Previously in… IDW’s Transformers G1

Remember when that guy did that thing? Then the bad guy with the moustache blew up that place? No? PoP! does, and we’re here to tell you what happened Previously in…

IDW’s Transformers, Generation 1

autobotWhen IDW took over the Transformers comic book license after the demise of Dreamwave Comics, fans didn’t know what to expect. The news of Simon Furman being tapped to write was enough to put asses in seats, however. The idea that Furman was being given carte blanche to create an entirely new Transformers continuity further served to fuel the intrigue. Over 100,000 copies of the Infiltration zero issue – IDW’s first offering – were sold. But as the fans leafed through, they really didn’t know what to think. Where were Optimus Prime and Megatron? Why were the humans so prominently featured? And what’s with all of these phases? The book was a DRASTIC departure from previous Transformers experiences, and it left a sour taste in many mouths.

By the Numbers:

From the zero issue to issue one, there was a roughly 50% drop in readership, and 50% of those readers had jumped ship by the end of the mini. When Stormbringer came out, the focus of that mini was entirely set in space, with a number of lesser known Transformers in the forefront. The complete opposite of Infiltration. This further distanced the fans, and the numbers continued to drop. In fact, by the time Devastation and Revelations (an arc of Spotlight issues) rolled out, sales were at roughly ten percent of the zero issue’s. But what Furman and IDW were doing was brilliant, it just took time to see the bigger picture.

The Big Picture:

decepticon_smEvery mini-series, every issue, every little bit of the IDW/G-1 universe as helmed by Furman was connected. To truly appreciate what they were doing, you had to see the tapestry as a whole. Perhaps, then, their poor reception was their own fault. Structuring the books as they did, as minis and one shots, bellied the interconnectivity that would be the benchmark of their efforts. As you read one mini, you are presented questions that are never answered and left with plot threads that are never resolved. It is never immediately clear, either, that all will be revealed. The simple fact, however, is that I suspect Simon Furman has made for himself a Transformers bible over the years, not of what was, but of what he wished would be, and worked from that in creating this new universe. The intricacy of the interwoven story almost necessitates that some master text exist somewhere as a roadmap for IDW’s books.

Rolling Out from Here:

Chris Ryall and the powers that be at IDW, however, have scrapped Furman’s long term plans, it seems, in favor of newcomer Shane McCarthy’s crisper, more self-contained style.  Furman’s work hasn’t been discarded, don’t get me wrong, so before you pick up All Hail Megatron and any future offerings, it will serve you well to know from whence they came.  Just… don’t be too surprised if a few things here and there don’t seem to mesh.  From what I can see, the changes are all for the better.

So, now that you’ve got the back story, let’s get to the real story, starting from the beginning:

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Who ARE these people!?

Jason Kerouac is a co-founder of Panelsonpages.com. He spends roughly half of his waking life in servitude to the Giraffe. Raised in a town in New Hampshire you've never heard of, he now lives in Indianapolis, IN and is pretty sure that's a step in the right direction.

Comments (10)

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  1. Bra-freaking-vo! Nicely done, sir.

  2. Ben Gilbert says:

    I haven’t read a Transformers comic nor watched any Transformers cartoon in years, but this IDW stuff looks really good.

    • JasonKerouac says:

      I’m not sugar coating… some of it’s rough. But most of it is fantastic, and it’s all a step up from the first time around.

      • Thing is, even the bad stuff is pretty cool when you look at it within the confines of the tapestry they’ve created. It might not all be terribly relevant, but it ALL fits.

  3. Esbat says:

    I love lamp.

    Honestly, whatever gives me more Arcee to stare at and fawn over, the better. Also that cover ass-shot of Optimus makes my inner spark tingle.

  4. Esbat says:

    And holy shit, nice work there Kerouac! Now for Knize to get crackin’ on that Ra’s Ah Ghul/Vandal Savage timeline…

    I’m gonna pick up a fewof these, specifically the Arcee and Dinobot issues. ANd I must say Grimlock is the only transformer whole will fuck your shit up good and mean it, too.

    • JasonKerouac says:

      Thanks, man. But avoid the Dinobot issues. Really. If you like the Dinobots, there’s not enough of them, and if you don’t, there’s too much.

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