new "Transformers '84" series announced

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Shockwave
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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Shockwave »

Honestly, I'm gonna give it a few issues just to see where he goes with it and if there does wind up being a point. Of course, it's funny to me that I am currently rereading the original Marvel run (the UK version no less) when this comes out. So the events referenced are still very fresh in my mind.

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Issue 2

Post by Dominic »

I have previously objected to this thread being in the modern-focused IDW forums, arguing that it should be in the retro-G1 forums.

I was wrong. We need a dedicated "train wreck" forum.

This series is the inverse of the main IDW "Transformers". Ruckley is crafting a well thought out story that builds upon mature understanding of ideas....with terrible art.

" Transformer '84" has really pretty art. Amazing art.

Actually, that is unfair. While Ruckley advances the plot by expanding on and considering the idea of civil decline, Furman's writing progresses in a thematic sense, getting more self-aggrandizing and pointless as the series progresses.

The zero issue was Furman's attempt to piggyback on "Man of Iron", one of the more notable arcs from the original run.

With issue 2, Furman doubles down. He back writes an origin for Straxus (who first appeared in Marvel's issue 17) and rewrites the origin of the Dinobots in the same issue! He really is focusing and economizing his efforts.

The Dinobot origin shown in Marvel #8 was years ahead of its time, using breakdowns and a cleanly framed flashback sequence to maintain a consistent perspective. Furman discards that in favor of a more pedestrian fight scene (punctuated by bronze-age dialogue that is probably not a stylistic decision) that is justified by a back-write that causes more problems than it could possibly solve (assuming there were even problems to begin with).


There is a definite creative theme emerging. By connecting his writing to, back-writing or rewriting "Man of Iron" (Marvel #33-34), "Return to Cybertron" (Marvel #17-18) and "Warrior School" (Marvel #8) Furman is retroactively putting his mark on (and over) notable "Transformers" comics that he had nothing to do with. He is not improving those iconic issues or otherwise adding value to the lore, but he is making his writing a (wholly unnecessary) part it.


The preview for the next issue promises that Furman will be expanding his creative gaze to encompass characters that were once exclusive to Japan. I can't wait.


Furman is a truly ambitious hack whose creative ego shall not be limited by a lack of ideas, deficiency of talent or any other discernible merits.




(But, the art really is pretty. So, so pretty.)

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Shockwave »

I've been rereading G1 lately and am currently up to ReG1. I've been trying to read the UK stories as well. The main problem I have with this series is that it's just really unclear where some of this is supposed to fit in with the original continuity. And if it is supposed to rewrite or contradict it directly, then... I dunno. I'll probably just treat it the same way I treat the Star Wars prequel trilogy: Not bad, entertaining, but consider it's own separate thing since it directly contradicts what's already there.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Dominic »

You are more charitable than I am.

Furman is looking for and creating "gaps" that he can fill in with pointless faux-epics.

And, I restate, without sarcasm, that Furman seems to be back-writing and over-writing well-regarded runs that he did not write. This is a new level of vanity from a guy whose one consistent virtue used to be that he was humble.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Shockwave »

Just read issue 3 and... I dunno. I can understand this one being useful from an editorial perspective. The Marvel G1 continuity is obviously a well that IDW is determined to keep tapping into (this is at least the second series revisiting that timeline). The problem is that some things and characters in that continuity are owned by Marvel. One of which is the Savage Land. I'm treating this one as the same solution they used with Circuit Smasher in ReG1. They couldn't use Circuit Breaker because she's a character owned by Marvel, but they needed something or someone similar. Shockwave's battle with the Dinobots originally happened in the Savage Land which is also owned by Marvel. So, if that's a story that IDW is planning to reference, they need a way to do so without directly referencing something owned by another comic company. This story allows them to do that. Now, I'm probably being pretty generous in assuming that's the reason for this story. And actually, I'm not assuming it is the reason, just that it's something that works out well for IDW and possible future stories. So far, Transformers '84 does seem like Simon Furman being self indulgent? I dunno if that's the right way to phrase it, but it's like when a celebrity who hasn't been relevant for a long time tries and fails horribly to be relevant and appeal to a new generation of fans. Yeah, that's what TF '84 feels like. I also have to wonder who the editorial bit at the end is for. I mean, anyone who's familiar with Marvel's G1 run already knows all of this. Anyone who doesn't will be interested enough to find out and those who aren't don't care.

TL:DR: I liked this one the best so far because I can tell exactly where this fits and it makes it easier for IDW to avoid copyright infringement later on.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Dominic »

This story allows them to do that. Now, I'm probably being pretty generous in assuming that's the reason for this story. And actually, I'm not assuming it is the reason, just that it's something that works out well for IDW and possible future stories.
And, this is the problem.

This series is not focused on fixing existing problems. It is about Simon Furman's ego (and love of a low-impact payday). Simple Simon is writing a half-assed conspiracy story that he is framing as a clever deconstruction, which nobody who follows hos career is likely to credit him as being smart enough to do.

If IDW needed to over-write the Savage Land, Furman could have done so without adding a complete back-write. (Later issues of the US series ignored early Marvel -specific references.)


Simple Simon's.notes only highlight how little thought he has put in to this series.

Furman himself concedes that the brain-bank (complete with an inventory for reserve troops) contradicts the logic of Prime's suicide mission (which was only established by Simple Simon in this series that nobody wanted, serves no purpose and adds no value), and then says that Prime had long-term plans.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by andersonh1 »

Issue 3? They still only have issue 1 at my shop. Looked for a second issue today and didn't see it.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by Dominic »

There have been three issues published: issue 0, issue 1, issue 2.

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issue 3

Post by Dominic »

This series is impressive for Simon Furman's ability to get more offensively stupid and self-indulgent every issue.


I did not buy this issue. But, I flipped through it, and read Simple Simon's notes. Even the notes are mishandled, being printed after several pages of ads, where most readers will not see them. (I suspect that IDW is trying to "force" readers to look at the ads. But, given the over-all competence of this series, it might just be inept breakdowns.


The pointless, baggage-heavy, backwrites continue, including part of
a previously "untold" story about the 1985 Autobots fighting Grimlock and Megatron on prehistoric Earth. (I never even considered how little this story needed to be told until now.)

But, the real gem is in Simple Simon's notes. He explains the presence of Scourge and Cyclonus in the past (based on their appearance in the original Marvel serues), and acts like the question has never been addressed before. (Simple Simon appears to be ignoring his own writing on the UK series.)


As in previous issues, the artists continue making a strong showing. But, they cannot keep carrying the dead weight of Simple Simon.

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Re: new "Transformers '84" series announced

Post by andersonh1 »

I put this book on my pull list. Still have not seen issue 2 in my comic shop. Plenty of copies of the first issue still on the shelf though.

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