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View Full Version : Should Furman Just Retire At This Point?


inflatable dalek
2009-10-31, 01:20 PM
Whist he's done some good stuff in the modern TF era (most recently some surprisingly decent work on the Titan comic), I think it's fair to say his absolute brainstorming days are behind him. IDW only seem to be keeping on board as a token effort, the comics sell about the same without him regardless of quality so he doesn't seem to be a big draw and he presumably still has the day job as an editor he was working in for the two decades no one would hire him to write comics and thus doesn't need the not exactly huge amount of money IDW throw at him anyway.

So is it time for him to stand down and make way for fresh blood? Or does the fact most of the new writer's we've had have been terrible mean he should carry on as at least he usually manages average to good work?

Cliffjumper
2009-10-31, 01:53 PM
I can't remember when he last did average to good work. Escalation? The odd half-decent Spotlight that he usually then ****s over? Devastation was terrible, Maximum Dinobots was worse, and I've yet to give a shit enough to read the free scans of Revelation sitting on my computer, because God knows what a balls up he made there. It doesn't matter if the thing was compacted because of AHM, he had years to get the story to go somewhere, and he just couldn't.

His writing has become deeply lazy - most characterisations are recycled from his Marvel run and Flanderised (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Flanderization) - just the same old tired archetypes, something which is rubbing off on other writers too. He's incapable of writing any script that isn't a) full of itself and b) part of some bigger picture that never goes anywhere due to his own inability to write disciplined, incisive narratives anymore. Sod his G1 stuff being curtailed by McCarthy - if Furman was still on the book, he'd still be introducing peripheral elements of the storyline now with no sign of it going anywhere. Indeed, he should be eternally grateful to Shaun for giving him a get-out that's saved a bit of his reputation. The obsession with Men in Black organisations is getting old too - people have the gall to lambast the films for featuring all of, what, four human characters who have more than a handful of lines, and yet they swallow this warm bullshit?

The Marvel stuff stands up as good, occasionally great stuff that benefitted from being written on the hop, meaning stories had to get where they were going pronto before something else turned up. Occasionally there was a grand design, but the stories were fun in their own right. The IDW stuff has all been about hints and, har de har har, revelations for this monstrosity of a universe, but there's no ****ing point mapping out these big conspiracies and great historical backstories if the comics themselves are as dull as ditchwater. Anyone can write a bad Transformers comic, but it takes a truly faded talent to be able to take a series about things which turn into robots which fight other things which turn into robots and make it boring.

Sure, he hasn't been helped by the fact IDW do not have a single ****ing clue what they're doing (their sole improvement on DW appears to be that they're paying people... but then they're paying people like Alex Milne, Sean McCarthy and that Chris idiot who wrote those dire live action comics I've just slogged through, so whether that is actually a good thing is debatable - if they weren't paying these losers, they might get jobs in a different industry), but he's also completely blown the opportunity himself.

The new writers have either been unsuitable for a long-term, central role (Nick Roche is a fabulous artist and a decent writer who's benefitted from being sparingly used), but that's no reason to keep paying a known mediocrity - keep trying people and someone will pop up. Or they won't, which you can't do anything about. They had to right idea shunting Furman to one side and trying to get a writer who can do beginning/middle/end. It was a shame the guy they found was a moron, but readers' intelligence would have been insulted one way or another. The only real mistake was not kicking Furman back to writing episodes of X-Men Evolution, presumably fearing a backlash from the gullible ones who were perfectly happy to keep paying for build up that showed no signs of going anywhere while a middle-aged has-been saw to it they got charged $2.50 or whatever for 22 pages of fanwank.

He's Cyberchris Astroclaremont.

inflatable dalek
2009-10-31, 02:46 PM
Even the worst of Furman's hasn't had me gorging my eyes out like some of AHM/MO/That Avengers thing/Hearts of Steel ect ect has, though that's relative of course.

I thought the Roche AHM story showed some excellent credentials for becoming the main writer, it told a good story but at the same time dealt with previous continuity in a sensible way that (bar one niggle) improved on things without feeling the need to piss all over them or directly ignore them. I suppose the Wreckers mini will give the proof in the pudding over if he can handle multi issue stories but right now his single issue work impresses me much more than Costa's efforts.

Cliffjumper
2009-10-31, 04:22 PM
Sod the continuity - why should future writers be saddled with Furman's wet-brained ideas? Where AHM went wrong (well, one of the reasons, anyway) was not totally cutting off the Deadfurmanverse and pissing over its' remains. None of the other stuff has been any good, mainly because IDW have trouble attracting writers, what with them not so much being a comic company as some sort of licence renting operation - presumably they don't pay for people who have their own ideas, which probably limits the field to crap. O'course, it probably makes it easier for IDW to stick with tired old Furman when other writers turn in a shit series and are branded the anti-christ, whereas when Furman turns in a bad series fandom collectively goes "hmm, nice mention of some ordinary word Capitalised, I'll give it another six or seven years".

Part of the problem is Transformers fans don't want anything new, they want the old stuff, but just a bit more organised and a bit more grown up (but only in terms of violence against humans; God forbid anyone swear or show some libido). So you've got to have the same old 'classic' Grimlock/Shockwave, as long as we have a 'proper' explanation for why they're a big T-Rex/SPACE GUN.

This is how Furman's written since, well, he came back basically (his Dreamwave material was largely the same - some good ideas, some terrible stories - how many people actually still talk about The War Within now?) - everything seems designed as a response or pre-response to questions about Transformers, with the stories distorted to accomodate his take on concepts. The Spotlights tend to turn into Simon Says as Furman ignores interesting narrative in order to expound on robot gender, combiners, the Primes, Galvatron and Wheelie. All so Transformers "can never be the same again" - what exactly was quite so wrong with it before this latest car crash?

I mean, how many people here even give a shit about the IDW comics anymore? If I'd posted my first response a couple of years ago, I'd have been beaten up by now.

Rurudyne
2009-10-31, 05:13 PM
This is how Furman's written since, well, he came back basically (his Dreamwave material was largely the same - some good ideas, some terrible stories - how many people actually still talk about The War Within now?) - everything seems designed as a response or pre-response to questions about Transformers, with the stories distorted to accomodate his take on concepts.
So what you're saying, essentially, is that he's been acting the role of a fanfic writer who feels obligated to remain true to some vision of what the franchise has been (including explaining its myriad nuances) rather than acting as someone with a genuine power to shape that franchise?

That Furman is now writing in the idiom of Furman?

(Kinda like what must have happened to Mel Brooks at some point between To Be or Not To Be and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)

Cliffjumper
2009-10-31, 05:43 PM
So what you're saying, essentially, is that he's been acting the role of a fanfic writer who feels obligated to remain true to some vision of what the franchise has been (including explaining its myriad nuances) rather than acting as someone with a genuine power to shape that franchise?

No, I'm saying he's more interested in making points than making comics.

Rurudyne
2009-10-31, 06:16 PM
No, I'm saying he's more interested in making points than making comics.
I kinda thought that's what I was saying.

Starfield
2009-10-31, 06:17 PM
Even the worst of Furman's hasn't had me gorging my eyes out like some of AHM/MO/That Avengers thing/Hearts of Steel ect ect...

Hearts of Steel gets lumped in with those others? Really? I liked it quite a bit and it doesn't seem to have much in common with those. I know it is all subjective, but I'm just surprised.

Halfshell
2009-10-31, 06:21 PM
Can we be certain that Furman hasn't already retired?

inflatable dalek
2009-10-31, 07:36 PM
Sod the continuity - why should future writers be saddled with Furman's wet-brained ideas?

The Roche story has nothing to do with the Furman stuff bar some background motivation for Prowl. The continuity things it handles well whilst at the same time shifting them into something better are from previous issues of All Hail Megatron. As much as I don't like AHM it really shouldn't be contradicting itself on a month by month basis but that's basically what the other Coda writers (including McCarthy) have been doing as they've tried to salvage the thing.

some good ideas, some terrible stories - how many people actually still talk about The War Within now?)

The irony there is its up with the Primus/Unicron backstory as his most influential stuff, giving Hasbro the idea of another way of selling different toys of the same characters as "Cybertronian" modes and of course the Fallen.

Knightdramon
2009-10-31, 11:13 PM
Having read escalation to revelations and the spotlights in-between a couple of days ago, I don't think he should retire, he should just get a chance to write a comic book [spotlight or not] here and there, not a main series.

I mean, Nefarious [movie-verse] is basically the meat of the infiltration and escalation stories, ie a human organization wanting to use\misuse transformers for their own good. That's like reading the same thing again, only this time the transformers are different.

I rather enjoyed AHM, sure the pacing was a bit awkward at times but it was better than Maximum Dinobots. I think fans went a bit over the top on Shane for a myriad of things, especially the fact that the Autobots were nowhere to be seen for oh so many issues and so on, even though it "dragged" for a year. People still haven't got an answer on to what that damn island on Lost is, for like, how many years now?

Many designs [although that's not related to Furman] were changed because the toys available at the time had to match the comics-MP Starscream was on sale at the time, the universe deluxes were still available and so on.

Back to Furman, though, how many times did the words\phrases "exponentially", "time ticks inexorably away", "things are about to get collateral" and "nothing will ever be the same again, there will be casualties blah blah" had been used before other people, besides me, were BORED to death?

Bring on new writers, as I said before, and let them handle the main stories. The War Within is terribly, terribly overrated, especially after the first volume, which went downhill at around issue 3-4.

zigzagger
2009-10-31, 11:28 PM
So is it time for him to stand down and make way for fresh blood? Or does the fact most of the new writer's we've had have been terrible mean he should carry on as at least he usually manages average to good work?

Yes, if he hasn’t already. It was fun for awhile and he had a few nifty ideas, but I’m done grieving over the loss and have since moved on.

When IDW et al. opted to “soft-reboot” the continuity that Furman established only to (sort of) recognize it halfway through AHM in order to pacify all the naysayers (like me, admittedly), in my opinion, resulted in more holes in the already patchy continuity that Furman left behind.

In retrospect, it's kind of odd that I'm saying that now. I'll admit it. Guess the buzz finally wore off.

Hand the reins over to someone who has minimal knowledge of the material prior, and just start from scratch. Or least try to veer away from it a little.

Rurudyne
2009-11-01, 12:36 AM
Hand the reins over to someone who has minimal knowledge of the material prior, and just start from scratch.
Well, that leaves out everyone here....

Halfshell
2009-11-01, 11:49 AM
I mean, how many people here even give a shit about the IDW comics anymore? If I'd posted my first response a couple of years ago, I'd have been beaten up by now.

I do think you're being overly harsh, but I really don't care enough about the comics to argue any of the points.

As I said over at Transfans recently, I buy very few comics these days, and I try to make sure that when I do they're of a certain quality. The only current titles I buy are Buffy, Fables and Planetary. Of which only the first is in single issues. If I add a new title to the roster, it's usually one that's already completed and that I know is of a specific calibre.

If IDW's Transformers comics (as a whole, including Furman's output) didn't have Transformers in, they wouldn't come anywhere near making the cut. Coupled with the creative direction veering into sheer ineptitude and the absolute contempt that the editorial staff seem to hold the readership in, I'm dropping the entire lot guilt-free and deciding to not even give a toss about defending any of it.

If I ever pick up The Wreckers, it'll be as a TPB. If. Until then, whenever anybody slags off the Furman stuff that I did enjoy, I'll just go off and read Nextwave or Preacher.

Hand the reins over to someone who has minimal knowledge of the material prior, and just start from scratch. Or least try to veer away from it a little.

Reminds me - I still need to watch GI Joe Resolute at some point.

Cliffjumper
2009-11-01, 01:04 PM
Hearts of Steel gets lumped in with those others? Really? I liked it quite a bit and it doesn't seem to have much in common with those. I know it is all subjective, but I'm just surprised.

Hearts of Steel was, IMO, awful. Simple concept, good character models, dire story - bit too obvious Dixon would rather not be writing TFs, IMO. Part of the problem is that established writers wouldn't touch IDW or a comic based on the noble principle of selling action figures to children.

One I wouldn't mind seeing again would be John Ney Rieber - I hated his Captain Rightwing series, and the Joe crossover did get badly incomprehensible in the last issue, but the basic alien-ness of the Transformers was nicely done.

Can we be certain that Furman hasn't already retired?

Good point - I direct you to previous ponderings about the Furmanbot.

The irony there is its up with the Primus/Unicron backstory as his most influential stuff, giving Hasbro the idea of another way of selling different toys of the same characters as "Cybertronian" modes and of course the Fallen.

I'd argue it's influential in a bad way, as it seemed to be the first series to really dwell in greater purposes and that kind of crap - it was actually quite refreshing at the time, but now it seems TF comics have to have dark secrets and revelations about the history of the damn species - it's like War Within was Watchmen for Transformers, and now we've got the Transformers version of the Comics Dark Age... Of course, the comparison doesn't ring entirely true as Watchmen was drawn by someone who can draw fight scenes and movement, and had an ending and everything, but there we go...

I mean, Nefarious [movie-verse] is basically the meat of the infiltration and escalation stories, ie a human organization wanting to use\misuse transformers for their own good. That's like reading the same thing again, only this time the transformers are different.

The sad thing is the Movie stuff is an ideal testing ground for new approaches and new writers, and what do they do? The same old tosh.

When IDW et al. opted to “soft-reboot” the continuity that Furman established only to (sort of) recognize it halfway through AHM in order to pacify all the naysayers (like me, admittedly), in my opinion, resulted in more holes in the already patchy continuity that Furman left behind.

That really was a lily-livered decision from IDW, wasn't it? I don't see what they won by doing it at that point - at least if they'd stuck to their guns they'd have cauterised the wound and have the choice of ignoring either the Deadfurmanverse or AHM. Now they seem to be sort-of following both or neither. I mean, jesus, an idiot like Stan Lee was able to keep the Marvel Universe (with myriad titles) running fairly coherently for years...

read Nextwave

"KICK!"

inflatable dalek
2009-11-01, 08:53 PM
Hearts of Steel was, IMO, awful. Simple concept, good character models, dire story - bit too obvious Dixon would rather not be writing TFs, IMO. Part of the problem is that established writers wouldn't touch IDW or a comic based on the noble principle of selling action figures to children.

His GI Joe stuff is apparently rather good, which makes you wonder what went wrong there really. The general flimsiness of the concept probably didn't help.

One odd thing is that IDW's Who, Trek and Joe titles all seem to be ticking the right boxes with their fan bases and making good comics. I don't think I've seen a bad word about any of them.

Halfshell
2009-11-01, 09:50 PM
His GI Joe stuff is apparently rather good, which makes you wonder what went wrong there really.

GI Joe is about people. Transformers is, no matter how many identification characters you line it with, about giant shapeshifting alien robots. Ignoring the difficulty in setting up and justifying the premise, it's not as straightforward as just transposing character motivations across... if you do, you generally either end up with crap where all the robots are driven by the desire for an emotional connection (like, say, fembots... or the awful Marissa/Jazz stuff from Dreamwave) or sloppy archetypes like in DWG1, where Prime and Megatron were copy/pasted from Xavier and Magneto, Grimlock was Wolverine and Shockwave was Mr Sinister.

Being able to write a military comic revolving around human characters doesn't mean you won't flop when you try and write about characters who are the military hardware. Alan Dean Foster's Alien/s/3 novelisations are actually readable, as an example.

Cliffjumper
2009-11-01, 11:25 PM
I agree that Transformers is a very tricky title to write - I can't think of too many writers I like that would be likely to do a good job on the book. TBH, the ideal writer for the book is probably Furman, but with a strong (possibly draconian) set of restrictions, along the lines of "write good involving stories, and the rest will follow". Too much of the IDW stuff has felt like it's trying to hit all the bubbles on a brainstorming diagram, and the handling of characters has been Mad Brick-esque - he picks someone up for an issue or so, and then they're largely neglected. The cast of main characters became far too big for the series to support far too quickly - either cut down the cast to the minimal amount and go TV Beast Wars (the Movie books [as a general note on IDW, not that Furman was entirely innocent] were a perfect opportunity to do this, but instead we got "ZOMG! CROSSHAIRS STOCKADE DREADWING CLOCKER SWINDLE PAYLOAD!!!!"), or have a big cast with only a few real focal points (G2 has barely any developed characters in it beyond Prime, Megatron, Jhiaxus, Grimlock and Starscream).

Rurudyne
2009-11-02, 01:13 AM
GI Joe is about people. Transformers is, no matter how many identification characters you line it with, about giant shapeshifting alien robots. Ignoring the difficulty in setting up and justifying the premise, it's not as straightforward as just transposing character motivations across... if you do, you generally either end up with crap where all the robots are driven by the desire for an emotional connection (like, say, fembots... or the awful Marissa/Jazz stuff from Dreamwave) or sloppy archetypes like in DWG1, where Prime and Megatron were copy/pasted from Xavier and Magneto, Grimlock was Wolverine and Shockwave was Mr Sinister.

Being able to write a military comic revolving around human characters doesn't mean you won't flop when you try and write about characters who are the military hardware. Alan Dean Foster's Alien/s/3 novelisations are actually readable, as an example.
I can somewhat attest to this difficulty having tried, like a lot of other frequently capable fans, my hand at fan fiction writing. Even how they curse can be a problem if you are dealing with 'Bots who've not been exposed to human culture (no scatological or sex references, for example).

But with actual stories from people with 'franchise authority' (is that a good term?) to write them in almost all cases what we've been given are robots with nearly no culture of their own (starting with G1) so they just seem to adopt whatever they are dropped into. I think this may actually make it harder to deal with them as people in their own right because if you do that they might end up seeming to be 'just like those people' (except for the robot aspect — which brings up a satire like LKW's "Robots in Disguises").

Maybe this genre is just harder to write for?

Red Dave Prime
2009-11-02, 05:57 PM
I can somewhat attest to this difficulty having tried, like a lot of other frequently capable fans, my hand at fan fiction writing. Even how they curse can be a problem if you are dealing with 'Bots who've not been exposed to human culture (no scatological or sex references, for example).


Which is why I am always a little surprised that all (or well, nearly all) the transformers comics I've read focus on the robots and not on a realistic potrayal of a world which has to deal with them. I'm not suggesting that the whole ongoing be devoted to that viewpoint but a six parter of ordinary humans encountering the transformers and NOT opening a dialogue straight away or becoming friends (literary being caught in the crossfire and just surviving) would be an interesting story.

As far as I can see the biggest problem for anyone writing a transformers comic now is whether to change or just follow on with the style that made everything popular. Hardcore fans may have had their fill of cartoon style characters but I have to admit as a non-comic fan I picked up the first dreamwave issues because they looked so close to the cartoon.

Commander Shockwav
2009-11-03, 12:54 AM
No to Furman. No to McCarthy.

In my mind, that's two strikes. Neither of them have been impressive. Hell, that fanboy who did that Jazz spotlight was as good. Nick Roche is the only writer thus far that had me intrigued, and we're not really sure he could tackle an ongoing.

It's all on Costa. If he doesn't deliver, that's strike three.

But somethings tells me (that something being GI Joe Cobra and the short Starscream story in AHM Coda) that Costa will bring something new to the table, and that's what I want to see.

Heinrad
2009-11-03, 07:02 AM
Actually, I think Cliffy's got the right idea. Keep Furman, but limit him character-wise. If he's able to do good things with the UK Movieverse comic, then it should be obvious that that's the way to go.

I can kind of see why other writers would be reluctant to take a stab at things. After all, would IDW tell them to come up with their own plotline, or hand them TPBs of everything that's been written so far and tell them "this is what you have to work with"?

I do kind of wonder(although I didn't read it), why haven't they brought Budiansky back? Just say "pick the characters you want to use and go to town". Or was Budiansky's version of the movie comic that bad?

inflatable dalek
2009-11-03, 08:21 AM
Alan Dean Foster's Alien/s/3 novelisations are actually readable, as an example.


Though as his 09 Trek novelization is apparently just as bad as his TF ones (amongst other things he saves Archer's dog at the end...) it may just be his brain cells have died with age.

I don't necessarily think writing TF comics is hugely harder than any bulky superhero team, or even the Joe's (where attempting to portray convincing soldiers must be a bit of a bitch with the silent ninjas and men in metal masks). Off the top of my head the only times we've seen any real attempt to make them convincingly "alien" has been Man of Iron and some of the later Beast Machines stuff. Both good in their own ways, but equally everyone loves Beast Wars which for the most part had the most humanised characters, not many episodes couldn't be done as a Star Trek style show about two crews of humans (albeit with less blowing each other up every week). Both approaches can work if they're done right.

I do think what we do need is more fans coming up through ranks too "Official" stuff. It's amazing we've had so many artists who've started off on fan works but the only writer I can think of is Roche, who slipped in by being an artist as well. The blossoming (?!) of the fan community paid of big time for Doctor Who, and it would have the advantage of IDW being able to pick people with a good body of specific TF stuff behind them to show if they do have the right stuff or not.

Cliffjumper
2009-11-03, 01:57 PM
Problem is a fair portion of TF fans grew up liking the G1 cartoon and are therefore morons. It's not like Matt Jones or... one of the other writers who started out as fans and has provided a genuinely excellent script for new Who like... Moffat, maybe, a bit... grew up worshipping the TV Comic or the Worldwide annuals as the 'correct' version.

Terome
2009-11-03, 02:54 PM
I think they should take him on as a Story Editor or some such credit. That way he could have his various takes and ideas funnelled through a small team of writers with their own ideas and abilities. If they stacked it so the pool of writers included a fan one, a just-off-the-street one and a venerable hack who knows plot structure backwards one, they could get some interesting combinations that way. Far too late to implement now, though, and probably a bit impractical/expensive in the first place.

Vin Ghostal
2009-11-03, 03:35 PM
Problem is a fair portion of TF fans grew up liking the G1 cartoon and are therefore morons.

Hey!!!

Cliffjumper
2009-11-03, 07:45 PM
QUIET, TOONTARD!

inflatable dalek
2009-11-03, 09:30 PM
Problem is a fair portion of TF fans grew up liking the G1 cartoon and are therefore morons.


Lets face it though, cartoon style would still be an improvement over what we've got now.


It's not like Matt Jones

To be totally random for a second it seems that story was basically all RTD and Jones seems to have disowned it (he's the only writer who doesn't seem to have done a single interview related to his episodes). Cornell and Sherman are the other two who spring to mind who started off in the non TV stuff. Chibnall as well I suppose if slaginf off Pip'n'Jane on TV counts...

EDIT: Oh, and RTD himself of course. And Gattis.

Cliffjumper
2009-11-03, 10:01 PM
Sherman counts, RTD is Furman as he is now (especially the emphasis on big arcs which undermine individual stories which often revolve around trivia most people do not give a shit about). Gatiss is just rubbish either side of the camera.

The cartoon style could really work, it'd just need a framework - simply characters developing and some sense of the war going somewhere would be enough for a start. In theory, I wouldn't be against something along a very loose version of the G1 mini, without the dodgy art (and the would-be Photoshop porn Lee bought with him), the dicey Prime/Megatron scenes and the complete implosion of plausibility in the last couple of issues. Or the Adam Rook stuff. Not much, actually, just the basic concept of "here are some Autobots out to stop some Decepticons from ****ing the planet over" and take it from there. Maybe a less pretentious version of Infiltration/Escalation without the spooks and kids (seriously, does anyone buying Transformers comics anymore need a human identification character? Have humans, for sure, it's our ****ing planet, but we don't need three shitty stereotypes hanging out with the Autobots).

bowspearer
2009-11-03, 11:14 PM
I'd actually like to see McCarthy get the gig to be honest. With Furman staying on for the big intrigue stories.

Alot of fans hate AHM but then alot of these same fans mainly care about "giant robots duking it out" and because of that, love the utter trash that is the live-action movies.

Yet really let's look at what the IDW run has given us- a true intrigue storyline about a war between giant alien robots where their main weapon is disguise. The way the TFs inflitrate a planet this time, has a far more realistic feel to it (things like the facimilies were brilliant for example), and where the Autobots were a police force what found themselves forced into becoming a makshift army to defend themselves from essentially, the mob, enslaving the planet via millitary coup.

The way they handled the war, including cybertron's ravaging, is what you would expect from law enforcement thrown into that situation. It's about apprehending the criminals and the situation becomes so desperate and protracted that they get tunnel vision.

Furthermore, the way the Decepticons are portrayted as coming into being actually feels plausible. We've all heard about the gladiator of Kaon, but this origin story actualy felt like we were seeing history taking place.

Then on top of that you have the Dead Universe, and the notion of deep dark lost secrets- some genuinely forgotten- others that should have been left dead and buried.

Sure it was slow and those wanting glorious robot fight scenes hated it because it wasn't just mindless battle after mindless battle, but it took Transformers into the territory of what a war between beings who can shapeshift as easily as you or I breathe should actually be like.

Then you have where McCarthy lead us to- a place we've only really seen in issue 67 of the original Marvel comics run, but covered far too briefly do really get into the concept. What would happen if the Autobots lost both the war and their shining beacon of light? What would happen if the Decepticons were left unchallenged? What ould Megatron then do?

So many fans hate the territory it heads into because it feels wrong, but really, it should feel out of place- it's like nothing ever done in the TF universe before.

But I agree there have been flaws. To begin with, AHM simply wasn't long enough. In the early part of the comic, the pacing was pretty spot on for the story being told. Yet when you get to towards the end of the story arc, so much has to be crammed in. The big flaw with AHM, as "Coda" proves, is that is should never have been attempted as a 12 issue series. Really, to do it justice, it should have been about 20 issues long to keep the pace consistent.

The other problem is the lack of planning in terms of continuity. Starting a storyline 12 months after the previous story can work, but if that's going to happen, then things need to be written in stone for the intervening 12 months, even if you don't reveal what those events are at the time. This didn't happen with AHM and as a result it's slightly out of phase with the rest of the IDW continuity.

Honestly, I don't have a problem with the work showing up so far with IDW's G1 based stories in terms of concepts, but there needs to be a clear timetable of events in play the moment they want to jump ahead.

People have commented on the "brainstorming" feel of the comic, but really, I think the big problem is that Furman seems to was to completely throw out anything old, when things like reproduction and the consequences of it have barely been touched at all. It gets especially interesting when you look at story points which were untouched such as a TF suddenly becoming a grieving parent like Onslaught was. That's just one example which springs to mind.

To everyone crying foul because they've read one too many tf sex based fanfics; yes, TFs are naturally occuring metallic based life forms who are asexual and reproduce through biological processes in the comics. Bud Budanski set up the premise for this as a possiblity way back in Issue 1 of the original comic- as alluded to in Issue 1 of the original Marvel comic when he described the Transformers as a race of mechanical based life forms which had naturally evolved into their current state- deal with it!

Furman needs to realise that just because he's trying to take things in a different direction doesn't mean ignoring fantastic ideas which were largely unexplored previously.

If he can do this then I can't see a reason why he couldn't return to the kind of storytelling which he did so brilliantly back in the Marvel days.

inflatable dalek
2009-11-04, 08:34 AM
Sherman counts, RTD is Furman as he is now (especially the emphasis on big arcs which undermine individual stories which often revolve around trivia most people do not give a shit about). Gatiss is just rubbish either side of the camera.

On the other hand RTD's leaving Who behind with more awards, success and money than he's ever made and gets to go live in Hollywood as well. I bet Furman probably goes to sleep crying every night that he's not like that.

Plus of course, RTD and the others may not have won all of us over but they have made Who a popular mainstream success again. Furman and IDW have the disgruntled fans but jack and shit as far as popular acclaim goes.

The cartoon style could really work, it'd just need a framework - simply characters developing and some sense of the war going somewhere would be enough for a start.

Yep, I don't mind straightforward fun at all, Ramjet was an absolute highlight and probably about as close to the cartoon style as you can get whilst still being good. Though someone needs to have realised that 12...16 straight issues is to many to carry that sort of story over.
Have humans, for sure, it's our ****ing planet, but we don't need three shitty stereotypes hanging out with the Autobots).

Yep. Though I thought Hunter ultimately worked out surprisingly well (mainly because the irony of the guy who loves aliens becoming one was left unstated) Verity was a complete disaster, Furman needs to realise that his demographic is pushing thirty now and wouldn't be buying comics if they didn't have a job of some sort. Jimmy Pink was probably the closest of the three to the likely reader (sensible seeming bloke with a proper job) yet only had about three lines in total.


Alot of fans hate AHM but then alot of these same fans mainly care about "giant robots duking it out" and because of that, love the utter trash that is the live-action movies.

AHM had lots of giant robots "duking it out", it was just extremely badly done. Especially the final Megatron/Prime fight which veered between them randomly posing at each other or acting out bits from the '86 film because either McCarthy or Guido hasn't realised that what works in motion doesn't as a still frame (the uppercut from Prime to Megs looked especially pants).

Plus I'm a bit insulted by the notion that liking the film=being unable too thick to appreciate the subtle and intelligent world of IDW. Iliked Infiltration (well, at the time anyway, the problem with a slow build up is the pay of needs to be really worth it. I'm expecting missed opportunities and pointless diversions to be more distracting on my first post Revelation reread), thought Escalation was fantastic and loved most of the incontinuity stuff bar Origin up till that point. The wheels started to come off a little sooner for me than some of our other posters, I think until Cliffy caught up with his reading I was the most negative regular about the ending of Devastation, but I am perfectly capable of enjoying a silly summer blockbuster movie and the Nightbeat Spotlight. It's not as if either of them is a Dennis Potter play.


Sure it was slow and those wanting glorious robot fight scenes hated it because it wasn't just mindless battle after mindless battle, but it took Transformers into the territory of what a war between beings who can shapeshift as easily as you or I breathe should actually be like.

The entire Decepticon/Reapers battle was both mindless and completely pointless, none of that subplot had anything to do with anything else in the title and it'd have worked much better with an Autobot (who actually have something to do with the title) attack triggering the Starscream/Sixshot business. When AHM shamelessly redid the whole thing that was actually the one area on which they improved it.

Then you have where McCarthy lead us to- a place we've only really seen in issue 67 of the original Marvel comics run, but covered far too briefly do really get into the concept. What would happen if the Autobots lost both the war and their shining beacon of light? What would happen if the Decepticons were left unchallenged? What ould Megatron then do?

The idea of the Autobots having lost is the basis of all the Cybertron based stories in the Marvel comic up till the coming of Unicron. Xaaron and the other surrvivors went underground (literally, ha ha), became a French style resistance and did what they could even though they spent most of that four million years thinking Optimus was dead and the Matrix lost. In AHM Ironhide and the others sit around Cybertron crying like big girls with only the occasional interruption to compare dick sizes or beat on Mirgae because he was in a TV episode called Traitor once. Depressed lead characters could be potentially interesting, but not when done in a boring way for ten issues.

To begin with, AHM simply wasn't long enough.


Shane, is that you?

Bud Budanski set up the premise for this as a possiblity way back in Issue 1 of the original comic- as alluded to in Issue 1 of the original Marvel comic when he described the Transformers as a race of mechanical based life forms which had naturally evolved into their current state- deal with it!


Furman ignored that in his Marvel days though, so it's hardly surprising and fairly understandable he wouldn't pay it any heed when working on a continuity that sentence isn't a part of.

Bud?

Halfshell
2009-11-04, 09:29 AM
Alot of fans hate AHM but then alot of these same fans mainly care about "giant robots duking it out" and because of that, love the utter trash that is the live-action movies.

The movies are big dumb fun that know they're big dumb fun, delivered by somebody who specialises in big dumb fun.

All Hail Megatron was not.

To begin with, AHM simply wasn't long enough. In the early part of the comic, the pacing was pretty spot on for the story being told. Yet when you get to towards the end of the story arc, so much has to be crammed in. The big flaw with AHM, as "Coda" proves, is that is should never have been attempted as a 12 issue series. Really, to do it justice, it should have been about 20 issues long to keep the pace consistent.

Satirical genius.

bowspearer
2009-11-04, 10:50 AM
Yep, I don't mind straightforward fun at all, Ramjet was an absolute highlight and probably about as close to the cartoon style as you can get whilst still being good. Though someone needs to have realised that 12...16 straight issues is to many to carry that sort of story over.

I disagree- in fact, had Revelations not been so rushed, it would have been the perfect story length- in fact I found the whole thing to be a refreshingly complex and intrigue filled TF tale- the likes of which the Marvel run never quite reached the depths of.

Yep. Though I thought Hunter ultimately worked out surprisingly well (mainly because the irony of the guy who loves aliens becoming one was left unstated) Verity was a complete disaster, Furman needs to realise that his demographic is pushing thirty now and wouldn't be buying comics if they didn't have a job of some sort. Jimmy Pink was probably the closest of the three to the likely reader (sensible seeming bloke with a proper job) yet only had about three lines in total.

I actually found myself identifying more with Hunter and Verity to be honest.

AHM had lots of giant robots "duking it out", it was just extremely badly done. Especially the final Megatron/Prime fight which veered between them randomly posing at each other or acting out bits from the '86 film because either McCarthy or Guido hasn't realised that what works in motion doesn't as a still frame (the uppercut from Prime to Megs looked especially pants).

I seem to recall saying they crammed too much into the end of it into too few a number of issues.

Plus I'm a bit insulted by the notion that liking the film=being unable too thick to appreciate the subtle and intelligent world of IDW.

And yet I don' recall saying that- just that different fans are into TFs for different reasons. And yes, someone after an action fest filled with scripted dog farting and "Sam's happy time" at the expense of character development, will find the slow pace of an intrigue thriller with the cerebral complexity of a good anime, frustratingly slow and hard to follow as it's completely different to what they're used to. It's one thing for people to enjoy both things, but when people claim that the Live action movies are better written than AHM (which means characterisation and plot twists), it really does say something (Mudflap and Skids anyone?). Then again when you have fans arguing that anything that was released after the 1986 movie is G2, can anyone really be surprised?

I liked Infiltration (well, at the time anyway, the problem with a slow build up is the pay of needs to be really worth it. I'm expecting missed opportunities and pointless diversions to be more distracting on my first post Revelation reread), thought Escalation was fantastic and loved most of the incontinuity stuff bar Origin up till that point.

The wheels started to come off a little sooner for me than some of our other posters, I think until Cliffy caught up with his reading I was the most negative regular about the ending of Devastation, but I am perfectly capable of enjoying a silly summer blockbuster movie and the Nightbeat Spotlight. It's not as if either of them is a Dennis Potter play.

And yet look at the complaints eveyone was making- people thought it was too slow and demanded answers. At first it was a few by the end of inflitration, until around the time of "Devastation" most of the fandom were screaming for everything to be answered. Really for me, the payoff was there with revelations, but again, as a fandom, we screwed it up. We pushed them to speed it up and that's exactly what they did. We got a story that should have been at least 6 issues in a 4 issue miniseries and surprise surprise, it felt rushed and anti-climactic. The payoff could have been great but as usual, the fandom screwed it up.

The entire Decepticon/Reapers battle was both mindless and completely pointless, none of that subplot had anything to do with anything else in the title and it'd have worked much better with an Autobot (who actually have something to do with the title) attack triggering the Starscream/Sixshot business. When AHM shamelessly redid the whole thing that was actually the one area on which they improved it.

Actually the Reapers battle did serve a purpose. It put Starscream back into the picture and placed Sixshot in a position where he could be actually altered to serve as a drone- something that it would have been near on impossible to do otherwise. Furthermore, realistically, the Decepticons wouldn't be the only life forms out there and not all of them would be friendly. Some would be off the deep end and have the ability to back it up.

It's not the first time a badass alien or group of aliens have graced a TF comic. Heck one of them is one of the most popular characters in the Marvel comic run.

The idea of the Autobots having lost is the basis of all the Cybertron based stories in the Marvel comic up till the coming of Unicron. Xaaron and the other surrvivors went underground (literally, ha ha), became a French style resistance and did what they could even though they spent most of that four million years thinking Optimus was dead and the Matrix lost. In AHM Ironhide and the others sit around Cybertron crying like big girls with only the occasional interruption to compare dick sizes or beat on Mirgae because he was in a TV episode called Traitor once. Depressed lead characters could be potentially interesting, but not when done in a boring way for ten issues.

Shane, is that you?

You can't compare the situation with AHM and the Autobot Underground. Forgetting about heroes such as Impactor and Ultra Magnus who filled that void. That's not even getting to issues like Xaaron who was the spiritual heart of the Autobot movement on the Marvel universe Cybertron.

With AHM, there was no Xaaron, Magnus is in a completely different role and Wreckers like Impactor simply don't exist. In the IDW universe, Prime seems to embody all of that so what happened was completely understandible. As I said, AHM took the mythos into uncharted territory. As for Mirage, you have read his Tech Spec and read issue 3 of the original Marvel run right? Mirage has always been unsure of the Autobot cause, always been a question mark- a spy unsure of his loyalties. What AHM did was what should have been seen with Mirage consistently in every single TF storyline to date.

And no, I'm the guy who quoted back "for me personally it never ends" in a G2 letters page.

Furman ignored that in his Marvel days though, so it's hardly surprising and fairly understandable he wouldn't pay it any heed when working on a continuity that sentence isn't a part of.

Bud?

Actually Furman didn't ignore that. He actually elaborated on it with the Primus origins (that story began on his 5th issue when he began working on the US strip). Furthermore, he was the sole writer in G2 where the bio-morphic reproduction process was introduced and was the cause of the major plot point of the entire run. However due to the run being cut short, the impact that it had on a personal level for the characters was never really explored.

inflatable dalek
2009-11-04, 11:24 AM
I disagree- in fact, had Revelations not been so rushed, it would have been the perfect story length- in fact I found the whole thing to be a refreshingly complex and intrigue filled TF tale- the likes of which the Marvel run never quite reached the depths of.

I was talking about AHM, which was far to long for the cartoonish shenanigans it was aiming for.


I seem to recall saying they crammed too much into the end of it into too few a number of issues.

I can't see how even the most ardant of fans of AHM can claim there was to much plot for 12 issues. We have whole months were nothing happens at all and characters get introduced as major players only to have nothing to do (most of the humans).


And yet I don' recall saying that-

Ah, well then, I apologise. Completely silly of me...

And yes, someone after an action fest filled with scripted dog farting and "Sam's happy time" at the expense of character development, will find the slow pace of an intrigue thriller with the cerebral complexity of a good anime, frustratingly slow and hard to follow as it's completely different to what they're used to. It's one thing for people to enjoy both things, but when people claim that the Live action movies are better written than AHM (which means characterisation and plot twists), it really does say something (Mudflap and Skids anyone?). Then again when you have fans arguing that anything that was released after the 1986 movie is G2, can anyone really be surprised?

Oh wait, you do mean what I said you meant then. OK. That is insulting. Firstly because even the best of the IDW stuff isn't that cerebral or full of complexity. If you think that it's you who needs to really broaden your horizons.


And yet look at the complaints eveyone was making- people thought it was too slow and demanded answers. At first it was a few by the end of inflitration, until around the time of "Devastation" most of the fandom were screaming for everything to be answered. Really for me, the payoff was there with revelations, but again, as a fandom, we screwed it up. We pushed them to speed it up and that's exactly what they did. We got a story that should have been at least 6 issues in a 4 issue miniseries and surprise surprise, it felt rushed and anti-climactic. The payoff could have been great but as usual, the fandom screwed it up.

So its our fault they made shit comics then is it? Revelation could have worked great as four issues if the plotting had been better handled and the focus characters been different. Hell, back when it came out I came up with this reworked framework that could have done the same in four issues but better (at least within the constraints):

My multi step guide to how I'd have made this series better (that's better, not necessaries good. That might have been to much of a challenge considering the constraints). This means loosing some nice individual bits, but I think increasing the overall strength of the comic:

The big one first, loose everything about Dealer and Sideswipe (though keep the latter as a grunt in the battle). Then use the extra space for the following:

Instead of the Magnificence have Jetfire and the others work out the DU plan through a chain of logical deduction (not really that hard with some careful writing).

Lose the Arcee Banzaitron team up, she gets to the Decepticon base and finds them all dead but then follows the trail using her tracking skills. Show her finding Mosntructor on the planet and calling into Fort Max so he knows where she is (and where one of the Nega Cores is. Factor in Ultra Magnus could make the Bhul connection himself and you don't need the Magnificence at all for that) before taking him on single handed in a battle of the freaks.

Drop the Pretenders. When the Nega Cores are collected have Ultra Magnus go with Arcee to Gorlam and be ready to make the ultimate sacrifice himself by going into the pool with them... Only for the now undead Hardhead to pop out and insist on doing it himself (a shameless rehash of Impactors death, but far better than a shameless rehash of "Look at this never seen before hole in the floor". Plus deals with Hardhead's fate).

Use the extra space freed up by the above for the following-

A better sense of people travelling from place to place, most specifically establish Galvatron arriving at Garrus and blasting his way in (making it look like he's come to help his boss).

Better and more elaborate fight scene between the two Prime's, not forgetting the fact Nemesis is supposed to be a semi sympathetic character who just wants to go home. Rather than "The Darkness" he just has the Matrix. It isn't evil or tainted but once it actually has the option to leave the guy who has renounced his role and go to another more suitable candidate it does, which is what starts to give Optimus the edge in the battle (and have this be Prime's plan all along so he doesn't seem to be winging it so badly). [Alternately, if you want to keep the Eviltrix make sure a cliffhanger is prime being taken over by the evil Twin Peaks style].

Galvatron arrives and finishes off Nemesis, and demands the Matrix for himself lest he use his death grip on Prime. But now joined with the Matrix for the first time ever Optimus makes short work of him [not perfect, but using a already established McGuffin rather than having a brand new one just show up out of no where is a better alternative].

Throw into the mix: Giving Sixshot something to do (fighting another team of Autobots in a more on screen battle), have Ultra Magnus zap Arcee and take her back to prison, drop Grindcore and have Cyclonus on Earth instead (as he no longer has any Pretenders to fight).

Much more focused, especially if Dealer and Sideswipe and been replaced with Jetfire and Nemesis Prime as the Spotlight characters. All we'd have lost is the one bit of closure we did get on the Magnifigance, and as the final fate of that insanely useful device is the elephant in the room for the current comics that could have been dealt with later anyway with negligible impact on anything that's come since. If anything doing it in Maximum Dinobots could have given that some extra plot to stop them having to repeat the "No, Swoops pissed off and gone forever! No, he's come back" bit.



Actually the Reapers battle did serve a purpose. It put Starscream back into the picture and placed Sixshot in a position where he could be actually altered to serve as a drone- something that it would have been near on impossible to do otherwise. Furthermore, realistically, the Decepticons wouldn't be the only life forms out there and not all of them would be friendly. Some would be off the deep end and have the ability to back it up.

The Reaper's didn't contribute anything an Autobot attack couldn't have done, as it did at the end of AHM. You liked that didn't you?

It's not the first time a badass alien or group of aliens have graced a TF comic. Heck one of them is one of the most popular characters in the Marvel comic run.

Though just about all of them are terrible. Giant women, those twerps in Deadly Games ect.



You can't compare the situation with AHM and the Autobot Underground.

Oh yes you can, it's the same basic set up only one made a dramatic basis for stories out of it, and the other used it for padding. And as for heroes and figureheads, we've got icon Kup and super Jazz.

As for Mirage, you have read his Tech Spec and read issue 3 of the original Marvel run right?

I have, but considering the cartoon based nature of the series I bet my left ball McCarthy hasn't and the whole thing was inspired by the TV episode. I'll bet my right he hasn't done more than look at wiki synopses of the previous IDW comics as well.


And no, I'm the guy who quoted back "for me personally it never ends" in a G2 letters page.

You're Simon Furman? Explains everything.



Actually Furman didn't ignore that. He actually elaborated on it with the Primus origins (that story began on his 5th issue when he began working on the US strip).

Yes, I am mildly familiar with the Primus backstory, that really can't be considered natural evolution. Unless you seriously think Primus created all life in the TF Marvel Universe, which would seem a little unlikely.

Rurudyne
2009-11-04, 04:35 PM
Hey!!!
That's what I thought; but, I didn't want to be the one getting the slapdown.

bowspearer
2009-11-04, 08:33 PM
I was talking about AHM, which was far to long for the cartoonish shenanigans it was aiming for.

Deep character exposition in a really dark storyline is "cartoonish shenadigans" to you? :glance:

I can't see how even the most ardant of fans of AHM can claim there was to much plot for 12 issues. We have whole months were nothing happens at all and characters get introduced as major players only to have nothing to do (most of the humans).

Well when the comic becomes called "Humans" I'll reconsider that point. Until then, yours is moot considering the premise of the whole story and the large size of the ensemble cast.

Ah, well then, I apologise. Completely silly of me...

Oh wait, you do mean what I said you meant then. OK. That is insulting.

Actually I was referring to the people who right from the getgo were ripping into IDW- like you said, how silly of you.

Firstly because even the best of the IDW stuff isn't that cerebral or full of complexity. If you think that it's you who needs to really broaden your horizons.

My horizons are already incredibly broad. Considering that you seem to discount good character expositions -the hallmark of any good piece of literature - and mutliple intrigue based subplots - the hallmark of any complex piece of literary work- clearly your definition of "complex and cerebral" is rather questionable.

So its our fault they made shit comics then is it?

Yes it is! IDW did what so many fans complained that people working on TF media haven't been doing in many cases in the past- they listened to fans! IDW's style started out being heavily character and intrigue driven. Finally we get handed a great story based on a war of deception as it always should have been. Except that fans complain so IDW listens. After all, who wouldn't considering the history of TF comics. The original Marvel run was one of the first casualties of the downturn in the comics market, speculation killed G2 off, Dreamwave got killed off as a comics company when Transformers was their flagship comic line, so yes, anyone in the comics business would have to be nuts not to be concerned about the popularity of their product.

The reality is that we got exactly what we asked for as fans, short of IDW being able to go back in time and rewrite everything previously.

Revelation could have worked great as four issues if the plotting had been better handled and the focus characters been different. Hell, back when it came out I came up with this reworked framework that could have done the same in four issues but better (at least within the constraints):

Which sacrifices character exposition for plot exposition, when everything you want to display is quite clearly implied anyway. That's not even going into elements of the universe that have been established would have wound up completely contradicting themselves had they taken your approach.

The Reaper's didn't contribute anything an Autobot attack couldn't have done, as it did at the end of AHM. You liked that didn't you?

You mean apart from maintaining complete plot continuity?

Though just about all of them are terrible. Giant women, those twerps in Deadly Games ect.

And yet Birds of Prey worked incredibly well, as did the Mechanibals initial encounter, while Death's Head was so popular he even wound up getting his own series. And those crazed aliens affected by Nucleon weren't believable at all. You're right, the alien characters in TF haven't been believable at all.

Oh yes you can, it's the same basic set up only one made a dramatic basis for stories out of it, and the other used it for padding. And as for heroes and figureheads, we've got icon Kup and super Jazz.

Both of whom make it clear they're not viewed in the same light as Prime. Xaaron was so important to the spiritual heart of the Autobot movement that he was practically forbidden from even getting close to combat and had been away from battle for so long that the mere act of transforming was potentially fatal. Apples and oranges.

I have, but considering the cartoon based nature of the series I bet my left ball McCarthy hasn't and the whole thing was inspired by the TV episode. I'll bet my right he hasn't done more than look at wiki synopses of the previous IDW comics as well.

Based on what exactly? Even a previous spotlight had made Mirage a key suspect with the way it played out. Considering that AHM is the only link in plot to that Spotlight, let me know when you plan on asking McCarthy and I'll book the surgery for you.

You're Simon Furman? Explains everything.

Wow, do you make a habit of own goaling yourself?

Yes, I am mildly familiar with the Primus backstory, that really can't be considered natural evolution. Unless you seriously think Primus created all life in the TF Marvel Universe, which would seem a little unlikely.

Not even close to mildly familiar it seems. To begin with, Transformers was separated from the Marvel Universe shortly after issue 4 when Marvel realised the impact that the Transformers would have on every other one of their titles if it remained as part of the regular Marvel continuity. Secondly, it's [b]clearly stated/b] within the first few pages of Issue 1 of the comic that the Transformers DO evolve naturally. Thirdly, the TF Universe is polytheisthic, not monotheistic.

bowspearer
2009-11-04, 08:37 PM
Problem is a fair portion of TF fans grew up liking the G1 cartoon and are therefore morons.

Well if those fans are morons then I don't think there's a word in existence to describe the tastelessness or brainlessness of those who enjoyed any of the Live Action movies.

Cliffjumper
2009-11-04, 09:27 PM
Well if those fans are morons then I don't think there's a word in existence to describe the tastelessness or brainlessness of those who enjoyed any of the Live Action movies.

You really haven't got a single clue, have you? It's called a joke, look it up. Not all of us are disappearing up our own anus. Not all of us feel the only way to strengthen our argument is to make serious broadbrush generalisations about anyone who enjoys a certain facet of Transformers that doesn't fit our personal tastes.

Generally, though, keep it up. You're such a cariacature of an idiot fanboy that there's no point in debating anything you say, you're comedy gold on your own.

bowspearer
2009-11-04, 10:30 PM
You really haven't got a single clue, have you? It's called a joke, look it up. Not all of us are disappearing up our own anus. Not all of us feel the only way to strengthen our argument is to make serious broadbrush generalisations about anyone who enjoys a certain facet of Transformers that doesn't fit our personal tastes.

Generally, though, keep it up. You're such a cariacature of an idiot fanboy that there's no point in debating anything you say, you're comedy gold on your own.

And yet this could not be a more ironic post. The live action movies go beyond just being just different tastes to just bad storytelling, and along with Robots in Disguise (as opposed to Car Robots- even voice actors working on it commented at one point about how story and lines of dialogue were gutted due to perceived market demographics and perceptions of those demographics) is the exception to the general rule. For the most part TF media are generally written with the intention of being good storylines.

The Live Action movies on the other hand are written with the perspective of being a flashy sound and light show, with Bay having gone on record several times saying that his main concern was what "looked cool" (the designs for the movie characters were centered around the idea of always being able to see a million different working parts, to paraphrase just one example). That's not even going into the fact that jeuvenile and toilet humour take the place of actual character exposition. The fact that the script can find the screen time to specifically state a dog farting but not for more dialogue of some of the main characters which the entire story is meant to be centred around, should tell you something there. Just compare the writing of the new Star Trek movie to the first Live Action Movie and the first Live Action movie to ROTF- the evidence is right in front of you.

You might have been making a joke, but the reality is that there are a fair few fans out there who will happily defend a piece of mindless crap made by a director who even parts of the industry regard as specialising in making unwatchable piles of crap, while ripping into something that is at least trying to be a decent story.

I'm not that big a fan of AEC for example, but with that, and with the exception of the issue of it suffering from problems common to most dubbed anime, to each their own.

But it honestly annoys me to no end when you have tf media out there made with absolutely no literary value that get gobbled up en masse, where the people behind them couldn't care less about the fans and become the standard (just look at Takara's stance on the issue for example); and then you have people actually trying to make a quality storyline, actually listening to fans and trying to take things on board while trying to maintain story quality at the same time, and they can't win, or worse still, are held up in a worse light than, issues of taste aside, what is literally a steaming pile of crap in terms of literary value.

Like I said, your post could not have been more ironic.

Cliffjumper
2009-11-04, 10:38 PM
And you can keep saying it all you like. In fact, given your habit of mindlessly repeating things no-one gives a shit about (such as your obsession with dragging your views on the movie into any given topic, regardless of the fact no-one really cares what you think, or mentioning that you had a letter published in the G2 comic like that somehow legitimises anything you have to say - JEFF STEELE had about 3 published in various US Marvel books, and mentioning his name alone has put a smile on a few older members' faces), I'm sure you will. It's just another one of those charming personality problems you seem to have.

Just keep digging the hole, this is making genuinely hilarious reading.

bowspearer
2009-11-04, 11:39 PM
And you can keep saying it all you like. In fact, given your habit of mindlessly repeating things no-one gives a shit about (such as your obsession with dragging your views on the movie into any given topic, regardless of the fact no-one really cares what you think, or mentioning that you had a letter published in the G2 comic like that somehow legitimises anything you have to say - JEFF STEELE had about 3 published in various US Marvel books, and mentioning his name alone has put a smile on a few older members' faces), I'm sure you will. It's just another one of those charming personality problems you seem to have.

Oh loving the irony here. I brought up the letter here for the sole reason that someone had accused me of being Simon Furman (and Bud Budanski, and Shane McCarthy) and considering the stance I'd taken in the past, it was such a burningly ironic move on their part that it could have been bottled up and used as a form of napalm by armed forces somewhere. You talk about personality problems, yet glaring ones from other people come to mind. A bitterness over central human characters not being just like them (and that the only way someone could possibly enjoy something was if they were the author of it themselves) by some posters screams of a lack of empathy (a key clinical sign of psychosis) and in turn, in the case of the issue of the human characters, a clear cut case of narcissism.

Just keep digging the hole, this is making genuinely hilarious reading.

Also on the grounds of personality problems, I'm reminded of something someone once said to me which seems rather aptly approriate in this case "those who understand, discuss; those who cannot understand, mock". Feel free to continue the mockery- at this rate, I should be able to weaponise the irony from it (bottle it) and sell it on the black market in no time at all.

Rurudyne
2009-11-05, 12:34 AM
"A bitterness over central human characters not being just like them (and that the only way someone could possibly enjoy something was if they were the author of it themselves) by some posters screams of a lack of empathy (a key clinical sign of psychosis) and in turn, in the case of the issue of the human characters, a clear cut case of narcissism."

Well, I for one have never gone about picking up small blue boom boxes at construction sites and I'm completely okay that one version of Spike seems to have made a habit of it.

secretcode
2009-11-05, 12:37 AM
My hair glows yellow and becomes spiky whenever I'm around Energon.

Gouki
2009-11-05, 04:27 AM
Who is Bud Budanski?

Also on the grounds of personality problems, I'm reminded of something someone once said to me which seems rather aptly approriate in this case "those who understand, discuss; those who cannot understand, mock". Feel free to continue the mockery- at this rate, I should be able to weaponise the irony from it (bottle it) and sell it on the black market in no time at all.

But where do people who dismiss and refuse to accept any other point of view attempting to protray their opinion as fact and law fit in?

Oh, and that was a pointed comment. Just letting you know.

Heinrad
2009-11-05, 07:10 AM
I've been wondering who this Bud Budanski is, myself. I think there was a TV repairman back home named Budanski.........

We also seem to be getting away from the central topic.

Personally, I think what happened was that IDW gave Furman carte blanche, and it started out well. I liked the slow buildup. Info supplied by Stormbringer seemed to indicate that the whole Pretender concept(not to mention any impending *-master concepts) was going to be far different than what had come before. Info provided by the Spotlights provided good background. Why Shockwave and the Dinos are on Earth, why Hot Rod is the way he is, setting Nightbeat up, etc, etc.

The problem was that being freed from the constraints that had been there before seemed to.... well... kill the focus. Even the show 24(which it's been intimated that Furman's a fan of) sticks with it's focus. It has to. It's only got 24 hours to tell the story. Actually, factoring in commercial breaks, it's probably only got 23 hours, if not less.

Then(admittedly this is from my POV), seemingly out of the blue, IDW decided to do AHM and had Furman wrap everything with the Dead Universe up. What probably would have taken 12 issues at the rate things seemed to be going to properly wrap up had to get wrapped up in 4.

Ways to fix it? As has been mentioned: Limited cast. If Furman's writing great stories for the TF UK movieverse comic because he's working with a small cast, there you go. Other ways? The "mysterious, shadowy" human groups. Fine in concept, but two at once is a bit much.

If you really need to fill in the backstory, that's what the Spotlights should be used for. They aren't part of the main story, so you can use them to fill in background(Shockwave, Nightbeat, Hot Rod), go off and have a lark(Ramjet), tell a moving story about a particular character(KUP. I mean, come on, after that Spotlight, who would have given odds he'd show up in the main story as a main character?), or fill in info on something that we don't know about(say if there'd been a Spotlight: Nemesis Prime, or a Spotlight: Dead Universe). That way you can keep the main story going and keep it, hopefully, focused.

bowspearer
2009-11-05, 07:35 AM
I've been wondering who this Bud Budanski is, myself. I think there was a TV repairman back home named Budanski.........

Typo- that was meant to be Bob Budanski

We also seem to be getting away from the central topic.

Personally, I think what happened was that IDW gave Furman carte blanche, and it started out well. I liked the slow buildup. Info supplied by Stormbringer seemed to indicate that the whole Pretender concept(not to mention any impending *-master concepts) was going to be far different than what had come before. Info provided by the Spotlights provided good background. Why Shockwave and the Dinos are on Earth, why Hot Rod is the way he is, setting Nightbeat up, etc, etc.

The problem was that being freed from the constraints that had been there before seemed to.... well... kill the focus. Even the show 24(which it's been intimated that Furman's a fan of) sticks with it's focus. It has to. It's only got 24 hours to tell the story. Actually, factoring in commercial breaks, it's probably only got 23 hours, if not less.

I'm not sure I exactly agree with that assessment. The problem with the IDW universe in general was that it gave people a far more complex story compared to anything which had come before it while combining it with a realistic setting.

With everything prior to IDW, you might get one or 2 complex subplots happening within a story. IDW generally had a good 5 or six running most times and considering the nature of a war based on deception, the reveal was always going to be slow as more and more subplots started to build while things were slowly being unravelled.

At the same time there were complaints from people who hated that kind of a story. They started with a small group of people but by Devastation, there were enough clamouring voices that if someone was going to be interacting with the fandom and really listen, there would have been genuine concern that history could repeat itself.

The reality is that producing a TF comic for several years was like putting on a production of Macbeth. The original Marvel run was one of the very first casualties of the comics downturn of the 90s, G2 got killed off by nervous retailers and Dreamwave suffered so badly that it went bust with it as its flagship title.

If I were running IDW I'd generally be pretty nervous where the comic's public reception was concerned.

And so we wound up with this situation:

Then(admittedly this is from my POV), seemingly out of the blue, IDW decided to do AHM and had Furman wrap everything with the Dead Universe up. What probably would have taken 12 issues at the rate things seemed to be going to properly wrap up had to get wrapped up in 4.

I completely agree, Revelations was far too condensed. I mean it was condensed in such a way that it still worked, but it felt sub par compared to the stuff that had come before it.

Ways to fix it? As has been mentioned: Limited cast. If Furman's writing great stories for the TF UK movieverse comic because he's working with a small cast, there you go. Other ways? The "mysterious, shadowy" human groups. Fine in concept, but two at once is a bit much.

Not sure I agree with the last one here, because really, we technically didn't have 2 shadowy human groups, but one shadowy human group and the other group which was really run by decepticons and even trying to control the genuine human group. Let's face it, in a real war between transformers on earth, that's exactly the sort of thing which would happen.

If you really need to fill in the backstory, that's what the Spotlights should be used for. They aren't part of the main story, so you can use them to fill in background(Shockwave, Nightbeat, Hot Rod), go off and have a lark(Ramjet), tell a moving story about a particular character(KUP. I mean, come on, after that Spotlight, who would have given odds he'd show up in the main story as a main character?), or fill in info on something that we don't know about(say if there'd been a Spotlight: Nemesis Prime, or a Spotlight: Dead Universe). That way you can keep the main story going and keep it, hopefully, focused.

Actually I think the biggest thing they need to do is stop listening to complaints from fans and trust their gut instincts, because let's face it, what you're talking about is exactly what we started out with. They started out with a great concept, the right character depth, a realistic take on what a war with the TFs should be like. Things only went a bit skew-iff when they got skittish and fanboy whinging- if they can realise that and get back to their roots, we should have things spot on again.

inflatable dalek
2009-11-05, 08:51 AM
Well, this thread has become a troll paradise. Thank you Heinrad for bringing things back to the point, any more huge diversions to people's own agendas or trolling will see posts deleted and/or the thread closed. Which would be a shame as it started off rather nicely. And I speak with the authority of a man who's had letters published in no less than two best selling magazines.


ON TOPIC: Having now almost caught up with the Titan comic (just the issue that came out this week to get. Its odd to think this has now outlasted the Dreamwave Armadagon comic to get the bronze as the longest running regular title), and I'm having mixed feelings. Furman's character work is fine, the Twin's have been sensibly toned down to be the leads whilst still being idosycratic and Optimus himself is perfectly in character, catching Sideways by blowing up the entire road is very him.

However, the fairly straightforward plot, the Twins know about the Fallen and need to tell Prime, has now been dragged out for five issues (and a flick through the sixth suggests it doesn't get any more resolved there). Plod plod plod. I think they really need to get onto post movie comics at this point.

I do like the suggestion earlier that Furman would perhaps be better as an editor on the titles than a writer. Even if not him perhaps a lot of the problems the comics are having as a whole would be more easily solved wit a firmer editorial hand? A lot of the same problems occur across all the titles, perhaps it's not the writers that need changing but those in charge?

Blackjack
2009-11-05, 01:00 PM
Can't believe that I've missed this thread.... damn!

I do like the suggestion earlier that Furman would perhaps be better as an editor on the titles than a writer. Even if not him perhaps a lot of the problems the comics are having as a whole would be more easily solved wit a firmer editorial hand? A lot of the same problems occur across all the titles, perhaps it's not the writers that need changing but those in charge?

I think Furman should continue writing spotlights, while the main arc is handled by someone else. Furman writes good comics only when he knows what the ending's supposed to be, otherwise he'll keep dropping new plot threads and hints and beginnings and we'd never get anywhere.

Or else the editorials in IDW could give Furman something like: 'we want you to make a build-up in six issues, a big fight in the next arc and a conclusion in the next arc', before moving off to the next saga. With so many plot threads, no wonder many got glossed over.

Cliffjumper
2009-11-05, 01:57 PM
I found the Titan stuff to be... alright. Better than the IDW stuff for the large part, because it's tight, concise and doesn't have delusions of grandeur. Plus the artwork was less samey than Milne or Figueroa have been with the same characters. However, it suffered quite badly from character-stuffing and recycled archetypes. And being made up on the hoof.

Rurudyne
2009-11-05, 04:43 PM
Then(admittedly this is from my POV), seemingly out of the blue, IDW decided to do AHM and had Furman wrap everything with the Dead Universe up. What probably would have taken 12 issues at the rate things seemed to be going to properly wrap up had to get wrapped up in 4.
At least they didn't do what the producers of the original Tenchi series seems to have done ... start building an engaging story and then, for no apparent reason, throw all that away in the next episode (without resolution mind you), start over with a majorly different plotline.

Which is to say, IDW, they attempted a half-ass wrap up as you imply.

Though to put it that way I'm not sure which approach was best. ;)

Also, I'm glad the issues with Bud Bobanski's name have been sorted out.

inflatable dalek
2009-11-06, 06:27 PM
I found the Titan stuff to be... alright. Better than the IDW stuff for the large part, because it's tight, concise and doesn't have delusions of grandeur. Plus the artwork was less samey than Milne or Figueroa have been with the same characters. However, it suffered quite badly from character-stuffing and recycled archetypes. And being made up on the hoof.


As far as the character stuffing goes at least they have something more of an excuse, as what's really the only TF comic actually aimed at kids Hasbro are probably a lot more keen on all the toys getting an appearance. And I think they've done it fairly well, the focus very much remain on the film characters with the new bots generally being supporting muscle.

Heinrad
2009-11-06, 07:06 PM
Actually, thinking about it, the best thing for IDW to have done at the beginning would have been to make Transformers a monthly title, with the Spotlights as extras. That way you can go through with the intricate plotting, and have time to develop the subplots properly.

Look at the first season of Beast Wars. Half the episodes don't have anything to do with the "main" plot(which I gather from interviews that the writers were still cobbling together even as the show started), but the whole season hangs together fairly well.

Although I gather that IDW has only recently started doing monthly titles, mainly for Transformers. That's the thing. I don't think IDW went into getting Transformers with too much trepidation: A successful brand that has a fairly hard-core group of readers(kind of like John Byrne's 50,000). Yes, G1 got cancelled(the toy line had pretty much burned out by that point). G2 the comic, for whatever reason, came out after the cartoon(which was the G1 cartoon, really) had pretty much stopped airing, and the toyline wasn't exactly the greatest. Dreamwave was run into the ground by Pat Lee between bad art, bad hiring, and a desire for a new Porsche every time his current one got dirty.