Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1

Transformers News: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 4:56AM CST

Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 11,267

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Despite having seen the majority of these pages already in this previous story from IDW Publishing, CBR has posted a fuller preview of this week's first issue in a new crossover miniseries - Transformers vs The Visionaries #1! Check it out below, and head back to Seibertron.com after its release for a review.

Story by
Magdalene Visaggio
Art by
Fico Ossio
Colors by
David Garcia Cruz
Letters by
Gilberto Lazcano
Cover by
Andrew Griffith, Angel Hernandez, Brendan Cahill, and Fico Ossio

Cybertron has been invaded. The Transformers encounter unwelcome guests at the heart of Cybertron—and they may not have their hosts’ best interests at heart. Refugees from another world, the Visionaries’ startling magical abilities could make them powerful allies… or dangerous enemies.

Welcome Eisner-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio (Kim and Kim, Quantum Teens are Go, Secret Empire: Brave New World, Edge of the Venomverse) to the IDW family!
The Visionaries make their explosive return to comics!
Magic vs. metal!
Variant covers by Brendan Cahill and Angel Hernandez!


Transformers News: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1

Transformers News: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1

Transformers News: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1

Transformers News: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1

Transformers News: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1

Transformers News: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1

Transformers News: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1
Credit(s): CBR
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Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929385)
Posted by ScottyP on January 3rd, 2018 @ 8:50am CST
I disliked this comic so much I already canceled my subscription for the rest of the series. Not everyone will loathe it, just personally found what were actually really well done visuals and layouts (it almost doesn't need dialogue) bogged down by a lazy, uncreative, and vapid plot. Va'al will have a review up sometime this week and will be nicer than I would have been by quite a bit.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929429)
Posted by Va'al on January 3rd, 2018 @ 11:09am CST
More Like Old Prysmos
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
Cybertron has been invaded. The Transformers encounter unwelcome guests at the heart of Cybertron—and they may not have their hosts’ best interests at heart. Refugees from another world, the Visionaries’ startling magical abilities could make them powerful allies… or dangerous enemies.

Image
evil wizard probably still evil


Story

It's a new year, and a new month, and a new week, so of course, we have a new comic book day -- with a new IDW Publishing Hasbro shared universe crossover which brings a new reality and a new threat to a newly found order and semblance of peace on Cybertron, in the form of Merklynn's Visionaries. And here's my first disclaimer: I never had any interest of knowledge of Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light.

Image
Yep, all of them


With that taken care of, I'll admit I was able to follow the entirety of the plot and the dynamics - personal, interpersonal, interplanetary, inner and outer - that are being set up by newcomer to the Transformers part of the universe Magdalene Visaggio. And for the Visionaries part of the story, despite some admittedly by-the-numbers characterisations and set-ups, I wasn't displeased.

Image
...and then we get here


On the Transformers side of the story however, issues arise. Aplenty. The core Cybertronian cast is small, but that is not an issue - Ironhide, Kup, Wheeljack can easily carry a story, as Revolutionaries and issues in the ongoings have shown - but their personalities here do not feel coherent with their previous IDW incarnation at all, even following more of a G1 animated series couple of pointers at times. Which actually has repercussions on the way the plot unravels.

Image
also Breakdown is in it


And that is the crux of the issue: Cybertron is in peril, again. Realities will be shattered, again. We've just had a new status quo established on the planet after First Strike and as this issue is starting up - and just like that, everything comes crumbling down in the most lazy, forced, unnecessary way possible. More on this below.


Art

As I mentioned in the initial part of the review, the story is perfectly understandable, readable, and legible - and that is a virtue in the layouts too. Fico Ossio works extremely well with what Visaggio sets out, and we have a story that works from a visual perspective, as well as some pleasing improvements in the treatment of Cybertronian features since the early days of Revolution.

Image
thassa good mug


Similarly, as with the previous work on First Strike, the colours by David Garcia Cruz work really well with the new (help me say it here, though) take on technology vs magic, giving us both vibrancy and shadow where required, and working well with partner in crime Ossio. Some of the background lightings are particularly noteworthy.

Image
DOOT you too


I did also quite enjoy the lettering work of Gilberto Lazcano, perhaps more subdued than others in the approach to the craft, but still expertly weaving through the layouts to clarify points, names, and emphasis where required by the script and story. And while we have seen a lot of the covers already - you can check them all out in our database of course - the Brendan Cahill / Lauren Bennett one chosen for the thumbnail is perhaps the most poignant (if anything had landed in the story).

Thoughts
WARNING: this may contain spoilers

We have seen all of the issues and problems that this book has brought to light once before, featuring the same exact characters and set-up, already: Infestation. And much like Infestation, there is nothing there that hooked me in any way to keep on reading or covering the series with any interest. In fact, the reaction I have seen to the final events range from the 'unnecessary, but meh' to complete, and I'd say justified, frustration and anger.

Image
...


My main point, however? I blame very little on this on the writing, the script, or the directly involved creative team (the credited ones, I mean) - this feels a lot, almost reeks, of editorial mandates. The editorial backmatter, to me and many others, confirms that. The multiple misspellings (Breakdown, Trailblazer) and insistence on certain points confirm it. The multiple covers showing gruesome deaths of Cybertronian characters are part of the confirmation too.

And after the affirmation brought by the likes of Optimus Prime and Till All Are One, and Lost Light to a lesser extent, this was entirely unnecessary, and unfair to Visaggio, Ossio, and the rest of the team.


. :HASBRO: :HASBRO: out of :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO:
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929446)
Posted by ScottyP on January 3rd, 2018 @ 11:54am CST
Great review! :APPLAUSE: Really encapsulates how I felt about it (generally very negatively) while pointing out the genuinely very good art, colors, lighting, letters, and, characterization issues aside, dialogue.

On editorial, man the personnel moves are tough to follow but isn't Tipton involved again? Because it feels that way.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929450)
Posted by Va'al on January 3rd, 2018 @ 12:12pm CST
ScottyP wrote:Great review! :APPLAUSE: Really encapsulates how I felt about it (generally very negatively) while pointing out the genuinely very good art, colors, lighting, letters, and, characterization issues aside, dialogue.

On editorial, man the personnel moves are tough to follow but isn't Tipton involved again? Because it feels that way.


Gaydos, Guzman, and Mariotte were on this one, apparently.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929455)
Posted by Scrounge1984 on January 3rd, 2018 @ 12:25pm CST
Yeah, this does seem like an issue with checking the hasbro box instead of writing and lack of effort. This is why I'm not entirely against the Unicron reboot, although I haven't been reading as long so I can see why some are disappointed.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929480)
Posted by ScottyP on January 3rd, 2018 @ 1:05pm CST
Scrounge1984 wrote:Yeah, this does seem like an issue with checking the hasbro box instead of writing and lack of effort. This is why I'm not entirely against the Unicron reboot, although I haven't been reading as long so I can see why some are disappointed.
The Unicron story itself is not a reboot. It has been speculated by fans to be a way for them to end the current continuity and then do a reboot, but this is only conjecture for the moment :)
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929481)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 3rd, 2018 @ 1:05pm CST
Really? They killed Kup like that. Bah!
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929494)
Posted by Va'al on January 3rd, 2018 @ 1:41pm CST
Not long after the release of the book (today) and the publication of the Seibertron.com review (read it here), SyFy also brings us an interview with the entire creative team involved in the barely tepid start to Transformers vs Visionaries mini-series crossover.

In the piece, which you can read in full here, editors Sarah Gaydos and David Mariotte join writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Fico Ossio in talking about their approach to the issue, the story in general, the influences on both Transformers and Visionaries from previous work, and where it might go from here. There are gigantic spoilers for the issue, of course, but we've avoided them in the snippets below.


Magdalene Visaggio: There's a ton of great concepts in the old Visionaries cartoon from a storytelling standpoint. The basic structure of the show is super compelling. But I knew that that kind of content wasn't going to fly in 2017. So I approached this much like Ron Moore approached Battlestar Galactica: what's the stuff here that matters, versus what's the stuff here's that's designed to sell toys? We only have five issues to work with, so everything needed to be streamlined; initially that meant paring down the cast and simplifying the magical system, which in the show involves multiple animal totems, with some of the players getting magical staves and others getting the power to control ancient vehicles. I basically stripped everything down to something that wouldn't demand copious explanation: everyone gets a staff that can summon holograms, nobody gets more than one totem, etc.

I also really can't stand it when villains exist for the sole purpose of being evil. So I needed to figure out what exactly separates the Darkling Lords from the Spectral Knights. You know, what is the story the Darklings are telling themselves where they're the good guys? So I landed on the idea that they're both factions of a single organization run by Merklynn – the Visionaries, natch – with different philosophies that went into schism. There's more there that's gonna come into play as the book unfolds.

Fico Ossio: We kept the original concept, the idea behind Visionaries and started from there. After we had the story, we worked on what this world and characters should look like and then matched that with the original designs/characters and IDW's Transformers. But overall we wanted to do a complete update from the original for the most part.

Sarah Gaydos: For me, the key was having a believable situation where both the Visionaries and our current IDW version of Transformers all would exist believably in one place, so it just didn't make sense to stick with a vintage look. Fico did a fantastic job of updating the character design and mechanics of the Visionaries. I couldn't be happier with it!

[...]

SPOILER obviously provided many more big moments in the comics for IDW, and you highlighted some of those moments at the end of the book. Fans will want to see [them] avenged, right?

Magdalene Visaggio: And [they're] not going to be the only one to die before all this is over. This is a high-stakes story that is going to have long-term consequences for the IDW G1 franchise.

Fico Ossio: OH YES! I'm looking forward to drawing that.

Sarah Gaydos: Hell yes, I want to see [them] avenged. This book has real stakes, real emotions at play. Mags is doing a fantastic job with balancing all these aspects of intrigue, betrayal, grief, and somehow packing in a ton of heart all at the same time. And Fico's art, with colors by David Garcia Cruz, captures the incredible visuals of New Prysmos, while still bringing the spirit of Transformers everyone knows and loves to life.

[...]

With magic playing such a big part, you chose some interesting characters to combat that in Wheeljack, a scientist, Breakdown and Ironhide, a typically traditional, protective and defensive voice. Talk about playing those personalities up against New Prysmos, Darkling Lords and Spectral Knights.

Magdalene Visaggio: Ha, yeah. I actually didn't get much of a say in the matter, which I think is really cool. So many other characters were occupied in other books and stories, so these were the face characters that were available – which is kind of exactly how it happens in-universe, too; you don't always get to pick your team. I credit David Mariotte for handing me a group of Cybertronian heroes who would be a great foil to the Visionaries I was reinventing.

David Mariotte: It's true, there are a lot of other Transformers doing a lot of other things right now, but we worked with my predecessor, Carlos Guzman, to figure out a core handful of characters that would be available and a good fit. And a lot of them fell into place naturally. Ironhide is a head of security on Cybertron and suddenly there's this whole city with unknown capabilities that he has to deal with. Wheeljack's a scientist who is suddenly up against a force that defies explanation. Breakdown, and I'll never stop harping on how well Mags writes him, has been a background character for a while now, but he finally gets his chance to step up and show Cybertron what he's made out of.


Image
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929511)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on January 3rd, 2018 @ 2:23pm CST
Honestly, I feel bad for the creative team of this book. All the potentially interesting things this series could do will all be overshadowed by a terrible editorial decision. I guarantee that if it weren't for that last page, nobody would have a problem with this series.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929518)
Posted by Sunstar on January 3rd, 2018 @ 2:31pm CST
I am so far, not excited about this series. I will view a few more to see if I want to add it to my collection. its just the first book.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929524)
Posted by Rodimus Knight on January 3rd, 2018 @ 3:10pm CST
I don't even think I comic shop stocked this one. lol. I didn't see it when I was there earlier.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929560)
Posted by primalxconvoy on January 3rd, 2018 @ 5:14pm CST
The staff seems to have forgotten what will sell COMICS though, and that's having a closer link to how they original characters LOOKED. If they nailed that, and then avoided Mary-Sue characters, this series wouldn't be DOA...
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929562)
Posted by Va'al on January 3rd, 2018 @ 5:20pm CST
primalxconvoy wrote:The staff seems to have forgotten what will sell COMICS though, and that's having a closer link to how they original characters LOOKED. If they nailed that, and then avoided Mary-Sue characters, this series wouldn't be DOA...


I've had enough of this trite, pointless, repeated, monotone comment from you.
Say something actually critically constructive, or stay away from commenting.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929570)
Posted by ScottyP on January 3rd, 2018 @ 6:24pm CST
Daniel Adkins wrote:Honestly, I feel bad for the creative team of this book. All the potentially interesting things this series could do will all be overshadowed by a terrible editorial decision. I guarantee that if it weren't for that last page, nobody would have a problem with this series.
It was not great but kind of "ok, not bad let's see where this goes" through page 19, yes. Then page 20 happened, then David Mariotte took out three pages to gloat about how clever this was and yeah, that changed my mind pretty quick.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929574)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on January 3rd, 2018 @ 6:52pm CST
So the guys over at TheVisionaries.net have posted their thoughts (http://www.thevisionaries.net/articles/crew%27s-thoughts-on-transformers-vs-visionaries-issue-1/13), and they're pretty positive. It seems people who aren't necessarily huge Transformers readers are more likely to enjoy the book. I know one of the people at my local comic shop who had no TF experience whatsoever and picked the book up because Mags worked on it, and she absolutely loved it.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929575)
Posted by BombshellDaBug on January 3rd, 2018 @ 7:00pm CST
That review is making me glad I didn't pick this title up today. Such a shame considering how much I enjoyed the Rom/Transformers crossover. That being said, I feel like a lot of the pieces in this IDW Hasbro universe aren't terribly well done, mostly due to the execution of the series they've published as opposed to the actual ideas behind the series. Don't mind me, I'm just rambling.

Anyways, never had an interest in Visionaries and now I probably never will.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929576)
Posted by Burn on January 3rd, 2018 @ 7:13pm CST
ANGRY WHITE GUY RANTINGS!

Okay, first and foremost, I haven't followed the news leading up to the release of #1 today. I stopped following the news following it's announcement.

"Oh good grief, here we go again, ANOTHER fucking crossover because of this shared universe crap."

So because of that, I was a little confused about an entire city having popped up in the depths of Cybertron. I'm aware of HOW they introduced the Visionaries with Krieger/Merklynn, I just seemed to have missed the point where the city, and the rest of the magic wielding hippies appeared.

But whatever, what's done is done, and there's now a city of aliens in the depths of Cybertron.

My history with Visionaries is basically non-existent, I remember seeing advertisements for the toys (probably at the back of the Transformers Marvel UK comics I bought back in the day) and had a rough idea of what they were about.

So I went into this issue with a mix of not expecting much, and not really caring.

And that's effectively what I got. A society that used to be divided between good and evil now having to work together to ensure the survival of their race.

Wait ... who are we Cybertronians or Prysmosians? ugh ... story works for either I guess.

We get FIVE Cybertronians. Yes, five. Yay! Huge cast. Ironhide, who doesn't trust the magical bags of flesh, Kup, who is suddenly perky and diplomatic (what the fuck?) Wheeljack the curious, (Prime) Breakdown who is along for the ride, and Fat Tankorr who has the position of being front door guard but really spends his time practising being Buddha.

Ironhide, is fantastic. He's his typical gruff and grumpy self ... I think I relate to him way too well.

Kup however ... seriously, what the fuck? This isn't the Kup I'm used to. Okay maybe if you compare him to his 1986 movie incarnation, where he was cheerful and friendly, but this isn't the 1986 movie, this is IDW. I want the cigar-smoking-to-maintain-his-sanity Kup that hasn't just seen everything, he's seen everything AND spent time in a dead universe.

Not that it matters, 'cause Kup is dead. He even gets a 3 page memorial

Wheeljack, Breakdown and Buddha Tankorr are just background fillers to help propel the story forward.

On the flip side, you have a bunch of magical bags of flesh. And these are of course split between the good guys (the ones who want to work with the Cybertronians) and the other lot (you can't really call them bad) who want the planet for themselves to save their race (is that really such a bad thing?) I don't know these characters, but they're you're typical characters.

Then there's the typical artefact/device/thing, better known to us readers as the Talisman. It's the thing that will help restore Prysmos. (And it's going to do that by burrowing it's way to Vector Sigma!)

Overall, it's a book. It's not great, it's not fantastic, it's not terrible, it just is. I'm sure there's a point of it, like maybe it ties into something bigger, I don't know. If comic books were flavoured, and you were to lick this book, it would taste like Vanilla.

Pick it up, don't pick it up, I don't think you'll miss much either way. Or save yourself the emotional trauma of deciding by reading Green Lanterns. Jessica Cruz is awesome.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929581)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on January 3rd, 2018 @ 7:41pm CST
Burn wrote:Kup however ... seriously, what the ****? This isn't the Kup I'm used to. Okay maybe if you compare him to his 1986 movie incarnation, where he was cheerful and friendly, but this isn't the 1986 movie, this is IDW. I want the cigar-smoking-to-maintain-his-sanity Kup that hasn't just seen everything, he's seen everything AND spent time in a dead universe.

You didn't read Revolutionaries, did you? Kup has been cheerful and friendly for quite some time. Heck, that even goes back to his (ex)RID appearances.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929593)
Posted by Scrounge1984 on January 3rd, 2018 @ 9:52pm CST
From what the interview says I still can tell they are really trying with this idea, the problem again is the mandates being handed to them. Also the visionaries story idea is far from bad it could work if given more freedom, hopefully they can work with what they've been given and if it doesn't work I wouldn't blame the writers. And thanks ScottyP for correcting my comment in the Visionaries review.
Re: Full Preview for IDW Transformers vs The Visionaries #1 (1929594)
Posted by Burn on January 3rd, 2018 @ 10:00pm CST
Daniel Adkins wrote:
Burn wrote:Kup however ... seriously, what the ****? This isn't the Kup I'm used to. Okay maybe if you compare him to his 1986 movie incarnation, where he was cheerful and friendly, but this isn't the 1986 movie, this is IDW. I want the cigar-smoking-to-maintain-his-sanity Kup that hasn't just seen everything, he's seen everything AND spent time in a dead universe.

You didn't read Revolutionaries, did you? Kup has been cheerful and friendly for quite some time. Heck, that even goes back to his (ex)RID appearances.

I read it. I just want the cigar-smoking-slightly-traumatised Kup.

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