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View Full Version : So Did Anything Actually Happen During Mike Costa's Run?


inflatable dalek
2012-05-28, 07:55 PM
So, as part of my irregular inspired by the comics being good again catching up on the stuff I missed I've just read the first six issues of the ongoing, Bumblebee and Spotlight: Prowl.

The real surprise was that none of it was as bad as I was expecting. Not in any way especially good or memorable (and when it was stupid it was really stupid, Menasor being a comedy character is fine, but as he's supposed to be the threat so serious it brings Prime back it's hard not to feel we're not supposed to be laughing at a combiner defeated by his arms arguing. Isn't that what we took the piss out of War and Peace for?) but the fact the whole lot took about five minutes to read meant it didn't wind up becoming too annoying.

But what struck me was the familiarity of the set up. The war is OVER, Prime quits and leaves, the Autobots split into two camps with Bumblebee (wanting to stay on the planet) and Hot Rod (wanting to leave) as leaders and everyone is a bit lost and confused as what to do now it's all over. Other than being on a different planet and Hot Rod winding up going on his quest by himself rather than with a crew, that's the basic place we were when the new books kicked off two years later.

I'd assumed that Roberts and Barber were actually using previous continuity in a sensible way, but this, coupled with the Bumblebee mini series being all about Bumblebee learning that trying to control your enemy with devices that will torture and kill them if they don't do what you want is a Bad Thing I'm wondering now if they're ignoring more than they're paying attention too. So is there anything, anything at all, good or bad, of any lasting consequence that happens in the Costa book?

zigzagger
2012-05-28, 08:40 PM
By that point I had dropped Transformers (the breaking point being AHM for me - though I did have that stint with LSOTW), so I don't know how much help I'll be.

I read the Costa stuff sporadically (and no, I sure as hell didn't buy any of it, if that's what you're thinking). Probably out of boredom or curiosity. The first arc - the one you've just read - I recall to be, while not bad per se, hugely unremarkable. But, what comes after it is easily on my top five list of worst Transformers stories ever. International Incident (issues 7-12, not just story arc of the same name). Avoid it like an STD.

Oh ho ho, is it stupid. Really, really stupid.

relak
2012-05-29, 02:09 AM
So, as part of my irregular inspired by the comics being good again catching up on the stuff I missed I've just read the first six issues of the ongoing, Bumblebee and Spotlight: Prowl.

The real surprise was that none of it was as bad as I was expecting. Not in any way especially good or memorable (and when it was stupid it was really stupid, Menasor being a comedy character is fine, but as he's supposed to be the threat so serious it brings Prime back it's hard not to feel we're not supposed to be laughing at a combiner defeated by his arms arguing. Isn't that what we took the piss out of War and Peace for?) but the fact the whole lot took about five minutes to read meant it didn't wind up becoming too annoying.

But what struck me was the familiarity of the set up. The war is OVER, Prime quits and leaves, the Autobots split into two camps with Bumblebee (wanting to stay on the planet) and Hot Rod (wanting to leave) as leaders and everyone is a bit lost and confused as what to do now it's all over. Other than being on a different planet and Hot Rod winding up going on his quest by himself rather than with a crew, that's the basic place we were when the new books kicked off two years later.

I'd assumed that Roberts and Barber were actually using previous continuity in a sensible way, but this, coupled with the Bumblebee mini series being all about Bumblebee learning that trying to control your enemy with devices that will torture and kill them if they don't do what you want is a Bad Thing I'm wondering now if they're ignoring more than they're paying attention too. So is there anything, anything at all, good or bad, of any lasting consequence that happens in the Costa book?

IMO Costa's run is not "bad" per se. But it is painfully slow and "Expanded".

"International Incident" for example feels like a 3 issue worth of story expanded out into 6 issues.

Then again, judging from Costa's other work on G I Joe, that seems to be his writing style. It worked for a covert op story steeped in intrigue and secrecy but not for giant robots.

The one thing of lasting consequence is definitely the split within the Autobot ranks. Roberts and Barber are just continuing where that left off. Also Optimus Prime's disillusionment of his cause built up over Costa's run until the final "Death of optimus prime" issue.

But in terms of actual events, everything on earth has pretty much been closed (keeping in line with IDW's promise of the "Last story set on earth") and Chaos was one big reset button.

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-06-03, 06:33 PM
"International Incident" for example feels like a 3 issue worth of story expanded out into 6 issues.

It was a four part story with 7 and 8 being a pair one-offs.

Terome
2012-06-03, 10:03 PM
Didn't read much of it and can remember even less. I guess the Ironhide story is the one with the most direct impact. Also, Cybertron came back to life and the Decepticons squandered every last resource and advantage they had in a way that was somehow quite dull.

Also, Dreadwind got eaten.

Oh! And Hot Rod had his brush with the Matrix. But then, the Matrix is a different sort of thing under every different writer, so what that has to do with anything is conveniently vague.

Knightdramon
2012-06-03, 11:37 PM
Small summary of what happened during Costa's run [also counting Ironhide miniseries].

Autobots splintered into two factions and never really came back together. Bumblebee gets chosen as a leader over unit commanders such as Prowl, Jazz, Hound, scientists like Jetfire and so on.

Megatron returns and is upgraded like never before.

Thundercracker gets character spotlight and development. Swindle does too, but he's not as likeable.

Hot Rod officially becomes a Prime, including a very easy way for Hasbro to drop Hot Rod as a name forever and stick with just Rodimus.

Ironhide and Sunstreaker return and save Cybertron by just killing a lot of bugs.

Prime steps down from being a Prime. Galvatron returns and is manipulated into opening the portal to\from the dark universe.

That's it, more or less. Honestly, much like McCarthy before him, Costa did original things in his run and turned the spotlight onto characters not really touched before. The Chaos storyline was advertised as something hugely more epic than it really was, but generally speaking, fresh things occurred during Costa's run than another Marvel 2.0 polished that Furman had going on.

Terome
2012-06-03, 11:43 PM
That's the thing about Costa, there weren't any ideas that are dreadful on their surface, it's just that there weren't enough of them and that they weren't presented in a way that was particularly interesting.

Though Bumblebee becoming leader is definitely something you have to squint at sideways to understand. Why was he voted in when the Autobots have never before or since lived in anything remotely resembling a democracy?

relak
2012-06-04, 01:09 AM
It was a four part story with 7 and 8 being a pair one-offs.

and that 4 parter felt like it could have been done in 2.


Megatron returns and is upgraded like never before.

Ok, i may have missed out something and i cant be bother to re-read.
But HOW is Megatron almost at Thunderwing level of power by the time of CHAOS???
Did they upgrade him as a Pretender??

Knightdramon
2012-06-04, 07:40 AM
SPOILERS, obviously...

Megatron was upgraded over the course of three years, but upgraded may be a stretch as it is an entirely new body, built on the asteroid the decepticons were stranded on.

No clue as to HOW he got that strong, but he has a space bridge portal inside him and can combine with his old, butchered up body to become a monstrously powerful god.

relak
2012-06-04, 09:40 AM
SPOILERS, obviously...

Megatron was upgraded over the course of three years, but upgraded may be a stretch as it is an entirely new body, built on the asteroid the decepticons were stranded on.

No clue as to HOW he got that strong, but he has a space bridge portal inside him and can combine with his old, butchered up body to become a monstrously powerful god.

an entirely new body?? Where did it come from then?
I suspected as much

Would have been awesome if it is implied it was made from Thunderwing's corpse or something.
I mean, arent the decepticons supposed to be low on supplies and cannibalising each other? How did Soundwave get the resources to make a new body? It is most certainly cannibalised from somewhere.

When Megatron combined with those mini-megatron guns in Chaos, his combined form did hav some visual resemblence to Thunderwing.

Grayfox
2012-06-04, 11:31 AM
I mean, arent the decepticons supposed to be low on supplies and cannibalising each other? How did Soundwave get the resources to make a new body? It is most certainly cannibalised from somewhere.

They say in one issue, that they used Ultra Energon to build him such a powerful body... That apparently was lying around, bothering everybody, so someone finaly said "Hey guys! New indestructible body for Megatron! Huh? Huh? Good idea?"

Red Dave Prime
2012-06-05, 01:18 AM
It's a thing about Transformers that always niggles me. If they can build Megatron a body like that why not lay low for a few years and put together a unit of ten or so of the best decepticons (the likes of shockwave, starscream, soundwave and other main cons who dont have names starting with "S") and give them all similar upgrades. Judging by how powerful Megatron is they would be the ultimate strikeforce and could devastate the Autobots at will.

All in all, I liked Megatron being given a massive upgrade even if it never gets explained how.

As for Costa and his run, looking back it's not that he lacked some interesting ideas, just that the execution was often lacking. Prime trying to introduce democracy and, well, society back into the autobot army is interesting but why surrender to the humans? A shattered Decepticon army as guns for hire in human society is also a good one but International Incident is a truly awful bit of crap. Giving Thundercracker a bit of development was great - pity it went absolutely nowhere. After his little heroic spot in International Incident he is pretty much forgotten.

I think out of the 4 "eras" of IDW, his is the one I was least interested in to be honest. Sure, McCarthy wrote terrible, pointless spotlights but I still enjoyed the sheer silly hollywood blockbuster vibe of AHM.

For all that Furman gets slagged (and looking back his dialogue is terrible at times and he ballsed everything up so much at the end) but I liked all the different strands at the start of his run and I liked the the re-thinking of some of the transformers - particular the way he re-jigged Thunderwing and the Pretenders. And in terms of the mini's, Stormbringer has only been bettered by LSOTW for me.

Roberts and Barber so far seem the best of the bunch. We're generally getting good characters overall and plot points are being created and, more importantly finished in ever issue. The most recent RID wasn't too bad at all and is more good than bad and I cant say how much I love MTMTE. It's been really wonderful to read and I cant wait to read each new issue. It's kept the wonderful spirit of LSOTW and I could happily read it as a stand alone comic book.