IT IS THE YEAR 2005

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Lottel
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Lottel » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:04 pm

This place is full of nerds.
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Lottel
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Lottel » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:05 pm

They like robots but not in that way but not not in that way.
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Thad
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:27 pm

And Lost Light has come to its bittersweet end and, as the kids say, made me feel all the feels.

I feel like I should write more about the whole thing, something comprehensive. It's not just my favorite Transformers series of all time, it's one of my favorite comics. I'm going to remember it like I remember Love and Rockets, Astro City, Priest's Black Panther, Ditko and Lee's Spider-Man. I'm not saying it's as seminal or important as any of those books -- but I'm saying it's had the same kind of impact on me as a reader.

There's an afterword where, among other things, Roberts lays out relevant side stories from other comics (a miniseries here, a couple of issues of Spotlight there). That's useful because hey, it's more Lost Light-adjacent stuff I haven't gotten to read yet.

And Barber (who's EiC of IDW now) has a box on the inside back cover reminding us that all this stuff is still in print and available online.

I might even go back and read Optimus Prime and all the other stuff I've been giving a miss because the Earth stuff just doesn't do it for me. (Except Thundercracker. I love the Thundercracker storyline.)

We'll see what comes next.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby mharr » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:48 pm

On the movies front, apparently Travis Knight has the license now (Paranorman, Boxtrolls, Coraline, Kubo) and intends to take things back to the eighties. Bumblebee will be a VW again as God intended.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:01 pm

The bits in the trailer where everybody looks like the original '80s versions (Soundwave, Shockwave, Optimus, Starscream, etc.) make me grin like an idiot.

The rest of the trailer does not. I don't expect I'll be seeing this one either.

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mharr
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby mharr » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:34 pm

Apparently someone needs to be shot for their trailer editing, but this is Laika studios. They're not gonna mess this license up after the home runs they hit to get here, surely? Reviews seem to be averaging on "Finally, a real Transformers movie", 98% on rt.

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Brentai
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Brentai » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:31 pm

After Kubo they could do a Nazi propaganda film and I'd still be down for it.
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Thad
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:04 am

mharr wrote:Apparently someone needs to be shot for their trailer editing, but this is Laika studios. They're not gonna mess this license up after the home runs they hit to get here, surely?

I mean, let's not overstate it; Travis Knight has done some fantastic work but this isn't a Laika movie, it's a Paramount movie directed by Laika's lead animator. I'm sure he'll make the most of what he's got to work with, but it's still a movie with a bunch of humans in it where Bumblebee can't talk.

Reviews seem to be averaging on "Finally, a real Transformers movie", 98% on rt.

Yeah, fair enough. There are a lot of good people onboard and it's getting solid reviews. I might give it a gander, but it's not high on my list.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Niku » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:39 pm

i hear bumblebee gets it in
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Thad
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:48 pm

What, like the back of a Volkswagen?

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Mongrel » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:00 pm

KARMA +1 FOR THAD
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:20 am

The new Transformers #1 is out, written by Brian Ruckley and with art by Angel Hernandez and Cachet Whitman.

It's not bad.

The art is a little house style-y, but it's good, particularly the widescreen Cybertronian landscapes.

This is an origin story, because of course it is. And what the hell; if we're gonna have a new Transformers continuity, might as well set it in the distant past and on Cybertron.

There are definitely some cues here from the previous IDW continuity. We're seeing the early days of Megatron's revolution. He and Orion are both senators; Megatron's been leading protests of an as-yet-unspecified nature, while Pax is sympathetic but worried about the protests escalating into violence. It's very much the Megatron-as-Magneto, Optimus-as-Xavier dynamic that the previous series established, and at this point, at least, Megatron's the far more sympathetic of the two.

Haven't decided whether I'll stick with it or not yet, but it seems promising enough.

There's also a new Netflix series coming that sounds like it'll cover similar ground (origin story set on Cybertron). Not sure if there'll be any overlap.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:55 pm

I linked to a Transformers bundle yesterday (it's still on for 3 more days) and included a sort of ad-hoc suggested reading order.

If you want a more complete reading order than mine, that one I just linked is very thorough.

Again, you can skip the bulk of Phase One. The Spotlights are good but not included in this bundle. I like Megatron Origin because it kinda sets up what I think is the most important conceit of the IDW Transformerverse -- Megatron as a revolutionary against a corrupt system who went too far -- but it was originally written for an entirely different publisher and the later-established canon contradicts it somewhat.

Last Stand of the Wreckers and Transformers vol 5: Chaos Theory are both important to stuff that happens later in More than Meets the Eye.

More than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise run in parallel for their first 22 issues/5 collections. Then they cross over in Dark Cybertron. You can skip Dark Cybertron (I did) but it follows up some plot threads from MtMtE, and also sets up Megatron's redemption arc, which is a major part of the remainder of MtMtE/Lost Light.

While I like MtMtE better than RiD, it bears noting that they're both pretty fantastic up to this point. MtMtE is the series about a bunch of lovable, quirky characters traveling through space having adventures (and some pretty dark SF/horror pastiche stuff; the first two arcs are pretty heavy on Alien and The Thing influence). RiD is more like House of Cards with giant robots; it's about Bumblebee trying to maintain order on Cybertron while Starscream vies for political position. Following the war, the Autobots and Decepticons are nominally at peace, but obviously tensions die hard after four million years, and conscientious objectors who refused to join either faction have returned to Cybertron and form an effective third faction. It's a powder keg, Bumblebee is singularly unfit to keep things under control, Ratbat is plotting a coup, Prowl is plotting who-knows-what, Starscream is watching it all and seeing how he can play it to his own advantage, and Rattrap is Starscream's Starscream. It's great, great stuff.

Dark Cybertron wraps up "season one". And the reading order puts the Autocracy Trilogy (prequels concerning the beginning of the war and Orion Pax's ascension to become Optimus Prime) here too. None of them are essential; Autocracy is the most important of the three, while Monstrosity and Primacy aren't as good or as important but have some great art.

As season two starts (with MtMtE and RiD vol 6 and Windblade), MtMtE is as compelling as ever but I feel like RiD loses a beat as Optimus returns and they go back to Earth. The stuff with Thundercracker is a fucking delight, and there's an occasional panel like this one
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that makes the whole thing feel worthwhile, but the Earth stuff never quite works for me and I quit reading at vol 9. (Also, RiD changes its title to just "Transformers" at vol 7, because there was a new cartoon called Robots in Disguise at that point and a new comics series using that title. The reading list I linked makes that distinction and starts calling it "The Transformers" with vol 7, but the current Humble Bundle does not, and calls the entire run "Robots in Disguise".)

The Windblade series picks up the Cybertron/Starscream storyline and feels more like a continuation of RiD Season One.

There's Combiner Wars, which happens somewhere in there and crosses over RiD and Windblade; I guess some important stuff happens but I remember being mostly annoyed by it. I know the entire series is a toy commercial, but some parts are overwhelmingly toy-commercially even by the standards of a toy commercial series. It's definitely one of those stories that's motivated by how the toys work instead of something that flows logically from their characterization in the series to date.

I guess the Drift spinoff happens around this time too. I haven't read it. There's some more Wreckers stuff in there, too, which I also haven't read, and some Dinobot stuff which I've only read part of.

The Windblade series continues as Till All Are One, which is very good, and then the big season finale is Titans Return, which I haven't read.

Season 3 kicks off with Revolution, and then the two main books change titles; More than Meets the Eye becomes Lost Light, and just-plain-Transformers (which used to be Robots in Disguise) becomes Optimus Prime. I haven't read Revolution, or any of Optimus Prime; like I said, the Earth stuff didn't interest me much, though now I'm going to go back and read it anyway because I'm sure it has its moments.

Till All Are One is great and manages to wrap up the Windblade/Starscream arc by the end, though it was canceled prematurely and there are some dangling threads that never get tied up.

Lost Light is wonderful, and works its way toward a satisfying ending that, nonetheless, comes with a series of gut-punches that are in keeping with what the series has done up to that point.

There's some other Hasbro crossover stuff. I haven't read it.

The Unicron series...well, I read it without having read any of Optimus Prime, and that was probably a mistake, because it mostly wraps up plotlines from Optimus Prime.

MtMtE/Lost Light is the best series, and you can mostly just read that straight through, though I'd recommend reading Transformers vol 5 and Last Stand of the Wreckers first and Dark Cybertron between MtMtE vols 5 and 6.

Also, Chris Sims had a column at ComicsAlliance called The Transformed Man where he went through most of MtMtE and RiD and wrote about them as he went. That's worth reading as you go.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:47 pm

Working my way through the Transformers comics I got in the last bundle that I haven't read yet. I've already read vol 5: Chaos Theory, but I skimmed through it again, and god damn if the very first Roberts/Milne issue (the "backdoor pilot" for More than Meets the Eye) doesn't answer a question from the very last issue of Lost Light. I don't know if that was always the plan or if Roberts just has a good memory and chose to weave an element of his first story into his last one, but either way, I'm glad I took another (quick) look at it.

One of these days I'll have a massive blog post about which IDW collections are worth reading. But it's gonna take some time.

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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:41 am

I don't collect toys, but I'm certainly tempted by the upcoming New Flame Toys Autobot Megatron.

Sure, it's a Transformers toy that doesn't transform -- but you know, I can't remember Megatron ever actually transforming after he joined the Lost Light crew anyway. (Hell, it took him something like 25 issues before he even drew his gun.)

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Thad
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Re: IT IS THE YEAR 2005

Postby Thad » Mon May 06, 2019 12:34 pm

I quit reading Barber's Transformers at vol 9 (which was as far as the old bundle I'd bought went).

It turns out I really like vol 10.

Optimus's decision to annex Earth still feels off to me, but it's consistent with Barber's characterization of Prime as a general who has no idea how to lead in peacetime. But, as is often the case, Prime is a lot less interesting than the other characters in the story.

Starscream gets some fantastic moments here ("This is the greatest day of my life. Everyone is turning against Optimus Prime -- and not because I lied or manipulated them; he did it all himself!"), and Soundwave's arc finally reaches its apotheosis: he's the last Decepticon who's still loyal to the original cause; he's still motivated by ideals of freedom and equality, even as the scales have fallen from his eyes and he's seen that the Decepticon leadership has become as corrupt as the Autobot Senate they overthrew four million years ago. This story gives him the final piece of the puzzle: he finally realizes that humans are sentient beings, and he, too, has become an oppressor. (Hey, humans are good for something in a Transformers story! Although, as is often the case, they're more interesting in the abstract than they are as individual characters.)

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