Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by B u m b l e b e e, Feb 16, 2019.
Did anyone else think of the Peter Gabriel song when they read the title?
Coincidentally the Dreamwave books came out 20 years ago during a completely different time and market. =)
Marvel didn't ever really touch on the politics. I don't think Marvel UK did much either.
No, I read it all. Dreamwave was a shallow story that never did anything prolific other than ride nostalgia with cheap pops, consistently comprised of "oh look, this character showed up" while holding up the Please Applaud sign. It never thought more than 6 issues ahead of itself at a time.
IDW meanwhile had a story that was woven into its narrative that unfolded over the course of a decade of comics. So I'm not sure what you mean when you say they weren't planning for the future. The only thing Dreamwave planned for down the line was in the back pocket of Pat Lee when he was stealing and tucking away his own companies assets to keep him rich after the whole thing went under.
Being "close to sunbow" is a death knell for anyone trying to keep a franchise alive today. Love it or not, the g1 cartoon didnt age well, and anyone trying to do nothing but recreate that is doomed to failure 30+ years later.
Ok so if you read my post then you didn’t comprehend what I posted. I’m not waving a banner for Dreamwave, nor am I championing a complete rehash of sunbow. I’d just like a return to the Sunbow continuity with more adult complex stories and actual writing where things happen. The new IDW continuity is absolute rubbish. Dreamwave, for all its faults, sold well and looked far more polished.
More actiony? Yes. But it's impossible to name Dreamwave continuity more polished than, well... Pretty much anything but Sunbow and Marvel G1. Also, Sunbow doesn't fit with anything complex or adult. That's just asking for fanwank appealing only to G1 cartoon diehards.
Especially since Sunbow was never meant to be anything complex or adult. It was always meant to be a fun show that got kids to like the characters so they'd buy the toys and it did that very well. It was also a fun Saturday morning cartoon in itself.
That doesn't mean the show doesn't contain ideas that are worth digging up and using in more mature works. For example, the complicated relationship between Omega Supreme and the Constructicons could never be given its full dues due to the show's limitations and nature but it would be well-suited for a comic that doesn't have those limitations and have certain advantages by not being a purely visual medium (i.e. The ability to use thoughts).
I don't know if that's entirely true. A lot of the Sunbow elements could be refitted to reach a more mature audience today, especially by going through all of the Season 1-3 and Japanese show lore and managing to get them to work together instead of having a bunch of conflicting plot elements.
For example, if you go through and review the origin story, it wouldn't be TOO hard to finally tell a more complex narrative going off of the basic bones of Quintessons either creating or finding Vector Sigma to create Transformers as consumer goods and/or military hardware. Like all good AI produced as product storylines, there's a rebellion that later turned inwards into a civil war - with one faction popping off into space ala Headmasters only to come back later post-Unicron.
I've been all for brand new directions for the IP - basically have loved (or at least enjoyed) most everything save RID and the UT trilogy if only because the tonal shift to a more shounen anime style wasn't my thing, but I wouldn't mind someone going back and trying to "redo" seasons 1-3 staying true to the big plot points and settings but updating the dialogue, motivations and plot complexity.
I guess the biggest problem you'd run into is that there wasn't really much of a plot arc to seasons 1-2 at all. The format was 'Decepticons do a bad, Autobots defeat them'. So you'd be importing the set-up and the characters, but then you'd need to make a whole new plan for how to get to the events of the movie.
I think if you borrowed from Furman's IDW period it could work: have the Autobots and Decepticons starting out undercover and getting to know Earth's culture, and the Decepticons influencing events at a political level. I wouldn't mind seeing more evidence on the characters' abilities when in vehicle form, and also on how they might choose these forms in order to infiltrate certain areas of human culture.
Yeah, but being a little lean on plot is not a big deal. Plenty of cartoons have followed the idea of plot-filled bookends with generally screwing around in the middle for each season. TF Animated did it, for example. MLP: FiM does it to great effect. So if you follow the format of Plot - Character Development - Plot, or Plot - Anthology With Contributing Elements - Plot, you can still have a more "mature" show (i.e. something comparable to today's cartoon narratives, bereft of Hoist Going to Hollywood or random-ass Purple Griffins) without having to make this completely ornate narrative like Last Airbender/Korra.
The trick with the OG series is that if you actually went through and applied "show don't tell" to the opening narration, you could actually get a halfway decent season 1, which is what things like the War/Fall of Cybertron games tried (and generally did an ok job) doing -
"Many millions of years ago, on the planet Cybertron, life existed, but not life as we know it today. Intelligent robots that could think and feel inhabited the cities. They were called Autobots and Decepticons. But the brutal Decepticons were driven by a single goal: total domination. They set out to destroy the peace-loving Autobots, and a war between the forces of good and evil raged across Cybertron."
It's a brief enough thumbnail, but the way I see it, it's kind of like when you're a kid and your teacher tells you: "Okay, class. The American Civil War was caused by slavery." Then when you're in high school and college they fill in the blanks.
In other words, hit the big points with all the freedom in the world to have fun with the concept. I don't think @hendrijr or myself conceive of a show that's this grimdark hellscape or some overly baroque space opera or some miserably stupid rehash of Sunbow, warts and all. Hell, something that offered up something fun, action packed, but slightly more complex like the ill-fated Motorcity would be great.
Bonus points if someone re-imagined Wreck-Gar as the Duke of Detroit:
Now, just hold on there ... isn't this Ruckley's very pitch, minus one dead Headmaster? ;-)
...has Ruckley actually shown me anything?
Unless you're equating "dead headmaster" with "press X to punch Megatron with a city". Then yes.
Since we've now got Devastator on board, I reckon city-fisticuffs can't be too far off. Maybe it will all fit neatly as a WfC prequel.
The thing about Ruckley is that while his story seems boring, what we've seen of his response to the fans seems... I dunno. Nice? He seems to acknowledge the complaints so it's hard for me to get upset at him, coupled with the fact that there's little in his work to be upset at. Sure he seems to use the characters interchangeably, but he's just starting. I'm willing to continue letting him get his bearings for a while given the perceived upbeat attitude he's conveying to the fanbase.
Some of it he can't really do much about - the art they saddled his book with conveys no emotional nuance, insofar as everyone is very blocky and dull looking. Any emotional gravitas he's trying to set forth isn't translating. So as you're aware, while in a game you can have yelling, screaming, and dynamic explosions to convey the story, Ruckley's book's emotional depth is conveyed by the art version of Aubrey Plaza on a fistfull of Norco while wearing a sheet on her head and that's hardly his fault.
If we can't get nuance, we need action. And so I hope you're right - we could use a decent punch up and not that embarrassingly lame little Sixshot/Chromia school hall scuffle or the ongoing game of "Tackle Cyclonus" we've been getting thus far.
As a side note, I never got why they named the killoff character "Rubble". Who names a kid something that's more or less a synonym for garbage? That's just messed up.
I'm terribly sorry, but I can't disagree with any of this.
It's a complete head-scratcher to me why they didn't front-load the book with the best art they could buy, and go for a double-length issue that introduced a bunch of fan-favourite cameos - even simply as a lure, as a facade for what was really in the pipeline. Instead we got the kind of issue I'd expect maybe a year into a run on a book, which no one really rates but which arrives at a point where the readership is grit-teethedly determined to get to the end of. I genuinely want to know what the thinking was here, because it suggests there's something I don't understand about the business of selling comics.
God damn it, @Focksbot. Don't you know you're supposed to provide me with a well thought out argument that I disagree with so I can distract myself from the drudgery of my job!?
Anyways, not to be one of those conspiracy nuts, but perhaps given the overall attitude towards the later IDW1 TF books, IDW decided to not place a lot of investment into the art on the basis that they weren't willing to spend high dollar on something they didn't think was going to make it anyways? It would also go hand in hand as to why they placed a non-comic writer on the book, too. In short, they put low investment on a book that's basically little more than a toy tie in at this point. Perhaps it was risk aversion, or maybe even spite if Hasbro walked in the door and pulled a Bill Lumbergh and said "Yeah... if you could use all our character designs and only follow Hasbro approved plot points, that'd be great".
Although I do like the series and enjoy the story, I will admit the art could be better, especially for the case of the primary artist, Angel Hernandez. He either seems to find drawing Transformers somewhat difficult or due to the bi-weekly schedule for the first 12 issues, and the fact he has to draw most of the pages could mean he’s had a rush a bit.
While his artwork in this series is acceptable, it does clash with the other artists, and it does miss some detail. When you compare his work on Transformers #11:
...with his other work on Star Trek/Green Lantern The Spectrum War, I think the difference is noticeable:
The funny thing is that I don't dislike the style used. The problem is that the style used is not suited for a comic like this. The talking can't just be conveyed; it needs to be dynamic in its own way. Think of it like this: actors don't all stand or move in the same way. They consider the personality of the character they are playing and incorporates that into their body language. That's one of the problems with this choice of art for this kind of book: it's not just that the facial expressions aren't expressive enough. It's that their body language isn't expressive enough either.
Take the whole segment in issue two where they are seeing the body and talking about the case. The whole thing's got a real bad case of passive faces and passive body language.
Example: the shot at them staring at the body, the first murder in a long, long time.
Why do they all have the same reaction to it?
Why are we seeing this from above? Windblade is having a strong reaction to something and we are not being shown her expression. There's no reason to draw this like we're a drone looking down on them from above.
Here's Quake tearing someone's arm off in a panel that conveys neither the brutality nor power nor the quick movement of such an action.
Really? I couldn't tell. That's not what wonder looks like on a child's face. It's a complete underreaction and if you look closely it actually resembles irritation meaning it looks less like Rubble saw the most amazing thing he'd ever seen in his life and more like he felt he got seriously gipped and was saying that line sarcastically, especially with emphasis on ever.
You made me climb eleven flights of stairs for this, Bumblebee.
It doesn't even have wings.
You lied to me, Wheeljack.
Sara Pitre-Durocher's art, as seen in issue twelve, works much, much better, including because the comic goes for more interesting angles and it does it without sacrificing things like character reactions.
That said, the art has definitely gotten better. Seriously, compare issue eleven to issue one. The former feels so much more alive. Heck, compare issue four to issue one and you'll notice a difference. It's not as stark but it's there.
To be honest, the art was never any deal-breaker. It takes some truly awful art for me to drop a story regardless of its quality so my real issue has always laid with the story or more accurately, with its execution and structure. The ideas themselves I think are just fine. The art just didn't help and in some ways contributed to the comic's aversion to showing things. For example, we hear that aliens frequent Cybertron and live among its robot natives but it's not until the third issue that we actually see aliens on the street despite the second issue being set predominantly in the city.
1) This post made me laugh out loud, literally. That doesn't happen often.
2) I agree with you. About everything.
3) I noticed that this guy draws two faces in the samples you and @Ismaeel Kamal provided. Namely, a neutral face that conveys nothing and a face where everyone's mouth looks like this:
Sarah’s art was amazing. I wish she was the main artist on all of these issues tbh. Looking back at issue 12, I might actually like her style more than Milne’s in 13.
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