Transformers #18 Review

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by tusko, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. tusko

    tusko Well-Known Member

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    I just picked this issue up.
    Without being too spoilery, Prime finally takes action. There is good characterization by a great ensemble of characters and the artwork is superb.

    I kinda don't like Megatron's design but there was a good wrap up to the Ore 13 issue, and the pace and flow of the story were great.

    Megatron is pure, untouchable evil. Loved it.

    Looking forward to the next issue.
     
  2. Lord Shockwave

    Lord Shockwave Well-Known Member

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    SPOILERS


    Unfortunately, as this story unfolds, the failings inherent in it become that much more obvious.

    Costa has tried to give the Transformers a more serious tone, tried to inject deeper, more mature elements in the plot. The idea that in some way humans are more advanced than these metallic visitors from space is an interesting one. But it's one of those gambles you take that, if not brilliantly written and executed correctly, like a ballerina performing a triple axle, could land you flat on your ass. Well. Ass? Meet floor. Floor? Meet ass.

    Why does this plot element land us on our dereaire's? Because Costa has decided to make that special quality that elevates humans above robots, of all things, a technological one. Can you say 'misfire'? The last thing humans exceed the Transformers at is technology, yet Prime is quick to point out to Megatron that "look how special the humans are! They made a better gun in just three years whereas I've been toting this piece of crap weapon around for millenia!" Never has the word "duh" been so appropriate as in that moment.

    If you want to showcase the superiority of humans over machines, you just don't go that route. You focus on something we have that the Transformers might yearn for. We've seen this featured in Budiansky's writing, in Furman's writing. Even they, back in the 80's, knew that to make mankind shine in the face of super advanced warring robots capable of teleportation and interstellar travel, you focus on one thing. The heart and soul. The humanity of our race. That's why that issue featuring Thundercracker worked so well. Because what intrigued him, what lured him in, was our being human. Why did Costa let go of that?

    I guess this was just too ambitious an idea. It's one thing to come up with clever ideas. It's another entirely to bring it to life in the pages of a comic.

    Beyond this failure lay others. The showdown between Prime and Megatron was just disappointing. It irks me that Megatron has suddenly garnered an infatuation with employing lowly humans as a primary weapon. It's so out of character, clashing not just with the Megatron of other previously established continuities, but with IDW Megatron himself. He literally pulls up a seat to watch events unfold. Like a Sunday night football game, all he needs is some Kremzeek and he's good to go.

    I think I can honestly say that this version of both Megatron and Optimus Prime are the most annoying I've yet to see. Optimus Prime has been an epic failure of a character since issue #1. First, Prime's passive, almost passively agressive, really. The next issue he's manic. Who exactly is Optimus Prime? I want to know! To me, he's almost like the once-wise grandfather suffering Alzheimer's. You almost get the sense that the other Autobots are following his orders out of pity due to his suffering early onset cybernetic dementia. I mean, his wires may literally be crossing.

    Are we really going to continue this charade of Bumblebee calling the shots when the entire issue it's Prime barking orders at everyone? Has it ever felt for even one moment that Bumblebee has been leadership material? Again, it's almost senile the way Prime defers to Bumblebee in some instances, and could give a rat's ass about him at others.

    Prime doesn't want to believe that Spike killed, wait for it...wait for it.... a Decepticon. Yet in the issue prior he proceeds to blow the head off of Soundwave. Guess he was confident that wasn't a kill shot, huh? If that's not a kill shot, what is?

    This story is all over the place. It's been 18 issues with only two or three I would say were strong reads. I just want to see this stop.

    The word to describe this ongoing is "confused".

    Not to be entirely negative, Milne's art again shines. That one page with Prime crashing through the ceiling with Shockers in the background aghast almost makes up for all the cluttered art in Megatron:Origin. Alex has come a long way since then. He's improving leaps and bounds, which is exciting.

    Give it a "D+". Art is the only thing worth praising here.
     
  3. DrGrim

    DrGrim OBEY

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    I was REALLY pumped to get this book today. I hadn't been this pumped for a Transformers book since the Dreamwave days. So, I showed up at my comic book store - and it's not there! I asked the salesman about it, and they had got shorted on it today! They didn't recieve stock on the one and only item I was really really wanting!!
     
  4. mugen_prime

    mugen_prime Well-Known Member

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    I COMPLETELY agree with Lord Shockwave. This whole story of Costa's is somewhat interesting, but I don't think I like where it's going and what's being done. It's very much like watching a really bad car crash, interesting to watch but you don't want anybody in the vehicles to die or be seriously injured. It WAS nice to actually see mention of Ore 13 in there. But all of Costa's ongoing still just does not feel like the same continuity as everything before it. It still just doesn't jive. The characterizations have been completely screwed beyond recognition. I just don't know what to think. There are some interesting ideas that Costa has introduced, but the execution has been absolutely horrible.
     
  5. tusko

    tusko Well-Known Member

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    I think the point has been that Humans adapt and evolve faster than Transformers do.

    Prime needed a game changer and he thought he had it in the "ultimate weapon". It was a nice flip flop of the season 1 premise.

    We need a Classics Omega Supreme.
     
  6. Lord Shockwave

    Lord Shockwave Well-Known Member

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    Originally, yeah, I think that's what Costa was going for. But he completely undercut the credibility of that by having Prime make the stupid "I have the same gun for years" argument. Talk about trying to force a concept. That's just weak writing.
     
  7. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    I agree the writing has been weak since All Hail Megatron. I liked Furman's direction much better. Even his fights were more satisfying. The only thing that has been hold any interest to me is the art. I can see what they are trying for but it isn't working. They keep trying to make the characters fit the story rather than using the characters to drive the story.
     
  8. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Interesting issue.
    Prime seriously needs to upgrade, tho.

    I like the teaser for the next issue... I think we all knew it would happen.
     
  9. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    But... they DON'T say that the humans are more technologically advanced than the Transformers. Prime merely uses the fact that humans have improved their weapon technology as one illustration of his ACTUAL point - that humans embrace change, strive for it, are ever pushing onward to improve and evolve themselves and their world, where the Transformers have been unable to change, caught in the same unending war for epochs. That spirit of change and invention and imagination IS the soul of the human race, what Thundercracker was drawn in by, and what Prime IS responding to. Costa hasn't let it go anywhere. Prime's just illustrated it by talking about weapons - a subject, a language, that he knows a Decepticon can understand. You've missed the deeper meaning of what he was saying.

    It's acting with conviction in a battlefield scenario to remove the source of a signal mind-controlling humans that were moments away from slaughtering some of his closest troops and friends. If Soundwave had died, so be it - he would have died to save real, presently-in-danger lives. It's the equivalent of a policeman shooting an armed gunman in a hostage situation. This is contrast to Spike actively hunting down and cold-bloodedly murdering one individual who was in hiding in an act of revenge, premeditatedly appointing *himself* judge, jury and executioner rather than following due process, and actively taking himself off the grid to hide his actions because he *knew* they were wrong. Prime acted in battle to save lives. Spike performed a gangland execution. There is a very clear, and completely inarguable, distinction.
     
  10. Airspeed

    Airspeed Well-Known Member

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    I really liked this issue, Somke really good characterisation for Prime, I like how he is just taking command while Bumblebee is injured, though I do get the feeling that Bubmlebee will step down when he is back up and running.
    The whole Kinetic Harpoon thing was AWESOME, as was the panel of Shockwave saying "OPTIMUS PRIME"
    It has set up things very well, and I am really looking forward to the next issue.

    The art was very good, I am not a fan of some of the designs but it is still cool.
     
  11. tusko

    tusko Well-Known Member

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    Maybe he'll combine with his trailer?
    Oh wait, that idea's been done... and done... and is being done elsewhere.
     
  12. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Way too much sympathy for the devil.
     
  13. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    Wait, who do I have sympathy for?
     
  14. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    I want Costa off this book.

    There, I said it.

    Not that I didn't imply it very strongly before. But again and again we see these amazing, intriguing, compelling ideas picked up, shined up a bit, then forgotten.

    Humans are great because they adapt and change in a way the Transformers do not. Okay. I like this. We all liked the Thundercracker focus issue and what it was saying.

    But then it devolves into "Humans are awesome because they can reverse-engineer Cybertronian tech to a degree that has become ludicrous.". That doesn't work for me. It's too much. First, Spike kills Scrapper with a pickle jar and a snappy insult. Now this. It doesn't flow to me, it doesn't feel like a natural extension of events in this fictional setting.

    I want Roche or Furman in the driver's seat on the ongoing.

    - Coeloptera
     
  15. mugen_prime

    mugen_prime Well-Known Member

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    THIS!!! Roche has proven himself to be an awesome writer as well as artist, and I personally LOVED Furmans run at the beginning of the IDW G1-verse. Both Roche and Furman are millions of times better writers than Costa.
     
  16. mrhillz

    mrhillz Changed his user title. TFW2005 Supporter

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    This has been the first IDW arc that I've been reading monthly in a long time. I have to say that it's not THAT bad, this month's issue just seems a little weak compared to the others. At least next month we might see what happened to Hot Rod since the first part of the arc.
     
  17. zephon

    zephon Well-Known Member

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    I had such high expectations of this issue due to the preview pages shown but after going through the comic.....meh.

    The Kinetic Harpoon idea was GREAT! Maybe it's because I caught the feature in History Channel or was it Discovery Channel? Then the story went downhill from there. I was yearning for something to top the Prime vs Megs in Escalation. I was expecting Prime to find a way around Super Megatron after the Kinetic Harpoon -- something like a second harpoon to wipe out survivors of the first. Or maybe Omega Supreme walking in to finish off survivors (or the tank firing at survivors if Omega Supreme still can't transform).

    All I got was talk...


    Well, I hope Prime ditches Earth and the story arc takes a bigger, more planetary scale.
     
  18. shadowsfm

    shadowsfm Well-Known Member

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    i agree with everything chris wrote 100% and think its a good idea on what cybertronions are lacking, imagination and drive to evolve.

    the scene where optimus holds magnus' hand made me sad, reminding of when optimus was in his death bed in the movie. the scene where optimus storms into the decepticon base was bad ass. i have it as my background now :D . i thought last months issue was just about on par with last stand of the wreckers (is that blasphemy?) only lacking in consistently good issues. this issue compliments and maybe even surpasses last months.

    costa is like bumblebee. they are the new guy that no one trust driving the transformers forward. like bumblebee, everyone feels that control should go back to someone more experienced. i feel optimistic that bumblebee will make great leader and costa's writing is improving. all they need is more experience.

    edit: ok maybe the issues aren't as good as last stand, but its been just that long since i been so excited to turn a page.

    on the topic i see on the idw boards: i think the cybertronions did once have the ability to adapt to situations better before the war. for example megatron got all those new weapons and the autobots had to adapt to the coming war, recruiting bots and turning them to solders. other things cybertronions have lost because of the war are merchants, artists, philosophers, inventors, businesses, and explorers. they sacrificed a society for a military organization
     
  19. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    I'd love to see James McDonough (aka Brad Mick) and Adam Patyk do some issues, I loved where their dream wave stories were going. They also seemed to understand all the characters personalities. I hate what they have done to spike in this series. I enjoy TF: Primes humans more than the humans in the IDW series.
     
  20. DrGrim

    DrGrim OBEY

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    Just read this. I thought it rocked. Nice to see Optimus Prime in a Transformers comic book finally. I hope they don't find a reason to write him off for years at a time again.
     

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