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zigzagger
2014-10-15, 02:45 PM
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #34 three-page preview by way of iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id929851566?mt=11).

Warcry
2014-10-15, 03:12 PM
Why is Bluestreak coloured different every single time he appears? Last time I recall seeing him, in MTMTE #28, he had his normal, all-grey colour scheme. Not only is it silly on principle, but it's damned confusing considering how many other guys share his body type. Half the time he winds up looking more like Smokescreen than the person he's supposed to be -- which is exactly what happens on the first page of the preview.

Other than that I'm intrigued by the prospect of seeing these four starring for an issue, though I think Mainframe and Trailbreaker should disappear at some point?

Unicron
2014-10-15, 04:34 PM
Other than that I'm intrigued by the prospect of seeing these four starring for an issue, though I think Mainframe and Trailbreaker should disappear at some point?

Last panel on page one mentions disappearing people, disappearing shuttles, people floating in space. So I assume this is after the whole Lost Light vanishing bit.

Last panel page 2: Is that First Aid in alt mode? So he got his transformation cog fixed. Is that news?

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-10-15, 07:27 PM
I didn't know First Aid had a broken T-cog. When was that mentioned?

Preview is a bit dull, imo. Bluestreak's phone is nice though. :)

Unicron
2014-10-15, 07:59 PM
I didn't know First Aid had a broken T-cog. When was that mentioned?
Back in issue 5(?), the second one at Delphi. Ratchet deduced First Aid's cog was malfunctioning, hence why he hadn't transformed and triggered the virus. As far as I can recall, it wasn't mentioned again after that, nor has he been shown in alt-mode till now.

I would think it would be a semi-important thing to mention that it had been fixed, what with him having been stationed at a medical facility for who knows how long with a doctor the caliber of Pharma and not having it fixed then. Seems like something that couldn't be fixed via a quick bit of surgery, and I always assumed it being fixed would be a side effect of the eventual creation of Defensor.

zigzagger
2014-10-16, 02:47 AM
Again, preview's not giving me a whole lot to work with. I'm just not sure what to expect from this issue yet. The solicits made it sound promising, I suppose, but so far it's not entirely grabbing me.

Hopeful that the Megatron backstory stuff that's being alluded to here turns that all around. Roberts further retconning Megatron: Origin out of existence is a happy prospect. So, uh, I guess that means that my interest is piqued after all :)

Nice to have confirmation on what happened to Bluestreak and First Aid during the last story, though. Was wondering about them.


Going to have to agree with Warcry -- no one can seem to settle on what Bluestreak is supposed to look like. Some consistency in coloration would be nice as, like Warcry said, Bluestreak shares a similar design with two other characters. Don't think Rojo's more humanized art style is helping either (which I'm not digging all that much this issue, I'm sorry to say). Hell, at first glace I thought it was Prowl.

Knightdramon
2014-10-16, 06:31 AM
Hopeful that the Megatron backstory stuff that's being alluded to here turns that all around. Roberts further retconning Megatron: Origin out of existence is a happy prospect. So, uh, I guess that means that my interest is piqued after all :)



I'd rather they retcon Autocracy out of existence than Megatron Origin. Thankfully they're adding on to Origin.

I just re-read Chaos Theory in paper form [got the TPB], and between Chaos Theory, Last Stand of the Wrecker [extras] and MTMTE Autocracy is flat out wrong.

zigzagger
2014-10-16, 07:19 AM
Yeah, Megatron: Origin does lend itself better to reinterpretation. Quality aside, it left so many things undeveloped and so many things unanswered. Makes it easy to add onto it.

In my personal canon, however, Chaos Theory is the 'true' Megatron: Origin. The original has already be retconned in my eyes.

Autocracy... eh, I'd prefer IDW treat that one the same way Dreamwave sort of treated the War Within series as being loosely connected to their main continuity.

Terome
2014-10-16, 10:52 AM
Rojo's coming along in leaps and bounds, that's good to see.

I'm not super swotted up on the fine details but, if anything, Roberts seems to be taking Megatron: Origin as gospel. Sure, he's wriggling in every space there is to wriggle in but Megatron is nothing but 'quiet and hardworking' in Origin. I guess Origin didn't intend for him to have a whole literary following before that moment but I'm not sure that counts as a retcon.

Agree that there's not much to go on here. Seems to be becoming the standard fare for previews. I like that these characters are getting lines. I guess Bluestreak's design will get streamlined and finalised once he's had a few outings.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-10-16, 12:28 PM
Back in issue 5(?), the second one at Delphi. Ratchet deduced First Aid's cog was malfunctioning, hence why he hadn't transformed and triggered the virus. As far as I can recall, it wasn't mentioned again after that, nor has he been shown in alt-mode till now.

I would think it would be a semi-important thing to mention that it had been fixed, what with him having been stationed at a medical facility for who knows how long with a doctor the caliber of Pharma and not having it fixed then. Seems like something that couldn't be fixed via a quick bit of surgery, and I always assumed it being fixed would be a side effect of the eventual creation of Defensor.

Ah, thanks. I'd forgotten that bit about Delphi. First Aid in alt mode could just be an art error? Or Ratchet just managed to fix it. Maybe they salvaged Ambulon's (RIP) T-cog from the corpsegun for a transplant? Would that even work?

On a side note, I'm still sad we didn't get to see Ambulon's leg mode. And he is now missing out on Combiner Wars! Poor Ambulon. :(

Unicron
2014-10-16, 03:29 PM
On a side note, I'm still sad we didn't get to see Ambulon's leg mode. And he is now missing out on Combiner Wars! Poor Ambulon. :(

That's what pissed me off the most about Ambulon's death: That we never got to see the leg, even if he was just used to wedge a door open or something.
I mean they make a big deal about him having a useless alt-mode and the phrase "every shape serves a purpose" kept coming during the series. How can they not find a use for him?

Red Dave Prime
2014-10-17, 12:12 AM
I'd rather they retcon Autocracy out of existence than Megatron Origin. Thankfully they're adding on to Origin.

I just re-read Chaos Theory in paper form [got the TPB], and between Chaos Theory, Last Stand of the Wrecker [extras] and MTMTE Autocracy is flat out wrong.

Just curious if you have read Monstosity or any of the new Primacy. They'll really pee you off.

At this point I think those three minis can be somewhat ret conned out. Despite being edited by Captain Continuity they seem to only pay lip service and characters and events are re-shaped to suit the whim of the writer.

Auntie Slag
2014-10-22, 09:38 PM
Has this been delayed? I thought it was out today as the preview is usually dished a week beforehand... but I received the Forbidden Planet Comic Wednesday announcement and MTMTE didn't feature. RID certainly did though, with a very interesting cover including Galvatron, Rhinox and Alpha Trion!

zigzagger
2014-10-23, 01:50 AM
Has this been delayed?

Issue's out the 29th.

To be honest, I'm starting not to like this alternating release schedule thing IDW has going on at the moment.

While it's pretty cool every other month when we get two issues of MTMTE just two weeks apart, it makes for an agonizing, month and a half wait when it's RID's turn.

Okay, 'agonizing' is a bit melodramatic. I'm just super impatient ;)

zigzagger
2014-10-29, 01:54 AM
Full preview is now up @ Comicosity (http://www.comicosity.com/preview-transformers-more-than-meets-the-eye-34/).

Skyquake87
2014-10-29, 03:42 PM
Hmm...not come out this week, so next week..?

MikeB
2014-10-29, 04:20 PM
It's out, I have it. Want to read it again before commenting in case I'm letting my inner fanboy get in the way of reality...

britbot
2014-10-29, 04:43 PM
It's out today, or at least it is on comixology

inflatable dalek
2014-10-29, 06:32 PM
OUT NOW AND READ.













SPOILER BIATCHES.










Interestingly, Roberts has just this second mentioned on Twitter that he's probably going to write something about the thought process behind this issue as the immediate fan reaction has been so strong (though not having had chance to browse other forums as yet I don't know in what way).

So, an issue that on the face of it seems to be deliberately ignoring last month's cliffhanger, but instead has decided to focus on an ethical dilemma.

It's an interesting and difficult question and the comic is quite smart in that we know the extent to which the found body is bad news before the rest of the characters.

Poor First Aid, he does everything that a doctor should do (well, almost, I was surprised that the idea of just stabilising the patient until they could get them to a secure facility would have been the most sensible option, restoring an unknown to full health seems pointlessly dangerous. That's something that could have been covered in one line easily enough so it was surprising, unless I missed it, that it wasn't adressed as Roberts is normally good at that), even when he realises it's a member of the DJD and is reticent to donate his own fuel because of those Pharma issues he still helps Trailcutter do it, and it completely bites him on the ass.

It's a difficult issue (and perhaps the way it could be read as "Letting your enemies die is the best bet" is what's causing the fuss?) and both sides of the argument are well handled. I do think Bluestreak is the one who actually comes off worse in not responding to First Aid's call for help just because he's a bit of a dick, and I certainly didn't feel as if just because it was the wrong choice this time that it would be the case everytime (and of course, doctor's have no choice in the matter anyway).

To counter that, we have serious medical malpractice in the flashbacks. The parallel to the Autobot's decision in the present is clear, not fixing Vos would have been by far the best option despite it being against all medical ethics, but in the past a similar pragmatic "For the common good" decision to mess with Megatron (which you could argue, if it not for Rung interfering before it took hold, would have prevented four million years of war) does nothing but make things worse in the long run.

That's hugely interesting and thoughtful, it's not a case of "**** your enemy", nor "Help them no matter what", both characters in both time frames make their choices based on what they think is right and things end up pretty screwed up as a result. There's some serious depth there and no easy answers. Wonderful.

Amidst all that, we also get:

An explanation for why Megatron was barely capable of speaking in sentences in Megatron: Origin (presumably he was still suffering from what Trepan did to him).

Megatron having a friend in everyone's favourite Peter Davison [I]Doctor Who story, Terminus. Start your "Terminus is Tarn!" speculation now.

The DJD actually having had a rough time of it in their fight with the ALL and the various other parties that seem to have joined in. A nice counter to the claims they were too tough in the flashbacks.

So all the other new crewmembers were just floating in space after all.

Trailcutter's death seemed to be determined to be a "So, people think I do too many fake outs? Lets kill this muther in the most lethal way possible then!" reaction from Roberts.

Though... with all the speculation Agent 113 is in the DJD, is Kaon one of our boys and the entire thing was an elaborate trick to fool Vos?


And that cliffhanger... so, is that past Brainstorm mucking about because the Institute were involved in messing up Megatron's head... or is time travel involved? The later seems more likely considering what we know about the briefcase, but nothing can be certain here.

If it is time travel, them presumably the third part of the Shadowplay trilogy will see our characters mucking about in the past of Cybertron?

Red Dave Prime
2014-10-29, 09:31 PM
I really enjoyed this issue - some general gasp moments. For a bit I thought we were going to get the identity of Agent 113 in Vos but that looks less likely.

Interesting times ahead...

Terome
2014-10-29, 10:44 PM
Thought this was excellent. Nothing too flashy, just solid comics-making the whole way through. I agree that the Trailcutter bit was probably reflexive but it was still effective.

And holy damn, Trepan and Froid are a lot more scary than the Superjail hijinx of the DJD.

Rojo does fine work throughout. He's warmed right up.

I do think that those long passages from Towards Peace might be unnecessary and probably best left to the imagination.

Terminus is great and not at all what I was expecting. I had in mind a much more boring sensei type during the gladiator days for some reason. It's a good move to give Megatron such an emotional reason to act like a crazy person - it was the bitter advice of a dying friend who was the only one who believed in him during a dark time. What would Terminus think if he saw what the persona he advocated would do? I reckon that is the main reason why Tarn won't be Terminus - his advice and his way was for a different time and a different context, which is why Megatron erased his memory from existence.

And of course Trailcutter's panic bubble was being set up as a locked room from which there was no escape. Blindsided me again - I genuinely thought he was safe when it went up. Nice callback to the leg guns too. Those things sure are handy.

How great are Mainframe and Bluestreak? Pair of jerks!

Denyer
2014-10-29, 11:49 PM
Great stuff. Works whether or not TC is in the usual comics revolving door, but in the authorial position I'd probably have it stick. The buzz of conversation seems to focus on the lack of certainty.

I do think that those long passages from Towards Peace might be unnecessary and probably best left to the imagination.
I'm in the group that wants to see more of it. Not necessarily full prose, but getting a good chunk of that conveys much more of a sense of personality than soundbytes (which're a horribly modern affliction, attention spans are shrinking, buggy whip manufacturers should unite against these horseless carriages, yadda yadda).

Unicron
2014-10-30, 01:58 AM
I do think that those long passages from Towards Peace might be unnecessary and probably best left to the imagination.
I could be wrong, but I think part of the reason for that was to show that Trepan had scratched the surface and deleted little bits of it before he was stopped.

I might be wrong, and I've been trying to figure out how to explain what makes me think this, but I feel like there's some screwy with the chronology around the events involving the alternate Lost Light and Offsted.

There was the DJD assault on the ALL, which I feel like was a while ago (I keep wanting to say it was around the time of Overlord's rampage on our LL, which I don't think it could be now because of Kaon's appearance in Remain in Light, which had to be before the ALL attack and the events on Offsted. So the DJD must have burnt a lot of time getting to and preparing to attack the ALL).
And there was the fight between the Galactic Council, the Black Block Consortia and others (presumably the DJD were involved) which was recent enough to leave a rather injured Vos and Kaon on the planet, but far enough back that the non-Cybertronians weren't around to be run into by the Rodpod. And while the non-Cybertronians are gone, the DJD is still nearby since Kaon called for a beam out, yet there was no sign of them still being around during Megatron and Co.'s wacky adventure on the wrecked ship.

I suppose the other DJD aren't around and left Vos and Kaon to rot, so we might get Kaon's explanation of events. Could be interesting to see how they differ from alternate Rewind's.

Warcry
2014-10-30, 02:27 AM
I'll believe that Trailbreaker is dead when First Aid or Ratchet say so, and not a moment sooner. What the comic showed was vague at best, and I find it hard to believe Roberts would have gone to such lengths to show how sympathetic he was to Megatron just to kill him. Given the book's track record...

It's a difficult issue (and perhaps the way it could be read as "Letting your enemies die is the best bet" is what's causing the fuss?) and both sides of the argument are well handled. I do think Bluestreak is the one who actually comes off worse in not responding to First Aid's call for help just because he's a bit of a dick, and I certainly didn't feel as if just because it was the wrong choice this time that it would be the case everytime (and of course, doctor's have no choice in the matter anyway).
Wait...you mean most people don't think that? :glance:

Seriously though, I found the initial bits of story to be quite heavy-handed, with Bluestreak and his "What faction is he? Do we know what side he's on? Where's his badge?" coming off as a bit strawmanesque. The later discussion between First Aid and Trailbreaker was a lot better-handled IMO, and surprised me because I would have expected to see the two characters on opposite sides of it. The reasons why they felt the way they did made perfect sense to me though.

To counter that, we have serious medical malpractice in the flashbacks. The parallel to the Autobot's decision in the present is clear, not fixing Vos would have been by far the best option despite it being against all medical ethics, but in the past a similar pragmatic "For the common good" decision to mess with Megatron (which you could argue, if it not for Rung interfering before it took hold, would have prevented four million years of war) does nothing but make things worse in the long run.
Actually...quite the opposite IMO. Even if Trepan didn't have a chance to make wholesale changes to Megatron's psyche, he violated him in the most personal way possible. Being victimized like that by your own government would tend to radicalize even someone as peaceful as Megatron was in the flashbacks. On top of what Whirl did...well, it'd be hard to argue that this wasn't yet another big push down the road to cartoonish supervillainy for Megs.

If Trepan had kept his needles to himself, Megatron might have become a totally different person.

The DJD actually having had a rough time of it in their fight with the ALL and the various other parties that seem to have joined in. A nice counter to the claims they were too tough in the flashbacks.
Did they? I got the impression the aliens gave them more trouble than the Lost Light did.

I might be wrong, and I've been trying to figure out how to explain what makes me think this, but I feel like there's some screwy with the chronology around the events involving the alternate Lost Light and Offsted.
The timelines left me scratching my head, too.

zigzagger
2014-10-30, 03:14 AM
Just some quickish thoughts for now, but overall I enjoyed this.

Even if Trailbreaker's death turns out to be another fake-out, I think the desired reaction was achieved here. I was shocked at any rate. It sort of just came out of nowhere.

I felt Roberts chose some pretty great 'moral conundrums' to explore here in both past in present sequences. Not so clear cut and straightforward, not so black and white, which I really appreciated.

Like Dalek, I was racking my brain on that one, going back and forth on which was the more 'morally just' option... Though, me being a member of the audience, of course I'm going to say, "**** morality, let that asshole Vos die!"

Speaking of which, I have to hand it to Roberts; he created a set of genuinely hateable villains. For once that's not a criticism against the DJD. In the most complimentary sense I want to see them die. Like, in the most satisfyingly prolonged and gruesome manner conceivable.

What? I'm not joking (well, not entirely :o); this is the first time the DJD have evoked this kind of response from me.



Start your "Terminus is Tarn!" speculation now.


Seems to be, doesn't he?

Then again, probably a red herring, but the ambiguity of his fate right now and his faith in Megatron (albeit pre-Space Hilter Megatron) supports that theory. Not sure I completely buy it myself yet, though Terminus quoting "you are being deceived" from Megatron's treatise did strike me as your typical Roberts-esque clue-seeding.

Terome
2014-10-30, 08:38 AM
I could be wrong, but I think part of the reason for that was to show that Trepan had scratched the surface and deleted little bits of it before he was stopped.



Yes, that sequence was masterful. And a very strong call-back to Rung's thoughts on edits from the first issue. I think I was so impressed by the 'he's a thinker' panel, with the text nearly visible behind Megatron aggressively digging that I was a bit disappointed when we got that whole page of the same text, naked. We can catch the gist already and it seems like gilding the lily.

It was interesting to read though.

Denyer: but getting a good chunk of that conveys much more of a sense of personality than soundbytes (which're a horribly modern affliction, attention spans are shrinking, buggy whip manufacturers should unite against these horseless carriages, yadda yadda).
Yesterday 10:44 PM

:lol:
I think it's good to leave a reader wanting more without putting everything on the table, especially when you're dealing with BIG IMPORTANT MASTERFUL TEXTS THAT CHANGED HISTORY. It's courting disappointment!

Warcry: Seriously though, I found the initial bits of story to be quite heavy-handed, with Bluestreak and his "What faction is he? Do we know what side he's on? Where's his badge?" coming off as a bit strawmanesque.

I quite liked that as I saw it as being a key part of Bluestreak's make-up: he talks too much. We are basically hearing his thoughts and he has no internal editor.

Denyer
2014-10-31, 01:09 AM
I think it's good to leave a reader wanting more without putting everything on the table, especially when you're dealing with BIG IMPORTANT MASTERFUL TEXTS THAT CHANGED HISTORY. It's courting disappointment!

It's not like Mein Kampf was particularly well-written. Megs has rather a moderate polemic going on at this point and it'd be interesting to see how it develops over a longer period.

"**** morality, let that asshole Vos die!"
Mmm. Fortunately first aid at work courses don't get into hippocratic oath territory.

inflatable dalek
2014-10-31, 04:29 PM
I'll believe that Trailbreaker is dead when First Aid or Ratchet say so, and not a moment sooner. What the comic showed was vague at best, and I find it hard to believe Roberts would have gone to such lengths to show how sympathetic he was to Megatron just to kill him. Given the book's track record...

I don't know, it seemed to be trying very hard to be definative (probably to counter the "Fake out" thought that would enter the head of most readers), it even used the "Brain module crushing sound effect" from Legacy of Unicron, something that's probably sacred to Roberts.


Wait...you mean most people don't think that? :glance:

Imagine if it had been Misfire they'd found, it would have been a much happier ending.

Seriously though, I found the initial bits of story to be quite heavy-handed, with Bluestreak and his "What faction is he? Do we know what side he's on? Where's his badge?" coming off as a bit strawmanesque.

I thought Bluestreak was actually well handled as it felt right for his character even though I think that's by far and away the most he's ever had to do in IDW. Possibly since that Marvel story with Jetfire in it.



Actually...quite the opposite IMO. Even if Trepan didn't have a chance to make wholesale changes to Megatron's psyche, he violated him in the most personal way possible. Being victimized like that by your own government would tend to radicalize even someone as peaceful as Megatron was in the flashbacks. On top of what Whirl did...well, it'd be hard to argue that this wasn't yet another big push down the road to cartoonish supervillainy for Megs.

I don't know, I can't think of an argument that would make it morally OK to let Vos die because he's perceived to be such a massive threat, but not also make it OK to turn Megatron placid (which is presumably what would have happened if the process had worked) against his will because he's equally be perceived to be a threat.


Did they? I got the impression the aliens gave them more trouble than the Lost Light did.

Accumilative effect it would seem (though I suppose that, unlike the ALL, the Galactic Council would have ships with big guns).


Interesting inverview with Roberts HERE (http://www.transmissionspodcast.com/2014/10/transmissions-episode-75-james-roberts-interview-from-tfcon-usa/#more-1502) on the Transmissions podcast that was recorded before the release of this issue but, as the hosts had review copies the last half is given over to some interesting tidbits (including that Roberts pronounces Necrobot differently to how I do).


After half expecting some clever twist or subversion, I'm mildly surprised to have him come right out and say we have a time traveling Brainstorm at the end (with Nightbeat and Nautica simply not working it properly when in the lift).

Be warned- whilst I have no problem with sponsored podcasts 9after all, they're free to listen to), the "Acting" in the advert at the start from the two hosts is actually, albeit sweetly, cringe induceingly bad.

Denyer
2014-10-31, 04:41 PM
I don't know, I can't think of an argument that would make it morally OK to let Vos die because he's perceived to be such a massive threat, but not also make it OK to turn Megatron placid (which is presumably what would have happened if the process had worked) against his will because he's equally be perceived to be a threat.
Generally considered more reasonable to kill than to torture/lobotomise?

inflatable dalek
2014-10-31, 04:54 PM
Generally considered more reasonable to kill than to torture/lobotomise?


Both are huge breaches of medical ethics though (assuming there's some Cybertronian equivalent, was it IDW or one of the other continuities that had some silly SPACE sounding name for the Hippocratic Oath?). You could even argue- not that I would mind but I could see the point of view- making Megatron happy with his lot in life is a far more "Humane" thing to do than arranging a mining accident for him would have been.

Murky waters.

Warcry
2014-10-31, 06:13 PM
I don't know, it seemed to be trying very hard to be definative (probably to counter the "Fake out" thought that would enter the head of most readers), it even used the "Brain module crushing sound effect" from Legacy of Unicron, something that's probably sacred to Roberts.
Unless that's yet another method of faking you out, by invoking something that he knows UK readers will assume is a flat "he's dead". :glance:

Actually, I hadn't even entertained the possibility that Trailbreaker was meant to be dead until I came here, read the reactions and saw people making the connection to Legacy. I think that's an art fail though, because in the panel accompanied by the "krik" or whatever, Trailbreaker's brain module looks more like a slightly deformed balloon than something that's been permanently smashed. And we don't see the finished product of the squashing, either. On my first read-through I had the impression that DJD Mary Sue #4 was theatening to smoosh TB's brain, not that he actually had.

Also, if Trailbreaker is dead shouldn't his forcefield have turned off? I understand that it's a "panic bubble" with a set duration, but if he was dead his fuel pump would stop pumping energon to the field generator -- and this issue clearly established that it relied on Trailbreaker's energon for fuel and not an external source (he didn't have enough juice left to throw a forcefield over Vos). I guess not, if he's meant to be dead, but that's what I'd been thinking at the time.

Imagine if it had been Misfire they'd found, it would have been a much happier ending.
Insofar as Misfire would probably have been too afraid to try and kill them right then and there, sure. But we know from the Scavengers issues that he and his friends aren't exactly nice guys either. I suspect any of them would have killed First Aid and co. if given the chance (and then drained their fuel, divvied it up and drank it).

I thought Bluestreak was actually well handled as it felt right for his character even though I think that's by far and away the most he's ever had to do in IDW. Possibly since that Marvel story with Jetfire in it.
I guess? It just rang hollow for me coming from a character who has basically zero personality to his name. If this had come from, I dunno, Swerve or someone I think it would have felt a lot more natural.

I don't know, I can't think of an argument that would make it morally OK to let Vos die because he's perceived to be such a massive threat, but not also make it OK to turn Megatron placid (which is presumably what would have happened if the process had worked) against his will because he's equally be perceived to be a threat.
I disagree. (How shocking, I know!)

There's two rather large differences between the two, IMO. Denyer covered the first. If they'd just taken Megatron out back and shot him...well, that would still be awful but at least it would be reasonably civilized. Instead they undertook to erase everything that made him who he is and replace him with a totally new Government-Approved Person™, because Primus forbid they let a functional miners' chassis go to waste. I just can't accept any argument that erasing people's minds and identities in order to make them happy slaves isn't way, way worse than killing them.

But secondly and IMO more importantly -- Megatron hadn't actually done anything yet! He'd been jailed and slated for mind-rape for thoughtcrimes. Vos on the other hand was personally complicit in the brutal, completely unjustifiable murders of over 200 innocent Autobots (and Whirl too!) that we know of, on top of whatever other over-the-top atrocities the DJD have committed against victims on both sides of the conflict in whatever length of time he's been a member. He fully deserved a bullet to the brain.

But you know what? Even after the horrors he's been a part of, not even Vos deserves to have his very self erased and replaced with someone else's idea of how he should behave.

Accumilative effect it would seem (though I suppose that, unlike the ALL, the Galactic Council would have ships with big guns).
It's more what they said in the first few pages of the issue...something about the Council and the Black Bloc (or whoever) fighting with a bunch of mechs (the DJD) over a derelict (the Lost Light). They seemingly had a long-running three-way battle, something I can't imagine the DJD would have been interested in had they been at less than 100% after killing the Lost Light crew. And the fight almost had to have happened after that, because otherwise the Lost Light wouldn't have been a derelict.

Of course, all that could just be a red herring meant to throw us off so we don't guess what really happened... :glance:

Unicron
2014-10-31, 08:56 PM
Also, if Trailbreaker is dead shouldn't his forcefield have turned off? I understand that it's a "panic bubble" with a set duration, but if he was dead his fuel pump would stop pumping energon to the field generator -- and this issue clearly established that it relied on Trailbreaker's energon for fuel and not an external source (he didn't have enough juice left to throw a forcefield over Vos). I guess not, if he's meant to be dead, but that's what I'd been thinking at the time.

I would assume the panic bubble has it's own separate battery that tops itself up as necessary off of Trailmix's normal energon supply or when he recharges. It's an emergency tool, one might expect such a thing to be able to run separate from regular power.

Obviously we're building to a DJD vs. Megatron and LL confrontation soon, but with Megatron in a weakened state, he's going to need a trump card. I had assumed a strong new body or substantial upgrades, with Brainstorm-tech to finally tap a black hole, but that doesn't seem like a possibility what with Brainstorm taking a little trip. So the next likely option is the thing everyone has been expecting since the start of this season confirmed they were all on board: Defensor.

Consider this, which occurred to me last night: Trailbreaker is dead and his remains, complete with forcefield generators, will be accessible to a pissed off First Aid in short order. Defensor's only notable ability happened to be projecting a forcefield around himself. I think we're gonna see some Autobots combining soon.

Knightdramon
2014-10-31, 10:42 PM
Re-read the issue again.

Here's a thought---the Lost Light actually broke apart DURING the attack. It's the only good way to explain it without making the DJD look even more unbeatable.

It was used as the bombing/staging ground for all 3 armies. Yay I'm a genius.

I loved this issue's "meanwhile..." type of story. I also love how it starts so small---4 autobots forced to make a choice, or so the solicits said, opening page to Bluestreak and co, and you're thinking "hmm...let's see what these B listers will do", and BAM...shit happens.

The back and forth between past and present is well done, and the way the issue is set up, you're thinking it would allude to Vos' identity or something. Some parts of the issue almost appears horror-film esque, like Mainframe fixing the translator and bolting out with the muscle of the group before the revelation can be made, or Kaon energizing and transforming inside the panic bubble.

Having listened to a podcast, Trailbreaker is dead and this whole scenery was set up because Roberts wanted him TRAPPED in a place that could potentially have discarded chairs for Kaon to hide. Sadly the art did not make the brain smashing very clear :/

Part of how satisfying this issue is alludes to Trailbreaker's fate. I mean, we've more or less seen bots had worse things happen to them, but it was nobodies or red shirts. Seeing it happen [off panel too] to a genuine A-lister was a bit shocking. I keep wondering if he wasn't spent from helping Vos if he could fare better. I keep forgetting that for DJD standards, Kaon is small, but for regular bot standards, he's actually well built and tall.

A complaint on the art is that Vos goes from "horrifically scorched and unable to ID" back to his regular colours as soon as they prop him up on the chair.

Seeing as the next 4 issues are a pre-war flashback thing, and how we're left now, I believe it will be more or less a DJD Origin story, or at least Tarn's. And at the end of the 4-parter he'll come face to face with Megatron.

Pre-war stuff...okay, brand new territory [and more or less retconning or making Megatron-Origin seem less awkward] but it sadly works against it somehow. Roberts is going out of his way to make Megatron look like an anti hero, a genuine victim, 100% justified etc. It basically builds him up as a hero, and all the evil doings of the Decepticons being attributed to the likes of DJD. Between Soundwave's more recent "neutrally good" stance, Starscream's general benevolent sneakiness, Shockwave's general machinations and Megatron's justified actions, I kind of struggle to see how these 4 figureheads were the spearheads of such a "vile" movement.

This issue also marks a 2 out of 2 cliffhanger with brainstorm seeming "evil", which I suspect is just a red herring for something else. He probably turns out to be the ultimate saviour of the Universe and just having too much fun or a bad camera angle for his money shots :lol:

Death's Head
2014-11-01, 01:31 AM
If they'd just taken Megatron out back and shot him...well, that would still be awful but at least it would be reasonably civilized. Instead they undertook to erase everything that made him who he is and replace him with a totally new Government-Approved Person™, because Primus forbid they let a functional miners' chassis go to waste. I just can't accept any argument that erasing people's minds and identities in order to make them happy slaves isn't way, way worse than killing them.

It's much the same thing, surely?

Warcry
2014-11-01, 05:53 AM
I would assume the panic bubble has it's own separate battery that tops itself up as necessary off of Trailmix's normal energon supply or when he recharges. It's an emergency tool, one might expect such a thing to be able to run separate from regular power.
I...guess? I mean, if he's actually dead then that has to be how it works, but I honestly can't see any logical design reason for that.

Obviously we're building to a DJD vs. Megatron and LL confrontation soon, but with Megatron in a weakened state, he's going to need a trump card. I had assumed a strong new body or substantial upgrades, with Brainstorm-tech to finally tap a black hole, but that doesn't seem like a possibility what with Brainstorm taking a little trip. So the next likely option is the thing everyone has been expecting since the start of this season confirmed they were all on board: Defensor.
Wouldn't you need Brainstorm to make Defensor too, though? Ratchet probably could do it on his own but I can't imagine him agreeing to do so.

I hope you're right though, more Protectobots is always a good thing.

Part of how satisfying this issue is alludes to Trailbreaker's fate. I mean, we've more or less seen bots had worse things happen to them, but it was nobodies or red shirts. Seeing it happen [off panel too] to a genuine A-lister was a bit shocking. I keep wondering if he wasn't spent from helping Vos if he could fare better. I keep forgetting that for DJD standards, Kaon is small, but for regular bot standards, he's actually well built and tall.
Trailbreaker has tons of guns, forcefields and turns into a rugged SUV, while Kaon is seemingly blind, at least somewhat damaged, has no weapons (given he's got barely any energy, he probably can't charge up his Tesla coils) and turns into a chair. If Trailbreaker hadn't saved Vos I think he would have been able to beat him handily, though since Kaon is part of the *swoon* ultra-badass DJD he may have Mary Sued his way to victory regardless.

...I'm starting to sound like Cliffy, aren't I?

A complaint on the art is that Vos goes from "horrifically scorched and unable to ID" back to his regular colours as soon as they prop him up on the chair.
I couldn't figure out which of those was right -- was he beaten up so badly that he was almost scrap, or did the artist just draw him that way until we were supposed to know who he was?

Pre-war stuff...okay, brand new territory [and more or less retconning or making Megatron-Origin seem less awkward] but it sadly works against it somehow. Roberts is going out of his way to make Megatron look like an anti hero, a genuine victim, 100% justified etc. It basically builds him up as a hero, and all the evil doings of the Decepticons being attributed to the likes of DJD. Between Soundwave's more recent "neutrally good" stance, Starscream's general benevolent sneakiness, Shockwave's general machinations and Megatron's justified actions, I kind of struggle to see how these 4 figureheads were the spearheads of such a "vile" movement.
Good people can do bad things in the name of a cause, or in the heat of the moment, but yeah...it does strain credulity a bit that all of the previously-malevolent main Decepticons are actually really nice guys who were just misunderstood. If it was just Megatron, that would be one thing -- if he was a good guy to start but his message attracted bad people who encouraged him to listen to his darker impulses. But when the people around him are being portrayed as no worse than most of the Autobots, you really start to wonder why scum like Tarn or Turmoil or Overlord were tolerated even for a moment.

It's much the same thing, surely?
In one case, Megatron is dead and gone. In the other, his corpse is being driven around by a brainwashed puppet with (at least some) of his memories who has assumed his identity and made a mockery of everything the real Megatron stood for. It would be comparable to becoming a zombie, and if there's anything that all zombie fiction agrees on, it's that death is vastly preferable to having your reanimated corpse become a tool that's used against those you cared for in life.

And Zombie Megatron would absolutely be used against the Decepticons. Just like Pious Maximus, he would have been trotted out by the Institute to recant his beliefs in public in an effort to cut the legs out of the Decepticon movement. I doubt it would have worked, though. Decepticonism was going strong during Shadowplay with Megatron nowhere in sight, and just like countless "go back in time to kill Hitler" sci-fi stories you'd just find someone else taking Megatron's place when the political movement turned into a violent revolution.

Terome
2014-11-01, 05:50 PM
Warcry: Just like Pious Maximus, he would have been trotted out by the Institute to recant his beliefs in public in an effort to cut the legs out of the Decepticon movement.

Oh jeez, I'd forgotten Pious Maximus. That poor, poor man. I guess Ultra Magnus finally put him down.


Trailbreaker has tons of guns, forcefields and turns into a rugged SUV, while Kaon is seemingly blind, at least somewhat damaged, has no weapons (given he's got barely any energy, he probably can't charge up his Tesla coils) and turns into a chair. If Trailbreaker hadn't saved Vos I think he would have been able to beat him handily, though since Kaon is part of the *swoon* ultra-badass DJD he may have Mary Sued his way to victory regardless.


I can totally buy that Trailcutter was weakened and caught off-guard and so Kaon was able to easily get the upper hand. In a fair fight, maybe it wouldn't have been so decisive but what would be the fun in that?

Unicron: So the next likely option is the thing everyone has been expecting since the start of this season confirmed they were all on board: Defensor.

Gah, I hope they leave all that silly business out of this book.

Knightdramon: Roberts is going out of his way to make Megatron look like an anti hero, a genuine victim, 100% justified etc. It basically builds him up as a hero, and all the evil doings of the Decepticons being attributed to the likes of DJD.

I think that's deliberate at this stage. I can't see Roberts having any intention of completely whitewashing Megatron's past. It's clear in the timeline we have now that Megatron just kind of lost his mind quite early on in the war. The way he was talking about Simanzi back in Dark Cybertron did not strike me as the words of an anti-hero or someone who has a shred of compassion left in him.

Podcast made some good listening though I'm a little tentative to be privy to all this Word-of-Godding. I guess I could just stop following Roberts on Twitter and reading all his interviews but then I'd be out the loop!

inflatable dalek
2014-11-01, 06:10 PM
Unless that's yet another method of faking you out, by invoking something that he knows UK readers will assume is a flat "he's dead". :glance:

Actually, I hadn't even entertained the possibility that Trailbreaker was meant to be dead until I came here, read the reactions and saw people making the connection to Legacy. I think that's an art fail though, because in the panel accompanied by the "krik" or whatever, Trailbreaker's brain module looks more like a slightly deformed balloon than something that's been permanently smashed. And we don't see the finished product of the squashing, either. On my first read-through I had the impression that DJD Mary Sue #4 was theatening to smoosh TB's brain, not that he actually had.

I didn't spot the sound effect right off, but I am surprised to see a few people say they didn't immediately think Trailbreaker was supposed to be dead (nearly as much as I was that the people who did assume that were really, really upset about it and that was the reaction that had mildly surprised Roberts), the poor guy's brain module is squished on page, that seems to be trying very, very hard to go "This is a proper death" (though who knows, with a time travel plot coming up...).


Also, if Trailbreaker is dead shouldn't his forcefield have turned off?

I think that works on the same principal as the bit in Chaos Theory[/I[ where Pax is not only able to transform his dead friend but ride his motorbike mode. Some autonomous functions seem to carry on for Transformers even after death.



I disagree. (How shocking, I know!)

I disagree with your disagreement!

There's two rather large differences between the two, IMO. Denyer covered the first. If they'd just taken Megatron out back and shot him...well, that would still be awful but at least it would be reasonably civilized. Instead they undertook to erase everything that made him who he is and replace him with a totally new Government-Approved Person™, because Primus forbid they let a functional miners' chassis go to waste. I just can't accept any argument that erasing people's minds and identities in order to make them happy slaves isn't way, way worse than killing them.

Say that when examining Vos that First Aid had found he had a chemical imbalance in the brain that was the source of his murderous impulses and a simple bit of surgery would completely remove them. Vos in his current state of mind would (literally) violently object to this. Would it be morally wrong for him cut open his head and fix the problem?

Now, obviously Megatron isn't Vos bad at this point in time, but Trepan's stance would be exactly the same- Megs is mentally ill and his consent or not is irrelevant. And that isn't in and of itself a wrong viewpoint, Doctor's, especially when dealing with brain complaints, frequently do have to deal with patients against their will in terms of giving out medication or surgery and doing things that will alter their personalities, usually drastically. That doesn't put them on the same level as executioners.

Trepan is morally wrong of course, but it's not a "Under no circumstances" situation unless all doctors are inherently evil on principal.


But secondly and IMO more importantly -- Megatron hadn't actually [i]done anything yet! He'd been jailed and slated for mind-rape for thoughtcrimes. Vos on the other hand was personally complicit in the brutal, completely unjustifiable murders of over 200 innocent Autobots (and Whirl too!) that we know of, on top of whatever other over-the-top atrocities the DJD have committed against victims on both sides of the conflict in whatever length of time he's been a member. He fully deserved a bullet to the brain.

The thing with Vos is, that even though he's an especially bad example, it's been made very clear at this point that the rest of the Galaxy (and who else can judge the Transformers war crimes from an impartial perspective?) consider both armies to be as bad as each other, Bluestreak himself would probably count as a war criminal by any reasonable standard (indeed, trying to refuse medical aid to a dying enemy soldier would probably count as such), post war can they really count their past crimes against them or is everyone damned equally?

Plus- none of our three know about the ALL at this stage, so that can't come into their debate.


Trailbreaker has tons of guns, forcefields and turns into a rugged SUV, while Kaon is seemingly blind, at least somewhat damaged, has no weapons (given he's got barely any energy, he probably can't charge up his Tesla coils) and turns into a chair. If Trailbreaker hadn't saved Vos I think he would have been able to beat him handily, though since Kaon is part of the *swoon* ultra-badass DJD he may have Mary Sued his way to victory regardless.

...I'm starting to sound like Cliffy, aren't I?

Only in that I'm not sure what you're complaining about ;).

You've basically imagined a way the scene could have been done quite badly that Roberts has clearly avoided deliberately so as not to make the DJD as insanely Mary Sueish as you fear, and then you've gotten quite annoyed about it. Despite the entire scenario only being in your head- if anything I'd have a word with yourself. :p



Good people can do bad things in the name of a cause, or in the heat of the moment, but yeah...it does strain credulity a bit that all of the previously-malevolent main Decepticons are actually really nice guys who were just misunderstood. If it was just Megatron, that would be one thing -- if he was a good guy to start but his message attracted bad people who encouraged him to listen to his darker impulses. But when the people around him are being portrayed as no worse than most of the Autobots, you really start to wonder why scum like Tarn or Turmoil or Overlord were tolerated even for a moment.

Of course, we still don't really know if Megatron's genuinely reformed... As for the others Knightdramon mentioned, I'm not seeing any drastic change in stance here. Starscream has always been a sneaky opportunist, Soundwave has practical common sense about 50% of the time and Shockwave wanted to destroy the entire Universe which seems a pretty strange definition of him being a misunderstood nice guy.


Actually, on a similar note to my random thought about how Pax trying to think things is where things started to go really wrong...

Megatron trying to follow his generally good ideals led to nothing but misery and four million years of war and death. Trailbreaker trying to follow those same ideals and apply them to his own life to give it some meaning resulted in his own horrible death. That's an actually fairly cynical and dark view of self improvement isn't it?

Auntie Slag
2014-11-01, 06:24 PM
Even though I liked the use of phones in this issue, it does seem unusual when, back in ‘Death of Optimus Prime’ we saw Pax, Sideswipe and Prowl communicating without them, or at least with Madonna style mic attachments built into their helmets. So it would be interesting to know what the explanation is as to why some robots have seemingly in-built communications and others need phones.

On the contrary to what Zigsagger said on the first page of this thread, I think Roberts has a lot of reverence for Megatron: Origin. I certainly like it and it feels like so much has been built from it, rather than it being retconned, so I agree with Knightdramon’s thoughts on this point.

Continuing on with what Unicron said about First Aid’s T-cog never being repaired in Delphi; I wonder if Pharma needed to keep him that way because, from a Functionist viewpoint, First Aid was too important a resource to let die from the plague. Pharma faked the data on Sonic and Boom, perhaps he was also able to create an elaborate explanation as to why First Aid’s T-cog couldn’t be repaired at the time?

I absolutely loved this issue. Something has been bugging me about the World Shut Your Mouth storyline, I don’t know what… I’m just not enamoured by it, apart from the first issue. This one however, is wonderful. Megatron and Terminus were hugely compelling. I love the fact that (Senator) Shockwave was making dangerous changes to the face of Cybertron by limiting the power of the Functionists.

By his actions Shockwave has indirectly contributed to the creation of both Prime and Megatron and revealed to the reader that it was the Autobots who have been deceived all this time, even though their intentions are good. I also loved Shockwave’s thinking behind it; that perhaps he knew Froid and Rung would never agree, putting a serious dent in the use of Shadowplay.

I’m intrigued as to how someone is able to warp in and out of Trailcutters forcefields. I thought they were utterly impregnable. Skywarp for example wouldn’t be flustered at all by one. I thought it would have been more interesting to have First Aid, Mainframe & Bluestreak pacing around the panic bubble a la Darth Maul in Episode I, itching for the second he can get to Qui Gon Jinn (that was a brilliant moment in the film). Split second beaming by Helex would’ve been required to save Kaon from a pulping and also kept Trailcutters bubbles impermeable.

Megatron’s reaction to Chromedome is now revealed in painful detail. What must Megatron truly think of Prime? If he could properly convince him they could change Cybertron the way Megatron and Shockwave wanted, as in for the better.

And further, how utterly scared would Megatron be if he knew what Chromedome knows; that Overlord did indeed glean some decent mnemonic skills from Trepan? Overlord was desperate to confront Megatron again, but perhaps his plan wasn’t simply to kill him. To kill him isn’t really enough damage, he’d surely want to ruin his mind, and perhaps Trepan told him much more than we know right now about how to do it. After all, Chromedome was genuinely shocked at how good Overlord’s mnemonic skills were, and in that field it must take a serious amount to impress a mind-warping wunderkind like Chromedome!

The DJD are utterly horrible. Megatron is up there with them seeing as he commissioned them, and has done things just as bad as they. Right now (apart from Tarn) they are blank slates enjoying masterful kills, in much the same way as Frenzy’s tech-spec. I’m hoping they get some more characterisation (before they are destroyed I guess), and not just Tarn, but at least one of the others. It also makes me wonder, if its so easy to out-and-out hate the DJD (especially after what Kaon did to Trailcutter), then what on earth has the likeable bunny Misfire done to make the near-perfect Skids hate him so much? I can’t wait to see that confrontation, or rather everything that revolves around that story!

I quite like the way all this links to Topspin’s outburst to Ironfist in LSotW; bad things happen to good people, so deal with it (or something like that). That’s certainly Megatron and everything that’s happened since these blasted Functionists.

So are Froid and Rung on personal terms with the Functionists? We've never seen them, only the odd member of the Senate (Decimus, Shockwave, Proteus, the guy who abducted Senator Shockwave with the help of The Heavies). I wonder when they will turn up, and equally whether anyone will explain the existence of Outliers?

inflatable dalek
2014-11-01, 06:30 PM
On the contrary to what Zigsagger said on the first page of this thread, I think Roberts has a lot of reverence for Megatron: Origin. I certainly like it and it feels like so much has been built from it, rather than it being retconned, so I agree with Knightdramon’s thoughts on this point.


I don't know, both times I've seen/heard interviews with Roberts where he's talked about how he and Barber aren't slaves to continuity and will ignore things if they're minor and the new idea is better, he's offered Megatron: Origin up as the totally randomly chosen example of a story they might not have complete fidelity to.

Of course, the first time I heard him mention this it was in relation to background characters, and in retrospect he obviously meant the white Ultra Magnus standing next to Orion Pax at the minibot funeral (the various fembots having already been retoconed hard by Furman. Which made his claim that he hates retcons when his retcon got retconned by Scott all the odder).

Unicron
2014-11-01, 06:45 PM
I...guess? I mean, if he's actually dead then that has to be how it works, but I honestly can't see any logical design reason for that.
Think of it like those emergency lights in schools and other large buildings. One of their uses is to kick on when the power goes out, so it's kind of useless for them to simply run off the building's power. I would liken the panic bubble to those.

Wouldn't you need Brainstorm to make Defensor too, though? Ratchet probably could do it on his own but I can't imagine him agreeing to do so.

I hope you're right though, more Protectobots is always a good thing.
Perceptor is on board still, no? Him, Ratchet, First Aid and any other science/engineering/medical specialists on board could all work together on it. Hell, Megatron would probably consult on it, since he had combiner tech built into one of his recent bodies and he's known to have been after the tech for forever. Stands to reason he'd have some knowledge on the subject.

Warcry
2014-11-01, 08:35 PM
I can totally buy that Trailcutter was weakened and caught off-guard and so Kaon was able to easily get the upper hand. In a fair fight, maybe it wouldn't have been so decisive but what would be the fun in that?
I suppose it depends on how you define "fair fight". The scenario Knightdramon alluded to above wasn't really "fair" IMO, since it pitted a 100% Trailbreaker against a severely weakened Kaon. If they were both 100%, I'd probably give the edge to the 'Con (those Tesla coils are going to seriously mess a bot up at close range).

I didn't spot the sound effect right off, but I am surprised to see a few people say they didn't immediately think Trailbreaker was supposed to be dead (nearly as much as I was that the people who did assume that were really, really upset about it and that was the reaction that had mildly surprised Roberts), the poor guy's brain module is squished on page, that seems to be trying very, very hard to go "This is a proper death" (though who knows, with a time travel plot coming up...).
Except not really, going by the art. If it was supposed to be squished the artist did a terrible job of showing that, because the art doesn't convey that meaning at all (strictly IMO of course). That's what I'm trying to say.

Say that when examining Vos that First Aid had found he had a chemical imbalance in the brain that was the source of his murderous impulses and a simple bit of surgery would completely remove them. Vos in his current state of mind would (literally) violently object to this. Would it be morally wrong for him cut open his head and fix the problem?
You're damned right it would be wrong! It's is absolutely ghastly to perform surgery on a patient without their consent unless it's immediately necessary to save their life. And not even then, if they make it clear they wouldn't want it. Doctors aren't gods and they don't get to ignore their patients' fundamental rights as a sentient being just because they think they know better. Just because Vos is evil doesn't mean that he loses the right to decide whether or not he accepts medical treatment. An absolutely batshit mental patient (which, just to be clear, neither Megatron nor Vos are anywhere near being) might need to be medicated to keep them from hurting themselves, but invasive brain surgery? We stopped lobotomizing people decades ago and for good reason.

Now, obviously Megatron isn't Vos bad at this point in time, but Trepan's stance would be exactly the same- Megs is mentally ill and his consent or not is irrelevant. And that isn't in and of itself a wrong viewpoint, Doctor's, especially when dealing with brain complaints, frequently do have to deal with patients against their will in terms of giving out medication or surgery and doing things that will alter their personalities, usually drastically. That doesn't put them on the same level as executioners.
If we were talking about ethical doctors pursuing legitimate treatments, perhaps. But let's not kid ourselves. I don't think for a second that Trepan or Froid actually believe that Megatron is in any way "ill". There's no way to make a judgment like that from reading someone's file for a few seconds. They're regime hatchet men, and they'd been told what to do with him before they got on that shuttle. Frankly, the only reason those two were sent instead of an assassin is because they wanted a puppet wearing Megatron's body to denounce the Decepticon cause once the threat had been neutralized.

When "doctors" pretend that enemies of the regime are mentally ill and perform unnecessary procedures on them to make them more docile, they goddamn well are on the same level of executioners, if not worse.

The thing with Vos is, that even though he's an especially bad example, it's been made very clear at this point that the rest of the Galaxy (and who else can judge the Transformers war crimes from an impartial perspective?) consider both armies to be as bad as each other, Bluestreak himself would probably count as a war criminal by any reasonable standard (indeed, trying to refuse medical aid to a dying enemy soldier would probably count as such), post war can they really count their past crimes against them or is everyone damned equally?
The difference is that the DJD have continued to commit atrocities (against both sides) in the three or four years after the war (somehow) officially ended with AHM. When everyone else basically threw their hands up, agreed that they'd had enough and tried to have a fresh start, Tarn and co. said "LOLNO" and continued on with torturing Decepticons to death for mostly-imagined crimes while showing no compunction about slaughtering noncombatants aboard an "enemy" ship. They're basically a terrorist group at this point, not soldiers.

As for what Bluestreak, Mainframe and First Aid did in denying a transfusion to Vos...I dunno. You can't really force someone to donate blood (or the equivalent), can you? Even to save a life. How is that any different from holding a draft and forcing people to "donate" a kidney to get someone off of dialysis? And would Vos have even wanted Autobot Energon in his veins? TNG did a good episode about that, with Worf and a Romulan (and it was all the stronger, IMO, for not trying to preach to us about which was the right choice).

Plus- none of our three know about the ALL at this stage, so that can't come into their debate.
I guess? Without knowing when this happens it's hard to say what they do and don't know. There was some confusion about the timeline up above, wasn't there? But either way that's hardly the only time the DJD have attacked Autobots since the war ended -- we hear about a battle with them in Bullets, and it sounded like they were still in full-on supervillain mode in Delphi. So even if they didn't know about what happened in orbit they're well aware that the DJD are continuing to butcher their kind with impunity.

You've basically imagined a way the scene could have been done quite badly that Roberts has clearly avoided deliberately so as not to make the DJD as insanely Mary Sueish as you fear, and then you've gotten quite annoyed about it. Despite the entire scenario only being in your head- if anything I'd have a word with yourself. :p
I'm not the one who asked the question. I just answered how I thought it would have played out going off of how the DJD have been portrayed to date.

Just to be clear, I do appreciate Roberts finding a way to avoid making them look like Mary Sues for once. If he keeps it up I may eventually stop groaning every time they show up!

Of course, we still don't really know if Megatron's genuinely reformed... As for the others Knightdramon mentioned, I'm not seeing any drastic change in stance here. Starscream has always been a sneaky opportunist, Soundwave has practical common sense about 50% of the time and Shockwave wanted to destroy the entire Universe which seems a pretty strange definition of him being a misunderstood nice guy.
Fair point. The comics are in a strange place now though, where the main villains really haven't reformed or started behaving any differently, but they've started to be presented in a sympathetic way regardless. With Megatron it's been well done, but with the others it's been a bit ham-handed. Starscream in particular should have been overthrown or assassinated about fifty times for acting the way he does.

I’m intrigued as to how someone is able to warp in and out of Trailcutters forcefields. I thought they were utterly impregnable. Skywarp for example wouldn’t be flustered at all by one.
I sort of scratched my head about this too. If magical teleporter energy can go through it, then why not lasers?

Think of it like those emergency lights in schools and other large buildings. One of their uses is to kick on when the power goes out, so it's kind of useless for them to simply run off the building's power. I would liken the panic bubble to those.
I guess? It doesn't really make much sense though. The bubble is there to protect him. If he's dead, he doesn't need protecting (or the forcefield) anymore.

Perceptor is on board still, no? Him, Ratchet, First Aid and any other science/engineering/medical specialists on board could all work together on it. Hell, Megatron would probably consult on it, since he had combiner tech built into one of his recent bodies and he's known to have been after the tech for forever. Stands to reason he'd have some knowledge on the subject.
I forgot about Perceptor! Yeah, he could probably do it.

Death's Head
2014-11-01, 09:05 PM
I thought MTMTE was being spared "Combiner Wars"?

Auntie Slag
2014-11-01, 09:21 PM
I can't see anything wrong with combiner wars. Its always been an interesting concept, melding five minds, and I've not really seen a decent stab at it in Transformers comics.
It would be interesting to see what James Roberts would do with the idea.

The best example I've seen so far was in Cliffjumpers fanfic; where Defensor squared off against Galvatron. In the sequence, Galvatron damaged Defensor's leg (Groove in this case) essentially knocking that limb unconscious, it removed the drifter element and made the Gestalt a thoroughly more destructive killing machine who was about to finish off Galvatron when Hotspot gave the issue to separate because, you know, killing is wrong.

There must be loads of room for experimentation with gestalts. What if one of them is feeling a bit depressed, has taken some Syk, or been taken sick? Menasor was made up of components who detested Motormaster. I always thought that was an interesting idea, but nothing ever came of it.

[Edit] I notice Trailbreaker/Cutter was still wearing the headcam that Riptide asked him to wear back in issue 29. I wonder if there's any significance to that, and does it mean Riptide or anyone else got a front row seat to witness his demise? Could they also communicate with him via the headcam? Or perhaps its nothing and the artist was using issue 29 as a reference.

Knightdramon
2014-11-02, 12:40 AM
Some things I need to chime in...

Most people [myself included] did not realize Trailbreaker died because of the art of that specific panel. It basically seems like Kaon is just holding the brain module up close towards the camera/panel.

Trailbreaker is NOT as powerful as people make him out to be. Sorry guys. He's a part of the ethics committee, generally dislikes guns [you'd think a guy at war for 4 millions years would not misspell every single weapon in his Spotlight issue, and opt for a gravity switch] and the only guns on his person are the relatively newly installed knee guns. All the junk on his back are/were possibly for his force field. Kaon, on the other hand...until we get definitive proof that he's indeed blind, I'm just going for black eyes.

As for the big 4, yes, their characters really mellowed with the past 2 years of storylines and retcons...but we have...

Soundwave the freedom fighter, who wants justice and peace in RID and equality for all oppressed bots
Starscream the benevolent leader who at the face of trouble goes into a catatonic state and doesn't harm anybody [he's seriously killed 3 people so far in RID...and he's supposed to be like the second strongest Decepticon. Or second most skilled]
Shockwave the good guy who wants survival of his species, then gets shadowplayed and still wants survival for his species but doesn't care if somebody dies

And Megatron.

Somewhere along the line IDW made them all too likable or benevolent to work as EVIL villains. Villains, yes, but not as evil as before. Even Megatron's "I'd go through a thousand corpses and through seas of oil to get to the last autobot" line was stated to have been a hoax to spite Optimus.

Unicron
2014-11-02, 01:37 AM
I thought MTMTE was being spared "Combiner Wars"?
Officially it's supposed to be contained to just the Transformers title (formerly RID), last I heard anyway. There's nothing saying Roberts can't do his own take on it though. He's got an out for his (potential) version being different from the others over in RID, as one built on the Lost Light would use a different process, etc.

I'm also inclined to think Hasbro has plans for the combiner molds and theme beyond what we've already been shown. I really expect repaints, remolds, and new molds to be utilized to give us at least another pair (I can see a voyager Hot Spot and Onslaught sharing a base mold easily, just swap the ladder for an artillery piece/cannon). And with Hasbro's recent penchant for having the current toys show up in comics, I can see the combiner aspect popping up in MTMTE eventually, even if the subtitle and whole mess from RID don't.

Death's Head
2014-11-02, 07:20 PM
I can't see anything wrong with combiner wars. Its always been an interesting concept, melding five minds, and I've not really seen a decent stab at it in Transformers comics.
It would be interesting to see what James Roberts would do with the idea.

The best example I've seen so far was in Cliffjumpers fanfic; where Defensor squared off against Galvatron. In the sequence, Galvatron damaged Defensor's leg (Groove in this case) essentially knocking that limb unconscious, it removed the drifter element and made the Gestalt a thoroughly more destructive killing machine who was about to finish off Galvatron when Hotspot gave the issue to separate because, you know, killing is wrong.

There must be loads of room for experimentation with gestalts. What if one of them is feeling a bit depressed, has taken some Syk, or been taken sick? Menasor was made up of components who detested Motormaster. I always thought that was an interesting idea, but nothing ever came of it.

I agree with all of that. There's some massively interesting science-fiction waiting to be written around the idea of combiners. Transformers approached this in the early days (The Return of the Transformers (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/The_Return_of_the_Transformers) springs to mind) and I'd love to see it explored more, but I can't see a Hasbro-mandated toy advert doing that for me. Not after Dark Cybertron (which admittedly did give my moth-eaten wallet a break).

inflatable dalek
2014-11-05, 09:14 PM
late reply due to me being very busy the last few days Doing A Thing.


Except not really, going by the art. If it was supposed to be squished the artist did a terrible job of showing that, because the art doesn't convey that meaning at all (strictly IMO of course). That's what I'm trying to say.

Fair enough, but based on the twitter meltdown readers who found the art confusing were greatly outnumbered by those that did decide Trailbreaker was dead and were very upset (as Roberts was responding to people who really, really disliked the decision to a "I'm not going to read any more" level, he's unlikely to have ignored those simply asking if Trailbreaker had actually died).


You're damned right it would be wrong! It's is absolutely ghastly to perform surgery on a patient without their consent unless it's immediately necessary to save their life. And not even then, if they make it clear they wouldn't want it. Doctors aren't gods and they don't get to ignore their patients' fundamental rights as a sentient being just because they think they know better. Just because Vos is evil doesn't mean that he loses the right to decide whether or not he accepts medical treatment. An absolutely batshit mental patient (which, just to be clear, neither Megatron nor Vos are anywhere near being) might need to be medicated to keep them from hurting themselves, but invasive brain surgery? We stopped lobotomizing people decades ago and for good reason.

But Doctor's can and do make choices for patients considered unfit to decide for themselves every day, sometimes with disastrous results to be sure (there's no shortage of medication that turned out to have nasty side effects, or people being "Treated" for things which would no longer consider mental illness), but there are folks who are genuinely unable to decide what's best for them and the doctor's treating them are certainly not monsters.

If we were talking about ethical doctors pursuing legitimate treatments, perhaps. But let's not kid ourselves. I don't think for a second that Trepan or Froid actually believe that Megatron is in any way "ill".

I'd say the scary thing is, however flippant they might be (and Ratchet was taking the piss out of Megatron to his face whilst fixing him in Dark Cybertron), Trepan and Froid- plus the functionalists in general- do absolutely beleive what they're doing is right and their civilisation hinges upon everyone knowing their place and function.


The difference is that the DJD have continued to commit atrocities (against both sides) in the three or four years after the war (somehow) officially ended with AHM. When everyone else basically threw their hands up, agreed that they'd had enough and tried to have a fresh start, Tarn and co. said "LOLNO" and continued on with torturing Decepticons to death for mostly-imagined crimes while showing no compunction about slaughtering noncombatants aboard an "enemy" ship. They're basically a terrorist group at this point, not soldiers.

Do any of our boys know about that though? Everyone's scared of the DJD as boogy men and we've had a sign of what they've been up to, but I don't think the Lost Light crew have had any real indication that they're still active and haven't taken up horticulture before finding the ALL (and again, Bluestreak and co don't know about that).

Mind, Vos is of course still an extreme war criminal, but that's something for a level of authority way beyond Bluestreak to deal with (it probably would have meant Vos being made Admiral of the Autobot fleet).

As for what Bluestreak, Mainframe and First Aid did in denying a transfusion to Vos...I dunno. You can't really force someone to donate blood (or the equivalent), can you? Even to save a life. How is that any different from holding a draft and forcing people to "donate" a kidney to get someone off of dialysis? And would Vos have even wanted Autobot Energon in his veins? TNG did a good episode about that, with Worf and a Romulan (and it was all the stronger, IMO, for not trying to preach to us about which was the right choice).

That is a fantastic episode of TNG, though I always thought it was a shame Worf was given a slightly easy out by the Romulan telling him outright he didn't want Klingon blood.

But equally, whilst Worf had every right to decide his own personal code of ethics, he made that choice when he joined Star Fleet, an organisation that requires its members to live by a specific standard (as Picard eventually calls Worf out on when he stabs Duras to death and he tries to use the "It's cool with the Klingon way" excuse). With a less sympathetic commander that would have effectively ended his Federation career, especially as if not for the luck of there being another Romulan on the planet who could be used to prove Tomolak had lied the death of the patient would have started a Romulan/Federation war.

Equally, the Autobots have a firm code of behaviour (as Ultra Magnus so likes to share). Bluestreak made his choice about what his ethical standards are when he signed up (and he's still a badge wearing Autobot. Though thinking on it, it's not been very well established exactly what the standing of everyone is in relation to still being enlisted).



Fair point. The comics are in a strange place now though, where the main villains really haven't reformed or started behaving any differently, but they've started to be presented in a sympathetic way regardless. With Megatron it's been well done, but with the others it's been a bit ham-handed. Starscream in particular should have been overthrown or assassinated about fifty times for acting the way he does.

That's just the old "Every villain is the hero of his own story" thing though, them being given motivations that make sense from their points of view (well, bar Shockwave whose plan still makes no sense) isn't the same as them being nice people by any other standard.

I do disagree with Knightdramon though about Shockwave being sympathetic just because he thought he was doing the best for his species by destroying the entire Universe (?!), that's like those Sentinel Prime apologists who moan about Optimus being so mean to him in Dark of the Moon for just wanting to enslave humanity.


I sort of scratched my head about this too. If magical teleporter energy can go through it, then why not lasers?

Whilst Trek has conditioned us to think transporters can't work through shields (except when they can), has Transformers ever gone with that?

inflatable dalek
2014-11-05, 09:36 PM
And thinking on the brain surgery side of things...

Pure speculation, but considering the brain module has been established as one of three absolutely essential parts of any Transformer, operations on it pretty much have to be fairly common don't they? Nearly everything else can be ripped off and replaced if need be but when the brain module is gone it's gone and everything would have to be done to fix it

Warcry
2014-11-05, 10:59 PM
Can I just stop for a second and say how awesome it is that a Transformers comic is bringing up discussions like this? It's almost like it's becoming real, grown-up fiction now! :)

Fair enough, but based on the twitter meltdown readers who found the art confusing were greatly outnumbered by those that did decide Trailbreaker was dead and were very upset (as Roberts was responding to people who really, really disliked the decision to a "I'm not going to read any more" level, he's unlikely to have ignored those simply asking if Trailbreaker had actually died).
Obviously I can't speak for those people, but we've got at least two people here (myself and Knightdramon) saying that we didn't get the intending meaning from that panel. And I'm sure there's more. So at the very least, the intended dramatic impact was lost on some of us.

And are people seriously freaking out about Trailbreaker dying? I mean...Trailbreaker? Really? He barely even had a personality. It's a bit of a waste to kill him before he got to do anything meaningful, I agree, but it obviously happened for big plot reasons (pushing the LL/DJD confrontation) rather than simply shock value.

But Doctor's can and do make choices for patients considered unfit to decide for themselves every day, sometimes with disastrous results to be sure (there's no shortage of medication that turned out to have nasty side effects, or people being "Treated" for things which would no longer consider mental illness), but there are folks who are genuinely unable to decide what's best for them and the doctor's treating them are certainly not monsters.
To a certain extent and when there's no other option, perhaps. But considering how often those "benign" involuntary treatments seem to get reclassified as "atrocities" by future generations? I'm not especially sanguine about doctors having carte blanche to decide what's best for their patients. There's a good reason why medical treatments usually need to be cleared through an incapacitated person's next-of-kin rather than society just telling doctors to do what they think is best -- the next-of-kin are supposed to know what the patient themselves would want.

Sometimes that means the patient doesn't get the ideal treatment, but I'd much rather have that than some stranger making decisions for me just because they've got a stethoscope and a lab coat.

I'd say the scary thing is, however flippant they might be (and Ratchet was taking the piss out of Megatron to his face whilst fixing him in Dark Cybertron), Trepan and Froid- plus the functionalists in general- do absolutely beleive what they're doing is right and their civilisation hinges upon everyone knowing their place and function.
The expression on Trepan's face while he's working on Megatron puts the lie to that, IMO. In that moment he's clearly a bully taking a great deal of pleasure exerting his dominance over someone lower on the social totem pole than he is. Likewise, if Froid had any ethics at all he would meet with his patient and try to cure him through noninvasive means before scheduling him for brain surgery. Even the laziest of doctors wouldn't proscribe such drastic treatment without actually examining the patient first.

That's not to say that they don't think they're doing what's right for the cause, but they're not doing it because they think it's medically necessary. They're doing it because it's politically necessary, because it's necessary to protect the system. It's the equivalent of a doctor in 1800s Georgia amputating the tongue from a slave who was telling his fellows that they didn't have to put up with their lot in life. If they're willing to do that, they're in gross breach of medical ethics and should probably look for a different career choice (which ironically, the system they're defending would forbid them to do...).

Sidenote: how in the world is Rung a psychiatrist on Functionist Cybertron? He's classified as an ornament. Shouldn't he be on display in a museum somewhere?

Do any of our boys know about that though? Everyone's scared of the DJD as boogy men and we've had a sign of what they've been up to, but I don't think the Lost Light crew have had any real indication that they're still active and haven't taken up horticulture before finding the ALL (and again, Bluestreak and co don't know about that).
First Aid and anyone else left on the ship from Delphi would. The DJD base was on the same planet as the hospital and they were treating soldiers injured in battles with them well after AHM (in Bullets). Exactly what they were doing isn't clear, but they were definitely prosecuting a war that everyone else agreed was over and we've seen more than once what their idea of fair battle tactics is.

But equally, whilst Worf had every right to decide his own personal code of ethics, he made that choice when he joined Star Fleet, an organisation that requires its members to live by a specific standard (as Picard eventually calls Worf out on when he stabs Duras to death and he tries to use the "It's cool with the Klingon way" excuse). With a less sympathetic commander that would have effectively ended his Federation career, especially as if not for the luck of there being another Romulan on the planet who could be used to prove Tomolak had lied the death of the patient would have started a Romulan/Federation war.
Actually, the episode made it sound like they couldn't hold it against Worf or order him to do it due to Starfleet's rather idealistic regulations. In fact, I got the impression towards the end that Worf was practically begging Picard to order him because he knew it was the right thing to do but he couldn't do it without an honourable excuse. Starfleet's regulations about personal behaviour seem to be absolutely insane, though, considering how many times their officers (not even just Worf!) are seen to run off and murder foreign nationals and/or commit acts of terrorism against foreign nations with absolutely zero consequences.

Equally, the Autobots have a firm code of behaviour (as Ultra Magnus so likes to share). Bluestreak made his choice about what his ethical standards are when he signed up (and he's still a badge wearing Autobot. Though thinking on it, it's not been very well established exactly what the standing of everyone is in relation to still being enlisted).
I'm not entirely sure that's true, in the IDWverse. The Autobot code is a ponderously bulky and bureaucratic thing, by the sounds of it, and in practice the only screener for becoming an Autobot seems to be "do you want to kill Decepticons?"

I mean, in theory it'd be nice if what you say is true, but in practice they employed Whirl for four million years.

Whilst Trek has conditioned us to think transporters can't work through shields (except when they can), has Transformers ever gone with that?
Transformers fiction almost never features any sort of transporter or shield anyway, so it's not had much to say either way. From a practical standpoint, though, forcefields that can be teleported through just aren't very useful.

Officially it's supposed to be contained to just the Transformers title (formerly RID), last I heard anyway. There's nothing saying Roberts can't do his own take on it though.
This, more or less. All IDW said is that MTMTE wouldn't be pulled into a crossover like last time, not that we wouldn't see combiners on the Lost Light at all. Given Hasbro's recent toy-cramming proclivities I think we well, but as its' own story arc not connected to the one on Earth/Cybertron.

And thinking on the brain surgery side of things...

Pure speculation, but considering the brain module has been established as one of three absolutely essential parts of any Transformer, operations on it pretty much have to be fairly common don't they? Nearly everything else can be ripped off and replaced if need be but when the brain module is gone it's gone and everything would have to be done to fix it
I don't think that necessarily follows. The spark is an absolutely essential part too, but slice yours in half and your doctors (other than Pharma apparently) won't have a clue how to fix it. Brain modules might be serviceable, but it's equally possible that you can't touch the hardware (as opposed to the software, via Shadowplay) without flat-out killing the patient. We don't really know enough to say at this point.

We might learn more next issue though, if First Aid and Ratchet try to put Trailbreaker's brain back together.

Unicron
2014-11-06, 01:45 AM
I'm not entirely sure that's true, in the IDWverse. The Autobot code is a ponderously bulky and bureaucratic thing, by the sounds of it, and in practice the only screener for becoming an Autobot seems to be "do you want to kill Decepticons?"

I mean, in theory it'd be nice if what you say is true, but in practice they employed Whirl for four million years.
My suspicion is that the bureaucracy of the Autobot Code in IDW is a result of legal minded people like Tyrest. They took a set of ideals and converted it to law, with all these fiddly little bits written in legalese.

I think you're right that the general qualifier is "not a Decepticon/want to kill Decepticons", with a rough set of rules that's basically 'don't be evil' while the Code is generally ignored as an actual set of rules/laws unless the situation calls for it.

I think Tailgate's rough assumption at the start of his lessons with Magnus is how it really works, while all the lessons Magnus put him through were just him being post-breakdown OCD about things. Had Magnus not been on the ship, or Tailgate been with another group of Autobots, it probably would have been something like 'So you want to be an Autobot? Ok. Here's the Do's and Don'ts and your temporary badge. Real one will arrive in the mail in 6-8 weeks'.

Death's Head
2014-11-06, 04:41 PM
I don't think that necessarily follows. The spark is an absolutely essential part too, but slice yours in half and your doctors (other than Pharma apparently) won't have a clue how to fix it. Brain modules might be serviceable, but it's equally possible that you can't touch the hardware (as opposed to the software, via Shadowplay)

But while the 'forged' are evidently born wholesale from the crust of Cybertron, bodies, brains and all, the 'constructed cold' are given pre-built bodies - so someone must have the know-how to create brain modules.

Warcry
2014-11-06, 05:08 PM
I think Tailgate's rough assumption at the start of his lessons with Magnus is how it really works, while all the lessons Magnus put him through were just him being post-breakdown OCD about things. Had Magnus not been on the ship, or Tailgate been with another group of Autobots, it probably would have been something like 'So you want to be an Autobot? Ok. Here's the Do's and Don'ts and your temporary badge. Real one will arrive in the mail in 6-8 weeks'.
I think you're probably right, in practice. In spite of having lots of rules, the application of their rules seem to be very lax (bordering on the nonexistent) as long as you're a net asset to the cause and don't do anything to publicly bring disgrace down on them. Which is fair enough, since they're embroiled in an existential war.

I imagine they got more and more lax over time as the war went on, too. Wasn't there something about how the "lessons" that newborns were taught got reduced time and again as the war went on until they were basically just slinging them out on the front lines as soon as they switched on?

But while the 'forged' are evidently born wholesale from the crust of Cybertron, bodies, brains and all, the 'constructed cold' are given pre-built bodies - so someone must have the know-how to create brain modules.
Building something from scratch and repairing it while it's in operation are two different things, though. I mean, try working on your car's engine while it's running and see how far you get. I don't doubt that they can take a brain apart and put it back together again. I'm just not sure the person who the brain belongs to would survive the process, or that they could switch out components without causing major behavioural changes.

(Are the Forged born whole? When we saw the hot spot on Luna 1, there was nothing in it but sparks.)

Death's Head
2014-11-06, 05:28 PM
Building something from scratch and repairing it while it's in operation are two different things, though. I mean, try working on your car's engine while it's running and see how far you get. I don't doubt that they can take a brain apart and put it back together again. I'm just not sure the person who the brain belongs to would survive the process, or that they could switch out components without causing major behavioural changes.

I wouldn't let me anywhere near a car's engine! But yeah, I see what you mean - though of course, the point of Shadowplay is to induce major behavioural change.

This is something I'd like to see explored actually - what happens if the spark survives but not the brain, or vice-versa. Do they do transplants - attaching a new brain to a new spark? Would it create an entirely new person?

(Are the Forged born whole? When we saw the hot spot on Luna 1, there was nothing in it but sparks.)

Admittedly, it's something of an assumption on my part, but I make it for several reasons:

One, when describing the 'constructed cold' they make a point of sparks being placed in 'pre-fab' bodies - they wouldn't make that distinction if the sparks from hot-spots were also placed in built bodies.

Two, because when Brainstorm harvests the spark it is said to come with 'sentio-metallico', which is a phrase James has used in his fanfics to describe the 'liquid metal' seen when the Transformers biomorphically replicate, as in G2 - and of course there, the sentio-metallico quickly forms into an entire Transformer.

The process in IDW presumably takes longer, but I suspect their nature is the same.

(As I recall, the prejudice between those born 'naturally' and artificially was first made by James reference to those born by biomorphic replication, and those Matrixed, possibly in Eugenesis.)

Finally, the Functionist doctrine categorises people according to alt mode, so if everyone is in pre-fabricated bodies who gave them the alt modes? Thus, it seems that at least those 'forged' are born with their alternate forms already in place - therefore strengthening the parallels to civil rights movements in real life).

(This also makes the relationship between the Functionists and the constructed cold quite interesting.)

Dead Man Wade
2014-11-06, 08:42 PM
To a certain extent and when there's no other option, perhaps. But considering how often those "benign" involuntary treatments seem to get reclassified as "atrocities" by future generations? I'm not especially sanguine about doctors having carte blanche to decide what's best for their patients. There's a good reason why medical treatments usually need to be cleared through an incapacitated person's next-of-kin rather than society just telling doctors to do what they think is best -- the next-of-kin are supposed to know what the patient themselves would want.

Sometimes that means the patient doesn't get the ideal treatment, but I'd much rather have that than some stranger making decisions for me just because they've got a stethoscope and a lab coat.

I should preface this by saying, I've not read IDW's output since the Spotlights first came out, so take this with a grain of salt.

Having said that...

You're ascribing a human (specifically, western) code of ethics upon an alien species that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't necessarily follow the same rules. Yes, they have humanistic appearances, and they're written by humans, and everything they do is going to ultimately be shot through the prism of human experience.

BUT, from a storytelling standpoint, there is no good reason why a non-human species developing its society far from human influence would arrive at the same code of ethics that we would.

Add to this the possibility that a society of sentient robots who can be repaired from the brink of death, and for whom death is very rarely anything more than an inconvenience, could easily wind up with a society that views one's personal rights as slightly more disposable than ours does.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-06, 11:18 PM
If Trailbreaker really is dead then… good going! I liked him (much like I liked Pipes), but something suggests its convenient to have Trailbreaker out of the way for now, otherwise ‘the one-trick pony’, as Whirl calls him, could trump a DJD attack by trapping Tarn & Co. in a bubble, or blocking their attacks against the crew.

I still find it very silly to imagine a force field can be negated simply by warping in and out. Trailbreaker is a special agent (according to Spotlight: Kup) with a unique ability.

And its not like Trailbreaker’s not had a chance to shine; he saw off Lockdown and Co. in his own Spotlight, had a good set-to with Megatron in the last few issues, made a drunken comment to Max and prevented a lot of them dying when Whirl set off missiles against the Sparkeater.

I’d be happy if it was permadeath for Trailbreaker, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he came back either. He has a unique ability and a potential story-arc. Pipes had neither, and perhaps the only thing he could contribute is the motivating force of a new crew member that want’s to get revenge for Pipes’ death… say a fighting mad Hubcap! Or perhaps Pipes was good friends with, I dunno, the Monsterbots or Wreck-Gar who may enjoy the opportunity to wreck Overlord in a particularly creative manner?

Auntie Slag
2014-11-06, 11:46 PM
Just noticed that First Aid identifies Vos as a new member of the DJD. So he may know them all by sight based on his time at Delphi, which would suggest the current Vos is perhaps a very new member.

Warcry
2014-11-07, 06:20 AM
I wouldn't let me anywhere near a car's engine! But yeah, I see what you mean - though of course, the point of Shadowplay is to induce major behavioural change.
Major controlled behavioural change, though. I'd imagine that if they could get the same quality of results with physical surgery they'd just do that, since mnemosurgery poses serious risks not just to the patient but the surgeon as well. But I suspect that the results of physical surgery are (even if survivable) far less predictable than rewriting the patient's software.

This is something I'd like to see explored actually - what happens if the spark survives but not the brain, or vice-versa. Do they do transplants - attaching a new brain to a new spark? Would it create an entirely new person?
As an IDW-specific question I'm not sure it's one we can answer (though something very much like this happened in an old BotCon comic). They've never really told us what the spark and brain module do in this universe. Is the spark just their "life force", and the brain module the seat of their identity and consciousness? Or is the spark where their mind lives and the brain module is just the hardware it executes on and uses to interface with their body? Or is it some odd mix of the two? I'm not sure the even the Transformers themselves know the answer to that, and they might consider it a theological question more than a scientific one since neither part can survive or function without the other.

What I wonder is why they consider the transformation cog to be an equally vital part as the brain and spark. It seems like they can be swapped from person to person easily enough, and Triple-M are proof that you can survive without one pretty much indefinitely. I understand that transformation is the core of their identity as a race, but the whole "Rossum's Trinity" thing implies that damage to any of the three can kill you. Though I suppose that might just be a leftover Functionist thing -- if you can't transform, you no longer have a place in the Grand Cybertron Taxonomy and might as well be dead.

Admittedly, it's something of an assumption on my part, but I make it for several reasons:

One, when describing the 'constructed cold' they make a point of sparks being placed in 'pre-fab' bodies - they wouldn't make that distinction if the sparks from hot-spots were also placed in built bodies.

Two, because when Brainstorm harvests the spark it is said to come with 'sentio-metallico', which is a phrase James has used in his fanfics to describe the 'liquid metal' seen when the Transformers biomorphically replicate, as in G2 - and of course there, the sentio-metallico quickly forms into an entire Transformer.
That makes perfect sense! And that's actually how I'd assumed it happened too...that Forged Transformers sprung to life as complete protoforms sort of like what we saw in Beast Wars. I didn't get the G2 connection at all in Remain in Light, and the art doesn't really show it very well, but I think this is as good an explanation as we're likely to get. :)

(This also makes the relationship between the Functionists and the constructed cold quite interesting.)
I bet that's where "Ratioism" enters the picture. If Functionist ideology holds that there should be a certain proportion between the different classes of Cybertronian life, then it only makes sense that they'd cold-construct new Transformers to keep the number of available Disposable and Labour-class mechs up -- after all, they must have a much higher attrition rate than the higher castes, and everyone still seems to hate knock-offs so they certainly wouldn't unleash them on upper-crust society. Which essentially means that they're building made-to-order slaves.

You're ascribing a human (specifically, western) code of ethics upon an alien species that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't necessarily follow the same rules. Yes, they have humanistic appearances, and they're written by humans, and everything they do is going to ultimately be shot through the prism of human experience.

BUT, from a storytelling standpoint, there is no good reason why a non-human species developing its society far from human influence would arrive at the same code of ethics that we would.

Add to this the possibility that a society of sentient robots who can be repaired from the brink of death, and for whom death is very rarely anything more than an inconvenience, could easily wind up with a society that views one's personal rights as slightly more disposable than ours does.
Well...yes, absolutely. I don't dispute that the pre-war Transformers have a very different idea of right and wrong than we do. But I don't think that's necessarily a reflection of their mechanical nature. Quite a few cultures in our own history have the exact same leanings -- look at the Antebellum US South, the caste system in India, Ancient Rome, the rise of fascism in the 1930s, or many, many other chapters in the history books. The modern idea that all people are equal has existed for the equivalent of an eyeblink compared to the societies that valued certain subgroups differently than others. And honestly, you could make a fair argument that we still do it today, only more subtly and with wealth as the main determinant of status rather than race or creed.

I don't think it's wrong of us to look back at what our ancestors did and see their mistakes for what they are. And equally, I don't think it's wrong to look at Cybertronian culture and point out what are (from our point of view) mistakes that they made as well. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that's part of the point, because when we see and acknowledge those mistakes in a fictional setting it makes it easier to see them in the real world as well.

Any judgments that we make are subjective and in the end sort of arbitrary, though. I suspect that if you gave this same book to a reader 100 or 200 years from now they'd take something totally different from it than we do. In fact, considering how human cultures seem to swing wildly from near-anarchic freedom to tightly-regimented control and back again, 200 years from now people might look at Roberts' Cybertron as some sort of utopia to be strived for and not the Orwellian horror it seems to readers of today. :(

Just noticed that First Aid identifies Vos as a new member of the DJD. So he may know them all by sight based on his time at Delphi, which would suggest the current Vos is perhaps a very new member.
Vos is fairly new, I think. In one of the previous issues the Autobots were trading stories about a previous Vos with hooks for hands and feet who seemed to have vexed a lot of them over the years.

Summerhayes
2014-11-07, 12:53 PM
I can't see that anyone else had suggested this yet, so I'll have a go;

My first thought was that Trailbreaker isn't dead, not because he was insufficiently killed but because they're in an ethics classroom. I don't think any of the business with the wounded Vos and the DJD was real, it was done sort of illusion created to provide the very ethical debate it provided.


Cracking issue, felt a lot quicker than recent ones. Glad I only have to wait two weeks and not six!

Death's Head
2014-11-07, 02:11 PM
As an IDW-specific question I'm not sure it's one we can answer (though something very much like this happened in an old BotCon comic). They've never really told us what the spark and brain module do in this universe. Is the spark just their "life force", and the brain module the seat of their identity and consciousness? Or is the spark where their mind lives and the brain module is just the hardware it executes on and uses to interface with their body? Or is it some odd mix of the two? I'm not sure the even the Transformers themselves know the answer to that, and they might consider it a theological question more than a scientific one since neither part can survive or function without the other.

My personal preference would be that the brain module 'is' the Transformer in question, with the spark essentially being like the human heart - and therefore theoretically replaceable, but definitely vital to continued existence. But that's just me being an old Marvel fan!

(Outside of the fiction, Rossum's Trinity is probably an attempt to clear up the fact that in Last Stand... James and Nick had TFs die by brain module destruction, whereas previously we had seen the worst criminals in Garrus 9 stripped down to the spark.)

What I wonder is why they consider the transformation cog to be an equally vital part as the brain and spark. It seems like they can be swapped from person to person easily enough, and Triple-M are proof that you can survive without one pretty much indefinitely. I understand that transformation is the core of their identity as a race, but the whole "Rossum's Trinity" thing implies that damage to any of the three can kill you. Though I suppose that might just be a leftover Functionist thing -- if you can't transform, you no longer have a place in the Grand Cybertron Taxonomy and might as well be dead.

No one likes action masters :(

Incidentally, I can't be the only one who wishes James had been able to keep the phrase 'morphcore' as opposed to 't-cog' - it's far more poetic.

That makes perfect sense! And that's actually how I'd assumed it happened too...that Forged Transformers sprung to life as complete protoforms sort of like what we saw in Beast Wars. I didn't get the G2 connection at all in Remain in Light, and the art doesn't really show it very well, but I think this is as good an explanation as we're likely to get

I wonder if they'll ever come out and plainly show a Transformer being born and growing - I hope so, as I have a pathological need to be proven right, but I fear for how some of the more conservative fans might react - 'budding' seems to be one of those ideas (along with 'naturally occurring gears, levers and pulleys') that fan consensus has deemed too silly for our toy robots.

I bet that's where "Ratioism" enters the picture. If Functionist ideology holds that there should be a certain proportion between the different classes of Cybertronian life, then it only makes sense that they'd cold-construct new Transformers to keep the number of available Disposable and Labour-class mechs up -- after all, they must have a much higher attrition rate than the higher castes, and everyone still seems to hate knock-offs so they certainly wouldn't unleash them on upper-crust society. Which essentially means that they're building made-to-order slaves

Ah, I'd forgotten all about 'ratioism' - yup, I think you've hit the nail on the head there! And it's interesting to note that, once the war begins, the Autobots start building 'Made-To-Order' soldiers...

(Megatron was right!)

inflatable dalek
2014-11-07, 04:15 PM
On the Vos thing, I thought I'd mentioned this earlier but I must have been thinking about when I talked about it in the pub with Denyer (honestly, I go nine years without meeting the man, now he's just following me around)...

Roberts actually talks about this in the Transmissions podcast I linked to earlier, he deliberately established beforehand that this Vos is a new(ish) member of the team the Autobots don't know about because First Aid knows about Agent 113 and he wanted the medic to be absolutely certain the DJD member they found couldn't be the undercover Autobot so as not to add an extra complication to the basic moral debate.



Can I just stop for a second and say how awesome it is that a Transformers comic is bringing up discussions like this? It's almost like it's becoming real, grown-up fiction now! :)

It's lovely isn't it? I didn't mind the over comics this month (and the issue before of RID was actually very good fun), but Roberts is simply working on all sorts of different levels and even when he has a misstep (as all serial fiction writers do from time to time) those are usually more interesting than many other writer's successes.


Obviously I can't speak for those people, but we've got at least two people here (myself and Knightdramon) saying that we didn't get the intending meaning from that panel. And I'm sure there's more. So at the very least, the intended dramatic impact was lost on some of us.

Oh, I'm certainly not saying it's a wrong reading (after all, I've completely failed to get more than my fair share of things in the comics over the years), and the reviewers on the Underbase seem to agree with you about the ambiguity, I just disagree with Knightdramon's suggestion it was "Most" readers, based on twitter the majority seem to have gone with him being very very dead.

And are people [i]seriously freaking out about Trailbreaker dying? I mean...Trailbreaker? Really? He barely even had a personality. It's a bit of a waste to kill him before he got to do anything meaningful, I agree, but it obviously happened for big plot reasons (pushing the LL/DJD confrontation) rather than simply shock value.

It surprised me as well (as said, when I first read Roberts saying he was surprised by the reaction I thought he meant to the moral dilemma), it's hard to judge people's reasoning in just 144 characters, but based on the retweets I saw it's possible people were feeling down about two issues of alternate versions of the characters being shown horribly killed being followed by one of them being horribly killed for real, they think the book has become too dark and stopped being any fun.

For what it may or may not be worth, in reply to the "I won't be reading again" Roberts' responses were along the lines of "I'm sorry to hear that" and "I disagree with your argument but respect your right to think it" rather than even the slightest ambiguous attempt at reassurance like "Keep reading" or "Wait and see", if Trailbreaker isn't really dead he's definitely playing it close to his chest.



The expression on Trepan's face while he's working on Megatron puts the lie to that, IMO. In that moment he's clearly a bully taking a great deal of pleasure exerting his dominance over someone lower on the social totem pole than he is. Likewise, if Froid had any ethics at all he would meet with his patient and try to cure him through noninvasive means before scheduling him for brain surgery. Even the laziest of doctors wouldn't proscribe such drastic treatment without actually examining the patient first.

Chromedome was similarly smug and enjoying lording it up over Overlord when he was in his head (and of course, at the time of these flashbacks was in the same line of work as Trepan), but still personally thought he was doing the right thing. Some people are still just gits even when they think they're working for the greater good.



Actually, the episode made it sound like they couldn't hold it against Worf or order him to do it due to Starfleet's rather idealistic regulations. In fact, I got the impression towards the end that Worf was practically begging Picard to order him because he knew it was the right thing to do but he couldn't do it without an honourable excuse. Starfleet's regulations about personal behaviour seem to be absolutely insane, though, considering how many times their officers (not even just Worf!) are seen to run off and murder foreign nationals and/or commit acts of terrorism against foreign nations with absolutely zero consequences.

I think the not being able to hold it against Worf thing was due to the 24th century humans being such a homogenised dull same minded bunch (look at Riker in the Host, he doesn't even balk at have a slug put in his belly and controlling his body to turn him into Doctor Crusher's sex slave even though that would I say give most normal people at least a moments pause) that the idea of one of them not doing The Right Thing as defined by Federation morality. They have the right to chose but they'd all male the same choice anyway.

Which is of course why Worf so quickly became such a popular character despite being intended to just stand about on the bridge doing nothing, as an alien Roddenbery didn't force him into his post Motion Picture hippy ideals and the guy got to have edges of a sort none of the humans (except possibly Picard, possibly because Stewart just added all sorts of layers to his performance).

At its worst it meant the Klingon was just used to voice whatever stupid violent/bigotted viewpoint the other characters wouldn't be allowed to (The Outcast being the worst example where he suddenly gets the put forward the sexist and possibly homophobic comments out of nowhere) but it overall made him bloody awesome.

I actually think Sisko would have made Worf do it, he seemed to have a lot less patience with indulging his crew generally and tended to be more pragmatic than Picard.

To really tangent, I liked the idea in the SF Debris review of Sins of the Father, where it was pointed out just a few weeks after Worf let a Romulan die he suddenly finds himself the centre of a Romulan plot to break up the Federation/Klingon alliance that should have seen him executed and still winds up with him dishonoured. Looks like he pissed the Romulans off.



I mean, in theory it'd be nice if what you say is true, but in practice they employed Whirl for four million years.

All the really dodgy stuff we've seen Whirl do though has been since he was kicked out of the Wreckers (at least since joining the Autobots anyway) for attempted assisted suicide. Last Stand actually suggest that as tough and nasty as they are they still had to obey rules of war- at least during the time Springer was with them anyway as he's surprised and shocked by Impactor's crossing of the line.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-07, 05:25 PM
One thing I'm trying not to forget is that performing Shadowplay is supposed to be a dangerous task. One character mentioned long ago that mnemosurgeons often die young, highlighting how exceptionally skilled Chromedome must be.

It would be interesting to know the sort of numbers who have endured Shadowplay, and the impact Senator Shockwave's last minute amendment (requiring two signature on the assessment) would have had on further operations.

What's also interesting is that Shockwave's amendment was conducted in a secret session, and the timing was so close to Megatron's 'personality adjustment' via Trepan. So Shockwave knew full well how much danger Megatron was in, and was trying to save him.

I'm hoping we get a backstory showing how close at all times Shockwave was to death via the Senate. All the plans and tricks he was using to subvert their dodgy doings etc. He was a proper hero of Cybertron!

Dead Man Wade
2014-11-07, 05:52 PM
Well...yes, absolutely. I don't dispute that the pre-war Transformers have a very different idea of right and wrong than we do. But I don't think that's necessarily a reflection of their mechanical nature.

I know. I simply put that forth as one possibility, as biology does inherently influence a species' society. It could have no effect whatsoever, depending on what the people writing it decide. I'm just saying that, were I writing it, it's an idea I might explore.

Ultimately, the only point I was trying to make is that, if the Transformers were an actual alien race being studied rather than characters in a book, we could no more apply our social mores or ethics than we could our notions of biology. Now, in the context of the story, I agree that it's a notion ripe for conversation, and could serve as a mirror for our own society.

I honestly think some of it may come down to Roberts' intent, but I don't know. I will say these threads have given me more hope for the quality of the comics than I'd have ever thought possible.

Warcry
2014-11-07, 06:49 PM
My first thought was that Trailbreaker isn't dead, not because he was insufficiently killed but because they're in an ethics classroom. I don't think any of the business with the wounded Vos and the DJD was real, it was done sort of illusion created to provide the very ethical debate it provided.
That would be super-hilarious and trollish, but if that was the case I think they'd have revealed it in this issue.

My personal preference would be that the brain module 'is' the Transformer in question, with the spark essentially being like the human heart - and therefore theoretically replaceable, but definitely vital to continued existence. But that's just me being an old Marvel fan!
I know where you're coming from. If it was up to me Transformers would just be code executing on brain modules without any of silly metaphysical 'spark' mumbo-jumbo at all. I think it makes them far more distinctly "alien" if they're literal machine-people than if they're powered by magic souls. Unfortunately that ship sailed a long time ago.

That said, I think Roberts has done a good job of highlighting their mechanical nature in MTMTE. Mnemosurgery, body-gloving and the like are exactly the sort of concepts that I've always wanted to see in TF fiction, the kind of thing that you can easily do with machines that you can't with humans without a massive amount of technobabble. It's one of the reasons why I enjoy the series so much.

But even here, the quasi-magical sparks act as a limit on what you can do. For instance, you probably couldn't copy five of your soldiers' minds, store them in data crystals for four million years and then install them into new bodies on an alien world (am I the only one who wanted Tracks, Skids and the like to run into their original selves on Cybertron during the Marvel run?). Even the Headmaster stuff from Furman's early work retroactively makes no sense. Shouldn't Sunstreaker have died when his brain module was hundreds of miles away from his spark?

Incidentally, I can't be the only one who wishes James had been able to keep the phrase 'morphcore' as opposed to 't-cog' - it's far more poetic.
Was "morphcore" a TMUK thing? I can't recall ever hearing anyone but fans use it.

"Transformation cog" is way more dry and clinical, but it has "transform" in the name and it's been around since the cartoon used it in 1986, so I think it was always destined to be the term that'd stick.

Ah, I'd forgotten all about 'ratioism' - yup, I think you've hit the nail on the head there! And it's interesting to note that, once the war begins, the Autobots start building 'Made-To-Order' soldiers...

(Megatron was right!)
Oooh...hadn't made that connection myself. The Decepticons did the exact same thing, though. I wonder how long it took for them to start plopping sparks into freshly-built troops and which side did it first, because it seems like it would be a terrible violation of the ethics that both Prime and Megatron claim to uphold.

It's lovely isn't it? I didn't mind the over comics this month (and the issue before of RID was actually very good fun), but Roberts is simply working on all sorts of different levels and even when he has a misstep (as all serial fiction writers do from time to time) those are usually more interesting than many other writer's successes.
I'd agree with this. RID Transformers: No Subtitle is a perfectly serviceable book, and easily better than most of the output that IDW and Dreamwave have given us in the last decade and a half. Not without flaws and sometimes a bit plodding, but it's intelligently-written and reasonably entertaining. Its' main problem is that it's being released at the same time as a book that uses TFs as a vehicle to explore sci-fi ideas and character relationships in a way that we've never seen before, which leaves Barber's work feeling a bit generic in comparison.

It surprised me as well (as said, when I first read Roberts saying he was surprised by the reaction I thought he meant to the moral dilemma), it's hard to judge people's reasoning in just 144 characters, but based on the retweets I saw it's possible people were feeling down about two issues of alternate versions of the characters being shown horribly killed being followed by one of them being horribly killed for real, they think the book has become too dark and stopped being any fun.
Really? I guess I can see that considering the "light-hearted, no-consequences adventure" feel the early issues had, but the book's been pretty dark since Shadowplay started, at least. Honestly it doesn't feel like much (if any) of a departure to me, especially keeping in mind the sorts of horrors Roberts wrought with Nick Roche in LSOTW.

Actually, in spite of my constant bitching about how stupid the DJD are, I think the last three issues have been the best since the early Delphi two-parter. This issue in particular is fantastic for all the questions it raises. Which you'd think would have come up earlier, what with this being my ninth post in the thread...

Chromedome was similarly smug and enjoying lording it up over Overlord when he was in his head (and of course, at the time of these flashbacks was in the same line of work as Trepan), but still personally thought he was doing the right thing. Some people are still just gits even when they think they're working for the greater good.
Oh, absolutely! I'd be hard-pressed to say that Chromedome is a good person either though, even in the present day. He's a messed-up person who continues to bad things in spite of repeated promises to his significant other that he'll stop, and in a civil society he'd probably be in jail. A great character to read about, but not the sort of person I'd be comfortable being around in real life.

I think the not being able to hold it against Worf thing was due to the 24th century humans being such a homogenised dull same minded bunch (look at Riker in the Host, he doesn't even balk at have a slug put in his belly and controlling his body to turn him into Doctor Crusher's sex slave even though that would I say give most normal people at least a moments pause) that the idea of one of them not doing The Right Thing as defined by Federation morality. They have the right to chose but they'd all male the same choice anyway.
True story: when we watched The Host a few months ago my wife and I were both outraged that Crusher and her pet slug weren't tossed in jail on rape charges. The scene at the end after Odan has been put in a female host was pretty damned offensive too. Just a terrible, terrible episode all around. Roddenberry hippy crap at it's finest.

DS9 and Voyager had some very unique and interesting human characters though, so maybe it's not an issue with 24th century humanity so much as it is with Picard's HR selections? Though considering the Federation ignores blatant acts of war by around six foreign governments per year based solely on what the Enterprise encounters, maybe not...

Which is of course why Worf so quickly became such a popular character despite being intended to just stand about on the bridge doing nothing, as an alien Roddenbery didn't force him into his post Motion Picture hippy ideals and the guy got to have edges of a sort none of the humans (except possibly Picard, possibly because Stewart just added all sorts of layers to his performance).
I think you're dead-on with that. It's no coincidence that Worf and Data were the most popular characters on the show with Picard close behind. The human characters just didn't get anything to work with, and aside from Stewart the actors weren't good enough to elevate the banal tripe in the script into something better. Geordi and Crusher in particular don't seem to have any personality at all, and it took Troi until mid season six before she was anything other than a joke character. Pulaski was cool, though, and it's always made me sad that she was only in the one season and left before the show really hit its stride.

(Riker on the other hand started out as interesting, but his character arc reached its' natural conclusion in Best of Both Worlds and poor Jonathan Frakes had nothing to do for the next four years and most of the movies.)

At its worst it meant the Klingon was just used to voice whatever stupid violent/bigotted viewpoint the other characters wouldn't be allowed to (The Outcast being the worst example where he suddenly gets the put forward the sexist and possibly homophobic comments out of nowhere) but it overall made him bloody awesome.
The funny thing about that is that Worf's "backwards savagery" is right 90% of the time, while Picard/Riker/Troi/whoever's hippy nonsense usually results in people dying and stuff blowing up for 40 minutes before they work out a "peaceful" solution.

I actually think Sisko would have made Worf do it, he seemed to have a lot less patience with indulging his crew generally and tended to be more pragmatic than Picard.
Sisko was awesome though. I think he would have resolved 75% of the TNG episodes twenty minutes in by punching the alien of the week in the face.

To really tangent, I liked the idea in the SF Debris review of Sins of the Father, where it was pointed out just a few weeks after Worf let a Romulan die he suddenly finds himself the centre of a Romulan plot to break up the Federation/Klingon alliance that should have seen him executed and still winds up with him dishonoured. Looks like he pissed the Romulans off.
I didn't notice that, but you know...that makes perfect sense. Worf in particular has messed up so many Romulan plots over the course of the series that the ones he meets on DS9 probably consider him some sort of boogyman.

All the really dodgy stuff we've seen Whirl do though has been since he was kicked out of the Wreckers (at least since joining the Autobots anyway) for attempted assisted suicide. Last Stand actually suggest that as tough and nasty as they are they still had to obey rules of war- at least during the time Springer was with them anyway as he's surprised and shocked by Impactor's crossing of the line.
Fair enough. But we know Whirl was scum before the war, and he's still scum after the war ended. I think it's reasonable to assume that he was scum during the war too, and even if his commanders managed to keep him from doing anything too abominable he's still not remotely the sort of lilly-white hero the Autobots want to be seen as.

Ultimately, the only point I was trying to make is that, if the Transformers were an actual alien race being studied rather than characters in a book, we could no more apply our social mores or ethics than we could our notions of biology.
I just think the same thing is equally applicable to other human cultures, is all. How often in our history have their been disastrous conflicts because the two sides' ideas of how to live life were fundamentally incompatible? It still happens even now, as the trail of bloody wars in recently "freed and democratized" nations can attest to. So I don't necessarily agree that the Transformers' biology would necessarily make them any easier or harder to understand than other humans.

They're different from us in different ways than other humans are, but they're not necessarily any more different. Does that make sense?

Unicron
2014-11-07, 08:29 PM
As an IDW-specific question I'm not sure it's one we can answer (though something very much like this happened in an old BotCon comic). They've never really told us what the spark and brain module do in this universe. Is the spark just their "life force", and the brain module the seat of their identity and consciousness? Or is the spark where their mind lives and the brain module is just the hardware it executes on and uses to interface with their body? Or is it some odd mix of the two? I'm not sure the even the Transformers themselves know the answer to that, and they might consider it a theological question more than a scientific one since neither part can survive or function without the other.
You know, this is a tough thing to figure out properly. Every time I think I've found a reasonable explanation, I think of something that makes it not quite work.
Until comic explanation/word of JimBob says otherwise, my inclination is to say that the spark and brain module are sort of two manifestations of the same basic thing. They're separate, linked entities, and altering one affects the other (so mnemosurgery uses the brain as an interface point to read or alter the personality in both the brain and the spark). Stab a spark, it's gonna collapse and kill the bot without sufficient medical care. Crush a brain module, same thing.

What I wonder is why they consider the transformation cog to be an equally vital part as the brain and spark. It seems like they can be swapped from person to person easily enough, and Triple-M are proof that you can survive without one pretty much indefinitely. I understand that transformation is the core of their identity as a race, but the whole "Rossum's Trinity" thing implies that damage to any of the three can kill you. Though I suppose that might just be a leftover Functionist thing -- if you can't transform, you no longer have a place in the Grand Cybertron Taxonomy and might as well be dead.

I would liken the t-cog to an important organ, like a kidney or liver. You can extract one surgically and/or transplant one from a living or recently dead donor (and depending on things, you can live without one or with a damaged one), but if you get stabbed in the kidney or liver, you're probably dead in short order.

(Outside of the fiction, Rossum's Trinity is probably an attempt to clear up the fact that in Last Stand... James and Nick had TFs die by brain module destruction, whereas previously we had seen the worst criminals in Garrus 9 stripped down to the spark.)
I think they could explain that away by the spark extraction being a carefully done surgical procedure with the intent of the subject surviving, while brain bullets clearly aren't.

Dead Man Wade
2014-11-07, 09:30 PM
They're different from us in different ways than other humans are, but they're not necessarily any more different. Does that make sense?

I understand where you're coming from, I just wholeheartedly disagree. A sentient robotic race lacking sexual dimorphism, evolving/built on a world of metal, in a whole different part of the universe? I see no reason they'd have any common point of reference.

Death's Head
2014-11-07, 09:31 PM
Everything

Yeah, "Rossum's Trinity" deals nicely everything you've said there - a sudden trauma to any of those organs (a brain bullet, a blow to the spark or the t-cog) causes feedback that blows out the other organs. It's an elegant explanation and adds another little layer to Transformer culture. I also like that even the best surgeons don't have full knowledge of the nature of Cybertronian life - it's a fitting parallel with humanity.

I know where you're coming from. If it was up to me Transformers would just be code executing on brain modules without any of silly metaphysical 'spark' mumbo-jumbo at all. I think it makes them far more distinctly "alien" if they're literal machine-people than if they're powered by magic souls. Unfortunately that ship sailed a long time ago.

Back in TMUK, which had to fit together Marvel and Beast Wars, we sort of fudged it by explaining that what later generations would call a "spark" was actually the life-giving energy of the Matrix - it would generally be diffuse around the Transformer's body, but if they were reduced to a brain module, say, then the energy would be concentrated there - so when Walter Barnett transplanted the Throttlebot's brains into toy cars their 'sparks' effectively went with them.

I think when sparks were first introduced in Beast Wars it was a nice addition to the mythos. Their presence certainly never cut down on instances of Transformers being disassembled or blown to bits and surviving, and it was explicitly stated that a spark can't exist outside of a body.

Sadly Beast Machines tossed all that out of the window by having sparks float around willy-nilly, which begs the question of why Transformers would have bodies in the first place; they may as well be energy beings, or something. I like my Transformers to be physical creatures - and like you say, James has done a lot towards bringing back some of the visceral nature of the old UK comics (well, visceral to a kid - I remember the dismembered Cyclonus on Shockwave's wall giving me a few disturbed nights).

Even the Headmaster stuff from Furman's early work retroactively makes no sense. Shouldn't Sunstreaker have died when his brain module was hundreds of miles away from his spark?

Also, what was going on with Prime moving his mind into his trailer, even as his spark was getting squeezed by Megs?

Was "morphcore" a TMUK thing? I can't recall ever hearing anyone but fans use it.

"Transformation cog" is way more dry and clinical, but it has "transform" in the name and it's been around since the cartoon used it in 1986, so I think it was always destined to be the term that'd stick.

I think he first used it in Eugenesis, but it also snuck into Last Stand of the Wreckers - even ended up with a wiki page. (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Morphcore)

Eugenesis also gave us the term 'changeform' in place of the sentence-stopper that is 'alt mode', which I'm not a fan of either.

Oooh...hadn't made that connection myself. The Decepticons did the exact same thing, though. I wonder how long it took for them to start plopping sparks into freshly-built troops and which side did it first, because it seems like it would be a terrible violation of the ethics that both Prime and Megatron claim to uphold.

Hopefully, with the excellent investigation into Megatron's history and beliefs that we're getting at the moment, we'll see a bit more of this play out. The DJD represent the ultimate violation of what pre-war Megatron believed, and with them on the scene it's inevitable that we'll see a bit more of how Megatron's vision became so corrupted.

As for Prime, well, I do enjoy how the Autobots are portrayed as far from lily-white. You say that Whirl's a bastard, but when the Lost Light encounters Snap Trap's crew look how many Autobots are depserately spoiling for a fight. It's telling that alien races don't give much of a toss about the difference between Autobot and Decepticon.

inflatable dalek
2014-11-07, 11:23 PM
I know where you're coming from. If it was up to me Transformers would just be code executing on brain modules without any of silly metaphysical 'spark' mumbo-jumbo at all. I think it makes them far more distinctly "alien" if they're literal machine-people than if they're powered by magic souls. Unfortunately that ship sailed a long time ago.

There does always seem to have been that desire to have them be more than "Mere" robots, even back as far as Budiansky's non-mystical original idea for the Matrix they're still something that can only be given "Life" by a very specific SUPER computer program (with Vector Sigma in the cartoon basically being the same thing). I guess creators at the time were worried about the question of why they (or anyone else for that matter) just doesn't build legions of the buggers, or even that a robot in and of itself might not be special enough to carry a series.

Oddly as it's now the default version, I don't think that if Transformers was created today anyone working on it would feel the need to do what Furman firmly nailed down and bring in an non-technological origin them.

I think these days mainstream audiences are much more down with the idea of normally built robots being alive without any extra bells and whistles. It arguably stated with Blade Runner (though of course when Furman did Legacy that was still a disappointing box office failure rather than a cultural cornerstone) but things like- and let's connect the tangents of this thread together- Data through to the recent BSG remake exploring the ideas of whether a robot can have a "Soul" (with the answer being basically "Yes") successfully would make Primus redundant.



Really? I guess I can see that considering the "light-hearted, no-consequences adventure" feel the early issues had, but the book's been pretty dark since Shadowplay started, at least. Honestly it doesn't feel like much (if any) of a departure to me, especially keeping in mind the sorts of horrors Roberts wrought with Nick Roche in LSOTW.

It is odd, and probably shows that the opinions of people on the internet are worthless ;).


True story: when we watched The Host a few months ago my wife and I were both outraged that Crusher and her pet slug weren't tossed in jail on rape charges. The scene at the end after Odan has been put in a female host was pretty damned offensive too. Just a terrible, terrible episode all around. Roddenberry hippy crap at it's finest.

It's just really weird and icky, and the latter part is problematic as a symptom of modern Trek's bizarre attitude of insisting on having analogies for gay people instead of just featuring gay people. Which would be like 60's Trek having no black people in it, just that episode with the Riddler looking like Two Face. Certainly when you get to Enterprise, on the same network as Buffy, the absence of homosexuality in the future is at its most annoying.

It's telling that for DS9 they basically chucked everything out about the Trill bar the "Slug in belly" thing (Dax can even use the transporter!) and made it a more palatable merging of minds. Considering Dax's make up was only changed at the last second from the version used in the TNG episode (IIRC she even filmed a couple of days of the pilot in it before it was abandoned for affecting how teenage boys might masturbate over her so they pumped for less intrusive dots) I think if they'd known that basically nothing but the basics of the concept would remain they have made it some other sort of parasite/symbiont and changed the name of the species.

Mind, if you want to retroactively throw the DS9 version of the species on the Next Gen version it becomes much more fun to imagine Riker was only playing along with being possessed so as to tick Crusher off his "Women I've had list" without having a similar "accident" to that which Picard arranged for her husband.

Pulaski was cool, though, and it's always made me sad that she was only in the one season and left before the show really hit its stride.

I was amazed to discover how upopular she was generally, I guess because she was put in such stark opposition to the show's most beloved character. And fair enough, the attempts to replicate Spock/McCoy don't quite work (Spock could give as good as he gets in a way Data doesn't making it seem more bullying than banter), but even as a kid it felt like she was on such an obvious arc where she'd learn to respect Date and become fast friends with him that never bothered me.

Indeed, I don't think there's any actual antagonism between them after the Sherlock Holmes episode which is fairly early in the season.

I certainly always preferred her to Crusher and Troi anyway (it seems that, whilst the close knit cast might have been a big bonus in many ways, it was a drawback there as everyone else involved treated the actress rather badly for replacing their mate and it wasn't a happy time for her as a result).

(Riker on the other hand started out as interesting, but his character arc reached its' natural conclusion in Best of Both Worlds and poor Jonathan Frakes had nothing to do for the next four years and most of the movies.)

Such a shame as Frakes is a very likeable actor, it's telling they seriously considered killing him off and replacing him with Thomas in season 6.

What has always baffled me is how poorly Worf is treated in the films. As said, he's the third most popular character but First Contact (which comes in the middle of his time on DS9 so him pulling double duty isn't the issue) is the only one to give him a decent role. Which is especially ludicrous when you consider his personal nemesises are the secondary villains in Generations.



Sisko was awesome though. I think he would have resolved 75% of the TNG episodes twenty minutes in by punching the alien of the week in the face.

Well, post season 4 Sisko. It always amused me how they cast an actor like Avery Brooks with very specific strengths and then took so long to write the character to any of those strengths. Maybe they were trying to avoid the Mean Black Mother****er clichés but it does leave early Sisko a bit dull and lost in his own show (apparently Tony Todd came fairly close to getting the part and he'd have done the introspective thoughtful Sisko of the first few years much better).

Or maybe Sisko went bald because of the onset of a sudden testosterone increase.


This is your More Than Meets the Eye thread.


One aspect of military discipline the characters in this issue really fail at is security. Fair enough if Bluestreak and Mainframe don't wish to contribute but they've just found a notorious Decepticon who always travels as part of a group. Going back to the shuttle shouldn't have been an option, they should have been ordered to search the rubble for any other surprises and then secure the perimeter. And as both the ranking officer and security chief it should have been Trailbreaker's job to order them to do that and not to take any shit if they refused.

One other idea might have been to throw his works-even-when-he's-drained panic forcefield around himself, First Aid and Vos before staring the operation, with Mainframe and Bluestreak on guard outside it. Then if things go wrong, the others have 30 minutes to either prepare to deal with Vos or simply escape (in retrospect of course that would have been a Bad Idea because of Kaon, but it's still a thought that might have occurred at the time).

Basically Trailbreaker is rubbish at organising security. I'm delighted he's dead.

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-08, 01:16 AM
Basically Trailbreaker is rubbish at organising security. I'm delighted he's dead.

Man, thats cold.

A thought has occured to me over the last couple of issues regarding the DJD and all their loveliness. It goes a little something like this...

The DJD are not controlled at all by Megatron or any of the Decepticon high command. They are a bunch of extreme extremists who slaveishly enforce the basis of the decepticon belief while actually not being interested at all in it - somewhat similar to football hooligans who are die-hard loyal to their football club without actually being interested in the football. For them, it's all about the "decepticon cause". As such, while Megatron has been able to use them to keep his troops in line at times, he would not neccesarily be a supporter of them. They are simply too dangerous to engage. In truth he probably knows himself that the Megatron that Tarn and the boys worship is not, and never has been, him.

In a way, they may even reflect the KGB of the decepticons. Becoming insidious and lethal to their own side, just to justify their own existence but never actually contributing to the war effort. Sure, they've slaughtered autobots but only because they are sadistic killers. This may help explain why Megatron has never set the DJD on the autobots or used them as a spear head. He simply isnt in a position to give the order.

This also makes me think that if anyone is going to be revealed as the secret behind Tarns mask that it may indeed by Terminus. As punishment for his support of Megatrons writings, Terminus is re-wired to be a slave to the doctrine to the point of madness. Disgusted by how his friend has been corrupted somewhat by his words, megatron removes the early dedication. It might also be another layer as to Megatrons hatred of brain intrusion - not just what he experienced but what he saw it do to Terminus.

Anyway, sorry to derail this Star Trek thread. It's fantastic reading, even if the thread title may need altering :)

Auntie Slag
2014-11-08, 10:41 AM
All the stuff Dave said...

That is a totally excellent theory. I only hope that Tarn isn't Terminus. For Megatron's sake I would prefer it if Terminus is never found, it makes Megatron more effective as a character!

Summerhayes
2014-11-08, 01:54 PM
Tarn and the boys

Please can this be what we call them from now on?

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-08, 03:44 PM
That is a totally excellent theory. I only hope that Tarn isn't Terminus. For Megatron's sake I would prefer it if Terminus is never found, it makes Megatron more effective as a character!

I'd agree with you on that but I get the feeling that mask has to be hiding something. Others have guessed that its roller underneath

Knightdramon
2014-11-08, 09:37 PM
Tarn is Roller. Called it years ago, still holds true today.

However, unlike "Senator" Shockwave, there were various clues spread out and people "found" this out before Roberts intended us to. So this is like the second or third time he's thrown an alternate bone our way just to confuse us.

Everything is there people, laid out...

DJD-semi centered three parter -just- before the final part in the pre-war trilogy, with Roller front and centre in one of the covers, all the while the DJD just hang out and watch Megatron's post war declaration.

It all makes sense...it must...it has to... :p:lol:

Death's Head
2014-11-08, 09:54 PM
But without Ratchet or Prime on board what impact does Tarn being Roller really have? Surely at this point in the story it's got to be someone tied to Megatron. Or even this: an absolute nobody, who's rabid commitment to the Decepticon cause saw him elevated to head of DJD, if only to keep him out of Megatron's way?

Death's Head
2014-11-08, 09:55 PM
Or he's Archforce, a purple clone of Megatron who later takes the form of a T-Rex and says "yes" alot.

Summerhayes
2014-11-08, 10:34 PM
But without Ratchet or Prime on board what impact does Tarn being Roller really have?

Ratchet's still on the Lost Light isn't he?

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-08, 11:23 PM
As a curve ball - Tarn has been Roller or Terminus at one point but now is someone completely different. In a way, Tarn could be a bit like the Cons Ultra Magnus.

If he is to be Roller, I hope its by choice and not by shadow play. As cool as that whole angle and idea is, to do it again would lack the impact that Shocks did.

Knightdramon
2014-11-09, 11:47 AM
If it is indeed Roller [now I'm trolling you all :P ] it's most certainly by choice.

Guy has every right and reason to go with Megatron--as Megatron, at that point, is primarily against the Senate, who essentially double crossed the Iacon Police force with thugs and knocked him unconscious.

One thing that many people seem to forget though...is that there's a mole in Orion's team from Shadowplay, as the Senate was tipped to their plot and hiding of Senator Shockwave.

Death's Head
2014-11-09, 12:49 PM
Ratchet's still on the Lost Light isn't he?

Ah, yes - though isn't he departing soon to star in the much-awaited Drift mini series from Shane McCarthy?

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-09, 01:01 PM
Ah, yes - though isn't he departing soon to star in the much-awaited Drift mini series from Shane McCarthy?

Pre mtmte and the above sentence would have been purely written in jest. Now, I am no longer sure.

And in fairness to McCarthy , I really enjoyed the mars attacks special.

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-09, 01:04 PM
If it is indeed Roller [now I'm trolling you all :P ] it's most certainly by choice.

Guy has every right and reason to go with Megatron--as Megatron, at that point, is primarily against the Senate, who essentially double crossed the Iacon Police force with thugs and knocked him unconscious.

One thing that many people seem to forget though...is that there's a mole in Orion's team from Shadowplay, as the Senate was tipped to their plot and hiding of Senator Shockwave.

That all makes a lot of sense. I can see a confrontation between roller and megs where roller points out the lack of law and order within the deception ranks. Megs offers him the job, and he takes things a little too far. Or maybe he is the first tarn but is taken out by someone even more extreme.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-09, 08:40 PM
I'd have no problem with Roller being Tarn, I guess the interesting thing will be the dialogue that Tarn is going to come out with upon being unmasked, and where it goes from there. Does Tarn know anything about Terminus, has he been involved in Terminus' abduction? Is (or was) Tarn pals with Prowl?

Has Chase bought enough bananas to last the week?

inflatable dalek
2014-11-09, 08:54 PM
"Tarn... why do you wear that mask on your face?"
"What mask?"
"Oh... sorry".

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-09, 09:15 PM
We've been looking at this all wrong.

I know who tarn is...

It's old man smithers, from the abandoned amusement park.

He would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for us snooping kids.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-09, 10:32 PM
Actually Tarn used to be a semi-successful dairy farmer. Used to go by the name Emmerdale Tarn.

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-09, 10:50 PM
Snap! You are on fire auntie slag.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-09, 11:51 PM
... And Aussie pop songstress Natalie Imbruglia did a song called 'Tarn'.

inflatable dalek
2014-11-11, 09:10 PM
And let's not forget Michael Palin's classic TV show exploring the grizzly fate of the previous wearers of the mask, Ripping Tarns.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-11, 09:28 PM
And the perennial pop hit by The Byrds; 'Tarn Tarn Tarn'.

inflatable dalek
2014-11-12, 08:58 AM
Let's just remember not to Tarn all the Decepticons with the same brush.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-11-12, 09:47 AM
Please, please, please Mr. Roberts, can we have a "Tarn 'n Blast" letters page added to MTMTE. All letters should be answered with extreme Decepticon zealotry and random accusations of lack of faith. Make it so, Jim...

Skyquake87
2014-11-12, 01:48 PM
Ha! That would be awesome.

I have read this issue (finally) and really enjoyed it. Probably not much else I can add to what all you cleverclogs have said.

I must be the only person whom wasn't surprised by Bluestreak wanting to find out if they had a 'friend or foe' on discovering Vos' charred body (repaired and cleaned up by the magic of Energon - was he doing that silly 'fade to black' Transformers are supposed to do when they die?) . The war has only recently ended, and I am sure that will leave scars in the form of deep rooted mistrust, prejudice and all the rest. Much like how English society's view of foreigners is forever tainted by winning two world wars having held most of the world in our grasp during the age of Empire. So I think his and Mainframe's refusal to help wasn't unexpected at all.

In terms of the yucky business of brain tampering, I'd agree that this is just the worst. Far better to die than live as a shell of whom you once were. Even inother fiction ...1984, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, watching Brazil and that silly film Zack Snyder did a few years ago ...Sucker Punch! - that stuff gives me the chills. I can't imagine how many botched lobotomy paitents there were out there just left as dribbling sacks of meat unable to do anything for themselves. That, shock therapy and all the other grim methods of managing mental problems are one of the less impressive facets of human development. There's probably an argument that medication isn't much better either, given how some people can be affected by that as well. Transformers having similar objectionable methods of co-ertion and control in order to protect the machinery of society doesn't suprise me in the slightest, hell we all still use psychological warfare against our enemies to break them and bend them to our will. All that stuff out of Guantanamo, let alone what happens to those poor f**ks get kidnapped, held and eventually beheaded on the internet.

Rojo's art was good, nice expressions, but his robots...I dunno, it all looks like they have planks for legs.

Be interesting to see what Brainstorm has quantum leaped into do ... probably not to 'put right what once went wrong'.

Skyquake87
2014-11-12, 06:47 PM
Also : Your reputations are all Tarn-ished for such terrible puns...

inflatable dalek
2014-11-12, 07:16 PM
But it's to late to shut the Tarn door, the horse has bolted.

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-12, 07:47 PM
God Tarn you Dalek...

Auntie Slag
2014-11-12, 10:48 PM
One good Tarn...

To carry on Skyquake's comments; I found the art interesting. I really liked the use of colour (ok, that’s a separate issue), and I didn’t find the artwork half as jarring as I used to when it was somebody who wasn’t Milne. Someone else mentioned the fact that nobody can agree on what Bluestreak is supposed to look like, and they all (the Autobots in this issue) have a rather generic look i.e. in some panels they seem little more than blocky men. Bluestreak in particular is missing his wing doors, whilst his bonnet chest seems to have been folded down. I’ve never been a fan of making Transformers look as human as possible. Andrew Wildman had a proper knack for that, making his robots look like people wearing boxy suits and snarling/yelling with a bit of saliva trailing.

On the plus side, had Milne drawn this issue I think I would be thoroughly disturbed at the sight of the Trailcutter/Kaon outcome, as well as Trepan’s brain fiddling. The art really gave a voice to the writing, like the less busy panels let the dialogue breathe, which seemed particularly important for this issue.

What I find now is that for all my previous bitching and moaning I do appreciate what every other artist has brought to this comic whilst Milne is off sunning himself in the Caribbean. Last years annual appears very cool now, and I really like the guy who drew the issue containing Tripodeca’s sendoff. He really nailed Chromedome’s sadness, Brainstorm’s mix of care and other-agenda-ness and the weight and silence of big robots. I especially loved the way he drew Chromedome’s shattered arm.

Inaction Master
2014-11-12, 11:08 PM
Is it too late to Tarn a phrase?

Unicron
2014-11-12, 11:14 PM
Is it too late to Tarn a phrase?
No, it's too late. You're not allowed to take a Tarn.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-12, 11:33 PM
See, this is why we'd benefit from an Intarn.

Unicron
2014-11-13, 01:51 AM
Wow, we've really tarnished this fine thread with this gag. I feel sorry for any new person who sees this, tarns and runs away without looking back.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-13, 07:10 AM
... Never to retarn.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-13, 09:06 PM
Chromedome still knows everything about Skids' past (issue 7 or 8), which he refused to tell Skids. However, if they're due another confrontation with the DJD would it not be worth telling him, or would it affect his fighting prowess? I'd argue that Skids is a better fighter than Magnus and maybe even be able to take Tarn on. So there must be something utterly shocking, devastating that Tarn could reveal to Skids that would stop him in his tracks.

Also, somebody in the DJD knew about the Magnus armour, so one or more of them must know Tyrest incredibly well.

And Chromedome is still being cagey about the three spots on the back of Rewind's neck, saying he's allergic to ultraviolet light (issue 13?). So he's still got that to answer for if Rewind or someone else should ask.

Oh yeah, and at the beginning of Season Two; Swerve refused to let Bluestreak on board on account of him looking like Prowl, and therefore annoying Rodimus. But they already have Smokescreen on board!

inflatable dalek
2014-11-13, 09:14 PM
Also, somebody in the DJD knew about the Magnus armour, so one or more of them must know Tyrest incredibly well.

Nope, that's down to Brainstorm. The ALL Autobots found out about the Magnus armour earlier than the OLL crew did, so he (or if it's a double bluff, the real traitor) was able to pass on the information when he betrayed everyone.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-13, 09:37 PM
Oh blimey, yeah I totally forgot about that. There's a traitor aboard the Lost Light! I'm reckoning its not Brainstorm, just because nothing's ever that simple in MTMTE. Also because he has shown the tiniest soft spot for Chromedome (i.e. persuading him not to erase his memories of Rewind), and may be good mates with Highbrow, which was not made clear, it was just a comment made in Spotlight: Trailcutter. I'd actually love it for the traitor to be Chromedome. He'd have to answer to Rewind, and Brainstorm would be gutted, he would alienate himself from everyone. Whereas what's Brainstorm got to lose? He only cares about his lab.

One other question: How is Cosmos currently pulling double shifts in MTMTE and (ex) RID? The writers have made sure to know which characters are featuring in which book, seems slightly odd to make a cock-up now?

If Brainstorm can ping around in time, could First Aid convince him to save Ironfist... and Ambulon? [Edit] Perhaps not, otherwise they'd go around saving everyone who ever so much as stubbed a toe.

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-13, 09:39 PM
Guys, if you're gonna make a page tarn, you gotta lead with a tarn joke.

On Skids & Domey, need to check but Domey didn't actually look into Skids full memory did he? I thought he realised how damaged it all was and how deep some of the memory work went and told Skids he recommended not to go deeper.

I could be wrong. In work at the moment so no comics to hand :(

Auntie Slag
2014-11-13, 10:01 PM
... Domey didn't actually look into Skids full memory did he? I thought he realised how damaged it all was and how deep some of the memory work went and told Skids he recommended not to go deeper.

Tarnation, that's what I thought too! So I went back and checked. It seems that Chromedome saw everything that happened in Skids' past (the big chunk of his life missing, not just the most recent six months which has now been resolved since finding Getaway). He knew about the Empyrean Suite, and its probable link to Tarn. And Magnus is a music lover.

For a moment I wondered if Tarn may be Delta Magnus, but our Magnus is not the original Magnus.

How about this, what if Tarn is the original Ultra Magnus? That'd be a nice twist. Tyrest was handy with saving people's lives, what's to say he didn't keep the original Magnus alive, faking the death story, and warp the hell out of him with some lovely early Jhiaxian Institute shadowplay shenanigans courtesy of the lovely Chromedome?

What if that's the reason Chromedome resigned himself to a reluinquishment clinic to end it all; he'd taken a noble warrior, a figurehead and totally screwed him up?

That would link those three together. Also, Skids being super-Skids and having been around at that time (and he featured in that panel in Shadowplay where Pax, (original) Ultra Magnus & Delta Magnus were fighting with... Sinnertwin? some two-headed robot dragon thing) may have tried to save his life, then got captured at a crucial moment and Chromedome had to do the nasty and wipe a colossal section of Skids' past so that they could mess around with both a figurehead AND a super learner outlier! Natural skill enhanced to the max minus the memories.

... and explain why Skids wouldn't remember Tyrest and be happy to carry out a hit on him sanctioned by Prowl.

Chromedome is a total bitch. Why is Rewind so stuck on this morally redundant tart?

Auntie Slag
2014-11-13, 10:04 PM
Massive flaw in my theory; if Chromedome was behind it all, he could have simply erased or rewritten Skids' memories still further, back in issue seven. Double-wipe, simples!

Gosh tarn it!

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-13, 10:42 PM
There's still some good theory meat on those bones though. I like the Magnus idea, thats pretty decent.

Skyquake87
2014-11-13, 10:50 PM
What if Tarn is just... Tarn? He doesn't have to be anyone else, does he? Or am I needlessly spoiling everyone's fun?


(I say this knowing I have clearly missed something hinting that Tarn is / has been someone else)

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-13, 11:39 PM
I'm happy for tarn to be tarn. Cant remember when the whole "tarn is..." Thing started. Was it after issue 7 or after the shockwave reveal in shadowplay?

Maybe its when he whispers to black shadow that you can see a face underneath his mask that got people thinking.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-13, 11:53 PM
That'd be a massive thing if Tarn was simply Tarn! But the DJD operates a roster like The Wreckers. The difference is when a member of the DJD dies, the replacement also takes the name of the previous guy. This has been shown so far with Vos. The current Vos is relatively new (apparently), taking the mantle from the previous Vos who had hooks for hands and feet. Dalek mentioned it a couple of pages ago in this thread (or Unicorn, or Warcry).

The big money would be on Roller being Tarn, because he was big, smart, soft-spoken and best mates with Pax. You could swap my guess of the original Magnus for Roller and the impact on Chromedome being found out would still be the same, as it would for the readers I suppose.

I think if such character interchangeability were possible then perhaps a writer like Roberts wouldn't go for the Magnus angle. Whoever Tarn is, the reveal should have an impact that could only come from one character. It would (still) be both shocking and sad to see if it is Roller. So if is someone else, its got to have as much, if not more of an impact.

Tarn himself has had some messing going on, have you noticed how there's always a distinctive ring of circuitry detail around his left eye? He's been under a surgeons knife at some point.

Here's a wacky, no-evidence-for-this-whatsoever theory; Tarn is Pharma. Pharma's body was taken by some tendrils from another dimension back at the end of the Remain in Light arc. There seem to be five Luna 1's that choose when to make their presence known, and maybe they can mess with time too. Maybe Tarn is an alternate Pharma robbing T-cogs from himself on Messatine. He was an Autobot of dubious morals anyway, and he loves mashing robots up. Being the head of the DJD would be fun for a sadist like him, and he'd relish the twist of it too.

Also, there's an even bigger baddy out there. Tyres activated the recall in his own hand (as per the text story at the end of Remain in Light), so Tyrest is also a little guy inside a big body. So who is HIS boss?

Red Dave Prime
2014-11-14, 02:18 AM
That was the one bit of Remain in Light that bugged me (the Tyrest thing). It felt like over-egging - either Tyrest survives and we have to deal with him again (which I dont really think would be interesting now he is out of power) or he has a bigger boss which is fine but I dont think Tyrest needed to survive for that to be hinted at.

Of course he could actually be dead which is fine by me.

INteresting you note the Tarn eye thing, I was thinking something similar when I typed my bit about the mask showing his face underneath (well, we only get to see his mouth but the point is its a normal face which is unusual for someone with a faceplate from what I can gather).

It's probably Shockwave. :)

Skyquake87
2014-11-14, 09:19 AM
Would it be shocking if it was Roller though? It's not like we've had a lot of time to get to know him so I don't think that shock reveal would carry the same weight as what happened to Shockwave. Likewise, Tarn turning out to be a Magnus wouldn't work forme.

Personally, I like the extremist angle someone said a few pages back. The DJD cetainly have the zealotry for this and it would make for a much more meaty take on the group than 'oh, its a beloved character made evil'.

Villains turning out to be heroes who've gone taken a wrong turn (by accident or design) is a cliche I can cheerfully do without - unless there's some fancy new spin put on it (a la poor Senator Shockwave).

tahukanuva
2014-11-14, 03:05 PM
Yeah, kind of my thoughts on it. We don't really know anything about Roller or Tarn yet. They're both fairly blank slates (They're bulky and smart, one drinks juice boxes, the other murders.) and finding out that Some Guy has really all along been Some Other Guy would be a hard reveal to make dramatic. It could be a fine origin story for Tarn (inasmuch as we need one. It wouldn't be hard to argue that we don't, or even that it could be more effective to never find out what the scary guy's deal is) but it wouldn't be a shocking dramatic reveal because we don't know anything about Roller except that Optimus likes him enough to name a buggy after him and that he's drank at least one juice box.

inflatable dalek
2014-11-14, 03:27 PM
Oh blimey, yeah I totally forgot about that. There's a traitor aboard the Lost Light! I'm reckoning its not Brainstorm, just because nothing's ever that simple in MTMTE. Also because he has shown the tiniest soft spot for Chromedome (i.e. persuading him not to erase his memories of Rewind), and may be good mates with Highbrow, which was not made clear, it was just a comment made in Spotlight: Trailcutter. I'd actually love it for the traitor to be Chromedome. He'd have to answer to Rewind, and Brainstorm would be gutted, he would alienate himself from everyone. Whereas what's Brainstorm got to lose? He only cares about his lab.

Brainstorm have a very good cover and seemingly being sort of friends with various characters doesn't mean a thing though as that's par for the course with successful sleepers anyway, both in reality (the Cambridge spies) and fiction (Nina Myers was having the Sex with both Jack Bauer and Tony whilst betraying everyone left right and centre).

You could certainly build up a better case for him being on the wrong side more than any of the other main characters: He was working at Kimia when Skyfall was passing secrets on the Decepticons and could well have been the inbetween man, he just happened to knock everyone out right before Lockdown's crew came aboard to steal the thumb, most of his inventions seem really useful on the surface but seem to wind up going down a discarded blind alley (for example, no one is using the ennui gun or shrinking things as standard) as if he's deliberately wasting time and resources to keep the Autobot's technological advancements on the back foot.

Of course it might all be a double bluff, but I would be Roberts was thinking of all that when selecting Brainstorm as the patsy if nothing else.

Though thinking about it... I've no idea if this idea has now firmly been discredited (or if it had even the slightest basis in reality) but there used to be some fairly rigorous speculation that at least one of the Cambridge spies was in fact a double double agent still working for the British whilst living it up in Moscow (or at least secretly defected back after going over). Could Brainstorm be similar?

Either way, I would bet the time travel thingey in the briefcase(s... I think the ALL version will be how our heroes go back to stop Brainstorm doing what he's doing) is developed from technology in that time ship Turmoil got ahold of.

Inaction Master
2014-11-14, 05:36 PM
About past DJD members, we've never actually seen any of the previous ones, yes? Only one we know of is the Vos with the hook hands, and arguably the only time we saw him was in gun-mode in #3 in flashback if I'm following things right.

And not to take us any further down dead ends but if there is some other double agent, what if they're like a programmed sleeper agent? Like how Beachcomber was one in the Blaster Spotlight - is that still a thing or did that just kinda get dropped altogether? Just curious I guess, given if we're looking into the possibility of Chromedome maybe mucking about with Skids' memory or what not.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-14, 05:44 PM
I guess the programmed sleeper agent thing still holds. Wasn't it Bombshell who did that? And he did a variation on it with Prowl in RID. If that's the case its an alternative to Shadowplay in this continuity (not that its much like Shadowplay).

As for the DJD, yes I don't believe they've ever been seen outside the pages of MTMTE.

Inaction Master
2014-11-14, 05:50 PM
Right, but somehow it was also implied that Soundwave was the one responsible for orchestrating it prompting a vendetta between him and Blaster that never got resolved, and the fact that following AHM it seems like we've been running with Bombshell having only been recently created along with the other Insecticons. So, yeah, granted that all of that is kinda nebulous, it's not really a solid idea, but I guess more just another possibility this whole plot thread could be taken.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-14, 06:26 PM
This one keeps popping out of my head when I want to post; Spinister is a medic savant. Is he another candidate for brain meddling? I'm wondering if he was caught at a similar time to Skids, only Skids wasn't left a bit Tim, nice but dim.

Does Skids hate Misfire because Spinister was once a good friend to Skids and Misfire sold them out?

Friday night blathering! Love that pick of Geminus/Twin Twist in your sig by the way :)

Unicron
2014-11-14, 09:23 PM
I'm happy for tarn to be tarn. Cant remember when the whole "tarn is..." Thing started. Was it after issue 7 or after the shockwave reveal in shadowplay?

Maybe its when he whispers to black shadow that you can see a face underneath his mask that got people thinking.

It's partially the mask thing going with the face (and if covers are any good indicator to go by, it looks like the mask is covering facial damage. Especially around the one eye), and at some con panel or during an interview, Jimbob was asked if Tarn was someone (or someone we knew) and the answer was yes. Not sure if it was a serious answer or if he was just egging people one. I've only seen the second or third hand accounts.

I still think the 'Brainstorm is a traitor' thing is a red herring. I know it's meant to look true, but there's a good bit of things being quite what they seem in this series. Of course, my denial of him being a traitor is probably because I like the character and if turns out to be evil, there's no way he'd be kept around as a regular-ish character. He'd only show up once in a while to be evil, shake his fist, and escape to live and fight another day. Like a wackier version of Destro.

Also, I have to note the similarity to Prowl over in the ex-RID comic. They kept going for those end of issue 'Is Prowl evil?' cliffhangers and it's just hasn't been working. Meanwhile, Roberts has been doing a similar bit much more successfully with Brainstorm. Though some of that is owed to him not doing something stupid like having Brainy put a gun to someone's head, then next issue have him say he was just trying to get someone's attention.

Inaction Master
2014-11-14, 10:29 PM
If Brainstorm does pan out to be a mole of some kind, I'm not sold on the idea that he'll be a straight up villain or anything. Underhanded, amoral and all that crap, yeah, but not like evil-evil - that so far has strictly been the realm of Overlord, the DJD and what few other 'Cons we've seen.

Though on that note, I really would like to have some confirmation on the 'Bots left in Swerve's bar at the end of #33. I wanted to see more of Atomizer on the off-chance he becomes more than just a bit-character, and the Monsterbots to do something cool.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-14, 10:37 PM
I loved that close up image of Tarn whispering to Black Shadow, it was so cool, and surely the instruction to the artist was to highlight that this guy is wearing a mask. When on any other transformer have they tried to suggest so?

Unicron
2014-11-14, 11:14 PM
If Brainstorm does pan out to be a mole of some kind, I'm not sold on the idea that he'll be a straight up villain or anything. Underhanded, amoral and all that crap, yeah, but not like evil-evil - that so far has strictly been the realm of Overlord, the DJD and what few other 'Cons we've seen.

Whether he goes full cartoon villain or not, if he is truly a mole, there's no reasonable way they'd let him stay on the ship.
Only way I could see it happen is either A) some kind of cover-up by Megatron and higher-ups on the ship, or 2) Brainy would need to do something stupidly ridiculous in an attempt to redeem himself, and then he's right into Cyclonus' role as the guy who did some f'ed up stuff, everyone hates him and he's just trying to carry on with his existence.

Blackjack
2014-11-15, 06:17 PM
Finally read this.

Some stuff...

Hated that they didn't continue on with the cliffhanger of last issue.

The medical ethical debate stuff was done pretty well in my opinion, on both sides of the coin with Trepan and First Aid. The conversation between First Aid and Trailbreaker's the best part of it. Why can't ethics classes be portrayed in actual stories like this instead of 'History of the Development of Ethics'?

TRAILBREAKER NOOOOOOOO **** YOU KAON

I mean this is MTMTE and he'll survive by some... thing, I dunno, a mini-Trailbreaker or this is the alternate Trailbreaker or some shit. But still.

Vos and his crazy removable spikeface is still fun. I think Vos is my favourite out of the DJD, though considering one is Tarn, two are unmemorable brutes and the other just killed one of my favourite Lost Light crew members, it's not really that hard of a choice.

What else? Terminus was great, the passages from Megatron's book were great, visuals with the text was great, Trailbreaker's freaking LEG CANNONS made me laugh, the panic bubble is pretty ironic, Brainstorm at the end is weird... I like this issue. It's a bit slower and a bit more hollow than normal MTMTE issues, but I do like how the first half of the issue seems to be just a little parallel to the more meaty Megatron stuff, and then suddenly Vos. And when I thought it was going to be 'Vos is Agent 113', nope, there's a second bastard lurking around.

**** YOU KAON.

Overall felt like a really short read, but still pretty great nonetheless.

Knightdramon
2014-11-16, 01:33 PM
James Roberts has confirmed that Trailbreaker is indeed dead on multiple podcasts since. No cop outs, or so the man says.

One interesting thing that went unnoticed is that with the last 2 issues worth of flashbacks, all the bots on the Necrobot's list have indeed died one way or another.

Seeing as the one thing all these had in common was that they were killed by the DJD, it looks like there's more than meets the eye with that bot. It might be that there's a pacifist or something, trailing the DJD and cataloging their death tolls so he can one day show up to Megatron and slap him in the face with that death datapad?

Regardless, while S2 didn't start off very strongly in my opinion [the back and forth from the trial that everybody knew the outcome of and the recent events hurt the pacing] but it has picked up.

I want more Rodimus though. This was more or less supposed to be his quest and by extension, book, but he's been sidelined a LOT.

Skyquake87
2014-11-16, 02:35 PM
I'd like to see a few of the old faces too. 'Season 2' (ugh. sorry, I really hate comics trying to ape TV. Its a different medium entirely. If anything, this should be a 'volume two' , but comics don't have this quaint old practice anymore.) might as well be a brand new book as we've effectively had an entirely new cast to contend with. That does mean that the book has unfortunately fallen prey to the 'new toys' problems that plagued the old Marvel book and has too many characters to concentrate on.

I have felt that since Dark Cybertron, the book is effectively starting over and is less of a continuation of what went before.

I suppose its felt a bit more like the recent run of Doctor Who, a bit of a transitional phase following a big jamboree and we're about to knuckle down to something (hopefully) really really good :)

This is a minor criticism though, as this is still hands down the best comic produced under the Transformers banner.

Unicron
2014-11-17, 03:19 AM
One other question: How is Cosmos currently pulling double shifts in MTMTE and (ex) RID? The writers have made sure to know which characters are featuring in which book, seems slightly odd to make a cock-up now?

He's not. His only MTMTE appearances post-Dark Cybertron have been flashbacks, to either the trial on Luna 2 or on the alternate Lost Light.

I temporarily considered him as a real mole candidate, as being space worthy, alt-Cosmos could have skipped out on the ALL and linked up with Prime's group for further evil spying, while normal LL Cosmos has been pulling a Rodimus and been unseen on the lower decks (duplicate Cosmoses, Cosmiii, whatever possibly persisting due to distance between the two even the ALL engines shutdown). Falls apart as I don't think the timing would work out at all, and apparently he shows up in the real flashback to the DJD's assault.
Another one of my random theories that falls apart under scrutiny. Fun though.

Blackjack
2014-11-17, 06:56 AM
James Roberts has confirmed that Trailbreaker is indeed dead on multiple podcasts since. No cop outs, or so the man says.

Damn. And I thought the fact that they were vague with whether Kaon squished the brain or not was a deliberate cop-out...

:(

I sad.

Unicron
2014-11-17, 05:13 PM
Damn. And I thought the fact that they were vague with whether Kaon squished the brain or not was a deliberate cop-out...
Pretty sure they weren't intending to be vague, just that the artist botched the kriking brain squish.

Auntie Slag
2014-11-23, 02:48 PM
James Roberts has confirmed that Trailbreaker is indeed dead on multiple podcasts since. No cop outs, or so the man says.

And that's a perfectly valid statement. But it doesn't stop Trailbreaker being saved by a time jumping Brainstorm does it? I mean, that's not a cop out... technically Trailbreaker is very actually dead and Ratchet or First Aid can't repair him, but time jumping may require Brainstorm (or somebody) to go back and rescue a guy with such an important forcefield resource to the crew. It may even be that Trailbreaker has even been saved in such a way before?

And that would be very cool following his FIM chip personality slap by Megatron, which turned him into the very definition of a heroic Autobot, rather than a pissed up one-trick pony (although even during his drunk days he showed some very cool handling in his spotlight against Lockdown and Co. thanks to Whirl's confidence boosting words).

... Or he's a dead parrot. I really don't mind either way as he's a fairly minor character. Perhaps it was a smart move, as his skills may have proven too game changing for the story following his enforced sobriety, and then we'd be witness to legions of fans complaining in future stories; "Well why don't they just use Trailbreaker/Cutter to forcefield bounce the enormous re-animated slavering corpse of conjoined Tyrest/Pharma, I mean god, he's got this super power that no-one else has...

Trailbreaker (in this continuity) has saved Kup, he's saved the entire Lost Light crew and (sadly) he saved Vos. That's more than most Transformers have ever been shown to do, apart from Prime. So he gets to have a good name and be well remembered.