Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by TFFan01, Jun 27, 2021.
What can be improved?
Tighter character focus, spend more time with the characters in settings seperate from the main plot, tighter dialogue/less dialogue more focus on visuals, more lore unique to the comic/less aligned continuity lore and cherrypicked tfwiki articles to turn into lore, fewer character introductions, more time spent of fleshing out characters like Cyclonus so when he has to make a choice we can see the chain of events that brought him/them to make that choice, greater variety of character roles-- ie more civilian roles and fewer introductions to sec-ops to show the diversity of culture this setting is obviously trying to convey, fewer cheeky obscure additions like CarZap as they only pad out the cast, put more emphasis on the fantasy elements and make it a more recognizable part of the comic's overall aesthetic, develop a stronger semblance of themes both within individual issues and in greater arcs, show an understanding that trying to make a comic like this apolitical just results in either losing control of the subtext or not offering enough in the way of themes, never doing Galaxies again. The tradeoff was not worth that Ultra Magnus.
Agreed with Coffee. Tighter character focus.
The first few issues were set up as though this was a toy commercial for Siege, but we're already at the point where we're pulling in characters from Titans Return and Combiner Wars, RID2015, Animated, Prime, G2 and Beast Machines. And they're not even from other colonies, they're just normal Cybertronians. It's jarring.
Beast Machines bugs me in particular. Strika and Obsidian do not gel with the G1 aesthetic, and would be better off appearing late in the Beast Wars series. If they're going to appear in G1 at all, I'd rather what they did with Hooligan, and take a G2 character and give him a G1 body (in his case, a Siege tetrajet). At least then he looks like he belongs.
The glacial pace is also pretty annoying. Issue 31 began with a time skip, but they're still on Cybertron, still no closer to Cybertron's core being irreversibly damaged, still no closer to the Energon running out, and they're starting an Exarchon arc? For what possible purpose? It's gonna be 100 issues in before they even get to the bloody Ark.
I didn't think they would do the four million year war in real time.
Basically everything Coffee said. I get what Ruckley is trying to go for by embracing the massive cast of characters Transformers already has and using it to explore the universe as a whole, and that's far from the worst take on the mythos I've seen, but it results in a lack of any meaningful focus. Stuff is going on all across the map and it does a number on my ability to stay invested on any one thing. Also, Ruckley can afford to be a little more creative and introduce new ideas-- stuff like the organic aliens living on Cybertron are actually a pretty solid start, but the problem is that's all he's really added to the mix, the rest of it feeling like he skimmed TFWiki for ideas (this being especially obvious when he has characters say stuff like "oh Halonix Maximus and Preditron fought here at one point.") And this is a major one for me-- a bit more aesthetic consistency would be nice. I'm not talking about the art style, I don't mind a bit of diversity there... though I'm frankly not a fan of Angel Hernandez's work... but the fact that characters from a wide variety of different series have been thrown in the pot together with zero regard for clashing aesthetics bugs me. Part of this, from what I can tell, stems from the fact that Hasbro is terrible at providing reference material, so the artist's best bet is to Google image search whatever character they need to draw, and it shows. Milne, at least, made redesigns for all of the characters that showed up in the annual so they all feel like they belong in the same book, but the same cannot be said for the main title. I know not everyone can be Alex Milne, but it's distracting.
The whole "Immersant" thing was another cool idea. The idea that Cybertronians--who are functionally immortal--would choose to die (more or less) once they've accomplished everything they wanted to in life and return back to some form of "oneness" with Primus was awesome. I love the imagery of the landscape littered with half-buried faces and Decepticon bases made out of hollowed-out Titans. Love it. I want more of that.
I'd say don't retail the same story over again, throw in some curveballs, like Megatron gets killed off and replace.
Lighten up. Not everything has to be super serious all the time. There can be light-hearted character moments that don't feel like a My Little Pony comic too.
How can it be improved? Cancel it
dont make a MTMTE equivalent.
I'm gonna contradict this, but one thing I'd like to see (it's too late now of course) is for them to actually explain Micromasters and Headmasters. Right now every Headmaster is a normal Transformer, and every Micromaster is normal-sized, and every Pretender is a normal robot, but I'd like to see a sort of technological leap forward where they actually have characters like Chromedome bonding with Nebulans, characters like Visper being downsized, Bludgeon adopting a technorganic shell hiding his robot form within.
Post-Furman, the old IDW continuity pretty much abandoned those concepts, but I'd like to see what could happen if they actually developed as technological advances during wartime.
So far, the only thing they've really touched on is Action Masters getting mode-locked from using Nucleon.
8 posts, ladies and gentlemen. It took 8 posts for the inevitable response. Gotta admit, I was expecting it a little sooner.
Just gonna throw this out there, but what you're talking about is precisely why I despise the Enigma of Combination as a concept. I feel there's a lot more mileage you can get out of a gestalt arms race where the combiners get progressively smarter and more effective. There's precedent for that in the toy bios and the like, too. Devastator was the first, a barely controllable rampaging monster of a gestalt, with the Stunticons being the first of a new breed and even more chaotic as a whole. Superion is the first Autobot combiner, but not without his own flaws-- in order to function he suppresses all of the competing voices in his head, leaving him kind of an emotionless husk. Bruticus is a lot easier to control than his predecessors, but it's to a fault as he's dumb as a post. Defensor represents a breakthrough, being a well-adjusted gestalt with a clearly established personality, and the likes of Abominus aside he kind of sets the standard for all the gestalts that come after. Predaking and Piranacon are both the results of groups that work incredibly well together (to the point that Snaptrap had to install a timer on Piranacon to ensure that they'd separate) and Computron represents the first gestalt that has a genius-level intellect. From there on out, every combiner is pretty much Defensor-tier in terms of intelligence.
Anyways, yeah, actually getting to see various gimmicks crop up as the result of wartime innovations would be super cool. You already brought up Micromasters and Pretenders (for energy efficiency and hazard protection, respectively) but I could see weird gimmicks like the Laser Rods being the result of equipping some 'bots with specialized battery packs that allow them to energize their weapons by holding them, eliminating the need for ammunition, or weird stuff like the Trakkons/Lightformers lugging around highly experimental, if unwieldy, weapons packs that could later be developed into what the Turbomasters have on them. Part of this probably stems from me being a Gundam fan, but I am an absolute sucker for this kind of thing, getting to watch as a weapon or tool evolves and becomes more effective and commonly used as time goes on.
Rodimus waking up under the shower and it was all just a dream.
The Lost Light bursting in having travelled across dimensions and disrupting everything and everyone. Written by James Roberts.
And it's a quick, snarky response that doesn't really provide any substantial critique.
You're free to dislike the new continuity, because it's definitely got its share of problems. Its slow burn was far too slow (taking an entire year to get the war started, for instance), Ruckley is pretty clearly relying on TFWiki quite heavily for material to work with, and the dialogue is on the whole overly verbose and formal, but there are things I've come to like about it, chiefly the worldbuilding. The reasoning for the war ultimately boils down to Nominus and the other Primes not thinking far enough ahead in their political machinations, which honestly is far more interesting to me than just "All of the primes were evil except for Optimus, and even then Optimus is kinda iffy and we're going to have Windblade insult him at his own funeral." Furthermore, we get to see the fallout of those decisions on a pretty massive scale, as has been the case with the first Galaxies arc and the annual. Nominus' decision to exile potential threats without actually exiling them in hopes that they'd all stay on the same team is coming back to bite Cybertron in its metal ass.
Now I may be overly optimistic, but at the very least I can acknowledge the good when I see it and hope that lessons are learned there, even if this continuity does fold. For a lot of people, the bad substantially outweighs the good, and I get that, but I'd be remiss not to give credit where I feel it's due.
Stop using Stony McStoneface for art.
Stop with the boring and slow political theatre.
There. I'll take my six-figure consulting fee now.
IDW2 really should've done something to cement its own identity, even if it was only temporary. I think back to how IDW1 started with Infiltration and how unique that take was. IDW2 should've had some new spin on the Autobot/Decepticon war, not the same characters in the same roles with the same political dialogue and overtones as we just had.
It also should've started simpler and smaller. I was so detached from the new cast and landscape because it felt so unfocused. You want to work your way up in complexity, as it makes it feel like a rewarding, natural progression. IDW2 hasn't felt natural at all, it's felt forced and plodding.
And it really, really needs better art and dialogue. IDW2 is very, very difficult to read because the images just don't captivate and the characters and the things they say do not read naturally. When rebooting a universe you really ought to put out your best, but IDW2 feels like the mid-low point of IDW1 in different dressing.
Stories should be clearly compartmentalised into parts. Ruckley is writing a true ongoing series where it just keeps going and going and going. In Marvel and DC, an ongoing series was made up of different stories that were made up of a few parts but told a self-contained story of a few issues while also being part of a larger narrative. Or at least it used to be that way over in Marvel and DC. I don't know about now.
There's just no breaks to be found in Ruckley's series so far. No rest period of having come to an end of a particular story with the next issue being a continuation but the start of a new story. In the old old days, every issue was a self-contained story, sometimes having a few parts. Then writers started writing for the trade so that four or six issues told a complete story. Now often things just end because of the page count without the story feeling like its came to an end.
Better line art. Bring back Milne and Roche for the interiors, as regulars.
We saw some of that with Stormtroopers in Escape.
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