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Old 2016-01-05, 11:28 PM   #1
Cliffjumper
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Smile Anyone got a timeline on the whole Furman/McCarthy switch thing?

e.g roughly what had been published and/or written when the decision was made to gently more Ver Furm to one side and how it affected things - was Revelations meant to be the next six-parter or was it a replacement for a straight sequel to Devastation; was Max Dinos concocted to tie things up or was it planned as a Stormbringer-type bridge series before the next -ation? Was Spotlight Grimlock before anyone knew or was it a bone thrown to Furman to set up Max Dinos?

Bits like that, but no-one knock themselves out as it's only really passing curiosity and the TF Wiki article is shit, but does at least include some bold emphasis just in case no-one can work out that three revamps in a relatively short space of time are excessive, so good work there.
 
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Old 2016-01-05, 11:42 PM   #2
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Seem to recall Fur man touting Revelation and Expansion as his next arcs before AHM was announced and suddenly it was just the four Spotlights.

Have alway assumed Revelation was a truncated version of the space bits of the two arcs, with Maximum Dinobots then covering the intended Earth stuff.


Could probably trawl back through old threads for solicits, announcements etc but I don't care enough to. Hashtag honesty
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 12:26 AM   #3
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Sorry, out of time this evening... there was some chicanery with the "shield" numbering that was introduced after a lot of campaigning for some way to keep track of the order of the various series (including leaving a blank sequence for MD to fit into, IIRC) but I've long since given away the original issues.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 12:32 AM   #4
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Yes, that was the intent, I remember now. Though I think that when Revs turned up it didn't have the numbering anyway?
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 12:48 AM   #5
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Okay, double post for clarity.

I've done a bit of digging and these threads are what I'd look at first just for nailing down any timeline, etc:

Shane McCarthy lets slip that he's going to be writing Transformers
http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=42633
From 16th Jan 2008, which according to my info is the same day that Devastation #4 hit shelves.

11th March 2008 and Revelation (and its format) is announced
http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=43239
That's about a fortnight after Devastation #6 landed

Spotlight Grimlock announced in December 2007 (between #3 and #4 of Devastation)
http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=42021
Slated for a March 2008 release, though it didn't turn up until the end of April and was still a production disaster even then

Also found the solicit threads for the first two issues of Revelation, but they're not really revelent what with the above.

Can't find the official AHM announcement, but whevs.

2008's publication timeline (as per my info), for what it's worth
16/01/2008 Devastation #4
23/01/2008 Spotlight: Blaster
06/02/2008 Devastation #5
20/02/2008 Spotlight: Arcee
27/02/2008 Devastation #6
05/03/2008 Spotlight: Mirage
23/04/2008 Spotlight: Grimlock
18/06/2008 Spotlight: Cyclonus - Revelation, Part 1
18/06/2008 Spotlight: Wheelie
10/07/2008 All Hail Megatron #1
16/07/2008 Spotlight: Hardhead - Revelation, Part 2
20/08/2008 All Hail Megatron #2
20/08/2008 Spotlight: Doubledealer - Revelation, Part 3
17/09/2008 All Hail Megatron #3
08/10/2008 Spotlight: Sideswipe - Revelation, Part 4
22/10/2008 All Hail Megatron #4
05/11/2008 Spotlight: Blurr
26/11/2008 All Hail Megatron #5
10/12/2008 Maximum Dinobots #1

[EDIT] Can't find the official announcement for Max Dinobots either. The December solicits were in about September, but looking through the threads it looked to have been public knowledge before then.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 07:12 AM   #6
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That is smashing stuff cheers, Ser Brend! Between the company's spin and the outrage of the fans at the time it's a bit difficult to penetrate the clutter and try to work out what was hurriedly rewritten to fit what Furman had avaliable to him.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 07:30 AM   #7
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So... my rough interpretation would be that somewhere during the production and even maybe publishing (I'm guessing it's just not plain smart to get too far ahead even on a mini-series based title) of Devastation IDW suddenly realised Furman was going nowhere, hired McCarthy and told Furman to start wrapping stuff up.

This presumably caused Devastation's late switch from "sorting stuff out" to "setting stuff up" - IIRC Grimlock, Hot Rod going solo and the rest of the Autobots ****ing off are all just lobbed in the last couple of issues and make basically no sense unless you know what's coming... as shit as Furman's writing was at that point, I really can't see any other explanation to "Hey Hound, come to Earth. Wait Hound, stay where you are."

I'm guessing Prime, Megatron and the other Big Guys were then taken off the table so McCarthy could do whatever he liked with them. Furman's then thrown a few issues to avoid complete reader revolt, possibly as much as a sweetener to keep the guy from kicking off or just because someone at IDW's nice, who knows.

I'd guess Expansion would have mainly covered the Dead Universe plot but then I doubt Furman would have spent six issues actually focusing on something, so we'd probably have had the stuff from Max Dinos in it as well and probably further fighting on Earth (if the Autobot pull-out wasn't actually part of Furman's plan) or chasing Banzaitron (if it was), and probably considerable bleed into concurrent Spotlights.

My very dodgy memory (IIRC I chucked actually following the title month to month somewhere near the start of Devastation, or possibly even before) has Max Dinos as announced, pitched and/or interpreted as something of a fannish buffer a la Stormbringer that was always meant to happen in some form or another, but I could be wrong.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 09:20 AM   #8
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It might also (possibly) explain why Spotlight Grimlock was such a haphazard rush job, despite being a month late. If Furman already had it mapped out and then had to rewrite the thing to accommodate the changes. As the announcement of it would probably be at about the time IDW were accepting McCarthy's "OMG Decepticons win!" pitch.

Likely also covers why Spotlight Mirage is so disconnected to everything else. "Shit we need a fifth one to put in the trade! Yes we do! Shut up! No we can't let Simon write another one! Just... just grab anybody!"
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 09:17 PM   #9
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Those threads were a blast from the past. Remember when no one liked Milne's art (never happier to be proven wrong than when he pulled out the goods for MTMTE)? Love Brend berating me for assuming AHM wasn't a carefully considered part of the plan as well.

The way the entire thing was handled was just a massive cluster**** really wasn't it? You can tell a lot of headless chickens were running about behind the scenes attempting damage limitation.

FWIW; Furman himself has only ever talked about changes being made to his post Devastation plans, not that series itself, even now when he'd presumably have no reason to be polite. So it's entirely possible that series is just very badly written.

It's a shame that there seems to have been a desire to get a "Name" for the new author (there was a lot of fuss about McCarthy being a Batman writer before anyone actually went and looked at the two Batman issues he wrote), because in retrospect the more obvious choice would have been to given the eager to do more writing Nick Roche the gig and let the Action Movie concept of the series be the selling point to non-fans. I suspect he'd have done a lot better with the basic format of AHM than McCarthy did (there are about six nice moments and he's hamstrung by it being made 12 issues instead of six, but it's still pretty poor writing. And amazingly still the best thing he's done for the franchise).
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 11:26 PM   #10
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Nah, the best thing McCarthy did was Mars Attacks the Transformers. One of the most enjoyable one shots I've read.

I'd also have been in the anti-Milne camp - While I thought his recent work in the ongoing had been much improved, I remember being distraught at the idea that he was taking over MTMTE from the near start. His three way covers of Ratchet, Rodimus and Magnus didn't exactly encourage things. Never been happier to be so wrong.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 11:45 PM   #11
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I don't actually mind the actual art in Milne's early work, but hoo boy are the colours and inks are not that great which is what put me off. His stuff now is so much better it's untrue
 
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Old 2016-01-07, 12:31 AM   #12
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always thought his designs were way too busy. Also there was something about the way he did faces that he did faces that I just never liked - Megs origins is full of Alex-face. It still creeps in a little on MTMTE but no doubt he has improved.
 
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Old 2016-01-07, 10:06 AM   #13
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Yeh, Milne's come a long way since Energon, it's been one of the more enjoyable things across the long period from DW to present to see him develop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendocon 2.0 View Post
It might also (possibly) explain why Spotlight Grimlock was such a haphazard rush job, despite being a month late.
I dunno, ironically I found it one of Furman's better Spotlights because at least he's just concentrating on the one plot thread, so it might have done the thing some good not to have it start another thread about Deathsaurus being a prisoner of The Complication, a mysterious Men in Black style organisation who kidnap Transformers.

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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
FWIW; Furman himself has only ever talked about changes being made to his post Devastation plans, not that series itself, even now when he'd presumably have no reason to be polite. So it's entirely possible that series is just very badly written.
Yep, but at the same time Furman's words are worth basically zip while IDW have the licence; humiliating replacement by a Batman stand-in notwithstanding they're still the only comic company that's ever likely to give him work ever again, and he was still writing for them a couple of years ago. We know his form for this from the DW days.
 
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Old 2016-01-07, 10:19 AM   #14
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Ref Milne I defended the guy several times (if not here then on other boards) saying that he's a good artist being buried by overcomplicated detail work and poor inking. And fangs. While I've not seen his MTMTE interiors, the fact that everybody's been praising them does give me the smug bastard glow.

Cue somebody digging up an old post from before I figured out what the problem was, where I completely slam the guy.

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I dunno, ironically I found it one of Furman's better Spotlights
I meant in terms of the production, rather than the plotting. The awful colouring job, the speech bubble ****-ups. I've no idea if they fixed any of it for the trade or not (or what format you're doing your re-read in), but the single issue was a mess.
 
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Old 2016-01-07, 12:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendocon 2.0 View Post

I meant in terms of the production, rather than the plotting. The awful colouring job, the speech bubble ****-ups. I've no idea if they fixed any of it for the trade or not (or what format you're doing your re-read in), but the single issue was a mess.
Oh yeah, absolutely shocking production values (art itself is fine) Cant remember exactly but I think one of the page edges is cut off and some speech bubbles are opaque. Not a terrible issue in itself though.

As for Milne, if you called it props. Like I said, I dreaded him following Roche on MTMTE. And while I still would list Roche as my favourite of the IDW Artists, I think Milne is as close to a tie as one can get.
 
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Old 2016-01-08, 04:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Yep, but at the same time Furman's words are worth basically zip while IDW have the licence; humiliating replacement by a Batman stand-in notwithstanding they're still the only comic company that's ever likely to give him work ever again, and he was still writing for them a couple of years ago. We know his form for this from the DW days.
To be honest the way the left hand seemed not to know what the right hand was doing (and that IDW seemed to have about 50'000 left and right hands at this point) is an even better reason to assume no one is being entirely accurate because no one had a clue what anyone else was doing.

When was Furman's "Cannon" Mosaic released? He obviously didn't know anything about changes to His Plan when he proudly presented it as an official flash-forward.

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Originally Posted by Brendocon 2.0 View Post
Ref Milne I defended the guy several times (if not here then on other boards) saying that he's a good artist being buried by overcomplicated detail work and poor inking. And fangs. While I've not seen his MTMTE interiors, the fact that everybody's been praising them does give me the smug bastard glow.
well you had to have a correct opinion eventually!
 
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Old 2016-01-09, 11:53 AM   #17
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Agreed on Milne vastly improving since his M:O days.

On the Furman/McCarthy thing, I think some intentional cues were left at the end of Revelations that were just never picked up...

Prime and his autobots do abandon Earth during Revelations, which at the point seemed like the next step on how Megatron conquered a defenceless planet...but of course that was ignored later since the Autobots did return.

I honestly can't remember if Maximum Dinobots was announced as a bridge-over [in which case, it failed] or as a way for Furman to tie up loose ends.

Either way, it set up a simple scenario and still failed. It had a great premise, all things considered; three Autobot rogues [Hot Rod, Sunstreaker, Grimlock], each vaguely unaware of the other's presence, more or less stranded on Earth while homing in on Scorponok and his army.

Enter Monsterbots for a 3 page rescue and nothing more. Enter "spotlight" Dinobot issues with angst. Enter Shockwave. Enter Soundwave. Enter Ultra Magnus.

I do believe that both Furman and McCarthy [more the latter than the former] are under a lot of criticism while their editor at the time is largely ignored...I don't think this would have happened if both series were written today under Barber.
 

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Old 2016-01-09, 12:12 PM   #18
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Whilst I'd agree the big problem was always the editing; Reg 1 and the last Drift miniseries suggest that Barber might not have been able to salvage their previous work.

Mind, with Reg Furman and (especially) Wildman have been fairly upfront that it wasn't a book that either IDW or Hasbro really wanted to do, so that might explain the editorial indifference there. Certainly it's a series full of ideas IDW already rejected/abandoned once (the ending is very obviously a redux of his Dead Universe/Darkness plan).

I would say Andy Schmidt did more harm to Transformers comics than any other creative person. The big hits of Last Stand and Chaos Theory can't really counter the never ending stream of crap that was his editorial run.
 
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Old 2016-01-09, 02:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
I do believe that both Furman and McCarthy [more the latter than the former] are under a lot of criticism while their editor at the time is largely ignored...I don't think this would have happened if both series were written today under Barber.
Pitched as loose ends IIRC. Splitting the issue count of Revelation and Mad Dixos between a truncated storyline whittled down to inappropriately used Spotlight issues and then the flabby Max Dixos was terrible mismanagement.

I know that's not how it works in terms of licensor approvals, and that things have since given us at least one quality ongoing, but at the time... better to have outright cancelled, not put their name to the decision and not released a lot of compromised tat.

Limited editing only works out if creators can do both the quality control and big picture stuff, and most can't.
 
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Old 2016-01-09, 05:13 PM   #20
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Even if the quality wouldn't have been massively different, the links from Furmans Run into the AHM stuff should have been handled much better. McCarthy and Furman should have been instructed to come to some form of conclusion that would cover the main threads of Furman while not being a complete restart into AHM.
 
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