Have IDW and Furman jumped the shark?

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by McBradders, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    So, the first two arcs and subsequent supporting titles were all very, very good. The stories were, for the most part, excellent Science Fiction and most of all, within the context, absoloutely beleivable with the possible exception of the name O'nion.

    Fast forward to the end of the latest arc and a majority of the more recent spotlights we're seeing more and more Furman-esque cliche's.

    Galvatron. Ubar Ebil "dead universe". Batshit insanity thinly disguising itself as badassery. Grimlock. Scorponok. Bludgeon. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

    Now, this is all very much the late Marvel runs walking around in a new skin and that's what dissapoints me the most. The first two arcs, with heavy emphasis on disguise, blacker-than-black black ops humans was fucking awesome. It was, as I stated before, very beleivable within the context it was set in, which makes all this "mystical ubar ebil" stuff hard to swallow. We're already set and tied in to a spaghetti plate of plot threads, character interaction and dangling ends that we're being left hanging once again, Autobots vs Decepticons seems to be uninteresting to someone somewhere, but who exactly?

    I just find my shoulders sagging every time I open a new issue now when before I was hooked and excited for each and every installment. I hate making a thread knocking Furman because he has done such a fucking awesome job of modifying the mythos, but this beyone epic galactic good vs eviller than evil crap has really just left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Maybe it's time to hang up my Transformers comics hat and move on...
     
  2. Erector

    Erector I ruined the Hall of Fame

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    I do know what you mean, Devestation was a bit "oh, here we go then" compared to Escalation and Infiltration, which I loved for more inkeeping to the whole "robots in disguise" ethos. But ya know... I give Furman a lot of credit for his writing. While I'm not really sure on the whole Dead Universe angle, I'm interested to see how he pans it out. There's a few ideas in there I really love - the idea of Nova Prime as Nemesis Prime rather than "zomg a black Optimus oh noes", I LOVE the idea of Megatron and Galvatron as two seperate entities. Jhiaxus as an Igor-alike, well we'll see about that one ;) 

    I suppose one of the problems is, how do you intermix the "robots in disguise" angle with the Autobot-Decepticon conflict, especially while they're based on earth, without taking it to the intergalactic stage?

    One thing I would like is some threads tied up though - Verity and Jimmy? What's that thing in Nightbeat's head? I was gonna say what's happened with Thunderwing, but since we've seen Galvy taking off Sixshot as well, it appears he's creating a little army of his own. In previous continuities I would've suggested Unicron but since Furman's said he ain't appearing, then I wonder if Galvy's forming his own reapers / sub-faction? I dunno.

    God I ramble.
     
  3. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    The writing is still good, I just feel that falling back on this epic-uber-evil-galactic-stage just undermines the excellence of the stuff that was set on earth previously. It's like giant transforming robots just isn't enough, there has always got to be this other stuff going on to keep it interesting, when that isn't the case at all.
     
  4. Chrono Grimlock

    Chrono Grimlock Perfect By Nature

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    I feel ya. It took a long time for me to enjoy IDW's take because all I wanted was robots hitting the shit out of other robots.

    Going back and re-reading all of Infiltration and Escalation I was really impressed. Then comes Devastation and I'm back to wondering why I pick it up. It has some really fresh takes on the mythos which I enjoy (even if I dislike the choice; Sunstreaker being a headmaster).

    Now currently we got BADASS Grimlock appearing soon. He's a BADASS, amirite? Simon loves him, so he must be. Never mind that in every IDW appearance he's made he gets his ass handed to him. I'm rambling here but I guess I'm just trying to get across that I don't think it's so much as jumped the shark, but more of Simon going back to his comfort zone; as Twin Twist illustrated above.

    Devastation feels very rushed and with the change in focus in the next arc, Revelation, it looks like maybe IDW has noticed this as well and is taking means to curve this.

    I hate to pin this on Simon, especially when I'm consistently buying everything he writes, it just seems as though IDW may have been having similar thoughts as us. The next main line arc isn't written by Furman and it's having an entirely different focus than where the story was headed.
     
  5. tusko

    tusko Well-Known Member

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    I too don't think the mystical elements of the Dead Universe need to be brought into the mecha-science themed TF story. The only exception is the Matrix mythos which I've never liked anyway. I realize these machines are alive, and there is something inexplicable and mystical about the concept of life. However it undermines what should be the fundamental plot points in the TF saga, man vs. machine and machine vs. machine.
     
  6. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    i dont blame u dood. honestly, TF comics in general isnt up to scratch with contemporary stuff, part of me buys on principle just to support the brand, seeing that it doesnt have much outlet as it used to. its made even more apparent now that we have better TF stories in the form of TFA.

    if u feel like stopping or take a break u should do that. u can always catch up later thx to the proliferation of tpb's. its just like collecting burn out. u just need sometime off to help with perspective.
     
  7. Wreckgar

    Wreckgar Anthony Stark Veteran

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    I'm pretty bored with the run myself. It started out with such promise but we are now 18 issues into the story and what really has happened? Not much. It just seems to be very drawn out to me. We haven't had much progression. I understand we have one long tale to tell but it should take this long to tell this part of it.
     
  8. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    I'm not dissing Furman, really, he did a wonderful job of everything so far, just this last arc. It seems really out of place. Prime and Megs haven't had a chance to really get in to any kind of rhythm for it to be thrown off by such epic things as Galvatron and co.

    Le sigh :( 
     
  9. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm OriginalRotorstorm Fanboy

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    i'd like for once the transformers war to stay on Earth for a little longer. i just hope that there is a series that follows up on what is happening on Earth whilst Prime and co go off in revelations, maybe that's what all hail megatron'sgoing to be about.
     
  10. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    I though that Furman was off his rocker with that name, but it is an actual last name. Who'd have thought? Now is he Sunstreaker O'nion?

    I feel the same way.
    I loved the deliberate pace of the battle on Earth.
    I loved seeing the robots from the human perspective and finding out that the disguises went far deeper than changing into a car or jet, but included fake human beings as well.

    The whole thing was well played out.
    Now, it seems we are getting thrust into a Space Opera again.

    While I don't plan on giving up on the titles, I need to have some closure on something! I honestly think that it is a great storytelling mechanism to have certain things "just happen" and certain characters "just show up" -real life is like that sometimes and it's kind of cool that the characters don't figure out everything.

    However, as a reader I need to have some payoff for my investment in reading.
    -What's the big deal about Ore-13?
    -Verity and Jimmy are alive\dead\what?
    -What is Starscream's agenda?
    -How did Scorponok get on Earth? What are his goals?
    -We ever gonna see Kup again?
    -Is DoubleDealer going to make things bad for the Autobots or not?
    -What is Soundwave doing?
    -Are the Dynobots coming back?
    -Insert about a dozen more dangling plot threads here.

    So now, with all of this stuff going on and unresolved it seems the reader is being thrust into an epic Space Opera type story whether he or she wants to or not.

    And, I'm sorry, but for me they are close to ruining Optimus Prime's characterization. They started the build up that he is a hero among heroes, but then they have him leave Earth undefended and under attack by Decepticons and Reapers.

    That is possibly the worst decision a comic Optimus Prime has made since G1 Prime decided to end his own life because he caused some 8-bit sprites to die in a Commodore 64 game.

    And, he is doing all this because Monstructor got loose?
    It takes all the Autobots from Earth to go take out Monstructor?
    Didn't Prime single-handedly take Monstructor down by punching him in the chest?
     
  11. Beastbot X

    Beastbot X The Toad Knows.

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    I love the IDW stuff, and I think they're, on average, been getting better with time, personally. I thought "Infiltration" was a bit boring and slow-moving, but "Devastation" is the best TF fiction I've read in ages. I LOVE how so much stuff actually HAPPENS in each issue. And I don't mind the galactic "space opera", they could only keep the fight on Earth for so long, we all knew that.

    Though I do have to scratch my head at how Animated is better writing than IDW's main continuity. I mean, Animated is written very well and is funnier than IDW, but better in quality of writing than IDW, which isn't bound by "just" being a "kids' show", which allows it to get into more mature themes? I respect other people's opinions on stuff like this, but I just can't see it at all.
     
  12. CripNite

    CripNite That Whack Canuck Dude

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    Meh... he takes 6 issues to tell a story that could be told in 1. Too many robots for too many unneccessary reasons (that was a complaint about DW's books too). Quite honestly, it's this "shit or get off the pot" mentality that's driving me away. Nothing happens in the majority of these books and when it does.... well it's time to wrap up that miniseries and start another in 6 months while we do something else for awhile. Then when they come back to it, it feels like they forgot where they were.

    And these spotlight issues give absolutely nothing. 20 pages of inner thought to to spoon feed you one minor plot point - so minor that IDW themselves say that you don't need to read the spotlights to get what's going on.

    I'm mad at IDW for not figuring out a proper formula yet. They really need to get it together, because I'm honestly not sticking around much longer.
     
  13. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    I'm actually confused with what youre going for here. r u saying ur surprised that TFA has better writing then IDW? its not that big a deal of a feat really. consider:

    -IDW is compromised the current standard of arcs to span a TPB format. hence some of the arcs have been either spread out or compacted. TFA has better planning overall?
    -IDW has to contend with tie ins like spotlights. TFA is more focus/single minded.

    advantage=TFA

     
  14. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm OriginalRotorstorm Fanboy

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    that's why the best way to read the arc is in TPB, Seriously, in this form Escalation and Devestaion are awesome (i know Dev's not released yet but if you read them one after another in a short space of timeyou get the same effect.
     
  15. Spider Striker

    Spider Striker ThisGuyWithTheYellowCap

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    I support this theory. I ended up not getting "Devestation" until all the issues were out (fell behind on my pull list), and read them all in more or less one sitting. I gotta tell ya, it seemed pretty badass to me.

    Though I see what TT is saying in that Furman is falling back to his usual cliches. Kinda disappointing as what I've enjoyed most about IDW's take on the TFs is the originality, but still damn entertaining.
     
  16. Dinobot Nuva

    Dinobot Nuva Johnny 3 Tears Veteran

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    This is the first series I'm actually able to get involved on from beginning to end. I wasn't even born for Marvel to matter, and I didn't show up till the last leg of Dreamwave on the comic scene, but I've read an assload of reprints and older trades, and I gotta say, I like the IDW continuity far more. Partly because they do take the time to say "step off Season 1 and Season 2 Geewunners" and allow room for character's that've really gotten shafted over the years.
    They included Generation 2 into their continuity, that's enough for me. Seeing my first Transformers in Spotlight: Galvatron was like some sort of crazy ass dream come true.
    DN
     
  17. Beastbot X

    Beastbot X The Toad Knows.

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    No, I'm saying I personally don't see how people can think that TFA, overall, has better writing than IDW. I think that even though Animated is awesome, IDW beats it no contest.
     
  18. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    oh, okay, then we disagree then :D 
     
  19. Acid Wing

    Acid Wing Senior Alien TF Member

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    I"m still enjoying the series, but I can see what Twin Twist is lamenting about. From the looks of it so far, the whole Revelations arc stuff appears to be a retake on G2 or even Unicron, where I think Nemesis/Nova Prime will become the ultimate "big baddie" Prime & Megs must either or both confront eventually.

    And I agree, I hope Furman at least revisits the covert aspect of the series with different "infiltration" arcs on other worlds or at least Earth, but I guess those themes are taking a step back due to the looming threat of Nemesis Prime and the Dead Universe. That being said, the Spotlight issues have more or less been solid.
     
  20. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I gave up after the first IDW story arc, it just didn't do anything for me. Maybe it was the whole 'brand new' continuity after Dreamwave, I dunno.

    It was a sad day when I told my Comic guy to leave Transformers off my pull list. I may try a trade. Hmm.
     

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