IDW Go-Bots #1 Review

Transformers News: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 8:06PM CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal   Views: 15,628

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The Cruel Cy-Kill Begins
A Seibertron.com Review of IDW Go-Bots #1


Synopsis

Go-Bots have changed our way of life. Leader-1 is a self-aware fighter jet on a hostage rescue mission with his partner, Commander Nick Burns. Scooter is the personal transport and best friend to undergrad A.J. Foster. Turbo is Matt Hunter's transforming race car in the hottest sport in America, Go-Bot Racing. Cy-Kill is the champion of the illegal, underground Go-Bot Fighting League. A sophisticated sci-fi epic from the visionary creator that brought you Transformers vs. G.I. JOE. They say they're here to help us, but are they here to replace us?


Transformers News: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review
They see me rollin'


I will be up front and honest with all of you right now: I know practically nothing of Go-Bots. This is an entirely new experience for me with characters I know absolutely nothing about. If this comic series is not true to the Go-Bots lore, I don't know it. This is my introduction to the world of Go-Bots, so lets see how the premiere issue turned out.

I didn't know what to expect from the series. Tom Scioli did some fantastic stuff with Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, albeit some very strange and unique stuff. So coming into a series about Go-Bots, and basically reinventing the franchise, there were a lot of different ways this could play out, good and bad.

And having read issue 1, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that Scioli really seems to have hit something good.

Transformers News: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review
Do your thing Leader-1


The issue itself was not lacking in character introductions that flowed well and action outlining this world of Go-Bots that will last for 5 issues. We start right off with action missions starring Leader-1, Go-Bot world building with Scooter that also provides us some necessary background, a pretty cool introduction to Turbo (who became a favorite of mine in the course of this issue), and a totally metal introduction to Cy-Kill, who certainly lives up to his name and reputation.

Transformers News: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review
A short little history lesson!


The Go-Bots world is built up so fast in just 1 issue, and not in a rushed way. It flows, it feels natural, it gives someone like me who knows nothing of the franchise some background into this strange world. We get to see the line between partners and superiors/inferiors, and how it sets up the big conflict the story is set to tell. Cy-Kill is awesome too, I loved his intro and his characterization so far.

Transformers News: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review
METAL (in context)


As was the case with TF vs G.I. Joe, Scioli does his own art and lettering, and he keeps up the same art styles that he did with the previous series. And it works really well with the Go-Bots universe. The art has an old-fashioned look to it that really lends itself to packing in action in each page with some pretty spectacular coloring. The scenes that are from Leader-1's view are really cool to see, and the human characters are drawn pretty well too. I appreciate how plain yet still so full the art on the pages can be. And the opening introduction to Cy-Kill was masterfully done as well. Everything about that section of the book was amazing.

Transformers News: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review
This too is awesome in context


So for an introduction to the Go-Bots, this series was pretty spectacular. The writing was pretty tight and packed with information that doesn't feel rushed in any particular way and gives a lot of necessary information to understand this Go-Bot land. The writing of the characters was convincing and the Go-Bots themselves were pretty fun in their varying personalities. The art was a pretty neat retro style that made me feel like I was reading an 80's era comic and enjoying it for the fun that it is meant to be.

So good job to Tom Scioli, you gave us a great introduction, and I'm really looking forward to what you have to give us next.

:HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: out of :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO:
Credit(s): IDW, D-Maximus_Primal
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Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1994912)
Posted by ZeroWolf on November 21st, 2018 @ 3:10am CST
Great review dmax! I completely forgot this was out this week!
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1994918)
Posted by Caelus on November 21st, 2018 @ 7:06am CST
I can't get past the art. I've come to loathe the notion of 'retro-style'. Art has improved over time because we have better tools and higher standards. While I understand the historical value of a 1908 Ford Model T, I wouldn't say that a modern car with a modern price tag and 20hp, 15mpg, and a 45mph top speed is 'retro'. I'd say it's overpriced crap. If this were a free web comic like xkcd, I'd understand art looking lackluster and lackadaisical, but it's not free.

And I nearly as much hate the response of, "but the writer did the art himself!" Evidently, he shouldn't have. The country is not lacking for talented, skilled workers desperately trying to make a break into their professions. We don't need comicbook writers doing their own art any more than we need surgeons administering anesthesia, basketball players playing baseball, animators voice-acting, or plumbers rewiring homes. People should have the opportunity to do what they've been trained to do. And people should not be praised for shabby work because of their excellence in a different skill.
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1994919)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 21st, 2018 @ 7:12am CST
Caelus wrote:I can't get past the art. I've come to loathe the notion of 'retro-style'. Art has improved over time because we have better tools and higher standards. While I understand the historical value of a 1908 Ford Model T, I wouldn't say that a modern car with a modern price tag and 20hp, 15mpg, and a 45mph top speed is 'retro'. I'd say it's overpriced crap. If this were a free web comic like xkcd, I'd understand art looking lackluster and lackadaisical, but it's not free.

And I nearly as much hate the response of, "but the writer did the art himself!" Evidently, he shouldn't have. The country is not lacking for talented, skilled workers desperately trying to make a break into their professions. We don't need comicbook writers doing their own art any more than we need surgeons administering anesthesia, basketball players playing baseball, animators voice-acting, or plumbers rewiring homes. People should have the opportunity to do what they've been trained to do. And people should not be praised for shabby work because of their excellence in a different skill.
The art style is deliberately meant to be a loving tribute to that of the late great Jack "The King" Kirby.
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1994925)
Posted by Caelus on November 21st, 2018 @ 7:52am CST
Sabrblade wrote:
Caelus wrote:I can't get past the art. I've come to loathe the notion of 'retro-style'. Art has improved over time because we have better tools and higher standards. While I understand the historical value of a 1908 Ford Model T, I wouldn't say that a modern car with a modern price tag and 20hp, 15mpg, and a 45mph top speed is 'retro'. I'd say it's overpriced crap. If this were a free web comic like xkcd, I'd understand art looking lackluster and lackadaisical, but it's not free.

And I nearly as much hate the response of, "but the writer did the art himself!" Evidently, he shouldn't have. The country is not lacking for talented, skilled workers desperately trying to make a break into their professions. We don't need comicbook writers doing their own art any more than we need surgeons administering anesthesia, basketball players playing baseball, animators voice-acting, or plumbers rewiring homes. People should have the opportunity to do what they've been trained to do. And people should not be praised for shabby work because of their excellence in a different skill.
The art style is deliberately meant to be a loving tribute to that of the late great Jack "The King" Kirby.


First, a crappy product rendered deliberately crappy, is still crappy.

Second, I can google search "Jack Kirby Art" and find no shortage of work that is superior to this. This seems to copy his worst work and - with its faded colors and yellowed pages - it 'lovingly' reproduces his work's worst translation to physical print. This art, and the art on Transformers vs. GIJoe, is UGLY by any standard.

Even the Big Looker storybooks I had when I was a kid had better art than this.

Image

But no one's asking for a slavish reproduction of that. Work that was 'good for its time' is not good now.

I wouldn't pay full price for a comic series drawn in the style of the Lascaux paintings, either, and their creators arguably represent a much more significant contribution to to art history than Jack Kirby. While Kirby should maybe be praised for his contributions, people copying his now very dated style and justifying it with Gen-X-baiting buzzwords like 'homage,' 'tribute,' or 'nostalgic' shouldn't be. If Spielberg had made Jurassic Park with stop-motion animation and low quality film, no one would have praised it for being a "loving tribute" to Ray Harryhausen - they would have said it was antiquated and embarrassing.
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1994927)
Posted by ScottyP on November 21st, 2018 @ 8:10am CST
Caelus wrote:I can't get past the art. I've come to loathe the notion of 'retro-style'. Art has improved over time because we have better tools and higher standards. While I understand the historical value of a 1908 Ford Model T, I wouldn't say that a modern car with a modern price tag and 20hp, 15mpg, and a 45mph top speed is 'retro'. I'd say it's overpriced crap. If this were a free web comic like xkcd, I'd understand art looking lackluster and lackadaisical, but it's not free.

And I nearly as much hate the response of, "but the writer did the art himself!" Evidently, he shouldn't have. The country is not lacking for talented, skilled workers desperately trying to make a break into their professions. We don't need comicbook writers doing their own art any more than we need surgeons administering anesthesia, basketball players playing baseball, animators voice-acting, or plumbers rewiring homes. People should have the opportunity to do what they've been trained to do. And people should not be praised for shabby work because of their excellence in a different skill.
To echo Sabrblade's point, which is likely in vain but seriously I'm not trying to change your mind which is clearly made up: it looks like this on purpose. Scioli is drawing and coloring these on bristol board while the letters are hand written and scanned in. This griping about the art is akin to comparing a plastic flower pot at Lowe's to one made by hand at a pottery workshop. It's ok if it's not for you but railing against the entire point of following this method while also insulting it? You can do better :)

Aaanyway.

This comic really caught me off guard when I picked it up on Saturday (a local comic shop day exclusive cover was available) and it's a super fun direction. Scioli mentions in the back pages something like (paraphrasing) "I wanted to make Go-Bots actually good" and so far I think this succeeds. The human pov characters are diverse and not just for the sake of it. The individual Go-Bots have their own personalities, and the explanation for the term "Renegades" is well done. Cy-Kill even gets introduced in a way that can't be an accidental homage to Megatron: Origins and it's such a fun touch.
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1994950)
Posted by Caelus on November 21st, 2018 @ 10:23am CST
ScottyP wrote:To echo Sabrblade's point, which is likely in vain but seriously I'm not trying to change your mind which is clearly made up: it looks like this on purpose.

Yeah, I get that it is deliberately bad. But deliberately bad is still bad.

Scioli is drawing and coloring these on bristol board while the letters are hand written and scanned in.

Yes, that's part of the problem with it. If someone illustrated a comic series by chewing up some flowers, spitting them on a page, and spreading them around with their fingers, would you say it looked good? Doubtful.

This griping about the art is akin to comparing a plastic flower pot at Lowe's to one made by hand at a pottery workshop.

No, this is comparing something made by hand by one 'artist' using antiquated methods to copy an older artist's work with now dated techniques to produce something that is ultimately of inferior aesthetic quality to the work that would be produced by a group of talented, well trained people using modern technology. Do you think Jack Kirby would like it? It's emphasizing all of the limitations he probably found frustrating.

Just because a Luddite's work is 'artisanal' doesn't make it good. Maybe for a variant cover or something, but an entire comic book series? There's a reason we haven't brought back silent movies and phrenology - the old ways of doing things are seldom better than the new ways of doing them.

It's ok if it's not for you...

Obviously, you're entitled to like an inferior product if you want to, but to me, having to see that and thinking about what we could have gotten if people weren't caught up in hero-worshiping the 'greatest generation' and praising people for under-performing, is like getting one's genitals stomped on with a stiletto heel - there are some people who really like that, but I'm still going to call it sadomasochism.

... but railing against the entire point of following this method while also insulting it? You can do better :)

Hey, those were danged good insults.
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1994951)
Posted by ZeroWolf on November 21st, 2018 @ 10:25am CST
ScottyP wrote:
Caelus wrote:I can't get past the art. I've come to loathe the notion of 'retro-style'. Art has improved over time because we have better tools and higher standards. While I understand the historical value of a 1908 Ford Model T, I wouldn't say that a modern car with a modern price tag and 20hp, 15mpg, and a 45mph top speed is 'retro'. I'd say it's overpriced crap. If this were a free web comic like xkcd, I'd understand art looking lackluster and lackadaisical, but it's not free.

And I nearly as much hate the response of, "but the writer did the art himself!" Evidently, he shouldn't have. The country is not lacking for talented, skilled workers desperately trying to make a break into their professions. We don't need comicbook writers doing their own art any more than we need surgeons administering anesthesia, basketball players playing baseball, animators voice-acting, or plumbers rewiring homes. People should have the opportunity to do what they've been trained to do. And people should not be praised for shabby work because of their excellence in a different skill.
To echo Sabrblade's point, which is likely in vain but seriously I'm not trying to change your mind which is clearly made up: it looks like this on purpose. Scioli is drawing and coloring these on bristol board while the letters are hand written and scanned in. This griping about the art is akin to comparing a plastic flower pot at Lowe's to one made by hand at a pottery workshop. It's ok if it's not for you but railing against the entire point of following this method while also insulting it? You can do better :)

Aaanyway.

This comic really caught me off guard when I picked it up on Saturday (a local comic shop day exclusive cover was available) and it's a super fun direction. Scioli mentions in the back pages something like (paraphrasing) "I wanted to make Go-Bots actually good" and so far I think this succeeds. The human pov characters are diverse and not just for the sake of it. The individual Go-Bots have their own personalities, and the explanation for the term "Renegades" is well done. Cy-Kill even gets introduced in a way that can't be an accidental homage to Megatron: Origins and it's such a fun touch.

You mean like how Megatron killed Cy-kill in said book? ;-)
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1995078)
Posted by Dark Ops on November 22nd, 2018 @ 11:47am CST
Chalk me up as someone who can't get past the art either. In the span of three pages, Leader-1 went from a F-15 to a 14 to a 18 and back. When characters depend on being recognized in both modes, but the writer artst can't be bothered to find a reference beyond "jet fighter", and generates mostly white space in oversized, empty word balloons? Hard pass. "Quirky" is fine. This is lazy.
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1995313)
Posted by Supreme Convoy on November 24th, 2018 @ 7:54pm CST
Only Tom Scioli would get me excited about Go-Bots!

And I love this Jack Kirby homage.
Image
Image
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1995521)
Posted by MagicDeath on November 26th, 2018 @ 5:03pm CST
It’s like a comedy about bad actors. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s entirely deliberate. For whatever reason, people are willing to pay for something than is painstakingly crafted to be objectively terrible.

I’m not trying to insult anyone’s taste here. I actually find the art amusing and it reminds me of a child’s imagination. I just thought this might help anyone confused as to why this man is hired to do what he’s doing.
Re: IDW Go-Bots #1 Review (1997808)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on December 9th, 2018 @ 1:44pm CST
After seeing one of the Bayformers, I once joked about how funny it would be if someone took Go-Bots and made it something better than Transformers.

Fast Forward to 2018 and someone DID

This is the most impressed I've been with a premier issue for years. To go a step further, I haven't been so taken by an IDW book since Last Stand of The Wreckers. Not to say it is on par with that (yet). But I certainly think higher of one issue of Go-Bots than I have with most of what I've read of IDWverse post-LSoTW.
The visual narrative and aesthetic really appeals to my tastes. I appreciate the stylistic choices too from an art educated background.
Although to be fair, to those unfamiliar with Go-Bots, the main difference between this and the original cartoon appears to be a conscious decision by Scioli to remove the Transformers-esk concepts IE Space faring alien sentients, Gobotron and the cyborg origins.
The designs of the characters seem more faithful to Machine Robo than the cartoon also, which I like.

a 9/10 from me.

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