Transformers: More than Meets the Eye season two discussion

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Flimflammery
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Post by Flimflammery » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:52 am

Red Dave Prime wrote:Although, I always find it funny that way back in issue 4, Drift kills the other Prowl guy - hacks him to pieces in fact - and no-one seems too bothered. Although in the story you initially think he is a zombie, by the end of the issue you realise he was just a sick robot. And Drift BUTCHERED him!
Yeah, that always bothered me. You would have thought at the very least Ratchet would have had more than just a few stern words for Drift for murdering a fellow Autobot - the latter really needs to work on thinking before slicing and dicing.

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Post by Summerhayes » Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:00 pm

I just had a little peek at that issue. Drift was sort of defending Pipes, which Ratchet acknowledges, and he cuts off the arms and head, which we've seen is hardly lethal for a Cybertronian.
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Post by Flimflammery » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:41 pm

Hmm, you've got a point, but his arms would surely have been enough, looking at the state he's in - if it was only just in time that they saved the physically healthy Red Alert when decapitated, surely this clearly diseased 'bot should be seen as more vulnerable. For a born again hippy Drift does seem to have a tendency towards extreme force.

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Post by Patapsco » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:52 pm

Flimflammery wrote:Hmm, you've got a point, but his arms would surely have been enough, looking at the state he's in - if it was only just in time that they saved the physically healthy Red Alert when decapitated, surely this clearly diseased 'bot should be seen as more vulnerable. For a born again hippy Drift does seem to have a tendency towards extreme force.
Drift himself says he looks infected, and so justified the additional slicing to make sure he stopped moving

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Post by Summerhayes » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:03 pm

Flimflammery wrote:For a born again hippy Drift does seem to have a tendency towards extreme force.
Isn't it pretty much canon that the whole hippy thing is Drift making up for the fact that deep down he knows he's a violent bastard? He was a 'Con, after all...
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Post by Red Dave Prime » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:03 am

I think you can dance around all the reasons why character drift this or that but for me its very much a case of where the desire to create a certain reaction and expectation from the reader over rides logic in the story (and just to be clear, I mostly never have much of a problem with that as a writers tool because if you want absolute realism in your plots you are going to get very little actual action and adventure)

The way I see it is that they encounter a lot of body parts and the leaked rust. They know its some sort of plague. Drift sees one of the bodies is still alive. Now do remember that its a plague, its the equivilant of Ebola for autobots. Should he (a) push pipes out of the way? (b) push the offending autobot out of the way, in a manner similar to how he takes Pipes himself down later in the story? or should he (c) slice the arms and head off the robot before finishing with both swords jammed in the infected bots chest - basically where the spark is?

The only way (c) is the correct answer is if they think the infected are acting hostile but there is no evidence of it. The reader can make the logical assumption that it may be a zombie attack but for the characters thats a huge jump. Drift may want Dent/Prowl to stay back but he really destroys the guy. Now there can be a certain out by saying that he can be repaired but we've also seen that if the head does get removed, theres a certain time limit on fixing things - and neither First Aid nor Ratchet seem to think that theres a point because both just give a shrug as if to say "ah well"

From a series point of view, it seems like something that Ratchet in particular would not be able to forgive or let go, given how his relationship with drift reveals itself over the issue. I really think its a (to be fair, generally rare) case of Roberts wanting to get a certain idea across to the reader but maybe not fully thinking things through

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Post by Patapsco » Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:37 pm

there's a longer preview on Newsarama. A bit more between Tailgate and Getaway. Hurry up Wednesday, I need to see where this is going

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Post by Death's Head » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:02 pm

Tailgate on the receiving end of some surprise sex, I imagine!
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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:33 am

OUT NOW SO DON'T GO READING FURTHER.



SERIOUSLY, YOU'LL REGRET IT.






THEY'LL BE NO GETingAWAY FROM YOUR REGRETS IF YOU DO.












Oh, that was clever.


So it seemed as if were set up for a straightforward love story issue, and then suddenly it switches into being about a conspiracy we've been almost led into forgetting about (I told you who Whirl was speaking to was important didn't I!!!! Ha, one in the bag for me).

The creepy, creepy, creeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy Getaway stuff was actually played perfectly, with him just being the sort of manipulative bastard you do see so often in real life.

Also perfect was the Whirl/Cyclonus conversation, with the laying of the cards on the table from Whirl about how Cyclonus does need to get over himself all seeming perfectly reasonable and in-character...

Before it turns out Whirl was in it right up to his one eye. And it wasn't Whirl giving a lecture to Cyclonus at all, it was Cyclonus delivering a one line one to Whirl.

What I like about this is that way back in Remain in Light it was Cyclonus' decision to not kill Whirl and show mercy that effectively saved Tailgate. It fantastically brings things full circle that it's Whirl betraying that trust which sends everything horribly wrong (and in a series where the importance of friendship over all else is a recurring theme it's also perfect that betrayal of friendship is a cataclysmic event).

And just like the last time it seemed one of them might die, Cyclonus winds up penetrating someone with his great big sword.

Minor niggle: Getaway getting his memory gun back seemed to come out of nowhere, unless I've missed something in a prior issue it's odd that wasn't set up in advance. It almost felt like Roberts was in the middle of writing a scene where Whirl just got knocked out, but realised he needed something to stop him just confessing once he woke up (I suspect Getaway is going to getaway with this for quite a while, at least not before the end of season 2).

More major niggle: The way the Autobot security team really goes to town on Cyclonus--something I can't see them having done to Tailgate by himself, or even someone like Whirl--re-emphasises the occasional point that many people aboard are still pissed about Kimia despite Cyclonus having done things like save the entire Universe since. Which re-emphasises the problem that there's no way these people would ever, ever serve with Megatron.

Getaway doesn't need to work out creepy sex pest plans to manoeuvre someone into attacking Megatron, it'd be a Murder on the Orient Express thing with at least a dozen lined up to say it was an "Accident". Especially as it's the second issue in a row to show Autobot security has a broad definition of "Justifiable homicide" when it comes to people they don't like.

Though that's an old problem the ship has well and truly sailed on, it still helps to unhinge the suspension of disbelieve every time someone acts like a dick towards Cyclonus.

Not that this will be a problem from now on!

Overall potential niggle in terms of the overall arc:





Well, no one actually says Cyclonus is dead, but the scene is played as such a big and operatic death scene (appropriately for C) that there's no way this end sequence won't seem really, really silly if it turns out he's just badly wounded/seemingly dead but going to be back for the end of season 2. It actually reminded me (spoiler for an episode of TV less than a week old)
SPOILER! (select to read)
of Clara in this week's Doctor Who. There's the nagging feeling that the show won't have the courage to follow through and she'll be back in episode 12, making the slow motion and silent screaming look daft in retrospect.
So leave them dead!

And yes, the mistakes with Rung/Red Alert/Ultra Magnus/Ultra Magnus (others?) do still cast a long shadow and make it hard to take the seeming death of any series lead seriously. The book still needs a major one that sticks to overcome this.

Still, assuming a good and proper death for Cyclonus... a reaaaaaaaaally strong issue.
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Post by Rack 'n Ruin » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:50 am

inflatable dalek wrote:OUT NOW SO DON'T GO READING FURTHER.
Avoided the content of your post as I don't want to be spoiled. Presumably, however, you will be PM'ing Summerhayes with it? :devil:
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Post by Terome » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:26 pm

Yup, solid stuff. I'll say more later but for now:
Getaway doesn't need to work out creepy sex pest plans to manoeuvre someone into attacking Megatron, it'd be a Murder on the Orient Express thing with at least a dozen lined up to say it was an "Accident". Especially as it's the second issue in a row to show Autobot security has a broad definition of "Justifiable homicide" when it comes to people they don't like.
Remember that the implication of all this is that Whirl's intentions back in World Shut Your Mouth were for the security squad to gun him down in order to bring the hammer down on Megatron. They are counting on the LL security folk being at least that trigger-happy. The Tailgate plan was a lot better / more fiendish.

I wonder if anything Getaway said about the circumstances of his birth was true.

And yes, time for Cyclonus to bow out now. He's had a great run and people will remember him well. Here's hoping that whatever is going on with Tailgate at the end doesn't save him with magic.

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:43 pm

Hmm and hmmer.

This is both a great issue to read and one that seems to have more than one or two problems in it.

Love the art.

Love Cyclonus throughout and especially at the end.

Love Megs reaction to being mind-messed again.

Love Whirl getting second thoughts.

Not Loving the LL security team - these guys do not fit in with the way anyone on the lostlight has been potrayed. Also, they are too trigger happy by far. I could have bought them reacting to megatron this way but I think anyone else, even cyclonus wouldnt have been taken down in this manner. Also, they seem to have come out of the blue

Not loving the final page. The very last few panels seem to scream reset/ or save. I hope not. For all the faults with how it comes about, Cyclonus's death is a good way to go and bar a rematch with Star Saber and his declaration of love for Tailgate (which happens here anyway) I dont think he has much left to give that couldnt be given to someone else.

Not loving the over elaborate conspiracy plot. I thought the way Getaway did things was brilliantly done, especially this issue. But as Dalek states - this is Megatron, up til recently the ultimate big bad who hasnt really done anything outside of defeating the chaos monster to change peoples opinions of him. Sure, he helped out in Dark Cybertron but that was an Autobot + Decepticon team up anyway. It seems so odd that the conspiracy needed to be so complicated. It only makes sense if they wanted Megs to be proved evil still and stand trial but they do state that they'd be happy for Megatron to be gunned down by the seemingly super-effective Lost Light Security Team. If thats the case they could have faked an assault from Megs onto one of them and let the gun-happy blow megs away - its not like they seemed open to any explanations. Seem to be far too much a shoot first, then shoot again and then what was the question? (and how is whirl not part of that group anyway?)

The next issue will be pretty important to how this one stands up. But I'd really hope that this is all in Tailgates head. Not because of the death of a main cast but that damn Security Squad of Psychos seems so wrong in the MTMTE world.

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Post by Patapsco » Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:00 pm

"Goodbye little one"

And I am destroyed

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Post by Knightdramon » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:05 pm

Hmmm, did not see that coming from Getaway. If it helps, it makes me buy into the allure of the character even more.

There's this basically one-man army special agent [well...two men army, he was with Skids] that Prowl of all bots trusts to negotiate with other races and take on special missions like that. I wouldn't be surprised if both him and Skids had different "kill" orders for Tyrest if things went south.

And so far he's been portrayed as exactly the kind of character for this sort of missions---somebody who's charming and good on everybody's books [space barnacles were attached to him!], who's dependable and can work nicely in a duo [Skids, Nightbeat], has been seemingly in allegiance with Megatron and Ravage [Slaughterhouse and Vis Vitalis], but has his own agenda completely masked and separate from all that.

The Atomizer team-up came out of the blue though---could he be another deep, deep undercover agent of Prowl? Masking as a decorator, having high skills with an unusual [crossbow] weapon? Especially since Atomizer once tried to get all potential "nay-sayers" out of Rodimus's crew with his fake list.

Overall, a beautiful issue. I don't think Cyclonus is down, but this looks more and more like another Roberts attempt at taking down/incapacitating the A-listers before the end season finale...last season we had Magnus and Drift technically drop off just before the finale, with Rewind gone and Chromedome being too grieving and in the background despite being involved.

It fits---Cyclonus might be out temporarily, there's something going on with Skids next issue, and I believe that 49 will also take out somebody else or involve them enough to take them out of focus.

Just a hunch. Don't think Cyclonus is dead as we've had worse cop-outs than that, but it would fit beautifully if he's gone in what amounts to a non-event in the grand scheme of things. Whirl's scenes were also done beautifully, with his "choking in space" scene being just flat-out amazing.

Need more of this. Definitely more.
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Post by Patapsco » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:15 pm

Right, having had a chance to re-read it properly and not in a rush while off to work, here we go. This is pretty much the story of three characters, and surprisingly, none of them are called Tailgate. In a sort of order:

Getaway - oh man, I didn't see this coming, I really didn't. But it's one thing to try and sweet talk your way to a date, or even sex, but to sweet talk someone into a very sacred, relationship-defining ritual whose sole purpose is to get that person killed? That's cold, almost Decepticon level of villainy right there. His entire plan was to find someone pliable, and then convince them to provoke Megatron into a near or possibly very fatal reaction. The good thing is that Tailgate is still alive so he'll go on trial, but the prosecution may need an additional witness. Maybe someone like...

Whirl: who goes from messed up psychopath with a death wish to regaining his own moral compass. Of course, it only comes out when Cyclonus flat out tells him that his misanthropy is the only reason he came to talk to him, but it's definitely a start. It should also be noted that he didn't do anything definitive to talkaround Atomiser and Getaway, but the mere notion of saying "hmmm, asking Tailgate to do to Megatron that which Megatron most fears and when seen will most likely cause Megatron to kill Tailgate isn't the best idea" is commendable. The nudge bullet seemingly malfunctioning maybe will give Chromedome enough to work with to piece together his memories and sentence Getaway and Atomiser. Certainly, using the clocks to give out Megatron's room number gives a little credence to that. None of which actually helped...

Cyclonus: When I saw the cover in solicits, I wanted Cyclonus to have a happy ending. When I saw the three page preview, I wanted him to have a happy ending. When I saw the five page preview, I REALLY wanted him to have a happy ending. The reason for this is because out of every messed up & broken misfit on board The Lost Light, he was the one I identified with the most. Both of us are gruff, quiet, prone to staring out into space, completely and utterly unable to articulate our feelings until it's too late. But I think Cyclonus did get his happy ending. He didn't say what he wanted, but his actions spoke more than words and as for his last words... god, that got me. It got me. He died a good death and I want him to stay dead.

As for other things - the LL security team being over the top or not? Getaway mentions that "they're jumpy enough"; they did tell Cyclonus to turn around slowly and he went for his weapon; he did try and kill the captain of the ship (no Rodimus, you are not co-captain). I think the use of force is excessive but understandable. Tailgate's super power? I'm guessing that's something to do with the spark infusion he had.

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Post by Warcry » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:18 pm

I never thought I'd say this about something that Roberts penned, but I feel dumber for having read this. It felt like it should have had Shane McCarthy's name on the cover.
inflatable dalek wrote: Minor niggle: Getaway getting his memory gun back seemed to come out of nowhere, unless I've missed something in a prior issue it's odd that wasn't set up in advance. It almost felt like Roberts was in the middle of writing a scene where Whirl just got knocked out, but realised he needed something to stop him just confessing once he woke up (I suspect Getaway is going to getaway with this for quite a while, at least not before the end of season 2).
I didn't see anything setting it up either, and it really left me scratching my head. I was also thrown a bit because it didn't seem like it worked the way it was described back in Remain in Light. It seemed like the nudge guns needed to be programmed ahead of time to carry out the exact change that the shooter wanted it to. So unless we're meant to believe Getaway anticipated needing to wipe Whirl's mind in exactly this way at exactly this time, it comes off as a really big "holy shit I need a way to keep Whirl from blowing the whistle!" handwave.

All of which I'd be able to look past easily enough, but the biggest sin here is that it erases the most interesting bit of character development in the issue. :(
inflatable dalek wrote:Getaway doesn't need to work out creepy sex pest plans to manoeuvre someone into attacking Megatron, it'd be a Murder on the Orient Express thing with at least a dozen lined up to say it was an "Accident". Especially as it's the second issue in a row to show Autobot security has a broad definition of "Justifiable homicide" when it comes to people they don't like.
This is pretty glaring, yeah. The entire scheme seems to be entirely unnecessary and overly complicated. If the crew is ready to turn on Megs at the slightest provocation like they suggest, he's already given them more than enough pretexts for it so there's no need to engineer one. And, obviously, nothing's happened. In fact, when someone actually does jump in and try to kill Megs this issue the crew rallies and goes after his attacker with extreme prejudice. You could argue that they've just been waiting for Cyclonus to give them an excuse, but again, it's not like they haven't had one in the past.

Beyond that, I'm not sure why "trick Megatron into doing something so someone else will kill him for you, maybe," is the go-to plan here. Just plant a bomb in Megs' quarters and put a round through his brain module after he's been disabled. I mean hell, Atomizer is an assassin. He should know how to kill someone without over-complicating it.

And then on top of it all, if you really do need to resort to a zany scheme, Tailgate is quite possibly the worst patsy you could have chosen. Firstly because he's dumb as shit (is it just me, or has he actually gotten dumber as time went on just to make this plot more plausible?) and secondly because, as we saw, Cyclonus will ruin everything.

And then, looping everything back to the nudge gun...why not just use that to compel someone into doing this, rather than spending two years grooming the utterly useless Tailgate for it? Or, hell, compel Megatron to shoot his own head off! I know that Getaway said he spent time getting it back, but if getting his hands on it was always in the cards it would have been a much better plan than the one they actually executed.
inflatable dalek wrote:Well, no one actually says Cyclonus is dead, but the scene is played as such a big and operatic death scene (appropriately for C) that there's no way this end sequence won't seem really, really silly if it turns out he's just badly wounded/seemingly dead but going to be back for the end of season 2. It actually reminded me (spoiler for an episode of TV less than a week old)
Because of how the series has handled death in the past, it's kind of a tricky situation. Characters have endured far worse than this and come back from it, so if Cyclonus is dead that's pretty silly. On the other hand, if Cyclonus survives after that melodramatic death scene, that's pretty silly too.
Red Dave Prime wrote:Not Loving the LL security team - these guys do not fit in with the way anyone on the lostlight has been potrayed. Also, they are too trigger happy by far. I could have bought them reacting to megatron this way but I think anyone else, even cyclonus wouldnt have been taken down in this manner. Also, they seem to have come out of the blue
Yeah, I can't see how a ship as lax as the LL could have a crazy kill squad for security guards. This is the same ship where blowing up hand grenades in the corridors is considered a recreational sport. I mean, these guys work for Ultra Magnus, the guy who's been known to stand there and let people shoot at him until he's finished reading them their rights. We're meant to think he'd stand for this sort of behaviour?

But I think the weird feeling here comes down to Roberts trying really hard to be "topical". Unfortunately the "triggerhappy cops gun down a misunderstood minority" analogy doesn't really play considering Cyclonus just put a sword through the chest of the ship's captain. I mean, you're not going to see a Black Lives Matter protest erupt if the cops gun down a guy who just assassinated Obama...

(As an aside, wouldn't it have been better to call Megatron and/or security instead of rushing in throwing swords at all and sundry?)
Knightdramon wrote:The Atomizer team-up came out of the blue though---could he be another deep, deep undercover agent of Prowl? Masking as a decorator, having high skills with an unusual [crossbow] weapon? Especially since Atomizer once tried to get all potential "nay-sayers" out of Rodimus's crew with his fake list.
Did it? We've known since the "fake list" incident that Atomizer was up to no good. It actually made a lot of sense to me that he'd pop up here. Though, just how stupid is Rodimus to allow him back on the ship after he what he pulled? I mean, I know that Roberts is writing him like he's a dim-witted five year old in defiance of all his previous characterization, but even by MTMTE Rodimus standards it's amazingly stupid not to do something about the guy who gave you a fake enemies' list and tried to get you to toss people off the ship for nefarious reasons.

The biggest problem here, though, is just how rushed this all feels. We go from zero to insane assassination scheme in about two pages with no explanation for half of what's happening. The ideas that came to fruition needed to be seeded far more thoroughly in earlier issues in order for this to have the kind of impact it should have, and they weren't. It sure is a good thing we wasted so many issues earlier on dicking around with Necrobots and Swerveworlds and femmebot dance parties and personality ticks, wasn't it?

TL;DR: **** this issue. Roberts could and should have done better.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:50 pm

Warcry wrote:I never thought I'd say this about something that Roberts penned, but I feel dumber for having read this. It felt like it should have had Shane McCarthy's name on the cover.

A fuller reply later but: Blimey. Warcry unleashed the McCarthy analogy!
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Post by Denyer » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:23 pm

&quot wrote:he's dumb as shit
And I wouldn't have been upset to see Tailgate offed. In an equation between deceitful idiot child and ancient pragmatist the potential for character writing is very heavily weighed to the latter.

On the other hand, it also made him rather out of place in the cast. Megs as Magneto is a more natural fit.

Some gorgeous colouring in this.

I can buy the patsy plan. It's overcomplicated shit like that that gives credibility to such a long war, and all of a sudden there's a period of relatively less conflict but schemers (such as Brainstorm) and schemes don't stop.

I don't really buy Whirl as that much of a moral void at this point. Getaway's come-on felt too compressed into the page count and as people have already remarked, Tailgate is dumb as shit. Most characters wouldn't view mind surgeon fingers as cool even if they'd spent most of their life underground. So, a bit clunky. Autobot guards... enough firepower to fend off Megatron for a bit, maybe. No real names amongst them? Didn't feel engaged by that. Plus Cyclonus has generally been written as nails, right back to the Unicron powered comics version.
The biggest problem here, though, is just how rushed this all feels.
Yes.

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Post by Unicron » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:06 am

Warcry wrote:Did it? We've known since the "fake list" incident that Atomizer was up to no good. It actually made a lot of sense to me that he'd pop up here. Though, just how stupid is Rodimus to allow him back on the ship after he what he pulled? I mean, I know that Roberts is writing him like he's a dim-witted five year old in defiance of all his previous characterization, but even by MTMTE Rodimus standards it's amazingly stupid not to do something about the guy who gave you a fake enemies' list and tried to get you to toss people off the ship for nefarious reasons.
Maybe I'm overthinking it but I'm not sure Rodimus could just boot Atomizer, at least without consequence. The minute Rodders tells him to leave, that's when news of the list comes out. Yeah, it was fake, but Rodimus didn't know that. He willingly took it and read it when he thought it was real, after saying that even looking at it could end him.

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Post by Terome » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:30 am

These problems that come up are all definitely problems - the gung-ho security guards I can just about buy now that I know that it's Strafe From Kimia heading them up combined with Denyer's suggestion of Megatron-level firepower. It is a case of the tail wagging the dog, plotwise, though.

Same thing with Getaway's wacky plan that could definitely have been less wacky. I don't mind this one as it was entertaining. MTMTE doesn't really have villains or doesn't really believe in them, so it's nice to have a Dick Dastardly in there. As for the moral calculus, one dumb-as-shit Tailgate for a mass murderer who is bound to cause trouble (plus his assassin cat) is fairly sound. As we've seen in this comic and elsewhere, these guys really don't have a functioning justice system beyond Fort Max receiving the worst possible play therapy, Prime pretending to be a judge and Xaaron who does nothing. But then we come back to the problem of why nobody has even tried to wack Megatron apart from Whirl and his co-conspirators. Maybe because they respect Prime so very very much? It doesn't really wash.

I'm not too bothered about all this - limits of serialised fiction and all that - and for me this issue was really tense and effective during the act of reading it. For all the loops that had to be jumped through, the scene with Whirl and Cyclonus was deft and had a good sense of momentum behind it all. I hadn't realised till Warcry pointed it out that Whirl will have forgotten that now! Rats.

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