The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

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inflatable dalek
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Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:36 pm

Kei is amazing. That's the first book with content I've not read as the Sideswipe issue of OP was my last. Apparently the recap isn't very helpful if you've not read First Strike, a series Hachette aren't doing.

Flicking through it, it's certainly no help on the Lost Light section. It starts with the second of a two part story and the recap page covers the first in a sentence. Unhelpfully.
TRANSFORMATION: LADY VS THE TRAMP
IT'S A STATUE OF LIBERTY SMACKDOWN MY LOOK AT PRIME 13!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by Hot Rod Here » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:38 pm

Denyer wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:57 pm
Writers/readers gender alien robots, alien robots largely don't gender themselves or each other (unless they feel like it, ditto playing with other organic concepts).

There's very little worthwhile or redeemable about Furman's take on Arcee (the "instinctual he/she" being widely reasonably regarded as gibberish), ditto the hack writing that followed (it's a struggle to see how anything was salvaged) but what analogy there is is, to a greater extent, construction of the text by readers. Furman's intent and what he came up with both appear, there being no hors-texte, to be a loss-of-control/revenge narrative with this-character-was-defined-as-being-the-only-girl-one-in-the-80s lightly glued on.

What's most cringe-worthy about the take is the idea that alien robots that don't have many problems (other than not liking certain others) forming gestalt consciousnesses and that base some of what they do on other species would have any problem with gender, when the things that define them are political ideology or having particular alt-modes or skills.

What's more interesting is the common ground with characterisations of Cybertronian society by Roche, Roberts, Budiansky, etc of non-elective alteration. Hence you get lobotomisation, building individuals into space bridges, shadowplay, mnemosurgery, empurata, etc. Jhiaxus is just another take on amoral science, on the harsher end of body horror writing because whilst in many cases it's apparently possible to rebuild or replace TF bodies (and they can extract and restore sparks) damage to minds is about as well understood or fixable as it is in non-TFs.

Like the species writing them, TFs do go out of their way to find creative ways to **** each other up psychologically and physically.
Or they can just be gender for themselves and not for organics. Transformers have gender way before meeting organics. Yes they refer to each others as male pronoun, but that is still a gender. Also if anyone tells me that male pronouns can be genderless, I calling bs. He/him and his are gender pronouns for males. Also these are alien robots. Earth robots are genderless, but that doesn't mean they have to be. I don't think that they're sexless because they have genes; which means they have chromosome. It's unknkow if the males are heterogametic or homogametic.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Denyer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:33 pm

You get that fictional characters aren't usually speaking English? There's no reason that, even playing with the conceit, a race of metal shapeshifters would either use the genders humans do or limit themselves to two.

Taking sparks to their logical conclusion, Cybertronians could also be argued to be energy beings tethered to corporeal forms, which would certainly help explain a general lack of hang-ups with forming gestalt consciousnesses.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:23 am

Just reading through the City Of Fear trade, which unfairly bumps the Underbase four-parter to back up status and noticed again that the US reprint looks very patchy and poor in places. And that Soundwave's mouth and purple colouring, present on the original US book (and Titan reprints) has been removed. Badly. Soundwave has no mouth, but still has a nose. Now he looks even weirder. Sigh. Is this a carry over from the IDW reprints, as it seems an odd thing to 'correct;' without properly correcting it?

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:37 pm

It's from the IDW remastering.

I'm impressed by the fact that, despite it clearly being the bigger and more important story, neither the back cover blurb nor the introduction make any mention of the Underbase saga.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:48 pm

I know! It's rubbish. Boooooo

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:23 pm

Just got through the latest entries which dropped through my letterbox. The Smelting Pool is still bloody ace, despite my familiarity with the story. Very impressed with 'A Better Tomorrow' which collects the first 7 issues of Robots In Disguise. I think I enjoyed it so much because it mirrors a lot of what's going on over here at the moment with Brexit and the recent shooting in Northern Ireland, that's got power sharing cranked up again.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Auntie Slag » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:37 pm

Ah yeah, I always wanted the backstories about Telus and Rotorbolt and their mate that got fried. Them and the guys in the dead end like Wheezel; how did they end up like that, what kin of people were they like in the past etc. Telus and co hinted at this entire subculture of robots that we never knew existed and I wanted so much to know anything about them! Like the background bunnies in Watership Down that get the barest hint of personality.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:45 pm

After a mysterious email about problems and things, the latest two volumes plopped through my letter box. I've started with the RID stuff, and it's a bit disappointing so far. The careful politicking of the early RID stuff has gone out of the window with Megatron turning up and just going "WAR NOW!I AM BAD." is poop, with mind controlled Prowlstator...ugh. I've just read something with Shockwave and the infinity gems which tries to imagine what it would be like to come around and find your entire personality has been neutered in someway and fails. Lots of awful dialogue with characters going on about EMOTIONS. Not subtle and not very good. Its a shame, as that could have been a very interesting thing to delve into. Shockwave had been "cleansed and controlled", but here it's just like he's gone back to doing what he did before, only with one eye and claws...

Also: is it bad, that I've enjoyed Costa's stuff? It's not as awful as everyone says and reads like a proper comic. Reading all this stuff piecemeal and out of synch means its a bit easier to take or leave stuff on its own merits. I'm quite looking forward to seeing how the whole post AHM stuff stacks up.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:41 pm

Yeah, found that RID volume a slog, despite enjoying the Soundwave flashbacks. The pacing remains terrible, the same "Dawn" happens three times!

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:00 pm

It's been announced the series is extended to issue 100!

Certainly the rest of LL/OP/Unicron, plus implied G2 and the Hasbro Shared Universe crossover stuff.

I wouldn't be surprised if it ends on a couple of Ruckley volumes as well.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:17 am

I had a feeling it might go up at least until Unicron, as that's a good capstone. So that's good news. I do hope that G2 is included (and it would be nice if they could feature the UK material for that), as the comic was pretty much a continuation of the original run anyway. The shared Universe stuff I'm less keen on, but am morbidly interested in.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:12 pm

Just got through the latest volumes, which have included Autocracy and the RID issues where Megatron returns and Prowl is revealed to be a puppet of Bombshell.

The Autocracy stuff was pretty mediocre, it wasn't bad, but just wasn't great. I think if I'd read this in it's original format of a few short web comic pages, I'd be a lot more inclined to have enjoyed it. As it is, it doesn't seem to hang together well as a collected edition. I think it's because whilst the story is there, some of the characters seem a bit off. Prime in particular seems a lot more gruff and dismissive of Megatron when they meet than I thought he would be at this early stage of the war. Towards the end, all originality is thrown out of the window for the sake of recycling scenes from the '86 film which is very disappointing. Narratively, it seems to seek to justify Hot Rod's actions in the film itself, but it just comes across as lazy as if there was no other way that could be thought of to wrap this up. Otherwise known as the prequel trap. You can't kill anyone or create any jeopardy as everyone's alive in the present.

The RID stuff is pretty damn good. Barber has actually given me an appreciation of Starscream - this is where the character really works for me. He's not the cowardly, snivelling crawler most media seems to portray him as, but a wiley political operator motivated by self interest. His arc here, setting him up as ruler of Cybertron is very well done. No bloody Rattrap yet either, which I'm enjoying. I love Bumblebee being hopelessly out of his depth and lost within everyone else's machinations. The Prowl stuff is just deeply disappointing and doesn't make sense to me. I like Prowl being machievellian because that's who he is and how he thinks. It lessens him to be revealed as just a mind controlled dupe. It also makes absolutely no sense on the Decepticons part if they felt disenfranchised enough just to restart the war. The 'peace' on Cybertron is fragile enough that they wouldn't have needed to bother destabilising things if all they want to do is kill everyone else. The other major player is Metalhawk and he just seems so on the fence that I've no idea how he came to represent the NAILs. All he seems to do is question and critique and doesn't really offer much in the way of his own opinions on how things should be run. He comes across like Jeremy Corbyn in all this - has some ideas and plans, but wont firmly commit to them because he knows how badly some of these plans are likely to go down amongst the people he represents. Bet he has an idea for free broadband too, to distract everyone from more important things that need looking at. This volume does include a stand out piece of work from Barber in the shape of a disorientating time-shift piece featuring Orion, Garnak and Wheelie's adventures on LV117 (what a boring name for a planet). It's a real envelope pushing piece of work, and it was nice to see Livio's usually dark and hard to read artwork brightened up, along with some good storytelling from him.

I never really talk much about the main artist for RID, which is funny. I think it's because Griffiths' art isn't quite as showy as everyone else's. It's solid and does the job, but also has that slight marshmallow-y look that the Dreamwave stuff had. His work is generally of a very high standard, it's just a lot less flashy that Milne or Livio's stuff so looks less impressive than it actually is. Worse you can say about him (and this isn't his fault) is the constantly shifting character models he has to use, every time a character has a new toy out which makes his work look inconsistent.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:38 pm

Apparently the first G2 book will be issue 81 (and as 82 is going to be Revolutions, presumably it'll still be in a random order), with it split across three volumes and the first having the Joe crossover.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:33 pm

Placement aside, that's good to hear :) Read the recent volumes and disappointed again to see the Dreamwave stuff looking awful in these reproductions. It's such a shame as the whatever the relative merits of the Dreamwave era, the production values were always very high. And what's with the pixelation of the Dreamwave logo on the cover reproductions?

I'd forgotten how much fun Furman's Armada comics were. Just great, solid yarns with some decent character beats. The Punishment trilogy was similarly good - once we get away from Sandstorm nonsense. Nice to see the Dinobots given some characterisation, although the visual gag of Sludge being just a head and neck in every frame wore very thin on me.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:45 pm

Pity they didn't work it so as to at least include the other two Fuman issues.

Agreed about the quality, sadly no one cares about Armada enough.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:02 pm

What's odd is the first half of the book is incredibly grainy, and then the rest is fine. So what happened? Rubbish.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:38 pm

Probably scanned by different work experience kids at IDW.

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by Skyquake87 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:00 pm

Woo Generation 2 Part 1!!!! That is all. It looks a little blurry in places, which is a shame, but still..G2. Yay!

The other book with the Optimus Prime stuff looks cool - Kei's art looks lush, so I'm looking forward to dipping into that :)

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Re: The Transformers Partwork Discussion Thread.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:21 pm

Very annoyed the UK G2 comic only gets four pages squeezed onto each page.

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