Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Heliblade, Mar 29, 2018.
I'm not normally a guy for the cartoons--much prefer my TFs in comic form--but I love Strongarm.
I was thinking that would be a good idea too. It also removes the inherent problem with prequel/flashback material - you know how it has to end up. So while you can do some cool surprises (Shadowplay's reveal of Shockwave), a lot of the stakes are inert because we know X character can't die, or Y location can't be destroyed.
I also really like your idea of Optimus and Megatron books. I'd personally probably broaden them to just Autobot and Decepticon or something like that, but I think it's cool to see similar event happening from multiple perspectives. If I had one complaint about IDW's Phase 2 run, it'd probably be that it was a bit too Autobot-centric at times. Give me a book with interesting and sympathetic Decepticons to go along with the mandatory Autobot-focus book.
I want a book titled Autobots; I want another book titled Decepticons.
Do arcs that revolve around a group of autobots/decepticons and what they're doing during the war. You could, at times, have the two books intersect.
Only release two titles for a while. I think the problem with the current continuity is that they spaced things out too much. It diluted the product.
The idea started from wanting a Decepticon ongoing to balance the IDW run's heavy emphasis on Autobots. I kind of pictured the two books starting with a tight focus on Megatron/Optimus and then slowly branching out into other characters as the new universe grows, with most of the Autobot stuff happening in Optimus' book and most of the Decepticon stuff happening in Megatron's book. There would be some cross-over elements between the two factions and books (in my mind), but that would be more socio-economic, so working class characters like Impactor would be more likely to show up in Megatron's area of town whereas we may be more likely to run into a spoiled medic like Knockout in Optimus' world.
I think one of the problems with the IDW universe was that it was just spread too thin, so I thought starting it out with a tight focus on the franchise's two biggest characters would be a good financial move, and once their new characterization is uniquely established, I'd start rounding out important side characters first. Other popular characters I could see becoming POV characters over time (dependent on popularity) because I'm sure Hasbro would want to have fan favorites given their share of story.
The story ideas were just a loose brainstorm based on the kind of things I think up while watching TV late at night, but I do have a long, very specific head-canon based on the figures in my collection that I think could make for an interesting story. Still, I think it would probably be in the franchise's best interest if the comic characters matched at least some of the toys on the shelf, so I sketched the side characters' roles so they would be broad enough to be filled by a few different characters that match their archetypes.
A couple of examples of story-prototypes I've toyed around with in my head (more later maybe?):
Starscream: I'd probably send him down a similar path to his Armada arc (Rebellious antihero), with his scientist/traitorous bastard origins thrown in for some fun. I think he would start out as a government plant keen on sabotaging the Decepticons, then eventually grow to agree with them. As soon as he reveals to Megatron his secret employers, Megatron furiously casts him out, nearly killing him in the process. Surviving only thanks to his flying friend Jetfire, Starscream wanders alone for a time only to eventually end up starting up the independent Seeker faction, a society of elite flying Cybertronians on a never-ceasing search for scientific technology and knowledge...and weapons...lots of weapons. I could see the Seekers to eventually get their own book or at least dominating the Decepticon ongoing for a time, but that would be another "down the line" sort of idea.
Ironhide: I see him as being a middle-aged war veteran with a secret past as the Cybertronian general Count-down (based on the old Universe repaint). Forced to make the tough decision to use a tactical missile to stop a violent uprising due to pressure from the Primes, Count-down's actions cost the life of one of his best friends, the special ops soldier Ironhide. Furious, Count-down abruptly quit and went into hiding, and from that day on Count-down took on the name Ironhide. (I don't have an Ironhide toy, which is where this one stems from)
Here's my pitch to IDW:
A complete reboot.
It can be referential to G1 but not in the same continuity. Give yourself some freedom to get really creative (a la Prime, or Animated).
I would reveal this in time, but here is the origin premise:
The universe is made of a finite number of elements, from carbon to hydrogen to oxygen, and beyond. When the conditions on a planet allow for the right elements to thrive, life can exist. Planets that allow life end up having very similar element structures, therefore we get similar land formations, weather patterns, ecosystems, and animals. There are hundreds of planets with life throughout the universe, all in varying stages of development.
Cybertron is the oldest of these planets to have survived. It is mostly populated by humanoid robots, fully conscious and somewhat immortal. Their bodies are merely hosts for their consciousnesses, which can be transferred, saved, or duplicated. This makes death rare, and Cybertronians tend to live for millions of years. They were once like humans, fragile and insignificant. And Cybertron was once like Earth, lush and green. Through the ages, these humanoids grew smarter and more agile. They eventually conquered their environment, bending its resources at will for all their needs. The planet's population grew to a critical state, which triggered many mass extinction events, decimating the landscape and population. Only the wealthiest and most resourceful Cybertronians could survive the years of diseases and natural disasters. They took advantage of new technologies that transferred one's consciousness to other bodies, albeit mechanical at the time. Transferring into an organic body had not yet been achieved... This new era led to a mechanization of almost all forms of life, and the green planet eventually turned gold and black. There was no need for organic life anymore. Cybertronians now lived in robot bodies, which recharged from the light of their nearby star.
Earth is still a very young planet, compared to Cybertron. Earthlings have only just begun to make great leaps in medicine and technology, that will one day lead them down a similar path to the Cybertronians. Yet, each iteration of these surviving planets throughout the universe have endless variations of outcomes that mean they never quite end the same. Perhaps humanity on Earth will never live long enough to achieve life as a robot. Or perhaps they'll discover ways to enhance their organic bodies, not needing to become robots, but immortal vegetarians. Think of all the diverse planets our characters can explore while they venture across the universe! But back to Earth.. the Cybertronians are planning a surprise invasion, of course.
A big problem back on Cybertron is that its star is approaching a supernova. Cybertronians, who have learned to live for millions of years with some sense of harmony, are now faced with a new survival dilemma: move to a new planet, or die on Cybertron. Except, they've got over 50 years to make up their minds... The supernova is only imminent in relative terms. This leads to a sharp division among the remaining 800-or-so Cybertonians (don't forget, they had to be pretty wealthy to survive all those years, so there are a limited number of survivors!). They had lived in peaceful agreement for so long, this new dilemma had unexpectedly created rifts between friendships and families. Most of them either began identifying as an Autobot, or a Decepticon: two political parties that guided the conversation on how to handle the supernova's threat. Autobots hoped to terraform a young planet in a nearby solar system, which did not yet support conscious life. Decepticons wanted to invade planets that were more mature, to take advantage of their fresh resources. Earth was only a few light years away, and has been on Cybertron's radar for quite some time. They already knew a lot about Earth, and recognized their histories from their own pasts.
Our story begins with Senator Shockwave, elected leader of the Decepticons, assigning Megatron, a well-known military hero, to recruit a small reconnaissance team to visit Earth and help plan the Cybertronian invasion. Optimus Prime, a noble yet flawed Autobot spy, discovers this operation and reports it to Ultra Magnus, self-appointed leader of the Autobots. Optimus suggests leading a crew large enough to overwhelm Megatron's team, to prevent Earth's invasion.
By the time the Autobots arrived on Earth, the Decepticons have already begun to form alliances with human militias, governments, and powerful business leaders. They have taken on the forms of Earth military vehicles, thanks to a technology they perfected many years ago called transforming. This allowed a Cybertronian to change form into anything mechanical while retaining their overall robotic mass. Megatron assumed the form of a large tank, while smaller Decepticons like Frenzy or Rumble, often took the form of laptop computers or drones. The Decepticons kept a low profile, but openly transformed in front of their Earth allies, who they offered powerful positions and potential robotic upgrades in exchange for compliance and loyalty. Earth will thrive under Cybertronian leadership, Megatron argued.
Optimus Prime arrives to Earth with his team, realizing very quickly that they too must transform into Earth machines in order to remain anonymous. Not only are they hiding from the Earthlings, but the Decepticons as well. When Optimus learns of Megatron's progress, he struggles with whether or not to form alliances with the Earthlings. He was disappointed to see how easily they were corrupted, and recalled the early days of Cybertron, when chaos and malevolence were more common. He worried that he could not trust the Earthlings.
That's just a taste of what I've had in mind lately, as I could imagine telling many stories about the dynamics between all these characters and elements. There are obvious setups for replicating or referencing scenes from G1, movie era, IDW franchise, Prime, Animated, and even Beast Wars! Yet, by rebooting completely, you'd have the freedom to expand these stories and really get into motivations behind characters and opposing forces. I really enjoy where IDW went sometimes, with the idea of Functionists, and the politics of Cybertron. But I wanted to go one extra step in order to make them more human. Because they were human. And perhaps humans could evolve into Transformers.. Makes much more sense when you try to tie Earth to Cybertron, as many franchises have attempted in the past.
Anyways, I'm available to write comics if anyone's looking for cheap labor
See, this is what I was hoping (which would have been *mind-blowing*) would have happened with the Quintesson conversation with Megatron I harp on about on these boards all the time. The revelation that lost in all of this time and space is that the Transformers had organic origins. And yes, then it makes wwaaaaaaaaay more sense tying them to Earth!!
Here's what I'd like to see:
Cybertron is a planet on the edge of collapse. The raw materials that have been used to help generate Energon are nearly exhausted, and the Cybertronian Governing Council is preparing to save all remaining resources for a massive evacuation that will, unfortunately, take only the ruling elite and leave the majority of the population behind to starve to death.
Enter Sentinel Prime, who goes against the Council to seize control of the resource stockpiles and hold out for another plan that will save everyone. Leading a growing resistance, Prime comes to rely on a few young officers to help carry out his battle plans - a passionate security officer named Optimus, and the lieutenant that followed him into the resistance, Megatron.
They defeat the council in a campaign that results in tens of thousands of casualties. Sentinel himself leads the vanguard in the final assault and does not make it. In the chaos, and with no clear leader, the survivors look to both Optimus and Megatron to lead them. The resistance leaders gather to elect Cybertron's new leader, one who will be charged with saving the Cybertronian race from extinction.
By a narrow margin, Optimus is elected and takes the title of Prime. He makes plans to rebuild and scout out new sources of Energon. His troops, now known as Autobots, quickly begin their work.
Megatron, however, publicly disagrees with the new Prime, and wants Cybertron to harvest surplus energy from other worlds. He tells the gathered crowds that Prime is only delaying an enevitable slow death, and cannot save their world with slow, methodical approach. Prime forbids any action that would affect other worlds, but Megatron takes his followers, gives them the name Decepticons, and leaves Cybertron.
For awhile, things are quiet. Peace has come to Cybertron, but rations are getting smaller, and Prime's Energon surveys are not showing the success he had hoped for. As quickly as the Decepticons had vanished, they suddenly return with cargo ships loaded with Energon. Megatron is hailed a hero, but Prime is suspicious and secretly orders an investigation. It's not long until the truth comes to light - Megatron began stealing energy from a planet from a nearby system. When the natives tried to stop the Decepticons, they were violently repelled.
Prime publicly confronts Megatron with his accusations and evidence, a move that fractures the population of Cybertron into two camps. Half side with Prime's peaceful methods, and the other half support Megatron's aggressive tactics.
Megatron is not a heartless villain, sparing the populations of the worlds he pillages. He does not conquer, and genocide is not his aim. He only wishes to save his world, and he will not take any chances with the future of his species. Megatron is a sympathetic and charismatic figure, one that can persuade even Autobots to join him. Prime will come into his own as a leader, his conservative approach to problem solving hampering him early, before becoming the decisive, resolute leader his Autobots desperately need him to be.
The Cybertronian war becomes a running battle from star system to star system. Megatron gathers Energon, keeps part of it, and smuggles the rest to Cybertron past Autobot checkpoints. These actions convert even more Cybertronians to his cause, and soon, Prime loses control of Cybertron while he personally pursues Megatron in space.
The Decepticons have control of Cybertron, the sympathy of the population, and designs on establishing permanent bases on worlds to siphon off energy. Prime has fewer followers, but builds alliances with other worlds, especially ones he saves from the Decepticons, and makes it harder for the Decepticons to carry out their raids. Other worlds cooperate with the Decepticons in exchange for technology or for military assistance against other enemies.
Eventually, Megatron targets a small, blue world rich in natural energy resources. Called Earth, it looks to be the perfect solution to Cybertron's problems. The energy is bountiful, the natives hardly capable of defending against Cybertronian assault, and Shockwave has just finished successful testing of his new space bridge technology. If he takes Earth, Cybertron thrives for eons to come. His followers know this, and are ready to die for the cause. Prime has to stop him on Earth, or it's all over.
They could have done that with the current IDW universe. They didn't need to reboot it.
And there were only two main ongoing books right now - Optimus Prime and Lost Light, with a few short minis. Okay, so it felt like there have been mini series for a long time now but that's pretty standard I think.
Not sure who mentioned it in thread. I like the idea of the early war. Could tie in to new toyline well.
However, if we're to play fun. Then I'm gonna go way out on a limb here...or maybe even two...
Let's get a complete and official story on the original thirteens origin and the leading up to unicrons first defeat. Then they can spin off from there with multiple series of comics. They'd probably have to for stable finiacial reasons. In this way , idk, maybe it's just me. Yet, it just so works.
I swear I posted in this thread before but maybe not.
Anyway I’d continue the social commentary to tackle contemporary issues. I like how several eras of Transformers more or less do it. G1 was Cold War over resources. Animated in the late 2000’s tackled the Decepticons as insurgents ala the War on Terror. IDW has tackled a lot of resurgent bigotry and social injustices of the 2010’s.
I know a lot of people hate Rose from TLJ but I’d actually like to explore her big line - “saving what we love, not fighting what we hate”. As in, how do we do that? How do we combat the forces of hate and oppression? Is IDW answering it right now, for that matter, in its universe standing together to prove they’re worthy of the peace they worked so hard to achieve, even in the face of Unicron’s apocalypse? If they don’t fully answer that before the end, let that be the main theme of the first era of the IDW reboot.
Was just posting about this in another thread but this especially for me. It has made Optimus Prime (a book I was struggling with already) particularly unenjoyable and caused me to read none of the comics for several months because I just didn't care what happened anymore when they were crossing over so much with other franchises.
Begin on Cybertron before the war between good and evil, all the way back to the the Primes.
UNrealistically, here's what I wouldn't mind seeing:
* For starters, it'd have to be a clean-slate, everyone-gets-in-on-the-ground-floor, back-to-square-one-on-good-ol'-planet-Earth restart. The Cybertron stuff would come soon enough.
* Secondly, in terms of the introductory main robot cast, I'd essentially go back to "Infiltration" as a template, only I'd replace the non-leader G1 characters with versions of ones from later continuities/cartoons/etc. - some of the physical capabilities, personalities and character dynamics would obviously be different as a result, but all the better to avoid just rehashing "Infiltration":
Ratchet = Roadblock (Energon)
Bumblebee = Hot Shot (Armada)
Prowl = Strongarm (RID '15)
Jazz = Crosswise (Cybertron)
Ironhide = Bulkhead (Prime)
Sunstreaker = Side Burn (RID '01)
Wheeljack = Brains (Movies)
Starscream = Sky-Byte (RID '01)
Thundercracker = Blackout (Movies)
Runamuck = Snow Cat (Energon)
Runabout = Demolishor (Armada)
Astrotrain = Oil Slick (Animated)
Blitzwing = Sideways (Cybertron)
Skywarp = Knock Out (Prime)
As for the leaders themselves, basically different incarnations of them than the typical G1 norm:
Optimus Prime = Orion Pax (Animated Optimus)
Megatron = Megatronus (the original "Fallen" Prime a la RID '15)
* Thirdly, in terms of story/plot elements, I'd bring in further elements from subsequent cartoons, comics, etc. right out instead of just going straight back into full-on G1 mode for the umpteenth time - again, I figure that'd creep itself back in soon enough.
- RID '01: Supercharging (alternating decos), Optimus/Orion's tense-at-best relationship with Ultra Magnus.
- Unicron Trilogy: Minicons (though I prefer their Japanese name - Microns - myself; Brains would probably be one of them), Powerlinking/Combining, Cybertronian colony worlds, a human ally with Energon-based abilities who'd rather be doing other things than being in the midst of a giant robot war, Unicron ultimately reduced to a far smaller (but still powerful) principal physical form per TFCC/Timelines.
- Movies: Humans covertly working with the Autobots, reverse-engineering of Cybertronian tech (for good AND bad).
- Animated: The Great War itself having been over for ages/the losers in exile, the rank of Prime reduced to subordinancy.
- Aligned: Zombieformers, the legend of the Primes/First 13, Groundbridges, multiple flavors of Energon.
* Also, the tone: a sort of kinda-dark, kinda-smart^$$ed Carpenteresque vibe that, with reference to '84, plays out more like a bizarre hopped-up-on-Sweet-Tarts-and-Mountain-Dew-in-the-back-row-of-the-mall-cineplex match-up between the original "Terminator", "Ghostbusters", "Gremlins" and "Red Dawn" than it does the works of Marvel or Sunbow - a story about a teenager who's already having a bad week that's about to get a whole lot worse when his small town comes under siege by giant shapeshifting space robots, half of whom have come to Earth to stage a coup against their acting high commander by terrorizing the townsfolk into their service to open a portal to some dark nether region and yanking one of the greatest warriors their race has ever known out of it to challenge said leader. In terms of handling the art duties, this might be something more suited to the likes of Raiz, with maybe Ramondelli on the covers.
* A few other things:
- In this continuity, on Cybertron it's the DECEPTICONS who are considered the heroes of the Great War, having not only driven away the Quintesson invaders who essentially laid waste to the planet beyond repair, but for having violently overthrown the High Council for stagnating in the campaign to hunt the invaders back to their homeworld and slaughter them in kind in retribution, and sent the surviving Autobots into exile. Inevitably, though, so damaged and poisoned is Cybertron as the result of the war that the Decepticons' chief priority now appears to be finding a suitable replacement homeworld - just finding new sources of energy ain't gonna cut it, and we would not be taking the TF brand down the Ancient Buried Mystical Space Crap road again. I suppose, in some sense, this is also probably meant to be a concession to the "Heroic Decepticons/Evil Autobots" aspect of Shattered Glass, even though that's not really what's happening in the narrative; the Decepticons got their faction name during the Great War (which, again, here was fought against the Quintessons) when they were deployed by Megatron as the planet's line of defense, whereas the Autobots' faction name isn't so much a faction name as it is a derrogatory epithet reserved for sympathizers of the Elite Guard, which tried to maintain order during the uprising and have since been branded as traitors.
- On that note, Cybertron's most revered hero of late - Megatron - is dead as a doornail, slain by Sentinel Zeta Prime, who donned the heavily-armed and powered Apex Armor to basically sneak up on Megatron and shoot him in the back (with a little help from Starscream)...which does not help the Autobots' reputation among their fellow Cybertronians. But, since Dark Energon's in the picture, you can probably guess how Lil' Megs will end up coming back into the grand scheme of things *koff*Galvatron*koff*...this, of course, means that Megatron and Galvatron would once again be one and the same.
- Conversely, though, Orion Pax and Optimus Prime would actually be separate characters. Contrary to my own feelings on the matter, in this case I'd have Optimus again be one of the 13, but according to Cybertronian legend he's been dead for ages after apparently sacrificing himself to purge Unicron's influence from Cybertron. And Optimus Prime is STILL revered as a hero to most of Cybertron, much as Megatron is...which complicates matters a little bit when Nemesis Prime emerges claiming to be Optimus himself having been reborn by Unicron's hand to serve his will.
- In Megatron's absence, Starscream is actually in command of the Decepticons...much to his regret. Nobody has as yet killed him only because the few Decepticons under him who actually MIGHT be qualified to lead - Soundwave, Shockwave, etc. - recognize the need to maintain stability among the Decepticons in a time when the very survival of the race is paramount. Better to play Starscream like a puppet right off - albeit an increasingly-paranoid one who knows damn well they'll stab him in the back when the time comes, and knows it might be good idea to have an escape plan handy for that occasion.
- Ultra Magnus and the surviving members of the Elite Guard start out as prisoners on one of the Decepticon's penal ships, incarcerated for their attempt to quell the Decepticon uprising. Unlike Orion Pax, Magnus actually is a descended relative of Optimus Prime, evidenced by the fact that, yes, Magnus' body is a white version of Optimus'. Or at any rate, it is BEFORE Nemesis Prime literally tears him to pieces, requiring permanently encasing what's left of him inside the "stolen"/retrieved Apex Armor to survive, so there's a bit of "RoboCop" too, to push the '80s sci-fi homaging further. Oh, and once Galvatron arrives on the scene, you can bet it'll take just one sight of that armor to drive him into a frenzied rage.
- Oh, and speaking of '80s sci-fi nods, yes, the Quintessons inevitably show up on Earth, bringing with them a modus operandi more along the lines of the aliens in "Invaders From Mars" or "They Live", with mental control of humans being one of their specialties, outside of their fabricating either synthoid spies placed among the human populace or amphibious bio-mechanical shark-monster mutantformer slaves within the confines of their vessels snugly embedded beneath the surface of the Earth.
- Similarly, the Autobots ultimately establish a forward command on Earth hidden beneath the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex - it has a number of hidden battlements and protective implements a la TF:TM's Autobot City, and a central governing A.I. a la Teletraan I or T-AI, as well as a number of Groundbridge junctures that allow for instantaneous passage/response to anywhere on the planet, but for the additional protection of the human populace above does not have a robot mode.
- I wouln't be overmuch concerned with a "Hasbro Universe", to be perfectly blunt; certainly not coming out of the gate, anyway.
-No romance/shipping of characters.
-No Primus/Unicron/13, make the reboot feel more sci-if and less like fantasy in space.
-Don’t have Megatron do a heel-face turn
-No mystical macguffins
-Let Optimus be a complex character and not a bland figurehead
-Don’t use the FoC designs, if your going to go Cybertronian, go full on alien with it. Not just cars without windows or headlights (Cough Bumblebee and Jazz)
-No fake-out deaths
Don’t care what they do. As long as it’s not this:
I just want more war, to be honest. A view into the Cybertronian Civil War in all its terrible glory! I want to see the carnage and feel the weight of a galaxy-spanning conflict. The Autobots and Decepticons should be practically empires in their own rights, continuously smashing each other in one devastating battle after another for the millions of years the war has lasted. I don't just want stories on Earth, though maybe one series about some Autobots and Decepticons there wouldn't be off the table. Basically, I want more war stories, exploring both the current battles and the impact of ancient past battles.
You sir, are my best buddy
We were so close in reading a similar story from Dreamwave DataTrack where the white Magnus and Prime were standing back to back to each other in one of the DW covers until PatLee screw it up and got it cancelled.
I fully agree with this. I'd just like them to make it entertaining while doing it. G1 through Animated where able to do this seamlessly. IDW... not so much
Do we already know who the writers will be? I just hope James Roberts is one of the main ones
Well I pretty much joined for the sake of discussing a single picture. The one from TAAO: Revolution oneshot. Windblade connects to Titan and is shown a vision where she witnesses different possibilities. It's just one page... I can't post it since spam filters block me as this is my first post, but I would like to have a context for this.
Those possible outcomes seems interesting. Curiously, she seem to have more elaborate design in them, similiar to the one, that appears for a moment during her battle with Vigilem in her mind.
Also three of those seem to include different relations with Starscream. In one she apparently kills him, in another he seems to shield her from something (much to her surprise) and... What's the deal with that pixie? (She seems happy though). The remaining two shows her as giant and some kind of soldier? Gunslinger?
I would like an expansion on this or at least context. Seems fun.
Separate names with a comma.