12 years later - a question.

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by bjj8383, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. bjj8383

    bjj8383 Member

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    I was an avid reader of the Dreamwave comics, and then the IDW comics - up until All Hail Megatron (for reasons that I think are obvious.) I tried my hardest for about 6 issues, but eventually threw up my hands in disgust and never looked back. I haven't picked up a TF comic since.

    My question is, would it be worth going back to binge-read the whole '05-'18 run, or would I end up just as infuriated by all the post-All-Hail-Meg stuff? A glance at the wiki and various series reviews leave me feeling iffy and undecided. (Pretty sure I've mellowed in the last decade - it's easier to take the good along with the bad in stride - but I have my limits.)
     
  2. shamanking282

    shamanking282 Well-Known Member

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    So, it took the continuity a few years to clean up the mess AHM made, but they did eventually put everything back together in a satisfying way and were able to move forward. Part of that was the publication of Maximum Dinobots, the true sequel to the Revelation spotlights. However after AHM was the Mike Costa ongoing, which in many ways ended up even worse than AHM. But concurrently with the ongoing's first few issues was the five issue miniseries "Last Stand of the Wreckers", which would end up being very influential on the direction of the universe after the ongoing ended. Once the ongoing ended, two new series were launched starting what is now called "Phase 2". It is largely post Autobot-Decepticon war and takes the Transformers into crazy new directions. That era up until the end of the continuity was consistently much stronger than what came before.

    I think if you want to binge everything, and willing to endure some crap to get to the good stuff, I would recommend reading through everything. My preference is publishing order with the one caveat that you read Revelation and Maximum Dinobots before starting AHM.
     
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  3. Murasame

    Murasame

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    I loved IDW. The -ation books were the best and later it got better and was at it's height when it went from chaos theory to more than meets the eye. Alex Milne is my favorite artist. I didn't like the Barber written books. The old continuity was ruined in the recent years and even the Unicron book sucked, not even the awesome art of Alex Milne could save it. Wish I could return digital comics...

    I read like 11 books of the new contuinity, when they were on sale, but I don't feel the need to follow the new books, haven't bought anymore. They are basically dead to me. Which is sad, because there was a time when Transformers comics were the best thing to entertain me and I couldn't wait for the next issue.

    I suggest, continue reading and judge on your own.
     
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  4. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Well-Known Member

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    Hm, difficult question to answer.

    AHM: this really has to be a binge read. If you read it (like we both likely did) one issue per month, it is dreadful. If you binge read it, it's just bad. The second half of the run picks up a bit, connects a bit to the Furman run, and the pace gets a little bit better (and even ridiculous as in, for example, Optimus being declared near death on one page, and up and ready to fight two pages later. The coda has one or two good stories.

    Ongoing by Costa: I liked the first arc, because it was better paced than AHM, but afterwards it just collapses. Mike Costa definitely had some good idea's, but his lack of knowledge about the franchise coupled with an editor who cared little to nothing about continuity or hiring people who were fit for the comics (like artist who couldn't draw Transformers) kind or ruined it. Still, it had it's moments. Starting from issue #13 the pace is a lot better (mostly because they finally told through flashbacks what also happened during the previous boring issues) and it even has some excellent issues (those not written by Costa). Basically, I would read issue 1-6, 13 and further. (You'll miss some information, but not really much.)

    There are some parallel stories at this time, of which I think the Ironhide story is worth while and Last Stand of the Wreckers is excellent.

    RiD: I liked the first few stories, but cared little for the series when it changed name to Optimus Prime. Not that it doesn't have good concepts, but it just didn't hold my attention, in large part due to the art.

    MTMTE/LL: absolutely. It's a completely different approach and more of wacky space travel adventure, but it has some (very) good characerisations. At the end all the romance stuff between TF's get a bit much, but I still like the story in general and found it a very enjoyable read.



    So yeah, I think it's a worthwhile to go for it. Maybe not all (and if you want you can basically skip AHM and issues 7-12 from Costa's Ongoin, but there are some excellent stories).

    Since you are aware of AHM's premise, you could perhaps start with Last Stand of the Wreckers which takes place about a year later and takes place at the beginning of Costa's Ongoing series. And if yuu like that, read on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
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  5. Jalaguy

    Jalaguy has no known physical weaknesses

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    The run that immediately followed AHM, an ongoing titled just The Transformers, was also pretty weak, but for different reasons - the writer self-admittedly didn't "get" Transformers and struggled to know what stories to tell about them. It did pick up a bit towards the end though, and was accompanied by some good tie-in mini-series, including the universally-acclaimed Last Stand of the Wreckers.

    Following the end of that ongoing, the line did another soft reboot at the start of 2012, starting what was subsequently named "Phase 2" of the continuity, a run which lasted all the way to the end of the continuity in 2018. The Phase 2 era also drew a lot of acclaim, and attracted quote a lot of attention in the wider comics world, beyond just the usual audience of people who were already big Transformers fans.

    While there's quite a lot of series that came and went during the Phase 2 era, most of them pretty good, there's two runs that lasted the whole nearly-seven-years - More than Meets the Eye (later relaunched under the new title Lost Light) and Robots in Disguise (later relaunched as Optimus Prime). MTMTE in particular drew a lot of attention early on, for its unique (to Transformers fiction) Brit-comic dramedy storytelling.

    Personally, I rate the first few years (up to around issue #40) of MTMTE extremely highly - it has some all-time-best moments for the Transformers franchise - but unfortunately I'd say it kinda went downhill over time, and by the time the continuity ended, I'd honestly say it had become kind of a mess, and really struggled to pull off a good finale. In contrast, while Robots in Disguise wasn't as much of a standout early on - it told more traditional types of Transformers story compared to MTMTE's dramedy format - I think it went from strength to strength over time, doing some great character work, really impressive plotting, and lovely rich thematic stuff. Its finale, told in the Unicron mini-series, is pretty much my favourite Transformers story ever!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
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  6. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

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    Overall, I found All Hail Megatron to be one of the better books from IDW. Not the best by all means, but better than most of what they put out. But that has more to do with how low they could go than AHM's quality. It had some of the best artwork from IDW though - if you like the Sunbow designs, like I do.
     
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  7. Boatformer

    Boatformer #HaulOfFame

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    • All Hail Megatron: Mostly bad. The art is nice and there were some fun moments but otherwise, yeah, it's basically nonsense and fluff.
    • Costa ongoing: Starts off godawful and improves to "okay" over its run. "Space Opera" and the Ironhide miniseries are genuinely great and underrated gems. Chaos Theory is fantastic but it's also basically just a MTMTE prelude.
    • More than Meets the Eye/Lost Light: Great series, shame it ended at issue 40. In seriousness: the first half of More than Losts the Light is one of my favourite Transformers stories of all time, but after issue 40 (my favourite of the run) it drops off rapidly, with Lost Light basically being a miserable grind to a meaningless conclusion that left me with a pervading sense of "is that it?".
    • Robots in Disguise/Optimus Prime: My absolute favourite Transformers series ever - maybe more "traditional" than MTMTE, but has strong character arcs and themes that run throughout the entire run. Just be aware that you'll want to read the "sidestories" (Redemption of the Dinobots, Revolutionaries, etc) or you'll be missing chunks of the story. (Also, you will need to be okay with humans - specifically, G.I. Joes - having a significant role.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
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  8. Lucas35

    Lucas35 Well-Known Member

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  9. bjj8383

    bjj8383 Member

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    Thanks for the great responses! I think I'll try and give it a shot.
     
  10. artiepants

    artiepants Misses readable TF comics

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    honestly, I'd take AHM everyday and twice on Tuesday over most of what follows. Last Stand of the Wreckers not withstanding.

    Most of the art not by Milne (and I even feel he suffered with what became some of the house style with the bizarre pastel coloring and really poorly designed characters) was just utterly dreadful the last few years. What was the big 12 (?) part arc with Shockwave's big master plan? That was hands down the worst TF story I've ever read. (and I think were I dropped out, and whenever I checked out previews for new issues I felt that I'd made the right choice)
     
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  11. Boatformer

    Boatformer #HaulOfFame

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    Cool. Jalaguy has actually made a spreadsheet to get the best possible reading order: IDW Reading Guide.xlsx
    I quote: "To use it fully, you'll want to download it, rather than using it in the browser. You fill in Ys and Ns on the first sheet to select which story threads you want to include (MTMTE/LL, RID/OP, Wreckers, Hasbroverse franchises, etc.), and then go to the second sheet and filter column T to just Ys to get your customised list."
     
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  12. Prime Noble

    Prime Noble Well-Known Member

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    Once Barber brings the Transformers back to Earth, his books go downhill. He undid the good work Costa did with Thundercracker and Roche did with Prowl. He made Jazz unlikable and just not cool.

    Like Michael Bay, he's too fond of humans and too fond of the same boring G1 mainstays like Optimus, Kup, Wheeljack, Sidewipe, Arcee, Windblade and Bumblebee.

    I've re-read the entirety of More Than Meets the Eye and Lost Light a few times and I enjoy them more each time. The Robo romance and the DJD get a bit overused but Roberts does great work with Megatron and Rodimus, the latter he makes quite funny.

    Rodimus, "The bad news is we're surrounded".
    Autobot, "What's the good news?"
    Rodimus, "Who said there was good news?"

    Oh and Rodimus jealousy of Thunderclash was hilarious.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  13. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

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    Upfront disclaimer, I am on record as being very critical of MTMtE and LL. I truly enjoyed IDW, including AHM and the Costa run, up until about issue 20 of MTMtE. I think Roberts needed a better editor. I didn't ever stop enjoying Barber's RiD/OP, but the focus on humans got old, especially when Spike became one of the series main antagonists. I think as the IDW run went on, it began to flounder under it's own weight, but most comics do after 10+ years and over 200 issues. Very, very few comics do well for more than 10 years, and you could argue the best ones only last a few years at most. IDW from '05 to '18 was a lot like that. TONS of stuff that would forever be apart of the mythos, but a lot of forgettable stuff too.

    That said, read it for yourself and tell us! It's worth a try and I certainly wouldn't say don't read them. :) 
     
  14. Dire 51

    Dire 51 Line Stepper.

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    MtMtE 1-55 will live with me forever.

    Everything else IDW is "meh" at best.

    Barber's writing is garbage.
     
  15. Mega scream

    Mega scream Tyrannical Freedom Fighter

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    yes please. u might not like it, but i think the books are quite good, though it has its highs and lows.
    judge it for yourself. some stuff are regarded as the fandom as gold, like the Wreckers trilogy, some are generally well liked like MTMTE or TAAO, while some are eh... like the crossovers. but it's a fresh and unique take on transformers, I'll grant them that, though the continuity is quite a mess due to the different direction that writers take their stories
     
  16. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

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    Optimus Prime is a terrible book. Lost Light is better. More fun to read. Getaway was a more interesting villain than Galvatron personally.
     
  17. Boatformer

    Boatformer #HaulOfFame

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  18. PhaseSixer

    PhaseSixer Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion the thing you have to do with IDW is ignore a lot of it

    start with AHM and in my head cannon I always read Overlord in place of scrounge or whatever starscream says when he asks who is Megatron worried about...start with the drift spotlight...read AHM #1-4 the. Spotlight Jazz, then #5-9...then I read ramjet and more head cannon shift it to fit like it fits here and Megatron is putting down rebels in his own group...then #10-12, in the coda only need the decepticon story, the sun streaker story, perceptor...kup, prowl and springer story.
    Then read Last stand of the wreckers, after that I’d read the 1st drift mini

    Now start on MTMTE...skip everything else yes even chaos theory...treat MTMTE as the main story...you only read AHM, LSOTW, and the drift mini as back story for MTMTE...so issues #1-21 and annual
    Then read dark cybertron and prequels with RID annual 1st, RID #17-22 MTMTE #22 and then dark cybertron #1-12
    Then MTMTE #28-57, then Titans Return
    Lost Light #1-25
    Then Optimus prime #1-24
    Unicron #1-6 and then OP #25

    after that go back and read Megatron origins and then read autocracy, monstrosity, and primacy and for me that’s pretty much what gels for me...if I didn’t mention it, it’s either a boring story arc (all of RID) or reading it is confusing(how did galvatron get back to the dead universe after chaos?) to the overall plot...this is my reading preference when I do read the IDW story