Q&A with James Roberts - TFCon DC 2017

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Lucas35, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. GWolfv2

    GWolfv2 Deathsaurus - A name you can trust for peace

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    I find skids and nautica reveal...irritating. The story felt super structured towards their being a potential romantic interest for each other and it feels like it undercuts Sotheby's choice nautica had to make in lost light. A lot. Her motivation for choosing between skids and velocity now seems undermined. Not a fan.
     
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  2. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    Agreed. I understand and agree with James' idea to avoid the tropes associated with females being primarily love interests, but the actual writing didn't really feel that consistent with that stance.
     
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  3. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    I'm confused - what else could Cybertronian society be but homonormative? There was only one gender living there for centuries. For the concept of a Conjunx Endura to exist at all, it must be a homonormative society. Roberts is just stating the obvious here!

    There's something very odd, though, about the idea that he was trying to avoid setting Nautica up with a romantic partner. The comic reads like he's setting her up with a whole harem - right the way up to her quadruple(?) wedding with them all. I know, I know it's supposed to be a friendship ceremony, but none of the male characters have ever hankered after a friendship ceremony, and none of the male characters seemed to have quite as much time devoted to the development of their 'friendships' as Nautica did with hers - except perhaps Rodimus and Drift, which is, of course, coded as a homoerotic relationship. Oh, and Magnus and Megatron, perhaps.

    Most of the relationship development in MTMTE has been through scenes necessary to the plot. So, for example, you get a glimpse of Chromedome and Skids' relationship through Chromedome looking into Skids' memories, which is one of the central mysteries. The relationship between Brainstorm and Perceptor has been shown largely through scenes where they try to crack important problems. Generally speaking, scenes with bots just kicking back or talking about their past with each other have been reserved for closer bonds.

    It's not surprising, therefore, that readers felt there was a romantic spark between Nautica and Skids. It wouldn't be surprising if other readers felt that about Nautica and Brainstorm, or Nautica and Nightbeat. Despite wanting to avoid trapping Nautica in a 'girlfriend' role, Roberts seems to have inadvertently gravitated to writing her just that way, by making sure that her plotlines are largely about her and her relationships, rather than something integral to the central quest.
     
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  4. cashel

    cashel Well-Known Member

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    so, i jumped to the last page because nature is calling, but do cybertrons procreate?
     
  5. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    You know, you're right. Thinking about a few other issues (#40 with Brainstorm comes to mind), it seems that James' solution to his dilemma was "Pair her up with EVERYBODY!"
     
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  6. NanakoPreame

    NanakoPreame Certified Mama Luigi

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    "I don't want her to be solely a love interest so I made her a love interest."
     
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  7. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    Good catch. Sadly that is indeed the case.
     
  8. TheSuperion

    TheSuperion Well-Known Member

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    I still like her a lot, but yeah, you're all kind of right. At least she got a storyline - meanwhile Riptide has done absolutely nothing since his introduction in Season 2's first arc. And remember when everyone was hyped for Bluestreak's addition to the Lost Light, and how Roberts would work his magic and make him such a memorable character? Yeah.

    (I still contend a lot of the problems with Season 2 come down to Revolution and the series renumber meddling with Robert's original plans. It's plainly evident from interviews that the season looked quite different in his mind when he first started writing the series. That being said, people are probably right that the current problems with his writing fall squarely on him.)
     
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  9. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    I loved Riptide and Nautica's design.
    Not a fan of writers creating their own characters instead of fleshing out underused existing ones, but I would have liked to have seen better characterisation for both of them.

    I user to think Megatrons "redemption arc" was always among Roberts's plans since chaos. Strange to hear that this was all Hasbro. I know Hasbro is terrified of their fanfavs not appearing in every panel in every comic, but i was completely convinced Roberts had this planned from the start. Strange.
     
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  10. Bumblemus Prime

    Bumblemus Prime Cracked in the head

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    @Focksbot, I thought this was because she was considered weird on Caminus for not having a bestie. She wasn't a drama kid on a planet of drama kids, she didn't have an Amica Endura even though Velocity came close, and she was interested in the sciences.

    I saw it as "Nautica finally realizes that friendship is pretty great as long as everyone isn't pushing you to find a bestie now."
     
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  11. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    That's the way it was presented, but I agree with Focksbot that's not how it came across. After making this big effort to not put her in a token relationship, Roberts really just put her in multiple token relationships.
     
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  12. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    Sure, there's an in-story rationale given, but it's still arbitrary. Brainstorm gets 'maybe he's a traitor or going to kill everyone'. Skids gets 'maybe he's a traitor and he doesn't even know it'. Whirl gets 'why is this guy such a psychopath and can he turn it around'. But Nautica gets MLP: Friendship is Magic. I do think JR dropped the ball on this one. I was all ready to love Nautica as a character but I honestly found it incredibly off-putting how she was written as a kind of ... well, as Beverly from It, the one cool chick in a group of boys who all go crackers for her.

    To compound that, she even does the "ooh, a widdle kitty" thing with Ravage. I mean, I am *really* surprised JR wasn't conscious of avoiding these stereotypes.
     
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  13. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    So, Nautica's poly then.

    Wonder how many points that's won him on Tumblr.
     
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  14. NanakoPreame

    NanakoPreame Certified Mama Luigi

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    Depends on how many of them were Skids/nautica shippers compared to Velocity/nautica shippers.
     
  15. SG Roadbuster

    SG Roadbuster SG Wrecker

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    rip TAAO
     
  16. RazorclawX

    RazorclawX Campaign Oracle

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    Poor Obsidian and Strika got forgotten again.

    But then, they're one of the few couples that aren't really defined by their relationship to each other in the IDWverse when they're almost always doing things apart from each other, seeing as how they're the only prominent generals in Elita's army.
     
  17. SteelWheels

    SteelWheels Well-Known Member

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    And Wreck-gar/Rum-maj
     

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