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Armada MTMTE Overview

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Armada MTMTE Overview

Postby Hotrod » Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:44 pm

This week Darth Bombshell has decided share another of his articles with us. Last week Darth Bombshell shared his thoughts on Dreamwave's Generation One More Than Meets The Eye Profile Series. In this weeks article Darth Bombshell shares his thoughts on Dreamwave's Armada More Than Meets The Eye Profile Series. If you missed last week's article check out Seibertron.com's Article Section. Without further delay here it is the latest article by Darth Bombshell:

Armada MTMTE Overview

Throughout 2003, Dreamwave released the eight issue “More Than Meets The Eye” series. Despite the numerous problems that the series had, it was well received. It was perhaps this response that encouraged the staff at Dreamwave to create a sequel of sorts by writing a series based on the other Transformer franchise that the company was writing at the time: Transformers Armada.

Because of the vastly different scope of the series, changes had to be made in the way it was presented. Instead of eight issues, Armada MTMTE would instead be done in three, no doubt due to the fact that Armada has less than a third of the characters that the Generation One series had to cover. Instead of drawing on previous writings, the biographies and tech spec quotes for most of the characters had to be invented by the writers, since only a select few had officially written bios. And since this series was drawing on both a completed comic and cartoon series, the creators had to attempt to cover elements of both series, while maintaining the fact that they have to try to arrange it all in the comic universe.

All of these changes were perhaps made to make the series more understandable, since the information presented would be fresh in the fans’ minds. Unfortunately, this probably lead to it being as convoluted and confusing as its predecessor.

The first and most obvious problem that the series has was the previously stated attempt by the writers to somehow manage to take elements from both the comic and cartoon and find a way to make them both work. Three bios in this series show how disastrous that attempts was: Galvatron, Nemesis Prime and Sideways. Galvatron, with the exception of the toy comics, was never a part of the regular comic to begin with, was somehow given a life as part of the regular comics, although the conditions and time that this occurred are purposely left vague, no doubt meant to cover up the fact that they have no actual way to describe it. The biography for Galvatron, narrated by Leader-1, gives a very interesting insight to the character. It is just a shame that it is not really part of the comic universe.

Like Galvatron, Nemesis Prime also falls into the category as a toy character needing to have an comics origin. Unlike Galvatron, who was given a believable, yet implausible, comics life, the writers of the comic saw fit to merely rehash the plot of the Armada episode “Puppet”, trying to incorporate the events that occurred in the episode to the comic timeline. This doesn’t work for two reasons: there was no way that this event could have occurred in the comic, and they made the mistake of incorporating Run-Over, the Mini-Con partner who came with the Nemesis Prime toy that never appeared in the episode in question, into the character’s history. By all rights, Nemesis Prime should not be in the comic at all. Much like Galvatron, the only reason for his inclusion in this series was because he was a toy character who needed to be explained.

Sideways, however, falls into a different path. Unlike Galvatron and Nemesis Prime, Sideways actually was in the comic. Yes, it was in two very brief appearances, but he was there. I expected that his biography would state that he was a mercenary playing both sides of the Transformer war. And I was right. That is how he was presented However, they made the big mistake of including elements of the cartoon into his bio, and said that he was a servant of Unicron. This makes no sense as far as the comic goes, since his first appearance was a good four issues before Unicron’s presence was ever confirmed, and his second was during Unicron’s ill-fated attack on Cybertron cowering with a bunch of Decepticons. This especially makes no sense, because if he was truly Unicron’s herald, would he not be rampaging around causing chaos?

The writing, as previously stated, had to draw heavily on the imaginations of the writers of the series since, with a few exceptions, there were few “official” biographies made for the Armada characters during its run. This lead to a great many of the characters having fairly unsuited character biographies and tech spec quotes that sound incredibly horrendous. I do believe that a great many of these will be making an appearance on the Trannies “Worst Tech Spec Quotes” ballot next year.

The artwork in the series, like in the Generation One MTMTE, is another round of “one good for every five bad” deal. Ironically, much of the good art in this series has made appearances on the toy boxes or promotional art made during the run of the toyline, also drawn by the various artists in this series. A good deal of this art takes up much of the space in the books, making me wonder why the artists were lazy enough to include this art. Couldn’t they do new artwork for this series? Isn’t it what it was meant to do?

Another problem this series has in its artwork is the fact that the Mini-Con teams that were repainted during the toyline each had two pages of artwork devoted to them, one for the color in which they were first released and their “powerlinx” recolors. I found this to be an incredible waste of page space, with the only acceptable color changes coming from the Road Assault (Race) Team and the Star (Dark) Saber sword, since the bios for these weapons state that the characters would change color depending on how long they were held by an enemy.

Finally, much like the Generation One MTMTE, the Armada MTMTE had a prologue and epilogue story designed to explain they reason why this information is being presented. Unlike the story in G1 MTMTE, the Armada one is meant to be part of the actual timeline. The prologue explains that a machine by someone that Alexis has possession of and is using to be prepared for the return of the Transformers. The epilogue explains that the device was left by Over-Run, who wants to prepare Alexis for the return of the Transformers. This would appear to make Alexis the focus of the Energon story, a fact we know to be false, as it is Kicker whose fate is ultimately linked to the Energon story…at least in the cartoon, anyway.

The Armada MTMTE was written shortly after the end of the series, with Energon firmly in the minds of the people behind the Transformers. This fact, combined with the haphazard way that the series was written and the apparent poor production values, have lead many to look down upon this series. It could have been better, though, had it been written later. But as it is, it exists merely as a way for Dreamwave to earn an dollar by any means.

After all, it’s what they’re known for.
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Postby Tusko » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:05 pm

A little harsh!
I think while the More Than Meets the Eye concept was nice: to collect and describe all the characters in one volume of work - the internet and instant searches make the concept a dinosaur.

The lesson is that we must be moving forward, not backward. And upward, not downward. And we must always be twirling. TWIRLING!
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Postby Down_Shift » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:26 pm

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Tusko wrote:A little harsh!
I think while the More Than Meets the Eye concept was nice: to collect and describe all the characters in one volume of work - the internet and instant searches make the concept a dinosaur.

The lesson is that we must be moving forward, not backward. And upward, not downward. And we must always be twirling. TWIRLING!


I'm going to have to agree with Tusko. Seems more like a hate article then anything else. Not to take anything away from you DB, but it just seems way to anti-Dreamwave to be taken otherwise.
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Postby Tusko » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:48 pm

I'm also a shmuck who bought all of these because I love comics too.

Its hard to breakdown the bio's of these characters easily considering the fractured source material. There will always be problems but as a resource which collected and displayed the factions for reader to physically have in hand - it was good. Moreover for a title with "all new" characters it was more important than the G1 series where the fan base knew 80% of the characters.
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Postby Darth Bombshell » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:50 pm

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Down_Shift wrote:I'm going to have to agree with Tusko. Seems more like a hate article then anything else. Not to take anything away from you DB, but it just seems way to anti-Dreamwave to be taken otherwise.


Well, to be honest, this was anti-Dreamwave. Back when I got this series, it was starting to become obvious to me (though it would take at least till the end of the year for everyone else to clue in as well) that Dreamwave was going for anything that would make a quick buck, at the expense of actually bothering to do anything worthwhile with what they had.

For example, the G1 MTMTE was a good way to have a so called "comprehensive encyclopedia" of the Generation One cast, even if a quarter of the stuff contained within was essentially made up for lack of anything better. And I agree that the MTMTE series was a good way, as Tusko says, "to collect and describe all the characters in one volume of work."

Unfortunately, doing an Armada one did have several problems, the first, and arguably most important, was what continuity they were going to follow. It's all well and good to set it in the comics continuity until you decide to have Nemesis Prime's bio mention an incident that happened in the cartoon, treat Galvatron as someone that was clearly around during the eighteen issues of Armada when there was no opportunity for that to happen and, perhaps most ridiculously, treat Sideways as the agent of Unicron he was in the cartoon when he was clearly an average Decepticon in the comic (made worse by implying that Crosswise and Rook were in on the scam too, when it was clearly obvious that wasn't so.) There's also the fact that Energon was in full gear by this time, and I highly doubt anyone really cared or wanted to have an Armada guide to begin with, considering it wasn't exactly that popular (and arguably still isn't.)

I'm sorry that this came off as being a hate piece, and you're perfectly entitled to your opinions, but I honestly find little redeeming value in this series, and, for the first time, makes me glad that the Energon one got canned before it had the chance to begin. God only knows how they could have mucked that.
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Postby Devastron » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:59 pm

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This article is a bit better than the one on the G1 MTMTE, which was a poorly worded and written editorial blasting DW at every turn. There should be a special section for these pieces, as I wouldn't classify them as news or articles, but reviews or editorials.
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Postby Darth Bombshell » Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:05 pm

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Devastron wrote:This article is a bit better than the one on the G1 MTMTE, which was a poorly worded and written editorial blasting DW at every turn.


I'd like very much to think that it wasn't that bad...but then again, I wasn't exactly that eloquent a writer back when I wrote it...three years ago.
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Postby Liege Evilmus » Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:01 pm

Interesting, but (off topic) what was the crossover story between G1 and Armada?

I don't realy follow the comics(I know, I should) and I only saw a graphic novel for it once. I know I'll be made fun of but could someone let me know.
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Postby Jaw Crusher » Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:05 pm

Y'know, I never understood the logic in doing an MTMTE guide for Armada after the fact, either, although I never thought the artwork was particularly bad...well, O.K., at least by Dreamwave standards it wasn't bad.

The Alexis thing always bugged me too, particularly since it would have better fit the context of the cartoon instead of the comic.
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Postby Scaleface » Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm

Personally I liked both MTMTE series, and I hope they someday release the Energon one. I know they did a lot of the art for Issue #1, as I have some of it! I actually have the original art of Energon Alpha Trion on my wall. I hope we see it some day.

I have been collecting all the fan made MTMTE style pages I can get and bound them into book, like a Universe MTMTE, and an Alternators MTMTE. Fun stuff.

I will definitely pick up the IDW Beast Wars Bio books too. I hope they do Energon, Cybertron, Classics, Beast Machines, Machine Wars, etc...
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Postby x-ultramagnus-x » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:04 pm

when is this book released?
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Postby Autobobby1 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:10 pm

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I think that none of us are realizing the major problem of the series: Mini-Cons. I loved Armada, and it was my favorite Cartoon/TF Comic. So I bought MTMTE in hopes of finding a cool book about the series I loved.

ALmost all of the book was full of Mini-Cons, to my dismay. Nobody cares about each individual Mini-Con. Barely any of the bios were about Autobots or Decepticons. About 3/4, maybe 3/5 of it was Mini-Cons.

Uhh...Scaleface? This was a Dreamwave idea. IDW probably won't do an Energon MTMTE. The didn't even finish Energon. I still wish that IDW would've done Cybertron, though...
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Postby Darth Bombshell » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:39 pm

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Scaleface wrote:I will definitely pick up the IDW Beast Wars Bio books too.


When exactly is that supposed to be out, anyway?

x-ultramagnus-x wrote:when is this book released?


March - May of 2004.
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Postby Grimshock » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:36 pm

I didn't really like the Armada MTMTE series either. But, I didn't get a chance to comment on the G1 MTMTE series before Seibertron had it problems last weeks, so here goes.

I thought that series was great. I think the ratio of good art to bad art is more like 1 bad to every 5 good, not the other way around. And, kudos to the writers for attempting to tie together the myriad of continuities and conflicts. Can't say I agree with it all, but it was a good attempt.

Personally, I think more TF fans should just chalk up more inconsistencies to the cartoons and former comics having screwing up a lot of things. If it wasn't for that, we would have a lot less in-fighting. Rumble would be red, there would be no Skyfire, no debates over gender, no debates over water on Cybertron, no dumb matrices (leadership or creation or Decepticon), Laserbeak wouldn't be a spy, etc, etc, etc.
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Postby Black Bumblebee » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:45 pm

Frankly, I'm not exactly sure why Darth Bombshell's Dreamwave hate piece is considered "news." I don't have anything against the guy, and we could probably have lots of discussions about the MTMTE guides in forums... but putting it as "news" means that his opinions about these books are facts.

They're not. They're opinions.

Personally, I was glad to have bios for all the little minicons. They were the only things about Armada that I did enjoy (after all, the bigger toys looked like Playschool Gobots). Was it perfect? No. But they should at least get kudo points for trying.

The Armada comic was a short one and didn't have time for every character. Thankfully, Furman stayed away from the cartoon, so it doesn't mesh well with the cartoon. So they "had" to find some way of discussing the other characters, otherwise folks would have been saying "you forgot to put blahblahatron in there!!111"

There's a lot of hate for Dreamwave out there, and yes, it was hurtful the way they went out. But let's not let the hate for the guys on top *coughPatLeecough* completely destroy the hard work the writers and artists did for these various books.
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Postby Darth Bombshell » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:11 pm

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Black Bumblebee wrote:Frankly, I'm not exactly sure why Darth Bombshell's Dreamwave hate piece is considered "news."


Neither do I, to be honest. Ask Hot_Rod. He's the one who made it, and the others, a news story.

Black Bumblebee wrote:The Armada comic was a short one and didn't have time for every character. Thankfully, Furman stayed away from the cartoon, so it doesn't mesh well with the cartoon.


Um...no, they didn't. Nemesis Prime's entire bio is based on a cartoon only thing, which would be fine except that no equivalent situation happened in the comic.
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Postby Hotrod » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:12 pm

Black Bumblebee wrote:Frankly, I'm not exactly sure why Darth Bombshell's Dreamwave hate piece is considered "news." I don't have anything against the guy, and we could probably have lots of discussions about the MTMTE guides in forums... but putting it as "news" means that his opinions about these books are facts.

They're not. They're opinions.

Personally, I was glad to have bios for all the little minicons. They were the only things about Armada that I did enjoy (after all, the bigger toys looked like Playschool Gobots). Was it perfect? No. But they should at least get kudo points for trying.

The Armada comic was a short one and didn't have time for every character. Thankfully, Furman stayed away from the cartoon, so it doesn't mesh well with the cartoon. So they "had" to find some way of discussing the other characters, otherwise folks would have been saying "you forgot to put blahblahatron in there!!111"

There's a lot of hate for Dreamwave out there, and yes, it was hurtful the way they went out. But let's not let the hate for the guys on top *coughPatLeecough* completely destroy the hard work the writers and artists did for these various books.


No we are show casing articles. It is news about content on the site, just like when we post news on photo galleries.
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Postby Pivot » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:05 am

Just turning up to add that I found the Armada MTMTE very useful - far more so than the meagre amount of information available online (and I might add, the Internet isn't the most convenient source for everyone).

ALmost all of the book was full of Mini-Cons, to my dismay. Nobody cares about each individual Mini-Con. Barely any of the bios were about Autobots or Decepticons. About 3/4, maybe 3/5 of it was Mini-Cons.


As a matter of fact, some people do. And the fact that they far outnumbered the Autobots and Decepticons in the series is hardly surprising - all you have to do is count. Thirteen Bulks vs. eighty-odd Minicons: guess which group will take up more page space? *shrug*

(As a matter of interest, is there something that people wanted to see instead? Only I don't hang round in this area much, and I'm not clear on how you can waste page space unless a), the space is limited and b), something is left out in favour of the waste of space. And if there's room to spare, why *not* shove a load of Minicon art in?)
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Postby Down_Shift » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:36 am

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Scaleface wrote:Personally I liked both MTMTE series, and I hope they someday release the Energon one. I know they did a lot of the art for Issue #1, as I have some of it! I actually have the original art of Energon Alpha Trion on my wall. I hope we see it some day.

I have been collecting all the fan made MTMTE style pages I can get and bound them into book, like a Universe MTMTE, and an Alternators MTMTE. Fun stuff.

I will definitely pick up the IDW Beast Wars Bio books too. I hope they do Energon, Cybertron, Classics, Beast Machines, Machine Wars, etc...


I agree. I would have loved for them to finish Energon and eventually written a MTMTE on it. Same with Cybertron. To me all the comics post DW have been lack luster in both art and story line. While they are getting better, they can't hold a candle to DW in my opinion. The MTMTE stuff in the Collectors Club is very well received by the fanbase and until I saw Darths article on the G1 MTMTE and now this one, I had no idea that any fans other then a few of the guys from the UK had a problem with it.

One thing to keep in mind is no one can say for sure what Dreamwave would have done down the road. They seemed to have a long term goal of filling in the blanks the 80s and current TV show gave us. Nemesis Prime and Galvatron may very well have been written into a later issue of Energon, Cybertron, or even Universe. No one can say what the grand plans were other then the people at Dreamwave themselves.

No while I don't see eye to eye with the article, I appreciate it being written and the time it must have took to put it all down. Black Bumblebee, I can see your point of asking why it's front paged. But your perception of it is all wrong man. Just because it's in the news does not make it fact. This is a news and fan site. Not every bit of news has to be about Fast Action Battlers or Movie Megatron. This is mearly another discussion point that has been brought to the table by one of our own staff members.

Will people take Darth Bombshells articles to heart? Maybe. Will it give the topic some breathing room and start a discussion? Most Definatly. I hope you understand why Hotrod front paged this in the news.
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Postby Cyberstrike » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:40 am

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Down_Shift wrote:
Tusko wrote:A little harsh!
I think while the More Than Meets the Eye concept was nice: to collect and describe all the characters in one volume of work - the internet and instant searches make the concept a dinosaur.

The lesson is that we must be moving forward, not backward. And upward, not downward. And we must always be twirling. TWIRLING!


I'm going to have to agree with Tusko. Seems more like a hate article then anything else. Not to take anything away from you DB, but it just seems way to anti-Dreamwave to be taken otherwise.



Actually DB is nicer to Dreamwave than some of others.
There is a pair of especially nasty articles that I read at TFArchive called "The Dreamwave Disaster" and "War and Pieces" by the TFA's resident self-proclaimed bastrd Cliffjumper.

You can ask Denyer for the links, since I'm not on the best
terms with TFA anymore.
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Postby Down_Shift » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:09 pm

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Cyberstrike wrote:
Down_Shift wrote:
Tusko wrote:A little harsh!
I think while the More Than Meets the Eye concept was nice: to collect and describe all the characters in one volume of work - the internet and instant searches make the concept a dinosaur.

The lesson is that we must be moving forward, not backward. And upward, not downward. And we must always be twirling. TWIRLING!


I'm going to have to agree with Tusko. Seems more like a hate article then anything else. Not to take anything away from you DB, but it just seems way to anti-Dreamwave to be taken otherwise.



Actually DB is nicer to Dreamwave than some of others.
There is a pair of especially nasty articles that I read at TFArchive called "The Dreamwave Disaster" and "War and Pieces" by the TFA's resident self-proclaimed bastrd Cliffjumper.

You can ask Dreyer for the links, since I'm not on the best
terms with TFA anymore.


Not a lot of people are. I have no desire to read their articles anyways.
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Postby Loki120 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:49 pm

Liege Evilmus wrote:Interesting, but (off topic) what was the crossover story between G1 and Armada?


The crossover occured from Armada #14-17, called "World's Collide". Basically, Unicron sent five heralds to soften up the TFs before his eventual arrival. These five were familiar looking G1 Decepticons including Galvatron, Dirge, Thunderwing, Bludgeon, and Scourge.

The storyline was pretty good, and written by Furman (as you may have noticed it includes most of Furman's pet characters).

Synopsis of these issues can be found here.
http://bwtf.com/cbreviews/dw/
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Postby Down_Shift » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:59 pm

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Loki120 wrote:
Liege Evilmus wrote:Interesting, but (off topic) what was the crossover story between G1 and Armada?


The crossover occured from Armada #14-17, called "World's Collide". Basically, Unicron sent five heralds to soften up the TFs before his eventual arrival. These five were familiar looking G1 Decepticons including Galvatron, Dirge, Thunderwing, Bludgeon, and Scourge.

The storyline was pretty good, and written by Furman (as you may have noticed it includes most of Furman's pet characters).

Synopsis of these issues can be found here.


http://bwtf.com/cbreviews/dw/


Not to mention one of the most well received story arcs ever.
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Postby Darth Bombshell » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:09 pm

Motto: "Insanity is a state of mind, and I have a home there."
Weapon: Cerebro-Shell Launcher
Down_Shift wrote:Not a lot of people are. I have no desire to read their articles anyways.


Well, you have now, since these were posted over there first.

Down_Shift wrote:Not to mention one of the most well received story arcs ever.


At the time, I agree. Looking back on it now, though, I really have to wonder why.

Cyberstrike wrote:There is a pair of especially nasty articles that I read at TFArchive called "The Dreamwave Disaster" and "War and Pieces" by the TFA's resident self-proclaimed bastrd Cliffjumper.


Well, I wouldn't say that I totally disagree with what he said in those articles, there are points that, strictly speaking, I do agree with.
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Postby Down_Shift » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:34 pm

Motto: "Everyone has a bad hobby or a bad habit and I'd rather have a bad hobby over a bad habit."
Weapon: Rust Ray Gun
Darth Bombshell wrote:
Down_Shift wrote:Not a lot of people are. I have no desire to read their articles anyways.


Well, you have now, since these were posted over there first.


Well seeing as it was here, I don't mind. Seibertron has a warmer environment.

Darth Bombshell wrote:
Down_Shift wrote:Not to mention one of the most well received story arcs ever.


At the time, I agree. Looking back on it now, though, I really have to wonder why.


No doubt in my mind why it was such a sucsess. It was well written and wonderfully drawn out. Few of the good qualities that Dreamwave had, are rarely seen in any of the new comics IDW puts forth.
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Blurrz wrote:Down_Shift is a god...
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