Lost Light #8 *SPOILERS*

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Lothar Hex, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. hardlurk

    hardlurk Well-Known Member

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    Here's the thing. When people come into the thread and are like, "ugh! gay robots! ew! trans girls! these things make the comic bad!", that's not a value-neutral thing. I'm not gonna think, "oh, that's just an issue of taste, it's no different than if they wrote that root beer was gross". It's a judgement, and I'm going to put it to question.

    And it isn't (just) that I find such distaste distasteful, it's that it's accompanied by a lack of commitment to discussing the work beyond reporting on the state of their enjoyment, how it made them feel, whether it was to their taste. The demand that you're making, to keep everything on that level, is a demand to be divorced from the responsibility of making a judgement. Imagine if someone outright said, "Furman's run was my favorite because I hate women", and then tried to hide behind "that's just my opinion, maaaaaaan".

    But the same thing also happens from the opposite direction -- "oh! trans lesbians! that makes the book good!". That can be questioned too, no matter how happy people are about it.

    Like, the big thing to me is, why do people even want validation from Roberts/IDW/Hasbro in the first place? It's weird that that's the direction comics and the fandom surrounding them are going in -- pay $4 a month and the creators will give you a pat on the head and be your friend on twitter.

    And it's directly related to the content of the books. With Megatron's " redemption", the social antagonism has been papered over with the promise that the traumatic encounter with the Other can be avoided if only everyone would learn to recognize and respect each other's identities. I've chosen to side with the Other.
     
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  2. ZeroiaSD

    ZeroiaSD Autobot

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    But there is a thing where people *liking* it is not the same as saying *that bit is what makes the book good*.


    "Oh, hey, a series did X! I almost never see that, and not before in this type of series," is a pretty common type of comment with a variety of Xs. An unusual twist, a facet of setting, whatever. It's something that interests people.

    It doesn't mean they aren't considering other aspects of the story.

    It's like, "I love red cars," "Pssh, red doesn't make the car good." - the second comment is missing the point, the first one isn't saying the color is what makes it good, just that they like that on a car.


    They don't want validation from them specifically, they want to be represented in the stories that they are personally reading because they enjoy that, and it happens to be here. There's also the fact that stories as a whole make up the public consciousness of people and being shown in them is how ideals spread and is arguably a deep and important thing in that so seeing a good sign there is nice, but we don't have to get that deep. "They like being represented- or people they support being represented, and enjoy that," is all that's needed.

    And... if you've never been in a situation where you feel you aren't represented long-term and then suddenly you are? Well, then your experience differs! But that doesn't invalidate theirs, or how it is a really fun thing for those who don't see it much, and for those who have vicarious fun for others in that. Or others who simply want more variety of characters in their stories because variety is enjoyable in storytelling.

    You have a much too narrow view of why people enjoy this.

    Now, personally, I don't see that. Megatron's redemption is all about healing old wounds and that sort of thing, but his relationship with Optimus and the Autobots had very little to do with that at all. He had simply made the choice to seek power and control due to lessons learned from his experience, even while being congnizent of who and what Optimus was the whole time. He didn't learn a lesson in 'recognizing and respecting other's identities,' he learned his way didn't work, and he saw Starscream succeeded where he failed and he needed to try something new because that is what we call 'rock bottom,' and Bumblebee reminded him of who he was once.
     
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  3. Rockdown

    Rockdown Well-Known Member

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    If the writing was better and the stories more engaging, readers probably wouldn't have an issue with the surge in female characters, transgender robots(?!) and robots getting married (conjunx ritus).
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  4. Bass X0

    Bass X0 King of Muay Thai

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    who got married?
     
  5. GoLion

    GoLion Sé que me estás robando

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    Was is it when people take an aspect of an argument and talk about that instead of addressing the actual argument? They then proceed to add a lot of unnecessary fluff to a post to come across as 'intellectually superior'. No one has said the book is good because of the trans lesbians. At most, people are saying the trans nature of those two is interesting in the universe of transformers. Y'know those robots that are all about CHANGE.

    Oh, and isn't fiction meant to elicit some sort of an emotional reaction? Roberts is trying to get those emotional responses out of the people reading his work. That's the point of fiction. Fiction = entertainment. I'm also pretty sure entertainment is actually the point of these comics. It's meant to conjure up emotions. People talking about how a work of fiction makes them FEEL IS THE POINT, MAAAAAN.

    Another thing. Can the people that want validation from Roberts please post that they want validation from Roberts. I've not seen that. It's not like I haven't been on this board for a number of years, including the 12 or so that I used to lurk.

    And there is nothing wrong with wanting representation in a work of fiction. People want to be able to relate to the characters they're reading. Variety is always a good thing.

    And I can only respond with a big ol' YIKES to that 'Other' comment. Conflict CAN be lessened by people having empathy and mutual respect. That's how society works. Being an edgelord doesn't work in the real world. Maybe it does in your specific echo chambers.

    "If people don't think the way I think they're stupid-wrongs. Pleb."

    "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down".

    I actually like the paradigm shift happening in the pages of transformers. I think it's necessary and interesting from a story perspective. The problem, as you wrote, is that the stories are just not good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  6. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    If you criticize a work and include the passage "oh by the way *transphobic thing* but it wouldn't matter if there weren't *other things* wrong with the work" then you have added nothing to the critique and subtracted nothing from my perception of your transphobia.

    I mean, if you want to say "I think the exchange was a waste of time the issue couldn't afford," reasonable people can disagree.

    If you want to say "I don't find this depiction of gender in Transformers to be plausible," reasonable people can disagree (...carefully).

    Drive-by "WTFs" don't really add anything, and they detract from board culture.
     
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  7. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    I think it's more a case of: trans lesbian characters is something to be valued. It's a positive *aspect* of the book. And for some people, it's a crucial positive aspect that means they're willing to overlook other aspects.
     
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  8. WilyMech

    WilyMech Well-Known Member

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    I am going tp say pn the matter of gender. To me Transformers are neither asexual, genderless, or having gender to begin with. If a Transformers looks at the frame as form of clothes like it is to humans it does make sense. Not all clothes work on all body types and colors are matter of preference. So if a thinking process is more like an organic and a Transformers identifies with that also works. I don't see Rewind/Chromedome as gay neither do I see Lug/Anode as lesbion couples for one thing they are not organic and do not reproduce in a binary way It does make sense for Transformers to have romantic relationships because everyone needs to have companionship and relationships. They are too social creatures not solitary. Optimus Prime, Megatron and even Rewind look male because the humaniod shape in root move fits in our perception of what a male looks like. Just as Nautica, Arcee, Firestar, and other females look like that because of our perception. Looking like a gender does not mean the same thing to Cybertronian. Basically with Arcee being a she is always had been a she is because of her confusion. It was introduce as gender and if you look like a female is one thing but being an actual female is another. Arcee look like a female and probably never really notice the difference from other Cybertronians. Until Jhakius forced the concept of binary gender on her which is alien. This is my interpretations of things.
     
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  9. TattooedRobot

    TattooedRobot Functioning Addict TFW2005 Supporter

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    Interesting. Roberts has been doing this gender thing a long time in these books. This issue might be heavy on it but it didn't even cross my mind when I tossed #8 in the bin. I love Rewind and Cyclonus cause Roberts wrote them well and they were drawn beautifully. I literally could give a fuck about Lug and whoever cause their stories suck and the art sucks. What is going on in this title? I hop in and have no idea where we are and why I should care these idiots. I am not writer just a fan but it strikes me that books plot or structure or something is fucked. I need a reason to care about these characters. Please Roberts I want to hang in there but I need a reason.....
    I just want to be clear that unhappiness around this title is not all centered on the gender stuff. I actually think it's a strong characterization tool but god everything else is suffering in the book...
     
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  10. General Magnus

    General Magnus Da Custodes of the Emprah

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    So, 5 Clans of Knights? I guess we saw one of them.
     
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  11. ZeroiaSD

    ZeroiaSD Autobot

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    And personally, I think even this bit (which is just at the end of the issue) aside, I'm liking how this new story is going.

    Bots of a specific job are being murdered. We have a red herring that suggests another, unrelated mystery. We find out the first mystery ties back in to a long-hanging mystery, plus Nautica is doing something creepy. Granted it's just a single issue and it doesn't guarantee that it'll go well or stick the landing (I like Skids but I don't want Nautica to bring him back, a death actually sticking would help the feel of consequences a lot), but this could be pretty fun. It's not an overly-self-referential or jokey thing, and hopefully it'll have better pacing than the last arc.
     
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  12. Joeis4Jord4n

    Joeis4Jord4n Well-Known Member

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    Hello new favorite person
     
  13. RazorclawX

    RazorclawX Campaign Oracle

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    I think you're confusing the idea that people are willing to discuss their opinions with people wanting to speak their minds. Those two concepts are not the same, nor should they be treated the same. That you want to make the latter the former is where you're finding issue with.

    Blasting people for wanting to do the latter is just as bad as wanting them to stay silent.
     
  14. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    Representation is a very important thing, however, as a writer you should also take care not only of your book providing a representation... But also of it being a good book overall.

    Because, ultimately, people aren't reading Kamala Khan or Miles Morales just because they're a representation but mostly because of them being a fun characters to read about.

    Anode's mostly annoying and that's hardly justified by whatever representation the character provides.
     
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  15. Rodimus Prime

    Rodimus Prime Sola Gratia, Sola Fide TFW2005 Supporter

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    If Tumblr makes up half the comics fanbase, then I found the reason for the low sales numbers. Tumblrites don't buy comics anywhere near the numbers regular fans of a property do. If they did, Marvel would be swimming in cash instead of bleeding like a stuck pig.

    Not to single you out, but no, it really isn't. If someone cannot relate to a character because they do not look like them in some superficial manner, that's their problem. My favorite characters from SOIAF are Arya and Tyrion, and I'm neither a little girl assassin nor a dwarf missing a nose. Likewise, some of my favorite Dune characters include Miles Teg, Alia, and Leto II, and I'm not a ghola military genius who can move like The Flash, a tragic 'sorceress' (for lack of a better term) who goes mad, nor a giant freakin' sandworm god.

    This doesn't mean that you can't make a character have whatever nominal characteristics, but rather than trying to add a character which ticks off certain boxes, concentrate first on making them an interesting and worthwhile character. Then very few are going to care what specifics they have.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  16. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    Missing the point somewhat. 'Representation' isn't really to do with relateability - obviously, in fiction, we identify with pretty much whoever is in peril at any given time, and we pick favourites based on any number of factors.

    Representation is more about how fiction legitimises your identity by holding up a mirror to the world. If you're white, male, cis etc then you've grown up constantly surrounded by reflections of yourself in fiction - iterations of your sex, sexuality and ethnicity in a wide variety of roles in probably the majority of fictions you've ever encountered. You see facets of your identity represented everywhere.

    If you're trans, for example, then you see very little in fiction that reflects your right to exist. You are not 'represented' in these fictional universes. But it's not as if trans people can't read or invest in the majority of fiction because they can't 'relate' to anybody in it, is it?

    That said, can't really argue with this:

     
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  17. Rodimus Prime

    Rodimus Prime Sola Gratia, Sola Fide TFW2005 Supporter

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    Again, if one are seeking legitimization of their identity from fiction, it says more about the person who has a problem with it. I would caution delving too much further into this due to the possibility of violating the politics rules, but generally speaking, the less common your secondary characteristics are, the less representation of it in media, period. The example you used represents less than 1% of the population. While I have no problem if people want to create characters that match any given group, I cannot help but see the inherent danger in trying to justify one's existence through fiction. I think, therefore I am, and no amount of comic, literature, or TV characters who share some superficial trait with me can add to or take away from my right to exist.
     
  18. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    Perhaps to some extent, but that's not something you can comfortably assert when your own identity has been legitimised by fiction for as long as you've been alive and aware of it. How do you know you didn't need that? How do you know it wasn't a crucial part of your development?

    That's the nature of privilege, as I understand it - you're not aware of the crutches your own psyche leans on, or the trellises it has needed to grow.

    Do you see what I mean? It's a little like claiming you didn't need your parents or teachers to survive - you've already benefited from them and it's impossible to test whether you would have been fine without them.
     
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  19. Friendross

    Friendross Well-Known Member

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    Transformers rebirth when?
     
  20. lordcryotek

    lordcryotek Well-Known Member

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    This is how I feel about the issue, in a nutshell. A lot of the stuff he's trying to write about is very near and dear to my heart, I've personally had to deal with a mountain of judgement from my very conservative Christian family because of my own...proclivities...which actually led to me losing funding for my college education...yeah, still bitter. Either way, this is a subject that needs to be discussed, it really, really does, but what he is effectively doing is speaking for a community that he doesn't seem to wholly understand which wouldn't necessarily be a problem if he wasn't doing it so...poorly. It's kind of like Macklemore's One Love (though not nearly as bad)...good intentions, bad execution. Write a good story, and if it makes a point, that's great too, but the story should always be first.
     
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