Mtmte 54

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by rlmiddleton, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Posts:
    71,535
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Location:
    agile house
    Likes:
    +9,009
    Exactly. I don't not care about the characters, but I gave a hundred times more of a shit over Cyclonus and Tailgate when it was subtle and slow. When it's a dribble, you try and get every last drop. When it's a stream you're not able to drink it all in.

    Granted of course this is all my opinion, and the exact examples I give are not the only ones, but moreso than ever, I feel like it's less about the established characters. Whirl is, forever and always, my personal favourite. His twisted, emotionally stunted world views have never not been the highlight of whatever stories he's been a part of, even in season 2. Even amidst the over-emotional season 2, Whirl's comments and bluntness towards Cyclonus feel entirely natural. Like he's the only character aware of how overly... sappy everyone's become.

    Meanwhile, Nautica's entire thing with whatever-endura feels like a total flatline. Her literally bearing her spark to the assorted friends is a perfect example: it's just too much. Too heavy-handed. It took what should have been a subtle, restrained event and made it flashy and literal. And some of her chocies feel, to me as a reader and what I've witnessed, sort of lacking in personal connection. Like Velocity, yeah I've been told they're best friends, but haven't really seen it. Rung, I actually can't recall them ever actually speaking aside from briefly mentioning books or something. Brainstorm is easier to accept, but I just thought they were good friends. Instead of making her good friends with everyone, she should've had one relationship that was really built up. Because her affections have been spread across so many characters, none of the connections feel entirely deep and deserving of such a deeply personal ritual. In my opinion, I dunno.

    Ech, I'm belabouring the point now, but that example always stuck with me and I just figured out why when you said less is more. I don't even dislike the scene, it just totally doesn't get any sort of response from me.

    So is everyone in just two camps for you? Blind lovers and irrational haters?

    I still consider myself a MTMTE fan, despite having almost total apathy to most of season 2. If I wasn't, I wouldn't buy the books and keep anticipating, if maybe not expecting, the next issue to "get better."

    Maybe the relaunch will smooth things out. I like lots of stuff that isn't perfect. Doesn't mean I can't see it's faults. I consider myself a more faithful reader for seeing it's faults.

    I'm really not liking this whole "there must be a clear distinction between praise and criticism" when really it should all just be "dicussion."
     
  2. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,092
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +581
    I get that we disagree, but making edged comments like the above one sounds incredibly lame. Like "oh dear, some people disagree with me about a comic book, so I have to flee from any possible contact with critical points of view"?

    Half the reason that these "detractor" discussions drag out is because certain people feel the need to run in and deny any possible grounds for complaint because it "ruins their enjoyment", or white-hat for Roberts by making disparaging or dismissive comments about those who are displeased with the series. If you want to encourage more criticism and negativity, you're going about it exactly the right way. Congrats.

    So yeah... do what you like, Wumbo. But don't expect applause.

    Exactly. I detest the facile characterization that any complaint about the series is just by compulsive and self-gratifying "haters", rather than coming from legitimate concerns and criticisms.

    I've been buying and supporting (not downloading) MTMTE every month since it started. I've recruited at least a half-dozen people I know IRL and put them on this series. I don't go into each new issue of MTMTE hoping to be disappointed. The disappointment is a direct result of Roberts' own actions. He is not doing a consistently good job. People notice this and they will be critical.

    This is part of being a fan... not sycophantic praise, but actual active critical engagement with the material. We are an active part of the fanbase for this series. We're not just roving shit-slingers looking to piss on other people's fun. Yeesh.

    I do totally agree with this, though to be fair, this is also the problem with any kind of romantic subplot (whether or not you read their relationship in "that way"). The most energy and chemistry for readers is usually to be found in the early stages of any relationship... people follow stories because they want to see how it works out with these characters. Once unrequited love becomes overt, some of that pregnant energy dissipates. Every series that has traded heavily on that "when are they going to get together?" dynamic suffers an almost immediate crash when these characters actually DO get together. You either end up with a cute but boringly comfortable pattern afterward, or you end up finding a reason to tear them apart again, because after all... happiness just isn't very dramatic.

    Which is not to excuse some of the faltering of the series... just to recognize that this is a common issue with stories with slow-burn courtships (again, whether or not they're explicitly "romantic" in the conventional sense).

    Agreed, Whirl is totally the best... and that's an amusing (and mordant) observation. :thumb 

    Again, totally agree. I don't know what it is (or rather, it's hard to boil down to just one thing) but Nautica is just not resonating with me. It feels like I'm heavy-handedly being told that I'm supposed to be charmed and fall in love with this character... but it's just not happening.

    Yup. Agreed. It's not that these bonds haven't been built gradually since she arrived in the series... but they haven't been built substantively.

    So far, it just feels like a lazily constructed female 'harem fantasy' designed to troll shippers with her 'chemistry' with a host of suitors - which of course ends with her saying "I love everyone!"

    And my response is 'awww, that's cute... *shrug*'

    That's what I'm getting from it too.

    I agree in theory, but in practice such things almost always end up becoming dialectical. There are things I still like about the series, but they are slightly outweighed by the things I dislike. And of course, when someone only talks about the strong elements, that sort of invites me to offer the weak elements as counterpoints. And so we fall into our "camps"... but we should still be able to bat these perspectives back and forth, rather than only accepting one reading on things.

    zmog
     
  3. justiceg

    justiceg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Posts:
    274
    Trophy Points:
    97
    Likes:
    +53
    I'm disappointed that your reaction to several well-thought and decently written explanations was "imma take my ball and go home", but to each their own. See you in a couple of weeks!
     
  4. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Posts:
    6,242
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    237
    Likes:
    +2,713
    I think the fact that thar scene felt unnatural was enirely the point:
    Nautica always seemed like a very adventureous type to me, i think she's a lot like Fulcrum in that she's loving all this: not the imminent death thing offcourse but the mistery, the adventures, the chance to socialize with all these out-there characters, and they both seem quit ordinary decent people.
    Very much like Skids, he was very very good at being an ordinary nice guy without being bland. I always loved Skids for that and found it very brave of Roberts to feature such a character so prinently, i'll miss him.Most writers dread writing such a character like the plague because they fear he'll be bland.
    And Skids interacting with Nautica is one of her best scenes becausr that is where she starts opening up and its revealed she was the scandal girl runaway bride from pseudo Victorian Caminus.
    Nautica fits very well in that Camien background: she's angsty, she seems to have felt repressed at Caminus and since joining the LL she's had the time of her life and now they are all going to die and she wants to drink the whole experience and keep everyone close to her: its a panic response.
    At least thats the way i read it.

    I do loath the Endura rituals though (maybe loath is to strong a word).
    This will come over as derogatory and thats really not my intention but reading about it in the lopsided triangle and this issue... it feels like something ten year olds do at the playground and it feels grating and cringeworthy to me.
    There is something to the idea of a Cybertronian platonic weddingceremony but it just feels overstated and features to prominently.

    I also have to disagree with Smog on Tailgate and Cyclonus's relationship and fictional telationships in general.
    I don't think they have to be an anticlimax if they are allowed to evolve naturally into an accurate representation of a real life relationship and grows into a fact instead of something that must be highlighted.

    The problem with their relationship to me is exactly that Roberts is not doing that and feels the need to keep using or introducing drama into their relationship to keep it and them interesting.
    Or maybe i just didnt understand you correctly and we are saying the same in different words :) 
     
  5. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,092
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +581
    It's not that debatable though... this isn't how I feel about it. This is just a basic feature of the conventional romance plot. It's all about the courtship, the conflict, and the catharsis; it's very hard to maintain momentum with a happy, well-adjusted couple after building much of a series on getting them together. You see this especially in effect with episodic television.

    Which is not to say that we as readers/audiences don't want to see characters happy together. That's not it. It's that once the conflict and the unknown are resolved, the story just becomes less compelling. The best option is pretty much just to retire those characters to the background where they can be content, and let others step forward. OR... introduce new conflicts, though that can often feel a bit forced.

    This isn't the ONLY way stories like this go... but it's definitely a general truism of genre storytelling.

    Where Cyclonus and Tailgate are going to go from here... hard to say. My money is on tragedy.

    zmog
     
  6. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Not today Galvatron!

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Posts:
    15,798
    News Credits:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Location:
    Long Island
    Likes:
    +473
    Twitter:
    I see there relationship as complicated and I think it's there to be relate-able? Tailgate, wants to go the last step and become conjux (sp?) but Cyclonus has stated he does not believe you need to be married[conjux] to prove you are in love. Maybe showing his fear of commitment? It make both these characters more personable, more "human". Perhaps? Maybe I'm overthinking, but I think their relationship is just a side story for fun.
     
  7. Acteon

    Acteon Overworked

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Posts:
    2,002
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +326
    Ebay:
    I liked the callback to issue 2 where Skids refers to himself as Scum. May not have been intentional, but very well done if it was.

    Nautica cradling her friend back at the base was also very touching, beautiful panel.

    I know season 2 has taken a lot of criticism (more than necessary imo) but this is the comic firing on all cylinders. Every emotion feels earned. Bravo Roberts.
     
  8. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,092
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +581
    It's definitely part of the tapestry of MTMTE, and it has some of those 'real-life' echoes that Roberts likes to put into his stories - sometimes subtly, other times overstated. The danger is that these 'relatable' touches end up conveying the banality of everyday experience, but without any of the emotional proximity of real life, or the contextual relevance. Sometimes trying to tell everyday human stories about alien machine people feels like a bit of a forced allusion.

    With Cyclonus and Tailgate, and their "commitment" issues, I'm not sure if there's enough there in that conflict to really drive drama - though I agree that their relationship arc hasn't reached its conclusion/plateau just yet. And fortunately, they're also part of an ensemble cast, so their relationship isn't necessarily intended to carry the book.

    I definitely find the tension around their relationship less interesting or dramatically energized than it was before things were more out in the open. It feels less like there's a clear direction or impetus at this point.

    But that can change, certainly.

    zmog
     
  9. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Posts:
    6,242
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    237
    Likes:
    +2,713
    Fair enough.
    But i still maintain a happy couple in a healthy relationship can retain the interest of the audience if the characters have enough appeal in their own right or if they can grow into another narrative function.
    They can be instrumental in helping other characters with their adventures or problems for example.
     
  10. Nocturne

    Nocturne Professional Ginger

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Posts:
    1,332
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +413
    In regards to Tailgate and Cyclonus, I feel you can only drag the drama on for so long before it becomes frustrating and repetitive. Basically upping the drama for drama's sake rather than letting the relationship develop at a natural and believable pace.

    For me, TG and CY haven't quite reached that fresh-hold yet but it's getting close. Especially with Cyclonus' "Tailgate is just too good for me. He deserves better" mindset.

    I'd rather see a couple happy in love than devolve into a drama laden mess because I've seen the latter done to death in every other medium.
     
  11. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,092
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +581
    Oh, for sure. But their 'relationship' can't be the core of the story anymore. You have to find other conflicts to carry the audience's attention.

    I also like it when characters actually get to be happy. It's a pet peeve of mine that so much serial media is constructed along the model of getting two characters together, and then has no idea what to do with them after that point, so they just end up tearing them apart again, because drama.

    This is particularly a facet of media where relationship drama is at the core of the action (like most television dramas that don't also belong to an 'action' genre).

    zmog
     
  12. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Posts:
    82,270
    News Credits:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Likes:
    +689
    I kind of have to agree, it does feel like they are trying to hard to be emotional.

    Doesn't help it takes forever for when things finally start happening, it feels too little too late.

    It Definitely needs faster pacing and more of a return of what Season 1 was doing.
     
  13. CloudFF7

    CloudFF7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Posts:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    47
    Likes:
    +12
    I'm guessing you didn't like what Legend of Korra did to Makorra in Book 2 then, which is exactly this.
     
  14. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,092
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +581
    Haha! Well, I feel like Book 2 largely failed at everything overall, but yeah...

    I was never pulling very hard for Korra/Mako anyway; their chemistry was pretty dry... but then, their break-up was even drier. Honestly, I don't think the writers of the Avatar series are great with romantic relationships. They were most at home capturing the awkward pre-teen fumbling and apprehension in AtLA, but whenever the affection has to actually turn into a relationship/romance, they're peculiarly bloodless and mechanical. It almost feels like they rely too heavily on the shippers in their fandom to do all the legwork for them. :) 

    But back on topic, yeah... that's an example of building to a romantic bond in one season, and then sort of losing interest entirely in the second season, because you seemingly have no idea what to actually DO with the characters as an interesting couple.

    With Cyclonus and Tailgate, their relationship has been a bit of a weird and undefined subplot, so it's not exactly a big deal. But now that it's falling into more conventional defined relationship behaviours, and the characters are talking more about their feelings... it does feel a bit less interesting.

    zmog
     
  15. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Posts:
    11,775
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +421
    I much preferred it when Cyclonus/Tailgate relationship was more parent/child or mentor/mentee
     
  16. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Not today Galvatron!

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Posts:
    15,798
    News Credits:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Location:
    Long Island
    Likes:
    +473
    Twitter:
    I never really saw it as such. That makes it kind of gross, but that's by Western Culture Earth standards. Who knows what age of consent is on Cybertron.
     
  17. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,092
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +581
    You really never saw their bond as being sort of Child/Guardian or Student/Teacher? You always saw it purely as a 'romance' between a sweet ingenue and a stern Rochester-like suitor?

    I find that really weird. To me their relationship was heavily in the "mentor" or "parent" range. Hell, even Roberts depicted their psychological-symbolic inner selves respectively as literally "child" and "Victorian governess".

    But yes... cultural standards should be QUITE different among Cybertronians. After all, the ancient Greeks had a rather different idea of what the 'mentor-student' relationship should be as well... which is not to say that this legitimizes it by modern standards, but that even among human cultures, such ethics vary considerably.

    zmog
     
  18. Pwsyn

    Pwsyn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Posts:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Germany
    Likes:
    +28
    It seems, that I am one of the few, who would have liked, that Cyclonus and Tailgate just have stayed friends resp. would remain friends (or mentor / mentee for that matter).
     
  19. battlefudge

    battlefudge Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Posts:
    751
    Trophy Points:
    147
    Likes:
    +30
    It is the displays of affection that bugs me about the depicted relationships (all of them, especially Chromedome and Rewind). Why do they hold hands, or hug or dance? It just seems strange that an asexual species would do any of this stuff as they should have developed their own versions of affections. It would have been a hilarious twist if a human character at some point discovered that a common thing the tfs did was really the equivalent of kissing.
    I liked Cyclonus and Tailgate because to me they more represented a cybertronian couple, rather than a human tv drama couple.
    But alas...
     
  20. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    18,092
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +581
    YES... more of this.

    I feel the same way. I don't mind if there are some shared gestures between humans and TFs, since they are after all highly anthropomorphized. However, I would like to have more gestures or differences that remind us that they are NOT us.

    For example, dancing can be seen as a form of art/culture, personal expression, and joy of movement. So why dance in pairs as if part of a mating ritual? Why are they dancing in such conventional ways? These are aliens with totally unique degrees of physical control over the configuration of their bodies, often with an array of additional body parts or abilities. Why wouldn't transformation elements be included in their forms of dance-expression?

    Embracing or touching is another human gesture that could also persist in Cybertronians, but it would be nice to dig into how or why they embrace, and what it means to them beyond the purely obvious.

    So yeah.

    zmog
     

Share This Page