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zigzagger
2008-04-03, 01:49 PM
Well, after a brief dry spell these past few weeks, prepare to wrap your
fangirl/boy tentacles around Focus on the Decepticons. A bit of a piece mealed teaser feature, as I understand it. Yep, this is your all purpose Focus on the Decepticons reaction and discussion thread. Come, tell us what you thought. We promise not to leave too many marks on you.

Due to ship April 9th according to....an anonymous source?
http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/comics-16/diamond-comic-shipping-list-for-4908-164562/
Stay tuned for confirmation!

EDIT
I got your confirmation right here, bitches!
http://comicnewsi.com/article.php?catid=223&itemid=11391

Denyer
2008-04-03, 01:57 PM
Excellent. We've got an outline of the year to come already, but this is a thing I've been waiting for...

zigzagger
2008-04-10, 12:31 AM
Hmmm.

Not a whole lot here. The book features interviews with Shane McCarthy, Guido Guidi, brief Dreamwave MTMTE profiles who are presumably the cast for AHM, and some random sketch work. A little background on the artist and writer is also offered, but that's really about it. Details for upcoming books continues to be teased, and though I was not expecting spoilers, what we do get is a bit insubstantial in my opinion. What information is here, I could probably find on the IDW forums.

Also, I must say I was expected a bit more previews, but instead we receive one eight page preview of All Hail Megatron. Sadly, for eight pages of nicely depicted visuals, there is surprisingly little content. The Decepticons bully some humans around, and that's about it. I get the impression that this will be primarily action based, going by the visuals and McCarthy's interview. It doesn't really reveal much of McCarthy's direction with the book, since we kind of already knew about AHM's premise beforehand. It's a great idea, but it does not seem apparent in the preview. So far, and this could change by the time the finished product is in our hands, doesn't feel like it is part of the main IDW continuity, but as a stand alone story. Personally, especially after reading this, Revelations is looking quite promising. It's a shame we didn't get further Revelations teasers from "Focus...."
Sorry, but this really hasn't got me amped up for AHM.

Commander Shockwav
2008-04-10, 01:37 AM
Well, this issue is just a promotional piece.

Anyway....

Loved Shane's interview and what he's trying to accomplish.

It's exactly what I felt has been missing from the TF IDW run thus far. Namely, more character focus and the journey these characters will take and how events around them will shape who they become.

Loved the Scrapper/Hook moment. These are the moments that help define the cast and distinguish one bot from the next. Provided they are consistent throughout the story.

A we got deaths! Bloody, bloody deaths! I'm not demented, mind you, but certainly I prefer this kind of tone. Readers of the Transformers are older now, and so, the tone must get darker.

Artwork was nice. A bit balloony in some panels, which we want to stay away from.

So I'm seeing some positives here, some potential.

It's a tricky game, though. What is my cause for concern?

Well, I really hope Shane made his best effort to jive with what Simon has done before (understanding that such jive won't be flawless, particulary when Simon's still telling his tale.) I see no problem with him taking things in a different direction, but it has to make sense with what's come before.

For example, if even one hundred human beings sighted the Transformers, as they likely did in Devestation when the Ark nearly crashed in their city, would we have anyone standing around a year later in the street saying "Hey! Look! Giant robot actors! What movie are they from?" as they did in this preview? Unless the nation underwent a total mindwipe, they would be more likely to go "run for your lives, it's those giant warring robots!!!".

So gotta respect the past. That's very important to the success of this title. If it doesn't, we're going to have a lot of angry, disenchanted fans.

Overall, I'm really stoked about this and can't wait to see how this unfolds. Liking what I'm seeing, cautiously optimistic

Rossum
2008-04-10, 04:57 AM
If most of AHM is like the preview pages, I don't think I'll enjoy it very much. However, I'm guessing the scene was chosen for the preview precisely because it has a G1 vibe, and lots of destruction, which should catch the attention of the fans who don't like the Furman/IDW take so far.

.

For example, if even one hundred human beings sighted the Transformers, as they likely did in Devestation when the Ark nearly crashed in their city, would we have anyone standing around a year later in the street saying "Hey! Look! Giant robot actors! What movie are they from?" as they did in this preview? Unless the nation underwent a total mindwipe, they would be more likely to go "run for your lives, it's those giant warring robots!!!".

So gotta respect the past. That's very important to the success of this title. If it doesn't, we're going to have a lot of angry, disenchanted fans.



I'm thinking maybe Skywatch or some other government entity could have covered up the Devestation events, somehow. Maybe called it a publicity stunt for a movie gone awry, or something.

Commander Shockwav
2008-04-10, 01:50 PM
I'm thinking maybe Skywatch or some other government entity could have covered up the Devestation events, somehow. Maybe called it a publicity stunt for a movie gone awry, or something.

I pray you're right, young man.

Cause if Shane didn't have a real heart to heart discussion with Simon about all the details, then we could have a real problem with the two jiving.

Rossum
2008-04-10, 03:12 PM
Right. I'm firmly in the "wait-and-see" camp as far as this goes, but the preview actually made me more worried rather than less. The tone seems very different to what's come before, and I'm hoping that doesn't mean Shane McCarthy has decided to brush aside the groundwork laid out in the first three arcs.

Commander Shockwav
2008-04-10, 03:23 PM
Right. I'm firmly in the "wait-and-see" camp as far as this goes, but the preview actually made me more worried rather than less. The tone seems very different to what's come before, and I'm hoping that doesn't mean Shane McCarthy has decided to brush aside the groundwork laid out in the first three arcs.

I don't mind a change in tone, so to speak. I mean, all titles eventually undergo this kind of change when a new writer comes aboard.

Hopefully, the tone is a darker, more serious one.

What I don't want to see change is the past. Maintaining the continuity should take precedence over everything. Change in writing style, pacing, artwork, etc. can be a good thing.

But change the past? No. Just no.

Neuronutter
2008-04-10, 03:25 PM
Hmmm. My LCS didn't have this today as their delivery was delayed, but I got to see it in another store. I'm not sure I'll bother picking this up after flicking through it. Seems a waste of time. Two interviews that normally would be posted on the net for free, a preview for a series that's many months away, and a few very, very brief profiles next to old profile pictures. Seems this should've been given away for free to stoke up some interest, not sold at an, albeit, reduced price. I'm thoroughly disappointed by this.

Now, if it had some info about the other upcoming events, preview art alongside AHM's preview, or something genuinely new, I may have been more interested. Was there even one piece of new info in it as I didn't read the interviews? Anything we haven't already been told on the IDW site?

Rossum
2008-04-10, 04:39 PM
I don't mind a change in tone, so to speak. I mean, all titles eventually undergo this kind of change when a new writer comes aboard.

Hopefully, the tone is a darker, more serious one.

What I don't want to see change is the past. Maintaining the continuity should take precedence over everything. Change in writing style, pacing, artwork, etc. can be a good thing.

But change the past? No. Just no.

Maybe tone wasn't the word I was looking for. I don't mind change, and the Decepticons actually doing damage to Earth could be exciting.

But having the characters return to G1 behaviours undermines, to my mind, any attempt at being "darker and more serious". I liked how the Megatron/Starscream dynamic played out in the 'tion arcs - it was familiar, but had some actual subtlety and motivation behind it. To return to plain "Starscream gloats, Megatron hits/insults" is making the series more kiddish. That's the change I'm worried about; getting rid of the characterization that we've had in the past in favor of broader cartoon personalities. I don't know if that counts as "changing the past" like you described, though.

Cliffjumper
2008-04-10, 05:40 PM
surprisingly little content.

"Hey! Look! Giant robot actors! What movie are they from?"

The tone seems very different to what's come before

But having the characters return to G1 behaviours undermines, to my mind, any attempt at being "darker and more serious".

Argh, pretty much everything I was worried about, with by the sounds of it some Hardwired-inspired bits too.

Focus is like Infiltration #0, I gather? There's no real point to it, and whatever's in it will be heavily recapped for the first three issues of AHM, yeh? Groovy, money saved.

Commander Shockwav
2008-04-10, 08:33 PM
That's the change I'm worried about; getting rid of the characterization that we've had in the past in favor of broader cartoon personalities. I don't know if that counts as "changing the past" like you described, though.

No, I would say you're right, that it is somewhat changing the past. A change that I would not really welcome without some sort of acceptable explanation.

But I would also say that the most important positive that can come from a new writer would be his ability to make characters evolve and how events around him impact who he is. In other words, showing us the journey a character takes is the best thing McCarthy can offer us. For example, who can forget Ratchets journey in the old Marvel run, being the sole survivor (and a doctor at that), and how he is forced to evolve into a cunning warrior? Nobody forgets that kind of stuff because instead of the events of the story pulling us in, its the character himself we become fascinated with.

With a cast like the Transformers, I want to see these characters evolve, I want to see interesting character interaction.

I hope McCarthy brings us this.

inflatable dalek
2008-04-10, 08:37 PM
Is the preview actually original material (ala Infiltration 0 as cliffy says), or just a chunk of issue 1? If it's the latter I may skip this one.

Neuronutter
2008-04-10, 08:44 PM
I believe it's an 8 page preview of issue 1. So if you buy AHM you're effectively buying it twice. That's why I doubt I'll pick Focus up.

Denyer
2008-04-11, 06:23 PM
I'm guessing the scene was chosen for the preview precisely because it has a G1 vibe, and lots of destruction, which should catch the attention of the fans who don't like the Furman/IDW take so far.
Mmm.

I'd be a little dissatisfied if I hadn't got this free via OneShallStand's robot points reward scheme, simply because you don't expect recycled art from a different publisher at a normal comics price point (or at any price point with that image of Soundwave with thunder-thighs)... which brings me to the slightly more pressing issue that, at three bucks, the people this is really pitched at (new readers who benefit from potted character bios and the like) -- and should be pitched at -- aren't going to be reading it. Two bucks might've gotten it some attention.

Assuming what's to follow isn't as sparse on dialogue, I'm fairly happy thus far and do see some similarities to the Hitch method of visual storytelling. Not keen on the seeker hip kibble... it looks bad on the toy, so adopting it where engineering can be more precise makes no sense. Not too bothered by Starscream's personality shift or the way he's handled by his leader; he got gutted earlier on because he was successfully rising in power out of Megatron's sight -- he's under the thumb now.

Quick poll of Americans... does the skyscraper thing seem more impressive and/or "teh evil" to you folk than it does here?

Rossum
2008-04-12, 02:11 AM
Mmm.

Quick poll of Americans... does the skyscraper thing seem more impressive and/or "teh evil" to you folk than it does here?

All right, I asked this over at the IDW Forums, but what do you mean? I'm almost certain that the US doesn't have a premium on skyscrapers. Is there some obscure UK dislike or indifference to tall buildings that I should know about?

inflatable dalek
2008-04-12, 11:55 AM
All right, I asked this over at the IDW Forums, but what do you mean? I'm almost certain that the US doesn't have a premium on skyscrapers. Is there some obscure UK dislike or indifference to tall buildings that I should know about?

I think Denyer is asking if the destruction of skyscrapers has a special resonance to Americans post 9/11, that perhaps it wouldn't have for those of us outside the US.

[And we don't really have skyscrapers in the UK outside of places like London, and even then we just tend to think of them as office blocks].

Denyer
2008-04-12, 02:00 PM
I think Denyer is asking if the destruction of skyscrapers has a special resonance to Americans post 9/11, that perhaps it wouldn't have for those of us outside the US.
Roughly, yeah. There were widespread complaints about popular media featuring similar for well over a year afterwards. I doubt that some of the property damage in The Authority would've flown in that climate either.

inflatable dalek
2008-04-13, 03:12 AM
Having now read the issue...

the preview is crap. Oh dear.

Neuronutter
2008-04-13, 10:39 AM
Having now read the issue...

the preview is crap. Oh dear.

That seems to have been most people's reaction, mine included. Oh dear!

Blitzwing
2008-04-13, 10:05 PM
Yeah, I just read it... the interviews are nothing more than what's already on the internet, the character profiles are vague and simple, and most disturbing of all, the 8-page preview looks like it came right from Dreamwave. AHM is looking worse and worse the more I see and hear about it.

I have a very strong feeling that this will completely disregard everything that has happened in the IDW universe so far. This should have been an out of continuity story.

I'll still buy it though because I'm a slave to Transformers comics. Hopefully Furman can fix this very soon.

LKW
2008-04-19, 06:23 PM
Well, now that I’ve read it… I’m fluctuating between cautious optimism and pessimism. The first few pages of the preview were frighteningly Dreamwave-like, and Starscream does seem like Cliched-scream, at least at first. The Megatron appearance is nice, though (I also liked Long Haul getting the first reveal). Maybe it’s just the Megatron fanboi in me, but I liked some of what I read and saw in this book.

And I wonder if IDW is trying to have it both ways. “Let’s try having this big, destruction-filled action comic, with a different feel than what we have been doing; and claim it’s in-continuity, to keep those readers. But, let’s not have it tie in too closely, so that, if necessary, it [like Megatron Origin] can be pretty easily disregarded”. (Or maybe even discarded?) The “one year later” gap does leave room for some changes in alt modes and even character from what we’ve seen so far in the IDW-verse – but also leaves enough leeway that Furman could competely ignore this series, if he has to. “One year later, eh? Well, our next ten years worth of comics take place over only the first ten and a half months!”

Not that I’m trying to accuse IDW of anything underhanded. I have really enjoyed their TF continuity – I think it’s probably my favorite take on Transformers ever, overall, with some of Furman’s best writing - and also buy some of their other titles (including, on my pull list, Fallen Angel, Angel: After the Fall and its upcoming tie-in Spike: After the Fall). [FA has nothing to do with Joss Whedon, btw.]I’m just thinking that maybe they’re leaving room to cover all of their bases.

grimkuz
2008-04-20, 08:44 AM
just bought the issue today. the scarface like title looks great. the constructions joke in the comic was really fun

AskShockwave
2008-04-21, 03:58 PM
This is probobly the first transformers comic I've not bought in a long time (excluding things like reprints, in that I already have 'em) - I flipped through it in the shop, a quick pre-scan before the inevitable buy, and I had to look at another 2 copies before I realised that that was literally ALL i was getting for my money. I thought pages had gone missing, fallen out or something.

I STILL would've bought it, if the sketches had been up to much. As is, after what you got from Su's mecha, reverting back to DW style might work for the vast majority of people, but it's enough to make me stop caring. I know it's nothing personal or anything (given that IDW probobly have no idea who I am and all), but I feel really let down by this. I know it's just a style, but it brings back that bad post-DW hangover feeling.

And the jet fight was absurd. There. Done.

glazios
2008-05-13, 04:55 PM
Can ANYONE here possible tell me how the hell this is going to fit into the IDWverse continuity? Because I am VERY confused:
Soundwave?
The Constructicons?
Devastator?!?
And what's up the the G1-esque alt-modes?

... I get the impression that the above might be on everybody's minds without the need for me to point them out; I'm just feeling a little confused.
Taking into account the one-year gap between Devastation and AHM, why are the Decepticons only now fully revealing themselves to the world? With Prime and the Autobots out of the picture as of Devastation, and the world as a whole pretty-much aware of the presence of Transformers on Earth ala Sixshot Vs. Prime, why would Megatron take so damn long to whack the Earth over? And what about the other factors here; Where's Machination/Scorponok, sat in a corner twiddling their thumbs? Skywatch just unleashed Grimlock on the world and will do pretty much the same with the other Dinobots because the Machination want them to wax Grimmy (yeah... riiight...), so what about them; they'd be hunting any TFs left on Earth at this point, or trying to.
And Devastator?!? When the flying-f*k did the Decepticons figure out the Gestalt Combination process overnight?
What's Galvy/the Dead Universe lot doing? Somehow I think Nemesis Prime would have done something with a whole Autobot-free year on Earth, he obviously has plans for the place or he wouldn't have wasted his time in sending Galvatron to dig the Decpticons out of the sh*t they were in with the Reapers.
All the above screams AHM = out-of-continuity side-story to me, but with all this gaff about it being part of the main story is bugging the shat out of me, and I can't make head-or-tail of it. Help? Please? Anyone?..

inflatable dalek
2008-05-13, 04:58 PM
I suppose it's not impossible that the opening sequence is set "Now" (imediately after Devastation and before news of the bloody big battle has spread to far) and it skips a year ahead soon after.

Halfshell
2008-05-13, 05:09 PM
Taking into account the one-year gap between Devastation and AHM, why are the Decepticons only now fully revealing themselves to the world?

I dare say we'll find out.

With Prime and the Autobots out of the picture as of Devastation, and the world as a whole pretty-much aware of the presence of Transformers on Earth ala Sixshot Vs. Prime, why would Megatron take so damn long to whack the Earth over?

Is the entire world aware? Shane O Mac (as I will now call him) said in the Q&A over at IDW that people witnessed something. It's probable we've got some form of cover-up.

And what about the other factors here; Where's Machination/Scorponok, sat in a corner twiddling their thumbs? Skywatch just unleashed Grimlock on the world and will do pretty much the same with the other Dinobots because the Machination want them to wax Grimmy (yeah... riiight...), so what about them; they'd be hunting any TFs left on Earth at this point, or trying to.

All Hail Megatron is twelve months after Devastation. In around October we'll be getting a series called Maximum Dinobots, set in the intervening 12 months and focussing on the Grimlock/Machination/Skywatch scenario. It'll all be done and dusted by the time we get to AHM.

And Devastator?!? When the flying-f*k did the Decepticons figure out the Gestalt Combination process overnight?

It's a year later... 12 months have elapsed since Banzaitron's crew sprung the Pretender Monsters (really have to come up with a better subgroup name soon, peeps) from Garrus-9. And going by the solicits, I dare say they'll have cracked the tech by the time Revelations has built up some steam...

What's Galvy/the Dead Universe lot doing? Somehow I think Nemesis Prime would have done something with a whole Autobot-free year on Earth, he obviously has plans for the place or he wouldn't have wasted his time in sending Galvatron to dig the Decpticons out of the sh*t they were in with the Reapers.

... you do know about the Revelations saga, right? The four Spotlights we're getting between June and September that are going to wrap up the Dead Universe story?

All the above screams AHM = out-of-continuity side-story to me

No, all of the above screams "I haven't thought through the fact that it's a year later and we're getting stories that fill in that gap". There's a bloke called Chris Ryall who has the job of making sure it all fits together, he's done that by placing Shane O Mac's story a year into the future, giving Furmo space to tie up his own stories without rushing it.

Aardvark
2008-05-13, 05:58 PM
Y'know what 'Aww Hell! Megatron!' needs? The surviving Mini-Constructicon from 'Spotlight: Ramjet'. Now that would rock! I really don't know why I loved those guys so much...

LKW
2008-05-15, 08:10 PM
I like that title, 'Vark! :swirly:

glazios
2008-06-16, 12:37 AM
...No, all of the above screams "I haven't thought through the fact that it's a year later and we're getting stories that fill in that gap". There's a bloke called Chris Ryall who has the job of making sure it all fits together, he's done that by placing Shane O Mac's story a year into the future, giving Furmo space to tie up his own stories without rushing it.

...I apreciate that you're trying to help me get my short attention span around this. I'll buy into the bit that this "Shane o Mac" dude is a G1 fan and all that jazz, but if the whole in-continuity bit is on the money, then why did the 'Cons' alt. modes suddenly take a timeslde to the '80's? I can't see the sense in that, strategical or chonological (in terms of the story). What happened to the shiny new IDWverse alt. modes?

Memo to AHM Decepticons: The 80's called. They want their Alt. modes back.


Edit: By the way, it's not my intention to make a nuisance of myself here. Sorry if it seems that way, I can get irritable sometimes when stuff like this annoys me.

Halfshell
2008-06-16, 03:49 PM
why did the 'Cons' alt. modes suddenly take a timeslde to the '80's? I can't see the sense in that, strategical or chonological (in terms of the story). What happened to the shiny new IDWverse alt. modes?

Supposedly there is a legitimate in-story reason for the jets reverting to F-15s.

Whether that reason turns out to be any cop, or just a lame justification to have them "like they were in the cartoon" remains to be seen.

Osku
2008-06-17, 06:29 AM
Mighty late as usual.

Sorry to say, but I'll pass this one.

Despite what the writer says in interview, the pages in this preview feel like a (professional) fanboy writing. Season 1 decepticons as core group (ooh, constructicons, seekers and oh-as-mighty-as-ever-Megatron belittleing Starscream etc.)

I've always liked Guido's art but the return to toy designs is a significant step backwards for me. I'd hate to think highly evolved siliconbased lifeforms would have similar technological limitation as japanese toy designers had in the 70's. I nother words, this decision requires a big and needless dose of uspense of disbelief.

Also, as some others I felt cheated after paying imported price for this "comic book" issue. Otherwise I might have let it slip, but the roll call pages were the last drop.

Propably sounds like little things, but after such weak performances as Megatron: Origin, Hearts of Steel, BW minis I'm not prepared to pay for 12 issue series I have bad feelings based on the preview. :(

Blackjack
2008-06-17, 08:42 AM
I don't have this comic and I sure ain't gonna buy it. I'm just going to wait for AHM to come out. Wonder what reason they will give for the retro look?

zigzagger
2008-07-04, 01:52 PM
It begins here. This is your all purpose All Hail Megatron #1 reaction and discussion thread. Shane McCarthy is about to make his IDW debut. Will the fandom welcome him with praise...or with the customary tar and feathers?

Due to arrive on shelves July 10th according to grahamcrackers.com shipping schedule.
http://grahamcrackers.com/newcomics.htm

Denyer
2008-07-04, 05:41 PM
Bloody hell, already? Time's flying.

Fairly optimistic, although more about the second issue than the first. I think it might start with shock 'n' awe scripting... :)

Red Dave Prime
2008-07-05, 08:34 AM
IMO, the title IDW really need to get right. 12 issues long, the main storyline for the next year, they really, REALLY cant afford to do a megatron:origins on this one.

Neuronutter
2008-07-10, 04:31 PM
Well, errm, that was odd. So many questions, but will they ever be answered? I'm still suprised this is a 12 issue series and I can see IDW wanting to pull in more casual readers but this really feels completely different to the ongoing IDW TF series. I just hope Simon can round off his stuff and make some kind of sense of the intervening time. If not, then this series won't fit well with the previous continuity.

As for the issue, well destruction, carnage, some characterisation, lovely art and a lot of questions. Prime being out of action left me cold as did Jazz being in charge. Hope Prime's not dead as we've been there and done that. Half of the cast being in IDW forms and the other half being in some other form, mostly original G1 forms, was also very odd and didn't help the feel of the issue. There was just too much that didn't fit but then that's what happens when you change writers.

If they can gel this with the ongoing, which somehow I doubt, then I'll consider this series more favourably. If not, then this would've been better as something out of continuity, something under the Evolutions banner. Taken in that context, this would probably be a good series, a good throwback to the original G1 cartoon, but not something that should be main IDW continuity. Ah well.

Blueprint
2008-07-10, 09:11 PM
It just felt like a complete waste of time to me. All of the great little plot threads that Furman has been building up go to waste - in this issue alone we see Ironhide, Sunstreaker and Soundwave, all of whom had somewhat unresolved stories.

The choice of characters was completely bland also. The only bots on selection so far are 1st and 2nd wave TF's. None of the wildcards like Hardhead, Sixshot and Nightbeat that helped Infiltration etc feel so refreshing are anywhere to be seen. I imagine this is so new readers can recognise them, but it feels cheap and boring.

For an issue that is supposed to set up a 12 part story it really feels like nothing happened, apart from Megs punching a plane OMG!11! I especially hate that his relationship with Starscream is back to 'normal'. Starscream was a genuine threat to his leadership in previous issues.

It just feels like a real injustice that Revelation was squeezed into 4 spotlights to accomodate this.

Plenty of time for it to get better of course, just a really really painfully average start.

zigzagger
2008-07-10, 09:38 PM
Yes, I understand. These things happen in the comic world. After all, new series are always a bit of a gamble. A new writer is brought onboard and the audience, assuming they are willing to come along for the ride, is required to adapt to the change. And yes, from a business minded perspective, these changes can potentially draw in a broader, and possibly more casual, audience. After all, some have argued that the current IDW-verse can be a bit unapproachable, especially since the numbering system isn’t entirely clear to some.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

For the last several months I have been urged to approach this with an open mind. View it as an 'ambitious' endeavor. Still….that doesn’t mean I have to like this. For arguments sake, I’ll shall ignore what has preceded this and start afresh. Approaching this as a new comer, as I once was a returning reader when Dreamwave’s Prime Directive and War and Peace was released, I am just as underwhelmed now as I was then. Having already read the 8 page preview from Focus on the Decepticons, I am finding little improvement between the preview and the complete issue in order to reevaluate my opinion. Thus, it'd be a bit redundant to repeat almost the exact same thing I said in the Focus on the Decepticons thread. So to recap - like the preview, there’s surprisingly little content (at least the preview had the excuse of having only 8 pages). There is very little dialogue and/or narration here. Furthermore, with such shallow characterisations, one has to wonder how well this works along side McCarthy's (et al) "jumping on point for new readers" strategy when so little is invested in them. And though a story can be told though visuals, which incidentally are clear and nicely depicted, they don’t tell much of a story beyond “Decepticons Destroy!” The “plot” thus far is not apparent, unless it is what it is. I truly hope not. I honestly can’t imagine my interest being held much longer if the next 11 issue follows this premise. It’s just not enough for me.
1 out of 5

Red Dave Prime
2008-07-10, 11:19 PM
I haven't picked up my copy yet but you guys arent gearing me up for it. In a form of meak defense maybe the middle issues will show up how everyone got to where they are? Kinda like the way Heroes did the "4 months ago/later" episodes or Lost showing events in a near future.

Just on the point of attracting new customers, who exactly are these customers?

Old fans would still be happy with the current IDW stories, and surely wouldnt want to re-hash 20 year old plots.

Non-comic fans who maybe had the toys arent going to go near it no matter what. Just not going to happen there.

To appeall to non-tf fans who are into comics... well the writing needs to improve a hell of a lot and the concepts and cast need to be much more fleshed out. Half the fun of the IDW verse for me was seeing new twists on old bots. Thats not an appeall for someone who doesnt know their Galvatron from their grimlock. The characters and themes are very under developed for the comic market.

Finally theres fans of the new movie who are catered for with the movie comics. Theres little connection to the G1 characters in the movie so no link to IDWs main comics.

Sorry to rant folks, but IDW were doing a good job of an interesting and nostalgic title. From your early reviews I worry they've shot it to pieces to try and capture a market which frankly isnt there.

Commander Shockwav
2008-07-11, 02:47 AM
Been eagerly anticipating this issue for a long time.

When I read the first issue of any new story, it's absolutely critical that it begins with a bang. It should be something that "wows" us, that gives us something that we won't forget and makes us think, "yes, this sucker is going to be good!"

Does this issue accomplish this? From an art standpoint, mission accomplished. More importantly though, from a story standpoint, sadly, I don't think it does.

Others have said this is only the first issue, and that's true, I wouldn't dare prematurely judge this series by a single issue. So I'm evaluating it only on the basis of what a first issue should accomplish, and in this regards it falls flat, IMO.

It's waaaaaaaay too short an intro. This is what Focus on Decepticons should have been.

Regarding the events of this issue, the human elements were quite cliche, in particular the Kamikaze style death of that pilot. I mean, did any reader have any sort of emotional connect with him at all? We know him for three panels, and then we're supposed to be moved by his actions.

There are positives, for sure, like the incredible talent of Guido and the masterful colors. It really is presented in a cinematic way, and that's what McCarthy is aiming for, I suppose. It was nice to see the Big Three Cons rendered the way they were, smugly taking everything the humans threw at them.

The most interesting elements of the story, IMO, were the pages involving the Autobots. Seeing Prime down was a nice surprise, an example of providing the reader with something that jolts them from the getgo, and more along the lines of what I would have expected from this first issue.

My only hope is that each issue of this year-long tale has double the content and story that this one did. Otherwise, we're looking at a six to eight issue tale strecthed to 12, and that's not something I want to see. That's the formula for boredom and frustration, so let's hope we stay away from this.

As a preview issue, it's perfect. As the first issue of the series, it underperforms.

I give it a "C+". Artwise, it's quite nice, but the story thus far is trite, cliche, and needs to really pick up next issue.

Potatobot
2008-07-11, 05:25 AM
why was mirage there?
and sunstreaker?
wasnt he supposed to have been left on earth

all i can say is
what the hell is going on?

Tornatron
2008-07-11, 03:40 PM
I guess I may be in the minority here, because I wasn't really dissapointed with this issue, other than the fact that they included the preview from focus in this issue, but I expected that anyway

I actually like the set up of this issue, it's different, always the decepticons come to earth start something and here come the autobots to stop them, maybe im wrong but I feel like there are some unnamed foes that the decepticons are yet to run into that might just spark this series, I know it can't all be about decepticons destroying earth and I know that shane isn't gonna have the autobots show up and stop them, if that happens i'd never mess with any of his writings again.

The best thing about sunstreaker and ironhide being in the issue and not on earth is that they won't be the so called autobot element on earth to try and stop the decepticons, as many have mentioned, which to me is great, so we know all hail isnt' going in that direction

This issue really has got me excited about revelations, I mean look at the autobots they look like they have been through the ringer, and who knows what happened to optimus prime

I believe that all hail, revelations, maxumum dino's and whatever else inbetween is setting us up for expansion in '09, which if true has me very excited

mechanix81
2008-07-11, 04:58 PM
So hang on... Will I struggle with the main storyline beyond this if I skip it? (Can't really afford to buy it if it's gonna suck...)

Denyer
2008-07-11, 06:31 PM
Lost me a bit until the payoff at the end -- there are things I really like, and things that feel decidedly out of place.

p1 -- excellent, all the context you really need.
p2-5 -- yeah, the film style provides a clear sense of pace. With you so far.
p6 -- "The creatures' building materials are strange. Everything seems weak... soft." Blegh. It's like raiding Donald Glut's desk draw for dumb generic alien sentences.
p7-10 -- Megatron's decently in-character for this continuity. Starscream isn't. "Our very presence" -- again, is like someone's been reading episode transcripts. Nice visuals here.
p11-12 -- the instant personalisation factor of the pilot is helped hugely by the art for these sections.
p14 -- Megatron's face, top right. Excessively cartoon-y. Ditto on p15 in the middle, and that Soundwave legs-akimbo shot could be right out of an episode or Dreamwave...
p17 -- works better than the rather undetailed (and therefore not very menacing) splash on p16.
p18-20 -- the focus of the photo ties that plot strand together very nicely. Megatron's actions? Great. That open-mouthed shot at the bottom? Blegh.
p21-22 -- whereas Furman tends to fizzle a little with individual issue endings and/or not provide cliffhangers and/or decide to stuff a load of exposition into a few panels, here you've got presentation that would be shafted, buggered and upge****ed by dialogue. So there isn't any. And it works really well.

I'm not really sure I give a damn about the Earth bit so far, the adroit quick character sketch with the pilot notwithstanding. However, getting Autobots back in within the frame of the first issue is immensely reassuring. Also, I don't think I'll know what to make of the dialogue characters are being used to present until there's more of it... but right now the ratio of "feels in-character with this continuity" to "rewritten for convenience/effect" isn't terrific.

3/5.

inflatable dalek
2008-07-11, 07:52 PM
Christ on a bike, if this title continues to be this crap and Revalations carries on the return to form them Furman will be laughing all the way to the bank, no one will ever dare employ another writer on the range.

I'm, not going to comment on the continuity problems as there's not one but two get out clauses for those (they'll be explained in one of the missing issues, or one of the later issues of AHM).

i am going to complain about the suggestion of "Well, it was a bit crap but perhaps it will kick off in issue 2/3/4". this was the issue promoted as the big relaunch jumping on point for new readers. this will be the only issue they'll be reading if it takes for issue 4 for something to happen. there was little in the way of plot, certainly not enough to suggest 12 issues worth, and the art was mediocre (it wants so badly to be drawn by Bryan Hitch by winds up feeling like Jose Delbo in comparison).

marvel at the pilot who only just stops short of saying "Two more days before retirement"!. I'm actually worried the other pilot will turn out to be a regular, because despite having just read it I can't remember his name.

And why target New York first? If the UN were in session with the major World leaders then perhaps, but the Decepticons were targeting the hight street. Other than driving sales prices down who will that inconvenience? I guess they were heading for that Independence Day vibe, but completely missed the point that the entire joy of that genre is of watching recognisable buildings get destroyed, not injokey "Takara" and "Tommy" shops get smashed (not sure about the Barcode place, it seems like a injoke but I'm not familiar enough with Times Square to be 100% certain that isn't a real place).

I hope this does get the new readers in because this issue is going to be driving a lot of the old ones away. frankly if this is the best "Bold new direction" the line can manage then IDW's run deserves to dies a death once the Furman arc is wrapped up.

Herr_Shredder
2008-07-12, 12:12 AM
well I just read it... and I kinda feel empty....

There wasn't that much plot, and it doesn't feel too much like the
IDW-verse... maybe the second will be better.....

why are they attacking civillians? I thought the IDW-verse Decepticons were militaristic, shouldn't they be attacking military bases and the capital, they should know more than enough on earth's governments by now...

Wonder what the overall plot will be, if it last for 12 issues!!

Red Dave Prime
2008-07-12, 12:42 AM
Ok, it's not great but in its defence...

I'm just not seeing the continuity problems that others are. From the first page it shows itself to be part of the IDW storylines with the design of the bots. Also going from that page I'm willing to bet that at some point Prime and Megatron had a battle which is what results in the image in the last page. Bearing mind that everything that happens is one year after that point (which could come after revalations and Maximum Dinobots) then it isnt too surprising to see Soundwave and the insecticons with the main decepticon force, sunstreakers now on cybertron and new alt modes for some of the bots.

Regarding the artwork, I liked it. Its not as distinct or appealling as Roche or Su but its nice enough (granted it does slant on the cartoony style but the autobots in the last pages all look like they have in the previous IDW issues)

Onto the story itself and while the issue is mearly ok (as rightly put above this should have been an issue#0 not #1) it does have some interesting possabilities. At some point we'll find out what the decepticons are up to, how prime got to the state he is and why the autobots are hiding out on cybertron. Its possible that the first four issues will feature the present, the middle will be a look at what went before and the final thrid will be the fight back. I'll also hazard a guess that Megatron will end up destroyed at the end of this. But thats all speculation.

I'll hold out judgement until issue 2 hits as to whether this will work. At the moment its too soon to say either way (which is a flaw in the issue)

One last thing, I would like to compliment IDW on the letters page by facing up to (some) of the critiscm that has been aimed at AHM. That took a bit of guts.

inflatable dalek
2008-07-12, 11:47 AM
I don't know, the main criticisms printed were about the reuse of DW art in the extras, the rest of the letters were of the "I don't see what people are moaning about" variety. The bit about how they'll be great stuff in the trade nearly had me throw the issue across the room.

Denyer
2008-07-12, 11:41 PM
If anyone has any burning questions --

http://idwpublishing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4270

zigzagger
2008-07-13, 12:48 AM
Gasp, you spend more time discussing there than here. I am deeply hurt :(

inflatable dalek
2008-07-13, 10:34 AM
Reaction has been "polarised"? Some people thought it was really great?


As for sales, with the push it's been given it's hardly surprising it's shifted more than any recent issues (I guess since the film?). How many of them drop issue 2 will be the telling thing. If the second issue gets things on track that's a shame, but IDW has no one else to blame. I'll have a proper read through later.

Oh, and I'm annoyed the best thing about the issue (the expressionist cover) is buggered by a giant barcode in the wrong bloody place.

electro girl
2008-07-13, 11:13 AM
issue 1 variant covers are on sale on ebay

Halfshell
2008-07-13, 11:23 AM
How does that change the barcode placement?

Reaction has been "polarised"? Some people thought it was really great?

Some people love ZOMG FACT0R. These are generally the same people who like (right, who can I really insult here... oh, genius) Michael Bay films.

Commander Shockwav
2008-07-13, 03:56 PM
If the second issue gets things on track that's a shame, but IDW has no one else to blame.

Yeah, that's the unfortunate thing.

The issue wasn't so bad as to be unforgivable if the second issue recaptures some magic and draws us back in for something potentially intriguing and exciting.

But even if it does accomplish this, how many will come back after this first flop?

inflatable dalek
2008-07-13, 06:29 PM
The issue wasn't so bad as to be unforgivable


True, it's not Origin or Man and Machine bad. If it was issue one of a four issue series that was promoted as just a bit of fun it'd be throwaway but forgiveable. As the main event for a full year though it's pretty much a disaster.

Sir Auros
2008-07-14, 01:28 AM
Haven't read it yet, but after reading Ryall's garbage on the IDW forums, if they stay away from what Furman's established so far in the continuity, they can count on me to only read the books as pirated scans. I mean, if their plan is to ignore and leave unresolved all the stuff that I've found interesting and have been invested in over the series, why should I continue to waste my time and money on them?

Halfshell
2008-07-14, 05:15 PM
Right, finally got my mits on an actual copy. Time to roll out the TransFACTS.

FACT:
The most interesting thing about this issue is that the subnumbering is absent. With it being omitted from Revelation, can we now assume that IDW have seen reason and dropped it entirely?

FACT:
This is actually the second part of a "Megatron Trilogy" by hack n00b writers.

Megatron Origin was "Three Megatrons: Black", charting his rise to power, where everything was coloured too dark.
All Hail is "Three Megatrons: White", documenting his time as all-conquering leader of the universe, where everything coloured in a faded and washed out fashion.

FACT:
This will be rounded out next year by "Three Megatrons: Denim", where the Decepticon leader attempts to revive his flagging career by appearing in a series of Levi commercials, backed by a classic rock soundtrack. Written by Jeph Loeb.

FACT:
The above was not a spoiler. In the same way that a fast-forward one year isn't.

FACT:
There are more words in this post than dialogue in AHM #1.

inflatable dalek
2008-07-14, 05:53 PM
FACT:
The most interesting thing about this issue is that the subnumbering is absent. With it being omitted from Revelation, can we now assume that IDW have seen reason and dropped it entirely?

I wouldn't be surprised if its been dropped because someone decided not to risk guaranteeing Furman has a minimum number of issues left to write in case the amazing success of this issue means they can drop him like a stone earlier.

Nevermore
2008-07-14, 06:51 PM
Same here as with most of the comments. Sweet covers, nice art, annoying glow effects. Story is "meh", too much of a "G1 cartoon status quo" reset-feel in terms of characterization and character relations, stereotypical human characters... Too Dreamwave-y, overall.

Hope issue 2 picks up, but I'm not holding my breath, quite frankly.

zigzagger
2008-07-14, 10:29 PM
Reaction has been "polarised"? Some people thought it was really great?
Not to say that there aren't people who genuinely enjoyed it. Who am I to say otherwise, but when I read that thread...is it me or does it seem like there are some instances that come across as people simply playing devil's advocate. You know, having a counter stance for the sake of having a counter stance.

....

Or not. Whatever. I still think there are some obvious questions being sidestepped in that thread (not referring to the posters). Yeah, I am deliberately bringing up points from another discussion. I was feeling jealous that IDW's AHM thread was more livelier than ours [/sarcasm].

Starfield
2008-07-14, 10:59 PM
Apparently "Hail and Farewell (http://simonfurman.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/mosaic-a-go-go/)" is no longer officially in continuity. I wondered about it at the time. It was kinda weird to have spoilers like that. Was Furman trying to stake out story plot lines he felt important because he knew they were in danger of being obliterated by this AHM stuff? Nice effort, but it doesn't look like it worked.

inflatable dalek
2008-07-15, 06:08 AM
The Hail and farewell stuff is actually really barking- I don't believe for a second Furman would have been stupid enough to make "It's canon" statements unless he checked it through first. The "It's not canon, it never was canon and no Mosaic ever will be canon" stuff would only make sense if Furman was lying, delusional or a delusional liar. Would it really be that hard to say "It was intended to be canon, but since then our plans have changed and it's easier to ignore it than to try and warp those plans around a one page online strip with limited readership"?

Another thought on one of the many things wrong with this issue- All the "shock" big moments were very old hat. The Autobots are on the back foot! Well... as already noted they have been pretty much consistently throughout the IDW stuff . Decepeticon carnage was a rerun of what we saw in the first DW mini. Optimus Prime seemingly dead was done in Escalation.

Even if we were to be fair and assume that this is aimed at new readers who might not aware of any of that, what's pretty much the one piece of G1 fiction you can guarantee pretty much everyone with any familiarity with the franchise will know best? The '86 film, where the Autobots start off on the back foot, the Decepticons get to inflict some real damage and Optimus Prime lies dead on a table. None of this is going to surprise or shock them either.

I'm also disappointed to read in that thread that various things established by Furman that would actually make perfect sense to be used in AHM (Super Energon as a reason for invasion, the facsimile's to facilitate the takeover) are going to be ignored. That's not just throwing out the baby with the bath water, it's chucking the bath with it.

As the writer says, it's a first issue that provokes questions. Or rather one question, unfortunately I can't see "Why the hell should I bother with issue 2?" being the intended thought provoker.

Nevermore
2008-07-15, 07:44 AM
Yes. There's a difference with an issue raising questions like "What's up with this plot point? What does it mean? Inquiring minds want to know." and "What the hell is this? Why does it seem to ignore everything? Why is it all so stale and retreading old paths?"

inflatable dalek
2008-07-15, 08:15 AM
Ohhhhh reading through the additions to the thread since yesterday someone uses Huntstreaker as a name! My influence is spreading!

Even allowing for the fact it's a fairly obvious nickname and may have been coined independently of my efforts that is still the best AHM related thing to date.

Denyer
2008-07-15, 07:09 PM
The Hail and farewell stuff is actually really barking- I don't believe for a second Furman would have been stupid enough to make "It's canon" statements unless he checked it through first. The "It's not canon, it never was canon and no Mosaic ever will be canon" stuff would only make sense if Furman was lying, delusional or a delusional liar. Would it really be that hard to say "It was intended to be canon, but since then our plans have changed and it's easier to ignore it than to try and warp those plans around a one page online strip with limited readership"?
Mmm. Would've been entirely reasonable. Instead... er, crikey.

Housewife2000
2008-07-16, 12:41 PM
Storytelling Basics No.1: Introduce your main character and their peril as soon as possible – what is the hook that is going to keep readers interested? In previous launches or re-launches we've had
a) POV character Buster meets injured nice-guy Autobot Bumblebee, just as a fuel war is about to kick off on earth
b) POV character Prime meets villain-of-the-series Jhiaxus, just as a mystery space plague and interstellar war are about to kick off everywhere
c) POV character Verity is saved from danger by rogue nice-guy Autobot Ratchet, just as a fuel war is about to kick off on earth
d) POV character Sam is saved by spy nice-guy Autobot Bumblebee, just as a treasure hunt is about to kick off on earth
Even Escalation and Stormbringer use a POV character or team (the humans and Jetfire & the Technobots respectively) to hook in readers within the first issue to those 2 basics: lead character and threat. (Admittedly, example a) doesn't actually occur in the first issue, but then it’s rarely looked back on as the greatest example of storytelling...)

AHM seems to set Megatron up as the POV character – he certainly does the most in the issue. But what is the threat to him? And why should we care about him? The title of the series suggests the over-arcing theme of the story is loyalty: servitude versus rebellion. Yet the most we get is lipservice to the old Megatron / Starscream dynamic.

One way to throw the readers right in to the theme, hook and threat of the story, would be to have Megatron dealing with insubordination amongst his ranks, perhaps rebellion from field commanders elsewhere than earth, or reasserting his command after the Devastation arc. Equally, the POV character could have been a subordinate (preferably not Starscream), suddenly realising he disagrees with Megatron and the Decepticon code, and seeking to overthrow or undermine his leader – it could be Bryan Singers Valkyrie with mechanoids!

Alas, nothing of the sort is established in the first issue. And this is a MONTHLY ISSUE, not a graphic novel where more time can be spent drip feeding information. Readers need a whole story each month. It's a serial medium after all, and no matter how many people wait for the trade these days, it's fan reaction to the monthlies that affect many people's buying habits.

A bit of a duff start unfortunately.

wolfbolt86
2008-07-17, 02:01 AM
It looks kinda of like Dreamwave's stuff. I know some people who love Dreamwave's stuff and wouldn't go see the Movie due to Dreamwave I haven't read it yet, but it does give some spoilers to how Revelation ends.

Blitzwing
2008-07-18, 02:06 AM
I got this a little late... here are some thoughts:

1) This sucks.

Those are the only thoughts I had after reading it.

Reasons:

1) Nothing indicates to me that the writer has ever read a IDW comic book.

2) Nothing indicates to me that the writer knows anything about Transformers beyond season 1 of the G1 TV series.

3) Starscream is clearly acting the way he did in the G1 TV series and has no resemblence to his IDW personality.

4) Soundwave's Spotlight can pretty much be thrown out the window because I guarantee that his appearance will not be addressed.

5) The only Autobots shown on Cybertron were familiar G1 season 1 and 2 characters. Do you guys really think that was a coincidence? Clearly the writer thinks that these are the only characters that matter to people, which means he will not be introducing anyone new.

I am not being harsh. People who are defending this crap are only doing so because they want to believe that it can get better.

If this was meant to take place after Revelations and Maximum Dinobots, then why didn't they release it then? They won't reveal major plot points from those series' before they've even be released.

And I'm not one of those TF fans that always trash everything that comes out. This is genuine garbage.

Anyway, my train of thought was interupted by a phone call, so I'm just going to post what I've typed so far. I can probobly write an entire essay on how much this thing sucked though.

inflatable dalek
2008-07-18, 08:45 AM
If this was meant to take place after Revelations and Maximum Dinobots, then why didn't they release it then?

The logic behind it seems to be twofold. Firstly to let them have a big Summer event, and secondly to ensure AHM ends around the time the second film comes out so they can launch whatever comes next to coincide with that. Or in other words cash grabbing reasons for it rather than story structure reasons. I suspect they regret it now though, about 80% of the questions asked in that thread wouldn't have come up if they'd have just waited till the Furmanverse was wrapped up before releasing this crap.

Patapsco
2008-07-18, 10:16 AM
I'm holding out on this for the moment due to, well, this thread but I have to wonder what on Earth Shane McCarthy is smoking. Namely two posts he made in the IDW Q&A Thread. In one, he clearly states that AHM will explain why the 'Cons aren't following protocol, why certain Autobots (namely Hunstreaker) are there and that it will follow (roughly) the established continuity. In his very next response, he states that he won't be touching on Regenesis/Ultra Energon/Ore-13... which is the bloody reason the 'Cons are on Earth and free of Autobot interference in the first place! You can't just completely ignore one of the main strands of continuity that has taken two Spotlights, Infiltration and Stormbringer to establish when it ultimately frames that very story you're trying to tell.

Rossum
2008-07-18, 05:12 PM
In one, he clearly states that AHM will explain why the 'Cons aren't following protocol, why certain Autobots (namely Hunstreaker) are there and that it will follow (roughly) the established continuity. In his very next response, he states that he won't be touching on Regenesis/Ultra Energon/Ore-13... which is the bloody reason the 'Cons are on Earth and free of Autobot interference in the first place! You can't just completely ignore one of the main strands of continuity that has taken two Spotlights, Infiltration and Stormbringer to establish when it ultimately frames that very story you're trying to tell.

There's probably a completely different set of events, unconnected to Ore-13 and so on, that led to the situation in AHM #1. Given the year-long time gap, the events can be pretty much whatever Shane McCarthy wants them to be. It's a shame that a lot of the interesting ideas about Earth will go to waste, but there it is.

Red Dave Prime
2008-07-18, 09:02 PM
I dont usually read the writers blogs or comments so as to avoid spoilers but if he's ignoring the ore 13 scenario... my willingnes to defend this title has slipt big time. The ore 13 would have explained completely how the decepticons got to be in a dominating (and out of character) situation. To not touch on any of this defeats the appeal of an ongoing series (I'm not just speaking as comics but backstorys to characters and ongoing arcs that alter characters are the backbone of good story telling). Forget Shane McCarthy for a second, thats a serious mess up on the part of the editor and it spits in the face of people who have supported and followed the various books. Considering how good revelations is going this is disappointing.

Patapsco
2008-07-19, 10:58 AM
There's probably a completely different set of events, unconnected to Ore-13 and so on, that led to the situation in AHM #1. Given the year-long time gap, the events can be pretty much whatever Shane McCarthy wants them to be. It's a shame that a lot of the interesting ideas about Earth will go to waste, but there it is.

I don't have a problem with another writer telling another story, and I have no doubt that McCarthy will ultimately explain exactly what the hell is going on... but to pick and choose which bits of continuity you want to touch on (and no matter how you look at it, Ore-13/Regenesis is THE big interconnecting continuity point for the whole IDWverse - in my view at least) just kind of defeats of the point of setting a story in continuity. No doubt Furman is going to have to weave some sort of magic in Dinobots/un-named three parter to somehow make all this tie in

Denyer
2008-07-19, 11:01 AM
On the plus side, Furman tends to do his best work under constraints to fit in around other stories. Otherwise his focus tends to wander.

But yeah, AHM could end up being the first in-continuity material I end up getting rid of. If it does, Megatron: Origin is going with it.

Been a damn good run on the whole, though.

Rossum
2008-07-19, 03:56 PM
On the plus side, Furman tends to do his best work under constraints to fit in around other stories. Otherwise his focus tends to wander.

But yeah, AHM could end up being the first in-continuity material I end up getting rid of. If it does, Megatron: Origin is going with it.

Been a damn good run on the whole, though.

Reading the Revelation Spotlights, it makes me very wistful for what might have been had the setup not dawdled over 18+ issues and 3 years.

And I would be much more willing to like AHM if it tried even a little to seem like it's in the same universe as what came before. I'm sure there are explanations forthcoming, but knowing that all the possibilities raised by the cold war setting and unique energy sources will never be explored is disappointing. Adding in the pat-your-inner-child-on-the-head cartoon style of the first issue, and it becomes very hard to care much about the series at all.

Though a lot of people are very enthusiastic about it, so it's obviously a step in the right direction for some. Le sigh.

inflatable dalek
2008-07-19, 04:19 PM
I'm sure there are explanations forthcoming


One of the things that worry me is that IDW are demanding a lot of reader faith on this score. We won't be able to be 100% sure that things are going to tie together until at least Revelation has finished (by which time AHM will be about a quarter of the way through), or more likely when Maximum Dinobots is done, and even assuming it starts right after Revelation finishes AHM will be way past the half way mark by that time, a bit late in the day to realise the two continuities don't fit at all.

Cliffjumper
2008-07-19, 04:49 PM
Plus there's the magic of the retcon - if AHM is set ahead of The Dead Furmiverse in continuity, McCarthy can basically do as he pleases, if it ties in with better explanations than a Mick-esque "Yeh, I got better" we (well, you) got lucky. It looks like McCarthy is now THE TF writer, and Furman's being allowed to finish things off to keep him sweet if AHM is a spectacular failure in the only place that matters (which is, of course, the sales), and to stop outright revolt from the poor sods who've pumped a triple-figure sum into Dead Furmiverse. If McCarthy wants to ignore or overwrite whatever events, he's probably going to. Ryall's not going to stop him, is he?

And while I've yet to read any of Revelations or AHM, I have to agree with Rossum (well, agree and expand on his sentiments, he might not feel quite this strongly). I think Furman blew it a long time ago, sadly. Three six issue miniseries failed to show much more than intermittent promise. They should have been better comics, and then there'd be a lot more space for whatever's coming.

Looking back, can anyone really justify the massive time given to Jubilee in the first mini? Or using up vital pages on the (thus far) dead ends of the Reapers and Sixshot? I mean, sure, Furman wasn't to know he'd suddenly got a deadline. But he also shouldn't have relied entirely on the book running for X years with IDW's infinite patience. The most frustrating thing is the Spotlights have been near-universally superb, so Furman's skill is still in there. He chose to make those three minis that slow. A large portion of the blame for the concertina-ing of his work rests on his shoulders. He had a chance to give us Ultimate Transformers, the sort of chance that's unlikely to come up ever again, and he blew it. For that, right now, I'm finding it difficult to find a massive amount of sympathy for someone clumping in and knocking down all his toy soldiers. For you guys who stuck it out, showed infinite patience and now look like getting pissed on, I feel sympathy. You deserved better than this.

Vaguely amusing factette: Back in, what, '01, Chris Sarracini had a nice against-type Starscream developing slowly on Armada. Furman came in and turned the character into the same two-dimensional treacherous dickhead straight off the bat, relegating Armada immediately to "G1 with shit character models". You can't tell me none of you find that quite ironic, all things considered...

Rossum
2008-07-19, 04:54 PM
I took McCarthy's comment about not touching on Ore-13 and so on to mean that they won't be mentioned at all in AHM, so we won't ever get a good explanation there. And I'm not keeping my fingers crossed that somewhere in Revelation or Dinobots there's going to be a really convincing development that segues naturally into AHM.

Honestly, I'd prefer the two series remain disjointed rather than have some convoluted retcon (it was all Wheelie's dream!). And even if they do manage to match events up in a not-awful way, there's still the changes in character personalities and behavior. It's just easier to approach the two as the different series that they are, rather than grading both down for lack of continuity.

I do still see people speculating that Prime is down and out due to his fight with Nemesis, or that Megatron is taking over Earth because the Autobots left for Garrus-9 (both of which would have worked very well), and I think they're probably the ones who will have the most problem as the two stories progress.

Cliffjumper
2008-07-19, 04:57 PM
Is anyone half-expecting them to just come out and say "Yeh, basically two different continuities with a few shared elements" at some point in the future, albeit with a lot more spin ("To give Simon space to weave his storylines in")?

Halfshell
2008-07-19, 05:01 PM
Three six issue miniseries failed to show much more than intermittent promise. They should have been better comics, and then there'd be a lot more space for whatever's coming.

I think that Revelation and Expansion being shunted from (presumably) six issues each into four Spotlights and Maximum Dinobots was the best thing that could have happened to them.

I don't think I genuinely could have coped with all those plot threads being drip-fed across twelve issues a page at a time. The new format lets him clear up the DU stuff in Revelation, then focus on the Earth-based stuff in MD. Everyone's a winner. Especially if the promised character-focus format of MD results in something as concise and focussed as Revelation's been so far.

Or using up vital pages on the (thus far) dead ends of the Reapers and Sixshot?

Reapers, no. Especially as they were dealt with so abruptly and the whole "third faction looming in the background with their own agenda" angle was in play, making the Expansion plot thread look, on paper, like an immediate retread.

Vaguely amusing factette: Back in, what, '01, Chris Sarracini had a nice against-type Starscream developing slowly on Armada. Furman came in and turned the character into the same two-dimensional treacherous dickhead straight off the bat, relegating Armada immediately to "G1 with shit character models". You can't tell me none of you find that quite ironic, all things considered...

"Once again, Shane McCarthy and Cliff Chiang present us with an excellent Batman tale. The only sad thing about it is that it's the last such tale before DC jumps its titles ahead by one year."
http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/113926375371519.htm

What goes around, etc.

Denyer
2008-07-19, 05:12 PM
a lot of people are very enthusiastic about it,
The art, or the book as a whole? Haven't seen much of the latter.

can anyone really justify the massive time given to Jubilee in the first mini? Or using up vital pages on the (thus far) dead ends of the Reapers and Sixshot?
No quibble with the humans in the first arc, though I'd have phased them out in Escalation with a "no, it's too dangerous, the fight starts in earnest" rationale.

The Reapers and the Headmasters arc have been the weakest part so far IMO, especially the time devoted to encountering the Machination Sunstreaker clones -- basically, the second half of Devastation needed to take place in the first half, because the big reveal was an extremely open secret. Sticking the events of Escalation (minus the garage scenes) together with Devastation (minus Wheeljack and Hot Rod's day out) into one arc (max. 8 issues -- anyone interested in a for-fun fan mash-up project when I have more time?) would've carried things better. There wasn't much escalation, there was a fight, and there wasn't any devastation, there was a fight.

Have to say I currently don't care about Maximum Dinobots because I currently don't care a great deal about what's happening on Earth, or the possibility it might be primarily a chase/fight book.

Halfshell
2008-07-19, 05:16 PM
Is anyone half-expecting them to just come out and say "Yeh, basically two different continuities with a few shared elements" at some point in the future, albeit with a lot more spin ("To give Simon space to weave his storylines in")?

It's Earthforce all over again, isn't it?

Rossum
2008-07-19, 06:00 PM
And while I've yet to read any of Revelations or AHM, I have to agree with Rossum (well, agree and expand on his sentiments, he might not feel quite this strongly). I think Furman blew it a long time ago, sadly. Three six issue miniseries failed to show much more than intermittent promise. They should have been better comics, and then there'd be a lot more space for whatever's coming.


I only hopped on late last year, so I did get to miss most of the waiting and the anger that came with it. Reading Infiltration and Escalation all in one, I liked them a lot and still do. However, now that we know where all the various threads were going, it's obvious that there were several things that should have been compressed or cut out completely like everyone said. Sixshot and the Reapers came to naught, and he may as well have been taken out by Prime in their fight. Operation: Ironhide, both in the shop and the rescue, took way too much time for so little to happen.

And as neat as they are, ideas like Arcee and the combiners should probably been saved for another time. I'm loving Revelation as well, but the need to touch on each point doesn't help with the rushed pace.

The more I dwell on it, the more it irks me. I don't know if I'll work up to Cliffjumper levels of feeling, but I really wish things had been done differently, mostly because the series might not have lost as many readers as it did.

Though at the same time, TF fans can be annoyingly picky. There were a lot of good things about the 'tions and Spotlights, but people who didn't like the pace and/or humans seem to be determined to ignore the good completely, in favor of declaring the whole series crap.

The art, or the book as a whole? Haven't seen much of the latter.
For all the complaints about the story, I also see a lot of brief posts along the lines of "It is awesome". I don't have a count of yays vs. nays, it's just the impression I get skimming through various boards that there are quite a few people who are very excited to have a more basic, action-filled story.

Sir Auros
2008-07-19, 06:19 PM
Though a lot of people are very enthusiastic about it, so it's obviously a step in the right direction for some. Le sigh.

I don't know about that. I mean, when you think of all the stupid G1 fanboys out in the fandom (as in, "G1 is the only REAL Transformers that ALL the REAL fans love!!1!"), I'm not surprised that there are people who're jizzing all over their copies.

Cliffjumper
2008-07-19, 06:30 PM
I think that Revelation and Expansion being shunted from (presumably) six issues each into four Spotlights and Maximum Dinobots was the best thing that could have happened to them.

Aye, I meant more than if the same thing had been done with Infalevation, we could have another couple of pacey four-issue minis before Furman's shoved into the old age home. Or God knows, we might not be in this ridiculous situation (though it's naive to think good storytelling is all that's needed to sort out the sales...).


No quibble with the humans in the first arc, though I'd have phased them out in Escalation with a "no, it's too dangerous, the fight starts in earnest" rationale.

I wouldn't have eliminated them (actually, I might have compacted them down to a pair, grafting Jimmy onto one of the others as, right now, I can't remember him serving any purpose), but I would have switched the amount of panel time they got right down. it was a pretty natural way to go "Shit, Transformers on Earth!" without clunking exposition, but I think the first moment someone turns round and says "they've got to **** off now", it should have happened then. We spent a lot of time on Jubilee especially, which basically name to nothing (and not in a particularly natural way, I felt - suddenly she's a virtual extra, after being the lead for seven issues). They sort of botched both approaches - the response to the criticism is too obvious. They're involved early on very heavily, and then for no apparent reason, despite still being in the thick of the action, the focus on them disappears, largely because of poor negative feedback.

And I don't think the Headmaster stuff is a good enough pay-off to justify Hunter's involvement either... Just about any sub-plot relating to that is disposable (and Sunstreaker and Hunter being swiftly killed off would have really been an Escalation... for such a portentous series of books, Furman seems incredibly reluctant to actually kill characters, and this has sucked out a lot of tensions - because of CR chambers being constantly mentioned and used, it's impossible for any death to carry any dramatic impact, as there's a really good chance they'll be back).

It's Earthforce all over again, isn't it?

Knew there was a parallel :) Yep, that's what I'm expecting - in about six months' time, someone's just going to put their hands up and go "It's too difficult, it's cramping the writers". At best, the books are going to have the same sort of relationship New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men had when Morrison was on one, and Austen was on the other - if the plot of one suits the other, ace, if not - well, **** it, we got stories to tell.

And as neat as they are, ideas like Arcee and the combiners should probably been saved for another time. I'm loving Revelation as well, but the need to touch on each point doesn't help with the rushed pace.

See, I like a lot of the ideas in the books. There's not a lot you can point to and say "that idea is wrong" or "they made the wrong choice with that character". But... it's reminded me a lot of a really good discussion on the board. People going "I think a really good explanantion for Arcee would be this" or "Wouldn't it be great if the Decepticons were a more blievable, miltary-style operation?". But nothing's really been worked into the story. the story's been worked around the ideas - Spotlight Arcee, for example, largely exists so Furman can give us his latest standing on gendered Transformers. The story has occasionally lurched from idea to idea, with little idea of the bigger picture.

I also think a comic does need more action. Or perhaps better action. I don't want a whole book of Optimus and Megatron lamping each other is a good idea, but action is part of the medium, and isn't necessarily mindless - I can't, offhand, think of many top-class comics that don't have a considerable action quota. Let alone any about giant alien robots...

EDIT: @D I'd be interested in working on a compacted version, though I doubt we'd agree on much.

EDIT II: I don't think portentous titles helped the books, either. Disco song writing - you call a book Devastation, there'd better be some Devastation involved...

Halfshell
2008-07-19, 06:40 PM
Spotlight Arcee, for example, largely exists so Furman can give us his latest standing on gendered Transformers.

Whilst I get what you're saying in principle (ideas being laid out, rather than them being actual plot developments), that one's a bit harsh. The gender explanation feels like a tacked-on bit of "oh shit, forgot to actually mention it". The issue itself serves to get the Monstructor Six into Decepticon hands and unleash Arcee on the tail of them. Which from the looks of things (that you admittedly haven't read yet) looks like it might actually serve a sensible purpose in moving the plot forward. Plus the issue lays the seeds for something else that looks to be on the way.

But yeah, you're absolutely bang on with your point. I just think your example sucks the big one. ;)

The crazy thing about Earthforce was that it was the same writer responsible for both. Madddd. At least there's a vague excuse this time out.

Cliffjumper
2008-07-19, 06:50 PM
Well, yeh - Monstructor is also my idea of a needless divergence, so if he comes into play in stuff I've yet to get onto, I obviously stand corrected ;) Though I may well be of the opinion that Spotlight: Monstructor and Spotlight: Arcee could have been merged to some extent.


Re: Earthforce, to be fair the production schedule was a nightmare. The early Earthforce strips blew US plot developments that wouldn't be printed for months, IIRC - notably the return of the Dinobots and Bumblebee. The sad thing was it was largely a technology thing - had digital/electronic aids been sufficiently advanced, it might well have been a bit easier for Furman to get his head around. Personally I think the big mistake was trying in the first place - better to set Earthforce in the near future (something a few years before the Movie would have gone down well, with things like Autobot City being built, and that sort of stuff) and not try and fit it in with anything on such a close scale. But then that's hindsight for ya...

Rossum
2008-07-19, 07:28 PM
See, I like a lot of the ideas in the books. There's not a lot you can point to and say "that idea is wrong" or "they made the wrong choice with that character". But... it's reminded me a lot of a really good discussion on the board. People going "I think a really good explanation for Arcee would be this" or "Wouldn't it be great if the Decepticons were a more believable, military-style operation?". But nothing's really been worked into the story. the story's been worked around the ideas - Spotlight Arcee, for example, largely exists so Furman can give us his latest standing on gendered Transformers. The story has occasionally lurched from idea to idea, with little idea of the bigger picture.


I don't know that it's a bad thing to have the story built up around the idea - Arcee and Monstructor may have started with the desire to fit in females and combiners but the whole mad-Cybertronian-scientist Jhiaxus thing that was used to explain them seems like the makings of a pretty fun story. It just should have been kept out of the already busy Dead Universe arc.

Likewise, the Skorponok rationale for headmasters has been equally interesting to see, especially with Sunhunter the reluctant headmaster. It was just hurt by being dragged out for too long.

Prons
2008-07-20, 03:25 AM
You talk so big starscream... (blows up downtown) when everything about you is SMALL

inflatable dalek
2008-07-20, 12:06 PM
Of course, Furman also has a get out clause when it comes to his weaker plot elements: "Oh, the Reapers and the humans and ect were all going to play really important well thought out pivotal roles until teh evil AHM forced me to change everything". Expect that at conventions for years to come.

Blaster
2008-07-22, 10:18 PM
If #2 is as bad as this, I see me waiting for a TPB if that.

Starfield
2008-07-22, 10:41 PM
I decided not to follow this one around the time of focus on Decepticons, so I haven't read it. But I hear the art is nice, so that alone will probably be enough for me to get the TPB.

starlord
2008-07-23, 03:52 AM
Hmm I wonder what will happen to Screamer if the autobots went away. Does he believe that Prime is setting a trap?

wolfbolt86
2008-07-24, 12:36 AM
Hope the next issue has more plot in it. The art is rather nice though.

Cliffjumper
2008-08-05, 02:49 PM
That was the worst TF comic I've ever read. That thing made Infiltration look like The Spider vs. The Exterminator. Scott Ciencin writing this thing now?

Terome
2008-08-05, 10:36 PM
It really has nothing going for it. At a stretch, one could say that the silent pages at the end were pulled off competently, but you'd have to be really generous to ignore the twenty other pages of sheer idiocy that come before it. Of all the gutless, artless ways to frame a 'jumping on point,' that were available to the editorial staff, this really had to be the most imaginatively bankrupt.

I'm not even particularly enthusiastic about the art. I mean, it's well constructed and all, but the ideas behind it are useless.

But tell me more about The Spider vs. The Exterminator.

Cliffjumper
2008-08-06, 04:31 AM
Yeh, I can't believe the compliments being made to the art... I'm not a massive fan of Guidi's work in general TBH, but I found AHM's art to be functional - competent, but little more.

Rossum
2008-08-06, 05:13 PM
Yeh, I can't believe the compliments being made to the art... I'm not a massive fan of Guidi's work in general TBH, but I found AHM's art to be functional - competent, but little more.

Nice to see I'm not entirely alone in that opinion. I didn't hate the art and it's not exactly bad in any way, but I was surprised at how much most people loved it unconditionally. There were at least a few details that I'd thought would get mention (rounded corners, weirdly depth-less mouths for the robots); instead, everyone seemed uniformly thrilled with the style.

Cliffjumper
2008-08-06, 05:39 PM
It reminded me more of mid-ranking Figueroa/good day Pat Lee - which is about Guidi's level, TBH. He was always just a good, reliable but unspectacular artist in his DW days (when James Raiz knocked seven kinds of shit out of him), and to me that hasn't changed... I mean, around the same time I read AHM I read the Ultimates again, and the difference for stories with a lot of similar visuals is astonishing. I mean, it's harsh comparing anyone to Bryan Hitch, and Guidi's arguably the best suited to this sort of thing from IDW's pool (Figueroa has huge problems with dynamics still, there's never any sense of movement; Su suits small-scale stuff like, erm, the Furmanverse better; Roche just shouldn't be deployed on such an awful book). The Autobot pages did at least have a little flavour, but mainly due to the colourists moving beyond the primary section of the palette...

Terome
2008-08-06, 08:46 PM
I think maybe people are being polite? Or at least showing the spirit of benefit of the doubt. You know, like telling a date their hair is great when their body is covered in weltering hives.

Yeah, James Raiz. He was a brilliant bastard. Wonder what became of him.

At this point, the question should probably be raised: Why -didn't- they just give Nick Roche a year and a paycheque? Lad knows what he's doing.

zigzagger
2008-08-15, 03:13 PM
Two times a charm (actual, it's three, but who's counting). Where will the story go from last issue? Inquiring minds really want to know. This is your all purpose All Hail Megatron #2 reaction and discussion thread. Will our doubts be put to rest?

Due to arrive the 20th of August along side Spotlight: Doubledealer according to grahamcrackers.com shipping schedule
http://www.grahamcrackers.com/newcomics.htm

inflatable dalek
2008-08-15, 08:00 PM
Is this already running late or was there always supposed to be more than a months gap between issues?

zigzagger
2008-08-15, 11:36 PM
Denton Tipton has been saying it would be out around this time for at least a couple of weeks now. So, yeah, it's right on schedule.

inflatable dalek
2008-08-16, 11:38 AM
Denton Tipton has been saying it would be out around this time for at least a couple of weeks now. So, yeah, it's right on schedule.


Just not the schedule they started with (I know, I know, cynical...)

Halfshell
2008-08-16, 01:02 PM
Just not the schedule they started with (I know, I know, cynical...)

I don't see where you're coming from. #1 was out in July, #2 arrives in August. They've not promoted any specific dates that I've seen.

Monthly doesn't equate to every four weeks. Because calendar months aren't all the same length. Twelve issues across a year doesn't mean one every 28 days.

With the exception of continuity, there've been no ****-ups I've spotted since Tipton started getting official credit, so let's not start accusing them of being off-schedule just because it's not out when you want, yeh?

inflatable dalek
2008-08-16, 04:38 PM
Monthly doesn't equate to every four weeks. Because calendar months aren't all the same length. Twelve issues across a year doesn't mean one every 28 days.

I know that, I take monthly to mean being released on roughly the same date every month, with issue one being out on the tenth the second issue should have been out about the middle of the week just gone (around the 13th) rather than the middle of next week. A five weekly publishing schedule will take it past the year mark [If issue three comes out in slightly less than a month to pull it back on track I'll be both dutifully impressed and apologetic. I will also be very surprised.]

And for the formal record my preferred publication date for issue 2 would be some time in late April 2178.

Commander Shockwav
2008-08-21, 01:06 AM
Enjoyed this issue. Be forewarned if you did not like DW's stuff, though.

Yes, it was a bit thin on actual story progression, but if we recognize that we are still in the introductory phases of story development, there are things to really like here.

For one, the dialogue is much more to my liking than what I've seen in Transformers comics of late. No repetitive phrases, no sense of characters sounding and talking the same. Shane is making a real effort to distinguish one character from another, which I applaud. McDonough did this during the DW run, and took flak for ripping off the cartoon voice pattern, but I really didn't give a damn, the characters were unique in their persona. And that's what's most important.

I was so disappointed to see Soundwave as a 'talker' in his Spotlight. Thank goodness Shane brought us back to the cartoon Soundwave, a cold calculating bot of few words. I got a warm fuzzy feeling reading Soundwave's dialogue, as I could just hear his 'robotisized' voice pattern. Yes, I'm really going to love Soundwave in this series, me thinks.

Historically speaking, I loathe human interaction in my TF comics, but I was actually intrigued by the human interaction here. In particular, the mention of the Machination, as it provides us with some explanation of how it is the humans are in disbelief about giant robots when they have been present since Infiltration. And of course mention of the Machination shows a willingness by Shane to keep this sucker in continuity and in line with what Simon laid down before.

Whereas the first issue just had some annoying human moments, I didn't find this to be true here. It's a tough task to balance human vs. Transformer stage-time, and come up with something appealing to most fans. We'll see if Shane can pull it off as the story moves forward. I would hope that as the story progresses, more and more attention will be given to the Decepticon interaction, but I can understand what Shane is trying to do right now with the humans this early in the game.

Really loved Frenzy's intro, with his mad dash across Central Park. It will be important for Shane to give us something different from what's preceded with these characters that have existed for over twenty years. To make them seem fresh, it's going to take character moments like this one with Frenzy to make us really give a damn about these guys.

The art continues to be top notch stuff from Guido. I have no doubt IDW was trying to develop more of a cartoon-like vibe in this series, and no artist is better at emulating that style than Guido. His lines are so crisp and clean. If Guido maintains this kind of quality for all twelve issues, it's going to be nice.

It will be crucial these next two issues that the plot moves forward. I understand a foundation is being laid, but each issue must move things along to be worth buying in a non-TPB way and be worth the money spent.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and aside from a lack of overall plot progression, I wasn't disappointed as I was with issue #1.

Give it a "B-". Looking forward to more.

zigzagger
2008-08-21, 01:54 AM
Okay. I'll admit this - it makes some progression from the first issue. It even features something that the last issue lacked in severely, that being dialogue. But, to echo what has already been said here and on other boards, there is something distinctly and disturbingly familiar about this. From its large urban setting down to, once again, an oversized Devastator wading through a body of water, is rather reminiscent to Dreamwave's Prime Directive. Pardon my own personal bias, but this really doesn't bode well with me.

So, in a nutshell, the Decepticons continue to enjoy a well deserved day out in the city, visiting important landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park, while the humans assemble to spoil all their fun. I'm sorry, but I am not going to pretend that this is a significant leap from the last issue, as we're still in the introductory phase here. And though the human characters are barred from using embarrassing clichés, such as coming waaaay too close from announcing that it has two days left from retirement, the solider interlocution, particularly those with Daniel Witwicky, were painfully machismo and predictable...much like the action movies that they seem to be plucked from.

Upon the first reading, this is all I really have to say about it right now. It was...nnnghh...kind of mindless. But, knowing me, I may feel generous later upon subsequent readings.
2.5/2.8 out of 5

(edit: extra points for McCarthy referencing the Machination, tying this story into what has preceded it)

Commander Shockwav
2008-08-22, 02:45 PM
But, to echo what has already been said here and on other boards, there is something distinctly and disturbingly familiar about this. From its large urban setting down to, once again, an oversized Devastator wading through a body of water, is rather reminiscent to Dreamwave's Prime Directive.


I know what you mean, it is like Prime Directive. Shane has said he never read the DW series.

If he had, I think he would have changed things a bit.

I'm willing to give him these two issues to set things up. But if the next two issues, #3 and #4, don't move things along or feel like they could have as easily been condensed into one, as #1 and #2 felt, I'm going to likely go trade with this.

Red Dave Prime
2008-08-22, 09:59 PM
hmm...

Thought this one had some nice touches, but when I think back to what has happened so far... it's still just megs and the boys rampaging about new york. The only glimmer of hope that this wont fall into DW completely is that it seems the cons are isolating manhattan - possibly theres an alien energy source or something like that on the island. Otherwise I havent a clue why they would attack manhattan over other locations.

As for oversized devastator, monstroctor pulled off the same trick in Sotlight prime so at least it falls in line. I'm guessing its reverse mass-dislacement in that the 6 power cores of the constructicons enlarge their physical forms. Well, thats MY theory...

Cliffjumper
2008-08-22, 10:08 PM
Aye - it's not something that particularly realistic attention has been paid to, well, ever, so picking on this would seem harsh.

But then I haven't read it yet... No need to worry about spoilers in a comic in which nothing happens. But then IDW pulled the same trick with Infiltration - how come the world at large isn't giving them another "Hey, something might happen next year, shut up, they're not Pat Lee" get out of jail free card this time around?

Rossum
2008-08-23, 02:15 AM
But then IDW pulled the same trick with Infiltration - how come the world at large isn't giving them another "Hey, something might happen next year, shut up, they're not Pat Lee" get out of jail free card this time around?

Slow Infiltration may have been, but it was at least different. AHM, in addition to having a slow start, also seems distressingly similar to Dreamwave's output. I think it makes people less inclined to be patient.

AndyTurnbull
2008-08-23, 12:08 PM
AHM 2 was a big waste of time, we've had 44 pages in which next to nothing in terms of the overall story actually happens and as has been said it's pretty much a Dreamwave title and has no connection to anything IDW has done previously save for that last page in issue 1 as far as I can see. The characters speech patterns are all reverting to Sunbowisms.

I feel for both Guido and Josh who have brought their a game to the title but the story is sadly lacking.

At $3.99 a pop for two issues of next to nothing it's a bit hard to swallow.

Bring on Maximum Dinobots.

I wonder who will get to the steer the line after AHM because based on these two issues I have a hard job believing it will be Shane McCarthy.

Andy

Halfshell
2008-08-23, 02:53 PM
Right, FP (rather disconcertingly, though I'm not sure which possible explanation is more worrying) didn't have any when I nipped in earlier, so I've not read this issue. But having scanned the comments from people I think are worthwhile, I think I'm actually upto speed regardless.

If the plot of #1 and #2 had been amalgated, would this be a passable introduction to a 6-issue mini?

But then IDW pulled the same trick with Infiltration - how come the world at large isn't giving them another "Hey, something might happen next year, shut up, they're not Pat Lee" get out of jail free card this time around?

Because Infiltration had signs that there were things that a) might happen and b) were already happening.

Page 1 of #1 essentially being a backstory infodump helped matters.

AHM is relying solely on the action and events that are current to catch our attention. Sadly, they're crap. Oh, but Prime might have had something happen to him. I don't know... I'm not filled with the urge to care, either.

Oh, and just so nobody thinks I'm picking on AHM because McCarthy's new and comes across as a bit of a prat in interviews - the last two issues of Astonishing X-Men have been godawful. Impenetrable art means I can't work out what's happening, but I think it's happening a bit slowly and the script doesn't fill me with the desire to stick it out and discover later. And that's being written by Warren "Modern Day God" Ellis, so there.

[EDIT]
Slow Infiltration may have been, but it was at least different. AHM, in addition to having a slow start, also seems distressingly similar to Dreamwave's output. I think it makes people less inclined to be patient.

Yep. All this has happened before, so if it's going to happen again it could at least do it quickly.

It's like Peter Jackson's King Kong. We know it's about an ape on an island, so could we at least get a move on, please.

inflatable dalek
2008-08-23, 05:11 PM
Damn, I was going to ask you some questions about about A-XM. Glad it's not just me confused on a few things...

Blitzwing
2008-08-23, 07:14 PM
So even though I dispised issue #1, I still picked this up because I'm a Transformer comics slut. There is still nothing about this story that is engaging to me. The art is mediocre at best. The characters are acting like it's 1984 again. The story hasn't gone anywhere.

Yet I will still buy issue 3, because I have a glimmer of hope that something interesting might eventually happen.

StoneCold Skywarp
2008-08-25, 09:29 PM
So even though I dispised issue #1, I still picked this up because I'm a Transformer comics slut. There is still nothing about this story that is engaging to me. The art is mediocre at best. The characters are acting like it's 1984 again. The story hasn't gone anywhere.

/agree

Yet I will still buy issue 3, because I have a glimmer of hope that something interesting might eventually happen.

I won't be. I promised my LCS that unless issue 2 gave us something beyond "Decepticonz deztroyee thingz!" that I wouldn't be picking it up anymore. Imagine my surprise when issue 2 of AHM consisted of "Decepticonz deztroyee thingz!"

Now don't get me wrong, I thought the whole Frenzy imagining was pretty funky-do, but one change to one character does not ample story-telling make.

Denyer
2008-08-26, 11:11 AM
That should've been issue #1, and #1 should've been #0 / the Focus On Decepticons issue. The Prime bit could've been recapped in #2 or #3. Some people are (justifiably, IMO) feeling rather stung on the dollar vs. moving-story-forward ratio right now. The up-side (from a business POV, at least) is that retailers will have ordered supplies of #1 and #2 without direct sales feedback, so there's a fair chance whatever the units on #1 were will carry for a while.

Points for Witwicky, Frenzy, and backreferencing the Machination. Also for that SS/Megs next issue splash at the back, Ravage as a dog in-joke, and a much-improved balance between text and non-text pages. I don't care about any situational parallels with DWG1V1, since as far as I'm concerned that's long since been struck from the book of life.

Continuity-wise I'm not keen on Insecticons and tapes having animal modes sans explanation. A single line of dialogue from one of them explaining the choice as a whim or psychological would be welcome, as would them not keeping Earth modes when off-Earth. Devastator I'm chalking down to gestalt tech getting refined in a chronologically earlier story strand, without which it's going to look awkward in retrospect. And Megatron still looks cartoonishly happy on page twenty, which jars with the tone of the story.

But yeah, if we pretend that this is #1 and FOD wasn't rehashed DW art and a few pages of story sold at a regular comic-book price, I'll be happy with the direction now established as long as we don't spend too much time on the fall of New York.

Halfshell
2008-08-26, 05:37 PM
That wasn't actually as awful as I expected. In fact, combined with last month's issue it would have made an acceptable #1.

The return of "no dialogue" for a few pages was worrying. And at least there'll be no arguments about what exactly Devastator's doing on the last page this time. Unless that's an explosion as Superion teleports in from beneath the sea.

And bonus points for Scavenger being "new" and having no idea about Frenzy. It's like Megatron Origin really never happened!

Sir Auros
2008-08-28, 03:34 AM
I won't be. I promised my LCS that unless issue 2 gave us something beyond "Decepticonz deztroyee thingz!" that I wouldn't be picking it up anymore. Imagine my surprise when issue 2 of AHM consisted of "Decepticonz deztroyee thingz!"

Now don't get me wrong, I thought the whole Frenzy imagining was pretty funky-do, but one change to one character does not ample story-telling make.

Why stop with just this book? I'm going to be cancelling my LCS subscription for ALL the non-Spotlight books ASAP. Throw out several years' worth of continuity to rehash Dreamwave's take on the Transformers, and the idiots at IDW have lost me as a customer.

If you haven't purchased this series yet, I recommend reading the first Dreamwave miniseries and renting the 2007 movie. It's pretty much the exact same thing.

inflatable dalek
2008-08-28, 06:29 AM
The Frenzy bit was great. And it was nice the mention of the Machination didn't just feel like it was randomly thrown in just to shut people up (though that does create a new problem, if people know about the giant terrorist controlled robots why were the air force surprised they were real last issue? Why were the New Yorkers all "Hey man, it's a film!" rather than "Oh shit, those Machination terrorists are back. Everyone run!").

Other than that, lots and lots of really odd moments and a big crock of shit. The fact the best praise anyone has had so far is "If IDW had done this totally differently this would be a great issue" sums it up pretty well.

The best example of what's wrong is the complete abandoning of Soundwave's established IDW personality simply because he had a cool memorable voice in the cartoon (and cartoon Soundwave really didn't have anything else, as neat as the voice was he couldn't really do more than two lines at a time). Think about it for a second, McCarthy is basing Soundwave's behaviour in this printed media around the way his voice sounds. He's now Megatron's Sat Nav.

Oh, and Colonel Fanwank is Jeremy Clarkson without the irony and thus no fun. Did the other new male character get named at all? It looks like he gets called Bridge at one point but with all the other harping on about bridges and tunnels its hard to be 100% sure...

Oh, and fearsome Ravage gets stopped by a bit of flame and a flimsy pull down door...

Red Dave Prime
2008-08-28, 09:05 AM
Ravage would also appear to be the snarling mindless animal of the cartoon rather then the intelligent, speaking bot that appearred in spotlight:soundwave. You could say that being under human control has warped his mind but grimlock was ok so maybe not.

Halfshell
2008-08-28, 09:20 AM
Oh, and fearsome Ravage gets stopped by a bit of flame and a flimsy pull down door...

For how long, though? With any luck, by the time we cut back to those characters next issue, he'll have burst through and eated them.

That'd be plot-twisty.

zigzagger
2008-08-28, 10:49 AM
The best example of what's wrong is the complete abandoning of Soundwave's established IDW personality simply because he had a cool memorable voice in the cartoon (and cartoon Soundwave really didn't have anything else, as neat as the voice was he couldn't really do more than two lines at a time). Think about it for a second, McCarthy is basing Soundwave's behaviour in this printed media around the way his voice sounds. He's now Megatron's Sat Nav.


Yeah, I had thought that too actually, but didn't bother to bring it up. Actually, now that you mention it, it reminds me of how Megatron's fusion cannon was handled in Megatron:Origin. [EDIT] Hmm, and now that I am thinking about it, I must also be recalling your review for M:O #4, where this amazing bit of character exposition was pointed out. You know, something along the lines of - "Who's Megatron?" "He's the guy who has a really big cannon." Seems applicable here as well. But considering the "bold new direction" this book has taken thus far, in particular the return of the same ol' Starscream/Megatron dynamic, Soundwave having his drone-ish personality from the the 84 cartoon doesn't seem too out of place here, really (though I definitely prefer one with more personality beyond "teh 1 with teh kweel voice") . Not that it is excusable of course, oh sweet jebus no. Since this is after all Origin that I am referencing here.

Commander Shockwav
2008-08-28, 01:32 PM
Though I was never a big fan of the cartoon, I much prefer the silent deadly Soundwave to the talkative like-every-other-bot he was in his Spotlight that Furman favors.

I mean, don't we have enough characters that sound the same? How about a little individuality?

If that means copying the freakin cartoon, so be it. I could care less if they bring in that 'gurgly' Seaspray or that 'POW!BAM' Warpath, as long as the characters differ from one another.

As long as the story itself is not a cartoon rehash, I'm fine with basing their voices on the cartoon.

Halfshell
2008-08-28, 01:34 PM
I prefer my Machiavellian schemers to actually be articulate, personally.

Denyer
2008-08-28, 01:36 PM
If that means copying the freakin cartoon, so be it. I could care less if they bring in that 'gurgly' Seaspray or that 'POW!BAM' Warpath, as long as the characters differ from one another.
There's no good reason a collective of functionally immortal robots would sound like babies, or rednecks, or British, or whatever else.

Rossum
2008-08-28, 04:47 PM
There's no good reason a collective of functionally immortal robots would sound like babies, or rednecks, or British, or whatever else.

Furman's single style for all characters isn't much better. Adding in some variation to match personalities doesn't necessarily mean, say, Ironhide will be y'all-ing all over the place (god willing). He could just be a lot more plain-spoken than the others.

Anyway, I can get past the Soundwave change pretty easily with the justification that he's deliberately maintaining a bland personality around his superiors or maybe Megatron's got him on a short leash after his prior Earth shenanigans. Compared to some of the other problems with the story so far, it strikes me as a minor quibble.

Nevermore
2008-08-28, 06:38 PM
For how long, though? With any luck, by the time we cut back to those characters next issue, he'll have burst through and eated them.

Only they're already out on the street and running again on page 15.

Commander Shockwav
2008-08-28, 08:05 PM
There's no good reason a collective of functionally immortal robots would sound like babies, or rednecks, or British, or whatever else.


Yeah, I know, it's silly as hell, but i don't care.

And it can still be reasoned that certain bots uploaded certain voice patterns they came in contact with while scanning Earth, and kept it as such.

I mean, one could argue simply speaking English doesn't make sense either.

If they're gonna choose a language, why not a dialect or inflection?

inflatable dalek
2008-08-28, 08:32 PM
"Who's Megatron?" "He's the guy who has a really big cannon."

No no no. Megatron is the guy with the really big canon, but who doesn't need to use it because he can kill people by scratching them under the chin. How does he do it? I don't know. But that's a layered character that is.

As for Soundwave/Furman characters, yes Furman can be verbose, he can fall into reusing his clichés once to often and on a bad day his characters can be indentikit. But on a good day (and Marvel Soundwave was a good day) he's great at creating quick sketch characters who have different personalities. IDW Hardhead, Jetfire and Prowl are all very different people with different ways of speaking.

And Furman's take on Soundwave is a intelligent, thoughtful guy who plays his cards close to his chest and likes to play his own agenda, but isn't out to overthrow Megatron (tellingly in Secrets he'll make some money on the side from selling info to Shockwave but only goes into full on rebellion later when Starscream blackmails him) and doesn't really want to be leader (in the future stories he only takes the job on full time after all the other candidates have died). That's very different from Astrotrain, Starscream, Shockwave etc.

And if Mac the Knife wanted to create more distinct, TV friendly persona why not do it with characters who hadn't already been in the comic?

Denyer
2008-08-28, 08:34 PM
one could argue simply speaking English doesn't make sense either
The way I look at it is: they're not speaking English unless deliberately trying to communicate with humans. Any plot point that relies on humans "overhearing" Transformers when they have no reason to be speaking an Earth language is due to the writer being a ****ing moron.

Furman's single style for all characters isn't much better.
I don't have difficulty hearing a version of the show voices for most characters. (In the instances I like the show voices, anyway.) Even for Soundwave -- it's just necessarily quicker, because he's slightly chattier than a dead Southerner pumped with morphine.

The style itself doesn't bother -- as with accents, there's no reason sentients with precise targeting systems and all the rest would have limited vocabularies, or not multi-task to the extent they can't hold up an internal monologue in full sentences during a battle -- only Furman's tendency to reuse stock phrases and use Meaningful Capital Letters for stuff.

Rossum
2008-08-29, 02:07 AM
The way I look at it is: they're not speaking English unless deliberately trying to communicate with humans. Any plot point that relies on humans "overhearing" Transformers when they have no reason to be speaking an Earth language is due to the writer being a ****ing moron.


I don't have difficulty hearing a version of the show voices for most characters. (In the instances I like the show voices, anyway.) Even for Soundwave -- it's just necessarily quicker, because he's slightly chattier than a dead Southerner pumped with morphine.

The style itself doesn't bother -- as with accents, there's no reason sentients with precise targeting systems and all the rest would have limited vocabularies, or not multi-task to the extent they can't hold up an internal monologue in full sentences during a battle -- only Furman's tendency to reuse stock phrases and use Meaningful Capital Letters for stuff.

I think it's improved over the course of the series, but the style I mean is the slightly stiff, overly elaborate, sometimes convoluted, phrasing that pops up in everyone's speech. It's not a huge deal to me, but it's a little distracting. It reminds me that I'm not reading what the characters are saying, I'm reading what one guy wrote for those characters to say.

There are enough turns of phrase that I do like in the books, so it evens out. I'm partly complaining just to fight off the rose-tinted nostalgia I'm already feeling for the series.

inflatable dalek
2008-08-29, 11:35 AM
I'm happy to treat overtly English slang as [what I think the Discontinuity Guide coined as] translation conversions. Spotlight Wheelie implies Universal Translator style things are standard which deals with humans overhearing things in English when they shouldn't if you don't want sleepless nights trying to work it out. I get more annoyed when the written word is translated, especially as its not done consistantly (it annoys me in new Who as well, how does a system based around telepathy translate a non telepathic sign anyway?)

Most amusing thing about all the IDW comics this month is the claim in the IDWords bit that Epilogue is "possibly the first full blooded Vampire anti-hero comic" when IDW do a Spike title.

And now, for those of you needing more enjoyment from AHM2, my simple Rocky Horror style guide for added fun:

Forget DJ and Andy, the two unlucky pilots are now PJ and Duncan.

Whilst ravage is chasing Duncan, hum the Benny Hill theme. Thinking of half naked women at this point may also add to your enjoyment.

Imagine Colonel Witwicky being played by played by Charles Napier (true, he's probably a little old now by any other actor would just be told to "Play it like Charles Napier" anyway). Then imagine this comic as Faster Pussy Cat, Kill Kill!. Whioch brings us back to Ravage and half naked women.

Instead of "Prepare for Devastation!" Devastator now bellows "I bet you'd rather we'd have done Expansion!"

Imediately below Devastators first appearance, between Witiwcky and "It's wading into the river!" exposition guy, look! It's TV's 9th Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston! Still trying to escape typecasting eh Chris?

Just go read Watchmen instead. Or go have a big long poo. Both will be more satisfying.

Halfshell
2008-08-29, 12:42 PM
As for Soundwave/Furman characters, yes Furman can be verbose, he can fall into reusing his clichés once to often and on a bad day his characters can be indentikit. But on a good day (and Marvel Soundwave was a good day) he's great at creating quick sketch characters who have different personalities. IDW Hardhead, Jetfire and Prowl are all very different people with different ways of speaking.

This is it - it's about the usage of language. Different verbal styles > comedy accents.

It's the difference between reading a line and thinking "that character would never say that, because it's not in pattern with their linguistic approach" and thinking "that character would never say that, because their stupid speech impediment would render it impossible."

The way I look at it is: they're not speaking English unless deliberately trying to communicate with humans. Any plot point that relies on humans "overhearing" Transformers when they have no reason to be speaking an Earth language is due to the writer being a ****ing moron.

Yup. One thing the live action movie did well. Apart from the bits with the Autobots chatting to each other with no humans about. And Starscream to Megatron.

I don't have difficulty hearing a version of the show voices for most characters. (In the instances I like the show voices, anyway.) Even for Soundwave -- it's just necessarily quicker, because he's slightly chattier than a dead Southerner pumped with morphine.

Yup. He can still speak in a flat, echoey monotone if it floats your boat. All that changes is that he's able to actually string a sentence together.

Brimstone
2008-08-31, 02:45 AM
Yup. One thing the live action movie did well. Apart from the bits with the Autobots chatting to each other with no humans about. And Starscream to Megatron.Not that I'm overly willing to admit I read it, but....

In the novel, the scene at the observatory, Jazz is talking in Cybertronan (-ian?) and Prime orders him and everyone else to start using the human languages, because this is now their home. So, presumably that was in the script, but cut.

Also, the scene between Megatron and Starscream was in Cybertronan, if I recall correctly.

Halfshell
2008-08-31, 10:20 AM
Most amusing thing about all the IDW comics this month is the claim in the IDWords bit that Epilogue is "possibly the first full blooded Vampire anti-hero comic" when IDW do a Spike title.

Also have to wonder exactly what Steve Niles is referring to with his snarky comments about vampires being mishandled and "Evidently, vampires on TV can now walk in the sun and are detectives."

My initial thought about what he's referring to can't possibly be right... I mean, IDW have the license for it... and it would of course mean he hadn't properly watched the program.

... no, wait. That's plausible.

Unless I'm missing something?

inflatable dalek
2008-08-31, 01:16 PM
Perhaps he's only seen the first season where there are a few episodes where they don't get the keeping him in the shadows thing right?


I thought the Autobots keeping to English and the Decepticons not bothering was actually a nice way of highlighting their different attitudes. The Screamer/Megatron bit is more problomatic though...

Sir Auros
2008-08-31, 05:07 PM
I thought the Autobots keeping to English and the Decepticons not bothering was actually a nice way of highlighting their different attitudes. The Screamer/Megatron bit is more problomatic though...

Also another aspect of the English vs. Spanish thing they had going on in the movie already. The good guys speak the language of the land, the bad guys are still speaking their nasty foreign tongue.

Halfshell
2008-08-31, 05:39 PM
Also another aspect of the English vs. Spanish thing they had going on in the movie already. The good guys speak the language of the land, the bad guys are still speaking their nasty foreign tongue.

http://xkcd.com/84/

LKW
2008-09-01, 12:20 AM
Also have to wonder exactly what Steve Niles is referring to with his snarky comments about vampires being mishandled and "Evidently, vampires on TV can now walk in the sun and are detectives."

My initial thought about what he's referring to can't possibly be right... I mean, IDW have the license for it... and it would of course mean he hadn't properly watched the program.

... no, wait. That's plausible.

Unless I'm missing something?

Yeah, but it’s something Amero-centric. I’m pretty sure Niles’ snark was referring to the recently-canceled CBS series “Moonlight”. The one-season show (which David Greenwalt left almost as soon as he was brought in to help it) received a fair share of criticism for copying much of the set-up and trappings of Angel while failing to reach for any of its depth… and, apparently letting its hero be immmune to daylight. (I saw little of the show myself, so I don’t think I ever actually witnessed the latter.) Yeah, it would be rather off-the-wall for him to be taking shots at, well, the subject of IDW’s best-selling title ever :)

As for AHM #2 – just read it, and… definitely liked it better than the first. Frenzy was the highlight, the size of Devestator the lowlight. I’ll admit that that’s one thing I actually liked from the Budiansky stuff, personally – the gestalts were generally only about two or three times the height of everyone else. But even if I liked the more cartoonish-sized – and I can see the adding mass just as others shed it idea to an extent – how small are those cars and boats next to Devestator? Would Godzilla even come up to this guy’s waist?? I really hope that’s just a bit of artistic liscence Guidi reigns in next issue.

I had to look back to see if the first name of Col. Witwicky was ever mentioned – wow. If nothing else, IDW can claim “Daniel Witwicky – as you’ve NEVER seen him before!!”;) And it’s interesting that there was not a single Autobot appearance this issue (well, except for a few pictures on the briefing table).

I do hope that Soundwave gets to have more of his IDW personality; and I agree that there’s not a whole lot of story here for two full issues. (And I can believe that Ellis may be stringing out Astonishing, Halfshell – did you end up reading his run on Thunderbolts? Talk about “decompressed storytelling”…)

Still, it was nice to see some suggestion that McCarthy has familiarized himself with IDW’s previous material; and overall, I have a little more optimism for the next issue. Definite improvement on #1.

Halfshell
2008-09-01, 04:42 PM
Yeah, but it’s something Amero-centric. I’m pretty sure Niles’ snark was referring to the recently-canceled CBS series “Moonlight”. The one-season show (which David Greenwalt left almost as soon as he was brought in to help it)

Aaaaahhha. I remember the hubbub now. It's been cancelled? Shocker. ;)

Ta fer that. I thought somebody in the editorial department must have been asleep or something!

(And I can believe that Ellis may be stringing out Astonishing, Halfshell – did you end up reading his run on Thunderbolts? Talk about “decompressed storytelling”…)

I tried getting the singles as they were released, but they were always sold out by the time I got to the shops. Have read the first TPB. Probably would have killed somebody if I'd had to wait a month between each.

AXM's problem isn't decompression, so much as impenetrable art making it difficult to know what's going on, and what-there-is-of-the-script making it very hard to care. Letting the art carry events only works if the art doesn't resemble a bad trip. :(

LKW
2008-09-04, 02:11 AM
You’re welcome, glad I could fill in the blank :)

Re: Thunderbolts: Heh – sometimes it was more like two months between issues... I started to write out my thoughts on the series a bit, but let me trim it to: personally I like the second six-issue story better than the first, and it feels a little less “gotta make this story fill out a TPB, gotta make it fill out a TPB” – though it still probably wouldn’t’ve taken six issues in the old days.

Too bad the new Astonishing is so incoherent art-wise. Personally, Astonishing X-Men was just such a Whedon/Cassady thing that I probably would’ve dropped it no matter who the new team was (I actually kind of still expected the series to end when they finished), but I feel for those who are having to muddle through unclear pages now. (At least it’ll probably come out more frequently than it had for the previous dozen issues…)

Blackjack
2008-09-04, 12:00 PM
twelve issues for a TPB... I guess they're making it a two parter. Not that I'm all excited about it.

A Decepticon Spotlight is getting me all worked up, but if they're putting fools in charge of it (points at Megatron Origin, and ALl Hail Megatron) then it's better if they're not Spotlighted at all.

Halfshell
2008-09-04, 12:48 PM
Re: Thunderbolts: Heh – sometimes it was more like two months between issues... I started to write out my thoughts on the series a bit, but let me trim it to: personally I like the second six-issue story better than the first, and it feels a little less “gotta make this story fill out a TPB, gotta make it fill out a TPB” – though it still probably wouldn’t’ve taken six issues in the old days.

It's odd that we've landed on Ellis' Thunderbolts. Being as it's a perfect example of how a reboot/new reader jump-on point doesn't need to completely ignore everything that's gone before in order to be accessible.

The backstory is massively convoluted, and it span out of that year's intimidatingly-scaled monster crossover... but by rooting it in who the characters are, and accepting that new readers will be able to work stuff out as they go, it manages to be neither brainless nor eventless.

Within the space of the first issue, we understand exactly what Thunderbolts is, what they do, who runs it, the bulk of the character dynamics, how they're perceived by the world at large (in contrast to what they actually are)... whereas within an issue of All Hail Megatron, we know that... uhm... the Decepticons are attacking New York. And by the end of the second issue we know that some bits of the government knew about them beforehand. Mmm. Pacey.

Too bad the new Astonishing is so incoherent art-wise. Personally, Astonishing X-Men was just such a Whedon/Cassady thing that I probably would’ve dropped it no matter who the new team was (I actually kind of still expected the series to end when they finished), but I feel for those who are having to muddle through unclear pages now. (At least it’ll probably come out more frequently than it had for the previous dozen issues…)

Mmm. I spent the entire first twelve issues of Whedon's run expecting Chris Claremont to take over it. Fortunately he's busy sucking the fun out of Exiles, so we were saved that. I hoped it would be BKV, but was elated when I found out it would be the Ellis taking over. But, to be honest, I'd rather have a Cassady-drawn issue come out once every four months than a book that's on-time but has godawful art.

It's like the whole Spotlight Grimlock thing. I could have coped with it being, what, six weeks late? If not for the fact that it was still the most shoddily produced thing ever. Like if/when the last issue of Planetary turns up. Sure, it'll have been the longest wait ever, but at least we know it'll look good.

inflatable dalek
2008-09-04, 07:58 PM
I wasn't all that wowed by Wheedon's run at the time, mainly because the long gaps made it hard to follow the plot, I'm hoping when I have time to sit down and reread the whole thing in one go I'll be like "I was so wrong, Wheedon is still a genius at all he does". I did think the Giant size issue was the best he'd done for a while as it boiled it all down to the basics, giant missile heading for Earth has to be stopped. But even then it could probably have been done in a normal sized issue if they'd cut out the pointless cameos from the rest of the Marvel characters (they show up and contribute nothing but some Neo Knight style hallucinations that, whilst fun in Spider-Man's case, could have dropped easily).

Quick question for those who know, most of the X-Men stuff I've read is minimum of 20 years old in the Essential books, so when did Kitty start being able to Phase for longer than she can hold her breath?

On the plus side, not enjoying AXM so much meant I never bothered with Buffy season 6, which saved me some money.

[@ Blackjack, I think it's already been said the title will be collected in two six issue trades. Now we return you to us studiously ignoring AHM...]

Halfshell
2008-09-04, 10:29 PM
On the plus side, not enjoying AXM so much meant I never bothered with Buffy season 6, which saved me some money.

I'm guessing you mean season 8. Which, one continuity confusion aside, is bundles of fun and gets right pretty much everything that's wrong with the new Angel comic.

Check. Your. PMs. :o

inflatable dalek
2008-09-05, 07:22 AM
I'm guessing you mean season 8.

Well, I'm not going to bother with 21 episodes out of season 6 any time soon either.

That's right, the only one I ever bother to watch out of sequence is the one with the Loan Shark.

I know Wheddon hasn't written the bulk of the Buffy comics and it won't have one of the other problems of AXM (when is it supposed to be happening in relation to all the other Marvel stuff? If they hadn't mentioned Civil War at one point I'd have coped...) so it's probably a bit whimsy of me not to bother with it for those reasons, but am glad to hear it's turning out good...

Halfshell
2008-09-05, 08:14 AM
I know Wheddon hasn't written the bulk of the Buffy comics

We've had some quality arcs from BKV and Drew "Cloverfield" Goddard.

The format of the series pretty much nails what IDW's TF ongoing should have been - a sequence of tight, eventful four-part arcs punctuated by the occasional standalone which adds background.

But that's another argument. I dare say Whedon opted for 4-parters off the back of Astonishing struggling under six-issue constraints. Decompression ain't what it used to be.

Denyer
2008-09-07, 06:44 PM
http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/888/888174p1.html
McCarthy will single-handedly drag this entire ship underwater if he's not careful.
...
Pigeons can write better scripts than that.


Anyone find any more 'site' reviews? Some, er, positive ones?

Gouki
2008-09-08, 01:00 AM
http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/888/888174p1.html


Anyone find any more 'site' reviews? Some, er, positive ones?

The most positive reviews I've seen are posts by members of forums Mcarthy is an active part of.

zigzagger
2008-09-08, 02:11 AM
http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/888/888174p1.htmlAnyone find any more 'site' reviews? Some, er, positive ones?

Honestly, to echo Gouki, it truly is a rare thing as far as the 1st issue is concerned. And I am not saying that to be a snatch. My opinion thus far for AHM has been a fairly healthy balance of subjectivity and objectivity. When I feel like it, that is.
The most positive reviews I've seen are posts by members of forums Mcarthy is an active part of.
Ah, yes. Sycophancy at its best.

inflatable dalek
2008-09-08, 03:38 AM
That is one of the positive ones.

Halfshell
2008-09-08, 08:19 AM
CBR's Buy Pile columns have been fairly enthusiastic in a still-admitting-it's-utterly-mindless kinda way.

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-09, 02:32 PM
I wonder if fans would be so inclined to judge AHM so harshly had Simon's stuff not been abbreviated?

I mean, I read the series as a bit slow, yes, but not anywhere near as bad as some have said.

My opinion of it is more in line with most U.S. based TF websites have felt vs. UK-based websites, that have been more inclined to call for Shane's head.

The flaw of AHM, which could prove fatal in the next issue or so, is the that the pacing makes Infiltration look like Spotlight Cyclonus.

I really hope IDW realize this, and things pick up.

Halfshell
2008-09-09, 02:40 PM
Nope, I thought Dreamwave's G1 stuff was rubbish and that had nothing to do with a Furman book being curtailed. AHM is in the same vein as the DW stuff.

You're right on the pacing re the next issue though. After that hits, we'll be a quarter of the way into the story... and if there's no actual movement of events, we'll be in exactly the same position we were within the first five pages.

Terome
2008-09-09, 05:00 PM
Also nope. The Dead Universe part of the -ations was, to my mind, the weakest part of the story. I much preferred the shenannigans on Earth and the Machination and the interesting tangents presented by Spotlights like Kup, Wheelie and Ramjet, so the contraction of all the Big Epic stuff doesn't bother me too much, especially seeing as the first two parts of Revelation were lightning in a bottle.

I don't like All Hail Megatron because it is badly written to an astounding degree. Pace doesn't bother me at all since I'm the patient type. The sheer stupidity of a comic trying to emulate the look and feel of a Summer Action Movie is both maddening and a little bit insulting, a feeling which isn't helped much by the aggressively idiotic script. Besides, Furman's still around and there'll be another series of Animated along shortly, which is a vastly more intelligent and enjoyable use of the franchise, so it's not as if AHM is really -replacing- much. Fortunately.

Rossum
2008-09-09, 05:10 PM
I wonder if fans would be so inclined to judge AHM so harshly had Simon's stuff not been abbreviated?

I mean, I read the series as a bit slow, yes, but not anywhere near as bad as some have said.

My opinion of it is more in line with most U.S. based TF websites have felt vs. UK-based websites, that have been more inclined to call for Shane's head.

The flaw of AHM, which could prove fatal in the next issue or so, is the that the pacing makes Infiltration look like Spotlight Cyclonus.

I really hope IDW realize this, and things pick up.

I think the complaints would still exist if Revelation hadn't been curtailed, there just wouldn't be quite as much anger behind criticisms. The people that really don't like AHM wouldn't like it regardless, but there would be fewer who who outright hated it and were vocal about it.

Apart from that, the placement of AHM in continuity with the 'Tions is probably equally to blame for the vitriol. For all the reasoning that can be done about the changes, altogether they definitely bring up a sense of "all that came to this?".

Cliffjumper
2008-09-09, 05:22 PM
a little bit insulting

Yes. It's an insult to readers in general that IDW have made the clear decision that the book will only be a success if the plot is this simple, sparse and lightweight. That what people want is "teh Deceptercon pwning NY, LOL!". That what people want is G1 Season 1 with adult stuff like blood and guts and buildings getting destroyed. I mean, I've read Hardwired, I don't need a comic of it...

And I'm firmly of the belief that compacting the Dead Furmanverse is the best thing that could have happened, and it's perhaps a shame some way wasn't found of putting pressure on Furman three years ago so we didn't have three six-part minis where basically nothing happens. I mean, Revelations and everything might not actually work at all, but then another clip of Furman six-part non-events would probably have been an epic fail as well.

I was quite looking forward to something that would kick free of some of the dross Furman has dropped into his books - the emo kids, the Headmaster shit, basically all the dodgy Men in Black/spook stuff that was played out in 1997. I didn't realise things like plot, dialogue and characterisation would be out the window as well.

It's a handy strawman for AHM apologists to attack, that we're all blinkered Furman loyalists and that's the only reason we don't totally agree that AHM ROCKS AND KICKS ASS, but I think we're all grown-ups here*.

I don't think McCarthy's siege mentality and general bolshiness (again, any confirmation on AHM #1 having 20k sales yet?) is particularly helping, but Hell, I buy and laud comics by Alan Moore, and he's a complete wanker.

* = Obviously I mean the handful of people posting in this thread, some of the posters at this board are twats.

Terome
2008-09-09, 05:39 PM
some way wasn't found of putting pressure on Furman three years ago

Yeah, it's a bit jarring now short-sighted the editorial department seems to have been here. You'd think that, by the time Spotlight: Arcee came around, for instance, someone would have mentioned to someone that a big crunch was coming soon and maybe, just maybe, the readers didn't need to have the entire Jhiaxus / Arcee / Garrus-9 plot spool open just yet and so have freed up some space and characters for the finale. I liked Spotlight: Arcee, but I mean, Jhiaxus didn't even need to be anywhere near the Dead Universe at all at that point. They could preserved that whole plotline for some later date. Just an example, but shouldn't that sort of thing been happening back there?

Anyway, my point is that it's probably everybody's fault but McCarthy that so many plot points are colliding into each other in Revelation. That does not, however, excuse him from writing two terrible comics with more undeniably coming down the pipeline.

Cliffjumper
2008-09-09, 06:25 PM
I personally can't fathom why IDW's patience with Furman seems to have just evaporated in such a short amount of time... Criticism of all three 'main' minis came in roughly the same degree, with the title's lack of pace and meandering, child-with-a-huge-toychest plotline were there from the start, as was the indication that sales were dropping... Why they took so long to act and in the meantime left Furman ambling along is a good question to ask.

Rossum
2008-09-09, 06:45 PM
And I'm firmly of the belief that compacting the Dead Furmanverse is the best thing that could have happened, and it's perhaps a shame some way wasn't found of putting pressure on Furman three years ago so we didn't have three six-part minis where basically nothing happens. I mean, Revelations and everything might not actually work at all, but then another clip of Furman six-part non-events would probably have been an epic fail as well.


I halfway agree with you, but compacting the story at this point is starting to look like a big misstep. Partly because there's enough going on to justify more space, but partly because it's a big ol' case of closing the barn door after the cows have gone. If pacing was affecting sales, it could have been addressed in Devastation, Escalation or even Infiltration. By Revelation, the readers who gave up on the series were likely gone for good, so the only effect now is to frustrate the readers who were still on board.

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-09, 07:15 PM
And I'm firmly of the belief that compacting the Dead Furmanverse is the best thing that could have happened, and it's perhaps a shame some way wasn't found of putting pressure on Furman three years ago so we didn't have three six-part minis where basically nothing happens.

Finally.

Finally somebody agrees with me that the pacing of not just Infiltration, but Escalation and Devestation was too damn slow. Depsite my incessant whining about this, nobody seemed to agree with me, and were just floored by what Simon was doing.

I mean, the story wasn't bad, but I just felt it languished. It's why I was calling for a new writer to give us something fresh and get things moving along.

Then, IDW rushes Simon, and he produces what I felt were two of the best issues from IDW yet, the Spotlights Cyclonus and Hardhead. Go figure.

Had they done this from the beginning, all we would have really needed was Simon.

As it was, IDW found themselves in the precarious situation of making sweeping desparate changes by bringing in Shane to save the license.

There would have been no need for Shane if the whole Machination and Dead Universe plots had been wrapped up in a year.

Now, I'm left hoping that Shane delivers something special in these next two issues.

For God's sake IDW, understand that pacing was the problem before. Please don't let that happen again!

inflatable dalek
2008-09-09, 08:12 PM
I personally can't fathom why IDW's patience with Furman seems to have just evaporated in such a short amount of time...

PURE SPECULATION: The comics around the film did very well but sales quickly fell back into the area they were in before. The desire for change might be born out of disappointment they didn't maintain the momentum better.

Denyer
2008-09-09, 09:03 PM
Finally somebody agrees with me that the pacing of not just Infiltration, but Escalation and Devestation was too damn slow.
Er, Tom's been saying that for a long time.

I disagree as far as Infiltration goes -- a couple of issues blur into each other and it works better collected, but I loved the slow burn at that stage (mental images of worlds aflame, Megatron an alien so far above humans, Bumblebee vs. Skywarp, Megatron getting some time in the sun as a threat to be reckoned with) and think it would've worked out fine without a huge gap between that and Escalation. (Ideally with Escalation dropping most of the 'kids in jeopardy' scenes, which didn't justify the page space.)

there would be fewer who who outright hated it
Hate's a strong word... I just can't find anything much to like, bar some of the covers.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=17189

The cover gives you a great sense of the gleeful mayhem that this issue takes in. Plot? Not so much. But here? Really, who cares? The Decepticons roll and fly into Manhattan and start breaking stuff. There's a weird and ultimately pointless "Top Gun"/"Luke in the hangar bay" moment, but mostly this issue is about showing how badass Decepticons are. Mission accomplished. With art very much like the TV series (that's a good thing, Guido Guidi, with great colors from Josh Burcham) down to Megatron's classic smirk, as cowed and battered Autobots hunker down on Cybertron. You could have just as easily called this "Transformers: Bring On The Bad Guys." Great fun and empty calories for fans of bad guys.

That's pretty positive... though rather damning for anyone reading for story.

There would have been no need for Shane if the whole Machination and Dead Universe plots had been wrapped up in a year.
"Machination" could've been a thoroughly standalone story arc of its own; a group of Autobots discovering Scorponok active on Earth, leading to background on the protocols Magnus works by and some flashbacks underlining why TFs keep tech away from other races.

that we're all blinkered Furman loyalists
Anyone describing you as a loyalist towards any aspect of TF media probably also thinks Ian Paisley is a fabulous ballet coordinator.

Cliffjumper
2008-09-09, 09:21 PM
I halfway agree with you, but compacting the story at this point is starting to look like a big misstep. Partly because there's enough going on to justify more space, but partly because it's a big ol' case of closing the barn door after the cows have gone. If pacing was affecting sales, it could have been addressed in Devastation, Escalation or even Infiltration. By Revelation, the readers who gave up on the series were likely gone for good, so the only effect now is to frustrate the readers who were still on board.

Mmmm, I'm in agreement there and didn't phrase it very well - it should have been ran at that sort of pace from the start. So much of Infiltration, for example, has had little bearing on what's ultimately happened.

I understand the need for Verity, O'Crazyname and That Other One on the basic level of showing "Wow, shit, alien robots", but the time devoted to their development (I mean, they didn't actually get any, but there were a lot of pages where characters who couldn't be summed up in a line each might have developed, a bit like the way Iceman's been in X-Men for forty odd years and has never really gone beyond being "the man with the ice") was a severe mis-step. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want the three of them to keep up that level of exposure, indeed one of the main reasons the series has maintained vague upwards movement is the lack of Myspace-researched emo crap pouring out of Verity's mouth. But why devote a fair chunk of a mini-series to them, and then basically ignore them?

In fact, just about anything on Earth is in danger of being a total waste. The three Earth minis can be broadly summed up as the Decepticons kick things up a gear on Earth, the Autobots have a stab at stopping them, but there's all kinds of shit flying around and they can't muster the resources to stop the Decepticons there. I wouldn't like to put a number on it as I don't really have the willpower to follow through and hack around scans and/or scribble out an alternative script, but that shouldn't take 18 issues. G2 took 12 issues (say, 14 for the sake of allowing for the larger #1 and #12)...

And yeh, I realise a few more bits are going to tie in with X-Treme Dinobots and so on.

And yeh, I realise Furman can't have known this X years ago. But then when something like this happens you can't just shrug your shoulders and say "Sorry lads, thought I had another five years to start bringing things together". Some form of self-discipline from Furman as he went along would have been advisable, and the man's probably set the world record for getting comics cancelled...

Anyone describing you as a loyalist towards any aspect of TF media probably also thinks Ian Paisley is a fabulous ballet coordinator.

I do deeply love Man of Iron and the bit in Legacy of Unicron where Inferno bungs Smokescreen through the shuttle window.

No, wait, that was drawn by Dan Reed. Top cover, though.

Red Dave Prime
2008-09-09, 09:36 PM
For my money, stormbringer has been the past of IDWs arcs so far. And not because it was all robots (I am all for more humans provided they are not the usual "kids" that crop up in all forms of transformers media) Simply with stormbringer I felt we had a proper start, a middle and an end to the main storys arc with handy lead offs into other plots but a definite conclusion. I'd argue only infiltration fully lived up to this ideal as both escalation and devastation felt like set ups for something else (in escalations case the facsimile issue should have been resolved, devastation, for better or worse, should have lived up to its name either by the reapers causing proper carnage or through the decepticons)

Incidently, while I liked the way the machination was explained as a cover up in AHM how was the reaver battle covered up? the bodies left behind surely wouldnt have been robotic (or did galvatrons disease get rid of everything?)

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-09, 09:38 PM
And yeh, I realise Furman can't have known this X years ago. But then when something like this happens you can't just shrug your shoulders and say "Sorry lads, thought I had another five years to start bringing things together". Some form of self-discipline from Furman as he went along would have been advisable, and the man's probably set the world record for getting comics cancelled...

Do you remember what one of the biggest gripes about DW was before it got cancelled?

It was "they have left subplots dangling far too long and there hasn't been enough closure".

Ironic, that we would find ourselves in the very same position, albeit moreso.

Despite the criticisms of DW, I will say more was accomplished in the same amount of time than what we've had occur til now. Whether what actually happened was of any real substance is another question, but stuff did happen.

I disagree as far as Infiltration goes -- a couple of issues blur into each other and it works better collected, but I loved the slow burn at that stage (mental images of worlds aflame, Megatron an alien so far above humans, Bumblebee vs. Skywarp, Megatron getting some time in the sun as a threat to be reckoned with) and think it would've worked out fine without a huge gap between that and Escalation. (Ideally with Escalation dropping most of the 'kids in jeopardy' scenes, which didn't justify the page space.)

Yeah, but see, I would wager most fans don't really remember Bumblebee vs. Skywarp. I can't recall a single panel from it, really.

When I think back to Infiltration, all I can remember is Ratchet running from the Battlechargers, running from Skywarp, running from his own ass.

When I think of Escalation, I don't really recall much at all. I remember it being good. I remember Prime vs. Megs looking nice. But I mean, I'm trying to think of a panel in Escalation besides that fight, and really can't recall one.

When I think of Devestation, I think of the Ark crashing and that battle at the end between everybody, in particular that scene where Runamucks head goes a flyin (hehe, see, that's memorable stuff that should happen).

The Spotlights, on the other hand, I can vividly remember.

Why?

Because shit happens. It has to happen, it's one issue.

That's the kind of forced pacing Simon should have maintained all along.

Cliffjumper
2008-09-09, 09:58 PM
For my money, stormbringer has been the past of IDWs arcs so far.

I certainly agree. If you're going to do subtitled mini-series (for whatever reason; I appreciate it wasn't IDW's choice necessarily), they should have some semblance of being self-contained. Let's take The Ultimates, something made in the same climate as IDW's Transformers to a certain degree. I go out and pick up "Homeland Security" as my firstest everest buy. I'm going to have a couple of questions, which are more likely to provoke curiousity (how did these chaps get together? Why is Captain America kicking Giant Man through a wall? and so on, and so forth). But I've got a whole story in there. Pick up the Escalation TPB and it's a case of What the **** is going on and why does it suddenly stop without really coming up with much.

And you've got to bear in mind that I quite like Escalation (don't ask me why, it's like a Clover Gundam - you're vaguely aware that if you sit down and think about it you're going to come up with a list of things wrong with it as long as a very long thing; but if you don't actually look at it for long it doesn't seem too flawed), it just didn't come close to functioning on its' own terms.

Picking six issues for the Earth minis was a big mistake, I feel. Compacting and re-arranging to four-parters would have allowed things to move more quickly, and they should all have had a big event happen in them. Ideally I'd have moved Prime's defeat forward to Infiltration, have an Autobot fightback in Escalation and then have a "You thought they won? Here's Galvatron!" thing going on in Devastation, but I've no idea how much that would impact on everything around it.

Re: DW, two wrongs don't make a right, and I've enjoyed the ride off the cliff a lot more this time around. Though I have had much more fun discussing these comics than I have reading them, TBH. Both titles have made some of the similar wrong moves, however, like a very bad attention span ("You wanted this can of worms sorted? No dice, let's open another one instead!"), unneccesary character stuffing (though Furman does at least have Autobot A phone someone and say "Hey, can I borrow Sideswipe?" rather than "Hey, Omega Supreme's behind this hill, isn't that lucky?") and an implausible refusal to kill off anyone who isn't blatant cannon fodder.

Gouki
2008-09-10, 02:54 AM
So... when was this announced as a reboot? I thought it was just part of the continuing story?

inflatable dalek
2008-09-10, 06:23 AM
To be honest, I'd have rather a few more of the dangling threads had been given up as lost causes and left to our speculation if it meant a more focused and less cluttered Revelation. Much better to be saying "Shame we never found out what happened with Dealer and the Magnificence but at least we got a great end to the main Furman arc" rather than "Christ, that's how he's dealing with Dealer and the Magnificence? And were all these other characters who aren't doing anything introduced in the first place?"

Patapsco
2008-09-10, 09:12 AM
I didn't mind the pacing of Infiltration and still don't as it was the starting point for everything... but reading all three TPBs in succession does leave me, I dunno, kind of underwhelmed. There are definitely sub-plots that started later which could have been moved forward earlier in the series but hindsight being 20/20 and all that. The slow pace does become ridiculously evident in Devastation as literally everything comes to the boil at the same time and goes completely off the rails

zigzagger
2008-09-10, 09:32 AM
To be honest, I'd have rather a few more of the dangling threads had been given up as lost causes and left to our speculation if it meant a more focused and less cluttered Revelation.
You got me thinking, it would be oh so lovely if the Furmanverse leaves where it began. I'm of course referring to the king of all dangling threads, Shockwave who, somehow, has managed to elude everything that has gone on thus far. Maximum Dinobots would be a great place for the Furmanverse to take its final bow (if it truely does, of course) and tie this loose end off once and for all. You know, "everything coming full circle" and all that cliched rubbish. If it at least does this, I can dust my hands off and say, Well, folks, its been fun. Now bring out the next victim.

Cliffjumper
2008-09-10, 09:34 AM
I'd say Devastation has the biggest pacing problems of the lot... Infiltration is like treacle, does waste a lot of time and did feature the most unconvincing group of kids since that Vanilla Ice film, but it got better as it went along, and buy the end there was a vague threat something interesting might actually happen. Escalation then built on that quite nicely, even if there was an overriding feeling we should have got there before, and Brasnya made me laugh.

So, Devastation was quite nicely teed up to really get us somewhere. Sure, somewhere we should have been a few issues ago, but better late than never. In theory, there's all kinds of shit flying around - open warfare between the Transformers on the cards, Galvatron flapping around, those Reapers, Sixshot. And yet not only do those events all manage to fall flat, but we get two overlong, less than interesting sub-plots in the timewasting hunt for Ratchet and the Headmaster stuff (which would both, IMO, have been better for the pacing if placed in a Sunstreaker spotlight, or at least compacted and dealt with in an issue or two, rather than spread across the whole six-parter). Any building pressure that somehow survives this then completely evaporates in the last issue as everyone decides to go home. Anticlimax doesn't cover it. I'm guessing Devastation was just picked out of a hat of words ending with "ation" rather than any attempt to sum up what was happening in the comics... Presumably "Notalothappeninghereation" wouldn't have done well with solicitations...

Halfshell
2008-09-10, 09:54 AM
Once upon a time, the Ratchet/Sixshot stuff would have been an issue on its own, bereft of other stuff sticking its nose in, titled "The Chase" or something silly like that. I miss ye olde Marvel at times. :(

You got me thinking, it would be oh so lovely if the Furmanverse leaves where it began. I'm of course referring to the king of all dangling threads, Shockwave who, somehow, has managed to elude everything that has gone on thus far.[/I]

Which is ironic, considering he's been responsible for so much of it. I can't remember the last TF to have such a high influence : pagetime ratio.

Patapsco
2008-09-10, 10:10 AM
was just about to post about Shockwave and then zigzagger said it all for me. Well, except the next victim part.

Cliffjumper
2008-09-10, 10:40 AM
"the timewasting hunt for Ratchet" should have been "the timewasting hunt for Ironhide". Ooopsies.

But yeh, I do feel the story might have worked better divvying the parallel threads up into issues somehow, with only fragments of larger pictures. Devastation actually really reminded me of Furman's Energon scripts - several threads getting four/five pages advancement per issue, and thus none of them really seem to be moving. Considering the Spotlights and the like have made solid use of tiny clues to show Issue A was happening at roughly the same time as Issue B, it's a shame Furman has kept so rigidly to a linear storytelling model for the main book.

But then structure was only one problem, and chopping and changing the order wouldn't have saved some underwhelming developments. I'd certainly have had Sixshot inflict some serious damage on Prime's team, maybe two or three fatalities - possibly Ratchet, and maybe Wheeljack and/or Jazz, who all seem to have run their course a little (and that, if done correctly, could have had a big impact - your favourites have bought it, there are no rules, we're not afraid to kill off popular characters, so don't go thinking Hot Rod is safe just because he's Hot Rod). I'd have pitched Prime's decision to bug out a bit more ambiguously as well - is he doing it because he and his troops are needed elsewhere? Or is he frankly shit-scared that his team's been taken apart and it represents a good chance to get it together?

I'd probably have still stuck with Sixshot having a failsafe, I just would have had him do something worth his billing first.

Rather than sending Wheeljack and Hot Rod on a wild goose chase just so they can get attacked by Headmasters, I'd have linked the Headmasters in to either Prime's Autobots or Megatron's Decepticons, attacking one or the other at just the wrong time. Actually, I tell a lie, I'd have completely cut that.

Halfshell
2008-09-10, 10:53 AM
But yeh, I do feel the story might have worked better divvying the parallel threads up into issues somehow, with only fragments of larger pictures. Devastation actually really reminded me of Furman's Energon scripts - several threads getting four/five pages advancement per issue, and thus none of them really seem to be moving.

It's funny you mention Energon. I really enjoyed that story... I liked the slow build, the feel that it was all mapped out and going somewhere... gradually advancing on a development... okay, it was slow, but it was going somewhere.

And then it got cancelled before anything really got to happen. And we're not even left with half a story.

You'd have thought Furman would have learnt the lesson.

I'd probably have still stuck with Sixshot having a failsafe, I just would have had him do something worth his billing first.

The fact that we find out Starscream knows about it in the same issue it happens never properly sat with me.

Possibly due to him being defrosted solely because he's the only member of squad with the nerve to stand upto Megatron on the subject... but then it conveniently happens that he's also the only one of them who knows the magic incantation to get rid of Sixshot. I mean if that's his only storyline function (which, let's face it, it is - the friction in the ranks thing never really went anywhere beyond a bit of posturing from the boss) then it's nothing that Megatron couldn't have done himself. Is it?

It went from "oooh, dissention... a power struggle's on the horizon" to "right, so he's only in it to do something Megatron could have done anyway?"

Cliffjumper
2008-09-10, 12:15 PM
It's funny you mention Energon. I really enjoyed that story... I liked the slow build, the feel that it was all mapped out and going somewhere... gradually advancing on a development... okay, it was slow, but it was going somewhere.

I found those issues where the Terrorcons (or Reapers, or Heralds of Unicron, or whatever Furman's four horseman rip-off in that continuity were called) were attacking four or five cities with a team of Autobots fighting them off in each to be very samey, with an almost uniform division of the pages among each location to be very slow moving... That was how I felt about Devastation, albeit the threads moving slowly were a little more distinct.

The fact that we find out Starscream knows about it in the same issue it happens never properly sat with me.

Mmm, personally felt using it would be quite fitting for Megatron's unflappable portrayal, he seems to have a lot in hand and he should basically know more than Starscream.

But then Starscream full-stop has been the same old dull vaguely treacherous lieutenant for the most part... the only real divergence is that for once Megatron looked set to deal with him. But, no, wait, thankfully there's a CR chamber on hand, so no need to kill off a pre-Movie character who's ultimately going to do nothing of particular interest. We'll save the deaths for when we can do all Underbase and have the Battlechargers line up and die.

Patapsco
2008-09-10, 12:22 PM
But then Starscream full-stop has been the same old dull vaguely treacherous lieutenant for the most part... the only real divergence is that for once Megatron looked set to deal with him. But, no, wait, thankfully there's a CR chamber on hand, so no need to kill off a pre-Movie character who's ultimately going to do nothing of particular interest. We'll save the deaths for when we can do all Underbase and have the Battlechargers line up and die.

But then again, who hasn't been a treacherous Decepticon in the IDWverse so far? Shockwave certainly has with regenesis and attempting to assert his control over both Autobots and Decepticons. Bludgeon was attempting to take over the Universe, Soundwave was ready to go along with Bludgeon until he found out about Thunderwing and Ramjet went even further towards traditional Starscream territory with his Spotlight. At least this time around Starscream had a decent motivation for taking on Megatron both times, once with the Ore-13, and secondly when Megatron went completely bonkers and ordered in Sixshot

Halfshell
2008-09-10, 12:28 PM
But then again, who hasn't been a treacherous Decepticon in the IDWverse so far?

Most of them. The Earth Unit were primarily in "cat's away" mode and fell back in line the moment Megatron turned up. Only sheepishly reviving Starscream because none of them had the nerve to speak their mind.

Shockwave certainly has with regenesis

How is trying to preserve the future of your race classed as treachery?

and attempting to assert his control over both Autobots and Decepticons.

I must have missed that...

Bludgeon was attempting to take over the Universe

Cleanse, mainly.

Soundwave was ready to go along with Bludgeon until he found out about Thunderwing

More "blackmail for a slice of the cut" rather than "go along with." Self serving DNNE treacherous. As soon as he found out what was actually happening, sense prevailed. You can't really go along with something when you don't know what it is. Sure, you can allow something to happen, but as said, the moment he found out what it was...

Patapsco
2008-09-10, 12:44 PM
I don't think he was ever trying to preserve the future of their race. He was simply making sure that when it came down to resources, he controlled the total supply of energon hence both sides would have to come to deal with him simply to survive, thereby bring both sides under his total command. At least thats how I read it, and reading too much into it at this point is probably moot as its just a comic.

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-10, 01:53 PM
I think one of the reasons I enjoy Shockwave so much is because when he's involved in the story, things are always happening, whether it be Marvel, DW, or IDW.

I think it was a mistake to leave him out of the picture this long. Regardless of the circumstances in play in a story, when he's around, the question is always raised "What is Shockwave going to do in this scenario?", which is usually something of import.

Glad to hear that after two years, he's making a return.

Along the same lines, Soundwave makes things interesting as well. Though I wasn't that big a fan of his spotlight, I'm glad to see Shane focusing on him in AHM.

inflatable dalek
2008-09-10, 07:48 PM
On the subject of similarities to the Energon comic, there was that cliffhanger where Alexis is absolutely dead dead dead only for it to turn out in the next issue she unconvincing survived. Meet the new boss...

The main thing I'm interested in learning about Shockwave is how much his Energon seeding project working for Jhiaxus' plan was just a coincidence (ie, were they all sitting around the Dead universe one day going "Hey, look what your old pupil is doing, that gives me an idea..." or was he following orders?).

As this thread has moved into general IDW discussion, and into spoilery discussion of issues people interested in AHM1 may not have read yet, would anyone object to the last few pages being moved into a "Simon Furman- Where Did He Go Wrong?" style thread?

Denyer
2008-09-10, 08:05 PM
spoilery discussion of issues people interested in AHM1 may not have read yet
I suggest not worrying about spoilers to old comics. Anything up to the 'present' -- IDW or older publishers -- is fair game. (Though if people can spot any appreciable difference between AHM #1 and #2, please tag spoilers for the latter.)

inflatable dalek
2008-09-10, 08:07 PM
I suggest not worrying about spoilers to old comics. Anything up to the 'present' -- IDW or older publishers -- is fair game. (Though if people can spot any appreciable difference between AHM #1 and #2, please tag spoilers for the latter.)


I was thinking more about the talk about Revelation than anything else. Not gone into hugely spoilery territory yet but could easily. If there's anyone left who cares that is?

Denyer
2008-09-10, 08:13 PM
With this timeline being One Year Later, anything that happens in Relevation (or Maximum Dinobots) allegedly leads into All Hail Megatron.

Taking those involved at their word, anyway...

Red Dave Prime
2008-09-11, 12:12 AM
Regarding the "where did furman go wrong?" idea, I have to point out (and not in furmans defence I must add) that all the problems with the comic that have irked should have been noted and fixed by the editor. Surely the editor could have seen that the pace for the scripts was a bit too slow, that ironhide was saved off-screen, the lame death/non-death of the human characters, the over-drawing out of who the big head is, the sillyness of the magnificence, the similaritys between AHM issues 1 and, er, 1.2... and I'm not even including the various speech bubble and colouring errors (or pretty much the whole second half of Spotlight:Grimlock) .
Furmans just the writer.

Cliffjumper
2008-09-11, 12:37 AM
Totally agree with that. The first two issues of Revelations have largely proved that what Furman needed was a firm boot up the arse.

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-11, 03:06 AM
Totally agree with that. The first two issues of Revelations have largely proved that what Furman needed was a firm boot up the arse.

QFT.

I mean, I blame Simon only to this extent about the pacing (and his cookie-cutter dialogue). The actual plot elements were pretty good, just executed way too slow.

I got a chance to talk with Chris Ryall at Comicon, and he flat out said he went with Shane because things were getting to drawn out and esoteric with Simon's stuff, making it nigh impossible to allow new readers to jump on board.

How much of the pacing problem do you think came from trying to fit it into the six-issue trade format? Me thinks a lot. I got mowed down on the Transfan.net message board for suggesting that Simon was purposefully drawing things out to fit this format, and I even asked Simon about it, and he responding by denying this was true, that his story was not written to fit the TPB format.

Yeah, right. :lies:

On a side note, did you see what IDW has planned for G.I.Joe? They are bringing in Chuck Dixon, a seasoned writer for D.C.

Denyer
2008-09-11, 09:12 AM
I seemed to be in a minority as far as enjoying Hearts of Steel went --

http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/guide.php?s=heartsofsteel

Still, he seems to be available --

http://pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog/2008/06/16/chuck-dixon-and-the-dcu/

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-11, 02:46 PM
I seemed to be in a minority as far as enjoying Hearts of Steel went --


Thought it was alright...up until the crap ending.

Denyer
2008-09-11, 03:23 PM
Actually I thought that more-or-less fit... they're out of their time, or rather one in which they'd have full agency, and I couldn't really give a toss whether there's a bigger fight at the end. Twain's dialogue at the end sums things up nicely.

Another couple of pages to emphasise things would've been welcome.

Starfield
2008-09-11, 05:25 PM
Regarding the "where did furman go wrong?" idea, I have to point out (and not in furmans defence I must add) that all the problems with the comic that have irked should have been noted and fixed by the editor. Surely the editor could have seen that the pace for the scripts was a bit too slow, ...I read some comments in the IDW forum that the slow pace of the scripts was the editor's idea. A lot of the other things you mentioned, such as Ironhide being saved off-panel, might be because events had to be rapidly altered to wrap-up quickly to accomodate AHM.

I think the magnificence was just supposed to be a map, not mystically know everything.

I am just speculating wildly and irresponsibly.

Denyer
2008-09-11, 05:32 PM
Regardless of whether it was their idea or not, the scripts were okayed and the decision taken to not switch to an artist who could produce at a pace allowing direct continuation of the storyline rather than publishing arcs with several-month gaps between them.

Cliffjumper
2008-09-11, 06:00 PM
Yeh, I can't quite find it in my heart of hearts to blame Furman for the lack of pace. He just took all the avaliable space and wrote the story he wanted to do... It was up to someone else to point out that this might not be what everyone else wanted (I feel I did my part ;)).

I'm just mildly amazed there wasn't some sort of incremental change as the three six-parters went along... to a certain extent they share the same faults, i.e. muddled pace and a near-total inability to work if you haven't read at least the other two core six-parters (let alone the Spotlights).

The whole decision seems rather an odd one... IDW seemed content to let Furman potter away for 3/4 years whether anyone else liked it or not, and then suddenly, bam, let's effectively junk the continuity.

Segue 1: I have a very strong feeling no dangling Dead Furmanverse threads will be solved in AHM. If Furman doesn't cover them in whatever he's got left, they'll just be left with an unexplored gap where everything magically sorts itself out and the end result is Christ, It's Season One Of The Cartoon.

Segue 2: Not fussed about splitting off posts unrelated to AHM, but can we change the topic title to "All FAIL Megatron" to give me a cheap laff?

Halfshell
2008-09-11, 06:03 PM
and the end result is Christ, It's Season One Of The Cartoon.

That's unfair!

You know as well as I do that the Insecticons didn't show up till season two. :o

Cliffjumper
2008-09-11, 06:06 PM
You know as well as I do that the Insecticons didn't show up till season two. :o

http://tfarchive.com/cartoons/guide.php?s=season1#15

When I can remember more of the cartoon than you, you're in trouble.

All FAIL Halfshell.

C'mon, it can be the Archive's ker-azy internet meme. It's topical, it can be adapted to any purpose, one of us can do a cliquey page on the Wikia, and it's about as funny as rape.

Halfshell
2008-09-11, 06:18 PM
:(

Cliffjumper
2008-09-11, 06:40 PM
:(

I didn't mean, like, All FAIL Halfshell being the Big Crazy Injoke. Just All FALL bopity-bop.

inflatable dalek
2008-09-11, 08:12 PM
Whilst I agree that the last few issues of Devastation read as if Furman is desperately reinventing things on the hoof, and that the first two Revelation issues feel more like he's had time to have a bit of think and sort things out, there are still better ways he could have chopped and changed. The rescue of Ironhide demanded some space place as it was a major arc throughout the six issues. The pages on Grimlock could have been dropped instead considering they tell you nothing his Spotlight doesn't recap.

I still say it should have become an ongoing at the end of Infiltration. The reasons for not doing it always seemed a bit flimsy to me, even if comic book stores had been so let down by Dreamwave they weren't trusting a ongoing comic by the time IDW had put out six issues they should have coped with the idea the company wasn't going to vanish the next day.

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-11, 11:06 PM
I still say it should have become an ongoing at the end of Infiltration

I agree, it would have been nice. I mean, even the Spotlights could have been part on the ongoing. When Marvel had the license, very commonly they would have a one or two parter sandwiched between an ongoing arc, and it worked just fine.

But you know, the whole "#1 sell's better", yada,yada....

zigzagger
2008-09-13, 01:11 AM
The carnage in New York City continues.
........
Yep, that's all I got. This is your all purpose, no holds barred, All Hail Megatron #3 reaction and discussion thread. What well known landmarks will be destroyed this time? The Statue of Liberty perhaps? Place your bets here ;)

Due to arrive the 17th of September along side Transformers: Spotlight Volume 3 TPB according to grahamcrackers.com shipping schedule.
http://www.grahamcrackers.com/newcomics.htm

Dreadwing
2008-09-17, 12:01 AM
I am actually (GASP!) enjoying this series. The pacing is no worse than infiltration. This is at least filled with humans that DIE instead of whine and cry while ratchet saves their hides every other page. I would have liked this story to be told from the decepticons POV instead of the humans, but oh well. This series is already WAY better than Evolutions or Megatron: Origin.

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-17, 10:41 PM
Okay, so what do we got.

Kickass Trevor Hutchinson cover. Check.

Strong Guido artwork. Check.

Cinematic feel. Check.

Story progression. Very, very little.

Before I get into criticisms though, I want to say, I do understand the feel Shane is going for here. It does seem cinematic in a way, and despite it's comparisons to the cartoon, I don't really get that same vibe these past two issues. I think Shane is going for an "invasion" kind of feel, something global, as felt from the perspective of mankind. Which I think he has achieved, and which I have enjoyed. I enjoy the way Shane is letting Guido's art tell the story.

Also on the plus, we get some character development and hints of history between Megs and Screamer. I actually find it quite intriguing, and the dialogue is a welcome change from the "-ations" series.

But the pacing and story progression? Oh momma.

A major flaw here, possibly fatal. This series thus far has made Infiltration seem like.....like Revelations!

I mean, one has to question, that if Marvel's main title for the year, Secret Invasion, can achieve what it has set out to do in an eight issue series, surely AHM could have followed suit?

What I have seen, I haved enjoyed. Problem is, I have seen very little in terms of actual story progression. Twelve dollars in, we should be seeing much, much more than we have. I mean, cut some of those panel sizes in half. There doesn't have to be more dialogue, just more page space.

I see potential here, I really do. But the way things are going, that potential will only be met in trade paperback format.

Give it a "B-".

zigzagger
2008-09-18, 01:06 AM
Okay. This is....better. Well, it wasn't nearly as light as the last two issues anyway. But, was it just me or did the conclusion seem rather abrupt - as in it felt like it stopped midway through the book before properly concluding itself?

Anyhooo, on with the characters and story. The Starscream/Megatron interlocution was lovely, which surprisingly didn’t cause me to cringe as I initially anticipated. Even during moments when I thought it would lead into the same ol’ “I, Starscream, will lead the Decepticons….” sort of nonsense, McCarthy managed to steer clear just in time. In fact, I almost have a clearer glimpse into McCarthy’s vision for these characters…that is, until the usual ol’ Sunbowisms resumed just a few pages later, where it was revealed that Reflector’s character is based on his/their ability to speak in unison. And really, as much as I enjoyed the moments between Starscream and Megatron, where is it revealed that the two indeed have history and of a possible betrayal amongst the Autobot ranks, it doesn’t advance the overall story in any meaningful way.

Okay, I'm going to jump onto the bandwagon for a moment and get this get this out of my system, but at only the quarter way mark, I am finding the human characters less and less remarkable, especially Daniel Witwicky, who is just as machismo as he was last issue.

Alright, so maybe I am feeling a bit cranky today, but, seriously, we are 3 issues (and out 12 ****ing bucks) into this thing and we are still precisely where we were in the first issue (i.e they’re still blowing up shit in New York…oh wait, now they’re blowing up shit throughout the rest of the States too). Alright, you got me, the characters have more to say this time around. Yes, dialogue is great and all, I am a big fan of it, but it should help nudge the story along in some way. This - all of this isn’t exposition, it's fluff stretching out six issues of content across twelve.

In three issues it has gone from mindless to pretentious. Amidst all the chaos, we get a few scant details of what is to come under the guise of actual story progression. And that's it.

Upon first reading, #3 gets 2.5 out of 5.
(edit: and the second. sorry)

Red Dave Prime
2008-09-18, 06:31 PM
While all the criticism above is bang on, I finished this with a bit of optimism. The traitor in the autobot ranks could be a good idea... as long as it aint
Mirage. The attacks on the other cities and Megatrons indicate of a galaxy wide stragety is heartening, indicating that this could be the big push for the megatron era of transformers (I'm still betting on Megs getting deactivated by the end) Art is generally good throughout as well.

The humans are still heavy cliche but the rest is fine. The slow pace is a bit of a problem but it is giving the feeling of the city being under siege. I do like the explanation for the decepticons attacking new york but it doesnt quite hold up when they also have astrotrain slaughtering humans by the station-load.

All things considered, I'm looking forward to part 4.

MeGrimlock
2008-09-20, 09:32 AM
So, is New York going to be rechristened "Megatronia One"? Because I think "City Of Steel" would work better. :lol:

Halfshell
2008-09-20, 02:54 PM
That was alright. Still not brilliant, but we're slowly getting there.

More than acceptable as part of a twelve-issue series. Don't mind the human focus at all.

Plot's progressed to the stage where they've actually conquered New York, so I'm happy in that regard. To have been a quarter of the way in and no further forward would have just been annoying. Plus there's acknowledgement that the Decepticons are attacking more than just NYC.

Issue also felt a bit more rounded, what with the Astrotrain beginning and end. The indication that McCarthy actually knows how to structure a story is promising. Show something early... let it drop away, gives it dramatic impact when it's picked up again later. Unlike Morigin, where things were shown and then just forgotten.

I got the impression the "betrayal" was by a human, then? Odds on it being Dr Arkeville? Let's face it, it's either him or Gaius Baltar.

Overall, passable. And nice to see that we're finally past it just being "raaarrrrgh Decepticons destroy" and into some plot advancement and character development.

Commander Shockwav
2008-09-20, 03:46 PM
I got the impression the "betrayal" was by a human, then? Odds on it being Dr Arkeville? Let's face it, it's either him or Gaius Baltar.



No, it's a reference to the Autobot traitor.

Halfshell
2008-09-20, 04:06 PM
In that case I either missed the word "Autobot" on the page, or it's spectacularly badly worded.

Neither would surprise me.

Starfield
2008-09-20, 08:46 PM
The "traitor" is Beachcomber. The 'Cons haven't realized his cover was blown.

Denyer
2008-09-20, 09:14 PM
The "traitor" is Beachcomber. The 'Cons haven't realized his cover was blown.
You're assuming McCarthy's actually read that Spotlight?

Halfshell
2008-09-20, 09:50 PM
The "traitor" is Beachcomber. The 'Cons haven't realized his cover was blown.

1) Is that an actual spoiler, or just rampant speculation?

2) His cover being blown and Decepticon knowledge of that much has what bearing on anythng?

Red Dave Prime
2008-09-21, 07:13 AM
Thinking about the traitor arc, is it possible that megatrons bit of dialogue was more refrencing the failed exspansion plan of Nova Prime and that the decepticons maybe just took advantage of a overall weakened autobot force?

Just a thought like.

Terome
2008-09-21, 10:56 AM
Hey, this was actually all right. That Astrotrain thing was even a bit artful. Can't see why that Starscream / Megatron dialogue is being praised so highly, but it served. The whole thing is still bogged down by the action movie schtick though.

Blitzwing
2008-09-23, 01:32 AM
I like the fact that they mentioned that there are attacks all over, not just New York. I didn't like the fact that they didn't show any of them.

The human characters are so boring. I do like some human characters, but the ones in AHM are so hollow and one-dimensional. Best part about them is when a Decepticon smashes them.

I'll admit that I did like the art in this issue a lot more than the first couple issues, but that's the only praise I can think of for this mess.

The Starscream/Megatron interaction was too short. Why can't the page time that's devoted to the human characters be given to some Decepticons. Is that really too much to ask from a book titled "All Hail Megatron"?

AndyTurnbull
2008-10-03, 08:41 AM
Following the very vocal criticisms on various boards about the wafer thin story and glacial speed of plot advancement, Charles Ellis over at the Hub has shown that pretty much issues 1-3 could have been told in one issue.

If anyone is interested in having a read.

http://www.geocities.com/charlesrocketboy/tfAHM_1script.doc

Andy

Denyer
2008-10-03, 10:29 AM
GeoCities seem to be having a few problems.

But yeah, no surprises and I'd be interested to read. :)

AndyTurnbull
2008-10-03, 10:35 AM
Let me know if it's still giving you problems and I can email you a copy of it.

Andy

Patapsco
2008-10-03, 12:31 PM
Following the very vocal criticisms on various boards about the wafer thin story and glacial speed of plot advancement, Charles Ellis over at the Hub has shown that pretty much issues 1-3 could have been told in one issue.

If anyone is interested in having a read.

http://www.geocities.com/charlesrocketboy/tfAHM_1script.doc

Andy

now that is very, very, very good! Get someone to illustrate it

Denyer
2008-10-03, 12:48 PM
Not giving me any data in IE 7, Opera or Firefox (the latter downloads a 0-byte file.)

AndyTurnbull
2008-10-03, 01:03 PM
No worries, just sent a copy to your inbox just now.

Andy

Denyer
2008-10-03, 02:11 PM
Cheers. Adding here, minus a couple of typos noticed (I don't get why Word ignores words in capitals by default...)

Yeah, I'd have been very happy with that. So much pacier it's ridiculous, looking at FoD and AHM so far. Similar could be done with parts of Furman's arcs, but (especially at the beginning) there was a case for a slow build-up. AHM was supposed to grab audiences by the throat with something different/accessible and revive store confidence.

inflatable dalek
2008-10-03, 06:18 PM
There's three great bits here, the bookends and the middle conversation between Starscream and Megatron. The later is simply the best written exchange we've ever had between the two characters (and I'm even prepared to assume the confusion over who betrayed what is deliberately ambiguous rather than shoody writing) whilst the Astrotrain moments not only provide structure but are so much better than any of the destruction we've seen so far because its played straight.

But everything else still sucks. Andy and Bridge's conversation about the robots origins is confusing because it doesn't mention the Machination cover story established last issue (between that and the New Yorkers reaction in part 1 were the terrorist controlled robots not widely reported, or was the briefing reworded at the last second?). And Ho Ho, the Dog gag is badly beaten into the ground (gotta be impressed for Bridge to recognise the exact sort of cat ravage is from the brief glimpse), He He "Robots from Mars" Ha Ha.

The whole thing is very Americacentric as well, New York as the Jewel of Earth? Certainly its one of the major cities but if you really wanted to scare the crap out of as many humans as possible by destroying their most iconic City somewhere like Beijing would be more appropriate surely?

Terome
2008-10-03, 07:58 PM
I read, rather unwisely, the whole of Ultimates III this week and was stunned at how much in common it has with All Hail Megatron so far... the reversions of speech patterns and 'costumes' to what is familiar to the casual audience, the juvenile tone (though Ultimates III beats AHM on this one hands down), the strangely cartoony art that directly contradicts that tone, the slack-jawed lack of imagination that seems to cling to the pages like a bad smell... they are brothers.

But I'm not afraid to damn All Hail Megatron with faint praise and say that Ultimates III is a lot, lot worse. For those of you keeping score.

AskShockwave
2008-10-06, 09:43 PM
Ahoy! Haven't posted for a while - Spotlight Grimlock left me with a bit of a 'meh' feeling for transformers comics in general (something that hasn't happened...ever, really!), but the Revelation arc and AHM have kinda whetted the interest again.

Picked up 1-3 of this the other day, so I've read them without the monthly waits inbetween. A few elements jar as a result, most notably the Starscream-Megs convo in #1, and the follow up in #3 - it's like the cartoon relationship picked up in #1 was a hook for fans-of-the-cartoon-only, with the more respectful relationship Furman had arguably tried to establish reintroduced afterwards.

I don't feel it's as slow as some of you do, but there are swathes of red pen moments - the constructicon introduction (and possibly the Soundwave missle jamming scene, which confuses latter ariel battles by insinuating the jamming of homing signals is a Soundwave speciality, thus making the 'con's subsequent air superiority a bit of a mystery), the Desperate Dan(sorry, never again) intro, and especially the Reflector/Rumble scene - those humans could easily have been running behind the Starscream/Megs 'moment'.

And was that Rumble? Bit of a let down, what with him being what seems to be a bog standard grunt, especially after the Frenzy interpretation.

Biggest disappointment comes, ironically, in the big deus ex machina moments in #3 that are clearly intended to speed the whole thing up a bit. The fleet going down, with no visable culprit; various cities, name-checked as under attack; Starscream attending to business in "the nation's capital". I can appreciate there being multiple fronts, confined to the US as a staging ground with the rest of the world to come later, but it still seems so stretched. I mean, the 'cons have relatively few troops to spread across so many 'fronts', and that's presuming that there are no more ongoing battles in the galaxy - Megs himself describes the whole operation as part of a "simultaneous, galaxy wide assault". It all proves Furman's early -ation approach perfectly.

But there's a quite a few things to be said in AHM's defence. The art is great fun, with Guido throwing in some brilliant little touches (Skywarp's subsequent joy at Megatron shooting a defenceless building in #1 made me laugh), and his cartoon style actually helps negate a lot of potential criticism - if you treat the whole thing like an episode of the cartoon as opposed to a follow up from Furman's run, does it really seem so bad? Not that you should have to think about it like that in the first place, though....

I also think that this is the first Transformers comic I've really read where I genuinely felt that humans were convincingly 'in danger' (don't get me wrong - I actually liked the Adventure Kids in Furman's take, but I never got the sense that Furman could kill them, even when he killed them). I don't think I ever felt that the humans eye perspective was too obtrusive. In fact, the whole thing has quite a convincing War of the Worlds feel (the Mercury broadcast, at least), and I'm sure there are a few nods to it in there. Astrotrain hunting civilian refugees even managed to be quite unsettling.

So, I guess I'm actually enjoying this. That said, I'd much prefer a continuation of Furman's... well, tenure. I much prefer E J Su's artwork (especially on what battle scenes he actually got to do, and that full page air fight in AHM #1 was truly awful). When I can shut those notions out, I'm having fun. It's just such a darn shame that I have to.

Blackjack
2008-10-07, 06:27 AM
+shrugs+ I'm just going TPB with this...

zigzagger
2008-10-17, 02:50 PM
All Hail Megatron #4 reaction thread.

Go. Talk.

Due to arrive October 22nd according grahamcrackers.com release schedule.
http://www.grahamcrackers.com/newcomics.htm

Denyer
2008-10-20, 05:42 PM
Other dates here, may be useful --

http://idwpublishing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4797&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

zigzagger
2008-10-22, 04:50 PM
No, it's useful....like this :p (...don't hit me)
http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=45006
Might just move this to the Comics Hub, maybe? Folks will probably notice it, I tend to keep tabs on it.

Commander Shockwav
2008-10-22, 05:14 PM
Excellent!

This is what I've been waiting for since IDW obtained the license.

Some real characterization and dialogue.

To date, I have enjoyed what IDW have done, but always felt something was really missing, that the potential in the license was not really being met.

For the first time, I feel that the characters have been infused with the personality and appeal that drew me to them since their inception in 1984. There's more to the Transformers than epic battles and fancy weaponry, and Shane does an excellent job in this issue of bringing us back to the roots, so to speak.

The individual personalties of the bots really shine through here. Not a single laser is fired, yet I am left fully satiated by what transpires in this month's issue.

And you know what else has been missing far too long? Humor. Despite the glum circumstances of the Autobots, I laughed out loud several times in reading this, the first time I've done that in a while. Thanks to McCarthy's dialogue and Guido's outstanding work, we are reminded that the Autobots, even in the most dire of situations, can be charmingly funny. It's always been part of the Autobots appeal, and Shane/Guido do an excellent job of capturing that. You can tell these two guys are on the same page, which is great to see.

Kudos to Shane and Guido for taking me back to a time when the Transformers were so damn fun. This issue provides an excellent example of how Transformers, IMO, should be handled.

A solid "A". Glad I stayed aboard.

zigzagger
2008-10-23, 09:36 PM
Huh...well...this is...better.

I have some quibbles, but I’ll wait see if they're addressed by the next issue before jumping to any foregone conclusions.

EDIT: The Sunbowisms are kept to minimum this issue, but still rear their quirky heads every so often. Also, the absence of Butchy Witwicky definitely earned some points from me. Sorry, I just don’t like him.

McCarthy’s ability, though not always brilliant in the past, to create distinct characters is finally apparent. Wouldn't have known that before. Surprisingly, the Autobots, who really are this issues saving grace, are quite colourful and individualistic….for the most part, anyway. They’re not deep by any means - but dare I say it, they’re kind of….likeable here. But then, characterisation is not my concern in this issue - it's continuity. But again, I’ll gripe and moan about it when, and if, it is addressed next issue.

Now, sadly, the shortcomings. Though I am quite pleased with McCarthy's interpretation of the Autobots (meaning, they didn't cause me to cringe and grind my teeth to powder), the Decepticons, well, still aren't really all that interesting to me. Still, the focus now moves away from the wanton destruction from the past 3 issues (I think) towards Cybertron, which is good, so I might let it slide...just a little. Still, though I am content with the Autobot exposition, and I'm willing to recognise this as some form of progress, the plot is still plodding along slowly. Redundant as it may sound (and it really is starting to be), 4-issues into to this, and there really isn't a significant amount of progression to justify how much space it has taken to get to this junction, particularly on the Decepticon side of things. Naturally, others may feel differently, and understandably so - but that is my honest to goodness, (slightly) non-biased take on it (i.e non-biased meaning it's not "oh noezzz, it’s not Furmlock", as I've come to terms with that).

3.0 out of 5 upon the first reading. It's true, I'm an Autobot fan, and guiltily, appreciate that aspect of the issue. I probably wouldn't have felt this way if the focus was still on the Decepticons.

inflatable dalek
2008-10-24, 05:38 PM
Wheeljack was great fun, and a decent example of how the cartoon characterisations can be used well in the title.

But oh look, everyone thinks Mirage is a Traitor (though Jazz is being so heavily signposted as the real culprit it will actually be more of a surprise if Mirage did do it). And Bumblebee and Wheeljack driving about seeing if anything on Cybertron is More Than Meets The Eye. And Hot Rod having his old made up car look back is really pushing the "Everyone must be as in the show" thing (and makes Cliffjumper really stand out as odd). Can the cartoon writers get a credit?

The human stuff was hilarious, I'm not entirely sure why Sarah doesn't just take charge herself rather than doing the Lady McBeth routine. Unless its because she's a girl and girls are yucky. Still, no Butch which is a good thing.

The real problem is though it feels as if someones ripped 50 pages out between issues to try and speed things up. The complete ignoring of the conquest of Earth after three issues of farting about is unforgivable . And Megatron claiming complete viictory when he hasn't even secured New York properly is a tad rich. Hopefully the use or lack thereof of Nuclear weapons in the skipped war will be adressed at some point as well.

zigzagger
2008-10-24, 06:34 PM
And Bumblebee and Wheeljack driving about seeing if anything on Cybertron is More Than Meets The Eye.
Yeah, I noticed this upon the second reading (don't know how I missed it the first time - thus had to reevaluate my last post). It wasn't in bad taste mind you, and there's nothing really wrong with expanding on a 25 year-old idea, it just doesn't seem quite as fresh as most likely intended.

One other thing I did notice following the second read through, was aside from the "A-list" Autobot cast, I also noticed that most of the panel time went towards the Infiltration team characters (with the inclusion of Cliffjumper, of course). On one hand it seems to be acknowledging that it might actually be in continuity (that could be good or bad), but then it makes it all the more vexing to me because things just don't seem to mesh. EDIT: I understand that characters can be interchangeable, but it would've been nice not have to rationalize/speculate why these shifts had occurred (and to echo what others have said, not just here - Hot Rod vexes me the most out of them all).

Red Dave Prime
2008-10-24, 09:30 PM
I'll happily side with Commander Shockwave on this one (altough maybe not quite an A rating) Not sure why people feel there is a lack of plot. Sure, its not complex, but its there.

Sure, this really should be issue 3 and the decepticon attack should have been shown more globally, also with reports from other decepticons not on earth, but on the galactic front. Still, when its just robots, the art is excellent (ironhide v prowl is awesome) The dialogue is punchy and flows well. And the set up is much more epic then the "-tion" series managed. Earth is conqured (re:nuclear strike attacks, I imagine the decepticons attacked on mass on launch sites quickly. yeah its glossed over but probably likely. Also soundwaves jamming would stop mordern warheads while seekers would take out bombers), the autobots are in shambles, low on energon and at each others throats.

The human story isnt as well done as the rest but I hope they stick with the main two from here on. They make a more interesting duo then just the two blokes.

Also, is it me or does hot rod look more like his rodimus prime mold then his cartoon hot rod version? Could be just me, but thats what I thought when I saw it.

I'm into this now and quite like the idea of reading all 12 issues all in one go (as opposed to the mish-mash which the 22 issue "-tion" reads)

And I'm still betting on Megs getting offed at the end of this. At the hands of whom I dont know (altough Prime getting the killing blow would bring closure)

starlord
2008-10-25, 05:30 AM
I can't wait to get mine .

inflatable dalek
2008-10-25, 01:20 PM
I'll happily side with Commander Shockwave on this one (altough maybe not quite an A rating) Not sure why people feel there is a lack of plot. Sure, its not complex, but its there.

Barely there, which is a big part of the problem for me.

And the set up is much more epic then the "-tion" series managed. Earth is conquered

We've not seen it though, only been told in retrospect. Not very epic at all and creates the impression its still just America that's fallen. Show don't tell. Going so slow at the start has resulted in them skipping stuff now causing exactly the aame pacing problems the -tion series had at times.

Have IDW done Wheeljack's ears before or is that another Sunbowism?

Neuronutter
2008-10-25, 03:22 PM
I don’t think there’s any doubt about it, each issue of AHM is improving in quality, but, while I enjoyed this issue more than the last there still feels like something’s missing. Reading through the four issues back to back this morning they all felt very disjointed. There’s very little story progression and things don’t seem to link that well over the various issues. For example in issue 4 we learn Andy is gone but gone where? Did he get squashed by Astrotrain, as I think we’re meant to assume, or did he escape? And isn’t that him on the top of page 17? It looks very like him if it isn’t.

I think the main problem I had with this issue is that it feels very clichéd and like a bad action movie. You have the scene with Ironhide and Prowl arguing followed by the inevitable “striking of a superior officer”, the scene with the reluctant leader with the hard assed lady slapping him and telling him to “man up” and Megatron declaring victory as if the war’s all over. Hmm, I doubt it. Having said that many of the characters felt more fleshed out than in the last few issues and the exchanges feel more mature. Cliffjumper in particular was great despite having about two lines of dialogue.

The art has been stellar throughout, props to Guido for this, and my favourite thing about this issue was the expressions of the various ‘bots. Every character seemed to have a distinct and amusing expression, something I hadn’t noticed in previous issues. There wasn’t so many wow moments, such as the sinking of the carrier in the last issue or the shot of Megs standing on the shore contemplating his victory, but that didn’t stop the art being great. The pages showing the ‘bots standing around obviously battered are particularly impressive.

There are still several things that annoy me about this series. The characters feel closer to the G1 cartoon than IDW’s run so it still feels like it’s tailoring to the nostalgic rather than the long term fan. And the series does feel very like DW’s first run. Something someone can pick up and go “hey that’s the Soundwave from my childhood” for example. Things like “the Autobot resistance is no more” also bug me. Prime’s forces in the -ations were spread far and wide and weren’t a resistance. They were an organised force that you felt was equal to the Decepticon’s, not a small uprising that could be squashed. Where are the Wreckers or the other forces that Prime threw at entrenched Decepticons? For that matter where are the other capable leaders seen in the ations? Everyone here feels lost without Prime, something that the –ations took pains to avoid.

Now, I’m sure that a lot of the questions this series poses will be answered in the fullness of time but it feels like we should have some sort of an explanation of some things by now. If it’s McCarthys intent to keep the mystery going then he’s doing a good job, it’s just a little frustrating. I’m sure I’ll stick with this series I just hope we see some answers soon. If the series continues to improve then it could end up as a very good run by McCarthy. Here’s hoping.

On the note of reveals here’s the solicitation for issue 5:

”The AUTOBOTS make a shocking discovery on their home planet of CYBERTRON that could be their greatest hope, or their worst nightmare. This is an issue of startling discoveries as a secret is revealed that will shake the foundation of the AUTOBOT cause and a brand-new TRANSFORMER makes his first appearance!”

So hopefully we’ll start to get some reveals as of next issue, though I don’t think the traitor is revealed till issue 7.


EDIT: I forgot to add that one thing this issue did do really well was make me laugh. A few laugh out loud moments really helped with the feel of this issue.

inflatable dalek
2008-10-25, 03:38 PM
For example in issue 4 we learn Andy is gone but gone where? Did he get squashed by Astrotrain, as I think we’re meant to assume, or did he escape? And isn’t that him on the top of page 17? It looks very like him if it isn’t.

I was going to mention that as well. Between him and "Dad" last issue we're either being asked to believe in triplets or Guido has a limited stock in human faces...

Halfshell
2008-10-28, 11:28 AM
And the set up is much more epic then the "-tion" series managed. Earth is conquered

Debatable.

On one hand we've got "Earth's been conquered, and the Autobots beaten up", on the other we've got "Cybertron's been rendered uninhabitable, with the war spread out on an intergalactic scale, with Primus-knows how many planets already having been destroyed by the Decepticons' staged plan... oh, and there's another group of other Transformers with a plan to merge two universes".

So yeah, the AHM set up is much more epic. In a narrower "ZOMG it's our planet!" way.

Red Dave Prime
2008-10-28, 02:19 PM
I was thinking more in terms of "ZOMG, the decepticons have beaten the autobots on nearly every front across the galaxy, in fact they're defeated and theres no pussyfooting around waiting millions (AND MILLIONS!) of years for someone to make a decisive move" kinda way, y'know?

Of course, it could still go all pear shape come issue 12. Just saying that it feels like the ball is moving in AHM as opposed to the "tion" threads of "nearly there, get things ready, skirmish! skirmish! skirmish!"

Just as a point as well. Its been (probably rightly) pointed out that McCArthy is too into the sunbow cartoons and this feels likes its going to retread old ideas in a slightly new way. As someone who didnt read 90% of the marvel work, I dont really mind. Dont get me wrong I liked most of with furman did, I'm just not having the adverse reaction that others seem to be having. Other than a slow start between issues 1 and 2, I'm enjoying this. Its all a bit no-brain in a fun kind of way with just enough mystery and suspense to keep me buying the next issue. Furmans over-arching plots may haven been more ambitous and complicated but they havent been mind blowing either.

So thats my defence for likeing it. But even I wouldnt have written the unbelieveable guff that makes up the letter pages in #4. Talk about fake...

Clogs
2008-10-30, 06:20 PM
Got it. Actually, I got two - the Devvy cover (um, the gestalt is big enough, but I didn't spot him, only some of the Constructicons, inside) and the artsy blue one (that's Ironhide, right?).

So there's some stock stuff in there, but I enjoyed the Ironhide/Prowl confrontation; Cliffjumper's approach to the mysterious stranger, who is obviously Hot Rod duh; and Megatron shooting off a grandiose speech with everyone grinning except Thundercracker. It was a total surprise, even given the beat up state of the Autobots, to see that Sideswipe has lost his right arm, Sunstreaker has given up on his appearance and Mirage is bereft of his electro-disruptor.

The pacing was just about right for setting up characters, situations and a sense of Autobot desperation.

Who is the betrayer? My money's on Optimus Prime...

Blackjack
2008-10-31, 12:41 PM
Who is the betrayer? My money's on Optimus Prime...

Obviously it couldn't be Jazz or Mirage, as it would be too obvious...

My money is on either Sunstreaker or Bumblebee. Or that Drift guy.

Halfshell
2008-10-31, 01:15 PM
Maybe it's Punch?

He was in the cartoon, so there's a slight chance McCarthy knows who he is.

zigzagger
2008-10-31, 01:17 PM
I don't know....fourth season character. Might be pushing it. ;)

Halfshell
2008-10-31, 02:06 PM
I did say slight...

inflatable dalek
2008-10-31, 07:14 PM
Hey, we know Roadbuster shows up later, perhaps someone has shown Shane some toys or something?

Halfshell
2008-10-31, 07:55 PM
Roadbuster's probably The One He Had As A Kid That Was Never In The Show.

Ergo he now leaps at the chance to show the poor guy the love he never got beforehand. By sharing scenes with his Awesome Fan Character.