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

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Housewife2000
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Post by Housewife2000 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:26 pm

I really enjoyed it. The ongoing plot is a lot more interesting than the standard Prime v Megs setup, and I think it will be a shame if they reset each faction's authority in a few issues time.

I love Don's art in terms of its fantastic detail and cleverly thought out transforms and redesigns, but I still think his body language and facial acting need a little more oomph.

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Post by Terome » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:39 am

I thought that was a pretty big step in the right direction. Not brilliant, but definitely something more resembling a comic I'd like to read.

But wow, whoever's doing those faction symbol additions needs to step away from the computer, step outside into the fresh air and stay there forever.

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Post by kupimus aka(clocker) » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:22 am

yeah, it was alright.
Let this be thy final lesson monster, no man is e'er defeated till his last breath is drawn! And e'en THEN, 'tis most unwise for the victor to assume the battle is ended, for with god and man, a war is ne'er over till the ultimate wrong is set aright and the final villain is DONE!

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Transformers #5 (Ongoing)

Post by zigzagger » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:45 pm

Transformers #5 reaction thread.

Out March 31st.

Preview @ Comics Continuum.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:42 pm

On the negative, it read very short. The pacing of this series is much akin to Infiltration, as it is now apparent this story could easily be told in four issues. The most frustrating thing about the issue is the wasted page space. It's absolutely glaring. I mean, seriously, why waste an entire first page on a picture of an army base? Why waste half a page on Spike holding a bigass gun out a car window? I'll tell you why. Six issues equal a trade, not four.

A second negative is the predictability of what's unfolding. The cover solicits for future issues certainly don't help. We knew the Stunticons were going to get Breakdown back. We knew Swindle was going to screw over Hot Rod and gestaltify the Stunticons. Yet, those were the 'surprise' features of this issue. With LSOTW, we are pretty much in the dark. Anything can happen. That's how it should be.

There are still some positives that have been consistent throughout the series. Don's art being one. Whereas I complained about the wasted page splashes above, if you're going to use a double-page spread on something, that Menasor combining shot is the way to do it. Awesome. It's nice to see Costa bring back some actual significance to the combiners. They seem to be the threat they were meant to be. (thankfully consistent with what Simon did with Monstructor).

I really like the novel concept that, despite the technical superiority of the TF race, they are far less able to adapt to pressures that have an emotional foundation. Their failure to grasp this offers an intriguing explanation for why a war can actually last for millions of years. They are machines, and as such, have a difficult time 'going against their programming', so to speak. Only after witnessing Earth and it's populace does Prime now fathom this, and like Thundercracker, comes to realize that the TF have much to learn in the ways of true adaptation. Quite ironic, really. I give Costa credit for this take.

In the end though, have to give it a "C+". Pace slow, content lacking, predictable events make it harder for me to enjoy what's positive in it. And as I said with Infiltration before this, it will read much better as a trade.

On the plus side, it looks like the next issue will be a hoot.
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Post by Springer85 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:57 pm

How has this series been so far? I have to say that I kinda like the art, but haven't picked up an issue yet. Should I? :)
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Post by Blackjack » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:44 am

Springer85 wrote:How has this series been so far? I have to say that I kinda like the art, but haven't picked up an issue yet. Should I? :)
No. Not as individual books anyway. It's not as bad as the Bumblebee miniseries or AHM, but it's nothing spectacular either. Nothing new ever comes up. Just by glancing in the previews or the reaction threads or TFWaki, it's nothing that haven't been done before. Humans catching Transformers has been done from the olden days of Marvel. Hot Rod being a prick has been done. Ironhide dying has been done. Autobots and Decepticons working together has been done. Shifty human idiots ****ing up Transformers have been done to death. And Spike being a brainless, macho womanizer isn't something great.

Ultimately it's like the first two -ion series, or even the first half of AHM (the second half is so much dirge that it's painful even looking at it), that you need to read it in TPB format to get some good pacing.

Go for Last Stand of the Wreckers. You're a Springer fan, you'll love it.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:45 pm

Blackjack wrote: Ultimately it's like the first two -ion series...that you need to read it in TPB format to get some good pacing.
Agree with this. Infiltration was soooo much better read as a trade. This will be too.

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Post by MeGrimlock » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:25 am

So, earthlings are special. They are superior to every other species in the galaxy.
The Transformers met countless species on countless planet; Gorlamites and Nebulans alone seems to suggest that a highly complex form of evolution took place on their planets as well, and they clearly are resilient and clever, since they survived so far; they are even more advanced than earthlings.
The Decepticons deployed their Infiltration plan on a wide number of inhabited plants (as described in Infiltration).
But only now Thundercracker realizes that, and only with earthlings. Every other species in the universe is window dressings, I guess.
And he does that by watching tv. Thank the gods he did not watch reality shows instead of sit com and documentaries.

My distinct feeling is that the writer was asked by the editors to make Earth special but without using the Ore 13 subplot; the writer did the best he could with the minimal effort, by:
- dumbing down Cybertronians (yes, they live a lot, yes they have unsurpassed science, yes they interacted with dozens or hundreds of civilizations and experienced thing we cannot imagine, but they... well, they are just pretty thick when it comes to learning... learning what? To survive million years while fighting an interstellar war against a merciless and unstoppable enemy devoid of any ethics? No, they need to see earthlings to understand. meh?)
- using a very old (and mushy) rhetoric about humanity being the best of the best but without explaining why any other species in the galaxy is inferior even if they have reached greater heights.
Of course, this is just my opinion and I have absolutely no "proof" about my feeling: I'm sorry to be so negative, but it's the (disturbing) message I'm getting.

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:04 am

Just to play devils advocate, most of the races seen in the IDW comics so far may have advanced tech and what-not but they all seem to be one cultured (as in imagine if earth was all american... no, seriously). I've also always got the impression that these planets are much smaller, kinda like star trek planets. I realise that this is more for the sake of writing then actually setting up the humans as special but it could be argued that by being such a large and diverse race, humans are unique in the galaxy.

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Post by MeGrimlock » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:30 am

I get what you mean, I've read something like that in DC Comics.

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Post by Housewife2000 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:56 pm

I'll also play Devil's Advocate for a second and suggest that Thundercracker may never have visited another populated planet in this continuity before. And who's to say that having your more philosophical warriors sympathising with the locals isn't a regular problem for the Decepticon army? There could be a whole missing subplot from Stormbringer where Skullcruncher earned a week in the brig for watching Nebulos' Nurse Jackie.

I'd also point out that despite their advanced technology, fighting a war that lasts millions of years while not really changing in personality or maturity does suggest that the Transformers are really, really bad at learning anything.

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Post by MeGrimlock » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:00 pm

I'm having an hard time believing that Thundercracker was always and only among Decepticons for... what... millions of years? While all his comrades carried on Infiltrations on a vast number of planets.
I'd also point out that despite their advanced technology, fighting a war that lasts millions of years while not really changing in personality or maturity does suggest that the Transformers are really, really bad at learning anything.
That's another point that sound contrived (to me, at least), just like the fact that Thundercracker would never have met or known of other species (did he live under a dome?): the writers seem to be forcing these limitations to the Transformers, just in order to justify what's going on on Earth.

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Post by Housewife2000 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:36 pm

Don't get me wrong – I think that not learning anything is really contrived too. Ultimately, that's why the "millions of years" concept is a dead weight around the franchise's fiction – it suggests the Transformers have all lived practically forever, roaming the universe, getting in adventures and basically being Kane from Kung Fu, except they never act like sage, wise, ancient immortals. Transformer characterisations work best on the basis that they're occasionally immature, inexperienced and plagued by the same weaknesses, ignorance and faults we have.

OK, quick digression to state the obvious: all fiction is really about things we experience as humans – whether we're talking about Vulcans, Time Lords or Transformers. We need to relate to their situations. The Transformers franchise has survived this long because its characters aren't really alien robots – they've got relatable human personalities. Starscream's cowardly and ambitious, Prime's noble and kind (and increasingly violent) etc. They're not all-knowing, all-seeing faultless Gods – they're people like us who happen to look like big shiny killer robots. It's the same reason the stories of the Greek Gods endure: they're really everyday soap opera tales of immorality, feuding and debauchery that have a Technicolor, super-powered twist.

From a writer's POV, living forever and experiencing everything is a complete dead end: your characters need to grow and change and they can only do that by moving out of their comfort zones, experiencing new things and learning lessons along the way. The Thundercracker story follows in the same steps as so much of Transformer fiction – the outsider appraising our world for the first time, learning what it has to offer and changing their initial assumption - see Bumblebee and Spike/Buster/Sam/Sari or even Ratchet/Verity from this continuity. What makes this issue's story interesting to me is that they use a Decepticon instead of an Autobot and do it well. Sure, I have to ignore the "millions of years" back-story, but I've had to do that since 1984, so no big shakes.

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Post by MeGrimlock » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:00 am

I'm all for suspension of disbelief, but this was handled a tad too bluntly for my tastes.
Maybe if Thundercracker had not spoken in absolutes, but instead in comparison statements, by examining the features of earthlings and those of other species they had met before-- well, he would not have come out as an exaggeratedly naive million-years-old alien, but instead as a reasonably seasoned traveller who is still able to find something new to marvel at in any new experience he has. And this would have given even more value to his findings on Earth.

It's a matter of shades, I think; and, as I said, I got the feeling here that the concept of humanity's uniqueness is handled with a club.
As for Thundercracker being so inexperienced, maybe the better explanation is an unspoken retcon: these Cybertronians did not go through all the Infiltration activities throughout the galaxy, they just left Cybertron and felt on Earth: everything else doesn't exist anymore.

edit: I'm repeating myself, I feel like a troll. :(

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:15 pm

The million years thing is more than a bit stupid. But it is possible that transformers really dont learn and grow - they are manufactured, fully formed with personality ready to go from day one. Yes, they can adapt to tactics and surroundings but they will do it from the same basic starting point. If this is the case, its not that the humans are unique, more that the situation with no war to fight is causing them to actually look at the other inhabitants of the planets they invade - and earth happens to be the first one thundercracker really looks at.

Well, thats one possible idea anyway.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:18 pm

Red Dave Prime wrote:The million years thing is more than a bit stupid. But it is possible that transformers really dont learn and grow - they are manufactured, fully formed with personality ready to go from day one. Yes, they can adapt to tactics and surroundings but they will do it from the same basic starting point. If this is the case, its not that the humans are unique, more that the situation with no war to fight is causing them to actually look at the other inhabitants of the planets they invade - and earth happens to be the first one thundercracker really looks at.

Well, thats one possible idea anyway.
If that's really what they're aiming for it's a huge mistake though, you can't have lead characters who don't change and learn, it's the antithesis of storytelling and drama. Which is very IDW really isn't it?
REVIISITATION: THE HOLE TRUTH
STARSCREAM GOES TO PIECES IN MY LOOK AT INFILTRATION #6!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by Cliffjumper » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:44 pm

Didn't some guy teach Starscream the value of Christmas something like 20 years ago?

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:03 pm

you can't have lead characters who don't change and learn
Yeah, BUT what if the transformers only NOW start to change and learn because the great war is over...

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!!!!!!

Yeah, I feel the next turn I take will lead me down a dead-end alley.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:17 pm

Red Dave Prime wrote:Yeah, BUT what if the transformers only NOW start to change and learn because the great war is over...

Well, if we go with that it's taken them five years to get to the starting point of normal drama.
REVIISITATION: THE HOLE TRUTH
STARSCREAM GOES TO PIECES IN MY LOOK AT INFILTRATION #6!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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