A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode

Transformers News: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode

Thursday, March 7th, 2019 8:40AM CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88   Views: 23,401

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With the IDW Transformers reboot coming in hot, I wanted to take a look back at one of the big highlights of the previous continuity, James Roberts' More Than Meets the Eye. Like him or not, James Roberts added a lot to the Transformers mythos, and it was due to very meticulous planning. His scripts were layered with detail and with wanting to connect what you were reading to a larger lore and history. While it was not crucial to read everything to understand, he made sure that fans would be rewarded with extra details and continuity nods.

Many have not seen James Robert's scripts so this two part article will serve as a look into how meticulous he was in planning just two pages of his 8 year run. These two pages depict the battle of Hell's Point (from More Than Meets the Eye Issue 16), a fight where someone who used to wear the Ultra Magnus mantle dies at the hands of Megatron, trying out his gun mode for the first time canonically. This is the second part, and thus page 2. You can read part 1 here. Below you will find the extremely detailed script, where every single panel and row is laid out followed by the finished product. The bold numbers are for panels while the italic numbers are for speech bubbles.


TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE Issue 16: Remain In Light (Prologue) By James Roberts

PAGE 2

Row 1

1 / Larger panel.

Ultra Magnus (with his back to the readers) is confronted / semirodeoed by the supergroup Phase Sixer, aka the Warrior Elite: Sixshot, Overlord, Black Shadow, Killmaster and Heretech.
This is Heretech's first appearance - it looks a bit like a fatter Alpha Trion. Built on his head and forming the front of his skull is half of the box of the Matrix of the TF movie. Not literally the box, but that kind of design. The guy is a serious fanatic. He transforms into a digging machine (tunnel boring machine).
NB: Heretech has a weapon in his right hand, hidden behind his back. We do not see it in this panel (or on Page 1).
Magnus is standing here, with his back to the readers, with his hands on his hips, with a carefree air.

1 HERETECH: Ultra Magnus! A question.
2 MAGNUS: Take your time, Heretech. I'm not going
anywhere
3 HERETECH: Hell's Point is just a moment away from
generating its first internal wormhole, Optimus Prime is stuck in the ground, being roughed up by the Tremorcons, and you're face to face against the Warriors Elite.
4 HERETECH: So my question is ...

Row 2

2 / We pass Magnus - and he's smiling. A pimp smile, Roger Moore style of James Bond. Not at all its normal appearance.
5 HERETECH (O / P): ... what the hell have you got to smile
about?
6 MAGNUS: You're welcome , really. Except ...
7 MAGNUS:...I'm blocking the causal energy vent directly above the wormhole generator. If you shoot me or do anything to get me off this precise point, you will create a power drain.
8 MAGNUS: If that happens, there is an 80% chance
that Megatron's extra-experimental war cruise will explode - and he is not around to let you take that risk.
3 / Heretech reveals what he has behind him: MEGATRON in his new (but classic appearance of G1) gun mode (we established in Chaos Theory that this battle was a test for his gun mode). Heretech is aiming with Megatron at Magnus, who is halfway to raising his hands.
9 MEGATRON: Isn't he?

ROW 3

4 / Heretech / Megatron shoots Magnus in the stomach. A shocking, violent, horrible shot: it must look like a deadly shot.
10 SOUND FX: FRA-KOOM!
11 MAGNUS: ARGH!
5 / Small. In silhouette we see an unconscious Magnus (with a huge hole in his torso) falling over the edge of the cruiser. Without dialogue
6 / Small. A close-up of Magnus' right hand beginning to close in a fist. A few subtle lines of movement around the fingers.


Transformers News: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode
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Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2013832)
Posted by ThunderThruster on March 7th, 2019 @ 10:34am CST
william-james88 wrote:While I will let James Robert's script fill you in on the info as he did with the artists, Agustin Padilla, I will say that this depicts one of the battles where Ultra Magnus dies. In the IDW comics, it turns out Ultra Magnus was became just a name/armour that went from bot to bot to inspire other soldiers. Below you will see the very layered script followed by the artist's rendition of these words. What is fascinating here is that the artist only had 1 panel to convey all this, a splash page.

Devils in the detail.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2013991)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on March 8th, 2019 @ 3:49pm CST
James Roberts added a lot to the Transformers mythos, and it was due to very meticulous planning. His scripts were layered with detail and with wanting to connect what you were reading to a larger lore and history.


Which to me, reads as piggy-backing his retcons onto someone else's work. As much as no one likes it or wants to acknowledge it, "Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode" in IDWverse happened in Transformers/Avengers. In which, Megatron expressly acknowledges it as a "new form". As someone who has read comics for a long time, I really detest retcons, especially those that purport established information as their own ideas.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014007)
Posted by william-james88 on March 8th, 2019 @ 6:16pm CST
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
James Roberts added a lot to the Transformers mythos, and it was due to very meticulous planning. His scripts were layered with detail and with wanting to connect what you were reading to a larger lore and history.


Which to me, reads as piggy-backing his retcons onto someone else's work. As much as no one likes it or wants to acknowledge it, "Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode" in IDWverse happened in Transformers/Avengers. In which, Megatron expressly acknowledges it as a "new form". As someone who has read comics for a long time, I really detest retcons, especially those that purport established information as their own ideas.

Isnt the first time we see his gun mode in Transformers Escalation?

Image
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014117)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on March 10th, 2019 @ 12:46am CST
Canonically, Escalation happens after Transformers/Avengers. I've always thought that is the worst part of T/A, is that they made it part of the timeline via Megatron's altmode and Ramjet's betrayal (which led to his Spotlight... and demise).
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014140)
Posted by william-james88 on March 10th, 2019 @ 10:40am CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Canonically, Escalation happens after Transformers/Avengers.

So then that was a retcon too and the entire argument is moot.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014141)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on March 10th, 2019 @ 10:46am CDT
william-james88 wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Canonically, Escalation happens after Transformers/Avengers.

So then that was a retcon too and the entire argument is moot.



The Wiki wrote:The best place to locate this series in the IDW Generation 1 continuity is during the latter part of Escalation #1, after Megatron is last seen in his Cybertronian tank form (he is in gun form in this series). Megatron had gathered his troops together at that point to secure his leadership and oversee the reestablishment infiltration protocol. Ironhide and Sunstreaker were off driving Hunter O'Nion, Verity Carlo, and Jimmy Pink home at that part of the story which would account for their absence in this series. Spotlight: Ramjet, which takes place after this series, begins during Escalation #2.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014147)
Posted by william-james88 on March 10th, 2019 @ 1:30pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Canonically, Escalation happens after Transformers/Avengers.

So then that was a retcon too and the entire argument is moot.



The Wiki wrote:The best place to locate this series in the IDW Generation 1 continuity is during the latter part of Escalation #1, after Megatron is last seen in his Cybertronian tank form (he is in gun form in this series). Megatron had gathered his troops together at that point to secure his leadership and oversee the reestablishment infiltration protocol. Ironhide and Sunstreaker were off driving Hunter O'Nion, Verity Carlo, and Jimmy Pink home at that part of the story which would account for their absence in this series. Spotlight: Ramjet, which takes place after this series, begins during Escalation #2.


I know, that is a retcon. What are you trying to say?
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014148)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on March 10th, 2019 @ 1:36pm CDT
How is it a retcon, when it didn't relay any new information? The timing in which both were written and released is within the same window of 2006/7. So neither is a retcon, but two separate mini-series written in tandem.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014150)
Posted by william-james88 on March 10th, 2019 @ 1:40pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:How is it a retcon, when it didn't relay any new information? The timing in which both were written and released is within the same window of 2006/7. So neither is a retcon, but two separate mini-series written in tandem.

Avngers xover came out after. If it claimed the gun mode to be new then its a retcon that Megs had this mode before Russia.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014151)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on March 10th, 2019 @ 1:43pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:How is it a retcon, when it didn't relay any new information? The timing in which both were written and released is within the same window of 2006/7. So neither is a retcon, but two separate mini-series written in tandem.

Avngers xover came out after. If it claimed the gun mode to be new then its a retcon that Megs had this mode before Russia.



I can check back through my HC Book 2 but I don't think he transformed in New Avengers/Transformers. He got his new Bot Mode and that was all the Autobots saw.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014152)
Posted by william-james88 on March 10th, 2019 @ 1:50pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:How is it a retcon, when it didn't relay any new information? The timing in which both were written and released is within the same window of 2006/7. So neither is a retcon, but two separate mini-series written in tandem.

Avngers xover came out after. If it claimed the gun mode to be new then its a retcon that Megs had this mode before Russia.



I can check back through my HC Book 2 but I don't think he transformed in New Avengers/Transformers. He got his new Bot Mode and that was all the Autobots saw.

I dont remember either, but regardless its still splitting hairs. Comic retcons happen all the time, i dont see how Roberts is a lessar writer for doing it too. Especially not when we get good results from it. I feel the comics changed entirely post DOOP and see it as a new era anyways.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014153)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on March 10th, 2019 @ 1:56pm CDT
Comic Retcons happen with comics that are 20 - 80+ years old for that very reason: the time passed. Retcons were always completely unnecessary within IDWverse because, in the end, it was only 12 years old. You can't say this thing you've just done is new, when anyone can go back a mere 20-30 issues (even easier with digital distribution) to see when it was actually new.

As an aside, the G1 design was so inferior to the -Ations one, it wasn't even funny.
Re: A look into James Roberts Scripting Part 2 Introducing Megatron's Gun Mode (2014717)
Posted by Optimutt on March 14th, 2019 @ 11:24pm CDT
I love this. I am such a sucker for the "behind the scenes" of art - movies, comics, all of it.

This method of scripting is so detached from the "Marvel Style" where the writer puts some key points on a page and passes it off to the artist to bring things to life in their own fashion. After the artist has done their pretty puctures and story-telling, it then goes back to the writer, who puts the dialogue in.

But not Roberts. This is a conductor knowing how each note falls, swells, and complements to create the symphony that will rock their audience.

I was talking to William-James88 about this tonight, but this kind of attention to detail is what gave us the ridiculous coincidence of Authobots sporting Overlord's color scheme (Boss, Dogfight, Turbine, and Doubletap, among others ). I mean, he knew, probably, going into this book that he would want Overlord and Fort Max to butt heads again. Knowing how this would play out - seeing how the coincidence of the Autobots' coloring would spark Fort Max's rage... this is just bonkers. THAT is an issue I'd love to see a script for.

Not that I'm complaining in any case. I love the allusion to the Star Destroyer in this, the "uncharacteristically un-Ultra Magnus smile" that is mentioned in this, the reveal of Megatron at the end. So freaking cool. I may not be as in love with this artist's style as I am with Milne's style (who was the regular on the book at this time period), but damn, kudos to him for bringing Roberts' vision to life!

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