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  #1  
Old 6th December 2018, 10:57 AM
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TaZZerath TaZZerath is offline
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Default Opinion: Bottom 5 Moments of IDW's Transformers Run

Okay this one took a little longer than expected to get to, but here it is.

While IDW's run at Transformers managed to have plenty of highlights (and I highlighter my personal Top 5 in a previous thread) there were also a few moments that really rustled my jimmies in a BIG way. These are moments that either left me confused, annoyed or just outright hated.

So without further ado lets get into it shall we?

5. Don Figueroa's Return
Stormbringer was my first intro into 'The Don'-s art, and by PRIMUS it was gorgeous. Only Alex Milne comes even close in my opinion (Milne I think even surpassed him over time). So to hear that he was coming back for "The Transformers" (when IDW decided to just have an ongoing numbered series) I was excited.

Until I saw the art.

Don had attempted to mesh the Bayverse stylistic choices with the G1 aesthetic, and, well..... yeah. No. It didn't work for me. At all. I mean, the alt modes were fantastic, but the robot modes, especially the faces, were just a slagging mess. These weren't Bayverse comics, they were G1 styled chunky stomping robots with very human facial features we'd all gotten used to.

Admittedly, things did get better, but the damage had already been done. Sorry, Don. This was a plumb LBW for you.

4. The Continuity Conundrum
All Hail Megatron not only kicked off a new period for Transformers and polarised a lot of people, it started a trend which continued for many years within the Transformers IDW universe; a severe lack of continuity for plot, characterisation, and even how the characters looked. From an art perspective, while I get the premise behind artistic license, when you have concurrent series presenting such completely different styles (such as the Bumblebee miniseries and the Transformers ongoing), it becomes VERY jarring and not cohesive to follow. And then when certain plot points just become dropped, change completely, or do a complete one-eighty, you can be left scratching your heads for a long time.

Thank Primus for John Barber. He seemed to wage a one-man war on loose ends and the series as a whole really flourished for it and I for one (and I'm sure other fans) breathed a collective sigh of relief.

3. Mike Costa
Words, words, words. Wordy wordy words. Whole panels filled with words. Whole conversations. And primarily with humans! This is how I remember Mike Costa's take on Transformers.

Okay I get it. Lets work some political undertones in there. Reflect on us as humans with all our flaws and weaknesses. But this isn't a comic just about politics (although I feel that later, when it was split after The Death Of Optimus Prime, the Robots In Disguise comic did this fairly well). Its about big transforming robots. Give them characterisation, give them action. Don't just sit around talking! Please!

There just wasn't enough balance during Costa's crack at IDW. Sorry, Mike. It just never worked for me.


2. Heart Of Darkness
Sometimes a mini-series comes along that expands on the ongoing story, ties in both new and existing much-loved characters, has some gorgeous art, and really resonates with you.

For me, that was Rom Vs Transformers: Shining Armor.

But it definitely WASN'T Heart of Darkness.

For starters, I just couldn't get on board with the art style. It was all rounded and chubby and cutesy looking. The colouring was all bright and almost happy-like. For something called 'Heart of Darkness' this just didn't fit!

Then combine that with some aspects of how they treated the Dead Universe. To me, Simon Furman had given the premise of a large dark expanse of dread which defied logic or explanation, but it managed to corrupt everything it touched from the 'normal' universe. Thanks to Heart of Darkness though we get the D-Void. A massive entity of..... eyes and tentacles? So basically a Hentai monster? Which just wants to feed on everything? Really? Why did we need THIS as an explanation??

I kept reading Heart of Darkness in a hope it might redeem itself. But no. From the way they treated Nova Prime (he got some much better more screentime during Dark Cybertron), to massive plotholes like Thinkbox the Headmaster which had to be sorted out later, and that art and colouring.... it was memorable to me for all the wrong reasons, like a train wreck where all the carriages were cargo containers full of CHUG figures.

1. Hunter O'Nion's Treatment during All Hail Megatron
AHM for me was a very polarising moment. I get that IDW were trying to boost sales and get away from the intricate, interwoven storylines of Furman's -ation series by performing a 'soft reboot', but as later work by Roberts, Roche, and Barber showed, many many fans LOVE intricate detail. So when Shane McCarthy took the reins, the impact was... less than stellar for me. I'd loved the redesigned alt modes of the characters and they'd all been tossed aside. I felt the storyline was reduced to a classic cartoon 'Megatron attempts to win at everything and Starscream is his scheming second in command' role. I continued to read, and SOME parts I could get behind, but how poor Hunter O'Nion was treated was truly abhorrent.

Hunter was to me the 'everyman', a conspiracy theorist closet nerd looking for the truth until the truth found him. Unexpectedly caught up in the transformers Great War when it had made its way to earth, he was the Spike for a new generation. I felt that he was designed to be this way. Later he would develop some Mary Sue like qualities when he became bonded with Sunstreaker after being submitted to the Headmaster process but it worked. Despite their clashing personalities they had some great moments which continued into Maximum Dinobots and I really connected with him.

So to find out that Decepticons had managed to get the upper hand via Sunstreakers betrayal, and that Hunter had been tortured and used by Bombshell as a 'backdoor' into their systems was truly horrifying. And then they just end his life. Snuffed out just like that. They didn't even attempt to save him, say goodbye, nothing, it all happened off-screen.

I hated it.

And THEN they made the situation even WORSE. Later in the AHM Coda story 'Replay', they managed to COMPLETELY alter a scene in which it appears that Hunter FORCES Sunstreaker against his will to participate in the Headmaster process, rather than actually agree to join forces.

In all of IDW's run, through multiple authors' interpretations of certain characters, I don't think I've ever seen another figure treated as badly as Hunter was. And it will forever be my number one pick as the top thing I hated in all of IDW's run.

So, what are your thoughts? Care to share what it is that you hated during the IDW run? I'd love to know, and others may too!
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Old 6th December 2018, 02:47 PM
KELPIE KELPIE is offline
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Haha, I forgot all about how bad Heart of Darkness was. Yuck... but it still doesn't make my bottom 5.

5. Drift
I absolutely loath the character and the way the fandom reacted to him when he was announced.

4. Unicron
The event that wrapped everything up. What a letdown and what a complete mess.

3. Shane McCarthy
Absolute hack of a writer who was more interested in his own brand than that of Transformers. He was also responsible for point 5 on my list.


2. Mike Costa
Showed little regard towards the Transformers property and openly rejected feedback and criticism.

1. Hasbroverse
This was the single biggest mistake IDW could have made. As if their Transformer stories weren't hard enough to follow with all of their events and crossovers and that was when they only had 2 (at one time 3) ongoing lines. Throw in "Hasbroverse" and the whole thing just became an uncontrollable mess. They also had to sacrifice Transformers to all the other properties which felt cheap every time it happened.

I know it could have been done better but honestly, I hope they don't try to repeat the Hasbroverse.
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Old 7th December 2018, 08:44 AM
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In no particular order...

Sometimes being too human (and very Anglo-centric ones at that)
This is a weird one. IDW's greatest asset and liability has been in humanising the Transformers. On the plus side it's made them super relatable and given them incredible depth as characters - and that's great. But on the other hand I find that IDW writers often forget that these are ALIEN ROBOTS. Not humans. All too often they say or do things which doesn't make sense for alien robots to do or say... or for non-English speakers to say. I get that what we're reading is often meant to be Cybertronian translated for the audience - that's fine - but there are certain words or concepts that shouldn't be translatable. Then there are the many, many times that the writers forget that the Transformers have alt modes. Making these characters do stuff in robot mode (e.g. running across great distances) where transforming to alt mode would've made waaay more sense. The sheer number of times where I would read entire issues and nobody ever transforms. One thing that Bob Budiansky was pretty good at with G1 was reminding us of the Transformers' otherworldliness.

That time they emulated Bayformers (and blended it with G1)
...and boy did everyone look really ugly. Blegh. And it was only Don Figueroa who did it and the other artists didn't, so we didn't even have consistent visual/design continuity. You know that your designs look ugly when the editor feels the need to label every character as they appear.

Shoe-horning in other Hasbro properties
WHY?!? Is Hasbro making them do this or are IDW voluntarily doing it? Cos I don't see any new MASK or Visionary toys on shelves. Yeah, crossovers happened in G1 too, but they were RARE. ROM The Space Knight? Are you even serious? And if IDW are doing Hasbro a favour by promoting these properties, why not counter-negotiate and ask if they can develop more TF toys based on IDW characters, as they've previously done for Drift (and previously Marvel exclusive TFs like Impactor, Straxus, Jhiaxus etc.)? I don't mind if they tweak the design and alt modes to make the toys more marketable, but I'd love to have toys of Rung and the DJD et al.!

Onyx Prime
The evolution of Shockwave up to his sacrifice was beautiful. One of the few times that a TF comic made me want to cry. But then this was all undone with the whole Onyx Prime crap. Gah. Basically because they spent all this time and effort in developing the character to that point, only to hit the reset button and undo it, cos reasons.

Murdering the English language
I'm still not fully convinced that English is their first language. God, don't even start me on this...
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Old 10th December 2018, 10:58 AM
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I can't really list 5 specific, but I found when considering this thread that I had my opposites come up when I had thought about (but not posted in) the other thread regarding the top 5 IDW things.

Such as:

My favourite comics were 'All Hail Megatron'
My lest fav were the Optimus ones from the last few years

My fav relationship was Rewind and Chromedome
My least fav was Onslaught and Blast Off

Some of the comics had the best art I've ever seen in a TF comic
Some of them had the worst I've seen since the 80's

Some minor characters became awesome like Swerve
Others reached a new level of annoying like Slide

There were great new concepts introduced which I reckon should become lore
Some of the previous lore I loved frankly got spat upon



So yeah, my favourite things about the IDW run seemed to have their polar opposites.
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Old 10th December 2018, 01:05 PM
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To be fair to AHM, McCarthy was originally told it would be a complete standalone run that was an alternate universe take on Transformers.

IDW were being indecisive about what to do with the -ation series and decided late on in the process that AHM would actually serve as the next part of the main continuity.

Also the DonFig Ongoing Bayverse G1 mashups were absolutely epic. I'd love a toyline done in that style.
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Old 10th December 2018, 11:14 PM
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To each their own but I think there will be few general things we can get a consensus on as pretty bad, the constantly delayed books and disorderly releases (and re-releases) of grade collections that collected multiple arcs or series together.

As for a bottom five, I won’t go into too much detail as I have already done that numerous times over the years.
5:The Don Figueroa / Transformers soft reboot era. Art was a shambles, too many names being dropped because no one looked right in robot mode, too many characters acting out of character and a very hard read most times. It wasn’t till Nick roche have a hand that we started to get back on track.

4: AHM: As Sharks alluded to, as a stand alone this would have been a fun little mini series like Hearts of Steel. As a pseudo retcon reboot (sensing a theme?) after all the ground work had been set by the Furman “-ations” and Spotlights this was just a massive backwards step that the Coda and numerous other titles kept trying to fix with very little success. Plus Drift... who may have ended up half way tolerable by the end but again needed a lot of work and that terrible Stone miniseries that was so boring I can’t even remember the tile to get him to a point where he became more than a joke...

3: Unicron or dead zombie planetformer... meh what a massive boring letdown that really told a mediocre small story that did nothing but allow them to wipe the slate more or less clean. Sadly another theme coming...

2: Events: Bar “Death of Optimus Prime” IDW failed every event they tried. Either they were bloated and silly like Dark Cybertron, were used to tie into the hasbroverse like Zombies/dvoid, were just plain useless like Megatron Origins or were a massive disappointment like Inicron and all the other Hasbroverse stories.

1: Hasbroverse: when it started by killing Kup in the zombies “combined universe” then they tried it again in Action Man... every new series that was part of the forced Hasbroverse needed a transformer in it that they then wasted or made useless. Then they ruined the main stories incorporating all the other mini series events (visionaries anyone???). All ending in the death of the entire universe and series. It was a slow sinful death Brough about by a boring event that also made the last year of the Prime book full and difficult to read (to the point where I no longer bought the issues) killed off the decent Windblade series and just generally left a bad taste in the mouth.

Sadly it is good bye to the IDW verse, Furman had an intriguing and different story to tell that Jame Roberts and Nick roche lovingly continued with Barber doing a most commendable job trying to tie it all Back together after McCarthy and Costa had done their best to kill it off.

I won’t be buying the new series but I’ll give it a read, it will have to be more Wreckers or Lost Light in style and not have any “big hasbro events” in the near distance.
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Old 11th December 2018, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharkyMcShark View Post
To be fair to AHM, McCarthy was originally told it would be a complete standalone run that was an alternate universe take on Transformers.

IDW were being indecisive about what to do with the -ation series and decided late on in the process that AHM would actually serve as the next part of the main continuity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by i_amtrunks View Post
4: AHM: As Sharks alluded to, as a stand alone this would have been a fun little mini series like Hearts of Steel. As a pseudo retcon reboot (sensing a theme?) after all the ground work had been set by the Furman “-ations” and Spotlights this was just a massive backwards step that the Coda and numerous other titles kept trying to fix with very little success. Plus Drift... who may have ended up half way tolerable by the end but again needed a lot of work and that terrible Stone miniseries that was so boring I can’t even remember the tile to get him to a point where he became more than a joke...
Well there ya go, its interesting to read that pretty much my fav comics were disliked by so many others. Shows we've all got our own tastes

I think I just fell in love with the AHM series when the Decepticons first invaded a city and you got to see both the 'Robots in Disguise' concept with the Constructicons rumbling into the city square and Skywarp transforming into a robot and scaring the hell out of a pilot who thought he was chasing another jet. Also the scale, like with the office furniture shaking as Megatron strode down the street and all you could see was his chest through a 3rd story window. Plus it is always good to see the humans get their arses handed to them

Gotta admit I didn't care much for the Autobot side of the story with them stuck on Cybertron. The only cool bit was Omega turning up and decimating the Insecticon swarm.
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Old 11th December 2018, 10:48 AM
KELPIE KELPIE is offline
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Not included in my list but probably should be included somewhere, would be how difficult this series was to catch up on, will be to re-read and will be to recommend.

With all the constant soft reboots, miniseries, starts and stops of ongoing, splits across titles and then the eventual hasbroverse.

What to read when and in what order is just way to confusing for anyone not reading at the time of release.

Also, for the people asking about hasbroverse, that was Chris Ryall going to Hasbro and pitching it. Hasbro loved the idea, so IDW went with it.

Basically it was a way for IDW to bump up other series sales and get more use out of their Hasbro contract. Oh and Ryall is a massive ROM fan
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Old 11th December 2018, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
Well there ya go, its interesting to read that pretty much my fav comics were disliked by so many others. Shows we've all got our own tastes

I think I just fell in love with the AHM series when the Decepticons first invaded a city and you got to see both the 'Robots in Disguise' concept with the Constructicons rumbling into the city square and Skywarp transforming into a robot and scaring the hell out of a pilot who thought he was chasing another jet. Also the scale, like with the office furniture shaking as Megatron strode down the street and all you could see was his chest through a 3rd story window. Plus it is always good to see the humans get their arses handed to them

Gotta admit I didn't care much for the Autobot side of the story with them stuck on Cybertron. The only cool bit was Omega turning up and decimating the Insecticon swarm.
AHM was actually a good comic in terms of switching things up and the art was nothing but pure nostalgia and fan love. The story itself was a nice twist, the reason it made my list was because it was shoehorned into what already come before and made absolutely no sense with what came before or really the tone and vibe of what came after.

Pull out the twelve issues of AHM as a stand alone maxi series and it would be fine. Minus Drift of course!
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Old 12th December 2018, 12:49 PM
KELPIE KELPIE is offline
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Also, for the people asking about hasbroverse, that was Chris Ryall going to Hasbro and pitching it. Hasbro loved the idea, so IDW went with it.

Basically it was a way for IDW to bump up other series sales and get more use out of their Hasbro contract. Oh and Ryall is a massive ROM fan
Well, now that Ryall is back and in charge of IDW, we can probably expect some kind of Hasbroverse attempt again?
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