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Old 2008-10-28, 09:18 PM   #21
Halfshell
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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
What exactly was the point?
"Supposedly" it was laying seeds for future plot strands (the last page being a phenomenally subtle hint as to what they could be), but seeing as everything else was dragged out and badly presented (we need a damn roadmap on the site to keep track of stuff... think how the percentage of readers who don't come online coped) we'll now probably never see those plots unfold.

So one good thing's come out of it.
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:18 PM   #22
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The Soviet style art gave the impression that it would be a somewhat bleak picture of Decepticon rule,
Plus that nifty Roche propaganda style art, and the title of the series...
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:20 PM   #23
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@ Red Dave Prime: Yeh, there's a distinct lack of focus... on the one hand, we're all geniuses with hindsight, but on the other it was a problem from the start. Furman didn't take advantage of the upside of the mini-series format, and each should have properly focused on one major plot-line, with the parallel Spotlights either laying down some long-term groundwork (as some did) and dealing with side-issues - say, for a random example, Infiltration should have dealt with Ore-13 and had some sort of a conclusion, rather than just sort of stopping, while Spotlights 1-6 could have handled, say, the Reapers, picking six characters who'd be involved with them - a little like Revelations has been run, but with less pressure. The Spotlights and the minis could be subtley linked and add a bit of depth if you read both, but keep seperate casts and plotlines to a certain degree (like the way that, at times, the UK Marvel strips would use a totally different set of characters to the US reprints - e.g. the focus in the UK strips on Ultra Magnus and Galvatron, while the US material was covering Grimlock and Ratbat).
 

Last edited by Cliffjumper; 2008-10-28 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Fast-typing hooowers.
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:22 PM   #24
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Stormbringer is still the best example of how that would have worked. Its a complete story but off shoots into the main plotline and a few spotlights as well.

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on the one hand, we're all geniuses with hindsight, but on the other it was a problem from the start.
theres something to be said for the fact that we guys on the internet would plan it out better then them folks getting paid to do it as a full time job. Seriously felt at times that somethings were planned out in only the most vague manner.
 

Last edited by Red Dave Prime; 2008-10-28 at 09:29 PM. Reason: thought of something
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:26 PM   #25
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Wheelie was pretty much written by the other fellah wasn't it? With Furman just giving it a quick polish?

As for people who like AHM, we have a few on here who at least can throw together a coherant reason for why they like it even if I disagree. The letters page in AHM 4, basically full of "All your other TF comics were crap but I think its great you've lobotomised Soundwave" is probably the most embarrassing thing I've ever read.

Got to agree with Ziggy about Hot Rod as well. Most of the seeming continuity glitches can, with a great deal of good grace, be just about reconciled (though it remains to be seen if they will). Soundwave has brain damage, Cybertron got better, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker decide they like each other enough to always stand next to each other in crowd shots... I can't see any way cool confident embittered Hot Rod could become this naive twerp though.
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:31 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Red Dave Prime View Post
Stormbringer is still the best example of how that would have worked. Its a complete story but off shoots into the main plotline and a few spotlights as well.
Spot on. You can read Stormbringer and while it's clearly part of a wider continuity, you feel like you've read a story rather than a handful of open-ended, poorly-managed threads. Stormbringer was actually a kick in the nuts in a way - for a short while, it actually looked like the whole thing might work... Is it a coincidence it's a four-parter as well?

I understand that IDW couldn't run an ongoing due to retailers, but IMO they went the wrong way about getting around this, making ongoing issues which were then promoted as mini-series (the sizeable gap between each mini-series when they had no problem running stuff like Megatron: Origin and Beast Wars: Whatever in and around the core stuff really didn't help; I can understand the wait after the first one to analyse the sales data, but Escalation/Devastation/Revelations could have been ran literally back-to-back) and thus failed because they didn't comprise stories in their own right. If you're going to do a mini-series with a portentous, melodramatic title, it's got to work as a single story even if elements carry on afterwards, and it also helps if it does what it says on the tin ("Devastation" is a very extreme way of saying 'Yeh, Jazz loses an arm').
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:31 PM   #27
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I'm telling you guys, hes had a taste of the matrix during maximum dinobots and is no in rodimus "ultra twerp" mode.
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:32 PM   #28
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In the IDW universe loseing an arm is the worst damage you can get (see wheelie, jazz, sideswpe and trailbreaker)
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:42 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Wheelie was pretty much written by the other fellah wasn't it? With Furman just giving it a quick polish?
Not really the point, though... whether it's Furman's mistake or IDW's, the comic was ultimately dead pages that'd be better used towards the main plot. plots. 'plots'. Furman's shown a total lack of discipline as a professional comic writer, being more intend on mapping out his own take on the Transformers universe and forgetting to tell good stories along the way - I can't argue with the avalance of good ideas there have been in his books, from characterisation (it's been worth it for Hardhead, just as Dreamwave was worth it for Big Daddy and the Hubcap profile) to concepts, but the story hasn't been moving forward at a decent rate - it's all splurged out sideways and then every now and then one of the divergences has taken a brief sprint in front... the whole pace has been wrong, it's decompression decompression decompression decompression INFODUMP decompression decompression decompression decompression decompression decompression decompression decompression INFODUMP decompression decompression.

IDW have also managed the titles abysmally, failing to keep Furman on the sort of leash he needs to write good comics rather than self-indulgent ones, and then just shutting the whole thing down with no real notice, which isn't fair on writer or the readers that have made the long slog. It's like me asking you to write up something for me, take your time, no hurry, as long as it takes you to get it right. Then I call you - I need it finished by 9AM tomorrow, oh, and make sure it doesn't **** up the new guy I hired over your head's stuff.

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The letters page in AHM 4, basically full of "All your other TF comics were crap but I think its great you've lobotomised Soundwave" is probably the most embarrassing thing I've ever read.
I dunno, sounds about par with every other simpering IDW letters page to me.
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 09:57 PM   #30
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I dunno, sounds about par with every other simpering IDW letters page to me.
Isn't that par for the course with comics though? I don't really read others, but I'd assume publishers would generally pick positive letters.

The "everything that came before sucked" focus of AHM 4's letters was needlessly mean-spirited though.
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 10:01 PM   #31
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Dunno, most of the IDW ones I bothered reading were just general simpering - the "Dude, I've loved Transformers since 1984, and it's great to see Megatron being BADASS!" variety. In my experience, good, thought-provoking comics tend to have good letters pages (Preacher, Hitman, Miracleman) even if the responses are positive; however, most letters pages these days are the publishers.editors giving themselves a pat on the back - but then a lot of proper comics seem to get by without them entirely.
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 10:03 PM   #32
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At least the old Marvel UK letters page used to take the opportunity to clear up important continuity points (ie the cartoon is rubbish and stubbies are dumb).
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 10:07 PM   #33
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Yeh... I get they can't fill it with grumpy bastards like me going "Why doesn't Furman write good stories like he used to?", but I really do feel it should have some sort of point to it. I dunno, maybe they got better after Infiltration, my brain shut down automatically when I was that cosplay dickhead artwork by that point. It's unusual, becuase that's two pages that could have gone to IDW's advertising dorra fund, and seeing as they're just two really nice blokes running the operation out of a lock-up or something, it's surprising. I'd rather have read advertisments for Transformers versus Mark Twain or Beast Wars: The Repainting myself.
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 11:00 PM   #34
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It's unusual, becuase that's two pages that could have gone to IDW's advertising dorra fund
Or, alternatively, have been used on some sort of publication guide?
 
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Old 2008-10-28, 11:56 PM   #35
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People say that, but then do you honestly think anyone at IDW had a ****ing clue what they were doing?
 
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Old 2008-10-29, 08:51 AM   #36
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So we got to find out how the hell Drift was here. Though I wouldn't put my money on that being the official thing that happened, though.

"I intended AHM to be slow in the beginning." Yeah right. Showing a few American cities being blown up and then claiming the world is enslaved? Bad Shane.

However, IMO if only, if only All Hail Megatron was another reboot, it would have been a rather nice story. I mean, seriously, Infiltration was rather slow too, no? And giving Megatron some highlight time is the best idea I've ever heard.

Too bad they're gonna shove it as a 'two-year-gap'. Like TFTM. "Oh, it's, like, ten years after Season two. We can get rid of all the original cast other than a few fan favourites, show a few deaths like Prime and Megatron and Starscream and Prowl and we introduce a new cast with no origin whatsoever. The kids will like it. After all, ten years is a long time."

If it were a new continuity, I'd like it. But a 'few years gap' trick is getting old. What, can't Shane and Furman sit down and talk about what they're gonna do, who they're gonna kill of, what is allowed or not allowed to happen?

Still, out of love for the art and covers, I'm buying this series...
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2008-10-29 at 08:54 AM. Reason: more rant.
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Old 2008-10-29, 09:08 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Not really the point, though... whether it's Furman's mistake or IDW's, the comic was ultimately dead pages that'd be better used towards the main plot. plots. 'plots'.

I agree with pretty much everything in the full post, do as far as horses for courses goes I found Wheelie to be a fun if not Earth shattering comic that's just about the best issue in that series of Spotlights (not a back handed compliment as I found Blaster to be very good as well, even if the other issues didn't manage much beyond OK).

I also don't think it hurt to have a few Spotlights that were aside from the ongoing story either. Certainly its not Klaus Scherwinski's (nor Roche, Strayton or Moore's) fault that Furman wasn't able to use the more than ample page count he was given in his Spotlights to tell it right whilst they were working on their side steps.

I do think the mostly standalone Spotlights (which is basically Wheelie and Ramjet really. Kup looks likely to have the ending get a bit pissed on by AHM and Mirage is the sad sulking exception) are only going to gain higher standing in peoples eyes with hindsight as a lot of the others are going to be dragged down by the the poor resolution to the stories they start.
 

Last edited by inflatable dalek; 2008-10-29 at 09:14 AM. Reason: The post was mostly giberish. It may well still be mostly giberish.
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Old 2008-10-30, 05:10 AM   #38
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I also don't think it hurt to have a few Spotlights that were aside from the ongoing story either. Certainly its not Klaus Scherwinski's (nor Roche, Strayton or Moore's) fault that Furman wasn't able to use the more than ample page count he was given in his Spotlights to tell it right whilst they were working on their side steps.

I do think the mostly standalone Spotlights (which is basically Wheelie and Ramjet really. Kup looks likely to have the ending get a bit pissed on by AHM and Mirage is the sad sulking exception) are only going to gain higher standing in peoples eyes with hindsight as a lot of the others are going to be dragged down by the the poor resolution to the stories they start.
I think it was really excellent to have standalone Spotlights, and I never quite understood the complaints about them not affecting the main story. They're the perfect format for bringing in good characters and giving them some attention, when they might otherwise be ignored or stuffed into the background of the already large main cast. They take great advantage of the huge Universe that's always implied for Transformers, without adding unnecessary clutter to the main storyline.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjack
If it were a new continuity, I'd like it. But a 'few years gap' trick is getting old. What, can't Shane and Furman sit down and talk about what they're gonna do, who they're gonna kill of, what is allowed or not allowed to happen?
This is what I was saying before. It could almost be likable, if not high art, if taken as a completely different series, a gung-ho, "dude, Transformers are awesome" kind of story. But jamming it into the established universe makes that same style stick out like a sore thumb among the more subtle stuff that preceded it. And of course, it completely cuts off the prior stories and dilutes their effect. No matter what happens, the reader gets to know that it's ultimately going to come to Megatron having himself a blast in New York while the Autobots mope on Cybertron.
 
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Old 2008-10-30, 09:14 AM   #39
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Because some of them really do expand on vital stuff to the main series - Nightbeat's means we're all watching him for weird behaviour rather than taking his actions at face value, without them Revelations would be very out of the blue. The ones for Soundwave and Grimlock largely bookend the Machination thread, Prime's one introduces the Monster Pretenders, Arcee' establishes what she is - all of this would be "WTF?" moments in the main book without the spotlights taking time out to explain things.
Just to flick back to this for a second - Revelation isn't that out of the blue in terms of the main book, seeing as it was released as part of the Spotlight series.

Of course that does mean that the functional follow-up to Devastation is likely to be Maximum Dinobots, which also semi-spins out of a Spotlight... and has the result of multiple main-story plot points going unresolved... and Devastation's cliffhanger final page being completely wtf. But we can't have everything now can we?
 
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Old 2008-10-31, 10:20 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
But then we'd miss out on vital issues of the Decepticons beating up New York. They really must take this time to show that the Decepticons are the bad guys, which is a new and dynamic direction for the title.
By the way, I remembered this: it looks like someone did a plot for AHM in 1984 :P

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Only rare visionaries like Scott Ciencin have ever taken time out to produce sixty pages of mind-numbingly dramatic corpse porn like Sean has,

 

Last edited by MeGrimlock; 2008-10-31 at 10:26 AM.
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