One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:06 am

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Yeah, the comic was **** in the most fundamental aspects like pacing and creativeness. That moment where Optimus was walking around in perfect health just four pages after Ratchet said he might not even pull through just disgusted me.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby william-james88 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:18 am

JazZeke wrote:Yeah, the comic was **** in the most fundamental aspects like pacing and creativeness. That moment where Optimus was walking around in perfect health just four pages after Ratchet said he might not even pull through just disgusted me.

Oh ok, so I didnt miss something and I am not the only one to think so, thanks!

I was really dissapointed. It seemed interesting at first when it looks like they will have to figure this out without having Prime. But no, at the last minute they just get down to earth with Prime and Omega Freaken Supreme and just beat the Decepitcons like at the end of any G1 episode. No sweat.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:23 am

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william-james88 wrote:
JazZeke wrote:Yeah, the comic was **** in the most fundamental aspects like pacing and creativeness. That moment where Optimus was walking around in perfect health just four pages after Ratchet said he might not even pull through just disgusted me.

Oh ok, so I didnt miss something and I am not the only one to think so, thanks!

I was really dissapointed. It seemed interesting at first when it looks like they will have to figure this out without having Prime. But no, at the last minute they just get down to earth with Prime and Omega Freaken Supreme and just beat the Decepitcons like at the end of any G1 episode. No sweat.

That was a lot of peoples' gripes with the story. Furman's arc was trying to do something a little different than just "Autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons" and introduce a little moral grayness on both sides. McCarthy just swept all that off the table and replaced it with a more violent version of the Sunbow cartoon, complete with monologues about how the Autobots hadn't been morally upright enough before.

Only to have one of the characters who delivered one of those speeches kill a fan-favorite character from Furman's arc in the very last page. Fans of what came before couldn't help feeling it was one last middle finger to them.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby Va'al » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:26 am

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But then there was the Costa run. Which was just bad all round, art (they ruined Figueroa), story, characters, and pacing. Then Last Stand of the Wreckers and Chaos Theory came in, and things felt better again, so Death of Optimus Prime could happen.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:36 am

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Dr Va'al wrote:But then there was the Costa run. Which was just bad all round, art (they ruined Figueroa), story, characters, and pacing. Then Last Stand of the Wreckers and Chaos Theory came in, and things felt better again, so Death of Optimus Prime could happen.

Yeah to this day I can't decide who was worse, Costa or McCarthy. I actually dropped the title after Costa's first arc, and I had never done that before. This is coming from the guy who bought every issue of Micromasters. Friggin' Micromasters. But every issue of Costa's writing left me viscerally angry at the end.

And then after his run ended he burned what little goodwill the fandom had left for him in that interview, remember that? He shoved his foot so deep in his mouth that even Chris Ryall publically condemned him. It was hilarious.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby Va'al » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:48 am

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JazZeke wrote:
Dr Va'al wrote:But then there was the Costa run. Which was just bad all round, art (they ruined Figueroa), story, characters, and pacing. Then Last Stand of the Wreckers and Chaos Theory came in, and things felt better again, so Death of Optimus Prime could happen.

Yeah to this day I can't decide who was worse, Costa or McCarthy. I actually dropped the title after Costa's first arc, and I had never done that before. This is coming from the guy who bought every issue of Micromasters. Friggin' Micromasters. But every issue of Costa's writing left me viscerally angry at the end.

And then after his run ended he burned what little goodwill the fandom had left for him in that interview, remember that? He shoved his foot so deep in his mouth that even Chris Ryall publically condemned him. It was hilarious.


Good times good times.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:56 am

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This has been a fun retrospective.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby Va'al » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:01 am

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I need to get back to my RE-VISITATION editorial, eventually.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby william-james88 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:21 pm

Wow, I missed out on a lot. But now I know that if I want to read some good stuff, I can read the initial Simon Furman IDW stories. Will keep an eye out for those if ever comixology has a sale.

PS: Does someone have a link to the interview that was referenced above?
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:40 pm

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william-james88 wrote:Wow, I missed out on a lot. But now I know that if I want to read some good stuff, I can read the initial Simon Furman IDW stories. Will keep an eye out for those if ever comixology has a sale.

PS: Does someone have a link to the interview that was referenced above?

http://moonbase2.libsyn.com/webpage/the ... ongoing-31

From the wiki:
"He has stated that during his first year, he found himself burning out on the job and finding it "not as fun" as he'd thought, because the immortal, robotic nature of the characters difficult to get a handle on. Aside from the general oddness of the concept, he felt they lacked the usual motivations of an action-adventure character and he didn't see how they could realistically have personalities like humans, and the need to have them act human-esque was a big logical flaw. "They don't have all of the basic things that humans have that motivate them and give them motivation for drama for a story. They don't really get hungry, they don't get tired, they don't have women or relationships like that [which] they value because they don’t have females that they can love; maybe brotherly love, but how — they don’t have parents? They don't have religion or spirituality... you have to manufacture [these things] and that makes it very incoherent." That, and the restrictions from the toy-centric nature of the premise (like Optimus only turning into a truck all the time), caused him major problems. The final storyline, Chaos, energised him after it was turned into a big event and brought in James Roberts as a co-writer. [1]"
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby william-james88 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:03 pm

Oh man, I found some other stuff I will post below and its amazing to read this in retrospect. It is ironic that the last line of that quote above ends with James Roberts stepping in, which has now changed the TF comics books into something Costas could have never dreamt. Here is what I was thinking when I was reading what I found here:

Having written a total of 35 issues of Transformers, Mike Costa, interviewing with the The Underbase Podcast, proudly stated how honored and how “really cool” it is to know that only Transformers legends Simon Furman and Bob Budiansky have written more issues of this timeless comic than he has.


Wow, times have changes, 35 issues doesnt sound like all that much anymore.

– “Transformers are toys. They are toys. That’s why they’re giant robots that turn in to cars. They’re toys. There’s no reason a robot would turn in to a car, they’re toys. I guess you could come up with reasons for it – a lot of writers have – it’s just so strange.”


Grant Morrison has come up with far far stranger things in comics (which are all about strange things). Plus when playing War for Cybertron, it was pretty clear how being able to turn into your own transportation vehicle would come in quite handy.

– “Cars and trucks in a comic book aren’t expressive – there’s no character to a car.”


And yet this movie exists:

Image

Plus how is this an issue when the car can turn into an expressive robot?!

– “My job as a writer is to understand why characters are doing certain things – beyond why they are doing things in a certain moment – to who they are as people, but that’s where questions start getting really confusing, because these ‘things’ aren’t people.”


That sounded very descriminatory ;) It also sounded lame. Gandalf is super ancient too, and not a human, but you didnt see JRR Tolkien bitch about it. Instead he made him awesome! But thats beyond the point, I cant believe a professional writer actually wrote this. You can write them as people if you want to, you are the goddam writer!!!!

“They don’t get hungry, they don’t get tired, they don’t have women, they don’t have relationships that they value, because they don’t have females that they can love, maybe brotherly love but how, they don’t have parents?”


Friends who have fought side by side endlessly, having eachother's back, would not care about eachother? I guess there is nothing in our reality that could inspire him about people building bonds through war. Oh wait

Image

– “Transformers fans read Transformers comics, and only Transformers comics. They are isolated from the rest of the comic book world.”


That is clearly no longer the case (if it ever was, which I doubt).

– In the comic book community, Transformers are not looked upon favorably. They are looked upon as being silly and “not-serious” comics. GI Joe is taken seriously. “GI Joe still has respectability, while Transformers does not.”


Wasnt MTMTE awarded best ongoing comic in 2015 from comics alliance? Why yes, it was http://comicsalliance.com/comics-allian ... al-comics/

– “I don’t think these books will be number 1 again. They target their market, and their market is shrinking, and there’s a lot of people in that market that are unpleasant.”


See above.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby Va'al » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:27 pm

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You're using later knowledge, and hindsight, to disprove points that were made before those points needed to be disproved, though. I dunno, it feels like not much of an argument if you're pointing out the flaws in his comic by showing how a different comic is doing things differently. (And can we please stop eating out of Roberts' hand?

One point I do want to make: Costa sounds a lot like David Goyer, the WB writer of comic book films who dislikes comic books and comic book fans. And, marginally, like some of the versions of Michael Bay we've seen across the years, the one who does not like Transformers (it depends on what time of the year it is, for Bay). Plus he has a very conservative view of writing and storytelling, in this as in other work of his. (E.g. male-female relationships are the only ones that count, the military is awesome, codes of honour, the industry is against us, I am misunderstood in my genius.)

There is, on the other hand, an element of truth to the fact that some TF comics readers only happen to read TF comics because they're not comics readers, but TF fans first and foremost. Not always the case, but I personally see it often (I came to it the other way round).


It may be worth saving this discussion for the retrospective RE-VISITATION piece, actually. :-?
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby william-james88 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:42 pm

Dr Va'al wrote:You're using later knowledge, and hindsight, to disprove points that were made before those points needed to be disproved, though. I dunno, it feels like not much of an argument if you're pointing out the flaws in his comic by showing how a different comic is doing things differently. (And can we please stop eating out of Roberts' hand?)


I would love to know if you always felt this way about Roberts or if our opinion of him has slowly been changing, because I remember you beign very enthusiastic about him and his work when I first started at Seibertron. At least that was my impression. Or did he change?

In any case, I will postpone this discussion for later. But I did want to answer about me using later knowledge. I wasnt arguing, or trying to argue.

My whole point was looking at the past through today and realizing that there was an answer to what was seen as ploblematic. Like writing relationships or not knowing how to write the characters as people. A way has been found since, showing that if the writer really did want to change the TF comic landscape for the better, he could have.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:58 pm

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Yes some of this points have managed to become even wrong-er in hindsight, but they were still pretty wrong to begin with. It was incredibly presumptuous and insulting to say that Transformers fans read only Transformers comics. While obviously there will be fans like that, I doubt even a fraction of them have never picked up a Marvel or a DC book in their life.

When Costa's very first issue came out, there was a major controversy when he had Prowl act wildly out of character, behaving in a way that he had always condemned other characters' for. And this was just two months after Nick Roche's groundbreaking story painting him as the magnificent bastard that made everyone suddenly love him came out.

After the issue came out, Costa opened himself up for audience questions, and when I asked him about it, his answer was basically that the fans had no right to judge him for just one issue and we had to buy more issues before we could form an opinion. He likened his writing to Moby Dick and said the whale didn't even show up til the end.

Now I'm sorry, but when is it the audience's job to pour their attention into a story until it gets good? A writer is supposed to entertain from the very beginning, grab the audience's attention from the start. We don't owe our time and money to a writer. And seriously, if you're going to compare yourself to a work of high literature, you should at least understand the work you're referencing. Even a layman knows Moby Dick isn't about the whale, it's about one man's obsession with the whale.

Good riddance that ignorant, unimaginative man.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby Va'al » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:09 pm

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william-james88 wrote:
Dr Va'al wrote:You're using later knowledge, and hindsight, to disprove points that were made before those points needed to be disproved, though. I dunno, it feels like not much of an argument if you're pointing out the flaws in his comic by showing how a different comic is doing things differently. (And can we please stop eating out of Roberts' hand?)


I would love to know if you always felt this way about Roberts or if our opinion of him has slowly been changing, because I remember you beign very enthusiastic about him and his work when I first started at Seibertron. At least that was my impression. Or did he change?

In any case, I will postpone this discussion for later. But I did want to answer about me using later knowledge. I wasnt arguing, or trying to argue.

My whole point was looking at the past through today and realizing that there was an answer to what was seen as ploblematic. Like writing relationships or not knowing how to write the characters as people. A way has been found since, showing that if the writer really did want to change the TF comic landscape for the better, he could have.


That last point precisely! He had an issue with something he didn't realise was his own issue as a writer. As for McCarthy, he has a much better sense of direction, overall, but not always good implementation (more on this at some point).

Roberts-wise: I like his writing, but it's the myth surrounding him that I grow tired of. As if he's not just one of the writers on three plus one books that IDW brings out, MTMTE is the only series that gets attention, and the others are seen as 'oh yeah, those other ones' at best of times. As I said, I do like his work, a lot. I really do. I just feel like we should stop idolising him. (That, and The Smiths and Morrissey are not that good. There, I said it. :P )

When I say 'argument', I mean your logic in the discussion, not arguing as in heated debate, by the way. :D


(Also, again, booooo military.)
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby william-james88 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:27 pm

Dr Va'al wrote:Roberts-wise: I like his writing, but it's the myth surrounding him that I grow tired of. As if he's not just one of the writers on three plus one books that IDW brings out, MTMTE is the only series that gets attention, and the others are seen as 'oh yeah, those other ones' at best of times. As I said, I do like his work, a lot. I really do. I just feel like we should stop idolising him. (That, and The Smiths and Morrissey are not that good. There, I said it. :P )


I agree about the Smyths and think the same regarding U2.
About Roberts, I totally get what you mean and I can see how it is tiring. However, I can tell you what I find very tiring: having to read through the Dark Cybertron story. I was reading MTMTE and when I got to Dark Cybertron I read everything I needed to in order (like the Optimus and hardhead adventures). And it was really hard reading through it all. I still havent finished Dark Cybertron, instead I just skipped it. I just didnt find the writing as good. I read more of John Barber stuff so I can listen to the seibertron podcasts and join in on the fun but it just doesnt work for me, I am not entertained. I always feel I can be reading better comics when I read a ohn Barber issue.

Nick Roche is alright, he doesnt get bogged down by a heavy plot and usually goes for something straight froward, which I do appreciate. But the dialogue is not his strong suit, to me.

James Roberts is definitely my favourite writer simply because he feels more like the kind of writers I am accustomed to when being into comics in my prior life. He reminds me of Mark Waid, who's one of the best around.

I just mean to say that I can see how Roberts has gotten that aura and how the other books might be ignored. Its the same with Marvel and DC and Image where one book will get way more love than others (cough Hawkeye cough Batman cough Saga cough) but its usually for good reason.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby Va'al » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:21 am

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william-james88 wrote:*snip*


Dark Cybertron was co-written by Barber and Roberts. The major issue of that 'crossover' was the limitation due to the comics being specifically destined to pack-ins. I'm not sating you can't feel bored by it, it's not good, I agree.

Just, almost in support of my point earlier, let's not forget Roberts was also part of it.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby william-james88 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:43 am

I just remember something else I idnt get about All Hail Megatron. The big deal with how Optimus couldnt help them, aside from being practically dead was that the matrix had been stolen by the Dcepticons. I remember going "Holy ****!", this is big, what are the autobots goig to do now in this different situation?
Nothing. Nothing changed. Optimus can still lead, he isnt less powerful without it, the Decepticons are not more powerful with it, there was no disadvantage (or advantage gained) due to the Matrix being stolen. That made that whole plot really trivial to the point where it was uneccesary to even mention.

If I missed something, let me know.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby Va'al » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:04 am

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william-james88 wrote:I just remember something else I idnt get about All Hail Megatron. The big deal with how Optimus couldnt help them, aside from being practically dead was that the matrix had been stolen by the Dcepticons. I remember going "Holy ****!", this is big, what are the autobots goig to do now in this different situation?
Nothing. Nothing changed. Optimus can still lead, he isnt less powerful without it, the Decepticons are not more powerful with it, there was no disadvantage (or advantage gained) due to the Matrix being stolen. That made that whole plot really trivial to the point where it was uneccesary to even mention.

If I missed something, let me know.


Nah, you got it. As JazZeke said earlier, some of the pacing and general plot was just a bit ..eh.

Though the point is developed further after DoOP, where we see that the Matrix doesn't necessarily do anything, and is more of a relic-y trinket than a powerful McGuffin as it was in earlier versions of the fiction. To the point that Nominus Prime never really had the real one at all, as Sentinel discovers.

The point about the end of AHM, and the Costa run, which I always found extremely amusing, is that once DoOP had settled, we had basically ignored the entirety of the Costa run, returned to the same status that we had at the end of AHM, and used the latter to fuel the Earth side of the story (post Dark Cybertron). We may not like that story, or its execution, but it is still pretty seminal to anything to do with Earth in the TFverse - as it will be for Revolution, apparently.

A necessary MEHvil if you will. :-P
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:02 am

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Dr Va'al wrote:The point about the end of AHM, and the Costa run, which I always found extremely amusing, is that once DoOP had settled, we had basically ignored the entirety of the Costa run...

Well yeah, that's because nothing of real importance happened during the Costa run. It even opened with all the characters having sat on their asses for years. The Autobots were in hiding on Earth for reasons nobody could really explain, and the Decepticons, who had decimated the Autobot forces and reigned supreme across the galaxy in All Hail Megatron, were somehow suddenly a beaten-down force just because Megatron was in a coma.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby Va'al » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:11 am

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JazZeke wrote:
Dr Va'al wrote:The point about the end of AHM, and the Costa run, which I always found extremely amusing, is that once DoOP had settled, we had basically ignored the entirety of the Costa run...

Well yeah, that's because nothing of real importance happened during the Costa run. It even opened with all the characters having sat on their asses for years. The Autobots were in hiding on Earth for reasons nobody could really explain, and the Decepticons, who had decimated the Autobot forces and reigned supreme across the galaxy in All Hail Megatron, were somehow suddenly a beaten-down force just because Megatron was in a coma.


Don't mock the mourning.


( :-$ )
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby william-james88 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:30 am

JazZeke wrote: were somehow suddenly a beaten-down force just because Megatron was in a coma.

Sounds like the reverse of the opening for AHM :lol:
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:28 pm

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william-james88 wrote:
JazZeke wrote: were somehow suddenly a beaten-down force just because Megatron was in a coma.

Sounds like the reverse of the opening for AHM :lol:

Not quite, AHM at least bothered to explain that the Decepticons had successfully blitzed the Autobots and greatly reduced their forces. Optimus was beaten, sure, but like 90% of Autobots were supposedly killed.

Off-camera.

And what would have been a thrilling twist in the story was sidelined in favor of seven issues of the characters twiddling their thumbs afterwards.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby william-james88 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:45 pm

JazZeke wrote:Optimus was beaten, sure, but like 90% of Autobots were supposedly killed.

You see, I totally didnt catch that. Maybe because all the autobots I knew were still alive. Was that retconned later? Because from reading MTMTE there are tons of autobots out there, even the Turbomasters are still alive.

Off-camera.


Just like how destructive Megatron was on Earth anywhere but New York... nice :(

And what would have been a thrilling twist in the story was sidelined in favor of seven issues of the characters twiddling their thumbs afterwards.


Yeah, I really hated that, I didnt see any point in going back to see what the autobots were up to (until Kup came) since it was always the same: nothing.

My favourite part still remains Astrotrain showing up in the underground subway tracks and killing all the humans. Thats the most I got from ALH.
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Re: One year later, All Hail Megatron comes to an end

Postby JazZeke » Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:52 pm

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william-james88 wrote:
JazZeke wrote:Optimus was beaten, sure, but like 90% of Autobots were supposedly killed.

You see, I totally didnt catch that. Maybe because all the autobots I knew were still alive. Was that retconned later? Because from reading MTMTE there are tons of autobots out there, even the Turbomasters are still alive.

It was mentioned in such an offhand manner that a lot of people missed it. Other, more competent writers actually made use of its storytelling potential. And presumably all the Autobots killed were generics who didn't have toys, no no one we were invested in.

Off-camera.


Just like how destructive Megatron was on Earth anywhere but New York... nice :(

See, that was another inconsistency. McCarthy had a seen where the Cons razed China, then like the next issue the Decepticons were bitching about how Megatron wasn't letting them go anywhere, and a couple issues after that, the UN were discussing nuking New York (over tea and crumpets!!!) before the Decepticons could destroy anyplace else.
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