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Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts

Transformers News: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts

Thursday, December 13th, 2012 8:29AM CST

Categories: Comic Book News, People News
Posted by: El Duque   Views: 29,636

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The official Transformers facebook page has shared this week's Creator Commentary, which takes a look at the first five pages of Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax with writer James Roberts. We've mirrored the commentary below for those without facebook access.

Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
PAGE 1- Orion Pax, tied to a rocket, is heading towards a city. What was the main motivation for telling this story at this point in Pax’s life?

JAMES ROBERTS: If you mean “this point” as in “this precise moment,” simple: it’s exciting! Nothing like starting off a book with a cliffhanger.

Also… this story takes place after “Chaos Theory” and “Shadowplay” [two James Roberts-written stories that ran in TRANSFORMERS #22-23 and TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE #9-11, both featuring Orion Pax as a main character] (not that you need to have read those two stories to enjoy this one). To date, while we’ve seen Pax get sucked into adventures, it’s always seemed as if he’s been sidetracked – like all the political shenanigans are a diversion from his day to day job as the Cybertronian equivalent of a police captain. With this SPOTLIGHT issue we jump forward in time a little, and by joining Pax as he’s strapped to a rocket stuck in a death-dive, we hopefully that he’s moving away from his old life and into the role of fully-fledged freedom-fighting action hero.

Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
PAGE 2- Orion is given a new body by Wheeljack, now appearing as he did in SPOTLIGHT: BLURR. Was this a continuity issue you wanted to fix; since Pax has appeared in a different body in other issues set in the past?

JAMES ROBERTS: Sometimes, what appears to be quite a complex continuity problem can be fixed easily and simply. I think this is one of those times.

Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
PAGE 3- Orion is told by Rung and others of possible issues that could arise from getting his new body. And he meets Zeta Prime. This meeting of the Primes—was this pre-planned or something you thought up just for this story?

JAMES ROBERTS: Well, you’ll notice that he’s not meeting Zeta Prime for the first time – he met him as Zeta at the end of a previous story (in MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE issue #11 – check it out, folks!). Having Orion Pax talk to Zeta after he’s become a Prime serves to show that time has passed and that their relationship has deepened. You can see that Pax is in awe of Zeta; he’s very loyal to him. I wanted to convey the depth of their relationship here – or, more specifically, the extent to which Pax trusts Zeta to repair the damage caused by the Cybertronian Senate – because in later stories (TRANSFORMERS: AUTOCRACY), Zeta is behaving irresponsibly – pretty abominably, actually – and yet Pax is slow to stand against him. In this story I suggest a reason for that, namely that he had such high hopes for him.

But enough with the past and future stories! SPOTLIGHT: ORION PAX is absolutely designed to read as a standalone story: a freewheeling, guns-blazing, bad-guy-bashing thrill ride starring the greatest Autobot of all! You need not have read anything else featuring Pax to enjoy this.

Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
PAGE 4- Orion is briefed on his mission, a prisoner exchange with the Decepticons. Having done so much with his past already, how much more have you got worked out in the history of the ’bot who will become Optimus Prime?

JAMES ROBERTS: I intend to continue operating in the space between “Shadowplay” and MEGATRON: ORIGIN, building up supporting characters and staging some famous first encounters between characters. If all goes to plan, there’ll be another pre-war story in the next 18 months.

Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
PAGE 5- Orion meets Alpha Trion for the first time. Is writing for Trion something that’s been burning in your mind for a while?

JAMES ROBERTS: To be honest, no. Until this story I’d never really known how to approach to character. Then I decided to hone in on the part of his personality – the preachy, pious, smarter-than-thou characteristics – that would make certain characters want to punch him. Once I made up mind about that, he was fun to write. In fact, I’d quite like to see him turn up on the Lost Light in MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE…
Credit(s): Transformers facebook page
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Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1446254)
Posted by sabrigami on December 13th, 2012 @ 9:02am CST
How is it only 2 pages have made me giggle uncontrollably and made me NEED to read this. Wasn't planning on getting this but Seeing as it's Roberts I have too. Hopefully it will tide me over until MTMtE next week
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1446280)
Posted by Mindmaster on December 13th, 2012 @ 11:03am CST
MINDVVIPE wrote:So Trion turns into the tumbler eh, interesting...


I'm Bat-Trion.

Or Alpha-man. Either way, it is pretty cool how he's the Tumbler.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1446292)
Posted by Epiclepsy on December 13th, 2012 @ 12:09pm CST
I'm looking forward to reading this. The art does look a bit... meh, though, but I mainly read it for the story, rather than the art.

/hipstering
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1447354)
Posted by Stormrider on December 17th, 2012 @ 7:35pm CST
Has there been any talks of combining this book with Autocracy as one volume?
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1447436)
Posted by Va'al on December 18th, 2012 @ 3:07am CST
It looks as though the Spotlight series will continue (Thundercracker, Megatron and Bumblebee so far) so they might collect it as a Spotlight TPB instead.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1457026)
Posted by Down_Shift on January 22nd, 2013 @ 7:30am CST
So is primes body bigger or smaller then before? After a conversation with a friend we are both confused. His old body was his War For Cybertron body, yes?
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1457041)
Posted by Va'al on January 22nd, 2013 @ 9:07am CST
Down_Shift wrote:So is primes body bigger or smaller then before? After a conversation with a friend we are both confused. His old body was his War For Cybertron body, yes?


Well, this story takes place after Megatron: Origins and before Autocracy, both set in the IDW continuity.
As far as I know, War for Cybertron is a different continuity altogether, which includes the videogames, novels, toys and tv shows (Prime and Rescue Bots).

This note from TfWiki explains the 'body' issue better than I could:
Orion Pax previously appeared with the new body he receives in this story in Spotlight: Blurr, published four years prior to this issue. A continuity error arose nearly three years later when Pax appeared in author James Roberts's "Chaos Theory", set earlier than Spotlight: Blurr, with an entirely different body that was not hugely different from his Cybertronian Optimus Prime form as seen in 2006's Stormbringer. This story, taking place between the two, patches that hole, explaining how Pax switching from his "Chaos Theory" body to his Spotlight: Blurr body, and notes his intent to switch back in the near future.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1457280)
Posted by Down_Shift on January 23rd, 2013 @ 7:12am CST
Va'al wrote:
Down_Shift wrote:So is primes body bigger or smaller then before? After a conversation with a friend we are both confused. His old body was his War For Cybertron body, yes?


Well, this story takes place after Megatron: Origins and before Autocracy, both set in the IDW continuity.
As far as I know, War for Cybertron is a different continuity altogether, which includes the videogames, novels, toys and tv shows (Prime and Rescue Bots).

This note from TfWiki explains the 'body' issue better than I could:
Orion Pax previously appeared with the new body he receives in this story in Spotlight: Blurr, published four years prior to this issue. A continuity error arose nearly three years later when Pax appeared in author James Roberts's "Chaos Theory", set earlier than Spotlight: Blurr, with an entirely different body that was not hugely different from his Cybertronian Optimus Prime form as seen in 2006's Stormbringer. This story, taking place between the two, patches that hole, explaining how Pax switching from his "Chaos Theory" body to his Spotlight: Blurr body, and notes his intent to switch back in the near future.


Thanks!
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1482881)
Posted by Va'al on April 28th, 2013 @ 2:33pm CDT
Plan B
(Spoiler free-ish)


With this week's Spotlight: Hoist release, the Spotlight series seems to have concluded as far as we know. So we decided to go back and make sure all the issues have been reviewed! Read the Megatron and Trailcutter ones, and come back later this week for Thundercracker and Bumblebee.

And now, starting from the beginning – Spotlight: Orion Pax!

Synopsis

BEFORE OPTIMUS PRIME—there was Orion Pax! Four million years ago, the future leader of the AUTOBOTS disappeared into the Cybertronian wilderness to save a friend. What happened next would take him to the very brink—and have startling repercussions on the current comics!


Image
I'm on a ..shuttle



Story

This story takes place before the events of Autocracy. This story is written by James Roberts. This story is about Orion Pax trying out a new body before being upgraded to the Matrix-holding one. This story starts with Orion Pax tied to a shuttle. This story is actually quite cool.

Image
He does look weird without a faceplate


We are reintroduced to Zeta (sorry, Zeta Prime), Rung shows up for the first time before the war, and there a bunch of other interesting cameos scattered around the issue. Roberts writes in some interesting action, and fairly nice twist, and we get to look at

Image
Alpha Trion, you so cool


While Orion Pax definitely gets some character development, including some referential jokes to his ordinary look in the franchise, the other big element of this one-shot is undoubtedly Alpha Trion, with his know-it-all-been-there-done-that attitude. And there's the hint at Metroplex and the Metrotitan plot from the Annuals, almost shoehorned in.

Image
How subtle can you be with a city?


The story sets up nicely the rest of this iteration of the Spotlight series, and is a nice one-off featuring Orion Pax and some of the major players later in the war. But it does feel as if something is missing. Roberts' Alpha Trion almost makes up for it though.

Art

Steve Kurth is on pencils, Juan Castro on inks, and they do a fairly decent job of portraying a younger Cybertronian environment and cast. Zeta has just upgraded to his Autocracy body, we're introduced to a couple of old friends, and Alpha Trion is the big name here, and boy does he look good.

Image
He even turns into the Batmobile! With a cape!


J. Aburtov and Graphikslava provide the colours to the issue, and I have to say, I like them! They're quite lightly saturated, and give a somewhat dusty feel to the whole story – which works really well in the desert scenes and the arena, and also fits nicely in this pre-pre-prequel one-shot. Lighting is handled really well too, and Shawne Lee does some nice work in the soundword department, especially with aerial scenes.

Image
See? Within the lines


There are a couple of issues with some of the action scenes, but they can be overlooked quite easily, as at least we can tell what is going on. The colours are nice, and Orion does look weird without the face-plate... but then, that's the whole point.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

It's a fairly decent issue, with some good Roberts humour, some nice characterisation for Orion Pax, and it helps set up the coming issues and the plotline running through them. The action scenes are nice, and the events are well tied in with pre-existing continuity.

Image
Thundercracker, you're next


The only problems this encounters is that the main plot is not the actual plot, but the conswequences of the twist feel a bit forced at times. All in all, though, a decent return to the Spotlight series, and a nice move to focus on Orion Pax after The Death of Optimus Prime. Next, please.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1482897)
Posted by Mindmaster on April 28th, 2013 @ 3:27pm CDT
Seeing Orion with the trailer makes me secretly hope that some third party company makes it for the upcoming Deluxe figure...
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1482909)
Posted by Manterax Prime on April 28th, 2013 @ 3:54pm CDT
I hope Hasbro gives us a deluxe Alpha Trion.

And Wheeljack.... "Mouths are very "in" at the moment. I'm thinking of getting one myself..." says the guy who never got a mouth.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1482912)
Posted by Mindmaster on April 28th, 2013 @ 4:09pm CDT
Manterax Prime wrote:I hope Hasbro gives us a deluxe Alpha Trion.


Or-or-or maybe... a Voyager. =P~
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1482914)
Posted by Va'al on April 28th, 2013 @ 4:11pm CDT
Manterax Prime wrote:And Wheeljack.... "Mouths are very "in" at the moment. I'm thinking of getting one myself..." says the guy who never got a mouth.


I enjoyed all the pokes at the new house-style of IDW, especially that one. :D
There's another really good one coming up in Spotlight:Hoist which is just brilliant, especially after the events of RID 16.
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1482978)
Posted by Manterax Prime on April 28th, 2013 @ 9:50pm CDT
Mindmaster wrote:
Manterax Prime wrote:I hope Hasbro gives us a deluxe Alpha Trion.


Or-or-or maybe... a Voyager. =P~


And it turns into the purple Tumbler!
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1482980)
Posted by Mindmaster on April 28th, 2013 @ 9:52pm CDT
Manterax Prime wrote:
Mindmaster wrote:
Manterax Prime wrote:I hope Hasbro gives us a deluxe Alpha Trion.


Or-or-or maybe... a Voyager. =P~


And it turns into the purple Tumbler!


:BOOM:
Re: Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax Creator Commentary with James Roberts (1482982)
Posted by Manterax Prime on April 28th, 2013 @ 10:00pm CDT
Mindmaster wrote:
Manterax Prime wrote:
Mindmaster wrote:
Manterax Prime wrote:I hope Hasbro gives us a deluxe Alpha Trion.


Or-or-or maybe... a Voyager. =P~


And it turns into the purple Tumbler!


:BOOM:


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