Grumpy old G1 fan reads IDW - in order!

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Ryan F, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Bumblemus Prime

    Bumblemus Prime Cracked in the head

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    I rather like the DJD. I think that some of the internal dynamics revealed in later stories make them into good, proper villains. It's also fun to realize (this is only a very mild spoiler) that they've have a rotating cast of "gimmicky," phase-sixer-ish people with the same names for years.
     
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  2. Infosaur

    Infosaur Well-Known Member

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    So this is the Scavengers book?

    Yeah, after what happened in the LL recently this is sort of an intermission.

    "Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice,,,"

    But as intermissions go, it's far from filler, there will be more world building, new perspectives, and some interesting surprises in the next issue that will have you flipping back to this one to see how you could have missed clues.

    This is the same guy who wrote, "Ambulon, to ambulate"

    In two issues the Scavengers became so popular that fans were begging for a follow up for a year. (Maybe longer?)

    :popcorn :

    Not to spoil it but you're right in the heart of some of the best Transformers/ANY comic book arc in a decade.
     
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  3. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sorry for the lengthy delay...

    More Than Meets The Eye #8: Scavengers (Part 2) – Who’s Afraid of the DJD?


    And it’s Dinobot Month! Woo!

    As an avid Regeneration One reader back in the day (I was young and didn’t know any better) Dinobot Month, whilst a good idea on paper, actually worked to that comic’s detriment, in that the main ongoing plot was minimised, to make way for a Grimlock/Scorponok story that seemed very much out of place. The second arc/trade of RG1 contained the bulk of the Grimlock story, so why was a chunk of that story dumped here, in the midst of the first arc? To an outsider, it looked for all the world as if Furman had been forced from on-high to shuffle his pre-planned storyline around, in order so that Dinobots could have a prominent role in the August 2012 DINOBOT MONTH! issue.

    Given the knots that RG1 tied itself into, I went into MTMTE#8 with a little trepidation – with the Dinobot Month gimmick having been clumsily shoehorned into RG1, would this issue fare any better?

    The answer is yes, although the use of Grimlock does seem forced. He wakes up, he punches a few Decepticons, he grunts a bit. His presence has virtually zero impact upon the story; indeed, the issue would have worked just as well without his presence. However, the whims of IDW’s marketing gurus had to be appeased, so there you go. I guess that was the best way of going about the ‘Dinobot’ theme – make Grimlock’s appearance as perfunctory as possible, don’t let him spoil the fun. Hopefully RID will use a similar tactic to avoid such disruption…

    With the Tyrannosaur in the room out of the way, what else do we have here? Well, this is a game of two halves. The Scavengers/DJD plot is the fun, frothy, action-packed side of the story. Again, though, it’s all very Adam West Batman, in that the action is leavened with a massive dose of comedy. Flywheels’s death is hilarious (“no offense, but your feet are massive”), Crankcase tries to turn the tide of battle using the cornily-monikered ‘Mighty Mega Puncher’, and Fulcrum’s big speech and intended glorious death are spoiled when his missile alt-mode proves to be a literal damp squib. It’s all very cartoony, and – as always – Alex Milne’s art, especially the facial expressions and body language, add an extra layer to the fun.

    My one gripe with this strand is the ending – the DJD, on the brink of victory, suddenly decide to give up and leave the battlefield. You can understand why this happened (it was the only way for the Scavengers to survive the battle without undermining the menace of the DJD), but it makes for a very unsatisfying conclusion. Oh, and it was the generic, non-toy Fulcrum who just happened to be the DJD’s ‘mysterious’ target. No surprises there.

    On the plus side, the B-story – a little two-hander between Chromedome and Skids – is near-perfect. Chromedome agrees to probe Skids’ mind in order to access the Autobot theoretician’s missing memories. However, it transpires that those missing memories are so traumatic that Chromedome is unwilling to bring them to the fore, for fear of causing Skids some mental trauma. It’s a brilliant, quiet-yet-powerful sequence: Skids with his obvious frustration of not knowing who he is, and Chromedome with burden of knowing the truth, but not being able to reveal it.

    But whilst there are lots of lovely moments, the lack of a decisive pay-off to any of the myriad continuing plot-lines is beginning to frustrate. I’ve been assured by fellow readers that answers will be forthcoming, but at the moment I’m having to take on trust the promise that everything will pull together. I wouldn’t mind so much if the individual issues offered some internal respite (issue 5, for example, managed to keep the on-running plots ticking over whilst having a satisfactory ending all of its own), but this just adds more strands to the rope, what with the reintroduction of Grimlock, the promise of a DJD/Overlord fight, and now the Necrobot with its eighteen-months-later list of dead bodies. All this is compounded by the fact that the past two issues have shifted focus away from the main core of the story (the Lost Light crew), and onto a set of supporting characters.

    All in all, this is an entertaining and intriguing issue, a good mix of action, comedy and drama. But when the issue needs a decisive final moment, it just seems to fizzle out – and, as with the series as a whole at the moment – it’s a little frustrating.

    3/5.
     
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  4. Omegashark18

    Omegashark18 Combaticon turned Autobot

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    Well, all I will say is that you will not be seeing the Scavengers and Grimlock or the DJD for a LONG while. So their plotlines get put WAY off to the side.

    Which means back to main storyline next! :) 
     
  5. unexistance

    unexistance MP Gen-0 Collecting Officer

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    whew finally caught up :D  as much fun as reading the comics themselves

    p/s: never managed to find Robert's fan-fic online, anybody got a link? thanks
     
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  6. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    This is a link to Roberts' fan-novel Eugenesis in PDF format (hosted by the good people of the TFArchive website). Be aware that it has a few links to stuff that happened in the TMUK fan-fic, so don't worry if you don't get all the references!

    http://tfarchive.com/fandom/features/eugenesis/eugenesis-text.pdf

    Review (and historical overview) here: Addendum 15 Eugenesis
     
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  7. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

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    When you find out who or what popped up on the radar, you'll understand at once why the DJD let go of a nobody failure of a suicide bomber and a squad of rejects to high tail it before they lost the trail again.

    The next arc is when (IMHO) MTMTE jumped a level in quality and we start getting fewer questions and more answers, both obvious and minor.
     
  8. unexistance

    unexistance MP Gen-0 Collecting Officer

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    whoah awesome, thanks a million Ryan
     
  9. Omegashark18

    Omegashark18 Combaticon turned Autobot

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    Oh yes I completely forgot, up next is the Shadowplay arc! Unfortunately I think it's back to RiD after this issue...
     
  10. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    All the answers are there but you will not get them in a hurry.

    Today's issue of Lost Light confirmed a theory I had based on THIS issue...FIVE YEARS AGO.
     
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  11. Wrecker217

    Wrecker217 Heart Like a Hand Grenade

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    Shadowplay Shadowplay Shadowplay Shadowplay

    I can't wait for you to read Shadowplay
     
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  12. rlmiddleton

    rlmiddleton Swoopatron

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    I have to say world building is great but I'm finding this kind of delayed resolution of teasers increasingly trying.
     
  13. rlmiddleton

    rlmiddleton Swoopatron

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    Agreed. :thumb 
     
  14. gregles

    gregles quintesson

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    I agree it sure does feel like shadowplay time though I don't want help build unrealistic levels of expectation for that arc as its not an instant gratification kind of story.

    Ryan I can see why you found Grimlocks presence distracting when it was to do with the dinobot month event but I have terrible news for you that in terms of story distracting themed events this is the thin end of the wedge and they only get more brazen and disruptive from here with Hasbro demands and idw doing insecurity driven events. Grimlocks presence does start to make sense sort of eventually
     
  15. MatrixOfWumbo

    MatrixOfWumbo I see you

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    Hell, Shadowplay answers a question I don't even think anyone asked.

    But let's not forget about RID. If I remember correctly that books starts ramping up soon too.
     
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  16. Infosaur

    Infosaur Well-Known Member

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    Spoilers ahoy:

    I'm disappointed you didn't talk about the reveal in these two books alone. Yes Fulcrum is a non-toy generic but they did a pretty good job of keeping what he was a mystery for the first issue and when the revelation comes out you really need to look back at some of the clues.

    "What was his crime?" "He lived."

    "K-class trooper" (K being for Divine Wind)

    "Should we all salute?" (At first I thought this implied that Fulcrum outranked the Scavengers. By the end I realized it was a measure of pity.)

    Now, let's also consider the ramifications of a war that converts soldiers into living bombs(or does that hit too close to home?) the fact that Fulcrum was running from his destiny all this time but was willing to give his life for his new friends is not something easily overlooked.
     
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  17. Rabid Robot

    Rabid Robot Wrecker

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    I have theorys on drifts vision in LL, actually more than one. But knowing that Roberts is writing the story it will be a LONG time before I can confirm them.
     
  18. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Now that you mention it, I guess he was a pretty well-realised character, in the main (although it was very convenient he had no bomb-mode kibble in robot mode!!!). Thinking about it, I guess my main problem with Fulcrum is that he seems like such a small fry, in the grand scheme of things. I mean, surely there were more dangerous/important Decepticons out there for the DJD to go after? And then at the end of the story this is pretty much confirmed, when the DJD are like, "Okay, we've tracked Overlord's location, we can't even be bothered to kill you guys now, bye."

    While Fulcrum's backstory is great in principle, I think the issue would have worked a teensy bit better if he was a bit more important, or his crime greater than just simple cowardice. I mean, "Decpticons - retreat!" is a pretty ubiquitous line in Transformers lore. If simple cowardice was a crime then Starscream would have been DJD'd years ago. There are ways for him to still be a sympathetic character and yet still be more 'worthy' of the DJD's attention, I think. Like - I dunno - falling asleep on sentry duty and accidentally getting hundreds of Decepticons massacred.
     
  19. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Robots In Disguise #8: Dinobot Hunt

    One of the dangers about borrowing a story title is that it only serves to draw comparisons with the original. ‘Dinobot Hunt’ was pretty much the first proper ‘epic’ British G1 comic story, so RID#8 immediately has a lot to live up to.

    Almost inevitably, the best bits of this comic (as with RID in general) are the scenes of scheming and politicking, whereas the ‘action’ plot (Ironhide and the Dinobots head into the wilderness to rescue the Aerialbots) is a bit dull, sadly.

    Let’s get the Ironhide plot out of the way first. I quite like the way that he’s been ostracised for having his ‘Pax Cybertronia’ dream. I don’t really blame the other Cybertronians one bit, seeing as how Pax Cybertronia was pretty lame. Because of his dream, Ironhide genuinely thinks he’s destined not to die, and that the Cybertronian race will live on as a united people – inevitably, the Dinobots don’t think much to Ironhide’s vision of the future. The narrative shows the quintet foraging deep into the untamed Cybertronian wilderness, dispatching the occasional rabid turbofox, and grumbling at each other. Weirdly, it’s hinted that Megatron is the reason for the Aerialbots’ disappearance, but the name seems just randomly plucked out of mid-air by Ironhide for no particular reason, so I’m guessing he’s a red herring and that the real culprit is someone a lot less obvious. The cliffhanger ending to the comic – in which Snarl, Sludge and Ironhide are attacked by Slag and Swoop – is very odd indeed. I know the Dinobots are loose cannons in the IDW universe but I find it hard to believe they’d attack their own without reason. I can only conclude that they’ve been affected by external forces somehow (reprogramming, cerebro shells maybe), or – ugh – it’s the work of a Hate Plague.

    Thankfully, the rest of the comic is pretty good. Cybertronian elections are coming up and Bumblebee is competing against Metalhawk and Starscream in a three-way battle for public approval. You just know Bumblebee is going to lose, because a) Bumblebee is a pretty boring leader, and it would make for a more dramatic comic if someone else won; b) Prowl is so sure Bumblebee will win, so it’s obvious the Autobots are being set up for a fall; and c) it would give the comic a nice little shake-up for someone unusual to be in charge. Bumblebee-as-leader always felt like an odd concept, the last holdover of the Costa era, and I think a good clearing of the decks could breathe fresh life into the series.

    The other great scene here is a Swindle/Dirge/Shockwave trialogue, in which Swindle sells Shockwave the idea of using Dirge to destabilise the Autobots’ grip on power. It’s good to finally see Shockwave get involved in the action, as he and Soundwave have practically been background characters so far. It is a tad too obvious (you just know they’re going to use Dirge’s evidence to mess with the election), but the inevitability of the situation just makes you even more eager to watch the dominoes fall (and to wipe the smug grin off of Prowl’s face).

    As always, the first part of a multi-part arc is very hard to judge, as these things live or die by their endings, but at the moment I can’t say I’m too intrigued by the Ironhide/Dinobot story. I like that John Barber seems to have embraced ‘Dinobot Month’ full-on, and written a story around the team, rather than just chucking them in almost grudgingly as Roberts and Furman did in their titles.

    But the problem is that the Dinobots just aren’t interesting enough as characters for me to really care about. They’ve always been grumpy, irascible, irritable and annoying, but they worked well in G1 because they had a lovable, comedic side to them as well. Without that lighter element, the IDW Dinobots are just boring thugs. As was the case when Furman introduced Sixshot and Bludgeon into the IDW mythos, it’s simply not enough to bring fan-favourite characters into the mix and expect readers to lap it up – you have to put some effort into it. No matter how much goodwill we as fans may have towards certain classic characters, the writers have to grasp why we fell in love with these characters in the first place – they were well-written, likeable and interesting.

    2/5. Dunno if I’ve mentioned this before, but Sludge’s dino-mode head is sooo cute.
     
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  20. Omegashark18

    Omegashark18 Combaticon turned Autobot

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    The only real interesting Dinobot in IDW to me is Grimlock, and as you've seen he's now been rendered dumber then his G1 counterpart.

    Grimlock bolstered the other Dinobots, and without him they're missing something.

    Weather you still think of the Dinobots as uninteresting in the Dinobot Trilogy, we shall see...
     
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