Grumpy old G1 fan reads IDW - in order!

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Ryan F, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Stryker055

    Stryker055 History Man Extraordinare

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    I remember when the first solicits for "The Death of Optimus Prime" came out and everyone was collectively eye-rolling so hard that the Earth's orbit shifted slightly, so when the issue came out and it turned out to be a more figurative death, many people (myself included) were pleasantly surprised when the actual story turned out to be something really fresh and inventive (for the franchise, at least).

    I totally get your criticisms, but I also think a lot of what made DoOP such a big splash back in the day was that it felt fresh, different, and promising after years of Costa's slog. I think reading it now, in sequence immediately after reading everything else, makes it a very different experience. Of course, this means that the comic's positive buzz maybe relies more on the context in which it was released than the content of the issue itself, but that sort of "objective" viewpoint is sort of the point of this thread.

    That being said, I think this issue will feel a lot better in hindsight, since almost every little character bit and off-hand mention in DoOP will be elaborated on in one way or another in one of the ongoings. Either way, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on them as we enter the "Golden Age" of IDW!
     
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  2. gregles

    gregles quintesson

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    I have to admit that at this stage I felt pretty similarly and getting a bit fatigued by how convoluted Idw had became and wasn't ready for another load of set-up issues having been let down so many times before but my early suspicions faded very quickly.

    I definetly thought I was going to enjoy robots in disguise way more than more than meets the eye as I tend to go for political dramas like the wire and game of thrones rather than space quest stuff like star Treck and red dwarf and a year in I was an unrepentant MTMTE fanboy and rid's most jaded critic.

    Really looking forward to seeing how this thread goes from here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
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  3. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    I did like the way the title reflects more the death of Optimus Prime the figure than it did Optimus Prime the person. Because that's really more of what this issue is about. Optimus Prime's death as a figurehead for the war, and the death of Optimus Prime the warrior, as he comes to terms with the fact that he no longer has a place in a peaceful Cybertron (which will later get expanded on in the current ongoing comics).

    Also something you might find interesting, is that Optimus' speech to the NAILS in this issue is essentially him answering every question he poses in Chaos Theory to the Senate. Ie: in whose interests he exercises his power, to whom he is held accountable, and how they can get rid of him.

    I too had the same interest in RID over MTMTE when the comics first started, but after just a few issues MTMTE definitely became my favourite of the two.

    I think as far as pilot issues go, the first issue of MTMTE does a much better job in that regard, as it's the comic that introduces the characters, while the DOOP focuses more on introducing the current status quo.
     
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  4. bullettrain

    bullettrain Master Investigator

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    Optimus Prime is dead. Long live Orion Pax!
     
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  5. RNSrobot

    RNSrobot Keeper of the Waspinator Swarm. Blam.

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    Hooray we're here!

    I don't think the rating is unfair when viewing the story as a single story and its successes. It's doing a lot of heavy lifting and not necessarily always as elegant as it could. Albeit, as already noted, it may spend a lot of time on prime but I agree with the take that it's doing so in order to bring Prime's story --- and in a sense, the war --- to a close. Or at least a new normal. We can't just abandon prime. The first issues of both ongoings, obviously, are better able to start telling their own stories.

    Still, there is so much going in on doop and it's fascinating. As Stryker notes, this issue after YEARS of idw, YEARS of Costa and McCarthy, would have a different impact than reading in the trade. I can see how this particular story wouldn't feel quite as significant in trade.

    Mostly, though, it's a question of: what next? And at the time who the hell knew. Ok, prime is out, Cybertron is back if ravaged, the war is... Over? Did anybody believe for a second the war was over for more than a minute before something would reignite it? I mean, this is huge. But first we need to actually get the stories out of the armistice.

    I was pretty much entirely off the IDW tf book train at the time, barely even reading the wiki for the garbage. I rolled my eyes at the "end" of the war, y'know? It wasnt long before I checked out rid and mtmte and boy, it was a stunning change. I have a feeling Ryan might end up more critical than expected, but damn if we're not about to get into some great material.
     
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  6. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out!

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    Didn't realise I was being left-field! Coming into this fresh means I have no idea what the 'fan-consensus' is on these issues (other than the fact that the Roberts stuff is highly-acclaimed). I just call 'em as I see 'em! It does say 'grumpy' in the thread title!

    Possibly there's an element of that? To be honest, while the name has changed on the writer credit, at the moment this doesn't feel that far removed from the Costa stuff. Obviously it's a direct continuation of Chaos, but you also have Prime sacrificing himself (like when he gave himself up to Skywatch), Rodimus going off on his own, the Autobots being hounded by an angry mob (like the humans with the mini Megatron guns in the Costa stories), and more time being spent on plot mechanics (i.e. putting the pieces in place) than on character work. I mentioned the TNG pilot episode, 'Encounter at Farpoint' in my review (because I only re-watched it recently), and one of the things it gets right, straight from the off, is the little character bits, from Picard being an arse to Riker, to Data trying to be human, to Wesley being annoying. Whilst DOOP is big on Prime, the likes of Bumblebee, Rodimus etc. don't really get much in the way of an intro. Presumably this was intended to be a bit of a jumping-on point for new readers, but if I was a new reader I think I would have liked more of a reason to care about these characters than what this issue gives us. Maybe the fact that Roberts co-wrote Chaos (and helped Costa with continuity and stuff in other issues) makes the transition seem a little more natural and smoother than it has been in the past.

    Oh, wow, I didn't notice that - that's pretty neat!

    As for the titular 'Death' being a metaphorical one... yeah, after all the various Prime deaths throughout history, having him not die is probably a neat twist. But I've been burnt in the past by such promises (especially in Doctor Who, where the promised 'deaths' of Rose and Donna both ended up being metaphorical ones), that my cold, dead heart is now immune to such shenanigans.
     
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  7. RNSrobot

    RNSrobot Keeper of the Waspinator Swarm. Blam.

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    Please continue to be "left-field." It's what makes these reviews worthwhile and the discussion more interesting. :) 
     
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  8. Omegashark18

    Omegashark18 Combaticon turned Autobot

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    How do you plan on reading the two series? Issue to issue or volume to volume?
     
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  9. RNSrobot

    RNSrobot Keeper of the Waspinator Swarm. Blam.

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    He's been reading the giant omnibus collections to date, yes? What order do the phase trades have the books in?
     
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  10. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

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    You're suffering from the same problem I was; I was looking at story potential and there is a ton of it in RID. West Wing meets Rome kind of storytelling. But no, it's not. I actually gave up on RID not because they do something wrong (though they do have a plot that makes no sense at all later), but because of how downright wasted it all is. A few characters whine about each other and then a sudden at that point silent majority makes things happen that we don't see any of the moving parts to and then we go back to the whining. Rinse and repeat.

    MTMTE starts out with a bang, lays down the groundwork to half a dozen plots, then slowly winds around, having fun and giving us more pieces, until we get some resolution to old plots and introduction to new ones. Not every one of those is pitch perfect (IMHO, and most peoples), but at least there's a direction and phases of the story, along with some constant characterization and reveals.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  11. RNSrobot

    RNSrobot Keeper of the Waspinator Swarm. Blam.

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    Careful man, that's almost spoilers, but also. We don't want to prejudice Ryan to much either way. :) 
     
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  12. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    No spoilers, only flashbacking.

    I remember in the announcement and immediate follow-up to DoOP, given Chaos Theory in the recent past, that when Roberts was announced as the writer of the "Autobots go off on an adventure" series and Barber as writer of the "Cybertronian politics" series, quite a few just straight-up refused to believe it. Misprint, obviously.

    Then when the reality sunk in, it was bemoaned as a great mistake and missed opportunity.

    Just re-invoking the zeitgeist. :) 
     
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  13. T.F. Allen

    T.F. Allen Formerly known as Krem

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    To be fair, MTMTE does get very political in certain issues.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  14. The Madness

    The Madness News Credits: -13

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    I really appreciate your reviews Ryan, and hope you continue to be as 'left-field' or non-'left field' as you like.
    You've found glimmers of interest in stories I haven't appreciated, likewise, you've caught faults in other stories that weren't apparent to me at the time.

    This thread is an interesting experiment in many ways. Since the thread's inception I have been interested in the play between the eager teases by many of the commentators and how this might affect your expectations going in to a particular story. Most posters are courteous enough not to spoil details, but will often allude to upcoming events, whether plot points are relevant in the future, or something interesting or dumb is about to happen. I can't help but remember back to when Beast Machines first aired. I watched the first episode, didn't think much of it and let the series go, only reading commentary about it. A few years later I watched as much as I could in one setting and armed with the expectation that it would be horrible, I actually enjoyed it. Your reviews of LSOTW were thoughtful and comparatively sober compared to many others I have seen, I wonder sometimes whether this is a result of your ability for analysis or whether you were denied the 'discovery' of a book with a different take.

    Like some of the others here, I didn't think DoOP was all that great as a stand-alone story, but it was the beginning of a new regime with ample potential. It's worthwhile to note the online MTMTE marketing campaign at the time was starting to ramp up in hype, which is something that you may be missing in this format. The promise of mysteries pertaining to small details were offered, keeping many of us curious of the possibilities.
     
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  15. gregles

    gregles quintesson

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    Reading MTMTE alongside the online community here greatly increased my enjoyment of those comics as we spent ages coming up with (usually crazy and paranoid) conspiracy theories as to where the story lines would lead and the general atmosphere was positive compared to the transformers prime forums at the time which where toxic at the best of times so the differences in the comic forums seemed like an extremely refreshing change.
     
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  16. Digilaut

    Digilaut Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I actually liked DoOP more than you it seems, Ryan. Either way, you've finally come to the point I've been lurking this thread for: the Barber/Roberts era. Really interested to see your opinions on that! Keep these awesome reviews coming!
     
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  17. Trek

    Trek Well-Known Member

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    Well it's taken me 2 days, but I'm finally caught up in this thread, just in time to see you review RID & MTMTE. Excellent. I can't wait. :) 
     
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  18. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    You know, when MtMtE and RiD were announced, I really thought I was going to prefer the latter, since it was going to be a book about Cybertron politics, and I was bummed Roberts wasn't writing that one, given Chaos Theory and Eugenesis. Ultimately, I ended up preferring MtMtE by a Cybertronian furlong.
     
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  19. Noxex

    Noxex Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's a pretty big difference from what I assume the consensus is. I'd go 4/5 or 5/5.
     
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  20. RNSrobot

    RNSrobot Keeper of the Waspinator Swarm. Blam.

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    Talking about the writing and all, whatever, but let's not overlook Roche's art. It's gorgeous. I wonder why he hasn't actually gotten a stint as penciller on any of the ongoings. The delays sins were hit with aren't exemplar of his normal pace (and are really sad, of course).

    I think sometimes Roche gets overlooked for his role in crafting mtmte. He's co-creator and came up with a number of the redesigns. Really, the artists get overlooked too often. Milne worked with those designs, gave his own iconic spin, and then further contributed his own designs that all became part of the visual language of mtmte.
     
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