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Author Topic: Transformers: partworks in disguise  (Read 1745 times)

IndigoPrime

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Transformers: partworks in disguise
« on: 23 September, 2016, 10:20:16 am »
So it looks like Hachette's warming up a Transformers collection. It talks about "remastered stories and exclusive bonus content" and word is Furman's been editing. The first four issues are pretty good on the whole: the rather fab Target 2006, IDW's fairly decent Stormbringer, The Primal Scream (TF origins), and Edge of Extinction (Unicron Saga). Issue five, though, is War Within – an unfinished chunk of the unfinished Dreamwave series.

Rumblings on Transformers forums have questioned the viability of this series, but I can't imagine Transformers doesn't have the nostalgia factor and fan base to succeed. I'm interested, though, in where they are sourcing the material. IDW's Classics books are on the whole dreadful, artwork on the US books ruined by boneheaded remastering, and the UK books with weirdly tiny art (double gutters) and poor scanning. I know Dredd partwork subscribers have grumbled about the repro there now and again, but, really, it's nothing on the IDW Transformers books.

Anyway, good to see Hachette's still trying new things rather than just flinging out Marvel books again and again. And I must admit that if I see issue 1 knocking around anywhere locally for two quid, that at least will be a must-buy.

NapalmKev

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #1 on: 23 September, 2016, 10:26:31 am »
I was a big fan of the Marvel UK comics and Target 2006 is probably my favourite story arc. I've bought a couple of the IDW books and was very impressed with them. I didn't know Hachette were doing anything along these lines so thanks for the heads up.

Cheers

Hawkmumbler

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #2 on: 23 September, 2016, 10:59:41 am »
I've been meaning for as long as i've been reading comics to dip into the Marvel Transformers UK material. So, far only the two omnibuses collecting the works of our favorite Freelance Peacekeeping Agent have made it into my collection. This part work has somewhat piqued my interest.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #3 on: 23 September, 2016, 11:04:22 am »
I've bought a couple of the IDW books and was very impressed with them.
I like the content of the Classics UK series, although said series appears to have died with book five. But the repro is shocking, with a weirdly small print size and massive double gutters. So although I love how comprehensive they are, I've still not parted with my ancient A4 reprints.

The US IDW Classics are terrible though. Shocking remastering that ruins the original art.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #4 on: 23 September, 2016, 02:15:38 pm »
Good grief. I emailed their customer service team about repro, possibly expensive "no idea" as a response. Instead, I was told:

Quote
Thank you for taking the time to write to us.
Kindly be advised that collection is based on a storyline on war,games etc.
Should you require any additional information, please feel free to contact us.

You know, I don't think I'll bother!

Professor Bear

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #5 on: 23 September, 2016, 02:44:20 pm »
This will probably do okay as long as they make people aware of it, as Transformers is an evergreen property - though God knows why.  At the time Dreamwave folded, it was an industry joke that the proof they were such a shitty company was that they couldn't turn a profit on Transformers comics.

Michael Knight

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #6 on: 26 September, 2016, 08:51:35 pm »
Please please do this! Grew up on the great Marvel UK Transformers comics! Will have to put up some new book shelves and divert some spending cash lol but will be so worth it.  :)

IndigoPrime

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #7 on: 30 December, 2016, 08:33:13 pm »
So issue one has arrived in the UK. As per the test run, this is Target: 2006 and it actually collects UK #78–88 along with US #21-23.

If you've bought a Hatchette partwork before, you'll be familiar with the nature of the volume. This book is a very nice hardback, about the size of a Dredd MC title. The spine has an Autobot logo, part of a Transformers pic, and the volume number – 6 – emblazoned on it. The front cover is a G1 cartoon Megatron and some greyscale Wreckers art. End papers show Ultra Magnus clashing with Galvatron. Simon Furman provides a quick intro, and there's a single 'story so far', before you delve into the comics. At which point, it all goes a bit wrong.

The repro is the problem, varying throughout the book from acceptable to dire. The UK content is frequently slightly blurry and a little washed out. Compared to the old Titan trades, it's not good at all. Compared to the IDW UK Classics, it's at least bigger (no massive gutters), but it almost feels like they've used the same art and just expanded its size. Everything is readable, and I'm aware that these are old comics; but it's pretty clear no expense has been made (rather than spared) on decent scanning here.

Things are even worse when you hit the US content. From what I recall, this artwork is the result of IDW faffing about for its IDW Classic reprints that recolour the original stories. The changes are in theory subtle, making the odd correction and 'smoothing' out the original colouring. What this means is all of the half toning is gone, replaced by flat colour. Also gone: any subtle linework. The 1980s Marvel US art had a tendency to be and look quite simplistic anyway, but it's far worse in this collection: blobby and robbed of fine details. Also, in flattening some of the colours, you go from some fairly iffy colouring to absurdly overbearing vivid blasts of pink and red.

For £1.99, the first issue is worth grabbing if you don't already own Target: 2006 and fancy reading one of the best classic Transformers strips. But £9.99 per issue of this run, for the classic Marvel content? Only if you don't already own it in some other fashion. Certainly don't go near this partwork if you were considering replacing existing editions with shiny new hardbacks.

Also, if you're griping at repro in the Dredd partwork at any point, know this: this Transformers one shows how things could have been much, much worse.

jabish

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #8 on: 31 December, 2016, 03:01:17 pm »
Wow. You are not wrong. The repo in this is terrible. Especially on the US stories. That said I didn't really buy it for them. It's nice to be able to have Target:2006 on me shelf for £2. I don't think I'll be going near the rest of the series which is a pity.

Mattofthespurs

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #9 on: 01 January, 2017, 10:46:39 am »
Bought issue 1 despite not being into Transformers at all.
But at two quid it was too cheap to pass up.
As you mention the repro is not very good and I was not impressed with the art or the writing much.
Won't be getting anymore issues.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #10 on: 01 January, 2017, 12:13:20 pm »
Some of the art in 1980s Transformers can be really good, although it's variable. Geoff Senior, for example, does some pretty bloody awesome stompy robots. (I wish he was in 2000 AD a whole lot more, too.) The writing… well, this is very much aimed-at-kids territory – a strip based around plastic toys. I think given those constraints and the era in which the comic was made, the UK material in particular was pretty good, and Furman's run on the US material was also a great read. But I also suspect that in much the same way the very early Dredd (or, for that matter, 1970s/1980s Marvel) might not hit home with a reader coming to it entirely fresh, Transformers is heavily reliant on the nostalgia factor.

Professor Bear

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #11 on: 01 January, 2017, 04:38:57 pm »
Picked this up because it's only 2 nicker, and the repro is as criminal as mentioned above.  Sure, we're all comics nerds - many of us even making our own - so we might be a bit more sensitive to technical failings, but these pages look objectively terrible, all the more so between a good-looking hardcover adorned with vibrant colours and clean linework.

Although now that we know low quality isn't a barrier to seeing material appear in these things, perhaps it's not too much to hope for a Robo Machines collection at some point - hey, they're owned by Hasbro these days, and are identified as alternate-universe Transformers in the main TF line, so a man can dream.

NapalmKev

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #12 on: 06 January, 2017, 07:18:45 am »
I've got part 1and, as others have said, it's a bit ropey. The reproduction of the pages isn't great and my copy has some faded Lettering. A problem seen in one or two if the Dredd partworks! I'm going to give a couple more issues a go just to see if things improve. If not then bollocks to it.

If you want a good laugh head over to Amazon where issue one is on sale for £7.99 instead £1.99.

Cheers


Tony Angelino

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #13 on: 12 January, 2017, 09:13:38 pm »
I bought #1 because of the low price. I remember getting some of the UK weeklies back when I was a young chap and kind of enjoying them. I wouldn't pay the £9.99 though. 

I don't think the reproduction is quite as bad as people make out.

In terms of the US reprints these are from a period when Marvel were printing their comics on very poor quality paper. I think Marc Silvestri's run on Uncanny X-Men was from around the same time and I remember his art in particular looked as if he hadn't finished drawing each page (or else the inker had only inked three quarters of it). An awful lot of fine lines just wouldn't see the printed page. The colouring wasn't good on those original issues either so IDW may have had no option but to recolour. From that point of view the reprint is quite faithful.

Unlike some others here I haven't seen any other TF collections so its hard to say whether you should buy this or not.

NapalmKev

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Re: Transformers: partworks in disguise
« Reply #14 on: 16 January, 2017, 11:00:58 am »
Issue 2 (volume 36) has arrived. The book is titled Stormbringer and also contains four Spotlight stories: Shockwave, Soundwave, Nightbeat and Hot Rod.

The artwork looks lovely. Crisp lines, excellent colouring; a far cry from issue one's poor repro, but then the source material is much newer than Target 2006.

Also got two nice metal keyrings, Autobot and Deception insignias.

Cheers