More than meets the expectations
September 18th, 2012

More than meets the expectations


  1. Touch of Grey

    I laughed out loud when I saw Marissa reading Parker…because both of those books are sitting right next to me, waiting to go back to the library. Good choice, Marissa.

  2. Bob

    Christ on a bike, those Parker books are amazing. Between those and his pleasantly engaging work on two “Before Watchmen” books*, Darwyn Cooke really has the Midas touch these days.

    Several months ago, someone gave me a copy of “Robots in Disguise”, and I found myself saying “wow, this Transformers book is actually pretty good.” So are you guys saying there are TWO good Transformers books out there? “More Than Meets The Eye” sounds considerably different from “T:RiD”‘s “The Wire, Only With Robots” model. They take place in a shared universe though, right?

  3. Mikhail

    If you like RID, you’ll love MTMTE. If you don’t like RID, you’ll love MTMTE. If you have something resembling a soul, you’ll love MTMTE.

    MTMTE is the story of a group of Autobots (mostly) who left Cybertron to search for their forefathers instead of staying behind to rebuild with Bumblebee and Prowl. The dialogue is fantastic, the concepts are high, and the characters are the most memorable they’ve ever been.

  4. Sean Whitmore

    After Brandon told me what book Marissa’s reading, I googled it and added it to my library waiting list. Old-timey crime story + Darwyn Cooke = win to me.

    And yes, there are currently two great Transformers comics being published! “Robots in Disguise” is about the post-war rebuilding of Cybertron, full of politics, assassinations, and manipulation (If I had thought of Bob’s “The Wire” comparison, this might’ve been a much different strip. Starscream comin’!). “More Than Meets the Eye” is about the less politically-minded Autobots taking off into space to discover more about the origins of Cybertron and their race, and it’s my favorite of the two. The plots are insane, the dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny, the characters are more varied (ranging from malcontents to full-blown whack-jobs), and writer James Roberts can barely get through a scene without introducing some fascinating new idea into the Transformer back story.

  5. Mat

    Yes Marissa Pokemon is still a thing and they’re manga is freaking awesome. Even if I haven’t read the Black & White chapters yet.

  6. MedievalMike

    Bob’s comment make me LOL. The Parker books (and there are three of them, now, Sean) are amazing. I don’t read many comics anymore and those, plus this strip, help keep me in touch. Do I detect some skepticism on Marissa’s part about the greatness of GMozz? If so, good for her!

  7. Bob

    All three of Cooke’s “Parker” books are excellent; I highly recommend reading them in order, then checking out “Point Blank” starring Lee Marvin. It’s like a mod version of “The Hunter”, and is every bit as awesome as that sounds.

    So it looks like I have some Transformers readin’ to catch up on. The “Wire” analogy doesn’t link up character-to-character, but it has that same “nobody really gets along, and this will all end badly, but we’re going for it anyway because we have to” atmosphere.

    Confidential to other readers of “Robots in Disguise”: did anyone else get a Tyler Durden vibe from the scenes between Prowl and Arcee in the first few issues? I think it was issue #7 or 8 before anyone else mentioned her name.

  8. comixchik

    Oh, Transformers MTME is amazing. I’d say Whirl is the Deadpool of the TF universe “Do you have any thoughts that you internalize?” “You can do that?”

  9. Z

    Whirl is much cooler than Deadpool.

    MTMTE is the best Transformers fiction ever created. It is absolutely amazing. I’ve read comics for 30 years and it is one of the best written books I’ve collected. Screw the Grant Morrison comparison. It’s too limiting. If you combined Grant Morrison with the best of the old JLI BWAHAHA era with… hmm, I can’t even thing of an ensemble book with SO MANY great unique lovable characters.

    If you have ever had any affection for the Trqnsformers you should absolutely be reading it. If you just like wonderfully written funny, tragic adventurous comics you should be reading it.

    It’s honestly wonderful.

  10. Alegra

    Mat is right pokemon manga is great I liked a lot the DP series

  11. tigerkaya

    I used read RID but I became bored by the political and not many of the character me in as MTME. Since than I have been
    loving each and every issue. As to Marissa, her response is typical of an avid indie reader.

  12. Ichya Paradise

    Pokemon is very alive and well as some people have already noted. It was recently in a toys meal (McDonalds) here in Japan. The anime is still going strong, just came out with another movie and well, I thought they would be tired of it here, but I was very wrong.

  13. maybetoby

    Blastphemy, More Than Meets The Eye is an amazing comic (especially if you enjoyed Last Stand of the Wreckers). Robots in Disguise is also pretty good, but this one is def my fav!

  14. MrGBH

    I could never get into Transformers.

  15. Thatguy

    Heh, I want to be annoyed by Marissa’s casual dismissal of Transformers, but it’s something I kinda do when discussing it’s quality.

    Both it and GI Joe are leagues above 90% of the comics out there, and yet the entire line was made to sell toys, whereas Spider-Man, Batman et all were created for the purposes of story telling. So why are their comics so much better?

  16. John R Ellis

    Because the only reason Marvel and DC publish comics anymore is to convince their respective owners they’re still a viable mine for future movies?

    Though, here’s a fact: Name a character created since the All New, All Different X-Men who’s been published continuously -and- the general public know about.

    (I don’t think Venom and Deadpool count.)

  17. Algeya

    Pokemon black and white sold more games than halo 3 so it is probably still a thing

  18. Kris

    I’m going to third the comments that say Pokémon manga (specifically Pokémon Adventures) are awesome. Pokémon Adventures kind of reminds me of Josh’s comments about MTMTY here; more intelligent that you would expect, dealing with themes that really get glossed over in the show and are almost completely ignored in the games (child/parent strife, romance, and yes, death). It just doesn’t get a lot of attention on the manga scene due to being Pokémon, and having an irregular publishing output for the longest time.

  19. Bob

    Ellis, you have a point, but that point is kinda irrelevant to the actual quality of the finished work. Remember: the Woodstock music festival became an iconic counter-cultural event, but it was dreamed up as a moneymaking venture by guys who wore suits to work. Similarly, today’s Transformer books (not unlike Larry Hama’s lotsa fun “GI Joes” back in the 80s) succeed as quality entertainment regardless of who’s paying the printer.

    I’m also not sure what the “name a character” game proves. The public kinda/sorta knows about Storm and Cyclops, but really the only member of the All-New X-Men that’s really become an icon is Wolverine. Take him out of the equation, and you could stretch the timeline back to the Silver Age (and even Wolverine took 25 years to really rise through the fog and be recognizable.)

    The closest thing to an iconic superhero-type character would come not from comics, but from a successful multimedia stew of comics, cartoons, action figures, and eventually movies: Optimus Prime, maybe Snake-Eyes. And if we’re willing to look somewhere besides superhero comics, I’d wager that Rick, Lori and Shane from “The Walking Dead” are at least as recognizable to the average American citizen as any other comic book character created since “Giant-Sized X-Men #1.”

    Though we could get really weird with this idea and say that the Batman that is widely recognized by the public in 1985 is very different from the one we know and love today. “Today’s” Batman was essentially created in the mid/late-80s, thanks to Frank Miller and the first Burton film.

  20. Jetstream

    I dunno. Both RiD and MTMTE have been a little too bleak lately for my tastes. I love them, but I really wish they’d stop being so… damn grim. Everything sucks and then it sucks more. The annual issue that came out recently was my favorite because it actually had some *gasp* humor in it.

    Some GOOD things happened. We need more good things to balance out the living hell all the characters are going through.

  21. MrGBH

    It’s the “Published continuously” part that makes it impossible. Not even Thor, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Wolverine, Batman or even the Avengers fit that part. As do neither Venom nor Deadpool.

  22. Carl

    To be fair, Spider-Man and Batman were created to SELL COMIC BOOKS.!!! If they hadn’t sold, they would have been cancelled no matter how good the stories were. This was especially true of the era Batman was created in. Strips came and went all the time. Occasionally a character would catch on with readers and last. Even more rare, they survived to the present day. It was about cheap, disposable media where reprints became quite normal within a few years. Superman and Batman were licensed to other media and toys pretty quickly once they showed success.

    Don’t kid yourself that it’s ever been about anything other than selling a product.

  23. John R. Ellis

    Bob, I’m not sure what you’re point has to do with mine, as I didn’t say “creating characters for the purposes of selling entertainment is EVULLLLLLLLLL!”

    What I said was: Marvel and DC used to have creations capable of drawing in an audience outside of comics, but those creations were all made decades upon decades ago. Something I don’t think their corporate owners have quite caught onto yet, but when they do, I see the current comics being dropped and the older characters being mined away with abandon.

    But until they do catch on, both publishers are going to try and pretend they’re still capable of creating the next hot character franchise…for as long as the ride lasts.

    (The most recent example of a franchise that -almost- made the leap that I can think of is Warren Ellis’ Authority. Like it or loathe it, it was the first new super-hero comic in a long, long time I can recall non-comics fans noticing and showing interest in…and we all know what became of that franchise once the original guiding talent left. Any chance was wizzed away or actively destroyed.)

  24. John R. Ellis

    Batman and the Avengers have both been published continuously, they’ve just had their books relaunched and renumbered several times over.

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