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Old 2016-07-28, 08:59 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Selkadoom View Post
I have to strongly strongly disagree on generalizing Tarn to a Thug in a mask. If that were the case, why bother showing he's actually got depth, that underneath that mask he genuinely hates seeing the carnage he's deemed himself the one to wrought? The character had a decent amount of potential to be expounded on here that feels like it was snubbed for the sake of wrapping up the arc with a pretty pink bow ontop of the ending.

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.
I believe that Tarn was very conflicted---he plays the part of a laid back philosophical smooth talker leading a band of assassins, but at the same time he's deeply conflicted about what he's doing, how he's doing it without Megatron and why he's doing it. You can't shy away from carnage and go on and decapitate your comrade.

Issue 39 paved the way for a redemption story for him, but Dying of the Light actually made him irredeemable. It's almost as if all control he tried to maintain and keep vanished as soon as he spoke with Megatron.

He went from the guy that tried to kill himself and found a reason to exist in a Cybertronian he himself saved and valued as a colleague to a murderous thug that willingly sacrificed however many cons were still standing towards the end of 54.
 

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Old 2016-07-28, 08:59 PM   #42
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This makes me want to go through the entirety of the second season again. I forgot Megatron picked him to really hurt Optimus/Orion. It makes me suspect Megatron knew Demus/Glitch from a previous point in time.

I really want to see that story now! This is the kind of thing that will make Tarn and Dying of the Light especially poignant.

Also, I was wondering just why this story is called Dying of the Light. They've lost Skids and Ravage. Getaway sold them up the river to have Megatron killed, but neither has Megatron returned to his Decepticon ways... so there's no real dying of the light, per se. And when they all return to the Lost Light, they'll learn the crew wanted Megatron gone, but didn't really want Rodimus and Co. dead, not as such.

Unless the dying of the light refers to Tarn? With Skids gone, only Megatron and Roller remain aboard with memories of Glitch/Demus. How is Roller going to take this news? Will he also lose love for Pax if he finds out what made Glitch leave to join Megatron's team?

This just leaves Windcharger missing, right? Yeah, this is not the end of the Tarn story by a long shot (I hope).
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 09:13 PM   #43
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I believe that Tarn was very conflicted---he plays the part of a laid back philosophical smooth talker leading a band of assassins, but at the same time he's deeply conflicted about what he's doing, how he's doing it without Megatron and why he's doing it. You can't shy away from carnage and go on and decapitate your comrade.

Issue 39 paved the way for a redemption story for him, but Dying of the Light actually made him irredeemable. It's almost as if all control he tried to maintain and keep vanished as soon as he spoke with Megatron.

He went from the guy that tried to kill himself and found a reason to exist in a Cybertronian he himself saved and valued as a colleague to a murderous thug that willingly sacrificed however many cons were still standing towards the end of 54.
Ok. Your explanation helps soothe me a bit there. Yes he utterly lost himself in his bloodlust to gut Megatron, Overlords constant goading probably helping to push him to the point of no return. But I can't call him irredeemable because as bad as he was Megatron was still worse. Megs was a butcher and he still had the chance to give up the ghost and acknowledge how far he had fallen, and to say Tarn couldn't is a bit on the aggrivating side.

Now by no means am I the type to advocate that a character should always be forgiven. But a big part of the story arcs as of late are second chances and such, and seeing Megatron not even hesitate to consider giving Tarn one just felt like a missed oppurtunity to me.
 



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Old 2016-07-28, 10:54 PM   #44
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Just a thought but is possible that Glitch was a big fan of Roller and felt betrayed by Pax when Roller disappeared? And that the Tarn design was a warped homage to a fallen friend?

Just a quick point on Roberts calling back to past issues and all that. I'm a fan of this because he generally seems to have planned it well in advance. I'm not saying that those plans are always effective but I like that he does allow the reader to go back and see the clues. As a contrast, try doing that with Barbers first big arc in RID. Go back to key points and there is no way you could guess what was to come. With Roberts, you can generally see the links when you go back.

And I like that generally all you need is contained within MTMTE. He rarely goes to stuff that has fallen outside of his writing (LSOTW and Chaos Theory often fall in as parts of the MTMTE arc). Its far more appealing than the Marvel/DC plan where you need to buy issue 54 of Batman, but also Issue 22 of Batgirl and Issue 23 of Arkham to get the full story. Its one of my worries with the "expanded" universe that IDW seem so keen to bring us. I dont want non-Roberts writing interfering with his stuff.
 
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Old 2016-07-28, 11:02 PM   #45
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Auntie Slag: While you're on the wiki, Glitch was actually called 'Damus'.

On the subject of the wiki, the list of references to past issues is quite intimidating, and given that I can't see how anyone can say this stuff wasn't planned. It also seems curious to complain that we 'have' to look at the wiki - after all, we're already on the internet and the wiki is just a new tab and a few clicks away. It's what it's there for, and the wonderful Chris McFeely does put a lot into his summaries.
 

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Old 2016-07-29, 01:47 AM   #46
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Well Now I just feel stupid for bothering to look up a words meaning and having it be complete and utter bunk in this context. Time we spent I say
 



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Old 2016-07-29, 02:45 AM   #47
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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.
I tend to agree with that. The DJD "spotlight" issue that introduced Nickel and Deathsaurus made Tarn out to be a pretty deep character (and, honestly, one who should have been just as succeptable to the "guilt weapon" as the blatantly-telegraphed-to-get-cold-feet Deathsaurus) but the needs of the plot kind of forced him back into the one-dimensionally evil box in this last issue. With all that's going on I don't really blame Roberts for that, but it's a shame for him to go out on that note.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I actually think Roberts is more of a frustrated TV writer than a book one and it does sometimes show
Yeah, I could see that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This sort of cavalier "Do the research, plebs! All these things happened in the past but I won't even tell you where!" approach to storytelling is one of the reasons why comic sales have dropped to a tenth or less of what they were in their heyday.
 
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Old 2016-07-29, 04:29 AM   #48
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... Glitch was actually called 'Damus'.
You're right, I didn't notice the difference in spelling; Damus (Glitch), and Demus (the dodgy Decepticon monoformer)! Cool, no link there at all.
 
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Old 2016-07-29, 05:56 AM   #49
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Also I suppose I should make a minor addendum here as who Megatron wants to hurt with Tarn isn't specified per se but for lack of evidence Optimus would be the well... Prime Candidate?

I'll show myself out
 



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Old 2016-07-29, 11:06 AM   #50
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I understand what you're saying, but this is another example of what I was talking about before, this assumption that everyone reading the book is a hardcore fan. What's a person whose not active in the TF fandom or "in the know" about things like the wiki supposed to do? Or someone who doesn't know much about Transformers but started to read the book a year ago because someone recommended it to them?
I get you, but in this day and age such information is just a google search away, and if someone is enjoying the book and wants to know more I imagine they'll do just that. It's not about forcing people to do the research - it's saying 'look, there's more to this if you want it'. Plus, it also rewards long-time readers which is just as important.

Besides, this is the final part of a multi-part story - anyone coming on board now (indeed, anyone coming onboard a series which is in its 50s) will have to assume that there's some backstory there - and if they're enjoying the story they'll be happy to do that research. Isn't that how we all became fans? I didn't start buying the UK comic until well into the 200s but all the references to RAAT or Centurion didn't put me off - on the contrary, it actively encouraged me to find out more. And we didn't have the wiki back then
 

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Old 2016-07-29, 11:08 AM   #51
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You're right, I didn't notice the difference in spelling; Damus (Glitch), and Demus (the dodgy Decepticon monoformer)! Cool, no link there at all.
Perhaps we'll discover Damus used to be part of a three-bot combiner team along with his comrades Chaka and Pliers.
 

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Old 2016-07-29, 11:50 AM   #52
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And also, with so many people being revealed to be Outliers and Point One Percenters it kind of cheapens the who idea. If everyone's special then nobody's special, you know?
I think there would be a higher (ironically much higher than 1% by this point, the name must be a hold over) percentage of those amongst the surviving Cybertronians now, four million years of war means only the tough ****ers made it through.


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Those powers were bolted on after the fact though. He wasn't (as far as we know) born with them.
So you can bolt on extra stuff to the guy... like a forcefield hand (presumably what stopped him trying it in situations where it looked like he was going to die--such as the end of 49--was thinking he was on crap fuel that wouldn't power it).


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It doesn't explain how his body can transform that antimatter (which, as a Trek fan, you know will utterly annihilate any normal matter it touches) into energy, though. Blasting it out as a big last-ditch "screw you" superweapon? Absolutely. Pouring it into his engine and burning it like energon? Not so much.
Come on man, don't go citing Trek for examples of realistic science, you mad crazy fool you. According to that show it can help you break the light barrier!

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Like you say, it'd be a lot easier to gloss over this point if we were talking about something made-up like Nucleon.
And I suspect if he'd known it'd be something he'd build on six years later Roberts would have probably made something up as well.


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The major issue is that the first part of the story came out in February, and Roberts didn't even drop in an "As seen in issue #50!" box (which comics don't seem to do as much anymore, much to their detriment) or line of dialogue to make it clear what was going on. I shouldn't have to reread the entire fucking series every time a new issue comes out in order to make sense of what's going on.
Well on this (and the subsequent wiki issues discussed further down...), how much of these payoffs are more coherent (not necessarily plausible, just understandable) if you go and look at the wiki? "Megatron stole Trailcutters hand" seems fairly self explanatory, it's easy to see how he might have done that without being caught, especially as he has a sneaky sidekick. Flicking through old issues or going to the wiki adds some more information if you've forgotten the specifics, but it doesn't need that.

Same with "He was finally able to get my black hole powers working" or "This thing that was used against us previously is being turned against the enemy" seem to cover the important information, and the fact the characters speak authoritatively as is this is a known thing helps sell it as a follow up.

Would some "See issue" boxes have made a difference? I'm not sure. I think the fact you don't seem keen on any of the plot developments even with a full wiki backed explanation suggests it's not really the way they're revealed that's the issue, you just don't like them very much!

I think Terminus and Roller are the only things to come out of nowhere within the issue with no context as to their importance to Ratchet and Megatron (though of course if Roller had been Tarn, that would have applied as well), for everything else you get the minimum you need for the story to work (and for the arc as a whole I like how their presence was signposted by the missing fate unknown list Rewind kept going back to).


Quote:
The Autobots certainly could have dropped in a mention of it when they were looking for ways to defend themselves. And Roberts easily could have made it more clear what was going on in this issue. Until the moment they used it, I don't think it was even hinted that the Autobots knew what had caused the initial psychic attack, let alone looked for it.
They did have quite a lengthy chat about it in 50. Actually, I suppose the DJD were after Megatron as they sent the Necrobot's original message and he added the pain factor as a warning. So presumably they came for the hidden guys on the list, realised the Lost Light had been there recently and decided to kill two birds with multiple stones?

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This is where we'll have to agree to disagree. If I was watching an episode of Star Trek and they used some random bit of technobabble to solve a problem in the cold open, then didn't mention it again at all until the last minute of the show when it saved the day without any indication they were even thinking about it, I'd roll my eyes and call it lazy. Having a six month gap in real time between the intro and the reappearance only makes it stand out worse. It would be like a Trek episode referencing something minor from ten episodes ago without doing the "previously on". Which I'm sure happens sometimes, but it's not exactly something that's audience-friendly.
How do you feel about Sacrifice of Angels? Just as the Dominion Fleet are about to come through the worm hole the Prophets take Sisko and he persuades them to save the day in a literal Dues ex Machinia. That's about two years (depending on when in season 4 the fake Emissary episode was) since they were last actually in an episode and there's nothing in the first 35 minutes to even hint at that being the resolution. It's perfectly in keeping with the show's own internal logic and history but is done entirely as a surprise to make sense to regular viewers and not anyone else.

Which considering it's part 7 of a 7 part story (and the three preceding episodes in that arc don't have "Previously on..." recaps. Nor do most of the shows in the 10 part series finale either) it's arguable floating viewers are going to expect not to follow everything perfectly.

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And it also drastically reduces the number of potential audience members in the process, because not many people have that much time and energy to commit. That's why you'll see heavily serialized shows landing on HBO or Netflix instead of more conventional channels. As great as those shows may be, that sort of storytelling still alienates more people than it draws in, and it's rare that one of them pulls in enough of an audience to survive on a major network for very long. Thus why most TV shows, even serialized ones, focus on a new monster-of-the-week every episode with the ongoing story usually relegated to the B-plot.
And MTMTE has done a lot of that, we've had serial killers wandering the ship plot and personality ticks and the Demons and Angels split crew story all alongside the character development and ongoing plotlines. But serialised shows also tend to have their big tentpole storyarc episodes, usually mid season/sweeps and at the end of the year (it's a very X-Files thing as well, and of course Roberts is a fan), which this basically is.


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I'll try to put this as nicely as possible: while it's interesting to hear what Roberts has to say, I'm not going to put all that much stock into it. The man isn't going to toss his employers under a bus even if they did ruin everything, and nor is he going to start saying "nah, it's all made up on the spot, you marks!" He's got a job to do and an image to maintain. Whether he's saying the absolute truth or spouting a bunch of PR BS, he'd kind of have to say the same thing, you know? And I don't mean that as a criticism, just a description of what his job entails.
I get where you're coming from (and I should note his frustration with criticism on this score was born from some of the more eccentric responses on twitter like the "YOU USED TO BE MY IDOL" person rather than my tweet and thus this thread specifically, I think it just gave him a place to vent a little), but equally he didn't have to respond at all and frequently does maintain a polite silence on certain questions. I think he's being entirely genuine there and this has all be planned out a good deal in advance. How that works for the individual reader is subjective of course (my personal issue was with people saying it hadn't been set up at all which was objectively not true, not with whether they thought it succeeded or not).

Wait, I didn't delete that tweet where I was nice about you. Damn, that's ruined our adversarial relationship.
 
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Old 2016-07-29, 12:06 PM   #53
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Perhaps we'll discover Damus used to be part of a three-bot combiner team along with his comrades Chaka and Pliers.
This should really get more love imo
 

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Old 2016-07-29, 05:35 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Death's Head View Post
I get you, but in this day and age such information is just a google search away, and if someone is enjoying the book and wants to know more I imagine they'll do just that. It's not about forcing people to do the research - it's saying 'look, there's more to this if you want it'. Plus, it also rewards long-time readers which is just as important.
I think the problem is that, when an issue is as dense as this one with uncited references, it's almost impossible to enjoy this book without that knowledge. So new people aren't going to do the research, they're just going to toss the book in the bin and go read something else.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Wait, I didn't delete that tweet where I was nice about you. Damn, that's ruined our adversarial relationship.
That's okay, we can still be enemies.
 
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Old 2016-07-29, 07:31 PM   #55
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Actually, Warcry makes a fantastic point: Deathsaurus was leaning to getting the hell out anyway, why not... just let him get there on his own rather than calling back to a previous issue's deus ex get-them-stranded-on-necroworld-a? It would also have made Deathsaurus a fascinating character when he is brought back: a Decepticon with a conscience who, in a roundabout sort of way, sides way more with Megatron's way of thinking now than Tarn's or Overlord's
 

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Old 2016-07-30, 02:38 AM   #56
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Something that occured to me a bit after a re-read. Whats the expected outcome for the Geobomb? Are we looking at massive casualties? Nobody getting hurt? Or just the bots once again scampering away while the poor world goes kaflooey?
 



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Old 2016-07-30, 09:17 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
The guilt weapon is something that I honestly didn't even remember on first reading, and a reminder there definitely would have made the first few pages more coherent to me -- I'd still wonder about the wisdom of using it when Deathsaurus's characterization was leading there anyway, but it wouldn't have led me to stop reading the story, roll my eyes and say "oh **** off!"
It's worth noting it created an epiphany for Megatron back in issue 50 as well, adding to the nice symetrical feeling of things (and like Deathsaurus, Megs would probably have been swayed towards realising what he'd done to organics given more time, this punched through the denial they were feeling in one go).

Quote:
Also, does the issue even allude to the fact that Terminus and Roller (and Glitch!) are people that we've already met? I don't recall but I'm leaning towards 'no'. Though I suspect that if the comic had an extra two pages to work with, like it used to, we'd probably have seen some dialogue making it more clear just how important they were to some of the people in that room.
As said I'd agree Roller and Terminus would confusing to new readers as the reminder of them was very sublte with their names on the list, though I don't think knowing who Glitch was is actually remotely important, the key thing is he's not Roller and really was (as far as we're concerned) just Tarn.

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The stuff with the time case is more problematic, because there really isn't anything to cite or point back to -- we last saw it when Ravage gave it to Megatron fifteen issues ago and everything that has been revealed to have happened since really feels like a deus ex machina.
But again, I think if you don't remember that story/hadn't read it "We had a time machine that we thought we'd destroyed" is pretty self explanatory as well.

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Actually it's interesting you bring up DS9, because I was thinking about it in the context of this conversation after I made my last post.
Let's turn it into a Trek thread, old shool style!

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Deep Space Nine is my favourite Trek series, you know that, and I'll fight anyone who badmouths it. But it's also the least popular of it's generation by far, and only the flop that was Enterprise saves it from being the redheaded stepchild of the franchise. And stuff like this is a big part of why its popularity has never matched its' quality. It was a very, very well-written show, but it also made some stumbles that made it really difficult for a lot of traditional Trekkies to embrace it. The serialized nature wasn't familiar then, people weren't used to needing to watch certain episodes to know what was going on, and sometimes the show wasn't the greatest at keeping part-time watchers in the loop. And the last half of the last season was practically LOST-tier, but since they knew the show was ending I'm assuming they made an active choice at that point to no longer even pretend to give a damn about such things (and yes, "More Than Meets The Eye" is ending, but the story is continuing under a different banner so that's not the same thing).
I'm surprised anyone would consider it less successful than Voyager tbh, it never hit the iconic heights of TOS or TNG (and I think people downplay how iconic that show was, as someone on another forum I post at recently mused Picard has more internet memes by himself than almost any other contemporary US TV character), but it certainly got more viewers than VOY-a result of how they were broadcast differently of course but still means it was more widespread--and was always more critically acclaimed, especially once it hit that post Worf stride.

And I think that was largely because unlike Voyager, DS9 felt like it was made by people who were aware of klate 90's TV and was moving with the times with shows like X-Files and Babylon 5 (especially of course) and the move towards storyarcs and more serialisation that was so popular at the time and has only gotten more so since.

The best description of Voyager I've ever read was it was the least succesful successful show ever made, running for seven years as the top rated show on its network but even the people who made it think it was a bit shit. I actually think Enterprise has more respect these days, helped by the current films (and especially the most recent) being packed full of references and homages.

And whilst a lot of Trek fans weren't embracing of DS9 (famously it's the Trek show for people who don't like Trek) that's as much to do with things like no space ship like wot proper Star Trek has as the actual quality.

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And you know, I actually really like that scene because of what it says about Sisko. As he takes the ship into the wormhole you think he's a desperate man intent on a suicidal last stand, but as things move along you realize that he knows exactly what he's doing and this was the plan (or at least Plan B) the whole time and the dude is basically Space Batman. But a line or two earlier on in the episode definitely could have changed the initial reaction from a "Huh?" to an "Of course! How come I didn't see that coming?" as all the pieces drop into place.
I think my only issue is it's a happy coincidence the Prophets decide to stop for a chat, I think it'd be much better if Sisko had always had a Plan B if the minefield failed, actually planning to go tell God he's a dick who needs to do more is a very Ben thing to do. It's actually quite a bold move considering the outside pressures to downplay/remove the "Dull" Bajoran religion stuff. Instead after a couple of years of "Look, a ship! Worf! Klingons! Space battles!" they go and make the final two years of the show based around the thing they'd been ordered to downplay.

In terms of the show ending though, don't forget the 24th century Trek was continuing in both Voyager and the TNG films (no one knew when season 7 was finishing Insurrection would lead to a big gap and a rethink), with some serious thought given to bringing Voyager home now the Alpah Quadrant was freed up. The show was ending but the overall Universe was carrying on... just as with MTMTE.

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Also, given that you pointed him to my post as an example of people being WRONG about stuff...
Aww, now I feel bad. It was only because your post and my my responses to it covered everything I wanted to say generally though (much easier than 50 000 tweets) rather than because you're a WRONG man.

SPOILER! (select to read)
No one tell Warcry every time he posts I tweet a link and go "Look at the WRONG man!"


I think another thing to remember is that where MTMTE has found its audience and its success has been digitally rather than through the physical copies (which-last time I checked-have remained the same level with RID and basically every main comic since Schmidt, you could argue that audience is captive), which does change what you can get away with in terms of audience expectations. Someone coming to the comic this week off the back of someone else's recommendations just isn't going to start with issue 55 as it's promoted as part 6 of a six part story, the fact all the digital issues are out there to buy still means they can jump on with issue 50 and--if they like that--work forward. There's a good chance they'll even start all the way back with issue 1.

That doesn't mean there shouldn't be room out there for the more traditional "Any issue can be your first" generally stand alone comics, any more than there's nothing wrong with TV shows that do standalone episodes (Voyager's big issue was that it tried to do that with a format that actually required more serialisation than even DS9 did and the stories they wanted to tell and the show they were telling them in never meshed), the shifts in how media works now just means there's the option for more variety in how you tell stories. Which is no bad thing.
 
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Old 2016-07-31, 05:34 PM   #58
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Original Rewind is still missing. Is he on the Galactic Council's ship? In which case they would have access to Cybertron's biggest historical database (more or less). I'm guessing not, because they don't seem that clued up. So maybe someone else rebuilt him and Overlord, the latter escaped and since got tangled with the Galactic Council?

Or was Overlord simply telling the truth, that he really did murder Rewind in the slow cell?

I feel like original Rewind will save Megatron at the expense of the Council killing Terminus.
 
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Old 2016-07-31, 09:15 PM   #59
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If Overlord did do what he said and chomped down on his head, original Rewind's deader than dead because his brain module is toast. Delicious, delicious toast. Besides, if he was alive, alt Rewind would have vanished as the universe sets its timey wimey parallel quantum dimensional bullshit to rights
 

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Old 2016-07-31, 09:25 PM   #60
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Hmm, I guess you're right there. Does it set stuff back to rights? If the alt-Lost Light crew were never slaughtered couldn't the Universe handle two of every crew member? From the point of duplication, they're living separate lives.

There was also the thing about Rung not being on the Alt Lost Light. Was that a stated fact in the comic, or am I loosely remembering that from a thread comment or tweet?
 
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