Transformers #1-6 (Ongoing) / Vol. 1 TPB

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Transformers #1-6 (Ongoing) / Vol. 1 TPB

Post by zigzagger » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:41 pm

Introducing the "all new" Transformers ongoing, with story by Mike Costa (G.I. Joe: Cobra) and art by Don Figueroa.

This is your all purpose Transformers #1 reaction and discussion thread. Come share with us.

Scheduled for November 18th.

Preview pages @ previewsworld.com.

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Also, three more spoiler pages @ comicbookresources.com. If you haven’t seen them already, be warned.

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Post by Auntie Slag » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:44 pm

Blimey, that must be half the comic! Looks like good fun to me, the art is nice. I particularly like the Breakdown in the Sunstreaker/Sideswipe mould, as well as the fact that they went to the trouble of thinking up someone like Breakdown to be the first Decepticon to appear.

Wonder if it'll last 332 issues?

And an Autobot protecting a Decepticon, whilst probably not new, is still really nice to see. I'm sure Prowl'll get shot in the ear for his troubles but it's all in good fun.

Good to see Ironhide finally getting killed too. Bye you rusty old rather boring character, you.Should've died in Target: 2006.:wave:
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Post by Halfshell » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:23 pm

I think I've said all I really can on the subject of the ongoing.

If I stay in this thread just to throw abuse and bile at people who think it's good, that's trolling, isn't it?

What if I read it in Forbidden Planet? I'll be qualified to spit venom at all and sundry then, won't I?

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Post by andersonh1 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:18 am

I like the art, and I like the genuine threat level of the humans, at least against a random Transformer here and there. What I need to know is why the Autobots are hanging around on Earth, and why Prowl does something that I'd normally expect just about anyone other than him to do. Breaking cover is a little rash and impulsive for logical Prowl, but it is interesting that he's trying to help a Decepticon, so I'm curious about the rest of situation.

And they had to kill off Ironhide, didn't they? :down:
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Post by Commander Shockwav » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:17 pm

Actually, not a bad start.

As an introductory issue, it accomplishes in 22 pages what AHM couldn't accomplish in six issues. It sets the tone and premise for the new direction the story will take, not beating around the bush.

Where do we stand? The war is over. The Decepticons (save a few scattered 'third-stringers) have left. The humans have figured out a way to take down the Transformers, forcing them into hiding. And of course, Ironhide is dead, after which Optimus Prime rescinds his leadership role (thankfully, not by committing suicide for sacrificing virtual reality lives in a video game).

Not much in the way of characterization, but then, most first issues just lay down the foundation, which I think this one does a nice job of.

What's promising? Costa isn't going to shy away from using lesser known bots, which is nice. We see Breakdown and Streetwise. Even Windcharger gets a mention. And of course, Don's work is again a thing of beauty. I didn't find the mouths of the bots to be as distracting as others. I think Don's ability to draw action and fights scenes more than makes up for any of the facial shortcomings that might be present.

What's concerning? Well, Prime comes off as a bit of a wuss, doesn't he? Just kind of throws his hands in the air and gives up. I mean, I understand where the frustration comes from in losing his close friend. But maybe doing this later in the series would have more of an impact. Again, I think it's more a tactic to set this new direction up. I personally am glad Prime is out of the way (again), as it always gives other bots a time to shine.

All in all, I'd say a good start. Nothing earth-shattering, but at least this time, unlike with AHM, things happen.

The question will be "Will we care?"

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Post by andersonh1 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:53 pm

Seems to me I've seen your review elsewhere... :)


Issue #1

Where to begin? Just about half the book has been made available online in the past few weeks, including the death of Ironhide, so there’s very little that’s unexpected in this first issue. Even the ending is one of those “I saw it coming” type twists. Not that it isn’t effective, and where the story goes from here is hard to predict, so in that sense it’s successful as a cliffhanger. But I wonder if IDW let too much of the story out before the issue itself was available, reducing anticipation and limiting the surprise factor. Enough pieces of the puzzle were made available that it became possible to guess how the rest of the issue would play out, and indeed it wasn’t all that different from what I had imagined would happen.

After a brief summary of events, the issue begins at a point two years after the finale of “All Hail Megatron”, which leaves time for much of the destruction caused by the Decepticons in that story to be cleaned up and repaired. For reasons that are still not entirely clear, the Autobots have not only remained in hiding on Earth during that time, but have built up their forces. The humans don’t want them, and have developed very effective weaponry to combat any Transformer they find, Autobot or Decepticon. Prime apparently believes that the Autobot presence is necessary in case the Decepticons return, a point of view with which Hot Rod disagrees vehemently. Given what happens during the story, I’d have to agree with Hot Rod’s point of view. There’s no real reason for the Autobots to be on Earth at this point. Meaning that everything that happens during this issue was unnecessary, rendering Prime’s poor judgment doubly tragic.

One of the things I don’t care for is the return of the old doubtful Optimus Prime, who is unsure of himself and his decisions. This characterization hearkens back to the old Marvel comics days where Prime constantly questioned his decisions and seemed at times unwilling to take decisive action. It may be that Hot Rod’s accusations hit home, and that the death of Ironhide hits really hard, but I’ve always preferred to see Prime portrayed as a confident leader, one who could realistically and believably inspire his troops. However, his decision to resign and to surrender to the humans is very interesting, and potentially very unwise given what happened to Sunstreaker at the hands of the Machination, and given how the humans have clearly been reverse-engineering Transformer technology for their own defense. Prime could turn out to be the latest resource in the human war against Transformers.

But resigning may well have been exactly the right thing to do. Clearly while Prime badly underestimates his human opponents, Spike has the measure of his. He’s either aware or gambles that the threat of death to Breakdown would draw out any hidden Transformers in the area. Spike outmaneuvers Prime and captures Prowl, who is then used as bait to draw in a rescue team. And incidentally, I’ve defended Prowl’s laudable respect for life that leads him to defend even a Decepticon, but as the logical tactician of the group he really should have seen this coming. His response is not typical of Prowl at all, and I may be forced to concede that it is indeed a case of bad characterization. However, the reveal that Streetwise was there with him is a nice surprise.

The art is excellent, as I’ve come to expect from Don Figeroa. There has been a lot of complaining about the new style, particularly the faces, but I’ve decided that I prefer the new look even to Don’s work from Dreamwave and earlier IDW stories. I really like the detail he’s put into the faces and joints of the robots. The colors are bright and almost cartoony in some cases, which is quite a contrast with the tone of the story itself.

So what’s the bottom line? Prime and Prowl mess up, Ironhide is killed during the rescue attempt, and Prime resigns as leader and surrenders to the humans. One would be hard pressed to argue that the pace of this issue is decompressed in any way. A lot happens and happens quickly, and that may be just what the series needs. I don’t entirely agree with the portrayal of some of the characters, or agree that they should even be where they are, but despite that the story successfully depicts a group of Autobots who don’t really know what to do now that the war is over and they are on the losing end. In searching for a purpose, they end up making things worse for themselves. I’m curious to see where things go from here. I can’t say I’m 100% enthused about the new direction, but I did enjoy it and I am interested in the story, so that’s enough to keep me reading.
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Post by Commander Shockwav » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:34 pm

andersonh1 wrote: One would be hard pressed to argue that the pace of this issue is decompressed in any way. A lot happens and happens quickly, and that may be just what the series needs.
Despite some drawbacks, I think the reasons you mention above are the reasons I enjoyed this issue overall. It's been a while since we've had an issue go somewhere, with some meat to it (Roche's work in Coda aside).

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Post by andersonh1 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:47 am

Commander Shockwav wrote:Despite some drawbacks, I think the reasons you mention above are the reasons I enjoyed this issue overall. It's been a while since we've had an issue go somewhere, with some meat to it (Roche's work in Coda aside).
I only read All Hail Megatron in trade paperback form (apart from issues 1 and 12) and I thought the pace was good in that format. But it's a nice change to have so much happen in a single comic issue, and things that feel significant.

The Autobots have lost two staunch pillars of support for them and their cause. That's a good springboard to send some of the other characters off in interesting directions. It's just too bad that it's all predicated on Prowl making a very out of character blunder. Still, it's the first issue and I think Costa deserves some slack while he gets a handle on the characters.
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Post by Auntie Slag » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:39 pm

Ironhide was a pillar of support?

Actually I quite liked his depiction in All Hail Megatron, if only for the ramblings between Jazz, Prowl & himself. Banter between robots who aren't leaders/Wreckers or Flavour of the month is so rare that I really relish the odd occasion when it is. Cue the minibots in the Sludge portion of 'Dinobot Hunt', or Ravage & Windcharger's off-kilter repartee in 'Raiders of the Last Ark'.

See? Sad that I go back to such old stuff to make a tired point. Ok, IDW's Jazz spotlight I really liked, and um... the Skids/Charlene love thing.

So yeah, Ironhide... wanker.

Ironhide sub-banter with others... really quite nice actually.

If they want to chat I'd much rather they chatted with Wheeljack, Hound or Smokescreen any day.

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:36 pm

Straight off, I have to say I loved the double spread page battlescene. Granted its a battle that never happened and is just a splash to show off all the different transformers but the re-designs are fantastic in some cases. I'm still not sold on the faces (altough the characters with masks or visors come across much better) but there are some brilliant models in that pick. Ravage, Lazerbeak, Grimlock and Devastator all looked great. Pity that 3 of that 4 are story wise out of commission (altough I'm sure they'll show up anyway)

The art overall is great. Get past the face problem and its clear, dynamic and serves the story.

The set-up also works as something different. Theres a clear feeling that the autobots arent an army anymore, more of a left-over A-team of sorts. Wether any of us long term readers buy into the war ending with Megatrons "death" in AHM, but it isnt too hard too follow the idea that the decepticons decimated the autobots only to lose their head commander and degenerate into a mass of seperate, self-serving factions. Granted I'm assuming a lot there but its believeable.

The humans as aggressors also is a nice twist. This isnt just some mysterious goverment side project - ALL humanity would appear to be on gaurd against the transformers and welcome the skywatch forces.

And while the practicality of the mech suits may be questioned, we're dealing with a fiction of living giant robots so I can see that the humans in mech suits will allow for more dramatic moments. Spike can go one on one with Prowl lets say.

Some have also had a problem with the scene where Iron hide eats a massive blast in his chest but Hot-rod mearly gets a few peppered shots to his torso in the next panel. Reading it now, I'm fairly certain that its not a tank that Hot rods picked up but the Turret cannon that shot Ironhide (mounted on a tank). Makes a bit more sense in my head if I see it thta way. Anyway, So far so good.

The issue itself reads well enough, if a tad rushed. But it still falls into the IDW of having a good idea but not looking to how it could maybe be told in a more sensible manner. Primes crisis of confidence is a fine, if over-used idea. But the set-up could have worked better. He just sees another casualty and walks. For me, it could have gone something like this: Instead have Prime trying to console Hot Rod over losing another man under his command (bearing in mind Hot-rods original spotlight) only to have Hot-rod publicly lay as much blame an prime as himself for keeping the autobots in such a dangerous and pointless position. When no autobot jumps to primes defence prime could realise that he has lost the confidence of his troops which was his main strength as a leader. Then his depature would make a bit more sense. As it is, it just feels like he walks out and no-one seems too troubled by his deceision.

Equally the set-up to get Prowl as bait doesnt work. By accounts, Skywatch already have Gears and windcharger captured - why not just flaunt them for rescue? Some have questioned Prowls reaction but I dont see it as him saving a decepticon, more worrying that if the autobots do it to a con, they will likewise do it to an autobot. Its not too much of a jump that he would stand up. However, Prowl starts off in New york but manages to be nearby when Breakdown makes his move in Milan, New Mexico - and Spike was planning on this?

Overall, I got a kick out of this, and will be tunning in for issue 2 but the above bothers me. The direction is fine but a little more thinking in the set-ups might result in a better comic. And I feel that acknowledging whats happened to a previous character (in this case Hot-Rod) would benefit the story without taking away from it, while not alienating new readers.

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Post by andersonh1 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:47 pm

Auntie Slag wrote:Ironhide was a pillar of support?
In a morale sort of way, sure. Unless I'm conflating continuities here, Ironhide's always been the older guy who is liked by just about everyone and who has been around forever. The others look up to him. The same is true of Prime. Now they're both gone.
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Post by Terome » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:24 pm

Read this in the shop today expecting it to be horrendously awful and was quite surprised that it was a fairly decent comic. I seem to be immune to the lash against Don's New Faces that is going around lately, but this was not a bad opening issue on its own terms. I thought the Prowl action was off kilter and that someone should really have twigged by now that Hot Rod is a dangerous idiot, but if seen from the point of view of a fresh start, I am intrigued.

Didn't buy it though. I bought Joe Daly's Red Monkey collection instead because it is better drawn, better written and is a lot funnier. But I thought it was significant that I had very few complaints.

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Post by Dreadwing » Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:39 pm

Well thats bizarre, an issue of Transformers that people dont despise.

I liked it, mostly.

My biggest complaint is that the decepticons have apparantly been sidelined entirely. While we see what has happened to the autobots, I would also like to see what the decepticons are doing now that they have won (yes i know that was supposed to be AHM but we all saw what happened there). I dont like the idea of a years worth of storyline revolving around Prime and Spike, with a random decepticon in one pannel.

Looking forward more to Roches Wreckers books.

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Post by MeGrimlock » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:36 am

Hmm, I'm perplexed.

Optimus wants to stay on Earth because the Decepticons could return. Why could they return? No explanation. Why Earth? Couldn't they return on ANY of the countless planets they devastated in all these millennia? Or we're back to the old Sunbow cartoon, where only Cybertron and Earth existed in the galaxy? (Not true, that cartoon had MORE planets than this comic).
And I thought that someone said the Decepticons were defeated.

I'm not saying that the writers will not explain these "mysteries" in the next issues, but right now this entire story feels heavily contrived: Optimus is the cause of his own disgrace, because he insists to remain on Earth even if he has no real reason to do so. Looks like pretty obtuse a behavior, for the greatest Autobot military leader. ("Let's stay here, I have a feeling that the writers are working on something that I cannot possibly know, but I'm sure it will happen and we need to be here for that.")

I got the feeling that the writers were just in a hurry to remove Optimus Prime from the scene and turn the humans into a real danger to the Autobots... wait, is this Infiltration/Escalation reloaded?

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Post by MeGrimlock » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:38 pm

And what with Prowl's sudden dumbness? He wasn't able to predict that the whole business was a Skywatch's trap? Very naive, from such a cold and logic calculator...
And since when does he care so much for a single Decepticon life, after his cynical approach described by the excellent comic written and drawn by Nick Roche?

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:20 pm

MeGrimlock wrote:Hmm, I'm perplexed.

Optimus wants to stay on Earth because the Decepticons could return. Why could they return? No explanation. Why Earth?

I'm not saying that the writers will not explain these "mysteries" in the next issues...

Apparently, we will be finding out the real reason shortly. I don't think Costa would give us that dumb of an explanation for why Prime is so fixed on staying on Earth.

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Post by MeGrimlock » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:31 pm

I have the same expectations: trouble is, in this issue I could find is no hint that there's something more to that. I got the feeling that the writer was still improvising. I'm not sure I can explain that, but I was hoping for dialogues that gave a vague idea of something hidden or kept secret in this situation.
Instead, we have a emo-Optimus who cannot explain his reasons, cannot come up with a reasonable excuse and ends up with a sort of breakdown that makes him surrender (probably a ploy to get to Spike and start talking?)

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Post by Heinrad » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:50 pm

If Megs got taken down by Spike at the end of AHM, Prime may have seen staying on Earth as a way to help protect it from the inevitable backlash.

Of course, with Screamer in charge, he may not really need to worry about said backlash......
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Post by MeGrimlock » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:06 pm

And the 'cons are supposed to be defeated (I can't imagine why, since the Autobots just defeated the Earth-bound Decepticons, and not all the other groups that defeated all the other Autobots posts in the galaxy, as dialogues in AHM explained without showing these events).
Well, ultimately I don't really care about this comic: probably this is the reason why I am not able to move over these minor issues.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:30 pm

MeGrimlock wrote:I have the same expectations: trouble is, in this issue I could find is no hint that there's something more to that. I got the feeling that the writer was still improvising. I'm not sure I can explain that, but I was hoping for dialogues that gave a vague idea of something hidden or kept secret in this situation.
I'm getting this from the creators, can't remember if it was Costa or Schmidt, but they verified that there is a reason why Earth is so crucial and that it will be revealed later why the Autobots have to stay there.

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