IT IS THE YEAR 2005

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Thad
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Fri Mar 25, 2022 4:42 pm

IDW just put out a couple reprint collections, Best of Optimus Prime and Best of Megatron. Between them they reprint Chaos Theory, the first collaboration between James Roberts and Alex Milne, who would later go on to do Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, which Roberts would finish with artist Jack Lawrence under the title Transformers: Lost Light.

One of these days I should reread that entire run. It's my favorite Transformers run of all time, and it's dense; rereading that Chaos Theory two-parter, there's stuff literally from the first page that pays off at the end of the series.

It starts with a flashback to Megatron's origin story, the moment that led to him becoming a revolutionary: he witnesses two cops bullying an innocent bot, Rung, in a diner.

One of them is accosting Rung for spilling his drink. Rung says "I'll buy you another but I'm not sorting out the mess. I'm not a service droid."

The other cop says "Who are you, then? One of the Knights of Cybertron? The last of the Progenitors? Alpha Trion's long-lost spark brother?"

He's Primus.

It turns out, at the end of Lost Light, that Rung is Primus. He's a literal god who's erased his memories and taken on the form of a regular Autobot because he wants to live among them. He's Transformer Jesus, basically. You learn, at the very end of the series, that the cop taunting him with "Who are you, then?" all the way back at the beginning was guessing low.


Now, I don't think Roberts had that reveal in mind when he wrote that first page years earlier. But I do think he had the storytelling sense to reread those old issues and craft an ending that brought the whole thing full circle.

Going back and rereading Chaos Theory also answers one of the big questions left in the final issue of Lost Light. Megatron is finally put on trial for his crimes, and convicted. The last time you see him, he's going back to the courtroom for sentencing; he doesn't know what his sentence will be but he knows it'll either be death or life in prison. The comic never tells you what his final fate is.

But Chaos Theory does.

All the way back at the beginning, Optimus asks Megatron that very question: would you rather be executed, or imprisoned for life? Megatron answers that he'd prefer death to prison. So there's your answer.
One of the big ambiguities at the ending isn't ambiguous at all, if you go back to the start and reread it.

It's an extraordinarily well-crafted series, and I'm sure there are a lot of little details like that, early clues that you notice on a reread. One of these days I'll get around to doing one of those.

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Mongrel
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Mongrel » Tue May 10, 2022 9:00 pm

Can't uncee this now

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Büge
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Büge » Thu May 12, 2022 12:47 pm

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Thad
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Thu May 12, 2022 5:09 pm

Hey, all those Transformers comics I keep saying are great are in another Humble Bundle.

I've got a detailed writeup around here somewhere; maybe I'll dig it out and put it up on my blog or something.

Anyway, these bundles have been pretty frequent these past years but it's not clear if they'll continue once the license moves over to a new publisher, so this may be your last chance for awhile to snag the best damn Transformers stories ever (plus a bunch of other stuff that's maybe not the best ever but still mostly pretty good!) for $20.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Mon May 23, 2022 11:35 am

I read the "Best of Hot Rod" reprint collection and the first issue of the new "Last Bot Standing" miniseries in the same week and god damn there are a lot more Last Transformers Stories whose premise is more or less "Rodimus is the last surviving Transformer and is haunted by his past" than I expected.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Sat Jun 18, 2022 1:42 pm

I'm a little behind on the Beast Wars comic; I just read #15.

It's clear they got the memo and they know they're cancelled and have to wrap things up. #15 introduces Tigatron, Inferno, and Airazor all at once, and they're all agents of the Vok. The Vok show themselves to Optimus and Megatron and are prepared to kill them, but Optimus convinces them to grant a reprieve in the interest of scientific curiosity -- okay, you're all-powerful beings who have announced to two rival factions that you intend to wipe them out; don't you want to see what those two factions will do to try to stop you? He's speaking their language; the Vok see their victory as inevitable, so they agree to give the Maximals and Predacons a week to prepare, and agree that they won't spy on what they're doing in the meantime.

It's got some elements of the end of the first season, with a bit of the Tigerhawk story from the end of the series thrown in. It all feels a little rushed, but what could be more Beast Wars than rushing toward some kind of ending because Hasbro pulled the plug?

Interested in seeing where they go with this. And it'd sure be nice to see another similar Beast Wars series at whichever publisher ends up with the license, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby beatbandito » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:50 pm

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Fri Sep 23, 2022 4:19 pm

That's the best Furman script I've seen in 20 years.

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