Why are TF comics utter pump?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Glitcher, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. Glitcher

    Glitcher Banned

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    The very first TF comic I bought was Dreamwave's debut in 2002. Back then, I was highly impressed with the 'anime screenshot' artwork and the tantalisingly coy introduction of our childhood heroes. It felt like a smartly-written human POV of an alien encounter that looked like could only get better as time went on.

    Fast forward to today to find me staring agog at the astonishingly awful Ramjet spotlight. There are a select few comics that fall flat on their face from the very first sentence, and this is one of them. Since when is Ramjet a "lone wolf Decepticon whose plans involve nothing less than the overthrow of Megatron himself"? Considering the spotlights are meant to illustrate the character's personality, I wonder aloud why this depicts Starscream in Ramjet's body instead of the masochistic thug I used to know. There aren't even any themes in this introspective spin-off, just another failed grandiose scheme peppered with ludicrously cheesy dialogue that comes off as uncharacteristically eloquent for Ramjet. In fact, the only thing that hasn't degraded over time is the artwork, which seems to be the standard fallback of every bad story.

    This isn't an isolated incident. Virtually all TF comics by Dreamwave and IDW these past few years have followed a similar pattern. The epitome of this template is Shockwave's takeover. There's almost no 'dialogue' to speak of, only an endless string of vacuous, portentous monologues. Even during action sequences, the Transformers are grandeloquent to the utmost, which seems ridiculously unnatural for the situation. It's as if there's an unspoken competition on Cybertron for who can say the least in the most words.

    Or take Sunstorm's appearence. Every single line he speaks is agony. A pious, self-absorbed pudding whose spiritual preaching (which I'm sure the writers intended to sound 'deep' and 'epic') contained zero intellectual insight and degenerated into uninspired farce. Worse, the ending was sudden and unfulfilling. Sunstorm is dead, but nothing is resolved, because there was nothing to resolve in the first place. If McDonough and Patyk are indeed qualified writers, it's alarming to see them omit critical aspects of a substantial story like character development, themes, motifs and symbolism in general. Instead, the comic relies on pretty pictures and money shots to sell.

    I'm not so shallow. I cancelled my subscription long ago and would sooner impale myself on a spike than read any more. A good comic has to be more than cosmetic. If I wanted to admire the artwork, I'd simply download the preview pages, so I can experience them as a gallery without the speech bubbles. But I don't just want to look at the pages, I want to read them and feel drawn into the atmosphere and excitement of the TF universe. Isn't that what a good story is all about? And isn't that what the TF comics lack?
     
  2. domientius

    domientius Well-Known Member

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    I've disliked about 98% of TF comics starting from the old Marvel stuff. G2 stared out okay, but they wrecked it by giving it to Furman.
     
  3. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    That's because he's not the exact same character as in the cartoon. He believed himself to be far more intelligent and important than he really was. Also, you took his spotlight way too seriously. It was supposed to be ridiculous. Ramjet was basically trying to pull an old G1 style scheme. He wanted to take over the cons and rule the earth. All the while, the events of the main books were happening around him and he didn't even notice.
     
  4. Locke

    Locke Team Vanguard

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    Let me start by saying I'm a bit of a TF comic novice. The first comics I ever purchased were the DW Generation 1 series, and I was so underwhelmed after the first arc that I let that taint my opinion of all TF comics and steered clear of IDW.

    However, after reading all the praise on these boards for the IDW series, and I caught myself up on the IDW series, and I must say I've been very impressed. If the Ramjet spotlight is all you've read from IDW, I think you need to give it another chance, as that was probably one of the weakest comics from IDW to date. On the ongoing series, I think Furman has been doing a great job of establishing a new continuity with a lot of new elements that aren't the old familiar concepts (crutches) that we're used to. My personal favorite is the idea that the TFs are fighting a war on a galactic scale, and that Earth is important, but not the only front of the war.
     
  5. Ktulu

    Ktulu Whoosh TFW2005 Supporter

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    IDW series is far more enjoyable than the Dreamwave stuff so far, imo.

    Certainly in the looks department. Screw marshmallow bots. I'm digging the stories too though, of course
     
  6. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Ah, the mysteries the himan perception. One man's tripe is another man classic series.

    I love Mick's G1 series, and I think its important to remember that we'll probably never know the conclusion. That's why the conclusion to Sunstorm was sudden. Just like his appearance, his 'death' left more questions than answers. I'm sure the Mick duo would've explained eventually, but you know we've got Pat Jackass Lee to thank for killing DW. IMO, the first Dw G1 mini was the weakest besides Mircomasters. It had a nice start, but was just another lame plot by Megatron just like the cartoon.

    Your complains about IDWverse I just don't get. Its a totally new G1 that we've never seen. Expect changes cause that what its all about. You can call it the classicverse if you. Classic characters, but each with twists that fit the new story.

    Honestly though, if you're expecting Maus or Watchmen from transformers then you need to go rad those books. The closest you'll ever get to high quality thought provoking stories for Transformers are the very series you are ragging right now.

    Obviously you don't read very many comics cause this is 90% of material out there...oh and wrong forum yo.

    I had to go back and answer this one.

    Character Development-- Obviously you missed all the scenes featuring Prowl, Bumblebee, and Starscream that offered more character development for those characters than the entire G1 cartoon series.

    themes- I guess you missed the the whole theme that the story was the period between Season 1 and the movie, the coming of Unicron and possibly Primus. The Autobot coping with having to deal not only with the Cons on Earth, but Cybertron once again.

    Motif- I don't think there was really enough time for any motifs to develop, but I would that Shockwave's experiments connect to Vector Sigma, Unicron, and the Covenant of Primus could qualify.

    Symbolism- religion, war, duty, and vengeance. I think these we all presented during the what 11 issues of what was suppose to be like a 30 something issue story.
     
  7. Glitcher

    Glitcher Banned

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    As a resident of Liège, I can testify that this city is swamped by franco-belgian comics and 90% of them are not like that. And how is this topic in the wrong forum? There's no TF comic forum here.
     
  8. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    We have a comic forum, which also includes TF comics.

    Damn i had to google Franco-belgian comics, and after reading about them I guess you would be something of a comic snob.

    I was refering to American comics when I said 90% (seriously people does it hurt to include your location for arguments sake?) so my frame of reference was alittle out of context. Though seriously, these are comics about transforming toys you aren't gonna be reading Shakespeare now are you.
     
  9. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    But... the Dreamwave G1-verse was NOT the G1 cartoon-verse.
     
  10. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Way to point out the obvious lol.

    No it wasn't and never said it that was, but I think it was fairly obvious that it was something of a mixture of toon and comic. If you had to pinpoint a time for the events then it would've been somewhere between season 1 and season 2 of toon. They took what worked from both verses and toon worked best for the setting.

    Personally, that was one of my favorite aspects of the comic. The explanation for the arrival of 85 cars to Earth, the building of Metroplex, and the eventual coming of Unicron. It may not have been aspect for aspect toonnverse, but it was nice explanations for the toon if you wished to use them.
     
  11. edicius

    edicius I need a drink.

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    Yeah, once I saw that, I realized I had stepped into an alternate version of one of my film classes. Film snobs and Wong Kar Wei, comic snobs and Franco-Belgian comics - same principle.
     
  12. seeker311

    seeker311 The Collector

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    Ok, dont ever use the phrase "utter pump" ever again. What is this, a Teen wolf movie?
     
  13. Johnator

    Johnator 'Til All Are Gone!

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    I really enjoy a lot of the IDW comics. Don't dismiss the whole line based off of Ramjet's Spotlight which I consider one of the weakest comics of the whole Transformer take by IDW. They really do a great job with a lot of the story arcs.
     
  14. shibamura_prime

    shibamura_prime Jumpin' Jellyfish! Super Mod

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    I personally gave up on the comics, especially after some of the IDW stuff. For the most part, TF comics haven't really seemed to graduate to the level where most of the rest of the industry's at right now. The stories are interesting, but the dialog and storytelling just isn't up to snuff with the stuff like what Bendis pumps out. The dialog that's spouted out is what really gets me about TF books, especially Furman's writing. I feel like I'm reading and issue of Claremont's X-Men from the 80's where EVERYTHING is explained to me and in turn doesn't seem believable.
     
  15. Glitcher

    Glitcher Banned

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    What. The. Hell.

    Are you saying that anyone who reads comics outside of America is a snob? Seems more likely than any American who's never heard of foreign comics is a deprived ignorant.


    That's exactly my point, dammit! It's a diseased mentality when people believe that stories envolving robots are destined to be appeal to the lowest common denominator. I grew up reading Asimov and he knows how to handle the concept properly. It's no wonder that his work has been so influential on modern robot stories, particularly his sacred Three Laws of Robotics. Transformers doesn't have to squander its potential on pure eye candy. So far, the only exception to the string of garbage mentioned above is the Energon short story Perspective in the 2004 summer special. (And I don't even like Energon!) It was a very funny and charming retelling of a botched infiltration, with some double-entendres, recurring gags and a crafty plot twist at the end. If only the rest of its ilk could meet the same standard.
     
  16. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    I understand where you're coming from, but the TF stories today are way better than they were fifteen years ago so its an improvement. IMO, I don't think the DW story relied purely on eye (not that it doesn't help go read early Marvel G1 to see what I mean), and it had alot of elements setting the groundwork for something big, but it just never had the chance to ripen.

    And its not a diseased mentality, seriously these are fictional stories that'll barely get read by 1% of population if that. Enjoy them for what they are (like the movie), and if you can't I don't know what to tell you. These things take time when dealing with an property thats based on a toy line. Just be thankful that the stories no longer revolve around the current toys in the stores any longer.
     
  17. Alienbot

    Alienbot Well-Known Member

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    Seriously people, Furman's IDW comics are absolutely brilliant. I'm so amazed how he modernized the G1 series before the movie came out! I cannot wait for each next issue of his comics, they present a really suspenseful and complex world. So much more original than Dreamwave.
     
  18. Brodimus Prime

    Brodimus Prime Matrix Templar

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    I was too young to get into the old comics, so when Dreamwave came around I put a lot of stock in those series and forked out quite a bit of money. I loved where the G1 series was going, but Pat Lee being a dumbass ruined all that. After all I had put into the DW comics, they were gone. And stories like the War Within were left in obscurity. So I decided to never put money into the TF comics again for fear that they may tank, just as the last two have (DW and G2, that is).

    However, I'll say this. What I've heard has been good regarding IDW. Personally I wouldn't mind picking up Megatron Origins. It seems to offer a lot of politics and intrigue in an era that appears to fit nicely with what Furman had previously established with The War Within. I think if you're wanting some deep stories, then that is the series to read.
     
  19. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    I hate most TF comics. The ramjet spotlight irked me too, since Ramjet's character was completely different from the horse-fighting conehead we all know and love.

    Furman is a terrible writer. he uses the same stupid phrases over and over which have spawned countless jokes in the fandom (recently a topic degraded into nothing but people using those lines). he warps personalities, most recently seen in the beast wars sourcebooks, but also famously grimlock. I've always honestly believed that if the Energon comic had not been cancelled, it would have ended with Energon Grimlock fighting Unicron one-on-one, and winning. That's just the kind of writer furman is.

    I'll also always hate him for what he did to Optimus Prime. No longer the strong, confidant leader from the show and movie, he is now the single-most flawed character in all of transformers. one of furman's earliest marvel US issues featured optimus prime ABANDONING THE AUTOBOTS. fucking lame. that's not optimus prime.

    The stories written by "Brad Mick" for Dreamwave are the best we've ever gotten, and it's a damn tragedy we'll never see them finished.
     
  20. Hikuro

    Hikuro Matrix Bearer

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    I love the comics, more then some of the other comics ive read in my time. Dons a great artist, shame he left, and simons a good writer whos trying to tie in so many worlds together.
     

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