TransFormers Marvel Read Along

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Grimlock528, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    How come that all the robots across the universe are made with chips compatible with Cybertronians?


    Oh well, if you can build a Decepticon in a human-built airplane factory...
     
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  2. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    Transformers #53: Recipe For Disaster!
    -Cloudburst and Landmine continue to make a great duo. They're a great contrast to one another and play off of each other really well.

    -"Wait! Before you take that first bit, Master Mouth, consider -- is this truly the best fare you can provide your faithful crew?"
    "What're you talkin' about, food?!"
    "As presently served, we are doomed to be just another forgettable snack. But marinate us in savory mercury sauce, garnish us with succulent lead sulfide crystals, sprinkle us with flavorful iron filings... and we become a dining experience!"
    Much thanks to TFWiki for the quote. I'm pretty sure I don't want to know why or how Cloudburst knows as much about cooking robots as he does. On the other hand, this plan does let them escape being eaten long enough to come up with a plan to save themselves, Sky Lynx, and Burko (the latter two of whom just sort of disappear after this issue).

    -The "Planet of Gender Role Swaps" was already an old sci-fi trope by the time this comic was published. Though the fact that this planet has twenty-foot-tall humans for some reason does make it unique.

    -Watching Cloudburst go through the trials is interesting and fun.

    -Ah, yes, the "Transformers have no gender" thing. As someone who grew up on the original cartoon (and a child of someone who ALSO grew up on the original cartoon when it was airing) who didn't read any Marvel comics until she was 12 or so, I've always preferred the idea that Transformers had genders (since that was the portrayal that I was most used to). Regardless, it's probably a good thing this issue came out before the Internet...and that's all I'm going to say on the subject.

    -That being said, Cloudburst's freak-out upon being told that The First One wants to marry him is pretty great (even if her 80s hair is not).
    [​IMG]
    Under the circumstances, I'm pretty sure I'd respond like this too.

    -The Autobots come up with a reasonably clever way to defeat the Mecannibals (threatening their source of food). While I'm glad that the robots they ate can be restored somehow, I also agree that it seems likely that this was done in response to backlash from the previous issue being about cannibalism (as TFWiki suggests).

    -Darkwing and Dreadwind are still lots of fun. The fact that the story ends with the Autobots telling the Mecannibals that Hi-Test and Throttle are bonded to robots and the Mecannibals proceeding to chase them across space is great.

    -The fact that Cloudburst and Landmine end up sacrificing the microchips they need to save the robots eaten by the Mecannibals, while appropriately heroic, ultimately means that these two issues, while fun, are ultimately pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things (especially in US continuity).
     
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  3. TheUltimateBum

    TheUltimateBum Nautica Lover

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    LOL, personally, I would go for it. :lol 

    Cloudburst is such a simp, he should have gone all out instead of making excuses. :p 

    Even Landmine is having the time of his life with the ladies.:lolol 
     
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  4. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    That's a great point- how DOES Cloudburst know so much about mecha cuisine? :D 
     
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  5. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    TFWiki actually made the observation first...I was just utilizing it because I thought that it was really weird.
     
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  6. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Rolin Rolin Rolin...uh, never mind

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    #53 Recipe for Disaster

    Following the end of the previous issue, our two heroes attempt to escape fails. Cloudburst comes with the proposition of making a special meal for the Meccanibals which requires ingredients, one of which can be found on a nearby planet. Once there they enter a sealed off organic paradise inhabited by Transformer sized female warriors. Cloudburst succeeds in convincing their leader of their good intentions, and also that he’s a prime candidate to her mate. After him revealing that he’s a Transformer, Landmine convincing her that they weren’t lying about their mission, the Autobots leave and are ambushed by the Decepticon Powermasters who are beaten by Sky Lynx. Back at the Meccanibals ship the Pretenders make a new deal: let us and our friends go & repair the eaten robots or lose your robothunters. The Meccanibals agree after which Cloudburst reveals that Hi-Test and Throttle are Transformers as well.


    Last issue was skirting on the edge of being over the top, and this issue delivers. It shamefully uses tropes that were already old by the time this issue was released: giant women and a planet where women where strong and dominant, while the man were weaklings. It does combine these two, so perhaps that’s new. The whole plot is also pretty ridiculous: wouldn’t mechanical cannibals already know about various recipes, and even if not, they’re basically allowing them to get away. The turnaround is nice though, as is them chasing Dreadwind and Darkwing at the end. Fortunately, they would never really return in the (US) series save for quick cameo.

    The strength of this issue, like the previous, are the characters of Landmine and Cloudburst. Not just them getting (long overdue) characterisation, but being opposites these two work great together in exposing their characters and in helping them develop. And indeed, Cloudburst becomes a bit less timid and more physical, while Landmine saves the day by being less the swashbuckling hero he wants to be, and instead acts more like Cloudburst. They both shine and their abilities are nicely brought to the front in ways that support the story. Dreadwind and Darkwing are nice, but get little personality, which is an incredibly shame considering how incredible entertaining they can be.

    Some notes:
    - the story ends with Sky Lynx flying alongside Cloudburst to Earth, but we won’t see Sky Lynx again, which is strange considering the depletion of the Autobot forces.
    - already mentioned by others, but how come Cloudburst knows so much about how to make a robot a delicacy? It's a bit creepy.
    - as noted by @dj_convoy II, the big elephant in the room (nowadays) is Cloudburst mentioning Transformers have no gender. Although I was familiar with the cartoon and Arcee, this rang more true to me. Later I combined this with what Beast Wars did, as in the personality determines the gender and not physical attributes.
    - So the chips are digestive remains (poop). Is it really possible to recombine the chips with the remains used to build the interior of the ship to return those robots back to life? (I’ve mentioned several times how under Budiansky a TF is nothing more than advanced A.I., but even within that vision this seems far-fetched.)
    - Although I can understand the moral dilemma for the Autobots, the Decepticons should have no such moral issues. So why don’t we see the Decepticon army returned to full power? Are the Decepticons capable of reaching this station? More interesting, why don’t the Scorponok lead Decepticons get supplies from Cybertron? I’ve argued that Ratbat was accepted as commander because without him the Earth based Decepticons lost the goodwill on Cybertron. Is this a display of this? (A future issue will deal with this.)
    - it seems a bit strange that a pretender shell comes fully dressed, capable of shedding it’s armour.
     
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  7. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    It has metal bikini-clad space Amazons from the planet FEMAX.

    It scores +1000 in the retro pulp sci-fi category.

    A prime example of the "Budiansky no longer gives a s**t" era.
     
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  8. Treadshot 2.0

    Treadshot 2.0 Action Master

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    No, it's an all new body with a copy of his old mind. They even have an issue where the Autobots find his original body in Matrix Quest.
     
  9. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

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    Budiansky actually utters a “Furmanism”.
    “We’re surrounded. Trapped!”
    Maybe Simon was co-writing secretly at this point.
     
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  10. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I’m late, everyone!
    TransFormers Marvel US #54 is live to discuss.
    “King Con”
    And introducing the most amazing Autobots yet: The MicroMasters!
     
  11. Joey Slick

    Joey Slick Whirl is a Transformer.

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    You of made a good point.
     
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  12. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    I mean, are they amazing? :D 

    Another generic "humans suck, no wait, we have to defend them" story. Uncle Bob is running out of energon. At least the next issue has wrestling.
     
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  13. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Rolin Rolin Rolin...uh, never mind

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    # 54 King Con

    Since attempts to repair their fallen comrades have failed, Optimus Prime has requested new troops from Cybertron. These are two Micromaster teams: the Off Road Patrol and the Sports Car Patrol. They are sent to investigate two phenomena: an unusual storm and a monster sighting. With the help of human journalist Cecilia Santiago, they succeed in stopping a Decepticon plan to use the Empire State building as a lightning rod and tap the energy from the lightning, something which would destroy half the city. Having finished their mission, the Micromasters decide to stay in New York.


    Budiansky is again adapting an existing story (the movie King Kong) to tell a TF story. He may have disliked the toys forcing the stories upon him, but this is one story that likely couldn’t be told otherwise.

    Honestly, I don’t care about this story at all. Like before, I think Scorponok’s plan is a bit dumb. First, beyond the fourth wall, it’s a plan cartoon Megatron would think off, secondly by doing this outside New York he should know he’s bound to get interference from Autobots, and finally it takes a lot of preparation but could likely only be executed once since both the authorities and the Autobots would react. And indeed, the plan fails (#2) because the Autobots are on to it and even if succeeded Iguanus walking around NY would result in problem #3.

    But on the plus side, we have characters. The Decepticon Pretenders get a little bit of exposure (not even close to the level Cloudburst and Landmine got), but we get to know them a little. The new toys, the Micromasters, get their introduction dump we’ve seen so many times in this series, but also feature prominently each showing their ability and personality ticks.

    Art by Delbo is as always: reliable, clean and accurate.

    Some notes:
    - the Decepticon base is under a garbage dump deep in the swamp. A garbage dump in the swamp doesn't sound very environment friendly.
    - also, is this the lowest they’ve ever gone base wise? Megatron had a fort on a mountain, Shockwave an oil platform & a factory, Megatron/Shockwave a fortified coal mine, then the Island, Scorponok arrived in a space ship...and now their base is underground beneath a garbage dump.
    - the four Micromasters ride an elevator to the top of the ESB. Wouldn’t that surpass the weight limit?
    - Roadhandler can shoot off his hand...right. I know there were toys who could do this, I owned some of them, but fortunately none ever did in fiction, because I think it’s dumb.
    - the Autobots now also have the means to transport to and from Cybertron, without a spaceship or the cumbersome space-bridge from before.
    - trying to keep their presence secret, Optimus has the Micromaster arrive at a pumping station...wouldn't it be even more secret if it not near any building at all?
    - HiQ has again shed his armour and now simply drives...and Optimus transforms without HiQ being attached (not that it was ever made explicit in Marvel that they need the Powermaster to transform).
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
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  14. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

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    Another reason why I feel Simon is in here somewhat. The trans-dimensional portal. I think he didn’t want to mess with the bridge anymore. Suddenly we have this warp thingy.

    This issue reminds me so much of 45. A Decepticon pretender and a damsel in distress that’s stronger than that, but still fits that roll. It’s almost the exact same character.

    When I think of The MicroMasters, I also think how cool it could of been if instead of them being shrunken down cybertronians they were humans that could transform. I’m not a big fan of humans in transformers, but I feel like that could of been a very interesting take. After all, all of the “masters” so far have been human or nebulan.
    Missed opportunity.
     
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  15. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    IIRC it was Budiansky who did propose Furman to take over the US run? I'm sure that he was familiar with the UK run. It makes it plausible for those issues either being co-written, or just inspired. On the other hand, those issues have a strong "fish outta water" Budiansky feel too.

    I always thought that not following into making the Micromasters street-level heroes was a missed opportunity. Just because of their size they were much more suited for interactions with humans.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
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  16. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

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    I believe that is correct. Bob was begging editorial to take him off the book and knew what Simon was doing for UK and recommended him.
     
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  17. Grimlock528

    Grimlock528 Well-Known Member

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    Here it is. The final issue of Uncle Bob’s Run! Besides editing the 4 issue mini series, he writes issues 5 - 55 with a few fill ins. Impressive run.
    Transformers Marvel US #55 is live to discuss!
    It’s Man vs. Machine in a duel to the death!
    And introducing the Decepticon Micro Masters!
    “The Interplanetary Wrestling Championship!”
    Roll out!
     
  18. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    When Budiansky's trolling the readers he's trolling hard.
     
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  19. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    Uncle Bob also drew this part of this one, if I recall.

    This is a completely silly and basically needless issue... it almost feels like a fill in. That's not to say it isn't fun... it is. As a kid, I wasn't super into wrestling, and as an adult, I am a big fan of it, so I am probably giving this one a bit more of a pass than I would normally. THANK GOODNESS THE RING IS REINFORCED. More out of the box thinking by Zarak, which is interesting. I like that he tries to use Earth media against the humans.
     
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  20. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Rolin Rolin Rolin...uh, never mind

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    # 55 The Interplanetary Wrestling Championship

    While on television to promote the Micromasters, Roadhandler is challenged to a wrestling match. Feeling that his honour demands him participating, Roadhandler becomes a wrestler, using it as a platform to brings his message and to help kids and teenagers stand up for what’s right. Zarak disliking this positive image the Autobots now present, has a team of Decepticon Micromasters come to Earth and one of them fight Roadhandler. To ensure victory, Zarak orders the others to capture some of Roadhandler’s fans, but Cecilia fearing this would happen, has them protected by the Autobot Micromasters. Realising that he’s endangering his fans, Roadhandler after a negative speech, leaves with the others.


    Not being an American, wrestling isn’t part of my cultural heritage or interest. Thus this entire issue is wasted on me. I did watch some wrestling later and thus I do know that this is all very cliché. Cliché and a pretty dumb story. Delbo took a break for this issue and art is handled by Budiansky and Fern and it shows. Delbo’s art might be a bit lifeless (at times), but here with other artists things just look wrong. Not just art errors, but Zarak looks weird, the Transformers looks weird, and sequences just don’t make sense. I think I prefer correct and clean, but a bit lifeless over this.

    The only positive I can say about this issue is that we get more exposure of Roadhandler’s character – even if it is at the expense of the others. And while he may have good intentions, the first impression last issue is correct: he really is a loudmouthed jerk. He seems to be suffering from some sort of inferiority complex due to his smaller size, has to proof constantly that he tougher and better than others. Of course, that doesn’t make him appealing to us, but at least he’s got a character that’s explored. Or was explored, because he and the other Micromasters in these two issues will never appear again in the series.

    Some points:
    - Cecilia calls Roadhandler Roadmaster on one page
    - interesting (and likely an art error, although dialogue confirms it) but Zarak seems to have copied the Cerebros part with him transforming into the head of another robot. Of course, he then is supposed to have combined with Scorponok and that’s drawn completely wrong. (And this internediate robot will never be seen or mentioned again.)
    - Roadhandler gives his weight and again things don’t add up: how he can he sit in a chair? How does the floor of the wrestling ring hold his weight? And could the elevator really hold four of them in the previous issue?
    - Apparently if only one screw is loosened this is problematic for a Micromaster. Yet both Whisper and Roadhandler receive quite a bit of pounding.
    - While the Autobots appear to transform into normal sized cars, Whisper is clearly not a 1:1 scale jet.
    - In an adaption of last issue, Roadhandler doesn’t launch his hands this issue, but can extent his wrist. Not sure if it’s an improvement.
    - Whisper makes a comment that surprised Zarak. A set up for the next issue, making clear Furman was in talks with Budiansky.



    And so ends Budiansky’s run. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. He gave us some great arcs, but also some questionable issues. And yet, re-reading the series here for this, I have to admit that even in questionable issues there are good things. For example, the much derided Carwash shows not just continuity (referencing and following earlier events, and influencing later situations), but also an actual smart plan: the carwash gives Decepticons easy fuel without any risk. On the great side, we have Shockwave's plan in the beginning, the Underbase, the Blaster rebellion and the dramatic story of The Headmasters on Nebulos, removed from Earth showing what a Transformers war really would cause. Not just physical destruction, but also destroying a peaceful society and ruining people’s ideals. And what to think of Optimus his death that may or may not have been a form of suicide to get out of this war that he brought to this planet and that has caused the deaths of so many of his troops and friends. Plus he realised that by getting rid of the official leaders, Optimus and Megatron, a far more interesting story could be told. With the Decepticons they got a very efficient and capable commander in Shockwave (although after his defeat at the hands of Optimus it would’ve been better if another leader took over, since he would never be the same threat) and with the Autobots we got a great story with Grimlock as leader and Blaster leading a rebellion. And even here things are great: Blaster really isn’t the great leader we expect him to be, while Grimlock’s command kept the Autobots save and well fuelled. Both made choices they felt were right, and both were wrong for the whole picture.

    Budiansky’s take on Transformers is also very unique and different from what was done at the same time in the cartoon and most notably in later series. His Transformers are very much machines (sometimes beautiful shown in the art: especially Megatron looks very mechanical). The cartoon made them almost human, Furman would makes them shards of a God, Beast Wars would introduce sparks (souls) and IDW of course the triumvirate of brain, spark and transformation cog. But with Budiansky, they’re just very advanced machines and all that makes them tick is very advanced programming. Programming that houses inside a small brain module. An approach that enables a truly unique element: a copy of the programming is inserted into a newly build body and the Transformer lives again. Not a copy or clone (as was later put forward by Robers in Eugenesis), but the Transformer being just as alive as he was before.

    Despite the great last hurrah that was the Underbase saga, it does kind of feel that after The Headmaster mini he lost interest. Killing Galen and replacing him with Spike was a mistake in universe (the Galen character should’ve just been called Spike and be done with it), but it betrays that he didn’t know what to do with Fort Max. Especially with him having to incorporate Powermater Optimus Prime in the story. And everything after the Underbase saga felt like him sitting out the series until Furman could take over. And that’s where we’ll be with the next issue.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
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