May 27, 2016 – 3:20 PM
Issue 53 of Transformers “More Than Meets The Eye” just came out. It was a doozy and if you were on the front lines for #holdthedoor, then you had a pretty emotional week in pop culture story telling. James Roberts has weaved 53+ issues of mind melt and it’s all been a set up for the next issue, number 54. While it’s true that the eminent battle royale has been promised since issue 50, the last panel of 53 indicates it is actually going to happen. How will the preview panels be served up? Will it open with a two-page slaughter spread like when Overlord was let loose, or will the issue open with the battle’s aftermath? The latter would surely enrage the blood-thirsty readers ready for battle. There is plenty to surmise, but today, my fellow Collecticons, we are focusing on one topic, and one topic only. #whoistarn
This isn’t the first time Tarn’s identity has been under investigation, oh no. I would like to claim the origination of the Roller = Tarn theory, from a post back in 2012, but that’s not the important thing. What’s important is that one of the major screw ball theories as to Tarn’s Identity was nixed from the record as of this week!
Tarn is not Dominus Ambus.
We learn the shocking truth about why Dominus Ambus was ‘disappeared’ via an emotionally-driven reveal featuring Chromedome, Rewind, and a turbofox. We get not one, but two incredible answers to some of MTMTE’s biggest questions. Dominus, who some fans had already suspected of possibly being the shadow-like Agent 113, is in fact that very entity and was planted by Prowl amidst the Decepticon Justice Division. Not only that, he’s been on panel in the story multiple times, but hidden in plain sight. Literally no one saw this coming, and no one has been looking harder than me.
I’m going to cement the original TFwiki description of “The Pet” in history before it is drastically altered: The Pet is the nameless companion of Decepticon Justice Division member Kaon. Formerly a wild turbofox turned Sparkeater who has been partially domesticated by the D.J.D., he’s really more of a “sparkchewer”, to be honest.
A prevailing theory, considered by many including myself, was that Dominus had turned sides and become Tarn, or even better yet, was using his load-bearing powers to conceal himself WITHIN Roller’s shell of a body to give us a double sucker punch. Instead, we have been treated to a super triple sucker punch, and Roberts is the winner. The load-bearer powers did come into play, much like the Minimus Ambus reveal of old, and the circular nature of the entire plot was an applause-worthy long game. How will Rewind and Chromedome fair in the fallout of this revelation? It’s tough to know if they’ll even survive to find out…
The Original Ultra Magnus
Let’s start by reviewing my original predications, now that Dominus is out of the running. One idea I had was that the Original Ultra Magnus is still alive, but has been turned from his nobel Autobot-ness into the worst of the worst. This would definitely fit with the line exchanged between Tarn and Megatron in issue 52 about how Megatron “turned” him. Many surmise he is talking to Roller and that he was trying to emotionally damage Optimus Prime by turning his old friend. That’s an easy guess, but I believe there are additional levels. Whomever Tarn was, obviously had a lot of clout and dissent towards the Decepticon cause.
What we don’t know is WHEN this corruption happened in the history of the great war. Was it recent? The beginning? The DJD, to me, have always seemed like a late-war creation. A bit of a desperation move by Megatron because his soldiers were questioning the cause. Has this Tarn ALWAYS been the Tarn?
Another indication is the brutal slayings on the Quantum duplicate Lost Light. Minimus Ambus had an expectionally grisly death and if may have been at the hands of the original Magnus, laying waste to any pretender that followed. If this were the case, what will Tarn’s reaction be to Maximus Ambus? We’re sure to find out shortly.
Who is the real creator of Megatron? Apparently Terminus, who played the encouraging coworker of Megatron-Miner-Type on Messatine, was integral to the creation of “Towards Peace.” He appears briefly in flashback form during an important moment in Megatron’s past. Brainstorm time jumps deep within Messatine at this moment, and everyone evacuates, leaving the fate of Terminus nebulous. We learn later that Terminus was the one spreading the gospel of Megatron by hiding it in the bodies of dead miners that were shipped back to Cybertron. Talk about some heavy reading material!
His name comes up sparingly and usually any resolution is cut off by a sudden event. Dramatic effect? Foreshadowing? Nothing? There is definitely more than meets the eye here. Megatron appears conflicted with any mention of him. Is it that Megatron feels responsible for his ‘death’? Or is there more? Only Megatron, Rung, and Tarn himself have ever mentioned his name in the story and that triumvirate makes for a very exclusive club.
This is the most “big business” move of all the options and would totally stink of a Hasbro take-over of the narrative. We’ve already been told Sentinel is coming back. He’s in the new toy line and Hasbro just announced lots of new initiatives, company-wide. This could also mean a major shift for how they’ve been working with vendors like IDW, and perhaps want more synergy between their toys and the stories being told. Let’s really hope not, because Sentinel would have an awful lot of ‘splainin’ to do once the mask is off.
Beast Wars Megatron
Yeah yeah, I know I’ve been predicting Beast Wars Megatron’s IDW debut as a massive climax reveal in Sins of the Wreckers, but I think that theory is now squashed due to reading way too far into some dialogue I miss-interpreted. I’m not counting it out, but there also might be a chance for this guy to actually be the man behind the mask. He is fanatical, he has eloquent speech patterns… the parallels continue but I think the man below said it best:
And of course, there’s good old Roller. Prime’s old pal. The solider left behind. The easily-addicted all-American football-brawler that got lost along the way. There are countless threads tying Roller to being the original identity of Tarn, but I won’t discuss them because it’s old hat at this point. With the reveal of Dominus Ambus being part of the DJD, I feel that Roberts has even more incredible tricks up his sleeve and while Roller would be perfectly satisfying, I want JR to turn the knife! Blow my mind, make it hurt!
What’s in a name? Probably not much in this case but I did think it was interesting that Tarn means something that I was not yet aware of. The obvious answer is that the city he is named after had a large Cybertronian lake nestled next to it. What could that mean, fiction-wise? I haven’t the slightest but since Dominus Ambus meant Master Walks. With a linguistic trick like that, this is worth a stab!
April 29, 2016 – 2:37 PM
Issue 52 of More Than Meets the Eye has been out for over 48 hours, so I feel it’s ok to start discussing what’s going on! It’s been three issues since this arc has started, and we have only three issues left before the cement hardens around our pitiful hearts.
First let’s take a look back at some of my predictions following issue 50 and how they have stacked up so far.
- Ratchet and Drift will return to the Lost Light, post mutiny.
- Potentially still correct. What I didn’t predict was that they would arrive on Necroworld first, but man, was I glad to be wrong. Their return almost brought this Collecticon to tears! I never thought I’d be rooting for fucking Drift!
- Perceptor, Riptide, and Thunderclash will conspire against Getaway’s mutiny and regain control of the ship.
- Potentially still correct. It really seems like the mutiny is being used as a way to shift the narrative in a big way, at least for now, and potentially indefinitely.
- Sunder will be instrumental in regaining control of the ship.
- Potentially still correct. Like above, the fate of the Lost Light and it’s fallout remain to be seen.
- Members of Team Rodimus will die.
- Potentially still correct. The bodies haven’t hit the floor yet, but they be hittin’ soon. Incidentally, the only deaths have been fodder Decepticons and one very prominent member of the DJD.
- Tarn’s identity will be revealed when he comes face to face with Skids.
- Potentially still correct. Tarn’s identity continues to teeter-totter it’s way into the dialogue. What is currently unclear is if the Transformers at large are aware of his identity or not. Although I was a spear-header of the Tarn = Roller movement, at this point I believe Roller is a red herring.
- Ten’s pre-legislator identity will be revealed before his imminent cannon-fodder death.
- Potentially still correct. Ten appeared to be our first major casualty of the story, but luckily he evaded death at the last second. He sustained some heavy injuries though, and we’ll see if he makes it. The bit about his identity may not be important at all though.
- Organics will be involved in the final battle.
- Potentially still correct. Now that Overlord has returned, many wonder who brought him back to life. There’s only one son of a bitch I can think of that would’ve been able to fix him up, and that’s Pharma who is probably hanging out with Mr. Tentacles. Are Overlord’s benefactors the same guys with the green symbol that have been experimenting with techno-organics? It’s quite possible, and it’s still unclear who exactly is who.
- The Fate of Megatron.
- ?? This one was less of a prediction and more of a cliff-note. He’s almost bought it already and he continues to maintain his pacifism, which is touching. What’s also touching is that giant VERY BLACK hole in his chest that if you go back to issue 28, you might remember it has some significance… I think Megatron will survive, I hope he does. He needs to.
So I guess my analysis is still up for debate. I was wrong about some details, but we have 3 more issues to see how the chips fall. The main mistake I made was thinking the resulting fate of The Lost Light would tie into this story, but it’s clear we are firmly planted on Planet Necrobot for the remainder of this story arc.
So let’s reset the board and create some NEW predictions!!!
- Tarn will completely unravel, and this will lead to in-fighting amongst the Decepticons. The arrival of Overlord has thrown Tarn’s power balance completely off. The big guy does what he does best and gets right under Tarn’s skin. The dialogue between the two is solid gold, and Deathsaurus’s demeanor is also very telling. After watching Tarn execute one of his nearest and dearest right in front of him, I can imagine everyone slinking off quietly to have an awkward conversation. The question is just who will turn on who? Will Deathsaurus stick with Overlord and leave the DJD on their own? Will Overlord complete his mission and then turn on everyone else? Will Tarn go back to his old ways and re-instate “the list” once the seige ends? I cannot wait to see how this plays out and speaking of Overlord…
- Pharma was instrumental in nursing Overlord back to health. He’s the only MF that could’ve put humpty back together again, in my opinion. The fact that he made a guest appearance in Sins of the Wreckers might have just been a coincidence, but I doubt it. Whomever this mystery team is, I believe Pharma is on their payroll.
- Someone on Team Rodimus will break rank and use the teleporter to flee like a coward. My inkling is that Brainstorm might bail, but it could also be Whirl or even Swerve. Who is the biggest coward? I’m pretty sure it was peer pressure that got everyone to stay and when the bombs start falling, the true self will come out.
- The black hole in Megatron’s chest will be integral to the plot. Team Rodimus already has a personal teleporter that could get them off the planet, so why would they need Megatron’s portal? His chest wouldn’t get those bodies out of the basement any better than the original teleporter either. I just think it’s awfully fishy that there is a big gaping hole in his chest…
It’s difficult to start guessing who will die and how. Now that Overlord has shown up, (which I did consider as a possibility!) it’s almost impossible to guess what happens next.
In closing, I’d like to give props to whomever combined these two images. Ravage piloting a ship is possibly ushering in a new epoch of Transfandom.
March 10, 2016 – 4:42 PM
We made it! Issue 50! Woooo! It was a few weeks late, and this Collecticon was salivating so much he had to spoil the whole issue by reading descriptions of the leak, but seeing how the issue finally was drawn to completion was very gratifying. I’m in the camp of happy readers that can’t wait for the next issue. I wanted to take this time to write some thoughts on specific characters and make some predictions on where we are headed, so be sure to go away if you haven’t read up to this point! Spoiler city!
Still here? Great!
Team Rodimus – Marooned
It’s not entirely clear how this particular group of bots ended up on the Rod Pod together to investigate, or why the high command of the ship all left at once.Needless to say, they’ll never make that mistake again! I was also unaware that the Rodpod could fit so many bots inside. The list of characters left to fend for themselves on the Necrobot’s planet of operations. The doomed include:
- Ultra Magnus
Team Getaway – Mutineers
In perhaps one of the most soul-crushing moments of the story thus far, we learn the hard way what sloppy management and not listening to your employees, err, crew-mates can result in. This eventual mutiny was a long-con that has been seeded since probably before Dark Cybertron occurred. There’s currently a ton of confusion and questions flying around from fans wondering how x or y member of the crew would’ve agreed to go along with this stunt, but I believe there’s no use in fighting over that. We are only on issue 1 of at least a 6-part story. There is plenty of room for a flashback of what actually occurred when Team Rodimus left the ship. Don’t give up on your favorite characters just yet! Identified mutineers include:
Team Decepticon – Executioners
It’s all been leading to this: Tarn vs Autobot Megatron. The worst thing about it though, is Tarn rolling over 400 deep with some of Megatron’s most disgruntled subjects. It’s unclear currently how much cooperation the DJD and Getaway had up to this moment, but it certainly seems that the DJD are responsible for the death of Censere due to the gore. They’ve probably been laying in wait for this moment for some time. What’s also puzzling is why Tarn instantly fired upon Ravage, a devout Decepticon. Guilty by association perhaps? His actions against Ravage certainly do not bode well for the rest of Team Rodimus. The executioners include:
- Blue Bacchus
- Many others
Team Scavenger – Worried
If anyone other than Megatron has anything to fear from the DJD, it’s these schmucks. I was really hoping for them to somehow team up with Deathsaurus and crew and accidentally save the day, but it really doesn’t seem like that is going to happen. Too much has happened too quickly, but at least we know they seem to be aware of the current state of affairs. It will be interesting to see how everyone reacts to the broadcast revealed at the start of the story. The Scavengers include:
Unaccounted-for Lost Light Crew – Potential Saviors?
There’s almost too many to list here, so if you’re interested, you can check out the crew list here. I’ve listed a few notable characters currently on-board the Lost Light that were curiously not pictured in this comic. Getaway clearly states that everyone not in Rodimus’ current company were ‘in’ on the mutiny, but those are just words. Many fans are currently of the opinion that certain characters probably wouldn’t have participated willingly. Is it possible that as news of the mutiny spreads, there may be blowback from certain individuals? With characters like Mainframe, Blaster, and Hoist so prominently featured as mutineers, the truth is anyone’s guess. Potential heroes include:
Off-ship Autobots – Returners
There’s actually quite a few members of the Lost Light crew that were notably absent during the mutiny and their location and response to the broadcast could have interesting consequences for the mutineers, and even Team Rodimus. The most notable, to me, is that Drift and Ratchet are due to return anytime now after their run-in with Gigatron and Hellbat. What about the Camiens that everyone ran into earlier this season? Mirage and the newly combinable Protectobots are currently enroute to the ship as well… Returners include:
- Fortress Maximus
- Red Alert
- First Aid
- Hot Spot
Complete wild-cards – Unknown
And then there’s the wild-cards. These are characters that are most notable because we’ve been meant to forget about them but they’re ‘out there’ for sure. The biggest twists of fate that could affect the current story would come from one of these dodgy and mysterious characters that we haven’t seen for quite a while. Most of them are rogue Decepticons but there are some notable exceptions, like Pharma and Star Saber. Some of these characters are presumed dead, but by now you should really know better. Wild-cards include:
- Chop Shop
- Star Saber
So after figuring out where all the chess pieces are, at least to the best of my knowledge as of issue 1, I’ve begun to formulate my predictions. These are all just fun guesses or things I’d like to see happen. The likelihood of being correct? Maybe 5%.
- Perceptor, Riptide, and Thunderclash will conspire against Getaway’s mutiny and regain control of the ship. In the final panel of the follow-up comic, we see the whole of team Rodimus making a toast in Swerve’s bar. Getaway is then shown ‘paying his respects to the dead’ via the time window. The only bots in this vision that are not marooned with Rodimus are Riptide and Perceptor. This seems like a poignant detail and clue to readers of their real loyalties, even though Riptide was prominently featured in the mutineer panel. Perceptor just seems like the kind of bot that wouldn’t put up with any sort of silly mutiny mumbo jumbo, and he’s as loyal an Autobot as they come. These same personality aspects would align with him rejecting Megatron as any sort of authority figure, so it really could go either way. Thunderclash also has been shown to be such a noble Autobot that you’d guess his morals wouldn’t jive with the idea of mutiny. There is no direct indication that the entire crew is 100% with Getaway other than his one-sided statements.
- Ratchet and Drift will return to the Lost Light, post mutiny. These two main-cast characters were taken from the story for a specific reason, and probably to highlight their return to the ship. My guess is they will un-assumingly dock with the Lost Light, only to be arrested and held until their loyalties can be determined. Their arrival may be just the distraction needed for the crew members above to put in motion their plan to retake the ship, by force if necessary.
- Sunder will be instrumental in regaining control of the ship. If I had an ultra-powerful psychopath at my disposal to help spread chaos across the ship, I’d sure use it in order to regain control of the bridge. Sunder’s arrival on the ship seemed like such a one-and-done story line that it has to be more than meets the….
- Members of Team Rodimus will die. I think this is a no-brainer. But who is expendable? Many of the characters in this group have experienced ‘got-cha deaths’ in one way or another already, but this time it’ll be for real. My guesses for heads on the chopping block include: Whirl, Minimus Ambus, Skids, Tailgate, Chromedome & Rewind, and finally Velocity.
- Tarn’s identity will be revealed when he comes face to face with Skids. Skids’ sordid past has been a major plot-point teased at various points in this comic. We’ve learned that he met Tarn, or The Commandant, at Grindcore early on in the war. But was that their only interaction? Was it their first meeting even? The identity of Tarn has long-since been a sticking point with me, and got me interested in the story to begin with. All signs point to Roller, but a more interesting option is out there… Dominus Ambus. But Tarn is not the only potential host for Rewind’s lost love and Minimus’ brother.
- Ten’s pre-legislator identity will be revealed before his imminent cannon-fodder death. It’s been stated that Tyrest used the bodies of the Circle of Light as the basis for his Legislator army. The only real name that was in the Circle of Light was Dai Atlas, but there were many other bots. Amidst the Circle could’ve been the lost Dominus Ambus, and he could’ve been unlucky enough to join their ranks as Tyrest captured them. Could it be that Swerve got the one in a million legislator that had originally been a character integral to the story? Sure. He does of course have a latent affinity to Ultra Magnus, the alternate identity of Minimus Ambus, brother of Dominus. If only Ten could speak!!!!
- Organics will be involved in the final battle. I do believe that we’ve been building up to the next story arc, which will either be survivors from Rodimus’ team chasing the Lost Light or more likely, in my opinion, a galaxy-wide skirmish with the organics involved in the Galactic Alliance. These organics are getting a bit fed-up witht he antics of our favorite mechanical beings. There were techno-organic experiments found on the Decepticon Worldsweeper by the Scavengers and The DJD has already had a difficult run-in with the Black Block Consortia. They were able to give this powerful team a beating. What’s to stop them from coming to finish the job?
- The Fate of Megatron. This could go any which way, but I really hope he survives, and he stays an Autobot. His survival will be directly tied to whether he is able to keep his pacifist promise or break that vow. I definitely don’t see him being able to change the minds of any of his former warriors, but he will probably try. Things are definitely NOT looking good for this guy. I almost feel bad, but he’s put millions into this same predicament, so it’s his just desserts. All I can say is that I cannot wait for the next issue!
February 13, 2016 – 5:38 PM
Here’s where I share some of my favorite photos I managed to take at Hasbro’s 2016 Toy Fair Press event in New York City. Enjoy!
February 13, 2016 – 5:12 PM
Here’s the deets:
- He’s slightly taller than Metroplex
- He has lights as sounds as part of Cerebros, activated when you cover max’s face on his back and add the Titan Master
- Cerebros is the first use of the Rebirth cartoon-accurate head. His Titan Master’s name is Emissary
- Fort Max has no ‘waist guns’
- He also has a prison gimmick
- The Titan Master head can still be in place on Cerebros when adding the head to Max, just like the G1 toy.
Hasbro also gave us some official graphics of the toy
February 10, 2016 – 8:17 PM
I’m boarding a plane in less than 28 hours to head to NYC and enjoy yet another Hasbro Toyfair preview event. This year, unfortunately, tons of internal leaks have plagued Hasbro and quite a bit of the upcoming product is already known. Expect some surprises though.
The big reveal is expected to be a Titan Class Headmaster Fortress Maximus, similar to how Devastator was last year’s main attraction. Hasbro even decided to kick it all off by creating a new Transformers-centric Instagram account and have promised to post photos of Fortress Maximus there sometime on Saturday.
So make sure you start following @transformersofficial on Instagram. I know I will.
February 2, 2016 – 12:52 PM
Everyone is looking forward to this figure in the Botcon 2016 souvenir set! See Botcon’s new video here.
January 28, 2016 – 10:22 AM
Our good friends at RIPT Apparel have released yet another wonderful exclusive design by Chicago artist Atomic Rocket. If you what to rep “Kaon’s Original”, you can pick it up today for only $11! Be careful though: hesitation will either make this more expensive or completely disappear since it will only be available until midnight CST!