Transformers #1 Review (SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Lord Shockwave, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Lord Shockwave

    Lord Shockwave Well-Known Member

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    Actually, not a bad start.

    As an introductory issue, it accomplishes in 22 pages what AHM couldn't accomplish in six issues. It sets the tone and premise for the new direction the story will take, not beating around the bush.

    Where do we stand? The war is over. The Decepticons (save a few scattered 'third-stringers) have left. The humans have figured out a way to take down the Transformers, forcing them into hiding. And of course, Ironhide is dead, after which Optimus Prime rescinds his leadership role (thankfully, not by committing suicide for sacrificing virtual reality lives in a video game).

    Not much in the way of characterization, but then, most first issues just lay down the foundation, which I think this one does a nice job of.

    What's promising? Costa isn't going to shy away from using lesser known bots, which is nice. We see Breakdown and Streetwise. Even Windcharger gets a mention. And of course, Don's work is again a thing of beauty. I didn't find the mouths of the bots to be as distracting as others. I think Don's ability to draw action and fights scenes more than makes up for any of the facial shortcomings that might be present.

    What's concerning? Well, Prime comes off as a bit of a wuss, doesn't he? Just kind of throws his hands in the air and gives up. I mean, I understand where the frustration comes from in losing his close friend. But maybe doing this later in the series would have more of an impact. Again, I think it's more a tactic to set this new direction up. I personally am glad Prime is out of the way (again), as it always gives other bots a time to shine.

    All in all, I'd say a good start. Nothing earth-shattering, but at least this time, unlike with AHM, things happen.

    The question will be "Will we care?"
     
  2. Andersonh1

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

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    Issue #1

    Where to begin? Just about half the book has been made available online in the past few weeks, including the death of Ironhide, so there’s very little that’s unexpected in this first issue. Even the ending is one of those “I saw it coming” type twists. Not that it isn’t effective, and where the story goes from here is hard to predict, so in that sense it’s successful as a cliffhanger. But I wonder if IDW let too much of the story out before the issue itself was available, reducing anticipation and limiting the surprise factor. Enough pieces of the puzzle were made available that it became possible to guess how the rest of the issue would play out, and indeed it wasn’t all that different from what I had imagined would happen.

    After a brief summary of events, the issue begins at a point two years after the finale of “All Hail Megatron”, which leaves time for much of the destruction caused by the Decepticons in that story to be cleaned up and repaired. For reasons that are still not entirely clear, the Autobots have not only remained in hiding on Earth during that time, but have built up their forces. The humans don’t want them, and have developed very effective weaponry to combat any Transformer they find, Autobot or Decepticon. Prime apparently believes that the Autobot presence is necessary in case the Decepticons return, a point of view with which Hot Rod disagrees vehemently. Given what happens during the story, I’d have to agree with Hot Rod’s point of view. There’s no real reason for the Autobots to be on Earth at this point. Meaning that everything that happens during this issue was unnecessary, rendering Prime’s poor judgment doubly tragic.

    One of the things I don’t care for is the return of the old doubtful Optimus Prime, who is unsure of himself and his decisions. This characterization hearkens back to the old Marvel comics days where Prime constantly questioned his decisions and seemed at times unwilling to take decisive action. It may be that Hot Rod’s accusations hit home, and that the death of Ironhide hits really hard, but I’ve always preferred to see Prime portrayed as a confident leader, one who could realistically and believably inspire his troops. However, his decision to resign and to surrender to the humans is very interesting, and potentially very unwise given what happened to Sunstreaker at the hands of the Machination, and given how the humans have clearly been reverse-engineering Transformer technology for their own defense. Prime could turn out to be the latest resource in the human war against Transformers.

    But resigning may well have been exactly the right thing to do. Clearly while Prime badly underestimates his human opponents, Spike has the measure of his. He’s either aware or gambles that the threat of death to Breakdown would draw out any hidden Transformers in the area. Spike outmaneuvers Prime and captures Prowl, who is then used as bait to draw in a rescue team. And incidentally, I’ve defended Prowl’s laudable respect for life that leads him to defend even a Decepticon, but as the logical tactician of the group he really should have seen this coming. His response is not typical of Prowl at all, and I may be forced to concede that it is indeed a case of bad characterization. However, the reveal that Streetwise was there with him is a nice surprise.

    The art is excellent, as I’ve come to expect from Don Figeroa. There has been a lot of complaining about the new style, particularly the faces, but I’ve decided that I prefer the new look even to Don’s work from Dreamwave and earlier IDW stories. I really like the detail he’s put into the faces and joints of the robots. The colors are bright and almost cartoony in some cases, which is quite a contrast with the tone of the story itself.

    So what’s the bottom line? Prime and Prowl mess up, Ironhide is killed during the rescue attempt, and Prime resigns as leader and surrenders to the humans. One would be hard pressed to argue that the pace of this issue is decompressed in any way. A lot happens and happens quickly, and that may be just what the series needs. I don’t entirely agree with the portrayal of some of the characters, or agree that they should even be where they are, but despite that the story successfully depicts a group of Autobots who don’t really know what to do now that the war is over and they are on the losing end. In searching for a purpose, they end up making things worse for themselves. I’m curious to see where things go from here. I can’t say I’m 100% enthused about the new direction, but I did enjoy it and I am interested in the story, so that’s enough to keep me reading.
     
  3. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

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    Damn you both for getting in before me. I hard started to type out my thoughts and then decided to get home from work first. :tongue: 

    I agree with most of your points-- on the whole it wasn't bad, one can't really expect more from a first issue. It did its job of changing the status quo and setting the stage for some interesting developments.

    Lord Shockwave I've gotta disagree about AHM though. It's first issue did the same-- radically shook things up, established Decepticon dominance in plain sight on earth, and Autobot banishment on Cybertron with a dying leader. Here, it's the same kinda deal of shaking things up-- the humans aren't so weak, the enemy isn't the 'cons, Ironhide is dead and Prime is giving up. Let's just hope though that the next 5 issues aren't as slow as AHM.

    As for Prime wussing up, I'm a little disappointed. It does feel like a step back and is purely a gimmick to get him out of the light. He was such a competent leader in the -ation series (heck, I liked the fact that he had to call his forces away from earth and said it had to fend for itself, it made him seem like a general with a strategy, even if it turned out to be the wrong one). He was even good (and G1-y) in AHM in the last battle against Megs defending the right of all sentient beings. Here in #1, he's already let 2 years of this pass. He's already let a few bots get captured. The Prime we know wouldn't do that, nor would he RESIGN AS LEADER.

    Speaking of characterization, what was up with Prowl jumping in to help a Decepticon? Nick Roche's Prowl wants to win the war by any means necessary. He'll even reprogram Kup into his own pretender. This Prowl will throw himself in harm's way to help a 'con. A bit off-- maybe he thought the war was over? :lol  Doesn't he know by now... it never ends?

    Those and sometimes the weirdly drawn faces were the only things that bothered me. I like the idea of the humans kicking up their game, and I like the Gundam suits. I wish the art were grittier (a la AHM) but it's still pretty good. I'm on board, and I hope we soon learn what's happening on the larger scale (Ultra Magnus has been MIA-- can he deal with any of this?)
     
  4. Boo

    Boo Addicted to candy canes.

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    Eh. It was much better than I thought, but I had my expectaions set to ultra-low after some of the recent crap they've put out. (I'm looking directly at you Continuum!)

    The storyline seems very interesting. The art looks better in person than online, though I still cannot stand to look at the faces. The characters, though... yikes.

    Why use Prowl in that situation to act in that way? That hasn't been his character at all in the IDWverse. I mean, I'm not opposed to characters changing over time (as some people will accuse me of) but come on! Put a little thought into it. He acted exactly the way one would expect IDW Ratchet to act... so why not just use Ratchet instead? It just doesn't make much sense... hopefully we'll get some sort of explanation of it later on, y'know hear Prowl's thoughts on why he acted like that. Until then, though, it just doesn't make sense.

    As for Prime's actions... eh. It's wussy, and again (surprise, surprise) doesn't really line up with the Prime we've gotten to know from IDW up until now. However, at least it's... interesting.
     
  5. wheeljack01

    wheeljack01 Happiness is a warm gun

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    Wow...this issue rocked! I'm glad to see a monthly again and I'm also glad to see DON on art again! Great job to all that were involved. Wheeljack looked great as well.
     
  6. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    It should be pointed out that Skywatch (assuming IDW hasn't used Continuum as a template for future stories and rolled Skywatch and the Machination into one organization) never treated the Dinobots, Shockwave and Ravage and Laserbeak as badly as the Machination treated Sunstreaker.
     
  7. MECHADOOM

    MECHADOOM I'm Doombot and I know it

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    I think the Prime/Ironhide story in AHM Coda was the direct set-up to Prime's loss of confidence in this issue. Ironhide was Prime's ROCK, The bot that he would go to for advice and critique, and now he's dead. I think the wussiness makes sense in that light.

    All in all, I liked this issue. I didn't even mind the faces! :D 
     
  8. Andersonh1

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

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    That's true. But comments in this issue indicated that Skywatch is currently 'stealing' technology from captured Transformers, so perhaps their method of operation has changed. Still, until we see decapitated heads, your point is well taken.

    That makes good sense. I said at the time that the story in AHM #13 showed how Ironhide was one of the few friends that Optimus Prime has. He's the commander, and by necessity has to maintain some distance from the troops. Ironhide seemed to be one of those rare exceptions, and losing him is definately a severe blow to Optimus.
     
  9. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    Oh yes, your point is well taken, too. I'm concerned that this stealing TF tech business *does* mean that they're more or less considering Skywatch to the same as the Machination.

    Let's hope that Continuum's mistakes remain mistakes and that Skywatch as depicted here is just changing its modus operandi*, as Furman would have Ironhide say :p 


    *Go on, read Escalation issue 2 and think of Peter Cullen's Ironhide voice with Furman's Info Dump. It's hilarious, for a bit.
     
  10. hellrasinbrasin

    hellrasinbrasin Well-Known Member

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    I think that this is something that had to happen its been in the background
    with IDW's Prime from Cybertron to Earth. So by having Ironhide be the camel
    that has Prime say (I'm done with this command) (Each time we try to help its gone ANTARCTIC) is believable.
     
  11. Sinestro

    Sinestro Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't expecting much from this, but with the exception of the faces, i don't have any complaints. Looking forward to issue 2.
     
  12. AniProwl

    AniProwl Banned

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    This sounds intresting. maybe I'll read it when the paperback comes out.
     
  13. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    Weird how most of the discussion about this comic isn't in this thread.
     
  14. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

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    Transformers comics threads get very little love b/c the higher powers that be insist on keeping them in the "Non-Transformers" forum section :banghead: 
     
  15. Beastbot X

    Beastbot X The Toad Knows.

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    I generally agree with the OP-- it was alright. Nothing to write home about, but certainly better than AHM. I liked Prime's narration, though I agree he went all pansy at the end.

    As for the faces, I don't mind them when the "shots" of them are fairly far away as the panels tend to blend together, but in close-up panels I think they look awful.
     
  16. Opticron Primal

    Opticron Primal Comin' up OOOs!

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    Surprising. I didn't expect to like it, but I did. Wasn't that bad a read.

    Though Streetwise being there kinda threw me off. He's just....there.....

    I thought he was a random police car and that Prowl was talking to someone over the radio.
     
  17. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Liked the story.
    LOVED the art. These bots are what I would like the live action to look like.

    I'm willing to give this a 6 issue try.
     
  18. G1Wheeljack

    G1Wheeljack Well-Known Member

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    For the most part I enjoyed the issue. I'm still not a fan of the faces(especially on Drift) but I'll be continuing to read & look foward to issue #2.
     
  19. ORIO

    ORIO Plant-Based Bot Super Mod News Staff

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    Just read it. Bare in mind I haven't picked up an individual tf issue since.... stormbringer I think!

    IDW's stuff is much better read in trade I think. Its just a matter of patience for them to come out :p 

    I haven't picked up the AHM trades yet and now that this is out I'm gonna pick up all three this week.

    Two things I really liked about this issue that were really small, but I liked anyway, were 1) Wheeljacks brief speaking role. It was very g1ish and I dug on that. 2) Primes vehicle mode looked AWESOME.

    Streetwise an unexpected surprise and I hope he's in the next issue in robot mode.

    I agree with the fact that everything shocking and awesome was already made available before the issue came out. Next time IDW, lets leave something for the readers shall we?

    I'm gonna give this issue a six issue try out. If it ends up not being worth my money every month I'll wait for the TPB.
     
  20. Opticron Primal

    Opticron Primal Comin' up OOOs!

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    Yes, Prime's alt. mode was surprisingly awesome. It's looks like Classics/Henkei Prime with the FP Armor Trailer.
     

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