Best Timelines / Fun Publications / TFCC stories?

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by The Wadapan, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. The Wadapan

    The Wadapan Well-Known Member

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    I've been wondering what people's opinions on the Collector's Club comics and prose stories are. Which ones stand out as being great? Which ones didn't you like? What universes appeal to you the most?

    (There's probably been other threads like this in the past, but a few searches didn't bring up anything.)

    (I haven't read much of the FunPub media myself past Wings of Honour, so tag your spoilers please!)

    Personally, I liked Gone Too Far best of the prose stories. The New World was nice in that it gave character to a lot of the Classics Mini-Cons which I have but didn't really know much about (I wouldn't rate it much as a story in its own right). The Dark Heart of Sandokan wasn't much fun to read, and I stopped reading The Razor's Edge after the first few pages. The BotCon comics themselves and the 6-part comics haven't really stood out to me yet as being that great, can't say why, but I read Cybertron's Most Wanted recently and really enjoyed that. Did they get better as time went on, or what?
     
  2. Jalaguy

    Jalaguy has no known physical weaknesses

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    Off the top of my head, my favourites include:

    - Basically all the Beast Wars Uprising material: the Alone Together magazine comic and the web prose stories. Really great stuff.
    - The Shattered Glass prose stories.
    - The Of Masters and Mayhem prose stories.
    - The Animated 'Stunti-Con Job' BotCon comic.
     
  3. The Wadapan

    The Wadapan Well-Known Member

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    I've heard good things about Alone Together, so I look forward to reading that. I found the audio for the script reading of The Stunti-Con Job (here) so I'll listen to that at some point.

    The ideas in Shattered Glass really appeal to me; I haven't seen any mirror universes for other franchises before it though I know they exist. The problem is that sometimes it feels a little too much like 'G1, but all the names are swapped and everyone has a weird speech quirk'. I mean, sure, it does a lot to differentiate itself, and the stories are a lot of fun, but I preferred the Transtech stories on the whole because they were a completely original take on Transformers. Just my opinion. (For the record, Dungeons and Dinobots and Blitzwing Bop were my favourite SG stories. Didn't like the 6-part comic much. Love what little I've read of Recordicons.)
     
  4. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II Banned

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  5. Dramatic Spoon

    Dramatic Spoon Well-Known Member

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    I liked Shattered Glass, although Invasion kinda muddled the concept.
     
  6. DarkWarGrimlock

    DarkWarGrimlock Well-Known Member

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    I really liked The Stunti-Con Job and the Pirates vs. Knights one was kind of fun, too. The earlier stuff that formed one big story was alright when read as one big story, but really disjointed and not too fun to read by themselves. I did appreciate some of the Shattered Glass stuff and providing fiction for Machine Wars to sort of properly place it in overall TF fiction.

    I wasn't the biggest fan of FunPub's stuff, but I'd love for it to be collected after they're done. Hopefully IDW can reprint these or something. It's a real shame that the only proper collection we have is of the early Transformers: Cybertron tie-in stuff.
     
  7. The Wadapan

    The Wadapan Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read a lot of the items on that list. Personally, I find the Classicsverse to be a little pointless. It's meant to carry on the US series, but sort of... doesn't. I don't know.

    Haven't read Invasion yet, but I look forward to seeing
    the destruction of the Classicsverse.
    :p 

    Yeah. It all comes down to the licensing issues. With the latest BotCon comic by IDW, perhaps the floodgates are opening and we can expect some nice TPBs.

    Thoughts on Flames of Yesterday / A Team Effort

    Today I read FoY and ATE, and... really didn't like either of them. Unlike Gone Too Far and Withered Hope, both of which used characters I was unfamiliar with, I didn't really like any of the characters in either of the stories. Other than the Combaticons, of course. There were a few things that irked me:

    The endings of both stories were REALLY weak. In one,
    Brimstone blows himself up
    , and in the other
    the bomb just doesn't go off
    . I think both times they tried to lampshade it, but... it didn't really fix the problem. Contrast Gone Too Far, with its
    prolonged chase scene and showdown with Black Shadow
    and Withered Hope with its
    epic Demolishor battle
    . I don't know. Just didn't like them. A Team Effort didn't really do anything with the Action Master concept either, which is such a shame because those characters and ideas seem to me like they could have great potential were they handled properly.

    Less damaging but still noteworthy was the way the female autobots were depicted in Flames of Yesterday. I can't have been the only one wincing at Swindle's dialogue (though I got that it was supposed to fit the character, and in a sense it did, I felt like the other characters should have responded more). There was more besides, but I don't fancy going back to get some exact quotes. One thing that stuck out with me at one point was Lancer's abrupt change in mood from
    mourning Glyph to being SUPER DUPER EXCITED TO BE JOINING THE ELITE GUARD ZOMG
    . That just... wasn't good writing. Still, I have high hopes for Beast Wars: Uprising.
     
  8. transform75

    transform75 Well-Known Member

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    As I am fond of Beast wars/machine, I believe Hoist the fliag ignited a great story, bringing back Scorponok and Devcon, adding Brimstone and Ginrai and the wreckers in the apelinq war journal. Too bad there was no follow up of the story.
     
  9. The Wadapan

    The Wadapan Well-Known Member

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    Quick thoughts on Generation 2: Redux, The Stunti-Con Job and Moving Violations

    Yesterday I read Generation 2: Redux and found it to be pretty entertaining. Unlike Nucleon in A Team Effort, Forestonite was treated pretty well. Seeing Cindersaur's transformation into his G2 self was interesting, and Breakdown and Skybyte's reactions to it were priceless. So yeah, good on that front.

    Really though, this issue's strength was in its humour. It seems to subscribe to the LSOTW interpretation of Spark/Pyro, which I loved the first time around and seemed to work here. "Not really, I've already guessed. I presume you intend to use the Large Hadron Collider to create a miniature black hole that will destroy the planet earth." and this exchange (which I'll spoil because it's probably better read in the comic):

    Pyro: "Brilliant entrance, lads! Followed my transponder signal, I see!"
    Rapido: "Umm, no, commandante... we've just been searching door-by-door."
    Pyro: "Oh, well. Still, good job. I hope you mounted this rescue for the human staff more than for me. I don't want anyone getting killed on my account."

    both struck me as brilliant. So yes, all in all, an excellent comic. Probably the best yet, were it not for...

    THE STUNTI-CON JOB! I read the comic while listening to the script reading, and oh man was it great. I don't really want to spoil anything, but if you only read one bit of FunPub fiction make it this comic. The script reading adds a subplot focusing on Minerva and Warpath, and is definitely worth listening to. Equally, the short prequel comic Moving Violations was awesome ("Dear spark, I'm too young to be too old for this scrap!") even if it could have done with being a bit longer.
     
  10. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    For some reason I've always been more into the prose stories than the comics the club produces. I actually really liked Stunti-Con Job, but the others are either eh, or just okay to me. I think part of it is because you can tell more from the medium of prose than from a comic with a limited page number. That's not to say the Wings comics, a Flash Forward, and the short machine-wars two-parter are bad though. I just find them somewhat less memorable. The Knights vs Pirates one is decent, but the art is understandably a real turn off (or turn on, hoho) for a lot of people. I remember the two Wings Universe prose stories pretty fondly. Both are fun and give some extremely obscure characters the spotlight. Sprocket and Rumbler are an especially great pair.

    As far as Shattered Glass goes, it's interesting for the first few stories, but somewhere down the line it seems to stop taking itself seriously, and then suddenly invasion happens and both of those universes just stop being coherent, or really even all that interesting. I think the only parts of the SG universe I liked following Invasion was the one panel where we see the shattered glass bw Predacons, and SG Stepper, who is a ventriloquist.

    Beast Wars Uprising and of Master and Mayhem prose are actually fantastic though, and are probably the best fiction the club has produced. Both are especially great with the characters they utilize. The way they do Punch in MaM is better than any of the dozens of fan interpretations I've seen of him. They also tell a pretty compelling story centering around Alpha Bravo and Offroad, and introduce unique teams like the Raptoricons and the New Wreckers (led by Impactor and featuring guys like Toxitron and Counterpunch to back him up, which is all kinds of awesome.)

    Uprising is also great in what it accomplishes, especially in its world-building. There is something incredibly unique about how the ruling council consists of all the obscure and forgettable micromasters, and minicons, as to show that the generation of the Autobots and Decepticons should have come to an end long ago. And I know saying they do a good "grey conflict" is kind of moot nowadays, but they do a really good grey conflict. At the beginning it's clear Lio Convoy's revolutionaries are the "good guys", but then we see the perspective of the police forces working for the Builders, and the methods the revolutionaries take in order to reach their goals. Like MaM, Uprising has some great characters too. Buzzclaw and Stilleto especially.

    There's also a great scene from BW Scorponok's perspective where he meets BW Megatron for the first time and it is clear that Megatron is engaging in discussion, acting friendly, slipping in compliments, and feigning interest in what Scorponok's saying, simply to get him on his side for future ventures-- except Scorponok is completely oblivious to this, and eats right out of the palm of Megatron's hand.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  11. The Wadapan

    The Wadapan Well-Known Member

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    Quick thoughts on The Coming Storm, Battle Lines and A Flash Forward

    It's been a few days since I read The Coming Storm and Battle Lines, and it's telling that I honestly can't remember what happened in them. So there were, like, the Combaticons, and then there were the Constructicons, and they're trying to explain why a bunch of guys show up out of nowhere partway into the cartoon? Whatever. Fact is, I just don't think they were that great. I think it's because I never really watched seasons 1 and 2 of the cartoon (I was an Armada kid) so don't really care about any of the stuff they're trying to do.

    A Flash Forward, though, may just be my favourite Club Magazine comic yet. It doesn't really work on its own as a story - it builds a lot on G2: Redux and the two comic arcs before it. The story works, the humour works. It's no longer bound by the cartoon, but is finally free to do its own thing and it does its thing very well. The artwork looks great, the dialogue's nice, the story's good, Jhiaxus is an interesting villain... just great all around.

    I particularly liked the very last two panels of the comic, where Sizzle shows up. I thought the thing with him and the traffic stop was funny the first time it showed up, and brilliant the second time - what seemed like an innocuous gag turned out to be "man, I was bored waiting for the ticket and I ended up seeing really far into the future and oh look it's the machine wars". Well played, good sirs.

    Quick thoughts on Invasion, the prologue and the epilogue

    I've already said I'm not the biggest fan of the Classicsverse. It strikes me as... messy. Does merging this universe with the Shattered Glass one clean it up at all?

    Err, no. But it's funny. To quote the cover, you've got good guys, good guys (?), bad guys, and more bad guys. I liked the double-take between positive and negative-polarity Octopunch. I liked the reference of Treadshot and Ultra Magnus' rivalry. I liked SG Wheeljack, as I have done in every story so far. Apart from that, err... the whole thing seems rushed, serving only as a way to combine two loose ends into one. As a story in its own right, it's not great... but there are a lot of interesting ideas here that are nice to explore. I look forward to seeing how FunPub ties up all their stories, presuming they do. Alone Together looks like it'll do a lot for that.

    Do the prologue and the epilogue tell a good story? Not really. They serve to bookend the main comic from the POV of the Transtechs, and in that respect they're successful. The Transtech universe has never been unwelcome, as far as I'm concerned. Still, these two short comics seem fairly unremarkable. The artwork's nice.
     
  12. SG Roadbuster

    SG Roadbuster SG Wrecker

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    I'm digging the current output of BW Uprising prose stories and the Masters/Mayhem stuff. The Animated fiction was good, due to having actual Animated staff involved. Hoist the Flag and Cybertron's most Wanted I enjoyed due to the Alternity Level amount of Fanwankery. And I derive a sick pleasure from the merged Sg/classics, due to its sheer incomprehensible gibbering Lunacy. I swear someone looked a Lovecraftian Terror God in the Eye before writing some of those.
     
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  13. The Wadapan

    The Wadapan Well-Known Member

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    Quick thoughts on Termination, A Common Foe and Hoist the Flag

    Following on from G2: Redux and A Flash Forward comes the two-part comic Termination / A Common Foe. It's... okay. I don't think I could judge them individually, which makes it slightly baffling that these were released over a year apart. Basically, there's a bunch of the Machine Wars guys who never got any fiction before, and now they're gonna fight Jhiaxus, and then the Beast Wars guys get foreshadowed and that's pretty much it. I liked the Octane/Sandstorm thing, it was a nice throwback to an episode of the G1 cartoon that I can't really remember much of except that Octane was kind of a good guy in it. Seeing Strika and Obsidian in action as good guys was pretty cool. I like Josh Burcham's art style, so I enjoyed his artwork in these issues. Aaand... that's it. Like with so much of the Wings Universe stuff, I really just found them very unremarkable overall.

    Hoist the Flag fares a little better, though not much. It takes place after another time-skip, this time to after the end of Beast Machines. I honestly couldn't tell you why I liked this issue best of the three. I think the individual characters had a little more in the way of personality, and I preferred the setting. (I liked Beast Machines when I watched it for the first time. Haven't seen it since, though.) The links to the 3H comics were interesting, too, though I'm unfamiliar with them for the most part.
     
  14. The Wadapan

    The Wadapan Well-Known Member

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    Quick thoughts on Beast Wars: Shattered Glass, Alone Together and Another Light

    Err... wow.

    These three comic arcs are, in my opinion, Fun Publications fiction at its best. Beast Wars: Shattered Glass continues on from where Invasion left off, and simply provides an alternative take on the much-exalted Beast Wars cartoon. My only complaint is that the aesthetic of the Beast Wars 2 figures representing the Decepticons combined with the organic designs of the Autobots is a little jarring. Compare IDW's The Gathering, which has a very coherent look.

    Alone Together is undoubtedly the best Fun Publications story I've seen. Trans-Mutate stuck in my mind after watching Beast Wars, partly because of how creepy they look and partly because of how well-written their episode was. Maybe I'm looking through red-tinted shades here, I don't know. This interpretation of the character, and Rampage with her, is brilliant. A great comic that rivals IDW's better output, in my opinion. It's got its funny moments, its dark moments, it utilises the comic book form to add to the story... just great. Best of all, it's a stand-alone universe, meaning that if you can get hold of it then this comic makes a great read on its own.

    Finally, we've got Another Light. The grand finale to, well, everything. They really couldn't have picked a better story to homage than the original animated movie, and they use it to great effect to tell an interesting re-imagining with plenty of humour and grand set-pieces. It's a fitting end to years' worth of stories. My second-favourite comic arc, after Alone Together, and probably my third-favourite after that and The Stunti-Con Job.

    I also feel like it's a good time to mention Recordicons and Hot Shot's Bot Thoughts. Both are written by David Willis, and both are pretty darn good. HSBT has only three parts, which is a shame because they're really good! Recordicons has a bunch of strips, though, and they're all pretty funny. The art's nice, but the writing's nicer. The problem with SG Ravage and so many 'lolrandom' characters like them is that, apart from being difficult to write well, they have a habit of warping any story they're in around them. Relegating Ravage to his own little comic is a smart move. I don't want to say that SG stories need to be serious, far from it, but Ravage breaks them a little. It's probably for the best that the series ended before it ran out of steam - as it is, it's a really funny comic strip that never really got old.