to be lost in battle'
He'd lose most of it, I presume -- if you transform into a memory stick, most of your body's taken up with storage and shielding/armour. At the same time, it's quite a gonzo form of journalism -- for the most part a record of that individual's life, including private moments -- so there are cultural reasons most of that record wouldn't be downloaded and kept elsewhere. Possibly also it's a reaction to the way stick-formers were treated in the past; those surviving have been elevated to respected historians.

Cybertronian science - meaning the shared, self-checking and progressive cooperation of a scientific community - is long gone and all anyone is left with is prickly savants, surviving bits and pieces and foreign imports from much more sensible cultures.
Yeah, and I'm taking the combining race from the most recent MTMTE to be empty character POV bluffing, but there're definitely going to be similarly long-lived races at a high tech level... thus far, we don't have a good handle on how populated the universe is, whether there's much raiding of non-spacefaring planets by those that are, etc.

If the current crop of Cybertronians are descended from service organisms or a product line perhaps they were made with certain hard limits, the way a Culture spacesuit or weapon will be set to 0.9 intelligence, disqualifying it as a citizen. It meshes a bit with the old puzzle of why Cybertronian modes have cockpits - they could be a race of Google Cars left on their own for an aeon or two.
Mmm. Whilst I'm not a fan of the direction the cartoon went with it, I do prefer Transformers without the religious hokum being literal and "real" -- some form of ancient organic race as a catalyst makes a lot of sense.

Cockpits are yet another elephant in a pretty crowded room, although in a busy universe it pays to be able to pass at first glance as just a machine if there's a lot of anti-robot sentiment (ditto the hard light holograms)... it's something that writers need to have bubbling away in the background, showing trade activity and other races being active players. Perhaps also some NAILS that partner with other races to the extent of having crews or going native with the larger-scale organics.

And of course everyone should still be scrambling over the resources seeded into Earth, we should've seen them be neutralised somehow or the planet should've been destroyed by now.