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Old 2016-05-12, 04:40 PM   #1
zigzagger
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Default Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #53

Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #53 three-page preview by way of iTunes.

Full issue due May 25.
 
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Old 2016-05-12, 05:06 PM   #2
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Are we finally going to get any answers that don't involve Megatron after two issues of wheel spinning? Probably not. I do like that Swerve is the only one who realises how terrible their actual situation is. And of course, MarySueTron comes up with the idea for the last messages because MarySueTron must be at all places and all times and must be talked about if not present. Yeesh
 

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Old 2016-05-20, 10:10 PM   #3
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And in the fuller preview, Nautica becomes Amica Endura with everyone. Well Brainstorm, Rung, Skids and Nightbeat
 

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Old 2016-05-22, 03:02 AM   #4
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While I don't quite share your distaste for this storyline, it sure could use a little more tension.

I get that the idea here is that people cope differently during times of crisis, but four parts into this thing, and I'm still not feeling especially worried about our heroes.

I should be though, right?


Anyhooo, here's the full preview in question.
 
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Old 2016-05-22, 02:37 PM   #5
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400 Decepticons vs 20~ Autobots and the only casualties are a pet loving Decepticon and an intergalactic registrar. I realise that Roberts crowbarring in "the script" means he can dance around trying to get his faves out of this completely contrived situation he engineered, but at the same time not a lot's really happened. Again, hopefully it will pick up with the next three issues, but this entire book is veering dangerously close to disappearing up its oh so clever arse
 

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Old 2016-05-25, 06:31 AM   #6
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And... I take it all back. I take it all back. I'm fully back on board. HOLY SH*T!
 

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Old 2016-05-25, 07:40 PM   #7
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OUT NOW AND SPOILERS AHOY













It's intereting actually, I pretty much twigged what the reveal was going to be as soon as the sickbay scene started (odd that, maybe I was put in the right frame of mind from warnings in advance that the preview accidentally revealed the presence of a character, it pretty much had to be Dominus. I've a feeling we joked about Roller being the pet on the podcast at one point as well), but that was a hell of a whollop none the less, doing the visual callback to Chromedome's previous armless state was an obvious emotionally manipulative thing to do, but it worked like gangbusters.

Aaaand it explained Rewinds surrvival on the ALL, if the purpose of the pet once converted was to be used as a sniffer dog, any residual memories could have resulted in him "Overlooking" a familiar scent. And interesting that Tarn used the same process that the Symbol Ship People's contact was using, and the Necrobot (who has a full functionalist database on his computer) is connected to them. Coincidence? Or a dodgy Necrobot (talking with Terome and Marian, it was pointed out 113 was compromised after they visted Necroworld, did the statues give him away?).

It's slightly convenient Magnus has never even seen a picture of the pet, it's obviously a known quantity (we get an interrupted explanation of why the DJD pretend it's a Spark Eater), and a good explanation of the seeming drastic career change for Dominus will have to be forthcoming, but hell that was good stuff.

It was also pointed out that the Necrobot looks almost exactly the same as the Functionalist who interrogates alternate Rung at the end of Elegant Chaos, what will he find in that planet?

Other things to love:

Nightbeat's desperate desire for one last mystery (liked Rung being collapsed in shock to cover him not wanting to go on an obvious quest as well);

Nautica's friendship ritual (nicely subverted some expectations from last issue);

The messages that started the whole story being done as an aside between panels (Red Alert was paranoid, no gun pointing at Nightbeat's head);

Ratchet already winding Velocity up (so much effort to build her up from being an extra, she's doomed isn't she?);

Cyclonus and Whirl. Nuff said.

It's interesting that at the end it's really only Megatron who cares about the organics, if the others did they'd keep the shields up as long as possible rather than going for the suicide run.

Only notable flaw is I can't see how it can be that Brainstorm can build so much out of rubble but can't make a better teleport.

Still, yeah, good issue.

EDIT: Oh, and the letter's page is done. Even though I was promised! Promised! ABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


When do I move beyond self parody?
 
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Old 2016-05-25, 07:55 PM   #8
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Interesting issue---52 was all "wow" and clash of personalities, Decepticon titans fighting and making an uneasy truce...this issue brings an equally big thing on the table but in a more subtle way.

So a 2010/11 mystery is solved today; Agent 113. I will admit, it came out of nowhere, it manages to both fit and leave some glaring holes, but it is fully resolved.

On one hand, the layered story of Dominus makes perfect sense in retrospect. Who better to create the Ambus test to test the IQ of beast formers and equate them to other Cybertronians than a beast former with a very unique ability?

I guess "Vos" does evoke the Pet in that they both had similar bladed bits as part of their design, and by sheer chance [I would love to be wrong but I don't think Roberts planned this in issue 8] the Sparkeater is presented as a "domesticated" pet.

On the other hand, Dominus must have gone undercover quite early on, as he went missing very early on in the war. I unfortunately fail to see the point of this---you have one of the most brilliant historian/philosopher/chemical engineer/doctor of the race, and somewhere somehow somebody decided that this is the bot to infiltrate a gang of glorified butchers? If it's the loadbearing then there were quite a few soldiers lining up to be Magnus; couldn't one of them with less strategic [so to speak] value go after the DJD route?

Minor issues aside, the character moments were strong in this issue. Nautica's scene doesn't make much sense and looks very awkward, but it does bring things to a full circle. This is a bot that felt like an outcast in a society of gifted performers with a strong social emphasis on social relations; it does resonate quite nicely that she feels "at home" and not a social outcast in a group of social outcasts.

Likewise, Chromedome's scenes with Rewind were very touchy, but a bit too convenient. Chromedome did not appear to have any health problems a few issues ago, and he goes from the brink of death to charging out to battle within less than 6 hours. I liked the issue 15 parallels and felt that the "silent" scene of Dominus on the deathbed was a very, very strong page altogether.

Whirl and Cyclonus are great both for comedy value and character exploration. As has been shown before, due to his nature, Whirl is the only person that can approach Cyclonus and get him to open up that way, and that's amazing. Cyclonus's lines about Tailgate surviving read a bit..."Brave"-ish to me. Burning courage indeed.

Maximus Ambus is just amazing; I guess there was literally no need to do that before. Not sure how many layers are there, but this does look to be a bruiser.

Skids, Nightbeat and Rung. Awesome things, with Nightbeat unashamedly surrendering to his vice using the pretense that it could save them. He is not a coward but at the same time not a warrior you can depend on.

Megatron does state that he is afraid, but not of what. Is it for his life? Doubtful, as he wanted to surrender anyway. I think he is afraid of returning to his old ways if he pulls the trigger [which, let's not kid ourselves, he will].

Looking forward to next issue, which will be the battle issue [55 is the "mop up" issue].

Predictions? Ambus tearing up the two DJD bruisers before himself jumping out of the suit [we might get a russian doll undoing scene with him tearing them up while shedding layers]. Cyclonus and Whirl attempting to take on Overlord.

Chromedome, Rodimus and Skids versus Tarn. With Megatron interfering.

Deathsaurus turning on Tarn as he somehow sacrifices a soldier to get a winning strike on an Autobot.

Still room for a deus ex machina if Defensor shows up or Nightbeat unravels a mystery gun.

Lastly, I do think we will have a "DJD Mosaic" prose page or text story, with Tarn recollecting how he met and recruited his line up, much like Springer's short Wreckers story. This in 55 probably.
 

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Old 2016-05-25, 08:03 PM   #9
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I don't think Dominus went right undercover when he vanished, he did go off to seek Luna 1 but somewhere along the line more recently he got recruited by Prowl (who would have Known All Along of course).

Actually, I suppose Dominus wouldn't be on the missing list if the Necrobot had been involved with his horrid fate as he'd know exactly where he was...
 
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Old 2016-05-25, 08:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
Likewise, Chromedome's scenes with Rewind were very touchy, but a bit too convenient. Chromedome did not appear to have any health problems a few issues ago, and he goes from the brink of death to charging out to battle within less than 6 hours. I liked the issue 15 parallels and felt that the "silent" scene of Dominus on the deathbed was a very, very strong page altogether.
Chromedome and Rewind have banged on pretty much from the start that Chromedome's injecting is a "bad thing", I think Chromedome even quipped at one point that he could die while someone else noted that mnemosurgeons tend to die young. But I also agree that going from near death to injecting near death to fighting fit when it's been explicitly explained that he's near death and taking forever to recharge seems a little convenient
 

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Old 2016-05-27, 12:55 PM   #11
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Not wanting to completely put the book into poor old Ex-RID 53 but...

What I find interesting is that All Hail Optimus is a globe and worlds hopping epic featuring events that should have long term consequences for all Transformers.

Dying on the Light on the other hand has to date mostly happened in one room and has lots of one on one conversations that are important to the characters' themselves but not likely to shake the galaxy to its core.

So why does this feel so much "Bigger" and event filled?
 
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Old 2016-05-27, 05:37 PM   #12
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What events though? Getaway ran away, Megatron got beat up, Dominus was found, Ratchet & MarySueTron returned, Overlord had his patented James Roberts Resurrection. At lot has happened, but not a lot has actually happened which is my primary complaint with the book in recent months. It's been circling and circling with plenty of character development but not a whole lot else to move the main narrative forward. This issue is easily the best since the first Necrobot issue.

Ex-RiD is a hot goddamn mess, it must be said
 

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Old 2016-05-27, 05:51 PM   #13
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Without derailing this...

RID/Ex-RID started as something that had a lot of promise and for the first 16 or so issues actually delivered on that promise.

Both season finales for RID have been very sub-par. To its defense, S1 was mostly relegated to setting up for Dark Cybertron in its last saga, versus MTMTE which did its own thing.

This time around, the never-ending new toy dumping, the lack of cohesive storyline, the most certainly sub-par visuals and the once again repetitive human/Earth story has no excuse.

MTMTE has definitely grown into its own, proper sci-fi book with transformers whereas RID has devolved back into your typical transformers comic. Sadly.
 

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Old 2016-05-27, 05:56 PM   #14
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Optimus annexing Earth was a brilliant idea, but what's come afterwards has been very, very bad
 

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Old 2016-05-27, 09:54 PM   #15
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Really enjoyable issue. Its not a stand-alone excellent issue because its obviously bridging parts of an overall story but I liked near all of the main points. Some bits didnt quite sit as well, with magnus being the main point of contention for me.

First off, it seems too odd that he never twigged the pet possibly being ambus. And at the very least when the alt mode appears for number 113, I'd expect him to solve the mystery just as quickly as Rewind.

Still, it does possibly explain how the DJD knew about Ambus being on the inside of the Magnus armour during the attack on the alt lost light.

I also find the load bearer thing a bit... easy. Why have they never done this before? And does this mean that Sunder was also a load bearer, seeing as how he could merge with his brothers carcase? Its not a major sticking point, I just find it doesnt sit super well.

But overall some great moments which you have all covered so I wont bother. IDW have done the usual "Someone will die for sure, definitely, promise" hype for the next issue so lets see how this massacre goes down. Even with Super Magnus and Super Tailgate, its going to take something clever to save the day - my money is Megatron doing something that makes Deathsauras respect him again, while the memory of what Tarn did forces Deathsauras to make a change.

As for Ex-RID, I think the reasons you feel more for the characters and events in MTMTE is that (1.) RID is spread across a simply massive cast and variety of stories happening at the same time. Stuff rarely sticks. (2.) The current story really isnt original, even within the IDW version of TF (3.) Too much happens by surprise. Surprises are good, but its better to build to reveals. Thats why we can discuss MTMTE so much. Ex-RID tends to just go "Hey, CHECK THIS OUT! DIDNT SEE THAT COMING!" and the odd time it works but most of the time you end up just going "what?"

I know there seems to be more of a hasbro envolvement but I still think it could be better and as Patapsco and Knightdramon say, it has had some good ideas. But the follow up is usually really lacking in creativity so at this point its hard to get invested.

And Gestalts.... again?
 
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Old 2016-05-28, 09:28 AM   #16
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And another minor point. If dominus is a load bearer to hide his true form, how come in the alt reality when they replace his head they leave him in what must be his armour form?
 
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Old 2016-05-28, 09:59 AM   #17
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Trying to tackle all the points in order...

Chromedome and Rewind have brought up that injecting can be lethal [and was even brought up by Sunder relatively recently] but it still doesn't make Chromedome's randomly sudden decline, recuperation, and march to battle any less clunky.

On the Agent 113/Magnus bit...it is quite possible that they were both unaware of each other.

Possibly due to "secret agent stuff" Dominus/Vos knew that there was a guy inside Magnus and how that worked, but not necessarily who it was.

Similarly, and maybe a bit too conveniently, I don't recall Magnus seeing the Pet in action. Consider this; the DJD are not seen all that often on the frontlines. Their last known footage included Dominus as Vos [seen in Megatron's trial] and First Aid did not recognize Gun-Vos, making it possible that the change in the roster has gone undetected.

Which still makes it a bit too much of a convenient stretch; why take one of your civilization's greatest politician/philosopher/Human rights activist/doctor and have him masquerade as a butcher?

Minimus flat out said it; he was a soldier, so Magnus was a more or less career progression aspect. Another high-profile Cybertronian, Tyrest, went on with more or less his actual "job" and function until he went nuts.
 

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Old 2016-05-28, 11:03 AM   #18
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My favourite bit of this issue was Nautica's magical friendship pact. That was aces.



...she's going to die, isn't she?

I think that and the Whirl/ Cyclonus stuff was aces. And I loved the ending, plot contrivances and all.

I am also puzzled as to what would make Dominus go undercover ..in the DJD of all things. What had he seen? What made him agree to that? There's an interesting story in that, I'm sure.
 
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Old 2016-05-28, 11:06 AM   #19
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And another minor point. If dominus is a load bearer to hide his true form, how come in the alt reality when they replace his head they leave him in what must be his armour form?
could have fused him permanently into his armour too. After all, the functionists wouldn't have wanted a pesky loadbearer breaking the Grand Cybertronian Taxonomy would they?
 

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Old 2016-05-28, 12:39 PM   #20
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OK, Lets do this.

Quote:
Chromedome and Rewind have brought up that injecting can be lethal [and was even brought up by Sunder relatively recently] but it still doesn't make Chromedome's randomly sudden decline, recuperation, and march to battle any less clunky.
It does and it doesn't. I dont see Chromedome as marching to war at the end, I think he is just more willing to die fighting. It might be a case that Rewind suffers the fate of not letting Dominus live and seeing Chromedome die.
As for the effects of the injecting, I understood this to be that there is only so many times a cybertron can tamper with anothers mind as it costs them some of their own. The countdown part felt quite specific, almost matrix-y, and was probably more down to Chromedome not just infiltrating the pets mind but tryint to restore Dominus - he was in there far longer than normal. I'd imagine Dominus will be the last bot Chromedome injects, which also makes me think he is on the death list.

Quote:
On the Agent 113/Magnus bit...it is quite possible that they were both unaware of each other.

Possibly due to "secret agent stuff" Dominus/Vos knew that there was a guy inside Magnus and how that worked, but not necessarily who it was.

Similarly, and maybe a bit too conveniently, I don't recall Magnus seeing the Pet in action. Consider this; the DJD are not seen all that often on the frontlines. Their last known footage included Dominus as Vos [seen in Megatron's trial] and First Aid did not recognize Gun-Vos, making it possible that the change in the roster has gone undetected.

Which still makes it a bit too much of a convenient stretch; why take one of your civilization's greatest politician/philosopher/Human rights activist/doctor and have him masquerade as a butcher?

Minimus flat out said it; he was a soldier, so Magnus was a more or less career progression aspect. Another high-profile Cybertronian, Tyrest, went on with more or less his actual "job" and function until he went nuts.
My take is this - Magnus never encounters the pet or sees him so never makes the connection. Ambus Vos obviously looks quite different so Magnus would never suspect.

As for why Ambus is an undercover memeber - I dont think he was an autobot initially. I think he was drawn to the Decepticons promise of rebellion against the status quo. But as the war goes on he sees more cruelty appear on the Decepticon side and the ideals of the cause change. The DJD are the apex of this - an overbearing, sadistic group who insist everyone knows their place in the decepticon hierachy. Almost the same as the autobot council Megatron rebels against (and the rules ambus himself strives against).
Enter Prowl and while Ambus may not be in the DJD to bring down the cons, he might have been there to try and keep the autobots aware of which cons were marked for death and possibly turnable and also to know if any autobots were in danger from them.

@Patapsco - absolutely that is what we have to assume happens but I'm not sure it makes perfect sense. I can live with it though, its a minor quibble on my part.

Megatron being afraid - just throwing it out there, it seems odd he woul now be scared after he was willing to give himself over to Tran and a fate worse than dying on the battlefield. I think he is ore afraid of returning to his old ways
As we head onto flanders field and the inevitable deaths and near deaths that will occur, anyone fancy doing a deathlist of the main characters? If so Just copy and paste below. Bonus TFA Points for getting any right

Rodimus - Safe
Drift - not sure on this. Roberts might like to explore him more but Drift has had lost of focus overall from IDW and I dont think the character has much left. I'm going with dead by issue 56.
Magnus - Safe, but maybe not the armour
Brainstorm - Safe, he's a good background character
Velocity - I think she'll go. We've had nice build up but ratchet being back makes me think that she'll get the bullet
Ratchet - but if she stays than maybe we see Ratchet go. I think roberts might get more fun out of Dr Cox but we'll see.
Nautica - I get why some think she'll be a major casualty but I think she's a great original character and her follow up over losing some of her new super friends seems like the kind of character stuff roberts and his fans would love.
Nightbeat - Dies while uncovering the great mystery of whats in the hollow
Skids - Safe - still has the cybertopia stuff to follow up on
Rewind - Safe - I expect he may get an unpleasant reveal with Overlord though
Chromedome - Dead - was willing to give his life for Rewind to have his true love back. I wouldnt be surprised if he goes down injecting one of the bigger cons
Ten - Dies, while saving....
Swerve - add to the guilt pile Swerve.
Whirl - Safe, by a country mile
Ravage - Safe but may defect to Deathsauras army at the end. He is still a Con after all
Cyclonus - initially I thought he might die but I think he'll survive to the end.
Tailgate - Safe, but I think we'll see the super spark burn out.
Megatron - Safe.
Tarn - I think he'll live to show up one last time. If he is roller, a retribution with Prime would be a good plot as well.
Nickel - Dies, possibly because of something Tarn does and in turn, cause Deathsauras to question Mr. Decepticon Mask. I'll also suggest that if she does stay she becomes part of the crew
Helex, Vos and Tesarus - They're dead jim, all dead.
Overlord - safe - still has a whole new plot to uncover
Deathsauras - Safe, but will lose a few of his crew.

So quite a death toll there. I wouldnt be surprised if the toll is much lower - its one issue and a rake of deaths will mean a lack of impact. Possible the battle runs over 2 issues but that doesnt seem to be Roberts style.
 
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