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View Full Version : AHM isn't all that bad, is it?


Cliffjumper
2010-05-30, 07:27 PM
I mean, with a bit of distance and taking it for what it is. It's not clever and it's not groundbreaking, but it is kinda fun. I'm re-reading IDW, and it held the interest more than most of Furman's vague, self-important shit. The only big wobble is Omega Supreme - devoid of the promotional barrage Drift isn't actually that bad (in fact he's barely in it). The thing rips off G1 for all it's worth, without being quite so mindlessly chirpy.

It's only really done up the bum by IDW's ludicrous decision to keep it in continuity with the whole Furman car-crash (seriously, how terrible is "Infiltration" when you re-read it in the knowledge that none of it is actually going to any of the interesting places it occasionally hints at?) instead of just saying "They're big ****ing robots, we're dropping all this pretentious wank in favour of making the concept fun and so it appeals to more people than a Preston North End match".

Halfshell
2010-05-30, 07:47 PM
I'll get the straightjacket.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-30, 08:13 PM
Aww, c'mon. It's a comic about the Decepticons invading Earth and the Autobots trying to stop them. Sure, there's no fancy-dan concepts like Siege Mode or Infiltration Protocols, but at least they actually bother instead of wandering off into space. And are the humans really that much more irritating than Avril, Mini-Mulder and Zoidberg?

The Dead Furmanverse is like Full Metal Jacket - someone who used to know what they were doing confusing epic with overly long. It's full of praiseworthy moments and themes and stuff, but is as boring as **** (and, coincidentally, wastes half the time driving depth into characters who have nothing to do later on). AHM is Independance Day - big, stupid, cheesy, full of explosions, hardware, characters with no depth. It's a miserable Sunday afternoon and you want a fun way to kill two hours - which is it to be?

Halfshell
2010-05-30, 08:18 PM
Stop making comparisons. AHM is shoddy. You know as well as I do that "it's preferable to X" doesn't change its own level of quality.

And I don't like Independence Day either.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-30, 08:36 PM
Stop making comparisons. AHM is shoddy. You know as well as I do that "it's preferable to X" doesn't change its own level of quality.

I'm going native. If I think like a Transformers fan, I can know the enemy.

And I don't like Independence Day either.

Con Air? It's an action movie. It's giant robots knocking the crap out of each other. Transformers could have done with a straightforward 'base' story like this at the start of IDW's run. Compact it to 6/8 issues, strip out Omega Supreme and some of the sillier moments, and the past continuity references (Sunstreaker's motivation could have been handled another way - personally I like the idea of someone just looking for a way to stop the war Chamberlain-style [and Chamberlain-style being completely out of his depth in doing so]; I don't agree with it, but it was actually not a bad story idea), and you're left with a workable, fun slice of Ultimates-with-Transformers.

It could've been the clean slate IDW needed, but as ever their complete inability to keep their house in order and think things through before they did it meant it ended up half-hearted.

inflatable dalek
2010-05-30, 09:36 PM
I was perfectly prepared to treat it on its own merits as a dumb action comic (if nothing else because McCarthy and Guido didn't deserve to be judged beforehand for decisions made by other people). But even on that it's terrible on just about every level.

The art is frequently terrible and misjudged even on the issues with just one artist, there's frequent long stretches where nothing really happens (the death knell for an action comic), characters get introduced as main leads and go onto be reduced to bit part players, you can see the plot get chucked out and replaced with something else after the complaints came in (I refuse to believe the original plan was to start out with a comic unrelated on previous stories only to suddenly depend on prior knowledge of Huntstreaker halfway through), the cigar, the Autobots spend issue after issue doing nothing except sitting around on Cybertron (except when the briefly drive about in order to go somewhere else and do nothing), the Swarm, three issues having the same "The evil Europeans are going to nuke New York!" cliffhanger ect ect ect. The most damning thing remains that the hastily chucked together heavily edited three-issues-in-one conclusion to the British comic's reprints made exactly the same amount of sense.

The tone's also all wrong for a Independence Day (which is of course brilliant) style movie, you're supposed to be going "That's cool" at the landmark destruction porn, not being shocked at the death's of thousands of innocent people.

The best I can say about it is that the first two or three issues do each have one genuinely great moment (Scrapper's "We come in peace" joke, Frenzy and Megatron's first lengthy chat with Starscream).

I assume no one's even going to pretend anything not written by Nick Roche in the last four issues was any good?

EDIT: I'm guessing cliffy has decided to become a reverse Shockwav, initially hating the issues before declaring them brilliant six months later whilst hating the current issues?

Jaynz
2010-05-30, 09:59 PM
Vogons do not feel that AHM would be a worthy addition to their poetry.

Warcry
2010-05-31, 04:28 AM
AHM is bad, but what really gets me about it is that it could have been really, really good. The core idea is very good, but McCarthy crammed in so many unnecessary ideas and so much meandering shit that never goes anywhere that the whole thing just falls apart. Actually, I think the problems with AHM are the exact same problems that Furman's run suffered from, only more so. And like Furman's run, it would have been a lot better if the editors had forced McCarthy to avoid detours and just tell his story.

There are just too many characters in it. Why are Tracks, Trailbreaker, Cliffjumper et al with the Earth team when they don't accomplish anything? What purpose do Kup and the Wreckers have, other than giving Jazz a couple scenes to wave his cock around? Aside from Mirage, no one who mattered would have been missing if the Autobot cast had been restricted to Prowl and Hound's units (and Mirage's spotlight put him on Earth, so there would be precedent for him to be called back).

The Decepticons actually do a lot better, since most of the newly-introduced 'Cons are there for a reason. The Insecticons are a big part of the plot, Deluge made the Insecticons, and Dropshot provided the best moment in the entire series. The Constructicons are only there to provide big flashy gestalt splash pages, but you can't win 'em all.

McCarthy also introduced a lot of ideas that he had no idea what to do with. The Matrix turned out to be a red herring with no bearing on the plot. The whole 'galaxy-wide defeat' angle wasn't shown at all and introduced one of the book's biggest plot holes. If it had just been Prime's unit that was betrayed it would be easy to believe that Sunstreaker was responsible for that without tacking on some arbitrary nonsense about Bombshell using Hunter to do...something, somehow to the Autobots' network. Likewise, the Swarm are cool but are obviously only there so the Autobots can kill time until the rest of the plot is ready for them on Earth.

If all this superfluous crap had been stripped out, there would have been time for us to get into Sunstreaker's head some more, time to get to know Thundercracker before his random betrayal of the Decepticons, and time to actually see the Decepticons' dissatisfaction play out a bit more thoroughly.

Blackjack
2010-05-31, 05:23 AM
I actually enjoyed the first few issues of AHM, for what it's worth. It's not as dreary and mock-serious like the ongoing.

The big problem, like Furman, is that McCarthy tries to include so many characters. Tracks, Cliffjumper, Drift, Trailbreaker, the neo-Wreckers are all just dead weight, similar to how Skram, Road Rocket and Warpath were in the Revelations run.

The basic idea is rather decent. Decepticons have conquered Earth, the Autobots lay defeated, et cetera. It's just the execution that's handled badly. The talky scenes become boring, and after all the characterization given to him in the first six issues Jazz becomes nothing more than a wallpaper flower. And the Autobots talk so much in the middle issues and do nothing. Which is annoying.

Oh, and McCarthy rewrote guys like Perceptor, which is very, very badly handled. But that's actually not so bad since Roche and that other guy who wrote AHM #15 worked on that sadist angle. It's not as jarring as what Costa did with Optimus Prime or Prowl or Hot Rodimus.

I do think that McCarthy actually wanted to go his own direction, but when some of the editors insisted that he adhere to meh-tastic Maximum Dinobots, I think the whole continuity referencing causes the plot to be adjusted rather badly.

Issues ten through twelve falls rather short, what with the 'evil British guys are going to drop a bomb oh my god oh my god' being dragged on and on, while too much attention is given to the humans. (We had all in all half an issue spent on that pilot guy who eventually does nothing but get squashed off-screen by Astrotrain). Starscream suddenly acts all awry in issue twelve, and Thundercracker betraying the Decepticons is very sudden. The art falters halfway due to Guido's illness, which doesn't do anything to help.

With a little editing, AHM could've been performed more nicely, and could gel better with the Dead Furmanverse. For example, letting TC and Sunstreaker have more scenes which would lead into their roles later on. And giving Sunstreaker reasons to betray the Autobots in Maximum Dinobots. And the Swarm, while a nice idea, is executed badly and are only there so the Autobots can do something other than sit around.

With proper communication between Furman and McCarthy, it could've been done much better. Or at least not complete jack shit. As a six-issue mini, with the human scenes, the Swarm scenes and several other distractions culled it could've flown better.

Still don't get why Drift and Dropshot are in the thing at all, though.

Warcry
2010-05-31, 06:18 AM
Still don't get why Drift and Dropshot are in the thing at all, though.
Dropshot was awesome. And he was foreshadowed and everything.

Drift? Who the hell knows? Along with the series itself, Drift pisses me off because he has a lot of potential but he went absolutely nowhere. We've seen defectors before, but always for self-serving reasons (Carnivac for revenge, Dinobot because he had nowhere else to turn, etc...). Drift could well be the first Decepticon we've seen who's changed sides because he actually realized that what he was doing was wrong. There's so much ground you could cover with that...but we don't see any of it because McCarthy is more interested in him being BADASS SAMURAI NINJA JAPAN IS AWESOME LOL.

inflatable dalek
2010-05-31, 09:20 AM
Despie one or two stupid moments I actually thought Drift in AHM itself was handled well enough. He wasn't made the Mary Sue centre of attention and was basically just there to remind us there are more Transformers than the hundred or so toys. It's the way he was promoted ("THE FIRST EVA TOY BASED ON A COMICXXXXXXX! VITAL CHARACTER!!!! NOT A PATHETIC NINJA!!!!!!") and his dreary Spotlight that did my head in more than anything.

kupimus aka(clocker)
2010-05-31, 10:44 AM
I really tried to like it, I did. I bought the tpb and it was really bad. alot of the time the story just leaves you assuming that something has happened rather than showing you, like primes return, which they didnt explain at all, he just appears as good as new.

There's so much ground you could cover with that...but we don't see any of it because McCarthy is more interested in him being BADASS SAMURAI NINJA JAPAN IS AWESOME LOL.

but this IS realistic Characterization. Have you ever met a species called human? They are not interested in right or wrong, just in being cool and kickass. thats the one thing that gets me about story critics, they say its unrealistic when a character does something at random or is one-dimenisional, but I am sorry to say that through out life that is all you really see in most people.

Knightdramon
2010-05-31, 11:04 AM
I liked AHM. I really did.

There's a couple of things handled wrong, of course. DJ the pilot, for instance, as mentioned before, had no real meaning to the story. Issue 9's art was almost childlike compared to the previous issues. The colouring on later issues was not as fine as the first few.

Aside from that, I think quite a few people [not here, talking generally about the fandom] can't come up with better excuses to bitch like infants.

Thundercracker was handled the way he was from issue 1. Take a look at Starscream's and Skywarp's expressions whilst demolishing the city, and look at Thundercracker. He clearly stopped believing in Megatron as early [chronologically] as when the Insecticons were created. His flashback scenes have him protesting vividly against Megatron.

Sunstreaker was also portrayed very nicely, giving insight to his actions, something which Furman's run ignored or bypassed. The guy hates humans from the get-go, was a unit commander sometime [as evidenced by the Coda issue], and he's demoted\transferred to Earth where he's subject to torture and experimentation, not to mention having a human control him most of the time [like in the last few issues of MD, where Hunter goes solo]. I seriously don't see this as a stretch. He's not supposed to be happy about the team-up he was forced into.

Are people really that hard up on why Tracks etc were on Earth? The earth group probably needed reinforcements. A lot of what used to be their bulk force ended up dead or leaving Earth at the end of Revelations [Hardhead, Nightbeat, Hot Rod for instance].

About all the mystery and foreshadowing people claim the first issues are all about...dudes, most of us have been waiting for SIX years for Lost to explain some of the mysteries of the island, you couldn't wait a year, max?

I'm not even going to attempt to try and understand what the hate for Drift is all about. The dude doesn't have that many lines, doesn't really do much...why all the hate? Furman introduced many "nobodies" during his IDW run, nobody complained.

Kup's cygar? Of all the things you could nitpick about? Animated gave us three seasons of visually influenced by character autobots and decepticons, and you drown on a spoonful of water for the cygar?

The thing that bugs me, story-wise, is that it's implied all other Autobots are dead besides the ones we see, yet by issue 1 of the ongoing we have a huge roster.

:wave:

inflatable dalek
2010-05-31, 11:30 AM
Thundercracker was handled the way he was from issue 1. Take a look at Starscream's and Skywarp's expressions whilst demolishing the city, and look at Thundercracker. He clearly stopped believing in Megatron as early [chronologically] as when the Insecticons were created. His flashback scenes have him protesting vividly against Megatron.

The problem with Thundercracker is the climax of the series is based around the actions of a character who'd barely had half a dozen lines all series (and the facial expression thing during issue one is subjective, certainly no one picked up on it at the time), hell abrely half a dozen lines across all IDW comics. That's just pure bad story structure. Not to mention the shameless rehash of the end of Devastation going on around him.

The guy hates humans from the get-go, was a unit commander sometime [as evidenced by the Coda issue]

I still don't think that's supposed to be "True", it's Sunstreaker's highly biased bullshit memories we're seeing in that story (and that is one unfair criticism of the series, all the "The flashbacks are different from Maximum Dinobots!" complaints were missing the less than subtle pull out from his dying eyes at the end there).

I seriously don't see this as a stretch. He's not supposed to be happy about the team-up he was forced into.

But again, Sunstreaker hasn't done anything but stand in the background of the preceding six issues. For a comic that's supposed to be a fresh new start readers suddenly need to have read previous storylines to make any sense of it. And no effort is made developing his character from the working-well-with-Hunter stuff to the All-Humans-Must-Die attitude until after he's already dead. Just within All Hail Megatron itself him turning out to be the traitor is like one of those Scooby Doo episodes where the guy in the mask is someone who had two lines at the start of the show and wasn't seen again until the rubber came off.

Are people really that hard up on why Tracks etc were on Earth? The earth group probably needed reinforcements. A lot of what used to be their bulk force ended up dead or leaving Earth at the end of Revelations [Hardhead, Nightbeat, Hot Rod for instance].

I think people wouldn't have much of a problem if the bulk of them had done anything other than stand about in the background, in some cases not even getting to say anything.

About all the mystery and foreshadowing people claim the first issues are all about...dudes, most of us have been waiting for SIX years for Lost to explain some of the mysteries of the island, you couldn't wait a year, max?

18 months in total for the whole series, don't forget they wound up having to do four extra issues to try and explain the things the oriignal 12 didn't bother with (including the Sunstreaker thing). And sitting from the perspective of the series being finished it is fair to say most of the mysteries were either crap, craply resolved, blatant padding or all three (take a bow the Swarm).

I'm not even going to attempt to try and understand what the hate for Drift is all about. The dude doesn't have that many lines, doesn't really do much...why all the hate? Furman introduced many "nobodies" during his IDW run, nobody complained.

I complained about the generics in Spotlight: Hot Rod (because it made the end so obvious), but none of them had press releases telling us how awesome they were. If IDW hadn't done that with Drift I don't think most readers would have even noticed him.

Kup's cygar? Of all the things you could nitpick about? Animated gave us three seasons of visually influenced by character autobots and decepticons, and you drown on a spoonful of water for the cygar?

No idea about Animated as I've not seen more than the opening few episodes, but one of the things that repeatedly annoyed me about the AHM lovers (all three of them) is they'd repeatedly defend the title, not by arguing what was good about it but going on about how there's been other crap stuff in Transformers before. Which doesn't actually stop AHM being crap, nor excuses it. The highlight being that bloke who seriously claimed we shouldn't be complaining because just being able to read is a privileged.

Halfshell
2010-05-31, 12:08 PM
Well obviously I'd rather watch Con Air than read Infiltration. But Con Air is basically the ultimate Big Stupid Action Movie... genetically designed to be big, dumb and stupid.

All Hail Megatron is... well, it's Wolverine.

AHM is twice as long as the plot can sustain, goes for the big clichés but fails, throws in characters in lieu of characterisation, and can't seem to make up its mind what the plot is (beyond the basic concept of the Decepticons invading Earth), instead opting for a scattergun array of notions/characters who are picked up as if they're hugely important and then thrown away to focus on something else that was never mentioned before.

It did help give us the basic set-up for Last Stand of the Wreckers, but that could have been seeded anywhere. AHM I'd probably be more tolerant of if it were cut down to six issues.

Warcry
2010-05-31, 03:23 PM
but this IS realistic Characterization. Have you ever met a species called human? They are not interested in right or wrong, just in being cool and kickass. thats the one thing that gets me about story critics, they say its unrealistic when a character does something at random or is one-dimenisional, but I am sorry to say that through out life that is all you really see in most people.
And if anyone was complaining that Drift was unrealistic, you would have a point. But since no one other than you has used the word "realistic" in this thread so far, you're trying to rebut an argument that no one has made.

Fiction isn't supposed to be realistic. It's supposed to be entertaining. When your readers hate a character who's meant to be one of your protagonists, it doesn't matter if your character is realistic. That character is still a failure.

People don't complain that Drift is unrealistic. People complain that Drift is a boring stereotype that they don't want to read about.

Jaynz
2010-05-31, 03:29 PM
They are not interested in right or wrong, just in being cool and kickass.

I dislike Drift for being a poorly-executed cliche. But if you think realistic portrayals of people have to be 'cool and kickass' because that's all people are ever interested in, then I really I have to ask, "Do you actually know anyone?"

Because in my personal experience, anyone who acts like that are either teenaged boys desperately trying to prove how 'mature' they are or ... actually, no, that's pretty much the limit of it.

Commander Shockwav
2010-05-31, 03:44 PM
The pacing of AHM cannot be forgiven.

Sure, we can read it all in one sitting and say "that was okay", because I'm sure that's how I'd feel if I read the trade. There were three issues somewhere in there I thought were actually very good.

But we waited a year for this to unfold. An entire ****ing year for a repeat of DW's Prime Directive.

Inexcusable.

inflatable dalek
2010-05-31, 04:39 PM
The pacing of AHM cannot be forgiven.


Though you were extremely forgiving of it during the initial 12 issue run.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-31, 05:29 PM
Firstly, I never said it was actually good - it's just nowhere near as bad as its' reputation. I think it gave a lot of people an out, and ended up carrying the can for all of IDW's ****ups.

See, the pacing and lulls don't mean shit when you're reading a block of scans, you zip right through that stuff in seconds. So that's irrelvant - you've got to move beyond publishing format here, there's no reason to read it like it took a year the second time round.

The Wreckers were pointless? Nah, they added some shorthand muscle, a quick way of saying "the Autobots have reinforcements who can handle themselves". A lot of the best TF comics have background characters who don't really do anything - e.g. where do all the non-leader Transformers go for much of the conclusion of Time Wars? What to the Dinobots really add to Legacy of Unicron (how many of you had to think for a second about where they are in it?) What did Mirage have to do in Target 2006 beyond forgetting his invisibility and that it's not a good idea to drive into your deadly enemy's base in your car mode that has ground effects? 90+% of the cast of G2 are there to pad out battle scenes and/or die. Most of the AHM cast do get something, even if it's just a one-on-one fight (I love Cliffjumper watching the tiny LED). Transformers had always been this way - in any story a few guys hog the limelight, the rest are there to back them up.

Drift... is barely in it. If it was someone's first ever contact with Transformers, Jazz, Mirage, Kup, Omega Supreme, Perceptor ("another clown with a gun..." - neat), several Decepticons and probably others get equal show-off scenes, and by the end of it Thundercracker all but calls him an idiot. He kills a few Swarm guys in a fancypants way, and that really is about it - he's shuffled down the order by the time they get to Earth. IDW's publicity barrage made him seem a lot more obnoxious than he actually was.

Overlong? Undeniably. At six issues it could have been much better - while quick reads, the early issues are more focused; it's from the middle and towards the end we get padding arse-pulls like Omega.

The Sunstreaker thing could have been brilliant, if they hadn't stapled it to Furman's dead horse. Why wouldn't someone, anyone just have had enough of it all? He wouldn't need any more motivation than being fed up with so much pointless war, it was a shame they felt the need to tie it into Hunter at all.

The cigar is fine too. We got an explanation for it in the end, so what's the problem? If Roche had done it first...

Halfshell
2010-05-31, 05:36 PM
Firstly, I never said it was actually good - it's just nowhere near as bad as its' reputation. I think it gave a lot of people an out, and ended up carrying the can for all of IDW's ****ups.

Point a... fair enough. Though depends on what its reputation is - to be honest, I go by what I remember. Which is that I thought it was rubbish. But then you've also got people who proclaimed it to be brilliant, so reputation depends entirely on who you're listening to.

Agreed on the latter point, though. It's easy to give everything else a pass by saying "yeah, at least it was better than AHM". When the fact is that, at the very least, it's still head and shoulders above Megatron Origin. It may take forever to happen, but at least you can work out what's happening.

It's still not good enough for me to bother re-reading. I'd rather watch Full Metal Jacket. Or Con Air.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-31, 05:57 PM
I just think just how shitty it is has been wildly exaggerated (I'm probably just as guilty as others). Transformers fans love a pile-on, be it on Wheelie, Daniel, Nightscream, Beast Machines, Budiansky, Pat Lee, whatever. Something they can give a cheap shot at and have everyone go, "Lol, 4real!" at. A common enemy, if you like.

"SCREW YOU, BAY IS GAY!"
"SHUT UP BITCH, HE IS TEH ROXXOR!"
"One thing we can agree on, though - he's better than AHM!!! :D :D :D :D"
"Lol, 4real! :D :D :D :D"

The knives were out for the thing when it curtailed Simon's Never-Ending Story, not helped by a writer who (whether good or not) was a cockmuncher in interviews and the boisterous PR. It gave people something to focus against, giving the Dead Universe fans something to blame - it wasn't Furman's fault his comics went nowhere in 30-odd issues/3 or 4 years, it was evil McCarthy! Look, this guy's obviously based his research more on the cartoon than The War Within! KILL HIM!

I genuinely think if they'd kicked off with something like this, at a less mammoth size (which it would be, shorn of the daft decision to suddenly fall back on continuity at the mid-point) it'd have been better received. Hell, even as a proper reboot it'd have been better received. Still not probably all that good, but probably less villified.

Comparisons don't make something good, for sure. But as I say, on a re-read it came as a breath of fresh air after Furman's nebulous, middlebrow, vague meanderings, especially for the more focused first half (by about the ninth part you are just hoping it gets the inevitable conclusion over and done with, for sure) just because it's "Hey, let's have stuff actually happen!"

inflatable dalek
2010-05-31, 06:00 PM
See, the pacing and lulls don't mean shit when you're reading a block of scans, you zip right through that stuff in seconds. So that's irrelvant - you've got to move beyond publishing format here, there's no reason to read it like it took a year the second time round.

Well, even ignoring the fact that 22 pages a month is how it was presented and even with the now traditional one eye on trade sales should still be readable in that format... being able to get through the crap bits quicker when reading it in one go is hardly a ringing endorsement of entertainment value.

The Wreckers were pointless? Nah, they added some shorthand muscle, a quick way of saying "the Autobots have reinforcements who can handle themselves". A lot of the best TF comics have background characters who don't really do anything - e.g. where do all the non-leader Transformers go for much of the conclusion of Time Wars? What to the Dinobots really add to Legacy of Unicron (how many of you had to think for a second about where they are in it?) What did Mirage have to do in Target 2006 beyond forgetting his invisibility and that it's not a good idea to drive into your deadly enemy's base in your car mode that has ground effects? 90+% of the cast of G2 are there to pad out battle scenes and/or die. Most of the AHM cast do get something, even if it's just a one-on-one fight (I love Cliffjumper watching the tiny LED). Transformers had always been this way - in any story a few guys hog the limelight, the rest are there to back them up.

I don't think anyone's in denial about this being a problem unique to AHM. Of the example listed everyone buggering off in Time Wars is especially bad. I'd disagree about the Dinobots in LoU though. Grimlock has a fairly signifigant plot moment in persuading Rodimus to leave the battle to the others and go to junk and the others use their small screen time to actively take part in a battle that's a major part of the storyline. Many of the Autobots in AHM spend 10 issues contributing nothing before even managing that much (and a few of them don't aren't even seen to take part in the final battle).

Though in terms of value to the plot I'd say the Wreckers come off better than a few others, especially poor old Hound who Guido seems to forget is supposed to be there between first appearance and showing up after the CR chamber gives him his Universe body.

I do like the Cliffjumper bit though, it (along with Wheeljack having such a OTT plan in the first place) probably the last really decent bit in the whole series, and certainly the only bit of comedy that works.


The Sunstreaker thing could have been brilliant, if they hadn't stapled it to Furman's dead horse. Why wouldn't someone, anyone just have had enough of it all? He wouldn't need any more motivation than being fed up with so much pointless war, it was a shame they felt the need to tie it into Hunter at all.

Yep, the high intensity causing someone to crack (and crack naturally, without any of the silliness that's supposed to have made Sunstreaker go nuts) and want out could have been great. Certainly sticking to their guns and keeping the story standalone would have helped a lot.

The cigar is fine too. We got an explanation for it in the end, so what's the problem? If Roche had done it first...

It looks crap and only seems to be there for the sake of a terrible joke in issue 12. Someone later making a decent retcon out of it is nice but "Kup's character is he has a cool cigar" (from the same school as Eric Holme's "Megatron's character is he has a big gun on his arm") is a pretty good poster child for the various character problems across the series.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-31, 06:14 PM
Well, even ignoring the fact that 22 pages a month is how it was presented and even with the now traditional one eye on trade sales should still be readable in that format...

So, when you watch Curse of Fenric you spread it across four weeks and ignore the movie edit, right? It'd be perfectly readable in trades too, just not particularly good value for money. It'd still be perfectly readable as back issues. Comics aren't like TV, it doesn't take the same amount of time to view each episode regardless of how many lines there are or whatever.

being able to get through the crap bits quicker when reading it in one go is hardly a ringing endorsement of entertainment value.

No, but it means they're unobtrusive. I'll say it again - I never said it was actually all that good. But it takes a matter of seconds to read five words and take in three frames, and bang, you're past the boring page. I felt the Autobots being kept out of the action for so long was one of the strengths - the aimless hopelessness of it all drove home just how badly they'd been defeated.

How many of the Autobots in AHM contribute nothing? As in just stand there? Four, five? Out of how many? It's not perfect, but on that score it doesn't do badly.

Cigar looking crap? Subjective, I thought it was a nice random touch, like one of those strange bits Wildman would just put on characters from time to time (I've yet, for example, to see a rant against Apeface peeling a giant banana and preparing to eat it through his faceplate). Sure, it denies all logic, but why the Hell not?

inflatable dalek
2010-05-31, 06:47 PM
So, when you watch Curse of Fenric you spread it across four weeks and ignore the movie edit, right? It'd be perfectly readable in trades too, just not particularly good value for money. It'd still be perfectly readable as back issues. Comics aren't like TV, it doesn't take the same amount of time to view each episode regardless of how many lines there are or whatever.

I do think the disjointed nature of the editing the broadcast version of Fenric is a flaw with it and there being a better version released on DVD (and indeed the slightly less good but still very worthy VHS version) isn't something likely to appease people who were put off by that when watching in '89/on UK GOLD. Certainly despite the many strengths of the final two McCoy years I think Cartmel's inability to get scripts the right length before filming was a problem, if nothing else because it created a lot of needless work (of course, supposed TV genius RTD had the same problem but the Beeb seemed happy for him to hand in shows any length he liked). Mind, despite the editing flaws TV Fenric still works extremely well, unlike the broadcast Silver Nemesis which is a complete pigs ear (and much like AHM the all in one version doesn't really improve things at all).

EDIT: Though thinking about it, I am more forgiving of how the pacing on pre-80's Who works out when wactched on DVD in one go simply because it was made and plotted with the intent of one 25 minuet chunk a week.


No, but it means they're unobtrusive. I'll say it again - I never said it was actually all that good. But it takes a matter of seconds to read five words and take in three frames, and bang, you're past the boring page. I felt the Autobots being kept out of the action for so long was one of the strengths - the aimless hopelessness of it all drove home just how badly they'd been defeated.

But the point had been made by, what, the third issue? We then get the same basic point made over and over again and the Autbots just sitting around mopping with the token threat of the Swarm thrown as a plot bone in their direction to try and make it look like they're involved with the story. That's not making them look defeated, it's making them look passive and useless. A potentially interesting idea, but even ignoring the poor execution this is supposed to be big dumb action fun isn't it? It's like Will Smith sitting at home scratching his balls for the first hour and a half of Independence Day whilst pulling a sad face before sort of thinking of going out and taking care of the aliens.

How many of the Autobots in AHM contribute nothing? As in just stand there? Four, five? Out of how many? It's not perfect, but on that score it doesn't do badly.

I don't have the issues to hand about the moment, but that's about a quarter of the Cybertron based force isn't it? And that's being charitable and counting pulling random poses during the final battle counts as contributing, mileage will vary on that I suspect.

Cigar looking crap? Subjective, I thought it was a nice random touch, like one of those strange bits Wildman would just put on characters from time to time (I've yet, for example, to see a rant against Apeface peeling a giant banana and preparing to eat it through his faceplate). Sure, it denies all logic, but why the Hell not?

The Apeface thing is one random panel throwaway gag (and, though it's something I rather like I'm surprised it's not something that's never been attacked as too much, though I can't think of ever seeing anyone doing it either now you mention it). Kup's Cigar is basically his whole thing throughout the series (assuming we're still just talking about the first 12 rather than the retcon stuff in the last four).

Could it have been much better as six issues rather than 12/16? Possibly, but we'd have needed a new writer as McCarthy's 22 page efforts aren't a great deal better, and for ideal results a different artist considering it doesn't really play to Guido's strengths (and that's speaking as someone who, for the most part, likes his work). So that's chucking out half the content and changing the creative team to get something that might be better.

EDIT 2: And now I think of it, this story as a six issue series with a different team was basically already done by Dreamwave as their first mini, and that hardly turned out much better.

Blackjack
2010-06-01, 07:22 AM
The first half reads nicely as a TPB, albeit if it's a little overlong. It's not as bad as some others (Prime Directive, Megatron Origin or Nefarious are far worse). But it is far from good.

The concepts are all there. The Swarm, Decepticons invading Earth, the Autobots stranded without anything, Sunstreaker betraying the Autobots... it's just the execution that's handled poorly.

I agree with Cliffy about Sunstreaker. Dropping the whole Hunter thing (Max Dinos had already covered that anyway by splitting the two) would work better for Sunstreaker. Ax off the whole human scenes--the pilot that died after two/three issues, those dull surprise moments--and you could easily fit it in. And when Sunstreaker sacrifices himself, let that be the end of the Swarm. No more need for Omega Supreme to come in issue ten to finish them off. Drop the Mirage thing too... it's not followed up afterwards and it feels like blatant padding.

After a second leafing through the first TPB (can't bear to read the second one) the background Autobots don't bother me as much anymore. It's just that... guys like Jazz get so much exposure early on, only to disappear into the backgrounds later on. But on second thought, that happens every time, yeah?

The thing that irked me is that McCarthy seems keen on ignoring previously-established continuity. No, not Sunstreaker. At that time, Kup was deactivated. Perceptor is a scientist. Bombshell already existed (Spotlight Blaster). It's these rewriting that bothered me more compared to unused wallpaper flowers. If AHM #15 didn't get written (the one where Roche explains Kup's revival and that other guy... Mowry? Tipton? explains Perceptor being rebuilt) then I don't think McCarthy would explain it. A quick 'oh, Perceptor upgraded himself' line would've sufficed.

Agree with Dalek about a different artist. Shots of Decepticons blowing cities up while the sky is all sunny sunny isn't very conductive to the atmosphere. And some scenes of other planets/outposts being razed would've helped.

The cigar never bothered me, BTW. And at least they bothered to explain it, not like that weird... fold-out plates under Megatron's helmet in Origin. Or why the Dead Universe guys can kill with a touch.

Drift is just like, say, Furman's Grindcore. Completely unnecessary but he's there just for the hell of it. If IDW didn't go all with all the hyped-up publicity on him, he isn't that much distracting, really. (His spotlight issue is dire though.)

inflatable dalek
2010-06-01, 07:39 AM
I agree with Cliffy about Sunstreaker. Dropping the whole Hunter thing (Max Dinos had already covered that anyway by splitting the two) would work better for Sunstreaker. Ax off the whole human scenes--the pilot that died after two/three issues, those dull surprise moments--and you could easily fit it in. And when Sunstreaker sacrifices himself, let that be the end of the Swarm. No more need for Omega Supreme to come in issue ten to finish them off. Drop the Mirage thing too... it's not followed up afterwards and it feels like blatant padding.


I think the only way this hypothetical good version could work would be if it was a different Autobot. If we're talking about a version still in continuity you'd piss people off by not mentioning Huntstreaker as part of the motivation. If it's not in continuity he's still going to feel like an overused character in IDW comics. How about actually subverting at least on expectation and actually have Mirage be the traitor for once? It'd have an advantage of being a character who was actually a part of the story before the reveal of them having done it.


Mention of the Swarm reminds me, we spend all that time on them and are constantly told what a threat they are but the closest we get to any damage inflicted by them is Sunstreaker blowing himself up. Show don't tell, the first rule of all fiction. Hell, even the similarly useless and irrelevant Reapers managed to kill Runabaout and Runamuck if nothing else.

Blackjack
2010-06-01, 10:28 AM
I think the only way this hypothetical good version could work would be if it was a different Autobot. If we're talking about a version still in continuity you'd piss people off by not mentioning Huntstreaker as part of the motivation.

Huntstreaker must be mentioned for continuity's sake, certainly. But do we need Bombshell brutalizing Hunter? It's completely unnecessary, since the adventure kids had been written off after Max Dinos.

Plus, their link should've been dissolved, so what's Hunter doing there in that Headmaster getup?

How about actually subverting at least on expectation and actually have Mirage be the traitor for once? It'd have an advantage of being a character who was actually a part of the story before the reveal of them having done it.

That would actually work, if handled properly. With Mirage doubting the Autobot cause and everything. Not like that laughable excuse of a spotlight...

Mention of the Swarm reminds me, we spend all that time on them and are constantly told what a threat they are but the closest we get to any damage inflicted by them is Sunstreaker blowing himself up.

The Swarm is actually a decent concept once you get past the whole padding thing. It's just that Sunny's suicide means absolutely nothing, 'cause next issue they apparently find another bridge that the Autobots forgot to blew up.

Show don't tell, the first rule of all fiction. Hell, even the similarly useless and irrelevant Reapers managed to kill Runabaout and Runamuck if nothing else.

But Runabout and Runamuck die in every single G1 continuity they are in, barring the cartoon! Runamuck died twice in the original Marvel comics, and Runabout twice in the Dreamwave comics! That's hardly an accomplishment for the Reapers. ;)

Prowl1984
2010-06-01, 12:10 PM
I'm currently re-reading the TPB's and to be honest i still don't find it as bad as people make out. I think it's because pretty much everybody around here was so busy slamming it that when I finally got round to reading it i was pleasantly surprised, so cheers! Admittedly it does go a bit pear shaped towards the end, coda was generally terrible and there was nothing great about the spotlight issues but given that I'm currently taking a break from reading the first half of G1 Marvel it could be a lot worse.

Blackjack
2010-06-01, 01:39 PM
The Spotlights were rather decent. The Jazz and Metroplex ones were good fun, while the Cliffjumper one, while throwaway, was not that dire. The Drift and Blurr ones were executed poorly, though.

The Coda issues were terrible, save for Nick Roche's Kup piece and that Perceptor explanation. Since the Coda was supposed to clear up the loose plot holes, it didn't do much.

-Starscream toying around with the Matrix was seeding plot threads for the ongoing.
-Optimus and Ironhide, while not bad per se, doesn't do much.
-The Sunstreaker flashback was a biased retcon, although since it's a dream and all at least it gets some leeway.
-The Galvatron one is a half-assed attempt to bring the Dead Universe guys back into the game. Plus getting all the cartoon Season 3 guys in one place.
-The Spike stuff was pure dirge.
-The Bumblebee stuff was foreshadowing on what to expect on the Bumblebee mini.

Cliffjumper
2010-06-01, 08:20 PM
But the point had been made by, what, the third issue? We then get the same basic point made over and over again and the Autbots just sitting around mopping with the token threat of the Swarm thrown as a plot bone in their direction to try and make it look like they're involved with the story.

Yeh, obviously, that's how drama works. Once the point's been amde the Autobots have been knocked about, they should then suddenly be not knocked about because people have got it. Bridge on the River Kwai? We know Nicholson's lost perspective as soon as he begins working with the Japanese on the bridge. Lop an hour off the end of the film at that point, yeh?

It's like Will Smith sitting at home scratching his balls for the first hour and a half of Independence Day whilst pulling a sad face before sort of thinking of going out and taking care of the aliens. ...or most of the surviving military keeping their heads down and trying simply to survive until someone comes up with a counterattack plan that actually stands a chance. Hey, wait...

C'mon, do you want the Autobots acting plausibly, or implausibly?

I don't have the issues to hand about the moment, but that's about a quarter of the Cybertron based force isn't it? And that's being charitable and counting pulling random poses during the final battle counts as contributing, mileage will vary on that I suspect. Again, I look forward to you pulling up, say, On the Edge of Extinction for this, with its' focus largely on the big hitters with a couple of character moments thrown in, a lot of frame-fillers (what do Sunstreaker, Silverbolt, Skids, Chromedome, Blaster, Jazz, Kup, Mindwipe etc. etc. etc. add to the story?) and a death toll which largely consists of Transformers who've barely had a line for two/three years (Hardhead, Highbrow, Brainstorm, Bomb-Burst, Joyride, Finback, Misfire).

It's undeniable which is the better story, but let's be consistent here.

Kup's Cigar is basically his whole thing throughout the series (assuming we're still just talking about the first 12 rather than the retcon stuff in the last four). "his whole thing"? What does that even mean?

And now I think of it, this story as a six issue series with a different team was basically already done by Dreamwave as their first mini, and that hardly turned out much better.How was that story similar? Beyond the intention of being accessible by largely featuring characters people who aren't registered members of Transformers boards would recognise?

Shots of Decepticons blowing cities up while the sky is all sunny sunny isn't very conductive to the atmosphere.

Because it's a well-known fact that the sky should be black, BLACK when cities are under attack. If anything, the bright palette contrasted nicely.

Mention of the Swarm reminds me, we spend all that time on them and are constantly told what a threat they are but the closest we get to any damage inflicted by them is Sunstreaker blowing himself up. Show don't tell, the first rule of all fiction. Hell, even the similarly useless and irrelevant Reapers managed to kill Runabaout and Runamuck if nothing else.

They killed them in a contrived, terrible way. So if the Swarm had butchered Tracks, Cliffjumper, Roadbuster and Blurr you'd be happy, and not just going "the deaths of Tracks, Cliffjumper, Roadbuster and Blurr were a cheap and stupid way to make the Swarm look scary".

Huntstreaker must be mentioned for continuity's sake, certainly.

Why? **** continuity. Many of the story's problems come from the thing being stapled to Furman's shitty stories about Autobot space conference calls and 'rescuing' toy gimmicks.

Blackjack
2010-06-01, 08:53 PM
Because it's a well-known fact that the sky should be black, BLACK when cities are under attack. If anything, the bright palette contrasted nicely.

When you put it like that, yes it does...

But I do still feel that the rest of Guido's art is a little too bright during the 'blowing shit up' portions. Good, yes, but (IMO) not that suitable.

Why?

So that.... well, to add another excuse to Sunstreaker's betrayal? Um, for continuity reasons? So that McCarthy can say 'See I don't piss over Furman'? Um...

**** continuity.

They have... For the past twenty-six years, they have.. ;)

Many of the story's problems come from the thing being stapled to Furma's shitty stories about Autobot space conference calls and 'rescuing' toy gimmicks.

This one I agree with. If they had rebooted the whole thing with All Hail Megatron (Furman's stuff had been over-long by that point) they might've done it better. Furman's done so many plot threads across the Spotlights and minis that, well, frankly many are dead-ends. Like the aforementioned Infiltration. Six issues of doing feck all.

Come to think of it, Infiltration reads better in the TPB in one go. Same thing with AHM. Reading individual issues once every month make you sleep. Not that different from each other, yeh? :)

inflatable dalek
2010-06-01, 11:37 PM
Yeh, obviously, that's how drama works. Once the point's been amde the Autobots have been knocked about, they should then suddenly be not knocked about because people have got it. Bridge on the River Kwai? We know Nicholson's lost perspective as soon as he begins working with the Japanese on the bridge. Lop an hour off the end of the film at that point, yeh?

Can't comment on Kwai as I've not seen it, but I'll be amazed if a film with its reputation depicts the futility and sense of defeat of the lead characters by showing lengthy periods of them hanging around not doing much. Not to mention the whole Autobot despair sub-plot is resolved in two pages when Optimus suddenly gets better from certain death and gives a speech telling everyone else to pull their fingers out. Which is almost insulting perfunctory after the best part of a year spent on this (and again, the British reprint moved it forward by about four issues with no obvious harm done to the story beyond a line about Sunstreaker being dead not being changed).

...or most of the surviving military keeping their heads down and trying simply to survive until someone comes up with a counterattack plan that actually stands a chance. Hey, wait...

Though the military forces keeping their heads down have about two minuets worth of screen time, they're not the lead characters. The film's actual leads are proactive throughout, certainly to a silly degree (TV repair man going into space personally when all someone needs to do is press the send button on his laptop?), but in an acceptable way for a not entirely serious big dumb action story. Which is what AHM is aiming for isn't it?

Even counting the bulk of Autobots as background players that still leaves Jazz (who starts off like he's the lead but almost becomes mute by the end. And yes that sort of thing happened in Marvel all the time but this is 12 issues that's supposed to have been plotted from the start and doesn't have to fade out old characters for new toys), Prowl, Kup, Springer, Perceptor, Ironhide, Mirage and no doubt a couple I'm forgetting as spending the bulk of the series completely devoid from the central plot spending their time either cock waving or running away from silly monster.

Again, I look forward to you pulling up, say, On the Edge of Extinction for this, with its' focus largely on the big hitters with a couple of character moments thrown in, a lot of frame-fillers (what do Sunstreaker, Silverbolt, Skids, Chromedome, Blaster, Jazz, Kup, Mindwipe etc. etc. etc. add to the story?) and a death toll which largely consists of Transformers who've barely had a line for two/three years (Hardhead, Highbrow, Brainstorm, Bomb-Burst, Joyride, Finback, Misfire).

It's undeniable which is the better story, but let's be consistent here.

I'm being entirely consistant, Edge of Extinction is a one issue fortyish page story. If Furman had devoted three full issues to the revived Autobots sitting about on the Ark waiting to get to the battle before we reached Grimlock's nice little joke we'd probably have a decent analogy there.

Plus of course, even the death's where people don't get a particulary great final line (Quake) at least serve to emphasise the power and strength of the stories main lead villain and show the increasing desperation of the situation as troops on both sides fall. Nothing in the Cybertron plotline in AHM comes close to even that level of relevance because the actual plot is happening on Earth.


How was that story similar? Beyond the intention of being accessible by largely featuring characters people who aren't registered members of Transformers boards would recognise?

Assuming this good version of AHM has the Autobots on Earth from the get go (because Cybertron's where most of the padding is and where the style most strongly clashes with the dumb action vibe. Do an existential Autobots in despair mini as a separate thing if they're than keen on the idea, but if you're going to cut half the content that's where to get most of the culling in), you've got the Transformers showing up actively again on Earth after an absence, disagrement amongst the Autobots and one of their number turning to the Decepticons as a result of disillusionment after being mind controlled by humans, the Decepticon's launching a full out attack on an American city whilst Megatron makes grand predictions, the launching of a nuclear weapon at said city by crazy bastard military people to deal with all the Transformers at once and the bomb being destroyed by a Transformer needlessly flying into it whilst the Decepticons run away despite being in a position where they were winning. Everything ends with everyone standing around looking sad as they ponder how THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.

I'd say that's up to a Remembrance/Silver Nemesis similarity level. Unless this good version ditches all of that?



They killed them in a contrived, terrible way. So if the Swarm had butchered Tracks, Cliffjumper, Roadbuster and Blurr you'd be happy, and not just going "the deaths of Tracks, Cliffjumper, Roadbuster and Blurr were a cheap and stupid way to make the Swarm look scary".

Now that's a difficult question considering my view of the creative team. But theoretically, it could work even with the Swarm not being really to do with the main story. If they'd have played up the fact that all other Autobots are assumed dead (it could, and indeed almost certainly would even in a good version of the IDWverse, later turn out there are lots of survives but as far as our characters here are concerned they are all it is) you have a situation where every Autobot life is more vital and important than ever before, every loss to a stupid third rate foe diminishes what they have to defeat the Decepticons with. Make that the focus rather than the monster of the moment and it could work and play into the main storyline by ramming up the tension for the final battle.

Do I think McCarthy could do this and my response wouldn't have been your second suggestion? Probably not. But, I suppose we're talking about what we'd have liked to have seen by this point rather than what would have been likely from the stubbies involved. Best bet for them just to have used different stubbies (and certainly different editors. Following Tipton's departure if they drop Schmidt of a cliff as well I might not be so ill disposed towards buying anymore mini's that get good feedback like Wreckers as they come out).

EDIT: Of course, simply not having the Swarm subplot in it would solve the problem without having to tax MCarthy to make their threat real.

Oh, and to go back to the Fenric comparison, I forgot to point out the Movie version isn't just the four episodes stuck together but a substantially re-edited and extended version where the pacing around the cliffhangers has been changed especially to make it flow as a film rather than a weekly TV show. As far as I'm aware the collected AHM trades are just the issues as printed (except I'm assuming the odd colouring mistake has been fixed as normal). So not the best analogy either. :)

Warcry
2010-06-02, 01:34 AM
Again, I look forward to you pulling up, say, On the Edge of Extinction for this, with its' focus largely on the big hitters with a couple of character moments thrown in, a lot of frame-fillers (what do Sunstreaker, Silverbolt, Skids, Chromedome, Blaster, Jazz, Kup, Mindwipe etc. etc. etc. add to the story?) and a death toll which largely consists of Transformers who've barely had a line for two/three years (Hardhead, Highbrow, Brainstorm, Bomb-Burst, Joyride, Finback, Misfire).
But even then, the use of the background characters in the two stories is quite different. Edge of Extinction is about the entire Transformer race combined to fight against Unicron, and so it makes perfect sense that there's going to be a lot of non-central characters hanging around. Also lot of the people who show up in EoE were either major characters in the lead-up issues, or would be major characters in the issues that followed.

You can't say that about All Hail Megatron. It's filled with characters who show up to do one cool thing and then turn into background extras for the rest of the book (Perceptor, Cliffjumper, Roadbuster, Drift, Springer) Even characters like Jazz and Prowl, who are built up to seem fairly important, completely disappear from the plot at a certain point when McCarthy decides he wants to play with someone else (Furman is also frequently guilty of this). It's akin to the middle of Budiansky's run on the US comics, except McCarthy doesn't have the "we need to introduce new toys" excuse.

Plus it works against the whole premise of the Autobots' story, since adding extra bodies to a rag-tag band of survivors only makes their plight less dramatic. It makes more sense if you assume that McCarthy intended for his Autobot cast to be the only survivors of the massacre, I suppose, but if that's the case the other writers were ignoring that even before AHM had finished.

Commander Shockwav
2010-06-02, 02:13 AM
Though you were extremely forgiving of it during the initial 12 issue run.


I was never forgiving of the pacing. The story was about four or five issues too long.

However, I am forgiving towards the content. I didn't think it was that bad, as Cliffy says, relative to some of the other stuff IDW has given us thus far.

It's just not right to rob a TF fan of a year' s time on a story that could have been told in six to eight issues. That's where my biggest beef with AHM lies.

In fact, had it been just another six-issue romp like Infiltration, I think it would have been rather good, actually.

Cliffjumper
2010-06-02, 04:35 AM
....showing lengthy periods of them hanging around not doing much.

Lengthy periods? Seriously, how long does it take you to read some of this stuff? Why are people so trapped in the idea of issues/page count now the story isn't coming out on a monthly basis? It takes mere minutes of reading time - zip, zap and it's gone. AHM #1-12 is, what, a half hour read?

Not to mention the whole Autobot despair sub-plot is resolved in two pages when Optimus suddenly gets better from certain death and gives a speech telling everyone else to pull their fingers out.

Hey, make your mind up here. You wanted them to jerk out of it quickly a miute a go. The action movie comparison doesn't mean it has to mirror every point of action movies at every turn.

I'm being entirely consistant, Edge of Extinction is a one issue fortyish page story. If Furman had devoted three full issues to the revived Autobots sitting about on the Ark waiting to get to the battle before we reached Grimlock's nice little joke we'd probably have a decent analogy there.

He did spend a couple of issues on the Dinobots with Hyrdus Four, who barely did anything until after Unicron is finished (the revived Autobots on the Ark acheive nothing but that joke and bringing in some recognisable faces to carry the next five issues, and then only Prowl and the Dinobots have a role that couldn't be performed by anyone else).

Plus of course, even the death's where people don't get a particulary great final line (Quake) at least serve to emphasise the power and strength of the stories main lead villain and show the increasing desperation of the situation as troops on both sides fall. Nothing in the Cybertron plotline in AHM comes close to even that level of relevance because the actual plot is happening on Earth.

But the only Autobot who dies on Cybertron in AHM is Sunstreaker.

Do an existential Autobots in despair mini as a separate thing if they're than keen on the idea, but if you're going to cut half the content that's where to get most of the culling in)

What?!? That's entirely the kind of mindless approach that led to IDW being such a disaster. "Hey, this bit covers a slightly different situation to this bit, let's siphon it off into a different series instead of having two different things happen in the same series".

I'd say that's up to a Remembrance/Silver Nemesis similarity level. Unless this good version ditches all of that?

Ohhh, you mean there's a few similarities if you phrase it just right, but not actually all that many, yeh? Remembrance/Nemesis is only so notable because the stories were so close to being back-to-back. There were ten years between the Prime Directive and AHM, most of which had been spent by the TF comics disappearing up their own arse.

But even then, the use of the background characters in the two stories is quite different. Edge of Extinction is about the entire Transformer race combined to fight against Unicron, and so it makes perfect sense that there's going to be a lot of non-central characters hanging around.

And this is about an Autobot army trying to stop a Decepticon army from invading a planet. It's smaller, but not so much smaller that not using every single character to their full extent is unforgivable.

Also lot of the people who show up in EoE were either major characters in the lead-up issues, or would be major characters in the issues that followed.

No they weren't. None of the ones I mentioned were, except Kup. Whereas for AHM (and I'm going off the top of my head here at 5AM, so bear with) I make it only Roadbuster, Trailbreaker, Mirage and Hound of the Autobots who don't have a meaty role fairly close to either side of AHM.

You can't say that about All Hail Megatron. It's filled with characters who show up to do one cool thing and then turn into background extras for the rest of the book (Perceptor, Cliffjumper, Roadbuster, Drift, Springer) Even characters like Jazz and Prowl, who are built up to seem fairly important, completely disappear from the plot at a certain point when McCarthy decides he wants to play with someone else (Furman is also frequently guilty of this). It's akin to the middle of Budiansky's run on the US comics, except McCarthy doesn't have the "we need to introduce new toys" excuse.

I'm not saying it's faultless at all - again, I never said AHM was all that good, and it is especially uneconomical. I'm just wondering why it's getting picked up on so many things that pretty much every TF comic since the year dot is guilty of, and why one thing seems to be an ignorable problem for many comics, but not for others.

Plus it works against the whole premise of the Autobots' story, since adding extra bodies to a rag-tag band of survivors only makes their plight less dramatic. It makes more sense if you assume that McCarthy intended for his Autobot cast to be the only survivors of the massacre, I suppose, but if that's the case the other writers were ignoring that even before AHM had finished.

Or gives them a plausible reason for the raising of morale to the point where they're in a condition to take the fight back to the Decepticons. That's another damned if they do, damned if they don't. If Kup's group hadn't arrived on Cybertron, enabling the revival of Optimus Prime, providing a few more troops and generally pepping the Autobots up, can you think of a plausible way for a dozen half-dead Autobots to mount a counterattack?

AHM's biggest problem is that it comes on the back of lots of people investing triple figures in a bunch of comics that, due to Furman being just as disorganised and ADD as McCarthy, went nowhere. It was a convenient breaking point for most fans, who'd paid good money for largely bad comics and weren't even going to get a payoff because even IDW realised it would be financial suicide to let Furman continue to go nowhere for any longer. The soft reboot and tone/continuity shift of AHM gave everyone the chance to stop flushing money down the pan, while simultaneously letting go of their repressed dislike (seriously, go through the contemporary reaction threads - the response to pretty much every single pre-AHM issue is ridiculously positive, and dissenters are often shouted down; now the whole continuity is a cheap joke) for what they'd had so far.

AHM isn't perfect. As I've said several times (and I'll keep on saying it until everyone's actually read and understood) it isn't even good. But it doesn't deserve to be crucified for the publisher's sins. I'd rather read it than Devastation or Revelations for a start.

Warcry
2010-06-02, 06:11 AM
And this is about an Autobot army trying to stop a Decepticon army from invading a planet.
Is it? I'm not trying to be argumentative, but if I had to characterize the series I would say that it was about humans trying to survive a Decepticon invasion and eventually overcoming it on their own. The Autobots really only enter the main plot after the series is 90% finished, and they accomplish nothing that wouldn't have happened anyway without them (i.e. a Decepticon civil war would have taken a lot of 'Cons out of commission, and Spike probably still would have gotten his chance to shoot Megatron in the face). In a way it feels like the only reason the Autobots are in it at all is because they didn't want to take the risk of having a whole year's worth of Transformers comics with only Decepticons and humans in it.

It's smaller, but not so much smaller that not using every single character to their full extent is unforgivable.
Unforgivable? Nah. But it's one more thing dragging the series down.

No they weren't. None of the ones I mentioned were, except Kup.
Just talking about characters who don't contribute to the plot, there's Kup, Starscream and Shockwave who were major characters in the lead-up to fighting Unicron. Nightbeat, Siren and Jazz all had featured roles in the Matrix Quest (and Jazz was one of the lead characters in the arc before that, which kicked off the entire Unicron War thing to begin with). Bludgeon, Prowl and Fangry would all be prominently featured in the next five stories. And then there's Blaster, who's in the odd position of having been the lead character in the book for about a year but who has atrophied so much by this point that he's basically an extra.

Whereas for AHM (and I'm going off the top of my head here at 5AM, so bear with) I make it only Roadbuster, Trailbreaker, Mirage and Hound of the Autobots who don't have a meaty role fairly close to either side of AHM.
Fair enough, although a lot of that exposure came in peripheral Spotlights (Blaster, Tracks, Cliffjumper, Blurr, etc...). Unlike Furman, McCarthy and the others who contributed to the last batch actually understood that Spotlights probably shouldn't be required reading for the main book. But that means that Spotlight Drift really had any impact on the ongoing continuity.

However, after looking at AHM more closely I'm willing to admit that it's about even between the two.

I'm not saying it's faultless at all - again, I never said AHM was all that good, and it is especially uneconomical. I'm just wondering why it's getting picked up on so many things that pretty much every TF comic since the year dot is guilty of, and why one thing seems to be an ignorable problem for many comics, but not for others.
If you don't want people to bash AHM, titling a thread "AHM isn't all that bad, is it?" was probably your first mistake. ;)

But seriously, I do see where you're coming from. As I said earlier on in the thread, AHM's flaws are the exact same flaws that are present in Furman's IDW work, only magnified. It's not the worst book we've seen since Dreamwave revived the licence by a long shot. But most of the books that were worse than it were side-stories that are pretty easy to ignore, whereas AHM was the main title for over a year. It's easy enough to ignore Megatron Origins or Maximum Dinobots, but it's a lot harder to pretend that something doesn't exist when absolutely everything that follows after it is building on it in one way or another.

It's much the same reason, I think, that Dreamwave's first mini still gets actively shat on to this day while the much-worse Micromasters has simply disappeared into obscurity.

Or gives them a plausible reason for the raising of morale to the point where they're in a condition to take the fight back to the Decepticons. That's another damned if they do, damned if they don't. If Kup's group hadn't arrived on Cybertron, enabling the revival of Optimus Prime, providing a few more troops and generally pepping the Autobots up, can you think of a plausible way for a dozen half-dead Autobots to mount a counterattack?
Assuming the rest of the setup was the same, they could have killed some of the Swarm robots and cannibalized them for spare parts and energon. It would have tied the Swarm more closely to the rest of the plot, and also made the Autobots showing up on Earth more of a poetic defeat for Megatron -- since neither the Swarm nor the Autobots would even be alive if he wasn't acting like the moron he usually is.

AHM's biggest problem is that it comes on the back of lots of people investing triple figures in a bunch of comics that, due to Furman being just as disorganised and ADD as McCarthy, went nowhere.
The only reason it even got to that state was because the editors weren't willing to slap him on the wrists and tell him to finish one story before he started the next six. It seems like this is a lesson they're never going to learn though, because now they're letting Costa meander along at a snail's pace doing the exact same things that Furman and McCarthy did.

AHM isn't perfect. As I've said several times (and I'll keep on saying it until everyone's actually read and understood) it isn't even good. But it doesn't deserve to be crucified for the publisher's sins. I'd rather read it than Devastation or Revelations for a start.
I'd pick the 'none of the above' option and re-read Dreamwave instead, to be perfectly honest. Their stuff wasn't any better, but at least it was fun sometimes. Aside from three or four Spotlights, IDW published absolutely nothing between Stormbringer and Wreckers that I would ever want to revisit.

inflatable dalek
2010-06-02, 09:46 AM
Lengthy periods? Seriously, how long does it take you to read some of this stuff? Why are people so trapped in the idea of issues/page count now the story isn't coming out on a monthly basis? It takes mere minutes of reading time - zip, zap and it's gone. AHM #1-12 is, what, a half hour read?

It's still the vast bulk of two six issue collections, I'd say that's a needlessly lengthy amount of story time that is inexcusable no matter how much you skip over the bad stuff. It's bad writing, pure and simple.

It's also needlessly lengthy in fiction as well. The time scales woefully inconstant (one moment the Decepticons have had time to rebuild most of New York, the next it seems back to normal, the humans in the sewers are still fairly fresh and Europe is only just starting to think of doing something) but it still seems to cover a minimum of several weeks, possibly months, of the Autobots not doing very much.


Hey, make your mind up here. You wanted them to jerk out of it quickly a miute a go. The action movie comparison doesn't mean it has to mirror every point of action movies at every turn.

My mind is perfectly made up,there's no contradiction if finding both the storyline handled in to protracted a manner and it's resolution to pat and easy. It's two different ends of the scale handled equally badly.



He did spend a couple of issues on the Dinobots with Hyrdus Four, who barely did anything until after Unicron is finished (the revived Autobots on the Ark acheive nothing but that joke and bringing in some recognisable faces to carry the next five issues, and then only Prowl and the Dinobots have a role that couldn't be performed by anyone else).

Well, if we extend it to that storyline as a whole rather than just the one issue, that's still, what, six, seven issues between Grimlock going to Hydrus Four and coming back to Cybertron with reinforcements and taking the leadership? That's not much more than half the time AHM spends on its pointless diversions. Plus I'd say it's a decent example of how to do a slow burning plot properly, a page here and there to remind you it's going on (the issue with Grimlock going to the Well has the most on it IIRC) and show a clear line of progression (going to Hydrus, fighting his way past the guardians, bringing the Dionobts back, feeding the Nucleon to the others, coming to Earth, heading to Cybertron)without distracting to much from each issues main storyline. All the more impressive considering it must have been done on something of an ad hock basis, and part of what makes it so disappointing Furman couldn't make a slow build up even slightly pay off with his IDW stuff even though it was supposedly all plotted out in advance.

But the only Autobot who dies on Cybertron in AHM is Sunstreaker.

Oh sure, that was a bit of a tangent in relation to your comments about the deaths in EoE rather than anything directly to do with AHM.



What?!? That's entirely the kind of mindless approach that led to IDW being such a disaster. "Hey, this bit covers a slightly different situation to this bit, let's siphon it off into a different series instead of having two different things happen in the same series".

It wouldn't have had to be a direct AHM tie in, do a standalone story about a group of stranded Autobots coming to breaking point. I don't think I'd be especially interested (well, dependent on the creative team as all my TF comic purchases these days are) but if they're keen to explore that in depth then that's the way to do it.


Ohhh, you mean there's a few similarities if you phrase it just right, but not actually all that many, yeh?

Much more than a few, and that's even with me forgetting that Megatron's overallplan in both seems to be to "Rebuild Earth into a new Cybertron". I say seem becuase Megatron's AHM plan is decidely vague on what he's doing with New York, whether or not he plans to spread it out to the rest of the world or even if he actually wanted someone to chuck a nuke at the city he's spent all that time rebuilding.

Indeed, I'd say Prime Directive actually has the benefit of being more focused, Megatron's plan may not be especially good ("Join me!" indeed) but at least it's played straight and the amount of damage the Decepticons have done doesn't change drastically from issue to issue (McCarthy can't seem to decide to what extent they've left New York or not, or even how much they've rebuilt the city, and as mentioned the time scale is skiffy).

Hell, they even reuse the "Starscream is about to stage a coup but is stopped when a third party attacks the Decepticons making him and Megatron team up again putting their differences aside) bit from Devastation less than two years before.


And this is about an Autobot army trying to stop a Decepticon army from invading a planet.

Except the Cybertron Autobots don't even know that's what they're doing until ten issues in. In fact, a relatively minor problem is the Autobots seemingly knowing that Megatron's on Earth and they need to go there straight away between panels (rather than looking for other survivors and supplies that might boost their forces first say). It's a minor problem as I suppose Omega Supreme could have know about Earth but considering the amount of time spent faffing about earlier not spending a page dealing with Prime finding out and beginning to form a proper plan of action is galling.



I'm not saying it's faultless at all - again, I never said AHM was all that good, and it is especially uneconomical. I'm just wondering why it's getting picked up on so many things that pretty much every TF comic since the year dot is guilty of, and why one thing seems to be an ignorable problem for many comics, but not for others.

Well, I can't speak for anyone else but I hope that I'm just as quick to call on stories and ideas that are craply executed from any other era of the comics (indeed, as a click of my sig will reveal I have no problem with deriding the blatant padding in the Fire On High! arc from the Marvel UK stuff, nor indeed for criticising Target:2006 wasting time on introducing the Triple Changers as major players just to hang about). And I certainly had little time for the pacing and structure problems in Devastation, and that was before we even knew for sure there'd be no pay off to most of it.


In the same way you're keen to keep emphasising that you don't think AHM is all bad I think it needs to be made clear that I don't think anyone here is claiming IDW weren't having serious problems beforehand, nor that there have never been terrible Transformers comics before. But it's badly written, badly plotted and not terribly well drawn. And this was the major relaunch comic that was supposed to be a bold new statement of direction. That alone more than likely explains why people might have been driven off by this but not by that almost equally bad (hell, only real advantage it has is shorter) New Avengers crossover.

Mind, considering sales have stayed pretty much the same I do wonder how many people have actually given up. I have (and am still undecided about how to purchase Wreckers, second hand on ebay or new from Amazon. Part of me wants the money to get back to IDW as a sign of support for Roche and Roberts, part of me doesn't want to give Ryall a penny) but most of the same people are still popping up in the feedback threads (both here and elsewhere) so I suspect IDW have their mean audience and aren't likely to add or subtract to it by a huge amount despite their best efforts to improve/scew things up.

And for the record, it was Mike Costa's work in the Coda issues and the first issue of the ongoing (plus that ****ing awful preview for the second issue)n that did it in for me. As barking as it sounds in retrospect I was prepared to give the new guy a chance. Luckily he turned out to be so instantly awful I soon came to my senses.

AHM does have potentially good ideas, but that's true of just about everything IDW have done. The epitaph for the companies output will be "Potenially Good Stuff Completely Screwed".



AHM isn't perfect. As I've said several times (and I'll keep on saying it until everyone's actually read and understood) it isn't even good. But it doesn't deserve to be crucified for the publisher's sins. I'd rather read it than Devastation or Revelations for a start.


I think the best bet is for us all to go off and read something good instead. :)

Fantomas
2010-06-02, 08:26 PM
Mind, considering sales have stayed pretty much the same I do wonder how many people have actually given up. I have (and am still undecided about how to purchase Wreckers, second hand on ebay or new from Amazon. Part of me wants the money to get back to IDW as a sign of support for Roche and Roberts, part of me doesn't want to give Ryall a penny) but most of the same people are still popping up in the feedback threads (both here and elsewhere) so I suspect IDW have their mean audience and aren't likely to add or subtract to it by a huge amount despite their best efforts to improve/scew things up.

Ah, that's why you stopped writing review for TF Archive...

But I miss them ! (sigh)

inflatable dalek
2010-06-03, 08:29 AM
Ah, that's why you stopped writing review for TF Archive...



I actually stopped writing about six months beforehand as pretty much every review was a cut'n'paste of the previous one thanks to AHM making the same mistakes over and over. Even I couldn't drag that out forever so it was time to stop.

Fantomas
2010-06-03, 10:13 AM
I actually stopped writing about six months beforehand as pretty much every review was a cut'n'paste of the previous one thanks to AHM making the same mistakes over and over. Even I couldn't drag that out forever so it was time to stop.

You're right but what about all the Roche stories (AHM #15, LSoTW) ?

I think you're committed to review them. ;)

inflatable dalek
2010-06-03, 10:21 AM
Up to the end of AHM is done and can be found in the general planning section, they're just waiting for uploading. All round splendid chap Blackjack has taken on the dark mantle of reviewing the comics, including LSotW, though I'm still merrily working away on the British comic on the grounds I'll be amazed if it lasts much longer and so might as well finish the set. Reviews of mine on a variety of other comics (including some TF ones) can be found without a great deal of searching for those interested. *Is struck down by the Shameless Self Whoring Demon*.

Heinrad
2010-06-03, 04:42 PM
I shouldn't have looked in here. Now I actually want to read AHM.

Although I have a feeling the high points may well be Ironhide beating the slag out of Prowl and Hot Rod...... :D

If Costa's work on the Ongoing(what I've read of it, at least) is any indication, part of the IDW problem is as much editorial control as constantly reading all of their reader feedback and basing what they're going to do on that.

It seems like what they do is this:

- Editor and writer(or writers) sit down and plot out general arc for a year.
- Writers start writing, pencilers and inkers do their thing, few months later the first issue comes out.

Now, if this was DC or Marvel, they'd start out and just keep going, hit the end of the year, look at feedback, take that into account for continuing the arc/doing the next big arc. IDW seems to be pacing it in such a way that they'll immediately try to work in the reader feedback, which is why nothing happens at first. If the fans don't like the arc, they can change it/alter it to suit the fans during the year long arc they've already plotted out.

It's a nice idea, but the downside is until the feedback starts rolling in("love the return to G1 designs, what happened to Prime?", for example), they can't really seem to get the story moving. And if the fans don't like the way the arc is going, they have to scramble madly to fix it.

Cliffjumper
2010-06-04, 07:46 AM
Apologies for belated replies, I've been opening a lot of topics while tired and forgetting to actually respond to stuff lately.

Just talking about characters who don't contribute to the plot, there's Kup, Starscream and Shockwave who were major characters in the lead-up to fighting Unicron. Nightbeat, Siren and Jazz all had featured roles in the Matrix Quest (and Jazz was one of the lead characters in the arc before that, which kicked off the entire Unicron War thing to begin with). Bludgeon, Prowl and Fangry would all be prominently featured in the next five stories. And then there's Blaster, who's in the odd position of having been the lead character in the book for about a year but who has atrophied so much by this point that he's basically an extra.

Is Jazz being a lead ten issues before and getting reduced to two frames any different to Hot Rod having a chunky role in Devastation (was it Devastation where he and Wheeljack capered around in a subplot that was rendered meaningless by Hardhead just appearing where they'd been driving for six issues?) and then not much of one in AHM? Most of the AHM cast are featured in a sizeable role one side or the other of the story.

The Marvel cast who died in the Unicron arc, however, were largely nobodies - Scorponok is the most obvious exception, while Highbrow had a couple of featured roles a long way back in the UK series and Cloudburst had his little stint (again two years before). But had Finback even been in it since his introductory story? When was the last time we saw Brainstorm or Hardhead?

The only reason it even got to that state was because the editors weren't willing to slap him on the wrists and tell him to finish one story before he started the next six. It seems like this is a lesson they're never going to learn though, because now they're letting Costa meander along at a snail's pace doing the exact same things that Furman and McCarthy did.

Uh-huh - I think part of AHM's problems are down to IDW's gutlessness. The flip-flop on continuity midway through and the near-immediate attempt to retcon half of the thign rather than explain much of it leaves the main book looking like a mad aberration.

Well, if we extend it to that storyline as a whole rather than just the one issue, that's still, what, six, seven issues between Grimlock going to Hydrus Four and coming back to Cybertron with reinforcements and taking the leadership? That's not much more than half the time AHM spends on its pointless diversions.

Well, if you're patching in the whole storyline, you have to patch in anything IDW put out that's related to AHM and solves any of the problems.

Much more than a few, and that's even with me forgetting that Megatron's overallplan in both seems to be to "Rebuild Earth into a new Cybertron".

Jesus Christ! You're right! It's almost like it's a consist archetypal desire of the character to conquer Earth and turn it into part of the Cybertronian Emprie. And have you noticed how, in both series, Optimus Prime wants to protect the Earth's people and stop this from happening? How do they get away with this sort of blatant theft?

Except the Cybertron Autobots don't even know that's what they're doing until ten issues in. In fact, a relatively minor problem is the Autobots seemingly knowing that Megatron's on Earth and they need to go there straight away between panels (rather than looking for other survivors and supplies that might boost their forces first say). It's a minor problem as I suppose Omega Supreme could have know about Earth but considering the amount of time spent faffing about earlier not spending a page dealing with Prime finding out and beginning to form a proper plan of action is galling.

Eh? Megatron beats the crap out of the Autobots on Earth, then sends them from Earth to Cybertron. It's not exactly a leap of logic for the Autobots to then assume Earth, where their enemy was trying to conquer but was being held up by them until he sent them away from Earth, would be in trouble. So once they've got themselves together (why go out looking for additional reinforcements when they have Prime, Kup's group and Omega now? Especially as they're not sure there is anyone else out there...), they head to save the planet they failed to protect, and where Megatron is most likely to be.

Heinrad
2010-06-05, 07:36 AM
Well, I'm 3 issues into All Hail Megatron. It's not bad, really. The big question is, why is Megatron doing it?

My only real complaint, which is apparently fixed in issue 4, is a lack of focus on what's happening with the Autobots. Yes, I know it's All Hail Megatron, but showing the Autobots at the end of the first issue means we need to see what else is going on with them.

It'd be nice to see some of what's going on in the other cities, even if it's just one panel. They don't have to be splash pages of destruction, just panels. In fact, I initially though Megatron was in D.C. when Hook started talking to him about the clutter and substandard building materials.

I'm also wondering if the military is misreading the situation(Decepticons keeping the citizens of Manhattan hostage). From the looks of things, they're trying to clear out the human infestation.

inflatable dalek
2010-06-05, 08:11 AM
Now it's my turn to apologise for the belated reply, for the last two days I've either been very drunk or very hungover.

A
Is Jazz being a lead ten issues before and getting reduced to two frames any different to Hot Rod having a chunky role in Devastation (was it Devastation where he and Wheeljack capered around in a subplot that was rendered meaningless by Hardhead just appearing where they'd been driving for six issues?) and then not much of one in AHM? Most of the AHM cast are featured in a sizeable role one side or the other of the story.

True, most of them have had something to do in other stories, that doesn't stop most of them spending this particular story hanging around doing nothing in a subplot that's nothing to do with the main storyline.

What I think makes it especially bad in AHM compared to other examples of poor character use/characters fading out is that it's such a contained situation. There's no where for Hound to pop out to for ten issues, no possibility that the other Autobots might at least be doing their own things whilst we're focusing on Kup and Prowl.

Which is a shame as spreading out the lines more evenly would really help with creating the cabin fever situation that's supposed to be building. These Transformers are supposed to be at breaking point but it's only expressed through the actions of about half of them, at most. As mentioned Wheeljack gets one of the good moments, but we never get much insight into how close to snapping he is, what he thinks of what's going on and how the sense of hopelessness might be affecting him (if at all, he's probably enough in his own little world for him not to notice, but then you show that in proper contrast with what the others are doing). Same for Trailbreaker, Bumblebee, Tracks and so on. A bit more focus on that, perhaps with the Swarm as just an unseen enemy outisde the doors trying to get in, would have worked a hell of a lot better.


Uh-huh - I think part of AHM's problems are down to IDW's gutlessness. The flip-flop on continuity midway through and the near-immediate attempt to retcon half of the thign rather than explain much of it leaves the main book looking like a mad aberration.

This. As flawed as AHM was in its first half sales were steady and some people seemed to be enjoying it. The drastic and forced gear changing in the second half was to late to bring those pissed off back into the fold and was only going to annoy and confuse those that were enjoying it, especially the hypothetical new readers this was supposed to be bringing in.



Well, if you're patching in the whole storyline, you have to patch in anything IDW put out that's related to AHM and solves any of the problems.

I don't know, comparing one storyline (in the Unicron stuff) to one storyline (in AHM) seems reasonable enough, it's not like I'm trying to big up the roles of some of the Autobots on the Ark by mentioning things from issue 3 or Generation 2. And whilst some of the subsequent issues may or may not have tried to fix the continuity FUBAR's I'd be amazed if they've fixed the severe pacing and all round general shoody story structure. Though if anyone reading the ongoing knows otherwise...


Jesus Christ! You're right! It's almost like it's a consist archetypal desire of the character to conquer Earth and turn it into part of the Cybertronian Emprie.

Really? Where? It wasn't in previous IDW comics where all he wanted to do was strip mine the place. Same in Marvel where the Decepticon goal most of the time was just stealing our resources. It was fairly consistent in the cartoon as well, except in a few shows (two of which were likely a direct inspiration on the plotline in Prime Directive/AHM) where the McGuffin of the week gave Megatron something else to do. Probably the closest we've come to colonisation as a regular goal for the Decepticons in any G1 related fiction would be Jhiaxus' bunch. And Earth wasn't a planet they tried that on.


Eh? Megatron beats the crap out of the Autobots on Earth, then sends them from Earth to Cybertron. It's not exactly a leap of logic for the Autobots to then assume Earth, where their enemy was trying to conquer but was being held up by them until he sent them away from Earth, would be in trouble. So once they've got themselves together (why go out looking for additional reinforcements when they have Prime, Kup's group and Omega now? Especially as they're not sure there is anyone else out there...), they head to save the planet they failed to protect, and where Megatron is most likely to be.

Based on past form the most likely expectation for what happened next after they left Earth would be the aforementioned strip mining of the planet and Megatron returning to wherever the main Decepticon base is. Assuming he's stayed on Earth and the planet is still savable is dependant on knowing he's decided to throw normal procedure out the window and do things differently. Again, could have easily been covered in two or three lines but it isn't.

On a similar note, the vanishing of Omega Supreme from the final battle just so Thundercracker can sacrifice himself as the Autobots don't have a flyer is another annoying thing that could have been fixed with a single line (having Omega out of fuel after the trip/twating Devastator). It's especially poor considering an explanation for Springer not being able to do it is seeded in a few issues earlier.


It'd be nice to see some of what's going on in the other cities, even if it's just one panel. They don't have to be splash pages of destruction, just panels. In fact, I initially though Megatron was in D.C. when Hook started talking to him about the clutter and substandard building materials.

[Assuming if you've read this far you're not worried about spoilers] Not only do we not really see any further scenes of worldwide destruction it actually feels like the comic forgets they ever left New York as it goes on.

Heinrad
2010-06-05, 01:51 PM
Having hit the series high points(Ironhide using Prowl and Hot Rod as his own personal stress relievers), I can think of really only one reason for Megatron to scrap his "strip the planet of resources" scheme and set up base here: Ore-13. But it's not mentioned at all. The Constructicons would certainly be put to better use at the moment building a refinery rather than turning Manhattan into a base.

I'm still trying to figure out why Manhattan at all, unless McCarthy read RoD, and figured Furman had a great setting in New York. Going the "human weapons don't hurt them" route basically means Megatron could have set up base in the middle of nowhere and gone about his business sending troops out to show the humans why they're no longer the apex predators on the planet without much fear of reprisal.

I'm wondering if that's part of why people haven't warmed to it. Despite the slowness of the "-tion" minis, you got(or at least I got) the impression Furman had sat down and not only plotted it, but had characters doing things that generally made sense. Earth goes from being yet another minor battle in a war that spans millions of years to one that could be the deciding factor due to the discovery of something that could decisively tip the scales, not because Earth happens to be there.

inflatable dalek
2010-06-05, 02:15 PM
Having hit the series high points(Ironhide using Prowl and Hot Rod as his own personal stress relievers), I can think of really only one reason for Megatron to scrap his "strip the planet of resources" scheme and set up base here: Ore-13. But it's not mentioned at all. The Constructicons would certainly be put to better use at the moment building a refinery rather than turning Manhattan into a base.

Yep, though I think the Furman written stuff has to shoulder the blame equally for the lack of resolution to the Ore13 thing, once it was decided McCarthy wasn't going to use it (despite it being something from the previous stories that actually makes sense to carry over) there's plenty of room in the over long Maximum Dinobots to slip some resolution in there. Infact, instead of identical scenes of Swoop having a tizz and running off (before deciding it's better to die on your feet) Furman could have easily written out Ore 13, the Decepticon facsimile's poised to take over America and the Magnificence all in quick succession. It would have felt like a checklist being ticked off but at the end of the day that was the point of the series. Indeed, based on hunter's OTT happy ending it's fair to say Furman had either no idea what McCarthy was and wasn't doing or either didn't give a toss.

And just to show it's not just AHM I'm down on, the waste of characters in Revelations is fairly awful as well. The big cliffhanger to Devastation was the Autbots completely abandoning Earth. Most of them then go on to not even show their faces in Revelations, the series would have been a the same if Prime had just taken Prowl in a shuttle and gone off leaving the others behind. Thus making it an entirely artificial way of creating a cliffhanger rather than anything that benefited the story.

Heinrad
2010-06-05, 03:26 PM
Just finished issue 7.

Good stuff so far:

- McCarthy does seem to have a concept of character moments
- Starscream seeming to remain constant from the "-tion" minis. Not wanting to usurp for power's sake, but because he thinks Megatron's lost sight of the actual goal. And it's a good point. Megatron's defeated Optimus Prime, and thanks to the "mysterious traitor"(which I'm beginning to think McCarthy hadn't decided on himself until Sunstreaker and Sideswipe had their little talk. Either that or he's bloody useless at writing "who's the traitor" stories. Although the artist can take equal blame for that)
- Thundercracker's anger over the creation of the Swarm
- Skywarp and Bombshell

Bad stuff:

- We know Ironhide's on edge. Everybody else...... demoralized, yes, but not tense. Maybe frustrated. Mainly defeated.
- Aside from Spike's haircut looking decidedly non-military, I think Guido's got the same problem Don has(or had): Great looking robots, not so great looking humans. Unless the Army bought a job lot of synthoid clones from Cobra at some point and started staffing them at all levels. Then gave the leftover to the Air Force.
- The fact that it took Starscream taunting Megatron over how well they've done to find out what Megatron plans to do with the Earth.
- The fact that they're showing a lot more tension in the Decepticon ranks than in the Autobot ranks
- "Prime's unit"? That was Prowl's unit, with some reinforcements.

The pacing, in and of itself, isn't bad(probably balanced out by reading them in quick succession rather than monthly), but there's very little foreshadowing. I liked the one way Space Bridge, but I have to wonder what happened to Dirge and Generic Swarm Scientist guy(if he actually is somebody, I don't recognize him. Or is that the Scourge Screamer was talking about?).

Actually, what seems to be the big stumbling block is also Megatron's problem. We've had him win(I liked the fact that we see them in Bejing and Israel). Now what? Where's the conflict?

Heinrad
2010-06-06, 12:27 AM
The scientist, after some research, was Deluge.

So now I've reached the end. I've read all 16 issues of the 12 issue All Hail Megatron maxi-series. Did it make "B.O.T." and "Carnage in C Minor" look like Plato's Republic?

Well, no. Nothing's that bad. One's a ponderous tome on democratic theory and the other two are episodes of a children's cartoon. One can be used as a blunt object, while the other two can be used for torturing prisoners. :D

In terms of internal continuity, it's big problem is timescale. It feels like the whole epic story covers.... maybe a month? And that's being generous.

Prime makes a miracle recovery. In the space of 4 pages he goes from being at death's door to being hale and healthy. However..... I'm wondering if the Kup story in the Coda is meant to be an explanation. Perceptor would know about the Pretender technology, he and Ratchet might have been able to cobble something together.

But that's the thing. We shouldn't have to guess this stuff. EXPLAIN IT. Even just a throwaway line. "Perceptor's got an idea that they were working on at a research station he was assigned to, and we might be able to adapt it using what we have on hand to save Prime." Yeah, it's a bit clunky, but I'm not the professional here.

Drift. Explaining that he used to be a Decepticon earlier on would have been nice.

And the ending concept seems to have been lifted straight from Dreamwave's first mini, even down to Megatron's ranting about the humans that Prime is so determined to protect.

The question is, is that what was intended from the beginning, or was it a result of IDW taking just about everything they get for feedback to heart?

I do have to wonder if the Coda stories also mean Sunstreaker, Nightbeat, and Hardhead will be coming back.

So having read it.... It's uneven. It's like they got partway through(doing character buildup, setting the situation on Earth and Cybertron), getting things set, then suddenly realized that A) the Autobot storythread was kind of boring, B) we've only got 12 issues to tell this, and C) we need to come up with a traitor that isn't Mirage because that would be too obvious.

Give it a B-. Mainly for scenes of Ironhide beating up Prowl, Hot Rod, and Mirage, and overall character development.

Paul053
2010-06-07, 03:39 PM
I read through the series again (1 to 12) and I feel like I love AHM more and hate the ongoing more.

Hot Rod is like a little kid jumping around and get so excited to know if people get his message, how can he turn around so much in the ongoing? Being so lousy and negative and no body can control him?

The high commands, such as Jazz and Prowl, their role is so huge and proper (although kind of reduced after Kup showed up) but how can they reduced their role so much in ongoing? Jazz didn't even do and say anything in the ongoing and Prowl got to leave the planet with the lousy Hot Rod?

Well, one issue here too as could be mentioned before. The Wreckers have plenty of time after crashed, why didn't they fix Springer's helicopter mode when they need some air support most? I guess Ratchet fixed him after AHM because he can fly again in LSOTW.

inflatable dalek
2010-06-07, 03:52 PM
I've been trying to think who amongst the then IDW regulars (because the obvious intended choice of Brian Hitch would be about as likely as fairy dust) would have made a better choice of artist. Discounting Don ("retired" at the time and ultimately not that different in style from Guido), Raiz (could have been great but clearly is able to get non TF work and would never have been available for a solid year), Roche (not sure if he can do the big widescreen action, a full reading of LSotW may or may not change that stance) and most of the others (pretty much interchangeable) I came to the following conclusion...

It's a shame IDW adopted a complete scorched earth policy with regards to the previous creative team because E.J. Su was absolutely the right man for this job. Clear, crisp artwork and probably the best artist at bringing out the sheer size and scale of the Transformers [though pretty much everything else I liked about Infiltration has turned to dust with how the storyline panned out this remains it's real strength. The way the perspective slowly shifts from a humancentric one with the robots as towering giants to a more TF level one as the plot focus changes with it is very well done].

Plus, apart from his planed paternity leave, he never seems to miss issues or need fill ins to help out. Which would have spared us some of the more rushed stand in art from towards the end of AHM.

Sir Auros
2010-06-07, 08:24 PM
Firstly, I never said it was actually good - it's just nowhere near as bad as its' reputation. I think it gave a lot of people an out, and ended up carrying the can for all of IDW's ****ups.

See, the pacing and lulls don't mean shit when you're reading a block of scans, you zip right through that stuff in seconds. So that's irrelvant - you've got to move beyond publishing format here, there's no reason to read it like it took a year the second time round.


It gave me an out, I dropped everything IDW a few issues in.

At least you're not paying for it. :up:

Halfshell
2010-06-07, 09:12 PM
Christ, are you sad wankers still arguing about this?

Heinrad
2010-06-08, 05:12 AM
Actually, that is a good question. Why didn't they put Su on the Ongoing? It's G1 continuity, not movie-look continuity.

LKW
2010-06-13, 06:06 AM
To give me another excuse to separate McCarthy/Costa-verse from Furman-Roche verse?

Prowl1984
2010-06-20, 11:25 PM
Random thought, as adult comic fans the majority of you/us pile on the hate with AHM but I'd bet good money (that i don't have) that you all would have thought it was freaking awesome as kids. I think that's why i enjoy it, big robots decking each other, simple yet entertaining.

inflatable dalek
2010-06-20, 11:39 PM
Random thought, as adult comic fans the majority of you/us pile on the hate with AHM but I'd bet good money (that i don't have) that you all would have thought it was freaking awesome as kids. I think that's why i enjoy it, big robots decking each other, simple yet entertaining.

Of the strips I read as a kid my opinion hasn't shifted hugely over the years, the stuff I found crap (Mechaniballs) I still do whilst the stuff I loved is still revered (Nightbeat). Sometimes learning the wider context affects things (Two Megatrons worked a lot better when I hadn't read the comics it retcons) but other than that it's a even keel.

I could see myself finding the Decepticon carnage a bit more impressive as an 8 year old, but that'd be offset by having even less patience for the lengthy periods of nothing happening. Hell, the Decepticons don't even blow all that much up after the first few issues till we get to the final battle.

Now, the British AHM reprint, in a comic specifically aimed and brought mostly by kids, never produced one single bit of reader feedback in the letters page about it. That's compared to the previous Beast Wars reprints which resulted in several letters and a fair bit of art (some of which they're still getting a year after those reprints ended). So either the readership were largely apathetic or the the letters they did get weren't very positive but either way The Ascending, which isn't very good either, would seem to be more appealing to kids than AHM is.

And even if it were a perfect comic for the under 10's, they're not the ones who are ever going to buy a G1 based comic. If anything Hasbro should be focusing on making the Movie comics, the ones based on their version of the franchise, more kid friendly and less about making everything like it's 1984 again.

Heinrad
2010-06-21, 05:36 AM
I think AHM gets a lot of hate because it's really a failed expectation. Which makes sense.

- People tell IDW that they don't like the -tion minis because Furman keeps expanding and expanding and doesn't seem to be getting much of anywhere.

- IDW thinks, "Okay, we'll fix this. We'll do a big maxi-arc. It'll soft-reboot everything so an indepth knowledge of what Furman wrote isn't going to be required prior to reading the maxi-mega series and ongoing from that.

- They score a big name comic writer(at least, I guess McCarthy's a big name comic writer)

- For reasons known only to IDW, they get a different artist(Maybe G1 designs would be more popular for some "iconic" characters?)

- This will make fans happy, especially as they've talked McCarthy into writing the IDW way(Okay, I can't be sure of that one)

- Sit back and listen to the pleased fanbase as they give up their hard earned money.

Reading it without the month-long gaps between issues, the pacing isn't bad. The only point that it's annoying is when they seem to realize that they have to wrap it up. If Ratchet had had the "I can repair Prime's body, but the damage was so severe that he still might die" talk with Kup, say, 2 issues earlier, or even one issue earlier, it wouldn't be as strange a thing as Prime's miraculous recovery after four pages.

If I was 8 years old and went from Furman's -tion minis to this, I think I'd be more confused than anything else. And that was the biggest problem of all. The pacing's faster, but the things start getting strange. The Decepticons go from being practically invulnerable to Frenzy getting taken out by an RPG. The Autobots are supposed to be at each other's throats, but with one exception, they seem more depressed, dejected, and despondent than angry and looking for answers, even if they have to beat each other up to find them.

The other problem, again, to me, was the writing. McCarthy had some fun character stuff in there, but the main plot wasn't gripping. One thing it did seem to show, and I'm not sure this was intentional, was Megatron had hit the age old problem: "I've defeated my greatest enemy, my greatest challenge in my life. Now what do I do?"

inflatable dalek
2010-06-21, 11:24 AM
- They score a big name comic writer(at least, I guess McCarthy's a big name comic writer)

They claimed they got a big name comic writer, but that was basically a lie. his high profile work basically boiled down to a couple of Batman issues that were almost instantly ret-conned as to never happen. I just found out they did something similar with Mike Costa, despite bigging him up as the author of Cobra he was apparently only the co-writer. Based on the different levels of critical reception I'd guess the other guy wrote the good stuff.

Mind, nothing's as daft as them proclaiming one of the writers on their Doctor Who Annual was a Hollywood screenwriter when his only credit to date is coming up with the story for the Dukes of Hazard film.

Heinrad
2010-06-21, 04:35 PM
I guess it's all a part of advertising. It draws people in. Write a story that gets made into a movie? You're a screenwriter. Write a fill in story for a major comic character? Then you're a famous comic writer.

I'm surprised they haven't started trying to get John Byrne or Jim Lee to do some stuff for them, if they're getting that desperate. Or Todd MacFarlane.

There is, of course, the flip side to all of this. Books like Transformers and G.I. Joe aren't easy to write or illustrate. Yeah, they're both big name properties, but the best way to do a "G1"-esque book is the route Furman went at the beginning: small cast, only glimpses of the wider conflict. It saves you having to keep track of 200-odd caracters and it keeps your artist or artists from burning out. It also keeps the fans from ranting "You screwed up Broadside in the crowd scene in issue 10! You got his faceplate wrong! You all suck!"

Cliffjumper
2010-06-21, 05:34 PM
No writer or artist with any real reputation in the business is going to start writing licensed toy comics for a tinpot little operation like IDW. Even Byrne or Chuck Austen would be highly unlikely to lower themselves to it. It's the equivalent of doing advertising work for an established actor, but without the huge renumeration bonus seeing as IDW will expect to pay about the same for Mark Millar as for Jimbob Mc****wit. Chuck Dixon is likely to remain the biggest name to have worked on Transformers after already working on something proper. The only reason Furman came back is because it pays better than the dole.

The same goes for artists - Jim Lee is not going to work on a book where character designs can be changed on the whim of a toy company.

MikeB
2010-07-02, 09:00 PM
So, just read the main 12 issues after not bothering to buy it first time around.

It's quite bad, but the write up it's had softened the blow. I just can't get over lines of dialogue like "he's a sadistic military genius the likes of which we've never seen before", which just made me cringe. Even if you wanted to keep the gist of it you could surely rephrase it to something less trite couldn't you?

I have to admit somewhat shamefully though that I actually quite like sniperceptor, the precision, clinical nature and specialist expertise seem fitting for his character to me, just seeing him as someone who's possibly been pushed beyond his limits by the war and has crossed a line between sane and possible psychopath. The problem obviously is that the writing doesn't really do anything other than go HEY perceptor's learned how to shoot with a big gun, cool eh? The rest is me filling in a backstory I like the sound of.

Is it worth me getting the coda issues and spotlights? I've got relatively little interest in the ongoing as it's not sounding great so far...

inflatable dalek
2010-07-02, 09:04 PM
The Coda issues, other than the Kup one, are pretty much worse in everyway. Of the Spotlights, Jazz and Metroplex are throwaway fun, and tellingly have nothing really to do with the main story.

Cliffjumper
2010-07-02, 09:37 PM
The Perceptor one's not bad either. I like AHM Perceptor - if it's good enough for Roche to take basically unchanged it's good enough for me (I just wish the crosshairs wasn't a permanent part of the character model). As I think I said further up, I always liked to think Perceptor could handle himself anyway - the Marvel version is Blaster's boss, after all, and survived being in the first wave of the assault on Darkmount. After that we only ever saw him fight Galvatron (in a fight were Galvatron knocks out something like twelve Autobots without any real trouble) and get used as random factor fight fodder by the Axis of Bob & Jose. It always annoyed me that the cartoon had him as a stereotypical weedy nerd.

MikeB
2010-07-02, 09:49 PM
Bought and read the kup/perceptor spotlight now, and perceptor's fits with my image of him more or less, so that's ok. Has there ever been any follow up on Prowl's secret additions or is that destined to be consigned to the scrapheap?

No spotlight Jazz or Metroplex on the IDW e store thing annoyingly, in spite of having many spotlights both before and after up there. Slightly frustrating but at least it stops me from frittering my money away...

inflatable dalek
2010-07-03, 06:55 AM
The Perceptor one's not bad either.

Oh yes, I should say I meant the issue as a whole rather than just the Kup story. I actually feel sorry for the Perceptor team, in any of the other three issues that would have been the absolute highlight.

Has there ever been any follow up on Prowl's secret additions or is that destined to be consigned to the scrapheap?

I'd assumed that was set up for LSotW, does it not get dealt with there or is it all just a desperate attempt to deal with Kup's resurrection from certain doom rather than being something to deal with later?

Fun Fact: Colourist Kris Carter originally had Kup's Cygar with a glow at the end, but was told he couldn't even imply the character was actually smoking.

MikeB
2010-07-03, 09:05 AM
I'd assumed that was set up for LSotW, does it not get dealt with there or is it all just a desperate attempt to deal with Kup's resurrection from certain doom rather than being something to deal with later?

I'll reread, but hadn't really seen any reference to it or any odd behaviour from Kup in LSotW so the large setup in this issue came as something of a surprise.



Fun Fact: Colourist Kris Carter originally had Kup's Cygar with a glow at the end, but was told he couldn't even imply the character was actually smoking.

So, they're allowed to show him sucking constantly on addictive, brain damaging psychotropic "crystals", but smoking? Noooo, smoking's bad m'kay? I'd like to say there's logic in there somewhere, but I suspect there's just a lawyer.

inflatable dalek
2012-03-04, 07:54 PM
Well, having just taken Cliffy's advice and attempted reading AHM all in one go, I can safely confirm it's not any better read that way and he is clearly insane.

I had forgotten the few good bits early one were actually quite good, and Guido's art was better than I remembered (though whichever fill in guy drew the Random New Black Guy attacking Rumble had literally no talent).

There's at least a couple of lines where it's fairly clear Kup remembers the events of his Spotlight as well (once where he refers to it himself and once where he doesn't react to a Decepticon talking about it), in direct contradiction of just three issues later...

Skyquake87
2012-03-05, 01:16 PM
Well, i enjoyed AHM. I don't have the Coda issues though, just the 12 issue arc. From what I've heard (and read here), the Coda issues just tie themselves in knots trying to explain away some all important continuity fudges. And Kup's Cygar, which quite frankly did not need any explanation and/ or origin at all, except in the minds of those with no sense of humour.

I like that it's just a colourful romp, the volte face for some character's established backstory in the IDW-verse didn't bother me, nor did Drift. The Autobots sitting about moping didn't strike me as anyway unusual and/or abhorrant - they seem to do this all the time whenever Optimus is out of the picture as the chain of command amongst the Autobots always seems to be p*ss poor with no one stepping up to take charge in the absence of Prime. Didn't mind Omega showing up - clever idea by Hot Rod I thought and gets them off Cybertron where they would have all slowly died. I must have also missed the deal with Sniper-ceptor. Everyone was crying about that at the time, but I'm not sure why. Had he previously cropped up in the Furman-verse as little more than a science geek? And did no one mind that Percy's toy is heavily tooled up for someone whose a scientist..?

IDW should have really stuck to their guns, though. The cramming in of Furman's continuity really knackers things. The pacing is a bit poor, with those early issues being a two minute read, but then that's not unusual compared with 95% of all other mainstream comics where the individual issues are as empty as fresh air as everyone has their eyes on writing a story that will read much better collected in a tidy six issue trade. Why Transformers fans latched onto this as a point of criticism I don't know - surely some of those picking up Transformers comics would also read other comics and have encountered the same kind of storytelling?

I like AHM because it's fun, gets to the point and throws in some nice character interaction. If anything, its quite traditional by Transformers comics standards. It knows its a big silly story about giant robots and gets on with it. It hasn't dated as badly as Furman's dead universe stuff and is at least on a par with Spotlight : Ramjet which was also good fun. I hadn't been enjoying Furman's stuff much at all by the time AHM came out, so this was a nice breath of fresh air.

I just IDW didn't edit by message board.

Denyer
2012-03-05, 08:38 PM
#15's probably the best thing about AHM, capturing Prowl's expedient bastardry nicely.

Terome
2012-03-09, 04:25 PM
Well, having just taken Cliffy's advice and attempted reading AHM all in one go, I can safely confirm it's not any better read that way and he is clearly insane.

Dalek! Why do you do these harms to yourself! Reading AHM last time nearly killed you. Is this self-administered immersion therapy?

I had forgotten the few good bits early one were actually quite good, and Guido's art was better than I remembered (though whichever fill in guy drew the Random New Black Guy attacking Rumble had literally no talent).

The premise was a good one, it's a real shame they didn't do anything interesting with it. If editorial had possessed the balls to have the Decepticons actually conquer Earth and make it New Kaon or whatever then the way would be set to examine the good ideas in the series: the planned obsolescence of the Decepticons, Megatron's lack of imagination, the purpose of revolution etc. etc. All of that gets buried beneath the desire to have the Autobots turn up to have a ruck and the humans rallying back successfully and the deeply weird Sunstreaker betrayal plot.

#15's probably the best thing about AHM, capturing Prowl's expedient bastardry nicely.

It was certainly a breath of fresh air at the time, though now I'm not sure how well it stands up. I've not read it recently but in my recollection there's an air of preciousness about it. The story is an exercise to steer Kup and Prowl back to the way Roche (and all good-thinking people) like them and to apply continuity patches to minor bits and pieces rather than to roll with them. It was reactionary and feels a bit awkward and self-conscious when taken on its own terms.

Though I suppose that was the whole point of the 'Coda' series. What a strange way to run a serial.

inflatable dalek
2012-03-20, 01:53 PM
Well, i enjoyed AHM. I don't have the Coda issues though, just the 12 issue arc. From what I've heard (and read here), the Coda issues just tie themselves in knots trying to explain away some all important continuity fudges. And Kup's Cygar, which quite frankly did not need any explanation and/ or origin at all, except in the minds of those with no sense of humour.

Whilst most of Coda is terrible I would recommend the Kup/Perceptor issue, the later story is actually much better than I remembered it (especially if you view it as being rather tragic rather than "FUK YEAH PERCEPTOR SHOOTS SHIT"), and the former really isn't about the Cygar, it just uses it as a way of explaining and dealing with the whole Kup not being virtually dead thing. It is a bit of a forced retcon in places (as I'll talk about whilst replying to Terome) and suffers from a complete lack of follow up but is still a great little tale in its own right.

I do have a sense of humour, I just don't think the variation on the "Why are you wearing that duck on your head?" gag was worth the ugly thing being there for the entire time Kup was in the comic (how does one pronounce cigar so differently from cygar that Kup wouldn't know what Witwicky meant anyway?).

I like that it's just a colourful romp, the volte face for some character's established backstory in the IDW-verse didn't bother me, nor did Drift. The Autobots sitting about moping didn't strike me as anyway unusual and/or abhorrant - they seem to do this all the time whenever Optimus is out of the picture as the chain of command amongst the Autobots always seems to be p*ss poor with no one stepping up to take charge in the absence of Prime.

It's certainly a flaw other versions of the franchise have had (especially the cartoon, the Marvel comic with the army being more broken up into groups didn't have the problem so badly) but that doesn't really excuse it here, especially as it lasts, what, ten issues out of the 12? All that time spent sitting around looking sad could have been used by the author to explain things like Kup's recovery or Perceptor becoming scary much better.

Didn't mind Omega showing up - clever idea by Hot Rod I thought and gets them off Cybertron where they would have all slowly died. I must have also missed the deal with Sniper-ceptor. Everyone was crying about that at the time, but I'm not sure why. Had he previously cropped up in the Furman-verse as little more than a science geek? And did no one mind that Percy's toy is heavily tooled up for someone whose a scientist..?

Yep, gotta give credit for Omega's summoning being properly set up, along with Dropshot about the only real bit of plot progression in the whole thing. The problem is he manages to fall out of the sky on top of everyone without any single one of them seeing or hearing him coming.

My problem with Snipceptor is he's turned into basically every other McCarthy leading character, he's (as the script itself points out in one of the few bits of self awareness, albeit one that feels like it was added at the last second to try and deflect criticism) a "Clown with a gun" amongst a whole cast of them. Drift, Kup, Springer, Colonel Witwicky (who we're supposed to think is a good guy because he has his grunts beat up a CIA Agent), there's enough testosterone to sink the bismark amongst them.

What's telling about McCarthy's attitudes is how the Mirage/Ironhide thing is resolved. If you're going to go down the clichéd route of having one save the other to resolve their issues, you'd think it would be Ironhide doing the saving as a means of redemption as he's be the one entirely in the wrong. Instead it's Mirage, the previous pascifist who takes up arms to kick ass which creates a feeling that he kind of deserved it for being so anti war before and this is now his salvation. I know that might be seeing too much into it, but it's entirely inkeeping with the Drift mini series and its "People who don't use weapons are pussies" message.


Dalek! Why do you do these harms to yourself! Reading AHM last time nearly killed you. Is this self-administered immersion therapy?

It's wonderful to be in a position where I don't have any responsibility to review or care about the thing, I can just sit there chuckling to myself like Davros on steriods throughout at how rubbish the whole thing is.


The premise was a good one, it's a real shame they didn't do anything interesting with it. If editorial had possessed the balls to have the Decepticons actually conquer Earth and make it New Kaon or whatever then the way would be set to examine the good ideas in the series: the planned obsolescence of the Decepticons, Megatron's lack of imagination, the purpose of revolution etc. etc. All of that gets buried beneath the desire to have the Autobots turn up to have a ruck and the humans rallying back successfully and the deeply weird Sunstreaker betrayal plot.

It really can't be emphasised how much the back and forth over exactly how much the Decepticons have conquered the planet, or even anywhere in the States outside of NYC, hurts the epic pretensions of the series. The art can't even decide from issue to issue how much of the City has been rebuilt.


It was certainly a breath of fresh air at the time, though now I'm not sure how well it stands up. I've not read it recently but in my recollection there's an air of preciousness about it. The story is an exercise to steer Kup and Prowl back to the way Roche (and all good-thinking people) like them and to apply continuity patches to minor bits and pieces rather than to roll with them. It was reactionary and feels a bit awkward and self-conscious when taken on its own terms.

It's problem is there's no indication in any of the previous issues Prowl had any sort of evil control over Kup (indeed, AHM Prowl is generally a cheerful ineffectual sort who just wanders into a scene, says something mildly useless before wandering out. This is of course because he's not a bad ass and McCarthy has no interest in him). It's a valiant effort on Roche's part to both explain Kup's recovery and, more importantly, do something interesting with it, but it is a bit of a stretch. And the complete absence of follow up does make me wish the original plan to have Guzzle casually kill him before being gunned down himself by the other survivors at the end of Wreckers had been implemented.

EDIT What I'd have actually done to try and give the "Autobots drive around Cybertron rather than sit around Cybertron" bits more plot cohesion (avoiding the Swarm isn't really a good reason for it, an earlier issue showed Megatron dealt with them by just keeping the front door closed) and to explain how Prime goes from being about to die to fully fit in two panels is actually make getting to the Trion CR chamber to cure him the entire purpose of the trip. It becomes a much more tense and purposeful journey if the life of the leader they've now been shown to be entirely useless without is dependant on it, and it could even be presented as a "Kill or cure" thing if McCarthy was insistent on trying to milk it right up to the last second.

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-03-23, 04:48 PM
I guess it's all a part of advertising. It draws people in. Write a story that gets made into a movie? You're a screenwriter. Write a fill in story for a major comic character? Then you're a famous comic writer.

I'm surprised they haven't started trying to get John Byrne or Jim Lee to do some stuff for them, if they're getting that desperate. Or Todd MacFarlane.

There is, of course, the flip side to all of this. Books like Transformers and G.I. Joe aren't easy to write or illustrate. Yeah, they're both big name properties, but the best way to do a "G1"-esque book is the route Furman went at the beginning: small cast, only glimpses of the wider conflict. It saves you having to keep track of 200-odd caracters and it keeps your artist or artists from burning out. It also keeps the fans from ranting "You screwed up Broadside in the crowd scene in issue 10! You got his faceplate wrong! You all suck!"


John Byrne is already working for IDW on Next Men: Aftermath, Cold War, and Trio and he also did some Star Trek books for them as well.

Peter David wrote IDW's first Spike graphic novel (I think it was called Old Wounds, as well as Spike vs. Dracula, Angel Spotlight: Illyria and his own The Fallen Angel series.

JM DeMattis wrote The Life and Times of Savior 27 for IDW.

I think it's safe to say IDW can attract big name talent it's just a matter of whether that want to work on any of their license properties or on their own projects.

Jim Lee is co-publisher of DCE and can't (or won't) work for anybody else and I think Todd McFarlane is busy doing designs for toys, videogames, and running his empire (or what is left of it).

relak
2012-03-28, 12:10 PM
going back to AHM

Its kinda good in a "cartoon" sense.
IMO, if fits in as a more badass reimagining of the G1 cartoon. But thats the problem right there. There isnt the same amount of depth or characterisations as the previous comics.

Some of the dialogue also feels a little bit.......off.

I cant quite put my finger on it but many times it sounds less like actual dialogue and more like random lines of text.
Just doesnt feel.........natural (then again these are alien machines, nothing natural about that).

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-03-31, 09:56 PM
My thoughts on All Hail Megatron. When the series came out I didn't collect it, not because I had real opinions on it one way or the other, I was just not collecting any new monthly series that weren't from a dead universe (a defunct publisher or line of comics) or selected TPBs at the time. I was burned out on new monthly comics and honestly I was kind of sick of The Transformers franchise as a whole, especially the comics after slogging through the God-Awful Revelation and Maximum Dinobots TPBs (both of which IMHO are FAR worse than AHM ever was) and watching the crap fest known as The Revenge of The Fallen and bad word of mouth on AHM also didn't help.

So one day I was looking at graphic novels in a local Barnes & Noble bookstore and I found the first AHM TPB and started looking through it and I bought it.

Maybe it was Guido's art (who IMHO is the BEST TF artist IDW has) or maybe it's my pop culture iconoclastic outlook, or maybe because I had been away from the franchise for a while, whatever the reason I loved the damn thing.

And you want to something else?
I still love the damn thing.

There is no logical reason that I can give why I should like AHM so I guess it's an emotional reason that I can't explain. AHM is just like the 1986 animated movie, I see all of the flaws and mistakes and it still entertains the hell out of me. Which I guess is all one can ask for in any form of entertainment.

relak
2012-04-17, 02:29 AM
now that i think about it, AHM felt like the "Transformers: The Movie" of the IDW-verse.

I think most of the hate is because AHM was responsible for cancelling "The Expansion" and shortening "Revelations" into what it was.

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-04-17, 10:40 PM
now that i think about it, AHM felt like the "Transformers: The Movie" of the IDW-verse.

I think most of the hate is because AHM was responsible for cancelling "The Expansion" and shortening "Revelations" into what it was.

My hatred is for Revelation and Maximum Dinobots because they IMHO they both SUCK. I love All Hail Megatron and one reason I loved it was because Furman didn't write it! Which is why I often thought if Furman had wrote it word-for-word, line-for-line, panel-for-panel in exactly the same way as Shane McCarthy did, I would bet that it would have been one of the most beloved Transformers stories/series of all time, because of the sheer amount of sheer fanaticism Furman's fans have about him and The Transformers.

I've been banned from a board because just because I didn't like Furman's IDW run and made no bones about it. Because no matter how I tried to explain it or sugar coat it the end result was still the same: I still didn't like it. I call it as I see it and too me Revelation and Maximum Dinobots were garbage that made me ashamed to be not only a Transfan but a comic book fan as well.

Hell this actually the first major TF site I've seen where there is more criticism about Furman's IDW G1 work than all the undeserved praise that most other sites give it.