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Old 2016-07-28, 06:00 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Auntie Slag View Post
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.
yeah, the One Where They Go To Earth is the sitcom world one with Swerve. The Not Knowing is their first trip to Necroworld
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 06:32 AM   #22
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I'm surprised so many people are saying there are ass pulls here, I think just about every plot device used in this story was established in advance. In some case, years in advance (not intentionally in some cases of course, but prior moments are used well to make it work). To take the one m'learned friend Warcry mentions...

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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Megatron has Trailbreaker's forcefield thingy! Which was never hinted at!
Except when he was holding Trailbreaker's forcefield hand after he died in what we were clearly meant to think was a touching moment of grief (and probably was, what I love about this is as genuine as Megatron is he's also paranoid enough to make sure he's crazy prepared), grabbing the briefcase show's he's keen to half inch any thing that might be useful as well.

Quote:
Megatron can use his black hole connection for a power source! Which was never hinted at!
Mentioned as a rumour about Megatron in the very first solo comic Roberts wrote, and brought up by Ratchet (who was paranoid about it) early in season 2. So the truth seems to be he's been trying a long time to crack it, but it's only post the work Shockwave did on him that provided a breakthrough and he just needed an anchor and a lot of concentration to achieve it. Along with a few mentions (mainly one from Ravage) about Megs sitting alone in his room and meditating a lot. Megs stomach cramps through the story are explained now as well.

Plus, it's a Tec Spec power! With visual callback to a thirty year old story! You should love that Mr. "Wither the Reak Skids?"

Quote:
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?
The guilt weapon that brought them all to the planet in the first place, the plot device that got them into this mess helping to get them out of it is fairly solid symmetrical writing, and it's actually annoying me that it didn't occur to me to me sooner that would be an option.

Quote:
The Necrobot has Brainstorm's time machine! Which was never hinted at!
Apparently (and I've forgotten it) I guessed the briefcase had been hidden on Necroworld so it must have been hinted somewhere! And the Necrobot's "portable apothecary" was mentioned way back in issue 30.

Quote:
You can use a single briefcase as a time machine! Which goes against the whole previously described concept of the thing!
Now I'd agree that's a stretch, I'm happy to allow the Necrobot has access to crazy advanced tech and so could have made it work with his already basically magic teleport system, but it could perhaps have done with a line.

Quote:
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!
I think it worked for the excellent bait and switch, ultimately (and Tarn told us himself!) his past life really didn't matter. It's also a variation on the heroes of other stories theme that's been a recurring one throughout MTMTE, the one where two characters we don't know got a eulogy post Overlord and two other fellows sorted the Personality Ticks before Nightbeat. This is the villainous variant.

It was really about Ratchet and Megatron getting their lost friends (and some other guys!) back.

Quote:
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!
After what was probably the only conversation the Necrobot had had in centuries though.

I think the only really valid complaints for ass pulls (though they don't hugely bother me) are Overlord deciding to leave--though of course he knows the GC are going to blow up the planet if things aren't sorted soon and so has a motive to run and not tell a bunch of people he doesn't care about once the super forcefield went up and it clearly wasn't going to be over soon-- so he can be in stories another day (Springer is going to be so high on his list for a word) and the forcefield around the Necrobot's palace itself. Otherwise, every blooming thing was foreshadowed in some way or another, either on purpose or Roberts looking through old issues and going "Ahhh, that's a thing I can build on here a lot".

I think you could argue that after Dying of the Light was pushed as a story casual passing buyers could jump in for it's somewhat unfair on them as it's really a grand finale that depends on not only having read but paid attention, but as what's basically the last issue that's fair enough.

And AHO was far more accessible and far bloody worse (though in fairness the final part was more solid, it just floundered in the middle badly).

On the Hasbro mandate slowing ruining things side... Hard to argue that's not a very strong worry, especially if we get more toy promotions and "Hasbro Shared Universe" crossovers. If outside constraints force LL (and OP) into being much worse comics that will be a shame, but I think MTMTE managed to keep its head above the parapet and at the end was probably the most consistantly good TF comic we've ever had, with the best of it being genuinely some of the best stuff I've ever read. And the worse (hello Indie Disco! Actually, in terms of criticisms I don't think I said that playing of Tarn's theme last issue really didn't work at all for the same reason the disco didn't, comics are a mute medium!) never being less than very solid.

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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!"
Whilst I agree with you that has been a problem, most recently with Cyclonus when Tailgate went odd, I don't think that applies here does it. Allowing for the fact the Megatron cliffhanger was very obviously meant to make you think "So who's really shooting?" rather than "OGM MEGS IS DEAD!" (and of course, the actual reveal did subvert that expectation of it being someone running to the rescue) I don't think there was a single "HE'S DEAD!...ohhh...wait he's not" moment. Lots of "Are they going to die???!" moments but nothing where you think the axe has actually fallen.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 01:41 PM   #23
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If you have to go back through a Wiki article and over a dozen back issues to read the current arc and have it make sense, that either requires the reader to have amazing attention to EVERY SINGLE DETAIL or it's bad writing. I'm going with the latter, and I actually enjoyed the arc, but not as much as it was hyped or I'd hoped. As I've said before, MtMtE seems less to be a comic but more about how much smarter than the average writer Roberts seems to think he is
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 04:29 PM   #24
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Except when he was holding Trailbreaker's forcefield hand after he died in what we were clearly meant to think was a touching moment of grief
Except that the entire...well, whole body of Roberts' writing to date makes a big deal about how Outliers are special and their powers are inherent and unique, and now suddenly Megatron is playing Heavy Metal War and plugging someone else's ability into his body without any real difficulty aside from "how is he powering it?" Which completely cuts the knees out from the whole concept of Outliers. Roberts was trying to make them like the X-Men to answer the "why can't everyone teleport and use forcefields, then?" question, but the whole thing is for naught when it turns out that, hey, any random guy can do that if you give him the gear and the juice! So what was the point?

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Mentioned as a rumour about Megatron in the very first solo comic Roberts wrote, and brought up by Ratchet (who was paranoid about it) early in season 2.
Yes, which I mentioned as well -- Megatron is supposed to already be able to do this! But that's not the specific nit I was picking. I'm complaining about him using the antimatter -- which is described everywhere, including this very issue, as a "destroy the whole planet!" type of ability -- as a power source. It's a weapon, not a battery, and unless Shockwave accidentally connected him to the Enterprise's warp core while making his new body he shouldn't be able to magically use it as a power source without major, major body modifications.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
The guilt weapon that brought them all to the planet in the first place, the plot device that got them into this mess helping to get them out of it is fairly solid symmetrical writing, and it's actually annoying me that it didn't occur to me to me sooner that would be an option.
The reason it didn't occur to you is that they haven't mentioned it or acknowledged it for the last six months, even while desperately searching the place for weapons to use to defend themselves from the DJD. That's not symmetrical or "clever", it's lazy.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
I think it worked for the excellent bait and switch, ultimately (and Tarn told us himself!) his past life really didn't matter. It's also a variation on the heroes of other stories theme that's been a recurring one throughout MTMTE, the one where two characters we don't know got a eulogy post Overlord and two other fellows sorted the Personality Ticks before Nightbeat. This is the villainous variant.
I'm sorry, no, it's not "excellent". Tarn's identity has been built up as a mystery for four years' worth of stories, almost fifty issues. It's quite possibly the biggest mystery in the whole series, and certainly the biggest one left after Roberts bungled the reveal of who sent the message in issue #1. Whether he turns out to be one of the obvious choices (Roller or Dominus) or someone else, it should make sense. Once the reader finds out who he is, it should be an "aha!" moment as all the puzzle pieces snap together.

But here there's no "aha!" because there's no puzzle pieces, because the whole thing is turned into a cruel joke on people like Knightdramon who've spent countless hours speculating on the character's identity. If Tarn had only debuted for this arc that'd be one thing, but this is right up there with the anticlimactic reveal that the Hobgoblin's secret identity is...actually some guy who died months ago in an unrelated one-shot crossover with Wolverine.

I kind of wonder if Tarn was always meant to be Glitch, or if Roberts had originally conceived of him as Roller or Dominus but changed course once the fandom started to figure it out, just to make it a "surprise".

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Whilst I agree with you that has been a problem, most recently with Cyclonus when Tailgate went odd, I don't think that applies here does it. Allowing for the fact the Megatron cliffhanger was very obviously meant to make you think "So who's really shooting?" rather than "OGM MEGS IS DEAD!" (and of course, the actual reveal did subvert that expectation of it being someone running to the rescue) I don't think there was a single "HE'S DEAD!...ohhh...wait he's not" moment. Lots of "Are they going to die???!" moments but nothing where you think the axe has actually fallen.
Fair enough. But once the "whatever, Roberts won't kill anyone important" thought is in people's heads, and has been hammered in so thoroughly (the Cyclonus incident you mentioned being especially egregious...absolutely nobody thought he was dead and he hasn't had more than a couple lines since then), it creeps in on everything. In the hands of a different writer this arc would have been super-tense, but since it's Roberts people have been laughing all throughout about how the 20 Autobots are obviously going to win and come out unscathed. It really guts a story of drama when you know that a writer has a history of putting characters in deadly situations and not following through.

And there's nothing wrong with not wanting to kill off your characters. But once the readers know that a writer doesn't want to kill of his characters, he needs to find alternate sources of drama instead of going back to the old "the cast is in deadly danger but not really!" well.

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If you have to go back through a Wiki article and over a dozen back issues to read the current arc and have it make sense, that either requires the reader to have amazing attention to EVERY SINGLE DETAIL or it's bad writing.
Agreed. So often with Roberts' stories people will talk about how plot twist X was hinted at two years ago, or that a throwaway line in issue Y totally foreshadowed what happened in issue Y+15. But that's not how a monthly comic is supposed to work! We read this stuff ages ago, most of us aren't going to remember and if the writing doesn't make it feel natural in the moment, it's going to feel cheap to a lot of readers. And yes, this run will read a lot better in trades. Most of Roberts' issues do. But if the stories are meant to be read in one sitting, bite the bullet and publish them as graphic novels. Don't part them out into bite-sized chunks that don't stand up on their own merits. I know that's an issue with comics in general nowadays rather than just MTMTE, but it's still an issue.

Roberts cut his teeth by writing a novel, and while he's a better writer now his basic style isn't super different now than when he penned Eugenesis. But a novel isn't a comic, and you can't write one while in the mindset of the other. I hate to get all Alan Moore on you, but when it comes to telling a story, the medium you choose is just as important as the words you use and some stories just don't work in a given medium. With Roberts, sometimes it really does feel like he's got a big doorstopper of a prose story in his head that circumstances are forcing him to present in a way that just doesn't do the story any favours at all.

Maybe it's just because I've spent a lot of time reading (really good) comics this year, but seeing what a more experienced hand can do with the medium really throws into stark relief just how many holes Roberts has in his game. Looking at Claremont's X-Men run or, hell, even Furman's 80s UK work, I see writers telling complicated, long-running stories with just as many callbacks and references and hints dropped as Roberts does...but they never, ever leave me feeling lost the way MTMTE has been known to. Even when I drop into random parts of the timeline or only read one part of a bigger crossover, they make sure I know everything I need to understand what's going on in whatever issue I'm reading. And that's something that Roberts, who seems to be increasingly writing with an eye to the big picture rather than the individual issues, has really lost sight of.

A lot of the things that I'm calling out as asspulls would probably work a lot better in a big graphic novel, or a prose book. But when the story is spread out into small bites over half a year, you need to tell it differently in order to make it work.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 06:12 PM   #25
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I love all the intricacy and poring back through the issues. Feels fun, detailed and full of meaty goodness for banter in places like this. If I had a choice between MTMTE and G2 levels of details, I'd definitely go for the former.

I've not read a lot of other comics, but I am reading Watchmen at the moment, and I like it and MTMTE equally, even with all the fake out deaths.

However, I'm really interested in your comment about Outliers and how Megatron appropriated Trailcutter's special ability. That does feel rather cheap now you mention it, despite Ravage's comments about Megatron being the smartest guy in the room. Now Megatron's mastered anti-matter AND Ratchet levels of surgery! (although he has spent about two million and two years working on harnessing anti-matter).

There must be a story coming soon about Glitch's heel turn to justify the four year wait. Pax royally screwing him over or something? So even if it stings of cheapness now, maybe this issue isn't the final issue in the TPB.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 06:19 PM   #26
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Also, what with Terminus being nearly the spitting image of Megatron, I think Overlord or the Galactic Council are going to blow him to smithereens in a case of mistaken identity. What could possibly send Megatron back into fully Evil Decepticon territory more than seeing his mentor obliterated by organics a smug Phase 6'er?

If he's still the smartest guy in the room he'd insist on Terminus wearing a silly hat or something from this moment on.
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 06:26 PM   #27
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I don't mind intricate plots, or callbacks or dense piles of narrative. But if your narrative is so dense, and your call backs so distant that you actually have to tweet "if you're a little lost after the finale, check the Wiki!" you're not doing your job as a writer. In fact you're just telling everyone just how clever you think you are
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 06:47 PM   #28
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One other thing that bugged me was the panic bubble. "Nothing gets in or out for 30 minutes" (Loosely paraphrased from Trailcutter).

Here though the DJD manage to get inside, and suddenly can't get out again; can Megatron manipulate panic bubbles better than Trailcutter now? When he's this good at everything, there's not much need for other Decepticons, or almost anyone else.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 06:48 PM   #29
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Briefly touching upon it---I agree with a few points raised and disagree with others.

As a whole, a few things were highlighted in the past, but ever so briefly or fleetingly that it makes sense they only click now.

Megatron's black hole powers were alluded to twice, in passing, by Ratchet. He was also seen holding Trailbreaker's hand when he left the morgue, although that was a bit too convenient [so nobody at the burial noticed that he was missing a hand?].

Other things make sense retroactively, but you have to really think about them.

Overlord leaving made sense. In every single appearance that we have him fighting Autobots and/or Decepticons, he does so to be noticed by Megatron, or to escape a ship of Autobots and head for killing Megatron. He wants to kill Megatron because Megatron has been the absolute bully in Overlord's life. Overlord is a top-tier Cybertronian both in mind and body, but he's always kept under check and intimidated by Megatron. His satisfaction in life would stem from making the universe see that HE is the ultimate bully, not somebody else. As his aggressor seemingly went catatonic, Overlord's purpose just ceased to exist.

Tarn's [and the rest of the DJD's] reveals were both anti-climatic but they also made sense in a narrative way.

The mystery behind Tarn was finding the missing link between him and Roller. We were slowly fed hint after hint and it made sense---the guy had all the credentials. Form, potential disfigurement, addiction, fantastic strength, attachment to a leadership figure, abandonment issues...he had it all.

Even up until the fated speech panel, I thought that it was an epic trolling. Initially I thought that Megatron was not killing them, I thought that some irregularity took place and he was sending them back in time in their primitive forms when the five Cybertronians [inc Roller] emerged. Then it hit me, as Kaon is no longer with them so there's one extra, and then Glitch hits...

In the end, it all boils down to Overlord's perfect line---"you are just a thug with a mask". Because despite the pretense and even the DJD spotlight issue, that's all Tarn ever was. A nobody rising to great heights due to the proverbial strength of the mask he wore, and of course all the power augmentations. That's why it was so fitting and also so anti-climatic--Tarn is Tarn. Whatever story he had disappeared once he put the mask on and embraced what he could do behind it.

The same goes for his other [3] fellows. They were nobodies. Their names were very generic. They reminded me of Ambulon's team; nobodies with generic names pertaining to an appendix or a mode they had. I would not be surprised if Kaon's real name was Chair-on or something.

On the whole, I would rank this season finale alongside Remain in Light but for different reasons. It was weaker in some aspects and stronger in others. It is an excellent Megatron character highlight but to the detriment of others.

Remain in Light had many things going on at once---Tailgate's imminent death, Ultra Magnus's character struggle between his colleagues and the one figure he put beyond all, Rodimus's ego clashes and humbling down, Cyclonus's internal struggle between the berserker and the carer...

Dying of the Light was 85% Megatron and perhaps 15% devoted to others, with prominence to Dominus Ambus. Drift and Rodimus made up within one page. Nautica had her moment in a couple of pages. Skid's story was resolve in a very rushed and almost non-event way.

I do wonder where this will lead us. Megatron is finally unchecked. He's got the power and the abilities to do everything he wants now. Rodimus saving him was a very nice touch---they are slowly but surely getting a younger brother/older mentor type of relationship, where each one is more important to the other than they care to admit. Will this be enough for Megatron to stay, or are we getting a Megatron-less S3 cast?
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 07:15 PM   #30
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There must still be plenty more to tell about Tarn, because he was Glitch/Demus. The Demus name has not be explained in any way yet. Apart from Roberts love of using old names to describe a character e.g. Helex being Crucible (referring to his hot magma core).

I just looked up Demus in the Wikipedia Bible of all things (I'm not religious) and it says:

But in Pax's second letter to Timothy, Demus deserts Pax, as Pax writes "Try to join me soon, for Demus, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica..."

Why the two names Glitch/Demus?

And why would super cop Orion Pax hang out with a convicted criminal with Empurata? There must be a big, juicy story there. Is Demus linked in some other way to Pax or Megatron? Will there be a heart breaking back story?
 



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Old 2016-07-28, 08:03 PM   #31
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For those complaining about Megatron appropriating an Outlier ability from Trailbreaker, technically he didn't. As I recall, the Panic Bubble was something Brainstorm made for Trailcutter.
Why everyone else didn't have one, probably that most would be unable to power it. It would make sense that Trailmix's Outlier abilities let him use it while Megatron had to tap a black hole to power it.
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Originally Posted by Auntie Slag View Post
One other thing that bugged me was the panic bubble. "Nothing gets in or out for 30 minutes" (Loosely paraphrased from Trailcutter).

Here though the DJD manage to get inside, and suddenly can't get out again; can Megatron manipulate panic bubbles better than Trailcutter now? When he's this good at everything, there's not much need for other Decepticons, or almost anyone else.
If Megs has enough control over the anti-matter to power the bubble, he likely lowered the energy flow to weaken the bubble, letting the DJD break in and then cranked the juice back up trapping them.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 08:07 PM   #32
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Trailbreaker made the panic bubble, Brainstorm gave it the name and Trailbreaker says that disconnecting from it mentally gives it it's strength so presumably Megs connected to let the DJD in and then disconnected when he was going to blow them apart
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 08:08 PM   #33
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Brainstorm made it? Cool, I had totally forgotten that. Ok, that's good stuff, will have to look this up. Cheers, Unicron!
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 08:09 PM   #34
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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.

As for Demus, not too hard to believe he suffered his empurata and criminal status for simply being an outlier no? I mean it's just a speculation and credit where its due to Auntie Slag for pulling up that little bit of info, but I recall the senate hating outliers and using Empurata on anyone they wanted. Then again for all I know Demus was running the Cyber natcotics cartel. But just my 2 cents on the matter.
 



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Old 2016-07-28, 08:09 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Except that the entire...well, whole body of Roberts' writing to date makes a big deal about how Outliers are special and their powers are inherent and unique, and now suddenly Megatron is playing Heavy Metal War and plugging someone else's ability into his body without any real difficulty aside from "how is he powering it?" Which completely cuts the knees out from the whole concept of Outliers. Roberts was trying to make them like the X-Men to answer the "why can't everyone teleport and use forcefields, then?" question, but the whole thing is for naught when it turns out that, hey, any random guy can do that if you give him the gear and the juice! So what was the point?
Megatron must be an outlier/1% as well though surely? And a powerful one considering his variety of gimmicks like black hole and space bridge powers. I think Magnus or Tailgate post power boost would have been able to use the forcefield as well (and if you want to be grizzly, it's the hand that has the special ability, Megatron's presumably just powering it).


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Yes, which I mentioned as well -- Megatron is supposed to already be able to do this! But that's not the specific nit I was picking. I'm complaining about him using the antimatter -- which is described everywhere, including this very issue, as a "destroy the whole planet!" type of ability -- as a power source. It's a weapon, not a battery, and unless Shockwave accidentally connected him to the Enterprise's warp core while making his new body he shouldn't be able to magically use it as a power source without major, major body modifications.
You mean like the major modifications the issue specifically mentions he underwent under Shockwave that made the entire thing possible?

I'd certainly agree that--in exactly the same was it's an issue the couple of times he tried to do it in Marvel--it's not an especially realistic use of anti-matter though and as always I wish it was just something made up rather than an attempt to use real science oddly.


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The reason it didn't occur to you is that they haven't mentioned it or acknowledged it for the last six months, even while desperately searching the place for weapons to use to defend themselves from the DJD. That's not symmetrical or "clever", it's lazy.
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. 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.


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I'm sorry, no, it's not "excellent". Tarn's identity has been built up as a mystery for four years' worth of stories, almost fifty issues. It's quite possibly the biggest mystery in the whole series, and certainly the biggest one left after Roberts bungled the reveal of who sent the message in issue #1. Whether he turns out to be one of the obvious choices (Roller or Dominus) or someone else, it should make sense. Once the reader finds out who he is, it should be an "aha!" moment as all the puzzle pieces snap together.
And plenty of people who were playing the game guessed the twist would be it that Tarn would just be Tarn and his past identity didn't matter (really, once he firmly wasn't Dominus that pretty much had to be the case if you weren't going with Roller, I'm just glad my Sentinel Prime paranoia turned out to be wrong), it's certainly played fair on that score. It was never the resolution I was worried about, just how it would stop being an anti-climax.

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I kind of wonder if Tarn was always meant to be Glitch, or if Roberts had originally conceived of him as Roller or Dominus but changed course once the fandom started to figure it out, just to make it a "surprise".
I wouldn't be surprised if when Tarn was created it was never meant to be much of a thing, but it certainly all seems to have been in place by Elegant Chaos (showing Glitch has started to repair the damage done to him, beginning with more normal hands. And who is the other guy in the panel where Optimus is telling Roller he should read Megatron?).


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Agreed. So often with Roberts' stories people will talk about how plot twist X was hinted at two years ago, or that a throwaway line in issue Y totally foreshadowed what happened in issue Y+15. But that's not how a monthly comic is supposed to work! We read this stuff ages ago, most of us aren't going to remember and if the writing doesn't make it feel natural in the moment, it's going to feel cheap to a lot of readers. And yes, this run will read a lot better in trades. Most of Roberts' issues do. But if the stories are meant to be read in one sitting, bite the bullet and publish them as graphic novels. Don't part them out into bite-sized chunks that don't stand up on their own merits. I know that's an issue with comics in general nowadays rather than just MTMTE, but it's still an issue.
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.

And I didn't need the wiki for most of it (clarifying issue numbers mainly), I had no trouble going "Oh yeah, Megatron was alone with Trailbreaker's body!" or "Ahhh, the black hole thing!", or even remembering the basics of who Glitch was (The other new guy from Prime's cell right? Best go have a flick through the trades..."). Not everything for sure, but enough to get the sense of the whole thing very carefully playing off all sorts of details.

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.

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Roberts cut his teeth by writing a novel, and while he's a better writer now his basic style isn't super different now than when he penned Eugenesis. But a novel isn't a comic, and you can't write one while in the mindset of the other. I hate to get all Alan Moore on you, but when it comes to telling a story, the medium you choose is just as important as the words you use and some stories just don't work in a given medium. With Roberts, sometimes it really does feel like he's got a big doorstopper of a prose story in his head that circumstances are forcing him to present in a way that just doesn't do the story any favours at all.
I actually think Roberts is more of a frustrated TV writer than a book one and it does sometimes show, 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!".

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Maybe it's just because I've spent a lot of time reading (really good) comics this year, but seeing what a more experienced hand can do with the medium really throws into stark relief just how many holes Roberts has in his game. Looking at Claremont's X-Men run or, hell, even Furman's 80s UK work, I see writers telling complicated, long-running stories with just as many callbacks and references and hints dropped as Roberts does...but they never, ever leave me feeling lost the way MTMTE has been known to. Even when I drop into random parts of the timeline or only read one part of a bigger crossover, they make sure I know everything I need to understand what's going on in whatever issue I'm reading. And that's something that Roberts, who seems to be increasingly writing with an eye to the big picture rather than the individual issues, has really lost sight of.
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.

Or to go with the TV analogy again, before DVD took off shows with big massive story arcs that depended on viewers really paying attention were reletively rare, especially on American TV where the "Show it in any order" post-cancellation syndication market. The ability to collect shows in boxsets--and now to stream them on dedicated binge watching networks like Netflix--changed that. 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.

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).

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
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 08:16 PM   #36
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Hey Selkadoom, I was just blipping idly through the TF Wiki and came to issue 45 (the one with the Scavengers being hunted by Fort Max), and they meet a Decepticon scrap merchant called Demus.

I know there's a precedent in MTMTE that more than one character can have the same name (e.g. Prowl, and the other Prowl who changed his name to Dent and was sliced up by Drift on Delphi during the rust bomb disease).

Its interesting Roberts chose to call this guy Demus as well. Maybe there's a reason for it, otherwise it would have been just as easy to call this guy Deimos, to avoid confusion.

Definitely agree with you're "He's not a thug in a mask" comment.Vos was a thug in a mask. Tarn was a beautifully sadistic, conflicted bunny and could've done with some time with Rung, who he interestingly never met because Rung wasn't on the Alternative Lost Light when the DJD tore it apart.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 08:23 PM   #37
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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
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 08:37 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Auntie Slag View Post
Brainstorm made it? Cool, I had totally forgotten that. Ok, that's good stuff, will have to look this up. Cheers, Unicron!
Went back and had a look, Patapsco is right. Brainstorm only named it.
I really should have followed the instinct to double check before posting. I could have sworn it was Brainstorm-gadget. Oh well, being wrong happens.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 08:40 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Unicron View Post
Went back and had a look, Patapsco is right. Brainstorm only named it.
I really should have followed the instinct to double check before posting. I could have sworn it was Brainstorm-gadget. Oh well, being wrong happens.
well... it's not said who made it. The inference is certainly there that Brainstorm could have made it, but Trailbreaker also infers that he made it. Call it a score draw
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 08:46 PM   #40
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Thanks Auntie. And you make a few good points. There's quite a few bots that share name, one such duo being distinguished by their height abd width over in the sister comic, but I am legitimately curious as to why he chose the same name for the two. Perhaps the names have multiple meanings, perhaps it was a slip up. I can't pretend to know.

And YES Tarn had such potential to sit there with Rung and face a thorough psychoanalysis from him. Its established that he was rebuilt and made who he is by Megs to hurt optimus, and I wanna know what made him willingly submit to it.

Also bit of a personal preference but I would have been a bit happier if for just one panel Megs thought about the fact he's the one who warped Tarn into what he is, that he created this monster. That maybe Tarn could see the same light he had. But alas we may never know.

Edit: An addendum is that I looked up the meaning of Demus as a name and found that its a variant of the word/Demos, the Greek word for people or the common folk. Make of that what you will.There's also a Latin word demus that means at last or finally. Which is a bit more on the nose

Edit 2: Ok this has become a bit grating. I've also found a latin source that says it also means no other possibilities.
 



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Last edited by Selkadoom; 2016-07-28 at 09:02 PM. Reason: So many edits for the meaning of words yuck.
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