"All Hail Megatron" teasers: art, interviews, etc.

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Denyer
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Post by Denyer » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:02 pm

Terome wrote:I'm willing to chalk up all this 'fresh start' stuff as marketing-speak
Likewise. It seems worth pointing out how it reads, though...

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Post by Rossum » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:33 am

Dang it, I just typed up a whole reply and the internet ate it. :(
Denyer wrote:Likewise. It seems worth pointing out how it reads, though...
Anyway, the Focus issue that came out supports this. The preview and the interviews all have a feel of big talk meant to drum up interest among new readers. That seems fair enough, since they are a business and all.

I'm with Denyer though - I can't help wondering what the previous creators (mostly Furman) might think of the wording that suggests everything that has come previously must be overthrown. The IDW story so far has clearly been carefully planned, and written with a fair amount of complexity and maturity, and for my money is a high quality effort. It seems harsh to see repeated talk of the need for a change from what's been done so far.

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Cliffjumper
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Post by Cliffjumper » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:55 am

I dunno, it's kinda karmic after all the sniping him and his pet Wildman have done at conventions and interviews over the years. And let's not forget that the mature "-ation" titles included a country called Formetsovietrepublicdatovarisch, and thus shouldn't be taken any more seriously than "A Thief in the Night" because of it.

Kidding, kidding. Will try the first couple of issues of AHM, but from what I've heard so far, I'd rather ignore this that the uneven but promising stuff we've had before.

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Blitzwing
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Post by Blitzwing » Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:22 pm

My main concern is that this guy's only knowledge of Transformers probobly only comes from season 1 of the cartoon. I really do not want another Dreamwave here, and so far it looks very Dreamwave-ish. I'll give it a try and hope that I'm wrong.

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Post by Denyer » Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:42 pm

http://simonfurman.wordpress.com/2008/0 ... /#comments
Furman wrote:Hey. just a quick one to reassure everyone that I ain’t going nowhere in terms of IDW’s Transformers comics. I’m busier than ever, knitting together the four Revelation Spotlights, prepping Maximum— oh, hang on, not supposed to mention that yet, and anticipating two further series. Thank goodness Shane’s doing all the legwork on All Hail Megatron, which only going to open up more possibilities down the line.

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Neuronutter
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Post by Neuronutter » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:07 pm

Oooh interesting. A single word. Useful. Wonder how long it'll be till we actually get some info on the mysterious 8 issues bet Rev and AHM, the 13 thing they've mentioned and any of the other mystery comics we don't yet know about. Love those "accidental" slips.

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Post by zigzagger » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:59 pm

In other words, "don't worry if this blows - I'm still here". How reassuring. ;) I find these "slips" more irritating than helpful. Seeing that current upcoming stories aren't even out yet, I am really not all that anxious to know what these mysterious new titles are all about until I know how everything else will wrap up. That's just me.

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Post by Aardvark » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:43 pm

zigzagger wrote:I find these "slips" more irritating than helpful. Seeing that current upcoming stories aren't even out yet, I am really not all that anxious to know what these mysterious new titles are all about until I know how everything else will wrap up. That's just me.
You could like, not read his blog or somethin'. :p

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Post by Neuronutter » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:02 pm

zigzagger wrote:In other words, "don't worry if this blows - I'm still here". How reassuring. ;) I find these "slips" more irritating than helpful. Seeing that current upcoming stories aren't even out yet, I am really not all that anxious to know what these mysterious new titles are all about until I know how everything else will wrap up. That's just me.

Well AHM doesn't even start till July and will run for a year so that won't be done till end of summer next year. Personally, I'd like to know something about these other titles by the time that happens, if not very much sooner. And I'd love to know what Furman's got planned for himself post Revelations.

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Post by zigzagger » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:26 pm

Aardvark wrote:You could like, not read his blog or somethin'.
But...I like the script wraps. :(
Neuronutter wrote:Personally, I'd like to know something about these other titles by the time that happens, if not very much sooner. And I'd love to know what Furman's got planned for himself post Revelations.
Personal preference, of course. Don't get me wrong, I'm just not as anxious as other folks are for what comes after AHM and Revelations just yet. Not meaning to offend anyone. I'm simply at an 'iffy' point right now with IDW's output.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:52 pm

It'd be nice if they waited for the immediately forthcoming stuff to get rolling before they started banging on about the next one, IMO. I get that most of it's PR bullshit, but whenever I read anything about IDW's output, it always seems like "Ah, but [STORY YOU ARE READING] is just the start - wait until [NEXT YEAR'S STORY] hits!". It seems to be a rolling promise of the overall plot really kicking into gear, whereas so far we've had 18 months' worth of -ation comics (that'd be if they'd printed it monthly as opposed to when they felt like it, incidentally), plus about another year's worth of 'sideways' stories of unfocused set-up. And it looks like we've got another 18 months' worth lined up. Compare that to G2 for a minute. Now mull over what we're likely to be left with unless IDW manages to hold onto the licence for, ohh, five years minimum.

Furman actually reminds me a lot of this kid I used to know. Right spoilt bastard (that's not necessarily the similarity), he used to get Castle Lego bought for him by the ton, and had this attic bedroom. And he was always setting this giant Lego kingdom up - had to wait until the weekend, then his mum was taking him into town, he was going to buy a few more bits. Then he was building. Then he was waiting to buy new bits. Then he was building. Then he was building. Then he was waiting to buy new bits. Then he was building. Then he was building. Then he was waiting to buy new bits. Then he was building. Then he was building. Then he was waiting to buy new bits. Then he was building. Then he was building. Then he was waiting to buy new bits. Then he was building. Then he was building. Then he was waiting to buy new bits. Then he was building. Then he was building. Then he was waiting to buy new bits. Then he was building. Then he was building. Then he was waiting to buy new bits. Then he was building. So this went on for the five years I knew the kid, possibly more after he changed schools. And he never once played with that Castle Lego, spent all his damn time setting it up.

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Post by Halfshell » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:00 pm

Mhm. Ties into what we (that's the collective we - I'm not sure I actually commented on the subject) were saying t'other day about him working best weaving stuff around other people's work.

Let Bob B or somebody do the day to day building and legwork, then let Furman drop in these big teases around the framework. Dropping in mysteries and set-up all over the place only works if you've got something day-to-day to drape it over. Else you end up with something like Lost, where all the mysteries end up piled on top of each other without any glue to hold the house of cards together.

I mean Budiansky's stuff was (no disrespect to him), pretty plodding servicable stuff. Seldom actually bad, but it was a story, followed by another story, followed by another story. Solid workmanly holding midfield play. Then Furmo comes along and weaves some dynamic and flashy runs down the wing and everybody gets excited because it's new and different and kewl.

And before you know it, IDW are drowning in flair stories that ultimately lose their impact because there's nobody shoring up the back because Keegan spent the next eight seasons' transfer budget on attackers.

Or something. I think I got lost there somewhere. Basic point was - flashy exciting mysteries and epics tend to lose a bit of their sheen when there's no meat-and-potatoes day-to-day that they can juxtapose.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:54 pm

Yeh, summed up nicely. Most of IDW seems to be "Where does Sixshot/Galvatron/Arcee/The Reapers/ Soundwave/Shockwave/Scorponok/Nova Prime/Magnus/Thunderwing/Bludgeon/Banzai-Tron fit into the bigger picture?" with very little actual big picture perceivable. It sounds daft, but we could do with some run-of-the-mill Autobots/Decepticons fighting each other to give all this cloak and dagger some sort of context... I dunno, IDW G1 so far feels like a Mosiac - and that's not meant as a denigrating term. We're getting all these lovely flecks of characterisation, all these machinations and subplots and whatever, without much for them to slot into.

I get that the idea is that both sides aren't entrenched on Cybertron firing artillery at each other, and in theory that's a good idea. But there's been surprisngly little conflict. It worries me that the few things that have seemingly been bought to the boil (Sixshot, the Reapers, the Headmasters) have been the biggest disappointments we've had yet. For sure, they weren't the most promising ideas in the title... I dunno, I just feel we've had two minis where we were promised (if not promised, surely deserved?) big things, and yet we have the old Dreamwave (there, I said it) "Actually, we'll solve this one minor plot point, open up a dozen more and roll merrily on to the next storyline" pacing. If that's that for Sixshot and the Reapers, their Spotlight was a wasted book...

I guess the old argument is that the UK comic rolled stuff on in a similar fashion, but IMO it was more interesting on the way - less portentous for one.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:00 pm

Yep, up to now I've given Furman the benefit of the doubt a hell of a lot, "Well, that was a bit disapointing but I'm sure the pay off latter will make up for it". After Devastation though I'm past that point. I want instant gratification from both AHM and Revalations or I give up (and I'm sure as hell not commiting to a year long comic if it starts off a bit crap. At least the New Avengers crossover was only four issues).

Having said that, no doubt my sad bastard completest gene will kick in...

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Post by Halfshell » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:54 pm

Cliffjumper wrote:It worries me that the few things that have seemingly been bought to the boil (Sixshot, the Reapers, the Headmasters) have been the biggest disappointments we've had yet.
This is the key thing - special gimmickry. It only works if there's actually something "normal" going on as a regular base. You can't inject a snazzy concept to liven up the status quo if the status quo is a series of snazzy concepts.

The Dinobots, Combiners, Death's Head, Time Travel, the Nebulos stuff... it worked (okay, to varying degrees) in the original comic because it was dropped in amongst regular stuff. The unusual and bizarre only has context if there's a usual in the first place.

Dead Universe is probably the best example. As a reimagining of the Cybertronian Empire story from G2, I think it's a nice premise. But the sudden appearance of Jhiaxus worked so well the first time out because we'd had 80/300 issues with absolutely no idea of his existence. We're plodding along with our day to day stories with occasional exciting drama for years, and then from out of nowhere we're hit with the revelation that we've been focussed on something utterly trivial, and that there's intergalactic conquest going on that everybody's totally oblivious to. That there's a secret history we've had no idea of. That the Cybertronian race is so over the petty little squabble that we've been watching. Et cetera.

This time out, the whole Expansion thing was dropped into the mix in our twelfth issue. It somehow lacks the same oomph factor. Discovering there's something bigger only works when you've been looking at something long enough to stop wondering. The IDW universe was still unfolding when it suddenly gave us a peak at the [insert name of the device from Hitchhiker that shows you a map of the entire universe with a little arrow saying "you are here"]. Okay, sure, there may be other mysteries beyond it that we still have no idea about, but we've sort of gone too far too soon. In my own humble opinion.

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Post by Terome » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:37 pm

[insert name of the device from Hitchhiker that shows you a map of the entire universe with a little arrow saying "you are here"]
Total Perspective Vortex.

It seems that we're going to be getting a meat-and-potatoes setup with All Hail Megatron running every month and what may very well be a slice of Furman cake after every meal. Do the lot of you reckon the plan for the coming year is a step in the right direction? I mean, even if we get a year of Skywarp pulling pranks while Kickback makes friends with people and Reflector exists for some reason, we will still be getting a fully-powered Furman who's all ducking and weaving and doing his thing all over the place.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:32 pm

Thing is, we've had that already, and I don't think having any bread and butter will change the way he's been writing. IMO the foundations are always going to be pretty uneasy, seeing as they've been built on quicksand. Too much of the IDW G1 has been focused on subverting what's gone before in G1 - covert Autobots who see humans as acceptable losses, Megatron doing something about Starscream straight off the bat, Optimus getting his handed to him by Megs in a straight fight... it's trading on preconceptions without really realising that we're all used to continuity reboots now, and were prepared to ignore them anyway. It's subverting when there isn't any, er, verting.

I don't know... AHM's quality will be a big factor. Bread and butter doesn't necessarily mean "low quality", to fulfill the function the thing will still have to have some quality (think most of the first half of Budiansky's run, where the majority of stories were capable in a workmanlike sort of way, and generally handled the bigger picture of Decepticon scheme/Autobot solution). If AHM can manage to map out a canvas of the war, then Furman filling in the details will be great. My main point, though, is that this is the approach that should have been taken on the main title.

As comics, the three 'main' mini-series just haven't been very good. In a deacde's time they may well form the first three volumes of an epic Transformers story so good everyone burns their Titan trades and scratches their G1 DVDs in disgust at what a poor version they were, though it's looking less likely with each segment. But they should have been given to another writer, as Furman (with the freak exception of G2 - which largely worked because it was a direct continuation of G1, with largely the pieces left on the board at the end of that present at the start) struggles with the main storyline. Give him the Spotlights, give him input on the main titles (his Spotlight creations and storylines spin into the main title, as now), but don't give him the main book. It just hasn't been up to scratch, frankly, and all the smart revisionist work in the world can't hide the fact the books have lacked excitement.

As far as fan well-being (not necessarily the same thing as sales) go, this is going to be make or break time for IDW.

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Post by Denyer » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:39 pm


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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:49 pm

OMFG DID MEGTRON KILL THSE PPL? OMFG! :(


Let me guess, it's another aborted DW idea and IDW felt they had to help the creators with their mortgages? Because right now, I'm coming up short for anything else. There's even the house-style art if we want to pretend. It's like Joe Ng or something.

EDIT: Christ, there are even "Easter Eggs" in the signs on the street. Is it 2003 and I've got carried away?

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Post by Terome » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:04 pm

I still can't for the life of me figure out why the Decepticons are bothering with all this business in New York. Don't they have hardware like Sixshot and bombs large enough to destroy Cybertron to pacify populations? And what happened to the resource-conservative approach? A skyscraper full of people represents a lot of good materials.

Cliffy - definitely agree on there being no 'verting' for the subverting to take hold. It's kind of a difficult thing to see since there exists plenty of verted Transformers stuff floating around in my head which reacted very nicely to Infiltration et al. I think the -ation approach and release schedule has hurt the story overall, but you can't just discount the likes of the Spotlights and Stormbringer and even that horrible thing about Megatron for world-building material. It is an unfocused universe, even now, but I would say that the way it's building up and coming into focus is quite interesting and keeps a few of my thoughts occupied.

EDIT: I do quite like that air battle page. I'm guessing that the Decepticons are just doing all this for kicks? Hm.

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