Transformers: More than Meets the Eye season two discussion

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Auntie Slag
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Post by Auntie Slag » Thu May 19, 2016 7:40 pm

I'm forgetting so many facts these days. I was reading a couple of back issues, and in issue 40 (and its sooo much better than I gave it credit for at the time), there's a panel at the end where Megatron has Ravage bring him one of Brainstorm's briefcases.

One interesting thing is that in the previous panel Perceptor and Rodimus are destroying every last bit of Brainstorm's time travel equipment. When Rodimus says "Is that everything?", Perceptor replies "Every last piece".

Why is Perceptor lying? Someone as fastidious as him would know whether they have burnt everything or not. Unless the briefcase has come from the alternate Lost Light.

Whatever the case, Megatron now has a briefcase. What does that mean in terms of his body having been blown apart by Tarn in the current issue, and what can he do with a single component of a time machine?

Also, I didn't attribute the narrative in the final few pages of Issue 40 as belonging to Ten, and why does he adore Minimus? Is it possible that Ten is somehow Dominus? Or linked to him in some way? You know, in the way it took Hunter to control the drone Insecticons. Tyrest could have been lying when he said the Legislators were simply acting on the orders of the law.

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Fri May 20, 2016 6:15 am

Would feel a massive stretch for Ten to be dominus. I always figured the briefcase was because there was an extra one from the Alt lost light incident but it wouldn't be too tricky for Ravage to get one anyway. I doubt its an issue of Perceptor lying.

And whats this with Hunter controlling Drone Insecticons?

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Post by Auntie Slag » Fri May 20, 2016 10:24 am

Red Dave Prime wrote:And whats this with Hunter controlling Drone Insecticons?
Ah yeah, I was referring to the 'All Hail Megatron' story that predates MTMTE, sorry!

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Post by Patapsco » Fri May 20, 2016 11:08 am

I don't think he was controlling the drones. He was hooked into a machine and used to hack the Autobot network as I remember, though it's midday, I'm hungover and it's All Hail Megatron
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Post by Auntie Slag » Fri May 20, 2016 11:21 am

Ok then a more fair example would be The Machination using Sunstreaker to control the Sunstreaker clones. I remember there's a bit in Escalation or Devastation where Sunstreaker specifically says this to Hunter. It's a bit ambiguous whether he was controlling them directly, but Sunstreaker does say something like: "They're making me do things... hurt my friends" etc.

So I was kind of imagining something similar with Tyrest doing brain manipulation stuff on Dominus. If only Ratchet, First Aid or Lotty can find a way to make Ten articulate his thoughts properly they may find they've got a incredibly smart ally whose not psychologically messed up like the rest of them!

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Post by Patapsco » Fri May 20, 2016 10:10 pm

And in the fuller preview, Nautica becomes Amica Endura with everyone. Well Brainstorm, Rung, Skids and Nightbeat
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Post by zigzagger » Sun May 22, 2016 3:02 am

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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Post by Patapsco » Sun May 22, 2016 2:37 pm

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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Post by Patapsco » Wed May 25, 2016 6:31 am

And... I take it all back. I take it all back. I'm fully back on board. HOLY SH*T!
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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed May 25, 2016 7:40 pm

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.


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Post by Knightdramon » Wed May 25, 2016 7:55 pm

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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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed May 25, 2016 8:03 pm

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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Post by Patapsco » Wed May 25, 2016 8:05 pm

Knightdramon wrote: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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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri May 27, 2016 12:55 pm

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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Post by Patapsco » Fri May 27, 2016 5:37 pm

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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Post by Knightdramon » Fri May 27, 2016 5:51 pm

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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Post by Patapsco » Fri May 27, 2016 5:56 pm

Optimus annexing Earth was a brilliant idea, but what's come afterwards has been very, very bad
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Post by Red Dave Prime » Fri May 27, 2016 9:54 pm

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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Post by Red Dave Prime » Sat May 28, 2016 9:28 am

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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Post by Knightdramon » Sat May 28, 2016 9:59 am

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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