More than Meets the Eye #21 Discussion/Spoilers and Preview Pics

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by VRDUBZAK, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. MightySnorlax

    MightySnorlax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Posts:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Likes:
    +0
    Tailgate didn't feel like last minute to me. Cyclonus deciding to not act on his impulse to just kill Whirl saved his life. It was something in the end that he earned and felt like a nice and well done. In my opinion. Jumpstarting, the swords, all of that had been previously established to some degree and even with the stabbing fakeout it still felt like a very logical way to go. Nothing felt forced with Tailgate or out of place.

    Others might disagree, and they're allowed to, but it still felt right to me.
     
  2. mirage4lifeyo

    mirage4lifeyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Posts:
    373
    Trophy Points:
    76
    Likes:
    +0

    As you know, I'm very much with you on that last part. I think you lay out well what is the pretty clear, Occam's razor reason for why Tailgate was saved. Look, Tailgate didn't have a new toy coming out back when Roberts first planned out this entire framework for a first "season" of MTMTE. I would hazard a guess that maybe, just maybe, the very reason Roberts was drafting characters like Tailgate, Swerve, Skids, Pipes was that their obscurity would ostensibly give him a lot more freedom to do what he wanted with rather than the constraints major Hasbro icons present (again, see Springer not being allowed by Hasbro to die in LSOTW despite that being Roche/Roberts' initial plan/draft).

    However, a couple years later, Roberts created a monster and now the very obscure characters he chose have risen to never before known heights of popularity, and we are back to that same old venerable Hasbro reason for every single Transformers fictional plot point we saw back in the 1980s: TO SELL TOYS. Now mind you, there's some irony there since back then Hasbro had the bright idea that the best way to sell new toys was to kill freaking everybody and usher in a new '86 cast, whereas now the mantra seems to be keep everybody alive so we can sell some toys.

    So that makes it very, very fair to ask whether Roberts really planned for Tailgate to survive this when he first put together the first season framework. I would say it's hard to envision much bigger plans for Tailgate from here on out, being as how he, through his heroic actions this past issue, you know, pretty much saved half of the Cybertronian race. Big plans-wise, that's...kinda hard to top. Now, Roberts did address this very well in Tailgate's little discussion of how saving the world is overrated and what's really worth living for is just one more movie night, one more night in doing nothing, etc. That was slick. It also, though, lends more credence to the idea that Tailgate has had his moment and there's not gonna be much else for him to do now but fall into the background. Movie nights and doing nothing may be great for him, but its not exactly gonna sell comics.

    The blowback from all the fans about those of us questioning the sword "stabbing revival" scene doesn't really surprise me. The fanbase here really wants to believe, wants characters to survive, and is pretty narrowly focused on the Transformers as a brand rather than on what might make for the best/most powerful fiction. This is a site for hardcore Transformers fans, afterall, so I guess its not surprising that many of them will park any real world references or experiences they've had, or any worries about strength of storytelling per se, and want to immerse fully and solely in Transformer-land when they read this stuff. Bringing in real world references or comparing it to other fiction is almost taboo, the majority seem to park all that completely and focus in on these Transformers solely for their own merit, without striving for something that transcends the brand and rings true to our own life experience. Hey, its a fan site, and we are fans. Fair enough.

    What I somehow hope people will understand, though, is that in Roberts, we've got a writer here who, though not perfect, is not just a Transformers writer. This is a guy with range and emotional pull. Some of the things you all are enjoying about this series, you may find, might not even be so much about enjoying the Transformers franchise that you and I love, but also just the fact that you are reading something that at times flirts with being great fiction generally. Sometimes, that potential can clash with the age old Hasbro need TO SELL TOYS. Doesn't make the series a bad one, doesn't mean those of us who notice it don't also love the franchise, but its fair to at least acknowledge when it may be happening.
     
  3. RatTrap1985

    RatTrap1985 Under your rolls of fat

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Posts:
    1,595
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +2
    How is it a last minute decision when the method for saving tailgate was almost identical to the way Fort Max was saved? Using someone's spark to jump start someone else. That is all that happened. Nothing last minute or tacked on about it.
     
  4. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,090
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +576
    That's not quite true. Max wasn't dying of an endemic Cybercrosis at the time, and was saved by actual medical procedures conducted by medical staff, using medical gear.

    Cyclonus just took a magic soul-sword and stabbed his friend with it. Which in the case of this particular weapon, apparently doesn't kill them, but instead gives them half of your spark.

    zmog
     
  5. aledromo

    aledromo Decepticon at the Gate

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Posts:
    5,125
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +311
    Quick question: anyone know what minimus was referring to when he spoke of Rodimus' immature reaction to Thunder-

    Thanks.
     
  6. Stygimoloch

    Stygimoloch ROBOT! JET! ROBOT!

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Posts:
    1,224
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +1
    Probably have something to do with the stuff going on in the next issue. It's a collection of Rewind's films on board the Lost Light.
     
  7. aledromo

    aledromo Decepticon at the Gate

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Posts:
    5,125
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +311
    Thanks!
     
  8. Prime Wylde

    Prime Wylde And there you have it...

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Posts:
    866
    Trophy Points:
    132
    Location:
    Paris Ky
    Likes:
    +95
    I dissagree. They had found a cure for cybercrosis, just tailgates spark had shrank to much. Jumpstarting was an experimental procedure and may have feared to overload or burn out tailgate's spark.

    The great sword spark harnessing had been well established.
     
  9. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Posts:
    11,242
    News Credits:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +337
    Ebay:
    I suspect that none of the medical staff would have suggested or allowed Cyclonus to simply spark-jump Tailgate, due to the risk involved.

    It also may not have been possible to do a proper spark-jump with the creator of the technique completely catatonic.
     
  10. Burningsirius

    Burningsirius Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Posts:
    397
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    76
    Likes:
    +1
    Note this is fine because it took the edgy McCarthy 'sacrifice my soul to grant maximum power' deal and made it actually work for a great saving story.
     
  11. Torque

    Torque The WORDSMITH

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Posts:
    11,342
    News Credits:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +11
    Well, what we know about greatswords is that the spark boosts the cutting power. If it were to be in the manner of a chainsaw, then that would be one thing. But it does this by running the spark charge through the blade, likely making it cut through the energy running through it, akin to a hot knife through butter, but with spark energy, not heat.

    Well, it depends on the magic and how it works. I wouldnt expect an axe made to chop harder to help, but maybe an axe imbued with soul energy giving someone a soul boost, despite it not having been used that way before. In fact, many stories get resolved by using things in ways they werent innitially intended. its a staple of a lot of science fiction writing.

    And actually, I'm pretty sure Cyclonus tells us that Whirl told him Dai Atlas told him that Cyclonus's spark energy was in the sword. the conclusion they came to wasn't "hey, lets use this thing that cuts good to help tailgate" it was "hey, maybe the sword full of spark energy could give him a spark boost"


    Your analogy continues to be useless, as one is mechanical, while another is electrical. You're comparing apples to rollerskates.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear-I meant that the sword being imbued with spark energy had been established already. It's hardly a stretch of the imagination that that energy could be used differently. I mean, do you have a problem with Energon being their money, fuel, blood, and ammunition? Energy in Transformers has always been adaptable.

    Well before now was only recently, as he'd only known of his condition for a short time, and at the time, there wasn't a cure, so the only thing it would do is prolong his suffering. As for not using that technique, First Aid is, so far, the only one to do it successfully, and is presently incapacitated by guilt for killing Pharma. So that wasnt an option. But it runs off the same principle. Why do you have issues with a long piece of metal imbued with spark energy, but seem fine with 2 metal clamps full of the same thing? In a human, sure, it wouldnt work, but in a robot, why not?

    Also, as an afterthought, I think "they're robots, not humans" is enough to stop the Sleeping Beauty+Magic Axe argument from applying at all really.

    That's like being upset about using a car battery in place of a defibulator to revive someone long enough to save their life through other methods. Ever watch Burn Notice, or McGuyver? And I don't think it would have reversed everything-there was still curdled energon, it would still hurt like hell, but he'd have a bit more life, long enough for the cure to be administered. Like a shot of adrenaline. Again, staple of fiction, saving people in unconventional-yet-previously-hinted-at methods.

    Lasers can be used to hurt-they're also used in surgery. A scalpel can be used to save someone, though a slice across a throat can kill. Slicing someone up with an electrified sword is one thing, using it to jump-start a spark is another.

    Not sure how this applies, other than saying someone else could have had the ability to save Tailgate.

    Why does using a variation of the same theme constitute as magic? As for the Greatgun and the paragraph above, a blast of energy into a chest is a bit different, as the blast is made to hurt. The sword is a conduit of energy. swinging it to hack someone will hack. Stabbing into a spark chamber and allowing the higher charged area to flow into the lower charged area (actual science!) is different.

    And the whole through his spark chamber: a) he is in recovery right now and b) if memory serves, spark chambers have typically been shown to look somewhat similar to the Matrix, with a whole already in the back and front-just sayin.

    Except chainsaws dont cut because energy runs through the blade, its because of the motor moving the blade. Apples and Rollerskates.

    Lol, while definitely more misleading and dramatic, they only had a minute left before Tailgate bit it, plus the energy being pulled out of the sword and into the spark chamber would be the same energy. So if that's ok, what's wrong with just pushing it in there?



    After going through this post I realized a) I've gotten rather repetitive in my answers and b) I'm not sure why you have such a problem. At the end there, you seemed ok with using the energy from the sword to revive him, but didnt like the sword stabbing him bit. Is that really your only issue?

    I feel like this has gotten a bit blown out of proportion, and I hope the two of us condense our answers in the future, as this post look nearly half an hour to type out lol
     
  12. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Posts:
    71,523
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Location:
    agile house
    Likes:
    +8,991
    No, Cyclonus stabbed him with a sword sending his spark energy into Tailgate, re-energizing his spark in a method similar to jump-starting. The sword ceased to be a sword and simply a piece of metal conducting energy.

    This would have also killed him due to, well, being stabbed, had they not been in a top-tier medical lab full of incredible medical equipement and the cures for most illnesses. In a place like that, where Pharma could literally work miracles, a stab would is like a paper cut. Tailgate was also saved by actual medical procedures conducted by medical staff, using the best medical gear available anywhere.

    Stabbing Tailgate did not magically heal him, it simply restarted his spark, allowing him to be healed by conventional medicine. Just like a defribulator allows the heart to restart, but won't heal a stab wound or cancer. That's why he's not up and jumping around at the end. He was still stabbed, he still had Cybercrosis at some point. There was no magical recovery. There was no magic period. It was, frankly, the most believable part of the recovery process, that a sword could be used as a conductor, because it follows physics.

    Indeed.

    On top of that, it makes perfect sense that Whirl suggested it, since he was one of the few available at the time who has experienced it.

    In fact, I bet that's why he was used to jumpstart Rewind way back. To set up him giving Cyclonus the idea. Save for First Aid himself, who was undertsandably unavailable, only Whirl is reckless enough to suggest a dangerous, possibly fatal solution like this. Anyone else like Ratchet or Chromedome would likely advice against.

    So look at that, forshadowing.
     
  13. Toonimator

    Toonimator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Posts:
    1,129
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Likes:
    +0
    All else aside, the prose brings up some interesting points about Tailgate's future... on the outside, he was all patched up & looked brand-new, but Ratchet knew that inside he was an antique, and was pretty much totally worn out thanks to the corrosion & all. I'm wondering if he'll simply update his insides, or if Tailgate will get a whole upgrade in the bargain, shell & all.

    And then we'll NEVER know what his original alt-mode was! :D 
     
  14. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Posts:
    11,242
    News Credits:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +337
    Ebay:
    It occurs to me also that if the stab of health didn't work, it would still be a mercy killing, plus possibly a suicide. That's precisely why this made sense to Cyclonus, and why any sane bot (so...not Whirl) would have stopped him.

    And on that note...

    http://v.cdn.nuklearpower.com/comics/8-bit-theater/080408.png
     
  15. FantomLibrarian

    FantomLibrarian Iaconian Data Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Posts:
    300
    Trophy Points:
    76
    Likes:
    +0
    I don't think it was similar to 'jump-starting' as it was previously introduced. The whole point of the death clock was to measuring shrinking sparks - meaning that as the spark deteriorated it shrank until it finally extinguished. What Cyclonus did, after Ratchet explained that they had found a cure but it had to be administered during the initial phase of spark shrink, was give some of his MASSIVE spark power to Tailgate's spark. So at least in my estimation it was less like a defibrillation and more like a bone marrow donation. He wasn't giving life, per se, but rather gifting the ability to continue producing life.

    Which may beg the question: if spark-strength is relative to restoration or normal healing did Cyclonus consciously choose not to heal his cosmetic injuries?
     
  16. WilyMech

    WilyMech Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Posts:
    4,126
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +144
    I felt the same way. It is not producing life but extending an existing life. it is sort of like Transfusion of blood or an organ transplant. Cyclonus extend Tailgate's life long enough for Ratchet to administer a cure for Cybercrosis.
     
  17. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,090
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +576
    This right here.

    Yes, but the Greatsword was only established to use spark power to increase its use as a weapon. There was no previous text that established the swords as a means for livegiving spark transfer. I asked if someone could cite a source for this, but so far no takers.

    Weaponized Spark energy doesn't seem like something that should easily be assimilated into a body. To use another one of my famous analogies, I don't think sticking the nozzle of a flamethrower into your car car's gas tank and pulling the trigger will get you very far either. One ignited, weaponized fuel does not necessarily equal the other.

    I don't know why people are having such a hard time making a distinction between "spark cutting power" and "spark transfusion power". I think it might partially come from a sort of science-fantasy distortion that we've all become accustomed to through comics and cartoons (especially the Transformers cartoon)... that being the idea that there is a such thing as "generic energy". Laser sword? Energy. Laser gun? Energy? Spark chamber? Energy. It's all basically just the same kind of pinky-purple emission that blows things up or runs the planet.

    The gradual perversion of the Energon Cubes in the G1 cartoon leads to this simplification as well. While originally a container format, it eventually became its own "element"... and Energon, while being the lifeblood of a Transformer, also became essentially an explosive as well. Energon was whatever the plot needed it to be... solid, liquid, free-floating plasma, bomb, etc...

    Now we've arrived at the Spark... both the heart and the soul of an IDW Transformer. So what is it about "Spark energy" that makes it into a lightsaber-like cutting force? And what about this DESTRUCTIVE force makes it also simultaneously a healing force... something you can just jab into you and power you up? Again, one does not necessarily equal the other.

    I think Ratchet would have been more than capable, having witnessed it work once. But in answer to the earlier point, what risk? If Tailgate is dying, what's the danger in attempting to jolt him alive a bit longer to accept a cure? That's the beauty of Cyclonus' gesture, in a way. If it didn't work (which I've already expressed skepticism over) he would have STILL been keeping his promise to Tailgate by ending his life. A medically-assisted, planned, intuitive spark jump basically amounts to the same thing... except not as dramatic and narratively dubious.

    "but with spark energy, not heat"... what does that mean, exactly? What "energy" is Spark energy, that allows it to achieve whatever effect it wants? How does it cut without heat? And if that is one of its -natural- qualities, how is it then contained in a spark chamber? Are Sparks just naturally whirling orbs of death? How does one pick one up in that case (as we've seen Brainstorm do?). The explanation that people keep throwing out there seems to boil down to "well... uh, SPARK POWER!" without every stopping to consider what that is, and why it seems so mutable to the needs of the story (or why stabbing someone would just jolt them with life-giving power, rather than kill them?)

    Defaulting to the "a wizard did it" logic that explains away so much bad fantasy writing doesn't exactly support people who keep saying "it wasn't a magic plot sword, it was SCIENCE!". :) 

    And if it was an axe imbued with magic soul energy that enabled to chop harder (which is essentially what a great sword is), then what makes that soul energy just decide to, instead of chopping hard, give out a soul-boost?

    The thing is, in a "fantasy" setting like that, we might tend to ascribe some kind of sentimental inherent will to "soul power"... one that behaves according to some benevolent inner directive... at least when it's not chopping orcs. But in this case, that feels a little extra contrived

    By stabbing him. With the murdery end of the sword. :inquisiti 

    But that is exactly my point. Comparing the "cutting energy" to the "life energy" as if they behave exactly the same way, is like comparing the teeth of a chainsaw driven by electricity, and the electricity that sits in a chemical energy cell.

    Or if the physical-to-energy analogy feels too awkward for you, how about putting your car battery in a microwave and turning it on to charge it?

    (ps: do NOT put your car battery in a microwave and attempt to charge it :D  )

    What's the problem here? The microwave is powered by electricity, right? It uses electricity to generate cooking power, right? Why can't it just cook fresh electricity right into the battery? I mean, its all "energy" right? That makes PERFECT SENSE. :wink: 

    In fact (as my earlier comments above probably indicate) I really DO have a problem with that. I always found that to be one of the stupider parts to come out of the Transformers fiction, and it would be really nice if IDW fixed it up finally.

    I mean, what you're calling "adaptable", I am calling "magical" and "contrived". It's a plot device that is really quite awkward to my thinking. Some of that is because I "came up" through the Marvel comics, where Transformers were actually fossil fuel-burning machines, and I remember when Energon Cubes were just handy storage containers for various solid and liquid fuels. The transition to energon becoming almost literally everything and anything, based on the whim of the plot, felt like a real dumbing down of the fiction.

    So maybe that is one of our key points of departure, philosophically speaking.

    I don't know. Jamming a large metal weapon into a critical organ seems like a deal-breaker whether you're a robot or a human... whether it's coated in napalm-blood or not. :) 

    Again, sure... but when using these kinds of counter-intuitive improv saves, I think a writer has to be careful not to make it seem too contrived... especially when all the critical explanation is crammed in on the last page, after the fact. As I said (many times) if the storytelling had been handled a bit differently, this twist might not have seemed quite so jarring or even half-assed.

    Yeah, it's just an observation based on something else that came up. It doesn't have to be ALL this argument, ALL the time, after all. But it does tie into the question of why they didn't consider a spark-transfusion sooner, under medical (rather than plot-magic) conditions.

    If there is energy around a sword that enhances its cutting power, then it is meant to hurt. If it was as benign as say, blood... well obviously having blood on your sword doesn't make it cut better. So how does "energy" (there's that word again... "pixie dust" effectively) enhance cutting and then just flow wherever it is most needed to save a life? Obviously this requires some kind of qualitative change in its properties. And there are better ways to conduct blood transfusions than stabbing people in the heart with a huge sword. :) 

    Didn't Overlord stab Magnus through the spark with a Greatsword? That must be why he survived. :) 

    Except in your equation, "energy" can be an apple OR a rollerskate, whenever the plot calls for it.

    Presumably, the energy stored in the hilt from the user's spark is not quite the same kind of spark energy that "cuts things in half". If the hilt is the reservoir, I would imagine the spark energy is converted into destructive power (heat, or something else) as it is pumped out to the blade.

    Too late! I'm already here! :lol 

    That's the problem with replying as you go, point-by-point. It always ends up being repetitive and dragged out. Occupational hazard! :) 

    So what you're saying is that any time someone gets stabbed in the spark with a Greatsword, half the user's Spark power normally gets transferred into the victim... and then they die from their physical wounds. Okay. Gotcha.

    I think that depends on the continuity. I don't think Roberts (and IDW in general) follows the "nano-machine magic" of spontaneous TF healing. I think that if you have a hole blown in you, or lose a limb, or scar up your face, it stays like that until you get it physically repaired. I think the auto-repair abilities of Transformers are a mechanical process, and probably limited to their most internal workings. Some people out there have suggested that Overlord (for example) was not "repaired" by Prowl, but rather just "regrew" his exostructure over his skeleton after LSOTW. I don't think it works this way at all.

    zmog
     
  18. Toonimator

    Toonimator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Posts:
    1,129
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Likes:
    +0
    I don't think Tailgate was stabbed THRU the spark... I think he was stabbed NEAR the spark, so the blade was in contact with the spark casing & the hilt, allowing for the energy transfer from Cyclonus' spark. That's kinda how I read it, cuz otherwise Tailgate's spark would've been severed and that was that (and, as you note, pretty much anyone ever stabbed thru the spark by an active great sword might feel a little more alive after the hole got patched up). In any case, I think the key part is the hilt being in close contact... I dunno.
     
  19. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Posts:
    71,523
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Location:
    agile house
    Likes:
    +8,991
    Yeah, the blade never went through the spark, they specifically mention the HILT coming "in contact" with the spark.

    Absolutely. That's why, at the end, he's all shiney and new. He's finally put his burdens to rest.
     
  20. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,090
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +576
    Interesting detail. Also that Magnus says "you allowed your spark to flow into his...", implying that a Transformer has some kind of innate control over his spark, and where its energy "goes".

    This raises the question, if you just put two spark chambers right up against each other, do the sparks (or can they) "just flow into each other"? And if this is the case, why all the fuss about spark-jumping? Seems like something they would have figured out long ago.

    ...and... oh dear... I think we just gave the tumblr shippers another sexual intimacy metaphor to visualize. :redface2: 

    Anyway, there's also all the discussion of "miracles" which implies that this is NOT something that would normally happen. On the other hand, then there would also be no reason for Cyclonus and Whirl to think it would work either.

    Really? So the degree to which you look like you're shiny and in good repair is a direct manifestation of your inner spirit?

    Nah, I don't buy that. I think he just got his face fixed, and stuck Tailgate's new horn on. No spark magic.

    zmog
     

Share This Page