Well, I shall look forward to The Doctor's opinion on the Bumblebee issue, as I passed up on ordering it myself. Feel free to review it drunk or sober!
The whole 'war is over' snippet is particularly odd. Perhaps he means for the Autobots trapped on Earth, temporarily the war is 'over'? That raises another question - if they're all so desperate to get off Earth, then how the hell did the Wreckers get off Earth? Omega Supreme? And if so, why the hell didn't they all just bugger off together? Got some 'splainin' to do, IDW.
Hmmm. I read the preview pages, and the interview that was up on one of the fan sites as well. I have to say that it is kind of like an anti-trailer in some respects, in that it makes me less motivated to read the comic in all honesty.
The first issue of a new comic should, in general, offer me something new and different that I can't get elsewhere and should catch my interest and make me wonder where the writer plans to take the story. The preview pages don't seem to offer that. Instead all we have is a fairly poorly executed fight between some human infantry and a bunch of super-robots. (Both sides look like they have the battle skills of seven-year olds in the released pages - what with the "stand in the open and shoot lots of dakka in all directions" approach to fighting). So either the preview pages aren't really representative of the issue (in which case why make them the preview?) or the main selling point of the series is supposed to be "robot battles!" (in which case then it hardly stands out from the crowd considering the sheer number of other combat mecha franchises out there to chose from).
Reading the interview left me feeling a little befuddled as well. The interviews description of the Spike character as "the Autobot's long time ally" doesn't seem to match up with what I have heard about his role in "All Hail Megatron" - the only place that this character has appeared to date so one would hope it is a case of the interviewer failing to do his research. It threw me is that they seem to feel that leaking the last few pages of the issue makes sense as a promotional device - "here is the ending of our amazing comic. Now that you know what happens at the end hasten out and buy it", doesn't work so well as a plan.
Also, even if we take into account other Transformers series that IDW have published, the character who receives the shocking death has not really had much in the way of character development, or been particularly important to the stories. So the death itself doesn't really feel like it has the dramatic weight that they might have been going for.
I have to admit to being underwhelmed by the preview pages. I don't get much of a sense from them of what the tone, or the narrative intent of the series is - it is just some super-robots fighting with some humans. Couple that with the fact that the opening story-arc has an artist whose work isn't really to my taste and I don't have a huge level of interest remaining for this. I will probably pick up the first issue out of curiosity, but my comics budget is relatively small these days so like all new series I sample it will need to deliver a really good first issue to keep me buying it.
(Besides with "Last Stand of the Wreckers" due out in the New Year I may well need the money for buying of that).
Well, as I said over on IDW... Prowl's out of character gung-ho-iness, and the fact that we know the Autobots rescue him later in the issue, as well as him talking with (presumably) Red Alert here, whom neither the reader nor the in-story humans know is there, could all add up to a very IN-character Prowl who has witnessed and assessed the human capabilities and logic dictates that now is the time for him to act as part of a pre-determined plan, deliberately getting himself kidnapped so that The Autobot's can find the Skywatch facility where they keep apprehended Cybertronians and shut it down. If this is three years later, and if Optimus has specifically set out to shut down all Cybertronian weapons and technology on earth (as stated in the DC) I'd imagine they've had time to decide that they HAVE to stop humans from plundering that tech themselves, and they could have been waiting months or years for this opportunity to arrive.
But, as I also said at IDW, because this kinda sorta makes sense, it's probably not going to happen.
That interview answers a few questions. He says that his favourite incarnation of the TF franchise was the G1 cartoons and that is his starting point in his job as editor. Furthermore, he says that he read the Marvel comics but he didn't like them like he did the cartoons.
There are a few others gems in that interview also that we may find 'interesting'.
Proof indeed that he hasn't read most of the IDW comics that he's supposed to be writing about.
It is my theory that he has only read selected issues and built up the TF Continuum issue from what he has read. I'm guessing that he read bits of Infiltration and Escalation (upto the point before the Machination's name was revealed) before reading a few Spotlights and picking up the story again when Skywatch was first name checked. This would explain why he thinks that the Machination is Skywatch because he failed to read the bits that he needed to.
TF #1 is out now and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It does a good job of communicating the current state of play in the IDW universe and moving it in an unexpected direction.
In terms of story flow, it's obvious that Mike Costa has been influenced by Simon Furman's early Marvel UK work. The internal monologue through the issue helps to frame the chain of unfolding events. It's not perfect by any means - the pacing is all over the place, completely failing to build tension. It may have worked better if the entire comic had been presented as a flashback showing how events had spirralled out of control and led to the lead character's position on the final page (which seems a random solution to the problem), similar to Furman's recently reprinted Prey story). Prime and Hot Rod's characterisation also seemed a little odd, as if they had picked up traits from their Marvel comic counterparts. However, I had no trouble believing that Prowl was the same character presented in Nick Roche's AHM story.
Overall, the first issue demonstrates an effort to pick up the pieces of AHM and tell a new (if slightly re-cycled) story. I'm looking forward to seeing where the story arc goes from here.
Edit: Modified to add extra comment about the unexpected choice made on the final page.
Last Edit: Nov 18, 2009 20:42:02 GMT by knightbeat