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Old 2006-06-27, 11:53 PM   #281
Aardvark
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Wales? O___o
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His track record of endings has been erratic to say the least. However there is a big bag excuse that some of the more OTT Fur-Fans who seem to forget that he is but a mere mortal occasionally whip our in to defend some of his more "Questionable" endings and I'm dying to know what's in the bag this time round if the ending “blows”. Now I don’t know if it will and needless to say I hope it won’t.

Still regardless of what’s been said, it will be a difficult task to pull off an ending that neither contains too much nor too little. I sincerely hope we get a well balanced/executed ending, as it’s a rather vital to a series that leans so heavily towards the TPB mentality

But when else fails tell a couple of Pat Lee tales...
 

-Alex???
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Old 2006-07-01, 06:30 AM   #282
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Issue #6 is expected for July 12th.
 
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Old 2006-07-01, 03:36 PM   #283
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Incidentally, what are James and Adam scripting now? Ultimate X-Men? JLA? Batman?
Menus?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
as I've said, it's the best thing we've had this side of G2, which is probably more an indictment of the various Dreamwave disappointments that it is a plus point for Infiltration - and both TF:WW mini-series looked good up to a similar point.
Indeed, Dark Ages was probably my favourite thing that DW put out -- if Furman was going for trying to make the reader feel as adrift and in-the-dark as the characters, it worked. I think there's a little of the same going on with Inf, with us getting information at the same pace as the squishies.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
the thing about the Marvel material is that you've always got to take into account that it was just another job for Bob, but for Furman it's been a lot more of a life's work
At the time it was just a job that remained quite fun and rewarding -- certainly not a feeling Budiansky left with. TFs is Furman's main comics experience, though he's done a lot of editing work on other mediums.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I dunno, it's like calling Stormwatch a preview for The Authority.
It's generally accepted to be and referred to as a lead-in, particularly with 'Bleed' -- we're in something of a minority preferring SW.

Rhythms I'd keep, despite its cheese factor, with Human Factor and all of the later pages of Neo-Knights getting the chop... the idea that CB and Rapture affect Unicron more than a combined army is somewhat ridiculous.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Infiltration is marketed as a series in its' own right, but unlike the first sixty issues of the US comic has yet to show us it has a story/stories of its' own to tell.
Decepticons intentionally arrive on Earth to break down government ability to mobilise resistance, and thereby take control of resources. Earth being one of several planets the Autobots have fought / are fighting / have lost the infiltration battle on. After fighting to preserve the infiltration, the 'Cons break cover as Earth becomes more strategically important than expected, drawing in other Transformers.

Dunno, how would you approach an introductory tale on Earth?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
In essence the basic characters are know to us and that's most of the work done... To suggest much more is to encroach on the territory of the insane G1 fanboys/girls who can extrapolate a thesis on Thundercracker's life from a couple of functionary lines in a cartoon episode.
We've already had the Autobots go from characters we'd expect to react like Ratchet (reasonably approachably) to a more militaristic, aloof and even hostile bunch. The Decepticons are even more regimented, despite being thuggish when given a chance -- short of having Thundercracker wax lyrical, it's a bit difficult to see how they'd be written differently, or where the bad guys would develop to, other than attempting to turn on Megatron despite their fear.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
my problem is that it takes a mixed approach... one minute we've having action spread across three pages, then we have a page where the speech bubbles are all squeezed in
Furman's doing himself relatively few favours by having denser dialogue concentrated on the last couple of pages of an issue (eg, #5) because people turn the page expected more of the same -- though it's tying in with the reader discovering things at the same rate as the characters.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I'd say putting them in a position of considerable power is a very simple twist
It has a knock-on effect for everything the Autobots do, plus we've never had the 'Cons as efficient killers. Whilst the older fiction promised invasion, the closest we got to it was G2 (the Empire wiping out San Fran, and Bludgeon drawing out Prime by running amok downtown.)

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
while I'm no big fan of the ongoing, you have to point out that the IDW G1 universe could be left looking just as fractal and untidy if the axe was to fall in a few issues' time
Even if you like Infiltration (which I do), it'd look like a damp squib if we only get to see one phase that's so far been described, yep.

Endings aren't Furman's forte, but crosspollinating fiction is something he's generally been very good at. This way we're going to get the "what are the Decepticons up to?" bit, reveals in the one-shots, conflict in the upcoming arcs, and it should all tie together.

Pat Lee love, for Dalek:
http://www.transfans.net/relics_20031120-1-008501.php
http://www.transfans.net/relics_20040421-6-017419.php
http://tfarchive.com/community/showt...threadid=19545
 
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Old 2006-07-01, 08:17 PM   #284
inflatable dalek
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Ohhhh, everythings merged!

I'm hoping that Infiltration ties up most of its loose ends (bar the obviously ongoing plts like the Hitler lookalike)- If it ends with loads of threads dangling how many of the more casual buyers going to remember when Escalator starts?
 
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Old 2006-07-01, 08:44 PM   #285
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Not sure about merging, TBH - we're likely to have overall discussion going on when some people (i.e. me. it's all about me, because I'm ****ing awesome) are still awaiting issues, which doesn't seem to happen in the Who thread.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Denyer
Menus?

Somewhere out there there's a Burger King menu with the "Energon snack" scene reproduced on it, then?

Quote:
Indeed, Dark Ages was probably my favourite thing that DW put out -- if Furman was going for trying to make the reader feel as adrift and in-the-dark as the characters, it worked. I think there's a little of the same going on with Inf, with us getting information at the same pace as the squishies.
Dark Ages... is hugely difficult to discuss. There was so much great stuff going on, but it fell so flat that a lot of it was lost. The last couple of issues were so bad it's difficult to apprecite the fine ideas going out of the window - and I'm not talking about the cheap explanation of the editor's knife, it fell apart when The Fallen (ahh, if ever a character was tarred by some idiot deriving his screenname from the poor thing... ) moved to the centre of the story instead of the much more interesting factional warfare we had early on.

Quote:
At the time it was just a job that remained quite fun and rewarding -- certainly not a feeling Budiansky left with. TFs is Furman's main comics experience, though he's done a lot of editing work on other mediums.
It's been his only real success, though. Everything else he's done has crashed and burned - whatever a vocal cult following of Death's Head will tell you. Hell, he managed to kill a Marvel mutant book in the mid-1990s... He keeps coming back to Transformers largely because he has nothing else to give, and it really threatens to be a case of diminishing returns (Infiltration is showing, IMO, equivalent promise to his DW work...), and much like Chris Claremont he risks soiling his legacy.

Quote:
It's generally accepted to be and referred to as a lead-in, particularly with 'Bleed' -- we're in something of a minority preferring SW.
Volume 2 definitley is, especially from the Midnighter/Apollo arc on. #37-50 of Vol. 1 is very, very much a work in its' own right, and it's very much an injustice to palm it off as a lead-in - for one, it sets Jack off in a totally different direction to that which The Authority would take.

Quote:
Rhythms I'd keep, despite its cheese factor, with Human Factor and all of the later pages of Neo-Knights getting the chop... the idea that CB and Rapture affect Unicron more than a combined army is somewhat ridiculous.
I'd also add rewriting the format of Matrix Quest so it featured less filler. Spread "Bird of Prey" across two issues, inserting short scenes of various other teams following dead ends and some way of conveying passage of time, then "Dark Creation", then "All Fall Down". I'd cut the Neo-Knights out altogther too... just have Grimlock's reinforcements giving the opening for Prime, rewrite the ending of Rhythms so something hopeful but more logical (I'd probably just remove the nuclear sub-plot - just have the Autobots trying one last time... I mean, why not, basically? Do they need a reason to go in and try to kill him?).


Quote:
Decepticons intentionally arrive on Earth to break down government ability to mobilise resistance, and thereby take control of resources. Earth being one of several planets the Autobots have fought / are fighting / have lost the infiltration battle on. After fighting to preserve the infiltration, the 'Cons break cover as Earth becomes more strategically important than expected, drawing in other Transformers.
You just summed up six issues in seven lines... without mentioning a fair bit of the stuff that's been clogging up the pages

Quote:
Dunno, how would you approach an introductory tale on Earth?
Along the lines of Infiltration, but a lot more compact. Avril aside, I've had very little problem with the story, just with the scripts, if you follow. Compact it down to four issues (more than possible), spread the dialogue out a little and be a little more focused is what I'd try and do. I mean, there have been some good decisions - notably making Earth just one place, nothing special, a cross on a theoretical map in Decepticon HQ. It's the execution I generally have fault with. #5 just reminds me far too much of the tongue-in-cheek 'Nuff Said New X-Men issue. Pages of largely irrelevant imagery, info-dump on P22.

Quote:
We've already had the Autobots go from characters we'd expect to react like Ratchet (reasonably approachably) to a more militaristic, aloof and even hostile bunch. The Decepticons are even more regimented, despite being thuggish when given a chance -- short of having Thundercracker wax lyrical, it's a bit difficult to see how they'd be written differently, or where the bad guys would develop to, other than attempting to turn on Megatron despite their fear.
Militaristic Decepticons have been done, in G2. That they're a different set is largely splitting hairs - if, for example, Jazz has Nightbeat's character, it's not a brave decision, it's the same old thing in brand new drag. The Autobots are a bit more interesting, I'll grant you, but the only ones we can draw much from are Ratchet and Bumblebee (who are both basically in their late-Marvel modes). The others at this stage are largely following procedure is my reading, something I expect to fade after they're exposed to moralistic speeches from The Adventure Kids.

I'd generally prefer if we had more scenes of the Transformers interacting with each other, so we had mroe than throwaway lines to draw on. I know the narrative hook is we know as much as Avril & co., I'm just not sure how satisfying that will be, and it will be something of a waste when/if that approach is junked (going by this series' relatively realistic approach, they're not going to be riding into battle in Bumblebee to trade punches with Rumble - hearing about developments second-hand when Ratchet reports to Our Heroes in their cage-thing would be terribly dull) in favour of something else.

Quote:
Furman's doing himself relatively few favours by having denser dialogue concentrated on the last couple of pages of an issue (eg, #5) because people turn the page expected more of the same -- though it's tying in with the reader discovering things at the same rate as the characters.
See above for #5 And I think the idea of finding things out at the same rate as the kids will grow frustrating if stuck to, and changing approaches could be jarring. I think as a story-telling device it's been stretched beyond its' usefulness.

Quote:
It has a knock-on effect for everything the Autobots do, plus we've never had the 'Cons as efficient killers. Whilst the older fiction promised invasion, the closest we got to it was G2 (the Empire wiping out San Fran, and Bludgeon drawing out Prime by running amok downtown.)
It's still a very simple case of raising the stakes, which possibly has as much to do with the change in demographics reading the book as anything else. It's all common-sense stuff. Good, but hardly groundbreaking - c'mon, let's be honest, there have been people saying that sort of thing on boards for years. We all effectively write Transformers stories in our heads whenever we say "It would have been much better in Shooting Star if..." or "Why don't they just take Omega Supreme over to the quarry?". It's a simple case of melding Transformers and Ultimate-style quasi-realism. Enjoyable and of respectable quality? For sure. Revolutionary? Uh-uh.

Quote:
Even if you like Infiltration (which I do), it'd look like a damp squib if we only get to see one phase that's so far been described, yep.
I'd say I like Infiltration, but it's very much a qualified success, and has the potential to be a missed opportunity. We can't really write it off on its' own failings, but at the same time we can't laud it on its' own merits, and I'm not sure what that says about the story's weight and content. I very much want to like Infiltration - Furman's trying stuff that's new to him, which bodes well, and IDW are making more right noises than wrong ones. I just think that after five and a bit issues, we should be able to do a bit more than speculate on whether Infiltration's positives might be converted in a year's time.

Quote:
[b]Endings aren't Furman's forte, but crosspollinating fiction is something he's generally been very good at. This way we're going to get the "what are the Decepticons up to?" bit, reveals in the one-shots, conflict in the upcoming arcs, and it should all tie together. [b/]
Considering Furman's poor record with endings, I'm very afraid he's going to avoid them, and give us an Armada-style rolling ending, which would be deeply disappointing. As I've said elsewhere, Infiltration needs to function as a story in its' own right, as well as a piece of a larger story... It could well still do so, and I really hope it does, as I don't like owning comics I don't re-read. I think #6 needs to make few bones about what the Decepticons are up to, and have some level of confrontation, and tie up some of the loose ends so we're all set to hit the ground running for Escalation... as I've said, if this is doomed to be The Set-Up Arc, it needs to do its' job so the first couple of issues of Escalation aren't still doing set-up. Furman's in danger of doing a Brad Mick and opening up little threads all over the place without resolving any of them.
 
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Old 2006-07-01, 08:49 PM   #286
inflatable dalek
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The thing with the Dark Ages is that Furman didn't seem to like it very much- Not just due to editorial interferance at the end- He seemed to think the whole "Spliting up" of the fractions thing didn't work very well. Hence Age of Wrath bringing everybody back together. So what does it say if the best thing he did for DW was the one he was least happy with?
 
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Old 2006-07-02, 07:32 PM   #287
Denyer
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Not sure about merging, TBH - we're likely to have overall discussion going on when some people (i.e. me. it's all about me, because I'm ****ing awesome) are still awaiting issues, which doesn't seem to happen in the Who thread.
I was thinking individual threads for each issue of a story arc of the main title, to be later merged for easy reading.

Would people prefer individual issue threads for Stormbringer?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Dark Ages... is hugely difficult to discuss. There was so much great stuff going on, but it fell so flat that a lot of it was lost. The last couple of issues were so bad it's difficult to apprecite the fine ideas going out of the window - and I'm not talking about the cheap explanation of the editor's knife, it fell apart when The Fallen (ahh, if ever a character was tarred by some idiot deriving his screenname from the poor thing... ) moved to the centre of the story instead of the much more interesting factional warfare we had early on.
Yeah. I'm pretty sure The Fallen sprung out of a Pat Lee sketch, followed by Furman doing some enthusiastic head-nodding towards his corporate then-masters. Cut out the pages with The Fallen and mix in Age of Wrath and the second volume of WW could've been something really special.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
It's been his only real success, though. Everything else he's done has crashed and burned - whatever a vocal cult following of Death's Head will tell you. Hell, he managed to kill a Marvel mutant book in the mid-1990s... He keeps coming back to Transformers largely because he has nothing else to give
I think the 90s managed to drive enough Marvel titles into remission with or without Furman -- and he seems to keep himself busy and profitably employed between people trying to do TF revivals.

Haven't read enough Armada/Energon to comment on that, but the first WW came across (to me) after the preview to be art-led, particularly the Megs/Prime fight, and what's been seen/solicited by IDW to be stronger than those fifteen issues for Dreamwave.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Volume 2 definitley is, especially from the Midnighter/Apollo arc on. #37-50 of Vol. 1 is very, very much a work in its' own right, and it's very much an injustice to palm it off as a lead-in - for one, it sets Jack off in a totally different direction to that which The Authority would take.
That Jack's true to Ellis on TA, at least -- it's Millar who sticks him in charge of the team and (at least in my opinion) ruins the character by playing up thuggish tendencies.

A problem with SW is that it's almost all setup for something -- the bulk of Force of Nature is setting up the new team, leaving Change or Die and Lightning Strikes material as the core of the book. And it's a core equal to anything in Ellis' 12-issue run of TA, making it unfortunate that it's surrounded with so much transitional material. It's likewise a shame what happened to TA, Ellis' run leading into several years of crap, beginning with a strong first story from Millar that gradually settled into shock stuff and farce.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I'd also add rewriting the format of Matrix Quest so it featured less filler. Spread "Bird of Prey" across two issues, inserting short scenes of various other teams following dead ends and some way of conveying passage of time, then "Dark Creation", then "All Fall Down". I'd cut the Neo-Knights out altogther too... just have Grimlock's reinforcements giving the opening for Prime, rewrite the ending of Rhythms so something hopeful but more logical (I'd probably just remove the nuclear sub-plot - just have the Autobots trying one last time... I mean, why not, basically? Do they need a reason to go in and try to kill him?).
It'd be hard (i.e. illegal) to distribute, but I wonder how possible it'd be to cut this together using existing panel art?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
You just summed up six issues in seven lines... without mentioning a fair bit of the stuff that's been clogging up the pages
Cutting down to the stuff that's grabbed my attention, yeah. As for "clogging" -- it'd be hard for anything general about TFs getting established on Earth to surprise, unless a writer went for them turning up with an invasion fleet (hey, there's an idea for an Evolutions book, rather than TFs-through-time.) The window dressing of "group of squishies meets TFs, get stuff explained to them at same time we do" doesn't irritate me, put it that way.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Along the lines of Infiltration, but a lot more compact. Avril aside, I've had very little problem with the story, just with the scripts, if you follow. Compact it down to four issues (more than possible), spread the dialogue out a little and be a little more focused is what I'd try and do. I mean, there have been some good decisions - notably making Earth just one place, nothing special, a cross on a theoretical map in Decepticon HQ. It's the execution I generally have fault with. #5 just reminds me far too much of the tongue-in-cheek 'Nuff Said New X-Men issue. Pages of largely irrelevant imagery, info-dump on P22.
What issue's the X-Men? I'll try to find it, so I have some context to put comments in...

If there were three double-sized issues (1-2, 3-4, 5-6) would that mollify, or would the three parts each seem overlong?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Militaristic Decepticons have been done, in G2.
Without character, apart from Jhiaxus -- Megatron's bunch are the same ragtag lot they've always been.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
The others at this stage are largely following procedure is my reading, something I expect to fade after they're exposed to moralistic speeches from The Adventure Kids.
Coming soon: IDW introduces Transformers Kiss Play to the West.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I know the narrative hook is we know as much as Avril & co., I'm just not sure how satisfying that will be, and it will be something of a waste when/if that approach is junked (going by this series' relatively realistic approach, they're not going to be riding into battle in Bumblebee to trade punches with Rumble
Which'll be a nice change from the run-of-the-mill endangerment in various shows...

It can't last, certainly. As a theme, I do think it suits infiltration (covert actions, investigation, being amongst humans) and won't so much something that's an escalation. It's been suggested we'll still see the squishies in some capacity, which I'm curious about as I can't offhand think of ways they'd be useful.

Changing approaches shouldn't be too jarring -- if Prime is sending reinforcements to handle the suped-up 'Cons, it's only natural new characters will get panel time and draw the focus.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
It's a simple case of melding Transformers and Ultimate-style quasi-realism. Enjoyable and of respectable quality? For sure. Revolutionary? Uh-uh.
Revolutionary in its own context, which is the most a series can be without switching tack completely and becoming a different proposition (eg, Miracleman.) Exceptions to this are very rare, such as Morrison's Animal Man.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I'd say I like Infiltration, but it's very much a qualified success, and has the potential to be a missed opportunity. We can't really write it off on its' own failings, but at the same time we can't laud it on its' own merits, and I'm not sure what that says about the story's weight and content. I very much want to like Infiltration - Furman's trying stuff that's new to him, which bodes well, and IDW are making more right noises than wrong ones. I just think that after five and a bit issues, we should be able to do a bit more than speculate on whether Infiltration's positives might be converted in a year's time.
Even if it were chopped down an issue or two, there'd still be the qualifications of it being an introductory arc since it's not founded on an existing starting point* -- some'd just be happier because they'd have a couple less issues of what they view as the setup.

*DW were able to say that they were roughly in season two, T2006 was able to take the movie as pre-existent context, etc.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Considering Furman's poor record with endings, I'm very afraid he's going to avoid them, and give us an Armada-style rolling ending, which would be deeply disappointing. As I've said elsewhere, Infiltration needs to function as a story in its' own right, as well as a piece of a larger story... It could well still do so, and I really hope it does, as I don't like owning comics I don't re-read. I think #6 needs to make few bones about what the Decepticons are up to, and have some level of confrontation, and tie up some of the loose ends so we're all set to hit the ground running for Escalation... as I've said, if this is doomed to be The Set-Up Arc, it needs to do its' job so the first couple of issues of Escalation aren't still doing set-up.
Yep. What I see happening for #6 is a battle, with reinforcements being ordered or dispatched by Prime in the wake of it, establishing that this is going to be an ongoing campaign as long as the stakes are extant (ore or other advantage) -- Escalation can start with that in place, rather than picking up a few minutes later, something that's particularly necessary given there's now a gap between Infiltration and Escalation.
 
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Old 2006-07-02, 08:57 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer


Would people prefer individual issue threads for Stormbringer?
I'd prefer it, but I can't justify it beyond it being for my own selfish reasons. I mean, if we're still doing this in three days' time, I'm going to have to just bail on the thread until my issue hits the mat, which knowing Royal Mail could be as late as the 10th, by which time I'll have lost my train of thought. I suppose, actually, it's a good sign to how much I'm enjoying the material that I'm avoiding spoilers - I didn't bother with DW, let's put it that way.

Quote:
Yeah. I'm pretty sure The Fallen sprung out of a Pat Lee sketch, followed by Furman doing some enthusiastic head-nodding towards his corporate then-masters. Cut out the pages with The Fallen and mix in Age of Wrath and the second volume of WW could've been something really special.
Quite possible, actually... Lee seemed to act as an Executive Editor for most titles, and could have decided the series needed more of a hook (to be fair, the other characters besides the Dinos may have failed to sell beyond those already interested in Furman books... A Pat Lee design would have drawn in his fans to a certain extent).

I still find it very frustrating we didn't get an ending to AoW, however mixed what we had so far was. Energon or G1 I can deal with, but it'd be nice to think the WW TPBs would sell well enough to justify a graphic novel one-shot comprising the 3 published issues and some attempt to wrap up the story - I'd guess a fair bit got to some stage of completion, and I could deal with inks.

Quote:
I think the 90s managed to drive enough Marvel titles into remission with or without Furman -- and he seems to keep himself busy and profitably employed between people trying to do TF revivals.
Not really in the comics field, though - he doesn't seem to have done much for Marvel after about 1996, and then it's a few TV episodes here and there for a few years.

Quote:
Haven't read enough Armada/Energon to comment on that, but the first WW came across (to me) after the preview to be art-led, particularly the Megs/Prime fight, and what's been seen/solicited by IDW to be stronger than those fifteen issues for Dreamwave.
Hmm... We'd have to see more of the bigger picture to judge whether his IDW work is a step back up from his DW work. That started off very strongly (dare I suggest he'd had a few years to build up some ideas, which were then worked into acceptable pitches for DW?), and we could well see the same thing happen. That said, I think it helps that IDW have told him he can do one big story as long as it can be packaged as smaller stories. The Dreamwave work generally shows him up as an old-fashioned writer. Hopefully the G1 format for IDW will strike the right balance. That said, though, with the IDW work he's out of excuses - he's got pretty much total creative control.

Quote:
That Jack's true to Ellis on TA, at least -- it's Millar who sticks him in charge of the team and (at least in my opinion) ruins the character by playing up thuggish tendencies.
I was thinking more specifically of the ethical backflip he makes off-screen... He's very clearly shown to be anti-killing, more than any other member of the team - even the gloriously heroic Winter doesn't make such a big thing of not liking to kill people, whereas with Jack we get it nailed home with JFK 2 and Rose. Then suddenly he's not only killing people, but dropping one-liners like "I've been dying to punch someone in the brains all day", and then literally doing it - you could see SW Jack just kicking limbs off everyone instead, like some streetfighting Terminator. I'd agree Millar took it too far, to the character's detriment. Too often later on he's just an arsehole, which sadly made the Eye of the Storm stuff a fair logical progression... but Ellis and Millar both made this development possible by upturning the character's morals for no readily apparent reason. I know Jenny probably sat him down and said "If we're going to change the world, we're going to have to kill the bastards", but some reference to it, and Jack not enjoying it quite so much, would have helped.

Quote:
A problem with SW is that it's almost all setup for something -- the bulk of Force of Nature is setting up the new team, leaving Change or Die and Lightning Strikes material as the core of the book. And it's a core equal to anything in Ellis' 12-issue run of TA, making it unfortunate that it's surrounded with so much transitional material. It's likewise a shame what happened to TA, Ellis' run leading into several years of crap, beginning with a strong first story from Millar that gradually settled into shock stuff and farce.
Hmmm... I think that by the end of Ellis' first issue, the teams are largley settled, he just takes the route of vignettes from then until Change or Die. If you ever have the misfortune to sit down to sit down and read the whole Stormwatch run, as opposed to Ellis' stuff, while a little wooden and flat, you know Nikolas, Nigel, Toshiro, Jackson, Henry, Victora and Shen to a certain extent, so you're only really getting to know Jenny, Jack, Rose and one I've forgotten. Have I? Anyway, the first TPB seems a bit less crowded that way. It is odd that are so few outright team stories in there (I mean, both Excalibur and the Authority show us Ellis is neither adverse nor incapable of these), and then *bang* we're on to Vol. 2 and Ellis just doesn't care for Stormwatch at all - which bothers me a bit, as characters I've really grown to like get shafted (Fuji's last line comes in something like #6).

I think Millar's problem was reading positive reviews of the series' approach, and working them into the series... suddenly the whole bunch of them seem to be patting themselves on the back for being so radical (that gut-churning speech at the end of The Last Issue, for example), and also starts to bend the characters to whatever the hell he wants them to be.

Quote:
It'd be hard (i.e. illegal) to distribute, but I wonder how possible it'd be to cut this together using existing panel art?
It'd certainly be fun to try... God, I wonder if I've actually still got scans of that lot...

Quote:
Cutting down to the stuff that's grabbed my attention, yeah. As for "clogging" -- it'd be hard for anything general about TFs getting established on Earth to surprise, unless a writer went for them turning up with an invasion fleet (hey, there's an idea for an Evolutions book, rather than TFs-through-time.) The window dressing of "group of squishies meets TFs, get stuff explained to them at same time we do" doesn't irritate me, put it that way.
Hmmm... to be honest this is down to both of our personal tastes. For me, I don't see any real need to see things from the human point of view. I mean, obviously there should be humans,a nd even recurring human characters - it's their planet, after all - but I don't think a comic like this needs an audience identification figure. It's failing to create much tension, and, well, we're not reading a Transformers comic for a bunch of teenagers, are we?

I've just got a feeling we're going to end up with the worst of both worlds... once the TF action gets going, the Adventure Kids will be shunted to the background, and all the groundwork will have just been a waste of space.

Quote:
What issue's the X-Men? I'll try to find it, so I have some context to put comments in...
New #121... it's a bit of a harsh comparison on Infiltration, but that's what it reminded me of. I'll try to get some scans sorted this week, but it's literally one page showing that Jean and Emma are entering Xavier's head to find out what's going on, they spend 20 pages stumbling through wacked-out imagery, and then on the last page Jean just says "Charles tried to strangle his twin sister in the womb". My pet theory is that Morrison wasn't that enamoured with a Marvel publicity stunt being smacked right in the middle of his plot-arc, and basically trod water for an issue, whereas everyone else was forced to try and work the silent format into their ongoing storylines. I can't quite decide whether that's cool or wanky, to be honest

Quote:
If there were three double-sized issues (1-2, 3-4, 5-6) would that mollify, or would the three parts each seem overlong?
Hmmm... I don't think it would have helped. I'd have preferred a tightly-edited four-parter myself. Because my memory's not teribly good at seperating this sort of thing, and because I'm usually reading several other things whenever a new issue turns up, I usually re-read the preceding issues before the new one, and #5 didn't seem especially better for its' first read coming straight off the back of #0-4... if anything, it heightened the frustration a little more. If they were 44-pagers, it'd probably just heighten my believe that some stuff could have been compacted. Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of arty build-up, I don't just want fight-exposition-character arrival-fight-fight-exposition or anything, I just feel like a lot of Infiltration's been building stuff up that's fallen flat (notably the fight scenes... the problem is that the narrative seems to skip gears, and you end up reading the fight scenes at the same pace you're reading scenes were it's just Ratchet driving around desert, so they seem languid and slow...). I dunno, the only other comic I pick up is Planetary, which has a phenominally dense narrative (it must be said without being at all rushed, or even very exposition/action-orientated), so maybe I'm just used to single issues being valid reads in their own right?

Quote:
Without character, apart from Jhiaxus -- Megatron's bunch are the same ragtag lot they've always been.
Hmmm, based on a few lines of dialogue, and Blitzwing, Thundercracker and Skywarp had no discernable character in the first place (don't anyone wave Triple bloody Takeover in my face, if it wasn't for the judicious use of the tank alt-mode any Decepticon would have fitted that script. And anyone could have done the honour bit in FFoD too. If Astrotrain had had that line, we wouldn't all be sitting here now going "It should have been Blitzwing, you could see he was like that all through the show"). I'd say they're still light on character, and like the Autobots are trading on past association. And we really haven't seen them do an awful lot so far beyond a bit of bombing - if we're going on implication, Megatron was a lot bloodier in Marvel material.

Quote:
It can't last, certainly. As a theme, I do think it suits infiltration (covert actions, investigation, being amongst humans) and won't so much something that's an escalation. It's been suggested we'll still see the squishies in some capacity, which I'm curious about as I can't offhand think of ways they'd be useful.
But following Infiltration they're going to take a backseat, minimum? See, this is kidna what I'm afraid of. If Furman does something useful with Avril (I genuinely can't remember the character's name any more I've made that lame joke so often... ) it'd justify turning over huge chunks of the first few issues to her... if nothing comes of them, they've been a colossal waste of pages, and will probably have put a few people off to boot.

Quote:
Revolutionary in its own context, which is the most a series can be without switching tack completely and becoming a different proposition (eg, Miracleman.) Exceptions to this are very rare, such as Morrison's Animal Man.
I'd say G2 was more radical, and this feels more like a step backwards. This is the Ultimate X-Men to the New X-Men, if you will. It's changing things, but on very safe terms - it's often simple subversion, like Furman's watched a Season 1 boxed set, written down what he thought was unrealistic, and simply picked an alternative to it.

Miracleman I've always thought of as an evolutionary story... I don't feel much of a total about-ships between the second and third books (I'm guessing this is where you're talking about). In a way, like Infiltration, it's Moore sitting down and thinking "What would really happen?", and the Qvys/Warpsmiths and Winter seem very much like natural steps. Only Miraclewoman seems like an artificial element to speed up the move towards utopia.

Quote:
Even if it were chopped down an issue or two, there'd still be the qualifications of it being an introductory arc since it's not founded on an existing starting point* -- some'd just be happier because they'd have a couple less issues of what they view as the setup.
Oh yeh, I agree we need set-up, and set-up is never the best part of any comic series. I just think this one has been overlong, and has struggled at times to show us what is being set up at the same pace we're realising it, if you follow. I feel the basic set-up work was done fairly early on, and it;s being drawn out now. This is kind-of what I mean when I accuse Infiltration of lacking content... the stuff's all there, but it's all decompressed and spread out for no particularly good reason other than to fill six issues.

Quote:
Yep. What I see happening for #6 is a battle, with reinforcements being ordered or dispatched by Prime in the wake of it, establishing that this is going to be an ongoing campaign as long as the stakes are extant (ore or other advantage) -- Escalation can start with that in place, rather than picking up a few minutes later, something that's particularly necessary given there's now a gap between Infiltration and Escalation.
Yep, that'd be my ideal case scenario too. Well, I say ideal - realistic expectation is more like it, I see no need to abandon the Earth storyline for six months. I still fail to see why Stormbringer has to totally focus on a different cast and setting, and we run the risk of having another set-up arc to lay out Cybertron. Why not just mix Escalation and Stormbringer into one big story? Juxtaposing Cybertron and Earth action has worked well before (it was even fairly successful in the DW ongoing... well, it certainly wasn't the book's downfall, at least).
 
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Old 2006-07-05, 10:43 AM   #289
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
Issue #6 is expected for July 5th.
Yeah, for you folks in the UK. We here in the U.S. will not get ours until Thursday the 6th due to the holiday and all. If I'm wrong please let me know, 'cause Wed. just isn't the same without comics.
 

"The incessant laughter alone, echoing through dark steek corridors, is enough to make one doubt the very exsitence of insanity." --Description of The Joker from Batman: Knightfall

(Transformers related? Nope. But it's still a cool sig and it could be applied to Galvatron. )
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Old 2006-07-05, 08:36 PM   #290
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****ing distribution...

http://www.diamondcomics.com/shippin...ted_071206.txt

Hearts of Steel #1 is confirmed for this week, though.
 
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Old 2006-07-05, 11:29 PM   #291
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Wonderful, IDW has alsready adopted the DW distribution habits.
 
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Old 2006-07-06, 10:39 AM   #292
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IDW don't seem to have much control over which week Diamond ship, once the books are passed to the distributor -- though I'd kinda like it cleared up how much they do have.

I mean, I don't care from the point of view of remembering to pick stuff up from a store, but delays can and often do affect sales, and if it isn't the company's fault, Diamond are stiffing their publishers.
 
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Old 2006-07-06, 12:30 PM   #293
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I'm also dreading the influx of "We waited that long for this!!!"

There was already a lot of pressure on this issue to be good and the delays certainly don’t help matters; they compound the dissatisfaction of some readers and often raise the expectation level of the audience.
.
 

-Alex???
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Old 2006-07-06, 01:19 PM   #294
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aardvark
I'm also dreading the influx of "We waited that long for this!!!"
Nah, don't be silly -- most won't work out the vB code for italics...
 
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Old 2006-07-13, 02:23 AM   #295
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Read it just now and so, here we go.

I want to be believe that this story was worth telling.

I want to believe that after six-issues of story, that something worthwhile, something groundbreaking would have happened.

I want to believe that Simon's decades-long bag of storytelling tricks can never end.

But after turning that last page, I am left a doubter. I am left unimpressed.

It's not that the premise of this series was bad, it was its delivery that began to falter after the first two issues, as Blitzwing above aptly mentions. We are left with most plot lines open at series end, a strategy much akin to the Sunstorm Saga and its failure to achieve sufficient closure.

There were bright spots in this issue. The battle between Starscream and Megatron was done somewhat well. It harkened back to the early issues of Marvel, #6, when it was Megatron and Shockwave battling at the base of Mount St. Hiliary. But in the end, reminiscing aside, is it not still just a battle between Megatron and Starscream, a battle we have seen time and time again? I mean, had Starscream actually won...that would have been something to write home about. As it is, Starscream ending of with a big hole in his chest is something I can hardly say is surprising.

Autobots show up to the scene. And what do they do? Absolutely nothing. They are spectators, like us. One might think that even they were quite bored by another Starscream/Megatron clash.

I'm still unclear as to what seige mode is, still unclear as to what the Decepticons true intentions for being on Earth are. What was the deal with that skeleton in that abondoned Decepticon base early on anyway?

Artiwise, after seeing the sample pages on this website, I was highly impressed. But as the issue progressed, the artwork declined. The TF faces looked like they were melted wax in many panels, very indistinct. But you know what? Despite these artistic "flaws", I forgive E.J. everything for that kickass Prime pic at the end. I mean, I actually felt for the first time ever in reading a TF comic that I was actually there standing at the feet looking up at this towering robotic figure. Fantastic effect, E.J.! I don't know how after twenty years I have not experienced that effect until now, but that Prime pic for me goes down as one of the greatest TF pieces ever.

So overall, this issue, and this series, fell flat for me. I've said it before, I'll say it again, this was a three to four page story at most. Pacing was sloooooooooooooooooooowwww.

Issue #6: C-
Infiltration series overall: B-
 
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Old 2006-07-13, 02:15 PM   #296
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Another little niggle but the holgrams that the Autobots had as part of their disguise. Why is Ironhide being driven by a US senator, and shouldn't Prowl have a policeman at the wheel instead of a man in grey.
 

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Old 2006-07-13, 09:12 PM   #297
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So 6 issues (7, if you count #0) and all it lead up to was Starscream and Megatron having a power-struggle and (OMG!!!11!!!) Optimus Prime showing up at the end?

This arc left me pining for Dreamwave-era story-telling, and that's not a good thing.
 
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Old 2006-07-13, 09:14 PM   #298
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrSpengler
This arc left me pining for Dreamwave-era story-telling, and that's not a good thing.
Well, if issue 7 tells us Bltzwing isn't a triple changer yet it will be Dreamwave style storytelling!
 
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Old 2006-07-13, 10:19 PM   #299
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Smile Oops I couldn't stop typing...longgggggg

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

That pretty much sums up my feelings on this one; in many respects this was one of the best issues of the series however it was somewhat let down by a few crippling flaws.

Having said that as an individual issue it holds up better than most if not all of the previous issues. The pacing was spot on. Unlike the previous issue I didn't feel like I just read 4 pages nor did end so abruptly. More importantly it was an extremely enjoyable read. The dialogue/writing was superb and arguably the best of the series.

However as the final part of chapter 1 in an ongoing series it did not fare so well; very little was resolved or revealed and furthermore very little has changed since the first issue. I was a bit apprehensive of splitting the series into “phases” and this only reinforces my unease.

The premise wasn’t great; Megs v Starscream! *Sigh* Yeah I’ve been banging on about that for a long time but in fairness it was handled well and surprisingly didn’t reek of “Underbase”. The fact that he was able to best Screamers without him “overloading” or Prime showing up and saving the day was a nice surprise. I expected Screamers to be a lot more super powered and I was quite pleased to proven wrong. The subtle, anticlimax was somewhat of a refreshing approach.

In fact the big battle was rather nifty. In terms of Transformers they don’t get much better; extremely well executed and wonderful to look at; the impact of the battle was helped by Infiltration’s cinematic approach to Transformers and the final blow was one of the best scenes of the entire series.

Furman has given us a fantastic portrayal of Megatron. Perhaps it’s down to Megs not getting his ass kicked or perhaps it’s because he doesn’t come across as a complete knob. Simon’s made it clear that he’s a proper, military commander who is indeed a threat.

There’s no cartoon villainy here! The same can’t be said for Screamers however even he’s more camp than cartoonish and the contrast between the two characters works rather well. I love the sense of Decepticon pride Megs seems to uphold. IDW’s Megs could be a match for G2 Meggy.

I never thought I’d say this but I actually didn't mind Screamers. He added some “fun” to the story and appeared to be a tad more complex than his previous incarnations. He’s camp but not too camp. Still they should have killed him off for good; that was the lowest point of the issue, a complete cop-out and if he does come back and I pray he doesn't, he cannot continue to be the bugbear that is “Starscream” otherwise IDW will lose Aardvark points.
 

-Alex???

Last edited by Aardvark; 2006-07-14 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 2006-07-13, 10:21 PM   #300
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Talking Second half

...As for the Autobots, Furman’s got a pretty good foundation to build on; Sunstreaker and Jazz received some pretty decent characterisation more so the former than the latter. Yeah it’s nothing radical but Sunstreaker does receive some snappy, biting lines and the subtle portrayal of his sheer contempt for humans makes for excellent reading. Though Furman has really dropped the ball on the Wheeljack front. I actually liked the fact the Autobots stood back and watched and I love how little Meg’s cared about them.

The aforementioned Dickens quote also applies to the artwork. It started off wonderfully with some rich detailed scenes. And then it kind of took a nosedive and didn’t really recover. The style was a lot more consistent than the previous issues with Su maintaining his more cartoonish approach rather than the serious, realistic style he usually combines the former with. A pity really as I personally prefer Su’s mix and match approach.

The cartoonish approach, accompanied by some overly bright colours did not work in favour of the Transformers. Suntreaker’s colouring was diabolical. Overall the artwork was disappointing especially after seeing the impressive 5-page preview.

The ending (I’m really talking about the final page here) was unbelievably predictable and uninspiring leaving me with a slight taste of “Meh” though at least it was delivered well. Oh and the previous few pages with Machination didn’t add all that much to the story at hand, it’s pretty damn clear what they were up to.

The lack of human insight/panel time in this issue was a tad odd. Why Furman decided to make them less of a priority in the final issue is anyone’s guess. It didn’t seem like it was in keeping with the rest of the series. And the scene with Verity crying was more laughable than touching.

All in all a pretty good issue that didn’t add much to the series.

Sorry about the length
 

-Alex???

Last edited by Aardvark; 2006-07-13 at 11:07 PM.
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