03 October 2013

MTMTE by any other name would still be the greatest Transformers comic series, ever

After 21 issues of this stella series published by IDW, I felt it was time for me to get off the couch and write something about it. Well, actually it's that and the inspiration I got from The Gassy Autobot, that made me write this.

What is MTMTE? 

It stands for 'More Than Meets The Eye' and is a comic series written by (the now great) James Roberts, illustrated by (the marvelous) Alex Milne, inked by (the super) Brian Shearer and coloured by (the bad boy) Josh Burcham.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Here are 18 of them - my preferred covers for MTMTE #1 to #18.

It's probably very difficult to describe how great a series MTMTE is without going into spoilers and details about plot points, dialogue and the legendary writing quality. 

I could say that it is the 'best thing since sliced bread', but that wouldn't really help much either. So, here are 2 simple enough illustrations from my perspective at least...

One - I often pick it up to re-read almost immediately after finishing an issue (or a TPB). In the span of a week, I would have re-read that issue 4-5 times, including re-reading a number of randomly picked previous issues.

Two - Near about volume 3 of the TPB, I decided that this series was so good, I had to go out there an buy all the individual issues - to better experience it in its original form.

Now, the 2 points above might appear insignificant to many, however, for me, they were huge. I have been reading comics since even before 1984 and have read a lot of DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Valiant, Image, other indie comic series over the last 30+ years. Among all of these, there has not even been a handful of incidents where I would immediately pick up and re-read an issue I have just finished. Typically, I would only pick up something to re-read after a month or 2, or, never going back to re-read stuff. For a number of previous TF series' like All Hail Megatron or Transformers (ongoing), I was inclined to just throw the TPB into the bin and never see it again (such was my frustration). To this day, I have never re-read or even flicked through any of 'All Hail Megatron' or Transformers (ongoing), except for ongoing #22 and #23, which were written by Roberts. To want to re-read MTMTE immediately, is epic for me.

My Transformers Trade Paper Bags

In respect of point 2 - I have nearly 5000 comics by 1994 and back then have decided to stop buying individual issues in favour of the cheaper and more easy to store Trade Paper Bag reprints. So, yes, it has been close to 20 years that I have not bought individual issues for any comic series. The only exceptions where I bought individual issues are - some of the early Dreamwave ones (who didn't buy these, if anything for novelty at the time), Spotlight: Optimus Prime, Spotlight: Sideswipe, Batman #608 to #619 (Hush storyline), Superman: Unchained #1 and... the MTMTE series. Therefore, also pretty epic that I'm buying the MTMTE individual issues.

So, if you have not read MTMTE, do yourself a favour, go out there grab the issues (or TPBs) and read it. 

I can't say that it will change your life, but I assure you that even if an iota of you are a TF fan, it will certainly brighten your day, bring you joy and make you come back for more. All hail Roberts (and Milne), I say!


PS: If you don't like MTMTE after reading it, I will buy you a donut for your efforts.

Next - I give my thoughts about other IDW titles (series'), both past and present, relative to MTMTE in "MTMTE is a masterpiece, but what about other IDW Transformers titles?"


  1. Whenever I go to my LCS, it's the first book I read. It doesn't matter what else has come out that week, it gets read first, then digested, then read again.

    1. all i can say is that I'm pretty much the same. On the Wednesday in the week that MTMTE will be released, I rush to the LCS straight after work to grab a copy, go straight home and read it (or read it over dinner before even going home!)

  2. You are absolutely right in every respect. I don't read comics other than Transformers, so I've never been exposed to anything else, but it is a bit disheartening to hear that the stories aren't good enough to make you go back for more. I always assumed there was a higher standard at the big boys like DC & Marvel that I just wasn't exposed to and TF stories just had mediocre writers. I guess that was true in some respects, but I am so glad these characters have the writing power behind them to really make them shine. This comic is an amazing experience, I only hope it continues to keep to the high standard it has created.

    1. Hey buddy!
      I’ve read a lot of comics in my day. Between 1985 to 1994, I read mostly Batman titles, Marvel and Image. Post 1994, I read mostly DC and Vertigo stuff.

      Over the past decade, I have found that Marvel titles, including all their flash and no bang “mega crossovers” to be quite underwhelming and generally suffers from low quality plots and writing that is boring. 4 to 5 pages in and I was usually ready to put the book down. Some may say, I’m unfair in my comments, but guess what, even though I find the stories boring and the Marvel characters generally flat, I have bought *many* mega-crossover books and forced myself to read them. To be honest, some titles conceptually has potential, eg: Secret Invasion, but was executed unimaginatively.

      DC on the other hand, has been absolutely stella in the past decade or so. The things Geoff Johns did with Green Lantern, Blackest Night, Brightest Day and Flash Point are sublime and seriously good reading; also the whole Grant Morrison run on Batman, wow.

      So yeah, even among the gems of DC / Vertigo’s titles, MTMTE does stand shoulder to shoulder and certainly is better than the substantial majority of Marvel’s stuff, by a country mile.

  3. I posted the last bit of my "review" on Gassy Autobot, going through each issue and pointing at the little things that become big things...in my mind. It might be crazy. Chime in!

    1. Love it. Have read about half-way through that post of yours. I've this weekend, began (once again) to re-read MTMTE... I'm now at issue #4.

      I described some of the one-liners to my wife and she loved them too! And when I described "forged" vs "constructed cold" to her, she screamed "the Dinobots are constructed cold!!". Not exactly right in the IDW-verse, but she was remember SOS Dinobots - I'm very suitably impressed! =)


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