IDW Transformers - two distinct depictions of war

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Fit For natalie, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    Something I've noticed - there are two distinct, very different depictions of war in IDW's G1 comics.

    A. Simon Furman's era + Last Stand of the Wreckers
    Two organised armies with a chain of command, multiple commanders on several fronts fighting across a galaxy filled with other races, and concern for the political image of one's faction. There are mutually agreed upon rules of war - the Tyrest Accords - with peacekeepers such as Ultra Magnus arresting Decepticon renegades and criminals and turning them over to the Decepticon justice system.

    B. AHM - Mike Costa era
    Two disorganised rabbles with Optimus Prime and Megatron as pretty much the only leaders. If either of them dies or becomes otherwise incapacitated, their respective faction will lose hope, lose direction and sit around dejectedly (and for some reason, become willing tools for Earth nation-states). Their second-in-command or some other high-ranking officer may step up to take temporary command or otherwise claim leadership, but are remarkably incompetent, making one wonder how they achieved their rank in the first place. The rest of the galaxy doesn't exist.


    Any thoughts?
     
  2. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    Not really other than the fact that you're spot on. Almost like one writer hadn't read or even considered the other writer's work... :) 
     
  3. DecepsRule7

    DecepsRule7 Active Member

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    The way you sum up the Furman era is spot on. But I like to look at the series as whole in this way. Sure it started with two organized sides fighting a war of attrition. With either side looking for an edge to gain advantage over the other. The Decepticons seemingly found that on Earth with Ore-13. So Megatron attempts to capitolize on this but gets humiliated by Prime in Escalation. After that Megatron is only focused on the autobots and abandons the phases by going right to Sixshot in Devastation. Then the Autobots leave earth to go handle the DU issues leaving Earth defenseless.

    That leaves the opening for the Decepticons to invade Earth without resistance. So at that point there's no need to be subtle and return to the phased approach, they can just let loose without worrying about autobot interference. Of course the other premise of AHM we then find out is the expansive autobot army has been scattered and attacked on all fronts which only leaves Prime and company that are on Cybertron. They return to Earth and Megatron is fatally wounded and the Decepticons retreat.

    Then the ongoing picks up with Prime and the autobots regrouping on Earth and welcoming any survivors from AHM that are making their way to Earth to reunite with Prime and co. Meanwhile the approach Costa has taken with the Decepticons is that with Megatron out of commission, the remaining leaders then have to decide how to move forward. Megatron really is the driving force behind the Decepticon ideals, much like a dicatator. And without him the remaining groups scatter and go off to do what they need to do to survive and the Decepticon movement loses momentum.

    So that's how I connect the dots. Based on what's being said of Chaos many plot threads from across all three writers' runs will be brought out. That will be fun to see how chaos connects everything to have the ations/AHM/Ongoing feel like one cohesive story. In my mind it already is, but for those who don't feel that way, Chaos might be the answer. That's their intent anyway.
     
  4. Scrapper6

    Scrapper6 Lord of Constructicons

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    That may be their intention, but whether or not they succeed in pulling it off may just determine the fan's continued support of this comic. I personally will keep buying until there are no Transformers comics to purchase, provided I can still afford them that is, it's getting harder and harder and tighter and tighter these days to keep up with the various comics they've been pushing on all of us. I hope that with Chaos their intentions meet with success and then perhaps we can cut out all this mini-series arcs add infinitum and just stick to one title with perhaps one mini-series a year for G1 stuff and whatever Movie tie-in 'sequel' they have planned for release after Dark of the Moon.

    Two books a month is a better deal than four or five, and if IDW wants to keep Transformers Comics going strong they need to get their reigns firmly planted on this notion. The price of these books are higher than Marvel, DC and Archie, and with the way the world economy is a comic book series relying on multiple different minis and an ongoing and alternate titles from different realities every other month is going to start driving some of us away at the rate they're going due to burn out and incapability of continued support.
     
  5. DecepsRule7

    DecepsRule7 Active Member

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    I understand what you're saying but I don't understand why you're saying it. You suggest having an ongoing with potentially one mini per year and a movie tie in. Which could result in potentially 3 singles per month to buy at some point. Which isn't any different than when we had ongoing, LSotW, and BB resulting in 3 issues per month. And for awhile now we've had ongoing, HoD, plus movie tie in books. So only 2 "G1" books per month as is.

    In any case, it doesn't look like movie-verse books are continuing after Dark of the Moon. And IDW is already streamlining all minis and spotlights into the ongoing resulting in just one series to buy. So there you go.
     
  6. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Gotta admit, I like option A more.

    That's what really got me hooked on Infiltration, that there were all these different levels, ranks and rules between both factions. My favourite scene is where Megatron shows up, puts his house in order, then calmly re-establish's the phase structure with the Autobots. He doesn't threaten them, he doesn't even try and attack them, he basically tells everyone to get back to work in two words. It a sort of not-really respect between the two factions, that despite the fact that it's a war, there's expectations and protocol both sides must abide by.

    That's just an example, but I think that's why I'm getting out of the IDW comics. It's becoming the same old stuff. LSOTW brought that back, as you said, and I think that's another reason I enjoyed it so much.
     
  7. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Option A is by far superior.

    lol current IDW
     
  8. Hot Shot.

    Hot Shot. Giving up on the fiction.

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    And this is why IDW quit trying on their TF series, and things have fallen so far. I think it's safe to say that they've lost most everyone but their most unshakeable readers. Why worry about how your comic reads when a fair chunk of its readers will buy the series for brand name alone?

    I'm sorry to single you out, but I feel like if more people voted with their wallet things wouldn't have gotten so bad. I miss the -Ations continuity so bad. :( 
     
  9. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    I voted with my wallet. It's why I don't read Transformer comic anymore.
     
  10. Greyley

    Greyley Well-Known Member

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    Or be voted into command. I think "let's elect Bumblebee of all people to lead the Autobots" is one of the biggest facepalm moments in IDW's comics. Though an established chain of command is the most logical way to handle the loss of a leader, I'm reasonably cool with the 'bots holding an election...but Bumblebee? I refuse to believe that an army of soldiers who have been fighting for millennia would choose a leader because he's a cute lil' guy who makes them feel good. They're going to pick someone with some experience and known leadership ability.

    And then Optimus Prime comes back, and he's not the leader...except he's still the one making the major decisions. So who exactly is in charge?? I don't blame Hot Rod at all for making a power play...someone has to!

    Yep, this is why IDW never feels compelled to fix any of their problems. 8,000-10,000 copies seems to be the equilibrium point for IDW's TF comics. No matter how bad they get, the sales never seem to waver much from those numbers (at least for the G1 series). Andy Schmidt has repeatedly used sales numbers to refute constructive criticism; as long as people continue to buy regardless of quality, things will never change.

    The fact that Heart of Darkness and the Bumblebee mini sold as many copies as Last Stand of the Wreckers makes me want to cry.
     
  11. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    I voted with my wallet. Make no mistake, when they went to crap I stopped buying. I did buy the "Revenge of the Decepticons" parts 3-5, but that's been it. My LCS is very cool so I tend to flip through the issues at the store when I drop by. Those were the only few issues of late that were good enough to drop any money on.

    I dropped them after AHM.
     
  12. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    Same here- with a couple of trys of the ongoing here and there.
     
  13. Scrapper6

    Scrapper6 Lord of Constructicons

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    How is this remotely possible? Maybe it just feels like more books are coming out every month because I am forced to keep leaving past issues behind in my bin until I can afford them all, but if there have only been three issues coming out every month consecutively for the past few months and that would be around 16$ before taxes, then how could I possibly not be able to afford that?

    I believe you are wrong.

    Transformers Ongoing 1 issue each month
    Transformers Movie Comics We've had two prequel series from Dark of the Moon running concurrently for the past few months that's not 1 issue that's 2
    Transformers Heart of Darkness or Equivalent Mini here 1 issue each month

    So that's four comics every month at 4$ a pop, and Transformers is not the only series I buy, so I have to pick and choose at every opportunity. For the longest time there it seemed like a new mini was coming out every other month with issue one, Ironhide, Last Stand of the Wreckers, Bumblebee, Nefarious, Heart of Darkness, Sector 7, it felt like they were pushing five to six titles a month on me with my need to leave one or two mini-series alone and lest we forget Prime had a four issue mini in comic form released as well.

    IDW's practices were a mini starting up as soon as the previous one ended, sometimes two starting up at once with a third one still having two to three issues left to go to finish it off.

    What I want and what I said is this, IDW should have G1 Ongoing and if they are planning to continue after Dark of the Moon (To which I don't see why they wouldn't as they've had Movieverse comics being released since 2007.) then that's two books a month and that is enough for me. If they really, desperately want to add some sort of Mini-Series onto their release schedule to drum up sales than it should be once a year and only once a year, none of this starting a new Mini as soon as the old one is finished or when the old one is still two issues away from being finished. I mean I thought the whole point of an On-Going is to end Mini-Series as a monthly release kind of deal.

    So that's what I was referring to. IDW is NOT just releasing three books a month, maybe for two or three months out of the whole year, but that leaves ten to nine months where they over-stack the market with multiple new titles and four issue to six issue minis.

    I'm sorry, but if IDW quite trying because I and many like minded fans just decided to keep buying the garbage along with the few rare gems than IDW is a piss poor comic book company and definitely shouldn't be in charge of our beloved franchises. I give up IDW, boo hoo, wah, wah, I'm boycotting your comics because you don't CARE! Because there are just too many fans buying up the filth.

    URGH, darn it there I go again with my overly sarcastic stuff that will upset someone and things. But I am trying to make a valid point.

    The reason why IDW is having such a hard time with their Transformers comics isn't because we the fans are just dishing out cash allowing them to print their own money by slapping together some filth with really poor artwork. (Heart of Darkness I'm looking at you.) It's because their editing staff have been in a state of constant flux since day one, to the point where they are giving themselves too much rope to hang with. The editors aren't maintaining consistency, they apparently didn't have the sense to make up a Continuity Bible before starting to print the stuff, which could have helped tremendously if they had thought to take the time to craft a simple little In-House Continuity thing so new writers and artists would stick to the style and overarching plot points that wanted to be touched upon.

    Say what you will about Dreamwave, but at least their in-house style forced the artists not to be all artsy with their work for a mainstream comic book title meant to have a uniform look. They also didn't just hire up every fan artist under the sun with a shred of supposed talent for the sake of putting the book in control of the fans. Who have a tendency to royally dick around with the characters looks.

    What IDW needs to do, is to have a dedicated singular continuity natzi and perhaps an art critic with an ounce of common sense. You don't let your artists re-imagine the characters from one title to the next just because their style won't fit with the overal look and design of the characters in their pre-established forms. (Or they have it in their head to re-design them because they want to make it their own version of G1 with the vehicle modes and looks that they feel the characters should possess.)

    To quote Mister Hammond, I don't blame people for their mistakes, but I do ask that they fix them. And in this case I think IDW should stop switching their upper management staff around every other year or leap year and just sit down and do the job that will keep them in business for a much longer time than just picking up every lincense from CSI to Angel/Ghostbusters and what have you and actually get a bit more professional with in-house continutiy.

    The reason why Spider-Man and Superman change styles every couple of decades is because the times changed and the comics adapted to suit it. But if you're changing it up every single month or every other month than you aren't really being consistent. And that will eventually affect the fans, the art and the general flow of the books.

    My problem is I've been buying up Transformers comics for so long it's developed into a habit with me, and perhaps a bit of a bad habit if Heart of Darkness is any indication. So I will continue with this habit even if I do get slightly disapointed with the stories and the look in the books. I will hope that IDW will stop being a small time company with delusions of grandeur and perhaps try to get something of a sense of stability going so that they can genuinally compete with the big boys.

    Besides which, IDW is going to be giving us the entire Marvel U.K run, barring possibly the issues/stories featuring Death's Head, and at least that is going to be quality work, you know, for the 1980's. I don't want them to just drop the reprinting of U.K material like they've done in the past, so I am forced to support even mediocrity to be assured of a hopeful bit of past adventures to experience for the first time in trade form.
     
  14. Hot Shot.

    Hot Shot. Giving up on the fiction.

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    The issue I have is with people blindly buying the comic with consistently bad writing and editing, hoping for the occasional decent story. If IDW's sales suddenly dip, they'll be forced to re-examine(or maybe just examine) their books and find out what went wrong.

    While the editing and continuity are a mess, Mike Costa doesn't help at all. Like I said, if more people drop the comic, we'll force them to see the problems. IDW has pretty much made it clear that they don't care about their Transformers series anymore as long as it keeps a steady revenue. They want money, so they'd try to fix the issues to continue recieving money. As long as people keep buying it regardless of quality, they have no incentive to fix anything.


    I don't get this "don't bite the hand that feeds you" mentality people have with IDW. We're the ones feeding them. "Punishing" us would be shooting themselves in the foot. They aren't going to say, "Don't like our comics? Then no Transformers for you!"
     
  15. Scrapper6

    Scrapper6 Lord of Constructicons

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    But I don't see anything wrong with Costa's writing, save perhaps his decision to allow Spike to pull a McGyver to kill Scrapper. Perhaps because I've been picking up more than one issue at a time and reading them in sequence instead of getting them once a month and having to wait to see what happens next.

    As for the mentality of those who feel that IDW would take away the comics and what not, it is a simple and logical thing, if you're not making money on something you cut out the fat. And the reprints of classic Marvel U.K are going to be the first to go as extranuous material. Older stuff isn't as eye catching as the newer material. It has nothing to do with punishing us, and everything to do with good business sense.
     
  16. General Magnus

    General Magnus Da Custodes of the Emprah

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    Option A is far better like you said.
     
  17. DecepsRule7

    DecepsRule7 Active Member

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  18. Scrapper6

    Scrapper6 Lord of Constructicons

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    I never said they were pushing books, but it feels as though previously they were oversaturating the market.

    IDW has printed over two hundred comics and trades since taking over the license, if I'm not mistaken, from the original Infiltration, Escalation, Devastation, All Hail Megatron, Spotlights, Ongoing, Last Stand of the Wreckers, Best of U.K Reprints, Generations Reprints, Hearts of Steel, New Avengers Crossover Mini, Alliance, Defiance, Movie Adaptation, RotF Adaptation, Various Movieverse Sequels/Prequels, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Drift, Animated Movie Anniversary Adaptation, Dreamwave Material in Trade Form, the Beast Era books. That's a lot of material, and if like me you're buying up all their TF products (minus the Trades because I can't afford'em all to replace my old Dreamwave Singles run and stuff.) then you're dropping a piece of change. Irregardless of how many are released every month, be it 2, 3 or 4-6 like I was going on about.

    Personally I think I'm a bit closer to accuracy in the numbers of titles being put out in a month, since I was forced to budget myself and only pick up whatever titles I could grab at any given month, that tends to pile up when you've got a mini series released every month and a new one starting up right after the first one is finished. I mean it went:

    Ongoing
    Bumblebee
    Movieverse Title
    Occasional Spotlight

    Then you had:
    Ongoing
    Ironhide
    Movieverse Title
    Movieverse Title

    At least that's how it appeared to me, and the backs of the books with the release scedules seem to indicate this pattern. Four titles a month, twelve months a year, pick up only two of them at a time due to other titles in your pull list and it starts to pile up where it seems like they have six titles coming out every month as opposed to just four or three.

    This is just my experience and I'm surely not alone with this, it boggles the mind how some people can afford to drop over five hundred a month on titles ranging from Marvel, DC, IDW, Dark Horse and what have you. I can barely make it with just two series collecting, Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog books and IDW's Transformers. I had to drop GIJoe when IDW took over because I just couldn't afford to invest in the same formulaic approach to comic releases.

    GIJoe Main Title
    GIJoe Cobra
    GIJoe... uh, whatever that third title was that I have a few issues of
    Plus more or Specialty titles released every month or every other month



    Which is kind of a shame really as I have enjoyed the larger movieverse that IDW has been crafting, I'd hate to see it go completely. Perhaps next year another title will return to that universe if only in one-shot form.


    Where'd you get that figure from? I've been going off the release schedules in the back of the IDW books proper and at least each title shows four Transformers titles a month. And I believe I already explained why I was feeling like five or six was the norm comparatively.



    I never said they didn't care, I was just pointing out in a sarcastic manner that's how certain people come off. Personally I feel they have to care, otherwise they wouldn't even have bothered re-releasing any of those rare U.K stories. Or bringing us the complete Marvel U.K run in Trade format, according to recent solicits. (Although I'm sure all the stories with Death's Head won't be seeing the light of day anytime soon.)

    It also doesn't help when the new editor brought on board decides not to read any of the stories printed previously so as to not be bothered with continuity and things. Or at least that's how some of them like Andy Schmidt seemed to come off as doing. Or was it one of the other guys? I can't remember who everyone was complaining about and whining about due to his comments over on the IDW boards and in letter's pages. (Which I notice IDW has completely dropped from their titles these days, more than likely because they weren't getting enough positive comments.)
     
  19. DecepsRule7

    DecepsRule7 Active Member

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  20. Hot Shot.

    Hot Shot. Giving up on the fiction.

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    Well, they used to care, but last Comic-Con(?) they said Transformers wasn't their main title anymore, and they sent some guy who didn't know much of anything to the 2010 Botcon, where he went over the issues already out and ended the panel.
     

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