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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andersonh1
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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by andersonh1 »

Transformers 25: the war has truly begun here. Megatron has overthrown the government and like so many dictators, promises new elections down the road. Ironhide and his security spring the senators, but there are casualties on both sides, including
Spoiler
Sentinel Prime
though that's largely his own fault for racing ahead of everyone and leaving himself vulnerable. His pride kills him. Good dialogue throughout. Interesting to see Megatron mock the Matrix only to see at the end of the issue that it's mystical properties are very real
Spoiler
as it chooses Orion Pax, who accepts and becomes Optimus Prime
.

I particularly enjoyed this exchange:
Megatron: You betrayed me. You're not worth talking to.
Orion Pax: Comparing the scale of our betrayals is .. bold.

Orion at the end, adopting Megatron's philosophy: "We must become what the times require of us."

- Wheeljack is back on Cybertron, but the others are still on the moon, which the Decepticons hold
- this is the most balanced, moral and reasonable Sentinel Prime I've seen in any continuity. His position when he's talking with Megatron makes it clear that Megatron is rebelling against some fairly minor restrictions and that his extreme actions are in no way justified
- Megatron is angry at Pax for betraying him when Megatron has betrayed the world. He lacks self-awareness, I'd say
- A number of named characters are wounded and some are killed
- the rainmakers have never had so prominent a role, not that I can recall. I'm surprised to see such minor characters
Spoiler
kill Sentinel Prime
, establishing them as pretty dangerous.
- the whole sequence where
Spoiler
Orion experiences his vision within the Matrix
is well done, with lots of hints at more history for this continuity that we have not yet seen, including the
Spoiler
hate plague
!
- Sentinel orders Starscream killed.... interesting. Protecting state secrets, or suspects him of working with Megatron?
- Having just watched the first season of RID, it's nice to see Strongarm as a character in this continuity.
- poor Chainclaw!

It's another great issue, one of the best yet.

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Dominic
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Issue 25

Post by Dominic »

The sequence with the Matrix was everything that I have not liked about TF for the last 15+ years.
And,
Spoiler
the prominent mention of the "13"
made me cringe.

The coup sequences were good.
this is the most balanced, moral and reasonable Sentinel Prime I've seen in any continuity. His position when he's talking with Megatron makes it clear that Megatron is rebelling against some fairly minor restrictions and that his extreme actions are in no way justified
That is a low bar,considering how Sentinel has been written in the past.

But, you are still more charitable than I am. Early issues of this series establish that Cybertron has a planned economy. (Owning a private generator, the equivalent of a backyard garden, is suspicious enough to warrant scrutiny from law enforcement.)

Sentinel was actively preserving that system. He may not have been culpable for everything. But, he is hardly a bystander. (The Rainmakers were an exclusively released 3 pack last year,which might be why they are so prominent in the current series.)

But, Megatron has also lost much of the moral high-ground he held in previous chapters. His orders have killed bystanders.

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Re: Issue 25

Post by andersonh1 »

Dominic wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:12 pm
That is a low bar,considering how Sentinel has been written in the past.
Yeah, he was a non-entity in War Within, dead on the first page, and was a xenophobic fascist in the previous IDW continuity, if I remember right. So anything is a step up.
But, you are still more charitable than I am. Early issues of this series establish that Cybertron has a planned economy. (Owning a private generator, the equivalent of a backyard garden, is suspicious enough to warrant scrutiny from law enforcement.)

Sentinel was actively preserving that system. He may not have been culpable for everything. But, he is hardly a bystander.
I've gone back and re-read those early issues, and Cybertron is presented as a fairly idyllic place, with little to contradict that notion. It's to the point that I genuinely question just what it is that Megatron is rebelling against. People on Cybertron do not seem to be suffering, though there is a strain of the population that is not happy about the status quo, hence the reason Megatron is able to gather a following.

If Sentinel is guilty of anything, it's that he fails to innovate. He just maintains the status quo set up by his predecessor, but then he genuinely seems to believe it's the right thing to do, as he tells Megatron:

Sentinel: "The Universe is not ours alone. It belongs just as much to other sentients, and to those of us not yet forged. If we make other civilizations fear us, they will act as they have before. If we incur debts, our successors will pay them. Restraint can be the purest form of strength. And a small cost to bear, for the sake of peace, of the future."

That is an eminently reasonable point of view, and given that the Autobots continue to be elected to a significant majority, it stands to reason that the majority of Cybertron's population share his view.
But, Megatron has also lost much of the moral high-ground he held in previous chapters. His orders have killed bystanders.
I don't think he ever had it. Smuggling known exiles like Shockwave back to Cybertron, and employing violent followers like Quake puts Megatron squarely in the wrong from day one. He may have reasonable goals, but the means he is employing to achieve them go from bad to worse very quickly. I don't see that it was the theft and killing that his followers did that bothered Megatron, it was that their actions might harm his chances of achieving his goals. Apart from telling Bumblebee that he was sorry for the death of Rubble, I don't recall Megatron ever once expressing remorse for anything that happens as a result of his actions.

And of course now he's more than willing to force his vision of what Cybertron should be on to everyone. Having failed to achieve his goals through the democratic system, he's now going to circumvent that system entirely.

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Re: Issue 25

Post by Sparky Prime »

Dominic wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:12 pm
Early issues of this series establish that Cybertron has a planned economy. (Owning a private generator, the equivalent of a backyard garden, is suspicious enough to warrant scrutiny from law enforcement.)
As I've pointed out before in this topic... Cybertronian law enforcement didn't scrutinize anyone for having a private generator. One of those early issues has Chromia surprised when Sideswipe reports on just how many Cybertronians had fallen off the grid in terms of taking allocations from the publicly available energon. So it wasn't even something they normally monitored, they only noticed the drop off because they were specifically looking for a murderer that they thought may have recently dropped off the grid to hide. And their interest in Cyclonus, despite knowing full well he lived off the grid, was only because they suspected he was a witness to said murder. They didn't seem to care about him having his own means for obtaining energon.

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by andersonh1 »

What do you guys think about the pacing of this series? I've been discussing it some over at Tfw2005 and there is a contingent there that moans about this series being "too slow" and "nothing happening". Needless to say, I disagree. There's always something of interest in every issue for me, and the buildup to war almost feels too quick in some ways, and in others just about right. I've appreciated the chance to see some familiar characters in a peacetime setting, a chance that is clearly past now that we're into the war itself as of issue 25. I'm not unhappy with how the story has progressed at all.

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Ursus mellifera »

andersonh1 wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 1:00 pm
What do you guys think about the pacing of this series? I'm not unhappy with how the story has progressed at all.
Me neither. I think this series is taking the time to let the collapse of Cybertronian civilization happen realistically, rather than badly rushing it through so we can get to "the good stuff." This IS also good stuff. Aside from most of the art, it's ALL good stuff.
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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Shockwave »

I've been rereading IDW's first TF story and this paces FAR better than Infiltration, Escalation, and Devastation. Infiltration was WAY too slow and then things ramped up to 100. It's really a bit jarring. This series on the other balances it WAY better. My only complaint so far is that some things are mirroring current events a little too closely.

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Sparky Prime »

I like that they're actually taking the time to explore and build up to events. It feels like a natural progression of the story, rather than just rushing to get to the big events we know will happen eventually.

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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by Ursus mellifera »

Shockwave wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:54 am
My only complaint so far is that some things are mirroring current events a little too closely.
I guess they're writing it a bit TOO realistically.
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Re: Transformers 2019 (IDW comic series) discussion

Post by andersonh1 »

Transformers 26 -
Spoiler
I would not have thought I'd be all that interested in seeing a non-toy based character put front and center over pre-existing characters, but it worked with Rubble, and now here we see Termagax opening the issue, disgruntled that she has to pay attention to what's going on in the world. And considering that she was the original Ascenticon founder, I'm interested to see where all of this is going.
- Froid releases Pyra Magna from stasis imprisonment
- Optimus Prime gives his first statement as leader, and as I would expect, he's humble about it and attempting to be open and transparent about the circumstances with those gathered to hear him. I like his statement about Megatron and his followers still being "of us, parts of a whole". The civil division has not yet become so pronounced and deep that it's "us vs them" in the way that we typically see, and that makes sense at this stage of the conflict. Optimus does not want to fight, but he will if he must.
- more great dialogue from Megatron, who attempts to cow the Senate and control the levers of society, with only Starscream likely to join him from those he names.
- Great conversation between Optimus and Ironhide as they discuss choices and leadership while looking at the deceased Sentinel Prime. I'm really liking the way Optimus is written here. He doesn't want to fight, but realizing that it might be necessary, he gave the order to release Pyra Magna, one of the four generals, breaking with both of his predecessors in doing so.
- Soundwave forcibly recruits the reporter seen in earlier issues to start setting up Decepticon propaganda.
- Neither Soundwave nor Megatron are ready to put up with Starscream's games.
- I'm curious to see where Cyclonus ends up. This guy is definitely more like the Cyclonus from IDW's previous continuity rather than Cyclonus the Decepticon, so he may end up siding with the Autobots for all we know.
- The climax of the issue shows Termagax going to confront what were once her followers, and I won't spoil how it plays out, but she's going to be a factor in the story moving forward. I'm intrigued.
There are lots of plot threads in this issue, which is a change after the very focused, all out action of the previous issue. It's almost a pause to catch up with where everyone is now, but significant things still happen. I wish this book was still bi-weekly, but at least Escape will offer a second dose of story as long as it's running alongside the main series.

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