Road Trip with the Transformers, Final Entry — The Break-Up

This has been a longtime coming. I think it’s apparent that I haven’t been enjoying Transformers as a series. Brian Ruckley just writes in a way that doesn’t appeal to me. There’s too much emphasis on world-building over characterisation, world-building that doesn’t feel organically implemented. Plot progression is so slow as to be comparable to molasses. Dialogue is bland and characters feel generic. The art struggles with anything but dialogue scenes. There is very little that is consistently good about the series. I don’t enjoy it and I don’t even enjoy writing about it — it’s too bland for that.

So I’m ending things here. Some things aren’t meant to work out, no matter how much you want them to. Sometimes, you just need to know when something isn’t going to go anywhere and let go. That’s what this is. Sorry, Transformers. It’s not me, it’s you. Look me up in a couple of years when you’ve gotten your life together, we’ll do brunch.

Also, that cover looks like the Transformers world of Kingdom Hearts.

Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 5 — Transformers #5

Road Trip with the Transformers is what happens when you take a guy who grew up with Transformers (well, Robots in Disguise and the Unicron Trilogy, anyway), who was mildly interested in IDW’s Transformers comics — but too scared to dip too far in — and give him a rebooted Transformers comics line. With this, I’ll be quickly reviewing and then commenting on IDW’s new Transformers comic universe that began in March of 2019! The review will be spoiler-free, while commentary will not. With this, I’ll be chronicling my experience as someone who is a lapsed fan of the franchise from childhood, who has only read a few of the previous IDW Transformers comics. Expect me to forget characters’ names, find it hard to tell them apart and have little to no understanding of references to previous continuities! Does that sound like fun? No? Well, you’re coming along anyway! It’s a road trip! Roll out!

Last issue, we found out more about the world and very little about the plot, which is par for the course with this series. Last time, on Transformers: Lore Overload, Brainstorm was killed and a Voin was seen in the area. Rubble thinks he could identify the Voin but Prowl and Bumblebee tell him he can’t because they all look the same. Chromia and Windblade looked into Cyclonus and found nothing. The political situation is going downhill. Basically lots and ltos fo setup with lore peppered in, very little proper character work or narrative progression. Anyway, on with the review!

Continue reading “Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 5 — Transformers #5”

Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 4 — Transformers #4

Road Trip with the Transformers is what happens when you take a guy who grew up with Transformers (well, Robots in Disguise and the Unicron Trilogy, anyway), who was mildly interested in IDW’s Transformers comics — but too scared to dip too far in — and give him a rebooted Transformers comics line. With this, I’ll be quickly reviewing and then commenting on IDW’s new Transformers comic universe that began in March of 2019! The review will be spoiler-free, while commentary will not. With this, I’ll be chronicling my experience as someone who is a lapsed fan of the franchise from childhood, who has only read a few of the previous IDW Transformers comics. Expect me to forget characters’ names, find it hard to tell them apart and have little to no understanding of references to previous continuities! Does that sound like fun? No? Well, you’re coming along anyway! It’s a road trip! Roll out!

No new toys this time, because I am thoroughly broke. But that’s okay, because, frankly, the last two issues of this series have done a good job with killing my enthusiasm for Transformers. Previous issues placed so much emphasis on world-building that I genuinely found issue 3 to be a slog to get through. But we’re only a quarter of the way through this story, so will it recover? Let’s find out with our look at Transformers (2019) #4.
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Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 3 — Transformers #3

Road Trip with the Transformers is what happens when you take a guy who grew up with Transformers (well, Robots in Disguise and the Unicron Trilogy, anyway), who was mildly interested in IDW’s Transformers comics — but too scared to dip too far in — and give him a rebooted Transformers comics line. With this, I’ll be quickly reviewing and then commenting on IDW’s new Transformers comic universe that began in March of 2019! The review will be spoiler-free, while commentary will not. With this, I’ll be chronicling my experience as someone who is a lapsed fan of the franchise from childhood, who has only read a few of the previous IDW Transformers comics. Expect me to forget characters’ names, find it hard to tell them apart and have little to no understanding of references to previous continuities! Does that sound like fun? No? Well, you’re coming along anyway! It’s a road trip! Roll out!

This entry is super late because university eats my time and energy. The Transformers toy hunt is going well, however! I now know the good spots and the good sites, so my onslaught of Siege toys is shaping up nicely. It’s also a nice way to get some exercise into my life of comics and video games. The problem now is that I need a place to put these that isn’t the corner of my desk. Seriously, this is the most claustrophobic war zone ever!

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This is getting harder with more toys.

Moving on, the last issue of Transformers was a sluggishly paced exposition dump. We learned more about this new version of Cybertron, but it was mostly limited to random jargon and factoids. However, we did meet Chromia, Prowl and Wheeljack, whose characterisation was fine as a reasonable authority figure, jerk cop and talkative scientist, respectively, and we caught a glimpse of Soundwave. The Ascenticon rally in Tarn, held by Megatron, was attacked by some unknown entity. We also know that Chromia’s security forces are spread thin, and that The Rise are the prime suspects in Brainstorm’s murder — Chromia has ordered the arrest of every member as a result, which can only turn out well! On the good end of worldbuilding, we know that The Rise want the same things as the Ascenticons, but are just more violent about it. Meanwhile, Bumblebee and Rubble were just kind of laying about. It doesn’t sound like much has happened, does it? That’s because it hasn’t. Hopefully things pick up and there’s less focus on disconnected world-building. Here is Transformers (2019) #3.

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Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 2 — Transformers #2

Road Trip with the Transformers is what happens when you take a guy who grew up with Transformers (well, Robots in Disguise and the Unicron Trilogy, anyway), who was mildly interested in IDW’s Transformers comics — but too scared to dip too far in — and give him a rebooted Transformers comics line. With this, I’ll be quickly reviewing and then commenting on IDW’s new Transformers comic universe that began in March of 2019! I’ll be chronicling my experience as someone who is a lapsed fan of the franchise from childhood, who has only read a few of the previous IDW Transformers comics. Expect me to forget characters’ names, find it hard to tell them apart and have little to no understanding of references to previous continuities! Does that sound like fun? No? Well, you’re coming along anyway! It’s a road trip! Roll out!

Before I get into the comic, I just want to say that I’m looking to buy Transformers toys now because I liked the first issue of the comic and dig the character designs — Chromia on the cover of this issue looks pretty great, for example. Plus just a general nostalgia for my childhood. The problem? I didn’t realise how hard the Siege toys are to find! Seriously, Australia is not a good place to live if you want access to Transformers toys, and I can’t wait for Toys R’ Us to make its comeback. Although I did manage to get lucky and find a Target that had a bunch of Wave 2 stuff on my first day of looking.

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I also learned that posing is hard, especially when one toy has slim legs and a gigantic backpack.

Anyway, back to the comic. Last issue introduced us to the world of Cybertron and what will probably be our main cast of characters for a while: Rubble, Bumblebee, Windblade, Orion Pax and Megatron. Also, Ironhide was there. It had some great art, an interesting world and did a good job pacing itself and not overwhelming me as a new reader. The lettering was off though, which kind of took away from the issue overall. Let’s hope that’s not the case here. Anyway, here is Transformers (2019) #2!

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Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 1 — Transformers #1

Road Trip with the Transformers is what happens when you take a guy who grew up with Transformers (well, Robots in Disguise and the Unicron Trilogy, anyway), who was mildly interested in IDW’s Transformers comics — but too scared to dip too far in — and give him a rebooted Transformers comics line. With this, I’ll be quickly reviewing and then commenting on IDW’s new Transformers comic universe that began in March of 2019! The review will be spoiler-free, while commentary will not. With this, I’ll be chronicling my experience as someone who is a lapsed fan of the franchise from childhood, who has only read a few of the previous IDW Transformers comics. Expect me to forget characters’ names, find it hard to tell them apart and have little to no understanding of references to previous continuities! Does that sound like fun? No? Well, you’re coming along anyway! It’s a road trip! Roll out!

Here it is, Transformers #1! I was way more excited for this than I should’ve been, not helped by a lot of media I’ve been consuming in the past few months essentially pandering to my nostalgia. Anyway, on with the review road trip! Today, there’s only one issue to look at, though I expect that to change soon enough. For now, we have the first instalment of this brave new world: Transformers (2019) #1!

Continue reading “Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 1 — Transformers #1”