has shared this week's Creator Commentary for Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #15 with series writer James Roberts. We've mirrored the commentary below for those without facebook access.
PAGE 1: After being sealed inside the cell by Overlord, Chromedome quickly gets out, knowing of the chaos that’s about to ensue. Recently you’ve been testing the Chromedome/Rewind relationship. Has everything been leading to this?
JAMES ROBERTS: In several respects, yes. If I may resort to some old-school comics hype, issue #15 is a no-holds-barred, pull-no-punches finale that will change everything! It marks conclusively the end of a certain era of MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE, and it does so with drama, action and death. Overlord leaves his mark.
Incidentally, the first 14 issues of MTMTE—and the annual—have set up three very significant overarching plots (well, technically four, but we’re keeping the last one below the radar for the time being), and one of them was the Overlord plot; and yes, issue #15 definitely wraps that one up.
Overlord’s had a presence in the series since way back in issue #1, when Prowl referred to him as “the cargo” in a secret conversation with two of his agents aboard the Lost Light, the Duobots Shock and Ore. The fact that Ore tried to plant a tracer on the Lost Light’s quantum engines (so that Prowl could keep tabs on the whereabouts of Overlord) led to the ship nearly blowing up, which in turn released a hidden sparkeater. It was while sealing off the sparkeater’s “den” that Red Alert first heard noises from Overlord’s secret cell. He told Rung about the noises in issue #5, then drilled a hole through the roof of the cell in issue #6 (in a story which was all about Overlord thanks to Fortress Maximus and his post-traumatic stress). Red Alert shared his secret with a comatose Rung in issue #7, only for all evidence of the conversation to be stolen by Drift (as it turned out) in the same issue. In issue #13, Rung shared his concerns with Rodimus, and in issue #14 we learned about Overlord’s origins. So yeah, we’ve threaded the idea of Overlord being on board throughout much of the series so far. In that respect, everything comes to a very definite climax in issue #15.
As for Chromedome and Rewind, or more specifically Chromedome, I consciously made issues #12 to #15 a sort of Chromedome arc (there are a lot of “Chromedome”s in that sentence). Nearly every character in MTMTE has had an issue or two devoted to them.
PAGES 2 and 3: The entire Lost Light crew engages Overlord. Utter chaos and carnage ensues. How do you get to grips with a seemingly unstoppable character like Overlord? Was any of this an afterthought from LAST STAND OF THE WRECKERS?
JAMES ROBERTS: Overlord is one of the most powerful Decepticons, yes, but key to his character is that he’s not a mindless thug or someone with a ten-million-year plan or someone who wants to usurp Megatron. He wants to BEAT Megatron, yes, but he harbors no dreams of ruling the Decepticons. He’s his own ’bot and has been every since going AWOL after Megatron tried to use him as a portable apocalypse. Given that he’s not on the Decepticons’ payroll, so to speak, he’s not going to fight Autobots just because they’re Autobots. In this case, he’s attacking the crew of the Lost Light because (as far as he’s concerned) they’ve tried to contain him. And don’t get me wrong: he’s not above some rage-fuelled revenge. And sometimes—often— he likes destroying people for the fun of it.
Was any of this an afterthought from WRECKERS? Well, the story ended with Overlord alive and captured, and between WRECKERS and MTMTE nothing had been seen of heard of him, and I thought the crew of the Lost Light needed a big name villain to fight, even if everything’s post-war now. I had for some time—since before MTMTE—wondered why “Phase Sixers” like Overlord and Six Shot were so much more powerful than everyone else, so as much as anything else the Overlord arc in MTMTE was my attempt at explaining that. We’ll be returning to the subject—and answering some more questions—in upcoming issues.
PAGE 4: Whirl blows things up (he does that a lot) and Pipes wants to send a message to Cybertron. Was Pipes a character you’d always wanted to explore more and give depth too, since all we really had was the Sunbow cartoon and the original comics series?
JAMES ROBERTS: It’s always fun to give Whirl some page-time, yeah, and I got a chance to make a joke about depth perception, but I wanted to use this scene to remind people that the Lost Light is still unable to make contact with Cybertron. Blaster thought he’d cracked it in issue #13’s main story, but the prose story in the same issue established that he’d failed. Pipes’ conversation with him in the latest issues reinforces that for those who skipped the prose story (shame on you).
As for Pipes… he was another one of those G1 also-rans that was overlooked both as a toy and a character. I think he was in a Season 3 episode of the original TV show, and he cropped up in only one UK story, so yes, not much had been done with him. I find it hard to resist characters like that.
But you know what? He made it into MTMTE only because I knew that in issue #6 I needed Fortress Maximus to shoot a load of Autobots who, because of their color schemes, reminded him of Overlord, and he fitted the bill. Then I decided he’d be a good foil to Ratchet and Drift in the Delphi two-parter (issues #4 and #5). After that, his positive outlook on life and general eagerness made him a good fit with other diminutive ‘bots like Rewind, Tailgate and Swerve.
PAGE 5: Pipes accidently runs into Overlord and gets stamped, and stamped and stamped! Poor Pipes. Having brought the character into the series, why’d he have to be the one who gets squished like this? He’s been through a few traumatic events during his life aboard the Lost Light.
JAMES ROBERTS: He dies to show that this is serious. And ironically, the fact that he’d already survived so many near-death experiences pretty much sealed his fate. And you know what? He’s not the only one who doesn’t last the issue…