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Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16

Transformers News: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 6:39PM CDT

Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: El Duque   Views: 12,950

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As always the official Transformers facebook page has posted their Creator Commentary for this week's new Transformers comic release, Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #16. Series writer James Roberts gives us his thoughts on the first five pages, which we've mirrored below for those without facebook access.

Click here to read the Seibertron.com review of this issue and join the ongoing discussion.

Re: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 Preview
PAGE 1: Kicking off with a very large fight in the Battle for Hell’s Point. This is a battle that has been mentioned a few times during other issues of TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE. Why start here for this issue?

JAMES ROBERTS: I’m a fan of Stephen Moffat’s Doctor Who (I’m a bigger fan of Russell T Davies’ Doctor Who, but that’s another story), and I remember being thrilled at the openings to two of his grand finale-type episodes, “The Pandorica Opens” and “When A Good Man Goes To War.” In both cases you get this frenetic pre-credit sequence that tears through about a dozen mini-scenes, all of them in different times and different places, all of them vaguely (but not obviously) connected, and it really felt EPIC.

“The Gloaming” (issue 16’s story) is essentially the prologue to “Remain In Light,” and with the four Magnus-centric mini-scenes, hopping across time and space, I wanted to emulate that vertiginous rush of those Doctor Who episodes. Also, Moffat has talked about “The Pandorica Opens” being a sequel to every episode in Series 5 of Doctor Who, and I’ve always intended for “Remain in Light” to have a similar feel–lots of threads from the last 16 issues finally being tied together.

Also, all of the battles that we witness in this “teaser” are already embedded in MTMTE/LAST STAND OF THE WRECKERS lore: Hell’s Point, Simanzi and the fight for the Nightmare Engine. To date, they’ve all been referenced in passing but we haven’t actually seen them. Until now.

Finally, issue #16 is quite a contemplative, emotional issue, so I wanted to kick things off with some action. Don’t get me wrong, there are some big, big character beats and plot developments in the rest of the issue, but for those who like proper TF battle scenes–and who doesn’t–then there they are up front.

Re: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 Preview
PAGE 2: We learn that Hell’s Point is a ship, and Ultra Magnus wasn’t always the character that he’s been shown to be during MTMTE. Here, he’s just a warrior like his fellow Autobots. Is this a part of his history that you’ve been wanting to show for a while? Was writing the scenes more fun than a Magnus scene on the Lost Light?

JAMES ROBERTS: I’ve treated Magnus in a very particular way since issue #1, playing up the stiff, rules-obsessed, “can’t-have-fun” side of his character. As we saw in issue #4, in his conversation with Rodimus, he’s struggling to cope with postwar life. His peculiarities – purging ostensibly unimportant words from his vocabulary (like “fun” and “relax”), insisting that badges are straight, arresting people for minor infractions – are his response to conditions that he’s simply not capable of coping with.

What I’m saying is, he wasn’t always the “joke” (to borrow Overlord’s insult) that he seems to be now. There’s a reason why he’s regarded by some as the Autobots’ greatest warrior; there’s a reason why he’s such an effective enforcer of the Tyrest Accord. In these first few pages, we see Magnus the Warrior, unencumbered by the personality traits that have come to the fore since the war ended. It seemed appropriate to remember him as he was, given what’s going to happen over the next few issues…

Re: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 Preview
PAGE 3: Magnus (note the crooked badge), the Duobots and the Powerdashers (yes, you heard me right!) are getting ready to battle when yet again Magnus is taken down. Powerdashers haven’t had much done with them in almost 30 years of the franchise. Had you always wanted to get them in somewhere and show them as more than toys?

JAMES ROBERTS: Truthfully? I saw that Simon Furman was playing the super-obscure character card well in TRANSFORMERS: REGENERATION ONE and I thought “I’ll have me some of that.” Also, we’d seen Zetar in issue #9 (in an advert for bodygloving), so – much like Rotorstorm’s appearance on Page 4 – it was another opportunity to mix in some callbacks and continuity nods. Shock and Ore are there for the same reason.

Of course, the biggest link to a previous issue – and a deliberate one – is the reappearance of Torque, the Decepticon k-class officer seen in the opening and closing scenes of #8. Although it’s literally just occurred to me that no-one will realize that the Decepticon bomb with “Ultra Magnus” written on it is Torque’s alt mode, because I edited out that part of his conversation with Fulcrum in issue #8. Oh well.

Re: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 Preview
PAGE 4: Another flashback where Ultra Magus suffers at the end. What’s your thinking with these flashbacks? Is it to demonstrate that we might not know the character quite as well as what we thought?

JAMES ROBERTS: The Autobots and Decepticons have been fighting for millions of years, which means there’s scope for change in how they approach the world. But the purpose of the flashbacks, aside from what I said earlier, was to show that Magnus has been through the wars and usually finds a way to make a comeback. Is that going to happen this time round…?

Re: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 Preview
PAGE 5: The badly injured Magnus is being looked after by Ratchet, Swerve and Tailgate. We’re dealing with the fallout from issue #15. Having done so much with Ultra Magnus so far during the series, was it hard for you to mortally wound the character as you did?

JAMES ROBERTS: Not as hard as it was to kill Rewind in issue #15! What I find interesting about Magnus being on his deathbed, out of commission, is what it does to Rodimus. How does Rodimus cope without the voice of reason by his side? The rest of the issue, and much of “Remain in Light,” focuses on that. Yeah, that and a billion other things…
Credit(s): Transformers facebook page
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Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1481729)
Posted by CaptainMagic on April 24th, 2013 @ 8:30pm CDT
Va'al wrote:I had some issues with the religious aspect of the funeral, to be fair.
Wasn't Drift the only religious nut in the crew?

But that cape is glorious. :P


I have to admit, I don't quite get what you mean. Yes, Drift is the only confirmed religious nut, but that doesn't mean that other crew members can't have a less intense level of belief. Or, they might just have been observing a traditional Cybertronian funeral with no particular awareness of what they are saying. Either way, I don't see what there is to trouble you.
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1481748)
Posted by Stormrider on April 24th, 2013 @ 10:03pm CDT
Va'al wrote:
84forever wrote:Yuck! Transformers were never this emotional when I was a kid. Roberts has the whole crew acting like a bunch of girls toys!


Could you please re-phrase the last part of that statement?
Some of us, me included, can find it offensive that, apparently, girls cannot enjoy Transformers, or that emotions are not something that boys have.



Haha... I read "girls toys" and thought something totally different. My dirty mind.
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1481757)
Posted by Poyguimogul on April 24th, 2013 @ 11:14pm CDT
Drift "It's a Death Clock.."
Ratchet "Knock it off Drift.."
Swerve "What's a Death Clock?"

-Dethklok! Dethklok!!
Clock~ Ticking~ Death~ Clock~ Dethklok! Dethklok!!

:HEADHURTS:
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1481789)
Posted by Va'al on April 25th, 2013 @ 4:41am CDT
CaptainMagic wrote:
Va'al wrote:I had some issues with the religious aspect of the funeral, to be fair.
Wasn't Drift the only religious nut in the crew?

But that cape is glorious. :P


I have to admit, I don't quite get what you mean. Yes, Drift is the only confirmed religious nut, but that doesn't mean that other crew members can't have a less intense level of belief. Or, they might just have been observing a traditional Cybertronian funeral with no particular awareness of what they are saying. Either way, I don't see what there is to trouble you.


Oh it didn't trouble me! :D
It's more that it all looked very solemn and organised and conservative, and so far we hadn't had an indication that the crew, Rodimus in particular, felt that way.

Cyclonus, I can understand, he is a very 'patriotic' character. Tailgate, sort of. Swerve, not convinced. Whirl? Nope.
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1481881)
Posted by CaptainMagic on April 25th, 2013 @ 10:14am CDT
Va'al wrote:
CaptainMagic wrote:
Va'al wrote:I had some issues with the religious aspect of the funeral, to be fair.
Wasn't Drift the only religious nut in the crew?

But that cape is glorious. :P


I have to admit, I don't quite get what you mean. Yes, Drift is the only confirmed religious nut, but that doesn't mean that other crew members can't have a less intense level of belief. Or, they might just have been observing a traditional Cybertronian funeral with no particular awareness of what they are saying. Either way, I don't see what there is to trouble you.


Oh it didn't trouble me! :D
It's more that it all looked very solemn and organised and conservative, and so far we hadn't had an indication that the crew, Rodimus in particular, felt that way.

Cyclonus, I can understand, he is a very 'patriotic' character. Tailgate, sort of. Swerve, not convinced. Whirl? Nope.


Ok, I get it now. Seeing those particular characters sitting still and behaving is what threw you off. I have to admit that didn't really occur to me before, but it does seem weird now that you mention it.
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1482015)
Posted by Va'al on April 25th, 2013 @ 4:32pm CDT
Someone made a thing. :D

Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1482017)
Posted by 1984forever on April 25th, 2013 @ 4:34pm CDT
Va'al wrote:
84forever wrote:Yuck! Transformers were never this emotional when I was a kid. Roberts has the whole crew acting like a bunch of girls toys!


Could you please re-phrase the last part of that statement?
Some of us, me included, can find it offensive that, apparently, girls cannot enjoy Transformers, or that emotions are not something that boys have.
Sorry. I didn't know that there were actual girl fans. I thought they were all like my wife, who pretends to like Transformers the same way some women pretend to like sports!
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1482023)
Posted by sabrigami on April 25th, 2013 @ 4:42pm CDT
Va'al wrote:Someone made a thing. :D



best video ever. i love nightmare before christmas and this song suits all this stuff to a tea. ty for sharing :x
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1482024)
Posted by Va'al on April 25th, 2013 @ 4:46pm CDT
84forever wrote:
Va'al wrote:
84forever wrote:Yuck! Transformers were never this emotional when I was a kid. Roberts has the whole crew acting like a bunch of girls toys!


Could you please re-phrase the last part of that statement?
Some of us, me included, can find it offensive that, apparently, girls cannot enjoy Transformers, or that emotions are not something that boys have.
Sorry. I didn't know that there were actual girl fans. I thought they were all like my wife, who pretends to like Transformers the same way some women pretend to like sports!


That should not make a difference.

But apology accepted. ;)

(You might find this interesting.)
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1482782)
Posted by Va'al on April 28th, 2013 @ 5:07am CDT
I'm impressed with Seibertronians! :D

The IDW thread on this issue is filled with latent homophobia, whereas here it seems people either glissed over it, or just accepted the facts and moved on.

EDIT: Just to make this clear, I am talking about the discussion about the comic book, and not reactions to the link I provided above. It's been brought to my attention that my comments were ambiguous in regard to this.
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1483222)
Posted by Stormrider on April 29th, 2013 @ 7:46pm CDT
Va'al wrote:I'm impressed with Seibertronians! :D

The IDW thread on this issue is filled with latent homophobia, whereas here it seems people either glissed over it, or just accepted the facts and moved on.


To be honest I come to Seibertron to discuss Transformers with other enthusiastic fans. I don't come here to discuss genders.
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1483280)
Posted by Va'al on April 30th, 2013 @ 4:43am CDT
Stormrider wrote:
Va'al wrote:I'm impressed with Seibertronians! :D

The IDW thread on this issue is filled with latent homophobia, whereas here it seems people either glissed over it, or just accepted the facts and moved on.


To be honest I come to Seibertron to discuss Transformers with other enthusiastic fans. I don't come here to discuss genders.


I'll pretend I didn't read that.

The comics are moving towards a more mature direction, and it's inevitable that discussions about things like politics, gender, relationships, emotions, societies and the such will arise. At least, that's what I expect. ;)
Re: Creator Commentary with James Roberts: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Ongoing #16 (1483455)
Posted by Stormrider on April 30th, 2013 @ 6:50pm CDT
Va'al wrote:
Stormrider wrote:
Va'al wrote:I'm impressed with Seibertronians! :D

The IDW thread on this issue is filled with latent homophobia, whereas here it seems people either glissed over it, or just accepted the facts and moved on.


To be honest I come to Seibertron to discuss Transformers with other enthusiastic fans. I don't come here to discuss genders.


I'll pretend I didn't read that.

The comics are moving towards a more mature direction, and it's inevitable that discussions about things like politics, gender, relationships, emotions, societies and the such will arise. At least, that's what I expect. ;)


Might be better to discuss this outside this thread. Thanks
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