new "Transformers '84" series announced

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Dominic
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new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Dominic »

Apparently, somebody liked the zero issue published last year, because IDW is publishing more "stories you never knew about" that (allegedly) tie in with the main series. Based on the description of the first issue, it looks like IDW is now applying the "almost heroic" model to retro-Marvel Megatron.

I suspect that IDW made this decision based on the sales of the zero issue more than response, which was almost uniformly negative. The problem is that sales numbers are based on what comic stores order (through Diamond), not what people actually bought. And, that does not even begin to reflect on what people who actually bought the comic thought of it.

After the zero issue, (which was contrary both in tone and context to the early Marvel issues), I am deeply skeptical about this series. Admittedly, I am likely to buy it. But, I am not expecting it to be any good.

https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/FEB200644
Last edited by Dominic on Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: new "Transformers '84 series announced

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I meant to give that one-shot a try but I don't think I ever saw it in my LCS. I may give the ongoing a shot. I'm enjoying the current series enough that I'm not sure I feel the need for a second monthly Transformers book though.

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issue 1

Post by Dominic »

Transformers '84 #1:

This series is a near perfect compliment to Ruckley's 2019 reboot series.

The reboot series is a combination of solid writing (with recurring flashes of brilliance) and sub-par art.

"Transformers '84" has gorgeous art.

Guidi and Bove are applying the lessons learned from "ReGeneration One", which is creating visuals that are almost enough to balance Furman's writing.

There is much to criticize about the writing. His tone-deaf dialogue. His lack of ideas.

But, perhaps the worst thing is Furman's seemingly earnest belief in how clever he is being.

Some convoluted back-writes exist to fix existing problems that cannot be ignored. (Marvel's accounting for "1950s Captain America" comes to mind.) But, others exist for the sake of the writer looking for an excuse.

The writer who once urges readers to not concern themselves with minutia now includes meticulously annotated back-matter, explaining how his latest work fits with a series that ended damn near 30 years ago.

For about 15 years, Furman's best work has been backward looking, relying on ideas (and probably notes) from hos creative prime in the 80s and 90s. Now, he is looking back for blanks to fill in, often going out of his way to do so.

I won't subscribe to a series this badly written. But, the art is enough to convince me to buy a shelf copy in my weaker moments.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by andersonh1 »

I have to say, I had the opposite reaction. I really enjoyed this first issue. It hit a few too-familiar notes, but then it's going for a retro feel and tying into old continuity, so some of that is to be expected. Loved the art.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Ursus mellifera »

I just read the zero issue. I don't know if the first issue is better?

I agree with you guys about the art. It's amazing. Especially the way they make it look like 80's art, and it's clearly on purpose. Those motherfuckers are talented.

As far as the story, I feel like Optimus has a psychological disorder:

"I could use my best warriors to fight Megatron and his forces, or use them all in a colossal suicide bomb. Hmmm..... the bomb sounds good. Apparently I'm morally barren."

Does Prime's blossoming sociopathy get addressed in the next issue? What the hell is happening here?
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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

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Okay. I just read the first issue, too, and that's a "nope" to all of my questions.

And "Dynobots?" Really?? And... *sigh*, I don't know.

I would have found it clever from an a book that was actually from the 80's, but the writing of this thing, to me, just comes across as trying too hard to be "retro" and "edgy" at the same time, and that just makes me see 30 pages of hipster navel-gazing. I'm genuinely disappointed, especially since the art is so, so pretty.
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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

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Issue 1 is slightly better than issue zero, if not by much.

This series really serves to highlight how little Furman has grown as a writer in ~35 years.

The best defense for Issue #0 is that "Man of Iron" was very much out of tone with then-current comics, being darker than early Marvel G1. In that regard, Furman arguably hit the right tone.

But, he missed enough basic details from the original story that the final product reads like a draft. When issue #0 first shipped, people were picking over details that were not clear from the printed page, rather than anything else Furman might have done, or at least attempted.


Issue #1 is the opposite. Furman meticulously researched minutia, but missed the over-all tone of the original series (despite spending time reading them for plot points he could write around).

For all of the time that Furman (proudly?) claims to have spent researching issue #1, he cannot articulate why he bothered, or why it needed to be done.


I expect better from someone who has been getting paid to write longer than many fans have been alive.

-note: requesting a moderator move this to the G1 forum.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by andersonh1 »

Dominic wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:50 pm
Issue 1 is slightly better than issue zero, if not by much.

This series really serves to highlight how little Furman has grown as a writer in ~35 years.
To be fair to Furman, he is writing a retro book tied into retro continuity, so I don't know what else we should expect on this project. I think we'd have to read other recent things that he's written to really judge how much he's grown as a writer. I don't really know what else he's worked on.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Ursus mellifera »

andersonh1 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:03 am
To be fair to Furman, he is writing a retro book tied into retro continuity, so I don't know what else we should expect on this project. I think we'd have to read other recent things that he's written to really judge how much he's grown as a writer. I don't really know what else he's worked on.
That's a good point. I'd like to read anything else he's written (if there is anything) recently to compare. Maybe he's just trying to write to the 80's, as much as I don't appreciate it.
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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

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I tend to think that this is Furman's skill level.

The best things he has written for the last 10~15 years have mostly been backward looking, the few exceptions to that include his reliance on over-powered characters and McGuffins.

So far "Transformers '84" has, at best, riffed on the worst of post-Moore/Miller comics, complete with no demonstrable understanding of why those comics worked.

Furman made a career by filling in gaps (in the early UK run) and later with editorial direction from Rob Tokar. Now, he studiously finds/creates gaps to exploit when writing comics that serve no purpose.

He is a hack with a guaranteed job writing for a property with a built in fan-base.

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