Review of Foundation #4

Transformers News: Review of Foundation #4

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 9:14AM CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Live Action Movie News, Reviews
Posted by: Dead Metal   Views: 76,945

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So I’m back with another Movie related comic review, this time round it’s Transformers Foundation #4, which I believe is the final issue of this series.
This time it’s a different format, without a super detailed plot synopsis, so there aren’t too many spoilers, but then again there isn’t that much going on here.
This is a revised and, lets say improved version of the original review, I did this because of a few things:
This is the final issue, I haven't read the previous, but hey we where asked to do this so we did.
The line-work is better than what the final product shows, maybe it's something to do with the pdf, or I just don't like the coloured art in this. But then again, it's a review, it's my opinion and not the be all end all word on things.
The following is basically the same as before, just with a new rating and a few extra words and sentences thrown in, so it's kinda like the Star Wars Episode IV-VI Special Editions, if you click here you can read the original review and compare.

Foundation is another prequel comic, but not to “Dark of The Moon”, but to Transformers (2007), and it’s basically the same story we get to read every time a new movie comes out. Decepticons and Autobots fight, every time round with the new characters that will be in the new movie, and the AllSpark is removed.
So now, we have Shockwave, the magic threesome, Wheeljack, Sentinel Prime, and Megatron’s Hatchlings running around in the big fight just before the AllSpark gets sent to Earth.
Generics get killed left and right, characters, we know will survive because they’re in the movie that takes place later, have dramatic showdowns that look like they could die, and Optimus Prime gets to bore us with his stale run-of the mill narration.

Image
"I am Megatron, the greatest babysitter in all of the Universe!"


Well, this is the only issue I’ve read of Foundation, however, I did not feel like I missed any previous story, I managed to just jump in. The only thing that lost me is that after a few pages of the comic’s presence it jumps into a flashback, that took place just a few hours ago, so why not start the comic there? This reminds me of a different comic I’ve read: the God of War miniseries by Wildstorm. That comic was so terrible, that I’m kind of glad Wildstorm no-longer exists, that comic was a crime to comics, storytelling, art, and the God of war franchise, and Foundation reminds me it, not a good sign.
The reason it reminds me of GOD, is just how pointless it all is. We learn nothing new in this, except that Sentinel Prime was Optimus Prime’s and Megatron’s mentor, and that he existed during the Great War, and the same counts for Hatchlings, Wheeljack, Shockwave and the bike sisters/thing. And the drama is impotent due to us already knowing which characters are going to live. Rising Storm, was better, it actually felt like it had a point, this however, is the same stuff we’ve already known since 2007 just with a few extras, it’s like the Star Wars Episodes IV - VI Special Editions – just with less bad CGI, but just as pointless.

Image
"We've always been here!"


The only exciting and cool thing about this comic is that we get to see baby Bludgeon, seriously there’s a Hatchling that keeps popping up, that has Bludgeon’s head – awesome.

Image
"Master of Metalo-Nappies"


There's also a part in which Sentinel Prime's ship gets blown up by Starscream, with Optimus Prime acting like he doesn't care while Megatron Yells loud "NO!"

Image
Shattered Glass Movie-verse


Also, there are, like I touched upon earlier, scenes that look like they are supposed to create drama and make us feel dread for the characters involved. It’s just that the characters they choose for these scenes are, you know the main characters in the movies that take place after this comic “Oh, I wonder who’ll survive Ironhide, Starscream or Shockwave?!”.

Image
Gee, I totally fear for the survival of the characters that are in the movie that takes place millions of years after this.


The art, well, it’s OK. That's at least what you get from the comic with colours and all, however, you might remember what I said in my previous reviews:
The colours can make or break an image.

You know, back in Rising Storm I stated that I believe the line-art to be pretty good, but that the colouring's dragging it down. Well what do you know, I stumbled across the DeviantArt account of the artist and you know what you can see there? The pure uncoloured line-work for this series - and man is it gorgeous! I love it, in fact I wish idw would release this series in pure black and white, just so I could get to see more of the artwork. I mean check out the gallery.
Sadly the line-work is still kind of ruined by the colours, as I said in the original review, I stated that the colours weren't bad, but kind of boring. They do kind of hurt the line-work, but then again, this is the Movieverse where there is a lot of gray, and it takes place on Cybertron, which is basically completely gray. So it's accurate.
We shouldn't forget that these are movie designs, that are very hard to bring onto paper.

So how do I rate it in this revised and rethought-out review?

I give it 6 out of 10 Stars for writing, it's well written, but the story structure reminds me too much of the God of War comic, with the whole thing taking place in the past, with flashbacks to the past of the past and trying to create drama with characters we know will be OK anyway. It's kind of pointless in it's existence, but it's well written pointlessness.

I will also give it 7 out of 10 Stars for the art, instead of the 6. I believe I was just too harsh, plus the line-work is awesome. This could have been 8 Stars, had it been in black and white.

A total of 6.5 Stars out of 10 on average.

While I think it's pointless, and yes I'll stick to that, I believe the full story might be better, but I won't be picking up the trade to find out. Only if it where, you know in black and white- and I'm not even a fan of black and white comics.
Credit(s): idw
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Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224464)
Posted by Doctor McGrath on May 18th, 2011 @ 9:42am CDT
6 out of 10 on the art? Youre a generous man..
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224484)
Posted by Chris McFeely on May 18th, 2011 @ 10:23am CDT
No, no, sorry. I call complete bullshit. You can't review the final issue of a four issue mini-series in isolation. You launch in by complaining about the flashback, purely because you don't understand that the entire mini has used that as a framing sequence that has bookended every issue, and that the entire point of it has been seeing how the main story will catch up to it, and finding out what will drive the calm, rational, reserved Optimus to become the berserker the bookends have shown - which has been one of the most interesting things the whole mini has done. You complain only about the fact that nobody can die, as if that was all that actually mattered, when it's about the least important thing - you completely sidestep the great character work the three issues have done that have been dedicated to showing us how Optimus Prime and Megatron have grown and changed from the beings they once were, from the earliest points in their lives that we have known them, to the ferocious beings who find themselves in the confrontation this issue offers. Further, you have utterly bypassed the fantastic continuity sculpting the author has done with this mini, playing in a sandbox already full of history that has to be worked around and massaged into place, and yet still producing a story that feels like a genuine part of the movie world, while also bridging the gap from Defiance to the original Movie Prequel, and expanding on some of the earliest glimpses of post-Dynasty Cybertron.

This is not an ongoing comic where you're expected to be able to jump on. This is a finite, four-issue story. You've basically done the equivalent of picking up a novel and reading only the last fifty pages, then complaining because you didn't understand it.
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224487)
Posted by Tigertrack on May 18th, 2011 @ 10:27am CDT
I don't hate the art, I dislike how the movie designs look when they are drawn/painted/or colored by pretty much anyone. I'm not sure Raphael, DaVinci, or Monet could make them work.

I would like to see what Art Adams could do with them... :-?
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224527)
Posted by BATTOUSAIXD on May 18th, 2011 @ 11:29am CDT
I like any backstory I can get for the movies, so I'll be getting this series.
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224530)
Posted by Doctor McGrath on May 18th, 2011 @ 11:35am CDT
tigertracks 24 wrote:I don't hate the art, I dislike how the movie designs look when they are drawn/painted/or colored by pretty much anyone. I'm not sure Raphael, DaVinci, or Monet could make them work.

I would like to see what Art Adams could do with them... :-?


I think you are right. The designs of the movie characters just do not translate well onto paper IMO.
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224532)
Posted by Dead Metal on May 18th, 2011 @ 11:38am CDT
Chris McFeely wrote:No, no, sorry. I call complete bullshit. You can't review the final issue of a four issue mini-series in isolation. You launch in by complaining about the flashback, purely because you don't understand that the entire mini has used that as a framing sequence that has bookended every issue, and that the entire point of it has been seeing how the main story will catch up to it, and finding out what will drive the calm, rational, reserved Optimus to become the berserker the bookends have shown - which has been one of the most interesting things the whole mini has done. You complain only about the fact that nobody can die, as if that was all that actually mattered, when it's about the least important thing - you completely sidestep the great character work the three issues have done that have been dedicated to showing us how Optimus Prime and Megatron have grown and changed from the beings they once were, from the earliest points in their lives that we have known them, to the ferocious beings who find themselves in the confrontation this issue offers. Further, you have utterly bypassed the fantastic continuity sculpting the author has done with this mini, playing in a sandbox already full of history that has to be worked around and massaged into place, and yet still producing a story that feels like a genuine part of the movie world, while also bridging the gap from Defiance to the original Movie Prequel, and expanding on some of the earliest glimpses of post-Dynasty Cybertron.

This is not an ongoing comic where you're expected to be able to jump on. This is a finite, four-issue story. You've basically done the equivalent of picking up a novel and reading only the last fifty pages, then complaining because you didn't understand it.

Yes reviewing the final issue is completely and utterly stupid, but idw asked us to do so. I would have also read and reviewed the previous issues, had idw supplied them and asked us to review those too, but they didn't.
And I did understand it, I did not complain about the flashback due to me not understanding it, I complained about it being there in the first place. This was essentially a story set in the past, with flashbacks to it's past, just like Wildstorm's God of War comic. And just like that comic, this series expected us to fear for established characters and tried to create drama but failing at that due to us knowing that these characters will survive. That's why it reminded me so much of the God of War comic, which had in almost every comic 2 instances of trying to make the reader go "Oh god, I hope Karatos survives and manages to save his daughter!", in both the flashback story and the "current events", both failed due to it taking place between the first and second game and being released after the third, so yes it feels bad and pointless.
This story here, gives us basically the same all other prequel stories have been giving us since 2007, with a couple of new faces thrown in.
We already knew why Prime and Megatron where Berserkers, it was explained to us in 2007, and 08, and 09, and 10.
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224535)
Posted by Dead Metal on May 18th, 2011 @ 11:44am CDT
Man, I've just found the pure line-art for this comic! And holy hot damn does it look awesome!
Check this out:
http://glovestudios.deviantart.com/#/d3gmoro
You know, how about printing the trade just in black and white, I'd buy it, this looks so damn cool without colour. And I'm not even into black and white comics! :D

Oh yea, I'm gona rewrite this review!
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224562)
Posted by Dead Metal on May 18th, 2011 @ 12:27pm CDT
Just for comparisons sake:

[quote]So I’m back with another Movie related comic review, this time round it’s Transformers Foundation #4, which I believe is the final issue of this series.
This time it’s a different format, without a super detailed plot synopsis, so there aren’t too many spoilers, but then again there isn’t that much going on here.
Foundation is another prequel comic, but not to “Dark of The Moon”, but to Transformers (2007), and it’s basically the same story we get to read every time a new movie comes out. Decepticons and Autobots fight, every time round with the new characters that will be in the new movie, and the AllSpark is removed.
So now, we have Shockwave, the magic threesome, Wheeljack, Sentinel Prime, and Megatron’s Hatchlings running around in the big fight just before the AllSpark gets sent to Earth.
Generics get killed left and right, characters, we know will survive because they’re in the movie that takes place later, have dramatic showdowns that look like they could die, and Optimus Prime gets to bore us with his stale run-of the mill narration.


"I am Megatron, the greatest babysitter in all of the Universe!"



Well, this is the only issue I’ve read of Foundation, however, I did not feel like I missed any previous story, I managed to just jump in. The only thing that lost me is that after a few pages of the comic’s presence it jumps into a flashback, that took place just a few hours ago, so why not start the comic there? This reminds me of a different comic I’ve read: the God of War miniseries by Wildstorm. That comic was so terrible, that I’m kind of glad Wildstorm no-longer exists, that comic was a crime to comics, storytelling, art, and the God of war franchise, and Foundation reminds me it, not a good sign.
The reason it reminds me of GOD, is just how pointless it all is. We learn nothing new in this, except that Sentinel Prime was Optimus Prime’s and Megatron’s mentor, and that he existed during the Great War, and the same counts for Hatchlings, Wheeljack, Shockwave and the bike sisters/thing. And the drama is impotent due to us already knowing which characters are going to live. Rising Storm, was better, it actually felt like it had a point, this however, is the same stuff we’ve already known since 2007 just with a few extras, it’s like the Star Wars Episodes IV - VI Special Editions – just with less bad CGI, but just as pointless.


"We've always been here!"



The only exciting and cool thing about this comic is that we get to see baby Bludgeon, seriously there’s a Hatchling that keeps popping up, that has Bludgeon’s head – awesome.


"Master of Metalo-Nappies"



There's also a part in which Sentinel Prime's ship gets blown up by Starscream, with Optimus Prime acting like he doesn't care while Megatron Yells loud "NO!"


Shattered Glass Movie-verse



Also, there are, like I touched upon earlier, scenes that look like they are supposed to create drama and make us feel dread for the characters involved. It’s just that the characters they choose for these scenes are, you know the main characters in the movies that take place after this comic “Oh, I wonder who’ll survive Ironhide, Starscream or Shockwave?!”.


Gee, I totally fear for the survival of the characters that are in the movie that takes place millions of years after this.



The art, well, it’s OK. The colours are boring, but strong and not as washed out as in rising Storm. However, the line-work isn’t as detailed as Rising Storm, it’s still pretty good and at times really really cool, but Mango puts a lot more detail into the characters, but the backgrounds are more detailed in this comic.
I give it 5 out of 10 Stars for writing, and 6 out of 10 Stars for the art.
A total of 5.5 Stars out of 10 on average.
I think it’s pointless and wouldn’t even consider buying the trade.[/quote]
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224624)
Posted by Chris McFeely on May 18th, 2011 @ 2:32pm CDT
Dead Metal wrote:Yes reviewing the final issue is completely and utterly stupid, but idw asked us to do so. I would have also read and reviewed the previous issues, had idw supplied them and asked us to review those too, but they didn't.


Right, well, I suppose I can't argue with that.
[quote]And I did understand it, I did not complain about the flashback due to me not understanding it, I complained about it being there in the first place. This was essentially a story set in the past, with flashbacks to it's past, just like Wildstorm's God of War comic. And just like that comic, this series expected us to fear for established characters and tried to create drama but failing at that due to us knowing that these characters will survive. That's why it reminded me so much of the God of War comic, which had in almost every comic 2 instances of trying to make the reader go "Oh god, I hope Karatos survives and manages to save his daughter!", in both the flashback story and the "current events", both failed due to it taking place between the first and second game and being released after the third, so yes it feels bad and pointless. [/quote]

But the point is NEVER "will Optimus or Megatron survive". The entire point of the flashback technique, from start to finish, is to build suspense by making the reader question how the events of the main story will progress to bring things to the violent scenario the bookends show. This is not in evidence in the final issue in isolation because the events are so close to one another - it's an effective (and very common) storytelling method that is spread out across the whole mini.

[quote]This story here, gives us basically the same all other prequel stories have been giving us since 2007, with a couple of new faces thrown in. We already knew why Prime and Megatron where Berserkers, it was explained to us in 2007, and 08, and 09, and 10.[/quote]

See, no. This final issue is the last connecting point in putting Defiance and the original prequel together, so yes, it in its own does present a situation that is basically the same as what we see in those comics. In it's ENTIRETY, however, the mini starts with Optimus and Megatron as friends and equals, BEFORE they were ever rulers of Cybertron. It is the story of how they BECAME rulers, and how their friendship actually broke down - a story NOT told before, in either Defiance or the prequel; in the former, they were already in charge and their friendship had already broken down, and in the latter, the war was already underway. The bulk of Foundation is a wholly new story that only in its second half starts to intertwine with the previous prequels. It answers questions that people genuinely had and tells a part of their story we didn't know before. And it's great at it.
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224637)
Posted by Dead Metal on May 18th, 2011 @ 2:50pm CDT
Chris McFeely wrote:
Right, well, I suppose I can't argue with that.
[quote]And I did understand it, I did not complain about the flashback due to me not understanding it, I complained about it being there in the first place. This was essentially a story set in the past, with flashbacks to it's past, just like Wildstorm's God of War comic. And just like that comic, this series expected us to fear for established characters and tried to create drama but failing at that due to us knowing that these characters will survive. That's why it reminded me so much of the God of War comic, which had in almost every comic 2 instances of trying to make the reader go "Oh god, I hope Karatos survives and manages to save his daughter!", in both the flashback story and the "current events", both failed due to it taking place between the first and second game and being released after the third, so yes it feels bad and pointless.


But the point is NEVER "will Optimus or Megatron survive". The entire point of the flashback technique, from start to finish, is to build suspense by making the reader question how the events of the main story will progress to bring things to the violent scenario the bookends show. This is not in evidence in the final issue in isolation because the events are so close to one another - it's an effective (and very common) storytelling method that is spread out across the whole mini.
[/quote]
I got that feeling, with the Ironhide vs Starscream and Shockwave part. That whole scene looked a lot like a "Will Ironhide die?" thing.
[quote]
[quote]This story here, gives us basically the same all other prequel stories have been giving us since 2007, with a couple of new faces thrown in. We already knew why Prime and Megatron where Berserkers, it was explained to us in 2007, and 08, and 09, and 10.[/quote]

See, no. This final issue is the last connecting point in putting Defiance and the original prequel together, so yes, it in its own does present a situation that is basically the same as what we see in those comics. In it's ENTIRETY, however, the mini starts with Optimus and Megatron as friends and equals, BEFORE they were ever rulers of Cybertron. It is the story of how they BECAME rulers, and how their friendship actually broke down - a story NOT told before, in either Defiance or the prequel; in the former, they were already in charge and their friendship had already broken down, and in the latter, the war was already underway. The bulk of Foundation is a wholly new story that only in its second half starts to intertwine with the previous prequels. It answers questions that people genuinely had and tells a part of their story we didn't know before. And it's great at it.[/quote]
Now THAT does intrigue me. I just wish I had the time to research the previous issues before writing this.
You see how much Wildstorm has poisoned my mind, I can't even read a TF comic without having horrible flashbacks to GOW, I should totally bring that comic to AA and make a drinking game out of it :P
I just realised, how wrong that last sentence sounds with the abbreviation.
Re: Review of Foundation #4 (1224652)
Posted by Chris McFeely on May 18th, 2011 @ 3:08pm CDT
Dead Metal wrote:
Chris McFeely wrote:
I got that feeling, with the Ironhide vs Starscream and Shockwave part. That whole scene looked a lot like a "Will Ironhide die?" thing.


The attention of that is not supposed to be on Ironhide, but on Prime. Y'see, from past issues of Foundation (and also Rising Storm, the interconnectedness of the series being one of the awesome things about them), via the bookend/flashback approach to the story, we spent the first three issues KNOWING that Prime had done SOMETHING to shatter his relationship with Elita-One. So, going into issue #4, that's what every moment is supposed to make you think. Is it going to be because he left Ironhide? Did he kill the Decepti-babies? Was it something worse? Of course, as you say, we know Ironhide was never going to die, so that just made the question of what Prime did an even bigger one, because the answer couldn't be something obvious like that.

(The answer being "Prime basically doomed the entire freaking planet!" Yeah, that'll probably honk your girlfriend off.)

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