PDA

View Full Version : Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #46


zigzagger
2015-10-23, 01:03 AM
Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #46 three-page preview by way of iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/transformers-more-than-meets/id1051531914?mt=11).

Full issue is due November 4.

Unicron
2015-10-23, 01:22 AM
Those Autopedia entries are fantastic. Interpretive dance, Scowlex, the whole single-handedly bit... great stuff. I hope the we get more fleshed out version in a trade, like the ones from the LSOTW Hardcover

zigzagger
2015-10-23, 03:55 AM
More Scavengers and Wreckers; November is going to be a fun month.


But yeah, I'd totally be all for replacing Swerve's recap with an Autopedia entry. Plus, it'd feel like a sort of quasi-callback to the Marvel days of old, when we'd get a profile or three at the end of each issue.

Auntie Slag
2015-11-03, 08:17 PM
This isn't linked to anything; I saw this page for a 3rd party Tailgate here (http://www.thechosenprime.com/MM02Rearend). These toy makers have really gone to town replicating MTMTE Cyclonus and Tailgate! His great sword. Little bits you can swap out so you can replicate Tailgate's panicky eyes from one or two issues. Even a spare Cyclonus horn! Its ace :)

Terome
2015-11-04, 01:46 PM
Kicking this off to say it was a fantastic issue. Nice and dense, builds Max up as a credible foe, gives the Scavengers a greater and more interesting purpose, introduces us to some new horrors and even lets the penny drop on the Big Plot - looks like Rodimus' new map is going to lead the Lost Light straight to the baddies.

I like how Krok, who was a complete bastard in the last issue, is given a redemptive turn without absolving him of all sin. The message is more heavy-handed than I'd like but the recent fuss shows that sometimes you do have to spell these things out for the audience.

The colouring was a bit off somehow (we have a raft of credited inkers) and I'm a little bit bothered by how the horses would not have fit in those Roboid boxes and as stale as the Wikipedia joke was, it did at least have a clever payoff.

This week in Brand Synergy: Cerebros has been hanging out on Luna-1 the whole time! Though if there are going to make Max a Headmaster again then there is the intriguing set-up that his head is also going to be a trained counselor and might help with his very severe case of PTSD.

Denyer
2015-11-04, 08:53 PM
Subverted expectations for teh win.

inflatable dalek
2015-11-04, 09:06 PM
I'm a little bit bothered by how the horses would not have fit in those Roboid boxes

Some assembly required?

As I don't think we wound up discussing it in the forum for context the last issue caused a controversy (albeit a very small one) on twitter and social media places I'm too old and uncool to know much about because of the "Should we sell Grimlock?" thing, which they claimed was a deplorable and evil treatment of the mentally ill and caused all sorts of angry blog post and tweets (though I think Roberts mentioned on his return that his brief absence from twitter was mainly a coincidence).

Now, this isn't the sort of thing you want to belittle or make fun of because there is a serious problem with the depiction of mental illness (and disability in general) in fiction, so for the most part if this was a grabbing of the wrong end of the stick it's because it's a subject where people usually get beaten with the stick. Though how regular readers--including those who love MTMTE enough to have MTMTE themed twitter names and avatar--would have expected this two parter to end with "Yeah, mentals, they're literally worthless, am I right?" is beyond me. Some of the arguments were a tad flawed as well ("Yes Crankcase has mental issues as well but...err...he doesn't count").

So the fact the conclusion makes exactly the same point the people who had a go at Roberts were trying to articulate has a certain extra fission to it. Throw in the fact that, by mucking about with SPACE Wikipedia the Scavengers are literally internet trolls and I'd almost think he'd rewritten all the dialogue in the issue at the last second as a two fingered salute if not for the fact it should have been really obvious to everyone that this was how it was going to end.

The only really funny thing is these people would regard Warcry as a complete bastard for being on the "Sell Grimlock" side. Which is what we all suspected.

And I'm veering into smugness so just to reiterate again: This is a serious issue and people being passionate about it is understandable. And this comic handles it perfectly. One of the big issues with mental health issues is people are afraid to talk about it, Krok's best friends have no idea of the real depth of his pain and hopes and them actually sitting down and talking about it--and more importantly listening--is the key moment of the issue. I know Terome thought it somewhat overdone but it worked for me because it's not done nearly enough.

Fortress Maximus was also handled well as a PTSD sufferer, both with the acknowledgement that all the Transformers all equally messed up (something emphasised by Red Alert. Odds on the spelling mistakes in Declassified actually being important?) and in the fact this helps with his healing process as well.

I must admit that the ending did confuse me a bit as I'd completely forgotten the significance of the symbol (I'm just short of that issue in my read of the eighth trade). Go me and my faulty memory.

The main flaw is: Is Rung a bit of a shit psychiatrist? Fortress Maximus is clearly in no position to be left in charge of anything (even if in a nonsense "Give him something to do" job, it's hard to enforce the accord of a dead man who drilled holes in his head. Especially as it's a treaty between Autobots and Decepticons and the later at least aren't in any state to hold up whatever their side of the bargain was. Not that the Tyrest accord ever really made sense anyway...), let alone with lots of guns. How did Rung sign off on that? How many other "Basically decent" Decepticons have met horrible deaths as a result? The Scavengers actually do a better job of counselling him!

In fact, has Rung ever successfully helped anyone?

Auntie Slag
2015-11-04, 09:26 PM
The main flaw is: Is Rung a bit of a shit psychiatrist? Fortress Maximus is clearly in no position to be left in charge of anything... In fact, has Rung ever successfully helped anyone?

I think from his reactions Max is able to reason perfectly well. Despite three years of really hideous torture at Decepticon hands he’s able to agree with Rung and change both his outlook and treatment of Decepticons in the new post-war Universe. He’s also saved all those cute Pokemon robots and they love him; a killer of 10,000 robots from a single battle. I think Rung does a pretty damn good job and knows just how deeply his involvement should be. Even Whirl, in a roundabout way, said they were friends (that hostage issue is still utterly brilliant, an absolute favourite).

I still really enjoy the name shortening convention; Max and Red, and especially to have them working together. I’d say that is the risky move if anything, partnering a Paranoid android to a PTSD sufferer, but it looks like Max works really well with him, or rather the two together keep each other grounded. I don't think either of them exhibit their issues in this issue.

One thing that did bug me is the sheer amount of advertising pages in this issue; 13 pages! Glad it didn’t mean reducing the story itself, but my god. If it gets to over half the page count people might start confusing it with Cosmo or Vogue.

Auntie Slag
2015-11-04, 10:10 PM
And what about Roadbuster and what he did to poor Radar? That easily puts him on a par with the DJD, and this after his tender treatment of Springer in a coma (I know I know, its serious).

Terome
2015-11-04, 11:05 PM
And what about Roadbuster and what he did to poor Radar? That easily puts him on a par with the DJD, and this after his tender treatment of Springer in a coma (I know I know, its serious).

Yeah man, that was really nasty. The idea of him being jazzed on robo-meth at the time was also pretty surprising.

Dalek: One of the big issues with mental health issues is people are afraid to talk about it, Krok's best friends have no idea of the real depth of his pain and hopes and them actually sitting down and talking about it--and more importantly listening--is the key moment of the issue. I know Terome thought it somewhat overdone but it worked for me because it's not done nearly enough.

I'm eager for it all to be explored like this, it was Krok's almost fourth-wall breaking moment that I think pushed it slightly outside my tastes. I guess it felt a bit... Russell T. Davis? Roberts is keen on him so that is probably praise but for me I always get the desire to edit out just a line or two in the name of some subtlety.

Slag again: I think from his reactions Max is able to reason perfectly well. Despite three years of really hideous torture at Decepticon hands hes able to agree with Rung and change both his outlook and treatment of Decepticons in the new post-war Universe.

I think it's also worth remembering that even if Rung wanted Max detained, he has no legal recourse to enact that if Rodimus or whoever doesn't agree. They don't really have laws and due process any more and if Max wants to gun people down in the style of Frank Castle then there isn't anything to stop him from doing so.

Is the Grand Architect growing humans?

Death's Head
2015-11-04, 11:21 PM
My thoughts from elsewhere:

Is the 'Grand Architect' some kind of Leige Maximo-esque figure, perhaps? With a plan to grow a new race of 'Cybertronians' (maybe techno-organic, from what we've seen so far on the crashed Worldsweeper, and the end of this issue?)? It's the line 'haven't we moved on from all that?' that makes me think - very reminiscent of Jhiaxus's claim in the old Marvel G2 comics to be beyond the concept of Autobot and Decepticon, with the G2 comic of course being a big influence on James' writing.

Auntie Slag
2015-11-04, 11:43 PM
Is the Grand Architect growing humans?

Human’s with lights in heir palms like in Logan’s Run! And Holy crap, I didn’t notice it the first time round, but the Scavengers are in so much trouble! Just when I love them more than ever (he knows how to twist that knife!) That little panel where Max arrives on the WAP and calls out Grimlock; and Grimlock is holding a pen, which in itself is brilliant (proving beyond a doubt that T-Rex’s COULD do something with those stubby little arms). But he has an incredibly evil expression on his Dino face, and he’s drawn that symbol that relates to the Grand Architect, suggesting he’s been playing it dumb all this time with the Scavengers and will know exactly when to sell them up the river.

Some excellent references in this issue that I loved:


Fort Max parodying a Bill Hicks sketch (America acting like John Wayne to the rest of the world “He had a gun”).

Misfire’s ‘Full retard’ pisstake from Tropic Thunder, or should that be Tropic Thunderwing!


And Spinister’s little kisses at the end of his note :)

So Fort Max was right, he should have taken Grimlock in. There might be a lot of death’s about to occur because he chose to play it civil with the Scavengers rather than a thug warden with PTSD. That there Grimlock is thoroughly evil!

Which raises more questions; was Overlord in league with the Grand Architect that he handed over Grimlock for some especially nasty experiments? Did the Grand Architect have something on Overlord? How many personalities are in Grimlock’s head?

Can Spinister save them all? Is he an earlier experiment by those who tinkered with Grimlock?

What IS the code in Ironfist's datalogs? Perhaps Roberts is challenging the readers to re-arrange those two clues that Red told Max?And clue’s about what? Did Ironfist know something about the Grand Architect in his readings about the Primal Vanguard that linked Delta Magnus to the DJD, Skids, Ultra Magnus and Overlord?

[Edit]: Here's the upper case letters extracted from Spinister's note to Max:

UNIOKARSBOLRA SPNTER

I'm wondering if it's a Countdown anagram?

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-05, 12:35 PM
I'm all for foreshadowing and clues in comics but I hope there isnt a code in that - comics shouldnt require that much effort!

But this was a damn engrossing issue - one of those ones were I just wish the various dialogues could keep going. Its very much a feeder issue though - the events of the issue arent whats important its what they set-up or imply thats the real hook.

Going to be another interesting two years so...

Auntie Slag
2015-11-05, 02:28 PM
Perhaps, but its cool if he lays all the clues out for you. I read yonks ago about this 'fair play' code in comics, or at least that some comics publishers adhere to; that if its a murder mystery, say, then the reader should be able to reach the correct conclusion with all the facts presented, instead of some last minute cop-out solution.

I can't think of any other cop-out right now other than when the Hand of Primus flicked The Fallen off the planet in Dreamwave's War Within, or whatever it was called.

Unicron
2015-11-05, 03:01 PM
Think this more or less kills my theory that it was Scorponok who took Grimlock from G-9 and stashed him aboard the symbol-ship.
I suppose he still could have, if he was working for this 'Grand Architect' (could have met up with him/his people while gallivanting around the galaxy and doing his Headmaster experiments), but I guess the implication here is that the ship on Clemency belongs to the guys who showed up at the end.

inflatable dalek
2015-11-05, 09:03 PM
I think from his reactions Max is able to reason perfectly well. Despite three years of really hideous torture at Decepticon hands hes able to agree with Rung and change both his outlook and treatment of Decepticons in the new post-war Universe. Hes also saved all those cute Pokemon robots and they love him; a killer of 10,000 robots from a single battle. I think Rung does a pretty damn good job and knows just how deeply his involvement should be. Even Whirl, in a roundabout way, said they were friends (that hostage issue is still utterly brilliant, an absolute favourite).

Magnus would never have shot an unarmed suspect in the back (and oh oh oh! A cop shooting a member of a group he doesn't like without any provocation? A wee comment on the American police and their attitude to black people there?), his insitence on doing the whole "Here's who I am so surrender" skit even when someone was trying to kill him got a bit silly but at least it followed some sort of due process.

Max is clearly, still deeply unwell (though the events of this issue move him further along the healing process than anything Rung ever did to him. Note Rung also failed to notice he was likely to go on a killing spree back in 6) and should never, ever have been put in a position where he had a gun.

And Spinster saved the ponies (hmm, toys based on horrifically scared borderline psychotic robots are a bit of an odd and creepy thing? Some sort of subtext there?).

Rung's failure here was actually thrown into sharp relieve because I'd just reread the last Ratchet issue in the trade and there Ratchet is able to help a whole load of people (including Rung) through their emotional problems in an afternoon better than Rung ever has.

He failed Fort Max. He's failed to cure Red Alert's paranoia. He didn't notice Swerve falling into isolation and depression. His one on-page session with Megatron was handled in an incredibly unprofessional way (Roberts even acknowledges in the script it throws all sense to the wind for the sake of the drama and setting up various things). Rung is rubbish!


One thing that did bug me is the sheer amount of advertising pages in this issue; 13 pages!

Blimey, tell me you're comedicaly exaggerating, that's awful.


I think it's also worth remembering that even if Rung wanted Max detained, he has no legal recourse to enact that if Rodimus or whoever doesn't agree. They don't really have laws and due process any more and if Max wants to gun people down in the style of Frank Castle then there isn't anything to stop him from doing so.

Rung was perfectly happy for him to become third officer when he thought that was the job being offered though, and he doesn't seem to have voiced any objection to anything Maximus has done (and they're clearly still talking regularly. "So, you shot another load of unarmed and unawares and untried suspects in the back? How does that make you feel?").


@Death's Head: Scorponok could well be the Grand Architect.

Patapsco
2015-11-05, 10:10 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb, but what Roadbuster did to Radar has to be what Ironfist refers to as "The Roadbuster Affair" all the way back in Last Stand Of The Wreckers #1. I'm sure Roberts mentioned it on Twitter when he came back, but can't find the actual tweet

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-05, 11:29 PM
Quite surprised people are surprised that the psycho analyst isn't actually good at his job. Rungs had his moments but I've always felt his role is more of a cover for his real purpose and or intentions.

Terome
2015-11-06, 12:33 AM
Red Alert was seeing him for something like 300 years wasn't he? He's barely even gotten started with failing to treat Max!

Transformers do seem to have a strange attitude to guns. Guns aren't particularly lethal and they tend to be welded to their bodies (or ARE their bodies). It's fairly rare to even see one unarmed. Off the top of my head, on the Lost Light Swerve, Rewind and Rung don't have any inbuilt weaponry and are rarely shown with anything handheld. I'm not sure they have a culture that considers forcible disarmament to be ethical. There's definitely something in there about the current attitudes towards guns in the States.

But besides from that point yes, Rung has not helped anyone that we know of in any measurable way. What psychoanalyst has?

Scorponok is a good a guess as any on the Great Architect though I hope it's not him because he's crap. Same for the Quints and anyway Roberts would just be competing with himself in making them actually be interesting. Something new would be my vote.

But he has an incredibly evil expression on his Dino face, and he’s drawn that symbol that relates to the Grand Architect, suggesting he’s been playing it dumb all this time with the Scavengers and will know exactly when to sell them up the river.

Hmm... didn't read that as an evil expression the first time around and Grimlock playing dumb would rather undermine the moral thrust of this issue. So far we've seen three characters draw that symbol, all in degrees of unconsciousness: Rodimus through automatic writing, Thunderclash through some sort of fugue state and now Grimlock, who may or may not have been 'domesticated.' Looks like the map or instructions or recipe or whatever is being beamed out and intercepted by minds in a receptive state. Remember when Rodimus wrote Old Cybertronian on Tailgate's chest in the Annual? Something along those lines again, I expect.

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-06, 01:39 AM
IMO, the Grimlock thing is his own reminder for vengeance. The Grand Architect or his troops captured him and seriously damaged him. Maybe his only solid mempry of who did it is that symbol, hence the three words of Prepare, Confront and repel. Just how I saw it anyway.

As for the big bad himself, I'm guessing its someone we havent seen before - either a Roberts original or a character that hasnt been used. Maybe Leige Maximo or even Megatronus. Although they seem more tied to Barbers stuff. Cant see it being Scorponok but I wouldnt be surprised if he is tied up in all this in some way.

Could still be the Necrobot - We dont know if he was telling everything and he had some incredible tech. Would be very Whedon-like to have a seemingly benevolent character revealed as a mastermind.

Auntie Slag
2015-11-06, 11:44 AM
Magnus would never have shot an unarmed suspect in the back.

Do you mean Demus? He was carrying a gun. I guess you must be referring to someone else.

Its an interesting point about guns though. I feel like they're not as dangerous to Transformers as they are to humans, which sounds silly, but I'm using the text story Bullets for evidence here (this is at the back of the LSotW TPB):

In a scene where Ironfist is brought before the Ethics Committee on Kimia to answer for his cerebro-centric brain bullets. Trailbreaker who sits on the Committee says to him "Most weapons can be used to wound. To disarm. To neutralise a threat. Your weapon kills, every time".

This could suggest a lot of Transformer weapons are not designed to kill a Transformer.

When Ratchet fired his gun at Overlord's face, for instance. It should have taken Overlord's face off. That's what a human gun might at that range do to a human. Instead it snapped Overlord's head back as it bounced off his chin.

When Crankcase fired both his cannons into Max's back, it didn't kill him, but it dropped Max to the floor for a while. Neither did any of the Scavengers assume it would kill Max because they all took the chance to run.

In the tech specs many Transformers had fascinating guns that did something new. Astrotrain had a displacer rifle, The Protectobots had Photon rifles, and someone else had a cyclone gun. Not many of these guys had guns that were for outright killing.

Max clearly intended to kill Demus, so that does make him a Dirty Harry style bastard at that moment.

But yeah... the Autobots have a Committee that can decide how lethal firearms should be. Transformers can also be shot, sliced and diced a million different ways (perhaps not Ambulon) and come out the other side looking fine.

What am I trying to say? That shooting a Transformer with a gun does not mean death like it may to a human. It perhaps means disabling.


Blimey, tell me you're comedicaly exaggerating, that's awful.

Yep, my issue was printed on that higher quality paper that they once did for the first issue of Remain in Light, so it felt thicker and that there were more pages. Seriously it wasn't far off that you could cut it in half so one half was story and the other solid advertising!

Auntie Slag
2015-11-06, 11:55 AM
Regarding the typos that Red Alert picked up on in Ironfists datalogs, there is first mention of these typos in the Bullets text story. In it, Skyfall is chatting with Ironfist about his Wreckers datalogs and what the others on Kimia think of them.

Skyfall says he's a slow reader and hasn't caught up with the latest edition. And then the following is said:

Ironfist: "You should just download them all directly to your neural processor, save you a lot of time".

Skyfall: "Yeah, but getting it beamed into your head feels like cheating. Besides I wouldn't be able to spot the typos".

So again, this is an idea that Roberts has had brewing for the last five years. Was Skyfall able to work out these messages prior to his own suicide? If so did he do something about them?

Were these messages about The Primal Vanguard? Ironfist was a massive fan of theirs. I've a feeling lots about Ironfist still has a major part (or parts) to play in MTMTE regarding Delta Magnus, the Vanguard, the Grand Architect, Grimlock etc (although those last two may be repercussions of the first two).

Unicron
2015-11-06, 12:02 PM
Or, you know, Red finding a 'hidden message' in the typos could just be showing him to be the paranoid kook he's been made out to be

Auntie Slag
2015-11-06, 12:08 PM
Also definitely possible, yes. But we kind of know that Ironfist may have been into word puzzles and stuff. Fisitron was an anagram of his name, and again going back to that Bullets text story, it very clearly describes Ironfist as the type of guy who is intensely methodical and measured compared to Skyfall who cuts corners.

Someone methodical doesn't leave typos in his datalogs, and it probably takes a Red Alert to find them.

This issue feels like its so heavily linked to Ironfist and Bullets.

I still think there's something massively interesting to be revealed about Top Spin & Twin Twist's vicarious perception. So they died before it concluded, robbing Preceptor of the chance to elaborate further, but maybe some form of it will appear again if the two Rewind's should be brought together?

Terome
2015-11-06, 12:37 PM
IMO, the Grimlock thing is his own reminder for vengeance. The Grand Architect or his troops captured him and seriously damaged him. Maybe his only solid mempry of who did it is that symbol, hence the three words of Prepare, Confront and repel. Just how I saw it anyway.
.

That's a good spin on it - reminding himself and psyching himself up. Something about seeing Max might have jostled his memory. I'm taking 'Prepare, Confront, Repel' as being some sort of motto or mission statement of the gear people though.

I'm trying to get a handle on why they habitually fly around in Decepticon Worldsweepers. Did they get them cheap at a police impound? The most obvious thing seems to be that they are a lost tribe of Decepticons but that doesn't quite fit with what we know about the faction. If Fulcrum goes on The List for not blowing up then a whole tribe of deserters makes the DJD look very bad at their jobs.

I haven't read Bullets so these old revelations about Ironfist do seem to be significant! I thought it was just Red Alert being wacky but he was right before about the monster in the basement...

Auntie Slag
2015-11-06, 12:48 PM
But is it also the case that anything Red Alert sees, the New Institute also sees? Red's right to be paranoid. He's got the dots in back of his neck (revealed in Shadowplay) so he's been tampered with (as has Rewind if we assume the worst about Chromedome's claim that his better half is allergic to ultra violet light).

And Overlord is pretty excellent at mind reading too (he certainly surprised Chromedome). Perhaps he was able to uncover what Chromedome had blocked AND sees the link with the Institute.

Goes back again to the fact that Chromedome is an utter bastard, and that Ironfist was maybe onto something, hence the need to hide his real messages within the datalogs.

Maybe the Institute dislike anagrams as much as Dave!

Damn, I SO need to go back and read Shadowplay again. Like that's a hardship! :D

inflatable dalek
2015-11-06, 04:16 PM
Quite surprised people are surprised that the psycho analyst isn't actually good at his job. Rungs had his moments but I've always felt his role is more of a cover for his real purpose and or intentions.

The worrying thing is Rung is one of the top two most famous Transformer psychiatrists. How shit must the lower in the top ten Cerebrus be? He probably tries to help Max with homoeopathy.

Do you mean Demus? He was carrying a gun. I guess you must be referring to someone else.

If you're going to go using facts to point out every mistake I make I am going to stop talking to you.

He still doesn't attempt any "Surrender or I fire" (as Magnus did every single time so presumably it's procedure) stuff though, and as many Transformers have weaponry built into them--including Max--being armed isn't enough in and of itself to justify murder.


This could suggest a lot of Transformer weapons are not designed to kill a Transformer.

Though I think it's unlikely (I take all the stuff you quoted to mean they're not automatically supposed to use weapons lethally, rather than them going out of their way to build ones that aren't), that makes Max going straight for the kill even worse.

Especially as we only have his clearly biased word for it Demus was as much of a wrong 'un as he claims (much like those American cops who try and insist the black person was a real honest to goodness threat). The ending implies he could well have been a patsy for the real villains.

Plus, by killing him Max loses a lead that could have been hugely useful in finding out the truth. So unethical, against procedure and counter-productive to his mission. It's nice he's on the road to recovery at the end, but the dude really needs to be out of a job.



Yep, my issue was printed on that higher quality paper that they once did for the first issue of Remain in Light, so it felt thicker and that there were more pages. Seriously it wasn't far off that you could cut it in half so one half was story and the other solid advertising!

Boy am I glad I went digital, same price but ad free!

Warcry
2015-11-06, 10:20 PM
The only really funny thing is these people would regard Warcry as a complete bastard for being on the "Sell Grimlock" side. Which is what we all suspected.
It's not like I was saying something stupid like "tards aren't people, sell away!" I'd have said the same thing if they were trying to nurse an injured or physically ill Grimlock back to health. He's dangerous and it's super-risky to harbour him (even moreso given how the issue ends...I'm with Slag in thinking that he comes off pretty sinister there).

[EDIT]That is, the danger isn't that he's disabled, it's what he might do if he recovers from his disability.

Obviously I have all the sympathy in the world for him considering the serious brain damage he's suffered, but if the Scavengers don't want to be eaten they should have dropped him off in an escape pod at the first Autobot facility they flew past just to get him off of their hands.

Red Alert was seeing him for something like 300 years wasn't he? He's barely even gotten started with failing to treat Max!
Red Alert actually got better for a while though, didn't he? Everyone seemed to be surprised when he went completely off the handle, which implies that he'd been at least functional for a while.

Anyway, overall I really liked this issue, even though I don't have any memory of the symbol Grimlock drew or what it might represent. It was nice to see it acknowledged so bluntly that every Transformer who's survived the war is some degree of insane, and the theme of the issue also played itself out nicely with Fort Max, who is obviously off his rocker but wound up being helped not by the (as you say, not very helpful) mental health professional buy by a pack of equally damaged former 'Cons.

I'm assuming the massive number of 'Con life signs that Krok detected were Tarn/Deathsaurus's men?

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-07, 07:12 AM
No, what krok detects is the animals - demus has created them from captured decepticons.

Auntie Slag
2015-11-07, 12:47 PM
Its a freaky similarity though; the Scavengers are harbouring Grimlock. The Lost Lighters have Megatron. Both could be a gnats whisker from tearing apart their respective crews & they just need the right trigger.

In this respect I'd put Prime's judgement over Megatron on a par with Rung's judgement of Max.

Thinking about Rung again, why is everyone insisting he's crap based on a sample size of two? These two being a supreme killer at Simanzi, and a notorious paranoiac. Max & Red are extremes. Its mentioned somewhere that his longest serving patient is Silverstreak (probably saw it in Bullets, again!). Are Silverstreak and Bluestreak the same person in IDW?

I guess what I'm trying to suggest is that trust is a big part of the treatment, not that Demus would agree (ho ho) and its what tempers some of Max & Megatron's actions (apart from the poison fuel). I feel like Megatron still hates, but grudgingly respects Prime/Pax for the LL opportunity, and that affects what he does on the ship. I've no proof of this, of course.

Megatron has been a fantastic character ever since Chaos Theory (though I didn't read Dark Cybertron). I'm not looking forward to his changing back, although a part of me relishes his bloodthirsty quips and laser guided focus from his Decepticon days.

If Megatron was fully powered, and in a body he felt comfortable in, would he spend another second with The Lost Light crew? The only thing to restrain him would be his obligation to Prime. Would he kill his own Decepticons under this obligation?

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-07, 01:54 PM
I think the answer to megs is in the issue with the necrobot - I think he genuinely is looking to make amends for what his war caused. The realisation that the djd are his creation and the monument of death in the necrobots garden have been key points in fueling him wanting to change his legacy. I don't think its made him a "good" guy or change his overall belief but he seems keen on creating a different narrative to his legacy

Auntie Slag
2015-11-07, 01:58 PM
Yeah, I'd definitely go along with that. As long as he doesn't start getting into Donovan or anything. :)

Auntie Slag
2015-11-10, 05:49 PM
Thinking about it again, even though you're right I guess the sad thing is that Megatron is going to have to turn into a fully murderous Decepticon again. He is the big bad guy in all versions of TF.

What'll be interesting is if he does it willingly, or if he's manipulated again somehow. Whatever happens it'll be something pretty important, because Rung said he sensed they would never talk like this again (back in World Shut Your Mouth: Part 1).

Patapsco
2015-11-10, 10:32 PM
The thing with this version of Megatron is Roberts has almost unilaterally portrayed him as having the same vision for the future of Cybertron as Optimus did, except when he, in his own words, "lost the war by declaring it". This Megatron created the Decepticons initially as a movement questioning the established order of the race, but as he discovered, the only way to enable change was to destroy the order. What does Megatron have to destroy now? He's won the war he wanted while losing the war he didn't want.

He's proved since coming aboard that there's a lot more going on with him than it seems - telling Ravage to play dead because not all of the Lost Light's crew trust him yet back in issue 33, the stuff with Brainstorm's briefcase, his deliberate Necrobot detour - but exactly what it is, who knows? Maybe Skullcruncher is right and he's staging his own infiltration protocol with the autobots...

Auntie Slag
2015-11-10, 10:52 PM
But there’s still plenty of demons out there for Megatron to slay; the Institute, the Functionists (I like to think they’re not gone), Overlord, this new order run by The Grand Architect, the Black Block Consortia, the DJD, Deathsaurus & Co. even Whirl (perhaps).

I’m surprised he didn’t look for Terminus on the Necrobot’s database (also makes me wonder if Rung is on it at all?)

What if Spinister is able to reverse the memories and data deleted from Megatron's mind by Trepan?

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-11, 01:36 AM
For me, Megatrons arc needs to be finite. I'm not saying I'm right here but for me if he steps back into decepticon leadership it negates the great work that has been done in building this version of the character. And if he did, what would it achieve for the reader? He's had several masterplans. He's had his turn to the light side.

I can only see his arc ending with him achieving redemption, be it defeating Tarn and his army or helping the Lost Light finally find the knights. But I cant see him returning to the dark side.

inflatable dalek
2015-11-11, 09:20 AM
Rung assumed he might not get to talk to Megatron again because of the ever present risk of being struck off for being crap.

Patapsco
2015-11-12, 11:03 PM
For me, Megatrons arc needs to be finite. I'm not saying I'm right here but for me if he steps back into decepticon leadership it negates the great work that has been done in building this version of the character. And if he did, what would it achieve for the reader? He's had several masterplans. He's had his turn to the light side.

I can only see his arc ending with him achieving redemption, be it defeating Tarn and his army or helping the Lost Light finally find the knights. But I cant see him returning to the dark side.

I'd totally buy into Megatron sacrificing himself to kill the DJD because then he will truly kill off the Decepticon movement, which is what he wanted to do all the way back when... I'm pretty sure it was mentioned in All Hail Megatron but definitely within IDW's continuity. Deathsaurus probably won't stand against the Autobots with the DJD gone

Unicron
2015-11-13, 11:10 AM
I've been thinking about this whole 'Rung is a terrible psychiatrist thing', and I don't think there's enough evidence of that.

With Red Alert, Rung did successfully treat him. Red got over his paranoia for a long time, got all kinds of promotions as a result, etc. He probably had a Magnus-like break after the war ended. Without the Cons and the war to focus on, he drifted back into the paranoid. It also didn't help that his roommate was Swerve. That can't have been good for Red's mental health. Especially since Swerve was playing jokes on and gaslighting Red.

Fort Max, sure he snapped and went on a shooting spree, but you can't really blame that on Eyebrows. Max wasn't there voluntarily, he couldn't have been under Rung's care for very long, and he wouldn't talk about what actually happened on G-9. How could any therapist make any progress under those conditions.
Sure, it was freaking stupid to declare Max clear for work and letting him go off and be Enforcer without spending more time treating him. Can't really defend that.

Meanwhile, Rung's longest patient Bluestreak seems to be a resounding success. He's seems perfectly fine, aside from the Earth culture obsession.

Flimflammery
2015-11-13, 11:32 AM
I totally agree with Unicron here; I've been thinking of jumping in, as I think Rung's been unfairly characterised as terrible too. Considering we've only seen a tiny fraction of the work he's done over millions of years, there's really not enough of a sample size to condemn him. And yes, surprise surprise, psychiatrists are fallible and on occasion make stupid decisions

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-13, 02:16 PM
And in defence of red alert, there was actually a conspiracy going on and he wasn't hearing voices, he was hearing overlord.

I'm taking a wild stab at this but I think red alerts attempted suicide was more a case that Roberts may not have been able to think of a better reason why red alert would keep overlord under wraps once discovered until issue 16

inflatable dalek
2015-11-13, 03:46 PM
The poking fun at Rung is a little tongue in cheek, after all, every fictional psychiatrist is a crap psychiatrist because actual psychiatry in incredibly undramatic and uninteresting because one of the basic rules of dramas is show don't tell and therapy is all about telling.

So the characters sort out (or fail to sort out) their issues by doing rather than sitting around and talking about their problems. And that's fine and dandy (and not something I suspect Roberts would argue against, as noted the script annotations for the Rung/Megatron session repeatedly stresses "This is hugely unprofessional but I needed it to happen"), but does mean Rung's track record is appalling.

Summerhayes
2015-11-18, 09:16 PM
In IDW's defence, the adverts were all at the back and the issue was still full-length. No harm done.
I'm taking a wild stab at this but I think red alerts attempted suicide was more a case that Roberts may not have been able to think of a better reason why red alert would keep overlord under wraps once discovered until issue 16

Are we thinking it really was a suicide attempt? I'm assuming either a clever ploy to hide himself safely on Red's part or a failed assassination by someone else.

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-18, 09:56 PM
In IDW's defence, the adverts were all at the back and the issue was still full-length. No harm done.


Are we thinking it really was a suicide attempt? I'm assuming either a clever ploy to hide himself safely on Red's part or a failed assassination by someone else.

Think its all but confirmed as a suicide attempt - thats First Aids explanation and the reason he gets kept off line for the rest of season 1.

Like I say, just feels like Roberts had to write him out sharpish to allow for the rest of the story. He couldnt join with Rodimus, Drift and Chromedome as he is too unstable and paranoid and there is no way he would keep Overlord a secret through all those issues.

Auntie Slag
2015-11-18, 11:26 PM
And he'd lost Rung as well, the only person he trusted on the Lost Light. And Swerve had been winding him up something rotten, too!

Summerhayes
2015-11-18, 11:38 PM
Oh my god, I was remembering Red putting the data slug in Rung's hand as Rung putting it in Red's!
I'm obviously due another day spent re-reading old robot comicbooks...

Auntie Slag
2015-11-18, 11:48 PM
He's also the only one whose significantly changed his body shape (is there a Red Alert toy that looks like MTMTE Red, yet?). I always wondered if there was something significant in that too.

Whirl is quite different too, but in a weird, skinny psycho way. He's not all bulked up American football player like Red.

Unicron
2015-11-19, 12:24 AM
I actually suspect the plan had been that Drift did indeed behead Red to keep things under wraps, but Roberts decided it wouldn't work well with Drift's later self-sacrifice to keep Rodimus' name clean

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-19, 12:55 AM
I actually suspect the plan had been that Drift did indeed behead Red to keep things under wraps, but Roberts decided it wouldn't work well with Drift's later self-sacrifice to keep Rodimus' name clean

Yeah, I could well believe that. To be fair, there was enough going on anyway without another whodunnit and there is no way that Drift could have the, ahem, "awesome" retribution arc that is empire of stone.

Although, I always find it funny that way back in issue 4, Drift kills the other Prowl guy - hacks him to pieces in fact - and no-one seems too bothered. Although in the story you initially think he is a zombie, by the end of the issue you realise he was just a sick robot. And Drift BUTCHERED him!

Flimflammery
2015-11-19, 08:52 AM
Although, I always find it funny that way back in issue 4, Drift kills the other Prowl guy - hacks him to pieces in fact - and no-one seems too bothered. Although in the story you initially think he is a zombie, by the end of the issue you realise he was just a sick robot. And Drift BUTCHERED him!

Yeah, that always bothered me. You would have thought at the very least Ratchet would have had more than just a few stern words for Drift for murdering a fellow Autobot - the latter really needs to work on thinking before slicing and dicing.

Summerhayes
2015-11-19, 07:00 PM
I just had a little peek at that issue. Drift was sort of defending Pipes, which Ratchet acknowledges, and he cuts off the arms and head, which we've seen is hardly lethal for a Cybertronian.

Flimflammery
2015-11-19, 10:41 PM
Hmm, you've got a point, but his arms would surely have been enough, looking at the state he's in - if it was only just in time that they saved the physically healthy Red Alert when decapitated, surely this clearly diseased 'bot should be seen as more vulnerable. For a born again hippy Drift does seem to have a tendency towards extreme force.

Patapsco
2015-11-19, 10:52 PM
Hmm, you've got a point, but his arms would surely have been enough, looking at the state he's in - if it was only just in time that they saved the physically healthy Red Alert when decapitated, surely this clearly diseased 'bot should be seen as more vulnerable. For a born again hippy Drift does seem to have a tendency towards extreme force.

Drift himself says he looks infected, and so justified the additional slicing to make sure he stopped moving

Summerhayes
2015-11-19, 11:03 PM
For a born again hippy Drift does seem to have a tendency towards extreme force.

Isn't it pretty much canon that the whole hippy thing is Drift making up for the fact that deep down he knows he's a violent bastard? He was a 'Con, after all...

Red Dave Prime
2015-11-20, 12:03 AM
I think you can dance around all the reasons why character drift this or that but for me its very much a case of where the desire to create a certain reaction and expectation from the reader over rides logic in the story (and just to be clear, I mostly never have much of a problem with that as a writers tool because if you want absolute realism in your plots you are going to get very little actual action and adventure)

The way I see it is that they encounter a lot of body parts and the leaked rust. They know its some sort of plague. Drift sees one of the bodies is still alive. Now do remember that its a plague, its the equivilant of Ebola for autobots. Should he (a) push pipes out of the way? (b) push the offending autobot out of the way, in a manner similar to how he takes Pipes himself down later in the story? or should he (c) slice the arms and head off the robot before finishing with both swords jammed in the infected bots chest - basically where the spark is?

The only way (c) is the correct answer is if they think the infected are acting hostile but there is no evidence of it. The reader can make the logical assumption that it may be a zombie attack but for the characters thats a huge jump. Drift may want Dent/Prowl to stay back but he really destroys the guy. Now there can be a certain out by saying that he can be repaired but we've also seen that if the head does get removed, theres a certain time limit on fixing things - and neither First Aid nor Ratchet seem to think that theres a point because both just give a shrug as if to say "ah well"

From a series point of view, it seems like something that Ratchet in particular would not be able to forgive or let go, given how his relationship with drift reveals itself over the issue. I really think its a (to be fair, generally rare) case of Roberts wanting to get a certain idea across to the reader but maybe not fully thinking things through