Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers

Transformers News: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 1:41PM CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 11,153

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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.


Transformers News: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers
Credit(s): Syfy
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Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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.

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

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. [spoiler](And it's going to do that by burrowing it's way to Vector Sigma!)[/spoiler]

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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (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.
Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (1929597)
Posted by ricemazter on January 3rd, 2018 @ 10:18pm 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.


He hasn't been grumpy Kup for at least the last year. He went through a sort of transition during the Action Man Revolution tie in when he was captured by Miles Mayhem, being generally salty and skeptical of humanity after being captured and experimented on twice. In that story, he was rescued by Ian Noble (action man), and they became best buddies, and Kup was happier after that. They had their own adventures in Revolutionaries and the First Strike tie ins.

It was this really cute pairing where Action Man was excited about having a robot best friend, and Kup had someone to pal around with and tell all his old war stories to. It was nice to see the old guy finally catch a break after being tormented for most of IDW's run.

Really, along with Rom vs Transformers, Kup/Action Man was one of the few things that stuck with me through the shared universe, but I get that the transition to happy Kup would be jarring for people who weren't keeping up with the other titles.

It does make me super salty that [spoiler]he's dead[/spoiler]. For people who have read the issue, is Action Man even mentioned once?
Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (1929600)
Posted by Burn on January 3rd, 2018 @ 10:27pm CST
Why are people assuming I haven't read the other titles? I have. The whole transition from messed up to happy-go-lucky felt like it happened overnight, there was no slow transition. I mean come on, he was old, cranky, and had spent a long time in the dead universe and the only thing that kept him from going nuts was a cigar.

But along comes a flesh bag and he suddenly gets over all that trauma? gah.

ricemazter wrote:For people who have read the issue, is Action Man even mentioned once?

Not from memory. It appeared to be a permanent reassignment to Cybertron for him.
Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (1929605)
Posted by Ebonyleopard on January 3rd, 2018 @ 11:32pm CST
For the first time, this book has finally made me feel fed up with other lesser Hasbro properties being shoved into Transformers and having Transformers suffer and come off the worst for it. This issue doesn’t even explain where the hell the Visionaries came from. They’re just suddenly, poof, there. Or am I missing some key reading material that sets this up?
Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (1929606)
Posted by Ebonyleopard on January 3rd, 2018 @ 11:41pm CST
primalxconvoy wrote:

I agree that many of the humans are a bit "Mary Sue" in these comics. Most TFs would win, easily

Also, I still don't like the new Leoric, for the save reasons I didn't like the new Matt Tracker. I'm all up for character development, new characters or characters changing jobs/positions of authority, but extensive changes with no reasons why, just for the sake of it seem to be insensitive to the source material and fans of the original show, aesthetic, etc.

Wake me up when Leoric looks like this: - http://visionaries.wikia.com/wiki/Leoric


Just say you don’t like white male characters being changed to other ethnicities or genders and be done with it instead of tap dancing around the obvious crux of you’re argument. Frankly, I’d respect it more and would actually e willing to agree if these type of statements were simply “let’s jeep the original character designs as is but update their looks”instead of the nudge nudge hint hint code talk of getting to it. It’s annoying and comes off even more condescending and insulting.
Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (1929607)
Posted by Ebonyleopard on January 3rd, 2018 @ 11:44pm CST
Transcendent30 wrote:More race and gender baiting SJW nonsense from IDW, quickly going the way of Marvel. I'm sorry but Leoric is a white guy (along with Matt Trakker from MASK). These characters look NOTHING like Visionaries at all, but rather an obvious SJW political vehicle, for the white/man shaming of much loved franchises of the past. There is nothing wrong with being white. If they want ethnic minority characters, make NEW characters and NEW stories. The Visionaries are white male characters in fantasy knight armor. Deal with it. SJWs are destroying everything I hold dear at the moment. I'm boycotting all IDW publications from now on, until they decide to get rid of the identity politics. This is not Visionaries and it's not Transformers. It's sickening, forced "diversity" and no longer fun.



I get so tired of the “SJW”shield for what people really obviously want to say but don’t have the full fours peg to completely go there. Just spit out what you really want to say and drop th SJW bs.
Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (1929610)
Posted by Burn on January 4th, 2018 @ 12:22am CST
Ebonyleopard wrote:Just say you don’t like white male characters being changed to other ethnicities or genders and be done with it instead of tap dancing around the obvious crux of you’re argument.

I don't like ANY characters having their race and/or genders swapped around.

I find it incredibly lazy, rather than spending the time developing and building new characters, they simply take existing characters and turn them on their heads.

Marvel has, and continues to receive a lot of criticism for this, but I've never understood why because those race/gender swapped characters often exist alongside the original characters.

What IDW have done by swapping Leoric and Matt Tracker is pandering to a vocal minority who want more diversity, and that vocal minority are often labelled SJW's (and having been on the receiving end of a vindictive SJW simply because I supported a fish and chip shop, I have no time for such people). Generalising? Yeah, but they've honestly done themselves no favour.

Is the swap a big deal though? No. My gripe with Matt Tracker was the fact he was young and inexperienced, forget the colour of his skin! I can't comment on Leoric as, having already said so, I don't have much history with Visionaries, but to me, if they stay true to the character (which again, I feel they didn't do with Tracker) then it really shouldn't be an issue.

The book had bigger problems anyway.
Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (1929612)
Posted by Va'al on January 4th, 2018 @ 1:48am CST
Daniel Adkins wrote: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.


That is reeeeaaally interesting. :-?

(And it kinda hopefully shuts up the True Visionaries Fan, given that other True Visionaries Fans disagree.)


Burn wrote:Why are people assuming I haven't read the other titles? I have. The whole transition from messed up to happy-go-lucky felt like it happened overnight, there was no slow transition. I mean come on, he was old, cranky, and had spent a long time in the dead universe and the only thing that kept him from going nuts was a cigar.

But along comes a flesh bag and he suddenly gets over all that trauma? gah.

ricemazter wrote:For people who have read the issue, is Action Man even mentioned once?

Not from memory. It appeared to be a permanent reassignment to Cybertron for him.


Nup, no Action Man. I agree with the too chipper Kup - it worked in Revolutionaries, but it only worked when Ian was around. Examples like these two panels:



..to me, looked like a little too much. In Revolutionaries, in a way, I saw it as Kup trading one addiction (cygar) for another (Ian) to keep himself up (intentionally or not). Which made this particular issue jarring in that sense, as there is nothing that supports it, unless we're to take it that he's looking for another fleshbag to partner with.

He didn't get that, of course.
Re: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers (1929615)
Posted by Va'al on January 4th, 2018 @ 2:05am CST
Ebonyleopard wrote:For the first time, this book has finally made me feel fed up with other lesser Hasbro properties being shoved into Transformers and having Transformers suffer and come off the worst for it. This issue doesn’t even explain where the hell the Visionaries came from. They’re just suddenly, poof, there. Or am I missing some key reading material that sets this up?


The only proper, actual direct set-up is in the Transformers tie-in to First Strike (both issues) and the end of First Strike. I didn't think it was particularly well done, either, so yes, they are effectively just suddenly there.
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