Are Transformers comics too much Serious Business?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Nevermore, Jul 20, 2009.

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Are Transformers comics too much Serious Business?

  1. Yes, I would prefer to see a little more fun, adventure and humor.

    17 vote(s)
    26.2%
  2. No, I think they're just right the way they are.

    33 vote(s)
    50.8%
  3. No, I think they're not nearly serious enough! Transformers comics should be DARK.

    8 vote(s)
    12.3%
  4. I don't care either way as long as it's Transformers comics.

    3 vote(s)
    4.6%
  5. I don't read comics, so I don't really care.

    4 vote(s)
    6.2%
  1. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Not sure when exactly it started.

    Many of the Transformers cartoons have a certain "fun" feeling to them, with a lot of jokes here and there, even when the actual story might be presented as serious (see: Beast Wars; haven't seen much of Animated to tell if it's like that there too).

    Meanwhile, the comics generally have a more "serious" tone. This goes back all the way to the old Marvel comics: Even when the plot was outright silly (see: various stories by Bob Budiansky, no offense intended), they were rarely, if ever, presented as being "fun". There were hardly any really witty lines, or scened deliberately intended to make the reader laugh, or rejoice. It only became worse when Furman took the reign and started his epic Unicron saga.

    A rare exception were some of the "Earthforce" stories from the later UK issues. My favorite story (albeit technically preceding the actual "Earthforce" stories) is "Starting Over!" with Wheeljack and Prowl that contained some hilarious fourth wall humor poking fun at increasingly bizarre gimmicks from the toyline. Several other Earthforce stories were similarily intended to be funny, with varying degrees of success.

    It really started to go downhill with Generation 2, which was heavily influenced by the "grim 'n gritty" 1990s comics that were popular at that time (Image Comics, various Marvel titles which also went that route). Lots of characters died, epic drama... but fun? None that I remember.

    The Dreamwave comics were also mostly "Serious Business" drama. The very first Generation 1 mini, in particular, was effectively a fanboy reinterpretation of the G1 cartoon "but more serious". Which also translated into "less fun".

    Now, personally, I think the early IDW comics started out with a somewhat "fun" feeling. Infiltration had this sense of adventure, including human characters, as well as Transformers, with quite some witty dialogue. In contrast, Stormbringer was the usual "Serious Drama" stuff, which is probably why I found it utterly boring. Subsequently, the IDW G1 comics generally spiralled downwards into a more "drama"-esque direction, though Furman's stories at least retained a few elements of humor and "adventure" fun (Hot Rod, the Dinobots, Hunter/Sunstreaker). Then came All Hail Megatron, which was a setback to the worst Dreamwave days. Drama, drama, drama, heavy-handed dialogue and not a lot of "fun". You know which story I really, really liked? Spotlight: Wheelie. A good, character-centric "adventure" story with just the right balance between "drama" and "fun". Even Spotlight: Ramjet with its overblown humor was more enjoyable than AHM.

    IDW's Beast Wars comics also managed to take everything that made Beast Wars enjoyable and then replace it with stock "drama" material. Boring, flat characters doing nothing that ever came across as being actually important to the reader while being utterly dull and no-fun in the process.

    And then there's the Movieverse comics. Say what you want about the movies' "toilet humor", but they did also contain quite a share of genuine, quality humor that didn't rely on genitalia references. Now, the movie comics? They're flat, dull and almost entirely lack the movies' humor. Nowhere is this as apparent as in the comic adaptations of the movies. I count TWO genuine instances of humor carried over from the movies (Jetfire, the Twins' banter inside Petra), both of which were badly executed and came across as utterly heavy-handed. In Chris Mowry's defense, he at least attempted to mimick the first movie's humor in the first issue of "Alliance" (to which degree he succeeded is a matter of opinion), but... what happened after that? Was there an editorial mandate that "Transformers comics shouldn't be fun", or was Mowry just too busy weaving his two minis around the ROTF script that he no longer found the time to worry himself with humor?

    Some of the worst offenders were the early BotCon comics, which took a character like Devcon, who was a fairly affable guy in his only cartoon appearance, and turned him into a sociaopathic loner in his 3H incarnation. Supposedly the writer, a self-proclaimed "fan" of Devcon, had forgotten what his favorite character had actually acted like in his single canonical appearance. I hear the Collectors Club and BotCon comics by Fun Publications are similarily heavy-handed and lack any sense of fun. Fun Publications, indeed.

    Hey, does anyone remember "Shattered Expectations"? Remember how this over-the-top, utterly humorous comic was one of the most well-received pieces of Transformers fiction in this fandom ever? And how we were all let down when it turned out to be an April Fool's joke by people who had never in their life imagined that a large portion of this fandom might actually like something like that? And then the real Shattered Glass comic turned out to be just the regular Serious Business stuff? Why has no publisher taken notes from this experience yet?

    Opinions? Does anyone agree that Transformers comics should be less full-time drama, and involve a little more "fun"? Or do you think it's perfect the way it is right now, and Transformers comics should be treated as Serious Business instead of juvenile humor crap?
     
  2. Spin-Out

    Spin-Out Are you afraid of the dark?

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    Four words: Transformers. Animated. The. Arrival.

    If we got more Animated comics, I'm sure we'd have fun!
     
  3. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think they're just right.
     
  4. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I could do with some more light-hearted episodes in between the deadly serious ones. Too serious too often becomes dull. Let's lighten up now and then, at least.
     
  5. Recall

    Recall Player Select

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    But the cartoon is usually uber silly so why can't the comics have a more mature tone? I perosnally prefer the serious stuff over the light hearted, but each to their own.
     
  6. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    Im not sure where to vote. I don't read comics, but mainly because of the crap described. Personally, I blame Furman and the fans who loved his "grown up" (make everyone emo) approach.
     
  7. Skyswipe

    Skyswipe Favorite store on Citadel

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    Same reason for me, why the hell is the comics so dark and miserable, it makes my next hour sad and sorrowful.
     
  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Keep in mind that an overall serious story and the occaisonal light-hearted tone don't necessarily include each other.

    Like, you can have two characters stuck in a life-and-death situation, and just to lighten up their mood, they keep joking around with each other.

    Now compare that to a story where two characters are stuck in a life-and-death situation, and the dialogue is entirely about how this is a life-and-death situation and they expect not to survive it.

    The former sounds like an interesting read. The latter will make me yell "DIE ALREADY".

    Generally, real life is rarely 100% serious. "Fun" and life and death situations have a tendency to go hand in hand. Wh should comics then focus entirely on the latter?
     
  9. kidnicky

    kidnicky Well-Known Member

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    I do like the comics in theory,but I'm only through the first 4 IDW books so far,and am in no rush to keep picking them up. I'll get to them when I get to them.
    Stormbringer,to me is an example of why entertainment companies should NEVER listen to fans. If the majority of this fanbase had it's way,ALL Transformer content would be the way Stormbringer is-no relatable human characters,takes place all on Cybertron,Cybertonian altmodes,every character speaks the same (including really wierd phrasing),dreary,hard to follow.
    I loved the art,but come on.
     
  10. Covenant

    Covenant Mr. Roboto in Disguise

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    While I might take a disliking to certain artwork, or storyline, or a bit of dialogue, the tone usually works fine in my book, no matter the series or company. I like seriousness. Fun's nice at times, too much humor can kill a tale's worth, but the stern storytelling of a TF comic book remains a decent thing to have.
     
  11. _Galvatron_

    _Galvatron_ Emperor of Destruction

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    I think IDW's tone is just right...but it could be a little darker...with more non-resurrecting deaths.

    But if it stays the way it is now, that wouldn't be bad eithier.
     
  12. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Autobot Strategist

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    How many life-and-death situations have you been in? Actually, lets look at the situation at hand. Have you ever been in combat? Have you ever had a weapon shot at you? I can tell you from firsthand experience that nobody is cracking jokes when something explodes next to you in a warzone. The joking comes later as you're coming off the adrenaline high. And in that case, since robots don't HAVE adrenaline, they wouldn't have that high to begin with.

    The comics are fine the way they are.
     
  13. Fonecrusher

    Fonecrusher Megatron wants YOU

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    Leave the comics just the way they are, I love the old Marvel comics and have read a fair bit of Dreamwave/IDW stuff I never thought it was too dark or "emo". In fact after Animated and ROTF I would prefer more serious material, some of the recent "humour" in TF has just felt forced and lame IMO.
     
  14. BradTheMad

    BradTheMad Well-Known Member

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    I like them just the way they are. That said I usually prefer slightly darker/adult stories anyway plus, like some others mentioned, there has been too much humor in a lot of TF-mediums lately. It's difficult to get a decent balance anyway as people are all wired differently.
     
  15. shroobmaster

    shroobmaster Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if they need humor, but the comics surely need more "lighter moments", it's all OH NO ULTIMATE APOLAPYPSE after OH NO ULTIMATE APOCALYPSE, there's no break, it just made the threats lose the sense of danger, it became... dull.
     
  16. Opticron Primal

    Opticron Primal Comin' up OOOs!

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    They're doing just fine. It's more serious then most other TF continuities but it also sneaks in a few funny things, like Kup and Sparkplug's one-panel conversation in AHM #12.
     
  17. fastballspecial

    fastballspecial SAY SOMETHIN'!

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    I think they are good just the way everything is. I love the new blood that's been writing all the issues too. I think that Furman's writing sometimes becomes too... "busy"... which basically to me, means that it's too hectic and far too many storylines cross over and it all just becomes confusing.
     
  18. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    I think the comic need more nut sack, farting, and humping jokes. Thrown in some retard twins and that'll make even more entertaining.

    I really like that the comics are the one place we can find somewhat serious stories. The story doesn't need gloom and doom all the time. Personally, I thought DW's G1 series was loads of fun. Great character dynamic and tons of nods from various series. IDW started out kinda fun, but quickly descended into Furmanisms and coutnless subplots.
     
  19. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    I used to purchase every Transformers comic release (except Animated stuff) and recently dropped all of them, after realizing I was buying $30 worth of stuff every month just to be bored with it. $4-5 a pop is part of the problem, but ultimately there were too many disjointed things going on and too many concurrent books running to make sense of what was even happening. If you asked me what took place in the various IDW -ATION series, I couldn't tell you if my life depended on it, in spite of owning all of them (and all the Spotlights). So the short answer is, no, they weren't fun or engaging enough to maintain interest for me long term.

    How about one ongoing book with no reboots and no resets every six issues?
     
  20. shibamura_prime

    shibamura_prime Jumpin' Jellyfish! Super Mod

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    IDW Transformers is just like a bulk of the fandom nowadays: Taking themselves WAAAYYY too seriously.
     

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