Tarn, is that it ?

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

  1. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    The Autobot Megatron thing was not planned. It was something that IDW or Hasbro dictated, and Roberts had to write a story around it.

    Fortunately, he had already started developing Megatron's origins and motivations way back in the Chaos Theory story... even showing how he and Orion Pax were friends at one point... so I think he actually helped himself out, not backstabbed himself. That Chaos Theory story ended up making the Autobot Megatron story a little bit more credible.

    Definitely more than the version of Megatron that we got during Dark Cybertron, or in Barber's run in RID.

    zmog
     
  2. ThatGuyCalledBlaster

    ThatGuyCalledBlaster No relation to the Autobot, ironically. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I kinda see it as Hasbro/IDW metaphorically lighting the fire, and James adding more wood and charcoal to it and keeping it lit for as long as the story went. The move was somewhat corporate, but the heart put into crafting the story as a whole with Megatron's switch I think was still there. Definitely could have better written, but I don't think it was written poorly by any stretch.
     
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  3. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    It was a Hasbro mandate, because people do like sympathetic villains, or at least villains who have a backstory that makes us understand them. AND if they work well they can be potential cash cows. Like Doctor Doom and Magneto, and much more recently Darth Maul (who became such a cult hero in Star Wars he became to financially viable to kill off), people like the bad guy. Interesting bad guys can carry a story. And an Autobot Megatron isn't a bad idea, so long as it's done with a deft touch.

    One of the first Dark Horse Star Wars comics (Tales of the Jedi) actually did the redemption of a warlord very well in Ulic Qel-Droma. Ulic's story was very similar to Megatron, complete with atrocities and even furthering it with fratricide, but it ultimately ended in Ulic's death after becoming somewhat of a hermit and Ronin seeking to make amends. However, you know at the end of the story Ulic is again a good guy. I don't know that it was a story that could have been done in the sitcom setting Roberts was going for, but the initial concept is an interesting idea. Transformers fans will buy Top Gun, Animorph, Ghostbusters, MLP, Avengers, and Terminator crossovers, and this by far outstripped those. Definitely a great idea for a story, but setting matters too and as we've said, MTMtE/LL oscillated wildly between extremes. Levity is good, but that story would have been heavy by default.

    Another possibility, though this one is slightly more terrifying, is to have OP's punishment for Megatron to be completely mindwiped and them an new personality installed (or maybe keep the memories and just shadowplay him into no longer being the killer he became). Still Megatron's body and name and spark, and perhaps mind, but that would have given Roberts more of an empty canvas to work with - this is Megatron, but also NOT Megatron.
     
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  4. ThatGuyCalledBlaster

    ThatGuyCalledBlaster No relation to the Autobot, ironically. TFW2005 Supporter

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    This. I felt like that deft touch was there, but not to the fullest extent.

    VERY interesting with the last one...
     
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  5. Lightningsonic

    Lightningsonic Well-Known Member

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    I see it as a big backstab. Yes, it help showing in more of Megatron. there are heroism, in his own way, is once is genuinely good even.
    It show Megatron redeem is possible. The idea, that is.

    But in reality, it defined his personally, mindset, goal, etc... away from MTMTE megatron. And make the change of character form MTMTE not possible.
    Or you can say he ruined it, since Chao theory is already be done. you may think one would have done MTMTE Megatron different, to match what already happen.
     
  6. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I guess I'm just not sure how radically different the Megatron from the Chaos Theory 2-part story is different from MTMTE Megatron?

    zmog
     
  7. Lightningsonic

    Lightningsonic Well-Known Member

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    First of all, it is his goal. Have him showing his clear goal, what it is the final victory to him. And want to change his very committed believe in it, also need a equal clear and strong direction to capable of change him
    The MTMTE Megatron just change, but do he even change his mind ? Do he even stop believe ? when Optimus tell him to end Decepticon as the last order. To end his old goal and his old way. He did it, but not by choice, it is a trade, not happy even. Of course we all know he making a change that never happen before, so you may defend he can have self doubt. But that again run to the old point: What make him change ? What patch that make he believe is the right now ?

    Second is he become a bit too much mushy. The reason is simple, I think Robert have a habit of making the characters cutesy or pitiable to make them likable or make audience feel sympathize for them. And he just doing it too much, it really become habit. That what happen with Megatron here, he making Meg have the soft, vulnerable side. Megatron doesn't suppose to be that emotional, to be acting tough, to having something he hiding deep and want no one know about. He is Megatron, he is tough, He never even feel sorry for what he did, Because that is what need to be done, as he said. Megatron is ruthless by natural
    Robert even echo this point himself. By told that What Whirl did to him not not drive him angry and lead him to be a tyrant, it is the fact that the event make him realize "words won't work, force do" lead him.
     
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  8. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    Which in turn makes me wonder what exactly prompted that idea. I don't think there was a toy of an Autobot Megatron, which means that it wasn't prompted by the usual explanation for somewhat inexplicable narrative choices in Transformers fiction. So was it a ploy to increase readership by coming up with an idea so outlandish it would undoubtedly get attention? Were they out of story ideas for Megatron? Was it an extension of the "shades of grey" thing IDW had become so invested in? It just seems like an odd dictate.
     
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  9. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I agree that after millions of years of ideology and tyranny, IDW didn't give us a significant event that felt meaningful enough to explain his transition... and that's not surprising, since IDW writers probably didn't know far in advance that they would be asked to do this.

    However, I think that Roberts' version of Megatron from Chaos Theory was essential to making it work at all. It was only by seeing his origins and his early intellectual inclinations that we were given any foundation to imagine a more peaceful, remorseful evolution of the character. His development and characterization of Megs was the ONLY one that could have made that transition, I think.

    That said, it was still too abrupt. There was no credible catalyst. And I also agree that Roberts' writing toward the end of MTMTE was far too sentimental.

    Yeah, I've wondered about that many times. It seems really strange, and it was never 100% clear to me whether it came from Hasbro or IDW upper management, or both. The only thing resembling an "Autobot Megatron" Was the Combiner Wars Leader version, which I seem to recall came with an optional Autobot sticker.

    zmog
     
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  10. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    "...And the Damage Done", the issue where Megatron became an Autobot, was released on March 26, 2014. Combiner Wars Leader Megatron was released in 2016, about two years later. Given the time frame, it seems more likely that the IDW storyline inspired the optional Autobot sticker rather than vice versa. So it would appear that, as you say, there was no Autobot Megatron toy for them to plug, and thus the whole mandate is a bit of a mystery. Probably the most likely explanation is that they were just trying to create a publicity stunt in order to increase readership, since that's relatively common in the comic book industry. But who knows. It's just such a weird decision from a narrative standpoint.
    I think this is all very true. Granted, "Shockwave is trying to end the universe as we know it" would make anyone more introspective, but it felt like Megatron realized that he had lost his way far, FAR too quickly for the transition to really make sense. Bumblebee and Ratchet give him a few verbal dressing-downs, Shockwave shoots Bumblebee, and then suddenly Megatron decides that he's been in the wrong for the past three hundred millennia and joins the Autobots? I mean, I know it was partially an attempt to shock Shockwave into coming back to his pre-Shadowplay self, but still, was the death of one Autobot who yelled at him for betraying his ideals and becoming a genocidal maniac really enough to make him decide to switch sides? He's been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of a bajillion Autobots over the course of the war...why is Bumblebee the tipping point? It didn't seem like Megatron did nearly enough self-reflection to so quickly start questioning the righteousness of his worldview. People generally do not decide that they've been fighting for the wrong side for much of their lives over the span of a few quick conversations. It just didn't make sense....and then it felt like the writers forgot the sheer amount of bad stuff that Megatron did in the IDW universe. Yes, he's presented as a bad guy (or rather, a former bad guy), but it feels like they were writing Megatron as though he used to be a Giant Purple-Griffin-building evil overlord rather than the genocidal, manipulative dictator he was for most of IDW. He kind of came off as an ex-cartoony supervillain (a la the cartoon), rather than an individual who has come to realize that he's caused the suffering and deaths of literally billions throughout the galaxy because of his inability to admit that he was wrong or that being oppressed doesn't give you the right to oppress others. Furthermore, the general reactions to him from the Lost Light crew felt out-of-proportion to what he actually did. They felt like they were (with the possible exceptions of Getaway and Rung) like they were reacting to somebody along the lines of a reformed G1 cartoon Megatron (if such a thing were possible)-someone who had bad goals and did some bad things, but ultimately someone whose effect was relatively limited, rather than to someone who had caused at least one successful genocide.

    Tl; dr: The Megatron redemption arc could have worked in IDW, but both the redemption and his acceptance by (some of) the Lost Light Crew both happened way too quickly for the storyline to really work effectively.
     
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  11. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I completely agree, and also a good point about how the Lost Light Autobots reacted to him like some guy who stole their stereo once... not a mass-murderer who plunged ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶ the universe into an apocalyptic civil war.

    They might have been able to pass that off as some weird psycho-emotional distancing thing that Cybertronians have due to their crazy long lives, or something... but it's a hard sell. :/

    zmog
     
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  12. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    :lol  They really do. Like, this is not G1 cartoon Rumble here, guys. It's not G1 cartoon Megatron. It's not even G1 Marvel Comics Megatron. This is a guy who is responsible for the deaths of billions, including I think 2 billion humans (some of whom were killed on-panel or just off-panel) and who-knows-how-many members of his own race. Unlike G1 cartoon Megatron, he's actually competent and dangerous.
     
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  13. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    I think Prowl's count was almost a trillion dead (organic and Cybertronian). And that's the hard part about the story is there is no way to sell those numbers (as we've discussed at length). We've really got no frame of reference for that, because at some point willful suspension of disbelief calls for a hard stop. Like @SMOG said, he didn't steal a car stereo, but waged a very successful genocide. We are talking the extermination of numerous species.

    Even the big anti-heroes, like Magneto, Lex Luthor, and Dr. Doom don't have that much baggage. Darth Vader's redemption is the only thing that comes close, and you can argue that they are similar (in their somewhat questionable quickness).

    How do you realistically deal with a character like that? I am sure it can be done but that almost needs its own series, not just a few issues. There is a lot to unpack there.
     
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  14. ThatGuyCalledBlaster

    ThatGuyCalledBlaster No relation to the Autobot, ironically. TFW2005 Supporter

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    God dammit now I want Megatron to steal a car stereo.
     
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  15. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    I mean he's got Soundwave and SoundBlaster and their numerous minions. Do they have a cousin named Tapedeck?
     
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  16. ThatGuyCalledBlaster

    ThatGuyCalledBlaster No relation to the Autobot, ironically. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hahahaha, probably!
     
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  17. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    This is because they all were first stolen by G1 Megatron and then reprogrammed into Decepticons. Constructicons weren't the first victims of the Robosmasher.
     
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  18. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    The whole thing honestly feels like....well, kind of like the inverse of how everyone treats Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. Instead of the most over-the-top overreaction to someone stealing a loaf of bread to feed their family, it's the most over-the-top under-reaction to someone committing multiple genocides. The difference is Victor Hugo explicitly and intentionally wrote the reactions to Jean Valjean's crime as an overreaction, while the writers of IDW did not seem to be intentionally writing the reactions of the Lost Light to Megatron as an under-reaction.
     
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  19. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    OR DID HE??

    Turns out MTMTE is just one big metaphor for Western European postcolonial amnesia and global realpolitik. :lol 

    zmog
     
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  20. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    :lol  You know, if IDW Transformers comics ever make it into a college literary course, I wouldn't be surprised if someone posited exactly that interpretation.
     
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