Grumpy old G1 fan reads IDW - in order!

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

  1. T.F. Allen

    T.F. Allen Formerly known as Krem

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Posts:
    1,296
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Location:
    Woodbridge, VA
    Likes:
    +262
    Ebay:
    Twitter:
    YouTube:
    But Starscream never outright deserted. Fulcrum did. He was recaptured, imprisoned, sentenced to death by "traitor's wheel" (sounds painful), and then resentenced at the last minute to death by suicide bombing - which he then survived. That's why the DJD went after him. They found out he was still alive, having escaped Decepticon justice twice.

    ...I may have a slight attachment to Fulcrum, as I voice him for the Audio Knights Theatre.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Posts:
    1,268
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Likes:
    +887
    Wow, a lot of Fulcrum fans on here!

    As with anything, I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder, I guess. The Fulcrum stuff was clearly a highlight for some of you guys whereas for me he was just okay. Maybe if he makes some return appearances I'll grow to appreciate him more?

    Anyway, I'm intrigued by this 'Audio Knights Theatre' you mention. Have you got a link?
     
  3. T.F. Allen

    T.F. Allen Formerly known as Krem

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Posts:
    1,296
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Location:
    Woodbridge, VA
    Likes:
    +262
    Ebay:
    Twitter:
    YouTube:
    He's my precious baby and I love him :3

    Fulcrum plushie.JPG

    Since you asked, I have a few! You can find our YouTube channel here, and our website here. So far, we've done full audiodramas for MTMTE #1-5, with #6 just about ready for release. We also have a "movie" of MTMTE #4-5 that we showed at TFCon Charlotte. We've done some short scenes from various issues and series (most of them a fair bit ahead of you), and have been able to feature special guest performances by David Kaye (Beast Wars Megatron, Animated Optimus Prime), Richard Newman (Beast Wars Rhinox), Jon "3.0" Bailey (Honest Trailers), and Chris McFeely (TFWiki).
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Posts:
    14,962
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    362
    Likes:
    +776
    Honestly, I don't even remember it. Any of it. I don't mean that issue, I mean that whole arc.
     
  5. NoiseMaker

    NoiseMaker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Posts:
    432
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Likes:
    +149
    Well.. to counter/balance - this is one of my most memorable arcs. For the characters (swoop!) And actually getting out of the city.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Infosaur

    Infosaur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Posts:
    3,768
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +85
    The "mystery alt mode" is a common theme going forward. Especially with Roberts. In fact it will actually be a crucial issue in *redacted* and *redacted*!

    You've already seen it once with Ambulon and Fulcrum. (And Rung?) this is kinda what's cool about this era of Transformers fiction is the CHARACTER shines over the ALT MODE.

    In the beginning it made sense that a race car Transformer would be all about speed, a tank about destruction, etc.

    Then writers thought it'd be cool to cast against-type. Silverbolt's fear of heights, Boulder, Rhinox & Bulkhead being gentle giants, and so forth.

    Roberts wants you to meet the character first, then a little mystery as to what his alt form might be. It's,,, flirtatious in a way. Sort of a no kiss on the first date kinda thing.

    But not to jump on the Fulcrum Fanbase bandwagon, but it wasn't just desertion he committed it was actually insubordination. (I'd forgotten that he had already deserted in the first place and was sentenced to be a martyr for THAT crime.)

    Also let's not assume the DJD spend all their time searching the galaxy for targets in order of importance. I'm sure their priorities are for targets of opportunity first and high value targets supersede that mission.

    Back to RID: God sometimes Barber can make such a mess. I've said more that a few times his long view is good. There are some seeds here that will bear fruit. Delicious, delicious fruit. Mmmm.

    But God help me the man just cannot get his finger on the 'voice' of some characters.

    You will get somewhere interesting with this arc, (even if it takes Marghid Scott to give it its proper 'voice') but for the life of me I couldn't quote a single line of dialogue from this book. And I'm sure in more than one panel the lines are all but interchangeable between characters. (Especially with the Dinobots, who with rare exceptions are often written as a homogeneous group)

    Dinobots and Constructicons could really use a stand alone book like the old Spotlights to give voice to their individual characters. Most combiners suffer similarly, the exception being the Protectobots and the Combaticons for some reason.

    Slag: Angry
    Sludge: legitimately dumb
    Snarl: somewhat depressed
    Swoop: among this group? He's practically Bumblebee.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Infosaur

    Infosaur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Posts:
    3,768
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +85
    Also I think there's some sort of Venn Diagram thing going on with the Constructicons:

    Half are intellectuals, half are brawlers.
    Half are pesimists, half are optimists.
    Some are ambivalent, others are sadists.

    I had half an idea about that once, anyone want to run with it?

    Hook: snobbish meticulous
    Bonecrusher: angry destructive
    Mixmaster: intelligent sadist
    Scavenger: depressed
    Long Haul: frustrated
    Scrapper: creative
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. True Adventures

    True Adventures Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Posts:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    Likes:
    +36
    Ebay:
    See, that wouldn't really work though, as falling asleep and allowing a troop massacre would be altogether too easy a thing for the reader to understand the DJD's motivations, and feel that there was a semblance of grisly justification about what they're doing.

    The point about the DJD is that they're not justified in what they do, even by an extreme 'eye for an eye' standard. They're petty, and arbitrary, and insecure in the way that only zealots can be. An institution that's paranoid and corrupt, devouring itself from within, until only the most "loyal", most "pious", most "pure" remain. And then they turn on each other.

    That the DJD go after superficially 'good' bots accused of crimes you'd expect to see in a kangaroo court, gives you a measure of what they're about.

    They embody the sickness at the heart of what the Decepticons have become (if you take Decepticonism to have had noble roots, only to have succumbed to the darkest of impulses), like Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety.

    They're vindictive sadists, yes, but really they're just glorified bullies. They're opportunistic and sadly Fulcrum was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Besides, as we know, there's a special kind of bad blood between Overlord and Megatron. Nobody disses the object of these fanatics' devotion. And you know what they say about never having heroes...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Posts:
    1,268
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Likes:
    +887
    Hmm... I think maybe people are responding to my points about Fulcrum and the DJD with knowledge and hindsight that of course I don’t have yet. I’ve only read just two issues with these characters in; all I can do is speak it like I see it, completely ignorant of the contents of dozens (?) of future comics that undoubtedly shed more light on these characters.

    As presented in these two issues, I maintain it’s patently not clear why they’re going after a non-entity like Fulcrum, considering there are probably hundreds of more deserving candidates out there. I get that this is probably explained a bit better later on, as we get to know the DJD a bit more... but don’t forget all I have to go on at the moment are just these two issues, and in that context I can’t help but feel that their pursuit of Fulcrum just seems a bit petty.

    I think people have to bear in mind I’m a ways behind here. I don’t know the same things you guys know yet.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  10. True Adventures

    True Adventures Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Posts:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    Likes:
    +36
    Ebay:
    Oh I don't know, I think you can infer most of that from those issues? We don't actually see the DJD again for a while after this.
     
  11. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Posts:
    1,268
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Likes:
    +887
    Guess it’s easier with hindsight. Did you think the same after reading these issues for the first time? It’s just that your post about the DJD just seemed very well-informed, considering the scant information we learn about them in just these two issues.

    Or are you one of those people who solve Agatha Christie novels by the end of the first chapter?!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. The Madness

    The Madness News Credits: -13

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Posts:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +224
    Around the time of release there was a lot of discussion of each issue, possibly spurred on by a series of mysteries promoted at launch. Many elements were discussed enthusiastically and their significance was frequently speculated on. Characters were analysed and motivations were explored as issues were deconstructed in a bit of a competitive group-think over the course of a month, (or two).

    One of the most fascinating aspects of this thread is your lack of exposure to community discussions from the time. This group interaction may have been a supplementary experience for many of us. There's definitely more DJD to come, but we probably felt a little more familiar with them due to months of exposure.

    I appreciate you questioning the waste of resources pursuing nobodies when they're clearly cut-off from the majority of Decepticons. Many of us probably didn't consider that perspective in light of more exciting potential mysteries.
     
  13. Bumblemus Prime

    Bumblemus Prime Cracked in the head

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Posts:
    642
    Trophy Points:
    147
    Likes:
    +512
    I guess I just assumed that having taken down Black Shadow, who was a big use of resources, they were like "oh, there's another guy we can get without having to top off the tank even."

    It fits with the very legalistic, efficiency-driven personality Tarn shows later. "No, we get everyone on the list in a fuel-efficient manner.
     
  14. The Madness

    The Madness News Credits: -13

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Posts:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +224
    Sure, but I think Ryan was suggesting that Black Shadow, Grimlock and the 'con they left for supports a process of prioritisation. Though many of us probably put it down to opportunistic thuggery with varying degrees of justification.
    We know the in-story reason of why the DJD needed to be isolated from the majority of Decepticons, but rigorous efficiency would suggest they target the largest clusters.
     
  15. cashel

    cashel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Posts:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    57
    Likes:
    +7
    i know i'm not as knowledgeable as most transfans on this board but i have read all tf uk comics, purchased all sunbow dvd collections, bought some of the toys, and supported idw's transformer series since the beginning and up until the tf idw hardcovers began to come out. oh, i also read dreamwaves stuff and generation two which i loved. i know those twelve issues were disavowed but i dug the destruction of cities on earth and the killing of popular characters... not to mention i LOVE GEOFF SENIOR!!! idw's tf mythology is my favorite and reading via hardcovers mixes the writers all together and, imo, provides a more consistent reading. but i'm still behind.
     
  16. Infosaur

    Infosaur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Posts:
    3,768
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +85
    Yeah I guess we're not being fair to you.

    This is really (well starting with Delphi) the point where MTMTE hit it's stride. The Scavenger's and the DJD won't really show up again for a while, but the impact they had on the fandom in this issue had people begging for more. The DJD (for a timeframe I won't disclose, but look at it this way, you're reading these back to back while we waited months between issues) are like the camera POV serial killer sneaking up behind the victim.

    We all know something terrible is coming, but we don't know if it's in the next issue, or 30 days after that, or 30 days after THAT!

    And, well,,,, some people really latched on to Fulcrum. He's kinda the everyman Decepticon, he's the Lego Emmit, and for a minute you forget he'd probably step on a bus load of "squishys" without breaking stride.

    So enjoy these two issues as the stand alone they are, because the roller coaster is still going and you really ain't seen nothing yet.

    (Heck even RiD gets juicy about now)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Posts:
    1,268
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Likes:
    +887
    Robots In Disguise #9: Night And The City

    This is a pretty poor issue, in which very little happens until the double-whammy cliffhanger at the end.

    I don’t mind the talkier, more political instalments, and that’s just as well because RID is a talky, political comic. But the talk here is just… idle chat, rather than characters saying anything insightful or meaningful. Even the action sequences, in which Ironhide and the Dinobots have a couple of brawls, simply feel like we’re marking time before something a bit more interesting happens.

    In the first Ironhide/Dinobot battle, Ironhide manages to escape when the crazed Autobots turn on each other. But when he meets them again, he just… runs away? It’s not super-clear how Ironhide gets away from them, or how he’s able to escape on foot when the Dinobots (especially Swoop) could presumable catch him easily.

    Back in the encampment, Bumblebee is (yet again) struggling with the burdens of command. He seems on-edge, indecisive and unsure of himself. In fact, he’s so wet that you almost end up rooting for Starscream or Metalhawk to take over, if only to make Bumblebee shut up about how his life sucks at the moment. “I just wanted a drink and somebody to talk to,” he says. Well boo-hoo, but I don’t really care. This guy was a soldier in a million-year-long-war and now it transpires that he can’t handle responsibility? Gah, he’s just so whiny.

    This in turn leads to the worst scene of the issue. In an attempt to crowbar the events of Autocracy into the backstory of the mainline comics, all of a sudden Blurr has a new character neurosis – he feels guilty that he saved Zeta Prime all those years ago, given that Zeta went on to become a monstrous killer.

    This is one of those ‘tacked-on’ character revelations that wind me up a bit (like Tom Paris conveniently revealing how he’s always been a classic automobile aficionado in the exact same episode in which the USS Voyager encounters a vintage truck in space). It doesn’t feel natural, it doesn’t add anything to the plot (despite his rant, Blurr agrees to help anyway), and seems included only to splice the continuity together, rather than serve any dramatic point. Blurr may have saved Zeta, but a bunch of other Autobots actually worked for him. Hell, Sunstreaker set the Decepticons loose on Earth. Again, compared to the backstories of the other Autobots, Blurr seems to have relatively little to grumble about.

    Next, there’s some stuff involving Reflector acting mighty shadily and the timeship going missing. Now, adding a time machine into the mix seems a good way of opening up new avenues for adventure. But if this is going where I think it’s going, then Reflector will end up in the past, on the Spotlight: Wheelie planet. So this entire time, the whole point of the timeship was to correct a continuity error involving Reflector? Oh boy. I could well be barking up the wrong tree here (and maybe the ship will fulfil some of that promise and become a recurring gimmick in the comic), but if the only reason the ship was introduced was to sort out a continuity flub then John Barber seriously needs to get his priorities straight.

    I know I refer to Doctor Who a lot, but there’s an analogy here. In the 1908s, the producers of that show hired a fan to look through the scripts and advise on continuity. We ended up with pointless fanwanky scenes where characters would clarify hanging plot threads from twenty years prior, and culminated in the broadcast of ‘Attack of the Cybermen’, a story which was a sequel to two episodes from the 1960s (which had never been seen since their initial broadcast) which would have likely baffled all but the very hardcore fans with long memories.

    The point is, when you’re tying yourself in knots trying to stitch together dodgy continuity, that’s effort that could be better spent telling a good story. I want to see the timeship used for crazy adventures through the past and future, not to retroactively explain some one-shot comic from years previous. The thing is, this could have been dealt with in a throwaway line (“hey, in the IDW universe there are more than three Reflectors!”), but no, Barber is wasting page after page on this bloody ship just to use it as continuity Tipp-ex.

    So to the cliffhanger, and the timeship has suddenly vanished (because of course, no-one thought to put a guard or two on the entrance). Meanwhile, Ironhide comes face-to-face with Superion. It took me a couple of reads of this comic to ‘get’ the Superion ending, too. Obviously being so used to the G1 Aerialbots I’m used to them having the ability to combine, so I initially thought nothing of Superion’s appearance here. But then it suddenly twigged that Superion is essentially a new character in the IDW-verse, because combiners were created by Jhiaxus’ crazy science, and we’d never seen an Autobot gestalt before in the series.

    Yeah, sometimes I’m a bit slow on the uptake!

    Anyway, this was a pretty pointless and mediocre instalment that adds very little to the ongoing story. It almost feels like a Furman IDW issue in the way it’s such a slow-burn. I quite liked Spotlight: Wheelie, but not so much as to want to sacrifice valuable page-time here to explain away the Reflector deaths therein. By far my least favourite issue of RID to date. 1/5.

    [Sorry for the delay posting this – I assure everyone I’ve not lost interest and will be sticking this out to the bitter end! Other stuff got in the way (holiday, stag weekend, brother’s wedding) but now I’m back and ready to go again.]
     
    • Like Like x 7
  18. Omegashark18

    Omegashark18 Combaticon turned Autobot

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Posts:
    6,753
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Likes:
    +468
    It does kind of feel like things are dragging along doesn’t it?

    And my memories a little fuzzy here, but I’m pretty sure that the time Ship and the Reflector trio are important in some way.

    And no problem on the delay, happens to everybody. And I hold the same mentality with these comics, I’m with them till the bitter end. :) 
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Infosaur

    Infosaur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Posts:
    3,768
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +85
    Two things about the time ship:
    1.) it puts Reflector where Wheelie was
    2.) nobody cares about Reflector.

    But seriously, when has time travel ever lead to good writing?

    Have a death or unfortunate event you wanna undo? Time ship.

    Hey, we lost that fight,, time ship

    Getaway owes me $20? Time ship

    And either that or fans will be like, "why didn't they use the time ship to fix that thing that happened?!?"

    I'd say we're all better off if that thing stays right where it is, in the past.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Boatformer

    Boatformer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Posts:
    163
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    87
    Likes:
    +252
    Twitter:
    I'm a big John Barber fan, but I'll definitely admit he didn't hit his stride until the last few issues pre-Dark Cybertron. After that, though, I've been in love with practically everything he's written, and he gets a lot better at seamlessly melding continuity usage, "where did this character go", and fixing plot holes into telling a genuinely engaging story.

    There's Redemption and Salvation, which both star the Dinobots and give them more room to play off each other. Sla/ug especially.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017 at 7:36 PM
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page