Stormbringer #1

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Eamonn Prime, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Eamonn Prime

    Eamonn Prime Active Member

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    Just read Stormbringer #1.
    Good stuff. I know I'm in the minority for enjoying the slow build up of Infiltration, but I think this will attract back a lot of the fans who don't like the slow pace. It gives a lot of interesting background (much of it simply in between the lines) an brings up a lot of questions about Cybertron that the arc should expose as it continues. I hope it does so slowly, so as to create the anticipation and tension until some huge reveal.

    Of course, the art is Don Figueroa, so it is simply outstanding. I like the way we're seeing Cybertronian forms that are reminiscent of War Within, wihtout being copies. I especially like seeing some of the Pretenders in pre-shell form. I thought they would just be their inner robot, but some seem to have forms that relate to their shells.

    It feels a little more substantial than previous IDW comics, so those who feel their comics are too short hopefully won't feel so much that way after reading this one.
     
  2. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Just read it and I gotta say the art is breathtaking. The way the pages are printed, on the otherhand, seems a bit off and the colors fall outside the lines on some pages. Also, I'm all for adult-oriented reading, but damn I needed a dictionary for some words to figure out what the heck Furman is trying to tell. Don't they want younger fans to enjoy the series as well? The plot is still pretty confusing, but I'll stick around for that gorgeous art.
     
  3. Denyer

    Denyer Shooty Dog Thing

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    Be interesting to see if there's anything in there I don't get -- thing is, I picked up most of my vocabulary by reading as a kid. It's all about pitching things so that there's not more than a few percent of new words per page.
     
  4. Lord Shockwave

    Lord Shockwave Well-Known Member

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    Simon.

    That was good. Damn good.

    I was strong enough to resist reading the previews and blurbs on this sucker for a few months now, and I'm glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed this issue having not had prior knowledge of what it was about and who was in it.

    Where to begin with the pleasant surprises here?

    How about the cast? We have Jetfire and the Technobots bent on uncovering the source of mysterious energy signals emanating from a supposedly dead Cybertron. Very good character choice for such an expedition and I actually understood for once Simon's techno mumbo jumbo. Hell, we even had a Throttlebot in this one. You just have to pleased when you see a Throttlebot because you know an effort is being made to branch away from the standard cast, and in my book, that's always a good thing. Its nice to see a threat to Prime and Megs other than each other again too.

    The dialogue? Yeah, its Furmanesque, but thankfully there were no unnecessary grunting noises and "Oh"s. The way the dialogue from the flashbacks flowed into the scenes of current events and then back to flashbacks was beautifully done.

    The story? Very intriguing and darkly mysterious. I was hooked from the first few pages. Really, its the mystery aspect of this story that has me drooling for the next issue. I particularly enjoyed seeing the search team downed (but out?) by issues end, as this was unexpected.

    I have not been this much pleased with a Furman work since his run on G2 at Marvel. And I haven't enjoyed a TF comic this much since DW's ongoing was cancelled. I called Simon "washed up" a while back, but if he can continue to hit home by series end, an apology from myself will definitely be in order.

    The art? Hey. It's Don. Nuff said.

    A solid "A" comic that will have TF fans raving.
     
  5. Outtsyder

    Outtsyder Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, seeing how I don't know if my submitted review got through to the Articles section -- and that there isn't a subsection for "Stormbringer" -- I'll post my review right here, and hope the maybe someone among the staff wouldn't mind archiving it in the Articles (with the spoiler space, if you please; I like including the pop culture references in it). :cool: 


    Review of TF: Stormbringer #1 (with Spoiler Space)

    The anticipation comes to a close, as the debut of “Stormbringer” finally hits the shelves today. My initial non-spoiler reaction already enjoys it as a fun read, and already wanting to dig deeper into the mystery of the past to hopefully be unraveled in upcoming issues. But before we continue… Spoiler Space!

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    (cues up “Sirius”, by Alan Parsons Project)


    COVER:

    Two main covers and one incentive are available. Cover A is a wraparound of a battle scene with Jetfire and the Technobots battling it out against the Decepticon Pretenders, up in space over Cybertron. Cover B is a standard cover featuring the infernal-looking rendition of Thunderwing. The retail incentive is a sketch version of Strombringer Jetfire in black-&-white.


    INSIDE COVER DETAILS:

    In the center is the familiar black-&-red silhouette-style look at Cybertron used for past preview teasers for “Stormbringer”. Top of the page gives the lead-in story blurb stating how the Autobot-Decepticon Wars have devastated the planet to extreme degrees. Credits are on the bottom of the page, with Simon Furman as the writer, Don Figueroa on art, Josh Burcham on colors inside the book, Robbie Robbins doing the lettering, Chris Ryall and Dan Taylor as Editors, and Rob Ruffalo on colors for Cover B.


    THE STORY:

    We begin with a look into the distant past, where we can barely see the silhouette of a demonic-looking robotic figure, in the midst of a massive cluster of explosions and devastation. The thoughts of an unseen speaker are revealing his thoughts from this past event, and how its memories continue to haunt him today. We promptly return to the present day, where the orbiting exploration ship Calabi-Yau run by Jetfire and the Technobots have detected a mysterious energy reading (the first one in more than 700 stellar-cycles) somewhere on Cybertron. After analyzing the oddities of this energy reading from their space-bound distance, they decide to land and investigate with extreme caution, due to a dangerous particle storm set to arrive in the area. Radiation shields on and leaving Afterburner and Nosecone to take the ship back in orbit, the excursion leads Jetfire, Scattershot, Lightspeed and Strafe to Thunderhead Pass, which Jetfire describes as “where it all, spectacularly, fell apart.” The Autobots begin to ponder the seriousness of the unspoken disaster happened, as we go to another flashback that indicates how serious it had to have been, where Optimus Prime and Megatron are in an alliance

    Leading back to present-day in Autobot Headquarters, where we see Optimus is the one bearing these memories. The Throttlebot Searchlight reports a message has been received from Earth (where Prowl’s team is located as seen from the Infiltration mini-series) that the Earth-bound Decepticons are already causing trouble. However, Optimus still can’t concentrate on the Siege Mode on Earth while his mind is still pre-occupied with the nasty memories of that past disaster and mysterious figure.

    We return to Thunderhead Pass, where Jetfire and Scattershot debate the wisdom of an investigation mission into such a hazardous territory. Jetfire remembers what happened before, and hopes that, despite the risk of possibly triggering something, finding something happening in the area could prevent something worse from flaring up. This leads to a flashback of his own; a conference-call meeting of various scientists – both Autobot and Decepticon – where Thunderwing reports his findings concluding that Cybertron is dying, and there’s very little (if anything) that anyone can do, ignoring a protest from Soundwave. Coming back to the present, Jetfire orders the launch of a remote scout probe, while the group prepares to return to the ship so they can gather the telemetry from a safe distance from the particle storm. However, some figures in stealth shielding are skulking about… and they attack the Autobots! The barely-visible figures make short work of Jetfire and the others, deactivating them and beginning to de-stealth the cloaking of their armor, as one of them orders to take them away. Nosecone and Afterburner aren’t safe aboard their ship, either, as three missiles are launched from Cybertron, targeting the Calabi-Yau! Afterburner exhorts Nosecone to get moving to an escape pod, and launches a distress buoy with an emergency signal that they hope an ally can track….

    An explosion comes up, right at the pivotal moment of another flashback – unclear if the explosion is the Calabi-Yau being destroyed, or the explosion as part of the flashback – to a major battle with Optimus Prime and Megatron working together and shooting at a common enemy. The unseen speaker in this flashback denotes how the ongoing war between the Autobots and Decepticons had not only devastated Cybertron, but also unleashed an unknown “creature”. During the apocalyptic conflict, however, it was said that the creature committed “one last act of self-sacrifice, it took our sin… and swallowed it whole.” While this happened in an undetermined past, Optimus still had this disturbing feeling in the back of his mind that something of this magnitude was bound to happen again.

    We close off with one last look to the underground of Cybertron, where Jetfire and the others had been taken prisoner, stirring awake from a period of unconsciousness. He hears muffled voices from the inside of a nearby pavilion… a band of Decepticon Pretenders chanting the name, “THUNDERWING!”

    To Be Continued….


    COMMENTS:

    I think I can already begin right away with the overused line of “great stuff.” We’re seeing how Cybertron is trying to recover from the huge mysterious catastrophe (the identity of which is deliberately being concealed until later, I’ll bet), as well as how the inhabitants of this world are coping with the miserable state of their home world. Seeing how this is taking place roughly around the same time as the events in “Infiltration” are unfolding on Earth, I can only personally wonder if there may even be a chance that Optimus Prime’s visions and dread for a repeat disaster happening somewhere else could lead to further connecting between Earth and Cybertron. With some of these mysteries and events being kept in secret and shadow, it leaves us readers guessing as to what had happened, what could happen in the future, and all that other jazz. One example is Thunderhead Pass, which was discussed as a ground-zero point for something REALLY nasty that had happened, hinted by Scattershot’s line about no one finding a body. While we don’t know exactly what happened, our imaginations are left to fill up that spot on our own, until the possibility of a revelation. And these days, there’s no shortage of disasters on Earth to draw inspiration for comparisons. September 11 in NYC, the South Asian tsunami, the terrorist bombing in London, Hurricane Katrina; all easy-to-recall events of mass devastation. And we can get an even further idea of the magnitude of what had happened before, if it actually forces an alliance between Optimus and Megatron to fight it off.

    Jetfire takes the spotlight in grand fashion in this issue; not only from being in command of the scientific research team comprised of the Technobots, but the discovery of an energy anomaly that triggers memories of the past disaster that he not only knew about, but was present when the whole thing went down. Feeling a sense of responsibility from what happened before, leading to Cybertron’s current predicament, he wants to prevent things from getting worse, even risking personal safety to find out information that could be used to prevent something worse from happening. He doesn’t really hog the glory in the issue, though he easily gets the most page time, even more than Optimus Prime. Jetfire is presented as a cool-headed, sharp-minded and versatile command figure on several levels, using both caution (offering the nervous Strafe a chance to stay within the safety of the research ship) and risk-taking (debating with Scattershot over the risks of the mission and the conditions of the area) when the situations call for different approaches. None of this, unfortunately, prepares him for the ambush by the almost-invisible assailants, the Decepticon Pretenders who seem to have adapted their shells for additional “disguise” other than superficial.

    While we don’t get too much from Optimus Prime back at base, it’s enough to let us know that he’ll still be a key figure in the story (of course, well, he’s Optimus Prime), with his memories of the disaster that almost destroyed Cybertron before. His flashbacks lead to the same image from that point in time, as a demonic figure surrounded by an inferno of fiery power approaches the viewer, which the Autobots and Decepticons have to band together in order to fight it off. A look at the figure’s abstract rendering bears a strong resemblance to Thunderwing’s Pretender shell, but in the scene with Jetfire’s conference call with the Cybertronian scientists, we see Thunderwing in his standard robot body. We don’t see his more familiar Pretender-shell image until the last frame of the story. How this connection will play out should be fascinating, to say the least; was this apocalyptic “creature” the inspiration for the design aesthetic for Thunderwing’s Pretender shell when the armor shells got built? Did Thunderwing steal the remains of the creature’s body and re-fashion the parts for his own use? Was the creature, in fact, Thunderwing himself disguised in an experimental shell, and was the whole disaster in the past an elaborate ploy concocted by him to deceive everyone on Cybertron, while carrying out his own hidden agenda? After all, his toy’s Tech Spec quote read, “Cover yourself with lies, and no one will find you.” Perhaps this could be why Soundwave – with his ability to read electronic pulses in the mind, given he’s at close proximity – refused to believe Thunderwing’s report that Cybertron was doomed.

    Other characters’ personalities that get a good feel are among the Technobots, mostly from Nosecone and Strafe. Nosecone is deliberate and methodical in everything he does (as evidenced by Afterburner trying to drag Nosecone to an escape pod), and poor Strafe is constantly on edge, so much so that he’d offered a chance by Jetfire to sit out the mission, rather than faint from the overwhelming mental strain. While we don’t get much of Afterburner’s hatred for authority, we do get a hint of his impatience when he snaps at Nosecone for not getting out of his seat when the Cabali-Yau is under attack.

    The incredible detailing of the all-mechanical look of this story is brilliant, once again from Don Figueroa, after his organic work on the Beast Wars mini-series. Just about every robot, explosion, shadow, and landscape come to life, however grand or subtle they may be. A little ambiguity – which may be on purpose – was the explosion when the Calabi-Yau was pursued by the three missiles. As I said before, it could represent the exploration ship being destroyed; or the ship could have made a last-nanoklik escape (to be saved for a future issue) before the flashback to another event that’s connected with the disaster in the past… or even both, as a suitable transition for the scene change. It’d almost be a shame to see the Cabali-Yau ship destroyed so soon; I really liked its design. Even subtle detailing like the serrated edges on Nosecone’s drill bit (see page 3) look really nice, and all colors – full-color for current events, monochrome for flashbacks – and shadow-and-light effects are well-enhanced by Josh Burcham’s work.

    After the end of this story, there’s an ad for Alternators Optimus Prime, and we are again treated to a look at Hearts Of Steel #1 (already released); no mailbag section is present, due to this being the first of the Stormbringer mini-series.


    OVERALL:

    A great start that teases us for more action and revelations as they come, opening up the imagination to a wealth of possibilities for Cybertron… and maybe Earth as well, if they want to. Humans or not, this one’s a keeper.

    SCORE: 4.2 Matrixes out of 5

    Outtsyder
     
  6. BeastWars 4ever

    BeastWars 4ever Well-Known Member

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    Are Bludgion or others from the Chaos Trinity in the comic?
     
  7. .SentinelPrime Is Dead.

    .SentinelPrime Is Dead. Banned

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    I read it, and I didnt like it. I really liked the art. I just.. the story didnt grab me.
     
  8. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    I realize I'm going to be in the minority here, but I HATED this. I thought it was awful, probably the worst single issue IDW has put out so far. Yeah, yeah, Don's art is great, and Josh's coloring is sharp. Blah blah, we all know that. The story was not interesting to me at all, and the fanboy pandering "no humans" premise was more damaging than I imagined. It reeked of late Dreamwave material, where the entire focus seems to be on making the few-odd thousand diehard Transfans have multiple orgasms instead of focusing on a good story. That's a bad, bad formula to emulate...Dreamwave was hemmoraging readers during that period. And Simon who, God love him, has written some amazing Transformers stories in his day, was absolutely on autopilot here. Oh look, he used the line "It never ends!" for the 2,785th time in his career. Didn't see that one coming..

    I mean, is this REALLY your big summer event that's supposed to draw new people in? Other than us, who cares about a story that is so far centered around Technobots and Pretenders, for crying out loud? Do they really expect to draw new readers to Transformers with THIS? Does your average comic shopper have the slightest clue who Thunderwing is or why he might be someone they should be interested in?

    Stormbringer was a huge, HUGE misfire in my estimation. Very disappointing. I'll give it another issue to right the ship, but after issue 1 this is honestly shaping up to be the only Transformers comic I've ever dropped mid-series, other than Armada.

    Sorry guys.
     
  9. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Man, I've been here a LONG time Veteran

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    I think that is one of the purposes of "Stormbringer"... to tell Thunderwing's story so that Joe Average Comic Reader will indeed know who he is and why they should be interested in him.
     
  10. Denyer

    Denyer Shooty Dog Thing

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    Given that it's backing up the "war on other worlds" stuff mentioned in Infiltration, there seems to be some intentional cross-pollination of audiences.
     
  11. Predakwon

    Predakwon ...Green Lantern's light!

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    Loved the art. Didn't care for the story. But I'm definitely willing to have this series to my pull list. I mean it's only the first issue.
     
  12. Lord Shockwave

    Lord Shockwave Well-Known Member

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    I think there's something here that you have not come to realize yet.

    And that is, other than us, who cares about Transformers comics at all?

    I don't know how many TF comics have to be put out before we realize Transformers comics are, and will forever be, a niche market.

    #### the new fan, it ain't happening, even with the greatest of stories told.

    Cater to us. That's the only way. Give us the Thunderwings, the Throttlebots, the Technobots, etc.
    Chances are that most general comic fans could care less whether a TF story features Optimus Prime or Repugnus. They won't buy it either way.
     
  13. JoshBot

    JoshBot Well-Known Member

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    I'm mixed on this one. Beautiful, beautiful artwork. Don's pencils are fantastic, as usual, and the "muddy" color palette really fits the material, IMO. The story, however...well, the jury's still out. It's basically one long build-up, with little bits of backstory and characterization thrown in. It's not bad, but it's really just a set up for the next issue. Also, some of the plot elements feel a little rehashed, like Cybertron's "lifeforce" being depleted. The cult at the end seems like a clever idea, though. So, like I said before, a mixed bag. Hard to get a feel for what the rest of the series will be like, but still interesting enough for me to buy the next issue.
     
  14. JoshBot

    JoshBot Well-Known Member

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    See, I disagree here. I think that if the stories are consistently good enough, they'll attract readers. Books like The Walking Dead have steadily increased sales simply by telling good stories. If IDW got an A-list writer onboard, I think they'd see a big spike in sales. The problem, unfortunately, is that few, if any, A-list writers would be interested in writing Transformers. Even if they were, IDW seems to want to take very few risks with the franchise.
     
  15. IACON

    IACON "That's Vector Sigma?" TFW2005 Supporter

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    Just read it myself.
    I dunno........ The story didn't catch me. The art is great although personally I think Transformers shoudn't have teeth... But that is a differant story.

    I'll give it another chance.
     
  16. Eamonn Prime

    Eamonn Prime Active Member

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    Agree 100%
     
  17. .SentinelPrime Is Dead.

    .SentinelPrime Is Dead. Banned

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    Whew I'm glad I wasnt the only one who didnt like it.
     
  18. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    XD

    i eagerly await this weekend.
     
  19. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    I liked this art something fierce. The story will be a wait and see. I like the Pretenders a lot and want to see a better origin of them than they got from Marvel.
     
  20. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    It was ok. To be honest, the only thing that I enjoyed were the little glimpses in to what ole Ops was up to before he got the call to come to earth. That and the little glimpse of him and Megs teaming up to kick some bootay.
     

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