Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

The IDW Comics universe has had such a different take on G1, one that's now significantly represented by the Generations toys, so they share a forum. A modern take on a Real Cybertronian Hero. Currently starring Generations toys, IDW "The Transformers" comics, MTMTE, TF vs GI Joe, and Windblade.
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Dominic
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Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Dominic »

AllSpark posted links to a creator interview, and a preview for the new series.

https://doomrocket.com/10-things-brian- ... nsformers/

https://www.allspark.com/2019/03/full-p ... formers-1/


Both give me some hope for the new series, which ships tomorrow.

The writer is starting with and idea, and them applying TF to it. (The interview referencing the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand intrigues me, even more so because of how Ruckley made a point of generalizing the answer, rather than making the series a specific analogue for history.)

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by andersonh1 »

I didn't realize that the first issue was already upon us. I hadn't planned on a trip to the comic shop tomorrow, but I might have to go after all.

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by andersonh1 »

First issue impressions (and it goes without saying that there are spoilers):

Rather than spoiler tag all of it, I"ll just leave some space. Don't read if you don't want to know things ahead of time. One or two things are tagged.
















- the current Transformers logo is pretty bland. That's not IDW's fault, I know.
- I was expecting a first issue to cost more, but the book is $3.99 thankfully. Glad to be wrong about the price.
- The art is not hyper-detailed, and I think that works to the issue's advantage.
- We get six characters, five pre-existing ones and one new, as far as I know. And for the most part, there are no surprises in the character choices: Optimus (here named Orion Pax), Megatron, Ironhide, Bumblebee, Windblade and Rubble.
- And technically a seventh with
Spoiler
Brainstorm's corpse (?) ... if he's actually dea
d.
- I feel the same way about Windblade that some fans felt about Drift when he was introduced: I just don't think she's as awesome as she's been made out to be. I could care less about the character. I'd rather less-developed G1 characters get some page time and growth rather than giving those things to new characters. But it's not a deal-breaker.
- Despite the restart, some concepts from previous IDW continuity have carried over, including "forged" Transformers and Titans.
- with so many existing characters, did we need a new one (Rubble) as our POV character?
- Do we really need to go back to Optimus being named Orion Pax?
- I prefer Optimus and Megatron as strangers when they first meet during the war, not old friends, but that's just a storytelling preference of mine. IDW have gone the "old friends" route here, and it's done about as well as can be expected
- there are humanoid aliens on Cybertron, but very little explanation is given. Bumblebee and Windblade are familiar with them.
- The dialogue has some moments of light humor, but is mercifully free of the quipping and snark that had come to characterize MTMTE/Lost Light, and which had made those books impossible to read.
- There are protests in the streets, and Megatron is involved, so the peaceful utopia is already in some societal turmoil.
- continued in two weeks... I like bi-weekly comics. I"ll be back for part two.

Overall: Nothing refreshingly new, nothing horribly bad. It's a Transformers comic, free of the increasingly convoluted and unworkable corner IDW had written themselves into with the post-war comics. I won't miss those books at all. I can't say I was enthused about this issue, but I did enjoy it, and will give it some more time to see how things play out before committing to a regular monthly purchase. I like the back to basics approach, and though they could and should have been more innovative, it's not a bad start.

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Dominic
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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Dominic »

Having read the first issue, I am interested enough to stick around for at least a few issues.

That fact that Cybertron is built on a foundation (if not a bedrock) of corpses is probably going to be thematically appropriate.

The shipper-fans are going to have a field day with the Optimus/Megatron scene. But, so long as there is now official shipping of Optimus and Megatron, it ain't my problem. (But, if this turns in to an exercise in shipping Optimus and Megatron, I am done.)

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Sparky Prime »

andersonh1 wrote:- I feel the same way about Windblade that some fans felt about Drift when he was introduced: I just don't think she's as awesome as she's been made out to be. I could care less about the character. I'd rather less-developed G1 characters get some page time and growth rather than giving those things to new characters. But it's not a deal-breaker.
I've got nothing against the character but... I'd have to agree, I don't see why she gets to be featured so predominantly (not just in the comics, but cartoons as well), especially when there are so many underdeveloped characters they could choose from.
- with so many existing characters, did we need a new one (Rubble) as our POV character?
As Rubble is essentially a newborn who is seeing things for the very first time, so to are we being (re)introduced to this world with this new storyline. I'm not so sure they could have done that effectively with an existing character. I kind of like this approach personally.
- Do we really need to go back to Optimus being named Orion Pax?
- I prefer Optimus and Megatron as strangers when they first meet during the war, not old friends, but that's just a storytelling preference of mine. IDW have gone the "old friends" route here, and it's done about as well as can be expected
I kind of expected Optimus to be Orion given the pre-war setting. I am surprised he and Megatron are both senators however. I prefer the idea both were no bodies from modest backgrounds (maybe just beginning to gain notoriety) before the war. I don't mind them having been friends pre-war, but well I guess I'd prefer they were more just acquaintances.

It also seems odd to me that Megatron would be leading the "Ascenticon" movement as a senator himself. Why does he need a movement to make changes when he's already in a position to make changes as a senator?
- there are humanoid aliens on Cybertron, but very little explanation is given. Bumblebee and Windblade are familiar with them.
Yeah, I found that really strange that they'd show these alien creatures, but then offer zero explanation as to how and why they're on Cybertron. Yet, it almost went out of its way to explain a shooting star was actually a sleeping Titan in orbit.
Dominic wrote:That fact that Cybertron is built on a foundation (if not a bedrock) of corpses is probably going to be thematically appropriate.
What? What foundation of corpses?

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Dominic »

Look at the hill that Rubble is standing on at the beginning (and the landscape in front of him). There are at least two dead Titans in that shot. And, look at the scene where Bumblebee is lighting a path. It looks like there is part of a large dead bot just outside the light. (Windblade's dialogue accents this.)

I've got nothing against the character but... I'd have to agree, I don't see why she gets to be featured so predominantly (not just in the comics, but cartoons as well), especially when there are so many underdeveloped characters they could choose from.
Windblade is a female character that was "created" by the fans. She is going to get a push.

- with so many existing characters, did we need a new one (Rubble) as our POV character?
Rubble has no baggage, on page or off.

Every character has some baggage. Pick your favorite z-lister. Heck, pick your favorite Micromaster. (Most of them are so obscure that we would have to grade them using letters from the Chinese alphabet.) There is some baggage.

With Rubble, there is no baggage. He is a new character, making him perfect to highlight the "new" Cybertron of the current series.

Yeah, I found that really strange that they'd show these alien creatures, but then offer zero explanation as to how and why they're on Cybertron. Yet, it almost went out of its way to explain a shooting star was actually a sleeping Titan in orbit.
I think we are supposed to assume that the aliens are just there, travelling across Cyberton, the way that people from different countries travel through major cities. With old IDW, Cybertron was essentially a pariah state. With current IDW, Cybertron is supposed to be a viable state.

It also seems odd to me that Megatron would be leading the "Ascenticon" movement as a senator himself. Why does he need a movement to make changes when he's already in a position to make changes as a senator?
There is a difference between being elected and being able to push stuff through a congress. And, in some cases, it is possible to "win" with constituents even as one loses legislative battles by taking the right stance on the right issues.

Ted Cruz (TX) is a good example of this on the right. Look at his voting record. He has not necessarily won the fights he promised to fight. His win:loss record (based on votes and successful initiatives) is less impressive than what he is seen trying to do. His losses indicate that he is trying on various issues, which is enough for his constituents.

Ayanna Pressley (MA) is also likely to be an example of this dynamic. (She was sworn in barely 2 months ago. But, the signs are there.) She makes a clear statement about an issue, and takes visible stands that are consistent with her statements. It is enough to be seen fighting, regardless of victory.

This tends to happen when populations are divided, usually with polarizing issues. (Upcoming issues will probably have more about Megatron's platform.) The danger is that eventually populations will demand progress on the issues that motivate them. (And, we can assume that is what will happen in this series.)

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Sparky Prime »

Dominic wrote:Look at the hill that Rubble is standing on at the beginning (and the landscape in front of him). There are at least two dead Titans in that shot. And, look at the scene where Bumblebee is lighting a path. It looks like there is part of a large dead bot just outside the light. (Windblade's dialogue accents this.)
I guess that vaguely looks like a head Rubble is standing on (not seeing a second in that scene), and vaguely looks like a head above Bumblebee's light (wouldn't exactly say Windblade's dialogue accents that though, the speech bubble almost covers it up). Maybe it was the site of a Titan battle eons ago, but I wouldn't call that Cybertron being build on a foundation of corpses.
Windblade is a female character that was "created" by the fans. She is going to get a push.
Yeah, back in 2013. She seems to be getting more of a push now then she did 6 years ago though. Not to mention, we also have Victorion created just as Windblade was. Why is Windblade the only one getting the push, and more so now?
I think we are supposed to assume that the aliens are just there, travelling across Cyberton, the way that people from different countries travel through major cities. With old IDW, Cybertron was essentially a pariah state. With current IDW, Cybertron is supposed to be a viable state.
Except Windblade shoots at them, and makes it sound like they're vermin. That's not the way you treat people traveling from another country. This makes it seem Cybertron is not open or welcoming to alien visitors. Yet they are there?
There is a difference between being elected and being able to push stuff through a congress. And, in some cases, it is possible to "win" with constituents even as one loses legislative battles by taking the right stance on the right issues.
There's also a huge difference between a no body that can't affect political change (at least not without some body representing their interests), and somebody who is. This Megatron is in a position of political power. He has a voice in the senate as a senator, unlike previous versions of Megatron. And apparently is popular with the public if he's got a growing movement following him. And honestly, I've never had the impression the Cybertronian senate works the same as ours.

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Dominic »

I guess that vaguely looks like a head Rubble is standing on (not seeing a second in that scene), and vaguely looks like a head above Bumblebee's light (wouldn't exactly say Windblade's dialogue accents that though, the speech bubble almost covers it up).
Windblade's dialogue accents it by complimenting what is happening. She says that the light will hide anything that Bumblebee is not lighting up. And, just outside of what he is lighting, there is a piece of a dead thing...which would probably have upset Rubble (the innocent character).
Why is Windblade the only one getting the push, and more so now?
Easier to sell Windblade than a badly composed merge team.


There's also a huge difference between a no body that can't affect political change (at least not without some body representing their interests), and somebody who is. This Megatron is in a position of political power. He has a voice in the senate as a senator, unlike previous versions of Megatron. And apparently is popular with the public if he's got a growing movement following him. And honestly, I've never had the impression the Cybertronian senate works the same as ours.
Even assuming informal ties (which is a factor in politics), Senators only have so much power, regardless of architecture. Cruz and Pressley are popular in their districts. Cruz and Pressley or Cortez are not nobodies. They have exceptional media profiles. And, they command the interest of voters from outside their own districts.

One of the Senators from MA has been in office for longer than Cortez is alive, and he is bowing to her because she will have some influence with his constituents, possibly enough to fend off a primary challenge. But, Cortez cannot seem to get that Green new Deal to take off, even on the left. Has Ted Cruz managed to edit the tax code down to something that would fit on the "back of a post card"? (In some ways, Governors, even Mayors, have more official power than Senators.)

If we assume that Cybertron has an at-Large Senate (voters choose multiple candidates for multiple seats, district wide), then Megatron would still be limited to his base. Does his based over-lap with other Senators? Or, do Megatron's supporters bullet the ballot for him? How much influence does Megatron have on legislation within the Senate?

Corruption can make a Senator more influential. But, even so, there would be limits (legal and otherwise), unless the Senator embraced the Von Clausewitz rule about warfare being "policy by other means". (And, we can probably assume that is where this is going.)

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Sparky Prime »

Dominic wrote:Windblade's dialogue accents it by complimenting what is happening. She says that the light will hide anything that Bumblebee is not lighting up. And, just outside of what he is lighting, there is a piece of a dead thing...which would probably have upset Rubble (the innocent character).
Again, the art only vaguely makes it look like a head. And it's not likely Rubble would even recognize it as a body (he didn't notice the one he literally climbed on earlier) let alone a dead body, given how naive he is shown to be as newly forged. He didn't recognize Brainstorm at dead when he sees him at the end of the issue, and he doesn't seem to be aware he's small compared to most Cybertronians. Not to mention, he doesn't even know about the Titans until Windblade fills him in about them, which happens after that scene.
Easier to sell Windblade than a badly composed merge team.
They could focus on any one of the component characters rather than the whole team all at once.
Even assuming informal ties (which is a factor in politics), Senators only have so much power, regardless of architecture. Cruz and Pressley are popular in their districts. Cruz and Pressley or Cortez are not nobodies. They have exceptional media profiles. And, they command the interest of voters from outside their own districts.
I literally saw an article just the other day saying Cruz is one of the least popular senators. But regardless, you're missing the point I'm making here. Obviously they're not nobodies. They're Senators. They have political power and notoriety that they wouldn't have if they weren't elected officials. It's the same with Megatron. Most continuities showed him to have been a nobody, fighting for change against a corrupt senate with their own selfish agenda from the outside. Megatron being a senator himself is a completely different dynamic. It puts him already in a position of power where he can affect change within the system itself.
If we assume that Cybertron has an at-Large Senate (voters choose multiple candidates for multiple seats, district wide), then Megatron would still be limited to his base. Does his based over-lap with other Senators? Or, do Megatron's supporters bullet the ballot for him? How much influence does Megatron have on legislation within the Senate?

Corruption can make a Senator more influential. But, even so, there would be limits (legal and otherwise), unless the Senator embraced the Von Clausewitz rule about warfare being "policy by other means". (And, we can probably assume that is where this is going.)
Again, you're assuming their government is set up like our own when we really have no basis to make that assumption.

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Shockwave »

Sparky Prime wrote:
If we assume that Cybertron has an at-Large Senate (voters choose multiple candidates for multiple seats, district wide), then Megatron would still be limited to his base. Does his based over-lap with other Senators? Or, do Megatron's supporters bullet the ballot for him? How much influence does Megatron have on legislation within the Senate?

Corruption can make a Senator more influential. But, even so, there would be limits (legal and otherwise), unless the Senator embraced the Von Clausewitz rule about warfare being "policy by other means". (And, we can probably assume that is where this is going.)
Again, you're assuming their government is set up like our own when we really have no basis to make that assumption.
I think there's plenty of basis. The term "Senator" and the fact that there are obviously more than one implies that there is some sort of shared power structure where they all agree on a majority to get things done. And, Orion is obviously not on board with Megatron's movement. If we assume the other senators aren't either that definitely would limit Megatron's legal political power, probably enough for him to take it to the extent of waging war which is pretty obviously what we're seeing here. If their senate didn't have some sort of similar structure to ours then why would the writers bother using that term when they could just make up something completely alien and different. The terms are used because it's a shortcut that the audience is familiar with to establish that this is the way politics works in this setting.

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