Hello. I came across your blog right when you started doing Revisitation, and I'm enjoying these examinations of the IDW comics. Really insightful stuff. I'm in North America, so the British political allusions are often outside my expertise, and it's really interesting. I hadn't realized that those two miners with Megatron on the Longshot were meant to be Rumble and Frenzy, even with the earthquake arms.
Hi there, glad you're enjoying it, especially coming from a new reader that means a lot.
Lots more British political allusions to come...
This was certainly, at the time, one of the comics I was more... I'm going to say more interested, than excited, to read, given it was giving us a backstory for a main character - although that was tempered a little by what had happened with War Within. And indeed, when I think back on this series I can sometimes forget whether it actually belongs to the IDW or the Dreamwave continuities, which I think says a lot. All that said, I do remember not minding this so much last time I read it - but then I was sitting on a beach in the sun at that time, which probably helped.
But I digress. And not unsurprisingly, because this issue is... not great. Both the writing and the art are unclear, and way too much time needs to be spent trying to figure out what's actually happening between panels.
On the art front I've had pretty much the same journey as you with regards to Milne's work. And whilst this is far from his strongest effort, it's also not his worst. The storytelling is certainly very unclear, with it being hard to follow the action. Part of that can also be placed on the colouring, which just makes everything too difficult to figure out. But it is really hard to see what characters are meant to be doing, and at times figuring out which character is which. Which, for a visual medium, is not ideal.
Likewise, whilst the writing makes some things clear, the one thing it fails to do so with is Megatron himself - which is something of an issue. His whole journey from bystander to accidental murderer to escaped convict is handled very clumsily, with the biggest problem being that we don't actually get any sense of who Megatron was before the senator turned up and that crowd started getting restless. Whilst it's fair to say that the art fails to convey any changes that might be happening to the character, there seems to be nothing in the writing for the artist to work off of either, so here I'll lay the blame solely with Holmes.
It's a shame, because there's an interesting (if controversial) core concept here, but it is, sadly, very clumsily executed. The biggest shock reveal of this issue, really, is that it ever made it to the point of being published...
Yeah, I'm not a fan of this one either. Like others have said, the artwork is too dense and I have no idea what's going on half of the time. For a story about Megatron, we get very little into his thought processes. And I'm always uncomfortable with a story where we try and justify someone becoming a genocidal maniac because 'the goodies were worse'. But that's just me.
Also as much as I like to keep politics and entertainment separate, I'm not going to disagree with your football stadium analogy, Stuart. I do not disagree at all.
I've read a couple of comments from Milne on Twitter that have made me go "huh", but I also know how easy it is to misinterpret people so I've given him the benefit of the doubt. I did realise that there were so many arguments and fallings out with him and IDW though, so I'm intruiged to learn more about them.
Kinda funny that later MTMTE alternated between him and another artist that does some stuff I love and other stuff I absolutely hate.
Are you happy to say who the comicsgate inker is? Mainly because I don't want to actually end up buying anything from them. Although the only actual comic art I own is from Lee Sullivan. Oh god, that's not who you fell out with, is it? Don't make me burn my pages!
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.
Action Force/G.I. Joe