Transformers (2019-) Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Issy543, Mar 12, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Treadshot 2.0

    Treadshot 2.0 Action Master

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    4,286
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +4,560
    Okay it's been two issues and now I can't just let it go. Why is one artist just extremely average? And honestly that's charitable in my opinion. He's barely competent. All the preview pages show why. Each character is off-model on the same page. Faces are inconsistent. The bodies and proportions are inconsistent (look at Bee's body). More damning, the artist just isn't up to the task of rendering Cybertron as a place of visual splendor. Rubble SAYS it's marvelous, but we don't SEE that.

    This book needs a better artist.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. rlmiddleton

    rlmiddleton Don’t call me a member thank you very much.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Posts:
    3,433
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Likes:
    +11,720
    Ebay:
    Instagram:
    Oh don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t criticising saying it was a brutal assessment. It’s pretty much on the money so far I think. I want to enjoy it as well but like you say it looks like it’s something one might have to be willing to wait for Ruckley to get himself into- which there’s also a possibility he may never do. I think my personal limit might be eight or nine issues. If it’s still like this then I will consider dropping the title.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Posts:
    2,471
    News Credits:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +1,846
    This absolutely was an issue for me. I don't care so much about what design is being used for what; I do care when the story is like "look at the wonder," and it's just visually dull.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  4. Scoff

    Scoff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Posts:
    707
    Trophy Points:
    162
    Likes:
    +1,542
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Issy543

    Issy543 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    Posts:
    3,245
    News Credits:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Location:
    UK
    Likes:
    +4,200
    I agree with this. I'm finding this much easier to read than the previous continuity.

    I have faith in this writer.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  6. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Posts:
    2,473
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +5,047
    I've now read issue 2. (For reference, my issue 1 thoughts are here )

    Quick review:

    The cover promises us that this is a ‘bold new era’. But it isn’t, not yet, anyway. Rather than being the refreshing new take that the cover promises, this is as (little-‘c’) conservative as Transformers fiction gets.

    Issue 1 ended with a murder, in a world where murders simply do not occur. This should be earth-shattering; game-changing even. But rather than spurring events into motion, we have Rubble pondering the meaning of life, while Chromia, Prowl and Pax speculate, pontificate and ruminate. Rather than galvanising the characters into action, the murder only results in a couple of tense conversations. The conversations may be grave, but there’s very little gravity or urgency here. I’m eager to see the investigation, not watch people simply chat about one for five pages. I want to see the promised stirrings of war, but instead we get a day trip to Wheeljack’s workshop.

    Now, it’s possible that the whole moon-tether set-up will pay off in a big way down the line (and I’d be very surprised if it didn’t), but far too long was spent on these Wheeljack scenes. Both Rubble and Bumblebee note that the moon’s unfurling was the most beautiful thing they ever saw, but if the sight was supposed to be spectacular, it certainly wasn’t depicted as such by the art. If this were a film, the moon’s transformation would have been a signature moment, with rousing music, some sweeping camera movement, and some swanky CGI that took your breath away. But the art doesn’t come close to pulling it off. This should be a ‘wow’ moment, like the Space Bridge transforming into Spanner, or Unicron attacking Cybertron, or Devastator’s first combination. Instead, it was a damp squib, with no real scale or sense of awe.

    Everyone here is either a generic, a Siege toy, or a G1 stalwart. I loved when Simon Furman opened up the original IDW-verse with the Battlechargers, and both Barber and Roberts doubled down on the use of obscurer characters, but here we need a background character and they choose… Gears. Probably the most boring pick they could have come up with.

    And then we have the Decepticons (Ascenticons, whatever), whose main beef seems to be that the Energon supply is not great. There is talk of ‘hoarding’ and ‘rationing’. At the moment, though, it’s all empty rhetoric. Who are we supposed to be siding with here? Who’s in the right? Are the Decepticons’ claims justified, or are they just being greedy? If the Autobots can suck Energon from the atmosphere using a transforming moon, why is rationing in place, anyway? There’s a scene in which Rubble discusses politics with Bumblebee, and asks about the divisions between the various factions. This would have been the ideal place for Bumblebee to explain what’s going on, to give us a bit of background into the Ascenticon/Autobot schism. But Bumblebee just shrugs and says the equivalent of ‘I’m a centrist, politics is boring’, and we remain none the wiser.

    The G1 comics may have depicted the Decepticons as one-dimensional galactic tyrants, but at least this was established from the outset. Likewise, James Roberts’ solo IDW debut went back and delved into what made Megatron and Prime tick. But here… I can’t get emotionally involved in characters when I don’t even know what they stand for. Why do we spend panels upon panels faffing about in workshops and meeting rooms when the ground rules are still to be laid? Megatron had a rally and was shot at. Why should I care? Is Megatron a victim of a terrible attack, or a tyrant who got what’s coming to him? Until I know the stakes, or what the points of view are, this leaves me very cold indeed. I'm half-reminded of The Phantom Menace, which was equally replete with board meetings, clunky exposition and odd stakes that I couldn't really get behind (the ultimate cause of the Star Wars was... a dispute about taxes on exports).

    So what do we have that’s actually good here? Well, I like Brian Ruckley’s dialogue. His characters mostly make small talk and don’t say much of interest, but everyone at least has their own ‘voice’. The overall premise (peaceful world turned inside out) is a strong one, despite us being no closer to that moment than we were at the end of the previous issue. (That said, I think the art should be doing a lot more work in selling us a Cybertron that's a veritable paradise on the verge of being lost, rather than a bunch of uninspiring grey landscapes.)

    But that’s pretty much it. I criticised the early Furman IDW run because the storytelling was very drawn-out (i.e. four to five issues of plodding in between the Important Stuff Happening). But I don’t mind slow-burn storytelling if I care about the characters, or if there’s a sense of intrigue that makes me invested or curious about what’s going to happen next, a sense of anticipation. But here I find myself reading in hope rather than expectation.

    There was an interesting argument upthread, about how the impact of Brainstorm's death was keenly felt - not because of anything Ruckley did per se - but because many people fell in love with the character in MTMTE. In this issue, almost all the legwork is being done by previous Transformers authors. Why am I attached to the character of Orion Pax? Is it because the Ruckley version is superbly well-written? No, it's because this is a character who I've loved for 35 years and my feelings towards him are solely due to my previous attachments.

    When Roche and Roberts brought back Impactor for the IDW Wreckers books, it was a really bold move, because Impactor was already a well-established, much-loved character from the G1 days. Comparisons would be made. Lesser talents would not have done the character justice. Thankfully, though, I was able to fall in love with Impactor once more. Not just because of the 80s nostalgia, but because Roche and Roberts did such a bang-up job in bringing him to life all over again. None of the characters in this series spring to life in the same way. Bumblebee is, at present, generic affable Bumblebee. Prowl is an investigator. Pax is a noble leader. Megatron is an activist. The comic needs to be doing the legwork in introducing these characters all over again, but it's too reliant on what went before. If Wheeljack were to die in issue 3, would I care because I specifically felt for the Ruckley version, or would all my emotions be simply due to my attachment to previous incarnations? MTMTE and RID made me feel for old characters in a new way; Ruckley has so far failed to pull off that particular trick.

    I don’t like to be negative about this comic, I want to like it, I hope like hell it succeeds, and I respect (and envy) anyone here who finds enjoyment in it. It's still early days, maybe it'll get better. It needs to. At the moment this lacks oomph, pizzazz or gusto. If this didn’t have the Transformers logo plastered on the front cover, I think I'd give up at this point. As it stands, I’m going to keep going until, say, issue ten, and give it a chance to turn around.

    And then moan about it here to anyone who’ll listen!
     
    • Like Like x 10
  7. Bass X0

    Bass X0 Captain Commando

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Posts:
    14,182
    News Credits:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    362
    Location:
    England
    Likes:
    +10,434
    Doesn’t mean that was good either.
     
  8. rlmiddleton

    rlmiddleton Don’t call me a member thank you very much.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Posts:
    3,433
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Likes:
    +11,720
    Ebay:
    Instagram:
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2017
    Posts:
    744
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Likes:
    +973
    This.
    This had been my gripe with IDW for years.
    Furman made sense. He gets it. He’s a fan.
    McCarthy? He wasn’t really. He basically says “I’d like to write them” and he gets it.
    Same happened with Costa.
    It wasn’t until a couple of other fans, mainly Roche and Roberts came in and flipped it back to greatness.
    As far as I know (and can tell, especially from his interview), this dude is not that level of fan. :/
    On a related note, what’s Milne up to now? I sure wish he was still around.
    My over all feeling on this bold new era is I’ll give them the first 12. If I don’t see an improvement, it will likely be the end for me.
    Here’s hoping it wows.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. raindance773

    raindance773 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Posts:
    1,460
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +1,468
    I still like this. Did you catch the strange norms, like organics living on Cybertron and not being murdered on sight? Or the bit about Megatron wanting Cybertronians to rise to their full potential? Starting to think his Ascensionists are more akin to “manifest destiny” than anything else which is an interesting take.

    Plus, maybe we get to see Nominus fleshed out this time.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. Goldimus Prime

    Goldimus Prime Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Posts:
    1,758
    Trophy Points:
    297
    Likes:
    +2,770
    Hi gang,

    I just cleaned up the thread and added spoiler tags wherever the murdered character's identity was named.

    Thanks for the robust and largely civil discussion. It was cool to read what everybody is thinking about this series so far.

    PLEASE DO continue to apply SPOILER TAGS when discussing new plot details.

    For anybody unaware of how to do so, follow this link:

    BB Codes | TFW2005 - The 2005 Boards

    Thanks! :) 
     
    • Like Like x 4
  12. Issy543

    Issy543 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    Posts:
    3,245
    News Credits:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Location:
    UK
    Likes:
    +4,200
    Thanks for taking the time to do this :) 
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Posts:
    2,473
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +5,047
    Oops - three of my posts were amongst the offending ones.

    Apologies for adding to your workload (I know modding is a tricky and thankless task); I’ll definitely try to be more careful and considerate in future.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Nemesis Otaku

    Nemesis Otaku Why did I un-ironically call myself an otaku?

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Posts:
    5,622
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Likes:
    +16,742
    Instagram:
    542099D8-273B-4F57-A5C9-B54A1C230653.jpeg

    Thought it was relevant. :oops: 
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Posts:
    6,469
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Location:
    Ontario
    Likes:
    +2,939
    Perfect review of this issue that reflects my thoughts almost verbatim.

    I'm still not into the dialogue though. Bumblebee's line about keeping balance while the world was tilting beneath him felt like an unnatural thing to say, and much of the rest of the dialogue exposits a lot about the world, but doesn't say a lot between the text. I think good dialogue is dialogue that manages to say one thing but mean something else, and I haven't really got any of that so far. It's just a lot of characters saying what needs to be said and some world-building in between.

    So like... I was hoping there would be more in this issue to talk about, so I'm gonna try and come up with some stuff to hypothesize I guess. Because seriously I can't really think of much more to discuss with this issue because there is that little added to the story from this.

    So hey guys, who do you think did it based on the evidence from the almost-investigation so far? The Voin? The Rise? One of the established characters (I doubt it)?

    How do you guys think the Voin will factor in later? Or do you think maybe it was just to establish alien life on Cybertron? (The fact Ruckley seemed to forget what it was called in that interview feels like the latter may be the case...)

    What's the deal with the Skitter? How will that factor in later?

    How's the Energon harvesting moon gonna be important?

    Is Cybertron actually running low on Energon? Is it a lie? Or are the Autobots actually hoarding Energon for themselves?

    Also what's Megatron and the Ascenticons' motives? Beyond Energon shortages?

    Where do you think Rubble will end up?

    Do you think Bumblebee got kicked out of security because he's a centrist... or maybe something related?

    Do you think the two bots that "free-fell" are anyone we might know/might be important?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. B u m b l e b e e

    B u m b l e b e e Bumblebee

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Posts:
    443
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    132
    Location:
    The Great Dome, Iacon.
    Likes:
    +1,208
    Instagram:
    Issue #2 was alright, I guess. Wished maybe we could get a different artist to do the pages with Rubble. Don’t exactly feel like Cybertron is the visual spectacle it needs to be; what we have just seems... sort of dull.

    On the bright side, I like where the plot is going.

    Also, I really like this shot. Just two young bots casually talking about life:

    DC94C6C8-84B8-4297-8A88-CC7ED8973A62.jpeg
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Dinobot Snarl

    Dinobot Snarl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Posts:
    12,381
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +27,456
    As usual full of negativity. Big surprise.
    I really like the art, the accuracy to the toys and the freshness.



    I for one, am enjoying this.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. bigfootRULES

    bigfootRULES Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Posts:
    515
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +256
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Dead Metal

    Dead Metal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Posts:
    1,991
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +879
    Ebay:
    Finished #2 and have to say it, it's a good script that suffers from bad/ unfitting art.
    The script is fine, it's a story that's meant to be told slowly over a long span of time giving us time to explore the world and get a feeling for it.
    It's just that the artist isn't adequate. There are moments that are paced and narrated in a way that's supposed to supplement the art. Basically all the shots of Cybertron sound and feel like the art is supposed to speak for itself, think Swamp-Thing or Sandman. But the artist(s) can't capture what the writer wants to be there.
    This art is more suited for a story down the line after everything has been established and we can fill in the details ourselves.
    This series should have been illustrated by someone like Roche, Milne, Guidi, Stone, or Zama. Because so far the narration tells me there is life and beauty but the art tells me there is just a colorful wasteland with lifeless husks walking around.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. jame5y

    jame5y Till All Are One..In the UK Thread

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Posts:
    1,929
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +3,400
    God I’m finding it boring and..

    We’re all assuming that rubble ends up being a decepticon right?
     
    • Like Like x 2
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.