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Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:38 pm
by inflatable dalek
Yep, got mine. I've got enough now to build a little house out of.

Read Hearts of Steel!

The titular series is one of those TF comics that's perfectly readable (despite a very sudden ending) and looks great thanks to Guido, but also feels very disposable. The description of the other Evolutions they had planned sound equally meh, as if no one had any other ideas for the range than "Ahhhhhh, but what if the Transformers woke up in a different decade and turned in to different things!!!! Hot rod cars! UFO's!"

To be fair on Hearts, it does try for something beyond this with the debate on automation and losing your job to machines, but because Transformers is a series about machines doing jobs it's preloaded to coming down on one side of the argument, even though the human villains are evil industrialists who want to get rid of their workforce.

The two Furman Spotlights are frustrating in that they both have some really nice moments, but equally are the point where the range stopped being Spotlights (tight focused stories about the title character that people could dip in and out of) and became add ons to throw ideas and subplots that Furman couldn't be arsed to deal with properly in the ...tions. These are more Escalation issues 7 and 8, and Hunter and Verity randomly turning up in Galvatron to discuss a subplot that has nothing to do with that comic being especially bad.

Mirage of course goes almost entirely in the other direction as it's utterly divorced from everything (until John Barber had to explain it because he can only reach sexual climax by rationalising old continuity points no one cared about at the time). It fits the remit of a Spotlight more, but suffers from it being Mirage's first (and mist sustained!) IDW appearance and you can't really do a dark alternate timeline version of a character when you don't know the normal one yet.

Interestingly the book is very confident the series will be reprinting right bang up to date stuff as it promises we'll see the only just started John Barber written explanation as to why Hearts of Steel is included with the main continuity IDW stuff (and yes, the "Worthy side step even if not strictly G1" rationalisation in the intro is annoying when they're not doing the far worthier "Sidestep" G2).

As this is book 39 and Escalation was 37, I wonder what 38 will be? Presumably not Devastation as they're supposed to be doing the IDW stuff "Chronologically" and the two Furman Spotlights here are set before that. Unless that's going to be messed up as the Marvel ordering?

Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 2:07 pm
by inflatable dalek
9 and 10 arrived! In a comedically oversized box with no padding. Amazingly the bookends came out damaged: ... 7537121280

I won't have time to sit down with them till I've finished the current Who partwork issues, but a quick glance suggests two things:

Worlds Apart really is as washed out as people have said.

And, very much against my expectations, the introduction to Reg mentions G2. Albeit just in a list of Things Wot Furman Wrote after the Marvel comic ended. Looks like the rest of the background material pretends there was no prior Marvel follow ups and the American series totally had a rushed conclusion (which it didn't really, it had a big finale and then a five issue coda. Many cancelled comics would probably kill for that. G2 and the UK series leave more legitimate loose ends as a result...).

It does look like the making of stuff, though not as scathing as Wildman was on panels at AA, is fairly honest about how much Hasbro didn't want to do this.

Hopefully somewhere they'll be a note clarifying this is ignoring the British stuff, otherwise in the context of a series that otherwise presents the Marvel stuff as a whole that'll get confusing to new readers.

Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:18 pm
by Skyquake87
...mine turned up today, Hachette have mysteriously lost my house number, cue lots of ranting from the postman...

I got the mug with my delivery, caked in some mysterious brown substance.

Is this really worth it, I ask myself?

Posted: Sat May 06, 2017 9:30 am
by Brendocon 2.0
Right so they've ****ed up my address too now.

They've stripped the building number and apartment indicator and replaced it with the name of the business that's downstairs. Which is fine for somebody making the delivery, but causes a lot of confusion when I have to collect it from the sorting office.

ALSO that's a funny looking logo built into these bookends. I don't recognise it from... oh, the packaging says they're Warhammer.

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:51 pm
by inflatable dalek
So many people have got the wrong bookends I can only assume there's an equally confused number of Warhammer fans with TF ones.

Out of curiosity, I decided to compare my own scan of Worlds Apart to the Hachette version (and from what I've seen people say it's just a reuse of the IDW reprint, which was in turn a reuse of the Titan reprint) to see exactly how washed out and faded it was, and the result was actually worse than I thought: ... 3635885058

Headmasters was a good bonkers read. Though I think it might actually be a series that benefited from being so broken up by the UK printing and the shifts in tone are so frequent and often random it lends itself better to little bites.

It is yet another book where the ordering is somewhat out of sync, but understandably. It makes for a more cohesive book to have Headmasters-The two part follow up the Headmasters-Worlds Apart all together rather than Headmasters-Worlds Apart-the chunk of UK issues after Worlds Apart. It's just a shame, again, it's at odds with how the series was promoted.

Actually, a few Marvel books into the run now and it's increasingly clear than even in volumes containing material from both the UK and US, there is going to be a clear divide between the two. You're not going to get a book where it's, for example, UK story-US story-UK story even if that's how it was originally printed. It's going to be "Here's a chunk of the US and here's a chunk of the UK, with their own separate introductions and recaps and behind the scenes stuff". Hence things like King of the Hill being in the wrong place.

Ironically for a series where a fuss was made of it being the first time the UK and US stuff had been reprinted together, it's making the division seem more stark than ever.

Also a shame there are no direct quotes from Budiansky in the making of material as he was promoted as being involved in the series on the website (mind, we've not seen Andrew Wlidman yet). It would have been more interesting to hear directly from the horse's mouth rather than Furman parsing what he counterpart was going through. It might have been nice to include the Headmasters pitch document rather than just describing it as well (I must remember at some point to scan that from the Titan book as it's a fascinating read that should be kept in circulation).

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 9:25 pm
by Skyquake87
I don't if reprinting the UK stuff in between the US stuff would be equally as divisive. They're so different in terms of story-telling and art as to be distinctive anyway it would break up the flow of each respective chunk of story and be as jarring in its own way. It is a shame that some stuff has been printed out of sequence, though. I can forgive the World's Apart thing being tacked on at the end, but stuff like King Of The Hill and Cold Comfort being presented in the wrong order bothers me more than it should.

I enjoyed reading Headmasters again. The fourth issue struggles to introduce the Targetmasters and wrap the story up, but it feels like Bob's a bit more involved in the story here than in the ongoing at this time.

Regeneration One was a surprise. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it, but I did. Wildman's art is a bit off, with a lot of the characters he isn't familiar with looking a bit rough and the backgrounds are very sparse, but there's a decent story going on. It's a shame this makes Generation 2 null and void and Circuit Smasher, a thing... but it riffs off some of the same ideas- the Decepticons laying waste to Earth just for attention.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:11 am
by inflatable dalek
Well it's nice you liked it Skyquake.

I bit down and read the book yesterday, assuming I'd dance through it quickly and move on with a shrug of the shoulders at the fact getting the odd rum'un is the one downside of subscribing to a series like this (or it would be the one downside if Hachette didn't keep adding new and interesting downsides).

But I'd forgotten quite how awful it is. Issue 80.5 reads like a parody and the rest--despite a handful of good ideas that would make for a good comic if it didn't keep cutting away to the dead weight (something John Barber clearly agreed on actually, there's a lot of influences on later Ex-RID here. Especially Soundwave as the one true believer in Megatron's vision)--is overwhelming the worst thing Furman has ever written. By a mile.

Circuit Smasher is a handy poster child for the whole series. A continuity point that really didn't need addressing (was Circuit Breaker ever so popular this series couldn't happen without a copyright avoiding dodge?), looks idiotic and against the stated intent of not being retro and is just ****ing stupid. Seriously, CS doesn't have a single line of dialogue that's not the equivalent of being bummed by Jar Jar Binks.

And Optimus Prime is awful as well. Marvel Prime would only ever be depressed when inactive, pretty much every time he felt down going out and punching the shit out of something would sort him out (Crisis of Command and Yesterday's Heroes being fine examples), he would never spend 21 years feeling sad about not being dead. Frankly Bay Prime is far truer to the Marvel take.

The good bits mainly consists of a Mad Megatron twatting Earth. Sort of what All Hail Megatron should have been. But it can never get going.

And Wildman's art... The man was ludicrously passionate about Reg at conventions, with some mildly barmy yet entertaining old hippy ideas about Transformers.

So why does the work look so much like that of a guy who didn't give a ****? ... 3404602368

Or did he suddenly develop a fear of mouths?

Mind, I think Llama God on twitter may have hit the nail on the head when he compared it to a storyboard. I believe that's the area Wildman has mainly worked in recent years and that lack of the detail you'd expect in a comic but which would work fine for a rough guide to an animation seems to have carried over.

Of course, that shows an editorial failure for not asking for appropriate revisions. It looks like the normally reliable Barber was just like, "Yeah, give us anything, **** it."

I think the big problem is the idea Marvel had a rushed ending with lots of loose ends is a false one. You had the intended Big Final Issue the series had worked towards for months and then an unexpected five issue coda. That doesn't leave much good stuff to play with. The UK and G2 probably have bigger and with more potential dangling bits.

The making of material (and even the back cover!) is annoying as well for treating it as if it's The One And Only Ever Marvel Follow Up Ever (without doing perhaps the more useful thing for new readers experiencing the comics through this series of making it crystal clear that even though hachette are treating UK and US as one and the same--even if in only lip service--Reg is only carrying on from the US), which just makes me want to punch everyone involved.

I mean, I could if I so wished have the 200AD continuation of Dan Dare, the Revolver continuation of Dan Dare and the Virgin continuation of Dan Dare all on my bookcase. All contradictory and no doubt some are more popular with fans than others, but with no attempt by the publishers that theirs is the only one that matters. Why not have G2 and Reg on the same bookcase as well?

With the Star Trek partwork Eaglemoss are doing occasional special "Super size" hardbacks for big crossover stories at a higher price point. Whilst on the one hand it's impressive Hachette aren't trying to milk extra cash by, say, doing All Hail Megatron and Dark Cybertron that way, if they were to do just one for G2 they could take my cash. And I suspect the cash of a lot of other people as well.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 1:10 pm
by Brendocon 2.0
So I've had a reply from Hachette (only took... well, however long) asking me to send the Warhammer pack back to them and also saying that they've re-sent issues 9 and 10...

This is going to get worse before it gets better, isn't it?

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 8:56 pm
by Skyquake87
I've still to email them about my address (i've been busy!), but given that it took them the best part of two months to respond by email to my direct debit query (by which time I'd rung up in the meantime, making a nonsense of their reply...), I'm probably just going to ring them when I've some time.

@dalek, yeah the 80.5 (was that a free comic book day job? - it looks like one...) is bobbins, full of ludicrous ominous narration and some poor swirly cobblers with flashbacks and 'cracks' (whatever could they be?!), but I enjoyed the story proper for what it was. Prime sitting in a chair staring into space was pants, but what's 21 years when you're six million years old?

I'd agree that Reg One is the answer to a question no-one asked, but I did enjoy this opening salvo for what it was. Although I'd never paid much attention to the line in Headmasters about the original heads being left behind on Nebulous - I always forget that and assumed they'd carved up the Autobots' heads into exo suits for the squishy organics. Frankly, given the state of things by the Transformers leave Nebulous, I'm amazed they still exist.

I am disappointed that G2 is dismissed out of hand though. It's easily Furman's best work on Transformers having a strong over-arching plotline and lots of neat side adventures ('Tales Of Earth') that tie into the main story. If IDW or someone ever do a 'complete' trade - G.I.Joe lead in and the Fleetway stuff as an extra in a big fancy hardback, plus full page repros of Derek Yaniger's glorious cover artwork (plus those wee illustrations that show up in #12s letter page by assorted uncredited artists), they can happily have my money. I heart G2.

Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:23 pm
by inflatable dalek
Yeah, it was a FCBD thing. To bring new readers up to speed as they very much wanted something that would have broader appeal than just to old fans.


Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 7:50 am
by Housewife2000
I still can't believe that they're ignoring G2. It's easily one of my favourite runs - it's bold and different, yet builds on the past; it's strikingly stylised, thematically coherent (even if one of those themes is the dumb-as-anything "genetic morality") - and is one of the few comic book series where the "everything you know is wrong" propaganda actually fits. I have a lot of impartial nostalgia for it, but it generally (and genuinely) held up on a recent re-reading.

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 2:08 pm
by Cliffjumper
Yup, G2's basically the one Transformers story that holds up really, really well - dense, violent, largely free of commercial pressures, focused on a handful of leads with colour support, big stakes, an actual new villain who got things done, actual character development... It's a genuine horizon-widening that takes what it wants from the original run and junks what it doesn't and shows how good Furman could write when he was writing what he wanted rather than playing to the gallery.

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 5:47 pm
by Warcry
When was the last time anyone reprinted G2? I don't think IDW's touched it with any of their reprints either. I wonder if publishers are put off because of the four issue long G.I. Joe lead-in. Though it's not as if that's essential reading. Everything you need to know is recapped in the first couple issues. Or is this another case where Furman is trying to stop something from being republished because he's embarrassed of it, like the early UK issues?

I agree with everyone that it's a shame. G2 is one of my favourite chunk of Transformers stories, and probably the single best self-contained story Furman ever did.

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:02 pm
by Cliffjumper
There were a couple of bits in Best of Simon Furman (IIRC the alliance discussion from the back-ups) but aside from that I think we're talking Titan (thankfully when they were still printing ridiculous quantities so it's still easy to find).

Apparently the prick thinks it was "too nineties", though presumably it's more likely that his royalties deal with Regen was more favourable and to smear the thing in favour of the ONE TRUE post End of the Road comic.

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:05 pm
by inflatable dalek
Bits of it have been in "Best of" collections, but yeah, no full reprint. So whatever the issue is, it's bigger than Hachette (which probably rules out it being Furman blocking it as well, it didn't get into their money for old rope Classics stuff even before there was a Reg to favour).

IDW have actually reprinted the Joe issues in full at least twice in the time they've not done the follow up.

EDIT: Oh look at la de da Cliffy with his faster posting.

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:11 am
by Brendocon 2.0
Brendocon 2.0 wrote:So I've had a reply from Hachette (only took... well, however long) asking me to send the Warhammer pack back to them and also saying that they've re-sent issues 9 and 10...

This is going to get worse before it gets better, isn't it?
So I replied to this email saying "no, no, it's cool, I've got #9 and 10, it's only the bookends that are wrong". To which I got a reply saying "okay, we've sent the right bookends to you now".

Which they did. Those turned up last week.

Today I've been to the sorting office and collected #11 and #12.

And also another box containing #9 and #10 along with some TF bookends. Because obviously the first "fix" has turned up a week after the second one.

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:22 pm
by inflatable dalek
Read the latest books out of order as the first seemed like a good one to start on the train to Last Knight.

A few small niggles aside (using the American version of the last page of Man of Iron rather than the CC one), that's probably the strongest book in the series so far. The original miniseries is basically a Michael Bay Transformers film in terms of how all over the place like a mad woman's knitting it is (in retrospect putting Spider-Man in there as well was a mistake), but is still hugely likeable in its rough retro way and certainly never dull.

And two of the three British stories are great. And again, Man of Iron was presumably an influence on the new film.

Raiders is still rubbish, but the new colouring it staggeringly well done. Without comparing it directly to the original it's impossible for me to tell which pages were which. After the fudging of the colouring of the full B&W stories, it's great to see this done right.

Best behind the scenes stuff as well. Unused pages from one (including some I don't think we've seen before, turns out that mad page where Optimus Prime leads the Decepticon attack was a last second replacement), handwritten character notes and a good overview from Budiansky. Basically a great book for those dipping in and out of the series (though youngsters with no residual fondness for the series will probably find the miniseries and Raiders more towards the bad-bad end of the spectrum rather than bad-good).

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:18 pm
by Skyquake87
...still waiting on 11 & 12 :(

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:40 pm
by Ryan F
I just realised that Hachette's website allows you to just buy random issues, so I've decided to only get those books which have newly-colourised UK b/w stuff and the Dreamwave stuff, (Dreamwave having completely passed me by first time around, and as far as I'm aware some of it has never been reprinted before).

So am I right in saying that only four issues so far meet my to-buy criteria: Primal Scream, War Within, The Iron Fist and Power Play, is that correct?

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:23 pm
by Denyer
If they keep the license I assume IDW will put out the coloured material in volumes at some point -- although if you want DW material as well, it might be worth it?

Link for individual sales if anyone's interested: ... collection