James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50

James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 12:58pm CST

Categories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal   Views: 28,437

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Number 50 is a huge milestone for any comic, but given that the original plan included only 12 issues in case of failure, More Than Meets the Eye has proven to be a great success. James Roberts was kind enough to sit down with IO9 and talk about the many things that has happened, is happening and will happen in the comic. He also talks about his feelings towards the comic, what it has been like to write the series, how he feels about the characters and the plot, and what his plans are for the remainder of the comic as well as his potential future in writing and transformers.

We have mirrored some of the interview below, but you can always check out the whole article by clicking on the IO9 link above. Beware though: potential spoilers are present!

io9: What’s the journey for you as a writer been like on More Than Meets The Eye over the last 50 issues?

Roberts: Obviously it’s great to be given an opportunity to tell stories featuring characters that you loved growing up, and to add new layers to the mythos. When I think about MTMTE reaching issue 50, it’s not so much that I’m amazed that I’m writing a Transformers comic that’s lasted that long... it’s more that I’m writing an ongoing comic book that’s racked up that many issues. In 2016, that’s a rarity.

[......]

io9: You’ve said in the past that you’ve written the final line of MTMTE already. Where do you see yourself going as a writer after this comes to a close?

Roberts: After MTMTE, who knows? I don’t think I’d move on to more Transformers stories right away—in fact I may find I’ve used up all my best ideas and it’s time to move on. (All of this presumes, of course, that IDW wants me to stick around!) The Transformers script I’m working on right now is the75th, if you count the issues I co-write with Nick Roche and John Barber, and the last thing I want is to find myself running on empty in a few years’ time.

[.....]

io9: Finally, looking back at your 50 issues so far, what’s been your favorite part of the process working on an ongoing series like this?

Roberts: Watching the MTMTE fandom grow and take shape, I think. No-one knew if the book was going to be successful—the first story arc was tailored to 12 issues just in case the whole thing tanked. But I like to think that pretty early on the book found its voice, and that it was a voice that resonated with people who were ready to get very invested in a bunch of sarcastic, mopey, affable, ridiculous and relatable losers.


Credit(s): io9


This article was last modified on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 3:58pm CST

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Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772324)
Posted by Randomhero on March 9th, 2016 @ 1:05pm CST
I don't know what to think of this issue...there's a lot I just didn't understand. ill just wait for the review.
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772328)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 9th, 2016 @ 1:18pm CST
It definitely did not go anywhere near how I imagined, and most likely how almost everyone imagined :MAXIMAL:
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772330)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 9th, 2016 @ 1:32pm CST
I can say that I did not see anything of this coming. And now that it all has happened and it has sunk in, here are some thoughts:

1) Velocity was being broad with talking about the fools energon. She doesn't even know the side effects, just general effects. I feel it's more so that Megatron can prove to himself that it is him changing and not something else changing him.

2) Getaway is an utter asshole and so many other bad words. Leads a full blown mutiny and strands all those guys with the DJD with even the thought that only Megs will get hurt. Wow. And then all the crew that stuck with him! Perceptor, Riptide, Hoist (after what the DJD did to TC). Maybe they do not know that Getaway sent those guys to die at the DJD's hands, and when one of them discovers that it will be a lead in to a rescue?

3) I am predicting Ten and Brainstorm will die. Ten due to him being Ten (can't really explain it) and Brainstorm due to his whole con-bot storyline. I never expected any of this, so I have clue as to where this will go.

4) finally, as a thought: what if Getaway was Agent 113? just a thought I had.

:MAXIMAL:
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772333)
Posted by Randomhero on March 9th, 2016 @ 1:40pm CST
I have a feeling this is a story that's gonna need to be completed to really see the grandeur. Issue by issue is probably not going to do this story much justice.
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772335)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 9th, 2016 @ 1:45pm CST
Randomhero wrote:I have a feeling this is a story that's gonna need to be completed to really see the grandeur. Issue by issue is probably not going to do this story much justice.

I'm going to agree with you. enough is happening that it is something that may need to be read all together to fully comprehend. :MAXIMAL:
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772339)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on March 9th, 2016 @ 1:56pm CST
MrBlack wrote:
ctrlFrequency wrote:If it's a backdoor, it was one set up a long time ago.

I'm actually inclined to think it leads to no where as they didn't even talk about for a long time. I had completely forgotten about it. If anything I think it is more to explore a social issue than to provide an out.

But that being said, i would like it better than the tired old trope that it could be. At least it wouldn’t be ultimate evil plan, it was a rouse, Macguffin.

Megatron has shown that he has a fear of his head being messed with because of his encounter with Trepan on Messatine. The fact that the fool's energon may be affecting him is probably being used more to cause him additional angst in the story rather than as an actual plot point. In any case, it's obvious that it isn't making him entirely passive, as his first impulse during times of stress is still to lash out (see Minimus Ambus in this issue and Tailgate in #47.


Classic Roberts misdirect even? It's possible.

I think it's a little more than just an angsty plot point. There's potential in it and looking from a broader perspective it might fit in with the whole. With all that's going on...

Soundwave and the wounds he harbors over Megatron... (and I just don't see, unless they disregard Ravage and Soundwave's past, Ravage staying with Megatron forever)...

The role reversal of Optimus using the strong arm tactic of annexing Earth...


And then there's the look on Megatron's face.

The look on his face when Lottie brought up side effects and personality changes and that giddy grin when he said how happy he was... kind seemed hinting. He looked kind if angry about bot being told about the side effects.

Between this, the comment about organics, and the tension of what Getaway said/did, it's leading somewhere, but probably not where we suspect it to.

My speculation... Megatron is going to feel that, with all the events taken into consideration, that the Fool's energon was chosen for a reason, that they wanted to control him with the side effects, which is exactly why he started a war in the first place, an all powerful ruling class controlling the free will of others. It could be read that the look was the beginning of the realization. Megatron may not want to kill, but he also doesn't want to be controlled. He still believes in the things that started the war.

Or I could be totally wrong. :)

Whatever it is. .. the comment about organics speaks volumes... he sounded like Tarn. (for good reason I'm sure)
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772344)
Posted by Randomhero on March 9th, 2016 @ 2:09pm CST
Either that or it's three issues sitting in a cell like in remain in light. Sorry, i know I had more problems than most with that but seriously, three issues of sitting in a cell
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772374)
Posted by Nexus Knight on March 9th, 2016 @ 3:03pm CST
:RUBSIGN: How many people that this series will end with the crew being slaughtered? :RUBSIGN:
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772381)
Posted by ZeroWolf on March 9th, 2016 @ 3:37pm CST
I could see megs lead a rebellion against starscream's control of cybertron...

However I still hope Roberts doesn't go that route, it's so predictable making him evil again, just keep him morally grey with no intention of picking up arms against the autobots. Since they've started introducing beast wars characters they could always bring in another Megatron ;-) or Megaplex if they wanted a clone.
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772383)
Posted by MTMESkids on March 9th, 2016 @ 3:44pm CST
I have a question in the second story:

In one of the "visits" Chromedome look in the past. BUT At the time when they could use the birefcasepened windows, Rewind was alive...again...I mean why Chromdome went back to pay his respects to his love, when his love is alive, AND they are closer than before?
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772384)
Posted by RevTibe on March 9th, 2016 @ 3:53pm CST
Interested in seeing how this resolves itself, but I think I've got a decent handle on the means. Thunderclash will likely be key - he wasn't on the Rodpod, and it's impossible for Getaway to have talked to him, what with Thunderclash's brief coma. Unless there's a side to the character we've never seen before, he's not a mutinous, cooperating with the DJD type - in fact, I doubt that most of the mutineers even know Getaway/Atomizer are cooperating with the DJD, or that the Necrobot's dead - the crowdshot of 'em includes the notably friendly Blaster and Bluestreak, for instance. Even if Getaway and Atomizer wanted to remove TClash, I doubt the others would've cooperated in removing such a beloved figure. At the end of this, I'd imagine Thunders will be the new captain - would satisfy the mutineers other than Getaway and Atomizer.
Randomhero wrote:I don't know what to think of this issue...there's a lot I just didn't understand. ill just wait for the review.
Which parts have you puzzled?

MTMESkids wrote:I have a question in the second story:

In one of the "visits" Chromedome look in the past. BUT At the time when they could use the birefcasepened windows, Rewind was alive...again...I mean why Chromdome went back to pay his respects to his love, when his love is alive, AND they are closer than before?
They've mentioned a couple of times that Chromedome and Rewind-2 recognize Rewind-1 as a different person - remember that scene where Rewind-2 was uncomfortable with the fact that Chromedome gave him Rewind-1's belongings, for example?
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772386)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 9th, 2016 @ 3:57pm CST
MTMESkids wrote:I have a question in the second story:

In one of the "visits" Chromedome look in the past. BUT At the time when they could use the birefcasepened windows, Rewind was alive...again...I mean why Chromdome went back to pay his respects to his love, when his love is alive, AND they are closer than before?

He went back to pay respect to the Rewind that died. They may have been the same from quantum duplicates, but he still had to endure a Rewind death, so he is respecting the Rewind he saw die :MAXIMAL:
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772389)
Posted by MTMESkids on March 9th, 2016 @ 4:02pm CST
They've mentioned a couple of times that Chromedome and Rewind-2 recognize Rewind-1 as a different person - remember that scene where Rewind-2 was uncomfortable with the fact that Chromedome gave him Rewind-1's belongings, for example?


Yeah I get this part. But still for me it was a bit strange....
EXCEPT:
What ifIts about something else? like during the storytime sessions Rewind did find out what happenned with Dominus, but because of some reason Chromedome made him forget? 2nd Rewind doesn't had a story session (no Rung, no FortMax no headshot). It can be ike someting of a confession. Its just speculation :)
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772391)
Posted by MrBlack on March 9th, 2016 @ 4:03pm CST
D-Maximus_Primal wrote:I can say that I did not see anything of this coming. And now that it all has happened and it has sunk in, here are some thoughts:

1) Velocity was being broad with talking about the fools energon. She doesn't even know the side effects, just general effects. I feel it's more so that Megatron can prove to himself that it is him changing and not something else changing him.

2) Getaway is an utter asshole and so many other bad words. Leads a full blown mutiny and strands all those guys with the DJD with even the thought that only Megs will get hurt. Wow. And then all the crew that stuck with him! Perceptor, Riptide, Hoist (after what the DJD did to TC). Maybe they do not know that Getaway sent those guys to die at the DJD's hands, and when one of them discovers that it will be a lead in to a rescue?

3) I am predicting Ten and Brainstorm will die. Ten due to him being Ten (can't really explain it) and Brainstorm due to his whole con-bot storyline. I never expected any of this, so I have clue as to where this will go.

4) finally, as a thought: what if Getaway was Agent 113? just a thought I had.

:MAXIMAL:

I don't think the Lost Light will have any further involvement with the storyline. Getaway ordered radio silence, and that order is still being followed three weeks after the events of the coming issues. That leads me to believe that the crew DOESN'T know about the DJD, and Getaway is trying to keep Team Rodimus from contacting the crew and telling them what is actually happening.

If I had to pick who will die, I'd go with Skids and Brainstorm. Brainstorm's personal story arc is done, and Skids is nearly done now that his memories are mostly restored. There's no compelling reason to keep either around.

Agent 113 was the former Vos on the DJD, as revealed in #44.

As an aside, just how do any of the mutineers think this is going to work out well for them? Even assuming that they think they're just tossing Team Rodimus off the ship and leaving Megatron to die, they just royally pissed off two members of Autobot High Command, and explicitly contravened Optimus Prime's orders regarding Megatron. At best the whole crew should be kicked out of the Autobots once this is done.
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772396)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 9th, 2016 @ 4:09pm CST
See, my comment about Getaway being agent 113 is because yes I knew he was the former vos, but we still don't know who it actually was. And that is still a big mystery. and it may be brought up during this arc, plus Skids and Brainstorm will most likely share their Quark experiences and things will come to light there. And the guys thrown off the ship will be pissed. I really want Skids or Tailgate to live so they can beat up Getaway. I want him to hurt as much as these guys are about to. :MAXIMAL:
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772399)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on March 9th, 2016 @ 4:22pm CST
ZeroWolf wrote:I could see megs lead a rebellion against starscream's control of cybertron...

However I still hope Roberts doesn't go that route, it's so predictable making him evil again, just keep him morally grey with no intention of picking up arms against the autobots. Since they've started introducing beast wars characters they could always bring in another Megatron ;-) or Megaplex if they wanted a clone.



It doesn't have to be against Starscream... rather the Autobots as an ideal- what they stand for.

Optimus doesn't agree with Starscream being leader, but respects that he was elected Optimus (I'm sure in spite of Starscream's wishex) is still seem as a leader, especially to the fanatical Camiens. Besides, Optimus's annexation of Earth came as a surprise to everyone, including Starscream. So it's not Staracream's government that would be target-likely. If it were up to me, I would guess that when Megs finds out what Optimus did, it won't be well received.
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772400)
Posted by RevTibe on March 9th, 2016 @ 4:22pm CST
MTMESkids wrote:
They've mentioned a couple of times that Chromedome and Rewind-2 recognize Rewind-1 as a different person - remember that scene where Rewind-2 was uncomfortable with the fact that Chromedome gave him Rewind-1's belongings, for example?


Yeah I get this part. But still for me it was a bit strange....
EXCEPT:
What ifIts about something else? like during the storytime sessions Rewind did find out what happenned with Dominus, but because of some reason Chromedome made him forget? 2nd Rewind doesn't had a story session (no Rung, no FortMax no headshot). It can be ike someting of a confession. Its just speculation :)
There's definitely something going on with Chromedome, Rewind and mnemosurgery - way back when, Chrome commented Rewind was "allergic" to UV light, which is the only way to view mnemosurgery scars. However, I don't think this is something that happened "offscreen" on the Lost Light (how/when could it have?), which would mean it also affects Rewind-2. (Also, if Chromedome did know Dominus's fate, he probably would've been nervous/guilty when they were on the Necrobot's planet).
D-Maximus_Primal wrote:See, my comment about Getaway being agent 113 is because yes I knew he was the former vos, but we still don't know who it actually was. And that is still a big mystery. and it may be brought up during this arc, plus Skids and Brainstorm will most likely share their Quark experiences and things will come to light there. And the guys thrown off the ship will be pissed. I really want Skids or Tailgate to live so they can beat up Getaway. I want him to hurt as much as these guys are about to. :MAXIMAL:
Well, we saw a picture of Agent 113 in issue 44. Didn't looks like Getaway - proper mouth, lots of spikes, claws, but that doesn't rule out body swaps.
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772402)
Posted by ZeroWolf on March 9th, 2016 @ 4:36pm CST
ctrlFrequency wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:I could see megs lead a rebellion against starscream's control of cybertron...

However I still hope Roberts doesn't go that route, it's so predictable making him evil again, just keep him morally grey with no intention of picking up arms against the autobots. Since they've started introducing beast wars characters they could always bring in another Megatron ;-) or Megaplex if they wanted a clone.



It doesn't have to be against Starscream... rather the Autobots as an ideal- what they stand for.

Optimus doesn't agree with Starscream being leader, but respects that he was elected Optimus (I'm sure in spite of Starscream's wishex) is still seem as a leader, especially to the fanatical Camiens. Besides, Optimus's annexation of Earth came as a surprise to everyone, including Starscream. So it's not Staracream's government that would be target-likely. If it were up to me, I would guess that when Megs finds out what Optimus did, it won't be well received.

I think megs would say the cybertronian equivalent to "kettle calling the pot black" . Actually when thinking about it, megs would probably rage more about the religious aspects of the newcomers than Starscream or really the autobots. Though has it ever been said what he thought of the original thirteen primes?
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772403)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on March 9th, 2016 @ 4:36pm CST
ctrlFrequency wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:I could see megs lead a rebellion against starscream's control of cybertron...

However I still hope Roberts doesn't go that route, it's so predictable making him evil again, just keep him morally grey with no intention of picking up arms against the autobots. Since they've started introducing beast wars characters they could always bring in another Megatron ;-) or Megaplex if they wanted a clone.



It doesn't have to be against Starscream... rather the Autobots as an ideal- what they stand for.

Optimus doesn't agree with Starscream being leader, but respects that he was elected Optimus (I'm sure in spite of Starscream's wishex) is still seem as a leader, especially to the fanatical Camiens. Besides, Optimus's annexation of Earth came as a surprise to everyone, including Starscream. So it's not Staracream's government that would be target-likely. If it were up to me, I would guess that when Megs finds out what Optimus did, it won't be well received.


Though I can't say that I disagree with your morally grey comment. I do prefer my Megatron evil, but I would accept morally grey.

Though splitting into more factions would be pretty interesting, a lot of political maneuvering. We'very kind of got about 4 factions running in the under current as I see it, those who follow Starscream (which is mostly just Starscream), the Autobots, then the Decepticon subfactions, Galvatron's brand of crazy and Soundwave's peace and love. Which is great, it's a more realistic set up,
Re: James Roberts talks IDW More Than Meets The Eye #50 (1772405)
Posted by ctrlFrequency on March 9th, 2016 @ 4:41pm CST
ZeroWolf wrote:I think megs would say the cybertronian equivalent to "kettle calling the pot black" . Actually when thinking about it, megs would probably rage more about the religious aspects of the newcomers than Starscream or really the autobots. Though has it ever been said what he thought of the original thirteen primes?


I don't recall if his views on the Thirteen have come up, but I want to say no (because of that)

I don't remember his religious views ever being brought up except when Tarn mentioned it a few issues back, which if that's the case then I don't take it as fact until it's from Megatron himself.

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