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Old 2014-10-29, 10:44 PM   #21
Terome
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Thought this was excellent. Nothing too flashy, just solid comics-making the whole way through. I agree that the Trailcutter bit was probably reflexive but it was still effective.

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

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

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

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

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

How great are Mainframe and Bluestreak? Pair of jerks!
 
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Old 2014-10-29, 11:49 PM   #22
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Great stuff. Works whether or not TC is in the usual comics revolving door, but in the authorial position I'd probably have it stick. The buzz of conversation seems to focus on the lack of certainty.

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I do think that those long passages from Towards Peace might be unnecessary and probably best left to the imagination.
I'm in the group that wants to see more of it. Not necessarily full prose, but getting a good chunk of that conveys much more of a sense of personality than soundbytes (which're a horribly modern affliction, attention spans are shrinking, buggy whip manufacturers should unite against these horseless carriages, yadda yadda).
 
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Old 2014-10-30, 01:58 AM   #23
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I do think that those long passages from Towards Peace might be unnecessary and probably best left to the imagination.
I could be wrong, but I think part of the reason for that was to show that Trepan had scratched the surface and deleted little bits of it before he was stopped.

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

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

I suppose the other DJD aren't around and left Vos and Kaon to rot, so we might get Kaon's explanation of events. Could be interesting to see how they differ from alternate Rewind's.
 
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Old 2014-10-30, 02:27 AM   #24
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I'll believe that Trailbreaker is dead when First Aid or Ratchet say so, and not a moment sooner. What the comic showed was vague at best, and I find it hard to believe Roberts would have gone to such lengths to show how sympathetic he was to Megatron just to kill him. Given the book's track record...

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

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

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

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

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

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I might be wrong, and I've been trying to figure out how to explain what makes me think this, but I feel like there's some screwy with the chronology around the events involving the alternate Lost Light and Offsted.
The timelines left me scratching my head, too.
 
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Old 2014-10-30, 03:14 AM   #25
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Just some quickish thoughts for now, but overall I enjoyed this.

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

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

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

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

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


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Start your "Terminus is Tarn!" speculation now.
Seems to be, doesn't he?

Then again, probably a red herring, but the ambiguity of his fate right now and his faith in Megatron (albeit pre-Space Hilter Megatron) supports that theory. Not sure I completely buy it myself yet, though Terminus quoting "you are being deceived" from Megatron's treatise did strike me as your typical Roberts-esque clue-seeding.
 
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Old 2014-10-30, 08:38 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Unicron View Post
I could be wrong, but I think part of the reason for that was to show that Trepan had scratched the surface and deleted little bits of it before he was stopped.
Yes, that sequence was masterful. And a very strong call-back to Rung's thoughts on edits from the first issue. I think I was so impressed by the 'he's a thinker' panel, with the text nearly visible behind Megatron aggressively digging that I was a bit disappointed when we got that whole page of the same text, naked. We can catch the gist already and it seems like gilding the lily.

It was interesting to read though.

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

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

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Warcry: Seriously though, I found the initial bits of story to be quite heavy-handed, with Bluestreak and his "What faction is he? Do we know what side he's on? Where's his badge?" coming off as a bit strawmanesque.
I quite liked that as I saw it as being a key part of Bluestreak's make-up: he talks too much. We are basically hearing his thoughts and he has no internal editor.
 
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Old 2014-10-31, 01:09 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Terome View Post
I think it's good to leave a reader wanting more without putting everything on the table, especially when you're dealing with BIG IMPORTANT MASTERFUL TEXTS THAT CHANGED HISTORY. It's courting disappointment!
It's not like Mein Kampf was particularly well-written. Megs has rather a moderate polemic going on at this point and it'd be interesting to see how it develops over a longer period.

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"**** morality, let that asshole Vos die!"
Mmm. Fortunately first aid at work courses don't get into hippocratic oath territory.
 
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Old 2014-10-31, 04:29 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
I'll believe that Trailbreaker is dead when First Aid or Ratchet say so, and not a moment sooner. What the comic showed was vague at best, and I find it hard to believe Roberts would have gone to such lengths to show how sympathetic he was to Megatron just to kill him. Given the book's track record...
I don't know, it seemed to be trying very hard to be definative (probably to counter the "Fake out" thought that would enter the head of most readers), it even used the "Brain module crushing sound effect" from Legacy of Unicron, something that's probably sacred to Roberts.


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Wait...you mean most people don't think that?
Imagine if it had been Misfire they'd found, it would have been a much happier ending.

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Seriously though, I found the initial bits of story to be quite heavy-handed, with Bluestreak and his "What faction is he? Do we know what side he's on? Where's his badge?" coming off as a bit strawmanesque.
I thought Bluestreak was actually well handled as it felt right for his character even though I think that's by far and away the most he's ever had to do in IDW. Possibly since that Marvel story with Jetfire in it.


Quote:
Actually...quite the opposite IMO. Even if Trepan didn't have a chance to make wholesale changes to Megatron's psyche, he violated him in the most personal way possible. Being victimized like that by your own government would tend to radicalize even someone as peaceful as Megatron was in the flashbacks. On top of what Whirl did...well, it'd be hard to argue that this wasn't yet another big push down the road to cartoonish supervillainy for Megs.
I don't know, I can't think of an argument that would make it morally OK to let Vos die because he's perceived to be such a massive threat, but not also make it OK to turn Megatron placid (which is presumably what would have happened if the process had worked) against his will because he's equally be perceived to be a threat.

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Did they? I got the impression the aliens gave them more trouble than the Lost Light did.
Accumilative effect it would seem (though I suppose that, unlike the ALL, the Galactic Council would have ships with big guns).


Interesting inverview with Roberts HERE on the Transmissions podcast that was recorded before the release of this issue but, as the hosts had review copies the last half is given over to some interesting tidbits (including that Roberts pronounces Necrobot differently to how I do).


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

Be warned- whilst I have no problem with sponsored podcasts 9after all, they're free to listen to), the "Acting" in the advert at the start from the two hosts is actually, albeit sweetly, cringe induceingly bad.
 
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Old 2014-10-31, 04:41 PM   #29
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I don't know, I can't think of an argument that would make it morally OK to let Vos die because he's perceived to be such a massive threat, but not also make it OK to turn Megatron placid (which is presumably what would have happened if the process had worked) against his will because he's equally be perceived to be a threat.
Generally considered more reasonable to kill than to torture/lobotomise?
 
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Old 2014-10-31, 04:54 PM   #30
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Generally considered more reasonable to kill than to torture/lobotomise?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, all that could just be a red herring meant to throw us off so we don't guess what really happened...
 
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Old 2014-10-31, 08:56 PM   #32
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Also, if Trailbreaker is dead shouldn't his forcefield have turned off? I understand that it's a "panic bubble" with a set duration, but if he was dead his fuel pump would stop pumping energon to the field generator -- and this issue clearly established that it relied on Trailbreaker's energon for fuel and not an external source (he didn't have enough juice left to throw a forcefield over Vos). I guess not, if he's meant to be dead, but that's what I'd been thinking at the time.
I would assume the panic bubble has it's own separate battery that tops itself up as necessary off of Trailmix's normal energon supply or when he recharges. It's an emergency tool, one might expect such a thing to be able to run separate from regular power.

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

Consider this, which occurred to me last night: Trailbreaker is dead and his remains, complete with forcefield generators, will be accessible to a pissed off First Aid in short order. Defensor's only notable ability happened to be projecting a forcefield around himself. I think we're gonna see some Autobots combining soon.
 
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Old 2014-10-31, 10:42 PM   #33
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Re-read the issue again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Old 2014-11-01, 01:31 AM   #34
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If they'd just taken Megatron out back and shot him...well, that would still be awful but at least it would be reasonably civilized. Instead they undertook to erase everything that made him who he is and replace him with a totally new Government-Approved Person™, because Primus forbid they let a functional miners' chassis go to waste. I just can't accept any argument that erasing people's minds and identities in order to make them happy slaves isn't way, way worse than killing them.
It's much the same thing, surely?
 

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Old 2014-11-01, 05:53 AM   #35
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I would assume the panic bubble has it's own separate battery that tops itself up as necessary off of Trailmix's normal energon supply or when he recharges. It's an emergency tool, one might expect such a thing to be able to run separate from regular power.
I...guess? I mean, if he's actually dead then that has to be how it works, but I honestly can't see any logical design reason for that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Zombie Megatron would absolutely be used against the Decepticons. Just like Pious Maximus, he would have been trotted out by the Institute to recant his beliefs in public in an effort to cut the legs out of the Decepticon movement. I doubt it would have worked, though. Decepticonism was going strong during Shadowplay with Megatron nowhere in sight, and just like countless "go back in time to kill Hitler" sci-fi stories you'd just find someone else taking Megatron's place when the political movement turned into a violent revolution.
 
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Old 2014-11-01, 05:50 PM   #36
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Warcry: Just like Pious Maximus, he would have been trotted out by the Institute to recant his beliefs in public in an effort to cut the legs out of the Decepticon movement.
Oh jeez, I'd forgotten Pious Maximus. That poor, poor man. I guess Ultra Magnus finally put him down.


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Trailbreaker has tons of guns, forcefields and turns into a rugged SUV, while Kaon is seemingly blind, at least somewhat damaged, has no weapons (given he's got barely any energy, he probably can't charge up his Tesla coils) and turns into a chair. If Trailbreaker hadn't saved Vos I think he would have been able to beat him handily, though since Kaon is part of the *swoon* ultra-badass DJD he may have Mary Sued his way to victory regardless.
I can totally buy that Trailcutter was weakened and caught off-guard and so Kaon was able to easily get the upper hand. In a fair fight, maybe it wouldn't have been so decisive but what would be the fun in that?

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Unicron: So the next likely option is the thing everyone has been expecting since the start of this season confirmed they were all on board: Defensor.
Gah, I hope they leave all that silly business out of this book.

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Knightdramon: Roberts is going out of his way to make Megatron look like an anti hero, a genuine victim, 100% justified etc. It basically builds him up as a hero, and all the evil doings of the Decepticons being attributed to the likes of DJD.
I think that's deliberate at this stage. I can't see Roberts having any intention of completely whitewashing Megatron's past. It's clear in the timeline we have now that Megatron just kind of lost his mind quite early on in the war. The way he was talking about Simanzi back in Dark Cybertron did not strike me as the words of an anti-hero or someone who has a shred of compassion left in him.

Podcast made some good listening though I'm a little tentative to be privy to all this Word-of-Godding. I guess I could just stop following Roberts on Twitter and reading all his interviews but then I'd be out the loop!
 
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Old 2014-11-01, 06:10 PM   #37
inflatable dalek
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Unless that's yet another method of faking you out, by invoking something that he knows UK readers will assume is a flat "he's dead".

Actually, I hadn't even entertained the possibility that Trailbreaker was meant to be dead until I came here, read the reactions and saw people making the connection to Legacy. I think that's an art fail though, because in the panel accompanied by the "krik" or whatever, Trailbreaker's brain module looks more like a slightly deformed balloon than something that's been permanently smashed. And we don't see the finished product of the squashing, either. On my first read-through I had the impression that DJD Mary Sue #4 was theatening to smoosh TB's brain, not that he actually had.
I didn't spot the sound effect right off, but I am surprised to see a few people say they didn't immediately think Trailbreaker was supposed to be dead (nearly as much as I was that the people who did assume that were really, really upset about it and that was the reaction that had mildly surprised Roberts), the poor guy's brain module is squished on page, that seems to be trying very, very hard to go "This is a proper death" (though who knows, with a time travel plot coming up...).


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Also, if Trailbreaker is dead shouldn't his forcefield have turned off?
I think that works on the same principal as the bit in [I]Chaos Theory[/I[ where Pax is not only able to transform his dead friend but ride his motorbike mode. Some autonomous functions seem to carry on for Transformers even after death.


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I disagree. (How shocking, I know!)
I disagree with your disagreement!

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There's two rather large differences between the two, IMO. Denyer covered the first. If they'd just taken Megatron out back and shot him...well, that would still be awful but at least it would be reasonably civilized. Instead they undertook to erase everything that made him who he is and replace him with a totally new Government-Approved Person™, because Primus forbid they let a functional miners' chassis go to waste. I just can't accept any argument that erasing people's minds and identities in order to make them happy slaves isn't way, way worse than killing them.
Say that when examining Vos that First Aid had found he had a chemical imbalance in the brain that was the source of his murderous impulses and a simple bit of surgery would completely remove them. Vos in his current state of mind would (literally) violently object to this. Would it be morally wrong for him cut open his head and fix the problem?

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

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


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But secondly and IMO more importantly -- Megatron hadn't actually done anything yet! He'd been jailed and slated for mind-rape for thoughtcrimes. Vos on the other hand was personally complicit in the brutal, completely unjustifiable murders of over 200 innocent Autobots (and Whirl too!) that we know of, on top of whatever other over-the-top atrocities the DJD have committed against victims on both sides of the conflict in whatever length of time he's been a member. He fully deserved a bullet to the brain.
The thing with Vos is, that even though he's an especially bad example, it's been made very clear at this point that the rest of the Galaxy (and who else can judge the Transformers war crimes from an impartial perspective?) consider both armies to be as bad as each other, Bluestreak himself would probably count as a war criminal by any reasonable standard (indeed, trying to refuse medical aid to a dying enemy soldier would probably count as such), post war can they really count their past crimes against them or is everyone damned equally?

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

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

...I'm starting to sound like Cliffy, aren't I?
Only in that I'm not sure what you're complaining about .

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


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Good people can do bad things in the name of a cause, or in the heat of the moment, but yeah...it does strain credulity a bit that all of the previously-malevolent main Decepticons are actually really nice guys who were just misunderstood. If it was just Megatron, that would be one thing -- if he was a good guy to start but his message attracted bad people who encouraged him to listen to his darker impulses. But when the people around him are being portrayed as no worse than most of the Autobots, you really start to wonder why scum like Tarn or Turmoil or Overlord were tolerated even for a moment.
Of course, we still don't really know if Megatron's genuinely reformed... As for the others Knightdramon mentioned, I'm not seeing any drastic change in stance here. Starscream has always been a sneaky opportunist, Soundwave has practical common sense about 50% of the time and Shockwave wanted to destroy the entire Universe which seems a pretty strange definition of him being a misunderstood nice guy.


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

Megatron trying to follow his generally good ideals led to nothing but misery and four million years of war and death. Trailbreaker trying to follow those same ideals and apply them to his own life to give it some meaning resulted in his own horrible death. That's an actually fairly cynical and dark view of self improvement isn't it?
 
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Old 2014-11-01, 06:24 PM   #38
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Talking What a top episode!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Old 2014-11-01, 06:30 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Auntie Slag View Post
On the contrary to what Zigsagger said on the first page of this thread, I think Roberts has a lot of reverence for Megatron: Origin. I certainly like it and it feels like so much has been built from it, rather than it being retconned, so I agree with Knightdramon’s thoughts on this point.
I don't know, both times I've seen/heard interviews with Roberts where he's talked about how he and Barber aren't slaves to continuity and will ignore things if they're minor and the new idea is better, he's offered Megatron: Origin up as the totally randomly chosen example of a story they might not have complete fidelity to.

Of course, the first time I heard him mention this it was in relation to background characters, and in retrospect he obviously meant the white Ultra Magnus standing next to Orion Pax at the minibot funeral (the various fembots having already been retoconed hard by Furman. Which made his claim that he hates retcons when his retcon got retconned by Scott all the odder).
 
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Old 2014-11-01, 06:45 PM   #40
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I...guess? I mean, if he's actually dead then that has to be how it works, but I honestly can't see any logical design reason for that.
Think of it like those emergency lights in schools and other large buildings. One of their uses is to kick on when the power goes out, so it's kind of useless for them to simply run off the building's power. I would liken the panic bubble to those.

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

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