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Old 2013-03-31, 08:31 PM   #1
CounterPunch
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Goooood Evening Archiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive.

It's been quite a while, 2 1/2 years in fact since I last graced this here forum.

How is everyone?

Been browsing some of the threads and I see that much of the ole furniture is the same.

Basically, I've been reading the IDWverse (much of it for the first time) and I'm currently up to issue 15 of the old ongoing (mega-guns, Megatron has his new body, Bumblebee is currently on life-support.) I've read all the chronological issues of the 'verse up to that point and was hoping to open up a little dialogue of what we think of it as a whole.

Likes

- Nick Roche.
- Guidi (sometimes.)
- EJ Su (sometimes.)
- The fact that there has been an attempt to broaden the scope and focus of the comics, even if it let itself down (a lot.)*
- I very much enjoyed most of the Spotlight issues.
- Last Stand of the Wreckers was a bit of crazy fun.
- The willingness to kill off characters, a reminder that this is a war.
- Probably more that I can't remember right now, but might crop up eventually.

* I really enjoy the way everything is interlaced, you get calls to other books and things tie in a lot, it works quite well if you decide to sit down, stick everything in a decent enough order and just read through it. Sure there are discrepancies, things that were severely underdeveloped and some that just got dropped, but over all I enjoy the effort that has been put in. Saying that, I've read all these from stealing my brothers collection, I would be incredibly pissed off if I was buying them and found out a story arc I had got invested in was concluded in a different book.

Dislikes

- Don F*
- Inconsistent design**
- Inconsistent characterisation.
- The end (well most) of Devastation.
- All Hail Megatron.
- Josh Burcham's colours (sometimes.)
- The crapshoot of a time frame, every 5 issues it feels like they jump forward a year.

* Seriously, what the hell happened to Don F? The guy was genuinely my favourite of the modern TF artists, but the issues I've read of his on the ongoing have been dreadful. True, most of it is to do with his horrendous decision to give everyone a movie design, but still, fall from grace or what.

** I'm shocked there has been no attempt and standardising designs, there was (for the most part) at first, but that's all just gone out of the window now. Each artist draws each character completely differently, it's definitely fanboyism, any TF fanboy who gets the chance to draw their favourite characters would love to give them a personal redesign, but it's nuts... I've seen about 10 different designs for Hot Rod.

Overall, I think it's been ok so far, and I've heard that there is a jump in quality when you get to RiD and MTMTE.

I'd definitely say my favourite aspects have been those that Roche has worked on, brings a lot of fun to his work, and that Kup spotlight is still great.

If this thread works and gets a general discussion going (altho I know much of it has undoubtedly been covered) I'll update with my thoughts as I continue through.
 
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Old 2013-03-31, 09:06 PM   #2
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Yeah, you're basically coming to similar reactions people had at the time.

Personally AHM and the ongoing was where I gave up actually collecting the comics, and pared back what I was keeping to the arcs before Devastation plus a few later Roche bits and stray issues. Furman was badly edited, then apparently given four issues to tie everything up in Revelation (and again, there was little quality control.)

Things get better with MTMTE, but don't pay too much attention to RID; the pay-off seems to be as crap as the prior ongoing. Roberts on a TF book is fantastic stuff, but having seen how IDW have handled everything else it's a case of waiting for inevitable bad stuff to happen.
 
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Old 2013-03-31, 09:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denyer View Post

Things get better with MTMTE, but don't pay too much attention to RID; the pay-off seems to be as crap as the prior ongoing. Roberts on a TF book is fantastic stuff, but having seen how IDW have handled everything else it's a case of waiting for inevitable bad stuff to happen.
Pretty much have to echo these sentiments. MTMTE is what brought me back into the fold. It's the only ongoing I'm on board with. Don't forget to check out the Death of Optimus Prime one-shot before diving in.

Also, seeing as you're already partway through Costa's run, an arc of particular interest is coming up. Chaos Theory. Not to be mistaken with the Chaos storyline, which comes afterwards (it's awful, incidentally). That'll be issues #22 and #23. It's lovely. Written by James Roberts, and features some of Alex Milne's best work (it feels weird saying that now). Its "sequel", Shadowplay, is in the pages of MTMTE, so it's definitely worth checking out.
 
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Old 2013-04-01, 06:53 AM   #4
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Hmmm, don't get too excited over transformers dying and staying dead. From the 20 odd deaths, only about 5-6 have stayed dead?

I echo the sentiment about Don Figueroa. By the time he was drawing the Ongoing issues, I loathed him. Not necessarily because of the designs, but because of his stance towards the franchise. A few months prior to Ongoing 1 he made a big statement that he was tired of transformers and would forever retire to pursue other paths in his career. So, okay, the number one penciler at the point makes a statement he wants to do other stuff. All's cool. Forever over.

Then he's back into transformers with the AHM codas and Ongoing? WTF dude are you trolling us?

Inconsistent characterization is a given, sadly. So far there's been 5 main TF writers with about as many editors, and certain characters have suffered enough from that. Starscream goes from traitorous to loyal to traitorous to loyal to traitorous to unknown so easy it's ridiculous. AHM12 by McCarthy has him saving Megatron and saying he'll win over leadership when he can. AHM13 has him, hours after that, pondering on how to kill Megatron to become the leader.

Then again, the IDW universe is the first that gave us a decent backstory on Cybertron's regime, the rise of Megatron, the corrupt Primes before Optimus and all that. Main characters get their chance to shine and new ones emerge. Thundercracker, Sunstreaker, Rodimus, Chromedome, Prowl, Kup and others are developed nicely and finally stray away from their stereotypical selves.

I've read most of Dreamwave [all their G1 stories and WW], and what we've got so far is miles ahead.
 

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Old 2013-04-01, 06:20 PM   #5
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Yeah, I suspect they'll be a lot of agreement here.

More Than Meets the Eye is a hugely enjoyable book, not 100% perfect every issue (but then what is?) but bounces about with an energy and enthusiasm and ideas that it pretty much rocks.

RID has the energy, enthusiasm and ideas. But is missing the rocking.
 
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Old 2013-04-01, 09:04 PM   #6
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So, I've now finished the main ongoing (not yet read TDoOP)

Can't be alone in thinking Hearts of Darkness was abysmal right? God awful artwork, horrible writing and just generally ehh, I got an issue and a half in and decided to save time and read the synopsis on tfwiki.

The artwork in this book was truly bad, I'm shocked whoever pencilled managed to con IDW in to hiring them, especially for what was supposed to be a high profile book. It doesn't quite take the prize for the worst art, that goes to the Spike centric issue where everyone had Dragonball hair, but it was bad.

I've always wondered what Transformers would be like if established mainstream comic writers worked on it, and the answer is... Dreadful. I'm not a huge fan of Abnett & Lanning, I've enjoyed some of their work, but I laughed (genuinely) at the stupidity of Galvatron's reference to Mary Celeste as if he had, at any point, had any contact with humans, human history, or folklore.

In terms of the main ongoing, I really enjoyed the 2 issues (I believe) focusing on Prime and Megatron's backstory. It's a relationship I'm happy they've developed, as battling a war for millions of years would undoubtedly lead to a relationship deeper than simply being commanding officers on opposite ends of the war.

The Cybertron arc was a bit of a let down in regards to storytelling, since I thought the whole dead universe stuff was pretty crap in the first place, hated the idea of D-Void, and didn't like the massive monster that formed from all of the Sweeps. The art was lovely though.

I thought the Earth based story was ok, I think it got through on the basis of the characters involved to be honest, enjoyed the team up of Prowl and Streetwise as well as Prowls general investigations. I like how he thinks and moves like a policeman.

Time for TDoOP and then... MTMTE first maybe.
 
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Old 2013-04-01, 10:01 PM   #7
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Read Rid and MTMTE side by side. MTMTE is the stronger (by far imo) series but its nice to run them side by side - especially with the annuals following similar themes.

Regarding your other comments, I think I would agree with most, if not all. I really like the chaos art but the story and the d-void is terrible. And although Heart of darkness is terrible, I think the Bumblebee 4-parter is the worst thing IDW put out.
 
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Old 2013-04-01, 10:08 PM   #8
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Read as a Big Looker story found unpublished and put into a comic, it's not entirely un-enjoyable. Anything that doesn't involve trying to read it in continuity.
 
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Old 2013-04-03, 06:52 PM   #9
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TDoOP and the first 3 issues of each ongoing down.

TDooP - Seriously enjoyed this because of how it subverted my expectation of what would happen based on past TF experience and the title. Delivered on its name in a very different way without feeling like a cop out tactic to get publicity and sales (imo).

MTMTE - Really enjoying this so far and I love the cast of characters. I like the story of Tailpipe, I like Swerves voice, Skids' "I don't know who I am, so I can do what I want" kind of thing is quite cool.

RiD - I like the concept of this book but thus far it isn't hitting the same high notes as MTMTE is in terms of fun. The whole plot is hinging on how far Prowl will go to get a peaceful Autobot rule, and they've got to be careful not to have it stray too far in to the "as if he would ever do that" camp.

Overall though I'd say both books are at the top end in terms of quality of the IDW comics.

I'm also enjoying how they're moving away from all the classic plot traps Transformers seems to fall in to - Earth, Autobots vs Decepticons, Prime dying and Unicron... Seriously guys, 7 years and we haven't had a sniff of Unicron, we should be praising IDW for showing some creativity!

Looking forward to the next few issues, curious about the location of other characters we haven't seen or heard from in a while (or at least since the end of the first ongoing)

EDIT : Fixed titles :P
 

Last edited by CounterPunch; 2013-04-03 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 2013-04-03, 06:58 PM   #10
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You've mixed up the series titles there mate
 
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Old 2013-04-03, 07:03 PM   #11
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We've all done it, the titles are a bit generic.

The highlight for me of the Cybertron One is the writing on Starscream.
 
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Old 2013-04-03, 07:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
We've all done it, the titles are a bit generic.
Has it ever been said why they are called what they are or was it simply that "more than Meets the eye" and "Robots in Disguise" were the 80's toys tagline? Because as titles, they really dont seem to have any real link to the stories within.
 
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Old 2013-04-03, 07:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dave Prime View Post
Has it ever been said why they are called what they are or was it simply that "more than Meets the eye" and "Robots in Disguise" were the 80's toys tagline? Because as titles, they really dont seem to have any real link to the stories within.
I'd go with "generic catchphrases that are suitable for a comic" tbh, although my initial confusion about the titles was because MTMTE could actually have far more relevance to Prowls secretive dabblings than RiD does.
 
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Old 2013-04-03, 08:48 PM   #14
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I swear I read somewhere that the writer of MTMTE chose that particular title for a specific reason, not just because it was a well known TF tagline. My money's on Rung being a Knight of Cybertron!
 



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Old 2013-04-03, 09:08 PM   #15
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With the chance of there being a spiritual side to the Lost lights quest, the more than meets the eye thing might work out.

Robots in Disguise? Maybe a nod to all the clandestine acts by various characters?

Yep, I'm grasping.
 
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Old 2013-04-03, 09:34 PM   #16
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Roberts said that initially the titles were swapped around, but because some of his characters were complex enough [not spoiling anything], they switched them around to what they are today.

By issue 13 or so, even 14, you'll see what I mean on MTMTE.

Nothing has been hinted or dropped on Unicron so far, but I believe we're getting there. Maybe in the next 2 years, yup.
 

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Old 2013-04-03, 11:59 PM   #17
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Hey, interested to get your perspective on some things. How does Hot Rod read as a character? He's been a big part of the series from Escalation onwards. As far as I can recall he's been pretty consistent.

Apart from the aforementioned Starscream, who sticks out as a characterisation mess?

And here's something I've been thinking about: would it have better, do you reckon, do have killed Shockwave and the Dinobots off proper at the end of their debut? None of them did anything particularly interesting afterwards. That one scene in LSotW, perhaps.
 
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Old 2013-04-04, 07:57 AM   #18
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Sadly my evaluation on Rodimus is the same as Starscream's; a mess because the four people who wrote him each wrote him differently.

There's no signs of growth of adjoining lines between his persona, so far I believe Furman has written him better than the others.

The Hot Rod of Furman was something fresh instead of retreading old steps; a unit commander, high-ranking enough not to be outranked by Prowl, who has a phobia of leading teams around and is suffering guilt due to his mess-up. He's certainly hot headed enough to try to take on the Machination on his own.

Then McCarthy's Hot Rod was a carbon G1 movie, acting much more childlike, definitely not getting the respect he should due to his rank and so on.

Costa bastardized him even further. At first it seemed he was good old Furman Hot Rod, but he flew off alone with the only capable aircraft to go and tackle a Decepticon battalion in order to bring back the matrix, because that's how they'd listen to him. Nevermind the fact that he was about to get into a court-martial right before he fled. After that experience he seemed to grow and mature though, really harking back to Furman's writing.

And then Roberts made him a jerk. It's like he's leading the Lost Light but in reality he's on a quest by himself and doesn't like the company by him, certainly not the responsibility of them.

Shockwave's sadly too robotic of a character for me to care about in this instance [at least before Shadowplay], but due to all the backstory he's received I definitely want him to stick around. The Dinobots are more or less non-entities at the moment; they fared badly in their own series [maximum dinobots], Grimlock is rarely used for something other than a selling point, and the other 4 are so interchangeable in their personalities they might as well be a single character.

I'm only just now reading the Marvel comics [around issue 10], and while I applaud how original and different it is from the G1 cartoon, it saddens me to see that one of my favourite scenes in IDW [Dinobots versus Shockwave] is copied from the old Marvel books.
 

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Old 2013-04-04, 02:14 PM   #19
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Rodimus is the only character I dont get in Roberts world. I know Magnus changed a lot but I could see how that happened. Once the war was over, he has nothing to justify himself anymore and his obsessive adherence to rules has come to the fore.

But Rodimus? I dont know what he is. I think he is supposed to be a bit of a pisstake on Kirk - technically a poor commander but bags of charisma to encourage the troops. A heroic Megatron in a way. It doesnt work though because as knightdrammon says, he doesnt seem to care about his troops and doesnt have much charisma to bring them along. AND he's a shit commander. I keep hoping that each new disaster snaps him back to being useful but I reckon the Lost Light would be better without him at the moment.
 
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Old 2013-04-04, 04:27 PM   #20
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I dunno, he cared rather a lot about Red. At first it appeared that he was mortified that anyone would consider suicide under his watch, but following that he seemed genuinely concerned, baulked by Magnus & Drifts' seeming lack of sympathy and even made a promise to the catatonic Red.

He's also very good at keeping Magnus going, giving him good advice.

And he knows how to work a crowd, so he's a good showman and motivator.
 
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