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View Full Version : Evolutions: Hearts of Steel #1-4/TPB


Denyer
2006-07-01, 06:26 AM
The first issue is expected on July 5th.

Previews here: http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php?dgallery=browse&page=heartsofsteel

If you're wondering what 'Hearts of Steel' (often shortened to 'HoS') or Evolutions are, check out: http://idwpublishing.com/titles/transformers/hos.shtml

And if anyone's interested in writing reviews for the site, feel free to volunteer.

Aardvark
2006-07-01, 05:10 PM
June 5th you say...wow they're really serious about the whole set in the past thing[/snarkvark]

inflatable dalek
2006-07-01, 08:40 PM
I'll volenter for reviews, though as more people are likely to be reading this than the three enjoying The Art of Whores you might have a larger selection than one to choose from.

Denyer
2006-07-01, 10:08 PM
Yeah, Aardvark's also interested -- you're both likely to pick up on different things, so multiple reviews is good.

inflatable dalek
2006-07-03, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Yeah, Aardvark's also interested --

And you're going to let him after he pointed out your date mistake in the first post? I'd have thought an "accident" would have been arranged by now.

Commander Shockwav
2006-07-07, 01:25 AM
Got it. Read it. Liked it.

Don't know why. But I liked it.

Actually, I think I do know. It's because it really took me back to the days of the Marvel run and the cartoon. At the same time, it's just different enough to avoid the "been there, done that" feeling.

It's seems to be a story that doesn't take itself too seriously, and thats the way you have to approach it.

It's a fun read, and even the pencilling by Guido is reminiscent of an episode from the cartoon.

Overall I give it a "B+", along the same lines of enjoyment as Infiltration's first two issues.

inflatable dalek
2006-07-07, 05:46 PM
Generally it was good, the art was faberoney, and it managed not to be what I feared most, exactly the same origin as usual but with different alt modes- The idea that the Transformers were Earths original inhabitants (though it's careful not to say outright they evolved here) is enough of a different Sillurianesque take to make it worthwhile.

There isn't really much of a sense of menace yet, though I'm asuming Shockwaves plans are bigger than helping a guy inspire 20 000 Leagues Under The Sea (Incidently, did Shockers sink the experimental sub? The square speech buble "HA HA HA!" would suggest a TF involvement, but it looks as if it's the sinking that woke the cons (or at least Thundercracker) up...

Does anyone else think they reprinted Plight of the Bumblebee soley to remind readers Bumblebee's allways ben a bit of a imature c**t who'll ignore orders and commen sense if he thinks he can make a friend?

Aardvark
2006-07-07, 06:32 PM
Yeah I got it today, having read over it I'd say itís a pretty adequate opener just so long as the plot progresses in the next issue. I did enjoy reading it and it certainly has a subtle charm but I also felt that there was little to muse over; Sure Iím interested in what Shockwave is up to but in terms of the actual content there was nothing really to ponder.

I thought the artwork was fantastic; the dark, almost muddy, sketchy style works well, the ice age modes are superb and furthermore the humans are done rather well. The dark, subtle colours and the way in which the humans are rendered almost gives the impression weíre watching an old film. I found that quite pleasing to look at and furthermore it complements the storyís setting.

My only reservation regarding the art department is that I would have liked to see larger, somewhat more focused scenes of the Transformers.

I'm not too keen on the idea of having famous characters from throughout the ages in it; Tobias Muldoon is a sponge however Twain "ROXX" The dialogue is again adequate, not a bad, not good. Helped to move the plot along. There were a few moments were the script didn't seem to click, particularly when Bumblebee opened his mouth. "Spikes Laid, John Henry" (there's a first in Transformers w00t) harked back to the days of the Marvel comics ("Indeed Minibot Bumblebee" and whatnot) rather than adding period charm to the piece.

I can't say I appreciated the "What is man" jive. It seemed rather silly and just didn't gel with the Transformers otherwise everyday English.

Bumblebee found it remarkably easy to reformat his alt mode didn't he...

The Shockwave cliffhanger did leave me yearning for more however the big Transformer reveal at the end of the issue is a tad tired.

All in all the artwork was where my interest lay even before I got the issue and for the most part, it lived up to my expectations. The story was fine and I'm certainly interested in where itís going. A nice little opener.

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Generally it was good, the art was faberoney, and it managed not to be what I feared most, exactly the same origin as usual but with different alt modes- The idea that the Transformers were Earths original inhabitants (though it's careful not to say outright they evolved here) is enough of a different Sillurianesque take to
"Machine against machine on a distant planet":o

inflatable dalek
2006-07-07, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by Aardvark
I'm not too keen on the idea of having famous characters from throughout the ages in it;

I gennerally hate SF that has either Mark Twain, Jules Vern or H. G. Wells in it. Here we get two out of three. I don't like it because they usually "pay tribute" to tallented writters by saying they were unimagentive hacks who only got lucky by actually traveling through time/meeting aliens/becoming a claymation puppet in a advert of the Rock Lords video and writing down what they saw. Tobias is a real person then is he?

EDIT: Though calling Twain's boat Enterprise was a nice nod at his guest appearence in the Next Generation two parter Times Arrow that gave Furman the idea for the displacement thing seen in The Gathering [Yes- I know Furman said it ws The Next Phase that gave him the idea but he's wrong, Times Arrow is a much better fit...]

Aardvark
2006-07-07, 07:08 PM
At least the nods/in-jokes are subtle unlike Infiltration; Binaltech! Shockwave on a mug! They're so bloody obvious!

Mind you, if this was an arc in the Infiltration universe I doubt we'd be hearing this many positive reviews.

Modern edit: Well, looks like my fears came true -- after a passable introduction to the series, it went completely off the rails.

inflatable dalek
2006-07-07, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by Aardvark
Mind you, if this was an arc in the Infiltration universe I doubt we'd be hearing this many positive reviews.

What... three?!

Aardvark
2006-07-07, 07:24 PM
I'd call it 100%:o

But seriously I haven't read a negative review of it yet.

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
And you're going to let him after he pointed out your date mistake in the first post? I'd have thought an "accident" would have been arranged by now.
I still function...

inflatable dalek
2006-07-07, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by Aardvark
I'd call it 100%:o

And 87% of people know you can use statistics to prove anything.

My main worry is that next issue really needs to introduce a plot bigger than "Bumblebee want fwiends" or "Shockwave helps guy pay dinner bill"...

Aardvark
2006-07-07, 07:38 PM
That's basically how I'm feeling; it's a fine introduction just as long as we've been introduced to something. The pace will need to maintain a steady acceleration as the story progresses. I'm still a little peeved that we're still getting the likes of Bumblebee and Shockwave. Itís time to branch out (though ďStormbringerĒ has a few oddballs whether theyíll be fodder/grunts is another question). Many of the characters I once loved have become tired bugbears.

inflatable dalek
2006-07-07, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by Aardvark
Many of the characters I once loved have become tired bugbears.

For a "Elseworld/What If?/Unbound/Infinities style story I don't mind so much because having the more recognisable charecters amoung the redesigns helps Joe Blogs who hasn't read a TF comic since he was 8 but can kinda remember the one where Prime's girlfreind shows up keep track of things. Even as trains planes and automobiles people will recognise the little yellow one and the big purple one eyed monster from across the comic book store in a way they probably wouldn't if it were Skids on there. Poor Skids.

Aardvark
2006-07-07, 07:49 PM
Yeah for "HOS" I don't actually want extremely obscure characters. I'm thinking more the layer below the "Celebs" of Transformers. Frankly I just can't take anymore Bumblebee but I'm always up for a fresh/good Shockwave tale and he certainly has grabbed my interest.

Cliffjumper
2006-07-08, 10:34 AM
I don't know what comic the rest of you were reading, but that was diabolical. I despise "historical celebrities" stories, and it doesn't help when they have the personality of a fence. Did we really need that many pages saying Muldoon's a down-on-his luck inventor? Maybe if Dixon could write dialogue that's worth reading, this wouldn't be a problem. Is there some sort of plot reason for those two rail f*ckheads to say "John Henry" at the end of practically every sentence? We know his ****ing name from the first time, you pinheaded, worthless hack.

The art was "meh". Most of it was covering fascinating 19th-century types who all looked exactly the same - I mean, just about any artist worth their salt can drawn brownsuited humans with comedy moustaches.

Not worth it for one page of Shockwave transforming, and one page where his robot form's desperately trying to squeeze into frame

Aardvark
2006-07-08, 11:09 AM
I agree the dialogue was far from perfect (To say the least) and there was little to the story however for a first issue I think it did a pretty good job in introducing the series.

I won't think too highly of #1 if the story doesn't progress in the subsequently issues and furthermore if the quality of the scripting doesn't improve (We've had the obligatory introductory lingo etc, etc)

Anyone who doesn't like the artwork probably wonít like this at all. I personally like the style; my main complaint being that I would have liked to see some larger, somewhat more focused scenes of the Transformers. The artwork is where my interest lies and it appealed to my personal taste. I still think a profile book would have been a much more radical/better format for this. Even if this shapes up into a great story Iíll still view it as an inconsequential mini.

I thought it did its job, it wasnít that enjoyable but it has a subtle charm I canít quite put my finger on.

inflatable dalek
2006-07-08, 12:40 PM
The bit with the dishes could well be the worst bit of forced comedy in a TF comic since the "Here's one for the little guys!" gag in Armada 5...

Denyer
2006-07-08, 02:08 PM
Re: the way John Henry's addressed, the others are in awe of his abilities, which very likely net the company (the group of workers) a nice few contracts -- and which is also why, as a black guy at the time, he has a lot of respect and rather servile deference from the working men.

Weird psychology thing: the issue feels longer without a letters page.

Also, getting to the Stormbringer preview -- the text seems bloody large, doesn't it? And it is -- comparing with the same preview pages from the back of Infiltration #5, it's wider type and some of the text actually rewraps.

Page breakdown seems fine (11 of Transformers focus, 11 of human focus) and the history's sharp enough. Characters are set up to be easy to engage with, without needing much background TF knowledge. The tinted colours -- I think -- reflect the plot: when Bumblebee observes the railroad laying team, they're working through twilight to finish off the fifth mile.

What's up with Bumblebee's instant reconfiguration? If they can do that -- and on very little energy -- transforming becomes more magic/morphing than mechanical.

Liked the rhythm of the dialogue, Twain with the drink, Henry's "somethin' to take our jobs", the realities of the period of history -- which is also why I hate historical fiction as a rule, so a light touch that skirts around the detail of the suffering is welcome.

Would've preferred Bumblebee on the front cover (I got the sketch one) to be gold and shaded like the train is on the back. Yellow/grey seems a bit flat without highlights, as John Rauch has at times made clear.

Now... question is how much (and what kind of) story can be packed into another three issues. Without some jumps in the timeframe, the arc will extend to a small local plot of Shockwave's being foiled and the TFs going back into hibernation.

But I think I'm in... it's likeable and standalone.

inflatable dalek
2006-07-08, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
What's up with Bumblebee's instant reconfiguration? If they can do that -- and on very little energy -- transforming becomes more magic/morphing than mechanical.

To be fair though it's been a standard ability of TF's to reform their own alt modes quickly since,,,errrr Armada? RID? One or the other. Don't ask me how though but it's at least consistant with how modern TF's are portrayed. Did they mention the Autobots were low on Energon? I thought they went into hybernation because they were a bit cold...

I did like that they made the... well I was going to say Cybertronian buy technically I suppose they weren't... original altmodes look as different as possible from War Within/Stormbringer to give the comic more of its own identity.

Now... question is how much (and what kind of) story can be packed into another three issues.

Cliffy's going to throw things at me, but I think it'll be at least another issue before we know how well this is going to work...

Denyer
2006-07-08, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Did they mention the Autobots were low on Energon? "Power supplies dangerously low and the chill affecting their performance" (big robots made out of erectile tissue, who'd have thought it?)

t's been a standard ability of TF's to reform their own alt modes quickly since,,,errrr Armada? RID? One or the other. Don't ask me how though but it's at least consistant with how modern TF's are portrayed.The odds of me bothering to check out anything after BW just keep getting lower and lower...

Cliffjumper
2006-07-08, 04:08 PM
In all the later stuff I'm aware of (ref. RiD episode "The Decepticons" and Armada #.... 4, was it? One of the early ones) there' some sort of process to it - in RiD Protoforms need to scan an alt mode; it also needs to be scanned and physically implemented via a download 'chip'. Which is, to be honest, reasonable tech. This still takes time and effort. This, we go to a frame, and Bumblebee has scanned a new alt mode and transformed in what seems to be a split second. It's rather different. It actually got past me for a split second it was so badly done - I thought he was just continuing his comedy capering behind the train...

Me? Go nuts? No, it's a well-established fact we need 19 issues of any comic to say whether one of them's any good. If this one's just 4, we'll just have to assume it would have been great if there were another 15. How on earth can we judge a comic on just one storyline? It's insane.

Re: John Henry. I'm in awe of my new kitten. I don't say her name at the end of most sentences, especially when Sar already knows it. I have respect for people, and don't say their etc, etc and so on. Bullsh1t scripting. Idiotic sledgehammer dialogue.

Twilight scenes I can deal with. That every page seems to have a brown gauze thrown over it as a heavy-handed way of saying "THE PAST! HISTORY! INDUSTRY!" is atrocious.

If DW had done this, most people would have dropped this by now. Though it was a relief not to have that tosser in the body armour going "Yeh, Transformers rock! Keep buying our comics! Kthanksbye!". Why the Hell do comics even need a letters page now, anyway?

Denyer
2006-07-08, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Re: John Henry. I'm in awe of my new kitten. I don't say her name at the end of most sentences It's less common a mode of address now, and more specifically it's a less common mode of address outside of America -- but even now it's normal for people in the US (Southern states, particularly) to slip first names or honorifics (Mr ___, sir) into conversation.

Over here it's regarded as obsequiousness or false friendliness. I always laugh particularly hard when people try it with my first name, which I don't use much outside of family.

It's not simply Dixon being sledgehammer -- there are at least eight uses. It's a manner of speaking.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
If DW had done this, most people would have dropped this by now.If DW had done this, possibly more people outside of the fandom would've bought DW comics. Steampunk's quite big as a genre these days (again, in the US) and the series is set in the US and formed around its history.

edit:Why the Hell do comics even need a letters page now, anyway?I've always enjoyed looking through responses that were topical when buying back issues of stuff such as Hitman, Stormwatch, Miracleman, etc. Provided there's conversation rather than it being an arse-kissing exercise. Speaking of letter pages, does Planetary have?

Cliffjumper
2006-07-08, 05:09 PM
Did have on occasion, though I haven't seen one for a long time - Fourth man era, IIRC. I'd guess it's been supplanted by Ellis' blog. i'd agree on Miracleman, but it's the exception. IDW's letters pages have been basically the same as DW's, generic "I've liked Transformers since 1692, I'm so glad they're back in comics! The art rocks! When are we seeing Reflector?" letters with generic "Yeh, Transformers, woo! Reflector will be in Stormbringer /is in our future plans [if he isn't]" replies. Print the odd slightly negative letter (always make it a slightly negative one, which raises one minor point you can deal with - e.g. "Can we see some of Cybertron?"/"Our six-part Cybertron based series Stormbringer will start sometime this year, as if we feature scenes on Earth and Cybertron and [i]don't pause the plot for six months, the world will end"), mix and repeat.

To be honest, I've read lots of titles, and only MM and the UK Transformers pages are all that different - both functioning as a very early version of bulletin boards, really. SW's pages I never found that interesting, but then I only had some of Ellis' early issues as single - they're amusing, because it's all meatheads writing in going "Cannon was a great character, why did you drop him?", but it's largely the same generic complements. It's fun in a way with older issues to see how well they went down at the time, but chances are we know anyway, and it's nearly always a very cosmetic picture.

inflatable dalek
2006-07-10, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Me? Go nuts? No, it's a well-established fact we need 19 issues of any comic to say whether one of them's any good.

Sadly though the odds of any comic company associated with the Furman lasting long enough to prink 19 issues of anything is fairly low...

What was Jules Verne doing there anyway? Other than "Go who wrote book about Submarine sees submarine and says it's rubish in ironic touch!"...

optimusskids
2006-07-10, 12:36 PM
I got the impression that Bumblebee's Alt at the beginning was some kind of insect I suppose it should be some kind of bee but you couldnt really tell it just looked organic and vaguely insectoid.

Sir Auros
2006-07-10, 04:49 PM
Liked it overall and it seems like a fun series. Love the setting too.

Didn't like the dialogue (I will say the name thing was accurate) and the instant reconfiguration bugged me too.

Zisteau
2006-07-16, 06:09 AM
:up:

Best thing IDW has put out so far, by far.

Aardvark
2006-08-07, 01:03 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=JVf5I0Thu-o

:\

Commander Shockwav
2006-08-07, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Aardvark
http://youtube.com/watch?v=JVf5I0Thu-o

:\

:laugh:

So....uh...it's...uh.....about Autobots!....yeah!...yeah, so they're fighting these....uh....cool Decepticons.....and uh....BAM! POW! ZAP!....uh, the old school.....meets the....uh...future!...and it has some weak points.....but it has strong points.....that are, uh....strong!!

I want that guy as my spokesman.

inflatable dalek
2006-08-08, 09:15 AM
That wasn't Cliffy was it? It had about the same level of depth as one of his comic reviews...

Halfshell
2006-08-08, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
It's not simply Dixon being sledgehammer -- there are at least eight uses. It's a manner of speaking.

This is what I was going to pick up on.

One of the things that bugs me about the whole "well... uhm, this is the first panel of dialogue directed at this character the reader hasn't met yet... guess I'd better shoehorn his name in there, regardless of how forced it sounds and how much it disrupts the flow of dialogue" is that it's plain unrealistic. People don't talk like that.

In this instance, however... they do. By slipping his name into all the dialogue, it becomes clear that the characters in question do actually talk like that, and the first mention wasn't just an awkward condescension to the reader.

Of course, whether the characters should talk like that is another debate, but I don't see a problem with it. Different time / culture to the one I grew up exposed to.

As for the comic... m'eh. Nothing too dire, but nothing that filled me with excitement.

- Annoying and pointless historical cameos, including one I thought was fictional anyway.
- Standard lack of explanation for why all the Transformers understand and speak modern English.
- Bumblebee managing to change his alt mode all on his own was... well... odd.

The only reason I've got for wanting to read #2 is to find out why the hell Shockwave would want to get involved with the human. And that, sadly, is actually enough...

inflatable dalek
2006-08-08, 09:31 AM
Originally posted by Brendocon
- Annoying and pointless historical cameos, including one I thought was fictional anyway.

As I assume you knew Twain and Verne were real people, who's the third?

And I wouldn't jump the gun and say they're pointless just yet, pertaps Twain will save the day like he did in that Next Generation two parter?

Halfshell
2006-08-08, 10:02 AM
Well, seeing as Mark Twain was a literary pseudonym, I could argue that he was fictional.

I don't bloody know. I read it when it first arrived and not since. I don't even know where it is now. It was one of those things that flagged up in my mind at the time and can be disproved later.

I think I tend to confuse Verne and Nemo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Verne
One of his teachers may also have been the French inventor Brutus de Villeroi, who was professor of drawing and mathematics at the college in 1842, and who later became famous for creating the US Navy's first submarine, the USS Alligator. De Villeroi may naturally have been an inspiration for Jules Verne's conceptual design for the Nautilus in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, although no direct exchanges between the two men have been recorded

I can find no mention of Verne ever going to the US... obviously doesn't mean it didn't happen.

If you're going to insert real people in a postmodern ironic whatever way, at least try and stick to some ****ing actualities...

inflatable dalek
2006-08-08, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by Brendocon
If you're going to insert real people in a postmodern ironic whatever way, at least try and stick to some ****ing actualities...

Well, then you wouldn't be able to have them meet giant robots then would you now?

If you want bad use of a historical cameo watch H. G. Wells turn in Doctor Who (though oddly he was a good semi regular in Lois and Clark...)

another tf fan
2006-08-09, 01:43 AM
Like was that a review? like did that guy write anything, or, umm, did he, uh like, uh, just, you know , make it up, as he went along?

Commander Shockwav
2006-08-17, 02:04 AM
Just finished #2.

And liked it.

This story reads exactly like and looks exactly like an unaired episode of the cartoon.

With this in mind, one has to approach this story not with an overly critical eye, as we would with Stormbringer or Infiltration, but with a much more forgiving stance.

It's meant to be fun, and that's how I have found it. It is certainly not without flaws in plot or even in coloring (Starscream is wrongly colored red in one big panel), but its well worth the buy, particularly for those who loved the cartoon.

The redesigns are cool, and I'm actually much more drawn in by the human element in this story than in Infiltration.

Again, I find the darker coloring tone really lends itself in making this story feel like its taking place during that time period. Whereas I felt this browner tone was overdone in Infiltration, here it fits perfectly and I hope it does not change much with the final two issues. And I really hope Guido stays on the book because I'm liking where this book has gone artistically.

I'll give it a "B". Lighthearted Transformery fun with some cool ideas, and I'm surprisingly enjoying this more than Infiltration.

another tf fan
2006-08-17, 03:35 AM
Got the Starscream sketch cover to go with the Bumblebee sketch # 1 I have. I really like the art and the story is better in # 2 than the first. Starting to really move I think.

This is such a great idea and it can go in so many directions.

It will inspire new kitbashes and great new fan-fics too.:)

optimusskids
2006-08-17, 05:11 PM
It was good fun despite more plotholes than you could shake a stick at

Plus the pacing was so much better than Infiltration. I kept turning a page and expecting it to finish just to find more action . It really shows up Infiltration in that respect.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-08-21, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Is there some sort of plot reason for those two rail f*ckheads to say "John Henry" at the end of practically every sentence? We know his ****ing name from the first time, you pinheaded, worthless hack.


For once Cliffy, I agree with you on something. If I had read "John Henry" one more time I would have screamed. But other than that it's fine for an elseworld's tale.

mista_lyle
2006-08-25, 12:26 AM
was it just me, or did anyone else think that Starscreams colouring was totally inconsistant throughout issue 2?? according to the wrap around cover he is supposed to have typical red and white colouring yet he appears kinda greeny grey throughout most of the issue... thundercracker on the other hand was a nice blazing red in his jet mode towards the end... then the mad close-up of starscreams head at the end showed his whole head armour to be red too... weird. apart from that i loved this!! more please!

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-08-28, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by mista_lyle
was it just me, or did anyone else think that Starscreams colouring was totally inconsistant throughout issue 2?? according to the wrap around cover he is supposed to have typical red and white colouring yet he appears kinda greeny grey throughout most of the issue... thundercracker on the other hand was a nice blazing red in his jet mode towards the end... then the mad close-up of starscreams head at the end showed his whole head armour to be red too... weird. apart from that i loved this!! more please!

It's an elseworld's tale--he's allowed to change colors at will. :D

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-01, 05:07 AM
Never.

I would have never in a million years thought that some day I would see Mark Twain fending off Ravage with a wooden chair.

And winning. :laugh:

Yeah, it was goofy. A tad more cheesalicious than the last two issues.

Like others, I was not as fond of the pencilling here as I was with Guido. I will say, though, that rather than look like an episode of the cartoon, it actually looked like an older Transformers issue from Marvel. So it wasn't that bad, as it did strike a nostalgic chord, just in a different way.

The coloring again really maintains the time period here, and even though the pencils weren't as strong, the coloring does more than make up for it.

Storywise, it kind of faltered for me a bit. It crossed the line of mediocrity, something the last two issues rose above.

Overall, I give it a "C". Mediocre, with some laughable moments, but not really impacting the overall series in a negative way.

If the story is going to end like I think it will, with a Back to the Future III-esque train chase, then I think Dixon will end things with a bang.

Looking forward to it.

Dreadwing
2006-09-07, 05:38 AM
Does anyone know what is going to happen to the "evolutions" line after Hearts of Steel ends? Will they continue with a #5 with a brand new story, start a new story with #1 again, or just stop until they decide to make a hearts of steel sequel?

Denyer
2006-09-07, 06:17 AM
Self-contained miniseries every so often. If you look at the overall release schedule, HoS will be followed by the Movie adaptation...

http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/roadmap.php

Neuronutter
2006-09-08, 01:30 PM
Just read HoS 3. What a shame. The other two were good, this is awful. It always fills me with dread when a comics company publicizes a comic series as written by (insert name here) and then gets someone else to do some of the artwork. Why'd they do it? Was Guidi too busy or too expensive? And who the hell are Antonio Vasquez and Luis Czerniawski of Sulaca Studios? For professional artists they make a very large number of mistakes and the whole feel of the series is distorted by this issue.

As for the art mistake well there are plenty. On page 2 the shoulders of the TF are badly drawn distorting the torso, leaving you unsure of where the head of the TF is; on the top of the shoulders or jutting out of the torso. Hmmm. Then on page 6 there's two pictures of Muldoon sitting next to a table. The first has an above the character perspective, the second shows a slanted room, but the table sitting next to him is drawn at completely the wrong angle, throwing the whole perspective off and making the page feels rushed and cheap.

The new Ravage is interesting but the panel with him squaring off against Twain lacks anything in it except smoke, making the panel look odd and lacking perspective at all. The next panel at least has a light fitting to allow perspective on the room. Again it seems like a rush job. On page 8, middle panel, the lady has her jaw open as if to scream and the result is her mouth looks much too big for her head and it looks very odd.

The list of mistakes in the comic go on. On page 13 two of the TFs standing in front of Starscream are floating in mid air with no visible torso. There's just nothing there but a smudge like it was forgotten. On the second to last page a similar thing can be seen with the impressive looking train. The train looks good but there is no background at all. Nothing in the sky whatsoever leaving you with a feeling of huh? What a shame. All in all the art work in this issue is very poor. Very very poor. It pulls down the whole series which is a shame.

As for the rest of the comic well the story flounders in the issue again making the whole thing feel cheap and nasty. I'll be picking up the next issue to see the conclusion but I don't think I'll be buying any other IDW Evolution stories if they are going to be substandard and severly lacking.

Halfshell
2006-09-08, 04:48 PM
Just got #3. Realised I hadn't read #2 yet. Read them both. Wished I hadn't.

Nowt more to add.

Denyer
2006-09-08, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by Neuronutter
Why'd they do it? Was Guidi too busy or too expensive? He couldn't meet the deadline, for whatever reason -- it's certainly not that he's too expensive; the guy's pretty much only known in fan circles.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-08, 11:01 PM
The new Ravage is interesting but the panel with him squaring off against Twain...


Everytime I think of this "standoff", it makes me chuckle.

I mean, could there be a more ridiculous match-up than Ravage vs. Mark Twain?

Seriously, it has to be the most out-there battle in Transformers history.

This entire series might be worth it just for that. :)

I don't know why the hell I'm enjoying this series when I think about it, but I am.

My intellect is screaming "NO!", but my funloving side screams "YES!".

Cliffjumper
2006-09-08, 11:28 PM
So basically it's another crap, pointless piece of dirge nobody would look at if it didn't have Transformers in, yeh?

Oh, they got some of your numbers down pat, they have. "These guys don't mind buying bollocks! Name a couple of characters after Transformers, and they'll even defend it!"

optimusskids
2006-09-09, 08:30 AM
Who the hell is the character supposed to be that looks like he transforms into a level crossing or something.

The one with all the lights and the yellow and black barriers sticking out of his shoulders.

inflatable dalek
2006-09-09, 01:02 PM
I liked the Commander Shockwav letter, I adorred the Aardvark letter, but after that the letters page went downhill for me.



Hmmm, sorry, what comic?

Halfshell
2006-09-10, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
So basically it's another crap, pointless piece of dirge nobody would look at if it didn't have Transformers in, yeh?

Pretty much.

inflatable dalek
2006-09-10, 06:53 PM
The Decepticons plans seem worryingly undefined at this late stage as well. What exactly are they going to do the "The Astrotrain" whn it gets to New York New York?

Still, it's a story that could never be set in the UK at British Rail's erratic reliablility would bugger up the plan.

Sir Auros
2006-09-20, 03:14 AM
I still like it. They're using Twain a bit much, but other than that, I can't complain.

Osku
2006-09-20, 10:34 AM
Rant coming up.

Got #2 and #3 today. While I liked #1, despite the faults in the stroy telling, these were... very mediocre.

There are no new ideas, characters are thin (for example Shockwave appeared only to pick up that inventor guy, nothing else), colours are a too bland for my taste, penciler changing isn't helping.

I accept that it's meant to be light series, but it really wasn't what I expected from the previews. I expected to see a different kind of take on Transformers, not the same old "decepticons are going to take over the world" story. New designs don't mean (to me at least) a new take.

Hopefully the last issue will improve the situation, but I doubt that. After this I'll propably stick to main continuity and buy Evolutions if the reviews are good. Pity, Evolutions mini-series was originally the series I waited most.

Nevermore
2006-09-20, 07:59 PM
Got #2 and #3 today. The pacing is a little slow, but my biggest problem is the art... I mean, issue 2 had solid Guido art, but as mentioned above, the coloring was all over the place. Pages 6 and 7 have Starscream in a creamy shade of light red-ish, which could be explained by the underwater lighting... then, on page15, he's suddenly turquoise. And as if that wasn't enough, pages 20 and 21 depict Starscream as mostly purple (with some grey details) and Skywarp as mostly red (with some grey details)... until a close-up of Starscream's face on page 21 suddenly shows him as having a red helmet. And, of course, none of these color models look remotely like the more G1-based color model as depicted on the sketch cover.

Issue 3... ARGH. Vazquez and Czerniawski are hacks. Page depicts Starscream with a totoally different model for the robot mode that looks like it was based on one of Guido's earlier designs (the one from the retailer incentive wraparound cover for issue 2). At least his color model seems right now. Pages 12 and 13 then return to what looks more or less the "final" Guido design from issue 2, and keep the color model as well.

"Vanflint" (issue 2, page 4) has suddenly become "Vanfleet" (issue 3, page 12), and instead of a cartoonish-diabolical villain mastermind, he now looks like a third-class henchman. Also, his hair and moustache double in volume between pages 12 and 13.

Gah.

Cliffjumper
2006-09-20, 08:04 PM
Expandihair.

I only got #1, and saw absolutely no reason to by any moore. I mean, if it's just going to be same old story in diferent time periods with whacy designes, what the Hell is the point/? I mean, GIJOe v TF Vol. 2 basically did that, and it was like being raped by ?harold shipman. Really nto very nice a all on the grand scheme of things. So why are we having the same loose ****ing premise stretched to four issues? I thought Evolutions was meant to be new crap, not the same old in funky drag,.

Lambda prime
2006-09-20, 08:28 PM
Lets face it, everyone remembers transformers as a series about good guys fighting bad guys. They also remember it as a childrens cartoon and none of that has ever really changed. What next for Evolutions? transformers wake up during the first world war? transformers arrive on Earth during the cold war?
Think we will see anything but G1 characters in different time periods in this series?

chiasaur11
2006-09-20, 11:47 PM
Reading the reviews I'm glad my library stocks IDW tf comics, even if I buy the ones I want on day 1.
I can afford at the library rate ($.10) to get a comic just becouse it has Mark Twain vs. Ravage. (and if it's even worse than I've been lead to believe I still can sell it for a profit).

inflatable dalek
2006-09-22, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by Lambda prime
transformers arrive on Earth during the cold war?


Been done.

I wonder what Jules Verne has been up to during issues 2 and 3?

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-27, 11:26 PM
Okay, so the series is over. First, comments on this issue #4, then the series as a whole.

Issue #4 was a good read.... up until the end. It recaptured some of the essence that made the first two issues entertaining and Guido does a fine job again (though there are some obviously rushed panels). But did it have to end so abruptly? I expected the train chase, which was done rather well, but things literally came to a screeching halt after that. What happened to Starscream? And the Autobots just lamely go into hibernation again while the humans get together for a group hug? I don't think I have been as surprised to see "The End" at the end of a comic in a long time. Even just two more pages of closure would have sufficed to give this sucker a better ending. Don't know if Dixon meant to end it like this, or he was confined to the page limit, but certainly there is glaring weakness to how this all ends. I give this issue a "C-".

Now the series overall. Putting it all together, this tale is a cartoon-lovers cup of tea. Cheesy and campy, but fun if you approach it with the kid gloves on. Loved the art, save that third issue, and even then the coloring was excellent. Storywise, aside from the abrupt ending, its about as good a story one could come up with given the premise and characters. I mean, when Mark Twain and John Henry are the role players, as a writer you're working uphill from the get-go. I can't help feel though, that had we not had the pencilling and coloring we had, fans like myself would have enjoyed all this much less so.

Overall, this series gets a "C+" from me. Clever at times with very good artwork, but suffering a bit in the story department. Is it worth the buy? If you liked most cartoon episodes, I say go for it. If the cartoon was too campy for your taste, I'd say pass.

Neuronutter
2006-09-29, 11:54 AM
I got my hands on the final issue of the HOS miniseries, #4, yesterday so hereís my review.

Well first off, its great to see Guidi back on the artwork and itís a relief after last issue. Like the first and second the artwork is very good and consistent and it may even be better than the second. The redesigned TFs look great especially the impressive new form of Scourge as the underside of a blimp. Needless to say that looks really sweet. Guidiís humans also look really nice in this issue and the action sequences are very well handled. The only complaint I have is that I got lost on some of the sequences but all in all the artwork is very good.

As for the story, well it proceeds at a nice pace for the majority of the issue and we get a good long chase scene which helps to build the tension, but then it all of a sudden stops and wraps up in a page. I had to reread it a few times to make sure that I hadnít missed something. The ending is very poor and you donít really get a sense of closure, just a feeling that the comic needed to be a few pages longer. I wish they had lost a few pages from the wasteful third issue, and used them to finish the story off in a better way. Also the presence of the evil human who is only after profit is a bit baffling and feels unnecessary, again wasting valuable space. So overall the story is a bit poor.

All in all the HOS series has felt a bit lacklustre. A good idea has been given less than fair treatment and ended up as an ok, but not great book. Iíd give it a C, but then I may be being harsh as the rest of the IDW TF stories are so damn good! I look forward to the conclusion of Stormbringer and the Escalation stories with anticipation!

optimusskids
2006-09-29, 12:13 PM
Have to agree with the previous comments the ending was rushed and very poor. Especially as Decepticons can fly.

The Autobot character development outside Bumblebee was preety much non existent.

Denyer
2006-10-02, 04:27 AM
They can't fly here -- Starscream tries to adapt plans for early aircraft, but it's Scourge that takes to the air, and he's relying on a dirigible balloon. It wasn't put across very effectively, but they didn't seem to have the energy or parts to get themselves up to fighting fitness.

Anyway, issue hasn't turned up in the post yet, but I found scans...

Could've maybe done with an extra page to fit the rhythm -- I wanted to see the train get thoroughly and convincingly buried -- which would easily have been achieved by culling earlier bits. The Transformers felt more like side characters in this issue than in any previous one.

That said -- I enjoyed this, against expectation and especially against expectation after reading reviews here and elsewhere.

The problem, I think, is that this isn't a Transformers story -- it's a story with Transformers in it. On the other hand it's accessible to any reader, light in tone, looks good and I'm not regretting taking the time to get and read it. The closing narration made me grin, as did John Henry pointing out that he knew the track having laid it.

Still don't have any particular enthusiasm for Transformers-in-different-periods-of-history stories, though. I consider this series to have worked, above criticisms aside, but I'd prefer some slightly more ambitious modern/futuristic "What if?" scenarios rather than an eking out of human eras that could have vehicles in.

And a note for whoever does the next one: don't ask us to believe that Transformers can deactivate due to low energy reserves, come back online thousands of years later and then morph their entire designs in a trice. It's a sloppy shortcut for them to be able to morph at all; mechanical transformation, please.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-10-02, 07:05 PM
I completely concur Denyer.

Clay
2007-04-11, 07:07 PM
Had to do a media critical review presentation for my early American lit class today. It was the 'fun' presentation since we could pick anything we wanted and examine it for historical accuracy. Easy enough, I picked up the Hearts of Steel series and looked at that.

Presentation went OK - quick little five minute thing. I used Masterpiece Starscream as a visual aid along with the cover that had Starscream's artwork to show how the characters were altered for the series.

Oh, and nobody complained that he was green! :)

Anyway, it's attached if anybody wants to have a gander.

Denyer
2007-04-11, 08:02 PM
Seem to have forgotten the "attach" bit...

(Not sure if other-than-admin can do it in this forum, but what I'd have done would be to post the attachment in the review forum and slide the thread over to here...)

Clay
2007-04-11, 08:59 PM
You lost my file, you fiend! Ahhhh!

Er, anyway... where did you hide the comics review forum, anyway? The only review forum we still have is the toy one according to list...

Denyer
2007-04-11, 09:13 PM
Review forum? It was one thread, and it's in this forum now.

http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21981

The episode stuff was in long-term hibernation, and has been returned to the respective forums from whence it sprung.

Clay
2007-04-11, 09:28 PM
Okey dokey - I stuck it in there. For some reason, it didn't like the .doc file that time, so I had to just copy and paste it directly into the post.