Hm. I think I'm done. Goodbye, Lost Light.

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by RNSrobot, May 13, 2017.

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  1. RNSrobot

    RNSrobot Keeper of the Waspinator Swarm. Blam.

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    I do appreciate @SPLIT LIP 's frustration with the scenario but I fall into the boat of THAT not being the bad part of the issue. It's a weird one for me. I don't *hate* it. I love Cyclonus and Megatron and Rodimus' avatars. I really like the overall idea that Swerve is so depressed and suicidal that he hasn't left his suite in months. I even like the Cheers style opening, because fuck me I love Cheers. I really like Cyclonus' final speech, which plays into the interpretation of him as a stoic samurai, and he will say the hard stuff, and his "Tetrahexian humor. Very dry." line pops me.

    Except... i don't believe the entire crew of the Lost Light is searching Swearth for Swerve. Anyway, beside that stuff, the whole issue is too cutesy and too meta and too... yeah. The three pieces of his personality (Ted, Sheldon, and Jerry? Fucking seriously?), the paintball, all that stuff, it just leaves me cold. Reading their own comic. It's... it's just too much.

    Anyway. Take the Ticks and this and somehow turn them into one issue, or find another way to bring them into reaction with the Vis Vitalis (argh, somebody in this thread had a good issue). Eh. I don't need to play armchair booker. A couple issues weren't great, y'know? But I liked the Scavengers two-parter (except... the dialogue at the end doesn't quite sit right with me, it's too on the nose, somehow, even I like where it goes), I liked the Skids two-parter (well, I liked the flashbacks a LOT, but it really seemed bizarre to me that Froid just shows up so easily out of nowhere, and the horror aspect somehow doesn't quite work), and I like Dying of the Light (even if the eventual Tarn thing kind of dulls it).

    It's not like I went into Lost Light at all expecting to be in this place or to feel the way I do. Nothing in season 2 ruined the book for me or put me on a "maybe not" list. But the little things that had bothered me, on the periphery, were 100% amplified with Lost Light. Add in the behind the scenes situation and my dislike of the current art, well. Yeah.

    Wake me when they actually get BACK to the fucking Lost Light.
     
  2. ZeroiaSD

    ZeroiaSD Autobot

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    Ultimately I think leaving the comic is the right call for you. Like, I'm totally tempted to defend the comic, but that won't re-engage your enjoyment, and I have seen plenty of people stick with comics they've stopped liking out of inertia and just get bitter over it, which is no fun for anyone.

    Flipside, sometimes I've quit stuff, came back (or seen others), and found I even enjoyed the parts I was getting tired with or at least found them tolerable and the good parts fresher again.
     
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  3. CaptainButtocks

    CaptainButtocks Well-Known Member

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    Whilst I can totally sympathise with and understand those who viewed Season 2 as poor or inconsistent or self-indulgent or whatnot, to me, ultimately, I have to view the season as a triumph because I just didn't think the "Megatron on a viable and understandable redemption arc" was at all possible or feasible. I'm pretty sure I predicted a disaster from the moment the solicits were revealed. Shows what I know!

    As that was the major season-long story, I'm willing to cut it a little slack on things like personality ticks (personally I loved Swearth), Nickel, Firestar and the Tarn reveal - as it never interested me in the first place (to me Tarn was who he was, not his previous identity) because the Megatron work was just *so* good.

    Anyhoo, keen for this arc to wrap up and see how it fares on reading as a whole. I remember being hugely frustrated during those first ten issues of RiD and then finding it stuck together rather well in trade form, but I suppose pacing is a discussion for another time.

    Good thread, folks :) 
     
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  4. Tailgreat

    Tailgreat Active Member

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    People didn't like Nickel?

    She was one of the best parts of the DJD and the self indulgent lies they told themselves.
     
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  5. General Magnus

    General Magnus Da Custodes of the Emprah

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    I get it that you don´t like it and it´s your right. As for me, it´s the only comic I read and await each month for it´s arrival.
     
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  6. General Magnus

    General Magnus Da Custodes of the Emprah

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    It´s what he does, just tune it out.
     
  7. rlmiddleton

    rlmiddleton Don’t call me a member thank you very much.

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    An interesting thread! And one that probably wouldn't exist if Roberts wasn't a pretty great writer! I mean, people wouldn't care this much if he was mediocre.

    Anyway, I also have been struggling *somewhat* with LL. Megatron's (imo) righteousness in some of these issues is pretty extraordinary considering he was a ruthless, genocidal murderer not for a while, but for *millions of years*, contrasting with how short a time it took for him to change. I know you can't portray that gradual a transition back again in a comic format over a year or so, but it's just jarring in context of the in universe world for me.

    Anode...it's like people say, there are plenty of other characters who could have been fleshed out instead. I guess the problem is that what she represents- quick tongued and feisty but with a 'dark serious' side- seems very cliche to me now. Other new characters have been brought in successfully despite comparably negative initial reaction, but then the book and it's hallmark style/characterisations were all younger then as well.

    And finally on the constant stream of jokes. Unlike most of the posters I see, I actually dropped MTMTE season *1* after five or six issues because I didn't like the tone. Having read Eugenesis and enjoyed Chaos I was prepared for Roberts to produce epic sweeping stories rather than a soap opera style ongoing. I only decided to give it another go later and I'm glad I did. It's different (obvs still epic in places) but overall I still like it. I just wish he'd rein the humour in a bit sometimes. Sigh.

    Interesting to see some statements on getting personal about Roberts. I think he is a good writer still and I don't think I am done yet with LL. But with social media these days it's much easier to 'know' your artistic heroes, and I wonder how much that tarnishes (or the opposite) one's impressions of the book. "Never meet your heroes" right? I find it interesting how much you can or can't separate a piece of art in isolation from what you know of the artist.
     
  8. LordGigaIce

    LordGigaIce A Chair!

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    I liked MtMtE season 2.
    I liked the Tarn reveal. Tarn was a nobody who let someone else define him because he lacked the strength of character to forge his own path. He's a Megatron fanboy who designed his own "totally original" Decepticon OC with a Decepticon mask and duel fusion cannons. It's amazing.

    I generally enjoy LL too. There are faults, but what Roberts has been able to achieve via the Functionist universe in terms of social commentary and strong character work are more than enough to overcome said faults. For me at least. For the time being. LL, like any comic series, could drive off a cliff at any issue. And Roberts seems to enjoy tempting fate now that he's aware of what the fans "expect" from him.

    My biggest issue with LL though? Megatron.
    Roberts is a socialist. This isn't a slam on him for his political beliefs. It's just an observation. Check out his Twitter. He makes no bones about that.
    And he has described IDW Megs as a socialist who fell into the trap of totalitarian thinking. The parallels between Decepticonism and Soviet Communism are not subtle.

    So now Megs is an Autobot and a member of Roberts' "roster." He's got control over the character.
    And the Functionist universe is a means to redeem Megatron. He failed in the main timeline, by accepting a totalitarian mindset and leading to the downfall of his own cause. Now he's here in the Functionist universe and he can lead a revolution the "proper" way.

    Essentially James Roberts is saying "now that I'm writing for Megatron he can be a socialist the proper way!" Megatron has, as a result of his redemption story, become Roberts' own self-insert character.

    This is on display in the comics, with Terminus essentially turning towards the reader and going "isn't Megatron a great leader now? Isn't he wonderful?"

    James Roberts is a talented author. The whole Megatron thing reeks of arrogance though. And if there's one thing I can't stand? It's arrogance. Even if it's earned.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
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  9. General Magnus

    General Magnus Da Custodes of the Emprah

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    Can I say this is the best critical thread of IDW I have seen in recent times?
     
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  10. RNSrobot

    RNSrobot Keeper of the Waspinator Swarm. Blam.

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    I'm stunned that outside of one exception, everybody has been incredibly reasonable and understanding.

    It's been awesome. It shows how much this book means/meant to so many of us, because few books inspire this kind of thought.

    Thanks everybody.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
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  11. Splendic

    Splendic bleep blorp

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    I love this thread, but it does give me some strong deja vu. I feel like most of the criticisms (though I agree with them) are carried over from Season 2 of MTMTE, and the real frustration being voiced is over the fact that, while LL is definitely less silly, less meta, and less Earth-culture obsessed than MTMTE s2, it hasn't recaptured the "magic" of Season 1. And I agree with that also.

    Things I think would help enormously?

    Better artist. Nuff said.

    Making efforts to return characters' unique voices. Somehow Ratchet, Drift, Cyclonus and Magnus still manage it to some degree, but even they've slid into speaking in the generic Roberts beats far too often.

    Reducing cast bloat. Even though some of them are hits, the constant influx of new characters erodes my connection to the originals and the book itself. So many of the newbies have proven to be superfluous, or clones of existing characters, with little reason that their stories and roles couldn't have been given to regulars, of which there are already many. I mean, even six issues with a half a cast of newbies equals six to eight months away from the original touchstones.

    Story direction. And here's where I give JRo a big pass...

    It seems clearer in retrospect that Season 2 was largely affected by crossover and continuity needs. Stories went on hold, and arc pacing went out the window. It wouldn't surprise me if all the things I hated about Season 2 are due to JRo getting the rug pulled out from under him and deciding that if he couldn't keep his book 100% "pure," he might as well pull back on the masterfully crafted mystery and world building and just have some fun with the book instead. Personally, that makes for a less compelling read.

    But for a guy that has story threads running 30+ issues, it has to be difficult for Hasbro or IDW to come in and tell him... "Hey, we're going to need you break your story up and get some characters back to Cybertron \ Earth in six issues, Kthx."

    It does feel to me that LL is trying to get back on track, but isn't entirely there. Apparently, for IDW reasons he had to move up the Anode story(?), which is everything wrong in a nutshell.
     
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  12. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    I agree. And yet, some people will claim that crossovers affect nothing and pretend people are silly for complaining about them. What's worse is that not only are the incessant crossovers going to continue, but now, to add insult to injury, they'll even be expanded to include unrelated franchises. How someone can imagine that won't negatively impact LL is beyond me.
     
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  13. onnsake

    onnsake champ

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    MTMTE was never the same after that insipid Dark Cybertron crossover.

    Because of that, they ended up back on Cybertron. Everything that had happened was essentially meaningless cause they ended up right back where they started. And then I'm supposed to believe most of them would willingly get BACK on the ship for MORE wacky adventures?

    It ruined the flow of the narrative. It just never recaptured the magic after that. Also, it started feeling like one big cop out. I remember being shocked and moved by the sudden tragic deaths of several characters. But they were all reversed. Other than Pipes, did anyone actually die in the comic, and stay dead? No. Bringing Rewind back in any shape or form was especially cheap.

    But the worst offense to me was already mentioned in this thread: seeing Cyclonus finally decide to sacrifice his life for Tailgate, getting graphically killed on the last page of a cliffhanger....only for the next issue to say "Oh yeah, he's fine." Off panel no less.

    MTMTE was something really special and original. I wish I had just stopped reading at the end of season one and never continued with that crossover and beyond.

    (PS...a lot of the fill in artists on the later issues were pretty bad. That Sakamoto guy being the worst in my opinion.)
     
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  14. That Guy

    That Guy Well-Known Member

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    To me it seems weird to focus on the Megatron is a socialist thing too much. I agree that a big part of his arc is him falling to totalitarianism, but I don't think him being socialist is anything special, I mean isn't Optimus basically socialist also? We've got two factions that are both weird collectives that mix public and private ownership (for the autobots in so far as it seems they are lead by their military).
     
  15. Tailgreat

    Tailgreat Active Member

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    As someone who hates magical resurrections I thought the return of Rewind was good, specifically because it isn't our Rewind and they milk drama out of it. Rewind's death isn't invalidated because it's someone else.

    Like, it makes perfect sense that Chromedome and Alt!Rewind can pick off from there, because they've lost, what, a year? What's that to immortal million years old robots?

    What was tacky, though, is that they take this Rewind who's just suffered through massive amounts of trauma, and then they kick him out into space until Chromedome comes back so they can cuddle.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  16. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

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    But what if Rewind returns and comes face to face with the alternate Rewind? What would Chromedome do?
     
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  17. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    I agree with every word of this, except that perhaps I don't feel this frustration quite so strongly.

    Dark Cybertron was certainly a misstep, firstly for the reasons stated above - it completely removes the sense that they've covered any serious distance in their quest. Coupled with First Aid and co. doubling back to Cybertron a few months later (once again for a crossover), it makes the in-fiction universe seem trivially small. Imagine if Frodo and company had nipped back to the Shire half way through The Two Towers. (Speaking of which, JR could've done with working out a Tolkien-style map.)

    The second reason Dark Cybertron harpooned MTMTE, in my opinion, is that it stopped it being self-contained. The crossover truly is a remarkably stupid invention - I now have to forewarn anyone I try to recommend the series to that there comes a point where a load of other characters, all with their own baggage, become briefly relevant. (The numbering also goes nuts at this point, with you having to follow the story across issues of another comic, *and* the Dark Cybertron stand-alone issues).

    Rewind's return was somewhat novel and creates an interesting dynamic between him and Chromedome. The trouble is that if this was on the cards he shouldn't have got such a big and memorable send-off. I'm all for bringing characters back when their deaths are sudden and shocking, and when their full potential hasn't been explored, but Rewind's story got wrapped up pretty neatly, thematically, and he even got a final video message.

    The Cyclonus not-death was essentially a re-run of the same mistake, but with the copout being immediate. Ironically, Pipes returning would have actually felt somewhat justified in exchange for those two staying down, since he hadn't done anything much apart from getting nearly killed twice before.
     
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  18. Tailgreat

    Tailgreat Active Member

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    I mean Skids and Ravage are hella dead. It's not like Robert just stopped killing people off.

    And Rewind 1 is still dead. So's Ambulon. So's Pipes. Death should be important and I prefer it to the characters just getting offed for cheap drama.

    I will admit that nobody dying to Sunder was kind of stupid, though I think those issues were meant to be jokey and set up Tailgate's super strength and Megatron's turn to pacifism. Hell did even Froid die there?

    Otherwise, I sorta agree? Like the characters should be in danger, and if you don't think they can be killed off, if the comic's become too light and jokey, then that kind of devalues the threat? Like who on Team Rodimus could die in the Functionalistverse? Not whether they should, but logically who could?
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  19. justiceg

    justiceg Well-Known Member

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    THANK YOU. I've been struggling with how to phrase this literally since early season 2, and you nailed perfectly what I was thinking. Ties back into how I felt the "religion vs science" ambiguities/mysteries of season 1 had almost all been but abandoned.
     
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  20. AnomusPrime

    AnomusPrime Very sane, not crazy at all

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    I don't quite understand why people want main characters to be killed off?? I would rather see them develop than die. A story can be serious without offing characters for shock value, which actually reduces the seriousness of the story. If someone's death is meaningful and important than I'm all for it, but most times it's not.

    And we do get some important character killed, which I'm not happy about, but there were circumstances and I can understand.
     
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