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Old 2006-06-03, 08:10 PM   #241
Clay
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Yeah, I was thinking about that a bit more after I had turned the computer off last night. The biggest problem with all of the now-run-of-the-mill story arcs is that they've become the Transformers' version of a soap opera. Shockwave schemes, Starscream schemes incompetently, Grimlock's a powerhouse, Unicron shows up, etc., etc.

That's why I'd like much smaller story arcs, either in comics or shows: it'd eliminate the need to have a long, drawn-out plot that's probably been used before.

It wouldn't necessarily have to be purely character driven: say, a small Decepticon recon group with its communications cut off is hiding from an advancing Autobot patrol, but they have a mole in their midst. How would they root it out and avoid capture? How would Autobots do it if the roles were reversed?

Smaller stories like those could better show the internal workings of a group of characters and still have the plot drive it forward without having to resort to using something that's been explored before, like Starscream's quest for power.
 
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Old 2006-06-03, 08:27 PM   #242
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Plus we have to thrawl through the "Wow you're robots that transform" malarkey because its a new a contnuity and a clean slate. This Ratchet is going to be different to marvel’s, forget about all the stuff that happened.

Fair enough. So let's take this comic as if the characters are new and this is there first experience. How many scenes have there been with Starsceam and Megs. What do we know about these all new characters? Sweet **** all. Why should we care if the junkie wants to take over leadership. We don't even really know what that would entail anyway. If we must have the Starschemer why not let Starscream gradually build up to some scheme and then reveal it in like the 70th issue (If it lasts that long) Why not gradually see him crawl up the con ranks, blackmailing, backstabbing whatnot or at the opposite end of the scale make him appear loyal and then spring it on us if you know what I mean.

If this is supposed to be the super hip, modern age TF comic why are we getting one of the most overused plot devices in the history of TFs. And another thing, why do we already have cons vs cons and also super powerful threat to both factions. Surely the first arc should be focused on the bots vs the cons in the cirumstances and world of Infiltration. Outsiders putting their two cents into the conflict is inevitable (Yeah I'm looking at you again Unicron) and that's fine but can we not establish the situation between the two core factions first.
 

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Old 2006-06-04, 04:33 PM   #243
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Denyer

Micromaster Pretenders? hahahaha I love it.
 

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Old 2006-06-05, 10:03 AM   #244
Denyer
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aardvark
why do we already have cons vs cons
Because the 'Con mentality is essentially every mech for themselves?
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What do we know about these all new characters?
- Thundercracker is a grunt, and a follower of orders.
- The Runatwins are a pair of vicious thugs who like to make their victims suffer.
- Blitzwing is not only full of obnoxious bravado but ultimately dumb enough to attempt to back it up against a superior force.
- Skywarp is overconfident, predictable and dumb.
- Ratchet is an impetuous altruist.
- Bumblebee is pragmatic and usually looks at situations in terms of the worst outcome. He's calm under fire.
- Sunstreaker views humans in much the same way we do insects.
- Ironhide is taciturn and sticks by his friends.
- Prowl is a dick.
- Starscream is, thus far, an unseen manipulator, able to coerce or convince his taskforce into a mutiny that may prove suicidal.
Quote:
Outsiders putting their two cents into the conflict is inevitable (Yeah I'm looking at you again Unicron
No it bloody isn't inevitable... there's no reason the Transformers have to be secondary to a larger force controlling them or emerging from the dawn of time to eat the universe...

The Quintesson origin, stripped down to the roots and divested of egg-shaped tentacle monsters, offers more creative paths -- it doesn't matter where the Transformers came from, only what they're doing now (which shouldn't be preparing for an external uber-threat...) Self-replicating AI being created by a long-dead alien race is fine as an origin, and leaves writers to focus on the characters.
 
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Old 2006-06-05, 11:13 AM   #245
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- Skywarp is overconfident, predictable and dumb.
Thanks :rolleyes:

Anywho, I'll readily agree that it's short but imho, it's sweet. We actually see Megatron's wrath and anger for once instead of him shying away (admitedly I'm gutted that it was Skywarp who took the full-force, by comparison Blitzwing got off lightly).

I thought the artwork had gone downhill a bit too & I gotta admit I can't help but feel there's something 'not quite right' about the way Megatron's drawn. Still I enjoyed it, the action was well done and the scenes of destruction beautifully coloured.

*lurks*
 

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Old 2006-06-05, 12:50 PM   #246
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@Denyer: I wasn’t referring to the entire cast of Infiltration, just Megatron and Starscram. It would be unfair to criticise Infiltration in terms of character development as it clearly has made that somewhat of a priority. Yes their character models have been developed thus far but its too early in the comic to see one being betrayed by the other and whatnot.

Taking them as new characters, we've had 1 and a bit comics worth of Megatron. I just don't see why we should or would care if Starscream actually gave Megs the booth.

Having said that I was in a bit of a ranting mood that day. As I mentioned I loved what I saw, just not enough.

And as for outsiders interfering with the Transformers ala Unicron, I’m not a fan of it myself but I still say its inevitable judging from past comics. Time will tell I guess. Though Superpowered Starscream and possibly super powered Thunderwing is also somewhat in the same vain albeit they’re Transformers at least
 

-Alex???

Last edited by Aardvark; 2006-06-05 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 2006-06-05, 01:21 PM   #247
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I just read this and Art of Noise...Errrr...War three siting outside ona lovely sunny day with not unatractive women in skimpy cloathing walking about. All comics should be read like that...

It was definately a short read, but I thought in a good way (the pace draged you along). Megs taking out his own traitouros troops also firmly establishes his abilities in a way that should make him seema real threat in the inevitable fight with Prime next issue.

I do love how sending the humans down the base was mostly pointless in the end, if they'd just sat a short distance outside they'd have learnt most of they need to know from the battle.

Did Megs actually see Verity? Or just not care?
 
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Old 2006-06-05, 01:38 PM   #248
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Just not care, I think.

Quote:
Originally posted by Aardvark
I just don't see why we should or would care if Starscream actually gave Megs the boot
It's likely to involve mass casualties across the planet that gets used as a battlefield? Both characters are entirely out-for-number-one is what we take away from either. One's a traitor, the other a cold-blooded powerhouse.

Right, having read...

Anyone care to speculate where Skywarp's head is (or was) in his redesigned form? We also sort-of get a look at how Blitzwing transforms -- not sure if the folding in that design's physically possible. Both are probably still just about functional, IMO.

Since the 'Cons will likely be staging a sit-in on Earth (and they seem to have a credible reason to do so, without having to be trapped here -- kudos for the simple but realistic update) Escalation looks promising for conflict. The two arcs, put together, would probably form an excellent live-action film script.

It's very cinematic, and since Furman is apparently writing full script on these jobs, either he's scripting additional dialogue and removing it from the placements before going to press or just being very "show rather than tell". It does create tension, and the last couple of pages give an effective wrap-up; it makes sense that a group of Autobots who aren't dedicated combat specialists are peripheral to the Decepticon schism that's about to break.
 
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Old 2006-06-05, 01:45 PM   #249
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
Since the 'Cons will likely be staging a sit-in on Earth
What, growing their hair, making daisy chains and siting in a field singing folksy songs about the evil of Vietnam? That'd be different.

My main problem is that the actual cliff hanger moment seemed more a case of "We've run out of room" that a big exciting climax. Still, they avoided the "Optimus Prime appears in the last panel!!!!!" thing I was expecting.
 
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Old 2006-06-06, 04:11 AM   #250
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Man... Blitzwing has become the Waspinator of Transformers Comics over the last couple years. I guess I shouldn't complain... better than him not being around at all. And he did get to run over Ratchet before he got his lights turned out.

I agree that the pacing of Infiltration has been slow, but there's something about it that really appeals to me. It really reminds me a lot of Marvel's very early issues, before things got epic. The art has sort of a classic vibe to it that I really like... its simple, yet current with todays standards.

I don't know... I'm hoping issue 6 gets the ball rolling for Storm Bringer and Escalation to really be great.

Can't wait for Thunderwing this month!
 
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Old 2006-06-07, 04:20 AM   #251
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Wow, that was just... just like the past five issues. It was nice that we got some vague inkling about the ore basically info-dumped on the last page (it reminded me of the intentionally bad infodump in Grant Morrison's 'Nuff Said' New X-Men issue), but aside from that we had, what, Carlos, Rad and Avril getting back out of the base, Megatron shooting a couple of minor characters, and the groundbreaking, stunning, awe-inspiring revelation that Starscream's Up To Something. All stretched out across another super-slow 22 pages. Most tension is lost due to much of the twisting and turning being phenominally obvious... Avril heroically filming Megatron is rendered null and void by him sticking his head out four seconds later. Preview material (and knowledge that Furman will revert all characters to type sooner or later) has told us Starscream is being a bit devious. The only real advancement is that the reason is possibly known to us, and there's a vague danger the Autobots may bother doing something.

We now have one issue to make this anything other than an overblown preview for some other mini-series which may be out in a few months' time (oooh, War and Peace!). Thankfully, Furman has a superb record with conclusions, and everything should be peachy because they're not Pat Lee.
 
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Old 2006-06-07, 09:42 AM   #252
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Thankfully, Furman has a superb record with conclusions, and everything should be peachy because they're not Pat Lee.
Furthermore we have to deal with a super powered Starscream and possibly even more horrifying is the fact that Optimus' silhouette is still lurking on the front page...

Still I've enjoyed the series thus far (Aside from the lack of content) but the ending, I fear will be at the opposite end of the spectrum in that it will be a rushed, muddled affair with too much going on.

And Furman will blame it on "The pressure of doing both Stormbringer and Infiltration the former being the company's priority which lead to the latter's rushed ending" or something along those lines.
 

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Old 2006-06-07, 11:21 AM   #253
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I can actually see that at a convention, with Andy Wildman hanging onto his coat tails going "My precioussssss."

In a way, I hope the conclusion is totally devoid of events as well, as aat least that shows that Furman's sticking to his guns. Shame they just contain flags with the word "bang" on them really An overly busy conclusion after five and a bit issues of treacle-slow "suspense" (it's not suspense if it's predictable, surely?) would just highlight how utterly crap the plotting was.

And I love how the promo poster-thing for Stormbringer stops just short of "It's not like Infiltration, we promise! Please give us money!".
 
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Old 2006-06-07, 12:22 PM   #254
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
We now have one issue to make this anything other than an overblown preview
If it's a preview, I'm certainly looking forward to the next part.

My main criticism at the moment is that so many covers have bugger all to do with the contents -- not in the sense of complete disconnection from the story, but some are either misleading or from other parts (eg, an incentive for this issue is presumbly something Guido submitted for issue #2, and some of Nick Roche's covers got switched around on Beast Wars. There was a Jazz/Blitzwing cover for an issue that featured Blitzwing only incidentally, and Wildman's Starscream cover on this is for something suggested but not actually seen in the story.)
 
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Old 2006-06-07, 01:36 PM   #255
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
If it's a preview, I'm certainly looking forward to the next part.
Previews shouldn't take six months and cost £13+... I've found the story so far hugely uninvolving, and compared to the first five issues of just about any decent comic I can think of it's been deathly slow. The ongoing idea that it's just a taster for what's to come is very annoying - there's not actually a huge amount of need for the groundwork to feature overlong fight and chase scenes. They aren't even some radical new fight scenes, they're just a lot slower, and like many of Pat Lee's layouts, they suffer from being simply too quick to read - e.g. Blitzwing/Skywarp v Bumblebee/Ratchet in #4 took about five seconds to read, covering about the same amount of pages (loose, rough example as I can't be bothered to dig the thing out and be totally accurate). Whole pages wasted.

I dunno, maybe I'm a bit too used to reading genuinely good comics at the moment to really appreciate a competant clogger. More happens in some Planetary panels than Furman's managed in best part of a hundred pages. While it promises to be the best TF work this side of G2 to date, it certainly doesn't mean it's especially good.

When #6 arrives, if it's in the same vein, I'll be very interested to time myself reading the whole series. To me, so far, it fits in aboutt the same as the original limited series - some fine ideas, could lay some good groundwork, but not of particularly high quality in itself.


As a minor segue, interesting to see Mr Optimus Prime write in. Got to love the way Ryall questionned his sanity, but then saw he was a soldier and decided that he must be some sort of national hero. Gutless wretch.
 

Last edited by Cliffjumper; 2006-06-07 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 2006-06-07, 02:04 PM   #256
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Previews shouldn't take six months and cost £13+...
Exactly.

Yet, you will find those who think the pacing is adequate here criticize DW's ongoing for being plodding.

I can understand someone saying they didn't like the Sunstorm Saga because the story was bull****, but to criticize the pacing and then praise how Infiltration is set up is ridiculous.

I'm not bashing Infiltration, as I tend to like most of it, but there are definite, obvious flaws it how its layed out over six months.
 
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Old 2006-06-07, 02:17 PM   #257
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
And I love how the promo poster-thing for Stormbringer stops just short of "It's not like Infiltration, we promise! Please give us money!".
Yeah, I thought the "NO HUMANS!" tagline was a bit odd as well, advertising the comic by telling you what's not in it...

So, what odds on Optimus turning up on the last two pages, sorting it all out and a "The end... OR IS IT?!" moment with the Hitler lookalike and friends capturing Blitzwings and Skywarp?

Quote:
As a minor segue, interesting to see Mr Optimus Prime write in. Got to love the way Ryall questionned his sanity, but then saw he was a soldier and decided that he must be some sort of national hero. Gutless wretch.
Hey, that guys keeping oil in American hands... Errrrr, I mean liberating the free world from tyrany. Gawd bless'im.
 

Last edited by inflatable dalek; 2006-06-07 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 2006-06-07, 03:21 PM   #258
Denyer
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Previews shouldn't take six months and cost £13+...
I'm fairly sure the first sixty or so issues of Marvel US did. And there's nothing of any originality in the first arcs of Ultimate X-Men (or any of them, really.)

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
like many of Pat Lee's layouts, they suffer from being simply too quick to read
Happily it's actually worth paying attention to the art, and not just to try to work out what the hell's going on. They're certainly not dialogue-heavy, and there are a lot of silent panels and some large ones.

I'm finding a huge difference between reading the issues on-screen and reading the paper copies. With paper I skim a great deal more, on a monitor I pay more attention to panels rather than only settling gaze where there's a dialogue balloon.

I've also just borrowed Hellboy: Strange Places off a friend, and there are huge tracts of it that are just narration or without dialogue. Doesn't feel like a short trade at all.

There are plenty of times I wish Su was colouring Infiltration himself, though. His covers are really sharp.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Got to love the way Ryall questionned his sanity, but then saw he was
And you know this because it's in the reply. Therein lies a deliberate style of commentary, plus the main technique of Yes Minister.

Quote:
Originally posted by Shockwav
Yet, you will find those who think the pacing is adequate here criticize DW's ongoing for being plodding.

I can understand someone saying they didn't like the Sunstorm Saga because the story was bull****, but to criticize the pacing
I consider it a pacing issue when little happens and, as Smooth said, things are eminently predictable. It's not that "nothing happens" in a literal sense -- there's something on those pages, whether filler dialogue or X blowing Y up. It's whether my attention's being held and I want to see what happens next. That involves pace and hooks.
 
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Old 2006-06-07, 03:25 PM   #259
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I'm now thinking that all three humans will survive after all as that cave in would have been the ideal place to toast one if they were going to do it.

I'd actually say my favorite bit of the issue was the very apologetic way Blitzwing went to zap Megatron. I just liked the idea they only attacked him by accident rather than the usual more overt backstabing.
 
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Old 2006-06-07, 04:15 PM   #260
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
I'm fairly sure the first sixty or so issues of Marvel US did. And there's nothing of any originality in the first arcs of Ultimate X-Men (or any of them, really.)
To write off the first sixty issues of the Us comic as a "preview" is harsh, to be honest. At least half of the issues entertain on their own terms, and didn't use the mentality that there would always be another half-a-dozen issues coming at some point to entertain you. Infiltration seems to be purposefully written from the point of simply being a build-up; the US comic wasn't written simply to set up the Unicron war.

Besides which, slating the Budiansky comics or Ultimate X-Men doesn't really excuse any of the problems that I, and others, have with Infiltration. Pointing out the failings of other comic series isn't relevant to the pacing of Infiltration - otherwise I'd counter by listing a fair number of series that have acheived considerably moreso, often from scratch without the associations that Furman has been able to use.

Quote:
Happily it's actually worth paying attention to the art, and not just to try to work out what the hell's going on. They're certainly not dialogue-heavy, and there are a lot of silent panels and some large ones.
Personally, I've rarely been one to sit down and savour artwork as it tends to break the flow of the story... For me art in a comic story has to be merely functional. Detail is good, obviously, but I'm never really going to loiter over it.

Quote:
I've also just borrowed Hellboy: Strange Places off a friend, and there are huge tracts of it that are just narration or without dialogue. Doesn't feel like a short trade at all.
Oh, the approach can work, don't get me wrong... V for Vendetta's stripped-down action sequences, for example (the main example that leaps to mind is the fantastic moment when Almond pulls the gun on V), while dependant on the writer/artist, some of the Nuff Said Marvel issues worked, as does alot of Frank Quitely's similar stuff. It just doesn't work for Infiltration, I find.

I personally feel the approach only really works for more, erm, reverential or mysterious (I'm struggling for the right word) slower passages. For battle scenes it's rather like looking at a group of animation cels. Of course, it's possible that by this stage I'm pageturning to try and find some sort of movement, but then that surely means that I, at least, am finding this more frustrating than suspenseful?

I'm pretty sure it's not just a matter of my attention span, either. I've re-read the likes of V and Watchmen repeatedly, and don't simply skim through the pages without dialogue or narration because I know what happens. It's possibly because in both cases I have faith it's going to be good, and aren't desperately looking for something to justify my spending money on them.

Quote:
And you know this because it's in the reply. Therein lies a deliberate style of commentary, plus the main technique of Yes Minister.
I'd say that's an incredibly charitable reading, especially considering the generally brainless "Yeh rock on let's placate everyone!" style of the letters page (segue: I fully realise that Ryall is "in character" for the page)...

Quote:
I consider it a pacing issue when little happens and, as Smooth said, things are eminently predictable. It's not that "nothing happens" in a literal sense -- there's something on those pages, whether filler dialogue or X blowing Y up. It's whether my attention's being held and I want to see what happens next. That involves pace and hooks.
I'd say so far Infiltration has largely failed on that for me. I don't think anything so far in the series has actually surprised me. Sure, a couple of bits are different, but there's been nothing that has had me going "Christ, never thought of that!". None of the characters have been significantly different from how they've been presented before, and the plot (as we know it so far) is only a moderate twist (a covert version of the war is simply a logical flip from the "OMG! GIANT ROBOTS!" approach of the 1980s material; the rest until it's converted into something interesting is merely details). Aside from an air of pretentiousness (Furman seems to have sat down and thought "How would Ellis or Morrison have done Transformers?") it's brought little fresh to the series.
 
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