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Old 2016-12-14, 09:44 PM   #1
Patapsco
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Well... this is awful, just awful. The art is terrible, and it reads like someone got hold of the entire run of More Than Meets The Eye and tried to write a book in the same style, but recycled all of the worst tropes that Roberts relies on like a crutch.

- new characters that have mysterious pasts? We just killed off Skids, let's bring in two new replacements!
- that geobomb? That weapon that could wipe out planets? Just farted itself out like a typical Russell T Davies ending
- oh look, we're back in the functionist universe. Again
 

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Old 2016-12-15, 11:13 AM   #2
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Jeez Patapsco, you had me worried.

Artwise I would agree, I think the new style is that little bit too cartony. Same problem I had with some of the All are one stuff. The colours save it a huge amount but one or two characters look odd and the overall style is not nearly as polished as Milne. I can live with it though to be honest. Not as good but not a drastic drop off.

As for the story and new characters, I'm quite happy with whats being set up. The alternative universe was one of my favourite bits of the second season and although I'm not a fan of such a huge influx of new characters it does create a real feeling of change. I suppose the key will be if these new characters lead to older characters being pushed a little to the side as some people would like or for the newbies to be relegated once Roberts goes back into his routine as such. Of the new guys, although he was brief I loved Fangry, he looked great and he oozed menace. Would be nice if he has smarts to back it up as many of the Cons roberts has done (scavengers included) are heavy on the kooky. A straight smart vicous bad guy who isn't a phase sixer would be refreshing.

The bomb being a bit whiffy will need clarification but to be honest, I never felt that it worked as a cliffhanger anyway. Didn't surprise me it led to nothing of consequence.

Glad we are back on track. Like that Rods has an antagonist in Getaway which I really would like to see developed (Good Guy but bad captain vs Bad Guy but good captain has an appeal). I prefered this to the last few MTMTE which fun as they were, felt like place holders.

Edit: Horrible thought but is it possible that Rung vomitted up a fresh spark for skids?
 

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Old 2016-12-15, 06:39 PM   #3
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So, as a soft reboot for new readers, they can read the main story and be utterly confused by it, but it's okay because there's a five page f*cking recap to get them up to speed. This is bad writing and an absolute clanger dropped by editorial: if you have to have that much recap to have the main story make sense, you tell your writer to change the story. And to kick off a reboot with a SIX PART STORY? Are you f*cking kidding me?
 

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Old 2016-12-15, 06:50 PM   #4
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So, as a soft reboot for new readers, they can read the main story and be utterly confused by it, but it's okay because there's a five page f*cking recap to get them up to speed. This is bad writing and an absolute clanger dropped by editorial: if you have to have that much recap to have the main story make sense, you tell your writer to change the story. And to kick off a reboot with a SIX PART STORY? Are you f*cking kidding me?
Oh, id agree with you 100% there. There is no way this works as a jump on point for a new reader. There is far too much that would leave you scratching your head. The optimus prime comic has the same problem - theres simply too much gone before and like as not a new readers main experience is going to be either bay formers or maybe the newer cartoons and neither this nor prime has much in connection with those versions of tfs beyond the names.

If idw wanted to do a jump on point they needed a few issues that were striped back but in both cases we are straight back into the main plot. Good for me but i cant see how a new fan will take to it.
 
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Old 2016-12-15, 07:02 PM   #5
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And please don't think I'm bitching for the sake of being contrary or anything like that because quite clearly Roberts is a really good writer, but this feels lazy and cliched and... like I've read it all before. Except there's no warmth, there's no real gags apart from a tired one about Magnus being boring, no "woah" moment, nothing, just retreads and crutches.

And a word about Optimus, that works as a much better jumping on point simply because all of what went before isn't really necessary. It outlined the situation (Earth is annexed), introduced some new characters, delved a bit deeper into Prime's backstory and started to tell its tale. There's a lesson there
 

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Old 2016-12-15, 09:02 PM   #6
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On the one hand I kind of like getting straight back into a swing, but a one-page "story so far" reminding everyone that Megatron's been given a reprieve and it led to a mutiny would have worked better than a recap IMO.

Even in things I like alt-universe setting story lines make my heart sink. Art feels like a 3H or BotCon convention comic, which only adds to the effect.

I'm thinking it might be better to come back to this in a few months.
 
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Old 2016-12-15, 09:50 PM   #7
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Bring back Alex Milne - a phrase I never thought I'd ever say after the horror that was Megatron: Origin
 

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Old 2016-12-15, 11:11 PM   #8
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Didn't feel like a proper first issue, did it? Pretty much business as always, jumping back to where we left off, blah, blah, blah, but very much entering continuity lock out territory for sure. Overall, not bad, but not super exciting me yet either.

Not totally stoked on the inflow of new characters to an already full cast, but Fangry could be good value. Anode.... not so much. Hate to jump on that bandwagon four and a half-ish years late, but I could do without another quippy character.

Not so sure the geo-bomb didn't have a lasting effect. Not ready to count that one out yet.

Also agree that the five-page recap was a touch overkill, when a single-paged "story so far" (like Denyer said) would've sufficed.

I'm cool with returning to the Functionalist Universe. I enjoyed Elegant Chaos, so I'm on board with this development. For now, anyway. Seems like it would be an opportunity to flesh out Rung, or at least work out the purpose of his alt-mode.

I'm typically not one to fuss too much over art, but, ehhhhhhh, New Guy just isn't doing it for me yet. His work is expressive enough, with earns him a few points, but Alex Milne and James Roberts were such a strong, complementary creative duo in MTMTE. Sans the odd guest artist, Milne was huge part of what made that book so special. It's going to take me a little while to adjust.

Not going to deny there's a little entitlement seeping through, though. I mean, Milne and Roberts were paired per usual in that MTMTE Revolution one-shot that came out a week or two ago. That issue was a ****ing hoot, by the way; a fitting epilogue to their run. It made me all kinds of happy.
 
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Old 2016-12-15, 11:40 PM   #9
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I'm done with the functionists, I really am because we've seen how far it could go before, and we don't need to retread that ground *unless* there's something truly groundbreaking there which... well I doubt there will be.
 

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Old 2016-12-16, 04:28 PM   #10
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This was a godawful issue #1, but if you pretend that it's MTMTE #58 it works just fine. The last few months has highlighted something not so great about Roberts' writing, though. If it wasn't obvious enough with Titans Return or the Revelation issue, this issue really shows a serious contempt for editorial mandates he doesn't agree with, and instead of trying to make the best of it he's just pissing all over them.

As a long-term reader this instance doesn't really bother me, but any new readers who bought into the "issue #1" hype and thought this would be a good jumping on point are going to be very disappointing.

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I'm done with the functionists, I really am because we've seen how far it could go before, and we don't need to retread that ground *unless* there's something truly groundbreaking there which... well I doubt there will be.
The Functionist universe was interesting for a single-issue diversion, but I can't say I'm super-stoked to spend more time there either. It's an interesting "what if?" but at the same time it feels like a bit of a cop-out: like the story is saying that it's a good thing that Megatron was space-Hitler because the alternative was even worse.

Tangentially, the idea of that useless shit Fangry managing to beat up Cyclonus leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

But I like the idea of Roller and Terminus joining the main cast, because they've both been interesting supporting characters in the past and I think they could pull the other characters in interesting directions. Can't say I'm enthused at all about Anode. As ziggy says, the series has enough quipsters as it is, and this one was extra annoying.

A vengeful, out for blood Rodimus sounds interesting, but this series has promised to give us a more serious Rodimus before and not delivered, so I'll wait and see before getting too excited.
 
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Old 2016-12-16, 08:18 PM   #11
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This was a godawful issue #1, but if you pretend that it's MTMTE #58 it works just fine. The last few months has highlighted something not so great about Roberts' writing, though. If it wasn't obvious enough with Titans Return or the Revelation issue, this issue really shows a serious contempt for editorial mandates he doesn't agree with, and instead of trying to make the best of it he's just pissing all over them.
I don't know, I'd agree Titan's Return ended up bizarre (though so did the half written by the actual editor, suggesting ignoring editorial instructions might not have been the problem), but as he said in out Podcast Maximus interview (which all the cool kids have listened to), the word from on high to him and Nick for Revolution was to do something nuts and go crazy with it. Like it or not (I like myself) they delivered what they were asked to.

I suspect that was the case here as well, "Roughly carry on as before please", it's less of a drastic statement of intent as OP 1, but that was the book that needed a big kick up the arse.

As for the issue itself, and despite taking two days to get round to my longer thoughts I'm having to knock this out fairly quickly so it's not going to be massively indepth (I just couldn't not disagree with Warcry, it's a tradition) but....


I liked that. I'd disagree with the idea it'd be hard for new readers to get into, the comic even lampshades this with Anode pointing out the only recap she needed was the final few lines from Magnus. Even the unexpected cliffhanger basically follows the tropes of alternate Universe fiction (it's very like Captain Kirk's arrival in the Mirror Universe. I suspect it wasn't a coincidence Milne originally drew the inside of the teleport chamber based on the floorplan of the Star Trek transporter), if you've not heard of the functionalist Universe you're still going to know the territory you're in.

It was very much in the style of a Buffy season opening, a relatively low key but still very enjoyable restatement of the series that then starts building up from there. Nice action opening and relaxed reintroduction to the leads (which makes sense from the POV that all the promotion the series has been getting in places like the Guardian has been based around it being a character focused series, any new readers brought in by that would be expecting robots talking about their feelings) with some nice gags and thoughtful moments.

And it was pretty bold not to go for the storyline we were expecting, but doing a bait and switch to do an alternate Universe story. Hopefully Roberts' take on these tropes will be as good as his version of The Time Travel Story with Elegant chaos.

On art, I'll admit I wasn't sure exactly what I thought on first reading. Was I being too harsh because it wasn't Milne, or overcompensating the other way and being too nice so as not to be too harsh because it wasn't Milne?

I think though I'm down with it and it will grow on me even more as we go along. It's an unenviable task considering how much Milne was the look of the book (in a way Griffith wasn't to Ex-Ex-Rid because right from the start there he was alternating with Livio was has such a different style it meant that title has a more fluid identity) and the fumbled way IDW handled the announcement Milne wouldn't be on at least the opening. The more Lee Sullivan-ish style does feel like a very drastic departure, but overall it worked nicely for me. My favourite bit, perhaps oddly, being the repaint sequence where I think he got the facial expressions just right.

Other quick thoughts:

I was a little confused by the opening, why were Anode and Lug were on the Necrobots save list when their "Deaths" seemed to be self explanatory. Unless the Decepticon in the suit died as well and never told anyone who he was chasing...but then, why wasn't he rescued as well?

The Geo Bomb resolution does depend on the author having built up enough goodwill to know it's more significant than it seems. Best suggestion I've seen is it doesn't destroy planets, but moves them into an alternate dimension to get rid of them, so they were already in the Functionist timeline from the start. Which would fit with Roberts RTD tendancies as it's a good variation on the Weeping Angels "Assassinate you by sending you back in time" technique. Mind, alternate dimensions were only created recently back in Elegant Chaos...

Fangry seemed like the weak link here. Mainly because if he and his pal hate the situation so much...why don't they just leave? Even if they can't get off world, there's a whole planet out there! Hopefully this'll go somewhere more interesting than Getaway Redux.

Actually, what happened to the DJD ship? Presumably Deathsaurus and company left in his War World? I'll have to check that...

Overall, fun prologue.

Oh, and one last thought for Warcry...

Quote:
Tangentially, the idea of that useless shit Fangry managing to beat up Cyclonus leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
That's what Tailgate assumed happened, Cyclonus seems reticent to say anything and I suspect something else is going on. That may or may not involve Fangry.
 
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Old 2016-12-17, 06:21 PM   #12
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So, as a soft reboot for new readers, they can read the main story and be utterly confused by it, but it's okay because there's a five page f*cking recap to get them up to speed. This is bad writing and an absolute clanger dropped by editorial: if you have to have that much recap to have the main story make sense, you tell your writer to change the story. And to kick off a reboot with a SIX PART STORY? Are you f*cking kidding me?
IMHO it was a huge mistake to reboot MTMTE and start with an all-new #1, I would have loved it if just renamed series Transformers: Lost Light and kept the original numbering because from what I've read and heard Roberts really wants to do a 100th TF issue (and IMHO the name Transformers: More Than The Eye it's too long and doesn't tell me anything about the series) now we have to forward too so-called "legacy numbering" (which I despise) when Lost Light #44 (or #45 if you count the MTMTE Revolution one-shot) comes out which is the point where MTMTE #100 would have been published instead.
 



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Old 2016-12-18, 12:34 AM   #13
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To go a bit tangential, at the Lost Light signing in Manchester today, Nick Roche drew me this: https://twitter.com/InflatableDalek/...79354903252992
 
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Old 2016-12-19, 06:29 PM   #14
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I don't know, I'd agree Titan's Return ended up bizarre (though so did the half written by the actual editor, suggesting ignoring editorial instructions might not have been the problem), but as he said in out Podcast Maximus interview (which all the cool kids have listened to), the word from on high to him and Nick for Revolution was to do something nuts and go crazy with it. Like it or not (I like myself) they delivered what they were asked to.
There's a big difference between doing something nuts and actively taking a big steaming shit on all the other franchises your book is now supposed to share a universe with.

I mean, I think the idea that Revolution was based on is fundamentally stupid and that whichever pointy-haired moron in Hasbro's marketing department who came up with it should be tarred and feathered. But I'm not writing the book either. If the writer's utter contempt for the subject he's been asked to write is so obvious that even a reader who agrees with him thinks it's way too much, then he probably should have scaled it back.

Similar logic applies for the the "reboot" and the TR crossover -- Roberts is a professional and should at least try to take it seriously even if the ideas he's being made to write aren't his own. If he can't, he should have taken a vacation and let someone else do it.

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I suspect that was the case here as well, "Roughly carry on as before please", it's less of a drastic statement of intent as OP 1, but that was the book that needed a big kick up the arse.
Bluntly, so did this one.

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I liked that. I'd disagree with the idea it'd be hard for new readers to get into, the comic even lampshades this with Anode pointing out the only recap she needed was the final few lines from Magnus.
Well, like you say it's traditional for us to disagree, and I have to disagree with this. Because I've been following MTMTE and mostly ignoring whatever they were calling the other book between it being RiD and Op, and I still found Op #1 a lot easier to get into than this. That book managed to feel like a fresh start in an established universe, while this one was full of references to old dangling plotlines and stuffed full of characters a new reader isn't going to know. Which, again, doesn't mean it's bad, but it's silly that this is issue #1 of an allegedly new series.

Cyberstrike is right on this count -- if anything, change the name and keep the numbering because this is anything but a fresh start.

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Even the unexpected cliffhanger basically follows the tropes of alternate Universe fiction (it's very like Captain Kirk's arrival in the Mirror Universe. I suspect it wasn't a coincidence Milne originally drew the inside of the teleport chamber based on the floorplan of the Star Trek transporter), if you've not heard of the functionalist Universe you're still going to know the territory you're in.
Would you? They were just talking about how notorious villain Starscream was in charge of the planet when a bevy of obviously-evil robots showed up to arrest them. If I was a new reader I'd connect the dots between those two things initially, and then been very confused for a month by how it ended.

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And it was pretty bold not to go for the storyline we were expecting, but doing a bait and switch to do an alternate Universe story. Hopefully Roberts' take on these tropes will be as good as his version of The Time Travel Story with Elegant chaos.
I don't mind them not charging off after Getaway and co. right away, but for now at least the new title of the book doesn't make too much sense.

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On art, I'll admit I wasn't sure exactly what I thought on first reading. Was I being too harsh because it wasn't Milne, or overcompensating the other way and being too nice so as not to be too harsh because it wasn't Milne?
To be honest, I didn't think the art was that far off from what we were used to. The new guy doesn't quite capture the book's usual visual style, but they don't diverge too far either. All in all I think they do a much better job than any of the various fill-ins we've had over the years, and I'm sure they'll only get better with time. The visuals weren't perfect but they did a good job of telling the story.

At some point I may actually learn their name, too.

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The Geo Bomb resolution does depend on the author having built up enough goodwill to know it's more significant than it seems.
That's certainly a polite way of phrasing "literally everyone knew it was another stock Roberts fake-out to begin with it so it's impossible to be mad."

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That's what Tailgate assumed happened, Cyclonus seems reticent to say anything and I suspect something else is going on. That may or may not involve Fangry.
No, no, I don't care if it happened or not, just the suggestion that it may have is enough to make me mad. I think Brend's been a bad influence on me.
 
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Old 2016-12-19, 08:54 PM   #15
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So, I read this and enjoyed it. As a new #1, this totally isn't to the point why you wonder - why bother? Clearly a conceit borrowed from 'The House of Endless Relaunches'. I wonder how important relaunches are these days?

Marvel has quickly descended into farce with its endless mega-events followed by reboots to the point I've lost the will to care, and to have IDW agree to Hasbro's attempts at the same foisted upon us, I could do without.

There seems to be some recognition that MTMTE has a loyal fanbase and some wider critical recognition (insert your own Comixology doesn't count joke here), which seems to have allowed Roberts to plough his own furrow. But then why not make this akin to Peter David's X-Factor book and leave it to tootle along doing its own thing?

This doesn't work as a new #1 - a jumping on point, maybe, but this isn't telling a brand new story.

I liked Anode and Lug, even though they are clearly narrative tools to help new readers into the book, but...I do agree with criticisms of introducing yet more characters into the book. I am pleased Megatron's still in the book, but hope he doesn't get sidelined and I'll be interested to see more of Terminus. Don't mind another trip to the Functionist Universe...I'd be amused if whatever tinkerings they were doing with 'their' Rung brought the LL crew to their world.

I liked Jack Lawrence's artwork. Its cheerful and expressive! Hooray!
 
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Old 2016-12-25, 08:43 AM   #16
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There's a big difference between doing something nuts and actively taking a big steaming shit on all the other franchises your book is now supposed to share a universe with.
Nick was actually talking about this at the signing last week, and was very baffled that people think he and James were riding rough shot over editoroal and emphasised it was exactly what they were asked to do, provide a "Break" after the main plot.

I'm not sure it's especially disrespectful to the other franchises, having the Scavengers as the Transformers contribution probably helped there, it's having fun with all of the characters and really isn't lauding one over the other. You'd have to be a pretty thin skinned MASK fan to feel slighted at a gag of the acronym.


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Bluntly, so did this one.
I'd like The Last Knight to reinvent the film franchise, but have to acknowledge the style is still very popular and on basic terms they don't need to. MTMTE ended the year with another Comics Alliance award (still the only TF book to have ever won an award of any sort) and LL basically picked up sales wise where it left off. The general audience seem to still like it very much.

I did think the best way to find out what new readers think was to actually go find out what they thought rather than guess, unfortunately I couldn't actually find any comments from first time readers for either book, even with Terome helping me look. Just people wondering if it works for first time readers.

Of course, TF relaunches from IDW tend to make no difference whatsoever (which is part of what makes them so frustrating of course), and it may have been the same here. MTMTE itself built up its new audience over time rather than jumping in at issue 1 after all.

For anecdotal evidence though, it did increase its chart position on both UK and US comixology charts over the week of release, suggesting if there was word of mouth it was generally good (Optimus Prime also kept around the same sort of position as Ex-RID, though considering that was the book that got the bulk of the promotion--including a massive banner on Comixology on day of release--it really should have done better for at least the first issue).


Quote:
Well, like you say it's traditional for us to disagree, and I have to disagree with this. Because I've been following MTMTE and mostly ignoring whatever they were calling the other book between it being RiD and Op, and I still found Op #1 a lot easier to get into than this. That book managed to feel like a fresh start in an established universe, while this one was full of references to old dangling plotlines and stuffed full of characters a new reader isn't going to know. Which, again, doesn't mean it's bad, but it's silly that this is issue #1 of an allegedly new series.
I think OP had lots of dangling plot references as well, including some of the same ones (lots of stuff about functionalists), having an omnipresent voiceover to explain everything can help there, but neither was a completely clean slate. And the cliffhanger of course had a lot more impact if you knew the ship (though I thought Barber was smart in making it a BIG ship so it's impressive for those that don't know).

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Would you? They were just talking about how notorious villain Starscream was in charge of the planet when a bevy of obviously-evil robots showed up to arrest them. If I was a new reader I'd connect the dots between those two things initially, and then been very confused for a month by how it ended.
I think that assumes the reader has never seen a mirror universe style TV episode ever, it follows the form quite closely and the "Wrong Cybertron" dialogue is pretty clear IMO. Though again, we need to ask one of these hypothetical new readers.


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That's certainly a polite way of phrasing "literally everyone knew it was another stock Roberts fake-out to begin with it so it's impossible to be mad."
Do you really think it won't turn out to be more significant that it initially seems? I'll be you 1 within six months you'll be going "Well the thing that hinged on the Geo Bomb wasn't set up very well was it?"

This is what I do on Christmas day, argue with Warcry.







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Old 2016-12-25, 10:32 AM   #17
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This is what I do on Christmas day, argue with Warcry.

I'm so alone.
It could be worse. You could be the person reading you argue with Warcry on Christmas day.
 
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Old 2017-01-10, 08:58 PM   #18
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I'm never certain about these 'will new readers get it' arguments. We were all new readers of an ongoing comic at some point (or viewers of a tv show, etc.), including the Transformers, many of us from a time before there were wonderful things like Comixology for easy back issues, and TF wiki for all the background details. We managed, didn't we?
 

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Old 2017-01-10, 11:34 PM   #19
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Of course, TF relaunches from IDW tend to make no difference whatsoever (which is part of what makes them so frustrating of course), and it may have been the same here. MTMTE itself built up its new audience over time rather than jumping in at issue 1 after all.
That's frustrating in and of itself. The relaunches make no difference, but they keep doing relaunches. And in this particular case it seems like there was absolutely zero creative reason for it, since the script wouldn't have been a lick different if it was MTMTE #50whatever instead of Lost Light #1.

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Do you really think it won't turn out to be more significant that it initially seems? I'll be you 1 within six months you'll be going "Well the thing that hinged on the Geo Bomb wasn't set up very well was it?"
That's not the point I was aiming for, though. Yes, it's set up for a future plot twist. But because no one bought it at face value and the story made no attempt to convince us otherwise, the "cliffhanger" had no dramatic tension. It was a pretty flat way to leave off the story for six months, and didn't really leave me thinking "I'd better pick up LL#1, I can't wait to see how our plucky heroes get out of this one!"

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
This is what I do on Christmas day, argue with Warcry.
And what I do for Christmas is ignore dalek for two weeks!

(Sorry about that.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Death's Head View Post
I'm never certain about these 'will new readers get it' arguments. We were all new readers of an ongoing comic at some point (or viewers of a tv show, etc.), including the Transformers, many of us from a time before there were wonderful things like Comixology for easy back issues, and TF wiki for all the background details. We managed, didn't we?
You're not wrong, but TV shows use "previously on" spots to bring you up to speed on the important bits. Comics used to use annotations and narration for the same effect but they've moved away from that.
 
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Old 2017-01-11, 07:55 PM   #20
Skyquake87
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They have, but most comics these days have 'Previously' opening editorials. At least in the physical copies (even lighter fare like Josie And The Pussycats, which I am currently enjoying, seems to have these).
 
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