Thursday, July 3, 2014

IDW Transformers

to try and reel back the blog to get back to the more positive side of things so all that I could think was what is good for Transformers fans right now? The answer was fairly obvious, well other than So I feel that the past few posts have been hanging on toward the negative side of things. I wanted the toys currently (generations G1 stuff) IDW has been doing an absolutely amazing job at keeping fans on the edge of their seats. I decided to basically write my fanboy love letter to IDW.

To start off, when I first got into transformers, the fiction that was readily available was fairly slim. There were some Rhino VHS tapes available, and there was a Canadian copy of the Transformers Movie (with Shit reinstated), however officially there was not much else avail to fans. My first deluge was into the original series, thanks to Bearshare. My cousin had downloaded all of the original episodes, and we were able to fit them into eight CDR’s. The copies were really a great visit to the old days because they were a mix of all video file types. I had to have at least three video programs in order to watch all the episodes… you know the good old days of Windows 98. Additionally all of these videos were digitized versions of whatever people had recorded on VHS. This meant that each new episode I did not know how good the quality would be or even when it was recorded. I still have many of these files for the simple fact that they were Generation 2 copies of the episodes. I gotta say that I loved the Cybernetic Space Cube! Other than the original series, Beast Wars was not avail and Beast Machines was on air. Those episodes were not as easy to come by and considering how Bear Share worked, when the two guys who had these episodes had to get off their dial up you were stuck waiting until they logged back in.

Comic book wise all that was around was the original Marvel runs. My cousin was kind enough to let me borrow his short box with all the copies he had on hand. However, the 80 issue run along with two 4 issue minis and the 12 issue G2 run only provided so much. Also Josh’s collection was not complete, so I found myself being thankful when I went to my comic shop and found that Titan Books was releasing the tail end of the 80 issue series in Graphic Novel format.

That being said when Hasbro reinitialized the books to Dreamwave I was on cloud nine. I have to say I read that preview many times on my giant 17 inch monitor. I could not wait. I bought like tree copies of the preview comics read to go. I can remember my first Botcon which happened to be the first Dreamwave Botcon as well. Well their panel became an onslaught of “will (insert character) be in the comic?” That panel was mind numbing. However I was fully involved.

Flash forward a few years, Pat Lee screwed over basically everybody at Dreamwave to save his car, and we were once again without comics. Then we all received the great announcement that some unknown comic company IDW was taking over the license. I have to say the next Botcon was very much of the same that happened with Dreamwave. Basically everybody wanted to know when their favorite Transformers would make an appearance. However there were some great highlights. We found that IDW had hired on many of the talent that Dreamwave had screwed, and they hired Simon Furman to pen the first batch of books to come out. Also they gave away an amazing poster recreating the Uncle Sam “I want you” pose with Optimus Prime. All that I could say is again I was optimistic on what was on the way.

Infiltration set the stage that this was going to be a different book. It actually tried to keep the Transformers’ war under the radar more than any other fiction had. The idea had always been toyed with however Infiltration actually set the whole idea that ambiguity was a major asset for this race. Simon Furmon’s writing also kept me tuned in to see what was going to happen next.
Then IDW made an amazing move. They decided to start to jumping around in the timeline. Not only did they give you a real-time story, but also they provided more background. Also they started to weave all of the books into a single solitary story. It reminded me of the old 90’s X-Men books however not as convoluted. This also opened the door for IDW to introduce a much larger cast of Transformers into the universe without having to force the issue as the original Marvel run did.

Stormbringer was the first mini-series that really fulfilled a need for the Transfan. It introduced Thunderwing and the Pretenders back into the mythos, and not in the tacky way they were in the original run. They also provided the US with a Wreckers story line and introduced the Seal Team of the Autobots into the new comic series.

They also expanded the universe utilizing One-Shot books. These gave you a focus on a small number of Formers at a time, but provided a great spot for character development. Also they were slightly linked in a way that setup the first major story arc for IDW. Each one shot would make you ask a question and then just partially answer it.

The comics continued to get better and better, however for me there were some sour spots. When the comic left the mini-maxi series format and started an ongoing, I felt the main story arc was somewhat lost. Mike Costa’s run on the book is not my favorite storyline, and I felt that it left a bit of want. However during this time we received the Last Stand of the Wrecker’s Mini. This mini is often held as one of the greatest Transformers stories, and I cannot disagree. It continued the IDW universe building and introduced characters from Europe and Japan into the main story arch.

At the end of the Mike Costa run IDW entered their Chaos event, and finished up the ongoing book. Also in this story arch they revived Cybertron and discharged Optimus and Megatron. The Chaos event also marked an epiphany for me. They had released a great review comic explaining what had happened up to this point in the story and as I reviewed it I realized that IDW had surpassed the number of books that the original full marvel run had lasted.
This lead to the current state of events. IDW has now announced that the comic will continue with 2 ongoing monthly series (Robots in Disguise and More than Meets the Eye). We just finished up the Dark Cybertron event and sadly I am stuck in the middle due to time conflicts.
We also have reached a new era where the comics and toys finally work together like they did in the Marvel run. The first real sign of this was when Hasbro released the perfect Springer toy, which was based off the artwork from Last Stand and Nick Roche’s Springer. This has continued and now created the new Generations line that is even supported by the IDW books packed in with the figures.

I have to say that I am huge fan and they have me hook, line, and sinker. I am a proud Gee Oner however I feel that I get a chance to create my own definition of G1. IDW books are a great part of my definition of G1 now. They are my choice fiction and I often refer to their history.
One of my friends is now trying to start reading the books from square one. I warned him that there is a lot of material, however I am a little jealous because he gets to read it in sequential order, as opposed to my order of release. Now thanks to Wikipedia, I here is your reading order if you want to join in the fun.

1-4. Megatron Origin #1-4
5. Spotlight - Orion Pax
6. Spotlight - Blurr
7-18. Autocracy #1-12
19-30. Monstrosity #1-12
31. Spotlight - Thundercracker
32. Spotlight - Shockwave
33. Spotlight - Cliffjumper
34. Spotlight - Wheelie
35. Spotlight - Hot Rod
36. Spotlight - Sixshot
37. Spotlight - Ultra Magnus
38. Spotlight - Soundwave
39-42. Infiltration #0-3
43-45. Stormbringer #1-3
46-47. Infiltration #4-5
48. Stormbringer #4
49. Infiltration #6
50. Spotlight - Kup
51-54. New Avengers/Transformers #1-4
55-56. Escalation #1-2
57. Spotlight - Nightbeat
58-61. Escalation #3-6
62. Spotlight - Ramjet
63. Spotlight - Galvatron
64. Spotlight - Optimus Prime
65-68. Devastation #1-4
69. Spotlight - Blaster
70. Spotlight - Arcee
71-72. Devastation #5-6
73. Spotlight - Mirage
74. Spotlight - Grimlock
75-78. Revelation #1-4 (contains Spotlights on Cyclonus, Hardhead, Doubledealer & Sideswipe)
79-83. Maximum Dinobots #1-5
84a. All Hail Megatron #15 "Everything in Its Right Place"
85. Spotlight - Drift
84b. All Hail Megatron #15 "Lost & Found"
86. Spotlight - Metroplex
87. Spotlight - Jazz
88-102. All Hail Megatron #1-14 & 16
103. Continuum
104. Spotlight - Prowl
105. Last Stand of the Wreckers #1
106. Transformers #1
107-108. Last Stand of the Wreckers #2-3
109. Transformers #2
110. Last Stand of the Wreckers #4
111-112. Transformers #3-4
113-116. Bumblebee #1-4
117-118. Transformers #5-6
119. Last Stand of the Wreckers #5
120-123. Ironhide #1-4
124-125. Transformers #7-8
126-129. Drift #1-4
130-131. Heart of Darkness #1-2
132-133. Infestation #1-2 (Transformers series)
134-138. Transformers #9-13
139. Spotlight - Megatron
140-146. Transformers #14-20
147-148. Heart of Darkness #3-4
149-157. Transformers #21-29
158. Spotlight - Bumblebee
159-160. Transformers #30-31
161. Transformers: Death of Optimus Prime
162-164. More Than Meets the Eye #1-3
165-167. Robots in Disguise #1-3
168-169. More Than Meets the Eye #4-5
170-171. Robots in Disguise #4-5
172. Spotlight - Trailcutter
173. Spotlight - Hoist
174. More Than Meets the Eye #6
175. More Than Meets the Eye Annual
176-177. More Than Meets the Eye #7-8
178-182. Robots in Disguise #6-10
183-187. More Than Meets the Eye #9-13
188. Robots in Disguise Annual
189-194. Robots in Disguise #11-16
195-196. More Than Meets the Eye #14-15
197-200. Robots in Disguise #17-20
201-207. More Than Meets the Eye #16-22
208-209. Robots in Disguise #21-22
210-221. Dark Cybertron #1-12 (contains Dark Cybertron #1, More Than Meets the Eye #23-27, Robots in Disguise #23-27 & Dark Cybertron Finale)
222-225. More Than Meets the Eye #28-31 (#31 unpublished)
226-229. Robots in Disguise #28-31 (#31 unpublished)
230-233. Windblade #1-4 (#4 unpublished)

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