My take on IDW

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Superion33, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

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    I did a small review of Dreamwave a week ago, and just got done with the IDW verse - all except for the All Hail Megatron series. So here is my quick review:

    Visual Style:

    I thought the visual style was much much better than Dreamwave's. The Transformers were much more streamlined and less block. And the color palatte was much lighter - not dark, deep colors. I really liked the use of the pistons and wires, also. Much better than the blockiness of Dreamwave's.

    Characters

    It started off really well with the Ratchet and human interaction. Seeing the TFs spend the majority of their time in robot mode was really intriguing. It was more about smarts and avoidance than simple battles. Kinda like how Metal Gear Solid redefined the entire "stealth angle", I thought Infiltration redefined the disguise angle for TFs.

    I absolultely LOVED the Spyhunter/Knight Rider take on it. Dashboards talking to you, smokescreens, hidden missile compartments firing surface to air missiles, hidden laser weaponry in ALT mode, all of it was great.

    As the series got further and further along, the series got worse and worse. Does Furman know that his comics no longer have to sell toys from the 80s anymore? Why have the Pretenders at all when you could have accomplished the same with the Technobots or robots that had already been introduced. It just got really cheesy - especially the minibots.

    I really don't understand why Furman still tries to keep EVERYTHING similar to G1. He makes Beachcomber and Cosmos tiny - just like in G1. I would have preferred if he made Cosmos something similar to scale with Omega Supreme. He is a space craft after all - why not just make him a lot larger. He kinda did that with Warpath. Again - the ALT modes of guns for Megatron and Shockwave and tape deck for Soundwave were eye rolling moments. Though he was pretty clever with the dinobots. And really really retarded with making Arcee a transvestite or whatever the correct term for her is.

    The plot was ok. He still used a lot of campy plot devices. I want to see a TF series made where there isn't the weapon of mass destruction used as the plot driver. He also kept the hocus pocus stuff down to a minimum but the magic truth telling ball was EXTREMELY eye rolling material. Its like Furman just ran out of ideas on how the Autobots were going to find and solve the problem. He just kept on adding problem after problem and had so many at the end, he had to come up with a cheap magic ball as the key.

    I want Furman to keep to the original Infiltration series and only have like maybe 10 total Autobots to focus on:

    Ratchet
    Hound
    Jazz
    Sunstreaker
    Prowl
    Ironhide
    Wheeljack
    Sideswipe
    Bumblebee
    Mirage

    Decepticons:

    Starscream
    Thundercracker
    Skywarp
    Blitzwing
    Astrotrain
    Soundwave
    Shockwave
    Octane
    Swindle

    Thats right - no use of Megatron or Optimus. The bots and cons now win on who fights the smarter battle and who outwits/out-manuevers the others. No others. No Wreckers, Reapers, etc. Just go back to the original.
     
  2. yodafett

    yodafett Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to see a (mini) series about a small "skirmish" between the factions instead of the entire army ending up on Earth. I love some of the smaller teams, but I'd really enjoy a story like the 10 on 10 one you metion.
     
  3. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    They already did that in IDW - Infiltration started out as Earth as a backwater posting where Prime and Megatron weren't even around at first. Evidently, that wasn't good enough in terms of sales for IDW, so they rebooted the comic with AHM.

    He took a much-maligned 80s toy concept and gave it a more credible story-specific origin and usage rather than the G1 Marvel comic's explanation: (very bad) Disguises!

    Besides, Furman is known for taking obscure toys or characters or subgroups and giving them the spotlight, hence the popularity of Bludgeon, Thunderwing, and the various toys in the Wreckers.

    Well, Beachcomber and Cosmos are kinda visually defined by being small. Cosmos is enjoyed as a character partly because he's a plucky little tubby UFO guy, not because he's a giant hulking starship.

    And wait, aren't you a guy who dislikes significant changes to Transformers? G1 versions of Megatron and Soundwave are most well-known as a gun and a 1980s tape recorder respectively.

    As for G1-ness, frankly, Furman's run was considerably less G1 than Dreamwave and what followed after him, All Hail Megatron, both of which adhered quite closely to the most well-known depictions of G1 in terms of visual style.

    That is actually true, but it's not exactly his fault this time. The reason for this (and the usage of the Magic 8 Ball) was IDW had cancelled his storyline, and gave him 4 issues to wrap it all up, so he had to cut corners all over the place to cram it all in.
     
  4. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

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    Actually, no I am not a "geewunner". People labeled anyone who disliked the movie designs as a geewunner without really asking why they disliked the movie designs. Since I was a vociferous opponent of the movie designs, people just labeled me as a geewunner. Whatever, its their perception.

    I am actually all for change. I want new ALT modes for Megatron, Shockwave, and Soundwave. Preferably something mobile. I didn't want Prime as a flat nosed truck, but I hated the flames on him. I liked the new design in general, I just thought it was taken way way too far. I abhor the deus ex machinas used with abandon in the TF universe. They keep inventing magic artifacts left and right to the point that almost every single thing becomes magical. The chair of Uzolon! The Spoon of Primacron!

    Suffice to say that I am all for change.

    I was actually hoping that AHM would go back towards Infiltration. But if what you're telling me is true, I will dislike the AHM series more than the "-ation" series.
     
  5. Boardwise

    Boardwise is scary - Sig Killer - M Super Mod

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    One thing to note is the Soundwave's alt mode in IDW's series actually made some sort of sense, especially with him turning up on Earth back in the 80's (I think it was 84, been a while since I read his Spotlight)

    The first two '-ation' series were mostly perfect in my opinion. The Transformers were hidden away from the populace, it's when elements like Nova Prime, the Dead Universe, the Reapers (or whatever they are called) are added does it make me feel that the series is going on the rails. If they had kept to the original premise I felt it would have been much better.
     
  6. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

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    I thought the exact same thing as well. The Infiltration series was excellent as far as subterfuge. Reading on Wiki, they say that "the fans" wanted more Cybertron and more action. Its too bad, that series could have redefined Transformers in a whole new light.

    Just started reading AHM - why are the TFs back in their older modes? They look utterly stupid. They look much better as the newer updated modes.
     
  7. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    I really enjoyed the first two "ation" series and Stormbringer, but Furman keep pouring on the subplots one after another with no resolution in sight for any of them. On top of all that, sales continued slip because IDW was relying on the collector mentality to fuel sales excepting us to snap up all 8 variant covers for each issue. I wasn't at all surprised when they told Furman just end this story.
     
  8. Bloodcat

    Bloodcat Well-Known Member

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    Im currently rereading the whole IDWG1verse.

    One of the biggest problems is too many characters and a near requirement to not only read every Spotlight, but to know WHERE to read them. Try just reading the -Ation books (plus Stormbringer) without them.

    If you aren't a massive G1 fan its just an endless array of new dudes who show up, say or do one thing, then largely get shunted back off camera.

    I'm currently only missing Spotlight Cliffjumper, Maximum Dinobots, and Escalation 6. Once you hit Revelations it stops making a lick of sense entirely.

    Then AHM starts, lots of stuff is changed, and its all "huh?" instead of continuing what was already going on.

    Its more like a pretty fanservice line than an actual comic book telling stories. Some of the Spotlights don't matter at all, others are all but essential, especially if you don't like the idea of WOW ITS DUDE X SHOWING UP and wondering where he came from and anything about him.

    Given the way the comic is, we would have been MUCH better suited for one comic. If there was so much to tell it had to go biweekly or something that's cool, or even better a magazine styled book ala the Marvel ones you see at Wal Mart. (Which someone actually did, but it was a haphazard collection of existing comics instead of an organized thing. And not in your Wal Marts or Borders where it would actually be USEFUL.)

    In spite of AHM being slow and having continuity issues with what happened before, taken on its own the thing actually is a workable, sensible story. (But my reread may change that opinion of course.)

    The other serious IDW problem is the price. 4 bucks is TOO MUCH for a 22 pages of story comic book. I don't care about multiple covers. I just buy whichever one is either available or prettier. Whatever. Multiple covers have always been silly. As it is, Transformers has been wavering on my monthly pickup. I didn't even bother with their other lines, or the TF Movie stuff. Can't afford to. When Manga is 10 bucks for nearly 200 pages, 22 for 4 isnt a great deal, color or not.
     
  9. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    While I am not sure which section of the wiki you are referring to (the server is so unreliable these days), that is true. As I recall, Infiltration met with considerable hostility, so much so that IDW advertised Stormbringer as having "NO HUMANS!"

    Lesson: As you yourself know well (as do I), fans do not like change.

    From what I understand, AHM's change in visual style was from IDW's desire to get back readers who preferred Dreamwave's look and to make it more appealing to a mass audience, hence Guido Guidi, a particularly well-known Dreamwave artist and a return to 1984-85 casts.

    Like I've said elsewhere on the boards for the past year, Furman's story wasn't great, and was getting increasingly silly, but I think they should have just let it finish definitively, because readers had dedicated 2 years of their lives to reading it.

    All Hail Megatron was written as a sort of elseworlds storyline, a "What if the Decepticons rampaged across Earth and the Autobots weren't there to stop them?" Because sales of Furman's stuff was sliding, they canned Furman's story and told him to wrap everything up with 4 Spotlights in Revelation. That's why Revelation seems so incredibly rushed.

    Meanwhile, early stories of All Hail Megatron already written were slightly modified to make it part of this continuity, mainly dropping in a few random lines of dialogue referencing some event here ("The Machination!" "They've perfected [combining]."), throwing a recap-to-Furman's-stuff- page there.
     
  10. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    I really liked IDW's early efforts with the Transformers.

    I loved the human perspective on the Robots in Disguise thing and I liked the human characters.
    I loved EJ Su's designs and updates of the characters.
    The way the war unfolded to the reader (at least this reader) was intriguing.
    The fact that Megatron and Optimus Prime were military commanders and not super heroes was really nice.
    Optimus didn't even remember where "Prowl's unit" was when it was brought to his attention.
    The fact that the Decepticons were definitely the bad guys, but they were not maniacal and appeared to just have a different moral position than the Autobots was genius.
    Initially the IDW war seemed to be more about resources and influence than "The Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons".
    The whole setup with the replicants and the protocols for Cybertronian warfare was different and welcome.

    I really liked the Spotlights and thought they gave some chance for individual characters to receive more attention than one speech bubble every third issue (if that).
    I didn't mind that not every single one furthered the main story and I didn't feel like IDW was forcing me to read two titles.
    Honestly, I don't understand that argument. I never hear people complain about reading Amazing Spider-man and Spectacular Spider-man or Batman and Detective Comics.

    But things were not all good.
    There was subplot after subplot developing and nothing close to a resolution on any of it.
    Think about it. Shockwave seeded Earth with Ore-13 or Super Energon for what?
    Starscream harvested it to no real benefit and Scorponok was either unaware of it or just didn't care.
    Optimus knew about it but never used it.
    Even Shockwave didn't seem to care about it when he came back online in Maximum Dinobots.
    And that is just one unresolved plot point.

    And just when it seemed that the story was coming to a point where things had to get resolved, Furman has the Autobots just leave Earth to fight the Dead Universe Transformers.
    So someone at IDW decides that now, now is a good time to force the man to completely truncate his story.
    Not only are we left with several unresolved issues because of the Dead Universe conflict's interrupting the conflict on Earth but the Dead Universe story itself doesn't so much end as it just stops.
    Furman got screwed and all of the readers that had invested years in his material got screwed.

    Then we have McCarthy and All Hail Megatron.
    Here he has crafted an alternate universe take on the Transformers and he has to shoehorn Furman's events into his own.
    I have had many problems with AHM but when I look at it most of them are that the story initially just did not fit with what came before.

    I don't care what IDW's current official stance is.
    I remember the announcement that AHM was going to be a separate story.
    If you look at the way the tale begins, it just doesn't work in IDW continuity.
    And the weird thing is that with just a little planning it could have worked in easily.

    In AHM the Decepticons tricked the Autobots and that's how they took over the Earth.
    But in Devastation the Autobots had left Earth unguarded anyway.
    So, they came back from the Dead Universe and did what?

    Optimus Prime is now a moral champion?
    The Autobots do have a Matrix?
    Well, it seems that Furman may have started to go along that path anyway.
    Optimus seemed shocked that Nemesis Prime was a Matrix-bearer (the first time I heard Optimus mention it I believe) and yet was completely devoid of any of the qualities that a Prime Autobot was supposed to have.
    That could have spurred him to consider what it means to be a Prime and if he himself had those qualities.

    At any rate, I blame IDW management and editorial staff before any individual writer.
    Any one of Furman's threads is good, he just needed someone to help him tighten them up.
    I don't McCarthy has even gotten the chance to do what he was planning.

    Oh yeah, we also had a Megatron: Origin story that had a huge number of errors and in which there is a strong argument that it doesn't take place in any continuity.
    And then there was the crossover with Marvel's Avengers that was supposed to generate interest more reader interest.
    Instead it was a study in how one can combine Marvel's most powerful super-hero team with the Autobots, the always entertaining Dr. Doom with Megatron and the Decepticons but somehow, with all of that potential, create the most boring story possible.
     
  11. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    I feel that IDW, more so than any other company that has worked on Transformers before them, is now literally in it just for the money and nothing else. The amount of errors, the continuity just disappearing, the artwork going from one artist to the next in the same book ... it's beyond obvious that in the offices of IDW, nobody cares about the Transformers anymore.

    And if they do care about it, maybe they should put some effort in to the stuff they're shoving down our throats. It's a sad day when I actually think I preferred Patyk and McDonnough over anything we're getting now.
     
  12. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    I don't think it's quite that bad, but on some level I agree.

    I have just come to expect every issue to have at least one word balloon attributed to the wrong character.
    The differences in art style in Maximum Dinobots was distracting.
    I am all for artistic license but when you have one artist drawing a character with separate eyes and another drawing the same character with a visor it's more distracting than having Greg Land draw Susan Storm as Pamela Anderson in one panel and then Kate Beckinsdale in the next.
    We had the Megatron: Origin books where there were two pages of the characters outside on an orange landscape followed by two pages of the same characters in the same place but the landscape is now purple. We were also subjected to a page of Sentinel Prime asking for a visual on Megatron when Megatron was standing right in front of him!
    How many errors were in the Beast Wars Sourcebook?

    One could say that the artists shouldn't have made those mistakes but the fact is the editors should not have let the errors get to press. Period.
     
  13. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    Don't get me started on the Beast Wars that IDW threw at us. The second stint they did for Beast Wars had quite possibly the worst drawn ending I have ever read in a comic. Magmatron is like "Hey ya'll, I'm back" and they're all "yay" and the artwork looks like something a 6th grader did (no offense to the artist, but I did not like it one bit).

    The sourcebooks? Utter crap. And the entire storyline of the second half of the Beast Wars book ... the whole, "Hey, let's just use the whole Japanese storyline and that way we don't have to worry about creating backstories for these characters" was like a big "FUCK YOU" to the entire idea of Beast Wars and G1, and just felt incredibly lazy.

    I hated, hated the Beast Wars books (the second, and the sourcebooks at least). The first one was actually very well planned. The second one? I can take a crap, fling it on the wall, and come up with a better storyline and, at times, artwork than that.
     
  14. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    Seconded. I honestly felt like they were working on the book and then said "what do you mean we only have one page left"?
     
  15. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    I think that's a Furman thing. Remember the ending to the second volume of War Within with The Fallen? Suddenly they're all in a tunnel, and bam, story over.
     
  16. Spoon

    Spoon Banned

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    Issues with pre-AHM IDW?

    Devastation= Bleugh. Furman did not handle the subplots at all well.

    Reapers= Eugh. Why? Why did they exist?

    Magnificence= Argh. Justified, but lazy.

    Some of the Spotlights.

    As for the rest of it, including Revelations, I loved it. Loved it all. I'm glad they had a deviation from the infiltration protocols, because that would have gotten long and tedious. I liked the justification of it as well, Megatron's slowly decreasing grip on sanity, something which is not present in AHM. Also, I miss intelligently drawn fight scenes. AHM 11's fight scene was godawful.

    And what the hell is the issue with using G1 characters, like Pretenders, in a G1 comic. I really don't get what is wrong with that at all.
     
  17. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    Oddly, my comic store cannot seem to get any of the TPBs. I don't have any and likely want them all. Where to should I go to order them? It would be preferable to find somewhere that can ship them to my local store.

    - Coeloptera
     
  18. Recall

    Recall Player Select

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    that annoyed me to no end. It always reminds me of early anime, big villian kills everyone, hero finally gets to reach the villian to get his revenge and its over in like 5 seconds.

    All that build for a less than worthwhile payoff, so disappointing.
     
  19. Sinestro

    Sinestro Well-Known Member

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    I'm more concerned with the hint of another "soft" reboot being planned with the Bumblebee Mini Series. AHM was bad enough, but to have another within two years is just getting annoying.

    I'm staying for Coda (or AHM 13 - 16) just to fill the gaps in between Revelations and AHM then i'm walking away.
     
  20. Spoon

    Spoon Banned

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    I actually didn't mind that ending.

    I'm not sure why, but it felt right.
     

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