Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Tim Formas, Jul 30, 2013.
Welcome to paranoia I still think Roberts has plans for Mirage since issues with Shadowplay.
I don't know if anyone has pointed this out in this thread or not but at the end Ultra Magnus does not have a cross over his face, what could this mean?
He only ever had the cross at the end of #15. It's been gone ever since, IIRC.
I think he means typically when a character is permadead, or meant to be PRESUMED permanently dead, the red X is over the face. In this case, even though we've seen Minimus lose his head, he doesn't have the X over Magnus.
I know a transformer in this continuity can survive losing their head provided they have the correct medical support after but if you read what tyrest said "its a new pre-emptive execution, when the chief justice has reason to believe that action will be taken against him" that sounds pretty final to me. So if Minimus has been executed and tyrest has declared "its time the house of magnus came to an end" so why no cross? could it be hint that someone will surely be wearing the magnus armour soon? I know plenty have suggested tailgate but I think more leftfield choice like rung, swerve, cyclonus or even whirl could be more fun and interesting.
Yeah I'd think Minimus is done for unless of course his POP status enables him to survive a destroyed brain module (which I'm not sure how it works - does he lose his memory? Personality? Of course the Magnus armor can fix most of that)
Just got to read this straight through... finally.
Hmmm... lots to comment on here, and yet I find myself at a bit of a loss. This is not exactly a great issue for me. It's far too scattershot, practically stumbling over itself as it spills the beans on a million things at once. It feels condensed, skipping over key moments that should have been protracted a bit more.
It's not helped by a feeling of being hastily written. This, above all, is the criticism I feel Roberts needs to look out for. Sometimes it feels like he has so much going on, that he ends up breathlessly unspooling it in an unmeasured hot mess.
While uncertainty, deception and subjectivity have been ongoing thematics hallmarks of this series up till now, I can't help feeling that he's hit a point that he's not absolutely sure where he's going, so we end up ping-ponging between an increasingly convoluted series of unlikely twists... ie: Magnus and his attention deflectors, the wildly shifting mechanics of Sparks and Cybertronian life, and hastily introduced twists and plot devices (ZOMG! UNIVERSAL KILL SWITCH!! Was this really just introduced in the last few panels of this issue? Like, seriously?), etc...
Also part of this is his increasingly self-aware (and indulgent?) tendency to lampshade his contrivances (non-fatal stab wounds! teleported new cellmates! attention deflectors everywhere!), and occasional abandonment of the layered dialogue I so enjoy in his writing normally, in favour of fairly blunt exposition.
That said, I'm still fascinated by the directions he's heading in, and the rewriting of so many aspects of the fiction that have traditionally been tragically underdeveloped. I think a lot of the issues mentioned above are really the side-effects of being very rushed, and I hope he relaxes the pace just a bit, so we the readers can really LIVE in these moments, rather than hurtling through them...
...especially because next issue looks like it's going to be a doozy. There's a LOT of stuff beginning to hit the fan, and I hope we get to see it fly properly.
I'm curious if Dark Cybertron is to blame for this double barreled shotgun of info we just got. While I know Roberts is part of writing it (Dark Cybertron), I'm sure the choice of timetable wasn't left up to just him. It feels artificially rushed, like he's only stuffing it in because he has no choice due to the X-over. Just a thought. I do defend Roberts more than I probably should at times.
I think he's fantastic, and I sing his praises all the time... but every now and again, I feel that he loses the flow, or missteps.
I was thinking the exact same thing... that the big event has created a more pressing deadline for a lot of the current plot material. From what I've heard, Roberts overwrites every month anyway, and his scripts require liberal cropping, so I imagine that when he's rushed the effects are even more pronounced.
Yup...plus remember who his editor is: Barber. Who is gonna make sure you get that exposition in there at all times and keep the readers "up to speed" and weave continuity together. If there's only enough space left in an issue for either that or a one-liner by Swerve or a moment of pensive reflection by Ambus etc, the exposition is what's gonna make the cut.
The bottom line with Roberts is he's a prose writer built for novels and short stories who is doing us the wondrous service of applying his talents to a comic book format run by large companies, and we are all thankful for that. But definitely he needs and wants more time to write more at all times. How many comics out there come with inserted prose stories at the end like we've seen from him now and then just because the writer has *so much* about this world being built that he wants to say?
You know it too when you read Eugenesis or his old fanfics or the short story inserts for LSOTW and what not. For every panel in which Tyrest is giving a brick by brick, point A to point B exposition on what was really going on with spark splicing, you know there are five or six more paragraphs Roberts wants to insert letting you know how Ambus is intrpreting what he hears, his emotional state from word to word, what his optics are fixated on in the room, where he was and what he was doing 2 million years ago when he heard a tangentially similar story, etc.
The other thing I've come to notice about this series, is "More Than Meets The Eye" is not just a name derived from an old Transformers slogan here. Roberts loves to both play word games (need to escape was really Getaway, etc) but also to explore meaning of/imbue meaning into terms and concepts in Transformers lore that we take for granted. Think about Orion Pax's speech about the word "Autobot" and how it had come to stand for "automation" but should instead stand for "autonomy," free thinking.
Whether intentional or not, "More Than Meets The Eye" has also been imbued with more meaning. Exactly as SMOG puts it, deception and subjectivity are the hallmarks of the series. NOTHING in this series is what it first seems to be. That too is the core essence of what the Transformers experience first was and was meant to be on all levels to everyone. No matter our age, at some point in our lives we all first beheld a robot changing into a whatever and went "cool." It lost its luster many moons ago for all of us, but the experience of being shocked that something is not what it seems is something Roberts has continued to convey brilliantly. Shockwave was not what we thought he was, nor was Magnus. Drifts actions and motivations were not what we expected. We've known virtually the whole series that theres more to Skids and Chromedome than what we know and see...and we LOVE it.
So part of what I think happens in issues such as this, where many plot strands finally get explained, is that aside from just not being fond of exposition, the sense of awe and wonder that the "more than meets the eye" (as a term, not series title) experience provides wanes just a bit and we don't feel quite as fulfilled. It's the part where you figure out how a magician did his trick, and though interesting and something you think you *wanted* to know the answer too, the truth is its not quite as fun or entertaining as the part where you were sitting back going "WOW how did he do that?" or in MTMTE's case "WOW that was Shockwave no way!?!?" etc. Still, issues like this are necessary to move on to the next mysterious escapades, you have to create closure on some of the mysteries at some point.
Just a quick point.
I liked the part about Chromedome "mis-reading" Getaway.
Sometimes I forget that most Transformers don't have names, (follow me here) they have interpretations of a concept that only has a loose amalgamation in the English language. *phew*
Getaway's name could also be "the imperative to escape" at the same time.
Took me a while to wrap my brain around what that could mean for other Lost Light crew members:
Captain flashy awesome
He who hangs onto others
Avoids direct interaction
Spin without a center
I think your last point is why this issue was pretty much an info dump, the fact that there's so much about to happen, it's almost as if he thought 'Shit! We need to get some explanations out of the way to get there!' You can almost mentally see him drawing breath at the end.
Whether all of it absolutely needed to be explained right this instant I guess we'll find out, although I'm guessing at least some of it will have implications for Dark Cybertron.
He does overwrite, which doesn't help matters sometimes. It's probably why Barbers so stilted on RID, he's too busy trying to get James' stuff down to a manageable length!
It like they need another writer^
Wacky theory time: When Tyrest said that the house of Magnus is now over and the new enforcer of the Tyrest Accord was Star Saber, my first thought was that the "Ultra Magnus program" is still in effect, but with a Star Saber armor instead of an Ultra Magnus armor. In other words, the only difference is in the name and physical appearance of the figurehead. It's also fitting, in that both Ultra Magnus and Star Saber had G1 toys in which a smaller robot went inside large robotic armor.
What if Star Saber really was a good guy, but he's long dead? What if whoever is playing Star Saber is playing up the religious zealot act? I had to flip the pages back and forth a few times to compare the physical resemblances, but I really don't think I'm crazy to at least hypothesize that Pharma is Star Saber.
James said that Star Saber has no inner smaller robot in him. So he really being himself and working with Tyrest as religious zealot.
I like this line of thought.
Rodimus Prime and Tailgate seem really fitting. "Swerve" seems to be kind of the opposite, though... maybe "wildly directionless" would fit him better. Of course, that would fit Whirl too.
I don't think it works. I think Pharma would have been too busy in the lab with Ratchet to be everywhere that we've seen Star Saber. He doesn't strike me as the religious nut type, and according to the other characters, Star Saber has a long history of being not a nice guy.
This makes me sad. The small robot in a larger shell theme would fit so nicely here. I guess that's the problem with grand conspiracy theories... when they turn out to be less grand than expected, it's hard not to be disappointed.
Wouldn't that just complicate things and make it even more condesnsed?
I think Roberts is choosing, or being told to, write so much into such a span. It no secret comic book publishers like to mandate stories for the Trades, that's why we get these storyarcs and less issue-to-issue antics. This deffinitely feels like that. This issue, properly lined up with it's preceeding and succeeding issues, wouldn't feel out of place read continuously. But here it feels like the middle of a movie without important context.
Editors are harder to find than a good writer. I mean if Barber is doing the editing for Roberts and the RID is suffering for it it makes sense to add a new writer once the arcs are done.
Agreed, it's also possible he had to condense his story because of Dark Cybertron. I'm still glad though that his writing feels less stretched than a lot of big name writers out there. MTMTE is one of the rare comics each month where I spend a significant amount of time reading and re-reading just to see if I missed anything, which is more than what I can say for most comics coming out from DC and Marvel.
Are you serious? Good writers are definitely harder to find than editors!
I live with someone that used to go through magazines and correct grammar errors and if you add continuity errors then you have it. Writers are hard to find as well I will give you that. I went through books that have chock full of grammar errors to many people are relying on Microsoft Office for corrections instead of proof reading what they wrote. With Transformers there is a continuity that is not always adhere to and some cases it is forgotten and details are overlooked. Plus it is easier critique someone else work than your own....
Separate names with a comma.