Transformers: Bumblebee #1-4/TPB

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Transformers: Bumblebee #1-4/TPB

Post by zigzagger » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:50 pm

Tying in with the ongoing, this 4-part mini series (or perhaps maxi-spotlight?) stars the newly-elected Autobot leader, Bumblebee. Written by Zander Cannon and art by Chee Yang Ong.

This is your all purpose, no holds barred, Transformers: Bumblebee #1 reaction and discussion thread. Come share with us.

Scheduled for December 16th.

Preview @ previewsworld.com

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:32 pm

Ha. :) That was actually quite fun.

Not at all what I was expecting, given the substandard Bumblebee story of AHM:Coda. In fact, it was so different, I am almost skeptical about whether the same person wrote both.

It begins with a very cheesy scene of the Autobots "clanking" their glasses together and tipping their hats to newly elected Bumblebee, sounding off with their "hurrah"s and such. Cheeeeese. Thereafter though, it was excellent.

Despite the predictability of the story, I think it was handled very well. It was wordy in a good way, and the dialogue was head and shoulders above the sampling of Cannon from Coda.

The art was absolutely beautiful, some of the best IDW has given us yet. Very Senior-like with a sort of E.J.-painted twist.

Nice focus on a short cast of characters who have on full display just how naive they are in the leadership department with Prime, Ironhide, Hot Rod, and Prowl out of the way. Actually thought this was the most charming aspect of the story.

A solid "A-" from both Cannon and Chee.

Good to see IDW seems to have righted the ship, as I have found both this and the ongoing to be very good. With LSOTW on the way, things are looking good, indeed.

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Post by andersonh1 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:17 pm

Following the very unlikely event of Bumblebee being elected leader of the Autobots after Prime leaves, we get this mini-series exploring the idea in more depth. And it gets a lot right with regard to what would happen to the little guy if he were ever placed in that situation.

I’m not the world’s biggest Bumblebee fan. I don’t dislike the character by any means, but he’s far from my favorite. His prominence in Transformers fiction is hardly warranted. Far more interesting characters get much less page time, and that’s a shame. That being said, I had initially intended to skip this mini-series, but the premise of putting Bumblebee in command of the Autobots has actually captured my interest. And so far, it’s going about as I expected.

Bumblebee is a quiet, mild-mannered character. He doesn’t throw his weight around, and he’s not one to talk over others or insist on his own way. In other words, he’s not a dominant personality. Considering how many Autobots are, that puts him at a disadvantage right off the bat. He’s not commanding the respect he needs to lead, and others pretty much do what they want behind his back. And to be very blunt, Bumblebee is more than a little naïve.

Does anyone with an ounce of sense think that the Colonel is playing it straight with Bumblebee and the other Autobots? He’s clearly using the little guy to do his dirty work. If Frenzy is any indication, something isn’t quite right with the Decepticons that Skywatch is sending the Autobots after, and red flags ought to be going up in BB’s mind. And at the end when the Colonel puts Cliffjumper into stasis (temporarily of course….) and then sends Bumblebee after Blurr, even the most dense of readers should be clear that this situation is leading up to the most basic of double-cross outcomes. Skywatch will use Bumblebee and the Autobots, and then capture them in turn once their usefulness is done.

And all I have to say is, Starscream was pretty careless when he evacuated. How many Decepticons did he leave behind anyway? And would Soundwave really leave Frenzy behind?

I'm not a fan of the art style. I'm not saying it's bad, because it's good at telling the story clearly and the characters are all recognizable. It just doesn't appeal to me. But I appreciate the variety in art styles between this book and the ongoing.

Anyway, Bumblebee’s being played here, and at least one of the Autobots ought to have figured that out by now. A decent setup issue, but I’d better see the Autobots display some intelligence soon.
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Post by Brimstone » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:07 pm

Have I missed something? Didn't either Skywarp or Thundercracker die at the end of AHM? And haven't both now shown up (in either the on-going or this BBMS?)?
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Post by andersonh1 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:39 am

Brimstone wrote:Have I missed something? Didn't either Skywarp or Thundercracker die at the end of AHM? And haven't both now shown up (in either the on-going or this BBMS?)?
Skywarp shot Thundercracker for blowing up the nuke and then flew off, but we never saw Thundercracker hit. It happened off panel. So the amount of damage he took was never established. I would have read the scene as Skywarp intending to kill Thundercracker, but we actually never see it happen.
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Red Dave Prime
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Post by Red Dave Prime » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:37 am

Quite like the humans as arseholes feel to this. It works quite well. The story skips along quite well and if you can overlook some little issues here and there its quite engaging.

The arts nice and different but I dont get why they bothered letting DF re-design the characters if other artists arent even trying to match it.

IDW isnt redeemed yet, this could still go tits-up, but like the ongoing its overall a positive move.

I'm getting a bit fed up with IDW releasing one series before the events are revealed in another. They may see it as releasing little teasers for the next ongoing issue, but I find it takes away from whats to come. Here its the magnus situation (and to a certain extent, Hot Rods). This would have worked better coming out after issue 3 of the ongoing.

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Post by Denyer » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:16 am

Red Dave Prime wrote:I'm getting a bit fed up with IDW releasing one series before the events are revealed in another. They may see it as releasing little teasers for the next ongoing issue, but I find it takes away from whats to come. Here its the magnus situation (and to a certain extent, Hot Rods). This would have worked better coming out after issue 3 of the ongoing.
Yeah. AHM diluted Maximum Dinobots, in particular. And there's no good reason apparent for siphoning off an arc of the ongoing into a mini.

Looks good, reads well, the only worry is the predictability of things so far. Unless there are interesting curveballs coming, the series as a whole is going to fall flat.

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Post by BeastWars 4ever » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:22 am

This really is a must read. It's so closely entwined with the Ongoing, I'm actually starting to wonder what the Ongoing is going to focus on the next few months. Here is my full review: http://tfzonethetransformersblog.blogspot.com/

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Transformers: Bumblebee #2

Post by zigzagger » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:09 am

This is your all purpose Transformers: Bumblebee #2 reaction and discussion thread.

Out January 20.

Preview pages @ Big Small Comix.

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Hmm. May just end up merging this into one thread due to low traffic/general reception to the book.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:09 am

Wow. That was jarringly bad.

This comic couldn't decide what it wanted to be. Funny? Serious? Aimed at children? Aimed at adults? Profound? Philosophical? Tongue in cheek?

Aside from the art, this is a step way back from the first issue. The dialogue had to be some of the worst in a TF comic.

The first page with Blurr was actually pretty good. I smiled. But thereafter, it simply lost everything going for it, and I might even say it derailed the series as a whole.

The whole premise is just silly. Was Bumblebee's speech intended to be rousing? Cause to me, it was just annoying. The tech to keep the Autobots under control seemed gimmicky. I mean, the Autobots can't speak without the Colonel hearing them because of the device, but Bumblebee can speak to them without the Colonel hearing? What kind of device is that? Contrived, that's the kind.

Give it a "D+", the art being the only positive thing about it. Never have the Autobots looked so annoyingly stupid. By the end, you want Devastator to show up and crush the Autobots to dust.

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Post by andersonh1 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:15 am

I have to second your opinion. I didn't like this issue all that much. I’m really not very impressed with the quality of the art or the writing in this series. However, having read this issue, I’ll go ahead and put down my thoughts on it.

The writing: The main problem I have with the writing is that all the characters are too stupid to be believable. Let’s not beat around the bush here: the Autobots act like idiots, and the Skywatch general acts like one as well. Bumblebee finally figures out that the general will double-cross them when he has no further use for them, and that the Autobots are trapped in a no-win situation, when that should have been evident from the start. Likewise, the general falls for Bumblebee and Ratchet’s little pantomime routine when it should be obvious that the two are putting on an act. It’s like a badly written sitcom, so obvious and fake is the double act.

Now I’ll give the author some credit for not waiting until issue 4 to have the Autobots realize that the ultimate double-cross is coming. That particular plot development is so obvious that there’s just no way to drag things out and spring it on the reader at the last minute. So why don’t the Autobots just take the control badges off? Since that’s what Skywatch is holding over their heads, why keep wearing them? And it’s awfully convenient that Blurr decides to shoot Bumblebee in such a way that BB’s badge is disabled, but the general never notices despite the fact that it’s sparking big blue sparks the whole time.

And how exactly does Blurr have an Earth mode over in the ongoing, but has his Cybertronian mode here? And does he have to revert back to his super fast talking characteristic that IDW had thankfully discarded up to this point?

The only real interesting tidbit this issue offers is Bumblebee's assertion to Scavenger that Transformers have as much right to live on Earth as humans do. What? Since when? And why would he believe that? This is the first we've seen that any Autobot is thinking of settling on Earth permanantly, and I'd like to see this idea explored further.

The art: I just don’t like Chee’s artistic style. I didn’t care for it in the AHM coda issues, and I didn’t really like it in issue #1. By itself it doesn’t make or break the series, but combine it with sub-par writing and it drags the issue down.

The verdict: I still think the idea of Bumblebee taking the leadership of the Autobots when he’s utterly unsuited for such a role is sound and interesting. But the art, characterization and dialogue don’t support the concept. I’m honestly thinking that this is the last issue of the mini that I’m going to buy, despite being interested in where the story goes. I guess I’ll see how I feel next month.
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Post by Red Dave Prime » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:58 pm

Its just too slight and silly. Wouldnt be so bad if it was out of continuity and done purely for laughs but its not and suffers for it. Also the characters sometimes have no relation to previous appearance. Blurs an obvious one but Skywarp seems insane - which being that he was always more the mindless thug seems more then unlikely.

Still like the art as a change of style even if IDW cant be arsed keeping character models the same over joined series.

Theres still 2 issues and a good twist may help but at the moment I just dont have an urge to read what happens next.

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Transformers: Bumblebee #3

Post by zigzagger » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:30 pm

This is your all purpose Transformers: Bumblebee #3 reaction and discussion thread.

Due to hit the shelves February 17

Preview pages @ Comics Continuum.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:53 am

Very strange, this series, as this issue wasn't so bad like the last.

I think what Jack was saying about the second issue and it being charming in it's own way is actually more how I felt about this issue. Reminded me of the old light-hearted Marvel one-shot stories like when Megatron was stolen by that thief, or when Skids got "involved" with that girl. The scenes of Bee with that little girl were very reminiscent of that.

Of course, the story is still lame, but if I approach this series the right way, maybe it deserves more credit than what I've given it.

In any case, still loving Chee's style.

Give it a "B-". Not great, but if approached with a not-so-critical eye, there might be something to like in it.

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:33 pm

Nah, sorry. This is silly.

Doesnt help that I seem to pick up bumblebee on the same day as wreckers - again. The comparison just doesnt help it at all.

But lets be a little fair - its a slight improvement on the second issue. Sadly thats not really a recommendation.

Every character in this seems to be an idiot. The military are stupid not to spot that its not bumblebee. The dialogue even seems to set them up as being careless and stupid (of course, they were tired so thats explained)

Then Ratchet is thick with his gaff. I wont say it in case it "spoils" but its just.. god, so stoopid!

As for the bumblebee/ little girl scenes - god, its just so pitiful. Bumblebee hides behind a wooden fence - a feckin wooden fence. The girl automatically acts friendly to him (If you read the scene and assume its a person with bad intentions driving by and not bumblebee the scene is kinda creepy :)) Then he feels bad because he is betraying a little girls thrust - for a total of 15 minutes. And by god, I think that his confession to ratchet that gets overheard by the military may lead to a "Sorry autobots, we misjudged you" scene in the last issue.

Skywarp also continues his strange monologue. But he always was a bit thick.

Sheesh.

Maybe IDW is aiming for the kids with this one. but wasnt that what animated and the movie comics were for?

The only thing I liked in this was the tension created by bumblebee only having 15 minutes to do the tech work. that was kinda good. And I still like the art.

Just Terrible.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:59 pm

Red Dave Prime wrote: Maybe IDW is aiming for the kids with this one.
I think so.

At least, I hope so.

I actually think the idea of overhearing Bumblebee's communication with Wheeljack being the thing that changes Cornholio's or whatever his name is mind is a nice touch. Bumblebee's hesitation, even with something so seemingly insignificant as fooling a little girl, embodies what being an Autobot is really all about. For me, that's one of the few positive aspects of the story I take away from this.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:33 pm

Thing is though, kids are only going to buy comics about either the Movie stuff or Animated, only paunchy middle aged people are going to pick up a G1 comic so why bother aiming it at children?
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Post by Red Dave Prime » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:45 pm

Very True. IDW should acknowledge that the gen 1 comics are mostly read by an older customer. I'm not saying I want mature content comics with gore, death and swearing but I do want mature storytelling and characters. (in as much as a story about giant, transforming robots can get)

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Transformers: Bumblebee #4

Post by zigzagger » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:38 am

This is your all purpose Transformers: Bumblebee #4 reaction and discussion thread.

Out March 10.

Preview pages @ Comics Continuum.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:42 pm

It's hard to be especially critical of something that takes you back to Man of Iron so convincingly.

So I'll say it this way. Had I been at the age I was when I actually read Man of Iron, I would have loved this. It's a simple story about the least likely Autobot taking on a role he isn't quite cut out for. It's nostalgically charming in it's own way, and for that it doesn't deserve a place amongst the TF/Avengers crossovers and Micromasters dregs of TF comic lore.

But it's also far from being worth the purchase price. The story is predictable with a capital "P". It's very old hat Marvel in it's plot, which at this stage of the game, isn't a good thing for the longtime TF comic reader, IMO.

However, I do feel it is important to recognize the incredible artwork of this series. Not just Chee, by Moose Baumann, the colorist, need to be recognized for the outstanding visuals here. Had it not been for their work on this, I probably wouldn't have found this series easy to swallow. So kudos to you guys for taking me back to the Man of Iron days here.

Give it a "C+", and give the series overall a "C-".

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