Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

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Warcry
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Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Warcry » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:41 pm

Apologies in advance...this is probably going to get wordy. :) I just felt like writing all of this down after all the reading I did.

Inspired by our friend dalek's frankly amazing retrospective on the UK book, I set myself the task of reading the entire Marvel run in one go. About a quarter of the way through I realized why I'd never done it before, and overall it took me about a year, but I'm glad I did! This is the first time I've ever considered the book as a solid whole instead of in bite-sized chunks, and I'm really surprised by how much it changed my perspective on...well, almost all of it.

First of all, I appreciate Bob Budiansky a lot more now than I did before. The man catches a lot of flak in the fandom, and in my opinion most of it is undeserved. I think that people tend to look back on his stories retrospectively, sneer down their noses and say "that's not what Transformers stories are supposed to be". There's a bit less of that now than there was a decade and a half ago, when the fandom was more or less split between cartoon fans and Furmanites, but the narrative still lingers.

But that's silly. First of all, it's entirely unfair to look at work from the early years of the franchise and judge it against a standard that didn't exist yet. And second of all, as the IDW universe showed us...Transformers can be so much more than identikit Saturday morning cartoon fare or po-faced space opera. And I think that's something that Budiansky was showing people right from the beginning. Because when he wrote the Transformers for Marvel, he wasn't writing "proper Transformers comics". He was writing 80s Marvel comics that happened to have Transformers in them. The sometimes downright bizarre adventures that he created are things that wouldn't have been out of place in most of Marvel's superhero fare in that decade, and after having read a lot of 80s superhero books recently I found myself enjoying the Budiansky issues a lot more than I'd expected.

That isn't to say there wasn't some dreck. Prime committing suicide over a video game will never not be dumb, and by the time the Pretenders came around it was pretty clear that he was done with the whole thing. But on the whole...honestly, there was a good stretch of time where I was enjoying the US books far more than the contemporary UK stuff.

And speaking of segues, how about that UK stuff, huh? Well, for one thing, Simon Furman seems to view his first year or so's output as something of an old shame. And I, honestly, can't imagine why. I loved the early (pre-Galvatron) UK stuff. It was weird and wonderful, and it really fleshed out the early-years characters in a way what the US book simply didn't have the pages for. Soundwave in particular was a gem here, compared to the total non-entity he was in the US (if I hadn't recently read Out of Time and seen him chatting away after Mindwipe brainwashed him, you probably coiuld have convinced me that he'd never spoken in the US books at all). And of course the Dinobots were fantastic too.

I was surprised to find that I adored the late-run black and white stuff too. Now, I completely understand why the UK crowd don't -- these strips represent the slow death of homegrown content, and of the book as a whole. And the format of the book in the days when these were being published was just idiotic. The US stories were basically unreadable broken up into five-page chunks, and even this stuff got hard to follow...I quickly gave up trying to hop between the two and just read all the black-and-whites together, then went back and read all the US issues properly after that. But taken on their own merits, there is a ton to like here. In a way, it represented the comics (and Furman) going back to their roots, telling smaller-scale stories that served to shed light on a ton of characters that hadn't gotten much love in the US book. Including more great work with Soundwave, some attention for the totally-overlooked Sunstreaker and Tracks...and of course, my guy Spinister. The fact that it's impossible to fit into the main timeline honestly matters a lot less to me now that I've seen much worse nonsense happening in much more carefully-edited comics.

What I didn't like so much was the Galvatron/future stuff. It started off poorly (Target:2006 had piles of ridiculous plot holes), continued poorly (becoming a thinly-veiled backdoor pilot for Death's Head for about a year, guest-starring the Transformers in their own book) and ended poorly (Time Wars is obviously a mess and the less said about Space Pirates the better) without ever coming close to paying off the narrative arc of any of it's main protagonists. Death's Head obviously falls right out of the universe, Ultra Magnus never appears again after beating up some gladiators in an unrelated side-quest (both of these felt like an RPG campaign having to be hastily rewritten by the GM after two of the players dropped out half way through), and Rodimus never proves to himself that he's a worthy Prime. There were definitely a lot of good moments along the way, so I understand why the folks who grew up with these stories have such good memories of them. But taken as a whole, it's hard for me to call the overarching storyline anything but a failure.

Furman's step into the US book started off a bit shakily too. A part of the problem is that he was dropped in smack dab in the middle of the Micromaster-shilling, right at the tail end of Hasbro giving a shit about the comic as a toy-selling vehicle. So he was forced to build his plot around a bunch of characters that he clearly couldn't give two shits about. Acting like people should care about Megatron (who's never been much more than a joke in the US book) was probably a questionable choice too. Things did get better once the Classics Pretenders joined the fold though, since he clearly actually wanted to be writing about those four.

Things carried on in much the same way for most of the first year. Matrix Quest was very hot and cold, coinciding with whether each individual issue starred Furman's favourites or not. Nightbeat or Grimlock? You're golden. Longtooth or Dogfight? Run for the hills! Rhythms of Darkness was an enjoyable alt-future cliche-storm, at least, but the book doesn't actually get reliably good until the Megatron/Ratchet fusion pops out of Unspace. The last year was pretty golden, though.

And, of course, G2. It's insane and ridiculous and so deliriously 90s that you'd almost have to think that the creative team were leaning into the XTREEM to have a laugh at the trends that were going on in the industry at the time. Though with the way Furman treats this series as an old shame nowadays, maybe he actually did think this was what all the young, hip 90s kids wanted to read?

Of course, while G2 manages to be a really good story about Prime, Megatron (finally making him genuinely cool in the Marvel TF-verse), Starscream and Grimlock, it was also quite possibly the worst toy-advertising comic ever made. Almost no one (Sideswipe and Prime are the only ones that readily come to mind...I certainly didn't spy a purple Ramjet or technicolour Combaticons) had their G2 colours, and most of the characters in the G2 toyline were pushed to the background in favour of guys like Hot Rod, Kup, Soundwave or the like. Which, again, I loved...but Hasbro probably didn't, and it probably contributed to the book getting axed after 12 issues.

Which brings me to my last thought about Furman. These days, you'll hear people say that his greatest weakness as a writer is that he can't end a story properly. I don't think that's true. He's certainly had some big failures in that department (Time Wars, Revelations), but also some big successes (On The Edge of Extinction, A Rage in Heaven). No, his greatest weakness is, and has always been, a complete and utter inability (or unwillingness) to put any thought into how he writes any characters bar his handful of stars.

When Budiansky created the characters for the franchise, he did it knowing full well that he'd never be able to give most of them the attention they'd need to become fully fleshed-out characters. So he made sure that they would be memorable for kids even if all he ever did with them were a few lines as they stood in the background. A lot of the time they sounded silly, sure, but he did a really good job of making sure that even scrubs like Weirdwolf or Sinnertwin or Hardhead often had their own unique "voice" when they briefly got to do something.

Compared to that standard, it's hard not to find Furman wanting. His main characters have a lot of depth, but everyone else just sounds like...well, like an identikit Furman backgrounder. No one sounds unique (Weirdwolf talks like Yoda no longer does :( ) So Needlenose or a Battlecharger or Ruckus or one of the dumb Firecons will spout off with long-winded eloquent speeches when the plot requires, or someone like Spinister will temporarily become a quippy goon when Furman wants to include some snappy combat banter. That sort of thing wasn't anywhere near as noticeable when I read his stuff piecemeal, but taken all in one dose it really stands out. I never cared about the background cast in Furman's books the way I did in Budiansky's, even though objectively they gave them about the same amount of stuff to do. It's hard to get upset when background characters get Furmanated because I know I won't miss them -- another flat spearcarrier will be spouting identical lines next issue.

But overall, I definitely really enjoyed reading it all! Aside from a few of the black-and-white UK issues I don't think any of it was new to me, but it had been a long time since I'd read most of it. I think that let me look on it with new eyes, a bit, and I was surprised by what I found. Surprised by how much I enjoyed the stuff I wasn't expecting to, and also I guess surprised by how I enjoyed some other stuff less than I'd expected. But overall, I think it compares favourably to most of the other 80s books I've read extensively.

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Cyberstrike nTo
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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Cyberstrike nTo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:15 pm

I think Furman's biggest weakness is that for modern comics he can't write for TPB, which for better or worse is how many people read paper comics now of days. He writes some great one-shots or 25+ issues epics but when was starting up IDW's original TF comics. I think the continuing mini-series format and all of the various Spotlights made it hard to keep track for people like me to what was going on and while I personally don't like the continuing mini-series format because it IMHO you can only do 2 storylines in each series (an "A" plot that is the main story and a "B" plot that this is the set up for the next series) strangely I've only read 2 series that did right John Byrne's Next Men and Noble Causes (which later became an ongoing series and was better as an ongoing series).

Also I think Furman was constantly introducing more and more and more stuff with the only the idea that it would pay off and by the time it was time to pay it off and IDW had flooded the market of all kinds of Transformers comics set in Beast Wars, The Live Action Movie Universe, and the then new G1 Universe that it kind got lost in the shuffle.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Denyer » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 pm

Warcry wrote:I was surprised to find that I adored the late-run black and white stuff too. Now, I completely understand why the UK crowd don't
I do. It ends with a bit of a whimper, but I started on the comic at 268 (apart from a random issue 134 and whatever annuals, collected comics and stray issues could be had from shops, car boot sales, wet playtime boxes, etc). The art was done for black-and-white, and some of it looks lush: Senior in particular with the angles and hard blacks.

Humour, seriousness, arcs, throwaways, there's a bit of everything.
I appreciate Bob Budiansky a lot more now than I did before. The man catches a lot of flak in the fandom,
It's turned around as people have gotten older, and Bob's also interacted with the fandom for a while (I think the Movie adaptation can be laid squarely at IDW editorial). The greater part of the headline characters and some core concepts are his, and the profile A-Z and tech specs are a huge part of why I'm still a fan.
Time Wars is obviously a mess and the less said about Space Pirates the better [...] I understand why the folks who grew up with these stories have such good memories of them
The thing is I didn't... personally it was conveyed as annual text story recaps and tie-in strips, the poorly managed CC partial reprints, etc. Space Pirates has some highlights (that stark wall of corpses reveal and the Soundwave/Magnus alliance) and so does Time Wars even if the ending is a trite one-pager. Legacy of Unicron had that two-page sea of bodies and Smokescreen/Inferno, etc.
G2. It's insane and ridiculous and so deliriously 90s that you'd almost have to think that the creative team were leaning into the XTREEM to have a laugh at the trends that were going on in the industry at the time. Though with the way Furman treats this series as an old shame nowadays, maybe he actually did think this was what all the young, hip 90s kids wanted to read?
The way it's been ignored or disavowed is disappointing. Yaniger is every bit as defining as Senior to my mind (and it's great to see Zama pick up that torch with 2000AD mixed in) and even the rest of the art, taken in the context of production deadlines, is bold and effective. I like representative stuff such as Lobo: Infanticide or The Kindly Ones.

Storywise it's like that teaser led up to at the end of Infiltration -- had it continued, I doubt if the Liege Maximo would have quite paid off. But it was a hell of a year's worth of issues.

Furman had a great grasp of stringing together short stories of 5 or 10 pages into longer arcs (even G2 was split into stories per issue) and it's understandable characters do what they need to do to convey the plot in those circumstances. His writing style hasn't translated to so-called "modern" comics, except insofar as other people are doing it; eg Roberts got it ingrained at a formative stage that comics should be densely written (also polished and/or led down different paths by JLU and RD, of course). And TFs was clearly something that Furman invested more into than just a day job, having read some of his other Marvel UK output -- Thundercats and Action Force are light fare.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by inflatable dalek » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:24 am

At last I have inspired someone in a good way!

Furam's dialogue patterns (as opposed to the Furmanisms we all knew) really stand out in everything he did after Marvel where it fell even more into stock. The worst offenders being his IDW Bay comics where literally no one talks like a living person ever has. Especially Bumblebee, who uses eight syllable words in his inner monologue. And I know folk say "Give him some slack, they didn't have a huge amount of info on the film", but if the only thing you'd been told was "Michael Bay film" you'd come up with something closer than that.

I do kind of wish he'd shut up as well. So many younger fans actively hate him now for doubling down on his views of fembots and relationships, it's a shame. He's destroyed his own legacy.

(For my views on the Marvel comics themselves, buy my books!)

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Warcry » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:03 pm

Cyberstrike nTo wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:15 pm
I think Furman's biggest weakness is that for modern comics he can't write for TPB, which for better or worse is how many people read paper comics now of days.
I don't necessarily agree with that. Keep in mind that I haven't read his IDW output since it was relatively new (my big pile of early IDW trades is next on my to-read list, I think, now that I'm done Marvel), so I may be misremembering. But I think Infiltration and Stormbringer were good trade-sized stories, so he clearly can do it when he has to. But after that things really did become a bit of a mess, because Furman stopped writing for the trade and started writing as if he was working on an ongoing series, with all sorts of problems cropping up as the story he was trying to tell got shoved into an ill-fitting "miniseries and one-shots" set of boxes. Furman and the editors were both to blame for how badly his run fell apart towards the end. He should have known better, but equally, they never should have let him run wild like that.
Cyberstrike nTo wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:15 pm
Also I think Furman was constantly introducing more and more and more stuff with the only the idea that it would pay off and by the time it was time to pay it off and IDW had flooded the market of all kinds of Transformers comics set in Beast Wars, The Live Action Movie Universe, and the then new G1 Universe that it kind got lost in the shuffle.
Honestly, I think this is what happened with him in the middle days of the UK book as well. Instead of telling the story that he had in front of him -- Galvatron running amok in the modern day, in the UK stuff; the Decepticons' infiltration protocol on Earth in IDW -- he kept introducing new elements, or getting diverted to totally different plots entirely. And then when outside situations no, let's be blunt -- when falling sales caused by people losing interest in a plot that wasn't going anywhere forced him to finally wrap things up, in both cases there wasn't nearly enough time to resolve things satisfactorily. So we got, in turns, Time Wars and Revelations/Maximum Dinobots.
Denyer wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 pm
I do.
Sorry, bad phrasing on my part...I'd meant to say that it's not usually as well-regarded by most UK fans, not that no one over there liked it. :)
Denyer wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 pm
The art was done for black-and-white, and some of it looks lush: Senior in particular with the angles and hard blacks.
I enjoyed the art a lot too. Senior's was probably the best of the bunch, and I say that as someone who's left cold by the man's earlier coloured work. But Wildman also got progressively better in black and white as time went on, and even the second-stringers turned in a lot of solid work.
Denyer wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 pm
It's turned around as people have gotten older, and Bob's also interacted with the fandom for a while (I think the Movie adaptation can be laid squarely at IDW editorial). The greater part of the headline characters and some core concepts are his, and the profile A-Z and tech specs are a huge part of why I'm still a fan.
I totally agree. The bios he wrote were the biggest (or often only) chunk of fiction I had for most of the Transformer toys I owned as a kid, since most of them came out after the cartoon died and I didn't get into reading the comics until after Hasbro stopped caring about it, and Furman had stopped having to use the new toys as anything but crowd filler.

But I still hear a lot of people just kinda grudgingly give the man credit for all that as a preamble to dumping on the stories he wrote. And it's too bad, because probably more than 90% of his stories were perfectly enjoyable 80s superhero book fare. The tone is just so different from what people have come to expect that I think a lot of people reject it without actually giving it much of a chance. Heck, I did that too the first time I read his stories (back in the early 2000s when the site still hosted comic scans).
Denyer wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 pm
Space Pirates has some highlights (that stark wall of corpses reveal and the Soundwave/Magnus alliance) and so does Time Wars even if the ending is a trite one-pager. Legacy of Unicron had that two-page sea of bodies and Smokescreen/Inferno, etc.
This is sort of what I meant. All of the stories from that era have moments to like. For example, I really enjoy the Magnus/Galvatron throwdown issue in Target: 2006 even though I'm not a fan of that arc as a whole. The Space Pirates moments you mention are a couple bright spots in another not-so-great plot. Dry Run is one of my favourite individual issues of the UK book. All the Death's Head-centric stories read well enough in isolation, etc... It's only when I put it all together and read it all in one big bunch that I realized how badly it all fit together, and how rudderless the entire gigantic story arc actually feels.

Back when I first read this stuff, kinda piecemeal through various scans as I could track them down, I'd have read something like Headhunt and said "That Death's Head guy is pretty cool!" Nowadays it's more like "That Death's Head guy was pretty cool...but they spent 150 pages telling stories about him in the Transformers book to big him up for his own series, and meanwhile Ultra Magnus never got any closure because Furman ran out of space for it". Or how the sheer sense of impending doom that Dry Run creates becomes a bit of a damp squib when you know that the payoff was a pile of limp nonsense fluffed up by senseless deaths for a bunch of third-string characters.
Denyer wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 pm
Storywise it's like that teaser led up to at the end of Infiltration -- had it continued, I doubt if the Liege Maximo would have quite paid off. But it was a hell of a year's worth of issues.
A Rage in Heaven was a great ending because it managed to draw a neat line under things while still making you wonder what happens next. Truly the issue that launched a thousand fanfics!
Denyer wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 pm
Furman had a great grasp of stringing together short stories of 5 or 10 pages into longer arcs (even G2 was split into stories per issue) and it's understandable characters do what they need to do to convey the plot in those circumstances.
I think just in general, the more constrained or "boxed in" the man was, the better the end result. Be it the tiny page count of the black-and-white stuff, the general "put all the toys back in the box at the end" ethos of the early UK stuff or the looming threat of cancellation that was his companion through his US Marvel and G2 runs, IMO his best stuff came when he didn't have total creative control and had to fit his story into a shape imposed from outside. When he's been given free reign (as in the middle years of the UK book, or his IDW run) he just seems to get caught in a cycle of perpetual buildup with no end in sight until the door gets slammed on him unexpectedly.

If you reread G2, it's like you can spy the exact moment where the man got the news that the book for sure wouldn't be renewed past issue 12 and everything shifted into overdrive. I don't think I'd have enjoyed it anywhere near as much if we'd gotten 20 or 30 issues trundling along at the same relaxed pace as #2-#5 had.
inflatable dalek wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:24 am
Furam's dialogue patterns (as opposed to the Furmanisms we all knew) really stand out in everything he did after Marvel where it fell even more into stock. The worst offenders being his IDW Bay comics where literally no one talks like a living person ever has. Especially Bumblebee, who uses eight syllable words in his inner monologue. And I know folk say "Give him some slack, they didn't have a huge amount of info on the film", but if the only thing you'd been told was "Michael Bay film" you'd come up with something closer than that.
I haven't read any of his Bay comics, but I do know what you mean. Even in his Dreamwave and Infiltration days his characters were starting to sound more and more samey as the field of Transformers he cared enough about to give unique voices to started to shrink. I'm not at all surprised to hear how the Bayverse stuff turned out because I'm sure that entire cast fell into his "yeah, whatever" pile.

Speaking of Furmanisms, I'm pretty sure I spotted four occurrences of "It's over -- finished!" in US#80 alone. I'm not even going to try to count all the "What do you think you're playing at?"s or "Better to fight and die than live with the knowledge that I ran!"s that I saw in the US issues.
inflatable dalek wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:24 am
I do kind of wish he'd shut up as well. So many younger fans actively hate him now for doubling down on his views of fembots and relationships, it's a shame. He's destroyed his own legacy.
What of it? Robots having genders is deeply silly and robots having romantic relationships is doubly silly. But it's a kind of silly that we've been stuck with since 1985 at the very latest and it's deeply ingrained in the franchise by now, so you'd think he'd have gotten over it a long time ago. I mean, it's not any more silly than robots talking like they're from the Deep South, robots that live for millions of years with no seeming changes to their personality or robots who just happened to find Earth vehicles that left them with the exact same alt-mode kibble as they had on Cybertron. And he's perfectly happy to roll with all of those things, so I don't get why robot gender is a bridge too far. But he's not actually wrong to call it for the nonsense that it is.

Well, not unless he's shouted something especially offensive into the ether in the last couple years that I've missed, anyway. I haven't really paid attention to the man since before ReGeneration One. Which IMO did more damage to his legacy than his odd personal opinions ever could.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Denyer » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:45 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:24 am
So many younger fans actively hate him now for doubling down on his views of fembots and relationships, it's a shame. He's destroyed his own legacy.
Twitter's just a different kind of echo chamber to Facebook, and as much as MTMTE and to a lesser extent LL developed some audience beyond existing readers it's unlikely to be more than a blip in licensed fiction. Toys and comics wise there are now guaranteed nods to identifiably female characters, beast modes and combiners whilst there's a conviction it'll shift a percentage more units.
Warcry wrote:he's not actually wrong to call it for the nonsense that it is.
Eh, it's not as if it's difficult to add convincing rationales without resorting to hackneyed DNA/organic analogues -- Cybertronians mimic other cultures, including vehicles, fauna, accents (dubiously) and humanoid appearances and behaviours. Would be nice to see more of that for aliens that aren't basically humans, but then it'd be nice to see more aliens that aren't basically humans.
Warcry wrote:It's only when I put it all together and read it all in one big bunch
It's like multi-part classic Who, when binged it's evident how much of the plotting was reactive over a longer period of time.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:00 pm

posting in haste on the way to the chippie (I really need to get on the PC more often than when I'm doing Transformation, makes for easier replies but it's always so rushed...).

I think it's fair to say that we're more in an echo chamber here than Twitter, where we're 95% white old guy fans.

The gist of what annoys a lot of women fans and pretty much all as far as I can tell of the LGTB community is that when Furman tries to write Transformers as genderless beings (or at least to bring attention to it) he is working from ideas that are 30 years out of date. Probably more.

More obviously of course, he's never gotten that "He" is not a gender neutral term, you use it, you're not writing a androgynous species. You're writing a bunch of guys, with any woman being treated as a freakish aberration.

And here today as people understand these things more and become more open to accepting who they really are, we have more happily out gender neutral people. And gender fluid people and non-binary folk. There's a lot of them in Transformers fandom. It's fairly easy to talk to them without using gendered pronouns if they don't use them. And they very much feel that in his clunky analogy Furman is enforcing a lot of negative stereotypes. Because it's a wide spectrum, they have relationships and get horny and ****. The idea that humans are a binary gender with it associated entirely to reproduction simply isn't true, nor is the idea that if robots don't reproduce sexually that they would be genderless neuters because we see that isn't the case here on Earth more and more every day.

That is of course taking some big ideas and boiling them down into pretty basic concepts, which is where I would recommend getting onto Twitter (Which, as is it equally good for enabling Nazis, does let marginalised groups find each other and have a voice) and talking to some of the new fans who really don't like forums (mainly becasue TFW2005 is a cesspit outside of a few sensible places). They are very eloquent and put accross how those decisions (which you still see in things like his current computer game work) affect them and how he doesn't listen and gets snarky if people try to explain their POV to him makes them very unforgiving.

As I say, I think it's a shame because I don't think Furman sits at his desk hating women or asexuals, I think he's just a stubborn arse when it comes to being open to new thinking. But if you're on the receiving end, there's no real difference between the two.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Skyquake87 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:27 pm

I've just been idly thinking about Dark Horse's old Terminator comics where some of the T-800 endoskeletons had female flesh bodies "Her butt make look biteable, but believe me, you'd break your teeth." That's kind of how I feel about female Transformers, and gendered robots I suppose. They can mimic and replicate local life in all it's forms to blend in, but it doesn't define what they are and any indigenous life form is likely to refer to them in passing in whatever pro-noun their language has and in whichever way that individual robot's characteristics present themselves to them. Which is a big waffly way of saying I'm quite okay with that old handwavy 'they're called 'he' as most of the Transformers have characteristics that to us are largely male'.

To me, Transformers aren't gay or straight or whatever. It's not unreasonable for them to have any kind of relationships or body shape that looks male/ female/ inbetween, but nor do I think they have such things in the way we understand them (or percieve them), so some kind of shorthand is needed. Especially when you're churning out comics on a tight deadline.

This issue about gender pronouns and whatnot is a bigger issue than fighting robots, and it is very hard to leave behind gender pronouns which describe male and female bodies, that have been ingrained for centuries. Language shifts and changes over time, and I don't think we're quite at the point where gender-less pronouns are in common use. And for some of us (waves), we're not living or working in an environment where such things are mentioned or discussed overmuch (which given the hilarious diversity of my workplace, is surprising) so I can understand why such things may seem alien or strange to some people. The most I've had to put up with in my own life experience thus far are some women who prefer to be referred to as 'Ms' (and get cross if you get it wrong) and men who insist on being referred to as 'Dr'. Or in one instance, 'Captain' (not a real captain). Even at work, we've had only 1 customer (so far) request that 'Mx' be a title available to be used on the bills and letters we've sent. So I can understand that excitement on a pocket of Twitter (sizeable though it may be) has yet to filter through into the everyday and inform / shape the opinions of wider society.

Plus, have you tried getting some older people to change their opinion - it's f**king impossible. And leads to Brexit (#satire).

The Marvel run! I like that there's two different gears of storytelling between the US and UK comics. I love Bob's imaginative and strange stories and how he frames them with reference to humanity. The UK stuff, having originally been published on a more frequent schedule, is understandably a bit more about creating some energy and excitement to keep people engaged. Framed in the context of environment that brought us Action, Battle, 2000AD and so on, it's no surprise that the UK stuff is that much more lively. And violent.

I agree with that the Death's Head era of Transformers is where the success of the book is going to everyone's head a bit, leading to the bloated 'Target: 2006' and meandering 'Volcano' arc. But, they still have enough about them to feel fresh and interesting. Both of them highlight Furman's weakness for larger arcs without some strict editorial control.Dragon's Claws and G2 work as there's a clear end point in sight. The Furmanisms don't seem too glaring to me, but I think that's my familiarity with the material and what's that thing that means we're all thinking wrong... unconscious bias! That's the one - that.

Poor Bob just seems tired, more than anything, towards the end of his run. Certainly once the Head/Target Masters are rolled into the main book, it feels like it's treading water up until Underbase and the few issues after that (apart from the Spike/Fort Max one, which I like a lot) are forgettable. The focus on humans does occasionally get in the way and it can sometimes feel like you're reading a book about a set of characters that happens to feature Transformers (I especially remember feeling that way out reading the UK issues with Robot Master in the first time around).

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Denyer » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:58 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:00 pm
they very much feel that in his clunky analogy Furman is enforcing a lot of negative stereotypes
Insofar as objectivity exists, he objectively is -- plus it's badly written. There's no defence of Spotlight: Arcee there.

My point is that I don't think he's really had any impact on his "legacy" except in limited circles (and those circles are unlikely to be catered to in future as much as under IDW with JR, for instance). Same with most other creators that produced their defining work in a different social context.

Without intending to big up Furman with a comparison to another creator, Stan Lee wasn't entirely a saint either. His legacy's pretty safe though.
if robots don't reproduce sexually that they would be genderless neuters because we see that isn't the case here on Earth more and more every day
As it stands, the only gender real-life robots have is projected onto them by humans.
The idea that humans are a binary gender
Gender's culture rather than biology. Biology isn't entirely binary either.
asexuals
Do you mean people who identify as non-binary?
we're more in an echo chamber here than Twitter
Much smaller scale and a far more subtle mechanism for pushing consensus. Twitter's character limits and amplification of more extreme/emotive content are often cancer to discussion. The environment by design leads to more (and more extreme) pile-ons.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Warcry » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:31 am

Denyer wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:45 pm
Eh, it's not as if it's difficult to add convincing rationales without resorting to hackneyed DNA/organic analogues -- Cybertronians mimic other cultures, including vehicles, fauna, accents (dubiously) and humanoid appearances and behaviours. Would be nice to see more of that for aliens that aren't basically humans, but then it'd be nice to see more aliens that aren't basically humans.
In general, I don't think any of the silly premises in the fiction are problems, or at least they shouldn't be. I just think the fiction flows better when everyone just admits that they're silly and goes with it, instead of trying to explain it all. I guess I'd just rather shrug and say "Some of the robots are girls. Who cares why? That's not what the story is about." Sort of like Beast Wars. Airazor and Blackarachnia were girls. Why? I have no idea because it wasn't relevant at all. They just were.
inflatable dalek wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:00 pm
I think it's fair to say that we're more in an echo chamber here than Twitter, where we're 95% white old guy fans.
Everywhere is an echo chamber nowadays. The same place can even be a totally different echo chamber to two different people, thanks to software that lets us mute anyone we don't agree with. Now we never need to be exposed to new or different ideas, or anything that makes us uncomfortable. Isn't it grand? :(
inflatable dalek wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:00 pm
The gist of what annoys a lot of women fans and pretty much all as far as I can tell of the LGTB community is that when Furman tries to write Transformers as genderless beings (or at least to bring attention to it) he is working from ideas that are 30 years out of date. Probably more.
He's also writing for a 30 year old franchise where the only characters people seem to actually care about are a handful from the early 80s...who are all male except for one, because the toy company wanted it that way. So what can you do? Do you flesh out half of your cast with newly-created female characters that you know your readers are never going to treat as anything but second-class no matter how much work you put into them? Do you try to come up with a hackneyed explanation for why the entire cast is male? Or do you just shrug your shoulders and just give the people what they want?

And I know the obvious counterpoint to that is "But the new fans do care about those new characters!" Which is true, but those new fans weren't enough to keep IDW's books selling when they started drifting into territory that more traditional fans didn't like. Playing to nostalgia, on the other hand, is a tried and true recipe for success in this franchise.
inflatable dalek wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:00 pm
More obviously of course, he's never gotten that "He" is not a gender neutral term, you use it, you're not writing a androgynous species. You're writing a bunch of guys, with any woman being treated as a freakish aberration.
This doesn't bother me, really. Maybe because I grew up learning French as a second language in school and every noun in French is arbitrarily gendered?
inflatable dalek wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:00 pm
nor is the idea that if robots don't reproduce sexually that they would be genderless neuters because we see that isn't the case here on Earth more and more every day.
I don't think that really follows. People on Earth exist in a gendered society and they have to define themselves in relation to that world. They're also part of a species that does reproduce sexually, even if their own biological drives aren't necessarily conducive to reproduction. That's what they're descended from and the context they live in.

Would robots have that context, or come from that environment? They could, if they were created by a species that did. If we invented sentient machines and they wanted to fit in with human society, there's a good chance they would adopt genders. But in most continuities Transformers are either built in factories by other Transformers or spring fully alive from the ground. I don't think they'd have anything we'd recognize as genders because I don't think they would even have much meaning to them. It would be like a group of humans suddenly deciding to identify as deciduous and conifers, and divide themselves on that basis. Just because a distinction is extremely meaningful to us doesn't mean it would be to the Transformers.

(Not that I think it would stop humans from applying genders to them when they come to Earth, mind you...)
inflatable dalek wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:00 pm
(mainly becasue TFW2005 is a cesspit outside of a few sensible places).
I'm so happy that we finally agree on something! :glance: TFW is too big to effectively moderate and it's becoming more and more of a Reddit-tier pit every day. I feel bad for the people trying to run it.
Skyquake87 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:27 pm
Which is a big waffly way of saying I'm quite okay with that old handwavy 'they're called 'he' as most of the Transformers have characteristics that to us are largely male'.
I'd be more or less okay with that too. Why is Arcee a girl? Because when she arrived on Earth everyone saw a pink robot with high heels, and just assumed. And since it didn't have any significance to her one way or the other she just rolled with it. It's sort of like how in real life, a good-sized chunk of the fandom still assumes that Tracks is gay because he shows a few behaviours that they liken to old-timey gay stereotypes.
Skyquake87 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:27 pm
The Marvel run! I like that there's two different gears of storytelling between the US and UK comics.
That's something I hadn't considered, but it's a good point. By switching back and forth between US and UK stories, they serve as palette cleansers for one another. Whenever either writing style started to wear on me, it was time to flip back to the other writer's work.
Skyquake87 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:27 pm
The Furmanisms don't seem too glaring to me, but I think that's my familiarity with the material and what's that thing that means we're all thinking wrong... unconscious bias! That's the one - that.

On the other hand, I'd wonder if the Furmanisms would be anywhere near as obvious to a fresh reader who didn't know beforehand to look out for them. I know I didn't really notice the recycled dialogue and stock characters anywhere near as much when I was a kid than I do now that the fandom has turned them into a meme. Maybe in my case the unconscious bias just cuts the other way?
Skyquake87 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:27 pm
Poor Bob just seems tired, more than anything, towards the end of his run. Certainly once the Head/Target Masters are rolled into the main book, it feels like it's treading water up until Underbase and the few issues after that (apart from the Spike/Fort Max one, which I like a lot) are forgettable. The focus on humans does occasionally get in the way and it can sometimes feel like you're reading a book about a set of characters that happens to feature Transformers (I especially remember feeling that way out reading the UK issues with Robot Master in the first time around).
I think that era was probably the worst for that -- the Transformer cast is shifting rapidly (especially on the US side where almost the entire cast churns over twice in quick succession inside of a year) while Walter Barnett, Circuit Breaker and Blackrock seem to be the book's only constants.
Denyer wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:58 pm
Gender's culture rather than biology.
I think that's an oversimplification. I think that a lot of it is purely cultural, but a lot of it can also be traced straight back to biology. In particular, male and female mammals have very different optimal reproductive strategies in the wild and you can still see a lot of that behaviour in humans today, even though none of it is really applicable to modern life.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Denyer » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:38 am

Culture doesn't exist in isolation from biology, sure.
in most continuities Transformers are either built in factories by other Transformers or spring fully alive from the ground. I don't think they'd have anything we'd recognize as genders because I don't think they would even have much meaning to them. It would be like a group of humans suddenly deciding to identify as deciduous and conifers, and divide themselves on that basis. Just because a distinction is extremely meaningful to us doesn't mean it would be to the Transformers.

(Not that I think it would stop humans from applying genders to them when they come to Earth, mind you...)
Mmm. [Social media 'like' button].

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:07 pm

Warcry wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:31 am
I don't think that really follows. People on Earth exist in a gendered society and they have to define themselves in relation to that world. They're also part of a species that does reproduce sexually, even if their own biological drives aren't necessarily conducive to reproduction. That's what they're descended from and the context they live in.

Would robots have that context, or come from that environment? They could, if they were created by a species that did. If we invented sentient machines and they wanted to fit in with human society, there's a good chance they would adopt genders. But in most continuities Transformers are either built in factories by other Transformers or spring fully alive from the ground. I don't think they'd have anything we'd recognize as genders because I don't think they would even have much meaning to them. It would be like a group of humans suddenly deciding to identify as deciduous and conifers, and divide themselves on that basis. Just because a distinction is extremely meaningful to us doesn't mean it would be to the Transformers.

(Not that I think it would stop humans from applying genders to them when they come to Earth, mind you...)
This! *Like* :up:

It's funny, I liked that James Roberts gave the Transformers deep emotional relationships. And from that, its suddenly 'gay robotzzz OMG!', which isn't really what I took from that at all. Folk projecting, I guess ;)

Likewise, Tracks doesn't seem gay to me either. Just, posh. He sounds like Jacob Rees-Mogg and (to me) is cut from the same high society as Mirage to me.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Cyberstrike nTo » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:14 pm

Warcry wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:03 pm
Cyberstrike nTo wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:15 pm
I think Furman's biggest weakness is that for modern comics he can't write for TPB, which for better or worse is how many people read paper comics now of days.
I don't necessarily agree with that. Keep in mind that I haven't read his IDW output since it was relatively new (my big pile of early IDW trades is next on my to-read list, I think, now that I'm done Marvel), so I may be misremembering. But I think Infiltration and Stormbringer were good trade-sized stories, so he clearly can do it when he has to. But after that things really did become a bit of a mess, because Furman stopped writing for the trade and started writing as if he was working on an ongoing series, with all sorts of problems cropping up as the story he was trying to tell got shoved into an ill-fitting "miniseries and one-shots" set of boxes. Furman and the editors were both to blame for how badly his run fell apart towards the end. He should have known better, but equally, they never should have let him run wild like that.
Furman had every reason to run wild because he wasn't writing a comic to sell toys, when IDW first got the rights Hasbro and Takara really wasn't doing much with the G1 characters as toys other than reissues, and so he had no reason to hold back introducing characters and/or concepts he's never been quite fond of like the Head/Target/Power/Micro/Action Masters and the Pretenders. He had quite possibly a golden opportunity not since the end of the original Marvel series (and possibly no one will have that chance again because Hasbro keeps the G1 era in constant use as toys like with recent Wal-Mart and Hasbro Pulse G1 reissues and lines like the Masterpiece, Prime Wars Trilogy and the current Siege lines) to do whatever the hell he wanted to do and the chance to play with some new and different concepts like making Megatron and Galvatron two entirely different beings (and making Galvatron older than Megatron) and finally doing something with Sixshot. So he did had some good, even great, ideas. He also had some really awful ideas like The Dead Universe, making Galvatron and Nemesis/Nova Prime a Darth Vader and Emerpor wanna be respectfully, Skywatch's plan to bring in Transformers that they lost control of by using more powerful Transformers and repeat, and Arcee's origin and/or giving female Transformers an origin in general is IMHO just fucking STUPID and a complete and total waste of time, the Transformers are ALIENS first and foremost why do need an origin gender? They're ALIENS. That should be the reason and origin, and The Transformers should just state that is the way are and move on.

Because he wasn't pushing a bunch of new toys every month (something that Roberts, Barber, and Scott did have to in their comics) and pretty much had carte blanche to what he wanted and I think he enjoy finally having a chance to try some long running stories without trying to shoe horn the new character whose toy was coming out soon every month. Again I think it was the continuing mini-series and a bunch of one-shots format made it hard to figure out and keep up with what was going on that was a lot of the problem. Remember IDW didn't do an ongoing series with ANY of titles for a very LONG time after they got the rights to The Transformers, I THINK Peter David's brilliant The Fallen Angel was of the first series from IDW to become an ongoing series after it's first six issues were successful and both Peter David and IDW wanted to do more stories. By the time IDW did an "ongoing" series with Mike Costa a lot of the fans were already tied of them and Costa didn't help matters with his "America love it or leave it" or his "dark" action spy thriller style of stories about "The Adventures of Spike Whitwicky and Skywatch" guest starring the Transformers, which not many liked.

I'm not saying that if Furman had been given an ongoing series (or series without IDW having a predetermined end to it) that his run would've been more of a success than it was and it might have been a bigger success and then again it might a been a bigger disaster than ended up being. So who knows? Again I THINK Furman works better when he has more of say for how long a story arc than trying to pad out the page count for a TPB or HC.
Warcry wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:03 pm
Cyberstrike nTo wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:15 pm
Also I think Furman was constantly introducing more and more and more stuff with the only the idea that it would pay off and by the time it was time to pay it off and IDW had flooded the market of all kinds of Transformers comics set in Beast Wars, The Live Action Movie Universe, and the then new G1 Universe that it kind got lost in the shuffle.
Honestly, I think this is what happened with him in the middle days of the UK book as well. Instead of telling the story that he had in front of him -- Galvatron running amok in the modern day, in the UK stuff; the Decepticons' infiltration protocol on Earth in IDW -- he kept introducing new elements, or getting diverted to totally different plots entirely. And then when outside situations no, let's be blunt -- when falling sales caused by people losing interest in a plot that wasn't going anywhere forced him to finally wrap things up, in both cases there wasn't nearly enough time to resolve things satisfactorily. So we got, in turns, Time Wars and Revelations/Maximum Dinobots
Part of the problem with the continuing mini-series and one-shots format for a franchise like The Transformers is when you have multiple different timelines and comic book store owners don't know which is which so they don't order a lot of extra copies because the Beast Wars or the LAM Universe books don't sell well so why order a lot of G1 books because they're flooding the market and IDW not helping to differentiate one continuity from the other. Like I said if they had made Stormbringer either The Transformers #7 of an "ongoing" series or the start of a new ongoing series and published fewer non-G1 material and let Furman at least try to run some of the sub-plots for a little longer (like the Reapers) and also having an editor to tell him to finish some of the stories up that aren't working.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Warcry » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:59 pm

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:07 pm
It's funny, I liked that James Roberts gave the Transformers deep emotional relationships. And from that, its suddenly 'gay robotzzz OMG!', which isn't really what I took from that at all. Folk projecting, I guess ;)
Yeah, I don't really see "gay" when it comes to Chromedome and Rewind either. Why would gay even be a thing for them? Their entire planet was dudes. This sort of relationship should be normal for them, as far as any relationship would be considered normal (I think it was initially established that relationships in general had always been rare on Cybertron...right before IDW started pushing half the cast into one to try and boost sales).
Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:07 pm
Likewise, Tracks doesn't seem gay to me either. Just, posh. He sounds like Jacob Rees-Mogg and (to me) is cut from the same high society as Mirage to me.
Tracks' voice actor intended for him to sound like a rich, snooty snob from New England, if memory serves, and I think that comes across. I honestly didn't get a gay stereotype vibe from him at all until I got online and found out that the internet had decided that he was "the gay one".
Cyberstrike nTo wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:14 pm
Furman had every reason to run wild because he wasn't writing a comic to sell toys, when IDW first got the rights Hasbro and Takara really wasn't doing much with the G1 characters as toys other than reissues, and so he had no reason to hold back introducing characters and/or concepts he's never been quite fond of like the Head/Target/Power/Micro/Action Masters and the Pretenders.
That's fair enough, this was pre-Classics so he had a lot more creative freedom in that sense. That doesn't mean that the editors shouldn't have kept him on a tighter leash from a creative standpoint, though.

I read through my first few IDW trades last week (Infiltration, Stormbringer and the first book of Spotlights) and while all if the stories are fine in isolation...wow, was this stuff all over the map. If the editors had told Furman to concentrate on one thing at a time, he could have told his entire Infiltration Protocol story from beginning to end, and he probably would have kept enough reader investment that he'd have been allowed to keep going. Instead he started about six different stories and didn't give a satisfactory ending to any of them before the axe fell.

I think you're right that he had a real golden opportunity here, one that no one is likely to get again in the foreseeable future as long as nostalgia bucks and toy sales are the driving force behind the G1 franchise's creative direction. It's just that he squandered it by taking all of his toys out of the box at once.
Cyberstrike nTo wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:14 pm
Part of the problem with the continuing mini-series and one-shots format for a franchise like The Transformers is when you have multiple different timelines and comic book store owners don't know which is which so they don't order a lot of extra copies because the Beast Wars or the LAM Universe books don't sell well so why order a lot of G1 books because they're flooding the market and IDW not helping to differentiate one continuity from the other.
Agreed. Flooding the market with so many different titles, especially so soon after they got the license, with the collapse of Dreamwave fresh in many comic dealers' minds...it must have made it really difficult for the retailers to keep track. A niche title like Transformers may not get the benefit of the doubt, and if the bulk of the minis are struggling it's easier for them to just cut their orders for TF books across the board.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Nick Dickens » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:29 am

Myself apart from collecting a building a G1 Marvel library (I must get that UK collection of its good, that part work launched a while back) I tend to leave the stuff alone. IDW really went overboard with the stuff. I read Infiltration and a few others back in the day from my local library (around 2007-10), then got the odd issue (which stopped very quickly with the £4+ price tag). I did hire out a few of the TPBs of the later stuff when they tried consolidating it around 2013 or so. There was the Cybertron based stuff and the more space stuff. It wasn’t bad but it felt out of kilter with Transformers, rather like later seasons of the G1 cartoon when not set on earth.

I have read a few of the issues set after issue #80 of the original US run but didn’t find it very engaging.

I have heard off a few friends that they really that G1 ended with #80 back in summer ’91.

I have heard a few of his remarks on various sites and forums about his views of TF genders and his spats with some younger TF scribes (always unprofessional IMO) but he seems to keep quiet these days.

It’s a shame that he mouthed off a bit for myself as it does colour a bit the great work he did. For me his TF stories from 1985-1991 are some of the best comics I’ll read.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:32 pm

Well, nothing good comes of social media, so I don't blame him for getting into a heated online debate. Guy's got on an opinion on it. So has everyone else. The end.

The Regeneration One (the largely unwanted follow on the Marvel comic) series I couldn't get into either. Partly because it didn't feel like the old Marvel stuff. Wildman mainly working in storyboarding really showed on the art side and the colouring was far too glossy for what was supposed to be a retro book (the 20 year gap was pointless). It looked better when the colourists went for the old colour-separation style on the Senior covers and it was a shame this wasn't carried over to the interiors (I also liked this on the Robots In Disguise & More Than Meets The Eye Annuals from 2012). I'll need to read it again (my first exposure was out of order in the partwork collection), but my impression was of a lot of plot points and things Furman felt he wanted to put out there, but they didn't hang together very well.

I was also deeply unhappy that it 'ignores' G2 (which was a proper follow up to the original run) which is one of the best Transformers comics ever - because it plays to Furman's strengths of being boxed in and having an end point. I liked the way that book was split between Earth and Cybertron/ Space too! One day, some clever person will commission a complete collection of G2, that has the G.I.Joe lead in (feeble though it is) and (maybe) the UK re-hash of G2 #1 from #1-2 of the ill-fated Fleetway title.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Denyer » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:39 pm

Weird oversight, isn't it?

Also couldn't get into a book ignoring G2. Did quite enjoy the "Transformers '84 #0" one shot that came out recently though.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:16 pm

I've not seen that. Is that by the current guys doing the G1 ongoing?

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Re: Some thoughts on the Marvel TF comics

Post by Cyberstrike nTo » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:20 am

Skyquake87 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:16 pm
I've not seen that. Is that by the current guys doing the G1 ongoing?
The Transformers '84 #0 is by Furman and Guido and it's basically a prequel to the original Marvel US and UK series and explains who was the Man of Iron in the UK story of the same name. It gets some use of Punch/Counterpunch, Cloudraker, Fastlane, Wingspan, Pounce, (the Autobot and Decepticon Clones respectfully), Flywheels, and makes Optimus Prime into a real bastard.

IMHO #0 feels more like a back-up story from an annual than a $5.00 US book and it's a very quick read. Also what is the point of this book? If this is a start of a new "prequel" book to the original US with stronger connections to the UK series than Regeneration One had because the "All-New, All-Different IDW G1 Universe" isn't setting the world of comics on fire and if you have to get Furman and company to do a continuation to the Marvel US (which didn't need one to begin with as rushed as the various storylines were in #76-80 they didn't feel that rushed to me and came to satisfactory conclusion in #80 well for me at least) and the UK series, for a bunch of side stories, and/or a prequel then you're pandering to old school TF Marvel comic fans, who will support it but I doubt the fanbase for that will last any longer than Regeneration One did and you end up wasting time and resources on projects that could be better used to make the "All-New, All-Different IDW G1 Universe" better and offer nothing better for a series, that is largely out of print, nothing but a series of confusing retcons and more convoluted nonsense to an already confusing universe that is 35 years old series and that IDW can't keep around on a regular basis like G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero or finish collecting TPB series because AFAIK Transformers UK Classics is still incomplete and IDW has never reprinted G2 series.

If it's just a one-shot than why make Optimus Prime into a bastard for no real pay-off?

It's IMHO probably one of the most cynical stories in the entire history of Transformers comics from all publishers around the world.

Skyquake87 wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:32 pm
I was also deeply unhappy that it 'ignores' G2 (which was a proper follow up to the original run) which is one of the best Transformers comics ever - because it plays to Furman's strengths of being boxed in and having an end point. I liked the way that book was split between Earth and Cybertron/ Space too! One day, some clever person will commission a complete collection of G2, that has the G.I.Joe lead in (feeble though it is) and (maybe) the UK re-hash of G2 #1 from #1-2 of the ill-fated Fleetway title.

Don't forget the Free Halloween special (or as it's sometimes called G2#0), it's a rare story more in the vein of Furman's Earthforce stories but it's still has a sense of humor and Senior's artwork works great for G2 and seemed to be better received by US fans than his work on the original US series which IIRC Marvel seemed to print more letters not liking his work in the original series than praise for his work on the series
I'm pretty sure IDW reprinted the G.I. Joe lead in one of the G.I. Joe: Classics TPB a while back not sure of the volume number (I would guess it's either volumes 13, 14, or 15) and Titan did reprint G2 #1-12 in two six issue TPBs and HCs but they've been out of print for a LONG time.

G2 is the ONLY series I want to see a proper conclusion for, like a 12 or 13 issue maxi series, with the same lettering style (which is still my favorite letting for Transformers) and if you can get Yanger and/or Senior on covers and say get Nick Roche to do it (provided if he actually wants to do it), and since he's also a good-to-great writer in his own right (it doesn't have to be Furman writing it since he's pretty much disowned G2) and you could have a good book, by a popular writer/artist, and a possible good seller on your hands.

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