Monday, August 31, 2015

Author's Reflections- Comic #410

This comic seems unnecessary in the grand scheme of the story but I wanted to quickly address something right away. Waspinator’s original Beast Wars toy (or the 2006 reissue of it I had been using for the comic) was comprised of many ball joints which were easy to pop apart to simulate him getting constantly blown up like in the TV show. The Animated Waspinator toy had many ball joints as well but they were much more secure than the ones on the Beast Wars toy and I was afraid that if I popped the toy apart many times it would become extremely loose, or worse yet, cause the joints to break entirely. The solution was an easy one, and it provided Waspinator a tiny bit of poetic justice: he now couldn’t get blown apart. In spite of it being nearly superfluous to the overarching plot, I like this comic a lot since it’s Waspinator at his best.

Author's Reflections- Comic #409

Just like using Waspinator as a “volunteer”, the big reveal at the beginning of this comic was not a surprise, and I fully knew that going in. This upgrade is a version of Waspinator from the Animated toyline, which I’ve mentioned is not one of my favorite Transformer generations but I do love this Waspinator toy. As you will see for the duration of the comic run, the toy is very articulated and highly emotive.
The upgrading robot switching to an ‘eradication mode’ seemed perfect. It fit the upcoming plot and it was the perfect transition back from Shockwave to Sh*twave. This might be the reason I made such a big deal of Megatron being nice to Shockwave in comic #407, to make sure the readers really remembered that little plot thread before undoing it. I’m grasping at straws on that one.
The Peanut Gallery panel had become a second thought at this point since I was focusing on the story of the actual comic but Hot Shot’s line about the robot coming after the Autobots in ‘about a week’ was great, since in all reality that WAS going to happen in real time. I never wanted to pass up the opportunity to poke fun at myself using the commentary trio.

Author's Reflections- Comic #408

Like comic #407, there’s little substance here, but it is integral to the plot. I know Acid Storm said ‘the parlance of our times’, a line said by Maude in The Big Lebowski, several times in the comic’s run which isn’t something I recall being intentional but I wouldn’t change that since it fits his personality. I really loved the Queen/ Freddie Mercury joke but it wasn’t executed the way I envisioned it. One of Megatron’s most memorable lines from the Generation 1 cartoon was “Suggestion noted…and ignored!” so I liked throwing that reference into the comic every once in awhile.
The upgrading robot is the toy ‘Fugitoid’ from the 1980’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toyline. It worked perfectly for what I had in store for the little guy. We saw him laying in the machine in the past couple comics but this marks his first full appearance in the comic.

Author's Reflections- Comic #407

The most notable thing about this comic is that I showed that Megatron was really trying to be nice to Shockwave. I honestly don’t remember exactly why I did that, it stands out as being a little odd to me. I could have easily ended the over niceness after Shockwave’s “revenge” in his spotlight comic. I have a pretty decent memory about most of the happenings of the comic but that one remains a mystery to me. Otherwise, there’s no surprises, I knew the identity of Megatron’s “volunteer” would be no surprise whatsoever.

Author's Reflections- Comic #406

I like this comic for several reasons. I’m still very happy with the dialogue. A lot of times I go back and re read these comics and wish I’d have said something differently or that I’d gone in a different direction so its nice when I’m still satisfied with some of them many years later. I was happy to reveal the “machine” built by Waspinator, Inferno and Quickstrike in their spotlight comic wasn’t just a throwaway background setting and actually had a legitimate use for the story. And Megatron’s loophole in the truce was so straightforward and obvious that it actually made sense. I liked when Megatron could show he wasn’t just a bumbling 80’s villain ALL the time. The ‘Dikityron’ reference to Kup’s story way back in comic #118 fell flat, but the jokes can’t all be golden. I did however like the throwback to Scourge getting worked up over his name once again. That was something I thought I’d use more often after its inception in comic #61 but it quickly went to the wayside.
Hot Shot’s contract says ‘Fart’ at the bottom rather than ‘Poop’ this time around. Obviously I took the highbrow route on that one.

Author's Reflections- Comic #405

This wasn’t the best comic of this initial run but I never wanted to turn down the chance to point out a Decepticon victory and let them celebrate whenever they could.

Author's Reflections- Comics #403-404



It really shouldn’t have been much of a surprise that the next storyline would feature more upgrades but there were still a few surprises left in how that would come about. The Decepticons only getting information from the machine rather than use it outright was an easy way to build the story slowly and provide plenty of character-driven dialogue along the way. My favorite part of these two comics is Starscream enacting the backup plan and pretending he’s giving a tour. It was a wall of dialogue to endure but I loved it even more for that reason.