Tarn, is that it ?

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Lightningsonic, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

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    He served a function; a role the story required. A credible threat to our heroes. It wasn't Star Saber's story, he was but an obstacle for the main characters to overcome. There just wasn't the space to give everyone a decent amount of characterisation to make them a three-dimensional character. He is but an end of stage boss character in a videogame - you defeat him and move on. Sure I would have liked to have seen him get more pages to explore who he is in more depth, but for the story, he didn't need to be anything more than he was. I imagine that the role of Star Saber was written before the identity of Star Saber was assigned to that role.

    But you know, you can say what you want. Nobody is saying MTMTE was perfect, because it wasn't. What it did do was to be more entertaining, enjoyable than Barber and Ruckley's comics with more likeable characters. They weren't perfect characters. Many were intentionally written to be obnoxious, flawed and dysfunctional - which was the whole theme of MTMTE's cast. But they were more likeable. I don't feel anything for the characters in IDW2 or Barber's IDW1 comics that I did for Robert's writing with only Furman and Roche being on the same level.

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  2. ThatGuyCalledBlaster

    ThatGuyCalledBlaster No relation to the Autobot, ironically. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Totally get what you mean, but at the same time, I think a bit more time being devoted to, primarilly, Star Saber's past would help justify and give more reason for the drastic change in character a bit more than what we got.
     
  3. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    When Windblade first was introduced, my initial though was that she was some weird fan fetish, because she looks like a geisha. Her whole design - from her face paint and eye liner, to the shape of her head, to the shape of her body, to the sword thing - was designed to evoke a geisha. I think she grew on me as she appeared in Cyberverse alongside Bumblebee. I thought that really improved her in my eyes far more than anything IDW did. Her initial appearance was as bad to me as Drift's in Age of Extinction speaking in broken English with an Oriental accent and having samurai swords and matching helmet. Cringe worthy at best.

    Drift grew on me from the start, minus the AoE part. I like the initial premise of the character, and I enjoyed him more as we got a back story for him that seem relevant and I thought he paired well with Hot Rod, not as a romantic couple, but as two budding leaders. Roberts truly lost me when Rodimus is so over the top out-of-touch that he's drawn sticking his arse in the air of a pedestal on the Necrobot's planet (also written in the strange "cute phase" of MTMtE). This was a guy that was torn up over the loss of his squad, yet he's so over the top immature he's prancing on someone's gravestone?

    I guess as I grow older, I have to remind myself to put each continuity in its own place. I always feel like OP, UM, Hot Rod, and Grimlock are intimately connected because at some point in every major continuity one of those four leads the Autobots. The other big piece to me was the very close connection between Grimlock, OP, and UM (which is probably in large part due to Dreamwave's War and Peace). My problem with the "UM is not UM thing" is not the little guy in a suit thing. To the contrary, if MA had been the real UM, I would have been fine with that - and all of the implications that one of the most powerful Autobots was a guy the size of human. The part that really hurt the series to me was if felt like a bait and switch retcon, and I get for sake of freshness it probably had to go somewhere else, but I also feel like it was done a with the self-serving premise of "I want to write my story, so all these characters change," and it left so many unanswered questions it felt unbearable by the end of the series. When did we last see the original UM is just the first part? The major unexplored part to me - that was SO incredibly huge to me - is the relationship between UM and OP, and by extension OP and Ratchet because Ratchet said he knew all of them. UM is the guy OP picks (or Grimlock) to lead the Autobots and bear the Matrix (almost never Grimlock, but many times Hot Rod), and they are brothers in some continuities, and the implication in IDW is they are extremely close too. Leaving that part unanswered killed any appreciation I had of the otherwise incredibly gutsy move of UM being a really like guy in a suit, which was an incredibly fresh take on an older character. And Grimlock is mostly ignored in IDW1. Very strange that we know almost nothing about him except he is an Autobot rouge. For all his page time, everyone is afraid of him, but he is simply off the board for the overwhelming majority of a decade (which is probably okay, given that Simon Furman once said he was the most developed G1 character).

    I would say extremism, not fundamentalism, for both cases. In both cases, and maybe it's just Robert's style of writing over the top caricatures as characters, they highlight the danger of extreme viewpoints coupled with the internalization of something in addition to that worldview which allows for the violent eradication of opposing viewpoints... radicalization as we call it. But maybe caricature wasn't the best way to handle these to characters with such limited time on screen, as it broadbrushes both Tarn and the Star Saber lookalike (great name for him, @Haywired, by the way) as radical extremists but devalues them into simple monsters to be put down. I would think nuance would have been a far better choice as both religious fundamentalists and believers in political fundamentals (whatever they may be) can be incredibly zealous and yet not murderers.
     
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  4. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I mean, while we don't necessariliy get a lot of introspective into war criminals like Tarn and Star Saber, I guess it bears remembering that most of MTMTE's second half was preoccupied with delving into Megatron's psychology.

    Megatron, who has literally committed genocide and called for the deaths of billions across the galaxy, all due to his fanatical pursuit of... what exactly? Even now, do we even really know?

    zmog
     
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  5. Rojixus

    Rojixus WE. ARE NOT. THE DECEPTICONS!!

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    Something...something...freedom! Something...something...justice! Something...something...sticking it to those evil and/or incompetent Autobots!
     
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  6. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    He was angry, and there was something about Functionism. But the extremes to which he went makes you wonder if he threw the baby out with the bathwater.

    BUT, for as slow as it is, the new IDW reboot does at least address that question! Megatron believed Cybertron should rule the galaxy (more or less)
     
  7. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Makes you wonder? That baby was loooooong gone! :lol 

    Of course, that's the problem with fictions like this. The characters live for millions of years, the action is on a scale of epic, exaggerated grandeur, and at its core, it's founded on a Manichean Saturday morning cartoon good-vs-evil divide... and then someone poured a grownup sensibility over top of it all (which had been steeping/festering for 30 years). No wonder things get crazy.

    I mean, the traditional Megatron motivation was just... conquer the universe. And to do so, figure out how best to get the energon inside the energon cubes. :) 

    I haven't read any of the new IDW 2.0 series yet. I've heard it's slow, but that can still be okay as long as it's not boring. I'll probably catch up at some point and just binge it.

    zmog
     
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  8. ThatGuyCalledBlaster

    ThatGuyCalledBlaster No relation to the Autobot, ironically. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Left turn rq, I kinda wish Dai Atlas didn't die while fighting Star Saber, haha. While it kinda makes philosophical sense, I just imagine what it could have been should, say, take place after the Dying of the Light Arc, when Drift finally comes back into the fray.

    Also just seems kinda cool to imagine how everything could have gone with Dai Atlas being added into the picture.
     
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  9. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    You're so mean, Smog. Smugly deriding one of my favorite parts of the franchise like that.

    With "romantic" I just meant that I think it was lame to present transformation as some skill, making it an elitist thing instead of a bodyfunction.
     
  10. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    The new ID read FAR better if you binge it. I would recommend waiting until the second trade comes out and then binge them both (because they were longer than normal trade length).

    Dai Atlas and Star Saber were the Autobot leaders from Victory and Zone. It was the only thing that made sense about that whole mess was they were together. Granted, they were fighting vice being on the same, but at this point that's small potatoes.
     
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  11. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I'm definitely smug, but I'm not mean. :wink: 

    Was Nautica even a Roberts creation to begin with? I think she could have been a better character, but so much of her whole schtick was exclusively to be an 'adorkable' friend-to-all, and like so many characters as MTMTE wore on, she just became reduced to her caricature.

    Yeah, I guess I'm just hung up on the use of the word "romantic" in that context. I see what you're saying though.

    The question of how transforming fits into Cybertronian evolution / biology definitely varies between fictions, so I'm not totally against the idea of it being "learned" if it's handled right. But I would agree in the sense that I usually see alt-modes as something fundamental and intentional to their design, rather than just... like... robots doing yoga.

    zmog
     
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  12. ThatGuyCalledBlaster

    ThatGuyCalledBlaster No relation to the Autobot, ironically. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Not to mention, during Silent Light, she mentions she's "not a natural-born lawbreaker". Was this the only time we really saw that mentality from her?

    I honestly wish there was more done with Nautica to flesh her out, rather than just keep her in the exact same beat, all the time. Leading to what you refer as to being "reduced to her caricature". Cause from what I saw with LL, I saw a bit of a mess.
     
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  13. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    This is part of your defense but is actually probably the biggest indictment you can give any character.
     
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  14. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I don't think that's true. As I understand it, "Evil Zealot Star Saber" is a holdover from the old UK fanfic scene (which Roberts was a part of). Apparently Star Saber from Victory was much hated by that community of writers, and so he was rewritten as a monster. In this context, Roberts was just homaging that version of the character. Anyway, that's the way I have heard it explained (I forget where).

    I never cared much about Star Saber, but I can see why people don't like seeing him used in this way. It would be one thing if the original character had some germ of toxic zealotry in his persona that could be re-interpreted interestingly... but no, this was just a straight-up crazy villain that used his name and look.

    I'm not so sure about that. After all... what is a character beyond their narrative function and utility?

    On the other hand, when you're talking about a pre-existing stable of established characters, that definitely complicates things. I myself have taken exception to some of Roberts' more flagrant reinterpretations of characters.

    That said, many of the characters in Lost Light WERE written to be other characters originally, but had to be switched up because those characters had already been claimed by other IDW authors...

    Tailgate < Powerglide
    Cyclonus < Blitzwing
    Swerve < Bluestreak
    Brainstorm < Wheeljack

    ... and some others, I forget now.

    For the most part, I think it all worked out fine... but it's interesting to see those leftover bits of Powerglide in Tailgate, and of Bluestreak in Swerve.

    zmog
     
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  15. ThatGuyCalledBlaster

    ThatGuyCalledBlaster No relation to the Autobot, ironically. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I personally am interested the way this Star Saber went, but I would have easily loved it more, should there have been more deposition about his past. I can kinda see why those writers weren't a fan of Star Saber in Victory. From what i've seen, he's just another squeaky clean hero who does almost nothing wrong. Roberts tried to give him more substance, but failed by not giving enough substance of importance.
     
  16. Lightningsonic

    Lightningsonic Well-Known Member

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    It kinda clear at All hail Megatron. But that at the time, you can read anything and it doesn't require to acknowledge the "Peace through tyranny".
    But his goal was show again in the transformer, 2009. the part where Megatron told Optimus his goal.
    But that again really make the whole Autobot megatron a lot less convince.
    How much less ? I think the Autobot Megatron is super rush in the first place. But when i reread that part, now i think Megatron then and lost light are not the same people.
    And the thing is, when you check, these chapter is specific mention: written by Robert.
     
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  17. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Yeah, the whole "Autobot Megatron" plotline was never convincing for me, especially after all the other stories we'd gotten in IDW. I just didn't buy it.

    HOWEVER... the idea of it was still unusual enough to make me curious how Roberts would write it. I mean, if you put that story in its own bubble, at least.

    zmog
     
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  18. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    I knew there was a lot of debate over which characters went with which comic, but I didn't realize it went quite that extensive. I really didn't know Roberts cared all that much because he made so many new characters anyway, but that is a pretty cool though process. I think people would've rioted if Roberts had made Wheeljack a deep cover Decepticon operative though. I did not know Blitzwing was supposed to be in Cyclonus' spot, but that does make for an interesting thought process. And I did not know there was a whole fanfic scene that didn't like Star Saber, but I guess that makes sense because Thunderclash was a European original character and he had almost zero screen time before MTMtE and LL. I can stomach that better knowing it's a long standing thing, but I still don't know where it came from in the first place.

    And Autobot Megatron is an interesting idea. It truly is, but I think you have to plan on something like that from the beginning of a continuity, or you get (as other members have pointed out), an almost schizophrenic character because the Megatron of MTMtE/LL is NOT the same character as the rest of IDW1, and you have an incredibly hard time reconciling the character's past with their present. I do think it could work if it had been a smaller war with less genocide. Like if it was politically driven war where things got out of hand and there isn't a clear "galactic domination is bad/defending innocents from galactic domination is good" would be much easier to make an Autobot Megatron. I am afraid that is the trap that IDW2 will fall into as well. I think it can be done, but they've got to stay away from a robotic despot.
     
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  19. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I see where that comes from... those G1 cartoon episodes (S3 I think?) where Blitzwing was portrayed as having some honour and some sympathy to the Autobots.

    But that's not Blitzwing to me. Ultimately, I think Cyclonus was the much better choice. The fact that Cyclonus had already been used by Furman meant that he brought something else to the table (like being an ancient Cybertronian).

    Powerglide being a little guy who's always bragging and exaggerating and getting in over his head fits Tailgate's early portrayal as a little guy lying to compensate for his insecurities. Could have been interesting, but the fact Powerglide had appeared in a background shot during an earlier plot arc meant he no longer fit into Roberts plans.

    Roberts has talked several times about the IDW writers needing to "claim" certain characters. In some cases, other writers nailed down some characters (like Bluestreak) and then never ended up using them... so I imagine that's a bit frustrating too. In the end, Swerve turned out okay. I mean, his only G1 character trait was that he was a terrible driver, so it's easy to add on top of that.

    Yeah, when you think about it, the younger UK authors (Roche and Roberts, mainly) brought in several of those UK exclusive characters... Overlord, Thunderclash, Snare, Stalker, Pyro, Rotorstorm, Ironfist... it was even Roche who brought back Impactor for that matter...

    Of course, those guys were also characters that nobody else was using, so that also made them appealing, especially for a bloodbath like Last Stand of the Wreckers.

    Yeah, exactly. The whole premise was a stretch, and required a massive suspension of disbelief... but I did suspend my disbelief in order to see how they would try to tell that story. Like many things in comics, it's hard to maintain a consistent sense of character over long periods of time and different creative teams, so as comics readers, we're accustomed to turning a blind eye to these things occasionally. :wink: 

    zmog
     
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  20. Lightningsonic

    Lightningsonic Well-Known Member

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    What i think that that keep old Megatron and Mtmte Megatron apart the most, as i mention, is the Chao theory issues, from transformer seri 2009. Where it defined Megatron's goal
    And guess who written that ? James Roberts.
    So he kinda backstabs his future storyline himself.
    Maybe the the idea of Autobot megatron is not a thing at the time. But the direction is questionable as well. The fact that Megatron redeem is rush is one thing. But then he and the Lost light just become brother in arm... o_O