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Old 2016-07-29, 02:45 AM   #47
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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Originally Posted by Selkadoom View Post
I have to strongly strongly disagree on generalizing Tarn to a Thug in a mask. If that were the case, why bother showing he's actually got depth, that underneath that mask he genuinely hates seeing the carnage he's deemed himself the one to wrought? The character had a decent amount of potential to be expounded on here that feels like it was snubbed for the sake of wrapping up the arc with a pretty pink bow ontop of the ending.
I tend to agree with that. The DJD "spotlight" issue that introduced Nickel and Deathsaurus made Tarn out to be a pretty deep character (and, honestly, one who should have been just as succeptable to the "guilt weapon" as the blatantly-telegraphed-to-get-cold-feet Deathsaurus) but the needs of the plot kind of forced him back into the one-dimensionally evil box in this last issue. With all that's going on I don't really blame Roberts for that, but it's a shame for him to go out on that note.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Megatron must be an outlier/1% as well though surely?
Two totally different things, those. He's a Point One Percenter for sure because we see Whirl wire a green spark into him, but there's been no mention of him having any special Outlier powers.

And also, with so many people being revealed to be Outliers and Point One Percenters it kind of cheapens the who idea. If everyone's special then nobody's special, you know?

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
And a powerful one considering his variety of gimmicks like black hole and space bridge powers.
Those powers were bolted on after the fact though. He wasn't (as far as we know) born with them.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
You mean like the major modifications the issue specifically mentions he underwent under Shockwave that made the entire thing possible?
The modifications Shockwave made gave him his space bridge abilities, which let him reach the antimatter. That makes great sense, too, even if it kind of makes a mess of the previous implication that he'd already done this.

It doesn't explain how his body can transform that antimatter (which, as a Trek fan, you know will utterly annihilate any normal matter it touches) into energy, though. Blasting it out as a big last-ditch "screw you" superweapon? Absolutely. Pouring it into his engine and burning it like energon? Not so much.

Like you say, it'd be a lot easier to gloss over this point if we were talking about something made-up like Nucleon.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
A major part of the set up in the first part of the story becomes a major part of the resolution in the end... I'm really not sure what the issue is there.
The major issue is that the first part of the story came out in February, and Roberts didn't even drop in an "As seen in issue #50!" box (which comics don't seem to do as much anymore, much to their detriment) or line of dialogue to make it clear what was going on. I shouldn't have to reread the entire fucking series every time a new issue comes out in order to make sense of what's going on.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Should they have brought it up every issue just to make sure? It should have been perfectly possible to work it out in advance, I guess just like the characters I was just focusing too much on the other stuff beforehand.
The Autobots certainly could have dropped in a mention of it when they were looking for ways to defend themselves. And Roberts easily could have made it more clear what was going on in this issue. Until the moment they used it, I don't think it was even hinted that the Autobots knew what had caused the initial psychic attack, let alone looked for it.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
But that's backtracking on the complaint you were making, which was that things hadn't been set up at all. Now it's not set up recently or promonently enough. Which considering that includes the aforementioned distress inducing call that was promonently set up front and centre within this story that seems somewhat unfair.
This is where we'll have to agree to disagree. If I was watching an episode of Star Trek and they used some random bit of technobabble to solve a problem in the cold open, then didn't mention it again at all until the last minute of the show when it saved the day without any indication they were even thinking about it, I'd roll my eyes and call it lazy. Having a six month gap in real time between the intro and the reappearance only makes it stand out worse. It would be like a Trek episode referencing something minor from ten episodes ago without doing the "previously on". Which I'm sure happens sometimes, but it's not exactly something that's audience-friendly.

It's a bad storytelling moment from an author working too hard to out-clever his readers. And that's not the end of the world at all. Every writer has them. It's just that this issue was straight out littered with them.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
And as I said, this is unhelpful to new readers to be sure, that would be a fair complaint. But it is intended to be the payoff to four years worth of stories, heavily relying on that past shouldn't be that surprising.
It should still be at least coherent on it's own, though. I've been reading the whole way through and I wasn't entirely clear on what's going on. I can't imagine what a newcomer would make of it.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
I actually think Roberts is more of a frustrated TV writer than a book one and it does sometimes show
Yeah, I could see that.

Either way, my general point is the same: Roberts is a good writer but not necessarily one who's a good fit for the comics medium. I'm growing frustrated with his foibles as a comic writer, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy seeing what he could do in a medium with different constraints.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
, what this actually reminds me of (and it's a show I've made an analogy to two months in a row!) is the season 5 final of Buffy, where it turns out various otherwise unimportant things they've collected throughout the season turn out to be very helpful in defeating the God they've got as the Big Bad that year. I'm now imagining you sitting there going "That thunder god's hammer hasn't been mentioned in ten episodes! And they don't even properly explain where it came from beyond "Hey, remember this Plot Device? Let's use it!" Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedon!".
Haven't watched Buffy in ages and only vaguely remember what you're talking about, but when TV shows refer back to previous episodes they'll almost always have a helpful little "Previously on:" collection of clips that shows you everything you need to know to make sense of the episode even if you missed the ones it's calling back to. Unfortunately that doesn't work in the comics medium, which had to develop it's own techniques...

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Though Furman and Claremont were both working in an era where there were no (or very few) reprints and you couldn't write a comic on the assumption that everyone has read it or can go back and check anything. Hence lots of very awkward but understandable "As you well know" dialogue.
...and which, as you say, have been all but abandoned now.

And assumptions like this from creators are a big part of why the comics industry is dying. If you're constantly writing for the hardcore audience and assuming that your readership have not only read all the previous issues but are intimately familiar with them, you're going to push away not only newcomers but more casual readers as well.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Being reasonably sure a large part of your audience has been following from the start even if they only just started watching/reading changes the stories you can tell.
And it also drastically reduces the number of potential audience members in the process, because not many people have that much time and energy to commit. That's why you'll see heavily serialized shows landing on HBO or Netflix instead of more conventional channels. As great as those shows may be, that sort of storytelling still alienates more people than it draws in, and it's rare that one of them pulls in enough of an audience to survive on a major network for very long. Thus why most TV shows, even serialized ones, focus on a new monster-of-the-week every episode with the ongoing story usually relegated to the B-plot.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Now, I don't profess to be an expert on modern comics, I read a reasonable amount but as I have little interest in the Big Crossovers I tend to avoid them. So I can't comment on how they handle things, but I'd be amazed if they still do it the Furman way and don't place a lot more trust in the readers to have kept up (though obviously there's a difference between how an issue of Batman references something that happened in an issue of Superman that isn't guaranteed to have been read by the same people even in a crossover than there is in Batman referencing something that happened in his own book four months ago).
Honestly, I think this is less "trusting the readers" and more a case of assuming that there's nobody left reading the things but hardcore fans,so why bother trying to cater to casuals? And it's not a good thing, in my opinion. It's a sign of an industry that is so used to being in decline that it doesn't even try to reach out for new fans anymore.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Because I was interested in how many people seemed to think there had been no set up for these things and because I thought my post had a good attempt at addressing some of the issues I actually shared it on twitter, and Roberts actually left some thoughts of his own on it 9as, to be fair, did people who agreed with some of the things Warcry said), I thought I'd share here as well for some from the horses mouth stuff (though anyone who feels that most of this being planned out rather than being desperately improvised at the last second would make it a poorer story will be disappointed/vindicated): https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/...53630265999360
I'll try to put this as nicely as possible: while it's interesting to hear what Roberts has to say, I'm not going to put all that much stock into it. The man isn't going to toss his employers under a bus even if they did ruin everything, and nor is he going to start saying "nah, it's all made up on the spot, you marks!" He's got a job to do and an image to maintain. Whether he's saying the absolute truth or spouting a bunch of PR BS, he'd kind of have to say the same thing, you know? And I don't mean that as a criticism, just a description of what his job entails.

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Originally Posted by Patapsco View Post


again, this shouldn't be required reading. We shouldn't be constantly have to re-read nearly previous 30 issues to find the solitary details (remember, Megs and Trailbreakers hands are TWO PANELS out of 30 issues) which are relevant to a series ending arc. And this coming from someone who has pretty much loved MtMtE right up until Roberts chickened out of killing of Cyclonus
Exactly this.

Having one or two moments that come out of nowhere and force you to glance at your back-issues is alright. Having this many in one issue just feels like, as the Brits around here are wont to say, taking the piss. Hence my initial assumption that the whole thing was a rush job meant to tie everything up.

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Originally Posted by Death's Head View Post
It also seems curious to complain that we 'have' to look at the wiki - after all, we're already on the internet and the wiki is just a new tab and a few clicks away. It's what it's there for, and the wonderful Chris McFeely does put a lot into his summaries.
I understand what you're saying, but this is another example of what I was talking about before, this assumption that everyone reading the book is a hardcore fan. What's a person whose not active in the TF fandom or "in the know" about things like the wiki supposed to do? Or someone who doesn't know much about Transformers but started to read the book a year ago because someone recommended it to them?

This sort of cavalier "Do the research, plebs! All these things happened in the past but I won't even tell you where!" approach to storytelling is one of the reasons why comic sales have dropped to a tenth or less of what they were in their heyday.
 
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