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@  TM2-Megatron : (26 February 2017 - 10:58 PM)

I was pretty shocked Star Trek Beyond lost out in Best Makeup to Suicide Squad. Killer Croc looked good, but Trek had a lot of good alien makeup

@  Maruten : (26 February 2017 - 10:36 PM)

I was surprised to see that everyone's so into La La Land. On paper it seems right up my alley, but I thought it was pretty... meh.

@  ▲ndrusi : (26 February 2017 - 09:38 PM)

I read that as EPCOT status

@  ShadowMan024 : (26 February 2017 - 09:26 PM)

I have a sinking feeling La La Land is going to win Best Song and keep Lin-Manuel Miranda from achieving EGOT status.

@  Echowarrior : (26 February 2017 - 07:12 PM)

Our Hydra is better than Marvel's Hydra. Just saying.

@  ShadowMan024 : (26 February 2017 - 07:05 PM)


@  TriBlurr : (26 February 2017 - 07:03 PM)

Hail Hydra!

@  ShadowMan024 : (26 February 2017 - 06:22 PM)

Don't we still have Hydra?

@  Verno : (26 February 2017 - 06:10 PM)

There was always the chance we had some Japanese members on the board.

@  Confuzor : (26 February 2017 - 06:01 PM)

I got my MP Primal pretty quickly, but I haven't sent the payment confirmation on my Cheetor yet

@  Paladin : (26 February 2017 - 05:32 PM)

he's been out what, 3 days? Most shipping methods aren't THAT fast...

@  Verno : (26 February 2017 - 04:52 PM)

Does anyone have MP Cheetor in hand yet?

@  Confuzor : (26 February 2017 - 03:11 PM)

Y'all need more Rocko's Modern Life

@  Noideaforaname : (26 February 2017 - 11:04 AM)

I remember watching Doug all the time as a kid, but I watch it now and I don't at all see the appeal. *shrug* On the plus side, it added the word "nematode" to my vocabulary.

@  Paladin : (26 February 2017 - 10:47 AM)

https://twitter.com/CBR/status/835877002192306176 ...game over, man. :(

@  unluckiness : (26 February 2017 - 09:25 AM)

better than the current ones at least

@  Rycochet : (26 February 2017 - 09:08 AM)

90s Nicktoons were awful.

@  LBD "Nyt... : (26 February 2017 - 08:16 AM)

Yeah, I'd get really pumped to watch it and the other Nicktoons.

@  lastmaximal : (26 February 2017 - 08:04 AM)

You digdug?

@  LBD "Nyt... : (26 February 2017 - 07:40 AM)

Hate watching stuff like that.

@  LBD "Nyt... : (26 February 2017 - 07:40 AM)

Also, I digged Doug. Mostly for the ancillary characters, though. Doug himself is one of those characters who gets into situations that make YOU feel embarrassd. Like Fred Savage on The Wonder Years.

@  LBD "Nyt... : (26 February 2017 - 07:39 AM)

@PlutoniumBoss *Pinwheel fistbump*

@  LBD "Nyt... : (26 February 2017 - 07:38 AM)

I remember Today's Special. The Toronto part was something of a revelation from my wife and her family when I came here.

@  ShadowMan024 : (26 February 2017 - 02:34 AM)

In hindsight, I'm pretty sure Miss Frizzle was a Time Lord.

@  ShadowMan024 : (26 February 2017 - 02:34 AM)

I got into science because of Magic School Bus.

@  TM2-Megatron : (25 February 2017 - 11:25 PM)

Anyone else remember Puttnam's Prairie Emporium? Not sure if it aired outside Canada

@  TM2-Megatron : (25 February 2017 - 11:21 PM)

Today's Special was a favourite of mine. Some of it was actually filmed at a department store here in Toronto

@  PlutoniumBoss : (25 February 2017 - 10:34 PM)

Eureka! and Start Here were awesome too.

@  The Doctor Who : (25 February 2017 - 09:59 PM)

I remember watching Newton's Apple on PBS. That's where I learned about thermal insulation layers and why things change temperature faster when you blow on them.

@  MrBlud : (25 February 2017 - 09:51 PM)

Today's Special was my jam!

@  PlutoniumBoss : (25 February 2017 - 09:48 PM)

Pff. I remember Pinwheel and Today's Special.

@  Paladin : (25 February 2017 - 09:47 PM)

my first Nick show was "Eureka's Castle."

@  MEDdMI : (25 February 2017 - 08:00 PM)

You're all making me feel old

@  ShadowMan024 : (25 February 2017 - 07:58 PM)

And Rocko's Modern Life was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better.

@  ShadowMan024 : (25 February 2017 - 07:57 PM)

Hey Arnold! was better.

@  Echowarrior : (25 February 2017 - 06:42 PM)

And then bought out by Disney.

@  Echowarrior : (25 February 2017 - 06:42 PM)

It certainly wasn't a terrible show. I think it was just overshadowed by its contemporaries.

@  TheMightyMol... : (25 February 2017 - 06:19 PM)

I mean, it's not like it was bad, it was just kinda....there. Not especially memorable.

@  TheMightyMol... : (25 February 2017 - 06:18 PM)

That requires us to remember that Doug happened, though.

@  TriBlurr : (25 February 2017 - 01:04 PM)

Just send him to whatever world the Cartoon Doug took place in. Lots of purple people there

@  unluckiness : (25 February 2017 - 03:55 AM)

It's gonna go hungry after eating that mind-control guy

@  Waspinator : (25 February 2017 - 03:49 AM)

It's eating purple people and it sure is fine.

@  TheMightyMol... : (25 February 2017 - 02:27 AM)

It's a one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater!

@  Pennpenn : (25 February 2017 - 12:43 AM)

But it's purple?

@  Noideaforaname : (25 February 2017 - 12:28 AM)

Allspark's just a mean green mother from outer space, and it's BAD!

@  ShadowMan024 : (25 February 2017 - 12:10 AM)

Shut yo' mouth!

@  Patchouli Kn... : (24 February 2017 - 11:19 PM)

The Allspark is one bad mother...

@  Foffy the Sheep : (24 February 2017 - 10:09 PM)

My Allspark has never heard of a mother.

@  BlackMax : (24 February 2017 - 09:28 PM)

My mother has never heard of an Allspark.

@  The Doctor Who : (24 February 2017 - 08:54 PM)

This is your mother on Allspark drugs.

- - - - -

Q&A/chat with Chris Mowry

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32 replies to this topic

#21 (Deactivated) Mowry

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 05:01 PM

QUOTE(Chip @ Nov 14 2009, 04:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does a character have to die just because he's never going to be A-list? The whole point of off-screen toys is that they can have their own adventures in the fans' minds and living rooms. Killing them off before they get to do anything, and in many cases before they even get the form represented by the toy, throws away characters that otherwise had a lot of potential. There's nothing wrong with toy characters dying off, but before they have an ending they at least deserve a story. If a character isn't going to get that, I would much rather see an all-new character used.

This isn't unique to the movie comics. IDW's G1 comics have made good use of a couple of previously unexplored characters like Banzaitron, but they've reduced a lot of equally interesting characters to single-panel cannon fodder. That doesn't accomplish anything except to make me look forward to the next license-holder, so maybe a Leadfoot or a Drench can finally get a story.

Chip, the movie books never had an ongoing. I have a lot of ideas on how things could have gone and a lot of those background characters would have have their own stories. But that's not happening. I'm not saying that just because a character isn't Ironhide that he's not going to be important. I just don't see how they're going to be important down the road is all. It's not a "I hate that character" statement, it's just how I approached it. Hasbro had no problem with it, so I didn't think twice. And not everyone died, either. I had plans for a lot of those guys in "Alliance." It's just too bad the original idea had to be fashioned to be more movie-friendly.

Sorry for taking this thread so off-topic. If anyone wants to talk about it, PM me or start a Q&A thread, please.

#22 (Deactivated) Mowry

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 05:08 PM

QUOTE(Jack Cade @ Nov 14 2009, 01:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think slagging off Michael Bay is unacceptable. Yeah, he probably deserves a lot of criticism, but he really did bring the franchise back.

As a matter of principle, I think restricting ourselves to treating everyone in the world like they were in the same room as us is unrealistic and unnecessary. Bay is so far removed from everything that goes on here that I think personal attacks on him, when done with a sense of perspective and when reflecting a genuine grievance, are OK really. Absolute bile and hatred is ugly to see anywhere, but spiky, call-it-like-you-see-it comments are often part of gamely banter. If anything, it's just the flipside of being rich and successful.

As a matter of opinion, I tend to think all Bay did that was credit-worthy was take the chance on the property. I really think a TF movie would have been just as successful, if not moreso, in the hands of almost any other director willing to run with it. Against that is Bay's questionable socio-political sensitivity and the fact that he seems to have almost no interest in retaining anything from pre-existing TF fiction except the general concept and some of the names.

But that's another topic!

You know, Jack, you're right. The franchise could have been brought back regardless of who directed it (and probably even stronger had someone else directed it IMO). But I was trying to say that bashing him is just kind of pointless because he's really above all of this. Who knows if he really cares for the license, it's not my place to say. But I know that Shane cares, and Ryall does, Denton, me... we all care. But you're right, acting like we're all in the same room is unrealistic and unreasonable. I've always approached things with a "treat others as you want to be treated" attitude and it's just too bad that some use anonymity via the internet to just spew nonsense. But when it's directed at someone who (love him or hate him) is at the forefront of shoving this franchise down the public's throats, then he might deserve a little credit, no?

But you're right... that is another topic. icon-hotrod.gif

#23 Nevermore


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Posted 14 November 2009 - 08:05 PM

I think one thing that makes a lot of characters in Transformers fiction work as well as they do is hyperbole.

Take Beast Wars Rattrap. How often does he say "We're all gonna die?"

Or take ROTF Jetfire's crankiness.

And before anyone says it doesn't work in comics, I point to Death's Head, who's not a Transformer per se but has a pretty distinct personality, yes?

Give characters some unique speech mannerisms, catchphrases, frequent idioms that create a personality. Sometimes it's just the little nuances that make readers actually care about hi-then-die characters beyond "I got that toy".

Swindle and Jolt/"Deadend" in Alliance were a step in the right direction, actually. They exchanged some banter before they met their untimely demise. It just needed more work. Some more hyperbole, make their dialogue less "technical", less verbose and less expository and mix in some more personality.

Here's a quick attempt to spice up the dialogue on page 18 in Alliance #3:

"So when do we get to blow up stuff already, Swindle?"
"Patience, Dead End. Why do I always get to work with amateurs?"
"Tough words coming from a malfunction like you!"
"Malfunction? Do you even know what that word means, you stupid practice drone?"
"Hey, nobody calls me a praxis drone! Come on, I kill you right here on the spot, Dwindle!"
"Save it until after the mission is done. If you survive, that is. Now let's get started already."

In your version, both characters seemed to have the same level of intellect and level of language. I tried to increase your characterizations by making "Dead End" even more trigger-happy and dim-witted with the misquote (which is kinda ripped off from Rumble in the 1986 animated movie) while making Swindle more of an arrogant snob. However, I noticed that this deviates from the toy bio where Swindle is the dumb and trigger-happy guy. Not sure how to reconcile that personality with the basic content of the dialogue in your version, unless I swap around personalities.

You see the difference in tone, though? The basic information delivered is the same, but the characters have more of an edge to them that makes them stick out more. The dialogue doesn't just deliver the important information on a silver platter, but incorporates it more into a fleshed out version of the characters' attitudes.

In your version, Swindle and "Dead End" keep referring to the "mission", apparently in an attempt to drive home the point that they are about to start a pre-planned mission. This information is already hinted with Fracture's voiceover lead-in to the scene, and pointing out the existence of a mission once is more than sufficient.

Skimming through issue 4, I notice a lot more instances where the dialogue puts a lot of emphasis on DELIVERING IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN A PAINFULLY STRAIGHTFORWARD FASHION. The dialogue needs to come across more natural, less "written" and more "spoken". I know the problem very well because I've been reading comic books translated into German for many years, and some translators, while having good linguistic skills, just fail at writing natural dialogue. When you can't tell the difference between Ben Grimm and Thor's dialogue, you know something is wrong.

Issue 4, page 4 onwards. There's a lot of "appears", "I think", "if Barricade's intel is correct" and such. That disrupts the flow of the dialogue by making the characters overly analytic. Works maybe for Ratchet, but not so much for Ironhide or Swindle.

How about this:
"I've got some kind of energy reading, but there's nothing suspicious here. Maybe they're..." SMASH!
"So much for your energy readings, Ratchet. Team two in pursuit. Team one, heading your way!"
"Copy that, team two. Signatures are marked, closing in now. Big Buddha's in the lead."
"Whoa, that went fast! Swindle here, we're being chased! Still no sign of... PRIME!"
"Dead End is down! Confirm contact with Prime. This ain't good, this ain't..."
"You can run, but you cannot hide..."
"Prime, you're all right?"
"I'm fine, Ironhide. Not so sure about this one, though. Ratchet?"
"Confirm. This one's out."
"One down, one to go. Where's Lennox?"
"Still with Bumblebee. Going after them."
"One hostile down! We need a clean-up crew ASAP!"

Actually, I think Epps' military dialogue is mostly okay. The biggest problem I see is with Ironhide, who should be more grumpy and less verbose. Shorten sentences more, reduce the amount of subjects, full names (just "Prime") and explicit explanations of even the most minute details. Speeds up the scene a little more, and makes the characters talk less like, well, comic book characters.

One trick I'm using is to try to actually speak the dialogue with the characters' on-screen voices in mind (well, except for Swindle and "Dead End"). If it sounds off, the dialogue needs work.

I'm sure others here may be able to come up with even better substitute dialogue than my 2:00 AM attempt. icon-hotrod.gif

Edited by Nevermore, 14 November 2009 - 08:10 PM.

#24 lonegamer8


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Posted 14 November 2009 - 08:56 PM

Jeysie, Walky, cool it.

My works! Lemme show you 'em!

Avatar base courtesy of Wombat King <- not at the moment

Allspark's August Reading List 2007 - "Sides"
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#25 lonegamer8


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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:01 PM

Moving various posts that deviated from Continuum's main discussion, so if you have any thoughts or questions along the lines of TF comics (like why "such-and-such" didn't show up in a certain issue), Chris Mowry can answer them whenever he can.

Remember, he's a busy guy and please keep things polite, thank you very much.

My works! Lemme show you 'em!

Avatar base courtesy of Wombat King <- not at the moment

Allspark's August Reading List 2007 - "Sides"
Allspark's July Fic Challenge 2007 "Red Carpet" winner - "Blue Carpet"
The NEW TFWiki!
Henkei! Henkei! Transformers pack-in comic summaries.
Henkei! Henkei! Transformers monthly manga summaries.

#26 Magnusblitz

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:30 PM

Back to the topic at hand...

Chris, thanks for coming here - I haven't commented much but I've read everything you've said closely, all very interested. Your time is appreciated.

One thing though I wanted to ask about is how much changes get dictated from above. Obviously a lot of the Movie stuff was necessitated by needing to step around the Movies themselves. However, you also mention that some other stuff you wanted to do was changed on mandates from above (some things you didn't mention, one thing you did was a silent Bumblebee story). And you also mentioned that Shane apparently had a good explanation for the Seeker's alt-mode change that never made it into All Hail Megatron - would could be writer oversight, but something else obviously must've caused it. Did he lose an issue or two, having to spend it on something else (I'm thinking along the lines of how AHM #7 seemed to basically be a bone to all the people saying "this doesn't line up in continuity", as all the flashbacks and infodumping kinda came out of the blue). Or was it something else?

I'm also just a bit surprised that it seems the editors are so hands-on in some areas (shooting down the idea for a silent issue) but in other areas they're perfectly willing to let the writer take full rein (Shane really needed someone telling him to fit things into continuity better - I still think he could've told the story he wanted to tell in AHM and fit into continuity better, giving us a story that everyone liked more - but that would've taken some editorial interference). Not sure how much you know or can tell us, but any info would be nice.

#27 Nevermore


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Posted 15 November 2009 - 04:47 AM

Getting back a little more on topic.

Chris, I also recommend The Incredible Hulk #417 and #418 as an example of how humor can work in a comic. The story deals with Rick Jones's bachelor party and wedding, and there's lots of crazy stuff going on.

And yet at the same time, the story still manages to maintain a certain amount of drama.

#28 Nevermore


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Posted 16 November 2009 - 01:17 PM

Thinking more about the "dialogue" bit, I think the problem with many writers is that they are (in theory, at least) very literate and versed in proper use of language. So they want, consciously or not, the dialogue in their stories to reflect this. Unfortunately, this results in characters who are supposed to be a lot less intelligent than the writer sounding way too smart. The most infamous example would be "Hulk really angry at puny humans! Why puny humans never leave Hulk alone? Hulk will crush puny humans!"

I don't know whether writers just have a genuine problem intentionally writing realistic "dumb" dialogue for dumb characters, or whether it is a mental block of sorts that makes them believe the dialogue will reflect on the perception of the writer's intelligence somehow. Might also be a subconscious result of an attitude on the writers' behalf to counter the perception of the general public that "comics are for kids" by trying to write dialogue that doesn't sound like "stupid kids' stuff". Unfortunately, this results in stilted, overtly complex dialogue.

Furman is guilty of this in particular. I mean, in the ROTF adaption, Rampage refers to Sam's parents as "protoform batch initiators". Replacing an Earth term like "parents" with something that sounds more "Cybertronian" isn't a problem per se, but the replacement sounds awkwardly clunky. Sure the Transformers, especially grunts like Rampage, would have a shorter, more catchy term for that?

#29 Jeysie


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Posted 16 November 2009 - 06:59 PM

I have to agree that dialogue's always been a weak point in TF fiction in general. Animated and the recent TFCC prose being the main exceptions, although the Movieverse, for all its other faults, also actually does well in giving every character a distinct voice.

But, speaking as someone who likes writing dialogue, I have to say the guess that it's hard writing believably "dumb" dialogue is closer to accurate, in my experience anyway. Without meaning to sound arrogant, if you're used to using SAT-level vocabulary and grammar, it really is hard to write more "informal" dialogue without the professorial stuff slipping in subconsciously.

Of course, the opposite is true as well... I almost always end up groaning whenever a writer tries attempting the speech of someone who's extremely nerdy/intelligent because they almost always get the "geekspeak" really wrong. (Mainly because they usually make the mistake of thinking that it boils down to just always using the longest words possible...)

...I guess you could more accurately say that trying to write any character whose speech patterns differ significantly from your own in any way always takes effort to pull off believably.

#30 NightViper



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Posted 18 November 2009 - 08:19 AM

This topic has been split...again!

If you'd like to continue discussing the death of toy-only characters, please do so here.

And now that we have those posts out of the way, let's light our Mowry-signal again and try to get this thread back on topic!

#31 Counterpunch?

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:27 AM

Regarding IDW as part of the ?community??

I just want to start out by saying that I have supported IDW since Issue #0. Even after my house was broken into and everything was taken (comics included), I went about putting my collection of stories back together.

I watched the cartoon as a kid and was never really into the Marvel comics continuing stories. That being said, the work IDW was producing was becoming ?the? comic story-line for me.

I will not nor do I think there is a need to harp on dialogue or whether this or that character should die. I think IDW has told good stories and good stories always over-ride the small details.

All Hail Megatron was the first move that, for me, began the process of overriding the big details. It cut the very heart of the story out from what I had been previously so invested in. This is where I come back to the community comment. I think that there?s a certain give-and-take that has to occur for a product or art to survive when it is created by a member of the community, fellow fan, or even a friend.

The people buying the stories always give; they give their all important dollar to see that the books get made and everyone gets paid.

But that?s not my point, that?s not what I want to get to.

See, I feel that AHM was the beginning of IDW not being a part of the community because it was a take, take, take scenario. Take this new setting, take these new character portrayals, and take this set of unanswered questions? Take a year of (what could have been really great) comics and accept that this grand plotline is something you will like (even if you don?t think you do).

But there were substantive as well as objective problems with the story. People noticed those problems, questioned those issues, and felt largely ignored.

The thing is?comic fans and readers will ride a train from one station to another, because once they get on, there?s really little choice but to finish the trip. Back to the point, the vocalization of the issues at hand were, seemingly pushed aside, until it was all over and there was CODA as a hindsight approach to the problems.

Maybe my perspective is skewed by being a rabid fan. Perhaps the casual reader has less of an issue with the break in continuity. Your perspective may really be superior to mine in this regard; perhaps the business model had to change. My perspective on the matter was that many fans felt like IDW had moved towards the business model where dialogue from the company only moved down to the consumer, that we were being told what good storytelling was, rather than a business model where the business and writers are part of the community. While with the latter it is impossible to take every comment, concern, or complaint into consideration, at the very least we have sympathetic responses to one another.

Back again to community, participation, and product?I was very supportive of all the work IDW was doing for a time. I still buy pretty much everything I get the opportunity to purchase, but ultimately I feel that the criticism and the slamming of work gets harder and more pointed the more distant that work is from the community.

So, on the topic of whether it is right or wrong to harshly criticize the work of these comics, knowing how close the writers and producers of the product are to the fans, I might suggest that the negative comments and the frequency they come in at are a result of those people telling the stories having moved away from the community ties.



#32 Fear or Courage

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:41 PM

See, I've followed the series since Infiltration, and I'm odd in that I enjoyed AHM in *most* aspects. I liked the fact that it was a simpler, character-driven storyline (I loved Megs and Starscream's conversations) instead of a complex event-driven one.

The only thing I didn't enjoy was how it ignored and displaced a ton of the previous continuity. Basically, if AHM wasn't tied into the already-established IDW verse (I remember hearing false rumors, for example, that it would be set in an alternate universe) or else there had been more of a transition from the -Ations to it, I would have liked it more.

So there's a sort of split there. On one hand, I liked the writing, I liked the story on its own, all that. On the other hand, I didn't like the flagrant disregard for continuity, and the chucking out of a lot of characters (the original 3 humans, who I'd grown to like) and concepts (Ultra Energon, Facsimilies) so that the story could take place. Heck, I really felt like if Furman hadn't written Maximum Dinobots, we would have been left to assume the whole Machination thing, which we spent three books building up, fizzled out off-camera. I really got the feeling, basically, that no one really cared about Furman's pre-established continuity, but for whatever reason they didn't want to fully reboot.

Basically, what I'm saying is, if you want to take things in another direction, fine, but I do wish ideas and characters wouldn't just get dropped with little to no explanation. Basically, have faith in and respect your own canon a bit more.

Edited by Fear or Courage, 18 November 2009 - 07:42 PM.

#33 Echowarrior


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Posted 18 November 2009 - 08:59 PM

Chris, I'd just like some assurance that the folks at IDW have an idea of how the universe goes from the point A at the end of 'Maximum Dinobots' to the point B at the start of 'All Hail Megatron'. We were told that issues 13-16 would address the continuity gaffes, but only #15 (and seriously with Nick Roche's Kup story) made any serious effort, as those stories appear to have been geared more towards setting the stage for the ongoing.

For example, does IDW have answers to some of these questions; where'd Jimmy and Verity go, and how did the Decepticons capture Hunter? What happened to the Magnificence? Where did the Matrix of Leadership come from? And where were the Dinobots during the events of AHM?

I realize you may not be able to answer some (or all) of these questions, but if you can shed any light on that, I'd be appreciative. If you can't, or if IDW's policy is to simply let us fans figure out what happened on our own, that's fine too - I'd just like a straight answer one way or another.

*silently hopes he hasn't overstepped his bounds*
William Rendfeld
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Author of "Transformers: Armada (Revisited)"- Allspark Fic of the Month for December 2005. Archive here.
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