Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 3:00am CST

Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 36,843

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And finally, the new Transformers book out this week with IDW Publishing is the Annual for 2017, Ghost Stories, by John Barber and Priscilla Tramontano, and three colourists: Thomas Deer, Josh Perez and JP Bove! Check out the opening pages below, and head back for a review on Seibertron.com this new comic book day.

Transformers Annual 2017—SPOTLIGHT
John Barber (w) • Priscilla Tramontano (a & c)
GHOST STORIES! Optimus Prime returns to Cybertron—only to be confronted by his rival for the Matrix, Pyra Magna! As Pyra's origin—before she was part of Victorion—is finally revealed, Optimus relives his own past—the first time he met Bumblebee!
FC • 48 pages • $7.99

Transformers Annual 2017—Subscription Variant
John Barber (w) • Priscilla Tramontano (a) • Andrew Griffith (c)
FC • 48 pages • $7.99

Bullet points:
Major repercussions for OPTIMUS PRIME—and the whole Hasbro universe!


Transformers News: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Transformers News: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Transformers News: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Transformers News: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Transformers News: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Transformers News: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Transformers News: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories

Credit(s): IDW


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Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1864874)
Posted by lowman_x on March 7th, 2017 @ 3:51am CST
I wonder if Bumblebee's spark brother is Starscream? Might explain a few things. ;)
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1864881)
Posted by WreckerJack on March 7th, 2017 @ 5:19am CST
I need Bee's smiling face in my life. And of course more Pyra Magna!
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1864882)
Posted by Ironhidensh on March 7th, 2017 @ 5:21am CST
No, Starscream was constructed cold.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1864889)
Posted by Big Grim on March 7th, 2017 @ 5:40am CST
Yay! Scrounge!
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1864917)
Posted by Randomhero on March 7th, 2017 @ 8:17am CST
lowman_x wrote:I wonder if Bumblebee's spark brother is Starscream? Might explain a few things. ;)



Bumblebee was forged. Starscream was constructed cold. They wouldn't be related. Ghost bumblebee is just a manifestation of starscreams guilt or conscience
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1864928)
Posted by Va'al on March 7th, 2017 @ 8:57am CST
Randomhero wrote:
lowman_x wrote:I wonder if Bumblebee's spark brother is Starscream? Might explain a few things. ;)



Bumblebee was forged. Starscream was constructed cold. They wouldn't be related. Ghost bumblebee is just a manifestation of starscreams guilt or conscience


-nods-

The line is just to mask BB's embarrassment at asking a celebrity (Blurr) for an autograph after having dismissed the whole thing in the previous panel.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1864957)
Posted by Randomhero on March 7th, 2017 @ 11:18am CST
It's hard to believe this month marks three years Bumblebee and Shockwave died and they're still dead.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1864968)
Posted by snavej on March 7th, 2017 @ 12:29pm CST
Dead Bumblebee is like Banquo ('Macbeth' by William Shakespeare). :-? :SMUG:

I wonder if dead Shockwave is haunting anyone???!!! Not especially pleasant, I presume.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865005)
Posted by lowman_x on March 7th, 2017 @ 3:21pm CST
Just pointing out the :P at the end of my comment. Figured that was the universal sign of "don't take this seriously". Or is it this ;)? Or maybe I should have used both. ;) :P

I know that they wouldn't/couldn't be spark brothers (or could they?? :P ;)). Just making a little joke.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865026)
Posted by Microraptor on March 7th, 2017 @ 6:00pm CST
I needed some more IDW Bumblebee content! The art style goes great with his personality.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865040)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 7th, 2017 @ 6:33pm CST
Microraptor wrote:I needed some more IDW Bumblebee content! The art style goes great with his personality.

This comment. The art style works great with a young Bumblebee story!

And it looks fun. Seaspray! Scrounge! Hubcap and Cliffjumper! Yay!
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865099)
Posted by Microraptor on March 8th, 2017 @ 12:59am CST
So, does 'bee not have a trunk? Because he just strapped Seaspray's replacement fan on his roof. Wait a minute, how would he transform with the ropes in place?
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865212)
Posted by Va'al on March 8th, 2017 @ 3:43pm CST
Love, Life, and Death
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
GHOST STORIES! Optimus Prime returns to Cybertron—only to be confronted by his rival for the Matrix, Pyra Magna! As Pyra's origin—before she was part of Victorion—is finally revealed, Optimus relives his own past—the first time he met Bumblebee!

Image
Starscream is also in this


Story

How do you take an annual publication, make it not an annual occurrence, and still deliver one of the best stories of the past months (and that's saying a lot, given the competition in all three current ongoings!) - give it to IDW, have John Barber channel his best Continuity editorial essence, and some of Mairghread Scott's devious writing tendencies (and penchant for poetry). Welcome to Ghost Stories.

Image
..lest we forget, yeah..


As is customary with Barber, we have a narrative frame in the form of Starscream eavesdropping on Optimus and Pyra Magna visiting the epilogue of Dark Cybertron, and the singularity left behind by Shockwave's plan. Three leaders, three contenders to power, three ideologies: the soldier, the enforcer, the manipulator - all reluctant at some point, all connected to the power of belief. All no longer as clearly distinct.

Image
Plus, of course, the Leader that Was


The first of the two centres on Bumblebee, and Orion Pax's first interaction with him in the early days - with a fitting crossover with Barber's own Optimus Prime series - some excellently prickish Prowl, some fantastic cameos (you can find them all in our database entry) and returns to the page for old friends and enemies, and some insight into the actual power and skills of the little bug that could (until he couldn't ded).

Image
Do you even quip?


The second, narrated by Pyra, is the origin of the current team of Torchbearers, before Cybertron, before Victorion, before the change of heart towards the Mistress of Flame and her beliefs. And it is a gem of Transformers world building and characterisation, giving us stories fleshing out Pyra's motivations, background on Dust Up and Jumpstream, some touching Rust Dust moments and world shattering implications suddenly made explicit.

Art

Priscilla Tramontano, not a stranger to the TFverse, is the sole artist for the lengthy book, and she does wonders with her own style fitting the two tales - Bumblebee's in particular, with the younger narrative fitting the almost Animated-esque nods - but also the general frame of the Annual. Even in the freshness, the darker, more sombre panels and sequences are not diminished or made grotesque, either, and the emotional tones are sustained throughout.

Image
Point


With three stories running through the book, the creative team made a nice choice of gathering multiple colourists too, one per section - or so we're told, at least, as Thomas Deer, JP Bove, and Josh Perez work so well and in sync with each other and the art that it's actually almost impossible to tell where transitions happen and who did what. I am utterly amazed, but not surprised, at their tripartite skill.

Image
space shots will always get me


On the lettering front, we see the return of another older name on the books, Chris Mowry - who deftly delivers the captions and sounds to the narrative, and some eerily good title fonts too. While Tramontano delivers a gorgeous main cover for the book, the thumbnailed art comes from the variant done by Andrew Griffith and Josh Perez, taking an OP ongoing vibe, and some of Starscream's gun fetish along for the ride.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Reader, I loved it. I really did. The book does so many things right, and the ones it doesn't are easily overlooked (the placing in timeline (ScottyP suggests between Optimus Prime 6 and 7). It brings us more information on so many characters, gives added relevance to Bumblebee in the wider scheme of things - though currently without obvious repercussions... for now - plays really nicely with continuity issues, and gives us the first openly canonic f/f relationship in the IDWverse, by elaborating a single line all the way from Combiner Hunters!

Image
And some actual horror, too


What really impressed me the most, other than the entirety of the Torchbearers story, was the way in which the visual team of four, no, five people worked together to bring the right setting, tones, nuances, palettes, spectrums to the different threads running through the book - there are some thicker inks than maybe required in some panels, but the colours offset them; there are so many good compositions to choose from, and different layouts tried in the narratives, and there is so much to discover in the ramifications of it all. From here on, everything is going to be quite a ride.

. :GHOST: :GHOST: :GHOST: :GHOST: :GHOST: - out of :GHOST: :GHOST: :GHOST: :GHOST: :GHOST:
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865226)
Posted by Bounti76 on March 8th, 2017 @ 4:56pm CST
Great review. I'm glad the Torchbearers are getting some more characterization. Especially Rust Dust. She always gets missed, somehow.
Question: aren't Lancer and Greenlight the first canonical female couple to appear on panel? There was one other mentioned back in MTMTE, but only one of them appeared in that story.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865232)
Posted by Va'al on March 8th, 2017 @ 5:05pm CST
Bounti76 wrote:Great review. I'm glad the Torchbearers are getting some more characterization. Especially Rust Dust. She always gets missed, somehow.


Thanks! I really enjoyed the book, and yeah, time for the Twins to get some personality now. :D


Question: aren't Lancer and Greenlight the first canonical female couple to appear on panel? There was one other mentioned back in MTMTE, but only one of them appeared in that story.


I kiiiiinda overlook a couple being shown in a handful of panels as really counting for the title. Proxima and Acceleron get first mention, sure. Lancer and Greenlight show up, yes.

But Dust Up and Jumpstream are <3

Image
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865239)
Posted by Bounti76 on March 8th, 2017 @ 5:19pm CST
Va'al wrote:
Bounti76 wrote:Great review. I'm glad the Torchbearers are getting some more characterization. Especially Rust Dust. She always gets missed, somehow.


Thanks! I really enjoyed the book, and yeah, time for the Twins to get some personality now. :D


Question: aren't Lancer and Greenlight the first canonical female couple to appear on panel? There was one other mentioned back in MTMTE, but only one of them appeared in that story.


I kiiiiinda overlook a couple being shown in a handful of panels as really counting for the title. Proxima and Acceleron get first mention, sure. Lancer and Greenlight show up, yes.

But Dust Up and Jumpstream are <3

Image


Well, technically, I guess you're right. Jumpstream and Dustup are actually called out as Conjunx Endurae.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865248)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 8th, 2017 @ 5:51pm CST
Ok, so we got another glaringly obvious sign of Onyx Prime returning and being a big bad. Cool. Give him a toy so I can have the king of the beasts.

I need to go update my list as Atilla appears to be a colony world that rusted out and crumbled. Wonder who the titan was and whose titan he was?

Bee had an influence on Soundwave long ago? cool.

Pyra Magna feels and has felt recently way too stuck up for my tastes, so I'm glad she and Prime are going through the squabble, even if it isn't fully resolved here. Maybe Prime can get her to back down off her high horse just a tad?

And, my biggest thing: is that last page supposed to imply Bee is still alive within the black hole? Cause that sure seems like what it's saying to me
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865257)
Posted by ScottyP on March 8th, 2017 @ 6:24pm CST
I also loved loved loved loved this Annual. I laughed at Ferak and ordered myself a Takara TG-26. Moving along though -

Va'al wrote:
Image
space shots will always get me
Whole lotta Latin lately, or derivatives of it at least. For this particular one, we've got parvus (small) and oppidum (singular form of oppida, explained here.)

Pax Cybertronia (itself a reference to Pax Romana) gone wrong? :-?
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865265)
Posted by Bounti76 on March 8th, 2017 @ 7:04pm CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Ok, so we got another glaringly obvious sign of Onyx Prime returning and being a big bad. Cool. Give him a toy so I can have the king of the beasts.

I need to go update my list as Atilla appears to be a colony world that rusted out and crumbled. Wonder who the titan was and whose titan he was?

Bee had an influence on Soundwave long ago? cool.

Pyra Magna feels and has felt recently way too stuck up for my tastes, so I'm glad she and Prime are going through the squabble, even if it isn't fully resolved here. Maybe Prime can get her to back down off her high horse just a tad?

And, my biggest thing: is that last page supposed to imply Bee is still alive within the black hole? Cause that sure seems like what it's saying to me


Primus, I hope not. Let him stay dead! Besides that, being collapsed into a singularity/black hole like that doesn't seem like it would have repaired the damage caused by Shockwave blasting a large hole through Bumblebee's chest. He was shown to have died. I hope it's more metaphorical than anything....that through others' memories of him, he still lives.
Re: Full Preview of IDW Transformers Annual 2017: Ghost Stories (1865288)
Posted by Shot Put on March 8th, 2017 @ 8:54pm CST
Bounti76 wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Ok, so we got another glaringly obvious sign of Onyx Prime returning and being a big bad. Cool. Give him a toy so I can have the king of the beasts.

I need to go update my list as Atilla appears to be a colony world that rusted out and crumbled. Wonder who the titan was and whose titan he was?

Bee had an influence on Soundwave long ago? cool.

Pyra Magna feels and has felt recently way too stuck up for my tastes, so I'm glad she and Prime are going through the squabble, even if it isn't fully resolved here. Maybe Prime can get her to back down off her high horse just a tad?

And, my biggest thing: is that last page supposed to imply Bee is still alive within the black hole? Cause that sure seems like what it's saying to me


Primus, I hope not. Let him stay dead! Besides that, being collapsed into a singularity/black hole like that doesn't seem like it would have repaired the damage caused by Shockwave blasting a large hole through Bumblebee's chest. He was shown to have died. I hope it's more metaphorical than anything....that through others' memories of him, he still lives.


I didn't get the sense that it was meant to be metaphorical at all. We had a zoom-in on the singularity to show that Crystal City was still intact, Bumblebee walking through it, and he was in the body he died in--with the wound he got from Shockwave still there--rather than the body Starscream's been seeing him in even though he was talking to him at the same time. I think Barber was pretty clearly spelling out that's actually him, alive and trapped and somehow communicating with Starscream.

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