Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by AtomicGarden, Jul 8, 2021.
100% agree with this and it's All Hail Megatron in particular that completely screws with the MTMTE/LL Megatron story. The idea of him being a freedom fighter that went too far and lost himself is completely at odds with the Megatron in that series. He's an unabashedly sadistic lunatic in that. There's no hint of "means to an end" in any of it and it throws out everything we'd seen so far about Inflitration etc.
If you remove AMH and preconceptions about Megatron coming from other media, then the Megatron story* in MTMTE/LL works a lot better. Chaos Theory, Shadowplay and Elegant Chaos all work with that narrative. So do bits of Autocracy and Megatron: Origin but they require a ton to be thrown out as well, not least of all continuity with the Roberts flashback stories.
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that the "descent" of MTMTE/LL into more and more absurdity and "cuteness" seems to come in contrast to how joyless RID/Optimus Prime became. The OP series is just so depressing . I wonder how much wasn't as simple as Roberts being self-indulgent and was to make the books as distinct as possible.
*I call it simply a story and not a redemption arc, as even the character himself wouuld say he is irredeemable. He has accepted he deserves to die but just wants to do something actually positive before his execution.
Since AHM came first, seems like MTMTE should have been written to conform to AHM. It's later writers not adhering to what earlier ones had written that causes characterization problems.
I don't disagree with that at all but AMH is just as guilty. It didn't conform to Furman's work either. This was a problem all over the IDW1 line. Each creative team's 'pocket dimension' was consistent within itself but as a complete story it's a complete mess. Though I enjoyed what came after, if I was pressed, AMH would be point where it started falling to pieces.
But as a 40 year old who's been reading Marvel & DC since I was 5, I've learned to let go of actually having a cohesive continuity in comics, particularly those made in the last ten years or so. Trying to make it all fit will just give me an aneurysm. I used to care about the continuity but now I tend to think of comics as a collection of distinct 'runs' by creative teams that I either like, don't iike or am ambivalent to and keep my head-canon somewhat in flux, because that's exactly what the writers and editors seem to be doing.
Sadly, long gone are the days of having Chris Claremont have a 17-year run on X-Men that actually made sense. Or even Budiansky and Furman on the original Marvel comics. And hell, even those two runs don't entirely work together (the Matrix is suddenly a physical object when before it was something that could be mentally transferred to a human?)
I think there'd be a lot less controversy around IDW1 if Phase 2 was a definitive hard reboot or even just a a completely different continuity to what Furman started. Simply go with "the Transformer war happened and here's what comes next" as a premise. No matter what media they are coming from, everyone knows that Autobots vs Decepticons is the basic premise of the franchise, so the details of that war or what came before wouldn't be that important when it came to kicking off the series.
Trouble is really none of these different people's visions actually bolt together terribly well. Furman's "-ations" (stupid umbrella title, sorry) is arguably perhaps the best to make a good fit with Roberts' post-war verse, with its portrayal of a reasonable Megatron and a war that's gone stale and is overdue for an end. However, then "All Hail Megatron" fails to fit with either, "Megatron: Origin" doesn't fit with anything very much, being a recycled piece of Dreamwave, Costa's run really feels more like it's a Bayverse ongoing with the characters swapped for G1 (in terms of themes and storyline, not because of the then-current horrible fad for movie-style art and faces), "Hearts of Darkness" is epic crap, and "Robots in Disguise/Transformers:IDW/Optimus Prime" doesn't seem to have much identity beyond "Let's hang out being depressed and bitter while we wait a couple of issues between crossovers".
This isn't to say that all these are bad series, quite the opposite, and it's not impossible to fit them together- but the problem seems to be a lack of planning, meaning that each era ends messily, with a lot of unresolved issues that either get ignored for years and then unconvincingly brought back when another writer finally remembers them, or else addressed in a manner which totally fails to fit the thematic intent of the original writer.
Yeah, I agree with that. MTMTE/LL fits best with Furman's run. Megatron isn't completely deranged in it and it's far easier to buy the Chaos Theory, Shadowplay etc origin stories that start making him more sympathetic.
And yes, seemingly no planning at all. So many decisions seemed rushed or random. MTMTE was getting attention even outside of the TF fandom. So what do they do? Pull the rug out from under it by dragging the series into Dark Cybertron and relaunching it as Lost Light, I guess thinking a new #1 would boost their sales. So, not happy with those results, they then decide that in order to boost sales, they'd create a ton of Hasbroverse titles all at once and tie them intricately to the Transformers plot? They didn't create entry points for new readers, they created jumping off points for the readers they actually had.
Assume for a second that the entire pop culture world doesn't revolve around James Roberts...
The big issue with IDW 1 was that AHM was supposed to be a "What if... ?" style story that got rolled up into being the main continuity. There were so many things that didn't jive between that book and everything that went before that it was irreconcilable. However, because the fandom is full of grimderp edgelords that autoerotically asphyxiate to body horror, goru, and nihilism, it got praised at all the wrong times and taken to heart by all the wrong people. What should have been a pushback to "stay the course" from the original outline, it became a pissing contest to see who could derail things further than the last person.
I can't help wondering, probably unfairly, if some of this was down to being the scenes politics. After all, for all "The Death of Optimus Prime" goes full on with its symbolism of separating the comic into two equal halves- Matrix casings and so on, with about as much subtlety as a Slag to the face, it's hard not to get the distinct impression reading them that "Robots in Disguise" was supposed to be the "main" book, and "More than Meets the Eye" the experimental spin-off. DiD got the pick of the cast, the most overt continuation of "the main story" - the struggle for Cybertron, etc etc.
When the first rebrand happens, for all it was about Hasbro wanting to pinch the "Robots in Disguise" tagline for something else, it was "The Artist Formerly Known As Robots in Disguise" that got "The Transformers" as its title, something of an unsubtle reiteration of "Attention: this one is meant to be the main book", and "Dark Cybertron" feels a lot more like "Lets bring in the cast of popular comic "More than Meets the Eye" to boost the Season Finale of "Robots in Disguise" than vice versa.
We can talk of Autobot Megatron till we're purple in the face ( how ironic... ), but RID seems to have had far more in the way of drastic surgery, relaunches, stupid crossovers, and wild, attention seeking changes of premise.
Everything went to crap for me when it became clear that Roberts had an agenda to push, which left a bad taste in my mouth. The exact same problem with Disney SW and what’s left of the MCU.
The best way to help TF comics is to get the franchise away from IDW, which Hasbro could’ve done if they were smart.
Agenda to push, or personal opinions and beliefs that colour the kinds of stories he likes to tell? They're not the same.
Correct, they aren’t the same. But I could spot a clear message it seems Roberts was trying to push under the radar.
And what would that be, and why are you sure it isn't simply something he believes himself?
IDW is not Disney or Hasbro, although Hasbro has some influence over the Transformers comics and I believe the comic writers did have to get some of their plans approved by Hasbro.
IDW sells comic books, which are primarily purchased by collectors who are adult or in their late teens. American comics haven't been for little kids in a very long time; they're expensive because they're printed on archival paper with expensive inks to please collectors.
Hasbro and Disney sell toys, which are largely purchased by adults for children, meaning that while they have to appeal to kids, the group of people that they have to appeal to are people who are in their late 20s-mid 40s, have children, and have enough disposable income to buy their kids nice toys.
That's why children's shows generally run about 10 years behind adult TV--once the people who were late teens and young adults start having children, those are the values they want for their kids.
So...while I still would argue that people like Mae Catt are writing the kinds of stories they like to write about the types of people they themselves want to see, and not pushing an "agenda" or "pandering", I would acknowledge that they're mindful of what people who are making the purchasing decisions want their kids to see.
I don't see that in the comics at all.
There are definitely things Roberts believes that I don't, things I find tiresome--i'm not as enamoured of pacifism as he is, for one thing, and I don't believe you can topple a government like the Functionist governments without the use of violence.
But they didn't ruin the story for me.
It wasn't like "Strangers in Paradise" where the writer suddenly decided to tell us all how much we needed salvation in Christ. (I'm Jewish and in the same issue where one character suddenly decided to convert another, there was also an editorial about how miserable people are because they're rejecting Jesus.)
Is it under the radar or are you less likely to pick up on it than other, less fortunate people?
I've seen far far worse stories come later. By comparison, All Hail Megatron is actually decent.
I'd be interested to know what you thought was worse. Costa stuff?
Is this AHM or the Netflix show?
Was gonna give you the benefit of the doubt that maybe you were just annoyed with his antitheistic brouhaha but…nah, just had to oust yourself.
Anode sucked, and Cygate had…questionable implications, but on the whole MTMTE’s take on representation was wildly ahead of Disney’s. Being LGBT-coded doesn’t make it an agenda.
AHM. I thought I was quite clear.
It's nice of you to assume the absolute worst of the poster, not once did they single out the LGBTQA+ representation specifically.
Jokes. We got ‘em. Sprinkled ‘n soft-served.
Their immediate comparisons were the Star Wars sequels and the MCU. Forgive me if watching a few too many discussions turn into reactionary tangents has kinda killed my good will when the word “agenda” crops up.
...Disney SW had no LGBT representation outside of anything that could be cut out for the Chinese market. How in the name of Primus did you assume he meant that?
Delivery, however, is severely lacking.
You can't rail against the strawman until you build him.
Some people need to create the devils they feel born to fight...
Separate names with a comma.