Transformers: More than Meets the Eye season two discussion

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Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #29

Post by zigzagger » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:40 pm

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #29 three-page preview is up @ iTunes.
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Post by zigzagger » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:44 pm

Well... that addresses one of my concerns from the previous issue. The same issue that was just released today.
SPOILER! (select to read)
Tailgate is adorable. I can't stand it. I have another big dopey grin on my face.

I spy Grotusque. And Hot Spot! Awesome, another Protectobot. One more and we'll have the complete set!

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Post by Death's Head » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:17 pm

I've not read Windblade but it's had a good reception from what I can gather. I'm all MTMTE, these days, which is what makes the month-long wait so interminable!
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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:40 pm

Windblade had a solid first issue, and RID was pretty fun but had a cliffhanger that could turn the whole thing as enjoyable as having your balls licked by Max Clifford depending on how the resolution is handled.

Very much enjoyed this issue, but it's hard to find a huge amount to say that isn't just flat out speculation because, as Ziggy says, it is all set up.

Loved Prime's no-nonsense attitude to the trial (though based on RID it does seem Galvatron used his six months more productively- did no one bother to wonder what the remaining Decepticons were up to?), the crew auditions, Megatron remembering Rung but Rung not remembering the day he met Megatron; the Megatron/Whirl fight and the fact Whirl was working with a group of others to a plan rather than it being random aggression...

Yeah, there was a lot to like here and very little to be annoyed by. At a pinch, maybe the deja vu bit, pointing out in a post modern fashion the "What do we do with Megatron as a prisoner?" thing is something Roberts has already done doesn't stop it being a plot he's already done. But that's real nit picking stuff.

I guessing the story of Terminus (a nod at Blake's 7?) will form the third part of the Chaos Shadow trilogy.
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Post by Death's Head » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:35 pm

as enjoyable as having your balls licked by Max Clifford
:D

Now there's an image! And I was about to have me tea...
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Post by Knightdramon » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:49 pm

Interesting, very interesting.

Greatest moment was for me, Chromedome sulking around in the dark room listening to the message from Rewind over and over again.

There's also other mysteries and plot twists that I'm sure Roberts didn't really like getting into; he basically has like 3 issues to go from Megatron: nearly executed to Megatron: Captain of a crew of autobots.

The coffin is very, very forced. It's like the one thing from S1's throaway caution lines that wasn't done, and he puts it right in front of our faces here. :lol:

Did not understand Swerve's "prank" at all, not when he acted so serious against the accusation.

Laughed at how it was clearly an interview and how it mirrored my last interview as well; "main" person is one you know really well, second person is somebody you generally know a bit, last person is somebody you never met until that day [that's exactly how it happened with me :lol: ]

Dissapearing things [and bots] on the Lost Light so far. Whirl working with someone [chances are its Prowl].

Generally there are some parallels with issue 1. Whirl getting into an unprovoked fight with somebody. An audition/interview of some sorts [Red Alert in issue 1, Swerve now]. Somebody scheming with somebody else off panel [Prowl in issue 1, Whirl here]. And others I probably can't recall/piece together right now. :up:

Also, anybody else catch the fact that Rung mentions a very dear female friend of his bringing him Megatron's book, then a few pages later, Nautica mentions how much she LOVES books, but on the first two pages, she doesn't even know Rung's name? Weird coincidence? Hints?
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Post by Denyer » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:52 pm

Good to have MTMTE back, isn't it?

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Post by Terome » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:30 pm

Ravage!

More thoughts tomorrow. But this was good in the way a long, hot bath is good.

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Post by Death's Head » Thu May 01, 2014 1:08 am

I forgot, that bit where Megatron freaks the cluck out at Chromedome...that was amazing. To see Megs so terrified! Chromedome was a bit frightening this issue, wasn't he? Sitting alone in his hab suite, doing who-knows-what with that special hand...
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Post by Warcry » Thu May 01, 2014 2:34 am

Megatron being terrified of Chromedome was awesome, I agree. A nice touch. I can't recall the last time I ever saw Megatron afraid of anything.

Ravage sneaking around looks like it'll lead to some entertaining scenes, too.

The brief introductions to the new Autobots were cool too, though Swerve was even more of an unlikable dick in those scenes than usual.

Not much actually happened here, but that's okay. Lots of setup, but it looks like what it's setting up is going to be a lot of fun so I'm happy to wait. And the fact that it took around half an hour for me to read to read the issue means that, setup or not, this issue had lots of meat to it.

My one nitpick? The meeting between Whirl and Megatron felt sadly anticlimactic, at least to me.

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Post by Auntie Slag » Thu May 01, 2014 3:01 pm

I loved the Whirl/Megatron scenes, especially the opening line "What made you think it was me"?

So much wordiness to this issue, and that usually means it'll be an issue that's leafed through more and more over the coming months as the clues and reveals all relate back to it.

The art once again is excellent and feels very homely now. I like Rung taking off his glasses for a moment, the revisionism and perhaps a nod towards George Lucas (if you want to take it that way), and Burcham's colouring and shading was particularly effective as Megatron leans forward with intensity follwing Rung's "Who is Terminus" comment. He looks very solid and powerful.

No explanation for the power surge yet, which is very intriguing, and Megatron's fear of Chromedome was very well done, but what does this say about his relationship with Soundwave, who may not be a mnemosurgeon, but he can still read thoughts.

When Skids and Nightbeat are chatting on their way to see Chromedome the writing on the wall behind them says 'Fuel Furnace'.

As they head back the way they came the writing on the wall has had letters removed so it says: 'FU LF R ACE', is that linked to the missing number on Chromedome's door? And why isn't Nightbeat paying attention to it?

Does Megatron also feel sorry for Whirl being an Empurata victim?

Nice to see Sandstorm at the trial decked out in his new Generations toy mold, guess that removes him from the DJD line-up. Also that Broadside is back on-line. I thought he got crushed or killed by Prowlestator?

[Edit] And Prime's 'Chief Justice' tiara was cool.
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Post by Auntie Slag » Thu May 01, 2014 3:44 pm

Oh yeah, the Megatron/Whirl fight was also very effective because lots of people love Whirl (myself definitely included), whether because of his nuttiness, his sick humour or sympathy for his past. My first thought was he was going to get annihilated, so there was a bit of concern there.

And yet in this fight I was on Megatron's side... and it again showed Megatron's excellent manipulation of things (one short statement 4 million years ago has determined Whirls lifespan, and ego).

That's some pretty excellent writing, eh?

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu May 01, 2014 5:21 pm

I'm interested to see what has caused such a drastic degeneration in Chromedome's mental condition, the most telling thing is him being prepared to finger Megatron in the flashback when it can't occur that long after he point blank refused to do it to Metroplex in Dark Cybertron because he promised Rewind. What happened in so short a time to change his mind and put him on the dark path?

Considering how close their relationship was shown to be in that issue of RID presumably Ravage is still working for Soundwave, so I wouldn't put the missing Pyrobots being down to him beyond the realms of possibility. Small acts of sabotage and disappearances to soften up the ship for the DJD perhaps?

You know, one thing I was thinking yesterday. Both Windblade and RID (beyond my Schrödinger's cat issue with the cliffhanger to the later- I won't be sure if it works or not till issue 29 comes out) were very enjoyable reads for me. But this issue of MTMTE- despite being fairly average by the standards of its own series- is really, really in a completely different league. It's almost a shame for the other authors- pre-2009 both those issues would have pissed over most of the competition. But what James Roberts is doing has raised the whole game to an entirely new level.

I'm a fairly firm believer that a fairly quick turn over in writers on franchises they didn't create is generally a good thing. There are exceptions of course, but a lot of the time anyone who works for more than five or six years straight on a franchise tend to have used up all their good ideas and start running on vapours.

I mean, there's no more cautionary tale for writers than Branon Braga. When watching season 5 of The Next Generation I was reminded how well regarded he was by fans at the time for knocking out so many fantastic ground breaking high concept episodes like Cause and Effect (which did Groundhog Day before Groundhog Day). Ten years later and the end of Enterprise and he's a joke best remembered for Borg Tits and technobabble. If he'd left around the time of First Contact he'd have most of his reputation intact.

But, like a demented David Tennant, right now I don't want James Roberts to go. And I have the terrible feeling he's unlikely to last a full five years anyway despite his fanishness- He's likely got other writing ambitions (amongst other things, I'd like to see what he could do with a Big Finish Doctor Who audio, they've used at least one other IDW writer so it's not impossible) and is more than smart enough to have spotted that Transformers often winds up a ghetto that creators struggle to escape from and will be keen for it not to be his entire writing career, however proud he is of the work. The equally smart Nick Roche is currently pushing his non-TF work hard for similar reasons.

Plus, with all the praise and accolades the series is getting, it's likely doors to whatever other dream jobs he wants to do will open more smoothly at the moment. I think one way we call all help prevent this is to stop going on about how great the comic is and treat it like a big secret so no one else ever offers him any work. I think the destruction of his career ambitions are a small price to pay for the continuation of this excellent comic and can't see why any sane man would object to that.

Also... having thought more about the Terminus thing, the more I think it's a deliberate Blake's 7 nod. After all, that episode came at the end of the season where the ship with the ill-fitted group of misfits on it had its original, idealistic but with an increasing dark streak, commander replaced by a darker, more cynical and possibly psychotic character who tried to follow on with the original crusade with disastrous results in the end.

[The fact that same year has them finding what is basically a coffin in space in Sarcophagus is probably a bit of a reach though].

Also... Rodimus is at least tangentally involved in a sneaky plot behind the scenes? Has he learnt nothing from the Overlord thing?

Also... that coffin sure looks like one of the ones they fired off into space after the Overlord affair. Has it been picked up and used as a protective shield by someone- either with luscious lips or a camera for an eye- that might have been floating about nearby?
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Post by Death's Head » Thu May 01, 2014 5:37 pm

Regarding Chromedome, there's also that spooky bit where he's about to (I can't believe I'm going to write this) 'finger' himself when the Rewind-recording suddenly ends on an "ARGH!"

What's going on there? :o
As they head back the way they came the writing on the wall has had letters removed so it says: 'FU LF R ACE', is that linked to the missing number on Chromedome's door? And why isn't Nightbeat paying attention to it?
Remember what Rung says a few pages earlier - to get the measure of a writer don't look at what he leaves on the page. Look at what he takes away.

Which makes "8EUN". I've got no idea!
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Post by Auntie Slag » Thu May 01, 2014 5:52 pm

I think Chromedome’s darkness is due to actually having to deal with death. He didn’t erase the memories of Rewind like he did with his other Conjunx Endura’s, so he’s properly wallowing in it.

The last time we saw him in a dodgy way was telling Tailgate the story of how he and Rewind first met, in a Relinquishment clinic where Chromedome had gone to die.

So I guess he’s a bit of a Cure fan. Actually I don’t know why The Cure get so many knocks for that, they’ve got a lot of optimistic songs too. Maybe he doesn’t care for those ones? I like Pictures of You and Friday I’m in Love equally.

Also it was clear that Rewind looked after him and kept him from being a morose git, helping him with his nightmares and so on.

As much a shame it would be if/when Roberts moves on, I really don’t mind because he’s done the best Transformers series ever. I’m sure he’s got more than enough nous to keep his stories and characters fresh, and would take a breather rather than produce something his heart wasn’t in.

Anyway, he sounds like a happy bunny at the moment, particularly with the one-page text summation thing at the end of the issue. Maybe it says more about us Brits and a (grossly over-generalised) pessimistic viewpoint; "Ooh he's too good for us, he's gonna get wind and march off to Hollywood, you see if he doesn't"!

So stiff upper lip and all that. Any sign of deserting the cause and he gets shot in the head, proper WWI.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu May 01, 2014 6:43 pm

Cliffy has just pointed out to me on Facebook that I've got my Termi stories mixed up. Terminal was the Blake's 7 episode, Terminus was the Doctor Who where Nyssa takes her skirt off for no reason other than to give the boys in the audience a good look at her knickers.

Bugger.
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Post by Auntie Slag » Thu May 01, 2014 6:49 pm

I didn't understand any of that other than Cliffy, skirt and bugger.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu May 01, 2014 6:50 pm

Auntie Slag wrote:I didn't understand any of that other than Cliffy, skirt and bugger.
Now there's a slash fic for you.

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Post by Terome » Thu May 01, 2014 8:12 pm

Okay, have got my thoughts organised. Let's do this page-by-page.

Page 1: Nautica's first introduction. The CC gun conversation is cute with a tremendous punchline. I get the sense here that we're going to see a lot more of Brainstorm. Perceptor and Ratchet are nowhere to be seen.

Page 2: Brainstorm doesn't consider himself an 'intellectual sort?' The guy who is always trying to out-Perceptor Perceptor and lie (maybe) about being forged? That's interesting, isn't it?
If we don't get an issue that is entirely a copy of The Lost Light Insider then we got robbed.

Page 3: Can't make out who is Red Dwarfing the Lost Light here. Why does Ratchet look so upset to hear about going to Cyberutopia? I like how Starscream is actually the most composed person in the room for this very tense sequence.

Page 4: Prime is not happy with Prowl, is he? This lines up nicely with Robots In Disguise. The line about Megatron's internal organs is all sorts of fascinating. Makes sense considering all the injuries he's had, but clashes with the portals and dead ends that Whirl discovers later. HMMM!
Phobos and Desecrus, huh? Stories for another day.

Page 5: I said it before but wow, that is not a fair set up. This is a show trial and Prime knows it.
Thunderclash gets a 90s style logo, which is appropriate. Rodimus' false concern for him isn't fooling Prime but I do wonder what this talk of expediency means...

Page 6: The fusion cannon joke is a bit too goofy but somehow had to make it eventually.
Ravage! Yay! Robert's mention of how emotional that 'King of Shadows' text story made him was a good sign.
So is Megatron saying that Rung is one of his most 'signficant encounters?'

Page 7: Megatron's mention of making a decision in the confined space of an alt mode... is that telling us that he changed his mind on something after Hell's Point? It's a nice reference to the link forged between Costa's stories and the Megatron Spotlight too.
Am I being dim but is the moment with Rung's glasses supposed to be an example of revisionism? Those were just his eyes until right then. Is that the point being made? I'm quite impressed with the theme running through Terminus' redacted dedication, the missing Pyrobots / letters, Rewind's message and what might be the metatextual acknowledgement that Megatron has to be a good guy now. It has a good mouthfeel.

Page 8: The significance of the X-ray blackout is lost on me. And what does Megatron mean about refuelling? Attachments seem to be another theme being fired up for this story.

Page 9: Really thought Riptide would turn out to be an ex-Decepticon. Aquabat is exactly the kind of Transformer a nine year old would come up with but then would have looked right at home alongside guys like Apeface and Snapdragon. He is my new favourite. The Bluestreak-looks-like-Prowl joke is a lot like the fusion cannon overcompensation joke - had to be made sooner or later.

Page 10: Nautica gets another introduction. Tailgate gets none! I don't mind really - the next issue looks to be very Tailgate-heavy. Nautica is very likeable too and is every inch a Roberts original. Unpacking her interests will be fun. I like that Crosscut is Swerve's friend now, that's nice.

Page 11: High-and-mighty-back-from-the-dead-thinks-he's-all-that-maverick-investigator makes me chuckle. Also the idea that Nightbeat just bursts into rooms, correcting people.

Page 12: It's true, Megatron being frightened of Chromedome is fantastic. The Autobots got up to some horrible things before and during the war and Chromedome was among the worst of them. Prime trying to rationalise that is quite sad, in a way.

Page 13: "And I don't think that would look very GOOD, do you?" - yikes.
What is the favour, what is on the communicube, what becomes of Rodimus? Gah! I am guessing that Megatron knows something about the Knights that the Autobots don't.

Page 14: The missing letters are neat and mysterious and all but poor Chromedome! People don't just get over things in one smooth gradient.

Page 15: So the big question is, 'why is only Whirl out to kill Megs?' I'm sure we'll get to that. Megatron trying to start a conversation after suffering the first hit is huge, by the way.

Page 16: I know he's not fighting back and he's got shot internals and so on but Whirl really does a number on Megatron in this fight, doesn't he? There are deliberate parallels with his fight with Cyclonus and one of them is that he could feasibly do just as well in a straight fight. I wonder how much trouble he gave Overlord before he used him as a club.

Page 17: If 'autobiography' was making it sound small then 'diary' must be positively emasculating. The revelation about Whirl's longevity is indeed very interesting and grafts on a new dimension to him. I was all for him being sidelined for lack of material but I am happy to be wrong on these things.

Page 18: Hmm. This is all sorts of set-up. It's a great way of taking Megatron's overpowered space bridge power and turning it into something a lot more intriguing. Is this what will kill the old man?

Page 19: I suppose Whirl will get a replacement claw along with a new arm. The Rewind thing is fascinating. Someone on another board mentioned Memento - maybe Chromedome has edited the footage himself and then erased his memory of doing so to give himself hope, the same way he very well might have done with Rewind and Dominus Ambus.

Page 20-21: That is how you use a double splash page! Broadside does fill out a page nicely but it would have been nice for Devastator's rampage to have had some impact. Doesn't really matter. I'm taking the implication here that Sandstorm is as much of a big gun as Ultra Magnus and Broadside and this is cool.
Prowl's long list of accusations is quite upsetting, really. We are not being asked to root for Megatron in any way, shape or form. He truly is a monster. GUILTY!

Page 22: Oh no wait there's Perceptor. Looks like Nautica gets to be on the bridge with the A-list. The important question is: Where is Mainframe?!

Those are all my thoughts. They are okay thoughts.

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Post by Denyer » Thu May 01, 2014 9:04 pm

Terome wrote:This is a show trial and Prime knows it.
Makes it all the more interesting how he's going to end up leading the LL.

Can't form coherent sentences, but this was awesome from beginning to end. Concept + execution + continuity + great production values.

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