IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review

IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 1:50am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 29,039

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I'm No Superbot
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
Three years into their quest, and the crew of the Lost Light were starting to think that the universe held no more nasty surprises. And then a planet started chasing them.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review
Nobel-worthy dialogue


Story

There comes a point in a series, be it on television, in comics, or whatever else have you, when a certain sentence is brought onto the picture, featuring an aquatic creature, a certain type of physical effort and usual negative connotations. Do any of those descriptors fit issue 43 of Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye? Find out below (maybe)!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review
'Why are all these Us in our colors?'


Writer James Roberts has made no secret of his fascination with popular culture, in music, TV series and the wider comics world - and has often woven in MTMTE this passion of his, with multiple results, usually as one-off gags or non-impacting moments. And then this issue happens, where all of those strands come once again together into a truly bizarre read.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review
Scene One


As the solicits, previous issue, covers and various previews have shown us, Swerve takes centre stage in the most peculiar of ways, and fans of the last twenty years of anything and everything outside of the Transformers will probably find that the Idol of Millions has indeed something for everyone - even if some readers may find the frequency and awareness grating at times.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review
So Meta


And yet, that last point also feeds into the story, and I'd be curious to see the varying reactions to the experience of getting through this new instalment of the series among the readership. Especially as whatever journey we take for 20 pages suddenly screeches, swerves (heh) and slams somewhere very very different indeed. At last.

Art

From a visual side of things, on the other hand, this issue proves that give Alex Milne a direction, and he will dress a world out of a streetname. Both his linework and Brian Shearer's inking collaboration really bring out the individual, non-robotic elements of each character that Roberts' script helps create, however on the nose or in your face, with some seriously on point representations.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review
Introducing: Cyclonus


And if we needed any more beauty and poignancy to any of the meta-mess that the story develops, Joana Lafuente's colours makes sure we don't miss the emotional stream trickling beneath the apparently farcical surface. Sets, settings, dresses, clothing and texture in general is deftly captured and covered by her tones, ensuring a full surround of no laughing matter.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review
Also introducing: Bluestreak


Laughter which is instead, where necessary (and unnecessary, given the setting) provided by letterer Tom B. Long, whose efforts are not slight in populating a sign-crowded world with more words than you can shake a boom mic at. There are covers for all flavours too, from the Milne/Josh Perez main Cyclonus one, to the cameo making multi-Swerve by Nick Roche and Josh Burcham, a Texas exclusive Casey Coller and JP Bove G1-esque variant, and the thumbnailed James Biggie ad-style Unicron.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Similar things have been said for other issues of MTMTE, but this one in particular is going to be discussed quite a bit, one expects, not for its impact on the wider story - though it inevitably will on that account too - but for what it's trying to do and how it's accomplishing the A plot, and how far some readers will take it - or leave it.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review
Wait.. what? What?!


What goes well with the issue, however, goes really really well, from both a writing and a visual perspective, and the latter in particular. Milne and Lafuente are at top form, and all the characters receiving a holomatter avatar, a whole lot of them, are perfect renditions of their personalities, and Shearer and Long provide equally excellent assists.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: ½ out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


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Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714225)
Posted by Jeen0808 on July 29th, 2015 @ 3:55am CDT
Loved it. Especially all the jabs about what people thought of the last issue. Gold stuff.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714255)
Posted by ScottyP on July 29th, 2015 @ 8:21am CDT
The narrative device used in this got a little too self-aware and metafictional for my tastes through most of the issue, although the fact that this was done without creating plot-holes at all is an achievement worth mention.

The last 4-5 pages of this one took it from "well that was cute, I guess" to "Oh, ok, I get it", then "Oh, that's kind of touching", finally with "Holy crap that is a big deal."
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714263)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on July 29th, 2015 @ 8:53am CDT
I was worried about that issue... a bit, but worked out very touching... and sorta fun :P

My biggest worry was that I wouldn't like the sitcom aspect, as I'm not really into pop culture exactly... but I dunno, I got a laugh out of it :)

Not surprised Roberts was building to something with this and the planet chasing was just a comic devices :P Megs avatar wasn't impressive, but it did fit his personality, Nautica was adorable, and I loved the vibe between she and Megs... :P
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714264)
Posted by Cyberstrike on July 29th, 2015 @ 9:06am CDT
Black Bumblebee wrote:Basically, MTMTE has sort of turned into Doctor Who. You're going to be thrown off for a bit, plot wise, as strange things are happening. And there will be some off the wall science fiction.

For folks like me who grew up on this sort of thing, it's wonderful. But I can understand why it might not be some reader's personal cup of cosmic cocoa.


Having just finally read MTMTE #28-41 in one setting I generally found this series more fun than ANY of the other TF series I had read since Dark Cybertron ended, but the series has never answered a central point: Why are they looking for the Knights of Cybertron anyway?

This has always bugged me about this series and I think it's a major flaw in an otherwise great series. I've read that Roberts doesn't care or think the main quest is not all that important but I hoped he at least checked a short-lived sci-fi TV series called Crusade.

Crusade was about Earth being hit an alien plague and all life will end in 5 years unless the crew of a prototype spaceship can find the cure before then. Now that is a dark opening for a show to start at but in the 12 episodes there are plenty humor and offbeat stories including one whole episode about the crew's resident technomage looking for his dead girlfriend's grave in hyperspace that has nothing to do with the crew looking for a cure. It was also a Babylon 5 spin-off/sequel created by JMS, who also liked Roberts, made long running plans that some which didn't come off as well as he thought (the ending to the long Shadow War on B5 or some of his comics).

Now don't get me wrong I love MTMTE for the most part but it does have some serious flaws and most of flaws come from Roberts. Now I have championed and continue to champion elsewhere that in my honest opinion that James Roberts could easily be the next Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, or Warren Ellis simply because he really is that damn good.

But damn when he strikes out it's a big miss like with MTMTE Annual 2012 but his home runs are out of the park and half-way to next galaxy like Chaos Theory but that doesn't mean we should give him a free pass because he was fanfic writer that made it his screw ups should be given as harsh as anything from Barber, Costa, McCarthy, Scott, Furman, or any other TF writer past or present has done.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714267)
Posted by ScottyP on July 29th, 2015 @ 9:12am CDT
Cyberstrike wrote:Having just finally read MTMTE #28-41 in one setting I generally found this series more fun than ANY of the other TF series I had read since Dark Cybertron ended, but the series has never answered a central point: Why are they looking for the Knights of Cybertron anyway?
Rodimus is looking for them because he can. I don't want to say too much in case your post is implying you hadn't read anything before 28 - I highly doubt that's the case but would hate to be "that guy that spoiled everything" in the slim chance that it is ;)
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714269)
Posted by Cyberstrike on July 29th, 2015 @ 9:20am CDT
ScottyP wrote:
Cyberstrike wrote:Having just finally read MTMTE #28-41 in one setting I generally found this series more fun than ANY of the other TF series I had read since Dark Cybertron ended, but the series has never answered a central point: Why are they looking for the Knights of Cybertron anyway?
Rodimus is looking for them because he can. I don't want to say too much in case your post is implying you hadn't read anything before 28 - I highly doubt that's the case but would hate to be "that guy that spoiled everything" in the slim chance that it is ;)


I've the whole series up to and including #41. I just read "season 2" of both series and all of the assorted mini-series and one-shots.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714296)
Posted by MrBlack on July 29th, 2015 @ 11:11am CDT
I enjoyed this more than I expected to. Roberts once again built upon several small hints he had strewn throughout the prior 40+ issues, but rather than building to some grand plot point, it built up to something much more personal. It was a great character issue, and all that pop culture stuff actually ended up having a place in the story.

I also liked the fact that both Rodimus and Megatron had holomatter avatars that looked like the hero and villain, respectively, of a bad 80's anime.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714302)
Posted by MrBlack on July 29th, 2015 @ 11:30am CDT
Cyberstrike wrote:
Black Bumblebee wrote:Basically, MTMTE has sort of turned into Doctor Who. You're going to be thrown off for a bit, plot wise, as strange things are happening. And there will be some off the wall science fiction.

For folks like me who grew up on this sort of thing, it's wonderful. But I can understand why it might not be some reader's personal cup of cosmic cocoa.


Having just finally read MTMTE #28-41 in one setting I generally found this series more fun than ANY of the other TF series I had read since Dark Cybertron ended, but the series has never answered a central point: Why are they looking for the Knights of Cybertron anyway?

This has always bugged me about this series and I think it's a major flaw in an otherwise great series. I've read that Roberts doesn't care or think the main quest is not all that important but I hoped he at least checked a short-lived sci-fi TV series called Crusade.

Crusade was about Earth being hit an alien plague and all life will end in 5 years unless the crew of a prototype spaceship can find the cure before then. Now that is a dark opening for a show to start at but in the 12 episodes there are plenty humor and offbeat stories including one whole episode about the crew's resident technomage looking for his dead girlfriend's grave in hyperspace that has nothing to do with the crew looking for a cure. It was also a Babylon 5 spin-off/sequel created by JMS, who also liked Roberts, made long running plans that some which didn't come off as well as he thought (the ending to the long Shadow War on B5 or some of his comics).

Now don't get me wrong I love MTMTE for the most part but it does have some serious flaws and most of flaws come from Roberts. Now I have championed and continue to champion elsewhere that in my honest opinion that James Roberts could easily be the next Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, or Warren Ellis simply because he really is that damn good.

But damn when he strikes out it's a big miss like with MTMTE Annual 2012 but his home runs are out of the park and half-way to next galaxy like Chaos Theory but that doesn't mean we should give him a free pass because he was fanfic writer that made it his screw ups should be given as harsh as anything from Barber, Costa, McCarthy, Scott, Furman, or any other TF writer past or present has done.

Did you read the Death of Optimus Prime, because it really is explained there.

Perceptor and Rewind find a map in one half of the broken Matrix. It was clearly designed to be found, and is incredibly ancient. Drift hypothesizes that the map could be used to find the Knights of Cybertron, who possess knowledge of Cybertron long lost that could be used to rebuild the planet. No one is sure if the Knights actually exist, or where the map will lead, but the promise of a quest is enough to pull 200 or so bots away from the mess that Cybertron has become.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714306)
Posted by Va'al on July 29th, 2015 @ 11:35am CDT
ScottyP wrote:The last 4-5 pages of this one took it from "well that was cute, I guess" to "Oh, ok, I get it", then "Oh, that's kind of touching", finally with "Holy crap that is a big deal."


Yes. This. Yes.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714307)
Posted by Nemesis_Apoc on July 29th, 2015 @ 11:50am CDT
Alright, guys, I'm about to get into MAJOR spoiler territory so if you haven't read this issue or Last Stand of the Wreckers, DO NOT READ THIS POST.

Alright, so if you've read the issue, you've seen that Velocity extracts a data-laced bullet from Swerve's shoulder. My question is when did Swerve get shot? I flipped through Slaughterhouse and didn't see anything. I thought that was the only time the Lost Lighters had come in direct contact with the DJD even though it was the alternate Lost Light. But if Rewind can slip through the cracks, why can't a little bullet? I dunno, just speculating. Also, when has Swerve ever worn the Autobot badge on his left shoulder? I stands to reason it may have at least been since before we actually meet Swerve during the whole Chaos story from a few years ago because that picture at the end of issue 43 shows him posing with Ironfist/Fistiron and he's been dead since Last Stand of the Wreckers. Anyway, if anyone has any information ot add, I'd love to hear it.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714313)
Posted by Sagitta on July 29th, 2015 @ 12:33pm CDT
Nemesis_Apoc wrote:Alright, guys, I'm about to get into MAJOR spoiler territory so if you haven't read this issue or Last Stand of the Wreckers, DO NOT READ THIS POST.

Alright, so if you've read the issue, you've seen that Velocity extracts a data-laced bullet from Swerve's shoulder. My question is when did Swerve get shot? I flipped through Slaughterhouse and didn't see anything. I thought that was the only time the Lost Lighters had come in direct contact with the DJD even though it was the alternate Lost Light. But if Rewind can slip through the cracks, why can't a little bullet? I dunno, just speculating. Also, when has Swerve ever worn the Autobot badge on his left shoulder? I stands to reason it may have at least been since before we actually meet Swerve during the whole Chaos story from a few years ago because that picture at the end of issue 43 shows him posing with Ironfist/Fistiron and he's been dead since Last Stand of the Wreckers. Anyway, if anyone has any information ot add, I'd love to hear it.



Go back to when Ratchet, Drift, and Pipes visit Delphi earlier in the series. Pipes relayed Swerve had seen the DJD at work at one time. Still, he didn't give the exact time-frame. Just that Swerve was speechless for several months. With the "speechless" aspect being the worst part...for him apparently. :D
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714339)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on July 29th, 2015 @ 2:00pm CDT
Sagitta wrote:
Nemesis_Apoc wrote:Alright, guys, I'm about to get into MAJOR spoiler territory so if you haven't read this issue or Last Stand of the Wreckers, DO NOT READ THIS POST.

Alright, so if you've read the issue, you've seen that Velocity extracts a data-laced bullet from Swerve's shoulder. My question is when did Swerve get shot? I flipped through Slaughterhouse and didn't see anything. I thought that was the only time the Lost Lighters had come in direct contact with the DJD even though it was the alternate Lost Light. But if Rewind can slip through the cracks, why can't a little bullet? I dunno, just speculating. Also, when has Swerve ever worn the Autobot badge on his left shoulder? I stands to reason it may have at least been since before we actually meet Swerve during the whole Chaos story from a few years ago because that picture at the end of issue 43 shows him posing with Ironfist/Fistiron and he's been dead since Last Stand of the Wreckers. Anyway, if anyone has any information ot add, I'd love to hear it.



Go back to when Ratchet, Drift, and Pipes visit Delphi earlier in the series. Pipes relayed Swerve had seen the DJD at work at one time. Still, he didn't give the exact time-frame. Just that Swerve was speechless for several months. With the "speechless" aspect being the worst part...for him apparently. :D

go back to chaos. In Swerve's first pictorial appearance, he has a patch on his left shoulder hiding his autobot symbol that was there in that body. He then since has had that shoulder injury, which was the bullet. A good guess would be that He was shot sometime around or just before Chaos.

Overall it was a great issue. I loved it so much. And the breaking the fourth wall? Swerve has been present for all of the comic events, so they have been based on hid perspective (which is still very funny and cool to me :lol: ) Loved it so much. and then at the very end: SLAM! Right to the face! Big lead in to the next several issues :BOT:
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714363)
Posted by Flashwave on July 29th, 2015 @ 3:45pm CDT
Oh my GOD. I have been slowly tiring of mTmte, the side stories are mostly getting hokey and in the way of characters. And then BAM. Biggest thread from what, the first arc? Older than that? Right in the eye! I'm in love again
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714365)
Posted by ScottyP on July 29th, 2015 @ 3:48pm CDT
Flashwave wrote:Oh my GOD. I have been slowly tiring of mTmte, the side stories are mostly getting hokey and in the way of characters. And then BAM. Biggest thread from what, the first arc? Older than that? Right in the eye! I'm in love again
Goes back to Wreckers. Wiki mentions Chaos Theory too, might have to check that out later on.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714382)
Posted by Tigertrack on July 29th, 2015 @ 5:30pm CDT
Podcast will be talking up the comics soon, although a lot of you have some really deep, and very knowledgeable responses, I hope we don't bore you or sound unknowing.

I am mostly in agreement with ScottyP here. I was bored with this issue until the very last page or so, which really connected to a storyline that I am very fascinated with. Had just re-read LSOTW on my vacation, and of course, Bullets...
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714400)
Posted by Samsonator on July 29th, 2015 @ 6:59pm CDT
I love me some fourth wall breaking, and this issue delivered in ways I couldn't even dream. Also, way to play up Swerve's completely unmentioned injury from Chaos, that's some callbacks, I love Roberts for that kinda stuff.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714450)
Posted by Henry921 on July 29th, 2015 @ 10:24pm CDT
This one wasn't to my taste -a lot of the TV show references were completely lost on me- but I enjoyed the focus on Swerve and the fragmentation of his personality.

And, of course there was what they found embedded in the badge...
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714496)
Posted by MrBlack on July 30th, 2015 @ 5:46am CDT
Samsonator wrote:I love me some fourth wall breaking, and this issue delivered in ways I couldn't even dream. Also, way to play up Swerve's completely unmentioned injury from Chaos, that's some callbacks, I love Roberts for that kinda stuff.

Not completely unmentioned. I recall Swerve complaining to someone (Ratchet?) about his "old shoulder injury" acting up a few issues back.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714516)
Posted by Nemesis_Apoc on July 30th, 2015 @ 9:07am CDT
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Sagitta wrote:
Nemesis_Apoc wrote:Alright, guys, I'm about to get into MAJOR spoiler territory so if you haven't read this issue or Last Stand of the Wreckers, DO NOT READ THIS POST.

Alright, so if you've read the issue, you've seen that Velocity extracts a data-laced bullet from Swerve's shoulder. My question is when did Swerve get shot? I flipped through Slaughterhouse and didn't see anything. I thought that was the only time the Lost Lighters had come in direct contact with the DJD even though it was the alternate Lost Light. But if Rewind can slip through the cracks, why can't a little bullet? I dunno, just speculating. Also, when has Swerve ever worn the Autobot badge on his left shoulder? I stands to reason it may have at least been since before we actually meet Swerve during the whole Chaos story from a few years ago because that picture at the end of issue 43 shows him posing with Ironfist/Fistiron and he's been dead since Last Stand of the Wreckers. Anyway, if anyone has any information ot add, I'd love to hear it.



Go back to when Ratchet, Drift, and Pipes visit Delphi earlier in the series. Pipes relayed Swerve had seen the DJD at work at one time. Still, he didn't give the exact time-frame. Just that Swerve was speechless for several months. With the "speechless" aspect being the worst part...for him apparently. :D

go back to chaos. In Swerve's first pictorial appearance, he has a patch on his left shoulder hiding his autobot symbol that was there in that body. He then since has had that shoulder injury, which was the bullet. A good guess would be that He was shot sometime around or just before Chaos.

Overall it was a great issue. I loved it so much. And the breaking the fourth wall? Swerve has been present for all of the comic events, so they have been based on hid perspective (which is still very funny and cool to me :lol: ) Loved it so much. and then at the very end: SLAM! Right to the face! Big lead in to the next several issues :BOT:


Okay, guys, thank you so much for the insight! I haven't read Chaos since it was first published so I guess it's time to revisit.
Re: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #43 Review (1714608)
Posted by budmaloney on July 30th, 2015 @ 4:52pm CDT
This week's MTME and Windblade were disappointing. For both, I feel the problem is that the artist/writer have it imagined in their head and they're writing it as a cartoon episode or TV series. The structure isn't one of a comic. I don't blame them as much in Windblade because they're new to this, but MTME it's not right to pace it the way they've been doing it. The pacing has been too fast and you feel that you wasted $5 and got nothing out of the story. Just filler after filler.
We've been through the Swerve pity route back when he shot his friend. To revisit that again feels like work. The Lost light no longer feels as a tight crew to me. It started falling apart way before Megatron entered. This issue would have been great if they only had 3 or 4 avatars and we follow their path. Rodimus and the Megatron human bits were useless, even Nautica. They just waste time. Feels like a chore, and very confusing at times. I like the premise of a whole world being a sitcom . They dragged this entire people leaving the crew since forever. First-aid this and first-aid that. I know I'm ranting. The DJD have lost their mojo so to speak. Ever since they have a caring figure now, taking care of their badassiness. Completely erased their credibility. Agent 113 oooh yay, I don't give a damn who he is. I know lots of fans of swerve and I was one of them, but you know what screw swerve, just because he has a smirk doesn't mean they have to force him in every damn panel. Swerve is sad and lonely, boo hoo, over and over again. What is this?

They done messed it up. Every single character that we adhered to and gave the reader some kind of structure or identity was drastically changed. It feels alien to me. Don't get me started about tailgate. They milked that cow enough. They're sending mixed signals that are very difficult to connect to and follow along. Trying to bite off more than they can chew. And the problem is the medium (comics) isn't the best medium for this. If this was a series, a cartoon, then this type of story telling would be better.

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