The Return of Talking Time

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Old 01-30-2018, 08:27 PM
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Default The Briefcase Full of Universes That is IDW

Hope there's no already a thread for this -- search brought back nothing, so I think I'm clear.

We have a Marvel thread, we have a DC thread, and while I like heroes and stuff from those guys, occasionally looking at a preview of snippet online, I don't really buy much from them (though I need to get caught up on Batman Beyond).

And with Archie putting Mega Man "on hiatus" and Sonic no longer under their banner, I'm primarily an IDW guy when it comes to comics now.

Sonic is coming in April, and they've just started showing off covers and solicits, including a new character, Tangle the Lemur:



Since they're bringing on several names from the latter (read: good)-day Archie run, including writer Ian Flynn, I'm confident it's going to be good.

As for stuff I've actually read, they've done wonders with Transformers, which is a lapsed favorite for me. I love the books, but keeping up with all the numberings and renamings and different minis and such is a bloody nightmare. I'm probably abandoning chronology and just reading each book straight through until I'm caught up.

Incidentally, as much as I like the concept, expanding the TF universe to include other Hasbro properties including G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Rom: Space Knight, Visionaries, Action Man, and more just kind of compounds the matter, but it's made for some neat teams and such. But they should really look at incorporating something like DC's old triangle numbers or something.

Speaking of G.I. Joe, I believe Larry Hama got to pick up where he left off with the Marvel run, and it's still going?

Another book I've read and love is their take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which started after Nickelodeon bought the franchise, and runs as an interesting alternate take. It reimagines a lot of Turtle lore from across all eras and versions, but does it differently than the Nick cartoon did.

Then there's Ghostbusters. Oh my god. The Real Ghostbusters used to be "my" Ghostbusters, and while I still love them, this book reigns supreme among all Ghostbuster versions.

Incidentally, it doesn't exclude other versions, either -- the guys, who are basically the movie versions, have crossed over with IDW's TMNT, which led to more cross-dimensional stuff that's had them meet and team with the Real Ghostbusters and the Answer the Call (read: the recent movie) team.

And there's an event coming up where ALL the Ghostbusters will come together.

But that's getting ahead of things. The characterization just feels so spot on with the movie versions of the guys, and it's funny, charming, and pretty epic, all at once. Plenty of surprises, too, and great new characters.

Oh, and it made me a fan of Walter Peck. Yes, I'm very serious about that.

IDW is doing some Disney stuff as well, but to my chagrin, I'm less familiar with that branch of their books. They also did some neat Skylanders stuff, and there's a decent (I think?) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic book, too.

Oh, and I've been buying their Back to the Future books, which are written by co-creator Bob Gale, but haven't gotten to read them yet. What I've seen is great, though!

That's just me, though. They've published so much more, and I figure it's long overdue for a topic here.

Last edited by LBD_Nytetrayn; 02-10-2018 at 02:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2018, 06:15 AM
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All of what you mentioned is very good.

Transformers vs. GI Joe, however...

That one demands Focus
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:51 AM
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IDW has been my primary comic input over the past five years also. Not surprisingly, it's been nearly exclusively TF.

I started reading IDW TF when it first started, then dropped it around the time All Hail Megatron came out, and then picked it back up during the beginning of "Phase 2." I'm still working my way through the backlog that I missed. I'm up to Volume 6 of the big hardcover collections.

I'm actually looking forward to reading the Costa run, even though I know it's widely hated.

I've heard nothing but great stuff about the IDW Ghostbusters comics. Really the only non-TF book I've tried, though, has been ROM. And that was OK. I struggled to really enjoy it. I'm not sure what other people have thought of it.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:53 AM
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I've not read ROM, but I've always been really, really interested in it because whenever I see panels or scans from the Marvel run on the character, all I could think was "Holy damn, this looks amazing"
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:56 AM
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Haha that's awesome, it looks like Hama picked up right where he left off. I would read that.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:13 AM
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Yeah, I think Real American Hero even continues from the old Marvel numbering.

Their Ninja Turtles books are also pretty good. Plus they just publish a lot of random-ass weird shit. Thom Zahler did a three-issue limited a little while ago about time travel and wine tasting.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
I've not read ROM, but I've always been really, really interested in it because whenever I see panels or scans from the Marvel run on the character, all I could think was "Holy damn, this looks amazing"
Yeah, see, I collected and read a number of the old Marvel ROM comics back in the aughts, and I loved them. I'm not sure what it was about IDW's version but it didn't quite grab me in the same way. I don't know what's different.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by The Raider Dr. Jones View Post
Yeah, I think Real American Hero even continues from the old Marvel numbering.

Their Ninja Turtles books are also pretty good. Plus they just publish a lot of random-ass weird shit. Thom Zahler did a three-issue limited a little while ago about time travel and wine tasting.
Kindle time.

I tried their Transformers comics some years back but the paneling, linework, and density of word balloons gave me literal headaches.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:08 AM
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TMNT was great, but since they expanded into a second ongoing (plus a bunch of license crossover events) I feel like it hasn't been as tight as in those first 50-60 issues.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Kindle time.

I tried their Transformers comics some years back but the paneling, linework, and density of word balloons gave me literal headaches.
Makes me wonder which artist/writer you experienced.

Some of the current writers are very wordy. There's also one artist who is near-universally reviled but gets used several times every year. I assume it's because he does all his own inking/coloring and is a nice guy and probably punctual. Therefore cheap/timely compared to others.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:13 AM
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I tapped out near the end of the Furman run, where he was racing himself to make the most fun concept ever as unweildly, overwrought and convoluted as possible as quickly as possible.

Everything I’ve read or seen since then has been appropriately Fun.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:21 AM
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I tapped out near the end of the Furman run, where he was racing himself to make the most fun concept ever as unweildly, overwrought and convoluted as possible as quickly as possible.

Everything I’ve read or seen since then has been appropriately Fun.
That is in fact Furman's usual problem. I loved how grounded the early IDW stories were, but Furman apparently can't write a TF story without getting cosmic, and not in the fun Kirby/Scioli way.

Then they needed new readers so they brought in Shane "What if GEEWUN But With Killing" McCarthy, compressed all the Furman plot threads into a tiny ball, and swept them under a cabinet to be slowly unfurled over the next decade of writing.

Some of that stuff is still under the cabinet, I'm pretty sure.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:37 AM
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There was some great stuff in the Furman run, don’t get me wrong, but it quickly and irrevocably got lost in the shuffle of making everything BIG and MYSTERIOUS and DRAMATIC and IMPENETRABLE TO ALL BUT THE MOST DEVOTED READER. His writing habits hovered over the book like a vast, predatory bird.

At his best he was like Chris Claremont, without the Horniness.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Makes me wonder which artist/writer you experienced.

Some of the current writers are very wordy. There's also one artist who is near-universally reviled but gets used several times every year. I assume it's because he does all his own inking/coloring and is a nice guy and probably punctual. Therefore cheap/timely compared to others.
It was More Than Meets the Eye, the first collected volume.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:57 AM
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Everyone should read Jem and the Holograms.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:09 AM
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It's really impressive to me how IDW has salvaged their Transformers series from Simon "girls are icky" Furman and Shane "What if GEEWUN But With Killing" McCarthy. They've managed to turn it into something that, well... Still exists To Sell Toys, but spends at least some time thinking about what it means to have mechanical life-forms that can alter their bodies with relatively minimal effort.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:18 AM
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like a vast, predatory bird.
This comment is surplus to requirements...and yet I must commend you for knowing words of the hidden language. COULD I DO ANY LESS?

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Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
It was More Than Meets the Eye, the first collected volume.
Understandable. Roberts is especially wordy, and even though Alex Milne has developed into one of my favorite TF artists, "busy" is a good descriptor of his style. Individually, his panels can be stunning, but he does have an issue with flow from panel to panel.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:39 AM
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Hm, have they started a new Donald Duck series within the past couple years? Checking to see, it looks like it.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:59 AM
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Yeah, they publish a lot of duck stuff and general Disney stuff. It's more reprints than new material, I think? But my understanding is that a lot of it is the Italian output that hasn't been published stateside before.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:05 PM
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Everyone should read Jem and the Holograms.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:24 PM
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yeah the neo-Jem strips have had somewhat inconsistent artwork but when they're on they're on.

the Misfits limited series was a hoot.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:15 PM
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It's really impressive to me how IDW has salvaged their Transformers series from Simon "girls are icky" Furman
Could someone elaborate on this? I'd heard of it, but the extent of my knowledge is that somehow it was declared that all Transformers were dudes, and it meant that the only way to introduce romances and popular girl characters was to make them all LGBT.
Given the uh... slant granted to the franchise by its most visible media right now being Michael Bay's testosterone trash fires, this seems incredibly amusing to me.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:31 PM
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I’m sure someone (probably Drac) has more data than I do, but as I understand it, Furman never really understood why giant space robots would have genders, and so wrote them all as dudes, and didn’t bother with any romantic subplots whatsoever. And every attempt he made to write in female transformers was, to put it mildly, super problematic.

Later writers said “Wait, these are shape changing magical robots, why shouldn’t they opt to be female if they want to?” And just let gender/relationship roles evolve naturally from that.

And, as it turns out, that means that most giant shapeshifting robots wind up being gay, given that opportunity.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:32 PM
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Could someone elaborate on this? I'd heard of it, but the extent of my knowledge is that somehow it was declared that all Transformers were dudes, and it meant that the only way to introduce romances and popular girl characters was to make them all LGBT.
Given the uh... slant granted to the franchise by its most visible media right now being Michael Bay's testosterone trash fires, this seems incredibly amusing to me.
TFWiki's Female Transformers in IDW G1 Continuity has a good summary, as does the Female Transformers section of Furman's entry. The overall history of gender in the franchise is complicated, and scattered across a few different TFWiki articles; Arcee (G1) and Ratchet (G1) are good places to start.

IDW's current run is notable for including:

- Transformers who "naturally" adopt feminine gender-signifiers.
- Transformers who, upon encountering gendered organic races, adopted feminine gender-signifiers.
- Transformers who have romantic relationships with other Transformers with the same gender-signifiers. (Chromedome and Rewind most significantly, but others as well)
- Transformers who present masculine gender-signifiers but sometimes adopt feminine gender-signifiers. (Ultra Magnus)
- Acknowledgement that the default presentation is masculine, not neutral.

Their inclusion hasn't been perfect, but for a mostly male-targeted nostalgia line that primarily exists To Sell Toys? It's remarkable.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:45 PM
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Octo and Egar hit on the high points, and also summarized more reasons why I'm glad Furman isn't really part of the brand anymore. I'll also throw in that in the last year or two we've been introduced to Lug and Anode, characters who in human terms could be defined as transgender*.




*This might be what Egar meant on his first bullet point there
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:57 PM
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*This might be what Egar meant on his first bullet point there
Second bullet-point. The first is referring to characters from Caminus and other colonies, like Nautica. Use of quotes is because I don't like the term but couldn't think of anything better.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:40 PM
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Anode looks like she's fun. I like her.
Man, those wiki articles are a hoot. "girl characters don't sell as well", Hasbro? Well maybe if 80s cartoon writers actually gave them interesting personalities and accomplishments instead of a collection of stock "and this one's the girl" tropes, they wouldn't have this problem!

Shifting gears a little... So IDW does ROM: Space Knight now? I thought everything that made ROM what it was is still at Marvel. And by that I mean literally everything except for ROM himself. How does this new version stack up?
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:17 PM
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Anode is a divisive character. But I like her.

Somehow IDW was able to get the rights to use Dire Wraiths, but you're otherwise correct. IDW!ROM needed a near-complete overhaul of his backstory - but really it's the same thing with the names changed. Galidor is now "Elonia," for example, and they can't use any of the Spaceknight characters that were created during the Marvel run.

It has a similar heavy-handed sci-fi opera feel, and the artwork is really good. I noted that nearly all of the human side characters are PoC, so that is a nice change of pace. There are some cool world-buildy bonus stories. Now that all the Hasbro properties are sharing a universe, they've been able to use characters like TFs and Micronauts to fill the guest-star roles that 80s ROM had.

But like I said, despite checking a lot of good boxes, there's something that's felt a bit dry about it for me. I haven't asked anyone else of their opinions, so I don't know if it's just me.
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Old 02-01-2018, 02:36 AM
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Dire Wraiths also look really, really different than they did in the Marvel run.

And I'm going to assume that ROM doesn't direct Galactus to their planet out of a heartfelt desire to kill them dead, dead, dead.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:24 AM
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IDW's Eurocomics line is terrific. I have all their editions of Corto Maltese and Sinner published so far. I'd grab that Dieter Lumpen book too but it's hovering just out of my price range...
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