Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

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inflatable dalek
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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by inflatable dalek » Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:04 pm

Spotlight Arcee gives us Furman's take on gender.

And boy is that going to be a thing when we get there...

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by Clay » Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:22 pm

I remember the rough gist of that as a Frankenstein's monster story, but not much else.

Onto issue #4! I only have a couple of thoughts on this one. First, it's a neat juxtaposition to have the human cast exploring an alien ship while having aliens disguised as an ambulance and a VW beetle just chilling in the woods. The humans face danger constantly, whereas the robots only have problems with other robots. The mirror of contrasts seem highlight each other's fish out of water dynamic neatly.

The other thing that occurred to me is that, despite being 4.5 issues in, I still don't really know why the transformers are on earth. I assume it's for a maguffin of some flavor, but compared to other continuities, it's being quite secretive. In G1, they're after energon; in the movie, they're after the allspark, and so on. It's not really what the stories are about, but it does at least give explanation for the setting being earth. With Infiltration, as of issue #4, I still don't know why the robots are here and being super sneaky. That's not to say that it should be the dominant story thread or anything, but it'd be nice just for context's sake.

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:00 pm

Ahhhh, well issue 5 will answer some of your questions.

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by Clay » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:02 pm

Right, it did. Special cosmic ore, got it. It's really more of a background context kind of thing, but they could have easily mentioned that as a possibility for their presence a couple of issues ago, amongst other things.

Glad you pointed out the POV shift from human to robot. I hadn't noticed at all.

The "get Verity out of the cave" bit didn't seem to go on as long as it did, but looking back at the page count, it really was half the issue. Huh. Agree about the pointless melodrama basically being a stand in or filler for some other content that got shifted to another title.

All those flaws aside, I still see the issue structure as a light/dark metaphor for knowledge. Humans bumbling around in the unknown with some sort of vague threat to escape versus the broad-daylight attack on Skywarp and Blitzwing by Megatron making all the positions clear. Could have been much tighter in the first half, though.

Hearts of Steel is next, huh? Do the people doing the collecting of issues into TPBs know that it's part of this continuity, or was the decision to include it done even later than that? It's not part of the TPBs on amazon, but rather it's its own little collection. I've skimmed through it, and it doesn't mark where one issue ends and another begins, so you'll have to note that in your write up.

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by inflatable dalek » Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:06 am

It only became canon *very* late in the day.

And the cliffhanger is Shockwave appearing.

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by Clay » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:04 pm

Per your scan of the page, the "to be continued" has been edited out of compilation available on comixology, although the next page has a [2] to note the issue change.

I enjoyed the first issue of Hearts of Steel. Hadn't read it since release (roughly). I have thoughts on the real-world people chosen to be characters in this and how it reflects on the piece as a whole, but it'll have to wait until we've finished all four issues as I don't really remember the shape of the plot after this much time has time passed.

I know I wrote an undergrad paper about it and adaptations of narratives at the time. I'll see if I can find it on backup drive and will post it when we get to issue four as I don't want to spoil the series for myself. I do think I disagree with the conclusions that I drew at the time, though.

And yeah, Twain remarking on Tobias' need for brandy and then drinking it himself gave me a genuine chuckle.

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by Clay » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:38 am

Issue #6 and mini series thoughts: I liked how threats have been scaled throughout the mini series. The initial duo being Runabout and Runamok vs a single autobot and some human kids frames them as quite frightening, shortly thereafter overshadowed by Skywarp and Blitzwing being actually effective at what they're doing. Then Megatron emerges and sorts them quite quickly, and scares of the early threats of Runaboutamok with a dirty look, and doesn't appear to give the humans any thought at all. Likewise, the human cast is whisked away early in the issue to give more room for the big ones to fight in.

It's subtle and nicely done. I've enjoyed the ease-in approach to the continuity. Can't say what I would have thought if I had been reading it at the time and whether or not I would have been frustrated with the slow burn, but on its own years later, I appreciate it for what it is.

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by inflatable dalek » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:57 am

A rather sad announcement to have to make on why some changes have been made to the site:


https://thesolarpool.weebly.com/blog/a- ... nouncement

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by andersonh1 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:21 pm

Stormbringer is so beautifully drawn. Don Figeroa probably remains my favorite artist to ever work on Transformers, as much as I like E. J. Su and some of the others that IDW has employed over the years. The prose in that story is the most purple of any purple prose that Furman ever wrote. I think he was going for an apocalyptic feeling, and on that level it mostly works.

As far as sales go, I think a lot of it had to do with how the 80s nostalgia that brought Transformers back in the first place was wearing off, and in that respect it didn't really matter what IDW did, sales were going to go down.

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by zigzagger » Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:17 am

Back in the day, I recall recommending Stormbringer as a good jumping on point for folks looking to dabble into the IDW stuff--and Spotlight Shockwave too, but hoooo boy, there will be a whole lot of continuity tied up in that one. Not sure I would recommend it as a jump on point now, but I can see why I did. Stormbringer is fairly accessible, especially this early in the IDW run, and it covers enough concepts to give the reader a taste of what Furman was working up towards.

Reading through it again, I agree it still holds up well enough (though the ending is kinda of 'meh'), and it has a good choice of characters outside the usual suspects. Though, a lot of Furman's usual tropes are present, almost at meta levels here. Like, surely he was aware of his reputation in the fandom at this point, and he was playing to that.

One thing I never noticed before, however, and now has me a little bewildered; Cybertron itself stopped Thunderwing the first time around, right? Okay... but how?

I guess I didn't pick up on it before as I chalked it up to Optimus waxing allegorical and being dramatic. But nope! The planet ate him....??? I don't know! :laugh:

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by Denyer » Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:50 pm

The main issue I have with Stormbringer is that it's too soon and serves mainly to announce a total lack of faith in the Earth book and undermine the ramping up of conflict there.

There's no real baseline for comparison in the IDW universe as it existed then that suggests it's a big deal, and we don't see more than glimpses of war elsewhere, meaning lots of tell rather than show (even if the text is set amidst explosions and drama). And looking back the inflatable qualities of the art haven't aged well... it's set on Cybertron, there are no human POV characters so why the hell do so many of the panels need to be looking up at massive feet and shins?

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Re: Revisitation: The IDW Original Continuity Retrospective.

Post by zigzagger » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:33 pm

Denyer wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:50 pm
The main issue I have with Stormbringer is that it's too soon and serves mainly to announce a total lack of faith in the Earth book and undermine the ramping up of conflict there.
You're not wrong, they even solicited it that way--"Nothing but robots on Cybertron". They might've slapped the panic button a bit too soon, as I recall this was in response to the complaints about the approach Infiltration had been taking.

Yeeeeeh... it didn't show much faith in Furman, did it. :laugh:
There's no real baseline for comparison in the IDW universe as it existed then that suggests it's a big deal, and we don't see more than glimpses of war elsewhere, meaning lots of tell rather than show (even if the text is set amidst explosions and drama).
Yep, while Furman was keen on building up on these larger sci-fi concepts--like Phase-Sixers, or infiltration protocols--he was always a bit lacking in the actual world-building side of things. Lot of telling and not showing, as you say. We really didn't delve into Cybertronian society proper well until Furman was long gone.

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