Mood Whiplash in MTMTE, good or bad?

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Greyley, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Greyley

    Greyley Well-Known Member

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    Someone on Tumblr had some interesting comments about the fandom's reaction to the mood change in MTMTE. I thought this would be worth talking about, since the reactions do seem to be very polarized depending on who you're talking to. Here are the original comments, and my reactions below. Your thoughts?

    I'm one of the people who is disappointed at the disturbing turn that MTMTE is taking. I read LSotW and liked it a lot. The gory suicide mission theme was cool, and made the story intense and memorable. BUT, that doesn't mean I want EVERY TF story to be a gory suicide mission. Transformers is such a broad concept, there are many different story types and themes that can be explored, in a lot of creative ways. Just because one story had a certain mood or theme doesn't mean that every story from then on out should mindlessly ape it just because.

    Frankly, if all TF comics were nothing but a copy of LSotW, they would get boring FAST. Is TF fandom so small-minded that it wants the same story over and over and over? Is James Roberts a one-trick pony who can only write one kind of story in one way? I would hate to think so.

    MTMTE was a fun Star Trek-like adventure story, laced with humor and charm. It rekindled the interest of a lot of people in TF comics, and has even caught the attention of some new fans who have never touched an IDW comic before. Now it looks like it's descending into torture porn. Can you really blame some of the audience for being disappointed at the sudden mood whiplash? Stories are supposed to grow and evolve over time, but MTMTE has taken a sudden turn into gratuitous violence, and it's jarring. It feels a bit like false advertising...we were reeled in based on one type of story, and now that's been yanked away and replaced with something else that wasn't part of the original deal.

    I never assumed that MTMTE would be a clone of LSotW just because it has the same author. Maybe that was my mistake, but I would hate to think that I overestimated Mr Roberts like that. He has too much talent to write a clone of a previous story instead of advancing the fun creativity that was the first five issues of MTMTE. At this point I intend to keep reading, but I don't feel the unrestrained joy toward the next issue like I did before...and that's heartbreaking. I loved this story so much, and I want to continue loving it.
     
  2. dunerunner123

    dunerunner123 Optipottamus prime

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    Okay I disagree with this completely. I dont see how mtmte is taking a dark turn when mtmte has been somewhat dark since the first issue. And I dont see how its become a gory suicide mission comic at all. All we have seen that is anywhere near gory would be rung getting his head blown off, shocks death. and the most recent death in the preview for #7. I dont see a turn away from the comedy in the comic either, especially since we just had trailbreaker trashtalk max and tailgate complain about magnus's teachings. mtmte is an incredibly lighthearted transformers story yet at the same time it has its darker moments that help us take the comic seriously in the first place. If the comic was entirely made up of comedy then I would probably stop reading it. And lets be honest, people have only started thinking this way because rung got shot in the head, and he may not even be dead in the end.
     
  3. Jaicen

    Jaicen Well-Known Member

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    Really, tf comics have always been like this, it's just that it's more explicit now.
    Anybody remember Underbase? Time Wars? How about Galvatron stringing up Rodimus in the ruins of New York? Or Unicron melting Scorponok to death, and countless others.
     
  4. inomuiro

    inomuiro Well-Known Member

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    Well, among other things the first issue had a NAIL transforming himself to death, and Whirl surrounded by butchered corpses and about to set fire to those and possibly to kill himself. I wouldn't call these things "lighthearted." :) 

    I don't see MTMTE as having taken a turn for the dark. It has been a mix of opposites since the very beginning. It has a funny and adventorous side, and a gory, dark one, and I think the two aspects have been very well-balanced up to this moment.
     
  5. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    This would be the comic whose first issue had Whirl dismembering corpses in a shack, right? Yeah, we were all shocked over what happened to Rung because everyone liked him and it seemed unlikely it would happen to the author's original character, but it's not especially darker than a bunch of other stuff in the comic's first five issues.
     
  6. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Once and Future Slicer

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    I don't think the tone has overly changed to be honest. Folks are just noticing it because of Rung. However, Rung is a perfect example of a character set up to die and for his death to be a major plot point. Once it became clear Rung was the only thing keeping some of the real crazy in check, it was only a matter of time. Plus, it's been foreshadowed that the only way Rodimus would ever grow up is if a major character died, so Rung may just advance that plot too.
     
  7. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    There's your first problem.

    The mood of MTMTE has not changed. Rung's death was simply unexpected, and that unexpected fatality shocked people is all.
     
  8. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    Good (writing).
     
  9. Star Saber

    Star Saber Cybertron 5th Commander

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    I agree with most of the others here. The mood hasn't really changed. The comic has always been a mix of seriousness and humor. We're still getting humor into the pages, even in the 6th issue. As for your case of torture porn, we always knew we'd get Decepticons eventually, and this is Roberts way of showing just how bad-ass the DJD. It's part of a story arc. We don't know where we'll go from there.
     
  10. Knightdramon

    Knightdramon Hasbro LIES to the US

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    Nothing changed, really. As others have said, we've had a suicide victim in #1, Whirl with severely mutilated corpses, an obsessive duel with Cyclonus, and so on.

    If anything, issue #6 was low on fatalities.

    Right now it's my all time favourite TF comic and I'm looking forward to a lot more from this title.
     
  11. Kraken

    Kraken Is a vegiesaurus, Lex. Veteran

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    So far we've had;

    Whirl desecrating corpses.
    Autobots being sucked out of the ship.
    Ominous 1984 bots.
    A Sparkeater loose onboard.
    An Autobot traitor releasing a rust plague that liquifies it's victims from the inside.
    A Fort Max rampage.
    Rewind watching snuff movies.
    Rung getting shot in the head.

    It's hardly been all en-gex and turbo foxes so far, has it?
     
  12. inomuiro

    inomuiro Well-Known Member

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    I too think Rung being shot at is what really got everybody and made people start to wonder if the series was becoming too dark (as I said, I think it is not). We had a good share of nasty things happening before, but Rung was the one casualty nobody predicted, at least not so soon, not to mention he was one of the few really *good* people on the ship.

    I wonder if Roberts was surprised too by this big reaction!
     
  13. Murasame

    Murasame CHIMICHANGAS

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    To me nothing changed. It's still the same great story that takes too long until the next issue is ready :D 
     
  14. WoundSave

    WoundSave Well-Known Member

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    These days, TF comics are for adults.

    If you want super happy fun time transformers, go watch rescue bots.

    If you want more mature, but still kid-friendly, go watch Prime. (shh split lip, we dont have to argue a bout prime kk!)

    If you want politicking and world-building with your familiar tf characters, read RID

    And if you want an adult TF comic with off-color jokes and gruesome deaths, read MTMTE.


    Something for everyone, and really in this day and age i dont understand people getting upset about characters deaths and such. Or is it that we are so inundated with predictable action movies and the good guys always surviving despite impossible odds that we cant deal with something more realistic?


    A lot of the deaths make sense as well. In particular, im thinking Prowl killing Bombshell an the constructicons. Sure, people were pissed cause they like all those characters - BUT, if you were trying to establish a fledgling government, and a group of murderous sociopaths were using mind-control devices, you have to eradicate them. Cause if bombshell (or the constructicons) had lived, and been able to plant one of those mind-control bugs on Bumblebee, Starscream, metalhawk, Prowl, or a mob of 100 Nails, the security and stability on Cybertron would have been completely fucked.

    I would have done the same in Prowl's position. It MAKES SENSE, even if the fans dont like it. I really feel that there is this phenomenon where fans (of all kinds of fandoms) seem to think the writers owe them something (fulfillment,entertainment, whatever) - but really, we are along for the ride, its not our job to pretend to know better than the writer's (whether for the show or comics) cause it is their creative venture, not ours. Trying to craft a (painting, poem, show, etc) around how you think people will react is a sure recipe for failure, cause you will be second guessing yourself every step of the way.

    So, in short, to hell with what the fans think, do we really want another trashy DC/marvel type storyline where no one ever dies (or if they do they are replaced by 7 other guys with the same logo on their chest.....). This comic is less disturbing than the evening news.
     
  15. Sinnertwin

    Sinnertwin Banned

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    >Tumblr

    Stopped right there. From everyone else's reactions though, OP, it would appear you're still just bitter that Rung got shot. I was surprised too, but saying that was when "MTMTE took a dark turn" is just incorrect, as proven by everyone else in the thread
     
  16. Greyley

    Greyley Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's kind of my point...it's been balanced up till now. What I'm worried about is that that balance is tipping downward. I hope that's not the case, but I'm wary enough to make me question continuing the series. And that's a sentiment I've seen from other people as well.

    But (IMHO, of course), none of these things are all that disturbing.

    Whirl desecrating corpses: Sure, that's sick, that scene made it clear that Whirl has serious mental problems and could use some antidpressants ASAP. But the Sweeps were already dead, so while desecrating corpses is gross and unethical, no living thing is being hurt.

    Rewind watching snuff films: Again, the victims were already dead. And he made it clear that he wasn't watching it for pleasure, which is what makes watching snuff films sick in the first place.

    Sparkeater: A monster loose on board...that's not dark at all. And it also attacks by sucking its prey's brain out through its mouth. That's not disturbing, it's downright goofy and cartoonish.

    Fort Max rampage: Where no one died, despite being shot at point blank range. Non-fatal wounds; not really all that disturbing.

    Other things like people being sucked out of the ship and the Doctor Who-ish 1984 bots are very tame, and they're the type of thing commonly seen in average sci-fi stories. Again, I'm not seeing the disturbing-ness.

    On the other hand, we had one issue end with a gentle character having his head splattered, and immediately after that we're given a preview of a group of soldiers who gleefully torture people to death in the slowest and most horrible way possible. Often for the "crime" of changing sides, aka choosing to be a better person. This is way WAY darker than anything that has happened in the series so far. Having a few nutcases on board and experiencing some equipment failures don't really compare with the idea of some of the cast being MELTED TO DEATH by professional torturers.

    Once again, "maturity" is being equated to "grimdark death and destruction." SIGH. Enjoying death and gore doesn't make you a mature adult. In fact, quite the opposite...gratuitous violence is usually the domain of adolescent boys. I love that the comics are written for adults, I just wish they were written for adults who don't get a stiffy watching people die. I mean, if death is so fun to watch, why do you consider snuff to be disturbing at all? Why not cheer Rewind for his good taste in entertainment?

    Ah, I was ready for the Tumblr hate. You get the gold star for being first. ;) 

    As I've said before, Transformers fandom is way bigger than just this site, and messageboards in general. Apparently the demographics make a big difference, because it's a little disorienting to visit site #1 and see fans who are uncertain and disappointed and wary, then come to site #2 and see post after post of "yay death torture death yay!" Which is the entire reason for this thread...it's fascinating to me that people can have such drastically different interpretations of and reactions to the same comic.
     
  17. Kraken

    Kraken Is a vegiesaurus, Lex. Veteran

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    Nope. Your assertion was that it's 'suddenly' taken a turn into violence and 'torture porn' when there has consistently been death and violence and a dark and somewhat disturbing undercurrent interlaced with the light hearted humour right the way from issue one.

    What Whirl was doing to the Sweeps is much more disturbing to me than what the DJD did to Black Shadow. Even Chromedome and Rewind's death and necromancy leanings are more disturbing than the DJD as we don't fully understand it yet.

    The DJD are just nasty bastards, so what? They're the bad guys amongst bad guys, they do nasty stuff, big deal. Whirl, Max, Chromedome and Rewind are supposed to be good guys, who are doing distinctly worrying and nasty stuff for entirely unknown reasons.
     
  18. AngryChad

    AngryChad Well-Known Member

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    Not really seeing a change. It's been dark and funny the whole time.
     
  19. inomuiro

    inomuiro Well-Known Member

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    I guess we'll have to read the next few issues to know... Personally, I would say the next one will be another mostly dark issue, while Shadowplay will lean on the funny and light side... but Roberts has proven to be unpredictable, so anything could happen!



    Personal sensibility matters a lot here, I think. I felt way worse about Shock and Ore's death than Black Shadow (who left the Decepticons because he was paid) being tortured...

    What happened to Rung hit me pretty hard (you should have seen me when I read the issue the first time, seriously), but now I feel like I can't really say anything on the matter until all the consequences of this event play out.


    I totally agree with you here. I just don't think this particular instance is a case of trying to achieve maturity through violence and gore... the maturity in this series is Rung trying to do his best to calm Fort Max, to offer him emotional support, even if he was taken hostage and physically hurt by him. It's Ratchet putting himself on the line for the patients in Delphi, it will be Rodimus's journey as a leader (or his failure...), it will be, I think, Chromedome and Rewind's backstory...


    I love Tumblr XD Tumblr reactions on my dashboard about MTMTE are various degrees of "whatever happens THERE WILL BE TEARS", which is the same that happens with Doctor Who, now that I think about it...
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
  20. Victorysabre

    Victorysabre Born to Transform

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    I have 0 complaints about MTMTE. It brought me back to TF comics after taking off since midway through AHM.
     

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