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Old 2016-07-20, 10:07 AM   #1
Red Dave Prime
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Default More than Meets the Eye #55

Itunes Preview time!

Before I go, on reflection I think MTMTE 54 set up one of the best cliffhangers I've seen in the IDW comics. There was a multitude of outcomes and whether by plan or luck (or likely a mix of both) so many seemed plausible. Would Tarn shoot Overlord instead, after seeing glimpse of Megatrons return? Was it the cannons Whirl had fixed but hadnt used yet? Maybe Deathsauras turned on the two other cons? Or something else? Plenty of options for Roberts to use and so may would have had grounds to be acceptable.

Anyway, here's the link. I like what he did, didn't see it coming and I like where its going.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tra...35625559?mt=11
 
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Old 2016-07-20, 03:55 PM   #2
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SPOILER! (select to read)
So, from some of what we see it it makes the whole mutiny by Getaway look a lot more reasonable - the plan would have appeared to be that he would give over Megs to the Galactic council and there was no plan to involve the DJD. And this makes more sense that the rest of the crew followed him - they wanted rid of megs (and maybe see him killed) and kinda wanted rid of the Rodimus crew as well for the many other reasons that had many of the crew ready to leave anyway.

It also clears up Overlords repair and why he appeared some what out of nowhere. Good work overall on all this. It ties up some of the issues that were nagging in a perfectly sensible way. Well almost. Why would the Galactic Council feel the need to repair Overlord to get Megatron? They would surely have the tech to take him out on their own. I can only assume they wanted Megatron to die at the hands of another Transformer to carry on the bad rep of the cybertronian race as a bunch of murdering savages

 
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Old 2016-07-24, 03:13 PM   #3
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SPOILER! (select to read)
well, another page was added to the preview and...

http://i.imgur.com/FFzr3O1.jpg

Deathsaurus succumbs to the conscience bomb and pulls everyone back, Overlord is all "got mine, f*** you" and leaves, meaning its up to Tarn, Helex, Vos and Tessie to finish the job

 

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Old 2016-07-24, 11:47 PM   #4
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SPOILER! (select to read)
Given one of the things mentioned in the issue preview was the decepticon call to battle (you are being deceived)... is it possible that Megatron is playing coward to get Tarn alone (or at least just down to the DJD)?

I'm hoping this spells the end of the DJD as a plot point. Not necessarily that they die but it would be good if the others abandoned Tarn for the same reason nikel does.

Or just see the Lost light take these guys down. Still possible the LL shows up after Getaway realises he has been scammed

 
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Old 2016-07-27, 12:29 PM   #5
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Well, that was unexpected, but damn did I enjoy this issue.

Sure, a few stretching of ideas here and there but overall very satisfying end to season 2 and another good cliffhanger to lead us into the Lost Light series.

Major spoiler below

SPOILER! (select to read)
So... Tarn is ****ing Glitch! Did not see that coming at all. I actually had to go back to check the little we see of glitch (shadowplays bank heist) and even then I still couldnt quite get the link. I suppose there is some pointers in hindsight. Glitch maybe learned to speak to individual parts of a transformer which allows him to switch off an opponents spark.

And even though Skids clearly doesnt know who Tarn is, Tarn did seem overly familiar with him in issues 48/49 (although that would have worked if it was Roller too)

We also know that Tarn was heavily rebuilt from the little glimpse in issue 39. But still. How could anyone have guessed this, especially without so many clues hinting to roller.

Enter Thisisunicron. He guessed it a year ago. Well done that man. Click here for the proof https://www.reddit.com/r/idwtransfor...tarn_spoilers/

I did love the Roller reveal though. Just when it seemed like We would see Tran revealed as Roller we get the cutback to the real roller - Had to say, I laughed at that. Very well done.

I'd be curious if we will get a flashback to anything more on Tarn/glitch. I'd still be curious on the hows and whys of it. But the overall impact of this to me was that Tarn was exposed as the sham he was. A Pale imitation of Megatron who begged for mercy despite never showing any. As good a death a villain should get.

And RIP Ravage. The little shot of Soundwave was heartfelt and was an odd callback to the similar scene in remain in light


I thought this was all really good. A very good end and as good a spot as any to end the series.
 
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Old 2016-07-27, 01:36 PM   #6
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As Marge Simpson once said: "It's an ending. That's enough"
 

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Old 2016-07-27, 06:30 PM   #7
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So how can something so densely plotted, so character rich end up feeling so unsatisfying? That's the main issue I have with this arc, and this issue in particular. It hits the right beats, it gets you right in the feels (read pages 16-18 and try not to feel anything), it's twists and turns in this issue are many and logical within the context of the story but.... that's not enough.

There was precisely no tension at all, and that all boils down to this: in a fight between 500 Decepticons and the 20-ish Lost Lighters, the 20 odd inflict dozens of casualties and fatalities whereas one Lost Lighter bites it at the hand of the enemy. I've said it before but there are multiple instances where one of the more principle characters can die and Roberts has failed to pull the trigger and he's backed away from it. Oh, sure, Skids died but he willingly sacrificed himself for the greater good. And somehow 500 Decepticons could only manage to dismember Ravage? Get. The. F***. Out.

With that said, I'm genuinely glad that pretty much every dangling plot thread got tied up, genuinely didn't like Terminus, Roller et al coming back from the dead, liked Tarn's reveal to be Glitch, didn't like that most of the cast got relegated to background fodder for most of the issue.

However... somehow, some way Roberts should be recognised with some sort of proper award not dished out by a website (sorry Comics Alliance) for the way he's written Megatron in this season. Again, just my view, but he's the best written Transformers character in any fiction by such a large margin, but one of the best characters in comics today and I think that that should be noted and recognised outside of the Big 2 studios
 

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Old 2016-07-27, 07:59 PM   #8
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Last month it was Brexit keeping me distracted from a full write up, now it's honest-Your-Current-SIM-Will-Fit-In-Your-New-Phone-We're-Not-Wrong-Like-Last-Time-Oh-No!-it. Random thoughts, some pulled from conversations with other people:





I think there's no finer example of James' skill as a writer than the Tarn reveal. On paper there's no way it should have worked. If it's Roller it's an anticlimax because we all guessed. If it's just some guy it's an anticlimax because why make it a mystery? But an epic rug pull made it awesome. And moving.

And for an expected bloodbath, we actually wound up with many more minus fatalities as the final score. And a happy ending!

Not sure about the Nightbeat/Rung/Titans lead in yet. Though it did make me wonder if James has read Ringworld (just a few weeks after I thought the same about Budiansky on the blog), I expected Rung to go "You can learn a lot about a world from studying its underside.." (and perhaps more to the point in the second book they briefly fly under the map of Earth on the way to Mars and see home the wrong way up. And the Ringworld was built by what turns out to be the ancestors of humanity...).

I assume the Geo Bomb was the Other Means the GC were looking at at the start?

Oh, and though we all guessed the crew weren't fully aware of Getaway's plan, I don't think any of us thought even he didn't know the DJD were coming.

Ahhhh, we thought it was a bit contrived Overlord just happened to turn up when and where he did, when it was the DJD who were there by coincidence!

And the Necrobot was a nice man all along. I'm not sure why the DJD didn't go for the "Organics" the first time they were there though. Unless they thought they'd wait whilst they went to get Vos dealt with? Presumably they weren't fooled or they wouldn't have come back.

Actually, what woke the sleepers up?

And I never thought for a second that Ravage would really die. The cut to Soundwave was brilliantly done as well. I actually like how Roberts (as with Pipes back in Overlord) decides to focus on a small number of death's and make you feel them rather than the big blood bath battle. Skids never got to find out his pal Roller survived!

And of course, the lovely ambuiguity over what Ravage was actually asking for at the end there.

So, season 3 (or LL season 1. What is the form here?) is indeed going to be Red Dwarf VI. Which is about the only prediction I made I actually got right! Only Team Rodimus is going to be quite a bit larger...

Actually, is this where I point out that James wrote on my copy of issue 50 that season 3 was going to be entirely based around the Pete two parter? EXCLUSIVE.
 
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Old 2016-07-27, 08:46 PM   #9
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Sue effing perb!


SPOILER! (select to read)

I loved the pacing of this, the reveals (Tarns identity, what Megatron was doing in his room all this time, the pixel perfect entrance made by Roller). Ravage's dialogue was brilliant and Megatron was willing to go full retard inside the bubble and send himself to kingdom come along with the DJD. Loved the wordless exchange he shared with Rodimus.Brainstorm being put in his place was awesome. Megatron has styled himself on Terminus all this time, they look like brothers. Also, Lieutenant Terminus got new legs!

My only criticism is that the DJD didn't get to fight Megatron. Action scenes were minimised, and even though what happened to each team member was brutal, it felt like a case of 'skip to the end' rather than any full-on ruck (I couldn't even make out what was happening to Tesarus).Is this the first time we've seen Megatron use his anti-matter ability since issue 103 of the Marvel UK series? And the Megatron hug was so cool.

I've a few questions:
  • How did Glitch/Demus come to leave Pax?
  • Is the last briefcase now fried?
  • How did the Necrobot work out that a seemingly empty briefcase was in a fact a time-travel device?
  • General Neech on Page 1 has facial scarring similar to Tarn, there must be a Transformer-related reason for that!
  • What's Overlord's motivation now he doesn't need Megatron any more? Will he go on a reading holiday?
  • In the Roller reveal, standing to the left of him is a Decepticon. I wonder how that guy is going to react and why he went missing in the first place?
  • Loved the table-flip, referencing Issue 1 and Prowl's tendency to do that. I wonder if that's a link to the fact that Prowl is a knockoff (the penultimate issue of Remain in Light), could Prowl be a knockoff derived from Megatron?

 

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Old 2016-07-27, 09:05 PM   #10
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Loved it. Very satisfying. Lots to talk about. Can't now as am working to a deadline.
 
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Old 2016-07-27, 09:16 PM   #11
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Yeah, in terms of all the TF comics going back over the years where the finale proclaims 'This one... has it all', 'Nothing will ever be the same' etc. This was very satisfying. Lots of content, lovely colouring, no speech bubbles attributed to the wrong character...

SPOILER! (select to read)

Although I'd have thought a DJD member would go down defiantly yelling "**** you, Megatron", rather than a slightly effeminate "Aaaiieee".


A proper classic issue of MTMTE.
 
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Old 2016-07-27, 09:18 PM   #12
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Wow, it turns out that I'm reading a different book to everyone else! Who'd a thought it?
 

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Old 2016-07-27, 09:28 PM   #13
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I'm normally not the biggest voice in the comics sphere here (My usual abscence and long sporadic gaps between posts attest to this) But after reading this issue, and with the utterly delightful lead up into it. I would say that falling flat is a bit of an understatement. It had so much potential to be great but relied far too heavily on assumptions and coincidences regarding Megatrons master plan not to mention the utter flop of his confrontation with the DJD. All I ask is that we have an actual fight between Megatron and Tarn, but instead, it was just wave my hands and make you begone, and any sense of dramatic tension the arc still had for me.

In regards to the necrobots little secret. There's a term out there that can describe it but I'll be damned if I can find it.

All in all, while this comic had some superb art and dialogue, the rest of this issue felt subpar at best.
 



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Old 2016-07-27, 09:34 PM   #14
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Everyone’s opinion is valid, though. Despite loving this issue I do agree with some of the things you’ve said; the deaths have left me rather non-plussed, I still think somehow Skids will return.

I feel like the action is usually compromised and epic battles scuppered by a long brewing plot device or three. How I wish they could ditch the wanky advertising in the back of the book. Seven pages are lost to it, imagine how much extra could have been shown in this issue i.e. space for fighting/scrapping!

Or failing that (or perhaps preferring it) I’d have loved a text story at the end.

Even with such gripes I still think this is a top job.
 
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Old 2016-07-27, 09:43 PM   #15
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The high water mark for me are The One Where They Go To Earth and The Not Knowing, and this doesn't come close to either of those. I think most of my main complaints are that all of the tension was drained in order to tie up the loose ends. I mean, did anyone really think that Brainstorm or Rodimus or Cyclonus or Chromedome or Rewind or Megatron were really going to get offed? We were promised a shift in the status quo, and what we got was an influx of new characters to throw into the background, a removal of five boogeymen and replaced them with one bogeyman and one bogeyorganisation (it's a word). It felt... lazy I suppose.

But as I said in my main post, pages 16-18 are absolute superb, and the arc's had high points, but the flaws in the writing are there for all to see, and they've been there through the whole season
 

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Old 2016-07-27, 10:13 PM   #16
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The one where they go to Earth; is that the one about Swerve that has the Cheers introduction?

The Not Knowing one I'm a bit lost as to which issue that is.

But if we're going for high watermarks I'd definitely say the Hostage story from issue 6 (Fort Max, Whirl and Rung), and Shadowplay remains up there too. Then the Scavengers two-parter, which also introduced the DJD.

Part of me wonders if its because the early issues are so brilliant, or whether its because I've done far less re-reading post Dark Cybertron that I'm quite hazy on the Second Season.

I'd dig some more Pax right about now!
 
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Old 2016-07-27, 11:27 PM   #17
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The issue of the somewhat lacklustre battle is a common issue for MTMTE for meand I've kinda accepted it. I'd see it as a flaw but its a flaw by choice from the writer. Roberts seems to want to focus less on the pyrotechnics and more on the sparks between his characters and to be honest, for the most part thats fine.

But every now and again, a bit more action wouldnt go astray. I felt it in The overlord breaks out issue where I thought the battle between Magnus and overlord should have had a few more panels to even things up would have helped and a few more panels of Overlord running wild would have cemented how dangerous he was.

Similarly here, I think a bit more could have been made of when the Autobots start to loose their powers. As they were all so cocky, I think it would have been a great scene if one or two let their over-confidence get the best of them and had them destroyed by the cons. I think Roberts was aiming for quality over quantity in terms of his deaths but the fact that the cons killed no-one made them seem like less of a threat and did take from the drama. Swerve, Ten, Drift, Whirl - anyone of these would have made an excellent sacrifice.

I must say, I didnt mind the DJD being taken down so easily. I've always thought that they were always way more about their own hype. Not weaklings but what we were shown of them didnt imply that they were as invincilbe as their legend indicated and I think that was perhaps the intention of Roberts. The Alt-Lost Light bit can be explained away in many ways. Otherwise, their victims almost defeated themselves by believing the myth (a bit like the fandom if I'm honest)

But overall, this has been a superb 5 issue arc imo. Some bits could have been done different to my own tastes but each issue has felt solid and relevant. Great stuff. Thinking about it, it's redeemed a lot of the folly of season 2 (dont get me wrong, I've enjoyed it, but it had some serious dips) I'd love to hear what the plans where before the events of Dark Cybertron put Megs into Roberts cast because its worked so well I wonder was this always the plan to bring him to the lost light.

Also @Slag - that Prowl/ Megatron thing has legs. Both are manipulators, both dont quite fit the idealogy they are linked to, both are presented as master planners and both like to flip tables.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 02:44 AM   #18
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I suppose I can concede that I think the DJD were as feared as they were because they had gotten psych warfare down and even could have conceded having the other three go down easily but... There just feels like such an enormus missed oppurtunity betwen Megs and Tarn to dish out philosophy while they traded blows.

Maybe its the fact I was a marm for Tarn because the second I saw him I just fell in love with the concept of a bot utterly zealotus the point of becoming the worst kind of monstwr for a cause that originally held such good behind it. And the sudden reveal that he was more of a Megatron stalker then a Decepticon zealot, while founded... Just seems to gave really undercut what made the char so interesting. Again maybe this is just bitter griping but, missed opportunities abound.
 



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Old 2016-07-28, 04:00 AM   #19
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I really don't understand the complaints about the lack of main cast deaths in this comic. We've lost a pretty fair amount of the regulars this season, including Ravage, one of the few main cast members to be inportant pre-MtMtE, but still "more people should have died". No one does this with other comics. You don't expect to lose an Aquaman or a Martian Manhunter every single Justice League arc. There's like, 3,000 X-Men and even they kill off main cast members more sparingly than Roberts. Why would you even want to lose more main dudes? That means you can't use them in any more stories! Such a weird complaint.
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 04:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkadoom View Post
It had so much potential to be great but relied far too heavily on assumptions and coincidences regarding Megatrons master plan
I have to agree.

As a guy who writes a lot, I know that sometimes a writer has a bit of an "oh shit" moment and realizes he's going to need to pull something from his ass in order to make a plot work out the way he wants it to. It's unfortunate, but it happens, and I try not to judge it too harshly if what's going on around it was entertaining. But this issue was nothing but ass-pulls.

Megatron has Trailbreaker's forcefield thingy! Which was never hinted at!

Megatron can use his black hole connection for a power source! Which was never hinted at!

Megatron has actually never been able to use his black hole power before and has been trying since his conversion to do it! Which actually goes against an offhand comment of Ratchet's (I think?) in an earlier issue!

Rewind found a magic guilt weapon! Because why bother writing a couple more panels of dialogue showing Deathsaurus and Nickel coming to their senses when a deus ex machina will do?

Overlord ****ed off because potato, after contributing nothing to the arc at all other than a couple quips and a spread page! Because the guy who murders for fun suddenly has no interest in getting revenge on the Autobots who shot him into space and ruined his life's mission of fighting Megatron to the death!

The Necrobot has Brainstorm's time machine! Which was never hinted at!

You can use a single briefcase as a time machine! Which goes against the whole previously described concept of the thing!

After years of buildup and hints, Tarn turns out to be...some random background guy! Even though that guy had a completely different superpower and zero motivation for joining the Decepticons!

Roller and Terminus and a bunch of other nobodies are magically alive! Because all the Necrobot needed to convince him to change the life he'd been devoted to for millions of years was one self-absorbed lecture from Nightbeat!

And like I said, a few of those in the issue would have been forgivable. But practically every second page there was another eyeroll-inducing "really?" moment. It's a testament to Roberts' ability to make his characters engaging that the issue was still entertaining in spite of that. And you know, I don't think I actually blame him for this. This issue felt like someone pulling the emergency chute on a year's worth of plot and reveals all at once so that all the loose ends are tied up for a corporate-mandated crossover and "new start". Which, as we all know, is exactly what's going to happen in a couple months' time.

If this is actually how Roberts planned to have it all end...well, if it is, he'd be a hack, and I don't think he is. But if this is him rushing to tie everything up on short notice, well, it could have been a lot worse (see Furman, S. and Revelations...) and the fact that it holds together as well as it does would be a minor miracle. It's a real shame it couldn't have ended better, and the increased meddling we've seen from Hasbro over the last few years really doesn't make me feel all that inclined to invest in the successor book. After all, given past patterns all we've got to look forward to more of the same because some suit in Pawtucket as got it in their head that the scant few thousand people who read the books are going to be brainwashed into going out and buy a Fortress Maximus after they torpedoed a popular ongoing narrative to shill him.

It was a find ride while it lasted, but Hasbro seem to be doing their absolute best to strangle it. I don't know if I can muster the energy to care about what comes next, I really don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patapsco View Post
There was precisely no tension at all, and that all boils down to this: in a fight between 500 Decepticons and the 20-ish Lost Lighters, the 20 odd inflict dozens of casualties and fatalities whereas one Lost Lighter bites it at the hand of the enemy. I've said it before but there are multiple instances where one of the more principle characters can die and Roberts has failed to pull the trigger and he's backed away from it. Oh, sure, Skids died but he willingly sacrificed himself for the greater good. And somehow 500 Decepticons could only manage to dismember Ravage? Get. The. F***. Out.
It's even worse than you think! Because the one and only person they actually managed to kill was a fellow Decepticon.

That's right, a five hundred strong army of Decepticon badasses and they didn't even manage to kill a single person wearing an Autobot badge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patapsco View Post
However... somehow, some way Roberts should be recognised with some sort of proper award not dished out by a website (sorry Comics Alliance) for the way he's written Megatron in this season. Again, just my view, but he's the best written Transformers character in any fiction by such a large margin, but one of the best characters in comics today and I think that that should be noted and recognised outside of the Big 2 studios
Can't argue with this. The way Megatron was written over the last thirtyish issues was, honestly, amazing. And considering all the eye-rolling that the readership did when it was announced, it's equally amazing just how well received the whole thing has been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dave Prime View Post
I think Roberts was aiming for quality over quantity in terms of his deaths but the fact that the cons killed no-one made them seem like less of a threat and did take from the drama. Swerve, Ten, Drift, Whirl - anyone of these would have made an excellent sacrifice.
The choice of who to kill off really seemed odd to me too. I mean, Skids can **** off and all, but it really seemed like the character was going to play a big role in the resolution of the Knights arc. I did a little happy dance when he died, but narratively it seemed like an odd call. And Ravage likewise...he was the only one of the newcomers post-Dark Cybertron who managed to get fully fleshed out or to really feel like a member of the crew instead of an awkwardly pasted in appendix. Assuming his new Titans Return toy doesn't mandate an immediate return to life, it's a shame to lose him.

Ravage's death felt a bit odd to me too, because his injuries certainly didn't seem any more severe than...well, than a whole host of people in earlier Roberts-penned issues who easily survived. People have been torn in half or had their faces shot off with barely any comment, but Ravage dies from it? I get that it's a "rule of drama" sort of thing, but honestly the death didn't work dramatically either because the push towards darkness that it gave Megatron was instantly cancelled out by Terminus walking in the door.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tahukanuva View Post
I really don't understand the complaints about the lack of main cast deaths in this comic. We've lost a pretty fair amount of the regulars this season, including Ravage, one of the few main cast members to be inportant pre-MtMtE, but still "more people should have died". No one does this with other comics. You don't expect to lose an Aquaman or a Martian Manhunter every single Justice League arc. There's like, 3,000 X-Men and even they kill off main cast members more sparingly than Roberts. Why would you even want to lose more main dudes? That means you can't use them in any more stories! Such a weird complaint.
I don't think the problem is a lack of deaths per se. I think the problem is constantly putting the lead characters into situations where it makes zero sense for everyone to get out alive and then having them do just that, along with the perpetual "end an issue making it look like a main character is dead, only to immediately back out" BS.

If you don't want to kill characters then don't, but don't constantly pretend like you're going to, then back out at the last second while going "ha ha, fooled you!"
 
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