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Old 2016-07-29, 05:35 PM   #54
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
Warcry's Avatar
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Originally Posted by Death's Head View Post
I get you, but in this day and age such information is just a google search away, and if someone is enjoying the book and wants to know more I imagine they'll do just that. It's not about forcing people to do the research - it's saying 'look, there's more to this if you want it'. Plus, it also rewards long-time readers which is just as important.
I think the problem is that, when an issue is as dense as this one with uncited references, it's almost impossible to enjoy this book without that knowledge. So new people aren't going to do the research, they're just going to toss the book in the bin and go read something else.

Originally Posted by Death's Head View Post
Besides, this is the final part of a multi-part story - anyone coming on board now (indeed, anyone coming onboard a series which is in its 50s) will have to assume that there's some backstory there - and if they're enjoying the story they'll be happy to do that research. Isn't that how we all became fans? I didn't start buying the UK comic until well into the 200s but all the references to RAAT or Centurion didn't put me off - on the contrary, it actively encouraged me to find out more. And we didn't have the wiki back then
There's a big difference, though. Comics back then worked very hard to make sure that each issue could stand on it's own no matter where it was in an arc because of the very real fact that every issue could be someone's first. So you can jump in almost anywhere and more-or-less make sense of things. There might be a few questions raised but nothing that will detract from your enjoyment of the issue. Modern comics don't do that anymore, and it's not an issue with Roberts alone, but this issue in particular seems to be actively working to make itself as difficult to understand as possible.

If I think back and compare this to the big "event" issues of the old Marvel books, it's not a favourable comparison. You can easily jump into Edge of Extinction or G2#12 or the climactic Magnus/Galvatron fight issue of Target: 2006 and make sense of what's going on. There will be a few unclear bits and pieces. Thinking of EoE in particular, Thunderwing would seem a bit deus ex machina if you haven't read the previous issues (and did come off that way a bit to me as a kid who hadn't read Matrix Quest). But even though Furman's writing it as a capstone to two years' worth of stories and had at least half an idea that this would be the final issue, it's still surprisingly accessible.

Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
So you can bolt on extra stuff to the guy... like a forcefield hand (presumably what stopped him trying it in situations where it looked like he was going to die--such as the end of 49--was thinking he was on crap fuel that wouldn't power it).
But this is where the argument loops back on itself: Outliers are special and that's why they have these powers and nobody else does, but you can slap their powers on anyone if you really wanted to, so they're not special at all. The whole concept seemed to start off as an explanation for why everyone doesn't have force fields, teleporters and gigantic electromagnets in their body, but if those special parts can be wired onto anyone else who can power them then it doesn't solve the original problem at all and after four million years of war everyone should have those abilities even if they don't use them all the time due to fuel concerns.

Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Would some "See issue" boxes have made a difference? I'm not sure. I think the fact you don't seem keen on any of the plot developments even with a full wiki backed explanation suggests it's not really the way they're revealed that's the issue, you just don't like them very much!
I get where you're coming from, but I think that in some cases the answer is yes and in other cases the answer is no.

The guilt weapon is something that I honestly didn't even remember on first reading, and a reminder there definitely would have made the first few pages more coherent to me -- I'd still wonder about the wisdom of using it when Deathsaurus's characterization was leading there anyway, but it wouldn't have led me to stop reading the story, roll my eyes and say "oh **** off!"

Also, does the issue even allude to the fact that Terminus and Roller (and Glitch!) are people that we've already met? I don't recall but I'm leaning towards 'no'. Though I suspect that if the comic had an extra two pages to work with, like it used to, we'd probably have seen some dialogue making it more clear just how important they were to some of the people in that room.

The stuff with the time case is more problematic, because there really isn't anything to cite or point back to -- we last saw it when Ravage gave it to Megatron fifteen issues ago and everything that has been revealed to have happened since really feels like a deus ex machina.

One thing that absolutely could have used a pointer back to when it happened was Whirl's arm! I remembered that one, but it was two and a half years ago and I'd imagine a lot of folks probably didn't.

Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
How do you feel about Sacrifice of Angels? Just as the Dominion Fleet are about to come through the worm hole the Prophets take Sisko and he persuades them to save the day in a literal Dues ex Machinia. That's about two years (depending on when in season 4 the fake Emissary episode was) since they were last actually in an episode and there's nothing in the first 35 minutes to even hint at that being the resolution. It's perfectly in keeping with the show's own internal logic and history but is done entirely as a surprise to make sense to regular viewers and not anyone else.

Which considering it's part 7 of a 7 part story (and the three preceding episodes in that arc don't have "Previously on..." recaps. Nor do most of the shows in the 10 part series finale either) it's arguable floating viewers are going to expect not to follow everything perfectly.
Actually it's interesting you bring up DS9, because I was thinking about it in the context of this conversation after I made my last post.

Deep Space Nine is my favourite Trek series, you know that, and I'll fight anyone who badmouths it. But it's also the least popular of it's generation by far, and only the flop that was Enterprise saves it from being the redheaded stepchild of the franchise. And stuff like this is a big part of why its popularity has never matched its' quality. It was a very, very well-written show, but it also made some stumbles that made it really difficult for a lot of traditional Trekkies to embrace it. The serialized nature wasn't familiar then, people weren't used to needing to watch certain episodes to know what was going on, and sometimes the show wasn't the greatest at keeping part-time watchers in the loop. And the last half of the last season was practically LOST-tier, but since they knew the show was ending I'm assuming they made an active choice at that point to no longer even pretend to give a damn about such things (and yes, "More Than Meets The Eye" is ending, but the story is continuing under a different banner so that's not the same thing).

As far as Sacrifice of Angels goes, honestly, I find it hard to comment. Because I've seen it so many times over so many years, and because I was so young when it was airing (I was 13 when I first viewed the episode you're talking about) I'll happily admit that my mind tends to gloss over the plot holes and silliness that sometimes slip in, much like it does when I rewatch the 80s Transformers movie.

But the point you bring up is an interesting one. The Prophets in this episode are the definition of deus ex machina, and people who aren't familiar with the older seasons would have zero idea what's going on. And, yes, that's a bit of a problem, one that could have easily been patched over by having Damar make a taunting "where are your gods now?" comment when he arrested everyone earlier in the episode.

And you know, I actually really like that scene because of what it says about Sisko. As he takes the ship into the wormhole you think he's a desperate man intent on a suicidal last stand, but as things move along you realize that he knows exactly what he's doing and this was the plan (or at least Plan B) the whole time and the dude is basically Space Batman. But a line or two earlier on in the episode definitely could have changed the initial reaction from a "Huh?" to an "Of course! How come I didn't see that coming?" as all the pieces drop into place.

Though as a teenager I think my reaction was more along the lines of "He's not going to beat them in a fight? Boo!"

Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
I get where you're coming from (and I should note his frustration with criticism on this score was born from some of the more eccentric responses on twitter like the "YOU USED TO BE MY IDOL" person rather than my tweet and thus this thread specifically, I think it just gave him a place to vent a little)
Also, given that you pointed him to my post as an example of people being WRONG about folks all know me and you know that I mostly just argue about this stuff for fun and don't take it all that seriously. Or at least I hope you do! Roberts on the other hand isn't (un)lucky enough to have made my acquaintance, and my ranting probably comes across as a lot more serious and angry to someone who doesn't know me. And if he's being bombarded by people saying the same sort of stuff as me and actually, unironically being angry about the comic for it, I can't blame him for being a bit miffed.

Hence why I don't sign up for Twitter myself and bombard him with mountains of "dude you suck!" tweets -- because he doesn't, and it would be incredibly silly to troll a writer because I take issue with his stylistic storytelling choices and the conventions of modern comic book writing. For the most part I think he does a pretty good job, but when he does slip up it's almost always in a way that falls into the "things about comics that annoy Warcry" zone. Other writers with the same overall talent level but different strengths and weaknesses generate a lot less complaining from me because their weaknesses don't happen to align with all the things that annoy me.

Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Wait, I didn't delete that tweet where I was nice about you. Damn, that's ruined our adversarial relationship.
That's okay, we can still be enemies.
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