Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

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Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:43 am

This used to be so easy for me. Some combination of Unicron Saga (with or without Matrix Quest; we'll get into that), Generation 2, Target: 2006, Wanted: Galvatron, and either Legacy of Unicron or Time Wars, depending how I felt at the time.

But then Wreckers came along. And then Chaos Theory, which, when you think about it, deserves its own special award for wiping out every origin story from the ****-stain of Megatron: Origin to the relatively good fun of War Within.

And then MTMTE blew the entire thing out of the water.

So, here's my revised list. What constitutes a comic story arc? For the purposes of list-making, I decided to qualify an "arc" as "a conventional trade" meaning anywhere from 3-12 issues. I know that digital comics have changed things, but I needed some break.

So I can't, by my own rules, count all of MTMTE, or T:2006 through Time Wars, or Matrix Quest through Edge of Extinction, as one arc. I have to count individual component stories (Liars A to D, Space Pirates, Matrix Quest).

5- Shadowplay

I struggled over the best way to parse out MTMTE, and I kept coming back to Shadowplay because it is such a neat, tight arc that speaks so much to the world outside the Lost Light. Not only do the characters advance in the present, simply by talking, we see where they came from, we see more of Roberts' pre-war Orion Pax (the very best Optimus Prime ever written, anywhere in TF fiction) and we get a ton of world-building. Empurata, shadowplay, relinquishment clinics, the Institute, the origin of Shockwave and the subtler origin of the Autobots themselves all within a damn good heist story. Also, some of Milne's best art in the Cybertronian sequences. One is reminded why Pat Lee paid the guy to draw his backgrounds.

Honorable mention: MTMTE issues #1-6, for introducing the Lost Light crew and for a Ratchet story that actually surpasses "Warrior School."

4- The Unicron Saga (Eye of the Storm through On The Edge of Extinction)

I don't have to say what's great about this--I just need to justify why it's at #4 and not #1. But I will say that this story worked, for me, because Simon took away the McGuffin. Suddenly Autobots and Decepticons had to make peace, and Scorponok had to think beyond his typical schemes, and we didn't have the potentially neat clean ending of the Animated Movie. :headbang: There is no art anywhere, anywhere, to surpass what Geoff Senior did in On The Edge of Extinction. Leonardo Da Vinci tried, bless his heart.

3- Chaos Theory

The speech-as-climax thing is hard to pull off. I thought that, after Buffy season 7, I could never take another speech. I was wrong. You see, when Orion Pax has just shown how badass he is (how badass is he?) by riding his dead comrade over the Senate stooges, I will listen to anything he says. But of course, this story goes farther by showing just how alike Prime and Megatron are, and how much admiration Prime has for Megatron. Megs' own convictions make a Prime out of Pax, and I love that--it shows how the rest of their relationship has been based on Optimus' respect for his foe. James made the entire Decepticon/Autobot war interesting by rooting it in a corrupt society.

2- Last Stand of the Wreckers

Maybe it was the times, I thought. Maybe it was the fact that this comic came out at the nadir of IDW's run, accompanied at the story by Costa and the Bayformers and Plight of the Bumblebee: Expanded Edition. So I went back and read it. And read it again. And bought the hardcover and read that. This story does a lot of what Shadowplay was to do--expand the TFs' world--but it also makes us care about red shirt TFs, in relatively little space. Ironfist, Rotorstorm and Pyro will never seem the same. Aequitas goes down as one of my favorite comic reveals ever, given the way that it played into the Wreckers' own shades of gray. [edit] This goes at #2 because, unlike Roberts' other stories, the stakes are bigger and the deaths hit harder.

1- Generation 2

A controversial decision, yes? But for me, TF comics are big-idea space opera. It doesn't get much more big idea than this. Simon irreparably ****** the Autobot/Decepticon dynamic. I love how, even at the end, with the Swarm closing in and the Cybertronian Empire destroying whole cities, Starscream's ambition nearly destroys Optimus and Megatron's alliance. The TFs really are their own worst enemies whenever a story demands an alliance. All good TF stories end with some upset to the status quo, and nothing quite tops Geoff's final rendition of the Liege Maximo, sitting on his throne. It was as if Simon dared me "go on, imagine what else could happen..."
Last edited by bumblemusprime on Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Sunyavadin » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:20 am

Difficult. Really difficult. You have your individual story arcs (The individual stories making up the Marvel Galvatron arc, or the component stories of MTMTE, etc), and your long span arcs, (The aforementioned Galvatron or overarching MTMTE plots).
A few strong ones stand out to me but actually placing favourites is difficult with 30 years of reading this stuff behind me.
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When I picture Simon Furman's direct ancestor, squatting in dingy furs, singing songs about the glory of the Saxon tribe, I imagine him as the very first to gather his buddies around the campfire and say "There was this dude named Beowulf..."

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Auntie Slag » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:50 am

I've been collecting the Marvel UK stories since issue 12 (roughly), then went and got the first issues through the Collected Comics releases. I loved G2 and found it a rather shocking and brilliant update. I loved Beast Wars and particularly Beast Machines, but I honestly reckon they all pale in comparison to Chaos Theory, Wreckers and MTMTE.

I adore Misfire, Whirl, Rodimus, Orion, Rung, Overlord and Co. And I would happily place the number one all time Transformers story as Shadowplay.

The best stuff ever is now. 30 years into the franchise and its in its prime, or perhaps more appropriately its pax.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Best First » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:40 pm

I need to think about this, so for now i just want to say what an exemplary post by Spence - you may have persuaded me on a few things.

Anyway, this requires some ponderation...
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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:23 pm

Sunyavadin wrote:Difficult. Really difficult. You have your individual story arcs (The individual stories making up the Marvel Galvatron arc, or the component stories of MTMTE, etc), and your long span arcs, (The aforementioned Galvatron or overarching MTMTE plots).
A few strong ones stand out to me but actually placing favourites is difficult with 30 years of reading this stuff behind me.
I have a prejudice toward print, which is why I made the somewhat-arbitrary-in-this-age-of-digital-comics rule that an "arc" had to fit into one trade.

Alternately, we could make "Best Long-Arc TF Stories" in a list. Said list would have to create criteria for a long arc--X number of issues, overarching plots and subplots, etc.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Sunyavadin » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:58 am

When it comes to long arcs? Everything from issue 78 to issue 205 of the Marvel run. Target 2006->Fallen Angel->Wanted:Galvatron-DOA->Burning Sky->Hunter->Fire on High->Headhunt->Ladies' Night->Legacy of Unicron->Enemy Action->Salvage->Wrecking Havoc->Space Pirates->Dry Run->Time Wars

Now THAT'S an arc.
bumblemusprime wrote:
When I picture Simon Furman's direct ancestor, squatting in dingy furs, singing songs about the glory of the Saxon tribe, I imagine him as the very first to gather his buddies around the campfire and say "There was this dude named Beowulf..."

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Yaya » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:06 pm

bumblemusprime wrote:
Honorable mention: MTMTE issues #1-6, for introducing the Lost Light crew and for a Ratchet story that actually surpasses "Warrior School"
Surpasses Warr....


Blasphemyyyyyyyyyyy!
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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Darth Aux » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:16 am

I can't remember names and I'll just list (as best as I can) the stories that stuck with me.

5: Buster Vs Shockers
4: A story about Blaster and slag pits and a little yellow guy dying.
3: War Within (The Fallen story)
2: Worlds Collide (The Smokescreen and Galvatron death scenes stay with me)
1: Target: 2006

I'm sure I would find better stories if I read and remembered more, but I don't.
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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Auntie Slag » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:38 pm

I don't remember Smokescreen dying, that's not from Marvel UK is it? I thought he only died in G2?

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Best First » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:43 pm

He means Armada Smokescreen - the orange crane dude.
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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:20 pm

Worlds Collide was stellar. I liked the fact that Simon didn't make Armada Megatron subordinate to Galvatron. He kicked Galvy's big purple tuchus. Simon's way of saying "pay attention, Armada WILL kick ass."

I'm a little sad that we never got to see what Simon would do with TF: Cybertron, given that Armada and Energon were both great reads. But I'll live without, given that we got IDW, Furmanation, and eventually MTMTE instead.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Computron » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:48 pm

That scene of Megatron impaling Galvatron with Star Sabre is still one of my favorite comic panels of all time. The look on Galvatron's face is just perfect and Megatron's dialogue throughout the fight is right on par with Beast Wars Megatron's many awesome lines.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:40 am

Sunyavadin wrote:When it comes to long arcs? Everything from issue 78 to issue 205 of the Marvel run. Target 2006->Fallen Angel->Wanted:Galvatron-DOA->Burning Sky->Hunter->Fire on High->Headhunt->Ladies' Night->Legacy of Unicron->Enemy Action->Salvage->Wrecking Havoc->Space Pirates->Dry Run->Time Wars

Now THAT'S an arc.
Best (and longest) TF mega-arc of all time. Followed by MTMTE thus far and cognate Return of Megatron>Primal Scream>Matrix Quest>Unicron Saga.

But the Mega-Arcs are tough to manage. I mean, are the Claremont/Byrne years a mega-arc, or the Cockrum/Byrne/Cockrum Again/Claremont, or just all 16 years of Claremont on X-Men, spinoffs included? See what I mean? I can't be Jack Black in High Fidelity without criteria for my top 5s.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Best First » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:52 pm

OK, I’m just gonna let it all spill out and see if we can get down to 5 and something approaching a decent rationale – no promises now;

The not so short-list:

Marvel:
- State Games
- Warrior school
- Return To Cybertron (Blaster etc etc)
- Wrath of Guardian/Grimlock
- Dinobot Hunt
- Crisis of Command
- Target: 2006
- Galvy: Dead or Alive
- Legacy of Unicorn
- The Flame Saga
- Salvage - i frickin love Salvage
- Time Wars
- Furman arrives in the USA! USA! (Back from the Dead - Yesterday’s Heroes!)
- The Unicron Saga (Eye of the Storm through On The Edge of Extinction)
- G2

Dreamwave
- War Within 1 and 2

IDW
- Escalation
- Last Stand of the Wreckers
- Chaos Theory
- How Ratchet Got His Hands Back
- Bye Bye Rewind (and Pipes!)
- Shadowplay

Great, so a mere 23 to start off with. Hmm, maybe TF fiction isn’t as bad as we sometimes think it is.

It’s probably fitting how long the Marvel list is – I think there is a tendency looking back to focus on the bigger/more epic tales but there are some smaller/more contained gems in there as well. I also think that there is a tendency (certainly for me), to let the less stellar artists sully the memory of stories that actually packed quite a punch in the writing department (I imagine I will use this statement to draw myself a bath of hypocrisy and then gleefully splash about in it in the coming paragraphs…)

Early casualties;

Marvel:

- Galvy: Dead or Alive
At the end of the day this just didn’t rock in the way that T:2006 did. Making Roddy distinct from Oppy P rendered him a bit of a drip and the move to conclude it in the annual rendered the whole thing anti-cliamtic. Best bits were of course Death’s Head’s awesome arrival and Magnus hulking out on Galvatron, although that was almost instantly undermined by him being wowfully stupid in the aftermath of his brief victory.

- The Flame Saga
Ah, when Zombies were at least vaguely novel. Good fun, especially on the Xaaron front and great to see Impactor back, plus you had a bad guy actually do something sensible for once and even better that bad guy was Flywheels, a transformer who’s name can only have been conceived by an intern. Also some nice Cybertronian history woven in. Only real criticism is the Wreckers and co seem to follow the classic “get slightly inexplicably overpowered and then become total badasses again before the end” arc. And Springer turns into a bit of a little tart. But like Roddy in Galvy: Dead or Alive actually. I feel now like I’m picking on characters with issues, but in both these cases the levels of self-doubt seemed rather self-indulgent for people surrounded by the levels of jeopardy they were.

- Time Wars
Ah, the promise! Time Wars was going to kick total ass. And then it didn’t really. Furman assembled the board so well, but then didn’t seem to really know what to do with everyone once he had got them into place. Hi Scorponok. Bye Scorponok. Worst of all, after build up threaded through almost 150 issues, present day Magnus is replaced by future Magnus who gets taken out by Scorpy’s goons. I can see the decision to replace a Magnus/Galvy fight with a Prime/Galvy one, but then even that turns out to be a let down – as Prime mainly stands around while Galvy swipes at ghosts of Christmas past before being defeated by the weather (even if the Canute voice over is great). 5/10.

- G2
I agree with Spence that this shook the status quo and the scale was at the time unprecedented, but Jhiaxus aside Maximo’s legions were a faceless bunch and their power seemed to wax and wane as it suited the story. And the Swarm doesn’t really do it for me, mainly because it’s just a big f’n cloud that eats stuff because..er… . Best Marvel Megatron though – he’s vaguely credible for once. That said Bludgeon’s death really annoys me – you would think he’d be happy to have Megs back, and you would think Megs would be pretty impressed with what he has done. Overall I can’t help but think G2 has a vaguely “What-If” feel, due to the casual manner in which it dispatches established characters and I think the concepts, while new to TFs either do not add massively to the mythos or come to later to be explored.

That’s not really thinned my Marvel list down very much has it?

Dreamwave

- War Within 1 and 2
This is a lot easier. Ultimately both War Within’s are let down by the constraint of present day continuity, or more accurately the constraint of DW’s editorial making this an afterthought that had to fit around the whim’s of the lessar talents on the main series. Furman weaves two credible tales but at the end of their day they are robbed of impact and long term significance. Which is not to say they were not a real tonic at the time.

IDW

- Escalation
Amazing Prime/Megs fight. Amazing EJ Su art. Great to see the concept of using subterfuge to escalate conflicts so a world destroys itself… but the 6 issue format hurt the wider story and it’s just not as good as anything Roberts has done.

- Last Stand of the Wreckers
I’m surprised this ends up here, but I think, while brilliant, Robert’s is not quite operating at the levels of swagger that he demonstrates on MTMTE. It’s probably better than some of the Marvel stuff that will end up on the list, but it would not exist (and I am thinking of one story in particular) without them, so….

So all in all that didn’t help a great deal as sit leaves me with 15/24. However I think by eliminating Wreckers there’s a clear bar and that makes it easier to clear out most of the remaining Marvel stuff. So it is with some sadness that I say farewell to all Bob B’s stuff (although with an important call back I will get to later), and many of the less praised tales from Marvel UK, although I feel compelled to point out that there were great UK tales before Target: 2006, which we sometimes seem to forget. And I must even say farewell to Salvage, although that also means I can say farewell to the promise it (and frickin’ Timewars) left unfulfilled.

Which leaves me with the horror of squashing Furman and Roberts best stuff into 5 slots and picking who gets the lion’s share. What a joy this is a problem we now have, 3-4 years ago this list would have been easy.

So, where did I end up (not that anyone’s still reading)?

How Ratchet Got his Hand back
Because yes, it Is better than Warrior School. It’s Combat Medic school. Ratchet is a wonder (see below) and this is a lover letter to him that I fully endorse. I know under the rules I can have the first 6 issues but these 2 alone do It for me.

Target: 2006
The original and best of the big epics (although I think Legacy comes close). A real sense of threat, the introduction of the Wreckers and the tear inducing (feck off, I was 7) fate of their leader and of course – that fight. Fully painted. Fully Senior. Oh, and a TF who turned into a piano.

Unicron Saga
I think this one kind of breaks the rules, even as defined by Spence, as being a bit longer than a trade arc. So I am going to break them even more and include the last 5 issues as well. What an emotional roller coaster – so many great moments across Prime, Scorpy, Grimmers, Prowl, Ratchet (See below!), Max etc etc. And oh look Seniors at it again. The dynamism of the art in that issue – breath taking. Joyride and Waverider will never ever blow up so violently again.

State Games
Yeah! That’s right – it’s a frickin text story. But, so, so much comes from this – the idea of unrest and a decaying unjust society – that it wasn’t just a bunch of bad guys and good guys, the idea of Megatron as a gladiator, Prime as a character before the war, Ravage as a credible character rather than a growling minion. So much of what Robert’s has done has it’s roots in this and that leads. This story has shaped so much of what has come since, and is a great story in and of itself. It deserves to be up there and was a fore bearer to…

Chaos Theory
Prime and Megs have never been better, never so clearly sides of the same coin, never so much victims of each others actions. And it does it in a universe that at the time was a mess. And that speech – that’s an important speech. And it’s in a fighty robot comic.

So, that’s my 5. But while writing this I could not help but notice, outside of the big 2, that there is another character who you could easily have a big 5 about:

Back from the Dead
Yesterday’s Heroes
Vicious Circle
Shadowplay
Warrior school
How Ratchet Got His Hand’s back

Ratchet is the one TF that all (good) TF writers really seem to tune into. The one with the most heart, the most scars, the most resilience – Ratchet is amazing.

Aaaaand I’m done
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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:52 pm

Such a post it is!

What pushes Wreckers to my #2 spot: pathos for the deaths. Even when Furman kills off a wide swathe of characters, he rarely puts the care into them that Roberts put into his redshirts. Scorponok in Edge of Extinction excluded. And Roberts' run since has suffered, sans Rewind, from a lack of pathos as characters come reaaaaaaaally close to death and then come back.

That said, this is a bit like complaining that your hot fudge sundae has one line of whipped cream out of place.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Sunyavadin » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:30 am

Everything BF said about State Games.






.............does not even come close to doing it justice.

Possibly the single most important story EVER in establishing the depth of the Transformers backstory.
bumblemusprime wrote:
When I picture Simon Furman's direct ancestor, squatting in dingy furs, singing songs about the glory of the Saxon tribe, I imagine him as the very first to gather his buddies around the campfire and say "There was this dude named Beowulf..."

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:19 am

I'm gonna go find State Games now... I need something that can stand up to MTMTE #20 and ReGen #94, and not much can do that (although getting the last two months of Thor at once helped).
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Sunyavadin » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:44 pm

It's literally *the* original source of so much we now take for granted about Transformers.
That and Legacy of Unicron.
bumblemusprime wrote:
When I picture Simon Furman's direct ancestor, squatting in dingy furs, singing songs about the glory of the Saxon tribe, I imagine him as the very first to gather his buddies around the campfire and say "There was this dude named Beowulf..."

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Auntie Slag » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:48 pm

Has Nightstalker ever featured in any official Transformers stories since? in flashback, like?

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Best First » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:46 am

Just reread LSOTW to make sure i was being fair to it, and i think i do stand by what i said, although i forgot how awesome Verity is in it.

However this due diligance has just forced my to finally capitulate to buying Generations Springer.
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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:11 am

http://www.shortpacked.com/2013/comic/b ... -cleaning/

I still haven't tracked down my copy of "State Games"--it's in a reprint or on a file somewhere--but its presence makes a good point: there aren't a lot of good, defining Megatron stories.

Optimus tends to get okay-to-great origins. His chapter in Chaos Theory is mindblowingly good. War Within, And There Shall Come A Leader... pretty good. Shadowplay... God wishes He could write that well. (Seriously, a talking ass, God?) And the "definitive Optimus stories" are legion: Edge of Extinction, Prey, Escalation, etc, etc.

Megatron, though, is saddled with a good amount of *****. Megatron: Origins. Need I say more? Okay, how about the "defining" story that shall not be named, but begins with "All?" Even Nick Roche's Spotlight was just meh. His best moment recently came in the first part of Chaos Theory, but was somewhat overshadowed by Optimus's role in the story because, hey, riding dead guy is badass.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Sunyavadin » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:21 am

My copy of State Games is sitting where it belongs in the 1987 annual on the bottom shelf of my bookshelves in the bedroom.
I *might* be able to scan those pages. Perhaps.
bumblemusprime wrote:
When I picture Simon Furman's direct ancestor, squatting in dingy furs, singing songs about the glory of the Saxon tribe, I imagine him as the very first to gather his buddies around the campfire and say "There was this dude named Beowulf..."

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:41 pm

I figured out that I do have a print copy. I read it as part of the UK marathon thread. For which I wrote an extended analysis of the end of Time Wars, and lost to the fickle whims of the Internet.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Mon May 26, 2014 9:55 pm

So, now we have to deal with Remain In Light...

And Dark Cybertron. Definitely in the top 5. Wait, no. I meant bottom. Bottom five. I always top when I mean to bottom. Uh...

Hm, 5 worst TF comic arcs. That one's even harder to narrow down.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Best First » Tue May 27, 2014 10:56 am

It may get to the point where we just have to treat MTMTE as one item on the list to give anything else a fighting chance.

Pretty tragic that Dark Cybertron doesn't come close to threatening anyone's list (he assumes) given it was technically the biggest TF comic event ever.
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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Computron » Tue May 27, 2014 4:16 pm

Maybe he meant biggest letdown?

/low hanging fruit. I award myself zero points.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by Shanti418 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:09 pm

bumblemusprime wrote:So, now we have to deal with Remain In Light...

And Dark Cybertron. Definitely in the top 5. Wait, no. I meant bottom. Bottom five. I always top when I mean to bottom. Uh...

Hm, 5 worst TF comic arcs. That one's even harder to narrow down.
Well, I just recently read AHM for the first time, finding the 1-12 collection for $6, and I felt like I paid about $5 too much. In terms of worst, I would kind of want to give Bob a pretty big pass considering I think he was the most hamstrung by Hasbro dictate. Huge Human Pretender Transformers? OK, I GUESS they'll run into Huge Human Females? Micromasters are small? OK, well maybe they'd wrestle?

Now Dreamwave's Micromaster LS, now THERE'S a series that managed to fail in art as much as it failed in story. So that's something.
Best First wrote:I thought we could just meander between making well thought out points, being needlessly immature, provocative and generalist, then veer into caring about constructive debate and make a few valid points, act civil for a bit, then lower the tone again, then act offended when we get called on it, then dictate what it is and isn't worth debating, reinterpret a few of my own posts through a less offensive lens, then jaunt down whatever other path our seemingly volatile mood took us in.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:21 am

Micromasters might earn the worst ever because it actually tried to pass off as serious entertainment for adults rather than what Bob was writing. Plus, a lot of Bob's stuff had cheese value.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by snarl » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:13 am

Rhetorical question:

Which way round should the phrase go -

a) I'm a ****, so I like RiD

b) I like RiD, so I'm a ****

??
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Re: Top 5 TF Comic Story Arcs OF ALL TIME?

Post by bumblemusprime » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:39 am

5 Worst TF Arcs of All Time!

Same rules, everyone! The arc needs to fit in a "conventional trade," meaning 3-12 issues.

So I had to eliminate quite a few. All Hail Megatron? Well, ultimately it had pretty good art, and a couple of points where the story went somewhere. More than that, I've always maintained this was a good idea written badly. An Autobot traitor wants revenge on the humans and gives the Decepticons the opportunity. The Budiansky "cheese period" of Monstercon From Mars, Roadjammers, Mechanibals? Eh, it's just cheese, and kind of fun. War & Peace and the Sunstorm Saga. Both had a few strong points and a lot of letdowns. War & Peace is saved by the writing in the early chapters, Sunstorm by the art. Drift was another one of those decent ideas with poor execution. We wouldn't have Remain in Light without the Circle of Light, after all. Robots in Disguise? It's close, but I have trouble nailing down one arc in particular. There were good moments--few and far between, but some. Even in the recent crap, we had the glory of Josh Boyfriend.

I really debated over International Incident. I finally decided to leave it at more or less #6 for Guido's art.

Therefore I give you the 5 worst TF comic stories of all time...

5. The later Grimlock-vs-Blaster arc (Child's Play, Space Hikers, Toy Soldiers, Totaled)

In the US, this ran from issues #35-#41 or so, but was interrupted by a couple of decent issues about the Headmasters coming to Earth (#38-39) and the rather lame intro of the Pretenders. Okay. So why this? Because Bob dropped the ball all over the place. You can see, in the mismanagement of this story, when he really decided to stop trying anything with contiguous plots, and went to episodic stories.

Bob sank a pretty decent issue's worth of characterization into Grimlock (US#27, King of the Hill). Grimlock supposedly learned something about leadership--and promptly forgot it when he got a little bit of power. That could have made a decent story, but there was no nuance to Grimlock lusting for power, and the only Autobot who challenged Grimlock was Blaster... and then Blaster and Grimlock never faced off. Instead, we got a brawl on the moon, with no clear conclusion. Blaster next appeared in the corner of a panel in Underbase, getting wasted. Had Bob spent some time on power corrupting Grimlock, shown a final confrontation, and tried to wrap things up, this could have been quite a good entry in his canon. The art from Delbo at least makes it readable, but it's nowhere near his height on Underbase and Matrix Quest.

But, you say, is it really the worst? I think that this one stings more than a lot of the other wasted potential stories. Bob wrote some spectacular stuff. Gone But Not Forgotten, Return To Cybertron, The New Order, and even a lot of his cheese is fun. I love Scraplets and the Car Wash of Doom. But this story sees him fall apart and drop a half-dozen plotlines and ignore the consequences of his own characters' actions.

4. Micromasters

I... I got these from a quarter bin. About eight months after they hit the stands. That good. I don't remember a damn thing about them, except Ultra Magnus sitting at a desk looking stressed, and the artist... Ng? I think? looked like he was really trying hard to copy Pat Lee. Must be a great comic. The TF wiki tells me that too many new characters were introduced to follow the story. That's the summary. Yep. Also, the art sucked. According to the wiki.

It's so forgettable that it's almost not worth hating. Except that this comic symbolized why you should hate Dreamwave: obscure fanwank, incomprehensible stories, "house" art, and complete disrespect for creators, who, no matter how ****** this was, should have been paid.

3. Prime Directive

Eight years without TF comics. A massive bidding war. An unknown publisher. And the first issue featured... a grainy shot of Megatron, and a knocked-out Optimus, and a lot of Spike looking emo. From there we went to... a bland list of cliches. Optimus revived his fallen soldiers, after Megatron did. Then they had a big fight in San Francisco. Then a nuclear bomb threat! Gasp! Chris Sarracini, who I still suspect is a pseudonym for Pat Lee, reached right into the bag of hackneyed comic stories for this. I challenge you to find one original thought at all in this thing. Sometimes we forget that Brad Mick looked really good because of what he followed.

2. Dark Cybertron

I'm sorry, James Roberts, but you're making both lists. At least you're only half on this list. Because this thing was bloody incomprehensible! And the art was ******* terrible 90% of the time! And ALL THE ******* CHARACTERIZATION DONE ON SHOCKWAVE IN SHADOWPLAY WAS JUST WASTED! Okay now. If there is one thing that I hate more than anything in the world about this story, it's the way that Shockwave became a hackneyed, crazy super villain with bizarre maniacal nihilistic and ILLOGICAL plans, after Simon, in Spotlight: Shockwave and James in Shadowplay created possibly the greatest incarnation of One-Eye to ever grace the comics page. Who let John Barber near Shockwave? Oh, and John is James' editor, so who got last word on the stories? Ah.

In the end, Optimus's eleventh-hour appeal to his Shockers' old brain made the difference, in a "twist" that could have been written by Chris Sarracini. Oh, also, Nova Prime and Galvatron came back AGAIN.

Guys, Shockwave doesn't want to destroy the universe as some kind of god particle. Shockwave wants to win the war through logic and order and be crowned because his fellows capitulate to his logic. Also, when you put on a big "event story," keep your regular artists in rotation instead of a bunch of fill-ins!

1. For All Mankind

I said most of it here: http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.co ... rticle=041 But I'll say it again. The worst misfire in the history of the TFs. One of the best artists completely sabotaged his own style. The plot revolved around humans as a credible threat to humans, based only on what they had salvaged. Optimus Prime plain old gave up. I felt like I was reading something from the Twilight Zone: the anti-TF comic. And it was named after a Chinua Achebe novel? (and one of the greatest hip-hop albums of the 90s) The only thing worse than the storytelling was the air of pretension about this. Oh, and the misogyny. Our only female characters (at least Dark Cybertron was better on this) are Spike's cum-dumpsters. God, I hate this story. Optimus gives up while the Autobots bicker and moan.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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