I'm not enjoying Lost Light

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Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:48 pm

and this bothers me.

The plot has slowed down to a crawl. I can't wait for this necro-world era to be over. I miss the ship and the rest of the crew.

I hate most of the new characters that Roberts has created. The DJD, Rung, Pharma were awesome. I couldn't care less about Velocity, Anode, Lug and everyone else that has debuted in recent issues. Why on Earth would Terminus and Roller go on this journey minutes after being unfrozen anyway.

Is it just me or has the dialogue has become pretty awful in recent issues? Rodimus saying "mate" felt really jarring. These characters are not in ******* Wetherspoons.

Speaking of Rodimus, he has regressed from brilliant arrogance to childish brat. I actually hate him almost as much as I hate Anode.

Where has the tension gone? The urgency?

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood

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snarl

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Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:51 am

I think these are all valid.

The cast is too big. And of that cast, I find quite a few of the major ones pretty uninteresting.

I think the tension and urgency thing is defo traceable to the dialogue - too meta for my tastes.

When most of the characters are addressing most of the situations they find themselves in with "clever" or "witty" lines it undermines any danger.

Especially since none of them ever die.

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Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:10 pm

It turns out that Dying of the Light came out 1 year ago this week.

1 year.

That was a slow paced story + with a several month break. Maybe that's why it feels like the plot has slowed down so badly.

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Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:46 pm

I agree with you. He's never bothered me much in the past, but this issue it seems like Rodimus is being a bratty little scumbag. Megatron could have slapped him silly and no-one would argue. I'm enjoying the story, but I don't feel the urgency that was there with earlier stories like Remain in Light, World Shut Your Mouth etc. This is still cool though, and better than any other Transformers comic I've ever read (been reading since Man of Iron).

Thing is its Whirl's job to be the prick (god I adore Whirl). But here it seems like he's caring about someone who swore him dead. I know a lots happened since then, and Whirl has undertaken two unselfish acts during the life of the comic (I think), but I love Whirl best when he's verbally bitchslapping Fort Max, wasting a Decepticon with a trite line or just pulling an awesome expression.

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Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:18 am

It's not your imagination.

This comic is languishing. I could handle the slow-to-a-crawl burn of Roberts story lines because the characters were so engaging and subplots were actually quite compelling. Pharma. Tyrest. Star Saber. All very interesting villians. One thing about TF comics, no matter who's writing it. Gotta have great villians. Currently, I see none.

And dare I say, and you might want to slap me for this, but sometimes you need a little Brad Mick now and then, an issue here and there where you don't have bots talking big, you have bots fighting big. It's okay to venture back into Furman or Budiansky mode and have bots duke the **** out. I was just scanning an old issue from DW's ongoing where Predaking and Bruticus were going at it. Put a smile on my face. Granted, the gorgeous rendering by Figueroa might have played a part, but it kind of took me back to why I love Transformers so much. Roberts elevated TF to heights rarely seen in TF lore, but you don't want to lose the part of it that got us into it in the first place. Megatron taking on the DJD after they chase him around the galaxy. That's what I want to see more of right now. Not fembots talking about their feelings.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:46 am

Solid rivalries are needed.

UK Comic had ******* loads. This has... none?

Overlord v Megatron could / should be one. That's been dragged out to **** though.

Overlord has had **** all screen time since 2010. He should be in this comic all the ******* time.

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Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:04 pm

I think killing off the DJD was a mistake. They certainly needed benching but there's no sense of threat.

I'm secretly hoping that Megatron actually used his black hole power to move them somewhere should he have a need for them again.

Bringing back Overlord for that tiny cameo on Necro World does seem like a bit of a waste. I'm sure there will be more to it.

Although I will never wish for a return to the Brad Mick era, I do think it's a valid criticism of JR that he doesn't write great battles. Even the whole last stand against the Decepticons at the end of MTMTE felt underbaked.

And maybe the relationship dynamics is getting in the way of good sci fi at the moment ...

I think the ultimate killer is the art. I like it - but it's so cartoony that it sucks out all of the drama

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snarl

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Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:10 pm

The art for me is like...

If your mate did it, you'd say "that's pretty ******* good mate!"

But this is coming after Milne, who was smashing every ball for 6.

And relationship dynamics can easily sit mid fight. i don't give two ****s for a lot of it anyway. It's usually clever and well written - but it's ******* overwritten imo.

Bit self indulgent.

I guess it must be selling though, otherwise surely they'd bring an editor on to nudge him towards something different.

In which case, I'm just going to have to get over it.

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Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:03 am

The art really does hurt this thing, I agree.

Many subplots have been dangling so long, I simply don't remember them anymore. Some I only have vague recollection of. Like Star Saber. Where'd he go? And Pharma? I mean, really, that all seems like forever ago.

Would be nice to have an "MV Timeline" put together here, a kind of "Story Thus Far" I could reference.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:57 pm

I'll see if I can drag something together but at the moment I'm massively busy painting and preparing for a Warhammer 40K tournament at the end of the month :|

There's not much to argue with above, I think the change of artist at the same time as this change of pace, plus the introduction of so many new characters has kinda spoilt the comic's momentum. Anode is quite aptly named as she is simply so Anodyne I cannot fathom for the life of me why Roberts would dedicate three or four pages of the latest issue to her and "Lug" arguing over something no-one cares about and which happened off-panel before the series even started. I mean, maybe I missed an issue or an online update or something but have we been given the slightest reason to give even the smallest of ****s about Anodyne and ****ing "Lug" so far, other than the fact that they're sassy, pseudo-lesbian fembots just like all the other sassy, pseudo-lesbian fembots Roberts has decided the cast so desperately needs?

Personally, I think someone (an editor, maybe?) needs to step in and limit the number of 6-issue "epics" Roberts does - after just finishing last season with a big, decompressed, sprawling 6-issue "epic", starting this season with another one just seems excessive - I'm reasonably sure with most of the crap (like all the Anodyne and "Lug" bollocks) trimmed, this whole storyline could have been wrapped up in three issues and we'd already be on our way to future adventures.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:56 pm

So just read the latest issue. Again, too much touchy-feely, lovey-dovey stuff going on.

And focusing on some of the more annoying of relationships, no less. The borderline-pedophilic relationship between Tailgate and Cyclonus has got to end. Please, we beg you James.
And does anyone care about Lugnut and Anode? Not me.

I've been against romantic relationships since Elita-1 came on the scene, and I am painfully reminded with each issue just why.

The art doesn't help and is apparently not very popular. I picked up the Optimus Prime issue today solely because of the edgy gritty art with dot-matrix coloring scheme. Had kind of a Man of Iron vibe to it. Why couldn't that team be on Lost Light? Having said that, the writing on OP is still bad. I was hoping with time and experience, Barber would improve. He has not.

Anyway, here's to hoping things get up to snuff soon with Lost Light.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Wed May 10, 2017 8:56 pm

Issue 5 did nothing to change my mind. It's like all of the characters have become parodies of themselves. Brainstorm used to genuinely make me laugh but now he just sounds as snarky as everyone else.

I really want this arc to be over.

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Mon May 15, 2017 1:44 pm

I agree with this, from TFW2005...

---------------------------

That's really simple actually, what the fans liked and why the book became "popular" are two different things.

MTMTE was a book about a weird situation unseen before in a transformers universe (the war has JUST ended and we're building a new civilization), in a setting before unseen (a Star Trek style space opera), featuring a **** of toy only and super obscure characters that never got their proper due in fiction.

That coupled with THE BEST lore and worldbuilding this franchise saw since Beast Wars, sharp humor, every character feeling unique and having their own plots and histories and all of it tying together in a big mystery was FUN. That's what drew people to it.

But then as Roberts started to interact more with the fandom he obviously came to think that what people likes were the SHOOOKING TWEEEEST!!!1!!!!11!, the non stop barrage of jokes and quips, monolithic newspaper style texts that character spawn from their mouths, shipping and just an overall sense of "you like MTMTE because you like ME" and not the other way around. That's why he got so obsessed with hipster music, sitcoms and other inane ******** he kept shoving into MTMTE. So he wrote MTMTE according to that.

Season 1 feels like a new writer trying to prove himself to the world and giving it his all, season 2/LL is a popular author not giving a **** anymore and doing whatever stupid ******** he wants. Problem is Roberts hit that Ridley Scott button too soon and too hard and many of his die hard fans jumped ship.

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Wed May 17, 2017 10:35 am

Yeah I'm the same.

I used to have genuine existential angst between issues now I don't even notice the wait. The book has gone from nurturing anticipation to a total lack of it.

One thing that sits really ill with me - one of the reasons I think the book was/is popular is that it does have a certain moral voice, but this sense of value was in no way manifest in the way the change of artists was handled (or at least how it appeared to be handled). Maybe my expectations are too high but for me this really marred the launch of the new book. MTMTE was Roberts AND Milne to me, the relaunch seemed to try and rewrite it as the James Roberts show.

None of which is Jack Lawrence's fault, but as stated above the shoes he is filling are too big.

In terms of the story itself, it just feels like a watered down version of what we have seen, the relationships, Megs guilt, functiinism plus with an increasing sense of indulgence when it comes to new characters and a focus on relationships over decent plotting and momentum. It's great that Roberts feels so backed that he can leave plot threads hanging for over 2 years but it doesn't make for great reading. Apparently we are not getting back to the lost light until issue 10 which with the speed this book comes out at means we don't get the plot point I think (feel free to correct me) most of us are really interested in until close to the end of the year.

Overall I've reread MTMTE front to back about 10 times now, and usually reread each issue 2-3 times when it came out. Lost Light... well once is usually enough.

Sadly the name fits. I truly hope the light gets found again.
 

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Thu May 18, 2017 1:19 am

snarl wrote:I agree with this, from TFW2005...

---------------------------

That's really simple actually, what the fans liked and why the book became "popular" are two different things.

MTMTE was a book about a weird situation unseen before in a transformers universe (the war has JUST ended and we're building a new civilization), in a setting before unseen (a Star Trek style space opera), featuring a **** of toy only and super obscure characters that never got their proper due in fiction.

That coupled with THE BEST lore and worldbuilding this franchise saw since Beast Wars, sharp humor, every character feeling unique and having their own plots and histories and all of it tying together in a big mystery was FUN. That's what drew people to it.

But then as Roberts started to interact more with the fandom he obviously came to think that what people likes were the SHOOOKING TWEEEEST!!!1!!!!11!, the non stop barrage of jokes and quips, monolithic newspaper style texts that character spawn from their mouths, shipping and just an overall sense of "you like MTMTE because you like ME" and not the other way around. That's why he got so obsessed with hipster music, sitcoms and other inane ******** he kept shoving into MTMTE. So he wrote MTMTE according to that.

Season 1 feels like a new writer trying to prove himself to the world and giving it his all, season 2/LL is a popular author not giving a **** anymore and doing whatever stupid ******** he wants. Problem is Roberts hit that Ridley Scott button too soon and too hard and many of his die hard fans jumped ship.


You're right, Snarlz. This sums up the problem perfectly. It's very akin to what I think happened to Jonathan Hickman. His initial stuff was fantastic when he first hit the scene, some of the best stuff I've read. Then all the praise got to his head and he lost his way, and last I checked, he was barely recognizable as that comic book superstar. Maybe he's since righted the ship, maybe you guys know, but he lost me. I think James needs a healthy dose of "humble chowder". It would do him good, and us good. But at this point, you can almost hear him thinking "I'm going to write about Anode , and you WILL like it." No James, we won't.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Fri May 19, 2017 8:45 pm

This guy gets it as well

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/threads/h ... t.1108291/

EDIT: this is actually from the same thread Pops posted from, but higher up
 

snarl

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Sun May 21, 2017 4:11 pm

That community season 4 comparison - that's a barbed one.

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Mon May 22, 2017 11:39 am

OH GOD THE STUPID SASSY FEMBOT I DON'T CARE TWO ****S ABOUT ISN'T EVEN GODDAMN ****ING REAL

Which means that instead of just flipping Anodyne to the back of the character rotation for a few issues until she gets considerably less annoying, we're going to be stuck with Roberts feeling like he needs to answer questions like "But who was Lug? Why did she mean so much to Anodyne? Why isn't she around any more?" and all those other mysteries that almost no-one is asking about. Which means we're going to have to spend even more time in flashback exploring the backstory of a character who's less interesting than, say, Kaput. Gaaaaah. Maybe we'll get lucky and Regular-world Anodyne will get killed and replaced with the mirrorverse Anodyne, who's no less dull but at least doesn't have a ****ing invisible friend. ****s sake.

As usual, Rewind is super-annoying. Hey ****nut, it was your mopey moralising that led you to try and "save" the rest of the galaxy by creating this nightmare parallel universe in the first place and now we find out it didn't even work, what's your answer? More mopey moralising about how awful Cybertronians are in general while hugging your boyfriend? How about some acknowledgement that this whole ****show is directly your fault? Maybe try and do something to try and fix it?

Tailgate's like the Transformers equivalent of those obnoxious ****ing children that burst into the room when their dad was being Skype interviewed on the news the other month.

So Rung craps crystals when he's scared now? Right...

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Wed May 24, 2017 6:51 pm

I like Rewind :(

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Fri May 26, 2017 2:44 pm

Like most artists, I find that James Roberts does his best work within certain limitations.

I don't dislike Lost Light. It's still the best TF book on the shelves and a solid read, month to month. But, hot damn, MTMTE was the best TF fiction *ever*. It was freaking magic.

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.

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Fri May 26, 2017 9:19 pm

Wasn't there a change in editor recently? Maybe that explains why everything now feels so bloated

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Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:51 am

If I were to point the finger anywhere, it would be squarely at the relaunch.

I really liked More than Meets the Eye - Smooth's right, it was freaking magic and I think a lot of that had to do with the title and the concept. None of the characters were who they appeared to be, nothing anyone said could be trusted and mysteries were spun out over many, many issues. I feel that a great deal of what made MtMtE great was that Roberts stuck to that central concept throughout, such that even with polar opposite heroes like Magnus and villains like Tarn, there was always more to them than they appeared at face value.

Now perhaps that wasn't the kind of structure that's sustainable over a longer period - there are only so many times you can reveal that someone is really a tiny dude inside a tiny dude inside some armour - but Roberts was apparently going to press ahead with it and I trust he had enough interesting reveals to keep it going to the end of its run.

Following the relaunch as Lost Light I think the tone of the book has changed from the deception/mystery focus of MtMtE to more of an emphasis on character and relationships - this whole "Lug" nonsense is more or less exactly the sort of thing I'd expect from a writer looking to evoke the themes of "lost light/love" and all that - since the reboot, the mystery elements seem to have been pushed into the background while we watch the psuedo-lesbiantic fembot angst over her old girlfriend for six issues and try to care one way or the other if Tailgate lives or dies.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:15 pm

The latest issue felt like a bit of a return to form.

That ending was kind of brutal.

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Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:00 pm

Holy crap, that ending!

That had all the hallmarks of "Oh, you fans don't like this character, eh? Sick of reading about him? Tired of his character arc and interaction with another crew member, are ya? Well, HOW ABOUT THIS, EH?!? YOU LIKE THAT? You like subjecting him to a fate potentially worse than empurata? HAHAHAHA!!!"

And the best part, if JR stays true to form, it'll be YEARS before we hear anything about this character again.

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.

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Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:22 pm

I don't care. I don't believe it's intentional that he made Tailgate such a terrible character, and if he did, he did too good a job because quite frankly I was tempted to cheer Fangry on. In fact, I only probably didn't because Fangry murdered a guy to do it. Between Brainstorm and Nightbeat telling us to just not worry about it whenever science that Rodimus doesn't understand is used to save the day, the awkward inserting of the 2017iest thing of one female character telling another one that she's inspirational, or being confused that Lug - who doesn't get to talk or have any of her own, actual, real personality shown - ends up being a literal reward for another character's self-development (which was just oh **** if I stop being miserable, get snapped out of my self-delusion and then try hard enough, I could possibly save the love of my life; what an...inspiring...struggle)...I'm thinking I'm out of the target market for the book now. I'm finally too old for Transformers.
This comic's trying to be a modern diversity book but failing, partly because it's trying too hard and having cringey moments (like a dad trying to relate to the kids) , and partly because the book's too busy to support all the stuff it's trying to accomplish. It turned into a mainly character drama book, cool, but the cast is too large and the events too big for it the developments to be satisfyingly explored. Did Drift and Megatron even talk to each other? That whole thing with Skids and Quark and Brainstorm didn't even get to 'went nowhere', it never even began. Skids is about three dropped plots just by himself, come to think. Better give everyone anti-sadness pills so we don't have to deal with half the cast being traumatised by grief and can carry on like usual. Guess if he gets resurrected we might see those? Death is used as being 'put on the bus' in this book, in fact, the cast is so huge people regularly have to be written out for a while, then rotate back in when their next piece of the jigsaw is needed. Or they just stand around in the background. Roller went on the away team in the last arc just so he could drop his phone. It's just all so bleh and semi-transparent and not even well-made anymore. And I don't just mean the art, which, while it isn't anywhere near the worst tonal fits between writer and artist, would certainly be on a list if I had to make one in a few years. Remember when that guy who drew like it was a zany cartoon got put on the black-comedy character drama? Yeesh.

Apologies for logging in just to rant, I think that was a long time coming. All the best to everyone.

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Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:36 pm

I glad to see the back of the cnut.

We'll see if he isn't back, via "resolved off panel" within 5 pages of next issue.

I won't be losing any sleep if we never find out what Cyclonus ever saw in him the ****.

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Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:38 pm

KingMob wrote:I'm thinking I'm out of the target market for the book now. I'm finally too old for Transformers.
This comic's trying to be a modern diversity book but failing, partly because it's trying too hard and having cringey moments (like a dad trying to relate to the kids)


Agree with a lot of what you said, but this most of all.

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Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:43 am

KingMob wrote:I don't care. I don't believe it's intentional that he made Tailgate such a terrible character, and if he did, he did too good a job because quite frankly I was tempted to cheer Fangry on. In fact, I only probably didn't because Fangry murdered a guy to do it.

That's pretty much how I feel about it - I'll miss Kaput the weird, cranky, monocycled medic far more than Tailgate the self-absorbed, super-powered idiot.

KingMob wrote:the awkward inserting of the 2017iest thing of one female character telling another one that she's inspirational,

Argh, I literally cringed on the tube reading that part.

KingMob wrote:Lug - who doesn't get to talk or have any of her own, actual, real personality shown - ends up being a literal reward for another character's self-development

See, when Anodyne showed up in the Functionist universe, I thought we were doing to get some kind of discontinuity between her character there and "our" Anodyne, but as far as I can tell (I haven't reread it all in one go yet) nothing really came of that at all - Functionist Anodyne could have been literally any other character and it wouldn't have made any difference to the plot.

I'm kinda hoping that we get back to something like resembling normal now that Megatron's out of the picture and the Cyclonus/Tailgate guff has been resolved (at least for the time being) but I suspect we're in for a lot more shoehorned "You go girl, you're amazing!" moments over the coming months :|

snarl wrote:I glad to see the back of the cnut.

^ This

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:51 pm

omg, how long has it been since I posted at transfans? Sheeee-it. Look, this thread brought me out of exile. It's been cold.

Barring anything truly awful, I will always buy the monthly Thor & Transformers comics. I used to include Spider-Man in this list, but One More Day & the subsequent pissing-on-fans meant that I couldn't muster any more enthusiasm for Spider-Man. Renew Your Vows & Superior are the only exceptions.

The only time I've ever dropped the monthly TF book were 1) the Brad Mick series and 2) the Mike Costa run. So the current level of quality is nowhere near "drop it" levels for me but it's definitely gone from being the highlight of the month to being pretty good. It's still better than TAAO or OP, which both give off an air of "the writer knows what they're doing but the reader will have to figure it out."

I miss Milne. I enjoyed the Functionist story more than, say, the Sunder story or the charisma vampires. But the writing doesn't captivate me like it did all through Season 1 and during Dying of the Light. But I enjoy the book. It is weird that I don't reread it several times, like I used to--in fact, I haven't reread a single issue of Lost Light since it started, even though I've now got a complete arc to go through. However, the lack of Milne art is one thing that discourages me from rereading. He had such great composition and such attention to detail that it was awesome to look the book over again. And the whole thing with the new artist was an absolute mess. IDW tells Milne nothing. Roberts says on Twitter that Milne & Lawrence are alternating arcs. Milne replies that he's heard nothing about this. All of this in the wake of John Barber leaving as editor.

Actually, if there's one thing we may be able to pin the problem on, it's the lack of Barber editing. Going by MTMTE, he was a much better editor than a writer, and the dumb relaunch & messy handling of the artist all happened when Barber quit to focus on his writing.

As for whether or not the book is to twee and too focused on relationships... maybe? I think that JR cares a lot about these characters and is also trying to create tension over a long period of time, so sometimes that tension is patently fake--like blowing Cyclonus up for "Goodbye little one." I also think that he shot a good portion of his wad in Season 1. Of course he's been carrying around ideas for a TF comic for years; I know I have. But Season 1 was bound to get his most advanced, interesting and well-developed ideas. He also apparently had a big event planned for Season 2 that he had to forestall & wasn't able to do because of Combiner Wars--IIRC. Inflatable Dalek will remember what it is.

Still, I don't get how anyone can actively dislike this comic or think that Roberts has totally lost it. It's still got more clever dialogue and more out-there crazy-cool stories than the other TF books and a lot of regular books. It feels like late-80s Claremont. Not the Byrne years, but worth your money every month.

TL;DR it's not as good as it used to be but I am nowhere close to dropping it.

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

Yaya

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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:58 am
Location: Florida, USA

Big Honking Planet Eater

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Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:57 am

Just read the past two issues.

I think Megatron's personal journey of sorts has been the best thing about this series. At first, the whole "Megatron....Autobot!" thing from MTMTE seemed so far-fetched but Roberts handling of it has been masterful. It's not easy to take the Transformers biggest baddie and put this kind of spin on him, and make it believable. So if nothing else, Megatron's arc will keep me coming back, and I eagerly await Megatron's return to court. I would imagine Roberts handling of Megatron's interaction with Optimus at that juncture will be the stuff of TF legend.

You know what's not the stuff of legend in TF lore? Romance. These ****** romantic love fests are tired. They are really dragging things down IMO, but other TF fans must be loving it because we are getting more and more of them with every issue it seems. Has Cyclonus ever been more lame than last issue when he got his widdle heart broken? Not for me. Guess I'm just a hard-hearted bastard.

Another weakness is ther use of made-up characters in lieu of established lesser used ones despite having a huge cast from which to choose. I don't care about Lug, I don't care about Anode, I dont care about Kaput, etc. Windcharger? A Throttlebot? You've at least got my attention with those D-listers.

Still on board. For now.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.
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