Thursday, November 19, 2009

USA Today's Transformers #1 Article (Spoiler Warning)

If the goal of IDW was to get the attention of "mainstream media" with their first issue of Transformers, apparently they succeeded with an article from USA Today which discusses the status quo changes to the Transformers comic universe with the death of Ironhide and Optimus Prime quitting as the leader of Autobots. Yep, you read that right. Prime, upset over the death of his friend and having achieved the goal of stopping the Decepticons decides to throw in the towel by apparently turning himself over to the humans. How long this last isn't known.

Snippets from the article:
"This first story arc is all about upheaval and change and what happens when you realize that all the tools and skills you've previously spent your life accruing are no longer effective."

With news of Ironhide's death breaking several weeks ago, Schmidt understands that fans of the series are a passionate lot, with strong opinions. "Fan reaction has been mixed. Everything from 'Wow, they're really making changes and taking this seriously. Can't wait to pick it up!' to, 'I love Ironhide, I'll never read that!' "

He feels that fans will understand the controversial plot decisions as the story progresses, though. "We'll see how it goes, but I believe the storyline is great and ultimately that is what we aim to deliver to the fans. The hate mail has already begun but that's what happens when storytelling risks are taken. I'm waiting to see how fans react when they see it in context."

Aside from Optimus stepping down and Ironhide's death, other changes are on the way for the series, as well. Costa hints at some familiar characters getting more time in the spotlight. "When the dust settles, we're going to end up with familiar characters in unfamiliar roles, including a couple criminally underused fan-favorite characters finally at the foreground."

"These are the same characters we've known for 25 years, they're just having to face the new challenges of what to do when their war is over, and all they've known is how to be a soldier. This first arc is almost a metaphor for that time in a teenager's life where he leaves high school and enters college, and everything he knows is turned on its head. It's scary, but it's also really, really exciting."
What is up with modern Transformers comics dislike of Optimus Prime? If you look at the history of the comics from Dreamwave to today, they seem to go out of their way to remove Prime from the playing field (exception being The War Within). Dreamwave practically didn't use him for almost their entire run. When they finally started to do so, they lost the TF contract to IDW. IDW then pretty much ignored his existence except for a few references for much of the first two or so years. Upon his return, he showed up sparingly and then was severely injured for the All Hail Megatron arc, really only returning for the last few issues. Now this. That is a lot of different writers all choosing to avoid Prime as much as possible. Is he difficult to write? Boring to them? Who knows. . I just find it strange in its consistency.

As far as the story development, it is against the character of Optimus Prime as established over the last 25 years but whatever. I am not a stickler for continuity if the story is worth it. However, considering IDW's history of excessive use of story decompression resulting in slow stories and boring issues, I am not holding my breath for a worthy payoff.


  1. Often I think they just try to leave Optimus for the end to be the save all of whatever situation they are in and really, who knows but this article does speak true though.

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