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Patapsco
2016-03-19, 03:11 PM
The plot thickens, so put on your mittens for these sub-zero conditions

http://i.imgur.com/4KA7IeE.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/WIjAX4J.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/JvvVMdy.jpg

Well, we've found out why the last wishes message took so long to arrive at the start of number 50. Also, "SCREW GETAWAY"

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-19, 03:28 PM
I know Roberts tends to fumble the endings after good build up as a general rule, but I am loving the tension here. Cant beat a ticking clock.

Patapsco
2016-03-20, 09:22 AM
So it looks like there's going to be a lot of talking going on in this issue, as it seems Tarn has at least some sort of plan which isn't "murder everyone immediately"

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-20, 01:44 PM
So it looks like there's going to be a lot of talking going on in this issue, as it seems Tarn has at least some sort of plan which isn't "murder everyone immediately"

I'm sure at some point we'll have the Autobots have the "we should / should not give up Megatron to the DJD". If Megs is really against violence, he should volunteer to go out - although maybe he knows that wont stop the psychos in the DJD force.

Patapsco
2016-03-20, 06:00 PM
I'm sure at some point we'll have the Autobots have the "we should / should not give up Megatron to the DJD". If Megs is really against violence, he should volunteer to go out - although maybe he knows that wont stop the psychos in the DJD force.

yeah, I'm thinking someone is going to try and give Megatron up Judas style and Roberts has previous for using biblical metaphors. But again, I can't shake this feeling that Chromedome is going to do something silly. No idea why, but I just do. Also, it's nice to see Swerve being a metallurgist for a change and a nod to his original tech specs

Tetsuro
2016-03-21, 03:32 AM
I'm sure at some point we'll have the Autobots have the "we should / should not give up Megatron to the DJD".
Yeah, except alternate universe Rewind knows exactly how well that sort of plan tends to work.

Patapsco
2016-03-21, 10:17 AM
Yeah, except alternate universe Rewind knows exactly how well that sort of plan tends to work.

weren't they perfectly happy to leave after killing Overlord right up to the point when they found out Drift was on board?

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-21, 10:42 AM
They find drift first I think. Wiki has it that overlord is executed after the rampage. Although I remember thinking it went the other way with them killing overlord first and then bumping into drift.

Curious will we get any major parts with rewind - given what he went through he must be bricking it.

Patapsco
2016-03-21, 09:04 PM
Another thing: the last requests message was sent when the crew had six and a half hours to live, while Tarn isn't due back until sunset which is 8 hours away. Unless there's a parlay and Tarn backs off, whatever and whoever convinces the crew to send those messages is amongst them right now

Patapsco
2016-03-22, 08:12 PM
Release date is 30th March *. Quotes and songs all posted on Twitter last night, Nickel is with the DJD, and Roberts chose, arguably, my second favourite Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds track for the soundtrack

* - tentative, as we should all know by now with this book.

Patapsco
2016-03-25, 09:39 PM
And two more pages from another preview

http://i.imgur.com/Di0Js7C.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Tv9H43N.jpg

Patapsco
2016-03-30, 08:37 AM
So it's out and I'll file this under the "filler, but good" category as barely anything happened to advance the story at hand - the Lost Light is still on silent, the DJD are doing DJD things and everything's more or less where we ended last time. But... there's also some good stuff in here.

- the mystery surrounding the Knights Of Cybertron & the organics found in the Scavengers issues continues to congeal yet mystify. What are they doing with them? Saving them? Attempting to force some sort of of Grand Cybertronian Taxonomy on the rest of the universe, but with fleshlings? Who knows
- More wonderful stuff with Megatron, as his inevitable demise or reversion back to a Decepticon is looking to be a real emotional gut punch when it does happen. Again, it's a credit to Roberts that there's still just enough doubt about Megs that even if you think he's telling the truth you still think he's lying. Marvellous stuff
- Ten proves to be smarter than the crew, and me to be fair by leaving a cryptic message regarding the shield, the flowers and a force field. I must admit, I thought on first glance he was suggesting resurrecting Trailbreaker, but Roberts only brings characters back when it suits him so *jokes*
- Rodimus again proves that he's a bloody awful captain by yelling at Ten. If he gets killed, it will be a mercy killing because he's racking up one hell of a rap sheet in terms of "shitty things that have put my crew in danger to soothe my own ego"
- Oh, Ratchet and Poochie returned. While I didn't expect them to come back in this arc, I felt they were coming back at some point. Hope you like being relegated to the background Velocity.

Very much an intermediate issue, which I think will read much better in a trade than on its own. Good characterisation, some superficial filler pumping up the series backstory but not a lot going on. Give it a solid C+, maybe a B-.

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-30, 12:39 PM
Thought there was quite a bit going on here actually. In terms of action / battle stuff, yeah not much until the end but there's a lot of info in here - some clear, some clearing up and some to be cleared. If you're going to make the joke that velocity is heading back to the background, this was an issue packed enough that several of those characters only get passing scenes.

so yes, a bridging issue, but they are kinda essential to multi-parts surely?

Just regarding your point on Rodimus - at some point Roberts has to start redeeming this guy?? Because at this point from his treatment of Ten to his seeming inaction to Magnus asking him what to do, he is still failing - I kinda thought he would have a moment of clarity here and start to finally come good. Maybe next issue.

Regarding ten though - I think this doesn't quite work because both Magnus and Swerve are there. Given what happened before I thought that neither would allow Ten to be dismissed in this why (albeit for different reasons)

That said, Ravages use of him was excellent. Still a 'Con.

Good issue, somewhat let down by the underwhelming reveal at the end (also - didn't they take down quite a few DJD there? )

Patapsco
2016-03-30, 12:46 PM
No, it's most definitely to do with Ratchet (presumably) rejoining the crew (presumably) and becoming chief doctor (presumably) and Velocity getting bumped down to nurse like First Aid was (presumably). It's all hypothetical at the moment though. Glad to see someone else on the "Rodimus is fricking terrible" bandwagon I thought I'd been solo piloting

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-30, 01:10 PM
Ah, ok that makes perfect sense re: Ratchet / velocity

As for rodimus, no ,i think many on here see him as a shit captain, and a bit of a prick.

Patapsco
2016-03-30, 02:03 PM
We also still don't know the series of events that provoke the last words message from the start of the last issue. By my reckoning we're about 90 minutes or so away in the story from the point where the messages were recorded. Unless they're all pretend messages sent as a decoy while they escape...

inflatable dalek
2016-03-30, 08:17 PM
That was good solid fast and interesting stuff.

And Podcast Maximus was pretty on the ball about a lot of things (especially Terome who like Ten spotted the significance of the flowers. And like Ten we ignored him).

As a Zulu homage it's hardly surprising there's lots of standing around and talking before the attack, but here it's genuinely interesting unlike that dog of film. Great work for Swerve (he does care!) and the ever lovable Ten in particular amongst the secondary characters.

Megatron and his Big Speech was the focus of course, with the twist on the actual screams he heard being especially interesting. And even now, when he seems at his most resigned to his fate and heroic it's still hard to be sure how his conversation with Tarn will go (love the trolling of Knightdramon as well, "Show me your face!" "NO!"), fantastic stuff.

And the real twist was Ravage. We've spent so long focusing on Megatron and his motivation that the cat-con has been sitting in plain sight all along. The fact he's committed to Megatron whilst not sharing his new ideals was a perfectly realised moment.

Ratchet and Drift showing up to save Ten (from a really nasty beating) was as cheesy as hell and more than a bit obvious (when fellow podcaster Marian shared a "I'm going to hug you" GIF at James I knew straight away what the last page would be. This is what happens when you actually pay attention to what your fellow podcasters like. Don't do it!), it still put a big silly grin on my face despite being the sort of cliffhanger I normally hate.

What I really wasn't expecting was the organic tube people plot to be brought in here. So this means either the People With The Symbol weren't as sinister as we thought, or the Necrobot was actually a dodgy character. I'm now reasonably sure the Scavangers will turn up as well using the "Following the biggest concentration of Cons" device as that was very much their subplot. Hopefully not as a last page surprise cliffhanger though, two of those might be a bit too much.

One bit I didn't understand: Why didn't they use the teleport to send one or two people to call for help rather than them all making the instant heroic sacrifice choice? They'd probably be able to go further with less people using it as well.

Damn, I have an urge to read Empire of Stone now. Luckily it's a week till pay day so the urge will pass.

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-30, 08:31 PM
I think that the gates is covered by none of them wanting to dessert the others and that even if they use the gate it only brings them to an asteroid the cobs wouldn't be able to follow them to (at least immediately) but I doubt they could go through and get any help within the eight hour window.

As for empire of stone... Just dont. Ratchet finds drift and convinces him to cone back. That's all you need to know. The rest will make you angry.

Patapsco
2016-03-30, 08:39 PM
What, you mean Poochie's writer wrote another story that was bollocks? Colour me shocked!

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-30, 09:38 PM
Ah leave poo... I mean drift alone.

Patapsco
2016-03-30, 09:41 PM
Ah leave poo... I mean drift alone.

Some people love Poochie. those people are wrong

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-30, 09:51 PM
If there is one guy who deserves to die at Tarns hand its Drift. I think it would be a great way to write out the character.

Patapsco
2016-03-30, 09:58 PM
I've definitely stepped back from my "people needs to die to thin out the cast" stance I took a few weeks ago, but people still needs to die. But I hope that if they do, their deaths actually mean something and stick - still looking at you Cyclonus

Patapsco
2016-03-31, 07:30 PM
One bit I didn't understand: Why didn't they use the teleport to send one or two people to call for help rather than them all making the instant heroic sacrifice choice? They'd probably be able to go further with less people using it as well.

I'd imagine, and this is a bit of extrapolation on my part, is that the DJD have probably explored and shut down that possibility and have some sort of tracking system in place in much the same way that they tracked down Overlord. Plus, how would they send a signal? Nightbeat implies (again, extrapolation on my part) that the only signal sending equipment is in the fortress and therefore not particularly mobile

inflatable dalek
2016-03-31, 08:06 PM
I think that the gates is covered by none of them wanting to dessert the others and that even if they use the gate it only brings them to an asteroid the cobs wouldn't be able to follow them to (at least immediately) but I doubt they could go through and get any help within the eight hour window.

You'd have thought it'd be worth a try (or at least addressing) though. At least chuck Rewind's apparently priceless database in there.

As for empire of stone... Just dont. Ratchet finds drift and convinces him to cone back. That's all you need to know. The rest will make you angry.

I'm sure the urge will pass.

Surprised to see some Drift hate in this thread though, I've always liked Roberts take on the character.

The aforementioned Marian, whilst pointing out I'd managed to spell her name wrong despite knowing her for a few years now, also added to the extent of my brain fart in my original post by pointing out the three weeks later opening to issue 50 makes it unlikely the Scavengers will show up.


Ah, but... what if they actually do and their amusement in 50 was because they actually knew what was really going on with the old message?

That covers that momentary idiocy!

No?

Really?


Oh, OK. Tarn IS Megatron following time briefcase shenanigans.

Patapsco
2016-03-31, 08:14 PM
I remember us ripping Drift completely here when he was announced, and the first images, so it doesn't matter if Roberts writes him as well as he's writing Megatron right now, he's still Mary Sue Poochie to me anyway.

Also, I'm still convinced that Tarn is Dominus Ambus rather than Roller, and Getaway blackmailed Chromedome over this to get an unlimited supply of nudge gun charges

Red Dave Prime
2016-03-31, 09:46 PM
Guys, Tarn is Shockwave. It's Obvious.

As for Drift, I don't hate him at all. I think he has been decent under Roberts and I don't think he's been the intrusion that he could have been when first announced. But is a character that has deserved 2 mini series and a spotlight? Nah. And I do like the idea of him going one on one with Tarn and losing. For me, I always like when a villain gets a nice build and I'd like to see Tarn take a few Bots down before he gets his comeuppance.

It wont break my heart if he survives through this.

Unicron
2016-03-31, 09:56 PM
Guys, Tarn is Shockwave. It's Obvious.

I prefer my crazy stupid Tarn theory: Tarn is Orion Pax and Optimus Prime is Roller.

Patapsco
2016-04-01, 09:55 AM
Someone else just pointed it out: just before Megatron explains why he's prepared to save the organics, he's sitting on a pink Scooty Puff Jr Space Scooter - the sort of wonderful juxtaposition Roberts and Milne throw out regularly

inflatable dalek
2016-04-01, 04:04 PM
Ohhhhhhhhhh:





Everyone gives Megatron some of their "Regular" fuel allowing him to use his inbuilt spacebridge to get them out of there.

As for Drift, I have no love for McCarthy's take, but the Roberts version is basically an entirely different character so I have no problem loving him.

Patapsco
2016-04-01, 04:16 PM
The reformed junkie turned holier than thou spiritualist Drift? Better than MarySuePoochieTron he was before admittedly, but I hardly missed him when he was gone and was spectularly underwhelmed when he returned. I was more hype for Ratchet coming back and what literary gymnastic macguffins led those two right back to exactly where they needed to be

inflatable dalek
2016-04-01, 04:20 PM
What I like about Roberts' Drift is he's a piss take of the original concept (which the film version decides to roll with as well) that manages to turn out quite serious and likeable in the end as well. YMMV.

Patapsco
2016-04-01, 04:31 PM
It's an improvement, I'll admit but... those first impressions were just death. This is a character that we were out and out mocking on this very board based on concept art before he'd even appeared in AHM, you can't get over that. For every slicing zombies to death on Delphi, I remember his first appearance against The Swarm in AHM and it's immediately undone

Warcry
2016-04-01, 06:30 PM
This certainly was a middle issue of an arc. Not much remarkable in and of itself, but hopefully it's setting up something good down the line.

Was a bit surprised to see Ratchet and Drift back so soon, though.

What I like about Roberts' Drift is he's a piss take of the original concept (which the film version decides to roll with as well) that manages to turn out quite serious and likeable in the end as well. YMMV.
I don't know, I actually think that Roberts' treatment of the character was even worse than what McCarthy does with him. Instead of trying to actually rehabilitate the character, Roberts just pointed and laughed at it until basically the last issue Drift was in, at which point we were suddenly supposed to take him seriously and feel bad that a walking unaware punchline was being exiled. And "bad guy seeking redemption" is obviously a subject that Roberts can take a good hack at given what he's done with Megatron over the last couple years, so treating Drift as poorly as he did looks even worse in hindsight. It just comes across as trying to score cheap points with a fanbase that already disliked the character by saying "Look, I made him even more of a joke!" My understanding (and correct me if I'm misremembering) was that he was told by the editors to include Drift, so I can understand being less enthusiastic to use him than, say, Chromedome or Tailgate or whoever. But you can still treat the character with some respect, surely?

I dunno, it just comes across as unprofessional to me. I mean, after Roberts leaves is his replacement going to spend a couple years pissing on wish-fulfillment self-insert fanfic character Rung and/or 80s-character-but-still-a-painful-Mary-Sue Skids? A part of me hopes they do just to even the scales after the way he's written Drift. :glance:

Glad to see Ratchet back though, Ratchet's cool. :)

Patapsco
2016-04-01, 06:53 PM
I'm just glad someone sees Skids as a not good character too. I mean, I love his arc so far but he's too much of a "sonic screwdriver" for my tastes

Warcry
2016-04-01, 07:14 PM
It wouldn't bother me nearly as much if Skids had traditionally been portrayed as a polymath, but he's supposed to be a kinda useless daydreaming nerd who drives into things. His portrayal back in the old Marvel books is so much more interesting than "can do anything perfectly" that I don't think I'll ever come around to liking Roberts' version. I don't mind so much him coming up with totally new personas for Chromedome or Rewind or Tailgate or Swerve because really, they've never done anything of substance before. It'd be nice if writers stuck to a character's tech spec bio as the basis of their portrayal of a "fresh" character, but Roberts is hardly the first one to ignore them when it suits him. But when he's doing it to someone who's already starred in a signature run of stories with a very clear personality, it's a lot harder to embrace.

If he'd taken exactly the same personality and attached it to Fizzle or Splashdown or Windbreaker I'd probably be a lot less hostile to the character, though I suspect it would still grate a little bit whenever someone takes time out of the story to remind us how perfect he is.

inflatable dalek
2016-04-02, 02:35 PM
Was a bit surprised to see Ratchet and Drift back so soon, though.

Amazingly it's been almost exactly (and will be exactly by the time 52 comes out) three years since Drift left and almost a year since Ratchet went looking for him. WHAT HAPPENED TO TIME.


I don't know, I actually think that Roberts' treatment of the character was even worse than what McCarthy does with him. Instead of trying to actually rehabilitate the character, Roberts just pointed and laughed at it until basically the last issue Drift was in, at which point we were suddenly supposed to take him seriously and feel bad that a walking unaware punchline was being exiled. And "bad guy seeking redemption" is obviously a subject that Roberts can take a good hack at given what he's done with Megatron over the last couple years, so treating Drift as poorly as he did looks even worse in hindsight. It just comes across as trying to score cheap points with a fanbase that already disliked the character by saying "Look, I made him even more of a joke!" My understanding (and correct me if I'm misremembering) was that he was told by the editors to include Drift, so I can understand being less enthusiastic to use him than, say, Chromedome or Tailgate or whoever. But you can still treat the character with some respect, surely?

I think what makes it work though is that Drift is clearly genuinely trying very hard. It's clear even he's not sure he believes in the lifestyle he's aiming for (I can't remember the exact circumstances but there's that moment in the Annual where there's the option to find out something from the Titan that would confirm some aspect of the guiding hand thing and he's the one who doesn't want to find out for sure either way) but is desperate to cling onto something because he's always thrown himself head first into whatever he's done. That adds layers to the Roberts version for me, at least enough to make him work anyway.

It wouldn't bother me nearly as much if Skids had traditionally been portrayed as a polymath, but he's supposed to be a kinda useless daydreaming nerd who drives into things. His portrayal back in the old Marvel books is so much more interesting than "can do anything perfectly" that I don't think I'll ever come around to liking Roberts' version. I don't mind so much him coming up with totally new personas for Chromedome or Rewind or Tailgate or Swerve because really, they've never done anything of substance before. It'd be nice if writers stuck to a character's tech spec bio as the basis of their portrayal of a "fresh" character, but Roberts is hardly the first one to ignore them when it suits him. But when he's doing it to someone who's already starred in a signature run of stories with a very clear personality, it's a lot harder to embrace.

Oh come on now, Chromedome was the lead in a massive forty episode anime! He's got way more of an established prior character than Skids, even if that character was "Slightly more pissed Hot Rod". It's just down to you liking prior Skids. And that's fair enough, I feel the same way about MTMTE Nightbeat prior to his Necrobot epiphany.

I was also a fan of "Polish my hubcaps" Skids, but I've never had any issue with his MTMTE portrayal, yes it's arguably arbitrary that Roberts picked him to explore the Outlier idea he's obviously interested in (and looks likely to become more important if Tailgate is any indication), but the IDW version of the character was basically a blank slate having never appeared before in a role of any substance anyway.

Unlike Nightbeat actually, so screw you.I have more cause to be annoyed!

Patapsco
2016-04-02, 08:15 PM
I don't mind Chromedome's characterisation, simply because we've not really seen a whole lot of it plus he's wiped out a lot of it via injecting. Skids, likewise, isn't a terrible character but he veers towards "magical negro" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Negro) territory with his particular outlier ability, except he can't use it properly which makes me wonder why Roberts would give a character the ability to be able to do anything almost instantly, but that's a discussion for another time. As for Drift I'm not perhaps as vehement as Warcry in his analysis (though I did find myself nodding at points). Though "former drug addict turned Decepticon turned Autobot turned hyper hippie spiritualist" is a little jarring for a character that was poorly introduced in the first place

Skyquake87
2016-04-03, 09:56 AM
I have no problem with Skids Outlier ability, it seems a fun conceit and reminds me of MisFits when Kelly trades in her existing super power to become "a f**king rocket scientist", which basically gives her the ability to figure anything out 'fast-learn' new skills.

It works, and it works for Skids. To me the IDW-verse is something that's disconnected from all previous Transformers media (I have the Marvel, Dreamwave and IDW continuities down as divergent timelines from the same source in my head). Sure, IDW use the familiar archetypes and templates created for the toyline, but then it does its own thing with them. Or does occasionally. And that's fine for me. If I want to read how the character was originally portrayed, I can still do that. That portrayal still exists. This is just something different, and that's fine.

Skids establishment in MTMTE as someone with a special ability doesn't grate for me and hasn't been the 'get out of jail free' card that one might have expected in the hands of a less capable writer.

I have no hatred towards Drift either, to me Roberts writes him like many folk I've known (predominantly white, middle class, male and with a disturbing interest in Tie-Die and dreadlocks) who've fallen in love with a religious philosophy (usually eastern) to the extent that its come to inform their entire personality. He just comes across like many of these folk do, as a slightly naieve try-hard. That the character has frequently been protrayed as a bad ass space ninja and heavily promoted by IDW in the run up to AHM is hardly the fault of the character. And I was quite happy to see him show up at the end of this issue (and I really like the colours on that splash page).

I really enjoyed this issue. I like intermediary talky bits like this, where its all little character touches/ development and some intrigue to advance the storyline. I do like that most of what happened here was pretty much called by the Podcast Maximus team!

Red Dave Prime
2016-04-03, 12:40 PM
It works, and it works for Skids. To me the IDW-verse is something that's disconnected from all previous Transformers media (I have the Marvel, Dreamwave and IDW continuities down as divergent timelines from the same source in my head). Sure, IDW use the familiar archetypes and templates created for the toyline, but then it does its own thing with them. Or does occasionally. And that's fine for me. If I want to read how the character was originally portrayed, I can still do that. That portrayal still exists. This is just something different, and that's fine.


Yeah, I'd be in this camp, especially for minor characters. Obviously you don't want to see every character going wildly different but at the same time, you don't want writers just revisiting old versions. As for following the tech specs, given some of them are just 2-3 lines of basic character I don't see the need to stick too closely to them. For the bigger names there's a certain sense but even if we take Hot Rod/ Rodimus - that guy is so far removed from his spec at this point. All-American who follows the rules a bit too closely? I don't think I've ever seen that take on him.

ONe thing about the Drift & Ratchet characters that I find interesting is the view on religion. In MTMTE it works fine with Drift being super religious and Ratchet being the typical non-believer. The only problem is if we take the direction that ex-RID is on, there is no way any TF can be a non-believer as there is so much stuff linked to the spiritual side of Cybertronian life that it seems impossible that Ratchet would take such a stance. In real life Religion is based purely on faith, but in TF, Alpha Trion, Metroplex and Galvatron all come from that era pretty much.

Knightdramon
2016-04-03, 08:47 PM
The only problem is if we take the direction that ex-RID is on, there is no way any TF can be a non-believer as there is so much stuff linked to the spiritual side of Cybertronian life that it seems impossible that Ratchet would take such a stance. In real life Religion is based purely on faith, but in TF, Alpha Trion, Metroplex and Galvatron all come from that era pretty much.

The writing team have set things up, in my opinion, in a way that can be interpreted as both mystical fact or religion.

We don't know what's what with the 13 Primes; they were rumoured to be God-like [?] but Galvatron flat out spat in their face and killed at least one of them point-blank, so it's fair to say that he's not big on religion. If anything he's more of a supporter of social status.

We don't know what Alpha Trion fully is, except for ancient; he's too far removed from the current era to be classed as a religious icon or even religious himself.

While Metroplex and the Knights have taken a more mystical stance, that's purely because the only thing surrounding them are legends--I don't think Metroplex has fully disclosed to anybody if he's a special "breed" of Cybertronian.

Don't forget that Ratchet was part of the team that [privately] exposed a lot of Cybetronian religious "facts" as political ploys back in his era; in Shadowplay they pretty much found out that the "Matrix flame" was bullsh!t political zealotry and that Nominus and Sentinel were just playing them. Zeta pretty much saying that he's the Prime people voted for means that the Matrix and the lineage of Primes had lost their importance at that time.

Skids, for example, remained a believer until his Grindcore experiences; seeing as those bots took faith as literally as humans take it nowadays [ie personal choice, sometimes you're pushed towards or away from it due to personal experiences] means that most of them must have not met any religious figures [even if they existed] to fully solidify their belief.

Patapsco
2016-04-03, 09:35 PM
On the flip side, the senate went after the spark field which was being protected by Pax and chums due to the shape it was in proving Adaptus or something

Auntie Slag
2016-04-04, 05:25 PM
Its never really bothered me before, but seeing Ten getting mashed to a pulp has made me wonder about Legislator sentience.

Tyrest said that Legislators don't think in the way a Transformer would, they're not alive, they just follow the code of the law. However Ten proves to be a living, thinking thing and he's seemingly smarter than Rodimus.

How would Tyrest explain this? I'm going to have to look at the past issues now to see why no-one is bothered that Ten is his own person. Its kind of like when Centurion became free of Professor Morris (though I don't know if that's simply because Simon Furman wanted to do something totally different with the character).

But where Centurion, post Prof. Morris could be a writers mistake, Ten is really disturbing! He's seemingly alive. Does that mean all those other Legislators were too? Is Skids a mass murderer? (well he's a murderer, he didn't stop to think in issue 2 whether those Legislators could feel pain or anything).

That's kinda cool in a way, not everyone is bound by the strict code that Prime and the others followed in the old comics where nothing must be hurt, not even a Decepticon... well you can smack them around a bit, but don't kill them because that's not nice. But Skids, Whirl and others are full-on murderers.

That aside, does this mean Tyrest found a way to create life, and if so, how? He doesn't have a Matrix or whatever's used. It still depends on who Tyrest works for I suppose. Did he have a stack of spliced sparks?

But Ten being alive is like your car coming to life and your family being fine with it! And if Ratchet can save him, and they can learn to communicate with him, what can he tell everyone?

Warcry
2016-04-04, 06:23 PM
Oh come on now, Chromedome was the lead in a massive forty episode anime! He's got way more of an established prior character than Skids, even if that character was "Slightly more pissed Hot Rod". It's just down to you liking prior Skids. And that's fair enough, I feel the same way about MTMTE Nightbeat prior to his Necrobot epiphany.
Japanese media really isn't all that relevant when discussing Western fiction, though. They diverged in 1987 or so and haven't connected back up since. Even when the "same" show airs in both markets, characters' personalities are drastically different between the two. Just take a look at what Japan did to Beast Wars, or how different Cybertron is compared to Galaxy Force due to trying to glue it onto the tail end of Energon. We have no idea who Chromedome would have been if Hasbro had decided to bring Headmasters over here as season 4.

Also, if we want to be super-pedantic that's not really "Chromedome", it's a Micromaster wearing Chromedome's body as a suit. Maybe there's a runt named Chrome running around on one of the colonies being all Hot Roddy?

but the IDW version of the character was basically a blank slate having never appeared before in a role of any substance anyway.

It works, and it works for Skids. To me the IDW-verse is something that's disconnected from all previous Transformers media
I don't buy into that. The cast is 90%+ G1 characters with G1-looking bodies, with tie-ins to a toyline that's explicitly based on pandering to G1 nostalgia. It's just as G1 as Dreamwave or Marvel or Sunbow were. And there's already a G1 Skids.

And the thing is, there's also about 150 G1/G2 characters who don't have a single dollop of personality. And I would much rather read about them than some weirdo wearing a familiar face but acting completely differently. I mean, would Last Stand of the Wreckers be as good if it had grafted new personalities onto Shockwave, Dirge, Scourge, Warpath, Brawn, Powergilde, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe and Inferno instead of making fully fleshed-out characters out of Overlord, Stalker, Snare, Guzzle, Ironfist, Rotorstorm, Topspin, Twin Twist and Pyro? I don't think so.

That's especially the case with third-stringers like Skids, because there's a good chance the new version is going to become the default version because there's just not enough room in our collective consciousness for multiple takes on minor characters. Roberts' Skids might well mean that we never see lovable daydreamer Skids ever again.

Yeah, I'd be in this camp, especially for minor characters. Obviously you don't want to see every character going wildly different but at the same time, you don't want writers just revisiting old versions.
I'd argue that's a false dichotomy. Not only are you ignoring all the potential in previously-unused characters or new creations like Nautica or Rung, you're also ignoring the potential for characters to change. Just because someone starts out as their familiar G1 self doesn't mean they need to stay that way -- just look at how Starscream's character has changed over the last decade based on the direction that the plot has dragged him in. But the key is that there's a reason for him being a different person than we might expect, and we've watched it play out on-page.

The only problem is if we take the direction that ex-RID is on, there is no way any TF can be a non-believer as there is so much stuff linked to the spiritual side of Cybertronian life that it seems impossible that Ratchet would take such a stance. In real life Religion is based purely on faith, but in TF, Alpha Trion, Metroplex and Galvatron all come from that era pretty much.
This is a problem with all Transformers media, not just the IDW books. Being an atheist is pretty irrational when immortal demigods still walk among you, your creator magically possesses politicians to give commands and the embodiment of all evil is trying to eat your planet.

But at that point it's not religion anymore, is it? It's just history.

How would Tyrest explain this? I'm going to have to look at the past issues now to see why no-one is bothered that Ten is his own person. Its kind of like when Centurion became free of Professor Morris (though I don't know if that's simply because Simon Furman wanted to do something totally different with the character).
Before this issue I don't think anyone noticed that Ten was sentient other than Ratchet, who immediately left. Everyone else seems to think of him more like a pet than a person.

As far as the other Legislators go, they might have had the potential for sentience but it's hard to develop that when your behaviour is controlled by a strict set of unbreakable programmed rules. Ten only started to develop into a person after Tailgate deleted all of that, giving his mind the proverbial room to grow.

But where Centurion, post Prof. Morris could be a writers mistake, Ten is really disturbing! He's seemingly alive. Does that mean all those other Legislators were too? Is Skids a mass murderer? (well he's a murderer, he didn't stop to think in issue 2 whether those Legislators could feel pain or anything).
Killing someone that's threatening your life isn't murder, no matter how sentient they may or may not have been. It doesn't matter if those Legislators were hard-working parents with a dozen baby robots each to take care of at home, they were actively engaged in trying to kidnap Skids as part of Tyrest's genocidal scheme.

Patapsco
2016-04-04, 06:25 PM
I'd imagine that the original legislators had the same sort of programming principle that Bludgeon and co tried to use on Thunderwing way back in Stormbringer: give them a target, give them a desired outcome, let them work out the best means of executing that outcome with some rudimentary intelligence and/or learning. But with Ten, Swerve re-programmed him (we assume) and it seems that there is some sort of problem recognition and resolution at work - Ten sees the shield generator, sees the flowers have some sort of energy, connects the dots and expresses himself with an adorable scribble of Trailcutter.

So there's definitely a process at work which can be assumed to be some sort of intelligence, but whether that's true sentience is up for debate. After all, Swerve's nightmare involved Ten yelling at him over the Ambus test. And has anyone really wondered why Ten only says "Ten". What does Ten mean?

Auntie Slag
2016-04-04, 06:45 PM
... And has anyone really wondered why Ten only says "Ten". What does Ten mean?

Holy crap, yeah! There's a scary thought. I can't imagine Swerve is so smart that he can reprogram another robot. But then he is a metallurgist so its not like he's dim, he just acts silly.

The other thing about Ten is (apart from him possibly being a massive Bo Derek fan) he did that wonderful artwork of them all. And they weren't exact copies, they were caricatures. And he made models of the other. He's creative and expressive, Roberts must've put that in there for a reason.

And he loves Magnus to bits for some reason. Is that an indication that Ten knows much more than he's letting on? i.e. if he goes all squiffy about Magnus because sees Minimus Ambus beneath the armour, is he partial to him because he's seen Dominus in the past, and Dominus was also good to him?

Agree with Warcry, I got my wires a bit crossed there. As I was writing about Skids I was thinking about Whirl and his torture/killing of the Sweeps, who could be described as about as sentient as a Legislator. Actually I'm just wrong on the whole 'murderer' aspect, but Whirl describes the Sweeps as little more than Turbofoxes... But again a Turbofox is alive, Kaon has one as a pet. Its feral, but its more than a rudimentary brain stem and some commands. Are the Transformers gonna have to rethink what they know about Sweeps, Legislators, Centurions, Guardian Droids etc?

If a mechanic becomes sentient because Swerve has messed with it, would the Necrobot have to generate a statue to it?

Also, I found it interesting the way the Necrobot's statue of Skids represented his older bodywork, not the way he looks now. I wonder if that's a Eugene's reference; how most Transformers upgraded their bodywork and could change quite radically over time. Again like Megatron's statue I guess. Maybe it means nothing, but I thought it was cool.

Patapsco
2016-04-04, 07:01 PM
Speaking of intelligence, sentience and life it's clear that these two (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35780067) are by the very definition alive, but intelligent?

Auntie Slag
2016-04-04, 07:18 PM
Ha ha, Lemons! But they were proud of wot they dun! Gangstars fo' life.

Skyquake87
2016-04-04, 07:25 PM
I don't buy into that. The cast is 90%+ G1 characters with G1-looking bodies, with tie-ins to a toyline that's explicitly based on pandering to G1 nostalgia. It's just as G1 as Dreamwave or Marvel or Sunbow were. And there's already a G1 Skids.

And the thing is, there's also about 150 G1/G2 characters who don't have a single dollop of personality. And I would much rather read about them than some weirdo wearing a familiar face but acting completely differently. I mean, would Last Stand of the Wreckers be as good if it had grafted new personalities onto Shockwave, Dirge, Scourge, Warpath, Brawn, Powergilde, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe and Inferno instead of making fully fleshed-out characters out of Overlord, Stalker, Snare, Guzzle, Ironfist, Rotorstorm, Topspin, Twin Twist and Pyro? I don't think so.

That's especially the case with third-stringers like Skids, because there's a good chance the new version is going to become the default version because there's just not enough room in our collective consciousness for multiple takes on minor characters. Roberts' Skids might well mean that we never see lovable daydreamer Skids ever again.

you're also ignoring the potential for characters to change.

Well, I meant, in a very badly phrased way, that I don't mind if characters are portrayed differently from their baseline character profile and / or appearances in another run of comics by a different publisher. The Marvel stuff is probably gospel by dint of so much of the leg work being done by them to shore up the toyline and the cartoon. Sometimes, if done right, it can tie into your latter point there what I have taken totally out of context :swirly:

Writers will do what they want with a character. There's nothing to say that Galvatron is unstable in his Universe profile, yet the UK Marvel comics have him down as a frightningly powerful lunatic, ditto the cartoon for that matter.

TBH, with the Transformers war being as protracted as it was, I can see anyone with what might be perceived as a more 'civilian' function being pressed into service and perhaps through their abilities, finding themselves working in an area that might belie their Tech Specs. For IDW, the additional string to Skids bow is that he's the ability to pick new skills if he sees someone do something.

...I like memory loss shooty Theoritician Skids. And I like soapy hubcaps Skids who tries to forget about the War. I think IDW Skids probably has that potential too, just that he's not in an environment that would perhaps induce that ability to put the War behind him. Or near a car wash.

Also, do we mind that Scorponok and Shockwave have been more science experimenty in IDW than the leaderly types they were in Marvel? Those are deviations from the G1 templates too.

As for Ten and the Legislators, perhaps they are just A.I. or whatever that thing was about Turbofoxes, where they have the sort sentience of an animal. Maybe like Chappie, Drone Transformers can be programmed to think and feel. I always wonder about the Drones in Transformers, as they have been shown to have some degree of sentience (even if its usually for comedic affect).

Auntie Slag
2016-04-04, 08:14 PM
It was an unusual scene. Okay they're in a stressful situation, but Ten was showing Rodimus something, Rodimus tells him to shut up and none of the others either a) twig was Ten was trying to get across, or b) reprimand Rodimus for being a dick to Ten.

Which might mean they all feel that way, that they think of Ten as this halfway house of sentience. Out of all of them I'd have thought Skids would say "Hey, steady on there Rodimus".

On a side note I thought it was wonderful how Whirl got so paternal with the scraplets in the Christmas issue. There was something that was not even a fully fledged life form in his eye, but he fully willing to die for it. Whirl who killed the little robots leader, murdered Killmaster in his sleep, tortured Sweeps to death and gave Megatron life!

Knightdramon
2016-04-04, 08:18 PM
Japanese media really isn't all that relevant when discussing Western fiction, though. They diverged in 1987 or so and haven't connected back up since. Even when the "same" show airs in both markets, characters' personalities are drastically different between the two. Just take a look at what Japan did to Beast Wars, or how different Cybertron is compared to Galaxy Force due to trying to glue it onto the tail end of Energon. We have no idea who Chromedome would have been if Hasbro had decided to bring Headmasters over here as season 4.

Also, if we want to be super-pedantic that's not really "Chromedome", it's a Micromaster wearing Chromedome's body as a suit. Maybe there's a runt named Chrome running around on one of the colonies being all Hot Roddy?




I don't buy into that. The cast is 90%+ G1 characters with G1-looking bodies, with tie-ins to a toyline that's explicitly based on pandering to G1 nostalgia. It's just as G1 as Dreamwave or Marvel or Sunbow were. And there's already a G1 Skids.

And the thing is, there's also about 150 G1/G2 characters who don't have a single dollop of personality. And I would much rather read about them than some weirdo wearing a familiar face but acting completely differently. I mean, would Last Stand of the Wreckers be as good if it had grafted new personalities onto Shockwave, Dirge, Scourge, Warpath, Brawn, Powergilde, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe and Inferno instead of making fully fleshed-out characters out of Overlord, Stalker, Snare, Guzzle, Ironfist, Rotorstorm, Topspin, Twin Twist and Pyro? I don't think so.

That's especially the case with third-stringers like Skids, because there's a good chance the new version is going to become the default version because there's just not enough room in our collective consciousness for multiple takes on minor characters. Roberts' Skids might well mean that we never see lovable daydreamer Skids ever again.



I think your fond memories of G1 Skids tend to affect your opinion on how he's handled so far.

If I'm not mistaken, he only had...5-7 comic appearances in the entire G1 run, and that's including UK storylines.

For reference, G1 Brainstorm had roughly 9 issues, and that was mostly his Nebulan headmaster instead of fully Brainstorm. Pretty much the only things they have in common are that they're both scientists?

Pyro, Guzzle, Ironfist, heck, even Overlord, had established personalities or rather facsimiles and scraps of fiction that represented personalities; why is it that you are not bothered by their subtle and not so subtle reworkings into fiction?

Not trying to antagonize your opinion, but nobody has really seen the lovable daydreamer Skids in what, 31 years? Coming back to the fandom 12 years ago I remembered who Prowl, Tracks, Blitzwing, Sideswipe etc were; I had to look up who Skids was and that he appeared somewhere.

Auntie Slag
2016-04-04, 08:26 PM
He still does his loveable thing, he was dancing with Nautica in the space barnacles two-parter. He was all cool and froody going through Tyrest's portal and being fascinated by the glowing orb being on the other side.

As per Skyquake's description, I feel like memory loss shooty Theoretician Skids and soapy hubcaps Skids are the same person. Its the situation that forces him to be one or the other. A bit like Optimus when he was having one of his crises in the comics 30 years ago.

Auntie Slag
2016-04-04, 08:35 PM
Is Dominus Ambus Ten? Is that why he likes Magnus? But then why wouldn't he recognise Rewind? Damn. Or maybe he likes him in the way a cat likes an uninterested person.

This is why I love the comic (again); a near pointless background character who is the butt of a not massively liked comedy character has suddenly taken on 78x more importance.

And he's already crossed the path now. If he survives the next issue, they've all got to treat him with mountains more respect, try and work out how to properly communicate with him and he becomes a significantly more important character or.... he's going to die!

Warcry
2016-04-04, 09:19 PM
And has anyone really wondered why Ten only says "Ten". What does Ten mean?
I assumed it was the same as what the legislators were saying before: a reference to part of Cybertron's old legal code. Though what that would be, I have no idea.

Well, I meant, in a very badly phrased way, that I don't mind if characters are portrayed differently from their baseline character profile and / or appearances in another run of comics by a different publisher. The Marvel stuff is probably gospel by dint of so much of the leg work being done by them to shore up the toyline and the cartoon. Sometimes, if done right, it can tie into your latter point there what I have taken totally out of context :swirly:
It really doesn't tie together, though. IDW Skids didn't "change" into being who he is, he just showed up one day and was a completely different character from who Skids should be. Even in the Shadowplay-era flashbacks, where it would make sense for him to be more theoreticiany since he hadn't spent the last four million years learning how to be perfect at everything, he's still defined by his superpower (or his grappling hook, that one time...). And actually, if he was written like 80s Skids in the flashback timeframe I probably wouldn't be bothered all that much beyond the general "his superpower is dreadfully boring" problem.

This isn't an example of a character changing. It's a completely new character appearing with a familiar name slapped on it. It's like if a new G1 continuity showed up and the writers decided to make Grimlock a coward and Jazz hopelessly uncool or Optimus Prime an amoral terrorist for no reason other than they wanted to have a character around with those traits. And if the character has nothing in common with the traditional portrayal of Skids to begin with, then why is the character Skids?

Writers will do what they want with a character. There's nothing to say that Galvatron is unstable in his Universe profile, yet the UK Marvel comics have him down as a frightningly powerful lunatic, ditto the cartoon for that matter.
That's not a case of the writers not following the profile, though. That's a case of the profile being poorly-written and not reflecting the personality that had already been established for him by the people who created Galvatron in the first place (the TFU profiles for all the movie characters are sort of a hack job, honestly). Or in other words, it's the profile that was wrong, not Furman for writing Galvatron as a lunatic.

Also, do we mind that Scorponok and Shockwave have been more science experimenty in IDW than the leaderly types they were in Marvel? Those are deviations from the G1 templates too.
Actually, Science Shockwave can **** right off. That characterization is a huge blight that Dreamwave left on the franchise, and also a great illustration of how a new version of a character can completely overwrite the original. When was the last time we saw evil Vulcan warlord Shockwave, or for that matter ultra-loyal henchman Shockwave? They're basically gone now because he's been pigeonholed as "science guy who says 'logic' a lot".

Scorponok got up to his share of mad science and zany schemes in the old comics, though! It wasn't until Furman took over writing the character (or, in-universe, until Zarak had almost completely suppressed Scorponok's original personality) that he became the noble villain that so many fans look back on fondly. And he was really only that guy for a couple issues before dying.

I think your fond memories of G1 Skids tend to affect your opinion on how he's handled so far.
And I could just as easily say that you're letting your fondness for New!Skids affect your opinion on whether or not the original character should have been respected. It bothers me because I think a character should be defined by more than their name and how they look. If their behaviours and motivations are completely different, then they're a different person and shouldn't be tacked on as a "new version" of an existing character. It does a disservice to both the old and the new.

(This isn't just a "Roberts" or even a "Transformers" problem for me. It happens all the time in all sorts of fiction and it's almost always a bad idea.)

I don't actually like G1 Skids all that much either, for the record. In fact I think he's kind of forgettable, but that's not the same as saying he should be forgotten. :)

If I'm not mistaken, he only had...5-7 comic appearances in the entire G1 run, and that's including UK storylines.

For reference, G1 Brainstorm had roughly 9 issues, and that was mostly his Nebulan headmaster instead of fully Brainstorm. Pretty much the only things they have in common are that they're both scientists?
Those are hardly comparable. Skids was the lead character in several issues and got a lot of character development. Brainstorm mostly stood in the background while Fortress Maximus did stuff. I'm not even sure if he showed the slightest flash of personality at all.

Pyro, Guzzle, Ironfist, heck, even Overlord, had established personalities or rather facsimiles and scraps of fiction that represented personalities; why is it that you are not bothered by their subtle and not so subtle reworkings into fiction?
Guzzle is the only one I can think of that had actually done anything pre-LSOTW. And even that was pretty scant, unless I'm forgetting something -- he was a cheerleader for Magnus in the UK books and showed up in Galvatron II's evil future to say a line or two and die. Like Brainstorm, I don't recall him getting any real personality or character development when he was around.

Beyond that I'm not sure any of the newbies in Wreckers had anything to build on but their tech specs, and the later tech-spec bios are so generic that you could almost make the characters into anyone and get away with it. Overlord's English-language bio doesn't even give him a personality at all beyond wanting to fight, Guzzle is a battle-hardened soldier who doesn't make friends easily, Pyro is a generic superhero and Ironfist is a legendary weapon-maker (albeit much more of a badass than he turned out to be). Even someone like Chromedome with a full-length TFU profile barely had any personality to speak of. Though surprisingly, the bits of it that are there track a lot better with the Roberts version of the character than I thought they would. Computer programmer who reprogrammed his fellow Autobots' brains and left Cybertron to find a peaceful existence under the wing of a charismatic leader? Not actually all that far off! The IDW take is just a darker spin on the profile.

But even if they didn't mesh with their profile bios, would it bother me? There's a world of difference between reinventing a character with a well-established personality and starring roles in past fiction and reinventing someone whose only personality comes from a paragraph of flavour text on the back of a toy box. It's annoying when it happens to a favourite of mine (like, say, Spinister or Skullcruncher), but it's a completely different situation.

Patapsco
2016-04-05, 05:32 PM
I assumed it was the same as what the legislators were saying before: a reference to part of Cybertron's old legal code. Though what that would be, I have no idea.

As it's the Tyrest Accord and Magnus knows it intimately, so presumably it isn't related to that or that particular section of the Accord doesn't apply any more

Knightdramon
2016-04-05, 05:51 PM
Those are hardly comparable. Skids was the lead character in several issues and got a lot of character development. Brainstorm mostly stood in the background while Fortress Maximus did stuff. I'm not even sure if he showed the slightest flash of personality at all.


But even if they didn't mesh with their profile bios, would it bother me? There's a world of difference between reinventing a character with a well-established personality and starring roles in past fiction and reinventing someone whose only personality comes from a paragraph of flavour text on the back of a toy box. It's annoying when it happens to a favourite of mine (like, say, Spinister or Skullcruncher), but it's a completely different situation.

I guess this is the part where we agree to disagree on this thing :lol:

For example, whether we like it or not [I don't!] Overlord had an existing personality in a previous cartoon, which pretty much has nothing in common with how he is now.

G1 Skids, for me, was just a guy that appeared in a couple of issues and was forgotten even in that timeline.

The franchise is full of characters like that from pretty much every series; sometimes hi and dies resonate with some fans [a toy they had, a memorable story at that time, you get the idea] but I personally find G1 Skids extremely minor and insignificant in the long run of the franchise, so I'm not that bothered by this change. As I said in my previous post, I had no interaction with the comics whatsoever when growing up, so Skids was pretty much a guy that had two minor appearances or so in the G1 show :lol:

If anything, it's this iteration that has made him as popular or well-known in the fandom as he is.

inflatable dalek
2016-04-05, 05:57 PM
Japanese media really isn't all that relevant when discussing Western fiction, though. They diverged in 1987 or so and haven't connected back up since. Even when the "same" show airs in both markets, characters' personalities are drastically different between the two. Just take a look at what Japan did to Beast Wars, or how different Cybertron is compared to Galaxy Force due to trying to glue it onto the tail end of Energon. We have no idea who Chromedome would have been if Hasbro had decided to bring Headmasters over here as season 4.

Western fiction diverted from itself a long time ago as well. Is Grimlock a lovable idiot who speaks funny, or a smart embittered warrior? Is Optimus a self doubting conflicted character or John Wayne? Drastically different takes on the same characters across the different media is a stock G1 trope. Indeed, often in the same media, such as the different ways Furman and Budiansky wrote Blaster or the later deciding that Grimlock's TV persona was the definitive one when he brought the character back.

And to be honest, if Budiansky himself had no problems with ignoring the profiles he came up with (and not only almost certainly not be bothered by others doing the same, he likely has no idea which one Skids was at this point anyway) it's hard to view other authors treating them as equally flexible as in some way sacrilege.

That doesn't man you can't and shouldn't have prefered takes on characters (and I'll huff and puff with the best of them when I think someone is being done wrong), but there's nothing inherently wrong with reinventing established characters drastically.

Plus, MTMTE Skids has gotten to have appeared more than any other version easily now. It's really hard to argue he's not the definitive (which isn't the same as best) take.


Plus of course, Skids is hardly the perfect Mary Sue you paint his as. He's clearly very naive--being far too trusting in Tarn's word and failing to spot what was going on with Getaway despite being an old friend--for starters.

Warcry
2016-04-05, 06:50 PM
As it's the Tyrest Accord and Magnus knows it intimately, so presumably it isn't related to that or that particular section of the Accord doesn't apply any more
Or it's something benign enough to not be worthy of interest? Like maybe Section 10 has to do with theft, and he's just been saying all along "Swerve isn't my legitimate owner!"

I guess this is the part where we agree to disagree on this thing :lol:
Yeah, probably. I'm probably giving the impression that I think it's a much bigger idea than I actually do. It's hardly a deal-breaker, just moderately annoying.

For example, whether we like it or not [I don't!] Overlord had an existing personality in a previous cartoon, which pretty much has nothing in common with how he is now.
Kinda? Like I said before, I don't really rate the Japanese fiction as being the same as the Western stuff. But even if I did, Overlord didn't have a personality at all, did he? Mega and Giga, yes, but Overlord was equipment, not a person.

The franchise is full of characters like that from pretty much every series; sometimes hi and dies resonate with some fans [a toy they had, a memorable story at that time, you get the idea] but I personally find G1 Skids extremely minor and insignificant in the long run of the franchise, so I'm not that bothered by this change. As I said in my previous post, I had no interaction with the comics whatsoever when growing up, so Skids was pretty much a guy that had two minor appearances or so in the G1 show :lol:
Skids is nowhere near a "hi-then-die" character, though. Between his adventures in the early US book and his role in the UK strip after Time Wars, he got as much exposure as the likes of Nightbeat or Carnivac, and those guys certainly aren't considered throwaways.

If anything, it's this iteration that has made him as popular or well-known in the fandom as he is.
I would disagree with that. Judging by how frenzied the demand for him to get a Generations toy was, and how mad some people were when it was MTMTE-inspired, it seems to me like he had quite a few fans before then too.

Western fiction diverted from itself a long time ago as well. Is Grimlock a lovable idiot who speaks funny, or a smart embittered warrior? Is Optimus a self doubting conflicted character or John Wayne? Drastically different takes on the same characters across the different media is a stock G1 trope. Indeed, often in the same media, such as the different ways Furman and Budiansky wrote Blaster or the later deciding that Grimlock's TV persona was the definitive one when he brought the character back.
That's true, for sure. But those sort of character divergences are a headache to be avoided, not something to be striven for. Just because people made mistakes in the 80s is no reason for today's writers to be making the same ones.

That doesn't man you can't and shouldn't have prefered takes on characters (and I'll huff and puff with the best of them when I think someone is being done wrong), but there's nothing inherently wrong with reinventing established characters drastically.
Yes there is, and you say it yourself:

Plus, MTMTE Skids has gotten to have appeared more than any other version easily now. It's really hard to argue he's not the definitive (which isn't the same as best) take.
It's not a perfect zero-sum game, but when a new version of a third-stringer like Skids gets this much attention it all but ensures that this is what Skids is going to be in the future. Like him or not, the old Skids is basically dead as a character now. Just like what happened to the interesting 80s versions of Shockwave once some idiot at Dreamwave decided that he was going to be Science Guy and it caught on.

Plus of course, Skids is hardly the perfect Mary Sue you paint his as. He's clearly very naive--being far too trusting in Tarn's word and failing to spot what was going on with Getaway despite being an old friend--for starters.
No, that just makes him even more annoying.

"Oh, look at how innocent he is! Even after all he's been through and everything that's happened to him, he's still so pure and good and perfect! *swoon*"

Just like how he's somehow lily-white and guilt-free enough to walk right into Robot Heaven in spite of apparently having been a part of Prowl's secret wetwork brainwashing squad.

inflatable dalek
2016-04-05, 07:07 PM
Skids is nowhere near a "hi-then-die" character, though. Between his adventures in the early US book and his role in the UK strip after Time Wars, he got as much exposure as the likes of Nightbeat or Carnivac, and those guys certainly aren't considered throwaways.

That's the Carnivac that Nick Roche has just reinvented as an anarchist?

Skids also had about as much of a presence as Guzzle (who along with the other Sparklers is pretty much Magnus' right hand man through 1988), who you previously dismissed as being a "Blank" that was OK for Last Stand to use. I think your love of Skids is really biasing you badly here.


I would disagree with that. Judging by how frenzied the demand for him to get a Generations toy was, and how mad some people were when it was MTMTE-inspired, it seems to me like he had quite a few fans before then too.

But then you get people bemoaning when the toys aren't MTMTE based (as happened with Whirl). People just like to moan really.


That's true, for sure. But those sort of character divergences are a headache to be avoided, not something to be striven for. Just because people made mistakes in the 80s is no reason for today's writers to be making the same ones.

I'm not sure it was mistakes in G1 as no one regarded themselves as working within the same baliwick, be it cartoon or comics. The different iterations of the franchise were given the same basic starting points and told to go to it. And it worked as often as it didn't. I'm not the biggest cartoon Grimlock fan, but it's hard to argue he wasn't massively popular. To the point his original creator would up going with it on the comic.


Yes there is, and you say it yourself:

Well, definite at the time of writing. I've no idea if someone will manage to change that in years to come. Though realistically, as you say, however good a new takes on Skids someone might come up with, they'd have to do a lot to overcome four-plus years of secondary lead status. That doesn't mean that if they have a good Skids story that requires something different of him they shouldn't go for it.

Warcry
2016-04-05, 07:45 PM
That's the Carnivac that Nick Roche has just reinvented as an anarchist?
You mean the anarchist with a sense of honour acting out violently because he thinks he and his have been betrayed? Honestly I don't see much difference in personality from the little bit we've seen so far, just a difference in circumstances. I concede the last two issues could prove me totally wrong if they ever come out, though. :)

Skids also had about as much of a presence as Guzzle (who along with the other Sparklers is pretty much Magnus' right hand man through 1988), who you previously dismissed as being a "Blank" that was OK for Last Stand to use. I think your love of Skids is really biasing you badly here.
You mean the same Skids that I called "kind of forgettable" and said I didn't really like a few posts earlier? In case I wasn't clear enough before, I'll say it again: I don't particularly care about Skids, either his boring 80s self or his annoying MTMTE self, but that's not the point.

My familiarity with him might be making me weight him as more important then Guzzle and co., but honestly I don't think I've read the 80s stories starring Skids any more often than the one time I've read the UK stories with Guzzle in them. And I had no idea who Skids was until I was an adult, while I had Guzzle's toy, so it's not a childhood nostalgia thing.

Did Guzzle actually show some personality in those UK books and I'm just not remembering it? I'm seriously drawing a blank beyond "one of those three guys with Magnus".

I'm not sure it was mistakes in G1 as no one regarded themselves as working within the same baliwick, be it cartoon or comics. The different iterations of the franchise were given the same basic starting points and told to go to it. And it worked as often as it didn't.
Maybe "mistake" is the wrong word, but the writers (usually, but not always, the cartoon ones) just ignored the starting points they were given and did their own thing, and the showrunners didn't care enough to tell them to do it properly since they were just shilling toys anyway. It worked about as well as a franchise can when most of the creative types didn't give a damn about it. But that's hardly the situation now, and I do tend to hold self-identified fans to a higher standard in that regard than low-rent hacks who only took the job because they couldn't find "real" work (hence why you don't see me complaining vocally about Costa screwing with characters).

I'm not the biggest cartoon Grimlock fan, but it's hard to argue he wasn't massively popular. To the point his original creator would up going with it on the comic.
The impression I had was that Budiansky was told to go with the cartoon-style speech patterns, not that he wanted to. If nothing else because wanting to would have required him to actually sit down at some point, watch the cartoon and enjoy it...

inflatable dalek
2016-04-05, 07:53 PM
I think we'll have to disagree on the Skids thing here (though I guess it's lucky you don't like original Skids that much, imagine what this thread would be like if it was someone you cared about ;) ).


The impression I had was that Budiansky was told to go with the cartoon-style speech patterns, not that he wanted to. If nothing else because wanting to would have required him to actually sit down at some point, watch the cartoon and enjoy it...

I've not heard that, and would have thought if Hasbro were going to throw a demand on him at that point it would be "Make Rodimus and Galvatron the new leaders". It's certainly odd he'd have kept it up for a year(ish), especially as there can't have been any requirement to heavily feature '85 toys by then.

Based on interviews I've seen he seems to have regarded the idiot Grimlock as leader thing as great japes more than anything (same as making an accountant Decepticon, he went for the funny).

Warcry
2016-04-05, 08:15 PM
I think we'll have to disagree on the Skids thing here (though I guess it's lucky you don't like original Skids that much, imagine what this thread would be like if it was someone you cared about ;) ).
If it was Smokescreen or Red Alert that he was writing like this, I'd be swearing so much that my posts would be naught but an incomprehensible series of asterisks!

I've not heard that, and would have thought if Hasbro were going to throw a demand on him at that point it would be "Make Rodimus and Galvatron the new leaders". It's certainly odd he'd have kept it up for a year(ish), especially as there can't have been any requirement to heavily feature '85 toys by then.
It's something I heard ages ago, but I have no idea whether it was sourced from an interview or just a case of "common knowledge" in the fandom that didn't amount to anything but speculation. It does make a bit of sense though, because suddenly adopting the cartoon's speech patterns makes for a pretty jarring change otherwise.

Didn't they put out the adaptation mainly to sidestep having to introduce the Movie cast into the main book? There were so many other new characters flying around at the time that I doubt Hasbro was all that bothered as long as part of the current product was front and centre somehow.

Based on interviews I've seen he seems to have regarded the idiot Grimlock as leader thing as great japes more than anything (same as making an accountant Decepticon, he went for the funny).
Well, Ratbat as Decepticon leader was one of the best things he did in his time as writer, so I'd call that a rousing success. Honestly, everything Budiansky wrote from the end of his first arc through to when Furman replaced him felt like a crazy Silver Age comic instead of an 80s book anyway, so having Dumb Grimlock and a tiny accountant leading the factions was perfectly in keeping with the tone.

Red Dave Prime
2016-04-05, 09:07 PM
Actually, Science Shockwave can **** right off. That characterization is a huge blight that Dreamwave left on the franchise, and also a great illustration of how a new version of a character can completely overwrite the original. When was the last time we saw evil Vulcan warlord Shockwave, or for that matter ultra-loyal henchman Shockwave? They're basically gone now because he's been pigeonholed as "science guy who says 'logic' a lot".


Cold, brutal, scientific approach to war. Seeks to overthrow Megatron as leader of Decepticons because he believes logic says he would be better. As laser gun, can emit lethal beams of energy from anywhere on the electomagnetic spectrum: gamma rays, X-rays, visible light, infrared rays, radio waves, etc.. Flies in laser gun or robot Mode. High fuel use, but can be powered by nuclear sources. Often confounded by initiave, emotional thinking.

To be fair to dreamwave, its not that big a leap to emphasize the scientific aspect is it? Granted, I'm not sure why Skids took such a turn but someone has to stand up for Dreamwave goddamn it!

Warcry
2016-04-05, 09:41 PM
There's a pretty big gulf between "scientific approach to war" and "hiding in his lab ignoring the war because arcane experiments are more important", though. Honestly Dreamwave's take on him wasn't so bad, because he did still go out, lead armies and blast stuff. I'm just retroactively mad at it because it's what started us down the road to the Shockwave we have now. Since then, every time Shockwave has shown up it's seemed like there was less and less cold, logical warrior and more and more science being done for vague, mysterious reasons, culminating in the nonsensical atrocity that was Dark Cybertron.

(That includes several non-G1 takes on the character too, though it has to be said that Animated Shockwave was both a welcome respite and a great spin-off of the little-respected G1 cartoon version of the guy).

A well-written Shockwave who used science as a weapon to advance the Decepticon cause would be fantastic, actually, but we've really yet to see one.

Red Dave Prime
2016-04-06, 06:46 AM
Again in defence of DW, Shockwave doesn't ignore the war and sit in a lab. He's front and centre in War Within, Leads one decepticon faction in War Within 2, is involved with the Micromaster saga (jesus, that comic....) and then is knocked offline along with the rest of the planet. He is the first to be re-activated (by Scourge)and takes that opportunity to do in-depth studies, especially when he investigates Scourges body, but technically the war has stalled at this point. THat brings us up to War and Peace where he is ruling the planet.

That's not hiding in a lab. IDW were the ones who pushed that one and that was down to Furman. Yes, the Dark Cybertron stuff is overboard but that played in to what they established so while the execution was off(way off) it made sense with how the character had evolved.

Note: just saw your above reply and it covers what I said so fair enough on that.

Still, I think your pick and choosing what versions of characters you like. Megatrons tech spec and cartoon character is so far removed from his marvel character. They share some traits but they are different. And Cartoon Prime would never have the doubts that comic Prime did (and continues to have in the never end "doubting prime" epic)

Also, defending the IDW series - yes its based on G1 but its not a continuation of marvel or the toyline. Right from the start, characters were done differently so they did lay that out from the start. From alt modes to robot designs to characters, even to the history of the war, IDW started more or less from the ground up albeit with a huge amounts of nods to other TF fiction.

Patapsco
2016-04-06, 07:46 PM
Has it ever been really established in this continuity that Shockwave spent all his time in a lab? Because aside from his Spotlight, and a few asides in subsequent ones, we don't really know, do we? Don't make me have to embark on a re-read of the entire run!

Auntie Slag
2016-04-06, 07:58 PM
Well he spent a while out of his skull on Garrus-9!

Forbidden Planet just told me Sins of the Wreckers issue 4 is due out on the 20th April. Massive time gap between the two issues, but that's ok I suppose if the quality is good. (sorry, didn't want to make a stand-alone thread just to mention that, and figure most of its readers also buy MTMTE, Look In, Smash Hits, Scoop, Jackie, Just 17 and Buster).

Patapsco
2016-04-06, 08:06 PM
I'll toss up a thread when we get an official preview if we get one

Warcry
2016-04-06, 09:13 PM
Still, I think your pick and choosing what versions of characters you like. Megatrons tech spec and cartoon character is so far removed from his marvel character. They share some traits but they are different. And Cartoon Prime would never have the doubts that comic Prime did (and continues to have in the never end "doubting prime" epic)
Dalek and I talked a bit about that above, and you're not wrong. But the character differences in the 80s happened because the creators didn't care, and I don't the mistakes of past writers should be used as an excuse when modern writers make the same mistakes all over again.

I don't actually agree about Prime in particular, though. Cartoon Prime could have had just as much inner termoil as his comic counterpart but because of the restrictions of the type of media he showed up in, you'd never know. Comic Prime very rarely vented his doubts openly. We only know about them because we're privy to his inner thoughts. Outwardly he was very nearly as inspirational and decisive as the cartoon version, which is what made him so damned heroic. That's a whole other discussion for another time, though. :)

Also, defending the IDW series - yes its based on G1 but its not a continuation of marvel or the toyline. Right from the start, characters were done differently so they did lay that out from the start. From alt modes to robot designs to characters, even to the history of the war, IDW started more or less from the ground up albeit with a huge amounts of nods to other TF fiction.
It's as G1 as anything anything else that gets the tag, IMO. It stars G1 characters with G1 looks (slight tweaks aside) and G1 gimmicks, and the backstory has a strong G1 flavour to it as well (the biggest tweak being that Prime and co. were awake for the whole four million years).

The history of the war has actually drifted toward being more and more like G1 as time went on, honestly. The original outline that we got, with Cybertron destroyed and the Transformers scattered across the galaxy doing Infiltrationy shit, was miles away from G1 and honestly a bit refreshing. But then Costa started the march back towards the traditional four million year war backstory and subsequent writers have moved it farther in that direction too. Though I think part of that was Hasbro's doing too, because they seem to have grafted a lot of the traditional G1 backstory elements into their Aligned concept and lots of those ideas have bled into IDW as well.

But I really wish it was a lot farther from the classic G1 universe than it actually is, which is probably why I see it as being closer to the old stuff than you do. :)

Has it ever been really established in this continuity that Shockwave spent all his time in a lab? Because aside from his Spotlight, and a few asides in subsequent ones, we don't really know, do we? Don't make me have to embark on a re-read of the entire run!
We actually have a pretty decent idea of Shockwave's personal timeline, if only because he spent so much of it out of play.

During the Shadowplay era he's a senator, but also doing a ton of science stuff on the side, using his influence to support projects he believes in and trying to continue Jhiaxus's work. After he got his personality hacked out, it's implied that he continued on the same path but in a more brutal and cold-blooded way.

Once he joined the Decepticons, it sounds like he spent most of his time looking for new energy sources and experimenting with combiners (this bit I've taken from the Wiki as I haven't read the comics in question). Eventually he started devising his various different magic ores. Apparently he did some actual fighting in the Flint Dille books set around this time? He also created the killswitches for Megatron's Phase Sixers.

By the time the war is in full swing, he's basically gone rogue and started ignoring it in favour of seeding planets with Energon as part of his long game, which he seems to have been doing for a long time whether you subscribe to the initial Spotlight explanation for it or the Dark Cybertron magic ores retcon. Then he runs afoul of the Dinobots on Earth and winds up frozen for the next however many years (exactly how long is a mystery since the war is fairly new but also implies that this happens a few thousand years ago at the end of the last Ice Age -- the wonders of shifting timelines, everybody!), until the modern era.

Then he wakes up on Earth and winds up in Garrus-9 until LSOTW sets him loose some time during the Costa years. At this point he's working on rebuilding Megatron and researching Space Bridges. Then Chaos happened, and most of his time after that he seemed to be devoting most of his time to bringing about his Dark Cybertron scheme.

All in all, from what we've seen he's been pretty heavily focused on science to the exclusion of all else at least since he got Shadowplayed. He could have spent some of the time between joining the 'Cons and running off to seed his ores as a military commander, but for the most part he seems to have treated the day-to-day war as a distraction from his real work rather than something worth putting his time and effort into.

Red Dave Prime
2016-04-07, 11:46 AM
Cartoon Prime could have had just as much inner termoil as his comic counterpart but because of the restrictions of the type of media he showed up in, you'd never know. Comic Prime very rarely vented his doubts openly. We only know about them because we're privy to his inner thoughts. Outwardly he was very nearly as inspirational and decisive as the cartoon version

Yeah, but no. If the cartoon doesn't portray it (and it might in one episode or so but I don't remember it ever being the issue that it is in the marvel version) its a bit of a stretch to assume. It could be argued back that the Skids in IDW was the daydreamer version but the war in that universe has changed him. And if we play the tech specs game, Cartoon Optimus is far closer to the tech specs than the comic. (and nothing wrong with that, the comic was able to explore that aspect of a leader, the cartoon would have struggled)

It's as G1 as anything anything else that gets the tag, IMO. It stars G1 characters with G1 looks (slight tweaks aside) and G1 gimmicks, and the backstory has a strong G1 flavour to it as well (the biggest tweak being that Prime and co. were awake for the whole four million years).

G1 flavoured absolutely but its not a straight re-telling of G1, that's my point. There are differences, lots in fact. Some are minor like different car models, other major like the change in a character like the way the war spanned many planets and the two sides were active armies. The problem I have with your argument is that it requires everything to remain static. Shockwave was this before, he must be this again. I know that's not an exact of your argument but it comes across that way.

Also, I don't understand why you have a problem with a character being defined as something else after so many years. If we take skids, he had a handful of minor cartoon appearances, a paragraph on the back of the toy box and 7 issues in the comic. He's now been portrayed for 50 + issues of the current run in a different way - by sheer volume of course that's going to become the way he is viewed - and should be viewed in my opinion. If we take other comics, it would be like saying Batman can only be portrayed as the way he was in the first detective comics - which would miss out on some amazing comics.

Cyberstrike nTo
2016-04-07, 06:15 PM
Still, I think your pick and choosing what versions of characters you like. Megatrons tech spec and cartoon character is so far removed from his marvel character. They share some traits but they are different. And Cartoon Prime would never have the doubts that comic Prime did (and continues to have in the never end "doubting prime" epic)

I think a lot of the problem with "the doubting Prime" of Optimus is not that he has doubts he constantly talks or shows his doubts at the worst possible times and gets old.

Optimus Prime makes a hard decision and then tells everyone around him that he has doubts about it. IMHO as a leader once a decision is made he should keep his doubts to himself otherwise it could lower the morale of those around him. Also after 30 years it's really getting old and annoying. A nice blend of the original cartoon show version and the comics version would be a nice change of pace.

Knightdramon
2016-04-07, 06:42 PM
I don't view this as a pure G1---it's as much G1 as Prime and Animated are.

You've got named characters, some updated designs, you've got the same basic personalities [that has to do with how lazy or hesitant hasbro is, not necessarily a fault] and...not much else in common?

Pretty much every TF show/reboot is about Autobots under Optimus Prime fighting Decepticons under Megatron, the background is Earth, and the war has been going on for quite some time.

The backstory might be slightly changed per continuity [ie Decepticons lost the war in Animated before the series begun, who the f*ck knows what the actual story was in the movies, Autobots and Decepticons scatter to the galaxy in Prime] but I don't see those traits as characteristics of G1.

The problem with a franchise this, well, old, is that when you keep re-using the same cadre of characters, you will undoubtedly recycle concepts.

Doubting Prime has become as common, if not more common, than upstart Gladiator Megatron.

Rebelious Hot Rod, strict Ultra Magnus, scheming Starscream, brief Soundwave, logical Shockwave...we're getting the same bots, recycled over and over since 2007 or so.

This is one of the reasons that I like this series, in that a) it has picked a different cast to expand on and b) the characters and situations are fresh.

And I think part of it is that is didn't inherit many big names. Ratchet, Ultra Magnus and Hot Rod are the only big names [at least at the beginning of the book]. Megatron has joined, sure, but that has actually moved things forward a lot.

Warcry
2016-04-07, 08:39 PM
It could be argued back that the Skids in IDW was the daydreamer version but the war in that universe has changed him.
It could be argued. But it'd likely be wrong, because we've seen him before the war and he's not that guy -- he's the same quippy bundle of superpowers, just with fewer things he's awesome at because he's younger.

In fact, I mentioned before that that's what they should have done. It would have made me a lot more interested in his missing backstory if we could see such a drastic personality shift had happened because of it. As-is, it can't have been all that traumatic for him because it seems like he's basically the same guy.

And if we play the tech specs game, Cartoon Optimus is far closer to the tech specs than the comic. (and nothing wrong with that, the comic was able to explore that aspect of a leader, the cartoon would have struggled)
But this is exactly what I said in my last post and you disagreed with it? That probably means I didn't get across what I was actually trying to say.

Cartoon and comic Optimus don't mesh perfectly because the medium gives you a different window on the character. But to me it's a difference of depth, not of kind. Cartoon Optimus is a surface-level sketch of the character and Comic Optimus is more fleshed-out, but there's nothing to say to me that they're distinct characters. Obviously you're free to disagree, but I think there's a very big difference between Optimus and Megatron, your other example, where his personality and behaviour was drastically different between the various portrayals over the years even within the same medium (I'd struggle to name any parallels at all between the cool, dangerous Megatron in the G2 books and Megatron the guy who went nuts and crushed Brawl's head when Prime died).

The problem I have with your argument is that it requires everything to remain static. Shockwave was this before, he must be this again. I know that's not an exact of your argument but it comes across that way.
Actually, that's not that far off of what I'm saying. G1 Shockwave is G1 Shockwave, and G1 fiction should at least try to portray the character in a consistent way. And yes, that does restrict creative freedom some, but I'm okay with that.

The reason why I'm okay with that is because G1 isn't the only Transformers universe by a long shot. I think it's fine to say that G1 Shockwave should be written similar to the way he was in the 80s, because there's been plenty of room for alternative interpretations of the character in Energon, Animated, Prime and the movies, and there's going to be just as much room in future productions. And I think that's the best of both worlds, because we can have new takes while still keeping the old stuff!

Even though they've put their own spin on it, IDW is still G1 fiction starring G1 characters. I wouldn't be reading it if I wanted to see those characters completely reinvented, because frankly there are plenty of other, often-better options out there if I did. But when I want new G1 fiction IDW is the only game in town, and the farther they drift way from that foundation, the less-interested I am.

Also, I don't understand why you have a problem with a character being defined as something else after so many years. If we take skids, he had a handful of minor cartoon appearances, a paragraph on the back of the toy box and 7 issues in the comic. He's now been portrayed for 50 + issues of the current run in a different way - by sheer volume of course that's going to become the way he is viewed - and should be viewed in my opinion.
I get what you mean, but I think your argument eats it's own tail. Because up until 2012 "a handful of minor cartoon appearances, a paragraph on the back of the toy box and 7 issues in the comic" was the bulk of Skids' portrayals, and if we follow your logic that's how he should have been viewed and he shouldn't have been reinvented.

If we take other comics, it would be like saying Batman can only be portrayed as the way he was in the first detective comics - which would miss out on some amazing comics.
Batman, like Transformers, is blessed with being reinvented from the ground up in a new format every few years, between all the movies and cartoons and TV shows. And like Transformers I don't see much issue with the different takes having different versions of characters and stories.

But if a new series came out using character designs and backstory heavily drawn from the 60s show but with all of the characters acting like they do in the Arkham games...people would complain.

I don't view this as a pure G1---it's as much G1 as Prime and Animated are.
But the IDW comics were designed from Day 1 to be as G1 as possible to appeal to the nostalgia crowd. They started with hiring the most G1 writer possible in Simon Furman, who proceeded to write exactly the same characters as he always did, and most of them in exactly the same ways as he had when he was with Dreamwave writing G1 comics for them. And when they axed him, they replaced him with someone who wrote the book as an "EXTREEEM KEWL" version of the 80s TV show with added blood.

Yes, they've gone off in unexpected directions since then and yes, they've attracted a much different audience now than they had in the early days. But does that fundamentally change what the book is? Can it be G1 originally but stop being G1 because of where it's gone over the last decade? I'm not being rhetorical here, it's a serious question. Did the book start as something G1 but "break out" somewhere along the way to become it's own thing? Or are you saying it was never G1 to start with?

Knightdramon
2016-04-07, 09:03 PM
But the IDW comics were designed from Day 1 to be as G1 as possible to appeal to the nostalgia crowd. They started with hiring the most G1 writer possible in Simon Furman, who proceeded to write exactly the same characters as he always did, and most of them in exactly the same ways as he had when he was with Dreamwave writing G1 comics for them. And when they axed him, they replaced him with someone who wrote the book as an "EXTREEEM KEWL" version of the 80s TV show with added blood.

Yes, they've gone off in unexpected directions since then and yes, they've attracted a much different audience now than they had in the early days. But does that fundamentally change what the book is? Can it be G1 originally but stop being G1 because of where it's gone over the last decade? I'm not being rhetorical here, it's a serious question. Did the book start as something G1 but "break out" somewhere along the way to become it's own thing? Or are you saying it was never G1 to start with?

I guess it depends on what you class as G1 at the end---how do you feel about the WFC/FOC videogames? Because that's the closest thing to my analogy here, just in another medium.

The are G1 themed, loosely based, but that doesn't make them G1.

For me the most G1 the books have been was during AHM, they were different before and different after.

Warcry
2016-04-07, 09:48 PM
I guess it depends on what you class as G1 at the end---how do you feel about the WFC/FOC videogames? Because that's the closest thing to my analogy here, just in another medium.
That's a very good question and I'm not sure I have an answer for it. If I remember right the designers' intent was to make a purely G1 game, but at Hasbro's behest there's a pretty strong movie flavour to WFC and an even stronger TF:Prime flavour to FoC. And I know that Hasbro officially says it's a prequel to Prime, no matter how little sense that makes based on the plot of the games.

But the games are so derivative of other universes that I don't think there's a single unique thought across either of the two games, so I'm not inclined to call it it's own thing. And in spite of the bits and bobs that it's absorbed from other continuities, I think it's more G1 than anything else, so I guess I'd toss it under that umbrella, but it's not really a comfortable fit.

For me the most G1 the books have been was during AHM, they were different before and different after.
I get where you're coming from, but I'd have a hard time saying that Furman's stuff (with all it's tired Furmanisms, recycled ideas, plots and characters) was any less G1 than McCarthy's blatant nostalgia-fest.

Death's Head
2016-04-07, 11:26 PM
But the IDW comics were designed from Day 1 to be as G1 as possible to appeal to the nostalgia crowd. They started with hiring the most G1 writer possible in Simon Furman, who proceeded to write exactly the same characters as he always did, and most of them in exactly the same ways as he had when he was with Dreamwave writing G1 comics for them

Nah, not really. The IDW books, starting with Infiltration, were pegged as "Ultimate" Transformers - your old faves in a new, more modern situation. The initial intent was for it to be as unbeholden to what had come before as possible - hence the lack of a 4 million year sleep and the whole new Infiltration/Phased invasion set-up, not to mention the galactic scale of the war. Whether it was successful at that is up to you, but I recall the intention was always to do something new with the characters and not the same old nostalgia trip.

It was McCarthy who went full 80s - allegedly at IDW's behest due to low sales (which, erm, persisted).

inflatable dalek
2016-04-08, 01:04 PM
Yeah, I'd say the original Furman take was more an Ultimates reinvention than a "Straight" G1 relaunch, though it failed to stick for long (I'd also say that a decade in, the intentions when the line launched don't really matter now anyway, creators are allowed to change their minds over that length of time).

It's been odd over the last few years, really starting with MTMTE/Ex-RID kicking off, how "Brand synergy" has seen it become more and more an aligned thing. Clearly not planned (by IDW anyway. Andrew Wildman was fairly frank about how Reg had to twist and turn to meet the "We want all our Transformers to be a certain way" edict from Hasbro) or probably even desired that much, but the IDW Universe is a proper hodge podge now.

Patapsco
2016-04-08, 03:07 PM
Can we just all agree to blame Shane McCarthy for all of this?

Warcry
2016-04-08, 03:50 PM
Nah, not really. The IDW books, starting with Infiltration, were pegged as "Ultimate" Transformers - your old faves in a new, more modern situation.
That's true, but "Ultimate Transformers" meant something very different in 2005 than it does today because the only version of Transformers that anyone cared about or took seriously outside of the fandom was G1. And there was zero effort from IDW to incorporate ideas from outside the G1 sphere until Barber came aboard, so I'd be hard-pressed to argue they meant anything more than "Ultimate G1" with that pitch. But either way, regardless of marketing or initial conception, once you hire Simon Furman and let him do whatever he wants without any editorial direction you quickly fall down the ladder from "Ultimate Transformers" to "just another version of what the guy's been doing for two decades".

It's been odd over the last few years, really starting with MTMTE/Ex-RID kicking off, how "Brand synergy" has seen it become more and more an aligned thing. Clearly not planned (by IDW anyway. Andrew Wildman was fairly frank about how Reg had to twist and turn to meet the "We want all our Transformers to be a certain way" edict from Hasbro) or probably even desired that much, but the IDW Universe is a proper hodge podge now.
The last three of four years' worth of comics have certainly done a much better job of feeling "Ultimate" than anything that was done in the early days, but awkwardly so because the creators have to dance around the very, very G1 foundations that Furman and McCarthy laid down. Especially with Barber's habit of constantly revisiting past plot threads whether they really need it or not, it really feels like the IDW universe is trying to pull itself in two different directions at once and not entirely succeeding at either one.

Honestly, between Hasbro pushing them in a more "aligned" direction lately and the fact that the older books are more often than not just not very good, I wonder why IDW didn't just bin the entire thing after the Costa disaster and start over from scratch. Even if they'd kept the same basic post-war setting, I think both MTMTE and especially RiD would have been a lot better if they hadn't been bolted onto the old, G1ish stories of past writers.

Can we just all agree to blame Shane McCarthy for all of this?
Yes.

Patapsco
2016-04-08, 04:37 PM
I liked the general concept behind Furman's "G1 with a twist" beginnings but it went so rapidly downhill so quickly that it just went kind of "meh" before being mercifully killed off. I would have liked to have explored the "humans are kind of collateral damage" that Furman was taking with the Autobots a little further than it went but alas, we never got there because dead universe and headmasters and stuff

Knightdramon
2016-04-08, 07:09 PM
That's true, but "Ultimate Transformers" meant something very different in 2005 than it does today because the only version of Transformers that anyone cared about or took seriously outside of the fandom was G1. And there was zero effort from IDW to incorporate ideas from outside the G1 sphere until Barber came aboard, so I'd be hard-pressed to argue they meant anything more than "Ultimate G1" with that pitch. But either way, regardless of marketing or initial conception, once you hire Simon Furman and let him do whatever he wants without any editorial direction you quickly fall down the ladder from "Ultimate Transformers" to "just another version of what the guy's been doing for two decades".


The last three of four years' worth of comics have certainly done a much better job of feeling "Ultimate" than anything that was done in the early days, but awkwardly so because the creators have to dance around the very, very G1 foundations that Furman and McCarthy laid down. Especially with Barber's habit of constantly revisiting past plot threads whether they really need it or not, it really feels like the IDW universe is trying to pull itself in two different directions at once and not entirely succeeding at either one.

Honestly, between Hasbro pushing them in a more "aligned" direction lately and the fact that the older books are more often than not just not very good, I wonder why IDW didn't just bin the entire thing after the Costa disaster and start over from scratch. Even if they'd kept the same basic post-war setting, I think both MTMTE and especially RiD would have been a lot better if they hadn't been bolted onto the old, G1ish stories of past writers.


Yes.

I'm not sure if Barber is to hog in all the credit for the current series direction; at least not in that way.

I think that, broadly generalizing, there's zero effort from Hasbro to move the franchise forward at all. This is a sci-fi franchise that holds a lot of promise if treated right, but constantly wants to ground itself in "kiddie" territory. This sort of effort, or lack of, has been trekking down to the writers.

This is what you get when your basic premise is "sell toys involved in a civil war that takes place on Earth", and frankly, Earth is limiting in that aspect. How many times can you do the "robots in hiding, humanity mostly unaware, things escalate, robots in alliance, now humanity evolved and can fight back" thing over and over again?

It's not just a G1 or "aligned" thing, it's every single iteration with a few exceptions.

The thing is, once you hire Simon Furman to write transformers you will get the same things regardless of the decade you hire him in. Simon Furman is good in a limited way, but he was good for the 80ies, where comics and comic stories were their own little thing.

Simon Furman has proved [via his writing] that he's not really looking to move forward as a writer when he does this franchise. His vocabulary when writing is the same, his characters are mostly the same and the way he writes them is the same no matter what you get him to write. And I don't blame the guy; transformers people eat what he writes up because he's Simon Furman. Same thing with Andrew Wildman['s art]. An amazing cover, but then you open the issue and see that he never bothered to finish pencilling half the panels, but hey ho, it's Wildman, he did good art 3 decades ago and does a nice cover here and there, let's sugarcoat this!

Roberts and Barber are actually doing new things with the stories they write, and their writing is more...up to date, so to say. They've upped the profile of the comics so Hasbro took notice, and remembered that they can use the comics as a medium to sell toys, which actually hurt all the stories involved to an extent.

This is what happens when Hasbro takes notice and remembers that everything around the franchise is for selling toys. :lol:

Skyquake87
2016-04-08, 09:27 PM
Heh, true, you can't have your cake and eat it when the fait accompli of Transformers is "to sell toys".

The comics only seem to get latitude to steer their own ship when, well, Hasbro's attention is elsewhere. I do kind of like that there is that restriction on the comics, as its part of what makes them interesting, what I'm less enthused with is this whole idea of brand smoothing, or whatever you want to call it, and having everything the same as everything else. Thats boring. And leads to the comics equivalent of GAP stores (do they still exist? I remember they were very beige. Also grey). Especially with Transformers, which is often at its best when Hasbro just let the creators crack on and do something bloody interesting. Thats why things like Beast Wars resonate, and MTMTE and Animated.

In other news, I was considering the letters pages in the last two issues of MTMTE and how this book has come to mean so much to people and how diverse the readers are. I haven't read a letters page like this since The Maxx. Its a shame there aren't more letters, but then I haven't written one either (possibly because I'd feel a bit daft just writing in going 'Yaay this is really good! Thanks for this, as you were.", as I don't have anything much else to say apart from that, as witnessed by my feeble contributions to this thread). Perhaps I will though. Letters pages are ace when they're run regularly and have some comment from a decent editor and/ or one of the creators (I especially like Lazarus letters page for this atm).

Auntie Slag
2016-04-08, 10:18 PM
The letters page in this issue is the only part of MTMTE I've not been able to read. Its so damn gushing and bland in its positivity. I love MTMTE too but christ, just about made it through the first page and a bit of the second and I was ready to spew.

"I was ready to give up on life, and then Chromedome found Rewind again and now I feel great. Thank you IDW, you've saved me".

"They said any more Lithium would severely poison me, but seeing Drift defend Ratchet made me realise I never really needed it at all. Thank you IDW, you've truly turned my life around".

"As a key component in the Libor rate rigging scandal I was ready to slash my wrists lengthways rather than let them take me, but when my comic fell open to the scene where the DJD executed Black Shadow and I realised there was so much more evil I could do. Thank you IDW, you're the best".

I find MTMTE massively entertaining. But it did not save my life, I have not had a revelation, I'm not a better person, I haven't learnt anything, I will kill again and I like your comic. Next time please fill this space with one of your ****ing excellent text stories and leave these poncy letters to the message boards.

Lots of love,
Sqyquake

Patapsco
2016-04-08, 11:21 PM
The letters page in this issue is the only part of MTMTE I've not been able to read. Its so damn gushing and bland in its positivity. I love MTMTE too but christ, just about made it through the first page and a bit of the second and I was ready to spew.

"I was ready to give up on life, and then Chromedome found Rewind again and now I feel great. Thank you IDW, you've saved me".

"They said any more Lithium would severely poison me, but seeing Drift defend Ratchet made me realise I never really needed it at all. Thank you IDW, you've truly turned my life around".

"As a key component in the Libor rate rigging scandal I was ready to slash my wrists lengthways rather than let them take me, but when my comic fell open to the scene where the DJD executed Black Shadow and I realised there was so much more evil I could do. Thank you IDW, you're the best".

I find MTMTE massively entertaining. But it did not save my life, I have not had a revelation, I'm not a better person, I haven't learnt anything, I will kill again and I like your comic. Next time please fill this space with one of your ****ing excellent text stories and leave these poncy letters to the message boards.

Lots of love,
Sqyquake

my god, I want to marry this post and have all of its babies and love it every day

Red Dave Prime
2016-04-09, 01:04 PM
This has been a really good thread of late, some great debate. Very enjoyable to read, and I think everyone has valid points.

So on a few things:

The letters page doesnt just border on gushing, it builds a wall and charges the cost. I've never been a great fan of letter pages but the letters are so ridiculous (Auntie Slags parodies could easily be real) that they make me feel like being less of a fan. Its great that fans have taken to the book so well but some of the praise is so extreme that it really has no value.

On the ultimates comparison, The Ultimates, if I have it right, were Marvels way of creating a fresh jumping on origin story for several key characters for new fans. They took many of the key points but approached it in a fresh way but the key is that they created their own origins. This is pretty much exactly what IDW did and the opposite of DW. The Dreamwave story carries on from a certain point in the cartoon - I'm not 100% but I get the feeling it was pre-movie, post-Season 2. IDW is from scratch - it is not linked at all to a previous TF story other than its a transformers story. Is it heavily influenced by G1? Absolutely. But its not G1.

Its well worth looking at the tf wikis account of IDWs first run - Initial ideas for IDW's Transformer line included a Crisis on Infinite Earths-style story crossing over with the new Cybertron toyline, starting ongoings in both G1 and Cybertron continuity. The G1 cast would suffer Cybertron's destruction and learn Unicron's death had destabilized the entire omniverse, forcing them to try and assemble an artifact called the "Decepticon Matrix" in order to resurrect Unicron. This would parallel with the Cybertron plot, in which the Autobots seek out the Cyber Planet Keys to revive Primus, and Vector Prime would have appeared as a guide in both series. It seems that series would then have come together with the concurrent Cybertron comic as Transformers from across the multiverse were brought together for a final, epic clash.[2]
This was considered too confusing for new readers, however, and dropped for a continuity reboot of Generation 1. Furman mostly oversaw this, creating a more sophisticated universe around the familiar characters and tropes: Marvel Comics' Ultimate line was the inspiration, and Furman deliberately borrowed the more leisurely pacing of Ultimate Marvel.

Also regarding why they didnt start from scratch after Costa - I cant say for certain but I'm guessing for the same reason they re-tooled AHM to include Furmans stuff (really feels like a separate universe until issue 6). It may be small but there was an exsisting fan base that was invested in what Furman had put out over 35 or so issues. They didnt want to jetison all that. I also think LSOTW and Chaos helped massively in convincing IDW to keep the history they had created - It may have been a mess but Roberts and Roche showed that there could still be value in building on that past.

IMO, if MTMTE and ex-RID do fall away, than thats the time to reboot. Because I think you wont be able to do too much more with the universe in its current state but if the comic went away for a bit and came back with another fresh take on the origins, you could get the current fanbase AND the fanbase who were around for the initial DW series to give a new start a try

Patapsco
2016-04-09, 01:13 PM
Shall we start the "no gushing here grumpy crew"? because battle lines are being drawn

Red Dave Prime
2016-04-09, 01:23 PM
I'm happy to jump aboard that wagon. I think its Karen Marie Burda and Tj99joy that win the prize for most over the top praise in issue 51. Look, I think MTMTE is a fantastic comic series overall and is very well written but ... wow, just wow.

Makes me wish Cliffjumper was playing the Soundwave editor role for the MTMTE letters page.

Skyquake87
2016-04-09, 04:05 PM
Heh. I think those letters are coming from a good place, but it would have been nice to have a bit of balance and some slightly less OTT ones, I agree. Big hit with the LGBT crowd, though, so that's a thing. Makes me pointlessly want to change my profile picture to a rainbow in solidarity, which seems like too much effort as I've still not changed it from Paris or whatever Frog Song-style "we all stand together" meme is doing the rounds this week.

Patapsco
2016-04-09, 08:33 PM
Yeah, I think OTT is the correct turn of phrase. I like the book, despite it's fairly obvious flaws which we have discussed ad nauseum in other threads but I'm not going to write a gushing letter saying that the love affair between (the emotionally unstable) Chromedome and (pining for his lost lover) Rewind is the greatest thing I've ever read

inflatable dalek
2016-04-10, 12:41 AM
It'll be interesting to see if there's an about face on this when a familiar name pops up on the letters page to either 52 or 53...



(I'm reliably told the really good letters were held back from 50 to give the others a chance)

Knightdramon
2016-04-10, 08:46 AM
I went back and read all the letters in 50 and 51 [I flat out ignore them all the time].

While it'd be nice to have some back and forth [perhaps with Roberts? An editor] responses on them, technology has evolved since the 80ies and 90ies where I'd read debates on letter pages; that's what forums are for.

MTMTE attracts fans from "all walks of life" [pardon the expression], and as such you are bound to see different reactions than your usual TF fan. Or maybe LGBT-associated people were always reading TF comics, but they've now identified some common ground and are more active in the fandom.

It's not unusual to see fans having great expectations from a series, book, film of any kind---it's what commonly happens. A good Walking Dead episode can turn a mediocre Monday to a good one, a great TF comic can turn a good Wednesday even better; it's when fans arbitrarily link the two that things get, well, poisonous, as you remember from the twitter feeds regarding the Scavengers issues.

And, as discussed in detail in other threads, a good number of fans/posters/writers of letters in such cases don't really read other comics. Or have handled other transforming figures, and the list goes on...

inflatable dalek
2016-04-13, 08:07 PM
It's worth remembering that the 50 letters page was intended as a one off specifically soliciting celebratory messages, even if it wound up spilling over. I suspect a regular page would have a different feel to it.

The recording of the commentary from the Orbital Comics signing for 50 has gone up, and can be heard HERE (http://www.orbitalcomics.com/orbital-directors-commentary-james-roberts-on-transformers-mtmte-50-audio/).

Some interesting facts came up:

The Rustbots are cyborgs, therefore explaining why Megatron wasn't too bothered about acts of violence against them, nasty part organics.

There's a six month gap between 49 and 50 (if that was meant to be conveyed within the issue itself it didn't work for me).

Also, in a chat where it's clear which questions he's been evasive and lying on (I suspect James isn't very good at poker), he sounds so confident with his "The entire crew are firmly behind Getaway and knew about the DJD" comments, even with everyone present trying to catch him out by repeatedly asking him the question.

Well worth a listen, even if a kind of hysteria sets in as it goes along. It was boiling hot in Orbital earlier in the day when I was there which probably explains things like the repeated questions and James getting the name of almost every character wrong.

There's also an amazing twat who genuinely thinks asking (to paraphrase) "Why is John Barber shit?" is a good idea, and keeps pressing it even after it creates a really awkward atmosphere ("I was specifically thinking of Prowl, you write him so much better"). Who'd have thought trying to get a writer to slag off their friend, employer and someone whose writing they clearly don't have an issue with (else why work with them for four years) was a pointless rude dead end?

I mean, it's pretty harsh on James as well as it assumes he's enough of a dick to go "Why yes, I am the better writer by far now I think of it".

Red Dave Prime
2016-04-13, 09:20 PM
I don't mind the letters page being about the better parts of MTMTE but some of it is ridiculously over the top.

It comes across as blind fan loyalty and that's just never appealing.

Auntie Slag
2016-04-13, 11:01 PM
Yeah, give it some meat so that in turn James can spar with it, then its entertaining for him and us, and it adds further value to the stories.

I'm sure if it was his choice none of this preening, fawning tat would have made it into the comic. I'd rather they ban all future letters pages before some bright spark at IDW decides they should cut back on story pages next month as they've lost precious advertising space this time around to three pretend suicides, twelve shut-ins and a bulemic.

Skyquake87
2016-04-14, 07:56 PM
I'd rather they ban all future letters pages before some bright spark at IDW decides they should cut back on story pages next month as they've lost precious advertising space this time around to three pretend suicides, twelve shut-ins and a bulemic.

I was trying so hard to be polite about the letters page too...

But yeah, if a letters page means less story pages then no thank you.

inflatable dalek
2016-04-14, 08:10 PM
I think some of the reaction to the letters page here is a bit OTT, especially as it hasn't taken away any pages from the comic and the letters clearly weren't forced on Roberts as his reaction on twitter has shown he's been genuinely moved by them.

Fair enough not liking them (though again, it's not a "Normal" letters page, I've not been paying close attention but I can't believe my forthcoming musings is going to be the only funny letter in three issues), but the bile aimed here ("Pretend suicides" is bit much Slag, attitudes like that towards depression is what drives people towards suicide in the first place. It's tremendously horrible to assume people have made up these stories to get published. Fandoms and fiction across the board has a long history of helping people through issues that long pre-dates both MTMTE and Transformers), just glance through them like what I do.

Except when it comes to my letter, you'd better all read that carefully when that comes up.

(Apologies for sounding stern--and I love you Slag--I do realise this is possibly the silliest aspect of the comic to get into a debate about)

Skyquake87
2016-04-14, 08:34 PM
The repetitive content of the letters does push them into the realm of parody. Editorial should have sifted through the mailbag a little more to avoid the page turning into the sort of real life tragedy that keeps Take A Break going.

Warcry
2016-04-14, 08:44 PM
Yeah, even I think it's a bit silly to get worked up over a letters page. As long as it doesn't eat up story pages, I just ignore it.

Patapsco
2016-04-14, 08:56 PM
I don't mind the letters page being about the better parts of MTMTE but some of it is ridiculously over the top.

It comes across as blind fan loyalty and that's just never appealing.

can I just endlessly quote this forever and ever too? Because *this* right here is my problem with the "fandom", expressed better and with less swearing than I would. And I'm going to put "fandom" in quote marks because it's bloody ridiculous

Knightdramon
2016-04-14, 09:10 PM
Didn't we already mention that the letters for these two issues were meant to be published for issue 50, and were "way to go guys, 50 issues and counting" on purpose?

This stance here is like going up to Veterans on Rememberance day and talking shit about them because they celebrate. I mean, what gives?

Over the top reactions can't even begin to describe this, guys.

Auntie Slag, mate, your response, if sarcastic, is in bad taste. If not...

I could write more but will respectfully end this discussion here. I'll see you all here once MTMTE 52 comes out and folks want to discuss the story in that issue.

Patapsco
2016-04-14, 09:17 PM
Damnit Slag, you should have turned your sarcasm font on...

Skyquake87
2016-04-14, 09:23 PM
I suppose all the flannel about the letters page is because, er, there hasn't really been one. Partly for the reasons you cite above, but IDW haven't done much to encourage letters. Even Marvel and DC have reintroduced those, having got over the 'no room for letters, we need the ad space revenue' thing.

I half suspect a regular page would have some variety to it. And whilst its fine to celebrate the 50th milestone issue! and I don't think anyone begrudges that, all we ended up with is a load of birthday card greetings messages. You might as well have printed out of context quotes in the vein of many a film poster.

Auntie Slag
2016-04-14, 09:41 PM
No worries Dalek, I was being a total dick when I said that but at the same time I don't feel apologetic about it. Dave hit the nail squarely on the head with:

... the letters are so ridiculous that they make me feel like being less of a fan.

For the first time ever these letters knocked my appreciation of the comic. I felt the shudder of an outsider looking in, reeling with disgust. If this was the first issue of MTMTE I'd ever picked up, despite the story those letters would have put me off.

I love the work that James Roberts puts into this title with endless little nods, nuances and setups that take three years to pay off. He pays attention to everything (apart from Impactors power levels, ho ho). and I find it insulting to both him and us that IDW went full-on crawly bumlick mode for five pages!

And again, I think James is a smart guy; he might've picked out letters that entertain and challenge his storylines, maybe only printing the ones where he offers something thought provoking in return; perhaps a veiled clue or three? what Megatron thinks of Skids? not give it up for vanilla plaudits.

And I'd evidence that by the cool text stories that he doesn't have to do but does, maybe because he feels he's otherwise cheated us or his own characters in some way by editing them out of panel time (Max and Red on Luna 1 for example). Then there's the soundtracks to every issue and being an exceedingly nice & patient bloke on Twitter.

That's all got to be part of the fun of a world-building 21st century story writer. It must be great to have such a close connection with the readers. I guess Simon Furman and Budiansky never got to feel that.

Auntie Slag
2016-04-14, 10:23 PM
Examples of letters I'd have imagined in a comic like this at hitting a milestone:

Dear James, congratulations on hitting 50! Can you explain why you killed Hyperion, a former Wrecker leader and probably a big deal, in the most anaemic way back in issue 2?

Wouldn't that be interesting to find out 48 issues later? Even if his answer was simply "for shits and giggles", at least we'd know. How many other writers would be audacious enough to kill off a Wrecker leader in such a throwaway er... way? They're supposed to die fantastically, just like in Pyro's dreams. There must be a reason!

Dear James, you once said if the comic was in danger of cancellation before hitting 50, you had an alternative storyline that could tie up lots of threads neatly. Now it's secure can you give anything away about this failsafe?

My god, I'd LOVE to know that one!

Denyer
2016-04-14, 11:00 PM
While it'd be nice to have some back and forth [perhaps with Roberts? An editor] responses on them, technology has evolved since the 80ies and 90ies where I'd read debates on letter pages; that's what forums are for.

Nah, disagree. If letters aren't a two-way conversation you might as well be reading randomly ordered Tweets.

Auntie Slag
2016-04-15, 07:00 AM
[Edited to remove all trace of Terminus].

inflatable dalek
2016-04-15, 02:36 PM
In terms of question asking (and all of Slag's suggested questions are good ones), I guess that's what twitter is basically for now. Why write in to a comic and wait a month for a reply when you can just ask the writer (or artist or whoever) directly and get a response that afternoon? It'd arguably be more of a waste of a one-off letters page than anything written by the people actually published.

As I normally go with trades for my comic buying, do many other titles carry them still or have they been completely superseded now? This one seems to have been done entirely off James' own back (with him selecting the letters as well, love or hate it, it's unfair to blame anyone else for it) as Ex-RID 50 didn't have one IIRC.

Patapsco
2016-04-15, 06:12 PM
Ex-RID had a creative team story so far instead of letters, 51 had nowt. But Twitter is the worst method for asking questions, because it's 140 characters. I had to super shrink down my "James, why do you kill off characters then bring them back because I feel it cheapens the emotional impact of the supposed death when they're up and kicking" question to "why did Cyclonus come back" and the impact is lost. A proper question and answer page every few months would be good, hell throw them in the trades or hardback covers, along with annotated scripts, etc. like bonus material on a DVD

Auntie Slag
2016-04-15, 06:58 PM
If I could have one piece of bonus anything it would be a child's plush toy of Whirl replete with sharp edges and a pull string, featuring his wonderful comments:

"Look, this is my sincere face"

"The cheeky little scamp"

"Let's just say we were both in the wrong, particularly you, and move on"

"If I'd known that's the best you've got, I'd have said something genuinely offensive"

"Its a trick, pull the trigger"!

"No one cares, no one cares what you have to say"!

"Seven good-looking Mechs & Riptide just exploded onto the street. We need a good explanation"

"If Rodders & the gang aren't dead they'll be pinning their hopes of rescue on you and me. Mainly me".

"Note to self: don't beat up prisoners"

Ah, boundless Whirl love makes me happy!

http://pre13.deviantart.net/96d7/th/pre/f/2013/272/8/7/no_known_weaknesses_by_onsaud-d6of5ir.png

Skyquake87
2016-04-15, 07:02 PM
I'd buy one:)


...unless it turns out to be one of those Funko Pop Vinyl things that have erupted like pox all over everywhere. Horrible things with black dead eyes (or have they just had their eyes gouged out with a spoon?)