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View Full Version : Are we excited at the idea of a Marvel #81?


Terome
2011-04-05, 07:33 AM
So, Simon Furman, in a response to a Q & A on his blog (http://simonfurman.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/that-ol-qa-thing/), said that he'd be game for an X-Men Forever style recontinutation of the Marvel continuity. Andy Wildman has made similar rumblings over on his blog (http://wildwords.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/will-there-be-a-transformers-81/#comments), saying that IDW "are not adverse to the idea." He goes on to say some confusing things about wanting to create a story 'with a point to it,' like the old animated movie and not the more recent live-action ones, which makes me think he has not seen either of these things, but anyway...

There has been a groundswell of support across the boards, which translates to about three hundred people signing an online petition, so it probably won't ever happen. But if it did, what would the good people of TFArchive have to say about it?

Personally, I think so long as they retained Baskerville and put a lid on Furman's excesses and nostalgia-reaping, it could be an enjoyable read. Would be interested to see what this grand relevance that Wildman speaks of would materialise as - Furman hasn't shown much interest in relevance for the IDW run. Perhaps a strict issue cap, say at 20-24 issues or less, would bring out the best in everyone?

inflatable dalek
2011-04-05, 09:15 AM
The fact he now thinks G2 is apparently "too 90's" (and is there anything more overtly 90's about it than the tail end of the original US run? Massive violence and darker and gritter than before with epic scale deconstruction of the mythos is pretty much common to both) pretty much says everything about not only why this shouldn't happen, but even presents a good argument for why he should probably never be allowed to write anything for anyone in any media ever again.

I practical terms, I suspect the main stumbling block is going to be the fan club comic that does exactly that. Whilst it's obviously even more of a (and here I am using this word in two consecutive posts) niche product that even IDW's lower selling efforts I suspect Hasbro will be keen not to have them stepping on the toes of one of the unique selling points of the Magazine thing that's part of the package they use to get fans to cough up the subscription fee.

Apparently the Hama title is selling much better than any of IDW's own 'verse Joe books. Which, apart from being fairly damning on how popular that is, does suggest why they might be keen to do the same with Transformers. Even if it's more complicated, with three potential follow on points (81, G2 12, and the UK Marvel stuff, which, as you could or could not include the G2 stuff with that probably makes for 4...).

EDIT: As another thought: Is the Joe continuation using the same artist as when the book ended first time round (or at least someone who's very associated with the end era)? Because if not I say that sets a precedent to sod Wildman and get someone who might actually care to draw this hypothetical book.

Now I think about it, if they have to keep the original artists on board that's probably the problem with a potential G2 continuation, they'd have to split the art between Manny and Geoff, with the later not wanting to do it and the former not wanted by most of the readers.

Terome
2011-04-05, 09:43 AM
The fact he now thinks G2 is apparently "too 90's" (and is there anything more overtly 90's about it than the tail end of the original US run? Massive violence and darker and gritter than before with epic scale deconstruction of the mythos is pretty much common to both) pretty much says everything about not only why this shouldn't happen, but even presents a good argument for why he should probably never be allowed to write anything for anyone in any media ever again.

Yeah, seemed like the most 90's thing about G2 was the flourishes in the art style. Still, even though I do dearly love Generation 2, I wouldn't be too fussed if they left it out. The Classics comic is easy to ignore and there might be a more interesting story to be told in the setting at the end of #332/80, with a recolonisation of Cybertron, a heavily repentant squad of Autobots, the Last Autobot hanging around and Bludgeon up to mischief with his Silly Squad of Strangehold and Octopunch. Though it would probably result in a lot of the steps of G2 being retreaded - I can see the establishment of a Megatron and a Starscream being on the cards for approximately the eighteen zillionth time, for example.

I'd say that Roberts would probably be better at it, but then he's already done it, hasn't he?

I quite liked those covers that Wildman did. A bit too-little-too-late, perhaps, but there is evidence that he still gives a flying one.

Blackjack
2011-04-05, 09:51 AM
I would read it.

Can't be any worse than the current ongoing. ZING!

inflatable dalek
2011-04-05, 09:56 AM
I'd agree there's indeed good reason for not continuing G2, mainly that after twenty years there's no possible explanation for the Leige Maximo that won't seem a bit shit (if anyone's actually read Alignment they can either back me up or call me a fool. Though I suspect there's a good chance you're Furman's mum). Plus I doubt there's huge demand for anything that isn't more directly G1 (or at least where most of the more recognisable G1 characters a nostalgia book would be based around aren't horribly dead).

What rakes me about the 90's comment is that, presumably (though practically I've no idea how well this applies to what Hama has done) the idea is to do a retroish title that follows on from the end of the title in roughly the way it might have done at the time. Which, considering this was the early 90's mean we're looking at something that will become very... well, 90's. Which might not even be a bad thing considering there's likely to be a bout of 90's nostalgia any second (people might actually care about the next X-Files film). If Furman's just planning to write the book as he would now... well what's the point? Even if it's great, I've got a shelf buckling under the weight of him writing Transformers in his modern mindset, there's nothing special about that.

Of course, it might be that what he thinks makes G2 90's is that it's good, and that there's no way way he could match that for a revival.

Another problem with following on from 80 is that the last couple of issues are hugely dedicated to shutting the whole thing down as quickly as possible. It's not very elegant but pretty much everything is wrapped up in a bow for the title to end on. Any issue 81 would pretty much be a restart, a relaunch, or, to use a very 90's TV phrase, a Next Generation. A Generation 2 if you will.

Terome
2011-04-05, 10:48 AM
I'd agree there's indeed good reason for not continuing G2, mainly that after twenty years there's no possible explanation for the Leige Maximo that won't seem a bit shit (if anyone's actually read Alignment they can either back me up or call me a fool. Though I suspect there's a good chance you're Furman's mum).

Hoho! Call me Mrs. Furman, because I've read it and it is unremarkable in almost every way. The most memorable bit is that it is stated that Transformers are capable of shutting down their higher functions for decades at a time during long space journeys, which is pretty damn standard functionality for science fiction robots. The Liege Maximo is treated exactly like Shockaract is in Beast Wars: The Ascending - he is doing all this stuff so that he can become A LIVING GOD. Oh, and Grimlock dies in a repeat of Galvatron's potshot against Unicron in 'On The Edge Of Extinction.' Then Megatron comes out and does the same trick again.

What rakes me about the 90's comment is that, presumably (though practically I've no idea how well this applies to what Hama has done) the idea is to do a retroish title that follows on from the end of the title in roughly the way it might have done at the time. Which, considering this was the early 90's mean we're looking at something that will become very... well, 90's.

Am similarly ill-informed about Hama's doings, but I did read the Claremont X-Men Forever book and the aim seemed to be to marry a decade of bitterness over the direction of the story with dated, cringe-worthy storytelling.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-05, 01:06 PM
Aye, the problem is that Furman is basically a less successful Claremont, and Andrew Wildman is a less successful Andy Wildman (IIRC everyone who drew Claremont's X-Men stuff went on to have a career in comics, so there isn't really a good comparison for Furman's sidekick).

Cheap shots aside, Furman has basically already done this by trying to bend any work he's been given to his Marvel archetypes - the Dead Furmanverse is just the Marvel characters dropped into a new continuity, and it's not the continuity that's the problem, it's the lack of basic narrative skills and the same old characters.

The outright best thing about IDW is that none of their comics actually matter. It's all hemmed off in this retarded continuity that moves at the speed of a glacier and is ran by morons. Okay, so you get the odd gem like Spotlight Ramjet, Last Stand of the Wreckers and... other classic comics that IDW have made, the names of which I just can't summon up this moment. In five years time no-one will remember it, the same way no-one remembers Dreamwave apart from rolling out their fifth-hand Pat Lee jokes whenever he does an interview, or no-one talks about Armada. It doesn't matter, but it's not ****ing up anything else, so whatever.

So, Furman might have humiliated himself, but at least he's not damaged anything else. He should just leave it at that and go get a proper job.

Warcry
2011-04-05, 03:07 PM
The fact that Furman dismisses the only truly great story he's ever written as "too 90s" is reason enough for me to be leery about this. The cynical part of me reads that as either "I'm not writing Marvel without Nightbeat!" or "Yeah, I've got no idea where to do go from there, sorry".

On the other hand, Marvel #80 ended with four hugely dangerous Decepticons on Earth with only Fortress Maximus and Ratchet to oppose them while Bludgeon & co. have free run of the galaxy -- there are a lot more sequel hooks there than in G2, which would pretty much have to be followed up by "Autobot/Decepticon alliance vs. the Liege Maximo". Something that takes off after #80 and picks up on those loose ends could be very interesting, but considering Furman's track record in that regard -- he either completely ignored those loose ends in G2 or handwaved them away by the second issue -- I'm not convinced he'd be the man for the job.

I am curious about what exactly the format of Hama's throwback G.I. Joe book is, though. Does it tell stories in the space of a single issue like 80s comics did, or is it as decompressed as modern comics with everything being force-fit into multiple-issue arcs? Furman doesn't handle the miniseries format well, but the Spotlights proved that he can still right serviceable single-issue stories. Past experience shows that he needs a strong editor to keep him on track, though, and this being IDW...well, I'm pretty sure they're not the guys for the job either.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-05, 03:19 PM
I've not read anything GI Joe that IDW have done, though I have read the continuation Harry Lama briefly did for Devil's Due, and it was awful beyond words. I'd be very, very curious as to how closely it follows on from the Marvel run from, though, because about the last fifty issues or so of the Marvel title are shit - and I mean really shit. The best ones are the G2 crossover ones - that's right, that's as good as GI Joe got from about #90 upwards.

The other curious difference is that, while they didn't involve Larry (and were eventually much the better for it... World War III is the ultimate G.I. Joe story, and basically what AHM should have been... 12 issues of Cobra Commander simply trying to take over the world with every resource he has, with the Joes trying to stop him... stripped-down continuity-light Fleetway speed... Hmm, wandering), the main DD titles actually followed the Marvel continuity, albeit with a several-year gap which largely served to draw attention away from those shit last 50 issues.

What Transformers needs to do now is get in young writers, preferably ones who aren't particularly into Transformers, and keep throwing them at the title until someone clicks. James Roberts isn't this man, sadly - he's a great writer, but he works from Furman's framework (almost religiously) and we need something fresh and different. It doesn't need the diminishing returns Furman inevitably brings.

Denyer
2011-04-05, 04:56 PM
We've already had what's arguably the best possible continuation of Marvel, not written by Furman. I'd like to see a well-written short piece involving Yaniger or Senior. That's about as much continuation as would interest me for 80s/90s stuff. Let it rest.

he's a great writer, but he works from Furman's framework (almost religiously)
The structure's more than the sum of its foundations. No problems with that, personally. The danger is trying to site things too much in what now passes for IDW continuity, which is pretty much a write-off.

Terome
2011-04-05, 06:11 PM
The structure's more than the sum of its foundations. No problems with that, personally. The danger is trying to site things too much in what now passes for IDW continuity, which is pretty much a write-off.

I agree. John Barber is spinning some fine gold out of the backstory of some very shoddy movie-continuity comics. With a light touch and some targeted forgetfulness, even the lame duck of the IDW continuity can make a nice dinner if it met a good enough cook.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-05, 06:11 PM
The structure's more than the sum of its foundations. No problems with that, personally. The danger is trying to site things too much in what now passes for IDW continuity, which is pretty much a write-off.

It's more that I think we'd get the same Marvel-esque characters, which would for me leave things a tiny bit predictable. I'd love to see a few totally different things tried with some characters, rather than Prowl prodecure, Nightbeat PI, Badass Grimlock and all that stuff for the umpteenth time.

LSotW sort-of says to me that Roberts might not be the man for the job - it's superb, but it's a rogue slice of TMUK fanfic. It showed his skill for creating compelling characters basically from scratch (Ironfist, Pyro, Overlord), but it also showed the influence of Marvel (Impactor, Springer). As does a lot of the better TMUK fic IMO - the better stuff is when they pick up Hubcap or Drench or the RID cast and run amok.

It's not a bad thing in isolation, but it wouldn't provide the clean break I think Transformers comics need - a break that will never, ever happen because of all the morons who need Starscream to be treacherous or whatever. The reaction to sniper Perceptor (before the idea appeared in a comic written by a more popular writer) shows just how stubborn and stupid most Transformers fans are.

Terome
2011-04-05, 06:13 PM
It's not a bad thing in isolation, but it wouldn't provide the clean break I think Transformers comics need - a break that will never, ever happen because of all the morons who need Starscream to be treacherous or whatever.

I think there is a guy at Hasbro whose entire job it is to make sure that Starscream shows an example of treachery in every appearance.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-05, 06:18 PM
It's ironic that the essence of Transformers is things that change, and yet very few who claim to like the things have any sort of handle on the concept.

It's frankly digusting that the comics, once the medium of choice for decent official TF fiction, have been beaten to the punch in terms of mixing things up a bit by Michael "Bad Boys 2" Bay and a show aimed at 8 year olds. Which is what happens if you have no better ideas than "Hey, this guy wrote this stuff ten years ago, let's give him a massive amount of creative freedom and not bother to check if he's using it in a sensible fashion".

IDW have, IMO, done much more damage to TF comics than DW ever did, at least in terms of the actual output. IDW was the big gold-trimmed chance to get it right, and look what Furman did to it.

Warcry
2011-04-05, 07:31 PM
It's not a bad thing in isolation, but it wouldn't provide the clean break I think Transformers comics need - a break that will never, ever happen because of all the morons who need Starscream to be treacherous or whatever. The reaction to sniper Perceptor (before the idea appeared in a comic written by a more popular writer) shows just how stubborn and stupid most Transformers fans are.
I think it'll be a long time before we see the sort of wholesale reinvention that the comics needs. Over the last decade Transformers has grown into a 'franchise', akin to something like Star Trek. And just like Trek was during the 90s/2000s, Transformers is becoming risk-averse -- why make changes and risk losing your market when you've become such a big hit by doing the same old, same old? And so, just like Trek, one day people are going to get sick of it and stop watching, Transformers is going to become stagnant for a few years, and then, only then, will we see the sort of clean break that you're talking about.

But until then all we'll see is bits of G1 and the Movieverse, chopped up and regurgitated in new packaging. That's not entirely a bad thing -- Animated and Prime both fit that description, and both have managed to entertain lots of people -- but the amount of new ideas they can bring to the table is seriously restricted when the writers are forced to cover the same bases over and over again.

As an aside, things like Sniperceptor really get under my skin. Not because it's necessarily a bad idea, but because I think characters need to have a strong connection to previous versions or there's no point in even using the names. If we'd seen Perceptor slowly grow from the dorky scientist we expect into this cold-blooded, analytical killer or vice versa, I think it would have been a good use of the character. But we didn't. He showed up one day as a scientist and the next as a sniper with no explanation of what happened, and a year later we got an 11-page comic about it that gave us no deeper insights into what was going on in Percy's head than we'd had before. And I feel much the same about Wheeljack in the Prime series, Skids in ROTF and Animated Prowl. These characters aren't Perceptor or Wheeljack or Skids or Prowl, so why call them that?

Does any franchise other than Tranformers completely rewrite entire characters so routinely? The only thing that comes to mind right now is the new BSG, but since I've never seen the old one it doesn't bother me nearly as much. But I know damn well that I'm never going to turn on the TV and see an Ewok Darth Vader, or see that Uhura's become a German dude who's the Enterprise's security officer. Give the damn new characters their own names and identities...don't try to coast along on the coattails of someone who's already popular, because you're only going to dilute both the old character and the new.

But that would be a risk. :(

inflatable dalek
2011-04-05, 07:31 PM
I don't have any issue with the main G1 book being based around the most famous characters and situations, the reckless invention days of it are way behind us now, we're talking about what's basically a nostalgia book now, or at least one that's sold on familiarity.

That's why, however good the feedback, Last Stand was always going to sell less well than the ongoing because the less dedicated fanboy buyers want Optimus Prime in their Transformers comic rather than a guy who wants to be him.

Plus, from the companies point of view, why bring back an old franchise just to shake it up completely and ignore what made it popular first time round? Marvel and Sunbow did all the groundwork for them by showing Transformers was at its most popular when it was on contemporary Earth and about Megatron and Optimus Prime and Soundwave and Grimlock. There's a lot of other stuff that messes with that which the fans love, but that's also the point the general viewer/reader started to stop caring. Even the early IDW stuff with it's straining to be more Ultimate didn't vary things that much (indeed, nor does Ultimate Spider-Man or X-Men, it's still basically what anyone with even basic knowledge would expect from those books, just more streamlined).

I mean, would anyone here who isn't a super fan of it be inclined to buy a (randomly picked old property) MASK comic that was about the chracters from the fourth year of that toyline who never even made it in the cartoon?

That doesn't mean you can't do LSOTW style mini series alongside the main book, nor that you can't avoid the "Wolverijne in every X-Men book" problem by making sure you don't just focus on Optimus to the exclusion of all else (I think as long as each issue has a couple of "big" names in it in large roles you can throw in the more obscure guys as support as well).

I think the place for reckless abandon is the film comics. One story on screen every two years that only takes up two hours of screen time, that gives you immense freedom really whilst still allowing you to focus on the "main" characters. Especially with the NEST set up so easily allowing for a ongoing comic framework. Characters like Ratchet are still pretty much blank slates who you can pretty much do what you like with really.

EDIT: Curse you Warcry making some of the same points in a less long winded and bollocksy way!

Cliffjumper
2011-04-05, 08:06 PM
This is my point, though - if the films can take a fresh look at Ratchet and Ironhide, which they largely have, why can't the comics? The books don't seem to have a huge amount of nostalgia going for them anymore apart from a bit of name recognition anyway, so why not rejig things? New continuity, new takes on the characters (not necessarily complete changes, but maybe play up different aspects and switch around dynamics - which again the films have done, including the first non-boring Starscream for... well, ever).

I'm not sold on messing with things for the sake of it, but I don't see the point in keeping them the same for the sake of it either.

G1's getting more diluted every time shit like IDW comes along and gives us a watered-down versions of characters anyway - unfunny Nightbeat, a Prowl who seems to contradict people rather than use actual logic, the self-parody that Grimlock's been for a decade now, Shockwave's dodgy Mr Sinister impression, emo prick Swoop, space cop Magnus and so on.

Might as well do it properly from the ground up rather than this piecemeal crap. Or if we're going to have the same characters doing the same things, at least have them doing them rather than really thinking about doing them for six issues, and then forgetting all about them and doing something different.

Warcry
2011-04-05, 09:02 PM
This is my point, though - if the films can take a fresh look at Ratchet and Ironhide, which they largely have, why can't the comics? The books don't seem to have a huge amount of nostalgia going for them anymore apart from a bit of name recognition anyway, so why not rejig things? New continuity, new takes on the characters (not necessarily complete changes, but maybe play up different aspects and switch around dynamics - which again the films have done, including the first non-boring Starscream for... well, ever).
I honestly think you're reading more into the movies then is actually there. Movie Ratchet is wallpaper, Ironhide is slightly more thuggish wallpaper and Starscream is the same shallow caricature we always get. The only Transformers that I see even a trace of personality in are Optimus, Bumblebee, Skids and Mudflap.

In general I think the Movieverse is a part of the problem, not a part of the solution. Because it's so successful it's joined G1 as 'source material' for everything that follows, and the things that made it so unique in the first place are being cribbed left, right and centre by other iterations of the series. On the other hand, Transformers doesn't exactly have a great track record when it comes to completely reinventing itself so maybe that's a good thing.

That said, your idea is a good one. One of the things I like about the Prime cartoon is their Starscream. While he's the same basic character, he's actually treated like a somewhat competent, credible threat rather than an increasingly absurd, Shatner-like self-parody. He's also got a lot more depth than any previous version. Sure, he's treacherous, ambitious and cowardly. But he's also got the best interest of the Decepticons at heart. I get the impression he actually wants to protect them from crazy, zombie-obsessed Megatron rather than just seizing power for its' own sake, and I find that he's actually a much more sympathetic character than some of the show's heroes. I'd like to see other characters taken in different directions too, with the caveat that they retain enough of the original that we can at least recognize that they're meant to be the same person.

inflatable dalek
2011-04-06, 04:37 PM
This is my point, though - if the films can take a fresh look at Ratchet and Ironhide, which they largely have, why can't the comics? The books don't seem to have a huge amount of nostalgia going for them anymore apart from a bit of name recognition anyway, so why not rejig things?

Whilst I'd agree that the 80's nostalgia thing isn't what it was ten years ago (though perhaps it's proved more durable than many of us would have expected), it's worht remembering that more casual buyers aren't likely to be posting on message boards so places like this might not be that representive of what the bulk of people picking up the comic might want. Even with the overall dwindling sales and absolute critical kicking it gets the ongoing still sells better than any of their other books, even the much loved by all of us Last Stand.

And I think that's simply because anyone picking it up who isn't imersed in the wider world can go "Yeah, I recognise that guy and this situation, this is Transformers" in a way they won't with a lot of LSOTW or something like Drift. I don't see there being a problem with them doing a G1 comic that very G1ish for the old farts/majority, alongside more fun and oddball minis for those of us who do want something different and more interesting. Because doing someting tradition doesn't automatically mean it's bad, even if IDW haven't managed to do it good yet (then again, most of their new ideas are terrible as well, so it's not so much the story as the people telling it).

It reminds me of the situation with the Big Finish Doctor Who audios where a couple of years ago there were complaints about them doing three Dalek stories in one year (out of 13, one for each main range Doctor). "We're sick of old monsters, especially the Daleks, give us something new!" was the rallying cry from message boards. To which BF's response was "But the Dalek plays sell a lot more than any of the other ones, even the third in 12 months. Most of our paying punters clearly do want this, even if those on Gallifrey Base don't". Personally I didn't mind so much as two of the stories were very good and one was flawed but flawed in an interesting way.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-06, 08:03 PM
The ongoing isn't much like G1 though, apart from the names. I'm not saying kill Grimlock and bring in Rapido. I'm saying Grimlock (as an example; this isn't the waki, let's keep pointless bayonet practice to a minimum) is tired and boring, let's make him less tired and boring. Which makes all the nostalgia bubble stuff irrelevant.

To be fair, Costa seems to have new ideas about a lot of this, it's just that his ideas are rubbish. So that doesn't seem to be working. But we've established the ongoing runs on name recognition, so let's give someone else a try and see if we can break some new ground with the same characters. Not round up the old twat who has nothing new to give (and there are people out there who bought hundreds - yes, remember, there were nutters buying multiple covers just to help IDW out - of comics finding that one out).

My point with the Movie characters is while they're not radically different from their namesakes, they're different enough that you can't guess exactly what they're going to do - it's that refinement. Bumblebee isn't the same little guy (or Used To Be The Little Guy But Not Quite As Little), Prime's more decisive and so on. Yeh, half of them up are sketches, but then pretty much everyone in IDW is just lifted from the Marvel comics, so it's a step in the right direction.

I'd argue with Starscream being shallow. A lot of it is nuance, but I prefer the "is he/isn't he?" take rather than the dreadful Sunbow, better but still pretty annoying Marvel and equally pathetic IDW versions (was he in DW? Can't remember, no-one remembers DW anyway) - and certainly a much better dynamic with Megatron. Same for Ironhide - the character has always been utterly generic, at least in the films he has some sort of personality that isn't summed up by Peter Cullen wanting two paychecks.

inflatable dalek
2011-04-06, 08:33 PM
The ongoing isn't much like G1 though, apart from the names.

It's still more recognisably so to this hyperthetical casual buyer than a lot of their other stuff is though.


I'm not saying kill Grimlock and bring in Rapido. I'm saying Grimlock (as an example; this isn't the waki, let's keep pointless bayonet practice to a minimum) is tired and boring, let's make him less tired and boring. Which makes all the nostalgia bubble stuff irrelevant.

This we agree on fully. The irony is that the basic set up at the start of Infiltration is perfect. A small cast of mostly recognisable characters on both sides in roughly the same Earth as a new battlefield set up as the cartoon, but with the rougher edges (like the four million year sleep) ironed out. Something spinning off from there could have done the business and kept everyone happy (or as happy as a diversive and bonkers group as us fans will ever be). Epic ball drop.


I'd argue with Starscream being shallow. A lot of it is nuance, but I prefer the "is he/isn't he?" take rather than the dreadful Sunbow, better but still pretty annoying Marvel and equally pathetic IDW versions (was he in DW? Can't remember, no-one remembers DW anyway) - and certainly a much better dynamic with Megatron. Same for Ironhide - the character has always been utterly generic, at least in the films he has some sort of personality that isn't summed up by Peter Cullen wanting two paychecks.

I'd say Starscream only winds up with some depth because his quick sketch characterisation in each film is a little contradictory, loyal foot soldier in one and cowardly custard in two. Who knows, maybe three will give us the traitourous bastard to complete the set (I don't actually) mind Stascream as a schemer as long as it's done sensibly and not every week.

The Movie comics are another area where IDW are going badly wrong. Rather than trying to appeal to kids, the real big fans of the films (and It's fair to say if you're going to have teenagers picking up the books it'll be the movie ones, not, as G2 put it, their dad's Optimus Prime) they bring in writers who seemingly don't like the films and who just make everything G1, defeating the entire object. I mean, all power to the people who don't enjoy the movies, but it seems completely pointless to get them to do the tie in comic.

I recall when one of the writers was on here discussing his ideas for a Movie ongoing, and it was all movie Dinobots and Quintessons and my main thought was why? The films aren't Star Wars yet, there's no need for a big expanded universe with only two movies out there. Fans of the films are going to want stories about the film characters, not Armada recolours used to pad out the toyline, nor G1 cast offs.

Warcry
2011-04-06, 09:37 PM
My point with the Movie characters is while they're not radically different from their namesakes, they're different enough that you can't guess exactly what they're going to do - it's that refinement.
But I want Optimus to commit suicide over a video game. :(

I definitely see what you mean, although I think the movies' progress is hampered a bit because the primary leads are all human. Prime is the only 'classic' character with much screen time across both films (Bumblebee being an effectively new character in everything but name), so the differences are hinted at by we never really get to see them. Megatron, Starscream, Ironhide and Ratchet haven't really gotten to do much other than fight, so the hints that we've seen about how they might be different haven't amounted to much yet.

Then again, Michael Bay movies aren't supposed to be about character development, so I'm not really complaining.

This we agree on fully. The irony is that the basic set up at the start of Infiltration is perfect. A small cast of mostly recognisable characters on both sides in roughly the same Earth as a new battlefield set up as the cartoon, but with the rougher edges (like the four million year sleep) ironed out. Something spinning off from there could have done the business and kept everyone happy (or as happy as a diversive and bonkers group as us fans will ever be). Epic ball drop.
But if they did that, fanboys would be baying for their blood for not including Getaway/Needlenose/Predaking/Sureshot/everyone from G1 ever.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-06, 09:40 PM
It's still more recognisably so to this hyperthetical casual buyer than a lot of their other stuff is though.

And it's going to stay just as recognisable with some bolder, newer, fresher characterisation. Like I say, IDW seem to have tried this with Costa, and he's crap. But that's no reason to junk the basic approach, they just need to get someone else in who might get a bit of buzz going for the title by being good.

All without the casual appeal disappearing - there's no need to go to the extremes and have Bumblebee kicking people's heads off or Dirge touching up children, just selective junking and refocusing.

Agree about the very basic initial IDW set-up being superb - it was just a shame that it largely seemed to be a mere coincidence as a starting point which was rapidly junked as Furman crammed Marvel characters into the book like Mad Brick on speed without bothering to do anything with the ones already there. What did we learn about anyone in the Furman minis that we didn't already know? The closest thing to a surprise was cribbed from the '07 film, and even that seemed to be rapidly dropped in favour of the same old indecisive, hesitant Prime.

Whenever IDW get another writer, they need to junk everything they've done so far. Everything. Last Stand and Ramjet will still work because they're proper comics with beginnings, middles and ends, the same way Ellis' Authority works despite the title having long been a bad prolonged joke.

The rest of it is pointless now, and I think the number of people who will actually be upset about it being consigned to alternate universe hell is tiny. Fresh start, but do it right this time. Strip everything down (like Prime and the films have done) and let things build naturally.

TBH, I actually sympathise for Furman a little bit, as if he had made - say - this Nightbeat anything other than a Marvel clone, he'd just have people complaining the Marvel one was a much better character... The problem is that Nightbeat's the same character on paper only, with none of the wit and charm of the original (what makes Nightbeat great isn't that he's a detective; it's that he's a detective from a pulp Bogart knock-off with a sense of humour).

If Furman could actually write like he did 20 years ago reusing the characters wouldn't be a problem... It's the way everyone seems a bit soulless, like someone without a huge amount of talent has read the Marvel stuff and is trying to reproduce it without quite understanding it.

When he has tried something different, it's been too obviously different IMO - it's difficult to explain... It's like Arcee - she's a straight inversion of the G1 character, which is a bit trite and obvious; the only antidote Furman can think of to the original's girly girl stupidity is to have her as a video nasty slasher chick.

And if it's a choice between empty clones and someone doing something a bit different with the old characters, setups and dynamics, I know which I'd rather.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-06, 09:47 PM
But if they did that, fanboys would be baying for their blood for not including Getaway/Needlenose/Predaking/Sureshot/everyone from G1 ever.

TBH, sales of Spotlight: Nightbeat compared to Spotlight: Someone People Have Heard Of shows that they shouldn't listen to fanboys... I'd actually have no problem with a comic using largely the 1984 line if it was done properly and used the characters to their fullest potential - either by rejigging characters slightly, or just using the acres of characterisation in Bob's profiles that never really made it into anything else official.

I don't want Nightbeat for the sake of "Oooh, Nightbeat", I want a good comic character, and if it happens to be someone I like or someone a bit obscure, excellent, but if not it's not the object of the exercise. I mean, I'm sick to death of Grimlock, but only because his character hasn't really moved much since "Repeat Performances" (and when it has, it's snapped pretty much straight back). But give me a less tired Grimlock who actually has something new to give, and I'm all for Grimlock.

inflatable dalek
2011-04-07, 07:52 PM
But if they did that, fanboys would be baying for their blood for not including Getaway/Needlenose/Predaking/Sureshot/everyone from G1 ever.

That's a rare example where IDW's insistence on doing 8000 titles a month probably helps, they can do more fanish stuff about the Wreckers or everyone having a big fight against Thunderwing on Cybertron. The ongoing doesn't need to be all things to all men, just to do one thing really well. And though the secondary stuff might never sell as well, if the ongoing were going great guns and restoring some of that lost readership the rest might pick up some extra buyers as well.

Of course, Wreckers is just as much about name recognition/nostalgia really (I don't think any of us would have been initially as excited if it had been about a new group called the Slaughterers and no UK Marvel/90's toy characters had turned up). It's just (in relation to the potential audience who remember the cartoon or movie well, especially in America) aimed at a much smaller group, basically being a love letter to the UK comic.


Agree about the very basic initial IDW set-up being superb - it was just a shame that it largely seemed to be a mere coincidence as a starting point which was rapidly junked as Furman crammed Marvel characters into the book like Mad Brick on speed without bothering to do anything with the ones already there. What did we learn about anyone in the Furman minis that we didn't already know? The closest thing to a surprise was cribbed from the '07 film, and even that seemed to be rapidly dropped in favour of the same old indecisive, hesitant Prime.

Absolutely. I think the reason many of us stayed on board with Infiltration despite the slow build up was the quality of the set up, such a waste really.


TBH, I actually sympathise for Furman a little bit, as if he had made - say - this Nightbeat anything other than a Marvel clone, he'd just have people complaining the Marvel one was a much better character... The problem is that Nightbeat's the same character on paper only, with none of the wit and charm of the original (what makes Nightbeat great isn't that he's a detective; it's that he's a detective from a pulp Bogart knock-off with a sense of humour).

True, which is why listening to much to the louder fans is probably not a good idea (without going all Bowspearer with his "If IDW listened to me they wouldn't listen to people like me" comments). A good chunk of IDW's current problems are down to them flip flopping all over the place trying to please everyone. I hated AHM, them suddenly deciding to rewrite the second half to ham fistedly reference the Furman stuff didn't make me love it and would have just confused the hell out of anyone brought in by the page one restart (and no matter what people say I refuse to believe that after begining with a clean slate the intent was always to finish it by requiring the reader to have knowledge of the Huntstreaker stuff).

Though I never had a problem with IDW Nightbeat, thought his characterisation and arc were one of the few highpoints.

In vague relevance to the topic title: The big problem is that Larry Hama never got to pick up directly on the end of the Marvel series with the very next issue before (someone else having got in there first with the DD stuff), but Furman did with G2. Which is arguably the best arc he ever wrote, certainly the best American. He'll never top it.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-07, 11:55 PM
It's worth remembering with Hama that his career's been basically nothing like Furman's apart from being associated with a Hasbro toy brand tie-in comic. I'm no fan of Hama, but it's worth noting 1) he was on GI Joe from the ground floor and had a lot more input in the actual characters than Furman did 2) he was actually a fairly successful and popular writer inbetween Marvel Joe and Whoever Joe and 3) his GI Joe comics were basically THE take on everything with most of the fandom, which doesn't seem as splintered as Transformers fandom is.

So, Hama can do basically the same thing he's always done (Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Destro, Baroness) without anyone getting upset while scooping up nostalgia fans at the same time, which is probably very attractive to licence holders. He's also a fair bit more adaptable though having worked in the industry for so long, whereas I think it's fair to say Furman's output over the last ten years has suffered from him spending too long mapping out concepts in his head and then tried to cram them in at the first opportunity.

And yeh, the editorial problems are the one thing it all keeps coming back to. Was no-one keeping a steadying hand on Furman early on? Was it really necessary to sell Stormbringer on the way it wasn't like Infiltration (when consensus was everyone was bedgrudingly happy with Infiltration as long as it found second gear at least pronto). AHM, like you say, was shot in the knees by a stupid decision which made it a lot more fractured than it needed to be. The ongoing is built on clay foundations due to being tacked onto a broken continuity when AHM might have been a good place to tourniquet off the IDW G1 universe and start all over again... Stupid decision after stupid decision.

inflatable dalek
2011-04-08, 02:52 PM
And yeh, the editorial problems are the one thing it all keeps coming back to.

Yep, even on a basic level when McCarthy came to them and said "I've got this idea for a six issue series" their response shouldn't have been "Make it 12!" without checking if there was enough plot first. Or, going back further, commissioning Dreamwave reject Megatron: Origin and not changing it to fit in well with their previous comics. Or doing a mini series that sets up a potential Beast Wars: The Next Generation thing that could be good, if a little crowded, and then doing a sequel that shuts it all straight down before three quarters of the characters have even spoken. And on and on and Ariston.

It's telling Wreckers seems to have been left pretty much alone editorially beyond "Do something to shut the fanboys up", the various tie in and links to the bigger picture being the authors own ideas. Would Rocharts do as well under the heavier scrutiny of the ongoing? It'd be nice to see them try (and I think they'd be less fanwanky on the main book, they've pretty much admitted they've shot their load on that score with Wreckers) but I doubt it.

The problem is that Schmidt (though he's a marginally better writer), Tipton and Ryall are bloody terrible editors. Or at least Transformers editors anyway, there's no real feeling or love for it coming from any of them, the best we get these days is that there's a bit of effort put into having the speech bubbles pointing at the right people. Without major changes at the top any writer is just swiming against a tide of shit.

Hell, all that's without even mentioning the insultingly handled PR ("YEp, Conituminium was crap on purpose, Drift is super awesome Ninja guy who'll be a toy any decade...").

Actually, perhaps that's where Roberts could be put to best work, editing the books. He knows the franchise inside and out, what's worked and what hasn't in the past and can structure a coherent story.


Was it really necessary to sell Stormbringer on the way it wasn't like Infiltration (when consensus was everyone was bedgrudingly happy with Infiltration as long as it found second gear at least pronto).

Though it now tends to get overlooked in light of what followed in retrospect that really was the first warning sign wasn't it? Especially as they didn't seem to have followed through the logic of what they were implying about the next -tion arc before it had even started.

AHM, like you say, was shot in the knees by a stupid decision which made it a lot more fractured than it needed to be. The ongoing is built on clay foundations due to being tacked onto a broken continuity when AHM might have been a good place to tourniquet off the IDW G1 universe and start all over again... Stupid decision after stupid decision.

It'll be interesting to see in years to come how much comes out about deviations from the original 12 issue outline in reaction to reader feedback, and how happy McCarthy really was with it. As well as the sudden continuity dump you've got most of the human characters completely vanishing for months at a time before not really doing very much, the inconsistencies over exactly what Megatron has and hasn't done to New York and the world in general... Either McCarthy really has no talent at basic storytelling or some major backpeddling was going on behind the scenes.

Or both I suppose.

Denyer
2011-04-08, 06:12 PM
I think a large part of it was not having previous experience of writing longer story arcs, coupled with pretensions of having something revolutionary. His Zsasz Batman story was alright, but the rest had little focus or character fidelity. Giving him a year of a comic and then not editing closely was a huge waste of paper.

Eric Holmes, on the other hand, at least interviewed well... but again, editing became the issue. It does come back to that... and as far as other stuff went, I can excuse the first new movie prequel its slowness, because there was a lot of secrecy and constraints placed on licensees at that point. From about the end of Escalation, though, it was becoming increasingly obvious Furman wasn't being managed.

At some point I'll probably clear out everything except the first three trades, LSotW, and a few Spotlights.

inflatable dalek
2011-04-09, 02:23 PM
If they got Senior onboard instead of Wildman I might be up for 81. The problem is he's a busy man. You know that episode of Buffy where Jonathan becomes a superstar living in a mansion with Swedish twins, staring in the Matrix and being generally the most awesome man on the planet? That's a Tuesday for Geoff Senior.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-09, 03:49 PM
No, it'll take more than an artist. IDW's art has generally been very, very good - not always the most imaginative, and not always with the best character designs, but generally servicable. The problem is with the writers and the editors.

Cliffjumper
2011-04-09, 04:09 PM
Thinking on this a bit more, I'm not so sure if Whateveration would have been that different if it had been set in the Marvel continuity. Sure, there'd be some tweaks, but the overall story would probably have been pretty similar, especially given things like public knowledge of Transformers waxed anyway.

I mean, when you look at G2 there's actually a pretty big continuity disconnect from the original Marvel run - Fort Max and the Ark are about the only plot point directly carried over apart from maybe Bludgeon being in command of the Decepticons, weighed against lots of things being left to our imagination (e.g. the fates of Galvatron, Ratchet and Shockwave). And that was a same-continuity continuation by the same company, what, two years after the original.

The Devil's Due stuff largely operates on the same line, with a big gap between the 1994 present day of the Marvel stuff and the 2001 present day of DD during which all sorts has happened, some of which is explained and some of which isn't, but what do you know, the changes have magically shaken out so all the popular ones are serving as key members of the team while the likes of Ninja Force and Big Ben have disappeared with barely a mention.

If Infiltration #1 had been Marvel #81, there'd be a big 20-year narrative gap to explain all sorts of things. I can't see Furman's writing style being radically different depending on which continuity he writes. We wouldn't have a linear follow-on, we'd have the same basic story rewritten so most of it fitted in with Marvel continuity - and the likes of Joyride and Siren would quickly be displaced by Sideswipe and Hound anyway (as indeed they were in G2 - does anyone whose original figure was released between 1987 and 1990 get more than a nominal role? How many of them survive?) .

inflatable dalek
2011-04-09, 05:01 PM
Well, I didn't say I'd be up for it past 81 if Senior was involved...

inflatable dalek
2011-04-09, 05:26 PM
Bloody Cliffjumper doing two posts in a row just so i don't notice the second one and ignore it! Curses.

Thinking on this a bit more, I'm not so sure if Whateveration would have been that different if it had been set in the Marvel continuity. Sure, there'd be some tweaks, but the overall story would probably have been pretty similar, especially given things like public knowledge of Transformers waxed anyway.

An excellent point. With fairly minimal tweaking it could fit pretty well, things like thedifferent alt modes being even barely worth noting considering how easily they can change them.

I mean, when you look at G2 there's actually a pretty big continuity disconnect from the original Marvel run - Fort Max and the Ark are about the only plot point directly carried over apart from maybe Bludgeon being in command of the Decepticons, weighed against lots of things being left to our imagination (e.g. the fates of Galvatron, Ratchet and Shockwave). And that was a same-continuity continuation by the same company, what, two years after the original.

I would say the Galvatron and co thing didn't need revisiting/left to the imagination, The Last Autobot works perfectly well if you just assumed they're all dead anyway, even if the original intent was presumably that if the comic had continued most of them would have been brought back instantly as Action Masters (Full Circle is very careful to show them all getting covered by Nucleon. I wonder how much of a coincidence it is we see Galvatron get finished off again separately when he didn't have an AM toy? Mind, neither did Ratchet did he?).

I suppose the difference in style between the Devil's Due Joe stuff/Infiltration as theoretical 81 and the IDW Joe 156/TF 81 is that the later is specifically being promoted as a direct continuation down to the numbering, and is presumably trying to attract people who want such a thing. With the DD stuff, and indeed G2, the intent seems to be "Sure we're picking up the continuity, but we want a comic anyone can start with no matter how familiar they are with the franchise".

Cliffjumper
2011-04-09, 05:51 PM
I would say the Galvatron and co thing didn't need revisiting/left to the imagination

Aye, that's the point, though - just by moving the present day forward you can get out of addressing things like that, in the same way some specifics could be avoided for a #81. To make Infiltration fit you'd have to rewrite some of the plot points (say, the Decepticons have been in hiding since #80/1991 but now Megatron's back and up to something more methodical than ever, while somehow various public appearances have been well covered-up), but not come up for an explanation as to why Krok has disappeared.

I do think that Furman has it very much in his head what Transformers should be like, and very firm points he wants to get across, and any comics he'd write would be broadly similar... If we did have a #81, I can't see much of it being set in 1991 on a recently-reborn Cybertron TBH... I think the real problem is that G2 #1 really is very close to a #81 written after the event, with a lot of the chaff accumulated from previous storylines, Hasbro's demands and the compacting of storylines (note how The Last Autobot, who would have been pretty damn handy with G2's bodycount, isn't even mentioned) shaved off.

inflatable dalek
2011-06-05, 06:04 PM
Furman talks a little about how he'd do it here:

http://www.allspark.com/content/view/8975/20/

Worryingly it sounds pretty much like the Energon comic (a time jump to an age where everyones just about getting along on Cybertron before the return of Megatron starts to shake things up, a Prime unaware of the coming danger until it's too late).

There's just nothing in there that makes me feel especially excited for this.

Blackjack
2011-06-06, 01:03 AM
To those who has read the interviews: will this completely ignore the goodness that is G2?

Warcry
2011-06-06, 03:02 AM
Maybe not ignore so much as rewrite, from what I gathered. He talked about how he'd take 'elements' of G2 and weave it into his story, which I imagine would turn out much like Jhiaxus in his IDWverse stuff.

If he's planning on doing a time jump, ignoring the popular followup he's already done and then taking the story in a completely different direction...what exactly is the point again? That's not Marvel #81 (or #333 for you UK types, or G2#13). It's Generic Self-Referential Furman Reboot Version 4.0.

Honestly, there I times when I wonder if Furman understands why his 80s and 90s work touched such a chord with his readers.

inflatable dalek
2011-06-06, 12:08 PM
The interviews also a bit self contradictory, he's doing a real-time jump partly to make it easier for new readers (which seems to be missing the point), but he's also going to spend time examining Prime's reaction to having been dead. Surely over the twenty years he'd have gotten over it (and hell, knowing Prime, died a few more times)?

Skyquake87
2011-06-06, 05:32 PM
Hnf. As with the Classics toys, revisiting the past is a very bad thing. Sure, a nostalgia fest such as #81 would shut up the endless cavalcade of bleating 'geewun'-ers on Seibertron and maybe give IDW some peace for five minutes, but really what is the point? Will it add anything new to what we already know about Transformers? Will it take them in a radical new direction? No. It'll be whatever re-heats Furman has in his head (I have noticed that ideas he thinks are great but used in less successful arenas are often picked up and used again - his Necrowar mini-series for Dreamwave is pretty much what became the dead universe guff at IDW, and his ideas for the canned DW Beast Wars mini pretty much surfaced in tact at IDW). Plus, as a writer, he's past his best, sadly. There's just no feeling in his work, and worse, if he's offered something he doesn't like then he just can't be arsed with it (Titan's Transformers, Death Metal back at Marvel UK a very long time ago), which is a shame.

I used to love reading Transformers comics (note used to - I gave up the ongoing at #10, it was so awful). They might have been about big silly space robots that were toys for kids, but a couple of people cared (I would have love to have seen how Budiansky would have written the comic were he not fettered by Hasbro's insistence he introduce new toys every bloody issue) enough to hammer something interesting and worthwhile out of them. Post-Dreamwave, IDW have made a dog's dinner of the comics despite having a phenomenal launch pad on which to make Transformers interesting again. I must be one of the few people who enjoyed the slow, teasing reveal of Infiltration. It makes me sad that it was too much of a shock for a lot of folk following on from Dreamwave's toy showcase. What made me give up Transformers was that their comics just weren't good enough at a time when comics in general are written to a very high standard across the board these days. With Transformers from IDW, all I've ever got is the feeling that they are editing based on whomever shouts loudest on their message boards.

I'd echo Cliffjumper's comments. All I want, is a decent comic to read. That's why I was all over LSOTW. Sure its got it's indulgences, but it's a bloody great read, with strong characterisation, characters you could give a sh*t about and a cracking story. LSOTW was the first time since Infiltration and those early Spotlights I'd felt some genuine care and effort was being put in.

The very best parts of the Transformers franchise - the Generation 2 comic, Beast Wars, Animated (to an extent) and the films - have taken the familiar and reinvigorated it with a fresh approach. Something that's badly needed now. Sadly, with the long shadow cast by fandom over any new development (Reading Pablo Hidalgo's excellent Transformers : Vault made me sad that we fans are constantly scornful and disdainful of any new development in Transformers, time and again through each change in the franchise, the phrase 'was not well recieved' crops up again and again...) I doubt that will happen.

I just think back to the launch of the Armada toyline and how that had a massive impact on children. I loved the designs, but the toys and accompanying fiction weren't really my thing, but I could see how it brought new fans and new energy in (although Furman again sleep walked his way through that and Energon as it wasn't what he wanted to do - it was all so by the numbers..). I can't imagine that happening now.

inflatable dalek
2011-06-07, 01:07 PM
I think we've now been conditioned by the quality of the last few years comics to assume that anything aiming for traditional is automatically bad, which shouldn't necessarily be the case, it's the execution rather than the basic ideas that's the problem. "Straightforward" should always be a perfectly valid storytelling choice.


I'd echo Cliffjumper's comments. All I want, is a decent comic to read.

Amen to that.

That's why I was all over LSOTW. Sure its got it's indulgences, but it's a bloody great read, with strong characterisation, characters you could give a sh*t about and a cracking story. LSOTW was the first time since Infiltration and those early Spotlights I'd felt some genuine care and effort was being put in.

Yet it is also extremely trad, the whole thing is basically a huge homage to Furman at his best, and winds up doing him (so to speak) better than the man himself is these days. That's why I think if there is to be an 81 (which by its very nature is going to be a retro title) Rocharts is the man/men to do it. They'd come up with something good, that'd feel like it might have been the actual 81. They'd probably even have fun using the 91/92 Action and Micro Masters.

The very best parts of the Transformers franchise - the Generation 2 comic, Beast Wars, Animated (to an extent) and the films - have taken the familiar and reinvigorated it with a fresh approach. Something that's badly needed now. Sadly, with the long shadow cast by fandom over any new development (Reading Pablo Hidalgo's excellent Transformers : Vault made me sad that we fans are constantly scornful and disdainful of any new development in Transformers, time and again through each change in the franchise, the phrase 'was not well recieved' crops up again and again...) I doubt that will happen.

That's pretty much common to most fandoms sadly, people do get scared at anything new or aimed at the more general audience that requires it to be aimed less squarely at them. Generally the best idea is to just ignore them and do the best you can, if it does work most will wind up coming around (how many people still hate Beast Wars now?). That, as said, is where IDW are going wrong, jumping through all those hoops and failing on every score. That's why even people who hate the films should be pleased at their success, they've brought Transformers to a wider audience than even G1 at its peak managed, and that increased exposure is only good for a franchise and gives its fanbase a lot of fresh blood.

I think Beast Wars had the huge advantage of coming off the back of a complete failure in G2. The attempt to relaunch the classic characters had failed, transformers was pretty much dead on its arse and there wasn't very much in the way of fandom. Doing something completely and utterly different was the most sensible option if it was to continue at all (the most telling thing is it's Beast Wars: Transformers rather than Transformers: Beast Wars, the actual brand name is an almost embarrassed after thought). Ironically once the showmakers became aware of the franchises previous history they started to bring what seems to have been pretty much intended as a standalone page oen restart more in line with what had gone before.

I actually think Furman's work on the Armada comic and the first film Titan stuff is his most consistent work of the last ten years, nothing Earth shattering but good solid fun kids stuff (though I found Energon and the majority of the ROTF strips to be a bit pants).

The Vault book is good then is it? I hadn't heard of it till Amazon reccomended it for me this week (comically they have it written by Hasbro, even going so far as to fill the "About the author" bit with a history of the toy company), and other than the unwieldy title seems to look pretty funky.

inflatable dalek
2011-08-03, 08:00 PM
Slideshow of (mostly) recent Wildman art with a short interview with him carried out beneath each picture:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-14280720

The fact they're planing to just do up to issue 100 and only up to issue 100 is pleasing as it gives Furman a firm limit for his plotting (though in practice, if it's a success will IDW let it end there? And would FurWild actually walk away?). I really hope that even if it doesn't make any overt connections it will wind up feeling like it could fit in between the original run and G2, though that means Furman having dropped all that twenty years later stuff he was talking about before.

I know a lot of people like them, but I still find those Wildman covers to be terrible as well, so coupled with Furman's recent form it'll still take some really amazing feedback to make me take a look at this. Hey, anyone remember that April Fools joke the fan club did with that comic done entirely in G2 style art with the expectation fans would hate it? Only everyone loved it and indeed wound up liking it far more than any of the "proper" Shattered Glass stuff? Just goes to show that the approach Pat Lee came up with a decade ago towards the art isn't as essential or wanted as the people behind the comics seem to think it is.

Skyquake87
2011-08-03, 09:21 PM
I think I'm more intrigued by Wildman's Horizon comic. I wonder what that will be about.

As for his current style, it reminds me of a dude who drew a back up strip in Hellboy called Monster Men or somesuch. The illustrations had this similar faux-Victorian etching style about them too. I do like Wildman's stuff, when he's not trying to emulate Pat Lee (as on some of those later Titan TPB collections), but it still suprises me how much extra zip and zing Stephen Baskerville gave his work (ditto Jeff Anderson). Ithink the weakest of those TF illustrations are Prime and Thundercracker - the latter looking like he's just done a big billowy fart.

Heh, I have that G2 fanclub comic somewhere and it's great. Simply because it's not up its own waste disposal unit, unlike the self indulgent dirge they normally trot out (Forrest Lee being a more shameful self-apprasier than Furman). See, comics can be fun, 'Transfans' ..!

Brimstone
2011-08-04, 01:50 PM
I can't believe people actually want him to draw it exactly like he did back in the 80's. I'm sorry...but it's really not that great. They look stiff, and inanimate...and really look two dimensional.

He's a much better artist than that (just look at his covers he did). That's teh style I"m hoping for.

inflatable dalek
2011-08-04, 07:35 PM
But surely the entire point of this particular exercise is to try and recreate the style of the old comic? That's the selling point. And Wildman's last (as far as I recall) interior art on a TF comic with the last GI Joe crossover was atrocious by any standard. It has panels where he doesn't even bother drawing the mouths on characters if it's going to be a bother.

Denyer
2011-08-04, 08:20 PM
A fixed twenty issues might not be a bad way to approach it... Furman does need more constraints and earlier editing, judging by modern work.

It could be very, very disappointing. Odds of it not being completed or not making trade paperback are fairly slim, at a guess, so that might be my format of choice.

The Vault book is good then is it?
Think of it as a taster that's still neat for us old lags. Excellent production values and a steal at the 12.68 Amazon are charging;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transformers-Vault-Collectibles-Showcasing-Memorabilia/dp/0810998688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312489170&sr=8-1

inflatable dalek
2011-08-05, 06:16 AM
A fixed twenty issues might not be a bad way to approach it... Furman does need more constraints and earlier editing, judging by modern work.

Yeah, that's the main glimmer of hope with this, he's got no choice but to get it done within the time constraints. Lets just hope the bugger can pull it off.


Think of it as a taster that's still neat for us old lags. Excellent production values and a steal at the 12.68 Amazon are charging;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transformers-Vault-Collectibles-Showcasing-Memorabilia/dp/0810998688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312489170&sr=8-1


I think my use of an old Jedi mind trick to get you to rename the trading forum the Stock Exchange has affected your mind:

http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=50015

Or, my posts are instantly forgettable. :o