IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review

IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 6:25pm CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal   Views: 16,033

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And Then There Was Nothing
A Somewhat Spoilerish Seibertron.com Review of IDW's Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5


Synopsis

The final fate of Cybertron! Leoric and the drill team, on a mission to stop the destruction of the planet, reach the core—only to be met by Virulina and her Darkling Lords! Now, the two sides are locked in a final battle to determine whether Cybertron sees tomorrow. Everything comes to a head in this thrilling conclusion!


Transformers News: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review
Witterquick has totally heard this noise before


Story

Well it's finally the end, the fate of the Transformers homeworld is at stake(again...) thanks to an alien race, and once again it feels like a disappointment. This has been done, been there, done that, it's how we even got to this story. It was an attack on Cybertron's core from First Strike that got us to this point (that and some very bad editing decisions made between the 2, looking at you New Prysmos forcefield) and it is another attack here that finally ends the series. And it is thanks to that first attack that the final attack of the current IDW run (Unicron) will occur.

To be honest, these series should have had potential, but it just floundered it. The Visionaries are a not overly well known group of characters from a single season TV show back in the 1980's. With so few people even knowing what they are, you need to capture the attention of the readers looking for new characters to love. And this series did not do that.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review
Pictured: characters aware they really haven't helped themselves to be popular


There were many chances to try, but nothing ever caught on. Killing Kup in issue 1 certainly did not help, especially with how good he had been in the crossovers. Let's face it: he was the Crossover go-to Bot, and you killed him. It didn't help that some of the Bot's personalities in this were a bit wonky too.

And it most certainly didn't help that the Visionaries themselves were all over the board, not overly lovable or consistent. We had a character who was a good guy apparently actually be a traitor, yet he was tortured by the bad guy despite being a bad guy too? See, hard to reason.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review
Pictured: a villain who did little to be anything more than hated


I was also not a fan of the way the final bit of the series panned out. Leoric finally decides to become the spokesperson, the guy everyone rallies around, and it felt flat. He didn't do anything. We do get to see on the way too rare transformations from Visionary Bipedal to magic totem animal, but even then it doesn't last, and Virulina never uses her totem. I think only like 3 guys actually used their animal shape-shifting powers or something? They were that rare.

And then of course it turns out that Virulina and Leoric were actually meant to do this so another bad can use them both to ensure a proper future. Yeah, sure.

Meanwhile, the battle of the core, the thing advertised in the Synopsis, wasn't really a thing. It was disappointing. Only 2 of the big names were even there, and they weren't even the 2 big names. And of course in a story based around magic, everything comes down to magic, but in this case it was not clever magic. The whole series revolved around magic, and not once did it ever really feel "magical" and instead feeling like "not overly good writing and not really understanding how to make this work." The parts about helping each other and actually getting along felt quite forced in this area too, as did the ones at the very end.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review
Pictured: a well loved character that is sort of just here


But in short, the story didn't satisfy anything, and it was a disappointing return for the Visionaries.

Art

Art for the story was once more taken on by Fico Ossio with colors by David Garcia Cruz and lettered by Shawn Lee. The art is the part of the book that sort of pulls it back a hair, seeing as how Ossio's art is fairly good, with some interesting stylizations. I am particularly fond of his Leoric and Virulina, and most of the visionaries. The shame is the one Visionary I do like, Galadria, is the one that really isn't drawn well. Her facial expressions just aren't that good.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review
She really wishes Ironhide would have spared himself and stayed in a different book


The Transformers do suffer some in the art department as well, with Ossio being better with organic looking beings than mechanical. Again, it's the faces that really don't look that good.

The colors are pretty good as well, especially with the scenery. But again, the bots feel flat and suffer some. Which is a shame considering the Visionaries and the scenery do actually appear decent.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review
Pictured: 2 things I did like


Final Thoughts

Honestly, this series didn't do it for me at all. There really wasn't a lot going for it from stage one, and it never overcame that first bump. It's a series that should have done better, and had the potential cool factor of shape shifting humanoids who can turn into magical animals and who are basically wizards, but squandered it. I wish the series could have been handled better, or had occurred at a better time or using a different set of circumstances. All the past year or 2 have been are Cybertronians being threatened in Crossovers, with Cybertron itself being the center of the past 2 and will be center stage for the final one. The story really needed a different story set away from Cybertron, or set in the past, much like ROM vs. Transformers, itself a great series. And it needed more likable characters.

It needed the hook, and never presented one. And again I say what a shame that is.

:HASBRO: 1/2 out of :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO:

Credit(s): IDW Publishing


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Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1957397)
Posted by ScottyP on May 2nd, 2018 @ 9:40pm CDT
I'm ready to move on from this experiment. The final issue had some potential and just, I don't know what happened. Overbooked with nothingburger characters and a plot that, in the long run, looks to just plain not matter.

That's all I've got to say about this one forever. On to Unicron!
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1957402)
Posted by Sunstar on May 2nd, 2018 @ 9:52pm CDT
I will pick up hte 5th book on saturday (I would not have bought it but my husband picked up the other 4 two weeeks ago) I am glad to see the end of this dreadful series. The colours were nice, but I was not at all drawn in by the art or what they were doing. My only hope is Unicron eats them first.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1957419)
Posted by Sabrewing on May 3rd, 2018 @ 4:38am CDT
The name was very ironic given that whoever thought this was a good idea was apparently blind.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1957433)
Posted by ScottyP on May 3rd, 2018 @ 7:34am CDT
Sabrewing wrote:The name was very ironic given that whoever thought this was a good idea was apparently blind.
Perfect post :APPLAUSE:
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1957450)
Posted by Rodimus Knight on May 3rd, 2018 @ 9:47am CDT
I found the original Visionaries Cartoon online to watch, just haven't don it yet, but I'm still meaning to. The concept seems like it could be good though, but I have to agree that the follow through in this series is Awful. The character design are pretty bad too. The only one I even remotely liked is the Dolphin chick, whose name I can't even remember. Not that that matters, I can't remember any of the names.

It seems like this is a series that would have done better to start outside of transformers and developed their world and characters before throwing them in with the Transformers Cannon Fodder, I mean Transformers characters.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1957490)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on May 3rd, 2018 @ 1:40pm CDT
Just to pick up on a point from the review. So the Visionaries - Knights of the Magical Light (the full title, FYI) rarely use their central gimmick? Who approved this????
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1957500)
Posted by ZeroWolf on May 3rd, 2018 @ 3:02pm CDT
Hasbro, which should illustrate that they don't care much about them.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958188)
Posted by Seibertron on May 8th, 2018 @ 2:31am CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Just to pick up on a point from the review. So the Visionaries - Knights of the Magical Light (the full title, FYI) rarely use their central gimmick? Who approved this????


Kind of like how rarely Transformers transform in IDW comics?
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958208)
Posted by Rodimus Knight on May 8th, 2018 @ 7:26am CDT
Seibertron wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Just to pick up on a point from the review. So the Visionaries - Knights of the Magical Light (the full title, FYI) rarely use their central gimmick? Who approved this????


Kind of like how rarely Transformers transform in IDW comics?


Well you know, it's too much of an effort to draw transforming Transformers.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958237)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on May 8th, 2018 @ 9:40am CDT
Rodimus Knight wrote:
Seibertron wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Just to pick up on a point from the review. So the Visionaries - Knights of the Magical Light (the full title, FYI) rarely use their central gimmick? Who approved this????


Kind of like how rarely Transformers transform in IDW comics?


Well you know, it's too much of an effort to draw transforming Transformers.



Image

Touché on both counts :APPLAUSE:
I have noticed, reading the post-DoOP series through the part work, how little people seem to be bothered to show altmodes, beyond scene transitions. Gets in the way of all those Talking Heads and Guffaws, I suppose.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958250)
Posted by ZeroWolf on May 8th, 2018 @ 11:04am CDT
Actually I think it's a question of when is an alt mode needed? If it comes to a scene, should you put an alt mode in just for the sake of having an alt mode? Id rather have an alt mode be there for a purpose. There name may be Transformers but it shouldn't come at the expense of the story.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958254)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on May 8th, 2018 @ 11:09am CDT
Not at the expense no, but it should be intrinsically linked to the story by default. For example, Devastation. When Sixshot arrives on Earth, that entire sequence is Transformers. In concept, execution and stakes. Likewise whenever Thunderwing shows up in Stormbringer. It's the core of what they are. If you are writing Transformers without transforming in mind, why are writing the series at all?
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958272)
Posted by ScottyP on May 8th, 2018 @ 11:57am CDT
The only time it bugs me is when characters that could drive or fly run towards their destination instead. I think the answer to the rest is just authors focusing on making a good story first. I could argue the point further but I think it's probably futile.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958273)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on May 8th, 2018 @ 12:01pm CDT
Surely the authors should focus on making a good Transformers story. It would be like writing X-Men and never using Mutant powers. It's the primary gimmick of their world, how to apply it as organically as possible should be a primary consideration, in parallel to story ideas.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958274)
Posted by ZeroWolf on May 8th, 2018 @ 12:07pm CDT
Maybe they are writing it to tell a story about the characters? Nothing ventured, nothing gained after all. Hasbro don't seem to mind them not transforming much, and I doubt that was one of the reasons why idw decided to reset ;-) especially since adding more transformations in could have easily happened at the editoral level.

End of the day it's not bothered me at all. I've seen them use the alt modes and it was fine.

Saying that, i'd be surprised if furman wrote any of his stuff with transformations in mind, plot would have definitely came first.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958277)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on May 8th, 2018 @ 12:18pm CDT
But the characters are their altmodes. It's literally their defining visual trait. In most continuities, Prime/Ultra Magnus/Motormaster are trucks, Dinobots are Techno-dinosaurs etc etc You can't ignore an association so blatant and synonymous without betraying the integrating of the series you are writing for. EG TMNT without them being Turtles, Visionaries without Magic Totems and Staffs

You could argue this is related to the reasons for the reset, given it's symptomatic of a divergence from the source material not enough fans were onboard with? In equal measure, why this reimaging of Visionaries failed to garner interest.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958279)
Posted by Rodimus Knight on May 8th, 2018 @ 12:24pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:The only time it bugs me is when characters that could drive or fly run towards their destination instead. I think the answer to the rest is just authors focusing on making a good story first. I could argue the point further but I think it's probably futile.


I would like this argument more, if you know, the stories were good.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958282)
Posted by ZeroWolf on May 8th, 2018 @ 12:44pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:But the characters are their altmodes. It's literally their defining visual trait. In most continuities, Prime/Ultra Magnus/Motormaster are trucks, Dinobots are Techno-dinosaurs etc etc You can't ignore an association so blatant and synonymous without betraying the integrating of the series you are writing for. EG TMNT without them being Turtles, Visionaries without Magic Totems and Staffs

You could argue this is related to the reasons for the reset, given it's symptomatic of a divergence from the source material not enough fans were onboard with? In equal measure, why this reimaging of Visionaries failed to garner interest.

The remaking of visionaries failed on a story level and for a small number of people, on a visual level. I loved the new look, especially leoric. Also I don't care about the Totems as it was a silly gimmick anyway.

End of the day, we should want these characters to be more than these gimmicks. If you're happy with that then I guess that's your prerogative but it's not mine.

RodimusKnight@ actually what Scotty said was correct. The fact is that the writers were trying to do the best story they could do. It was up to us as readers to determine if they succeeded or not. Even then it's opinions vs opinions. I liked the majority of idw output, that's my opinion. Others may agree and some certainly disagree but it's all subjective end of the day.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958304)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on May 8th, 2018 @ 3:00pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:End of the day, we should want these characters to be more than these gimmicks. If you're happy with that then I guess that's your prerogative but it's not mine.


If you are writing about Transformers that don't transform, you're not writing Transformers. The gimmick is their foundation it's what any writer worth their salt builds their vision upon.

Going back to an earlier example, if you're reading TMNT, wherein they aren't Turtles or Ninjas, you as the fan and/or reader deserve better. A more capable writer that understands what is required of a licensed series.

Visionaries, much like Transformers, take their very name from their gimmick. That is how central a concept it should be. Without the totems, this Versus series was and is just bad, Mad Max cosplay without merit or substance.
Re: IDW Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5 Review (1958388)
Posted by ZeroWolf on May 9th, 2018 @ 4:39am CDT
Come on, we both know that the Totems wouldn't have saved this series. The flaws go much deeper than that. Also, the transformers do transform in the series, I thought it was the right amount (other people's opinions may vary). I don't want panels wasted because people think they need more shots of alt modes. If an alt mode scene is unnecessary then cut it. If they transform for the sake of it, cut it. Transformations should always serve the plot, to the point where if they interfere with it, drop them. I don't read Transformers just to see them transform, nor does it bother me if they don't. I read Transformers because I like the characters and want to see what's going on, in times of peace and (because we all know that the new continuity will be set either at the start of the war or during) in times of war.

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