Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Mechafire, May 28, 2014.
Yeah, until they combine.
In Long Haul's case, yes. Transformers getting bigger or smaller as they change their bodies isn't really new.
As far as Prowl's lack of subtlty goes who needs Sublety when you can become a city smasher sized robot? Being a master manipulator only works as long as people don't realise they're being manipulated. Now that prowl has been revealed as the man behind oz's curtain, he dosent hold nearly as much power as he used to
I liked this issue.
It looks like Soundwave turns into a TPz Fuchs, or its American version, the M93 Fox, albeit heavily modified to account for the chest.
Nice to see the Constructicon-Prowl dynamic isn't just a Dark Cybertron oneoff.
Echoing the sentiment that Marissa going from Occupy Wall Street to black-ops commando in the span of a year (give or take) is a head-scratcher.
I couldn't agree more. I love Prowlstator, and just the idea of how dangerous Prowl is now that one of the most destructive forces in the galaxy is in his possession is terrifyingly cool. Not to mention how fun it is to see Prowl hanging out with a group of single-minded thugs like the Constructicons.
I thought the vehicle mode for Arcee was in interesting choice:
Is this probably what we are gonna see in the fall when the generations toy releases?
It kinda bums me that this issue had 3 artists, and the one that gets the bronze is the main one. What do we gotta do to rectify this?
i hope they stop using the "previously" page
This is one of those special issues. Really. Y'know, the kind where you actually feel like starting a list of grievances and irritations before you even finish reading the thing. It really is that bad.
And the thing is... this is certainly not the first time a Barber issue has left me feeling this way. Everything is... just... so... DUMB.
Anything in this issue's writing that isn't complete and utter shit, is totally buried and negated by everything that is. So really, there's not even any point in trying to separate out those little bright spots, because the sum total is still a big pile of crap. At first I wanted to go on a big rant, and flay this issue to pieces, but then I got here, and most of you were doing the same thing already, and now mostly it just makes me feel tired.
Gimme a few posts. I might summon up some outrage.
So, people have mentioned Costa in this thread. I'm not sure if the writing is similar, but the feeling of total dissatisfaction after putting down the comic sure is familiar. The difference is that this issue really felt like Barber TRYING... while with Costa, it never felt like he gave a shit. I'm not quite sure whether that makes it better or worse, unfortunately.
But you know what else I learned from the Costa years? It really stings knowing you carried on paying money for that crap for TWO YEARS, just in the vain hope it would get better. I'm very close to voting with my dollar on this one and just dropping RID. It's just disappointed me far too often.
Anyway, to save time, I'm going to agree with a lot of you here...
Or maybe Marissa is just a woman with a really thick face? It's possible.
But yeah... he needs some work on those humans. Heck, I was even finding his regular TF faces a little stiffer than usual. Some of the Prime close-ups looked really awkward.
I found him pretty annoying. He's so blatantly (and unsuccessfully) inserted as some kind of quirky comic relief. And the spelled out R2 speech-patterns? That doesn't work on the page. It just doesn't. If you want a bleeping droid character like that, you're better off just giving him Woodstock word bubbles.
Yup. Yup... yup... yup...
What we never realized way back in the Ongoing was that Megatron's master plan was actually to poison Earth's water supplies and give everybody brain damage, that would become endemic in about... say 2 years?
I know, right?
Yeah. I think Barber has always had a lot of empty verbiage in his writing, but it seems maybe more inane than usual here.
Well, it reveals that PARTS of the ship are pressurized at least... though it doesn't tell us why. I did like the bit about having to swap frequencies when they went outside. It was one of those very rare, and very overdue bits of worldbuilding that I like to see. Too bad it was a tiny point of light in such a blah issue.
I'm not sure how I feel about that. I mean, I hate the plot development that led to the Prowl/Constructicon thing. I might be able to say that the Constructicons are getting a bit more characterization... but the truth is that all 5 of them are really just getting one blanket characterization. It's not like they're individuals at all.
Yeah, but there isn't any POINT to double crossing them. No matter how they try to play it after the fact, it's still going down dumb.
Yeah. Pretty much.
Don't forget Prowl, the shady, amoral schemer who undermines everything Optimus does.
But hey, the EDC was ready to cut a deal with the Decepticons, so maybe the more genocidal psychos you have on your team, the better people like you?
Everyone seems to be thinking this is some kind of brilliant strategic coup on Prowl's part. I really don't get it. Ultimately, the Decepticons don't give that much of a shit about being identified. I don't see that much of an advantage. Plus, humans were still dealing with robot activity like TWO YEARS AGO... I don't think a few more sightings are going to tip the world into panic. Earth has already weathered a full scale invasion... that dam burst long ago.
Also... ALSO... just to highlight my point in the preview thread about Sky Lynx...
Prowl... YOU HAVE F***ING SKY LYNX. Maybe you might want to use him as slightly more than a free ride?
Well, they've already convinced the readers...
No, no... don't apologize. I think it's entirely warranted.
The thing I'm having trouble with is the fact that Galvatron hasn't already folded Soundwave up into a little ball of scrap and punted him into orbit yet. For such a high and mighty warlord, he sure lets his subordinates overrule him a lot.
That's what happens when you make a 25-year-old hippy into the field commander of your planetary defense force. I mean, seriously... is this anime or something?
I dunno. At first he seemed decisive, but then he ended up pretty weak.
Also, just for the sake of pointing it out, I love (by which I mean, I hate) how Optimus is totally all "Don't worry everybody! I trust Prowl to come up with a plan! He's always got a PLAN!"... meanwhile coming up with absolutely NO F***ING PLAN OF HIS OWN.
"Attack! No wait, on second thought RUN AWAY! Don't let the military humans get hurt! Let's escape on this human road network that BY DESIGN leads directly to human civilian settlements!"
Idiot. They could have escaped overland into the mountains, where at least there would be a lot of ground and rock cover. OR stood their ground right there on the road. WHERE DID THEY THINK THEY WERE RUNNING TO?
Three of the greatest military minds in the Autobots (I'm leaving Prowl out of this one), and TACTICS FAIL MUCH??
And seriously... did the EDC really just watch as a crew of trigger-happy Decepticons and Autobots left their perimeter so they could carry on a running gun battle barrelling down the interstate into civilian territory, and NOT DO A DAMN THING because "no point in putting ourselves at risk"????
I didn't have such a good view of Prowl this issue. I had a hard time getting a sense of where his character is coming from. His tactical coup felt like one of those things where the character is supposed to do something more clever than the author is capable of writing... with predictable results.
Okay, I did chuckle at that one. Not so much at the Kup dialogue flubs. I mean, hell... it's not like this guy hasn't already been here. You'd think he could get the name right.
Even if only just an ounce. "Hey, don't yell at my dog! Oh, and my deep message for the day is don't trust anyone!" So meaningful.
Yeah, that smelled like a bit of a soft retcon. Of course, the problem is that AHM was written with a disregard for Furman's continuity, so it was never really clear why the Cons broke their 6-Phase protocol anyway.
Yeah... about that. I didn't quite notice it when I read the preview, but that flashback narration... she is actually telling that stupid occupy-suit-protestor story... AT the summit in Antarctica, because she what... thinks Soundwave and Galvatron give a shit what she did that summer? Does General Witwicky care? Is that story part of her negotiations? Cripes, that's awkward.
I KNOW. It was even dumber the second time around. I mean, I get that even a peacenik could become radicalized after the near destruction of her world. But I don't think that's the kind of career move one achieves in a couple of years. Just... no.
No, no... it's her dramatic backstory anecdote. DON'T QUESTION IT. I know, it's idiotic. Like it was written by a 10 year old without a grasp of how the world works.
Oh, but she sure as hell remembers Jazz killing that ONE guy who was taking hostages and waving a space gun... y'know... despite the fact that Bots and Humans still carried on diplomatic relations for several issues after that event.
Exaaaaaactly! I don't know what the hell Barber is doing anymore. Is he just a pseudonym that inexperienced aspiring comic writers in the under-17 category are allowed to write under?
There's something off about it. Like it's regular Galvatron, wearing an unpainted 3rd party prototype upgrade set.
It gets better. Then he says "Hey, you wanna team up and help me kill those other guys that you had relatively good relations with in the past? Y'know... just for shits and giggles?" And then we said "Oh, you Nazis... I can't stay mad at you! Let's invade Canada together. I hate THOSE guys."
I'm so glad you ranted on this stuff. It makes less work for me. Why don't we have a high-five smiley?
Spoilers! The Black Hole is a literary mash-up of Shakespeare's The Tempest and Goethe's Faust, and Maximillian is the devil!
Have you watched that entire film recently? The ending is at least as f***ed up as you remember it.
Yup, that's Frenzy. His primary attack is his special ability to annoy dogs. How this guy ended up in the Decepticons, I have no idea. Now I know why IDW gave him drills.
And Rumble, whose power is to create localized earthquakes... maybe you might want to actually apply those piledrivers to that task? Instead of just waving them at Kup, who has a 10 foot reach on you, and A GUN.
The best part of it is that Laserbeak actually gets some dialogue for a change. The worst part of it is that, carrying on from Costa, Jazz gets to reaffirm that he is a completely incompetent tool, with no skill, situational awareness, or ability to remain calm under fire. Y'know... Jazz.
I'm pretty sure that's what he's supposed to be known for, right? Right??
Okay, that was fun. Therapeutic. I'm done.
Hey, just wanted to bring this up because I went back and looked at that story, but remember that Bumblebee was trying to talk that police officer down, and it looked like he was hesitating, but then Jazz went and shot him anyway even after being ordered not to. It's certainly not equal to what the Cons did, but Jazz wasn't exactly completely justified in what he did.
What a lame issue. Earth drama legit never makes sense. I guess its Geewunny in the fact that its kind of fuckin dumb
I find that acceptable.
I think a lot of people were quick to point that out at the time.
Jazz was partially justified in what he did. It was still a hostage situation with a volatile individual. He still had Bumblebee at gunpoint. The fact that Bumblebee was about to turn the situation around (maybe) was not known to him. He arguably made a rational choice, though he did go against orders.
The real problem with that scenario was Jazz acting so greatly out of character. The guy is defined by his comfort with Earth culture, his sharpshooting, and his ability to problem-solve without losing his cool, so going lethal in this context was a pretty horrible take on Jazz (Costa, go figure). Now Jazz in this series is turning out to be just as much of an incompetent, apparently.
Hey, didn't Jazz go NAIL in RID a while back? Or did he just spend all his time hanging out in Blurr's bar? Dude has lost his edge. Too much of that hydroponic west-coast energon, I guess.
I think I finally understand Barber's Prowl. It's a bold, original reinterpretation, with interesting societal implications. You see, this issue confirmed something about him that I've been suspecting for a while;
This Prowl is clearly retarded.
Everyone just pretends he's a brilliant, pragmatic strategist/schemer, so that he'll feel better about himself and his handicap. Wow. It wasn't even subtle, but it still took me 29 issues to realize! Boy, do I feel silly!
Hey! That's also what he did with Starscream! That's what made Megatron a dick; he wouldn't play along, calling out Starscream for being horrendously idiotic. But by pretending that Starscream's awful, awful speech actually affected him, he proved to the Autobots that he had gained some sensitivity.
Wow, I just can't believe it had to be spoon fed to me like it was in this issue. Despite not being explicitly stated, it's been totally obvious from the word "Go." Barber's not awful at writing smart people; he's a genius at writing for the mentally handicapped.
Yeah, I'm totally confused by the perception that Prowl had a "brilliant plan" here. This issue could have ended exactly the same way, but without Prowl's radio silence, and without everybody repeating "oh he has a plan"... Prowl could have jumped out of SkyLynx screaming "It's payback time you Decepticreeps, and I don't care who gets in my way!!" and popped his adamantium claws, and Prowlastator could have plopped down right, and everybody would be saying "Oh crap! He's gone over the edge. The shit is totally going to hit the fan now!!"
But instead, he does basically the exact same thing, except leading up to it is a lot of story noise saying "everything is according to my brilliant plan", and we all applaud his strategic acumen.
I don't see it. Even before I saw the solicits, I knew this issue was going to end with Prowlastator making a big entrance, but I'm not seeing how this is a good thing... for anybody right now.
There's one way out of this. Maybe. If this turns out to be a ruse, and Prowl is going to pretend to be big bad Devastator, that all humanity hates, and then PRETEND to attack his Autobot buddies (while creating interference against the Decepticons)... then they could symbolically defeat him, and re-establish the Autobots' heroic status in the public eye... or... something...
Okay, I admit that's a totally far-fetched crackpot plan... but it's the best thing they've got to go on at the moment. Plus I've been drinking.
Though speaking of Prowlastator, I wonder if the human media will notice that he's about a quarter of the size he was when he attacked NYC?
RIGHT? I mean, there's something to be said for holding your own in negotiations, but maybe if the Autobots had just stood up for themselves they wouldn't have been marginalized so much. Obviously the Decepticons told the humans "fuck off" and instead of getting shot they got a peace treaty.
This is one of those things where the scenario is potentially cool but the execution ruins it. That's why I was so well-disposed toward the preview, because I thought we would get more explanation and context, not a dog, a drone, and a big ol' excuse for a "Stealth Force" battle.
Even Prowl's move at the end, I just realized, only makes sense if the humans can punish the Decepticons for revealing themselves...but we just saw that they CAN'T. And they aren't bluffing the Decepticons either. The whole thing would only make sense if the Decepticons thought the humans could put up a credible fight, but Fairborne knows that they COULDN'T and that she needed to maneuver the 'bots and 'cons into killing each other off.
But we don't get that at the end, we just get her "oops" face.
Well, it's three years, with the sliding timescale. But there shouldn't be a sliding timescale in the first place--I don't think it works on even the most basic level with timeline established by Costa and his successors. So with a real timescale, she at least has five years. A lot can change there...especially since she's the daughter of a GIJoe
It will be a bigger plot hole if she is not relieved of command and dishonorably discharged after this incident. Or however the EDC works, maybe it's not quite military and she can instead just be SACKED.
Well he was pretty impressive in AHM.
Anyway. The caliber of writing in Transformers comics has improved to such an extent that this level of incompetence in writing an Earth-story is not acceptable. I mean, doesn't Barber LIVE on Earth? Aren't there like a lot of sources of inspiration available? What is the history of the EDC? Where does its authority derive from? What are Fairborne's qualifications? At least we knew Spike was good at something. What are the attitudes of people in different regions and situations toward the Transformers? All kinds of stuff like this was going on in "International Incident," which is widely regarded as an unusually weak series of issues.
Yeah he was.
This is another thing that bothers me about all of these Earth stories. The Autobots are in NO WAY obligated to lie down and die at the whim of humans. The best part of this issue was when Prime decided to fight back--things started to go downhill when he freaked out and pulled back to avoid harming active combatants who fired first. Again I had to basically fanon it so that he's retreating for political reasons. There was no moral problem with standing their ground.
The Autobots have such freaking awful/nonexistent diplomacy, though, that they are constantly forced into a weak position in these stories. It's like they have two settings, "ignore" and "obey." Neither is acceptable nor will garner any respect from practically anybody. We just aren't wired that way.
It's really surreal to read reaction threads here and see half of people arguing that the Cybertronians should team up and massacre everyone on Earth (that's US you know) and see the other half arguing that Autobots killing humans in self-defense is the ultimate crime. Both of those positions are insane. But so far the writing--by making human characters shockingly unlikable, and making the Autobots a bunch of angst-muffins--facilitates BOTH camps.
The wavering hope I'm clinging to is that Barber is semi-intentionally writing a "Costa-style" story with humans filled with false bravado, wavering Autobots, and resurgent Decepticons, just to show us how much crap it is and wrenching it into a new paradigm. After all his movie work is essentially a gigantic Fix Fic, and Dark Cybertron was a way to finish up all the cosmic bullshit from the Furman era and tie it up with a bow.
Still. After how much I enjoyed #28...and even the BEGINNING of this issue...it's pretty tragic that I'm now thinking of dropping Season 2 of RiD even faster than I dropped Season 1. Basically I'm in it for Devastator, Prowl, and Thundercracker at this point.
P.S. I know the Constructicons have never had individual personalities before (come at me, it's true) but yeah this does seem like a unique chance to give them some.
Agh one more this. Proviso: I've already been guilty of giving RiD too much credit.
BUT, I think Prowl's Plan(tm) isn't completely fulfilled here. The first part--which I suspect is meant to collapse the EDC-Decepticon Alliance by making it public and completely crash whatever public support the EDC has to date--could actually work. (Essentially, he's probably going to kill Galvatron et al very quickly unless they use their robot modes.) The second part I think we haven't seen, but if I had to guess it's something to do with a show of force. "You guys don't have anything that can take Devastator so stop pretending like you can stop us, let us find what we're looking for, and then we'll fuck off like you wanted us to do in the first place."
It also has the nasty side effect of tarnishing Optimus even more if he becomes seen as Devastator's ally. Thus Optimus can't throw out a magic inspirational speech and patch everything up. The Autobots become obligated to leave Earth for their own survival.
The more I think of it, the stronger this issue would have been without the Jetfire-Constructicons interlude. That was pointless, it defused the impact of Devastator, and without it they could have fit in enough world-building and context to appease me and then some.
if megs kicked devastators ass in AHM and galvatron ripped megs in 2 in dark cybertron. it stands to reason that galvatron can defeat prowlistator
This is how I see it, in fact I thought this was evident the moment it came up. Humanity doesn't know that they still have bots, and it's not like crabs where you can just call a doctor and check to be sure, by bringing back the symbol of their destruction from AHM you are presenting them with the danger that is the Decepticons once again, the moment Devastator steps on Galvatron next issue is the moment the Decepticons will have to reveal themselves (or at least Galvatron since he pretty much doesn't give a shit) making it evident that they have returned to humanity. It's the perfect way to destabilize the alliance between the two and create unrest for the public, it's not the usual behind the scenes puppeteering that we usually see from Prowl, but it gets the job done.
Honestly what bothers me most about this issue isn't how they're dealing with Prowl or Jazz, but Optimus fucking Prime.
"The Decepticons will betray you--while my Autobots have always fought for the human race." followed by "Autobots take the battle to them! No Human casualties-- and Galvatron is mine!"
You'd think Prime would be mature enough to say "Fuck it, your loss." I wouldn't even mind it if it just stopped at the "You know they are going to betray you right?", but the "We would never betray you!" is like some pathetic means of putting yourself in a better light than the enemy, as if he's refusing to take responsibility or admit that the Autobots have fucked up Earth just as bad as the Decepticons. It just came off as selfish to me, and the fact that he ordered to fight afterwards just makes it worse because, well, think, what does Optimus hope to accomplish? Kill the Decepticons and then go, "Silly humans, now if you don't mind we'll be going to find our man and leave." Even if the humans are wrong as all hell and absolutely WILL be screwed over, I at least expected him to at least try to make sense of the situation, how it's come to this and how it can be solved rather than "What the? You made peace with the Decepticons to quell the violence we might lay upon you? Better solve it with VIOLENCE!"
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