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  #1  
Old 16th May 2017, 04:02 PM
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Default Comic Cartoon Toy rants - expect spoilers and very personal opinions

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  #2  
Old 27th March 2018, 01:36 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Looks like a hard reboot. Lost Light is going biweekly and wrapping up the current "season" at the same time the Unicron series ends (according to James Roberts on Twitter). Wreckers will wrap up. All th loose ends being tied up.
A hard reboot if done right would get me back on board with them. My issue has never been the relationships per se, but the fact that the universe building required to push certain storylines and issues, simply hasn't been there.

If they do want to push certain concepts and issues next time round, then it needs to start right at the universe building stage - right down to the xenobiology at play. If they want gender and romantic relationships in there from the getgo, fine - just make sure the xenobiology and xenopsychology is compatible with those agendas.

What really needs to happen is for people to sit down, take a good hard look at what all the possibilities they want to take place in their universe and write a detailed bible which encompasses the various biologies, sociologies and histories that requires - then lock it in and lock it down. Anything which can work within that framework goes ahead - anything incompatible with it either gets rejected or they go down the "multiverse" route - where again, each universe introduced has its own bible.

That's just good storytelling.
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Old 28th March 2018, 06:53 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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I wonder what they'll reboot with? Does everyone still want G1? I'm finding constant throw backs and references to the Geewun universe is getting kind of tiresome these days.
[rant]Whatever they reboot with, I just want a properly constructed universe (history, xenobiology, xenopsychology and xenosociology) and a story which works within that framework. The beginning of the end for IDW was when they started pushing agendas which simply didn't work within the framework they had and the ret-conning they used was at best, really weak, and left plot-holes which weren't properly plugged up.

The days of continuity nightmares being acceptable are long gone. The G1 cartoon creative license with continuity died in the 1990s. These days it's completely reasonable to expect science fiction - even in comics - to have a well constructed bible and stick to it.

The reason the IDW comic worked so well to begin with was because it had a lore that it didn't deviate from and it was able to put that lore ahead of egos and agendas - something which Mairghread Scott proved she was utterly incapable of after that appalling and baseless attack on Simon Furman.

If you are that compelled to anthropomorphise an entirely alien race (so alien that it's xenobiology is actually gaiasexual), then you have no business writing stories about that alien race and should stick to writing about human beings - period!

And yes, the state of play with IDW comics does deeply annoy me; it started out as a unique take on Transformers (Furman even originally said in an interview that there probably wouldn't even be a Unicron), which was well crafted and took a hard-scifi approach in its universe building.

Heck, in the past I've even made the argument that the live-action movies would have been 100 times better than they'd have been if they simply adapted the Dead-Furmanverse. Heck, if you wanted to explore the idea of gender and transgenderism in the IDW universe, the whole functionalist phenomenon in Cybertronian society already made for a great allegory for it. After all, IDW Cybertronian xenobiology and xenopsychology doesn't allow for gender to naturally occur as sex does not naturally occur, however function and function identity clearly does exist.

Then because people whose agendas clearly outstrip their universe building abilities decide that political agendas are far more important than quality storytelling craft, the wheels have gradually fallen off the wagon.

And for booting up cold, if they did want to literally push the gender and sexual relationships agenda, would it have been so hard for them to have simply taken the blasted multiverse approach and had all the characters who were female and in sexual relationships (heterosexual or homosexual) from an alt universe where the Cybertronians actually had a xenobiology, xenopsychology and or xenosociology which was actually compatible with those concepts and had the wall between realities break down.

It's not like there wasn't already the potential there from the getgo with the dead universe.

But no, who needs actual craft when all you care about is pushing agendas and to hell with quality storytelling, right? That's clearly how the writing staff at IDW have come to think. You know I'm actually glad that Dwayne MacDuffy is dead and doesn't have to see so many comic publications getting so wrong, what he and the rest of Milestone got so right.

Yet after all this time and how downhill it has all gone, clearly IDW did need it and now they're paying for it.

I just hope that whoever does the reboot - be they in IDW or Marvel - actually does the universe-building that a Transformers comic deserves before even scripting Issue 1 and then locks it in as sacrosanct for that reality.[/rant]
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  #4  
Old 28th March 2018, 08:10 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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And where?
If you weren't so busy dogmatically virtue signalling and actually read what I wrote, you'd clearly see that the entire post was actually about not only the poor quality universe building, but the complete disregard and contempt for the existing build universe, which was used to justify pushing an agenda. I also suggested ways in which the LGBTIQ agenda could have been explored, which were compatible with that universe. I pointed out that it could have been done literally by taking the multiverse approach (the dead universe sets a precedent for it) or as an allegory with functionalism.

If my beef was with the LGBTIQ agenda and not the universe building, then why would I have stated ways it could have been implemented that I would have been fine with?

But ultimately if you're determined to read what I wrote through the blinkers and lens of Cultural Marxist cognitive dissonance, then that's ultimately your choice. Just don't expect me to respect that irrational choice.
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  #5  
Old 28th March 2018, 09:23 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Originally Posted by reillyd View Post
Looks like the hard reboot side won.

I *hate* reboots and it's a slap in the face of every consumer that bought the considerable volume of IDW stories. It didn't happen, the characters we've come to know and love didn't have these experiences. I hated the DC reboot, the Marvel, and now IDW. And I am still going to be paying for stories that got rebooted as part of the Hachette Transformer Collection.

Not. Happy. Jan.
Ordinarily I'd agree with you. The problem here is that the series is a massive continuity mess after a poorly done soft reboot. The current IDW staff really need to learn how to properly engage in universe building and work with existing built universes in a way where when they want things to take a massive left or right turn, it all still seamlessly works. Sadly nothing the current IDW staff have done, is shown they're upto the task with that.

I actually wish DC got the Transformers licence tbh. Say what you will about the likes of New 52, but at least they can write a coherrent multiverse where things can turn on their head completely with two different versions of the same character (eg Batman vs Owlman) and still make sense.

Not as an extreme example, but let's the Rewind and Chromedome originally having just a close friendship and then Rewind and Chromedome suddenly being lovers. Nothing in the IDW continuity - specifically the xenobiology and xenopsychology is compatible with that. For Chromedome and Rewind to be lovers, it can only be explained by the later Chromedome and Rewind having a different xenobiology and/or xenopsychology which is both compatible and conducive to Rewind and Chromedome being lovers.

In short, you're essentially talking about an Earth-1/Earth-2 type situation. The same "character", but different because they're essentially from a different reality to each other - as evidenced by their xenobiology and xenopsychology.

Yet rather than intelligently approach this intelligently and have a crossover and kill the earlier versions of the characters off, the writers simply pretended that "Earth-1" Chromedome and Rewind were really "Earth-2" Chromedome and Rewind, while keeping the xenobiology of Cybertron as that of "Earth-1". That kind of thing simply wouldn't be likely to happen in DC, yet IDW have shown that they're fine going down the path of that continuity nightmare. Honestly, both Transformers and the under-represented groups they were attempting to represent, deserved a much more competent execution of things.
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  #6  
Old 28th March 2018, 10:43 PM
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Really bad (and telling) example you picked there. Rewind and Chromedome were introduced to the IDW comics by James Roberts. Nobody came in and rewrote them into being a couple. The same writer introduced them, developed them, revealed their relationship, and did world-building by establishing rules around how Cybertronian relationships work (and "lovers" in a sexual sense doesn't come in to that - that's why there's other words used). It wasn't an "agenda", it was story-telling, it was world-building, it was expanding how Transformers can work in fiction.

There is very little in the IDW comics that is a continuity mess. The writers and editors have done pretty good job keeping things lined up, even with harder to reconcile things like Primacy or Megatron Origin. The addition of new information into a fictional universe that becomes established fact is just part of how fictional universes work. Why wasn't there any discussion of Conjunx Endura during Infiltration or Stormbringer - maybe because the Transformers were in a four million year war and personal relationships were less on their minds? It doesn't mean they took a massive turn. It always seemed very natural expansion.
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Old 28th March 2018, 11:57 PM
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Really bad (and telling) example you picked there. Rewind and Chromedome were introduced to the IDW comics by James Roberts. Nobody came in and rewrote them into being a couple. The same writer introduced them, developed them, revealed their relationship, and did world-building by establishing rules around how Cybertronian relationships work (and "lovers" in a sexual sense doesn't come in to that - that's why there's other words used). It wasn't an "agenda", it was story-telling, it was world-building, it was expanding how Transformers can work in fiction.
I went with it because it's arguably the most high profile example, but whichever way you slice it, it still makes a point of things. Either you're talking about them being overtly rewritten, or you're talking about them being introduced into a universe where Cybertronian xenobiology is incompatible with pair bonding and then suddenly it's a thing. Either you're analogously treating Earth 2 characters as Earth 1 character out of nowhere, or you're putting Earth -2 characters into Earth-1, with insufficient universe building to competently explain it.

You can argue that "lovers" in a heterosexually reproducing series isn't used, but the problem there is the way in which I first became aware of their relationship - where Roberts has treated it as being exactly a case of the "human" version of it.

I stopped reading just after Days of Future Past, which was interesting, when I caught wind of the preview for I think it was Issue 42 of MTMTE, where it became clear we weren't going to get a credible explanation for why a species which is reproduced by their planet would have naturally occurring sexes/genders. I was prepared to give them a chance when Windblade came onto the scene for there to be a credible explanation for how genders could naturally exist in a species where their existence made no biological sense, but after close to 10 issues, it became clear we weren't getting one. At that point, it became clear that the quality of universe building that gave us hotspots, forged vs constructed cold, functionalism and Stage-6ers (which I have to say have been a missed opportunity in terms of exploring their place in Cybertronian society), was going to be a thing of the past, and I reluctantly said goodbye to it.

But I digress. I first became aware of it in a magazine article celebrating Chromedome and Rewind as a same-sex couple, where Roberts went along with things and made no attempt to distinguish this from human homosexual relationships and was more than happy to have it portrayed as such. I've since learned that there are a multitude of heterosexual and homosexual pair-bonding relationships (be it Onslaught and Blast-Off or Nautica and I think it was Blurr). Yet the thing is that pair bonding of any kind, really doesn't make sense for a species which doesn't require pair-bonding to reproduce; after all, the biological function of pair bonding is to maximise the survivability of the offspring by having both progenitors/parents hang around to look after their offspring.

It works in the G1 Cartoon - the Autobots were essentially robot maids and butlers whom the Quintessons no doubt also designed to act as companions and quite possibly sex-bots (apologies if this last one is age inappropriate).

Beast Wars and Beast Machines -again, you have both animal programming and animal DNA influencing a Cybertronian, and in Beast Machines you literally have heterosexually reproducing, technorganic life forms. In fact short of wondering what the heck a plant crossed with a rat looks like and hoping it survives longer than the poor rat in Batman and Harley Quinn, I'm perfectly fine with that relationship in every biological sense.

The idea of the planet producing sparks and either naturally producing bodies for them, or where that failed, a pseudo cult being established around producing artificial bodies for bodyless sparks, isn't a natural fit with pair bonding of any kind.

Yes it's world building, but its world building that is incongruent with the established universe and would have been far better handled from a multiverse perspective.

What is a natural fit with that type of Cybertronian xenobiology though, is the idea of a caste system based around functionalism. In fact what would have been a very interesting way of exploring transgenderism and society's reaction to it, would to have been to explore transfunctionalism. In fact Lightspeed, with his identifying as a flyer but being stuck as a having a ground-based alt-mode, would have made for an intelligent exploration of transgender issues.

As for the agenda side of things, I base that on the comments of Mairghread Scott. The way Simon Furman handled Arcee was intelligent and empathetic. He had Jhiaxus make Arcee happening by kidnapping them and altering their RNA to introduce gender into Cybertronian society. He made Arcee female as a point of difference. That automatically made every single other Cybertronian male by extension. The handling of Arcee's origins did nothing but endear sympathy for her and even more hatred for the vile monster which was Jhiaxus. Yet Mairghread Scott ripped into Furman and accused him of being a misogynist.

Then when she's brought not only Windblade, but other female characters into the fold, we get this "they've always been there" explanation, which makes absolutely no sense in terms of IDW's established Cybertronian xenobiology. Never mind the fact that if they were always there, I have yet to read about the massive genocide of female Cybertronians which would have had to have taken place for Jhiaxus to suddenly be reintroducing gender, as opposed to simply introducing it. Even the G1 Cartoon, as continuity flawed as it was, managed to get that part of things right when bringing female Autobots seemingly out of nowhere.

That absolutely screams out viewing universe building as "pesky" and something to be treated as the obstacle to a political agenda, rather than the very foundation of any good storytelling.

Whether Roberts was directly a party to it himself, or whether he was simply working within what Scott had created, you're still talking about a situation where his work was one where exploring issues was done at the expense of solid universe building - to the point where it could be accused of overtly pushing an agenda to the point of blatant flag waving.

As I said, I'm fine with an exploration of issues, I just expect the universe building to be well-crafted.

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Originally Posted by Paulbot View Post
There is very little in the IDW comics that is a continuity mess.
And yet, in the latest continuity gaffe, we suddenly have Unicron in a universe that was established as having Unicron right from the getgo by Simon Furman.

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Originally Posted by Paulbot View Post
The writers and editors have done pretty good job keeping things lined up, even with harder to reconcile things like Primacy or Megatron Origin.
Which is precisely why they would have been better taking the multiverse approach.

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The addition of new information into a fictional universe that becomes established fact is just part of how fictional universes work.
Not exactly. There's world-building which fits seamlessly with what is already there and there's trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. My problem with IDW is that it's very much become the later.

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Why wasn't there any discussion of Conjunx Endura during Infiltration or Stormbringer - maybe because the Transformers were in a four million year war and personal relationships were less on their minds? It doesn't mean they took a massive turn. It always seemed very natural expansion.
I don't buy that for one minute. These are teams which existed working in close proximity for millions of years. They did so in high pressure situations which were often life and death. If we've learned anything from human pair bonding as a sentient pair bonding species, it is that those are the very type of conditions which will bring about pair-bonding where it might otherwise not take place. Yet particularly with Stormbringer, where there would have been a prime example to introduce it, there was absolutely no sign of it.

Like I said, it might well be universe-building, but it's the kind which tries to fit a square peg into a round hole.
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Old 29th March 2018, 06:39 AM
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Jesus Christ, I'm so sick of the, "Female robots? Same sex relationships? It must be some sort of agenda." argument.

It has no place here.
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Old 29th March 2018, 07:03 AM
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In regards to the actual topic of this thread:

I'm not surprised that the Wreckers is a one-shot, they haven't left enough characters from the Wreckers alive or still on the team to make a bigger story

Unicron is looking awesome in the preview - and huger than ever!


My 2 cents on the other discussions that have cropped up

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Originally Posted by i_amtrunks View Post
Letís hope Uniceon eats enough of the IDW verse that we stop getting all the useless ands meaningless cross overs and events. IDW have become as bad as Marvel!
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Please let this be the end of all the crossovers and tie ins with other licenses.
The one off Transformers/Mars Attacks was pretty funny!

Besides that I agree with you. There should only be one universe that Transformers crosses over with and that's My Little Pony! Now there is a missed opportunity! Rainbow Dash & The Wonderbolts vs Starscream & The Seekers, Rarity flirting her way into making any Autobot do her bidding - it would be a friggin sensation!


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Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
Ordinarily I'd agree with you. The problem here is that the series is a massive continuity mess after a poorly done soft reboot. The current IDW staff really need to learn how to properly engage in universe building and work with existing built universes in a way where when they want things to take a massive left or right turn, it all still seamlessly works. Sadly nothing the current IDW staff have done, is shown they're upto the task with that.

I actually wish DC got the Transformers licence tbh. Say what you will about the likes of New 52, but at least they can write a coherrent multiverse where things can turn on their head completely with two different versions of the same character (eg Batman vs Owlman) and still make sense.

Not as an extreme example, but let's the Rewind and Chromedome originally having just a close friendship and then Rewind and Chromedome suddenly being lovers. Nothing in the IDW continuity - specifically the xenobiology and xenopsychology is compatible with that. For Chromedome and Rewind to be lovers, it can only be explained by the later Chromedome and Rewind having a different xenobiology and/or xenopsychology which is both compatible and conducive to Rewind and Chromedome being lovers.

In short, you're essentially talking about an Earth-1/Earth-2 type situation. The same "character", but different because they're essentially from a different reality to each other - as evidenced by their xenobiology and xenopsychology.

Yet rather than intelligently approach this intelligently and have a crossover and kill the earlier versions of the characters off, the writers simply pretended that "Earth-1" Chromedome and Rewind were really "Earth-2" Chromedome and Rewind, while keeping the xenobiology of Cybertron as that of "Earth-1". That kind of thing simply wouldn't be likely to happen in DC, yet IDW have shown that they're fine going down the path of that continuity nightmare. Honestly, both Transformers and the under-represented groups they were attempting to represent, deserved a much more competent execution of things.
They are gigantic, shape-changing, mass-changing, sentient alien robots who live for millions of years and fight a civil war across the stars...

...but they have romantic relationships is too far fetched?

Take all the xenobiology and xenopsychology out of it. Transformers is fiction and pretty far-fetched fiction at that. They can do what they like; they can have Merlin show up and cast a spell so that all the Decepticons grow squirrel tails and the Autobots all combine into one gigantic likeness of Mrs Slocombe from Are You Being Served. There are no rules in fiction. Might not make for great story telling though, I'll grant ya that.

I thought the Rewind/Chromedome romance was very sweet. The main problem (as I see it and I may be wrong) was that it proved too popular so then IDW started sticking in romances right left and center. It was when we reached the Onslaught/Blast Off one where I (and, according to the ranting on a lot of online TF boards, many others) went "OK, that doesn't fit at all. Enough with shoehorning in the romances already!".
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Old 29th March 2018, 08:59 AM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
Transformers is fiction and pretty far-fetched fiction at that.
On the contrary, Transformers has always primarily fallen under the genre of Science Fiction and this especially holds true in the case of IDW and the universe Furman originally created. Yes, Sci-fi can explore things which seem pretty far-fetched, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have a scientific logic and consistency to it.

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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
Take all the xenobiology and xenopsychology out of it.
Except that with well-written science fiction, that's something you don't do.

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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
They are gigantic, shape-changing, mass-changing, sentient alien robots who live for millions of years and fight a civil war across the stars...
Exactly, as you just said, they are an alien race. That means that in some cases, things about their customs, their biology and their interactions are going to be radically different by the nature of the very fact that they are aliens and alien to our customs, our biology and our interactions.

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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
They can do what they like; they can have Merlin show up and cast a spell so that all the Decepticons grow squirrel tails and the Autobots all combine into one gigantic likeness of Mrs Slocombe from Are You Being Served. There are no rules in fiction. Might not make for great story telling though, I'll grant ya that.
And yet even Madman's Paradise didn't contradict the xenobiology of Cybertronians for that continuity - which just goes to show that when Sci-fi does explore the Sci-fi/Fantasy genre, it doesn't abandon its Sci-fi elements. I'll add that when even the G1 Cartoon - the continuity nightmare of the Transformers meta-lore - manages to stay true to genre in a way something else doesn't, then that's really saying something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
...but they have romantic relationships is too far fetched?
For their xenobiology and xenopsychology, they are. What people take for granted is the role sex plays in not only our pair bonding, but even the way civilisation itself formed. Human beings and most - if not all species on the planet heterosexually reproduce. Pair bonding exists as a direct function of child rearing where it is found in birds and mammals and typically involves one parent hunting and gathering and the other directly rearing the young - or one hunts while the other gathers.

But it goes deeper than that. As humans realised they could kill much larger prey (eg mammoths) in teams than they could smaller prey alone, it meant men teaming up together. That meant the alpha sharing not only their share of the spoils of that kill, but also their share of mates. The end result was a move from a poligamous alpha-male dominated breeding society, to a more monogamous communal society - the earliest tribes. From there we of course developed customs and rules, which would ultimately lead to cities, and from there, the dawn of civilisation.

Conversely, IDW's Cybertronians do not heterosexually reproduce, but rather they are gaiasexual - that is the planet naturally reproduces them. The sexual dynamics which drove our race, simply do not apply to them. If anything, Cybertronian civilisation would have formed out of functionalism - where different Cybertronians with different abilities, came together to advance the well-being and lifestyle of each other. As communities grew and merged, this wouold have solidified itself into a caste system where the roles and responsibilities of Cybtertronians would have been rigidly set by their functions. While tribalism as a loose concept does make sense for that xenobiology, the same cannot be said for romantic relationships, or any kind of pair bonding.

Then there's the fact that unlike the G1 Cartoon's Cybertronians, they're not manufactured military robots and robot maids and butlers - so you don't even have xenopsychological grounds for them in the absence of the xenobiology, like you do with the G1 Cartoon Autobots.

So yes, when you're looking at this from the perspective of Scifi, romantic relationships between Cybertronians are at best, a square peg in a round hole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
I thought the Rewind/Chromedome romance was very sweet. The main problem (as I see it and I may be wrong) was that it proved too popular so then IDW started sticking in romances right left and center. It was when we reached the Onslaught/Blast Off one where I (and, according to the ranting on a lot of online TF boards, many others) went "OK, that doesn't fit at all. Enough with shoehorning in the romances already!".
Popular doesn't necessarily mean that it's well crafted storytelling for the genre a story is a part of though - and yes, there can be very good characterisation in something, but for the genre it's in, it can be a square peg in a round hole, which is what the whole Rewind/Chromedome relationship ultimately fell into the trap of being. In fact I'd describe it as blatant anthropomorphism. Yes it was well written anthropomorphism - but anthropomorphism which made it poor storytelling for its genre nonetheless.

Bear in mind that with Transformers, all anyone has to do is look at the financial success vs the quality of the live action movies for example, to see that just because something is popular, is absolutely no indication that a story is going to be good quality - I mean, AoE anyone.
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