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Old 2003-02-24, 07:12 AM   #101
Jtotheiso187
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Generation 2 was an excellent storyline, I will agree with you on that one. But that was... 10 years ago come on now the only mention of transformers was in an x-men comic (concerning magneto and his effect on non organic beings) like 2-3 years ago. Yes I like to stir things up, that keeps things entertaining.
 
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Old 2003-02-24, 10:28 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jtotheiso187
Transformers doesn't have a bright (enthusist) future if you ask me.
why Transmasters is going strong and there are some great fan artists/ writers out there?

To be honest I'm happy just with the TM materialn rether than the crap DW pour out
 

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Old 2003-02-24, 06:53 PM   #103
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Maybe.. Just maybe thind will get better If all the people out there that hated G1 had some constructive critism instead of just out and out bashing the sh*t out of it.
 
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Old 2003-02-24, 07:04 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jtotheiso187
Just maybe thind will get better If all the people out there that hated G1 had some constructive critism instead of just out and out bashing the sh*t out of it.
I'd cite an example of such constructive criticism, but then I'd have to quote THE ENTIRE ORIGINAL POST UPON WHICH THIS WHOLE THREAD IS BASED.
 

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Old 2003-02-24, 07:10 PM   #105
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Well, I'll quote the whole updated essay then: -

Quote:
I'm sure I wasn't the only one who jumped for joy when they heard that the original Transformers were returning to the comic book medium towards the end of 2001. I'm sure I'm not the only one who drooled over those glorious posters of Optimus Prime and Megatron. And I'm also sure I'm not the only one with half-a-dozen of these comics who is rather disappointed. Last month, Dreamwave's six-part G1 mini-series finally jolted to an unsatisfying halt, with the promise of a further six-part series in 2003 rousing only a fraction of the interest the first had.

Put simply, the series was a poorly-paced mess, with some very mixed art, poor dialogue and third-hand plots. There are bright moments in the series - the first battle in San Francisco, Prime's do-or-die charge on Devastator, a terrific choice of basic character models and good showings by a couple of under-used characters, such as Trailbreaker.

But this is far outweighed by many, many failings. First of all, the story-pacing itself. I'm ignoring the Preview, as it's a waste of everyone's time, and doesn't cover anything not dealt with in the first issue. G1 #1 itself doesn't feature a single line of Transformer dialogue, and scant Transformer appearances to boot. Instead, the star of the show is the achingly terrible Lazarus. I can't say an awful lot about Lazarus that hasn't already been said by Walky [see here], aside from saying he's that old horror/sci-fi cliché- the villain who thinks he can control the sleeping monsters. Lazarus' fate would seem so obvious that it would seem to be a double-bluff - maybe he's going to pull it off? But no, Dreamwave aren't that clever. Unsurprisingly, by the start of issue 3 Megatron has Lazarus literally on a leash, and by the conclusion of that book he's dead. That's not all. After precisely 24 pages of not an awful lot happening, we get a two-page newspaper facsimile telling us all the things that could have been carefully expounded over the first issue, and the preview. The latter could have been a gloriously teasing confusion of flashbacks, showing some of the scenes from Operation: Liberation, the launch and crash of the Ark II, the disbelieving reactions. Issue 1 could have moved a lot faster. But no, we get around 30 pages of a tedious cliché expounding on how great the Transformers are. I know terrorism is very early 21st Century, but that doesn't make it interesting. This is a six-issue limited series - the emphasis for such a nostalgia-driven comic should have been uncomplicated fun, showcasing everyone's favourites. Some have argued that the Marvle series took some time to get going. Across the original 4 issues, this is evident. But Marvel have a much better excuse. They have to establish the basic origin of the Transformers, or at least the war. They have to introduce characters to an audience for the first time. Dreamwave just had to produce an interesting story, and one with no ties to either continuity to boot. A good example of how this can be done is Devil's Due and their G. I. Joe series. Devil's Due created an engaging comic book using the history set before them, but not bound by it. Most importantly, they didn't allow egos to derail the storytelling, leading to a book that's taken critical and fan accolades. The art, while not to all tastes, is neat and affective, telling the story. The script is crisp and efficient. This was a team who had not produced G. I. Joe comics before, but had seemingly simply re-read successful parts of the Marvel run and gauged what made a good story. It's also worth noting that it was released and gained praise before G1 #1 was released, which meant with a little bit of checking, Dremwave could have found out what was expected of them. It would appear, though, that they just didn't care about quality.

Another character cliched beyond belief is that of General Hallo. Reading the story as it unfolds, Hallo seems like a very interesting chap. But no, he's another mad general operating above the president with an itchy nuke-trigger finger. Oh, joy. The characterisation throughout is terrible, as is the lack of originality. Spike's spite towards Prime makes him look like a hypocrite, an accusation redoubled after he decides the Autobots are alright after all in the final issue. Dreamwave seem to have taken Optimus Prime and Megatron as simply being Professor X and Magneto, with peace/war binaries. This is reinforced by Megatron's constant attempts to persuade Prime that the humans really aren't worth saving. Incidentally, the moment Prime find his side of this tedious debate to be true seems like a horrible piece of post 9/11 populism, with a squad of firemen driving their trucks into Megatron. Also in the final issue Superion dies, saving San Francisco from a nuke. I for one found little in the series to show that he had any character, and thus felt myself caring on the same sort of level as I would if a nuke hit the moon - 'Oh my. Well, at least no-one was hurt'.

The plot is wildly inconsistent. At least 17 Transformers escaped a spaceship exploding in the atmosphere without any noticeable damage. Around half of these, including someone the size of Superion, go unfound by either the US government or Lazarus, and appear to be scattered rather nonchalantly around the North Pole. They don't even seem to be far apart. At the end of issue 3, Hallo drops a nuke on the warring factions. It knocks the Autobots into a wall, and damages the Decepticons to the extent that they recover before the Autobots, and are able to get to San Francisco. The problem with a devastating cliff-hanger is that you have to find a plausible way to get out of it the next issue. Again, Dreamwave fail miserably. Then you've got a guy like Larry, who knows all Hallo's past misdeeds. Does Hallo have him quietly killed? No. Does he post him to some faraway outpost in Alaska? No. He gets him to work as a janitor in his HQ. Genius. Then you've got Grimlock. The Dreamwave team firstly lift something done in a first season episode ["War of the Dinobots"] then does nothing interesting whatsoever with it. It wouldn't be uncharitable to suggest that the latest of the release of Issues 5 & 6 were because the Dreamwave hacks were reworking the last two issues to bleed a second series from the line, leaving the Grimlock plot thread dangling. Talking of lifts, as has been noted by others, the metal virus is a mere variation on both "City of Steel" and "Key to Vector Sigma, Part 2" from the second season of the original cartoon. More inconsistencies ring out - Superion isn't knocked down into the individual Aerialbots by the explosion of the Ark II, or Operation Cleanup, but a few missiles from Starscream & Co. do the job. Now, I've hesitated to name Chris Sarracini as the offender for the turgid story as I'm really questioning whether he was so much a writer as a dialogue scripter. His work on Armada has been impressive, and shown a good grasp of narrative structure. I honestly think Pat Lee had total control over just about every aspect of this series, and would even suggest that to some extent his art came first, with Sarracini left to fit his dialogue around it.

Pat Lee's art itself is often less than stellar. His humans look generic, and often ugly, especially in profile. We often only know one character from another because of the clothes they are wearing. Lee frequently uses near-identical frames to express something simple. For an example, check out this page from issue 3. I really cannot imagine a writer handing in a page of plot that reads: -

PAGE 15

Five equal landscape panels

OPEN ON: Arctic landscape


DISPLAY LETT; Nearby...
FRAME 1: SUNSTREAKER, SIDESWIPE, JAZZ, OPTIMUS PRIME, MIRAGE, TRAILBREAKER and WHEELJACK driving towards in car mode.


FRAME 2: Getting closer

FRAME 3: Getting closer

FRAME 4: Getting closer, transforming

FRAME 5: Getting closer, robot modes
OPTIMUS PRIME: No...

Can you really see any self-respecting writer sitting down and scripting that? No. I think it's much more likely that Sarracini submitted a brief synopsis to Lee, who then went away and drew the issue, and Sarracini then had to script around the pencils. Some of Lee's art is also deformed and ugly, especially considering the age of computers, where it's possible for Lee to draw on any sized canvas, scan the image and resize it to the frame size required. The fight scenes are often indistinct and undynamic, most notably issue 3's conclusion, where both sides appear to shuffle up to each other and pose. At other times it's difficult to tell what's actually going on. A prime example of this would be the conclusion of issue 4, where Devastator defeats Superion [with a little help] and is standing unopposed over the city. The final splash was so badly drawn that most online forums saw considerable debate as to what exactly Devastator was staring up at, with suggestions such as Omega Supreme, Jetfire, the Dinobots or even a giant metal-virus wave. But no, he'd been roaring in triumph. Once someone's pointed that out, and we've seen the start of Issue 5, this seems quite blatant, but the fact there was such an animated debate suggests that Lee needs to take a course in visual storytelling.

There were a number of other things which irked me about the Dreamwave series I'll run through briefly. The commercialism of the project was deeply irritating. Okay, so Dreamwave need to make money. Does this really justify 6 different covers for issue 1, three for issues 2 and five and two for the other three issues? No. Much of this, especially the new reprint covers, reeked of bleeding money from completists. Now, the argument often given is that Marvel were often just as bad. No, no they weren't. Marvel tended to make 2 covers of first issues or other event issues, and they were often of a limited edition variety - to give the example of X-Men Alpha, a number of limited edition holofoil covers were released. When these had been sold and demand was still there, a version featuring the same art work printed on the normal paper was issued. When this too sold out, a second printing was done. This differed from the non-holofoil release by having "2nd printing" written in the white information box on page 1. Few X-Men fans feel the need to buy the 2nd & 3rd copies. People have pointed out soe of Marvel's past policies, such as the 13 covers for Spiderman #1, and the 5 for X-Men #1. Both are good examples, but while I am not knowledgeable enough about Spiderman, I know that the fifth cover for X-Men #1 was a gatefold containing the art for all 4 previous covers. There is also the factor to consider that if you bought 5 copies of X-Men #1, you'd be left with a great comic by the end of it. Not so if you bought five copies of G1 #1.

The argument that Dreamwave are a small company that needs money seems a little weak when you consider that 3 generous printings had sold out on Issue 1, and two of Issue 2, before these new variants were made available. On top of this, the alternate covers tended to feature characters that didn't appear in the whole series, let alone in the issues they adorned - even the recent trend for irrelevant covers shown by New X-Men is nowhere near as misleading. The posters and lithographs seemed to have priority over the actual series, leading to the last two parts arriving unacceptably late. The final insult which came to light recently was that the trade of the series will include an exclusive Preview of the second Generation 1 mini, which may force some fans to buy some of the material within for the umpteenth time.

Another argument levelled at the initial posting of this essay is that comparing it with the Marvel series is unfair. However, I've reviewed the G1 mini-series on its own merits. Am I siting there saying "Furman would have wrote it like this" or "If Senior had drew it, it would have looked great"? No, I'm not. The only comparisons made as far as the actual content of the comics goes is with Devil's Due and G. I. Joe, which is more than fair as both had the same basic starting point. Another argument is the high standard set by Simon Furman will obviously leave any subsequent writer with a mountain to claim. But to be honest, the Dreamwave series didn't cover the same territory as Furman. It should have been an exercise in fun and nostalgia, a nice runaround. It wasn't. While, as an example, Chris Claremont's 1975-1991 run on the X-Men comic is still seen as the ultimate set of X-Men books too many, this doesn't mean that storylines by the likes of Scott Lobdell, Fabien Nicieza and more recently Grant Morrison are necessarily poor. One writer may be associated with a franchise for a considerable time, but a talented creative team can still make their own mark. And as I said above, I'm not comparing it to Furman. One interesting thing in the ensuing online debate was that no-one would outright defend the storyline of the Generation 1 mini-series. All I found were excuses, and excuses for those excuses.

That just about seems to sum the Dreamwave mini-series up. Thankfully, the DW team chose to make their own continuity for their little extortion piece, which means Transformers fans won't have to acknowledge it. Expect this one to rot with the Ladybird books and Choose-Your-Own Adventure series. It deserves it.

 
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Old 2003-02-24, 09:31 PM   #106
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You know Cliffy something that was really missing from the DW G1 volume was humility. Not DW the company, the story lacked humour which is often found in Transformer lore.
 
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Old 2003-02-24, 09:35 PM   #107
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humility

\Hu*mil"i*ty\, n.; 1. The state or quality of being humble; freedom from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one's own worth; a sense of one's own unworthiness through imperfection and sinfulness; self-abasement; humbleness.

hu·mor, n; The quality that makes something laughable or amusing; funniness: could not see the humor of the situation.
That which is intended to induce laughter or amusement: a writer skilled at crafting humor.
The ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing, comical, incongruous, or absurd.




 

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Old 2003-02-24, 10:33 PM   #108
Jtotheiso187
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Default ok ok

I see I see
 
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Old 2003-02-25, 01:20 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jtotheiso187
I see I see
You see what? That you were wrong and that Quicky's entire post was constructive critisism?
 

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Old 2003-02-25, 02:13 AM   #110
Jtotheiso187
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NO that I have been more "enlightened" on the Constructive critism part Jack@ss my comment wasn't necessarily directed solely towards the essay either.
 
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Old 2003-02-25, 02:48 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jtotheiso187
NO that I have been more "enlightened" on the Constructive critism part Jack@ss my comment wasn't necessarily directed solely towards the essay either.
Of course. "I see, I see," - it's obvious you have been more enlightened on what 'constructive' means.
 

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Old 2003-02-25, 03:48 AM   #112
Jtotheiso187
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Default anyway...

what can we do about it. I mean between all of us maybe we coud do somthihg better. Honestly I can draw If someone can ink and dialouge. Maybe a fundraiser or a sponsor. Maybe we could submit a rough draft to DW or hasbro. I dunno much on how stuff like that goes. what do you think? Maybe in the mean time I will try to scan some images. Don't hold your breath cause it may be a while...
 
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Old 2003-02-25, 04:39 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jtotheiso187
what can we do about it. I mean between all of us maybe we coud do somthihg better. Honestly I can draw If someone can ink and dialouge. Maybe a fundraiser or a sponsor. Maybe we could submit a rough draft to DW or hasbro. I dunno much on how stuff like that goes. what do you think? Maybe in the mean time I will try to scan some images. Don't hold your breath cause it may be a while...
If you want to read some entertaining TF stories and comics all you have to do is go to Transmasters or even the FanFic section of this site. There is nothing we can actually do to change the quality of DreamWave's product, but we do have a right to express our opinions about it. If you liked it, fair enough (personally I thought it okay but disappointing) but you haven't really expressed reasons why you enjoyed it.
 

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Old 2003-02-25, 05:56 AM   #114
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Well I did, but I think it was cut out because an insult was attached -sorry- Yes I thought the Comic was very interesting. The story was new, and a little more "grown" I also enjoyed the complexity of it. Also I liked the fact it was slick inked, unlike the rest of tf comics produced. What do you people want a parade?. If the story was less complex and more general you might as well watch More Than Meets the Eye episodes 1-2-3. How many reintroductions do we need. The story was complex because it always has been. Honestly I think that transformers has always been complex (expecially with the comics) Like the book matrix quest. I had to read it a few times to understand what was going on. I know it was only a six issue run. Anyways I think Dreamwave, instead of have an easy reintroduction story, they grabbed the bull by the horns and ran with it. Who else in ten years has attemted to do it um... no one. The first company that tries gets literally ripped to shreds. Please give them a break. I would like to see more comics produced by DW. I am sure the next ones to come will be better.
 

Last edited by Jtotheiso187; 2003-02-25 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 2003-02-25, 07:37 AM   #115
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Fair points. Personally I liked the art work, although it was a little hard to follow and there were too many pointless frames slowing the story down. I also don't feel it was particularly complex, in fact I think it was pretty simple and too predictable. Like Quicky said, the human characters were complete stereotypes and I think that after so much hype and anticipation it was a bit of a let down. As for Dreamwave having another go, I know they will and I'm glad. Hopefully next time they will produce a better series. I haven't read any of The War Within but I've read nothing but rave reviews about it, and personally I have enjoyed the Armada series. I know DreamWave can get it right I just don't think they did with G1. Here's hoping they get it right at the next attempt.
 

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Old 2003-02-28, 05:37 PM   #116
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Another thing is that DW was how should I put it? "Flying my the seat of there pants" Meaning when you read the story it seems like act 2 in a three act play. I think the backstory would have made a more intresting how did the Autobots and Decepticons wind up when the story starts as human weapons of mass destruction the thing with the Ark 2 and did Lazars and the General fit in to everything. I'm not saying that would have made them less of sterotypes but it would've been nice to see what made the bad guys bad.


That is just my 2 cents.
 



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Old 2003-03-21, 06:07 AM   #117
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A really good essay, Quicksilver - worthy to be held in the Junkion Files.
 
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