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Old 2015-11-27, 04:05 PM   #21
inflatable dalek
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One minor niggle is the recurrence of an old problem: It semed to take no time at all to get from Debris to Earth, unless we've got a massive gap between Kup using his Jedi powers to wake Springer up and Arcee finding Verity it can only be hours at most (and that includes the time it took for Spriger to explain things to Roadbuster and Impactor and then to calm Guzzle down). I guess it's just in the neighbourhood?
 
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Old 2015-11-27, 06:49 PM   #22
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And those of you like ziggy who know how much I love Prowl will know how hard it is for me to say that.
Oooh, I very much do And I know my iteration of Prowl in the TFA RPG made you.... err, uncomfortable sometimes.

At any rate, I agree, Roche would be the man to put the character out of his misery.

I was definitely of the camp that was totally on board with the morally ambiguous Prowl he introduced. Still am, I suppose. To me, it felt like a natural, logical progression from the officious, by-the-numbers prick that we met back in Infiltration.

But as you say, after passing from Costa, then to Barber and Roberts, all the subtly was completely lost. Prowl's is barely short of being a villain of the mustache twirling variety these days, and I have to wonder if that was ever Roche's intent.
 
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Old 2015-11-27, 08:09 PM   #23
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I think they actually did desert in order to go after Shockwave (in that they were supposed to be somewhere else and doing something else), it just wound up for being for longer than they thought. I think teaming up with the Monsterbots was also a no-no.
The Monsterbots can't have been that bad, surely? I mean they're free and clear to hang out on the Lost Light now, so obviously they're not considered Grimlock-tier criminals.

I don't remember if the Dinos had other orders at the time, but I'm pretty sure Optimus had told them specifically to stop chasing Shockwave, so at the very least they'd disobeyed orders and done exactly what they were told not to do. But on the other hand they were right and they took Shockwave off the board for four million years, so by the usual fictional standards all should be forgiven.

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Grimlock did get the others a pardon though in exchange for taking a jail term himself, so it's not unreasonable Impactor would get the same. You know, back when we had a half-sane Duly Appointed Enforcer.
I still can't quite wrap my head around what exactly Fort Max is enforcing, anyway. First of all, he can't be "duly appointed" because Star Saber is the actual duly appointed replacement for Magnus. Secondly, Tyrest is a crazy person so why are we enforcing his laws? Thirdly, the Tyrest Accord mainly has to do with trafficking Transformer weapons tech to aliens, so why is the enforcer running around playing space sheriff? Fourth, it was a wartime accord that bound two warring armies that technically no longer exist. And fifth, Tailgate repealed the damned thing anyway!

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
One minor niggle is the recurrence of an old problem: It semed to take no time at all to get from Debris to Earth, unless we've got a massive gap between Kup using his Jedi powers to wake Springer up and Arcee finding Verity it can only be hours at most (and that includes the time it took for Spriger to explain things to Roadbuster and Impactor and then to calm Guzzle down). I guess it's just in the neighbourhood?
What makes it stand out all the more is that in the last Wreckers series it (reasonably, IMO) took them months to get from where they'd started to G9. Even if Earth and Debris are close by, there's no way Kup could go there and back in the time it took for Arcee to make the trip from Earth orbit to Alaska.

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Oooh, I very much do And I know my iteration of Prowl in the TFA RPG made you.... err, uncomfortable sometimes.
Right, but that's what a morally ambiguous character is meant to do. The problem is that IDW Prowl isn't ambiguous in the slightest. He's blatantly, transparently evil to such a ridiculous degree that I can't believe Optimus tolerated his horrible antics for four million years.

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To me, it felt like a natural, logical progression from the officious, by-the-numbers prick that we met back in Infiltration.
One issue I have with this take on the character is that I just don't see what you see here. When we met Prowl in the IDWverse he was a walking rulebook with a stick up his ass, not especially smart, tactical or cunning. I could maybe see him being pushed into becoming the sort of character he is now, but the modern books operate on the assumption that he's been that highly-important, vicious amoral puppetmaster for millions of years, and I just can't reconcile that with the boring, unimpressive guy that he was in Infiltration.

Plus, the head of the Autobots' secret intelligence agency should be hidden away in the most secure bunker you can build. he most definitely should not be rotting away on an alien backwater with only a handful of troops to protect him. If he'd actually been the bigwig that the new crop of writers say he was, he'd have had a gigantic target on his back.

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But as you say, after passing from Costa, then to Barber and Roberts, all the subtly was completely lost. Prowl's is barely short of being a villain of the mustache twirling variety these days, and I have to wonder if that was ever Roche's intent.
I'm pretty sure it's not, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. In the right circumstances Prowl would have made a fine villain. I really liked the setup of Prowl in the early issues if RiD, when it looked like he was just losing his grip without a war to fight and trying desperately to control a situation that was simply beyond him. That would have made for a very interesting turn for the character, but we all know how that turned out.

Afterwards I think IDW overreacted (or maybe misunderstood) the readership's disappointment with how that arc turned out, because it was then that the switch got flipped to "totally evil" and he started rolling with the Constructicons as his own personal goon squad. And it was all downhill from there. It's like somebody at IDW HQ read the reaction threads and said "Well, they wanted Prowl as a bad guy, so lets give them Prowl as a bad guy!"
 
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Old 2015-11-27, 09:18 PM   #24
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One issue I have with this take on the character is that I just don't see what you see here. When we met Prowl in the IDWverse he was a walking rulebook with a stick up his ass, not especially smart, tactical or cunning. I could maybe see him being pushed into becoming the sort of character he is now, but the modern books operate on the assumption that he's been that highly-important, vicious amoral puppetmaster for millions of years, and I just can't reconcile that with the boring, unimpressive guy that he was in Infiltration.

Plus, the head of the Autobots' secret intelligence agency should be hidden away in the most secure bunker you can build. he most definitely should not be rotting away on an alien backwater with only a handful of troops to protect him. If he'd actually been the bigwig that the new crop of writers say he was, he'd have had a gigantic target on his back.
Just so I'm clear, I meant from Furman to Roche, rather than from Roche to everyone else who handled Prowl since.

And also, I'm not especially a fan of his current characterization either.

But yes, all the retroactive changes that have been made to the character following Roche make the shift seem more abrupt and make very little sense.

How I was able to rationalize Prowl's jump from Furman's officious prick to Roche's amoral pragmatist at the time, was pretty much for the reasons you stated: he was pushed to it.

He tried doing things by the book, realized that it didn't work, and found that orchestrating events from behind the scenes produced better results. I don't think at the time it had been established that Prowl had been up to no good all along.

Still, for a character that was 'allegedly' supposed to be the Autobot's number-cruncher, it worked for me -- but, you know, mileage varies.
 
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Old 2015-11-27, 09:47 PM   #25
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I have a soft spot for Infiltration, but basically everything starts with Chaos Theory / LSOTW by now and most of MTMTE's sister book is getting handwaved as well.
 
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Old 2015-11-27, 10:40 PM   #26
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Just so I'm clear, I meant from Furman to Roche, rather than from Roche to everyone else who handled Prowl since.
For the most part I'd agree with you, though I think Roche had always treated Prowl as being far more important than any of the other the early IDW books would suggest. He had him ordering the Wreckers' leader around in both Last Stand and Spotlight: Kup, something that you really wouldn't think Prowl would be able to do given his lowly position as commander of counter-infiltration team #42155 or whatever. And even after being demoted in favour of Jazz in AHM he still seemed to have enough clout to have Kup secretly rebuilt and brainwashed on his own authority.

Now, Roche was subtle enough about his retconning that it more-or-less worked without drawing more then a stray "huh?" from me. But he definitely started the importance-inflation that other writers later picked up on and went wild with.

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I have a soft spot for Infiltration, but basically everything starts with Chaos Theory / LSOTW by now and most of MTMTE's sister book is getting handwaved as well.
The problem is that there's a selective handwaving going on. There's still plenty of references to older stuff flying about, but only to the stuff that Barber/Roberts liked, while everything else is ignored at best or contradicted at worst. Personally I'd be a lot happier if they'd just decided to scrap the old stuff entirely after the McCarthy and Costa flops, but instead we still have the Dead Universe, Phase Sixers, badass spy Spike and the Tyrest Accord at the same time as we're meant to forget that there are several invincible Pretenders aboard the Lost Light, that Cybertron was uninhabitable for millions of years or that Rodimus is an experienced, veteran commander hardened by years of war and loss.

If the book existed in the same universe as the Marvel comics I could forgive a lot more retconning, but IDW's universe is only a decade old and the sort of selective continuity that they've enacted is really, really annoying.
 
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Old 2015-11-28, 02:32 AM   #27
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I always felt Roches version wasnt of a villain at all but of a very pragmatic military mind. He knew the tactics that could beat the cons but he quickly realised that what united the Autobots sadly wasnt the greatest tactical mind but the most charismatic soldiers. So instead of trying to win over troops to do tactics which he knew were correct, he would manipulate others to dish out those tactics. And always (and I think this is key) with the greater good as the end goal, not his own ego.

I'm only guessing but I think what Barber has tried to show with Prowl is what happens when someone like that becomes too addicted to the meddling and also starts to let their own ego influence the choices - in short becoming something like what they originally rallied against. I dont think Barbers Prowl has quite worked out but I think that was the end goal. And like Shockwave, too much has been put on one character to the point where they feel like they have taken up too much page space and have become more a plot device than a character. Should he be put down? I'll actually defend against but only if the story pushes Prowl more - to a breaking point where he ultimately becomes his worst fear. His manipulations should be cut back though at this point - the war is over, and both armies are now well past the point of having any real command structure to coerce but as a rogue agent who is particularly well versed in working sides against each other he could make an interesting character.
 
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Old 2015-12-01, 09:51 PM   #28
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^That's how I see Prowl too. He's a politician in my eyes. I don't read RID and have jettisoned all the IDW comics I had save for my Wreckers hardback and MTMTE and the few spotlights in orbit around that.

That Prowl has fallen into being a villain and a mess as a character is for exactly the reasons outlined by Zigzagger and tbh, this is the problem with a lot of mainstream comics- subtley is out the window for a lot of writers and editors when dealing with larger than life superheroes (or in this case giant robots) and it means editors in particular can get carried away with a writer's intent to make a good guy be 'morally ambiguous' or ruthless or anything else that's outside the limited parameters of what defines an upright, wholesome good guy. Its annoying, and in Prowl's case has lead to the ruination of the character for a lot of you. I've avoided that sh*t, so I'm happy to see where we go next with Prowl and am happy to see him included here.

Dalek's comments about Verity at the top of this thread and her acting out are oddly totally in keeping with today's world. Just withness how social media goes mental at the latest outrage of the day; how everyone these days is so quick to formulate an instant opinion and there must be something done straight away before we all lose interest with no thought for the consequences. Its b*ll*cks and I hate it as there's no room for measured controlled thinking, because everyone wants everything sorting out straight away like magic - you see it in the news daily, where journalists are pressuring people on camera for that snappy soundbite or tears or whatever. So yeah, I can totally see Verity as one of these mouthpiece campaigners that gets on everyone's wick.


...should probably talk a bit about the comic. Having no knowledge of the pretender thing (and my, that sounds all kinds of ... bodygloving), I wondered about Kup and liked the hinty hintness that something's up there. Don't really cared for Kup as a character, grizzled warhorses being one of the dullest cliches imaginable, but Roche writes him so well and turns all that war story crap into genuine experience and I like that he shows him to be properly old in his gait and movement. Class that is.

Arcee was good too, again, not really had much contact with her since Furman's disastrous Spotlight so have missed all the venegful harpy nonsense. She seems very angry about...well everything though, even when she's just chatting to Kup she seems tense and impatient. Is that a thing with her?

I liked seeing Roadbuster speak, which for me is the first time since Target: 2006 and that nice wee scene with Impactor.

Liked Roche's art here, usually his work is pretty open and less inclined to feature much in the way of shading and blocked out areas of black, and I found it gave his work some added weight. I approve!

An issue very much about setting the stage, and I can buy into handwavey stuff like the time it takes to travel from point A to point B. Maybe they have special shoes to get them across the galaxy quickly...
 
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Old 2015-12-02, 11:00 PM   #29
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Any ideas as to who had got Prowl? I'll take three stabs:

1) Goldfire/Bumblebee: I don't know if he's alive or not, but the silhouette resembled him a little. And I imagine he'd be a bit miffed at Prowl for all the Prowley things he's been getting up to lately.

2) Jazz: Again, purely because of the silhouette and perhaps because he knows more about Prowl than most people? I don't have any evidence of that other than their rank and position shifting as per All Hail Megatron. Maybe Prowl's recent actions compromise Jazz in some way re: the dodgy things that he has done in the past, the files that Kup mentioned.

3) Overlord: Because he's not dead, and maybe he became so intrigued after reading Chromedome's memories (and Rewind's too?), that here was a master Autobot manipulator, someone really interesting that Overlord would love to meet? Actually the first thing that made me think Overlord was Prowl's missing eye. There must be a significance to that? Perhaps an eye for an eye, seeing as Impactor reported to Prowl.
 



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Old 2015-12-02, 11:09 PM   #30
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Not bad theories but I get the feeling that Roche is in to making these things self-contained. I'd say of those three that Overlord is the best bet. If it's not Hubcap then who knows what is going on.
 
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Old 2015-12-02, 11:20 PM   #31
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Yeah, just pot shots really. Loved the artwork and the almost X-files vibe it gives off. Is the Ark empty apart from Kup?

Also, Verity being chased by all these animals. A rabbit looking down on Prowl on the first page. Then there's a wolf and a polar bear. Are these Pretenders? Then Stakeout is shooting at a whale on the cover of issue 2. Another pretender?

Hubcap is already interesting. I still think there might be a Pipes link, involving Hubcap getting some retribution for his friend, if Overlord is the one whose taken Prowl.

Oh, the other thing that made me think it might be Jazz is because Prowl is in this noisemaze place, and Jazz (at least in the cartoons and tech spec) was a bit of a whiz casting disorienting light and sound effects.

Kup is being VERY cagey regarding how much he knows of Prowl and I feel a bit short changed as to how Springer is suddenly up and at 'em. Though I'm sure that will be properly addressed later

And what's happened to his Cygar?
 

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Old 2015-12-03, 12:10 AM   #32
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And what's happened to his Cygar?
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am definitely up for more animals. Didn't spot the rabbit. Looking forward to the whale. I wonder what species it is.
 
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Old 2015-12-03, 01:07 AM   #33
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And what's happened to his Cygar?
Untold amount of time in the Dead Universe probably allowed him time to adjust to not having one, so he doesn't need it anymore.
 
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Old 2015-12-03, 02:46 AM   #34
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Couple of things:

1. - I wasn't too keen on the art in digital form but it really shines in the physical. Dont know why but some of it reminds me of other, older comics (not TF ones). There's almost a feel of the Batman Long Halloween stuff to the Verity stuff.

2. - Prowls eye is knocked out in Windblade issue 2 when they bring down devastator. Its nothing specific, just general battle damage. It doesnt get repaired while he is in prison during the next few issues and its still in play when he and Prime have their smackdown. Which....

3. ...is the last time we see him. The issue (42) finishes with him at the feet of Ratbat in all kinds of damage. If this is between 44-45, than its possible its Ratbat thats messing with his head? The silhouette does look like Goldbug though. I'd be inclined to believe the Noisemaze is a mental trap and Goldbug maybe a manifistation of Prowls guilt or something. This series may be as much about his sins as the wreckers. Maybe he will have been in far more control of the Autobots group of psychos than was realised.

4. Kup lost his cygar in the infestation issues - and because of this he was able to see the Zombies and ultimately defeat them. He then is stuck in the dark universe for ages before Nova Prime gets to him so its possible he either outgrew his need for it or Nova re-engineered him as part of the Space Bridge idea.

5. Prowl also controls Kup in the infestation story - its ultimately part of how the good guys save the day. Possibly something stayed with both and kept the link going and the events of Dark Cybertron have caused the link to reopen. Or something. Roche was the artist on Infestation issues 1 & 2 so he would obviously be aware of these events.

6. All the above could have no relevance, I've just had a few whiskeys and felt the need to type TF while my eyes recover from an hour of Transformersevastation. That game is flipping lovely.
 
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Old 2015-12-04, 03:41 PM   #35
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Jazz is presumably not the villain as he's currently still with the Autobots and marginally more stupid than a dog in issues of Ex-RID set after Sins.
 
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Old 2015-12-04, 05:30 PM   #36
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Dogs are stupid?
 
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Old 2015-12-04, 05:33 PM   #37
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They're more intelligent than Jazz.


Maybe the dog kidnapped Prowl?
 
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Old 2015-12-05, 12:23 AM   #38
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To be fair - its DOC that gets the autobots free. And the autobots are trapped in the black liquid until DOC cuts the bottom from the cell, creating a workable air pocket for him to then cut the exit out.
 
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Old 2015-12-05, 10:44 AM   #39
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Well I never said the dog rescued Jazz, just that Jazz is clearly more stupid than the dog.
 
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Old 2015-12-05, 10:46 AM   #40
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Jazz are stupid?
 
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