Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Nelomaxwell, Nov 22, 2019.
Specifically how would you have done it?
Focus. There were FAR too many side quests that ended up not amounting to anything. How often were we lead down a path that might've had some interesting implications that ended up going nowhere?
The first 20 issues were so specific and each little revelation built toward something more interesting. As the series continued, the little revelations ending up amounting to nothing. LL was especially guilty of this. Baby Decepticon? Nothing. Cybertron being molded? Nothing. Then there was the stuff with the DJD. Again, nothing. The most interesting aspect of the DJD was the damn dog.
In the beginning of MTMTE everyone had a unique and interesting way of 'talking' (You could take away the visual aspects and still guess who was who based on the way they were written), as the series went on everyone started sounding the same.
1) Rodimus should have actually suffered for his hubris. I never understood what made him the "good guy" when most of what he did wasn't any better than what the bad guys were doing. One of the most infuriating things I found was that almost every antagonist he faced with his crew had something they believed in or a goal they felt needed accomplishing for some kind of overall betterment of Transformers, the Universe or themselves unabashedly. Rodimus' goals had nothing to do with anything anyone needed - the whole point of his voyage was to have an audience - the crew and the reader - watch how great he was. Instead of growing or developing as a character he just turned into the guy that was RELENTLESSLY lucky, escaped all consequence through plot contrivance, and then had the gall to be smarmy about it.
2) More Scavengers. Love them or hate them, if you ever wanted to tell a story about what it's like to be a minority reviled for violent tendencies and shoveled into the intergalactic ghetto, these were your guys. Optimus and Windblade/TAAO focused on politics and high level issues. MTMTE/LL proper was about some cockamamie "quest" that was more or less an aimless adventure romp. The Scavengers could have easily been a great story about a group of thugs trying to reform and make something of their lives that get swept up in stuff they can't control. They could have kept it "street level". I'm thinking of Garth Ennis' Hitman style, filled with dark humor and great comraderie. Instead they were basically another set of clowns. So much wasted potential.
3) Getaway should have been the bad guy that was only doing bad things for a good reason. He should have been a foil and Rodimus' "dark mirror". Where Rodimus was doing good things for all the wrong reasons, Getaway could have been an infinitely more interesting character if he was a "good guy" doing bad things but for all the right reasons. It would have made him a far more interesting antagonist and actually provided legitimate conflict instead of turning him into yet another mustache twirler to knock down.
4) More actualization for Autobot Megatron & the DJD and other concepts. Both were failed uses of fun characters going in different directions. Megatron had a rich history that all but fizzled out, instead turning him into yet another boring quip-dispensing complainer amongst the LL crew. The DJD had so much potential to grow into characters with a lot of backstory. Then they died without a pomp. This was kind of endemic in the book. As @GoLion inferred, there was a lot of fun or interesting concepts introduced and then just flat out abandoned. Megatron and the DJD just got more mileage before they got hammered flat to fit the LL template or removed completely.
5) Less reliance on shock value. Roberts used shock value events far too often for me to care after a while. After a certain point, you could boil down Robert's plots to two items: 1) monsters/fanatics are trying to messily kill/eat everyone; 2) some weird, wholly unique to the LL event is going to destroy the Universe. I get that this is a comic and kind of par for the course, but there ARE other crises that can be had, and other terrible fates aside from "being eaten". I have no idea why the book was so fixated on the worse fate in the Universe as being eaten.
I'd name more, but you get the picture. tl;dr - the book needed to rely less on plot contrivance and actually have done things with concepts it introduced.
I remember early on kind of sympathizing with Getaway. I mean, ultimately, Getaway was right. Megatron was everything Getaway said he was. Then Roberts turned him into a Saturday morning cartoon villain.
Less romance. Skids death done better. Maybe not dead at all.
Didn’t Rodimus grew as a character? I remember him calling Megatron captain and wasn’t upset about it. Also I always thought him getting kick off the ship was his hubris.
There was, but it was pretty much squandered
I would have WELCOMED a SatAM cartoon villain. Getaway just got turned into a god damn chump. At least Dr. Drakken was funny about it.
It didn't stick. Nothing stuck for Rodimus. He never really changed. Whatever growth he sustained was usually tossed out the window whenever Rodimus got a new idea, much like the rest of the crew.
Dang. Even Sunbrow Rodimus had some. growth.
MTMTE is done but if it were redone as a cartoon they could go with the original premise and have a crew of Autobots and Decepticons and be free from constraints placed by RID/ongoing/OP/the failed Hasbroverse, some more input from other writers into characters would probably help because the main problem is by the end of the series they really did sound the same. A 52 episode anime might also sustain the whole scope of Roberts outline and not end with it being rushed to conclusion.
The mutiny could have other players and motivations, and I really couldn't buy the crew putting Getaway in charge, I think Hound or some other higher up would have seized the role with Getaway as adviser.
Golion made a good point about focus. A dollop of focus would have been appreciated.
I think James tended to rely on the fakeout way, way too much. A gentle editorial hand would have probably helped rein that in a little.
A couple of personal things. Killing Skids really hurt and detracted from the story. The special insight and knowledge he gained literally had to swapped off to a different character because he was missing.
The mutiny was really interesting but did not end satisfactorily when Gateway just became another psycho.
I would have never brought back Rewind. Sorry, Domey.
Where to begin? By not doing; too much fan-service, fake-outs, bringing back characters, killing of the wrong characters, making everyone appear to be the same, too many references to pop-culture, too much humanization, too many plots, weak execution of said plots, anticlimatic endings, etc, etc.
The list goes on and on.
This and bringing Rewind back to life. Wait, didn’t that Rewind came from another lost light? And although I do agree with you about Skids death. He could’ve back as Michael Bay Skids.
This also. Although I never saw too much humanization. At least not until late season two or early season three.
There's a lot but i'll list a few,
Develop villains in a way that makes them feel like actual people and not just mustache twirlers that are so obviously written as obstacles for the heroes like others have already stated. That is not to say every single villain we encounter has to be complex but, at the very least, we need to understand WHY they so strongly believe in the things they do. WHY was Starsaber so pious? WHY is Tarn so devoted to the Decepticon cause?
Getaway should have been the pragmatic and ruthless foil to Rodimus with genuine intent for good instead of his crazy Prime complex. The other mutineers should have willingly joined him and believed in his utilitarianism, seeing as they were literally being captained by the dude who committed mass murder across the galaxy and probably killed many of their companions before the mutiny.
Romance is fine but it should always, always, take a backseat to the characters more prominent issues. Tailgate and Cyclonus's individual character threads were completely tossed aside for the sake of their shared romantic sub-plot. Personally, I would have made them an item towards the very climax of LL or in the end as opposed to half way through the series. That way they still get to explore the more personal individualistic sides of their characters. The moment they became a pair, those two characters personal issues were never touched upon again and every future problem they faced was about their relationship as opposed to personal matters. A slight tangent but Whirl was also sacrificed to this romantic sub-plot, becoming nothing more than a wingman despite having his own mountain of issues, many of which were never really helped.
In phase 1 of IDW, Rodimus would always fly solo because of a trauma he'd suffered when he got his whole team killed. Okay, in that case, the entirety of MTMTE should be about him trying to redeem himself as a leader in his eyes. But he fails time and time again. Characters have come and gone in regards to the LL, why didn't Rodimus ever leave? I would have had Rodimus leave for the beginning half of S2 since Megs was captaining, he'd catch up with everyone later maybe after finding Drift and apologizing?
I would not introduce Roller, Anode, Lug or any characters I had no time to develop. They took up time and added absolutely nothing. I know some people like Lug and Anode because of the representation they provided but they're just...Not good characters.
Rodimus had his own team in phase 1? So that why he said...I can’t remember what he said, but right after Drift suggesting that the 40 Autobots could be dead.
Basically in IDW P1, Rodimus had his own crew that got killed due to Doubledealers actions and felt immense guilt over it. Imagine that, Rodimus having concerns for someone else. Afterwards he would go solo in order to avoid that.
First I found out James ruined Prowl and now I happen to find out he ruined Rodimus. No wonder why some people don’t like him.
Doing what transformers comics should be doing: not exist.
I think rushing things hurt the ending.
We kind of got payoff for the Scavengers but I think we should have gotten like 5-10 more Scavenger-centric issues. There was basically NO resolution for the Grimlock plotline.
Compressing Getaway's storyline made him come across like an "eeeeevil" villain; I get the slippery slope his scheming and compromising brought him down, but it should have been MUCH more gradual. Getaway could have been the 'dark mirror' of Rodimus whose hatred of Megatron ironically led him down Megatron's dark path, but even Megatron (in this story) didn't break so bad, so fast, for such a relatively petty reason. I even agree with him using the 'nudge gun' to 'simplify' the process of recruiting compatriots... it should have been a big deal though, where everybody is convinced the old-fashioned way and he uses the nudge on that ONE holdout. And then he ends up having to use it again, then again... And once Megatron is off the ship, he'd need to continue to manufacture enemies to unite the crew against. So maybe instead of sacrificing people willy-nilly to Sunder, we'd have the much more troubling and angsty dynamic of turning (with the nudge gun's help) comrades against each other to keep his leadership stable. This would not only mirror Megatron's descent (and you could even do Watchmen-style flashbacks, perhaps using the DJD back-plot to frame them, to make this parallel inescapably clear), it would also contrast his descent with Rodimus' ascent, in terms of learning to be self-aware and becoming an accountable leader. Even his well-deserved karmic death was VERY McGuffin-ey. Like, you had to pay CLOSE attention to not be completely confused by the 'domesticated scraplets' thing... they were only mentioned once, and it was in a HOLIDAY issue. A Chekov's Gun this important should never get its sole mention outside of the normal series -- I mean, it should be mentioned more than once off the top, but definitely not in a 'side story' that collectors of the main series might not have picked up.
(In contrast, I thought the reveals concerning the Magnificence were handled much better: it got mentioned multiple times through the series, it was set up YEARS ago in a way that introduced Rodimus, who was the character involved in the resolution of that plot; there were little hints along the way about its true "identity," etc.)
Bringing in the Omega Guardians as a villain for, like, two panels? What was the POINT?
I didn't mind the OCs but I can't lie, aside from of course Rung, Froid, Pharma, and Nautica they didn't add much. I mean, I liked them, but I have to acknowledge the validity of some other posters' points when they say those roles could have easily been filled by existing characters, at least for the most part. (Not so much Pharma). Lug and Anode could have probably been some obscure "actual characters." Killmaster, for all the buildup, was dispatched super easily and also could have been an actual obscure TF (maybe one of the European late G1/G2 exclusives, like Clench). As far as the Guiding Hand goes, aside from Tyrest and Rung they were pretty much all wasted. The Adaptus/Architect payoff was SUPER weak. Like, MEGA weak.
The truth of Cyberutopia was lame (or maybe rather, the way it played out), as were the deaths of Ten and Nightbeat. For Nightbeat in particular, if you're gonna bring a character back from the dead, USE them. If the planet can HEAL your illness, what's the point of EUTHANIZING you TOO? If the planet became 'broken' somehow, why not have them FIX it instead of 'hey we made it, but it's the exact opposite of what we expected it to be, but it doesn't matter because a life-sized TF:Cybertron Primus toy destroyed it like 5 minutes later'
Skids, after all he'd been through, was killed by a MEMORY? I just don't buy that. Psychological damage, catatonia, even a memory wipe, but DEATH? That was just weak to me.
I would have liked more payoff with Deszaras but I wasn't angry about how it played out. It didn't deliver on its promise though.
I would have liked to see the Autobot Phase Sixer plot come to fruition, because it was teased early on and that was the whole reason they had Overlord on the ship in the first place IIRC. Also, did we ever find out exactly what dirt Prowl had on Chromedome that made Domey flip out and erase his memory? (I guess if Dome didn't want it to come out, and he erased it from Prowl's mind, there's no way for us to find out now, is there?)
I know I just listed a litany of issues I had with the comic, but I still enjoyed the entire run, even Swearth (although it was definitely the comic's low point). I even liked the Personality Ticks issues, because they were good character studies and also very weird, British sci-fi-ish IMO. Even at its nadir this series was still good IMO. I just think that at its peak it was EXCELLENT. Not just for a Transformers comic... for a comic, period.
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