Skybound Transformers series

The modern comics universe has had such a different take on G1, one that's 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. Oh wait, and now Skybound, wheee!
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andersonh1
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Re: new Transformers and Joe comics announced

Post by andersonh1 »

I kept looking for issue #2 and it was never in stock, until today, when there were a couple of copies along with issue 3. I didn't get #2 since there was very little Transformers content, but I did pick up issue #3.

Void Rivals #3 - I didn't see a title for the issue, which follows out two main characters, Solila and Darak, from the first issue, captured by a Scuxxoid, those reptilian aliens from G1 season 3. And he's flying a "rockeroid" spaceship, just like the one from Five Faces of Darkness. Nice to see both make a return appearance to official Transformers fiction. The two main characters areT trapped on the Scuxxoid's ship and in trying to get away they run across a giant robot scorpion. I was hoping for some variation of Scorponok, but it doesn't appear to be intelligent or to be a Transformer. The thing that made me pick up this issue was the appearance of a Quintesson, of the non-five faced variety. I like the reference to the "Age of Wrath" and immediately thought of the third War Within series and the Quintesson involvement (even though we never got to see it), whether the reference is deliberate or not. The Quintesson tries to bargain his way out, but after finding out there's no bounty on the two main characters, the Scuxxoid offers them a Nebulon ship in exchange for theirs. They accept and make it home, only for Solila to disable Darak and apologize.

Honestly, I liked the idea of new characters interacting with familiar Transformers characters more than I thought would, I may go back and get issue 2 after all. Like the first issue, there's nothing especially inventive about the characters and situation, but it's an enjoyable story that gets a little something extra from the Transformers connection. I like the four page "letters page", and then the preview for the main Transformers series, which starts almost where the animated series did, with the crashed Ark and disabled Autobots and Decepticons inside, with Spike and a girl finding them. As I mentioned before, after IDW went to such lengths to be distant and different from the animated series, I think I'm more than ready for a Transformers continuity that references it like this one does. I'm feeling optimistic about the future here.
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Ursus mellifera
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Re: new Transformers and Joe comics announced

Post by Ursus mellifera »

andersonh1 wrote: Tue Aug 22, 2023 5:31 pmAs I mentioned before, after IDW went to such lengths to be distant and different from the animated series, I think I'm more than ready for a Transformers continuity that references it like this one does. I'm feeling optimistic about the future here.
I agree. I'm really liking it more than I expected.
Check it out, a honey bear! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinkajou
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andersonh1
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Re: new Transformers and Joe comics announced

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Transformers #1 - I wanted to like this book, but I did not, not on first read. It's a very tonally dark issue, which is not what I expected or hoped for. Curious to hear everyone's thoughts on this. I'll go into more detail when I have more time to post.

So my thoughts on the issue:
Spoiler
this is a grim book from beginning to end. Sparkplug is possibly a drunk, or at least given to lots of drinking, due to losing his son, Spike's brother. Spike and Carly discover the Ark buried in a mountain because Jetfire has arrived to rescue and repair his fellow Transformers, but he doesn't know about the war, so he awakens his friend Starscream first. This is a replay of the G1 cartoon where bots from both sides get repaired, only it's more violent, with casualties on both sides, and Teletran is destroyed by Optimus as he and the surviving Autobots retreat. And at the end of the issue, Starscream crushes a human to death with his bare hand.

There needs to be some balance somewhere in terms of tone. Yes, this is a series about a war and characters will die, but the best Transformers stories at least have some interesting story to tell that's set against the backdrop of the war, or some interesting character interaction, or even a sense of adventure sometimes. Not here, this issue a brutal struggle for survival and little else. While that might be appropriate for an issue here and there, it's not the best way to open a series and hook new readers. Not that this book is aimed at new readers, it's aimed at the existing fanbase and it assumes those fans don't mind characters dying early and dying often and don't really need explanations about what is going on. It did not make a good first impression on me. The art is fine, but art alone won't save it for me. Some of the dialogue works, some is pretty bad. I think I'll stick around for a few issues and see where this goes and give the creative team a fair chance to demonstrate where they're taking the characters, but I am not enthused any more. I'm thinking that if the series remains much like the first issue, it won't be long before I'm out.
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andersonh1
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Re: Skybound Transformers series

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Transformers #2 - art is still good, the dialogue is a bit better than last time. There's still no overarching plot other than "Transformers wake up, learn about their surroundings". Dreamwave gave us that plot about Lazarus trying to revive and control dormant Transformers to sell to the highest bidder, and IDW had the whole six-phase Infiltration plot as an opener, but this book is very much back to basics, telling the story that we've already seen in various forms as the Transformers awaken on Earth and start to establish their presence.
Spoiler
It's more violent than past iterations, with Starscream squishing another human this issue just like he did last time. Optimus Prime steps on a deer and kills it, but at least with him it's unintentional and he's remorseful afterward. The issue also introduces Duke from G.I. Joe, who survives an aerial battle with Starscream that his wingman does not.
I still can't say I'm a big fan of this series so far, but I'll give it a few more issues before deciding whether to keep it or drop it.
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andersonh1
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Re: Skybound Transformers series

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Transformers #3 -
Spoiler
Laserbeak tracks Carlie to Sparkplug's house, where he has to tell her that her father was killed by Starscream. Cliffjumper intervenes to help both humans, but Sparkplug is panickly and never once grasps that there are two different factions of giant robots. Skywarp gets some interesting uses of his teleportation abilities that we haven't seen before, and when he injures Optimus Prime's arm badly, Optimus tears off his own arm and beats Skywarp into submission with it.
I'm still on the fence. This is decompressed storytelling, and it's been one long running fight scene since the end of issue 1. It still doesn't feel like a story to me so much as a series of fights with a little bit of plotting in between to link them. It's a quick, not very satisfying read. There's no unfolding mystery here, nothing bigger than immediate events to create some interest, it's just robots, humans and violence. This book doesn't have many more issues left before I take it off my pull list.
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Re: Skybound Transformers series

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I like the writing more than you seem to. There is more contrivance than I would like. But, that is standard lazy comicbook writing.

The real problem is the art. IDW opened to the door for sub-par art in TF comics ~10 years ago. Why pay for Don Figueroa grade art when any indie artist will do?

The last TF series was good enough for me to stick around for, despite the art. In this case, I am buying the book mostly out of habit because I am still reading comics. But, if I drop my main series (the "Ultimates" relaunch), then I ain't sticking around for Skybound TF.
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andersonh1
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Re: Skybound Transformers series

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Transformers #4 - I liked this issue better than the others, but I can't really say why. Autobots acting like Autobots is probably a big part of it. I will say that after reading so much of Ruckley's Skywarp from IDW2 in the last week, the way this version of Skywarp goes out like a chump in this issue feels like a huge waste of the character. They're killing off someone in just about every issue, which always irritates me, because by and large there's not much that can be done with a dead character. Take some time, develop a character, give him some page time, and then if the story needs him to die, at least the death would be earned. The ending does have me interested for probably the first time as Optimus turns up with Megatron's arm and cannon replacing his missing arm, and Megatron himself shown on the final page in very bad condition. Nice to see Jazz turn up. I'm still iffy about this series overall, but they've bought themselves some more time with me.
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Dominic
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Re: Skybound Transformers series

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This is almost the Gillen-esque, Uber-style, TF series I wanted a decade ago. Both sides are applying economics as ruthlessly as they are willing to. Ratchet saying "let some humans die" seems harsh, until it is compared to Soundwave and Starscream cannabalizing parts from Skywarp and Reflector.

The art still bugs me.
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Re: Skybound Transformers series

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Dominic wrote: Thu Jan 11, 2024 7:19 am This is almost the Gillen-esque, Uber-style, TF series I wanted a decade ago. Both sides are applying economics as ruthlessly as they are willing to. Ratchet saying "let some humans die" seems harsh, until it is compared to Soundwave and Starscream cannabalizing parts from Skywarp and Reflector.

The art still bugs me.
The art's a little rough, but I generally like it. It fits the tone of the story they're telling, certainly.
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andersonh1
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Re: Skybound Transformers series

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Dom, looks like we're getting a new artist starting with issue 7: https://aiptcomics.com/2024/01/11/jorge ... nsformers/
Skybound has revealed Daniel Warren Johnson’s Transformers will feature Jorge Corona as a series artist for its second story arc starting with issue #7. The seventh issue is out on April 10th. The Energon Universe officially began in June 2023 with the surprise first appearance of iconic TRANSFORMERS character Jetfire in Void Rivals #1.
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