IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 10:36PM CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: ScottyP   Views: 12,831

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Regeneration Fun
A Review of Transformers '84 #0

Minor/Contextual Spoilers Within
Transformers News: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review
Optimus knows it's worth going back to G1 one last time for 24 pages, unlike past-me.

This is a review that must start out with a confession. When I initially saw the announcement of this one-shot prequel to the original Marvel comics Transformers series, all I could think of was Regeneration One and how I just do not want more of that continuity at this point. The story is told, the ink is dry, let's all move on because re-visiting it didn't work and I want off Mr. Furman's wild ride. The continuity itself is already a mess with the UK continuity, G2, the aforementioned Regen One and even the old Universe books all picking up various threads in various ways that conflict and they probably won't use Geoff Senior so what's the point? "No one wanted this", I thought.

After reading the book, I'm left with this second confession: I was completely wrong.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review
Thanks?

Transformers '84 pulls off what could potentially be considered a narrative feint, claiming to be a prequel to the original run while really serving as a bridge that crosses the gap between the first half of The Transformers #1 and the second half, that is, the gap between the Ark crash-landing and the Transformers waking up in 1984. It also makes "Man of Iron" (TF UK issues 9-12/US 33-34) work more seamlessly within the universe's continuity, so it's recommended to be at least familiar with that story before reading this one. While familiarity is good, that's far from a requirement due to clever casting that utilizes characters either not at all or barely present in that original run. Without spoiling all the appearances, their toys were out too late into Budiansky's run to get noticed alongside certain "Master"-ful releases and out too early to get a spotlight during Furman's time at the wheel. Three decades on, some beloved toys now properly get their time in the franchise's first storytelling universe. It's an appreciated touch that manages to squeeze something more out of a part of the brand that's been squeezed quite dry in the past.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review
The moment this really got my attention

One appearance that's already been spoiled by published preview pages is present in the image above. Punch / Counterpunch is the surprising linchpin of the issue and Simon Furman brilliantly executes his personas. You're never quite sure what side he's on and I can't help but think that it shouldn't be any other way. Guido Guidi helps the character along in a big way, with a presence and body language that keeps you guessing as much as the dialogue. On one hand, if the solicitation had said "this is a Punch / Counterpunch book" many of us would have been much more excited for this months ago, but on the other, not seeing a Punch / Counterpunch book coming is kind of perfect.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review
Look at it pop!

The art is tremendous throughout with the use of color going just as far as it needs to into the "vintage" style without going too far to the point where it looks bad, though losing the small "dot" marks would be fine for future uses of this style. John Paul Bove uses contrast smartly as well with the slate shaded world of Cybertron stands out from its bright robotic inhabitants with the shadowy meetings with a mysterious narrator contrasting the green landscapes and colorful banners of 11th century knights on Earth. There's even a touch towards the end referencing some off-screen characters that contains a fade-out from left to right that turns a passing reference into a genuine moment.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review
The First Knight

Tom B. Long's letters are exactly what they need to be, never getting in the way of and sometimes assisting with visual cues. At least four different bubble styles are used and there's never any doubt - except where intended - in regard to where the words are coming from. The presentation, assisted by Amauri Osorio, is buttoned up throughout from a storytelling perspective with editors David Mariotte and Tom Waltz keeping things old school even in the count of story pages: 24!

Or at least, I think the presentation is probably very good. I can't wait to read this in print, especially since our provided digital review sample was of an exceptionally poor, grainy DPI. This led me to hesitate somewhat in the conclusions drawn above - if the print and final digital copies are as grainy and blurry as our review sample, that will be a true shame. As always, you can also find full credits for the issue in our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers '84 #0.

Verdict
Transformers News: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review
Issue guarantees a little Quickmix.

Sometimes the best comics are the ones that catch you off guard. I expected G1 fanservice lopsided towards the 1984 and '85 cast at best, but ended up reading something that used some of them just enough while somehow giving lesser known characters a day to make something of themselves. The execution is superb though not perfect from a critical perspective, with a couple spots of awkward Furmanism-esque dialogue and a little too much real estate given to the set-piece human characters on at least one occasion. That said, Transformers '84 #0 is superbly entertaining and fun to read, with a plot that matters just enough to feel important while not being so ambitious that it feels like it gets in the way of already established events with any deleterious impact. This one's a real treat that I highly recommend picking up on the Seibertron.com eBay store or at your local shop, check here to see if you have one nearby... real nearby.

Final Score
. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: ½
out of
:BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:
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Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035162)
Posted by TulioDude on August 21st, 2019 @ 12:09am CDT
Nice review! :APPLAUSE:

You have a way with words,even though I won't be able to read for now,,since Transformers comics aren't being published in Brazil right now,I'm still curious to check this out.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035180)
Posted by o.supreme on August 21st, 2019 @ 9:47am CDT
Nice Review indeed. I just wish they would have chosen a different title, so as not to be confused with:

https://tfwiki.net/wiki/Less_Than_Zero

I mean I know it's not the first time. We've had two separate comics AND two seperate animated series with the name "Robots in Disguise", so having two issue zeroes (one for the Original Comic Series, and one for Regen One, which is ALSO supposed to be part of the original comic series....) shouldn't be that off putting, but unfortunately, it does come across that way. I know I know...It's really not that hard, but in 20 years when someone mentions "Transformers Issue Zero", to add the qualifier *which one* Regen One or 84?...just all could have been avoided.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035185)
Posted by Optimutt on August 21st, 2019 @ 10:24am CDT
Nice review, ScottyP. Nice use of P/CP's signature(ish) quote from Rebirth!

Looking forward to this.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035215)
Posted by Ebonyleopard on August 21st, 2019 @ 4:02pm CDT
I liked the book. I really did. It managed to do something that the new ongoing has yet to fully manage to do in it's current 12 issue run. 1)Make characters interesting with motives in a single issue 2) Provide action 3) Show actual transformations and 4)PROVIDE ACTION.

The only thing I have a little issue with is, it seems we just living in the times now where no one is capable of going good just for the sake of them being good. It's like what Marvel has done with Professor X who's one step away from being a villain now due to his questionable actions "For the greater good". It's a bit said to see the hero of millions now portrayed in that light due to his own willing actions, especially if this is supposed to be in direct continuity with the Marvel series.

It was nice seeing Micromasters actually being Micromasters for once in a comic though.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035239)
Posted by Lore Keeper on August 21st, 2019 @ 6:49pm CDT
Small continuity hiccups aside, this issue has some interesting implications for later stories in the Marvel continuity. The issue where Optimus allows himself to be killed for failing to protect virtual organics may have spoken to his character, but was a really hard pill to swallow for many. I mean, talk about taking idealism too far. But, Issue 0 here could serve as an explanation to all that. It's possible that Optimus's guilt over his actions here could have been enough to convince him that perhaps the Autobots would be better with him out of the picture. It's just a thought, but it sure makes one of the character's most baffling moves a little easier to understand
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035276)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on August 21st, 2019 @ 10:01pm CDT
Wow, this was a really awesome comic! they should have just called it Spotlight: Punch/Counterpunch, that would have done the job. And it was awesome to see some very rarely used characters. I loved seeing 3/4 of the clones! And the duocons!

And it was a great story too, satisfying story, plot, length, and it was a good read! I agree, it accomplished in 1 issue what the current ongoing hasn't in 10
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035295)
Posted by serre prime on August 22nd, 2019 @ 1:17am CDT
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:Wow, this was a really awesome comic! they should have just called it Spotlight: Punch/Counterpunch, that would have done the job. And it was awesome to see some very rarely used characters. I loved seeing 3/4 of the clones! And the duocons!

And it was a great story too, satisfying story, plot, length, and it was a good read! I agree, it accomplished in 1 issue what the current ongoing hasn't in 10

xactly,
i will just add, it s been some time i didn 't read something so good.
My only complaint is the colour, some background characters are 1 colour it's the king of things i hated in the 80's, and look silly now.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035357)
Posted by partholon on August 22nd, 2019 @ 4:40pm CDT
This was the only thing I wanted to buy from idw in an age and man was it worth it.

Furman does more in 24 pages than the ongoing has done in 8 issues (I STILL haven't mustered up the interest in catching up to the latest issue)

Like others I'm not a fan of the current fad of "de-nobel-ising" iconic characters, icons like prime should always be portrayed like cap in the mcu, others exist to do the dirty work (grimlock in tfs case)
But I have to say having "the real" reason for the ark mission to be a way to take megaton out of the picture is an inspired notion and its a testament to furman that he can still come up with stuff like this after all these years (something clairmont has sadly lost in the x universe)
It makes you wonder if some characters were picked for the mission for "other" reasons (sunstreaker for instance) than being the best of the best.

My only complaint is the colouring, that bloody "dot matrix" effect went overboard in certain pages making it damn near unintelligible in places.
But besides that it was great. Hell it was fun to see "weapon powers" again in the scene with the autobot clones (gravity gun and sonic assault if I'm lookin right"
Alway loved that aspect of g1.
For the life of me I can't figure out why furman doesnt have a book.

Give him and Geoff senior a "redux" of g1 starting from here with a light touch editorial and you'll have gold. It doesn't have to retread everything just let em cherry pick the concept they like most and run with it.
It can't be worse than what we're getting now
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035375)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on August 22nd, 2019 @ 7:27pm CDT
Lore Keeper wrote:The issue where Optimus allows himself to be killed for failing to protect virtual organics may have spoken to his character, but was a really hard pill to swallow for many. I mean, talk about taking idealism too far. But, Issue 0 here could serve as an explanation to all that. It's possible that Optimus's guilt over his actions here could have been enough to convince him that perhaps the Autobots would be better with him out of the picture. It's just a thought, but it sure makes one of the character's most baffling moves a little easier to understand
Well he should feel guilty, it was his fault in the first place that the Transformers are on Earth. IMO, Guido Guidi/Andrew Wildman > Geoff Senior.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035578)
Posted by Seibertron on August 24th, 2019 @ 1:10pm CDT
I liked the story, loved the artwork (Guido is one of my all-time favorite artists, particularly because he's really good at adapting his style to mimic other artists' styles, and I'm a particular fan of the cartoon art style). A couple of problems I had was the revelation of Optimus Prime's motive with the Ark's maiden voyage as well as Furman doing his thing once again killing off Transformers characters a la his "Generation 2" and "Regeneration One" stints. I know it's a war. I know it's realistic. I just hate seeing main characters killed. It was intriguing seeing the Clones, Duocons, Punch/Counterpunch in this comic in the Marvel continuity, just a bummer to see some characters off'ed.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035837)
Posted by Toizarus on August 26th, 2019 @ 7:01am CDT
IMO, Guido Guidi/Andrew Wildman > Geoff Senior.


Wildman's stock has fallen, sadly, since his appalling, for-the-money job on Regeneration One, where the amazing Guido astonished all by being the artist who most accurately delivered Wildman's original style.

Guido's art in this is amazing throughout. He's so dependable and flexible that I really wish he would be given more steady work by IDW, not just amazing guests spots here and there.

Senior, though, is a legend. A universe in which people don't see this is not a happy one.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2035943)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on August 26th, 2019 @ 8:29pm CDT
Toizarus wrote:Senior, though, is a legend. A universe in which people don't see this is not a happy one.

It's a matter of opinion, as I said. I tried reading the UK comics but the art just put me off. It's too flat and angular.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2036204)
Posted by william-james88 on August 29th, 2019 @ 9:37am CDT
So jut to be clear, this issue means the autobots we love were meant as bait and meant to die. But they didnt and Optimus is just chilling with them in issue 1?
Also, I dont get the time. It's 4 million years between the ark crashing and them waking up, so why do we have transformers in the viking era?
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2036282)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on August 29th, 2019 @ 6:11pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:So jut to be clear, this issue means the autobots we love were meant as bait and meant to die. But they didnt and Optimus is just chilling with them in issue 1?
Also, I dont get the time. It's 4 million years between the ark crashing and them waking up, so why do we have transformers in the viking era?

question 1: yes, that is correct.

Question 2: The transformers in the viking age were tracking the ark and found it about that time, so Punch made sure the Ark was not found
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2036285)
Posted by william-james88 on August 29th, 2019 @ 6:17pm CDT
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:
william-james88 wrote:So jut to be clear, this issue means the autobots we love were meant as bait and meant to die. But they didnt and Optimus is just chilling with them in issue 1?
Also, I dont get the time. It's 4 million years between the ark crashing and them waking up, so why do we have transformers in the viking era?

question 1: yes, that is correct.

Question 2: The transformers in the viking age were tracking the ark and found it about that time, so Punch made sure the Ark was not found


Ah so Punch is a triple agent? Or is it good that it wasnt found?

Also, not sure how I feel about Optimus and the ark then. Must be pretty weird for him to just pretend all is well with his buddies when they were all expendable fodder to him.
Re: IDW Transformers '84 #0 Review (2036292)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on August 29th, 2019 @ 6:20pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:
william-james88 wrote:So jut to be clear, this issue means the autobots we love were meant as bait and meant to die. But they didnt and Optimus is just chilling with them in issue 1?
Also, I dont get the time. It's 4 million years between the ark crashing and them waking up, so why do we have transformers in the viking era?

question 1: yes, that is correct.

Question 2: The transformers in the viking age were tracking the ark and found it about that time, so Punch made sure the Ark was not found


Ah so Punch is a triple agent? Or is it good that it wasnt found?

Also, not sure how I feel about Optimus and the ark then. Must be pretty weird for him to just pretend all is well with his buddies when they were all expendable fodder to him.

No, Punch is only a double agent. He made sure the Cons found out about the Ark and then made sure neither side found the Ark for fear of finding Megatron and his elite, as per Optimus' command.

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