dumbest shit idw did

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Arrogant Arachnid, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    You really just tried to say that people who don’t like shipping in Transformers are trying to “devalue what women think.”

    Or maybe a rug is just a rug and people don’t like the overbearing romance in their sci-if action robot comics because it’s overbearing?
     
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  2. Andersonh1

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

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    This is a fair point, but I didn't really care for the relationships in the Beast era either. At least there I could rationalize it as the Transformers taking on behavioral characteristics from the organic life they had scanned, which we saw them display in numerous episodes.
     
  3. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Beast Wars was also a lot more blunt and comedic with it. Silverbolt's constant unreciprocated love was played largely for comedy, and in a series like BW where humanization is often used for gags rather than a deliberate attempt at real drama, the cartoonish romance fit right in the cartoonish show. (and a lot of people still didn't like it)

    The problem is IDW is not cartoonish. (at least not intentionally) It doesn't do humanization with a tongue firmly in cheek, it does it with a perfectly straight face, and in doing so reveals every logical pitfall and tonal failure that comes with trying to do so many relationships and do it earnestly.
     
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  4. UKBrawn

    UKBrawn No arms just CLAWS!!

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    I think from reading this thread I am going to ditch the list I came up with..... and just say their biggest mistake was trying to appeal to everyone. It NEVER works.

    From my point of view.

    If I want romance I'd read romance novels, I don't expect Miranda's wedding car to transform into a giant robot and start kicking her marquee to pieces in the name of Cybertron.
    If I want Transformers, I want them to do exciting robot stuff, transform into something stupidly cool and destroy X before Y happens; not whine about relationships, couple up, or moan about their day at work.
     
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  5. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    God I miss this.

    I don't need Transformers to be dumb, I just need it to be exciting. Bombastic. Heroic. The characters should have depth but still naturally slot into the story, and remind us why the franchise was so endearing to us as children and still exciting to us as adults. When I read IDW I constantly get the sense of "what do I even like this franchise for?" Because everything that made me gravitate towards it is just... missing.

    As I read the new BW comic I realized that, put side-by-side with the original cartoon, everything about the new version is just verbose and bland. BW opens with a big ol' space battle. It's hectic, characters barely have a chance to say anything before the next thing happens, and it's a tight fly-threw of the key characters and concepts. The comics are just slow and plodding by comparison, explaining everything and having seemingly limitless time for characters to speak. No sense of urgency. Despite showing more and having more action scenes, it doesn't feel any more substantial.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  6. Bee427

    Bee427 Doing my best

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    THANK you.
     
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  7. Galvatron1998

    Galvatron1998 Maximal

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    Transformers works best when it's fun. As Split Lip said, it doesn't have to be dumb but it should feel exciting. Beast Wars and Animated understood this and they're fan favorites. IDW felt far too cynical for my tastes and I found a majority of the characters to be unlikeable. While there are aspects of the continuity I enjoyed, I think it went on for too long and introduced too many elements that took me out of the story.
     
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  8. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Cynical is the perfect way to describe IDW.
     
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  9. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    Often it feels as if IDW was ashamed of doing Transformers ongoing. Their one shot crossover minis are more fresh and fun than their main series.
     
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  10. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Because one-shots were (usually) more concerned with telling a more concise, self-contained story. They didn't feel the need to introduce characters and concepts open-endedly, leaving it for other writers to deal with later or just putting it off until they felt like it.
     
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  11. Lionheart

    Lionheart Well-Known Member

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    This will never cease to make me furious. Especially because the window for him to pop up again was wide open. Weren't the Scavengers literally looking for lost Decepticons? And then you had the Lost Light exploring space and constantly bringing up tales of phase sixers (and a lot of the HM cast among them). Such an utter waste!
     
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  12. Focksbot

    Focksbot Skeleton Detective

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    I've never really been into any of the IDW romance subplots and it's definitely not my thing, but honestly, I'd rather they include these plots than obey edicts like "exciting robot stuff, transform into something stupidly cool and destroy X before Y".

    For all the bad moves IDW have pulled - and there've been plenty - thank Christ, thank fuck and thank Jim-Jiminy-Hooza they've always tried to do something more interesting than 'robot stuff'. I like 'robot stuff' the same way I like butter – as an ingredient. People on this site asking for full tubs of butter to devour every month and in every format will never stop looking freaky to me.

    As to the topic of the thread, my top three are:

    1) Ending their first continuity. I think there are better approaches to a refresh.

    2) All Hail Megatron. An unworkable concept (it made no sense that the Decepticons didn't manage to pave over earth and exterminate all life in the first three issues), badly plotted, airdropped into the middle of a continuity without preparation.

    3) Trying to market an ongoing comic as a bunch of standalone miniseries, on multiple occasions.
     
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  13. JustAnotherCassette

    JustAnotherCassette Lurker no more

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    While I can't say I liked everything IDW did (or is currently doing), I gotta hand it to them for taking risks with the franchise, and that's where I personally see comics fitting into the whole spectrum of Transformers fiction. The "exciting robot stuff" is undoubtedly the bread & butter of the franchise and I like it too (we're all here because we like that!), but don't we get that all the time from the many many cartoons and live action movies anyway? I see comics as being the best medium to deliver Transformer stories that step outside of that box.

    I was listening to a panel the other day where the speaker was a person who wrote for both animation and comics (sorry I don't remember the name), and he said something like, in a comic you can destroy the world fifteen times in a single issue. But in an animated series you have to be thinking about "budget per minute" and so you're much more limited in what you can do.

    In Transformers terms, I guess you could put it as the difference between the medium that can go full Scioli (that Tom Scioli series is one of my favorite things to come out of IDW) and the medium that has to kill off characters because you can't afford their celebrity voice actors anymore, or can only depict an "army" of five Autobots because it costs so much per character to animate. I'm not saying one medium is better than the other, but comic writers are probably much less restricted by budgetary concerns than the writers of an animated show or a movie. And so that's why I want my comics to be risky and different and yeah sometimes weird, because it's less likely that cartoons and movies can afford to be that way.
     
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  14. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    No, actually, we don't. We haven't had really good, gripping TF action in a long time. The Bay films were mindless, Aligned was a waste of time, and Cyberverse is Cyberverse. The Netflix shows have been the worst TF media since the Machinima shows, which were the worst TF media since the Energon cartoon. If you want good ol' fashioned Transformers, you either gotta build a time machine or make shit up on your own, because the franchise has been creatively desolate for several years now.

    "Excitement" is a lot more nuanced than just action and movement. (though it helps) It's not just guns shooting and characters hitting each other. It has to be gripping, organic, and fun. It has to have life and heart to it in ways that are hard to describe but easy to understand. IDW tried to experiment, and that's admirable, but after a while it became formulaic and empty, with no spark of earnestness that seemed to just come naturally to shows like BW or TFA, and even Prime more than a few times.

    My problem is that IDW really didn't step outside the box that much. It stepped outside the box initially, but then immediately built a new box around it and refused to leave, and the few times it did stick its foot out it was straight into the mud. It became so ingrained in its own tropes and formulas that outrageous things happening became the norm, but it never established any sense of stability or identity. (at least not a good one IMO)

    This is actually a great quote, and a fantastic analogy for what I meant in that last sentence.

    Limitations often produce the most creative solutions. Hell, that's what made BW so well-liked. They didn't have the budget for new characters and concepts each episode, so it had to become about the characters they had and their interplay. Sure you can destroy the world fifteen times in an issue, but then suddenly you no longer care if the world is destroyed because it happens so often. Meanwhile a TV show can't do that, so the one time the world gets destroyed feels so much more important. Scope is crucial to establishing dramatic stakes.

    Frivolous excess is not the same as excitement. Restraint and adversity is, because it forces the creative people in charge (if they are creative) to focus their stories and scope into something manageable. That's one of the reasons Prime fell flat, because it constantly wanted the scope of something it could never be. So like you said, characters were killed off because their actors were too expensive, or more often game-changing events resulting in little actually staying changed because budget wouldn't allow it. Beast Wars didn't have the world ending every episode, Animated didn't bring in a new character each week, instead they just had the same small cast dealing with comparatively small problems and it worked.

    IDW constantly brought in new faces, killed old ones, had some ridiculous thing happen, and it all felt meaningless in the end. MTMTE especially had characters die, either fake-out or actually expire, so often, I was so completely numb by the end and I didn't realize Skids had actually died. My eyes had glazed over and the formula of his sacrifice played so often I had to go back through the pages to actually make sure he died-died.
     
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  15. Zyro47

    Zyro47 Active Member

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    Glad I'm not the only one . Have to agree with the rest of your post too. When I reread IDW, i always stop before AHM just because everything afterwards was just so draining. I didn't really care about the focus characters, and those I did care about were either killed, forgotten, or turned into completely different bots by the end *cough Shockwave, Hunter, Spike, Sunstreaker, Hot Rod, Optimus freaking Prime, Starscream, Soundwave, Skids, Cyclonus, Galvatron, Tailgate, The Combaticons post-TAO, Thundercracker after he got Buster, and many more cough*. I would say Megatron and the DJD, but I didn't care for them from the start.

    When I started reading IDW, there was a sense of hope and curiosity, I always saw it praised, but by the end of Unicron, I just felt genuinely empty. And this was the first time this franchise had really made me feel like that. But it sadly wasn't the last(Machinima, RID2015, Netflix, and TLK). Just to be clear, I caught up with those long after they were released.

    Maybe I'm just not gelling with the new direction this brand is moving in. Maybe the only thing that's kept my interest is a nostalgic feeling from over a decade ago. Overall, I would say that I haven't truly enjoyed any of the media that's been released since the end of Prime, which I don't think was entirely good, but I can still point at many things I liked(something I struggle to do with most of IDW1). I suppose it could be a part of the general burnout I feel with life itself, but I'm unsure. I'm rambling so I'll just stop...
     
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  16. noblekale

    noblekale There can be only one!

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    In my opinion, the worst thing they did was limit More Than Meets The Eye with the knights storyline. Rather, Rodimus should have said "Hey, you're going to rule Cybertron, good for you bee. We're going to go out, explore, find lost outposts and missing 'bots and bring them back." It could easily have played out like a Star Trek series, with the overall theme exploration, but substories to build up to the next big bad coming. Then with Dark Cybertron, they could have kept it going, and still have Megatron. Rodimus: "Look at that, missing colonies! We're going to go find more." Optimus: "Alright, but Megatron wants to be an Autobot, so take him with you as an ambassador. If he refuses to help, you know he's lying. If he tries anything, put a fusion bolt in his head."

    Also, relationships. It's not that I thought they were bad, but it opened a door they could have used to make them actually feel more alien, but they didn't. We had lovers and best friends, and in a way nemeses, but they failed to capitalize on it. Get creative, they could easily have developed it with Cyclonus and Whirl as a form of extreme Yami/Seto syndrome. Give us such a hatred that they're willing to destroy the entire ship just to take out one person.

    Finally, they introduced ideas but dropped them or just waved them off. Let's be honest, they wanted to explain why a couple of bots used conjux endura? Why not have that be a prerequisite for using the spark splice technique? They hinted it was possible, they could have shown that a couple could siphon off a bit of their sparks, combine it to create a new spark, and inject it into a blank protoform. They're robots with souls, expand on that. Show us what makes them aliens vs just humans in metal suits.
     
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  17. Triceradon

    Triceradon Well-Known Member

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    This perfectly crystallizes my thoughts on early IDW. Furman was onto something great with the Infiltration protocols, hints of a galactic Cold War but focused strongly on Earth, and a greater emphasis on robots in disguise. Then he got high on his own supply, and started introducing space operatics in the first act.

    Say what you will about AHM and the Costa run and MTME/LL, all of IDW1's problems can at least partially be traced to the continuity's opening act being such a jumbled mess of cosmic threats and MacGuffins. There is little attempt to establish how this world operates beyond a few spotlights, and half of what we see is ridiculous. There's no solid foundation for a world that isn't lurching from one UNIVERSE-ENDING EVENT to another. If there had been a greater effort on Furman's part to establish a more believable world, so much of later IDW's weirdness could have been avoided.

    Honestly? I have a huge soft-spot for the Costa run, because at the very least it tried to return to what Infiltration was setting up. Robots in disguise.
     
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  18. axiant

    axiant Autobot paper pusher!

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    Yeah please stop lumping women into a "one size fits all".
    Some of us actually grew up watching He-Man, Transformers and other robot shows/anime along with She-Ra, Carebears, My little Pony.
    I didn't come to Transformers for another Valentine's Day Special. Heck, if wanted to watch shipping then I'd rather just watch reruns of The Girl who Loved PowerGlide, Sea Change or Daimos. At least those were LMAO bad:lolol 

    IDW shipping isn't even funny. It's just stupid and unnecessary most of the time.
     
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  19. Swerve

    Swerve Well-Known Member

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    You touch upon another very cogent point here, actually, which is to say that there's another good reason why Transformers comics shouldn't overly focus on romance arcs- and it's nothing to do with devaluing romance as a genre. Love stories and war stories are both equally valid forms of escapism, and of course there's room for some overlap, because things don't exist in isolation- but a writer who is skilled and experienced at telling a good war story may not necessarily be a skilled writer of romance.

    Look at "Attack of the Clones". For people who like Star Wars; which, of course, not everybody does, by a long shot, the usual brand of fight sequences, space stuff, mysticism, and droid comedy are all present, of course, but very few have a good word to say for the love story between Angstkin and Padme, not because "ewww, romance is icky", but because it's clumsily written, cringe-inducingly telegraphed, and patently outside the authorial skillset of the writer.

    As above, so below. "More than Meets the Eye" actually managed what I'd say was a pretty good romantic relationship with Rewind and Chromedome, most of the time, but Cyclonus and Tailgate felt forced, and Ratchet and Drift even more so. Both- to this reader anyway- felt misguided not because there's anything wrong with Ratchet having a relationship, or with Drift having a relationship, or with the other two either, to avoid repetition- but because they felt like Roberts either taking it far too fast- for one, Tailgate hadn't reached emotional maturity, and for another, the two hadn't had enough time simply being close, before it turned romantic, or, in the Ratchet and Drift case, taking a love which wasn't romantic and shoehorning it into being romantic love, just because he appeared to think that was necessary to make it seem important. Ratchet and Drift as true companions, Amica Endurae, and having become inseparable in the years after "Lost Light", that would have been fine- but somehow, developing it into romantic love just felt forced and, well, wrong.
     
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  20. Hail Galvatron

    Hail Galvatron Well-Known Member

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    I don't think George Lucas understands human beings.