PDA

View Full Version : Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #32


zigzagger
2014-08-15, 12:50 AM
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #32 three-page preview by way of iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id908858985?mt=11).

Blackjack
2014-08-15, 02:08 AM
Nothing overtly spectacular, but it's just three pages.

Future Lost Light! Anyone betting that we're having a Target 2006 style time travel displacement thing going on? Except why only the original crew was displaced...

zigzagger
2014-08-15, 02:23 AM
Nothing overtly spectacular, but it's just three pages.

Yeah, I read... somewhere (?) that Roberts structures the scripts for each issue in such a way so that little can be spoiled in the previews. Just enough to whet the appetite.

Think that's a recent thing, though. I recall the previews for issues #5 and #15 being especially spoilerific.

Future Lost Light! Anyone betting that we're having a Target 2006 style time travel displacement thing going on?Mmm, I'm leaning toward the quantum duplicate theory myself.

And quite possibly...

that a certain phase-sixer is causing trouble among the wreckage.

Blackjack
2014-08-15, 01:17 PM
Yeah, I read... somewhere (?) that Roberts structures the scripts for each issue in such a way so that little can be spoiled in the previews. Just enough to whet the appetite.

Ah, that would be excellent! Though both the RID and MTMTE previews this time around are not that spoilerific but indeed do, as you say, whet the appetite.

that a certain phase-sixer is causing trouble among the wreckage.


Sixshot!

Oh, Overlord you say? Man... I mean, I like Overlord and all, but I want to see Sixshot back.

Terome
2014-08-15, 03:13 PM
We are heading for the Rob Grant solo era of Red Dwarf references...

Unicron
2014-08-15, 03:43 PM
Yeah, my money is on the quantum duplicate thing still. If it was just a just a Target 2006 time displacement thing, then why did only the original ship and crew vanish? And why did they only vanish in this short time frame when that wreck looks like it's been there a while.

I'd bet the 'from the future' stuff is a result of this wrecked Lost Light not having been through the temporal shenanigans of Dark Cybertron. All of time or whatever was being pulled in to Cybertron, who knows what that did to the time frame of the rest of the universe that wasn't at Cybertron when it happened.

Terome
2014-08-15, 03:57 PM
Mmm, I think the future timeline is a red herring. Something stranger is at work here.

Nice to have Milne back. That is a gorgeous spread.

Blackjack
2014-08-16, 01:21 PM
Ah, I got it.

It's the damned briefcase, isn't it? I bet someone opened it and created some ridiculous quantum space time hijinks.

ALSO WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS ISSUE IS COMING OUT IN EARLY SEPTEMBER

Unicron
2014-08-16, 02:46 PM
Schedule on the Wiki (which is usually correct, eventually) has it listed for the 27th currently

Knightdramon
2014-08-17, 05:51 PM
I think this issue is massively over hyped. Too much for its own good.

Only other issues I can think of, with similar hype, were 12 and 15. And both were very misleading as to what was "promised" and was was on page, content wise.

Still, looks like proper Alien meets Dead Space meets transformers. Re-read 28-31 today in anticipation of it.

zigzagger
2014-08-26, 03:51 AM
The full preview is now up @ Issuu (http://issuu.com/idwpublishing/docs/tf_mtmte_32-pr?e=1013407/9057231).

Unicron
2014-08-26, 06:11 PM
Interesting, Nautica refers to Ravage as a 'she' while everyone else uses 'he'. I wonder if that's going to get called out or if it's just a quickly corrected assumption on Nautica's part.

And Roberts continues the trend with these previews: Interesting, raises further questions while not actually answering any previous ones.

Last panel on page 5, is that Nightbeat being surprised at Nautica's alt mode?

Terome
2014-08-27, 11:03 AM
I am on it like vomit.

SPOILERS AHOY

.
.
..
.
.

.
.
..

.
..
.
.


Goodness me! A really good ghost ship story, plenty of horrible things to see and consider, a cracking sequence where Megatron talks to Ravage and is actually unguarded and honest for the first time and a genuine mystery which is looking to resemble quite closely the TFW2005 theory we've been talking about.

Things I'm thinking about:
We didn't see Chromedome's corpse although every other main character seems to be accounted for (except possibly Rung... Whirl's on the cover, which took on a very different tone after the reveal. We're seeing their desperate last stand.)

There is no way Rewind is getting out of this alive. My bet is that he'll be reverted with everybody else.

We didn't see whether Tailgate had 'Bomb' or 'Waste' written on him but I'd bet it's 'Bomb.'

How then did the DJD know about Magnus? And how did the Autobots keep the whole thing a secret from Megatron when it took Ravage about a second to rumble it?

Brainstorm's briefcase! It's an Undo button, isn't it? It shunts you a few seconds backwards in time like in the finale of Futurama. That's a good source of comedic shennanigans. I wonder how many times he's used it already.

Who are we seeing in alt-mode in that scene? It's hard to do when we haven't seen a lot of these guys transform before and they have faded colours. Huffer? Landmine? Is that Brainstorm? Wait... Pipes?

That panel with Ratchet, Drift and Hound gets worse and worse the more I look at it - they made Drift stab Hound, impaled him with his own Great Sword, presumably while Ratchet watched. Then presumably Helex had him eat his own brain. Definitely Rob Grant territory.

Fodder for the Tumblr crowd - Nightbeat and Nautica, 'Stormy,' etc.

Soundwave sent Ravage to assassinate Megatron. Soundwave is very upset. But I am glad that we're told outright that Galvatron is being used. That seems to be his lot in life.

An interesting titbit about Megatron's body not having any 'bite' with his spark.

'Morphing addiction' - yuck.

All in all, great issue. Firing on all cylinders. I'm very warmed up to the new colours - this was a great showcase for Lafuente.

I'm also quite fond of Riptide now.

tahukanuva
2014-08-27, 01:26 PM
I didn't even realise how tense this issue had me until I finished and let out the breath I'd been involuntarily holding. This was my first 'horror' issue since I'd started reading (I jumped on with the last issue of Remain in Light) so I finally get to join the rest of you in being impressed with how easily this comic shifts into entirely different genres.

Skyquake87
2014-08-27, 01:39 PM
Agreed, all kinds of horribleness on show here and a very tense issue, strangely (i think that comes from too many horror films and always expecting something horrible to happen just around the corner). Definite time-skip problems...may be this is what the warning message all the way back in # 1 was all about..? Things definitely have gone screwy with time with the DJD aggressively boarding the ship and doing horrible things - maybe they also damaged the engines causing all the time leaking webs.. Milne's art was awesome and Joanna's colours were fantastic and she really pushed the boat out on this issue. Brilliant stuff

Can't believe I actually managed to pick this up on the day of release :)

zigzagger
2014-08-27, 02:49 PM
Sadly, I have to run off to work here shortly, so little time to chit-chat.

I will say that someone at TFW gets a cookie, as the quantum duplicate thingy is shaping up to be accurate for the most part. I get minus one cookie, though. Overlord isn't causing havoc as I suspected.

But he's there. He's just missing his head, is all.

Some chilling images and I loved Megatron and Ravage's conversation. It's insight we rarely see -- with both characters, really. Just a wonderful moment.

I'll be back later when I actually have a moment. There's a lot to process here.

Terome
2014-08-27, 03:40 PM
Some chilling images and I loved Megatron and Ravage's conversation. It's insight we rarely see -- with both characters, really. Just a wonderful moment.

It's the real highlight of the issue. The horror stuff is fun and well done but isn't outstandingly special.

Have to hand it to Roberts for this - he's found the best way to have the DJD be included in a way that shows off how scary and horrible they are without incurring diminishing returns by having them fail. It does lead me to wonder why he dragged his feet so long in siccing them on Shockwave, who he never seemed to be terribly fond of, but whatever.
Though I understand the narrative convention of having them kill everybody without too much trouble, there's a fannish corner of my mind that protests at the idea they were able to mow down the likes of Ultra Magnus, Whirl and Cyclonus so easily. And Brainstorm would definitely have let Overlord out if he'd had the chance.

Anyway, Roberts is going to have to kill the DJD next time they show up. That will solidify them nicely.

And hey, Megatron personally trained these psychos. He must have been in a bleak mood that century. Maybe in between one of his 'wobbles.'

Denyer
2014-08-27, 07:35 PM
Brainstorm's briefcase! It's an Undo button, isn't it? It shunts you a few seconds backwards in time like in the finale of Futurama. That's a good source of comedic shennanigans. I wonder how many times he's used it already.
The "natural" flow seems to be a countdown of 8 to 1, and the panels as printed are 8-7-6-1-3-4-5-2.

6 is an open action, jump back 5.

1 is a close action, which apparently causes time to flow backwards 3-4-5 until it reaches the previous point.

We seem to be privy to all of the steps, but are they?

inflatable dalek
2014-08-27, 07:40 PM
We are heading for the Rob Grant solo era of Red Dwarf references...

Doug Naylor, Last Human was the one where they find their own ship smashed and with their alternate counterparts killed in the most horrible ways. Grant's Backwards was the one where the Cat rips apart a woman's vagina with his covered-in-sharp-nasty-spikes penis. In reverse. Maybe Ravage will be doing that next month?

Though James Roberts [CLANG] has told me off on Twitter, pointing out he doesn't base everything he writes on Red Dwarf.



The set up is also very like the TNG episode Time Squared, albeit with a completely different execution and future Picard being found in a shuttle rather than a coffin. Don't tell Roberts I said that though.


That was a damn good Ravage scene, nice to see the excellent work Barber did with the character (in one of the few highlights of the pre-Dark Cybertron run of RID) is being carried on here to great effect.

Interesting that what is going on is seemingly what everyone predicted was going on, meaning that we're actually more on the ball than the characters are for once, but the grizzly death of everyone stuff was very, very nicely done and heartbreaking and squimish all at the same time.

If there's a shame, it's that after the Mulder and Scully spoofing X-Files cover, Nightbeat didn't really get to do much detectoring (basically just noticing what was right in front of him rather than any amazing deductive work), but that's sadly standard fare for Nightbeat so that can't detract from a very good issue.

Terome
2014-08-27, 07:59 PM
The "natural" flow seems to be a countdown of 8 to 1, and the panels as printed are 8-7-6-1-3-4-5-2.

6 is an open action, jump back 5.

1 is a close action, which apparently causes time to flow backwards 3-4-5 until it reaches the previous point.

We seem to be privy to all of the steps, but are they?

Good charting! Might we be treated to a nasty sequence where Brainstorm opens the briefcase too late and is rewound through his terrible fate however many times?

From the dialogue, Nightbeat and Nautica seem to be completely unaware of anything happening. Nightbeat would surely have noticed something odd but there is the distraction of Tailgate's body in play.


Doug Naylor, Last Human was the one where they find their own ship smashed and with their alternate counterparts killed in the most horrible ways. Grant's Backwards was the one where the Cat rips apart a woman's vagina with his covered-in-sharp-nasty-spikes penis. In reverse. Maybe Ravage will be doing that next month?

Oh yeah! I was thinking of all the stuff with the Aganoids and the pretty agonising deaths in the Gunmen of the Apocalypse section but had forgotten the very similar plot in Last Human. I don't like Last Human very much.

And did you know that it isn't just cats that have penises covered in claws? That's a pretty common trait in mammals. That's the kind of stuff they teach you when you're getting a biology degree.

Denyer
2014-08-27, 08:38 PM
From the dialogue, Nightbeat and Nautica seem to be completely unaware of anything happening.
Mmm. It's not necessarily an "undo" process... but the narrative device is at best an approximation because each frame plays forward. Possibly the user has to take specific action to change things -- they're stood still, which might have some bearing. Possibly the length of the rewind is controllable.

Odds are if it's a reset there's evidence in previous issues.

Maybe Ravage will be doing that next month?
Rule 35.

edit:

Do we think the DJD have an off switch?

Tangent -- Nightbeat looks better here than as a Generations figure.

Terome
2014-08-27, 09:27 PM
Odds are if it's a reset there's evidence in previous issues.


No doubt by midnight an excitable TFWiki editor will have laid it all out.



Do we think the DJD have an off switch?



Megatron would have to be insane not to have included one but then he probably wasn't in the healthiest frame of mind when he made the DJD. He might even have set them up with the intention that he himself would eventually meet gruesome Decepticon Justice. That line about them being 'loyal to the Decepticon cause' especially puts me in that opinion...

But then this whole set-up makes me think that there will be a much more interesting resolution to the DJD problem than a shootout or a secret password. Megatron expects Tarn to come for him so odds are it won't be that simple.

Unicron
2014-08-27, 10:09 PM
But then this whole set-up makes me think that there will be a much more interesting resolution to the DJD problem than a shootout or a secret password. Megatron expects Tarn to come for him so odds are it won't be that simple.

Anyone placing odds on the crew and perhaps Ravage talking Megatron into getting a new body made, a non-poisoned and strong one, so he can properly fight the DJD? Maybe Brainstorm would give him the inter-dimensional circuitry to syphon anti-matter from a black hole finally.

Blackjack
2014-08-28, 01:30 PM
The Megatron/Ravage stuff is the best stuff! It's great, great character work and does pretty well to make the leap from the Megatron that's all 'rawr die Autobots' prior to Chaos Theory to the rather nihilistic one from Chaos and RID and the Autobot Megatron in Dark Cybertron and MTMTE. It's not perfect, but damn I do love that scene.

RAVAGEEEEEE

Ravage is my new favourite character. Holy shit Ravageeee

You could just feel the anger and disappointment and hope and loyalty in his scenes with Megatron. My god, I haven't read a good Ravage story since like Beast Wars. RAVAGE

ME LIKEY

The horror stuff is fun, the scenes as the DJD murders the alternate crew is pretty spine-chilling (Perceptor being grinded to dust reaching for his ripped arm gets me very much, the corpses and other stuff not really), and the fact that it seems to be an alternate Lost Light that the DJD went after... how the hell is there two of them now? And wasn't the Rodimus corpse they found last time said to be from the future? Did the alternate lost light travel to the future and then back to the past? What about Crosscut's play? This is so full of confusingness.

Are the people who left the Lost Light during Dark Cybertron like Cosmos and Fizzle around too as corpses?

Are these the Magnus, Hound and Drift which the Necrobot lists? Though that would mean the Necrobot has a grossly incomplete list.

I like the DJD and this makes them look godawfully terrifying. If Agent 113 is one of the main five then, shit, guy's a massive shit who I hope gets put down with the rest.

I did have fun trying to identify the alternate-mode corpses... Huffer, Blaster, Strafe and Trailbreaker are pretty obvious, and what I think are Inferno and Highbrow are on the right and maybe Atomizer is on the left. No idea who the big bulldozer is, the only one I can think of is Scoop but he's elsewhere. A couple of generic-looking space cars and a jet I don't recognize. There is a Pretender's altmode too which I assumed is Waverider.

We saw Magnus (and I do like the fake-out that Megatron might be the one to do this in the future), Whirl, Swerve, Tailgate, Perceptor, Ratchet, Drift and Hound... but absent from among the main cast are Chromedome and Cyclonus, but also Red Alert, who's easily forgotten. Also Pipes, who I guess just died twice horribly. Man.

How did the alternate Lost Light get created anyway? Timey-wimey stuff with Shock Ore getting caught up in the engine? How did Rewind get on board 'our' Lost Light last issue/a couple issues back? Will the two Rewinds meet up and have a trivia showdown?

Also, between Skids talking about his friend that has a similar addiction it's safe to say that Tarn is Roller unless it's a deliberate red herring.

Brainstorm's briefcase, even when it's empty, is all crazy and shit. Not trying to think up of any theories so I can be surprised.

Whatever the hell happened to First Aid and all the other people who weren't on the Rodpod but wasn't part of the original Lost Light crew?

Nightbeat is great, Nautica's great... I even liked Skids and Riptide here, even if Riptide is Roberts' stock snarky jerk character far more than anyone else, but really, they kind of pale next to Megatron and Ravage.

Pretty great issue, actually.

Terome
2014-08-28, 03:07 PM
even if Riptide is Roberts' stock snarky jerk character far more than anyone else,


He does serve the same function as Swerve when Swerve is not around, although he's quite different as a character.

Blackjack
2014-08-28, 04:07 PM
He does serve the same function as Swerve when Swerve is not around, although he's quite different as a character.

Honestly don't think Riptide's done anything to make him stand out -- Swerve at least has that 'I joke around to deal with my internal angst/crippling depression/self-worth image' thing going on, as well as the bar thing.

Riptide has the snark that many Roberts characters, not just Swerve (at least on top of my head Nightbeat, Whirl, Skids, Drift, Ratchet and Brainstorm engage in Swerve-esque snarking pretty often, just not as frequently or all the time), share, but without contributing much else.

I mean, he's been around for like two issues or so, but all he's done is being a jerk to Trailbreaker and Megatron, drop a couple of information tidbits here and there and that's it.

Terome
2014-08-28, 05:22 PM
I mean, he's been around for like two issues or so, but all he's done is being a jerk to Trailbreaker and Megatron, drop a couple of information tidbits here and there and that's it.

He is a jerk and a prankster - not a huge stand-out in this crowd - but we also know that he's a professional soldier, isn't terribly bright or well-educated, gets into fights readily, isn't easy to shock and is quick to get bored. As you say, he's not been around long and hasn't really done much but he's not a blank slate beyond the standard jerkiness.

We have yet to see why a new character needed to invented wholecloth for him though. He needed to have not been on the Lost Light for the first season but there must be some other purpose for him we've yet to see.

Also, is Drift snarky? Genuine question - I've got the impression that he's overbearingly nice, eager to show that he doesn't mind people patronising him and is competent but clueless.

Warcry
2014-08-28, 05:56 PM
Riptide is a tool.

The Megatron/Ravage stuff is the best stuff! It's great, great character work and does pretty well to make the leap from the Megatron that's all 'rawr die Autobots' prior to Chaos Theory to the rather nihilistic one from Chaos and RID and the Autobot Megatron in Dark Cybertron and MTMTE. It's not perfect, but damn I do love that scene.
I have to agree with this. The two or three pages of them alone in their makeshift cell were the best parts not just of the issue, but of the whole second "season" so far. And I do wonder if it's intentional that the supposed bad guys are almost the most sympathetic characters of the bunch -- Nightbeat, Riptide, Skids and Getaway are all jerks. Nautica is likeable though, so it's probably an accident.

The story is really starting to pick up now, and the "duplicate ship" plot is (like I thought) proving to be way more interesting than the "everyone acts out of character to explain why Megatron is captain" three-parter. I'm very curious to find out the cause of the mystery.

Rewind being the only survivor of the massacre is mighty convenient. It really reeks of the DS9 episode "Visionary", where they killed off Chief O'Brien only to replace him with a duplicate from an alternate future and nobody remarked on it again for the length of the show. I really hope there's more it it than just putting the "happy" couple back together and giving Chromedome another chance to do things right.

I'm also glad that the DJD only show up in flashbacks, because they're a terrible idea and the less they interact with the series' actually entertaining characters, the better. It's just a shame that they're destined to return so that Megatron can have a confrontation with them. :(

inflatable dalek
2014-08-28, 07:48 PM
Are the people who left the Lost Light during Dark Cybertron like Cosmos and Fizzle around too as corpses?

How did the alternate Lost Light get created anyway? Timey-wimey stuff with Shock Ore getting caught up in the engine? How did Rewind get on board 'our' Lost Light last issue/a couple issues back? Will the two Rewinds meet up and have a trivia showdown?

The implication seems to be the quantum jump... thing did the old Star Trek standby of a transporter duplication accident, two ships, two crews both flying about the Universe having adventures unawares of one another. So dead bodies of those who were originally onboard should be about, but not any of the new boys.

The main clue is the bar not being a bar- presumably as this duplicate ship never picked up Skids he and Swerve didn't break out of their suite and find the place during the Spark Eater event, so Crosscut discovered it first and turned it into a theatre.


Whatever the hell happened to First Aid and all the other people who weren't on the Rodpod but wasn't part of the original Lost Light crew?

The wiki theory was that, as everyone else was on shuttles that had been part of the original ship's compliment they get sucked off with the ship they were on. But as the Rod Pod was a new addition only those aboard from the original crew got affected.


Rewind being the only survivor of the massacre is mighty convenient. It really reeks of the DS9 episode "Visionary", where they killed off Chief O'Brien only to replace him with a duplicate from an alternate future and nobody remarked on it again for the length of the show. I really hope there's more it it than just putting the "happy" couple back together and giving Chromedome another chance to do things right.

There was a Voyager episode with a duplicate ship where they killed Harry Kim and replaced him with the only survivor of the doubles as well wasn't there?

Wouldn't it be a mind **** if one of the previous issues turned out to be an adventure of the duplicate crew after all? Can't think if one would easily fit off the top of my head though.

Ohhhhhhhhh, and with Nightbeat now being written as Sherlock Holmes, does that make Nautica his Irene Addler?

Mind, if he was still being done as a Chandler style detective The Woman Wot Done Him Wrong would be likely to show up sooner or later as well...

Knightdramon
2014-08-28, 08:23 PM
Took some time to read, re-read etc

First thought----probably going to stay away from tweets, reports from tweets etc. They not only overhyped this issue too much for its own good, they did NOT live up to its potential.

I am very sorry Milne, but when you hype something this much, it better have more than 3-4 scenes of carnage, said carnage being on the level or less than LSOTW.

Furthermore, it's probably by choice, but the damn solicitations are so tip toeing around spoilers, they basically have NOTHING to do with the issue in hand. Is it like the 4th issue in a row [S2 strictly], it's getting annoying now.

Anyways, onto the issue...

Again, for an issue so f*cking hyped about the carnage and how it's going to make us "cry" by being so graphic, it's shocking how the best scene is of Megatron and Ravage enclosed in a closet.

Not really a fan of Nightbeat and Nautica as other people are, I actually prefer Furman's more serious, macabre Nightbeat to this one.

Lots of neat side-effects...Tarn appears to know of the Magnus secret, Skids appears to instantly be frightened and able to tell Tarn's work apart, and had a "friend" who was addicted to morphing around...I'm guessing we're soon due for a dual reveal of Agent 113 [Skids] and Roller [Tarn].

Kind of funny that this past weekend I read Chaos Theory and thought that Megatron was too far "gone" from his current self, or the other way around, and Roberts kind of reconciled this on this issue. Still doesn't make up for the G1-esque master plan he had in RID S1.

Can't wait for the big RESET button they'll hit in the coming issues to reconcile all this---no matter how grand and brutal it is, they flat out spell that it's an alternate/future crew that's dead like that.

And, seriously, the DJD killed EVERYBODY? They were having their hands full with the Scavengers in issue 8, but they made short work of a crew of 200 bots, among them Magnus and Whirl? Rodimus and Sunstreaker? Perceptor? Magnus alone is probably stronger than the four DJD non main dudes anyway.

Most powerful scene was the DJD facing Overlord with a chainsaw to the head. The fact that you can't see Overlord's expression makes it even better.

Skyquake87
2014-08-28, 09:12 PM
Oh, I keep forgetting the Roller stuff...Again, something I've missed. He was in the Chaos flashbacks and Shadowplay. I'll have to re-read those.

Have to agree with Knightdramon's assessment that there's a big reset button coming up...anything that whiffs of terrible future/ alternate events never usually comes to pass (with all the cast dead, it would mean the end of the book after all), which makes their telling a bit redundant. Unless its The Terminator.

I am concerned with Rewind coming back from the dead. After the harrowing nature of his departure his return as an alternate version of what we know would suck balls. And be as bad as all the X-Men books that pull this kind of sh*t off on a regular basis. One of the big things that turns me off of a lot of mainstream comic books is their lack of consequence and its a bit of a shame that we seem to be heading down that route somewhat at the moment.

I am sure this will all turn out alright, but still...

Unicron
2014-08-28, 09:49 PM
I am concerned with Rewind coming back from the dead. After the harrowing nature of his departure his return as an alternate version of what we know would suck balls. And be as bad as all the X-Men books that pull this kind of sh*t off on a regular basis. One of the big things that turns me off of a lot of mainstream comic books is their lack of consequence and its a bit of a shame that we seem to be heading down that route somewhat at the moment.

I am sure this will all turn out alright, but still...
Assuming it's actually a quantum duplicate thing instead of time travel shenanigans (which looks to be the case as apparently dead Tailgate was suffering from cybercrosis still), I'm hoping instead of a simple turning back of the clock or re-appearance of our versions, we get a merging of the two versions of everyone. So anyone who lived through one version will be alive, but have the memory of both sets of events. So almost everyone would be alive again, but it wouldn't quite be status quo. There'd be all the trauma of dying, trying to live with two different sets of memories, etc.

MikeB
2014-08-28, 10:06 PM
What if instead of being a quantum duplicate thing it's actually the universe/timeline being re-edited (a la Nightbeat's suggestion) It would tie in with Rung's comments in his conversation with Megatron, and possibly with Brainstorm's briefcase as well?

Opening the briefcase could have been construed as editing the panel structure (ie timeline) on that page, maybe it had been opened some other time and that's what started all he disappearances? You could easily imagine riptide doing something that stupid, in spite of, or because of Brainstorm's warnings? I can't remember off the top of my head whether he had the briefcase when he "died" with hardhead before he Lost Light set off, if he didn't maybe this was how he was working on getting himself back to life?

Maybe that was the last message from issue one? Tailgate was quite close to the briefcase, what if he was trying to use it to edit a message, including the final one which would be don't open the briefcase, but the DJD skewered him before he could finish?

I'm sure one of the upcoming solicitations could tie in with that theory as we'll issue 34 maybe?

Quite why it wouldn't do anything with the late arrivals I don't know, so maybe that blows my idea out of the water...

Ugh, I don't know any more. Either way, I am liking this issue more the more I read it.

Also, the "Information Creep" poster maybe had a nice sly little joke at/with the reader? "How long can you go without answers?", pretty much describes the slow drip of reveals to lots of early set ups...

Death's Head
2014-08-29, 12:18 AM
Again, for an issue so f*cking hyped about the carnage and how it's going to make us "cry" by being so graphic, it's shocking how the best scene is of Megatron and Ravage enclosed in a closet.

This is a good thing.

zigzagger
2014-08-29, 04:22 AM
Okay, got a moment now...

Not much more I have to add regarding Megatron and Ravage's moment, aside from how happy I am to see the latter have a more active presence. A new core cast member I hope...?

As I said earlier, some rare insight from both characters. Megatron seems penitent -- or is at least he's trying to be -- and is uncertain of who (or what) he wants to be. The exchange is actually quite touching without devolving into Marvel Optimus Prime brand of self-pitying.

Yeah, this was the real heart of the issue (not that I didn't enjoy the horror/mystery aspect of the story -- it was great!)

I'm still enjoying Nautica, even if she has replaced Tailgate as the audience surrogate. She's so damn adorable. Like, well, Tailgate.

Not too bothered by Nightbeat either. I kind of find his lack of tact amusing. For now anyway. Could see it getting old. Overall, the last couple issues have taken the opportunity to showcase Nightbeat and Nautica. They're really coming into their own as characters.

Riptide... not so much.


Will have to agree with the sentiments regarding the DJD. Namely, that a crew of 200-odd Autobots -- most of which are war veterans themselves, with a few heavy-hitters among them -- are massacred by the five, stupidly overpowered members of the DJD.

Hell, a brain-damaged Grimlock managed to clock that **** Tarn a few times, but 200-odd Autobots? Pfft, they never had a chance.

Wait, what?!

How did the Decepticons lose the war again?

Agree with Terome, though -- this was a fairly effective use of them. Came across as more of threat than the parody we got during their first appearance.

On a related note; surprised that Drift and Overlord's bodies we're left relatively intact, all things considered. Figured they'd be in far worse condition since they were on the DJD's naughty list.

Blackjack
2014-08-29, 04:58 AM
He is a jerk and a prankster - not a huge stand-out in this crowd - but we also know that he's a professional soldier, isn't terribly bright or well-educated, gets into fights readily, isn't easy to shock and is quick to get bored.

Yeah, we know stuff about him but not much in lieu of characterization beyond 'jerk' and 'prankster'. It's like knowing that Swerve is an Autobot, Swerve owns a bar, Swerve used to work in Kimia, Swerve likes to watch Blurr race, but if he doesn't have that couple of moments where it's shown that he's dealing with depression and crippling self-worth issue and that delusion he has with Blurr, he would be nothing but a one-note jokester which would be annoying as hell.

Ditto for, say, Rodimus, Whirl, Magnus or Brainstorm. Backstories and all are nice, but if they don't react to it, didn't show character beyond being 'ineffective leader', 'psychopath', 'OCD schoolteacher' and 'jealous of Perceptor' none of them would hold our attention so much. It's when they deviate from their normal gimmicks that they truly become human.

Sometimes, like Nightbeat, it comes off as a unique gimmick even if cribbed from Sherlock, but Riptide is just being a jerk like everyone else.

We have yet to see why a new character needed to invented wholecloth for him though. He needed to have not been on the Lost Light for the first season but there must be some other purpose for him we've yet to see.

He could've been replaced with, oh, Bluestreak or someone... but no, we need another new character. And unlike Nautica or Rung or the DJD, they don't serve anything particularly unique that no one else can give.

Also, is Drift snarky? Genuine question - I've got the impression that he's overbearingly nice, eager to show that he doesn't mind people patronising him and is competent but clueless.

Sorry, Rodimus. I meant to type Rodimus.

I have to agree with this. The two or three pages of them alone in their makeshift cell were the best parts not just of the issue, but of the whole second "season" so far.

Yeah, I think it's the first issue from the second season which brings up the 'whoa it's bloody good' feeling that the previous two or three issues lack. I mean, they're still good, but they lack the punch that this one has.

And I do wonder if it's intentional that the supposed bad guys are almost the most sympathetic characters of the bunch -- Nightbeat, Riptide, Skids and Getaway are all jerks.

The Lost Light is full of jerks, though, as I said above. The only ones that aren't an asshole in some kind or form are probably Magnus, Nautica, Rewind and Tailgate.

"everyone acts out of character to explain why Megatron is captain" three-parter.

Arguably this thing right here helps to explain Megatron's change of heart really well... though why everyone else accepts it beyond 'Optimus says so' kind of eludes me.

I really hope there's more it it than just putting the "happy" couple back together and giving Chromedome another chance to do things right.

Please let Rewind and Chromedome not get together happily? I mean, I like the two, but it feels too much lie a cop-out to that emotional punch to the gut that was the Gloaming. Even if they do I want Chromedome to deal with his darker sides and bring in some of that good ol' angst and feels.

I'm also glad that the DJD only show up in flashbacks, because they're a terrible idea and the less they interact with the series' actually entertaining characters, the better.

Man, you guys really hate the DJD, don't you? I seem to be the only ones who find them entertaining at least as disposable villains that still exude a threat. Do agree that the implication that they slaughtered everyone else (somehow) does make them feel a lot scarier than the rather poor showing they had in their first arc.

It probably isn't as seamless as the flashbacks show it to be, though, unless there's something else like a traitor or something.

Chromedome and Cyclonus are missing, need I remind you, and the Cyclonus in the alternate Lost Light might not have had the morality pet that is Tailgate.

The wiki theory was that, as everyone else was on shuttles that had been part of the original ship's compliment they get sucked off with the ship they were on. But as the Rod Pod was a new addition only those aboard from the original crew got affected.

So right now First Aid and Bluestreak and Sky High and all the rest are like hovering in space, folding their hands and muttering about how stupid it is...

Wouldn't it be a mind **** if one of the previous issues turned out to be an adventure of the duplicate crew after all? Can't think if one would easily fit off the top of my head though.

SPOTLIGHT: HOIST

Though practically everything else had Skids and all the other newcomers around, so I'm pretty sure there's nothing unless, you know, if I'm wrong.

First thought----probably going to stay away from tweets, reports from tweets etc. They not only overhyped this issue too much for its own good, they did NOT live up to its potential.

I stay away from everything and not take them at face value other than the previews. Makes reading the actual thing so much better.

I think... Remain in Light, one of the issues, as well as the one with Overlord breaking out of the cell, were all spoiled to me because of reading a tweet or solicitation.

Same thing with movies -- either you get fake trailers that get you pissed off for something that doesn't show up in the movie, or you get half the movie spoiled from the trailer.

I'm guessing we're soon due for a dual reveal of Agent 113 [Skids] and Roller [Tarn].

Never considered Skids to be agent 113, but that might actually work... sort of? I'm still under the impression that one of the main DJD five is Agent 113.

Still doesn't make up for the G1-esque master plan he had in RID S1.

Dude's in a bad place and that was the best he could come up with?

Though there is a lot of things I basically just pretend never happen in RID season 1, so screw all that.

Most powerful scene was the DJD facing Overlord with a chainsaw to the head. The fact that you can't see Overlord's expression makes it even better.

This, this.

I am concerned with Rewind coming back from the dead.

Also this.

NEED ANGST OR KEEP HIM DEAD

(which looks to be the case as apparently dead Tailgate was suffering from cybercrosis still)

Oh, good eye!

we get a merging of the two versions of everyone. So anyone who lived through one version will be alive, but have the memory of both sets of events. So almost everyone would be alive again, but it wouldn't quite be status quo. There'd be all the trauma of dying, trying to live with two different sets of memories, etc.

That might work, though with everybody but these few getting extra memories I'm not sure how well-explored it would be.

I can't remember off the top of my head whether he had the briefcase when he "died" with hardhead before he Lost Light set off, if he didn't maybe this was how he was working on getting himself back to life?

Wasn't the briefcase around, just not strapped to his wrist? I can't really remember.

As I said earlier, some rare insight from both characters. Megatron seems penitent -- or is at least he's trying to be -- and is uncertain of who (or what) he wants to be. The exchange is actually quite touching without devolving into Marvel Optimus Prime brand of self-pitying.

This.

Self-pitying is a really easy way to make me instantly think the character doesn't have business leading in the first place. It's a really strong scene all around and I would've loved the issue if it was only these three pages, but there's, you know, everything else.

I'm still enjoying Nautica, even if she has replaced Tailgate as the audience surrogate. She's so damn adorable. Like, well, Tailgate.

But without Tailgate's "I will pretend to be a bomb disposal despite it endangering everything else" thing... that always didn't sit right with me.

Also, Nautica reads as being fairly older than Tailgate... Tailgate feels like just this little tagalong kid, whereas Nautica feels younger than, say, Ratchet or Magnus or Megatron, but still around as old as the younger Autobots like Swerve or Brainstorm.

Not too bothered by Nightbeat either. I kind of find his lack of tact amusing. For now anyway. Could see it getting old.

Yeah, for now I still like him, but it has the potential to become irritating real quick.

Hell, a brain-damaged Grimlock managed to clock that **** Tarn a few times, but 200-odd Autobots? Pfft, they never had a chance.

Wait, what?!

How did the Decepticons lose the war again?

Because the DJD were busy hunting down all the other big hitters among their cause like Black Shadow and Drift instead of, you know, going after the Autobots. Wonder where the DJD were after AHM when their help would really be appreciated.

Whereas the Autobots sent their own great assets like Metroplex INTO SPACE for stupid reasons.

On a related note; surprised that Drift and Overlord's bodies we're left relatively intact, all things considered. Figured they'd be in far worse condition since they were on the DJD's naughty list.

Maybe they just didn't have time? Maybe something else happened other than the DJD? Keep in mind what we're seeing are all hypotheses by the characters. For all we know the Autobots managed to kill everyone but Tarn, or that there were more Decepticons than those five. Maybe something else caused the ship to be disabled, like Brainstorm's device in Spotlight: Trailcutter and the DJD just waltzed in and trashed everyone when they're static.

Unicron
2014-08-29, 05:08 AM
On a related note; surprised that Drift and Overlord's bodies we're left relatively intact, all things considered. Figured they'd be in far worse condition since they were on the DJD's naughty list.

It's not known if Drift is actually on the list, it's just assumed because of him being a defector and all. It's theoretically possible he's not on the list, either because they don't know Drift was Deadlock or perhaps because he's officially an Autobot. I think the latter is actually an option, given that Ambulon wasn't hunted down despite being at Delphi which was quite near DJD territory. (Of course, Pharma's deal with Tarn may have given Ambulon some protection.)

inflatable dalek
2014-08-29, 06:03 AM
In terms of how five beat 200 when they didn't instantly kill the Scavengers...


It's worth remembering we've previously seen them in action in the open on a planetary surface where their opponents could unleash everything they had at the DJD.

Fighting within the confines of a spaceship is a very different thing. Think of the original Alien, where the screenwriter didn't want to create an unbeatable monster, just to put a very tough one within an environment where it's prey would have limited options in terms of what they could do. Or the fight against Overlord, where despite there being more Autobots than he faced in Wreckers and him being unarmed he still was making good work through the crew before Magnus and Maximus intervened (IIRC the crew weren't using much in the way of energy weapons there, mainly going for physical attacks and pointy things, presumably because of the fear of damaging the ship).

So, times Overlord by five (at least), this time heavily armed and probably dedicated enough to not be bothered if they destroy the ship around them, fighting in a tight contained environment where the Autobots have to attack in small lines, and can't risk unleashing their full fire power too many wrong shots could blow up the Lost Light. That would be what gives them the edge once they've gotten aboard.

In terms of Rewind, if he stays around, I suspect the fact that he saw Chromedome's mistake kill everyone will create a tension to their relationship.

Mind, a big theme of this series is friendship and how it can act as a redemptive force, so I've little doubt they'll work through those differences.

Mind, I suspect it'll be more of a Sophie's Choice thing, bring back "Their" crew but they have to sacrifice Rewind to do it.

Blackjack
2014-08-29, 07:09 AM
Also, element of surprise. It's probably pretty important. The Scavengers, loser Decepticons as they are, had relatively ample time to prepare against the DJD and was able to set up a trap in the form of Grimlock -- Tarn was probably so arrogant he didn't even have the notion that the other loser Decepticons would even deign to set up a trap for him, or even have access to a bruiser like Grimlock or that giant thing Crankcase was piloting.

(And the DJD themselves were taken by surprise as well. They didn't manage to kill anyone but Flywheels, but it took some time for them to recover)

If the DJD did attack the Lost Light, they would be wholly unprepared. By the time the alarms went all AWOOGA AWOOGA the DJD would've been on board and probably slaughtered through a lot of the B-listers like Overlord did. Who would expect the DJD to come, anyway? The only difference is that Overlord didn't take the time to execute them or make sure they died before Maximus and Magnus interrupted. And while we only see two on-screen deaths with Overlord (Pipes and Rewind) further issues establish that there are several other casualties and Overlord's just playing around. The DJD are probably out for blood.

Of course, the question is why they were so crap against the Scavengers but other than the element of surprise you're just going to have to assume Krok has a really strong face.

And while the Lost Light is filled with war veterans, short of Ultra Magnus and former Wreckers Perceptor (who's more of a sniper anyway -- in actual physical combat against Overlord he was taken out pretty swiftly) and Whirl, I don't see who would really stand up against the DJD. Rodimus is a major character but doesn't seem to be stronger in battle than anyone. Drift will probably shit his pants and probably die in fear. Whatever Brainstorm could do it's liable to blow up in his face.

And assuming Magnus and Tarn has history, who knows what happened in the battle between them? There might not be a fight as Tarn goes, oh, "MINIMUS I AM ROLLER" or "MINIMUS I AM YOUR FATHER" or "MINIMUS I AM YOUR BROTHER DOMINUS"

(Maybe it's why Rewind survived? Tarn is Dominus Ambus instead of Roller like we all thought? Not inconceivable for Skids to know Dominus Ambus in the past.)

The other big hitters on board the Lost Light... Cyclonus is unaccounted for, and they never encountered Fortress Maximus or Skids in this alternate timeline.

That leaves people like Red Alert and Chromedome and Atomizer and Hoist and Trailcutter to fight against a bunch of Sixshot-level threats, and while I doubt they could take down two hundred like it's cakewalk, a combination of surprise, power levels and all those factors Dalek's lined up makes it pretty conceivable.

Skyquake87
2014-08-29, 07:14 AM
Thats fine, but I think bringing back Rewind isn't a good move...it just undoes that whole turmoil he and Chromedome went through and personally I am just against undoing horrific events becasue a character/ relationship worked really well. Its just the worst and once you've done that and had all the cliche's of 'I know you but you're not the same/ getting to know each other all over again/mistrust/redemption/blah' where do you go?

I dunno, it just feels like the whole Spider-Man thing with Mary Jane and Brand New Day. Its just fiddling with something for shock value/ sales and it just feels wrong to me to tamper with one of MTMTE's most powerful moments. I know its only comics and these are shooty space robots, but still...I dunno, it just robs me of my emotional involvement in those characters and I don't like how it makes me feel. That may very well be the point, but having seen this kind of 'back from the dead' cobblers many times over elsewhere its just disappointing. Plus, it turns Rewind into a plot point. Boo.

Sometimes, you have to leave things behind and move on.

Also : I like the DJD and have no problems with them and when I saw that splash of them, it made me shudder! And like Dalek eloquently said, I can see how they overpowered the crew. Magnus clearly taken out by ripping Ambus out of the armour.

I like Nautica too. See Mr Furman, this is how you write female Transformers! They are not some mad psychopath transsexual experiment but just part of the mix and that is fine.

Why people have this hang up about sex in a techno-organic race of beings is beyond me...!

MikeB
2014-08-29, 07:18 AM
Mind, I suspect it'll be more of a Sophie's Choice thing, bring back "Their" crew but they have to sacrifice Rewind to do it.

Yeah, I think that's likely. It'd be interesting to see if this Rewind still makes the dramatic sacrifice or if the events that have unfolded in this version make it something unpleasant that someone else has to do to him...

Red Dave Prime
2014-08-29, 08:55 AM
Quick thoughts in no particular order:

The briefcase scene is nicely done. What it leads to I have no idea but I like that it takes a moment to realise whats happening but its not too hidden to not be clear.

As someone who likes the DJD, I'm hoping that its not as simple as them storming the Lost Light. I see them as experts in torture and powerful alright but not a mass group of phase sixers. They could have used Black Shadows shut down code to take him out. They didnt just wipe out the scavengers right away. And in this case its possible the lost light is depleted or just suffering from some kind of explosion.

Is the necrobot charting all the dead cybertrons or is he linked to the DJD in some way and only charting their kills?

The rodimus coffin was quite the insult really - they fix his face into a smile and make a mockery of the burial ritual.

I'm still not sure this is a future lost light. I think its merely an alternate where certain events happened differently (Skids never discovers the bar with Swerve, Overlord is never released and Rewind never dies). I'm still thinking that back in issue one when the explosion occurs this lost light is sent one way and our lost light went the other. Its also possible that this lost light has been living through hell if they were damaged going into sector 113, thereby allowing the DJD to easily gain advantage.

Despite all the well-drawn gore and shock going on, I think everyone is in agreement that its the Ravage/ Megatron scene that steals the issue.

I liked the image of Megatron melting his fusion cannon being very similar to the one back in issue 7 (albeit that one is in Tarns head)

Overall, a really good issue. I like how we think we have the right answers (and we might be on the ball) but things are mixed up enough that a twist wont feel out of place.

Blackjack
2014-08-29, 11:26 AM
Thats fine, but I think bringing back Rewind isn't a good move...it just undoes that whole turmoil he and Chromedome went through and personally I am just against undoing horrific events becasue a character/ relationship worked really well.

-nod nod nod-

I know its only comics and these are shooty space robots, but still...I dunno, it just robs me of my emotional involvement in those characters and I don't like how it makes me feel.

-nod nod nod-

Also : I like the DJD and have no problems with them and when I saw that splash of them, it made me shudder!

Yaaaay

I do agree that the DJD may not be the most well-written of characters, but sometimes you really need to introduce a bunch of strong villains, and using pre-established characters like, oh, say, Bludgeon or Thunderwing, who we know to have been defeated before, kind of takes away from ramping up their threat. They could've been handled better, but for now I do like them, two-dimensional bastards that they are.

The briefcase scene is nicely done. What it leads to I have no idea but I like that it takes a moment to realise whats happening but its not too hidden to not be clear.

This. For a moment I thought it was a cop-out and they switched the bottom row and the middle row, but as soon as I saw the numbers and then it's too sporadic and the numbers are obvious indications that, yes, shit's going down!

I'm not sure if it's a reset button or something more fourth-wall-y (I hope not) or whatever the hell, but it's certainly, well, something I absolutely did not expect.

And in this case its possible the lost light is depleted or just suffering from some kind of explosion.

Another excellent point. The Lost Light crew might have been worn out by something or other... I believe I mentioned something similar to the 'everybody got frozen by Brainstorm's experiment' from Spotlight: Trailcutter?

Is the necrobot charting all the dead cybertrons or is he linked to the DJD in some way and only charting their kills?

Didn't even think of it... the Necrobot, on the other hand, is one which I didn't like. Either the 'OH MY GOD THESE GUYS ARE GOING TO DIE' list is a stupid cop-out with this, or it's going to make some of these deaths to be without tension, whilst earmarking the specific Autobots to die.

I'm still not sure this is a future lost light.

Have to reread and check, but IIRC Brainstorm or Nautica or someone said that the Rodimus corpse has aged for quite a while.

inflatable dalek
2014-08-29, 12:44 PM
Also... the Lost Light doesn't actually have any offensive capability beyond the meteor lasers (which we only saw for the first time just before Overlord escaped, if the signal the DJD picked up at the end of issue 8 was from the double ship they might have caught up with it before they were set up) does it? Certainly they had to go outside the ship and take on the minicons boto et boto and I don't recall any panels of it letting rip with its big guns in Dark Cybertron.

So, the DJD ship comes out of hyperspace, blows the crap out of the Lost Light, then they board and gleefully go through the survivors (they gave Krok's crew the chance to surrender the guilty, they'd have probably extended no such courtesy to Autobots).


Of course, getting a virtually unarmed ship was a daft move of Drift's, very happy clappy hippy of him. Horrible death was the best thing for him.

EDIT: They established Rodimus' corpse was basically about the same age as him, if it is a future ship it's not from too far ahead.

Blackjack
2014-08-29, 01:19 PM
So, the DJD ship comes out of hyperspace, blows the crap out of the Lost Light,

...blows the crap out of the Lost Light (which might be damaged from traveling through that dangerous sector in space), lets the quantum blood goop kill half the crew and get them scrambling for repairs, move in and mow down them while they're distracted? It's a great plan.

That's what I would do if I hypothetically had to murder everyone in a ship that outnumber me forty to one.

EDIT: They established Rodimus' corpse was basically about the same age as him, if it is a future ship it's not from too far ahead.

Mea culpa then, so it's definitely a duplicate Lost Light. Wonder why the time difference, though... Brainstorm's suitcase? Eh? Eh?

inflatable dalek
2014-08-29, 01:58 PM
Mea culpa then, so it's definitely a duplicate Lost Light. Wonder why the time difference, though... Brainstorm's suitcase? Eh? Eh?


Yeah, all they really confirmed was the corpse wasn't younger than Rodimus (ie: Not a clone or other form of duplicate), it's actual age was rounded to the nearest million.

Warcry
2014-08-29, 03:50 PM
Yeah, I think that's likely. It'd be interesting to see if this Rewind still makes the dramatic sacrifice or if the events that have unfolded in this version make it something unpleasant that someone else has to do to him...
Honestly I don't think that would carry very much weight. The only reason I could see for bringing Rewind back just to kill him again would be to further torture Chromedome, but Chromedome isn't here to see it. If he sacrifices himself to save some random dudes he barely knows, it won't carry as much weight and they probably won't tell Domey anyway to protect him from the pain it'd cause.

In terms of how five beat 200 when they didn't instantly kill the Scavengers...


It's worth remembering we've previously seen them in action in the open on a planetary surface where their opponents could unleash everything they had at the DJD.

Fighting within the confines of a spaceship is a very different thing. Think of the original Alien, where the screenwriter didn't want to create an unbeatable monster, just to put a very tough one within an environment where it's prey would have limited options in terms of what they could do. Or the fight against Overlord, where despite there being more Autobots than he faced in Wreckers and him being unarmed he still was making good work through the crew before Magnus and Maximus intervened (IIRC the crew weren't using much in the way of energy weapons there, mainly going for physical attacks and pointy things, presumably because of the fear of damaging the ship).
But the same constraints that would be on the Autobots would also be on the DJD, surely? They wouldn't want to blow up the ship with themselves on it either, because they'd be just as dead. Meanwhile the Autobots know the lay of the land far better and have an arsenal of Brainstorm-designed impractical superweapons at their disposal.

Also, it was just as phenomenally stupid when Overlord was able to take on the whole crew, and even then in spite of his big talk he barely managed to kill anyone and they took care of him with little more trouble than the sparkeater gave them.

But what bothers me is this whole idea that Roberts is trying to push that the Decepticons have this whole bevy of super-invincible killing machines. The way he writes it, there is absolutely no reason why Megatron couldn't have taken Sixshot, Black Shadow, Overlord, Heretech, Tarn and his goons with him, stormed the Autobots' command center and ended the war in a day. If the DJD can kill 200 Autobots (and 200 of their best, frankly) like it's nothing, then there's nobody and nothing on the Autobot side that could stop them. Magnus and Fort Max have already been shown to not even be in the same league, Grimlock couldn't beat Shockwave with his whole team to back him up and Optimus is at best an even match for Megatron. Metroplex buggered off for reasons unknown, Omega Supreme apparently spent the whole war chilling on an asteroid and who else do the Autobots have that's even in that league?

The whole concept also makes zero sense in light of the earlier comics -- Sixshot is supposed to be basically unbeatable, and he couldn't even kill Ratchet or Jazz. He seemed to have his hands full with half a dozen Autobots, but going by Roberts' logic he should have killed them all within a few minutes at most. And then later he couldn't even ****ing kill the Throttlebots, who are easily the most pathetic Autobot sub-group out there.

But okay. Lets pretend that he really is that powerful, and just, uh, had a couple bad days or something. So he, Overlord and Black Shadow can kill entire armies by themselves. And the DJD can kill them with ease. So if your Phase Sixers are "unbeatable", the DJD are, like, Unicron-level threats. And yet somehow they couldn't even kill a couple of Triggerbots back in Bullets? And the Scavengers, who were underpowered and injured, give them trouble? But when they show up on the Lost Light it's like they're playing a video game with God Mode turned on.

And even the DJD's job doesn't make sense. Starscream's treachery seemingly manages to go completely unnoticed by them, even though everyone knows what he's up to and his betrayals (just the ones we see, mind, not mentioning all the stuff he presumably did before the comics started) are far worse than the things they've executed people for in the past. Not to mention Swindle, Scorponok, Thunderwing, Shockwave, Bludgeon, etc., who've all gone rogue, some multiple times, with basically no consequences. But why waste time going after big fish like that when you can chase down miscellaneous losers like Fulcrum instead?

I also have a huge objection with the concept of allegedly invincible enemies in general. They're antagonists. They're going to lose. And the more "unbeatable" you pretend they are, the stupider it's going to look when someone shoots Overlord or Tarn in the eye with one of Ironfist's brain-bullets and drops him.

Red Dave Prime
2014-08-29, 06:23 PM
Honestly I don't think that would carry very much weight. The only reason I could see for bringing Rewind back just to kill him again would be to further torture Chromedome, but Chromedome isn't here to see it. If he sacrifices himself to save some random dudes he barely knows, it won't carry as much weight and they probably won't tell Domey anyway to protect him from the pain it'd cause.


But the same constraints that would be on the Autobots would also be on the DJD, surely? They wouldn't want to blow up the ship with themselves on it either, because they'd be just as dead. Meanwhile the Autobots know the lay of the land far better and have an arsenal of Brainstorm-designed impractical superweapons at their disposal.

Also, it was just as phenomenally stupid when Overlord was able to take on the whole crew, and even then in spite of his big talk he barely managed to kill anyone and they took care of him with little more trouble than the sparkeater gave them.

But what bothers me is this whole idea that Roberts is trying to push that the Decepticons have this whole bevy of super-invincible killing machines. The way he writes it, there is absolutely no reason why Megatron couldn't have taken Sixshot, Black Shadow, Overlord, Heretech, Tarn and his goons with him, stormed the Autobots' command center and ended the war in a day. If the DJD can kill 200 Autobots (and 200 of their best, frankly) like it's nothing, then there's nobody and nothing on the Autobot side that could stop them. Magnus and Fort Max have already been shown to not even be in the same league, Grimlock couldn't beat Shockwave with his whole team to back him up and Optimus is at best an even match for Megatron. Metroplex buggered off for reasons unknown, Omega Supreme apparently spent the whole war chilling on an asteroid and who else do the Autobots have that's even in that league?

The whole concept also makes zero sense in light of the earlier comics -- Sixshot is supposed to be basically unbeatable, and he couldn't even kill Ratchet or Jazz. He seemed to have his hands full with half a dozen Autobots, but going by Roberts' logic he should have killed them all within a few minutes at most. And then later he couldn't even ****ing kill the Throttlebots, who are easily the most pathetic Autobot sub-group out there.

But okay. Lets pretend that he really is that powerful, and just, uh, had a couple bad days or something. So he, Overlord and Black Shadow can kill entire armies by themselves. And the DJD can kill them with ease. So if your Phase Sixers are "unbeatable", the DJD are, like, Unicron-level threats. And yet somehow they couldn't even kill a couple of Triggerbots back in Bullets? And the Scavengers, who were underpowered and injured, give them trouble? But when they show up on the Lost Light it's like they're playing a video game with God Mode turned on.

And even the DJD's job doesn't make sense. Starscream's treachery seemingly manages to go completely unnoticed by them, even though everyone knows what he's up to and his betrayals (just the ones we see, mind, not mentioning all the stuff he presumably did before the comics started) are far worse than the things they've executed people for in the past. Not to mention Swindle, Scorponok, Thunderwing, Shockwave, Bludgeon, etc., who've all gone rogue, some multiple times, with basically no consequences. But why waste time going after big fish like that when you can chase down miscellaneous losers like Fulcrum instead?

I also have a huge objection with the concept of allegedly invincible enemies in general. They're antagonists. They're going to lose. And the more "unbeatable" you pretend they are, the stupider it's going to look when someone shoots Overlord or Tarn in the eye with one of Ironfist's brain-bullets and drops him.

Yeah, I would agree that a general problem with IDW is the build up of a big bad only to see them being not really all that. Its not just Roberts. Furman did it with Thunderwing (although I suppose it wasnt actually Thunderwing that came back in Stormbringer) and as you said Sixshot.

However using my fanboy powers I think I can somewhat explain the Overlord / DJD stuff. Here goes:

Overlords body in MTMTE is an autobot design. He is still powerful thanks to his enhanced inner skeleton but the body they give him has no weapons and probably has reduced strength. Also he gets taken down just as he starts to get going by, what I thought, was quite a clever safety switch. Had he simply boarded the Lost light, they may not have stopped him.

Onto the DJD. As I guess above, I reckon they have Black Shadows off-switch code (like sixshot and overlord did) as we only see them torturing him, but not actually taking him down. And one thing that is established with the DJD is that more than being Killers is that they really know their prey. As for Overlord? When Overlord is discovered by Red Alert he is saying Kill Me over and over. Its quite possible that he actually welcomes the DJDs arrival. On this alternative lost light he may never have known that Megatron was alive again and so had nothing to live for. That was his reason for breaking out back in issue 15.

So yep, the DJD are powerful but maybe not THAT powerful.

And just a quick (and weak) defence of Sixshot in devastation. He was toying with Ratchet and then when he was about to destroy Prime, he had to leave (I know, I know...)

inflatable dalek
2014-08-29, 06:31 PM
Honestly I don't think that would carry very much weight. The only reason I could see for bringing Rewind back just to kill him again would be to further torture Chromedome, but Chromedome isn't here to see it. If he sacrifices himself to save some random dudes he barely knows, it won't carry as much weight and they probably won't tell Domey anyway to protect him from the pain it'd cause.

Him not being there and (if Rewind doesn't last the distance) them not getting to meet is potentially interesting, Chromedome's already at tipping point, if he finds out Rewind came back but, say, Skids or Nightbeat pushed the button that sends him back to oblivion would he be able to stay rational enough to accept it was or everyone die or would we be looking at a full on breakdown? A guy off the deep end with nothing to lose and needles in his fingers on a ship with an ex-Decepticon leader with a deep phobia of needles in fingers could go somewhere interesting.


But the same constraints that would be on the Autobots would also be on the DJD, surely? They wouldn't want to blow up the ship with themselves on it either, because they'd be just as dead. Meanwhile the Autobots know the lay of the land far better and have an arsenal of Brainstorm-designed impractical superweapons at their disposal.

They'd be far less worried about keeping things intact that the Autobots, and how many of Brainstorm's inventions have proven genuinely more useful in battle than a normal big gun so far? I can see breaking the fourth wall at the DJD or giving them a deep sense of ennui would do much good. He could shrink them I suppose?

Also, it was just as phenomenally stupid when Overlord was able to take on the whole crew, and even then in spite of his big talk he barely managed to kill anyone and they took care of him with little more trouble than the sparkeater gave them.

Fort Max took care of Overlord, even Magnus was beaten (in what normally would have been a terminal attack) by him, if not for the former warden he'd have at least gone on to kill an awful lot more people even if the lack of weapons had eventually been to his disadvantage (and none of Brainstorm's weapons seemed effective there).

We can't be completely sure yet there wasn't a Max on the alternate Lost Light (though presumably not), but even if there was he'd have been out numbered five to one this time.

But what bothers me is this whole idea that Roberts is trying to push that the Decepticons have this whole bevy of super-invincible killing machines. The way he writes it, there is absolutely no reason why Megatron couldn't have taken Sixshot, Black Shadow, Overlord, Heretech, Tarn and his goons with him, stormed the Autobots' command center and ended the war in a day. If the DJD can kill 200 Autobots (and 200 of their best, frankly) like it's nothing, then there's nobody and nothing on the Autobot side that could stop them. Magnus and Fort Max have already been shown to not even be in the same league, Grimlock couldn't beat Shockwave with his whole team to back him up and Optimus is at best an even match for Megatron. Metroplex buggered off for reasons unknown, Omega Supreme apparently spent the whole war chilling on an asteroid and who else do the Autobots have that's even in that league?

I think the actual scale of the war is worth remembering- Autobot High Command wouldn't be 200 ex-soldiers, it'd be thousands at the very least. The accumulative effect of even all the .1%ers/phase sixers would meet its match with that. I always got the impression during the Furman stuff that it wasn't the case that the Autobots couldn't marshal a force big enough to stop, say, Sixshot, devastating a planet, it's just their disinterest in the little people at that time meant they weren't hugely bothered about devoting sufficient resources to a world already that far gone.

And again, at most there's a dozen such powerful Decepticons, both sides have many, many, many times more "Regular" Transformers, presumably (at least at the point the IDW stuff started) too evenly matched to beat each other in all out war, hence all the sneaking about stuff the conflict had become prior to Earth.

The DJD emphatically aren't unbeatable characters either. It's been established (mind, I'm not sure if it's been done infiction, leaving it to behind the scenes commentary is arguably a problem) the DJD has had multiple members with the names being passed down titles, they wouldn't need that if they never die. So as a group they mostly always win (or their defeats are so small as to not impact on the legend), but as inderviduals they are vulnerable and are killable.


The whole concept also makes zero sense in light of the earlier comics -- Sixshot is supposed to be basically unbeatable, and he couldn't even kill Ratchet or Jazz. He seemed to have his hands full with half a dozen Autobots, but going by Roberts' logic he should have killed them all within a few minutes at most. And then later he couldn't even ****ing kill the Throttlebots, who are easily the most pathetic Autobot sub-group out there.

I do agree with this- I think it was Cliffy who said Devastation should have been called JazzHurtsHisArmtion- but that's a problem with Furman's writing rather than Roberts, who always makes sure there's some actual lethal consequences to these characters appearances however it is they're eventually sent packing (even if it's Flywheels!).

Also, lets not forget that this isn't really a crew of great soldiers, either tactically or physically. Most are unknown qualities (I mean, what do we know about IDW Smokescreen? He could be a great warrior or a stamp collector with a fear of moths), but of the original main cast we've got Rodimus, Drift, Magnus, Whirl and Cyclonus.

Then amongst the rest there's a psychiatrist, a drunk with forcefiled issues, a total coward despite having a supposed super weapon tied to his wrist, an archivist who is excused from fighting, and a character who can't hold a gun without shooting himself in the face.

If that's a representative sample, the actually useful in close combat crewmembers are badly outnumbered (and tellingly, the top four tend to be front and centre in any action scene doing the brunt of the work).

But that's the thing with the Lost Light, it's not a heavily armed battle cruiser crewed with the best and brightest. It's an unarmed giant hulk (that, based on what it did to Monstructor, seemingly works better as a battering ram than an attack ship) with a disparete crew of misfits and little people just trying to do the best they can (which has almost been a theme of the series).

Snap Trap's rag tag team gave them trouble, Metroplex saved them from the Minicons, the Legislator's easily overran the ship in about five minutes. They've had some good (though mostly set up well in advance) luck but they're as much a real match for the DJD at a cruise ship against Somali pirates.

In fact, has the crew ever properly beaten anyone bar Snap trap's bunch in a fair fight without some sort of outside help?


And even the DJD's job doesn't make sense. Starscream's treachery seemingly manages to go completely unnoticed by them, even though everyone knows what he's up to and his betrayals (just the ones we see, mind, not mentioning all the stuff he presumably did before the comics started) are far worse than the things they've executed people for in the past. Not to mention Swindle, Scorponok, Thunderwing, Shockwave, Bludgeon, etc., who've all gone rogue, some multiple times, with basically no consequences. But why waste time going after big fish like that when you can chase down miscellaneous losers like Fulcrum instead?

Starscream has been deliberately let off by Megatron, never for reasons that have made much sense (despite a valiant effort by Spotlight Megs) but he's presumably off limits by order.

As for the others, he may have broken the Tyrest accord but I'm not sure Swindle was ever formally a Decepticon traitor (as I'm sure selling technology to aliens isn't something the Decepticons actually give a **** about despite what the flawed idea in the Magnus Spotlight tries to tell us); it took Magnus years to track down Scorponok so they likely had a similar long search; they could actually have been involved in the taking down of Thunderwing and I don't think anyone actually properly found out what Shockwave was up to (Megatron never heard back on any of the investigations he started and Shockwave was missing for a very long time, who knows what excuse he used when he rejoined the troops on the asteroid?).

Bludgeon is a big, big problem though. Or at least that Coda issue where he's working with the Decepticons again is. Ignore that and assume he teamed up with Jhiaxus instead and the DJD just never got round to catching up with him and it works.

Sadly, in the Barber editorial era no continuity point will ever be forgotten. :(

It's not perfect for sure (though perhaps it's Megatron/current Decepticon leader personally who decides who goes on the list? So the Constructicons don't go on it post AHM because he finds them far too useful?), but I think with a bit of squinting it just about holds together and is an interesting enough idea in and of itself to make the continuity lubrication worth it. YMMV of course.



I also have a huge objection with the concept of allegedly invincible enemies in general. They're antagonists. They're going to lose. And the more "unbeatable" you pretend they are, the stupider it's going to look when someone shoots Overlord or Tarn in the eye with one of Ironfist's brain-bullets and drops him.

I will bet the ultimate cause of their defeat is already staring us in the face, I think Roberts is really good in setting up his pay offs in advance in a way that doesn't make them stand out as obvious. Take Tailgate's Cybercrosis, it seemed really obvious where that was going when we'd been told Dominus Ambus had been looking for a cure, but instead it was actually setting up Tailgate being immune to the the magic staff via a seemingly throwaway mention of one of the symptoms. A very nice bit of writing misdirection.

[Not that Roberts is a perfect writer of course, action scenes always seem to give him real trouble- as the disappointing combat between Star Sabre and Dai Atlas showed- and here as he has before he writes around actually having to do a big fight scene so he can do what he does best, characters talking at one another, instead]

In terms of what might help "Our" (I suspect a Thomas Riker thing where it will be that either ship could be the original) crew when they meet the DJD is the sheer mind **** of running into a ship and a bunch of people they've already blown up and killed again is surely going to throw them off their game.

Oh, and I bet Tarn's big twist will be he's a character we've never met or heard of before. And then Knightdramon will cry.

zigzagger
2014-08-29, 06:53 PM
...there is absolutely no reason why Megatron couldn't have taken Sixshot, Black Shadow, Overlord, Heretech, Tarn and his goons with him, stormed the Autobots' command center and ended the war in a day.

Hopefully this will be the question that the new audience surrogate, Nautica, will ask next issue. ;)

Warcry
2014-08-29, 07:51 PM
Onto the DJD. As I guess above, I reckon they have Black Shadows off-switch code (like sixshot and overlord did) as we only see them torturing him, but not actually taking him down. And one thing that is established with the DJD is that more than being Killers is that they really know their prey. As for Overlord? When Overlord is discovered by Red Alert he is saying Kill Me over and over. Its quite possible that he actually welcomes the DJDs arrival. On this alternative lost light he may never have known that Megatron was alive again and so had nothing to live for. That was his reason for breaking out back in issue 15.

So yep, the DJD are powerful but maybe not THAT powerful.
See, that's what I'd like to believe -- but then they raided a starship with 200 people on it and killed everyone all by themselves, which sort of puts the lie to that idea. They didn't have shutdown codes for Magnus or Rodimus or Whirl or Blaster, they just flat-out slaughtered them.

Him not being there and (if Rewind doesn't last the distance) them not getting to meet is potentially interesting, Chromedome's already at tipping point, if he finds out Rewind came back but, say, Skids or Nightbeat pushed the button that sends him back to oblivion would he be able to stay rational enough to accept it was or everyone die or would we be looking at a full on breakdown? A guy off the deep end with nothing to lose and needles in his fingers on a ship with an ex-Decepticon leader with a deep phobia of needles in fingers could go somewhere interesting.
Right, which is why nobody in their right minds would ever tell Chromedome that it happened. I'm sure you could come up with a scenario where it might need to happen, but neither Tailgate nor Swerve are among this group so I'm sure everyone will keep their mouths shut -- under threat from Megatron, if need be, just to avoid the scenario you suggested.

They'd be far less worried about keeping things intact that the Autobots, and how many of Brainstorm's inventions have proven genuinely more useful in battle than a normal big gun so far? I can see breaking the fourth wall at the DJD or giving them a deep sense of ennui would do much good. He could shrink them I suppose?
You joke, but I suspect the ennui gun would have stopped Overlord in his tracks. A shrink ray and a big magnet would take care of problems like that nicely, too.

Fort Max took care of Overlord, even Magnus was beaten (in what normally would have been a terminal attack) by him, if not for the former warden he'd have at least gone on to kill an awful lot more people even if the lack of weapons had eventually been to his disadvantage (and none of Brainstorm's weapons seemed effective there).
Did they use any of Brainstorm's weapons, though? It seemed like everyone just dropped what they were doing and rushed him. Cyclonus even called out their stupidity and said that they'd have better results if they'd taken the time to prepare before charging in.

Plus, I'd argue with "Fort Max took care of Overlord". Chromedome took care of Overlord using ingenuity and guile. Max was basically a forklift.

I think the actual scale of the war is worth remembering- Autobot High Command wouldn't be 200 ex-soldiers, it'd be thousands at the very least. The accumulative effect of even all the .1%ers/phase sixers would meet its match with that.
Would they? The way Roberts writes about them, I doubt that. Based on Black Shadow's intro, he killed 3,003 Autobots in a single battle while besting both Optimus and Magnus. Seven or eight 'Cons on his level working as a unit could easily clear out a headquarters of that scale.

(And that's just stupid. The idea that any Transformer could be that much more powerful than his peers is simply absurd, unless he's the size of Metroplex. It shows that the writer simply has no sense of scale. They're robots, not wizards, and nothing but magic could create such a huge gulf between one Transformer and the next. No amount of technology could account for that, not even the not-really-all-that-impressive "unbreakable skeleton" that Roberts came up with.)

And even if it's not feasible for whatever reason at the start of the war, certainly it would be by the time the comics start, when there's only around 5,000 Transformers left on either side.

The DJD emphatically aren't unbeatable characters either. It's been established (mind, I'm not sure if it's been done infiction, leaving it to behind the scenes commentary is arguably a problem) the DJD has had multiple members with the names being passed down titles, they wouldn't need that if they never die.
Not necessarily -- they could have been promoted, or retired, or defected, though I do agree that it seems likely they've had members killed before. But it does make me ask how, considering how they've been portrayed. I don't object to them being a badass group on the level of the Wreckers or Dinobots or Squadron X, but this story has us talking about them like they're five Phase Sixers, and that's miles too far IMO.

I do agree with this- I think it was Cliffy who said Devastation should have been called JazzHurtsHisArmtion- but that's a problem with Furman's writing rather than Roberts, who always makes sure there's some actual lethal consequences to these characters appearances however it is they're eventually sent packing (even if it's Flywheels!).
Right, but what I'm trying to say is that, however stupid some of the past writing was, Roberts is still working in the same continuity and he should at least try to ensure that his stories make some vague degree of sense compared to what's happened before.

Also, lets not forget that this isn't really a crew of great soldiers, either tactically or physically. Most are unknown qualities (I mean, what do we know about IDW Smokescreen? He could be a great warrior or a stamp collector with a fear of moths), but of the original main cast we've got Rodimus, Drift, Magnus, Whirl and Cyclonus.

Then amongst the rest there's a psychiatrist, a drunk with forcefiled issues, a total coward despite having a supposed super weapon tied to his wrist, an archivist who is excused from fighting, and a character who can't hold a gun without shooting himself in the face.
Right, but the background crew includes the likes of Atomizer, Blades, Blaster, Brawn, Crosshairs, Deftwing, Hound, Pointblank, Sunstreaker and Sureshot, all of whom are either known to be good fighters in the IDWverse or should be based on their profiles and previous appearances. Not to mention they've got Waverider and Landmine knocking about, both of whom have Pretender shells and thus should be Thunderwing-tier tough SOBs. They might have some not-so-useful crewmembers, but they've got more than their share of hard-cases, too.

If that's a representative sample, the actually useful in close combat crewmembers are badly outnumbered (and tellingly, the top four tend to be front and centre in any action scene doing the brunt of the work).
Main characters front and centre in all the battles in a sci-fi work? Gasp! This is unheard of! ;)

Snap Trap's rag tag team gave them trouble, Metroplex saved them from the Minicons, the Legislator's easily overran the ship in about five minutes. They've had some good (though mostly set up well in advance) luck but they're as much a real match for the DJD at a cruise ship against Somali pirates.
Snap Trap's ragtag crew wound up in the brig and didn't even manage to kill anyone, so I'm not sure they really gave them trouble.

And if you gave the 200-odd member crew of a cruise ship machine guns, I'm pretty sure they could take five Somali pirates. ;) Some of them would die and there'd be some collateral damage, to be sure, but with 40:1 odds even lucky shots would win the day.

As for the others, he may have broken the Tyrest accord but I'm not sure Swindle was ever formally a Decepticon traitor (as I'm sure selling technology to aliens isn't something the Decepticons actually give a **** about despite what the flawed idea in the Magnus Spotlight tries to tell us);
He's constantly ignoring the war and spending his time profiteering instead of killing Autobots. If "not blowing yourself up" is reason enough to get DJDed, I'm pretty sure he'd have to look over his shoulder for them.

it took Magnus years to track down Scorponok so they likely had a similar long search;
Would they, though? They magically knew where Overlord was as soon as the plot called for it. You'd think Scorpy would be even easier to find, since he's actively carving out empires for himself.

Red Dave Prime
2014-08-29, 08:40 PM
Lot of rage there Warcry :)

A few counter points but I do see a lot of where you are coming from.

regarding the DJD and the targets they choose, you have to remember they are pretty much a bunch of psychos who Megatron uses as Boogie men to keep the regular rank and file in check. I'd imagine that means that they dont always pick the most obvious targets. Maybe they stay away from the bigger guys like shockwave because these guys may stray for a bit but they are worth bringing back. Overlord is a bit of an exception because he wants to actually take out Megatron.

With the DJD vs the Lost Light, I stand by me belief that either the DJD attacked them from afar first meaning it was more of a mop up or that something had already happened to make them sitting ducks.

And in relation to the DJD power levels, I stand by my points that they arent a bunch of phase sixers who are unbeatable. They are psychos and evil as hell but they aren't unbeatable. We havent seen them in a straight up fight other than against the scavengers and they looked powerful but not unbeatable. I think they are the ultimate opportunists and would only have taken on the lost light when the odds were massively in their favour.

I do agree that the 3003 deaths is pretty bad especially as the wreckers only lost three in their fight with Black Shadow. Although the kills may not be directly attributed to just Black Shadow (Black shadow vs the DJD is Kills:one) so maybe he was leading other troops who didnt survive. Yeah, I'm grasping.

zigzagger
2014-08-29, 09:03 PM
Lot of rage there Warcry :)

Eh, it keeps the MTMTE threads balanced ;)

With the DJD vs the Lost Light, I stand by me belief that either the DJD attacked them from afar first meaning it was more of a mop up or that something had already happened to make them sitting ducks.

Yeah, I'm kind of hoping this may be the case. With duplicate Rewind being the sole survivor, I suspect he'll fill us in on what happened and hopefully resolve some of these nagging (and quite valid) questions we have.

inflatable dalek
2014-08-29, 09:05 PM
Right, which is why nobody in their right minds would ever tell Chromedome that it happened. I'm sure you could come up with a scenario where it might need to happen, but neither Tailgate nor Swerve are among this group so I'm sure everyone will keep their mouths shut -- under threat from Megatron, if need be, just to avoid the scenario you suggested.

Though as Megatron clearly has a lot of enemies biding their time for a moment they can act without pissing off Optimus (and whatever strange authority he used to have them agree to take Megatron aboard, now that was something that still doesn't quite work) on the pretence of Megatron becoming a legitimate threat, manoeuvring the two into a confrontation where ones madness prompts the other to react to his insane phobia could be very much to their advantage. Whilst I think most of the regulars are too paly now to do that to Chromedome (even Whirl!) we've got characters like Riptide and Getaway who are new, somewhat dickish and would stand a good chance of risking it to get rid of Megs.


Did they use any of Brainstorm's weapons, though? It seemed like everyone just dropped what they were doing and rushed him. Cyclonus even called out their stupidity and said that they'd have better results if they'd taken the time to prepare before charging in.

And that last bit shows why they're not the best at this sort of thing.

Plus, I'd argue with "Fort Max took care of Overlord". Chromedome took care of Overlord using ingenuity and guile. Max was basically a forklift.

The code certainly helped, but he was already recovering and no one else seemed to have much effect on him whilst he was at his worst. Would anyone else other than Max have managed to get him to the pod?


Would they? The way Roberts writes about them, I doubt that. Based on Black Shadow's intro, he killed 3,003 Autobots in a single battle while besting both Optimus and Magnus. Seven or eight 'Cons on his level working as a unit could easily clear out a headquarters of that scale.

Mind, we don't see how he killed that many and no other Phase Sixer we've seen has ever managed anything similar against other Transformers, obviously the line is there for the gag but presumably there was some sort of super gonzo weapon at his disposal of the sort that Roberts likes to drop the names of when talking about old battles (Nightmare Engine and so one) which then became unavailable for some reason as these things always seem to do.


And even if it's not feasible for whatever reason at the start of the war, certainly it would be by the time the comics start, when there's only around 5,000 Transformers left on either side.

It might be that many post the betrayal/massacre in AHM (though how the Decepticons lost so many in the face of total victory I'll never know) but obviously there was a lot more knocking about in the earlier IDW stuff, you don't run a galaxy wide war on multiple planets and fronts, even in secret, with just 10'000 troops on both sides. That'd be a relatively small conflict on our planet, let alone in space.

[As I can't recall the figure being stated you'll instantly prove me wrong now by saying the total number comes from Infiltration...]


Right, but what I'm trying to say is that, however stupid some of the past writing was, Roberts is still working in the same continuity and he should at least try to ensure that his stories make some vague degree of sense compared to what's happened before.

It's probably because Barber's need to tie up Every Single Loose End and explain Every Single Plot Hole is more than boring me now as we get into less and less interesting territory (is anyone actually interested in seeing Spike again?) but I couldn't really care less about continuity fidelity at this point, at least not beyond the Terrance Dicks idea of it (try not to contradict anything recent, older stuff is fair game), so the ludicrous way Sixshot was played in Devastation being ignored doesn't worry me in the least. Obviously YMMV again of course.

Of course, we're going to get a six issue RID arc explaining that Sixshot was faking it all along as part of a fiendish plot that totally explains where the Facsimile Constructs went.


Right, but the background crew includes the likes of Atomizer, Blades, Blaster, Brawn, Crosshairs, Deftwing, Hound, Pointblank, Sunstreaker and Sureshot, all of whom are either known to be good fighters in the IDWverse or should be based on their profiles and previous appearances. Not to mention they've got Waverider and Landmine knocking about, both of whom have Pretender shells and thus should be Thunderwing-tier tough SOBs. They might have some not-so-useful crewmembers, but they've got more than their share of hard-cases, too.

Even taking all of those, that's only another dozen out of 200, and of some we can't be sure. Deftwing has only been seen as part of a security team originally put together by Red Alert (and with a head of security like that it's no wonder the ship fell against the DJD) and may not have been picked for the most rational reasons. I don't think Blades and the quasi Targetmasters have ever done anything in IDW, Blaster found Beachcomber a tough opponent and Hound has only just been redeemed by Roberts as a field commander after Furman wrote him as the guy who told Sideswipe he can't go do something right before he went and did it.



Snap Trap's ragtag crew wound up in the brig and didn't even manage to kill anyone, so I'm not sure they really gave them trouble.

Oh sure, they didn't kill anyone (and if you want a sign of how rubbish the crew is generally in combat, the most serious injuries were all self inflicted. I suspect Alternate Tailgate's death was a result of him going "Don't worry, I know how to take out the DJDAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH" and he probably took a dozen Autobots with him), but for such a disorganised and unready bunch what actual probably combat injuries were sustained should easily have been avoided.

And if you gave the 200-odd member crew of a cruise ship machine guns, I'm pretty sure they could take five Somali pirates. ;) Some of them would die and there'd be some collateral damage, to be sure, but with 40:1 odds even lucky shots would win the day.

Ah, but if the cruise ship people couldn't use guns because shooting a hole in the side of the ship would suck them out into the... vacuum...err.. of the sea (OK, analogy fail) then the commited pirates would probably win it.



Would they, though? They magically knew where Overlord was as soon as the plot called for it. You'd think Scorpy would be even easier to find, since he's actively carving out empires for himself.

I don't think we've talked about this before, but that was odd. Being able to detect Overlord distinctly over a distance of (even if the Alternate Lost Light happened to be flying right over the planet at that moment) millions of miles- and probably many light years- was utterly ludicrous on the face of it and makes Overlord completely ineffectual as h shouldn't be able to sneak up on anyone ever. Let alone his own side.

Even if the Autobots don't know what the specific signals mean because they don't have the right codes, if everytime Overlord (or any similarly equipped Decepticon, surely they can't all be wired like that?) showd it coincided with a specific, detectable something or other then you think they'd get wise to it pretty fast.

Reminds me of the utter stupid bit in Star Trek: Nemesis where it turns out Soong class android brains emit a signal that can be detecting across light years. No wonder the Enterprise always looses fights when she's got that great big honking beacon on her bridge (though that wasn't helped by TNG always being back on forth over whether Data could be detected as a life sign by the computer when he wasn't wearing his communicator or if it couldn't tell the difference between him and a filing cabinet).

It would be nice if there's a decent explanation, we don't know what happened on the Alternate Lost Light (henceforth the ALL), did Overlord manage to get a message out on purpose and that's what the DJD detected (I can't recall the exact wording at the end of issue 8 and would have to move a CD rack to get the book out. I am lazy).

Terome
2014-08-29, 10:19 PM
I've been reading over some previous issues with a mind to get to the bottom of the briefcase thing. In #28, Rung says some interesting things to Megatron - that editing is an aggressive act. A weapon. The X-Ray flash then comes immediately after Terminus is mentioned. In between the uttering of Terminus' name and the flash, the sole remaining unaltered copy of Megatron's autobiography disappears.

From 'The Sound of Breaking Glass' and Brainstorm himself - "Opening the briefcase while I'm not around is far from a sensible thing to do." In MTMTE #20, the briefcase is shot off of Brainstorm's arm and Brainstorm himself is out for the count. Though, interestingly, on the cover Brainstorm has a finger on the latch of the briefcase.

Our missing letters, once again, are 8 E U N. The letters went missing at the same time Rewind's message to Chromedome became a scream.

The 'data ghost' Rewind seems to be in the same state as the 'reborn' Rewind seen in #32. Incidentally, Chromedome thinks that on some level he willed Rewind back to life. Conceptual heft?

There might be some connection between Megatron's space-bridge body and the subspace perforations that Nautica's sonic screwdriver picks up in the latest issue.

I'm sure these pieces are related somehow but I can't draw them together.

Also, I reckon Riptide's a bit more filled-in that we remember - that scene last issue where he remembers his old anxiety about the ten (eight) step programme and earlier when he says that he needs some goals... there is a character being assembled there.

Blackjack
2014-08-29, 11:16 PM
Deftwing is dead, people!

Them Legislators killed him.

Poor Deftwing. We barely knew him.



EDIT: alternate Lost Light gaaaaah ignore what I said

inflatable dalek
2014-08-30, 05:00 AM
It's called the ALL now granddad.

Thinking of Warcry's point that such varied power levels between characters of the same size having drastically different powers is more of a magic thing, it might be worth noting that the bulk of the difference seems to be down to the quality and type of Spark used, and Spark's basically are magic. Or at least technology so advanced as to be indistinguishable from.

You know, I think part of the problem in rationalising all this is that Roberts is actually one of the few writers to have worked on the franchise (generally rather than just IDW) to have a proper sense of scale. A galactic war would take millions of troops (especially when you factor in millions of years where it would likely become billions, for a war that consumed a species that's not impossible) and for someone who walked away from a battle that consumed a planet to have 3000 kills is, if anything, not that excessive as tens of thousands would have been involved (and that's being ubber conservative).

Roberts thinking actually makes more sense (well, as much as any thinking about giant robot war ever will) but because everyone else is thinking in terms of battles that are on a smaller scale than a lot of the fights in our own world wars that makes his ideas seem overly huge in comparison.

tahukanuva
2014-08-30, 07:20 AM
On a side-note, this plot's a pretty solid way to give us some alone time to get to know the new fellas. (And Skids, I guess?) Obviously it ultimately comes down to how well the plot itself comes off, I suppose, but I certainly can't fault the cast setup.

Terome
2014-08-30, 01:01 PM
Thinking of Warcry's point that such varied power levels between characters of the same size having drastically different powers is more of a magic thing, it might be worth noting that the bulk of the difference seems to be down to the quality and type of Spark used, and Spark's basically are magic. Or at least technology so advanced as to be indistinguishable from.

I imagine that the big kill counts of Black Shadow, Sixshot, et al. are mostly down to their tactics - these guys do turn into space-worthy vehicles. They could tow asteroids around and take out thousands in a sneak attack. They're not slaughtering hundreds in ground-level fisticuffs. Well, maybe Overlord is, but Overlord is kinda goofy.

Megatron's response to Thunderwing back in silly old Stormbringer seemed to be pretty indicitive of his idea of a fair fight - pull back and detonate the planet the target happens to be on. Razorclaw had a torpedo that could blow up Cybertron just lying around his spaceship. Mount one of those on a Transformer and you can Phase 6 all day.

Terome
2014-08-30, 01:03 PM
On a side-note, this plot's a pretty solid way to give us some alone time to get to know the new fellas. (And Skids, I guess?)

Yeah, good choice for an opening arc. Funny how we still don't know that much about what Skids is like considering how front-and-centre he's been.

Death's Head
2014-08-30, 01:33 PM
He does seem to know an awful lot about the DJD, though...

Regarding the scale of the war, there's that brilliant bit (possibly in Chaos Theory, or maybe the Scavengers arc - dunno, just got up!) where Prime and Megatron are described as sitting in the centre of vast computers, commanding millions of troops and fleets across the galaxy as data is fed directly into their brains - that's the sort of science-fiction thinking I like to see! A multi-million-year war isn't going to play out like a playground fight, with a handful of Autobots on one side of a canyon and a handful of Decepticons on the other, each taking potshots.

Terome
2014-08-30, 02:06 PM
Regarding the scale of the war, there's that brilliant bit (possibly in Chaos Theory, or maybe the Scavengers arc - dunno, just got up!) where Prime and Megatron are described as sitting in the centre of vast computers, commanding millions of troops and fleets across the galaxy as data is fed directly into their brains - that's the sort of science-fiction thinking I like to see! A multi-million-year war isn't going to play out like a playground fight, with a handful of Autobots on one side of a canyon and a handful of Decepticons on the other, each taking potshots.

I loved that bit too. Also the references to the Worldsweepers and the Decepticons' 'Empire Days.'

A big problem with comics as a medium is that it is difficult to render proper war as anything resembling such and keep any sort of forward momentum. Seeing as we join the story with Infiltration where the war is pretty much drawing its last breath, the playground scrap dynamics we've seen are sort of excusable. Whenever there's a big battle scene I mentally fill in a few thousand extras off-panel but enough about my coping mechanisms.

Another musing on bodycounts and tactics - we don't know how many exactly that Cyclonus killed in his attack on Kimia but at the very least he ruined the day of hundreds of Autobots by himself by simply blowing up their space station with missiles and getting a decent raiding party organised. True, he was a deathless zombie at the time but that doesn't put him too far out of the realm of what the Phase Sixers are capable of. There may be an echo of that with his questioning of the tactics of piling on Sixshot.

These two points might be related - maybe the Autobots and Decepticons just don't have the logistics and the tactical ability to make war effectively any more. Their leaders are crippled by their own insecurities and quirks, infighting and hidden agendas make large movements difficult... the Autobots seem to leave all the thinking to Prowl and even if Megatron could be bothered to, he couldn't use any of his many superweapons without them blowing up in his face. I get the feeling from this latest issue that the DJD don't even pick up his calls.

Bless.

Death's Head
2014-08-30, 03:04 PM
A big problem with comics as a medium is that it is difficult to render proper war as anything resembling such and keep any sort of forward momentum. Seeing as we join the story with Infiltration where the war is pretty much drawing its last breath, the playground scrap dynamics we've seen are sort of excusable. Whenever there's a big battle scene I mentally fill in a few thousand extras off-panel but enough about my coping mechanisms.

I did think the Infiltration-era did well in its implication of a vast, galaxy-spanning war, even if we didn't necessarily see all of it - the little glimpses we got of Infiltration teams of Nebulos, the Wreckers being recalled from Pova, etc. Sadly this was pretty much lost by the time of AHM.

Regarding the discussion of relative 'power-levels' between robots - I must say that never really bothers me all that much. Ultimately, whether one character can beat another is a fact entirely at the mercy of the narrative. If the story demands it, then we'll have a massacre. And to be quite frank, it's the right way to do it - the story trumps all, even tech-specs.

(Buffy fans will recall, in the final season, how around four episodes were devoted to taking down one Turok-Han 'uber-vampire', whereas in the finale even powerless characters like Dawn were able to get a few licks in, and down in the Hellmouth the 'uber-vamps' are dropping like flies. Whedon basically held his hands up and said 'yeah, well, the story is more important.')

Terome
2014-08-30, 03:31 PM
I did think the Infiltration-era did well in its implication of a vast, galaxy-spanning war, even if we didn't necessarily see all of it - the little glimpses we got of Infiltration teams of Nebulos, the Wreckers being recalled from Pova, etc. Sadly this was pretty much lost by the time of AHM.

Yeah, it was pretty deft how it kept things offscreen and portioned out details. That's the best way to handle it, in my opinion. AHM is interesting as an event in the timeline - Decepticons give their big push and balls it up, dooming both sides. I did get the sense (possibly imaginary) in Infiltration that Megatron hadn't given much thought to the Autobots in years... though since one of the big front lines of Varas Centralus was very much Autobot on Decepticon, I was probably mistaken.

I do like how Nebulos hasn't even come up again. Feels like it got lost in the shuffle like so many Pacific islands did in World War 2.

Regarding the discussion of relative 'power-levels' between robots - I must say that never really bothers me all that much. Ultimately, whether one character can beat another is a fact entirely at the mercy of the narrative. If the story demands it, then we'll have a massacre. And to be quite frank, it's the right way to do it - the story trumps all, even tech-specs.

(Buffy fans will recall, in the final season, how around four episodes were devoted to taking down one Turok-Han 'uber-vampire', whereas in the finale even powerless characters like Dawn were able to get a few licks in, and down in the Hellmouth the 'uber-vamps' are dropping like flies. Whedon basically held his hands up and said 'yeah, well, the story is more important.')

I agree here too, although I was one of the first to moan about it in this thread. The medium and the genre demands that we see the characters having a scrap but the story can't afford to have that play out with any sort of plausibility. Guns and swords are just props until it is time for the plot and the characters to be affected.

MTMTE is one of the few Transformers stories where a few of the characters are habitually unarmed. The likes of Swerve and Tailgate aren't bristling with guns and that means that force isn't always a narrative path. Whenever something happens to Magnus you have to account for why he didn't use those rocket launchers on his shoulders to solve the problem.

Warcry
2014-08-30, 04:31 PM
Lot of rage there Warcry :)
:lol:

Nah. I only latch onto annoyances like this because I like the story. If there was rage I just wouldn't read. :)

I do agree that the 3003 deaths is pretty bad especially as the wreckers only lost three in their fight with Black Shadow. Although the kills may not be directly attributed to just Black Shadow (Black shadow vs the DJD is Kills:one) so maybe he was leading other troops who didnt survive. Yeah, I'm grasping.
Maybe, but it certainly would cut against the spirit of what the story was trying to tell us (which was basically "this is how badass Black Shadow is, so how badass must my evil Mary Sues the DJD be to beat him?")

Mind, we don't see how he killed that many and no other Phase Sixer we've seen has ever managed anything similar against other Transformers, obviously the line is there for the gag but presumably there was some sort of super gonzo weapon at his disposal of the sort that Roberts likes to drop the names of when talking about old battles (Nightmare Engine and so one) which then became unavailable for some reason as these things always seem to do.
But again, that would undercut that the story was trying to tell us about him. I mean, Swerve could kill 3,000 people if you gave him a superweapon capable of it and he didn't shoot himself in the face. That wouldn't give him a reputation as a super-badass, though.

Also, the comic panel that caption came from showed him personally manhandling everyone.

Also also, isn't he supposed to have singlehandedly destroyed a fleet of warworlds?

It might be that many post the betrayal/massacre in AHM (though how the Decepticons lost so many in the face of total victory I'll never know) but obviously there was a lot more knocking about in the earlier IDW stuff, you don't run a galaxy wide war on multiple planets and fronts, even in secret, with just 10'000 troops on both sides. That'd be a relatively small conflict on our planet, let alone in space.
Oh, right. AHM happened. I always forget about the "massacre" since absolutely nobody we know seems to have died or even lost anyone they knew, aside from the poor saps at Garrus 9.

Blaster found Beachcomber a tough opponent
Blaster was actively trying not to kill him though, wasn't he? It's been a long time since I read through the spotlights.

I don't think we've talked about this before, but that was odd. Being able to detect Overlord distinctly over a distance of (even if the Alternate Lost Light happened to be flying right over the planet at that moment) millions of miles- and probably many light years- was utterly ludicrous on the face of it and makes Overlord completely ineffectual as h shouldn't be able to sneak up on anyone ever. Let alone his own side.
It's even odder than you think! The implication at the time was that the DJD detected Overlord once Red Alert breached the slow cell, but apparently they detected the alternate Overlord instead and things clearly didn't happen the same way on that version of the ship. So, uh...yeah. I got nothing.

Maybe some of the Autobots found him and called the DJD to take him in, then got blindsided when their "invited guests" decided to kill everyone?

Deftwing is dead, people!

Them Legislators killed him.

Poor Deftwing. We barely knew him.
The mention of Deftwing was 90% joke, anyway.

Thinking of Warcry's point that such varied power levels between characters of the same size having drastically different powers is more of a magic thing, it might be worth noting that the bulk of the difference seems to be down to the quality and type of Spark used, and Spark's basically are magic. Or at least technology so advanced as to be indistinguishable from.
Right, but robot bodies aren't magic and we've seen how they're built -- gears, pistons, wires, cables, etc. After a certain point it doesn't matter how strong the Spark powering them is, because those parts can only push themselves so far before they break down. Sure, you can build your top warriors with better materials and make it so their components can take more abuse, but you'd be talking something on the order of five or ten times more powerful, not hundreds or thousands of times.

You know, I think part of the problem in rationalising all this is that Roberts is actually one of the few writers to have worked on the franchise (generally rather than just IDW) to have a proper sense of scale. A galactic war would take millions of troops (especially when you factor in millions of years where it would likely become billions, for a war that consumed a species that's not impossible) and for someone who walked away from a battle that consumed a planet to have 3000 kills is, if anything, not that excessive as tens of thousands would have been involved (and that's being ubber conservative).

Roberts thinking actually makes more sense (well, as much as any thinking about giant robot war ever will) but because everyone else is thinking in terms of battles that are on a smaller scale than a lot of the fights in our own world wars that makes his ideas seem overly huge in comparison.
I disagree. (What a shock, I know! ;) ) I've seen a lot of people say that, but the problem with that line of thought is that Transformers can't really be compared 1:1 to human soldiers. Even someone as seemingly weak and useless as Tailgate or Swerve is 15-20 feet tall, made of metal and strong enough to pull a battle tank apart with their bare hands. And someone with a martial alt-mode like Whirl or Starscream could tear through whole squadrons of their human equivalents with ease.

The gigantic fleets and huge armies that Roberts talks about make less sense to me than the small units that you see in Infiltration. I get why he's doing it, because it speaks to our sense of scale as humans and inspires us to think back to our own great wars, but I think that's humanizing them way too much. Twenty Decepticons descending on a planet like ours is an end-of-the-world tier disaster. Even on a world like Cybertron, where the infrastructure is presumably much, much more durable, it would only take a few dozen of them in sustained combat to leave a city looking like Stalingrad after the Nazis were chased out.

That's why you only send seven Decepticons to the alien worlds you want to conquer. Not because you're stretched thin after so many years of war, but because that's more than enough to get the job done.

(For all their obvious flaws, one thing I think the movies get right is the sheer amount of destruction that even a small Transformers battle leaves in its wake.)

Which is also part of why the Phase Sixers' power levels annoy me. Okay, sure, they can level a planet on their own, shrugging off resistance from the locals. But a dozen and a half 1984 Decepticons (none of whom are especially powerful, bar Megatron) were able to run roughshod over the entire Earth in AHM, so it's not really that impressive. So for me at least, the description of a Phase Sixer brings to mind a guy who can take on a dozen or so Autobots at once and win, not several thousand. That still makes them more than sufficiently scary, and certainly makes more sense when you look at Sixshot's portrayal in the Furman stuff, or even Overlord's first appearance in LSOTW.

Another musing on bodycounts and tactics - we don't know how many exactly that Cyclonus killed in his attack on Kimia but at the very least he ruined the day of hundreds of Autobots by himself by simply blowing up their space station with missiles and getting a decent raiding party organised. True, he was a deathless zombie at the time but that doesn't put him too far out of the realm of what the Phase Sixers are capable of. There may be an echo of that with his questioning of the tactics of piling on Sixshot.
It's a hard comparison to make though, because didn't he have Scourge and who knows how many Sweeps with him? They were all equally undead and powerful.

Regarding the discussion of relative 'power-levels' between robots - I must say that never really bothers me all that much. Ultimately, whether one character can beat another is a fact entirely at the mercy of the narrative. If the story demands it, then we'll have a massacre. And to be quite frank, it's the right way to do it - the story trumps all, even tech-specs.
I'd argue the right way to do it is not to write yourself into a corner like that to start with. ;) I give comic writers a bit of a pass on this front since it's often someone else's story and not their own that they're ignoring, but even then the editors should be trying to maintain at least some level of consistency.

I do like how Nebulos hasn't even come up again. Feels like it got lost in the shuffle like so many Pacific islands did in World War 2.
Does Nebulos even still exist? I got the impression that Thunderwing more-or-less flattened the place.

inflatable dalek
2014-08-30, 06:16 PM
Maybe, but it certainly would cut against the spirit of what the story was trying to tell us (which was basically "this is how badass Black Shadow is, so how badass must my evil Mary Sues the DJD be to beat him?")


But again, that would undercut that the story was trying to tell us about him. I mean, Swerve could kill 3,000 people if you gave him a superweapon capable of it and he didn't shoot himself in the face. That wouldn't give him a reputation as a super-badass, though.

Depends on how the battle went down though, Death's Head's idea about him single handedly bombarding the planet with asteroids would work neatly as giving him a hardcore reputation (especially if he were the only one capable of moving such large ones about) whilst still making a difference to how he fights on ground. We just have one panel, anything else could have happened that day.


Oh, right. AHM happened. I always forget about the "massacre" since absolutely nobody we know seems to have died or even lost anyone they knew, aside from the poor saps at Garrus 9.

Even with my new relaxed attitude to continuity AHM pissed me off as it was wildly, insanely inconstant about how much damage the Decepticons had actually done in consecutive issues by the same author.

And then despite having an ending that would lead nicely into the set up for an ongoing (the Autobots have saved Earth but the Decepticons have won the Galaxy, it's easy to imagine a series where the survivors regroup on Earth, defend the planet whilst at the same time trying to reclaim their old territories) the next author along contradicted it as well by suddenly having the Decepticons be, if anything, worse off than the Autobots.

Basically, trying to work out any consistency of character strength, skills or what a small group can do to a whole planet from AHM is a madman's game as even the guy writing it didn't seem to know. I mean, how much of New York actually got rebuilt by Megatron in the end? None of it?

Blaster was actively trying not to kill him though, wasn't he? It's been a long time since I read through the spotlights.

IIRC (and despite rereading it recently that one didn't stick in my mind as it was set up for a story that even under Barber hasn't happened. Actually, it's weird that, unless I've forgotten something, no writer in the main continuity has done the Blaster/Soundwave fight that would seem so obvious regardless of set up. It's as if they're all deliberately not following up on the Spotlight out of a sense of perversion) Blaster's not much of a physical guy, his greatest weapon is, as he says, his voice/sonics.

Actually, a battle between him and a guy who can talk people to death seems to have a certain appeal, I wonder if we'll get a flashback to the ALL version doing that?


It's even odder than you think! The implication at the time was that the DJD detected Overlord once Red Alert breached the slow cell, but apparently they detected the alternate Overlord instead and things clearly didn't happen the same way on that version of the ship. So, uh...yeah. I got nothing.

I suppose Red Alert would have acted pretty much the same on both ships, he didn't really interact sensibly bar Rung and presumably the (entirely justified in the end, Drift's and the other's culpability in his suicide thanks to their conspiracy kind of got glossed over didn't it?) paranoia about being watched and secret plots would have likely driven him to crack open the cell.

The signal itself is still (seemingly) nonsense though.


The mention of Deftwing was 90% joke, anyway.

No one jokes about Deftwing on my watch!



The gigantic fleets and huge armies that Roberts talks about make less sense to me than the small units that you see in Infiltration. I get why he's doing it, because it speaks to our sense of scale as humans and inspires us to think back to our own great wars, but I think that's humanizing them way too much. Twenty Decepticons descending on a planet like ours is an end-of-the-world tier disaster. Even on a world like Cybertron, where the infrastructure is presumably much, much more durable, it would only take a few dozen of them in sustained combat to leave a city looking like Stalingrad after the Nazis were chased out.

But then you're back to the scale thing again, IDW have always presented it as a galactic conflict, even when it was a secretive one. 12 soldiers on each side (and as I don't think we ever saw the stages gone through properly did we? Where was Nebulos supposed to be? Who knows how many more troops get added as they go along) across what would have to be a huge number of planets- hundreds? Thousands?- still adds up to an insanely massive war effort.


I'd argue the right way to do it is not to write yourself into a corner like that to start with. ;) I give comic writers a bit of a pass on this front since it's often someone else's story and not their own that they're ignoring, but even then the editors should be trying to maintain at least some level of consistency.

To be fair to Barber, which version of the power of the big boys that had been previously portrayed does he go with for consistency? The Sixshot Furman talked about or the one he (and Schmidt) actually showed us? The Decepticons who could level most of the major cities on Earth or the ones who could barely do it to New York?

Thanks to poor editing in the past he's got several options, all somewhat contradictory. The current comics seem to be at least trying to present a united front even if there are still some rough edges via trying to reconcile all the previous mishandling.

Someone mentioned on Twitter this is all they're talking about in the TFW thread, so it's not just crazy Uncle Warcry who has issues with this. ;)

Red Dave Prime
2014-08-30, 09:25 PM
The gigantic fleets and huge armies that Roberts talks about make less sense to me than the small units that you see in Infiltration. I get why he's doing it, because it speaks to our sense of scale as humans and inspires us to think back to our own great wars, but I think that's humanizing them way too much. Twenty Decepticons descending on a planet like ours is an end-of-the-world tier disaster. Even on a world like Cybertron, where the infrastructure is presumably much, much more durable, it would only take a few dozen of them in sustained combat to leave a city looking like Stalingrad after the Nazis were chased out.

Not saying I'm taking any sides in this epic warcry / dalek debate but there's something in the above which I love. It's what made the initial presentation of Infiltration & escalation so interesting and I'll go so far as to say it makes the most sense for how the transformers would wage a war.

The way I would see it is that there are only a limited number of cons so they have to be smarter than just going in all guns blazing (and while a twenty foot tall robot sounds deadly, it's going to be such a target that it will be taken out before it gets beyond its initial attack). I liked the idea in Furmans early stuff that the decepticons hide amongst the planets population and tried to destabilize it from within, using the facimiles to turn country against country so that the planets population do all the damage and the 'cons simply mop up the pieces and still the planets remaining resources. This makes so much sense AND it works wonderfully with the reasoning behind why the hell do Transformers actually need alt modes.

Ok, Furman pissed all over it by having ASTROTRAIN as one of the raiding party but still, it's a good idea...

Oh and also:

Regarding the discussion of relative 'power-levels' between robots - I must say that never really bothers me all that much. Ultimately, whether one character can beat another is a fact entirely at the mercy of the narrative. If the story demands it, then we'll have a massacre. And to be quite frank, it's the right way to do it - the story trumps all, even tech-specs.

(Buffy fans will recall, in the final season, how around four episodes were devoted to taking down one Turok-Han 'uber-vampire', whereas in the finale even powerless characters like Dawn were able to get a few licks in, and down in the Hellmouth the 'uber-vamps' are dropping like flies. Whedon basically held his hands up and said 'yeah, well, the story is more important.')

I would always agree with this and this is always the example I think of when justifying it. I think Cliffjumper feels the same way :swirly:

Terome
2014-09-01, 10:11 AM
I just made the connection today that Megatron, who scolds Riptide for not respecting the dead and busted up Thunderwing's laboratory because he was conducting world-saving but grisly research, also trained up guys like Helex as a terror weapon against his own side.

Guys, I think Megatron might have some issues.

Ok, Furman pissed all over it by having ASTROTRAIN as one of the raiding party but still, it's a good idea...

I always felt that was a good example of the Decepticons not paying a huge amount of interest in Earth culture.

Skyquake87
2014-09-01, 10:23 AM
Okay, so I've just re-read the last five issues of Season 2 and I am feeling a little better about Rewind. This is probably pointing out the blindingly obvious, but I don't think Rewind is returning as a data ghost, more that this is a 'bleed' from the alternate Lost Light events (the scream, the way Rewind looks pretty desperate and grungy when he shows up in the doorway). With everyone blinking out of existence, there's also the sense that time is catching up with everyone and that the grisly events we've been presented with in this issue. I am not sure how/ where this would leave Megs, Nightbeat etc if this does turn out to be the result of some time related shenanigans.

Summerhayes
2014-09-01, 04:41 PM
Umm... this was really good, as ever.
I need to find a way to read new issues earlier so I can be part of the chat but I hate reading comics on a screen. I like the paper in my hands.

Skyquake87
2014-09-01, 05:36 PM
Me too! I can't always get to the comic shop the day these come out...by which point these threads are usually four pages long..!

Denyer
2014-09-01, 09:10 PM
I've long taken a moral approach to copyright and ordered paper copies whilst downloading digital copies sans DRM from wherever they happen to appear. I also eventually upgrade to trades... so, eh, **** it. The company's getting the financial support.

Death's Head
2014-09-01, 09:29 PM
I've recently succumbed to the lure of comixology. However, the mix of printed and digital copies threatens to balls-up any re-reads I might have planned, so I reckon a torrent full of issues is somewhere in my future...

Summerhayes
2014-09-02, 10:04 AM
I've long taken a moral approach to copyright and ordered paper copies whilst downloading digital copies sans DRM from wherever they happen to appear. I also eventually upgrade to trades... so, eh, **** it. The company's getting the financial support.
Oh, it's not even the issue of paying for me, I just prefer reading the books. I think I might need to start dabbling digitally as, like Skyquake says, I get here and the discussion is four pages long!

inflatable dalek
2014-09-02, 08:04 PM
One good point made on the Underbase podcast was that if ALL Overlord was still in his thinking Megatron was dead/"Kill me! Kill me!" phase, he'd have likely just sat there and taken death as a blessed release rather than putting up the bigger fight they might get if they encounter the Our Lost Light (henceforth OLL) version.

Knightdramon
2014-09-02, 08:13 PM
Don't comics in the UK get released on Thursday any way? At least that's the case in the -one- comic book shop in York.

I find a combination of comixology+scans for archiving +trades when they are out to be the most satisfying and space-effective anyway.

Auntie Slag
2014-09-03, 02:26 PM
Cor, Skids is coming in for a lot of flak these days. I can’t see why, he’s done sterling work in this issue particularly, and has not been deterred by Megatron in any way. Apart from his forced comments when fighting a legislator one-on-one aboard the Lost Light, he’s been a favourite of mine. I think he’d make good command material.

Terome
2014-09-03, 03:04 PM
Cor, Skids is coming in for a lot of flak these days. I can’t see why, he’s done sterling work in this issue particularly, and has not been deterred by Megatron in any way. Apart from his forced comments when fighting a legislator one-on-one aboard the Lost Light, he’s been a favourite of mine. I think he’d make good command material.

I really like how some characters like Skids and Trailcutter are getting more respect for their abilities from Megatron than Rodimus would ever give them. Megatron is surprisingly comfortable with trusting people to do their best.

Auntie Slag
2014-09-03, 03:21 PM
Showing Minimus’s corpse on the floor with half his side missing… this is not the irreducible version of Minimus Ambus. If you look at his design in ‘Remain in Light’, this is the outer shell Mimimus that attaches to the Magnus armour. I’m wondering if whoever killed him knew about the Magnus armour but not necessarily about the tiniest version of Minimus.

Although the fact that this outer-shell Minimus has a chunk ripped out of his side might negate that. Someone on the DJD works/has worked for Tyrest and knows about the Magnus armour. If it’s Tarn, who plays the Empyrean Suite music, is there a link between Tarn, the Jhiaxian Institute and Agent 113?

Is Tarn Agent 113?

Skyquake87
2014-09-03, 03:31 PM
I really like how some characters like Skids and Trailcutter are getting more respect for their abilities from Megatron than Rodimus would ever give them. Megatron is surprisingly comfortable with trusting people to do their best.

This right here is probably what galvanised the Decepticon movement I reckon - and speaks volumes about Megatron's leadership style - it seems more managerial than anything else.

I bet this is how the Decepticons got to be the force they were in Cybertronian society.

I like Skids too. I really like Nautica and Nightbeat's relationship. I love that timey wimey sequence of them with the briefcase.

Auntie Slag
2014-09-03, 03:43 PM
Yeah, considering what an absolute scumbag Megatron has been to Cybertron and the Universe since they closed the Grimley coalmine, he really is a thoroughly interesting and respectful character.

Pax is quick and inspiring, whilst Megatron appears to do things excellently and may be someone deserving of a ‘Worlds Best Boss’ mug. I think it would be a great turn of events if the Decepticons genuinely love him. In many continuities he leads through fear, which isn’t very interesting.

It would be a hell of a thing if a lot of Autobot's end up loving him too.

Warcry
2014-09-03, 04:00 PM
Agreed about Megatron -- his leadership style is not at all what I'd expected, and he honestly seems like the sort of boss that everyone wants to have (except for the genocide). He treats his people well when they're putting in the effort and knows how to get the best out of them.

And then despite having an ending that would lead nicely into the set up for an ongoing (the Autobots have saved Earth but the Decepticons have won the Galaxy, it's easy to imagine a series where the survivors regroup on Earth, defend the planet whilst at the same time trying to reclaim their old territories) the next author along contradicted it as well by suddenly having the Decepticons be, if anything, worse off than the Autobots.
Agreed, though that's more Costa's fault than a problem with AHM itself. In spite of saying there were thousands of troops on each side, he acted like the entire Decepticon government had fallen apart because Starscream was moping on an asteroid with fifty guys.

IIRC (and despite rereading it recently that one didn't stick in my mind as it was set up for a story that even under Barber hasn't happened. Actually, it's weird that, unless I've forgotten something, no writer in the main continuity has done the Blaster/Soundwave fight that would seem so obvious regardless of set up. It's as if they're all deliberately not following up on the Spotlight out of a sense of perversion) Blaster's not much of a physical guy, his greatest weapon is, as he says, his voice/sonics.
It's hard to say really, because he just fought the one guy who he didn't really want to kill.

I think you're right about the Blaster/Soundwave fight that never happened. Furman didn't use Soundwave in any of his modern stories until they'd already been canned, and I don't think anyone else even gave Blaster lines until MTMTE. I don't know that they've even been in the same scene as one another yet.

Actually, a battle between him and a guy who can talk people to death seems to have a certain appeal, I wonder if we'll get a flashback to the ALL version doing that?
Yeah...you'd think that Blaster's sonic weapons would cancel out Tarn's silly spark-exploding voice. Though I suppose he's just as overpowered in every other area so it would probably just end with a double fusion cannon (*groan*) blast.

I suppose Red Alert would have acted pretty much the same on both ships, he didn't really interact sensibly bar Rung and presumably the (entirely justified in the end, Drift's and the other's culpability in his suicide thanks to their conspiracy kind of got glossed over didn't it?) paranoia about being watched and secret plots would have likely driven him to crack open the cell.
Fair enough, though with no Fort Max aboard to take Rung hostage Swerve presumably wouldn't have blown his head up, so Red would have been able to confide in him more deeply. Would Rung have talked him into taking it to Rodimus or Magnus before things devolved to "drill holes through the hull of the ship" territory?

But then you're back to the scale thing again, IDW have always presented it as a galactic conflict, even when it was a secretive one. 12 soldiers on each side (and as I don't think we ever saw the stages gone through properly did we? Where was Nebulos supposed to be? Who knows how many more troops get added as they go along) across what would have to be a huge number of planets- hundreds? Thousands?- still adds up to an insanely massive war effort.
Absolutely! I just think it's a bit much to have thousands or them gathered in one place. I got the impression that before AHM, there were hundreds of teams like Starscream's spread across the galaxy, either infiltrating inhabited worlds (which really makes no sense unless they all have secret Energon deposits, but it cranks up the drama so I'm happy to ignore it) or openly setting up shop on ones that are up for grabs.

The tech level that the Transformers display is high enough that gathering more than a handful of troops in one place would be suicidal. We know from Stormbringer that blowing up entire planets is something they could do more-or-less on a whim, so congregating 1,000 troops in a single place is just begging the other side to start dropping planet-killers. I imagine that things were different at the start of the war when they were still fighting on Cybertron, but after killing each other for four million years they seem to have gotten very, very good at it and I like to think that it's forced a significant change in strategy.

To be fair to Barber, which version of the power of the big boys that had been previously portrayed does he go with for consistency? The Sixshot Furman talked about or the one he (and Schmidt) actually showed us? The Decepticons who could level most of the major cities on Earth or the ones who could barely do it to New York?
I do tend to prefer "showing" over "telling", so in terms of the Phase Sixers I'd have preferred to see them stick with what was on the page and not the narrative bigging-up that Sixshot got. You're right though, I suppose it's equally valid to do it the other way around.

Regarding the Decepticons though, AHM never gave me the impression that they couldn't level the planet if they wanted to (didn't Skywarp singlehandedly level half of Beijing in an hour on a lark, presumably while fighting off a huge amount of the Chinese army?) just that they were dicking around because Megatron wasn't telling them what to do.

Someone mentioned on Twitter this is all they're talking about in the TFW thread, so it's not just crazy Uncle Warcry who has issues with this. ;)
:lol:

Cor, Skids is coming in for a lot of flak these days. I can’t see why, he’s done sterling work in this issue particularly, and has not been deterred by Megatron in any way. Apart from his forced comments when fighting a legislator one-on-one aboard the Lost Light, he’s been a favourite of mine. I think he’d make good command material.
I think you summed up nicely why people don't like Skids. He's a super-smart theoretician ninja superlearner who talks to giant god-sparks and can fight off tons of the battle robots that took over the rest of the ship and used to be a spy and everyone loves him and he's not afraid of Megatron and should probably be in charge and isn't he just so awesome?

Skids can **** right off.

Auntie Slag
2014-09-03, 04:18 PM
That’s true, but its not like Skids gets utilized in a ‘last line of defence’ style that the Autobots would usually reserve for Metroplex or Omega Supreme. Rodimus has this super warrior in Skids at his disposal but doesn’t regard him as anything other than another crewmember, in fact he referrs to him as a criminal rather than anything more noteable. Magnus does similar.

He brings Rung back but no-one acknowledges it.

He has a brief chat with gods on the other side of a portal that others can’t access and again no-one says a word, not even Rung.

So yes, he’s awesome, but no-one seems to care. Which prevents his awesome-ness rendering everyone else on board pointless. And that doesn’t bug him either. Its all quite odd.

Perhaps the only place Skids will really come into his own will be working with Megatron.

Terome
2014-09-03, 04:41 PM
Showing Minimus’s corpse on the floor with half his side missing… this is not the irreducible version of Minimus Ambus. If you look at his design in ‘Remain in Light’, this is the outer shell Mimimus that attaches to the Magnus armour. I’m wondering if whoever killed him knew about the Magnus armour but not necessarily about the tiniest version of Minimus.


Jeez, never even thought about the irreducible Minimus. Not sure what narrative function a surviving Magnus would have but that's definitely a possibility.

Does Magnus have three transformation cogs then or just the one in his innermost form? That's a reader's letter question for sure.

This right here is probably what galvanised the Decepticon movement I reckon - and speaks volumes about Megatron's leadership style - it seems more managerial than anything else.

I bet this is how the Decepticons got to be the force they were in Cybertronian society.

Pax is quick and inspiring, whilst Megatron appears to do things excellently and may be someone deserving of a ‘Worlds Best Boss’ mug. I think it would be a great turn of events if the Decepticons genuinely love him. In many continuities he leads through fear, which isn’t very interesting.

These few issues have really established Megatron as Optimus' equal. The lead-through-fear angle still applies but only to the extremities. His inner circle and fellow founders like Starscream and Ravage would probably be spared such desperate measures like discipline-by-DJD.

I get the sense that Megatron might have lost it when he was in the empire-building days. This kind of hands-on management style really wouldn't extend to multiple worlds and fiefdoms run by the useful nutjobs he'd used to wallop the Autobots.

Auntie Slag
2014-09-03, 04:58 PM
The thing that bugs me now is Rung’s comment about he and Megatron probably not getting the chance to talk again. His line to Skids in Issue 11 “Its Rung… forever”. How much of a grasp does he have on everything, and is he able to influence anything, as in save lives? Or is it his awareness of parallel universes that stops him intervening to save lives because it doesn’t matter? Is there only one Rung across all timelines?

Why save Pipes when there's millions of other Pipes all happily chugging along not being stomped by Overlord?

Summerhayes
2014-09-04, 07:42 AM
Did you just take that single line and extrapolate it to mean Rung is some sort of universe straddling superbeing?
Bravo.

Death's Head
2014-09-04, 12:31 PM
universe straddling

Phwoar!

optimusskids
2014-09-06, 11:51 AM
Oooo look it's a sonic screwdriver sorry I meant wrench :)