What are things about MTMTE that you don't like?

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by kaijuguy19, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. GoLion

    GoLion Sé que me estás robando

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    I guess? I'm not saying I have a problem with it. You can go back and read my posts about it - I enjoyed the reveal. It's when the robot inside the armor acts like a completely different character, and calls his outer... carapace a "suit" that I think a little differently about the situation.
    :) 
     
  2. Bass X0

    Bass X0 King of Muay Thai

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    By comparison, Peter Parker also acts like someone completely different when not wearing the Spiderman costume. And yes, Spiderman is just a costume rather than its own person. The same goes for many, but not all costumed super heroes. Minimus Ambus is his civilian identity whereas Ultra Magnus is his superhero costume.
     
  3. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Kinda does. G1 cartoons and Marvel are open and shut now. If it wasn't shown, it didn't happen. Anything else is fan-fiction.

    First, they'd actually have to be officially writing in the Marvel or Cartoon continuity, or it wouldn't be canon.

    Second, I think Marvel and Toon Magnus had enough bad things happen to him that we probably would have noticed if there was a white truck guy inside. :) 

    But yes... in a G1 or 'G1-themed' continuity like IDW or DW, it is a legitimate and clever spin to put on Magnus. But it's still a 'revisionist' addition.

    By the same logic you're using, however, a writer would also be justified in revealing that Magnus actually has an Optimus Prime from an alternate future inside, who has been secretly masquerading as this "Magnus" and subtly manipulating events, so as to protect the fragile timestream. That also works with the motif... but again, it changes the character into something different, and some people might not like that interpretation.

    A writer is certainly within their rights to pull the "little white guy) card and try to sell it. Dreamwave and IDW both did this. No big deal. Nobody's arguing that here. We're all fine with that.

    What we're talking about is how Minimus is being written now, and how it changes the way we feel about Magnus. Two different subjects.

    It's not a big complaint. It's just a mild concern... losing touch with the Magnus character somehow.

    zmog
     
  4. Bass X0

    Bass X0 King of Muay Thai

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    The Ultra Magnus character is whatever MTMTE says it is. Even without putting much focus on his Minimus Ambus side, IDW Ultra Magnus is by far the deepest and most expansive take we've had on the character. The Marvel UK and Sunbow cartoon renditions of him just seem incredibly simplistic now. I still think of Robert Stack and Jack Angel when I think of G1 Ultra Magnus talking though, regardless of the continuity. Marvel UK Ultra Magnus is a good strong dependable likeable character but no actual individuality. He's just the typical leader figure with a few flaws, but none of them character defining beyond the story arc they appear in.
     
  5. soundwaverulls

    soundwaverulls Taking a break

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    The difference being that with Spiderman and other superheroes, we know that they have a secret identity. Ultra Magnus, however, was a complete character that I and many others liked. Then Minimus comes along and says that he never existed. I was OK with the Minimus reveal when I thought Minimus was the Ultra Magnus I had liked, that the Magnus armour simply allowed him to be the powerful law enforcer that he was at heart... Er, spark. However, now Roberts is putting emphasis on the idea that Magnus was always just a way for Minimus to hide away. The only noteworthy moments the character's gotten recently have been for Minimus specifically and Magnus has barely done anything.
     
  6. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    It's like you really want to manufacture an argument with imaginary people based on a totally confused idea over what is being said here. If you really enjoy disagreeing with nothing, and tilting at windmills, be my guest... but you should step back a bit and realize that what you're replying to, and what we're saying are not really related.

    First off, IDW Magnus is whatever IDW says he is. But IDW Magnus is also what IDW has SHOWN him to be. He has a history in the IDW continuity. Therefore, if we got to know IDW Magnus in MTMTE, and then after his 'revelation' he spends more time as Minimus, and feels more like a different character to us, and we miss the old Magnus a bit... then that's fine. We're responding to the way the character is written and the focus in the stories in this series. Open and shut. Nothing to do with G1/Sunbow/whatever, so I don't even know why you keep bringing it back to that.

    By the same token, it could be pointed out that IDW Magnus before MTMTE was a hard-nosed, by the book, non-nonsense space cop. In MTMTE, he became increasingly a neurotic OCD caricature and a walking joke. So arguably, I think people would also have a legitimate grounding for disliking that development as well. That's not because we're responding to Marvel or Sunbow... it's because we're charting the character's changes within the IDW continuity, and not always agreeing with the direction or liking what we're seeing.

    Thankfully, Magnus has become a bit less of a cartoon since Minimus came out... it's as if Minimus is inherently a more 'serious' character than Magnus had become in this series (must be the moustache). However, I feel like we're losing touch with the 'Magnus' side of him, as his time is increasingly split between his two forms.

    What's also interesting is that Magnus has always had a 'face', which makes it feel strange somehow to think of all of that just being a big exoskeleton... power-armour with a personality. At the same time, Minimus' has a less expressive face I find... which is part of why he always seems a bit more reserved.

    zmog
     
  7. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Hey, you know what the key problem is with that argument?

    Typically, people don't want to read a comic that is about Peter Parker, ordinary, mild-mannered guy, with a lousy job and a messed up life. If you felt like Spider-Man comics were increasingly just about him going to work, and having coffee, and taking calls from telemarketers, and only got a few pages of Spidey every now and again... then it wouldn't quite feel like the Spider-man comic you signed on for.

    Similarly, reading a series that was just about Bruce Banner, hitchhiking around, sleeping in motels, and never getting angry, then it wouldn't feel like that much of a Hulk comic.

    Now in this case, Magnus is just one character in a large cast, so it's not as big a deal as it would be in the case of a superhero title. But I think that maybe people are just saying that they kind of enjoyed 'Magnus' as a presence more than they're enjoying 'Minimus'.

    Honestly, I like Minimus. He's fine. But it is interesting that whenever I'm reading a scene with him in it, I have to remind myself "oh yeah, this guy is also Magnus".

    zmog
     
  8. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    I know that feeling.

    Roddy's one of my favs but it hurts that he's still a stunted manchild.

    Well said smog.
     
  9. GoLion

    GoLion Sé que me estás robando

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    I just recently read through the entire series again. The thing that comes across most while I read his stuff is that he is a fantastic story teller when he leaves his beliefs at the door. He's also simultaneously the worst, fan fiction level, writer when he throws in his political and ideological beliefs into his writing.

    I really think if he focused on writing a good story, and didn't try to "send a message" the stuff he writes would be brilliant.

    I know people want to draw parallels between the way he writes the transformers and Doctor Who, but doctor who is an extremely unique universe that lends itself to insane, message delivering, stories. Transformers isn't, and the message sending should be done is small doses, but you shouldn't try to hit someone over the head with your beliefs and try to pass it through the characters. It's just bad story telling. In my opinion it's just as bad as the old superman 'slap a jap' ads that used to be in the comics.
     
  10. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    Hmm. Personally, I don't wish those parallels to be drawn because I think (new) Doctor Who is extremely poorly written, and that it's no coincidence that some of the worst issues of MTMTE play out in a similar fashion to the average Who episode.
     
  11. Urluck

    Urluck unimportant

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    I'm honestly curious, in which stories, and in what manner, is he sending a message? Break it down for me, if you don't mind?

    My apologies if this is off topic, or has been answered already.
     
  12. GoLion

    GoLion Sé que me estás robando

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    I think the swearth arc, At least the first few pages of the issue, was definitely poking fun at the audience. And it's only sending a message if we subscribe to the idea that everything in fiction leaves an impact on the reader. I mean, why would that specific line of dialogue show up in a comic like that?
     
  13. Urluck

    Urluck unimportant

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    So, you are objecting to self-aware meta-commentary? Okay. When you wrote message, I assumed you were talking about a political stance or aesop.
     
  14. GoLion

    GoLion Sé que me estás robando

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    No, nothing that far, but it does come across subtextually as a bit preachy. "Believe what I believe or you're a bad person". Totalitarian crap I can't stand.

    Could I be wrong? Sure, but it's how I see that situation.
     
  15. Blitz Wing

    Blitz Wing Triple Threat

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    You are totally allowed to have your opinion but I don't see how having Swerve's meta Earth storyline has anything to do with being preachy or totalitarian. I'm just not following your logic here.
     
  16. Skeeve

    Skeeve Well-Known Member

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    Most of my gripes about the book are fanboy gripes. Rodimus Prime is an awesome character, ostensibly their leader, and he rarely gets to shine. Still--impeccable depiction of him.

    I love that the book doesn't dumb-down the science fiction, but sometimes the intricacies of the plot bog down the pacing a bit.

    Other that, it's head-and-shoulders above the other TF books on the stands, with the exception of Windblade, which comes close.
     
  17. Urluck

    Urluck unimportant

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    I have to agree here, I'm not seeing a subtext beyond "hey, wouldn't be fun to do an episode about sitcoms" or "lets check in on a fan favourite".
     
  18. GoLion

    GoLion Sé que me estás robando

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    Again, it only works if we subscribe to the idea of everything in the media having an insidious impact on it's readership. The mansplaining comment was aimed at the fandom. It was a dig at how some of the people don't like the tone of the comic (I don't agree with those particular detractors on this subject). The fact that it even made it in is what bothers me. Roberts used his platform to tell people to think a certain way (Not that his way of thinking is wrong). It's not the message he sent, it's that he felt the need to do it in the book. When his twitter account should have sufficed.

    Could I be wrong about this? Sure, but it was what popped into my mind when I reread the issue. I think when he does do that meta stuff it detracts from the story. I don't have a problem with the message, I have a problem with the attitude that it HAS to be in the fiction. It doesn't.
     
  19. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    Good to know that I wasn't the only bugged by the pointless word-drop of "Mansplaining" in the comic.
     
  20. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I kind of have to disagree with you here, on a few fronts.

    Authors have personal values, and these values will come out in their work... perhaps SHOULD come out in their work.

    Also, I'm not necessarily opposed to meta-narrative and reflexivity as a device in fiction (in fact, when it's done well, I usually LOVE this).

    Secondly, I don't think that "believe what I believe or your'e a bad person" is necessarily what's being said... but even if it were, it wouldn't be 'totalitarian'. In order for it to be totalitarian, it would have to involve an exercise of power. Otherwise, it's merely an opinion. Maybe a questionable or dickish one, but still... expressing your beliefs or values is allowed.

    And frankly, some people who don't share my values ARE bad people... :) 

    BUT... that doesn't mean that I'll agree with every ideology espoused by a writer or artist. It also doesn't mean that every 'meta-commentary' is always well done. In some cases, it can be too transparent, too blunt, or too preachy, in ways that disrupt the balance between the two levels we're reading (I feel that for reflexivity to work, you need to maintain a tension between the text and subtext).

    In the case of the 'mansplaining' thing, I just don't much like that term, since it's overly catchy and is almost never used in its proper context. Simply being pedantic isn't what 'mansplaining' is, and at worst, it's usually misused to dismiss anything that's being said with a loaded stigmatic charge.

    BUT... (again) The way 'mansplaining' is used in the context of the story really doesn't seem to say anything... not to his critics, not to feminists, not to anybody. It's practically a non-sequitur, it's so vague. It just seems like Transformers using a very trendy earth word in a context where it's really out of place. If it had been played off a bit differently, it might actually have been funny. Instead it feels random.

    So no, the mere existence of the word in the comic doesn't really feel like something you could label "totalitarian"... or even as particularly ideologically edged.

    I do however agree that if you really MUST include personal asides or digs in your art, you should at least integrate them in such a way that they actually SAY something, and don't feel like a random WTF. Because if it's that specific, then maybe it should have been on twitter, or in a personal email instead (do people still send those?).

    I have to wonder though... how much of his fandom does Roberts think is following his twitter activity?

    zmog
     

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