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inflatable dalek
2014-06-11, 08:08 PM
Aw, does no one else care anymore?







SOPILER AHOY.





















I'm not minding this overall, there are some really stupid moments (Prowlestator, natch) but as a bit of a silly romp it's OK. However, I can more than see why so many (at least here and on the other forums I frequent) seem to have given up on it. It's entirely average and certainly not up to the standards of the last two MTMTE's, which is worrying as they weren't anywhere near the best of that series.

I do wonder if it's time for Barber to move on as writer, the last really top notch thing he wrote solo was the Soundwave flashback issue, and that was a bit of an oasis in a sea of meh in the second year of RID. The new direction doesn't seem to be really kicking off into high gear and it just feels as if he's burnt through his good ideas and is as worn out as Furman.

The way the issue opens with more continuity patching of the Headmaster thing (which still doesn't properly match up with Heart of Darkness anyway where the bodies are specifically said to be part of an Autobot/Decepticon battle, making the bringing back of a crap idea from a crap comic just to try and make it fit all the more pointless) certainly feels more like a send up of Barber and his "Let's never let go of anything!" attitude than the real deal.

Denyer
2014-06-11, 08:44 PM
burnt through his good ideas

What were they?

Auntie Slag
2014-06-11, 10:13 PM
Why should Barber quit? Because he gets a bit mauled by a tiny percentage of an already niche bit of a fandom? Sales figures-wise he equals and often exceeds MTMTE. I don't know how that's possible, but plenty of people seem to enjoy their Transformers fix from him and why not.

Its only his unfortunate luck that his sister comic is MTMTE, as others have said plenty of times; Barber's work is as good if not better than stuff that's gone before it (in TF fiction).

I can't see any reason why he should stop if these are respectable sales figures. Its positively interesting work compared to Dreamwave's first attempt (the Lazarus storyline). God, I got that out of the library a couple of years ago for curiosity and it was seriously poor. RID's got plenty more going for it than that.

I don't buy RID and plenty of scans in the comic shop assure me I'm not missing anything, but good on him. And he edits MTMTE so he deserves a cigar and glass of port.

Denyer
2014-06-11, 10:56 PM
Have never seen much evidence that IDW edits writers, for better or worse. If a pitch like the Bumblebee miniseries, Megatron: Origin, All Hail Megatron or the Costa ongoing gets approved, they seem to be left to get on with it.

inflatable dalek
2014-06-12, 06:49 AM
What were they?

The Soundwave stuff, the idea of free elections on Cybertron with the possibility of Starscream getting all he wanted peaceably, at least some of the Guiding Hand stuff in the Annuals (how much was him, how much was Roberts and how much was taken from that Aligned bible thingey- I was surprised to see several of the same terms/ideas in the Covenent of Primus book which AIUT is a reworked version of that text- I'm not sure), no doubt a few others I'm forgetting.

Of course, the execution on more than one of those fell down...

Why should Barber quit? Because he gets a bit mauled by a tiny percentage of an already niche bit of a fandom? Sales figures-wise he equals and often exceeds MTMTE. I don't know how that's possible, but plenty of people seem to enjoy their Transformers fix from him and why not.

Its only his unfortunate luck that his sister comic is MTMTE, as others have said plenty of times; Barber's work is as good if not better than stuff that's gone before it (in TF fiction).

I can't see any reason why he should stop if these are respectable sales figures. Its positively interesting work compared to Dreamwave's first attempt (the Lazarus storyline). God, I got that out of the library a couple of years ago for curiosity and it was seriously poor. RID's got plenty more going for it than that.

I don't buy RID and plenty of scans in the comic shop assure me I'm not missing anything, but good on him. And he edits MTMTE so he deserves a cigar and glass of port.

Slag, I love you and if were to ever meet I'd buy you a drink and stroke your hair, but I find this a somewhat flawed argument.

First, the only one of IDW's "Main" G1 writers who has ever lost a substantial amount of readers is Furman (why him when, even at his most off day, he's still better than Costa is a bit of a puzzler probably worthy of its own thread). Everyone from McCarthy onwards has pretty much hovered around the 10K mark, sometimes a thousand higher and sometimes a thousand lower but not much in it.

So, using your own logic, they should have just stuck with Costa to the present on the grounds he never really lost readers so why bother worrying about the fact everything he touched was unmitigated crap, why give that Roberts fellow a go?

Based on prior form, IDW could put out a main Transformers comic that was 22 pages of monkey poo that's been rubbed in by the tongue of a rabid dog and it wouldn't lose readers. That doesn't mean they should be fine with just coasting along at "OK".

[IRRC, it used to be whichever one out of RID and MTMTE sold better was just down to which came out first in the month, not sure if that's still the case.]

Barber does deserve credit for his editing (and I'd say the role is more important than Denyer suggests, we only have to look at the almost total existence failure of Andy Schmidt's time on the series) and seems to be managing MTMTE well. But as a writer, he's always had the problem of what he thinks his strengths are what his actual strengths are not being exactly the same thing. He's managed one solid issue in a year and a half, and the OK has more than started to outnumber the good at this point. Some fresh blood is needed, and there's no real shame in that (as discussed recently, very few writers can manage long runs on things they didn't create without going all Chris Clearmount).

Do I expect Barber's boss (one John Barber) reading this thread and going "Of course! I agree! Time to give me the boot because this one bloke says so"? Of course not. Do I think it's a perfectly valid opinion to have even if not everyone thinks the same? Yep.

Plus... if you're not reading the book, it's odd to have you come in and do such a vigorous defence of Barber. For all you know the comic is indeed the monkey poo and rabid dog production.

Red Dave Prime
2014-06-12, 10:37 AM
Tis an ok issue. Still find the human angle too silly. And I wonder why they bothered having Galvatron come on board as the Decepticon leader if this story makes so much more sense to have Soundwave leading the 'Cons (if they wanted Galvatron could have formed a more warlike faction with the Predacons name.)

RID isnt Monkey poo and it is better than Costa and McCarthys stuff. About a par with Furman. the problem i find with it though is that it should be better. Theres some good ideas here and there and some good writing here and there and then there is some real bad deceision making going on that ruins the good. Not terrible, but if I wasnt following MTMTE I'm not sure if I would sitll be on board for RID.

Knightdramon
2014-06-12, 06:29 PM
Comic-wise...yeah, S2 for both titles did not really start strong. MTMTE suffers from a massive cast alteration that feels weird and super forced, and RID suffers from a variety of things that left a bad taste in my mouth years ago and are just revisited now.

First off, the whole "Galvatron the Barbarian" feels marginally less forced than "Megatron now leads the LL and is an autobot". The whole "royalties and classes to the throne" just started being tossed around in the past months, and it'd be nice if they didn't try to retcon and force down our throats that Galvatron was the special one and not Nova.

Some decent things here and there, but essentially this is a retread of -every- other effing human story in TFs. Military gets into a "tentative" alliance with one side, military supposedly holds/keeps a secret from transformers, autobots try not to harm other humans in the way, try to keep stealthy, big fallout occurs and autobots will leave and declare "never to trust and return again".

I believe Soundwave acts like Prowl; he's essentially the figurehead but wants somebody "charismatic" enough to lead the others and follow his instructions whenever applicable.

Some bad art here and there; Griffith can't draw Marissa properly for one panel. She just looks like a big head with lips and a jaw.

Hopefully this gets better soon because some parts are great [Prowl is still very good, and finally Thundercracker is back. I care not for the Arcee pseudo drama].

On the other Barber talk---yes, it only shows because the other title is also MTMTE. If you let RID alongside Windblade many people would hold Barber much higher. Personally I don't even read the Windblade previews, if my sister did not purchase this via comixology I doubt I'd go out of my way to read a copy.

It's also apparent that people are suffering mass amnesia when it comes to Furman; he started really well but after only 10 or so issues it became clear his writing was hurting.

And for those who think he's better than that; the last thing he wrote was Regeneration 1. A 22 [essentially] issues run to conclude a story that was already concluded 20 years ago.

I take each writer's run and keep memorable things from them;

McCarthy--I generally liked AHM.
Costa----Thundercracker and Rodimus bits were well done, Chaos wasn't half bad
Barber---interesting stories, Metalhawk, Wheeljack, Prowl
Roberts--many things

Furman? Not much, because after all these years it's clear that some writers took certain characters and made them stand out; Furman's stand out, stand-alone moment was making Sunstreaker a Headmaster, only for the series that touched upon it later on.

inflatable dalek
2014-06-12, 08:09 PM
Oh sure, Furman's modern run has had its problems. I'm just surprised that the paying punter seems less forgiving of them than they are of the other authors.

Auntie Slag
2014-06-12, 08:52 PM
I don't think I'm giving him a rigorous defence, but people do vote with their wallets. G2 was cancelled after its 12-issue run, I remember feeling my love of the Marvel G1 comic die so I cancelled my subscription in the mid-100's. Barber gets ripped apart a bit, but it doesn't show in his sales figures, that's the bit that perplexes me, and yeah I know you've explained it, but if it was that poor then shirley sales would have dwindled after two years?

I may not be buying the book, but I do give it a good solid, sneaky read through in the shop when I'm going to pick up MTMTE... and that's because I'm always hoping that it ups its quality. I'd love to buy two cool Transformers comics, but sadly its not happening with RID. Its the same reason I never took to Regen One; it was a dodgy old comic. I thought I would love it, I really wanted to. But it was mostly a rehashed bunch of arse decades late.

Regen One didn't carry on after Issue 100. Do you know if that's because Furman didn't want to carry on? The comic sales thread showed it was doing ok month to month. Or was it an order from IDW on high? Or all part of an agreed contract?

RID for me always had a bit of a spark where I came close to thinking it might be onto a winner; Dirge, Thundercracker... ok maybe that's it. But when it tries to grandstand it represents the worst example of an adult buying a rubbish comic, giving no credibility to itself or the reader.

Maybe I'm just miffed that whether you're a stellar or not-so-stellar writer the sales of a TF comic are roughly the same, are they selling on just the name?

I know mine's a flawed argument, I'm trying to understand how both these titles are selling nearly the same as each other, month after month. I see MTMTE gets abundant plaudits on general comic review sites, but it doesn't equal more sales. Is the audience nothing more than diehards?

inflatable dalek
2014-06-13, 10:45 AM
I don't think I'm giving him a rigorous defence, but people do vote with their wallets. G2 was cancelled after its 12-issue run, I remember feeling my love of the Marvel G1 comic die so I cancelled my subscription in the mid-100's. Barber gets ripped apart a bit, but it doesn't show in his sales figures, that's the bit that perplexes me, and yeah I know you've explained it, but if it was that poor then shirley sales would have dwindled after two years?

It just seems you're a better man than most of us ;) In pragmatic terms, it's far better for a company in any line of buisness to know why their customers are disastisfied rather than the customer just stopping to buy outright.

And this isn't (for me anyway) a terrible book by any means, as a bit of fun silliness it's perfectly readable. But I've seen Barber do much better, and it does feel as if he's reached that Transformer-ed out stage. It's telling that whilst MTMTE restarted with business as usual RID seems to be struggling to find a new identity.

And in fairness, I'm sure there are people who love RID and don't particularly care for MTMTE who are buying the later out of a sense of obligation. I've no idea how vocal they are over on the IDW forums though.


Regen One didn't carry on after Issue 100. Do you know if that's because Furman didn't want to carry on? The comic sales thread showed it was doing ok month to month. Or was it an order from IDW on high? Or all part of an agreed contract?

No doubt Furman would have been happy with a ongoing as Larry Hama got with the Joe continuation, but Hasbro and IDW were both really reluctant to do it and one of the various concessions made towards it happening at was that it end in a definite, this is never coming back, way with 100.

Thinking about it... one of the things Furman said was that Chris Ryall was the only person at IDW who really wanted to do the book, which sort of implies Barber wasn't that keen on it, which might explain some of the editorial failures on that title.

Mind, if Reg had maintained the sales of those first few issues (and the fact most of them came back for the final suggests they would have stuck the course with a better book) I suspect IDW would have decided to either turned it into an ongoing or put Furman onto something similar to follow up (G2 continued? Earthforce continuity explained?) before it had reached the half-way mark.

Red Dave Prime
2014-06-13, 12:33 PM
Just as a defence of Furmans IDW run:

Spotlight Shockwave was one of the best spotlights and a great introduction to the concept. His first run of spotlights is still to my mind the best of the spotlight runs.

Stormbringer is by far one of the better of the minis IDW has done - I can only think of LSOTW as being better. It had action, tension and was self-contained while still feeding into the main continuity.

While he never got to take all his ideas to their conclusion (and those that did may have shown that this wasnt a bad thing) he did seed some great ideas. The Decepticon infiltration plan to turn a planets populations against themselves to weaken them before they finish the job makes perfect sense for robots in disguise and I thought it was a fantastic set up idea given the current world climate of population terrorism and over the top government spying.

The ore=13 was a nice way to give the story a reason to move to earth. His treatment of the two leaders initially is very good with both feeling like genuine game changers. The first two -tions are pretty good on re-read bar some silly mistakes (mainly Kids as main human characters and the cons base being a massive symbol in a mountain)

Yeah, things went wrong and some things didnt work but not only do I feel his work was better than both McCarthy (one plot line which was very patched up by the end of things and terrible spotlights) and Costa (initial attempt at complex plotting gives way to the child-like international incident and petters out to the rambling prelude to chaos) and more importantly I feel his ambition for the scale of the story he could tell was better. Who knows, if Barber had been his editor it could have worked out very differently.

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-06-13, 01:49 PM
For all the good things about MTMTE it does have some problems:

1) The quest for the Knights of Cybertron. Why are the Megatron and the Autobots looking for them again? Why is so important for the crew of The Lost Light to find them and what do they need from them? This has been a big problem for the series and it doesn't help that Roberts doesn't seem to give a damn about it either. I get the whole "it's not about the destination it's the journey" thing but if the quest doesn't feel important than why bother caring about any of it? I think if Roberts had set up a quest like JMS did in Crusade where there is a ticking clock and the heroes are literally in a race against time because if they fail all life on Earth will die in 5 years and then have that quest be resolved early on (according to JMS the quest for the cure would have ended by half-way through season 2 had the show not been canceled after 13 episodes) . If Roberts had given Rodimus and company a more valid reason to go on this quest as something other than at times as a Rodimus basically giving Bumblebee a double-bird salute and a real threat to Cybertronians I might enjoy the series more.

2) Humor. I have found the series very funny and at the same time very annoying. I don't mind a couple of characters being the ship's smartass but at times it seems everybody on the ship is trying to damn hard to be the next star of their own sit com. Characters like Swerve is funny because he's a smartass. Tailgate and Skids are funny because of their supposedly naiveate' and Ultra Magnus was funny for six issues as the super-serious stick up his ass OCD cop. The problem is that everybody on the ship as the same kind of sense of humor and a lot of time the jokes and characters become interchangeable.

3) Everybody on the ship has some kind of mental problem or is totally insane. This is used as a way of explaining some of the Bots problems Red Alert is paranoid (when wasn't he), Whirl is pychopath, Ultra Magnus is an OCD, etc and this use as a character. I don't mind every body being nuts after 4 millions of years of war I think they would be but that is IMHO not the same as being a character with a mental disorder with them being mental disorders as a character.

4) Lack of Decepticons. Which is a shame because IMHO Roberts writes the Decepticons better than he does the Autobots. I really really really enjoyed the Scavengers more than the crew of The Lost Light and found myself wanting to see back more than Overlord. My guess is too why Megatron is now part of the crew is too lure fans that enjoyed RID because of the Decepticons antics to read MTMTE and this is to set up a Megatron vs. DJD fight we all know is coming.

Red Dave Prime
2014-06-13, 09:37 PM
Good and fair points there I think.

The quest in particular needs a kick start. It doesnt have to be about every issue but it does need to be more up front and it wouldnt hurt to have a bit more about the reasoning (Rodimus basically wants to find the Knights to see if they can teach the Transformers how to live after the war)

I would disagree with the humour thing though. I think this is just Roberts style of writing MTMTE and I quite like it myself. I dont think everyone is meant to be a smart ass but I do think the series is meant to be viewed as much as a comedy as a sci fi. In a way its a little like Farscape - sci fi but a strong sense of humour running through it.

In defence of the Rid stuff as well, it may not be super popular here but quite a few people do like RiD over MTMTE and even the underbase guys are giving the current plot consistent 4 out of 5s.

Skyquake87
2014-06-14, 07:06 AM
I just can't get into RiD. It had a lot of potential as a sort of political pot-boiler with giant robots, but it lost it by revealing Prowl to be under Decepticon mind control (an easy cop-out in my book) and then the Prowlstator mess. There was all that rubbish with Arcee (still one of IDWs worst concepts, thanks very much Furman) and I switched off at that point. It has all the good toys, but they're not being played with properly!

Dark Cybertron showed me that I wasn't really missing anything, especially when reading the feeble sooth-saying babble that passed for Scoop's personality and the odd mix of Beast-era characters in there - particularly Rattrap whom, like Scoop, seemed more a plot contrivance than a character.

I prefer MTMTE but it has some solid characterisation and some genuinely affecting stuff in there. I could care less about the quest, in all honesty. I can't stand quests. Everything in fiction has a bloody quest and they're just awful. Whether they're intended to be some modern day equivalent of a biblical parable or what, with characters overcoming insurmountable odds and becoming a better person along the journey through selfless deeds etc etc, I don't know but they are so cliche and a frustrating constant in a lot of western fiction (and particularly US comic books). I can't honestly fault the whole quest thing being shoved to one side to tell some more interesting stories.

I am surprised MTMTE is coming in for a lot of stick when we're just two issues in for not being as good as when it launched, sure the status quo and changes in the cast do feel a bit jarring, but we're getting to the whys and wherefores through the opening arc and I am fine with that. And I like how Roberts writes Megatron and am looking forward to seeing some continuing developing of his character - perhaps more than any other Transformers character. I do agree that Roberts is guilty of over-egging the death and return ofs (please don't bring Rewind back). I like the humour, it captures the sort of rhythms of everyday conversation and don't find it a bad thing. Its just something new for Transformers comics, well, I say new, Furman worked in a fair few bits of humour into his Marvel stories which helped make the characters feel more rounded.

The Earth stuff for RID almost seems like an abandonment of trying to press on with doing something interesting with Cybertron and the appearance of Fairbourne strikes me of that trying to make the Sunbow cartoon a serious thing like Dreamwave had. I can't really judge though, as I'm not buying the book. Comics being pricy things these days, I choose comics carefully as money spent on average or poor books seems a waste to me.

I think IDW have massively improved their offering from where we were back in 2008 - 9, but I still am not totally sold on their 'feel' for Transformers.

Simon Furman had a great early run with Infiltration and Escalation (I didn't like Stormbringer myself) which really did something fresh and new with Transformers, but from Devastation onwards it all became a horrible sprawling mess. Editorial at IDW badly fumbled the ball when they had the opportunity to reboot their take. AHM, which whilst enjoyable fluff, probably ended up alienating more readers than Furman's endless plotlines and then we got Mike Costa and the worst run of Transformers comics, capped with the ridiculous Chaos thing (saving grace: the Roberts penned 'origin' stories for Optimus and Megatron).

I like Roberts stuff because it captures what I can only call the 'classic' feel of Transformers and pushes it into some interesting places (Shadowplay et al) - which draws a neat parallel with Furman's Marvel work of taking a bunch of silly childish nonsense about fighting robots and making something wonderful out of it. I haven't found that in RiD.

I would agree with Cyberstrike that MTMTE needs Decepticons!!!! The editorial decree seems quite harsh to kepp this solely focused on the Autobots - there's loads of interesting stuff that both writers could be doing with both sides of the Autobot/Decepticon divide so why curtail that?

I also get the criticism about MTMTE being full of basket cases - but then thats because some of the cast with quite serious problems seemed to have joined up! Re-reading the old Budiansky profiles, its surprising how many Transformers do have a lot of mental problems. I suppose we call all that 'post-traumatic stress' these days, with the characters having been exposed to some horrible things. It would be nice to see some of these things perhaps played a little straighter.

And no, I haven't said anything about ReGen One. Says it all, really.

Auntie Slag
2014-06-14, 09:12 AM
Yeah, the Scavengers were great, but not all Decepticons are depicted well. I thought Lockdown & Co. were downright boring, and I'm happy never to see them again.

The general lack of Decepticons would be a problem if the Autobots weren't so weird/disfunctional and/or backstabbing. However now they're all on the cusp, you've got Megatron on the Lost Light, and if he turns back to being a Decepticon he's got an instant army waiting for him in the brig. And what if the DJD convince him to the Decepticon cause again? It'll be another massacre.

Unless of course the brig Decepticons were all removed to cells on Cybertron. Still, Megatron and the DJD could probably kill everyone on board, perhaps even Skids!

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-06-14, 07:11 PM
I would disagree with the humour thing though. I think this is just Roberts style of writing MTMTE and I quite like it myself. I dont think everyone is meant to be a smart ass but I do think the series is meant to be viewed as much as a comedy as a sci fi. In a way its a little like Farscape - sci fi but a strong sense of humour running through it.

My problem is that the humor is based more puns and running gags that stopped being after #6. Whereas Farscape's humor was more spread out and every episode wasn't a wacky episode and that made the ones that were stand more (and the same with the so-called "super serious" sci-fi shows Babylon 5, Crusade, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise is a comedy it's just not a particularly great or funny one) all episodes that were meant to be more lighthearted and funny and those are some of the best and memorable. Also they weren't back-to-back all the time.

Roberts has played the jokes long enough where, for me at least, they aren't funny anymore. Now in contrast writers Peter David (who for my money is the best writer in comics today), JM DeMantis and Keith Griffen as a team they all write a LOT of the same kind of humor but they knows when the stop with the jokes and be serious.

Red Dave Prime
2014-06-15, 12:11 AM
My problem is that the humor is based more puns and running gags that stopped being after #6. Whereas Farscape's humor was more spread out and every episode wasn't a wacky episode and that made the ones that were stand more (and the same with the so-called "super serious" sci-fi shows Babylon 5, Crusade, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise is a comedy it's just not a particularly great or funny one) all episodes that were meant to be more lighthearted and funny and those are some of the best and memorable. Also they weren't back-to-back all the time.

Roberts has played the jokes long enough where, for me at least, they aren't funny anymore. Now in contrast writers Peter David (who for my money is the best writer in comics today), JM DeMantis and Keith Griffen as a team they all write a LOT of the same kind of humor but they knows when the stop with the jokes and be serious.

I wouldn't argue that a few of Roberts Jokes have fallen flat and some things didnt work at all (the meta gun joke in issue 15 with Swerve is a terrible waste of panel time in an issue which really couldnt afford it) but by and large I get his humour and feel he gets the balance right.

In regards to lockdown, I think he was an odd choice for the role and I wonder if he was picked maybe by barber in his "fix-all-continuity" role. His past with Drift and the Atlas crew never comes into play so his was a role that could have been played by anyone.

Says it all that we are discussing MTMTE in the RID thread.

Death's Head
2014-06-15, 11:44 AM
I've seen a few people say that in MTMTE the characters are interchangeable due to the humour - I don't get that at all. For once the Transformers actually come across as individual, realistic people with foibles, neuroticisms, fears and obsessions.

Comedy aside (and as someone said above, that's because this is the comedy book - rather less laughs in the likes of Wreckers and Eugenesis, eh?) I just find James to be a good writer on a technical level - he understands and plays with structure, he understands literary devices such as dramatic irony and foreshadowing and he layers plot upon plot in a novelistic fashion.

Red Dave Prime
2014-06-15, 01:03 PM
I've seen a few people say that in MTMTE the characters are interchangeable due to the humour - I don't get that at all. For once the Transformers actually come across as individual, realistic people with foibles, neuroticisms, fears and obsessions.

Comedy aside (and as someone said above, that's because this is the comedy book - rather less laughs in the likes of Wreckers and Eugenesis, eh?) I just find James to be a good writer on a technical level - he understands and plays with structure, he understands literary devices such as dramatic irony and foreshadowing and he layers plot upon plot in a novelistic fashion.

Speaking of the comedy aspect, I have found it feels a little forced at times with Barbers work, specifically since Season 2 began. Some stuff works well (I like how the constructicons interact with Prowl) but other things like Jetfire and DOC, and the whole thundercracker/dog thing felt over played. I like the idea of TC having a pet but if you were going to play it this much for laughs might as well go the whole hog and make it a cow. or pig.

Denyer
2014-06-15, 03:00 PM
The Soundwave stuff, the idea of free elections on Cybertron with the possibility of Starscream getting all he wanted peaceably, at least some of the Guiding Hand stuff in the Annuals (how much was him, how much was Roberts and how much was taken from that Aligned bible thingey- I was surprised to see several of the same terms/ideas in the Covenent of Primus book which AIUT is a reworked version of that text- I'm not sure), no doubt a few others I'm forgetting.
I could see a dense political storyline working with the right writer -- but in RID it was killing time before things backslid to Just As Planned with Megatron and Prowlstator. The Soundwave issue felt out of character even without the amnesia cliché.

Starscream's not gone terribly, except it's been left to another writer to give him much in the way of a plan or motivation beyond seizing the reins. And that plan relies on crap handwaving science in the form of resurrection ore.

Plus he wastes page space like it's going out of fashion. If things moved at any kind of decent pace and packed a lot more in, with characters that didn't mope aggressively, the ideas wouldn't be frittered away.

Occasionally he has moments that're inspired; the RID annual with the retro sections came off really nicely.

Red Dave Prime
2014-06-15, 03:46 PM
He has also shown a strange tendency to focus on a character for a bit for no real reason. Why did he bother bringing sky byte in for example. (ok, maybe these are toy reasons but if that's the case then use the new toys.)

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-06-18, 10:14 PM
I've seen a few people say that in MTMTE the characters are interchangeable due to the humour - I don't get that at all. For once the Transformers actually come across as individual, realistic people with foibles, neuroticisms, fears and obsessions.

It because everybody makes the same kind of joke. Name jokes, betting on when Rodimus will say "till all are one", Ultra Magnus, snarky comment, etc. They were funny but for me they are not funny anymore.

That is my major problem with the book besides the main quest being unimportant.

Comedy aside (and as someone said above, that's because this is the comedy book - rather less laughs in the likes of Wreckers and Eugenesis, eh?) I just find James to be a good writer on a technical level - he understands and plays with structure, he understands literary devices such as dramatic irony and foreshadowing and he layers plot upon plot in a novelistic fashion.

IMHO it's a not a humor book, it's a light-hearted character-driven adventure series.

Death's Head
2014-06-19, 10:26 AM
Yeah, you know what I mean, though - RiD was meant to be the serious, political title while MTMTE is a bit of fun. Of course, in practise, MTMTE has delivered more drama, thrills and upsets even while being funny as.

Terome
2014-06-19, 02:46 PM
Hey, I read this. It wasn't very good.
The Galvatron stuff was diverting. He should be the main character. The Autobots stuff was frustratingly same-old. Cosmos had a nice moment.
That's all I've got.

He has also shown a strange tendency to focus on a character for a bit for no real reason. Why did he bother bringing sky byte in for example. (ok, maybe these are toy reasons but if that's the case then use the new toys.)

I quite like that quirk. There was an indication earlier in the run that RID would have a sort of Astro City vibe where we would see the resettlement of Cybertron through many different sets of eyes.

Which wasn't the story we got at all. And we're in for a much more straightforward mystery adventure in this second season. So it does look a bit pointless in retrospect.

inflatable dalek
2014-06-19, 02:55 PM
In retrospect, I don't think either Barber or Roberts have handled the toy mandate brilliantly, you could tell which characters they actually gave a toss about a bit too obviously. So Nightbeat and (God help us) Scoop gets lots of attention and love, Tankor just turns up randomly in one scene for no reason and the comic actively takes the piss out of how crap the Jhiaxus toy is (whilst actually mentioning features that version of the mould doesn't have. I do feel sorry for any kids who got the toy and then read the pack in. "What swords?").

Denyer
2014-06-19, 05:43 PM
There was an indication earlier in the run that RID would have a sort of Astro City vibe where we would see the resettlement of Cybertron through many different sets of eyes.
Mmm. Busiek could make that concept sing with Transformers.

Terome
2014-06-19, 09:46 PM
Mmm. Busiek could make that concept sing with Transformers.

Though I'd hate anything to distract him for one second from Astro City. The current run is stellar.

In retrospect, I don't think either Barber or Roberts have handled the toy mandate brilliantly, you could tell which characters they actually gave a toss about a bit too obviously. So Nightbeat and (God help us) Scoop gets lots of attention and love, Tankor just turns up randomly in one scene for no reason and the comic actively takes the piss out of how crap the Jhiaxus toy is (whilst actually mentioning features that version of the mould doesn't have. I do feel sorry for any kids who got the toy and then read the pack in. "What swords?").

That's kind of the same for the old stuff too though. Furman obviously had a lot more time for say, the Predacons or Nightbeat again, than he did for the Deluxe Insecticons or Aerialbots. When you're in that situation I guess you just have to make the best of it.

It's a little more awkward when Barber take to the likes of Waspinator and Sky-Byte but doesn't quite get them right.

Though at the end of the day it's where I think my nostalgia clouds my judgement the most - as someone more comfortable with the Seacons, Junior Headmasters and Pretender Beasts than the 1984 crew, I have a bias towards hordes of goofy characters being forced on the writers at gunpoint. The IDW continuity is now nearly as old as G1 was when Beast Wars came around. If these new readers we hear about are not mythical, Tankor and Crosscut and co will find their place in hearts somewhere.

inflatable dalek
2014-06-20, 01:48 PM
I look forward to Scoop winning our next Best Characters poll.