Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy

Transformers News: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 3:29PM CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 38,471

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With this week's release of the trade collected version (the hardcover already came to fruition) of the three Cybertron Wars Prime Wars Autocracy stories into one volume, here at Seibertron.com we considered doing a brief revisitation of the Flint Dille, Chris Metzen, and Livio Ramondelli effort to bring some more backstory to the pre-war moments.

First, another look at the previously unused cover that became the collected trade one!

Transformers News: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy


Transformers: Autocracy - Database entry

The Great War has begun and the Decepticons have taken the city-state of Kaon. They now work to sow dissent across Cybertron via terrorist cells. Orion Pax leads a team in an effort to stop them, while confronting the true nature of what it means to be an Autobot.


Transformers News: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy


My predecessor, Tigertrack, was the one to first encounter the book as it was a digital only release, which then became digital first - his review of the opening issue is here. Other staff member Psychout worked on the other reviews, up to issue #5 (here, here, here, and here).

The major points to be taken from the first of the stories, Autocracy itself, revolves around the senate and Zeta Prime's actions around them and through them (which we're also still seeing in the Optimus Prime ongoing series by Barber and Zama), the not-very-goodness of the Autobot faction - who are essentially violent state militia - the rise of the Decepticon faction as revolutionaries, and the doubts seeded in Optimus Prime/Orion Pax as he follows Zeta's warmongering directives. And a violent Pax it is, with a little help from his friends (Bumblebee in particular) to keep him from thuggishly pounding his way to order. And from his enemies, Megatron above all, who are the ones to plant those seeds in the second place.

Transformers News: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy


The read is quick, the action is action-y and a little chaotic at times, with Ramondelli not yet hitting his stride with the refined trait he uses in more recent comics, and the lettering by Robbie Robbins doesn't always necessarily help with that. While it was nice to see a War Within/Megatron Origins set of designs, some jar a bit with the characters they're representing, and did not keep well up to now.

Outcome: Megatron and Optimus fight, the war begins.

Peak Dille moment: the revisiting of the 1986 battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron, with a very, very heavy hand in the retelling (for the good part of several issues), and some JJ Abrams levels of fanwinking (with an I, but almost an A).

MVP: A young 'terrorist' that is the fulcrum of the second half of the plotline: Hot Rod of Nyon. In the words of fellow staffer Kurona, this is probably the best explanation/foundation to his MTMTE/Lost Light characterisation, actually believing in a revolutionary ideal to the point that he blows up an entire city

Transformers: Monstrosity - Database entry

In the early days of the war on CYBERTRON, OPTIMUS PRIME puts everything on the line to unify the planet—but not everyone agrees that this new Prime should be in charge! Meanwhile, the fallen DECEPTICON leader, MEGATRON, begins a journey that will change everything.


Transformers News: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy


I was part of the comics staff by now, and covered all four print issues of the digital-first sequel series to Autocracy (here, here, here, here) - and admittedly, I actually quite enjoyed it for what it was. And what it was was an exploration of Megatron's commitment to his ideal (after being thrown onto Junkion by new Decepticon leader Scorponok), his formation as a full tyrant, and a peek into the collective mind of the Dynobots and the full power of their alt-modes.

Transformers News: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy


All that while incorporating more elements of the 1986 movie stuff, plus some live-action movie facets of some of the characters - and by that I mean Megatron, his patchwork of injuries, and propensity for cloaks. The artwork, while still working on earlier Ramondelli style, really blended well with the tone rather than the matter, and the weird hybrids used in the story, the monstrosities, came out looking excellent.

Outcome: The war keeps beginning.

Peak Dille moment: Hey Quintesson judge. Nice to see you there, being a teacher/trophy to Megatron and all.

MVP: Despite a tie between Grimlock, though used at not his very best, but rather in a very old characterisation, and Megatron himself, even with the disproportionate amounts of cheese in the series overall - Tom B. Long's lettering wins this spot.

Transformers: Primacy - Database entry

THE WAR FOR CYBERTRON! Optimus Prime versus Megatron. Autobots versus Decepticons. At the dawn of the conflict, battle lines are drawn and sides are set… now legends will be made. The war that would define a planet begins in earnest—and its revelations will shake the TRANSFORMERS' world to the core!


Transformers News: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy


I was reviewing these as they came out, but by the third one I got so bored of the story and the writing, that I never actually finished a review for the ending. First three are here, here, and here. Whoops. The issues I had with this final section were mostly to do with contradicting and confusing statements made by characters in the story (Omega Supreme above all still grates me), though the first half was way more enjoyable than the latter part. The plot, on the other hand, is very very very very thin.

Transformers News: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy


Ramondelli and Chris Mowry have all of the fun with this series, playing around with large-scale devastation and all the noises that come with it, because all the series wanted to do was have a giant battle with all of the possible characters in one place, and pit Trypticon against Metroplex. Done and done.

Outcome: The war KEEPS BEGINNING TO START. Jeez.

Peak Dille moment: All of it.

MVP: Sarah Stone and her covers.


Concluding thoughts

The series doesn't really add that much to the IDW universe, even in its attempt to uncomfortably sit between Megatron: Origin, Chaos Theory, early flashbacks across the ongoings, and most importantly, the current happenings in Optimus Prime. With the latter especially, what information is being fed to us by Barber's writing is actually more than enough to get the rest of the context - at the same time, the highlights of the series might appeal to a reader who wants some extra cheese on a sprinkle of background motivations, and with the Junkions and Quintessons appearing or bound to reappear soon, it's worth giving a look at if you're so inclined. It can fit with an IDW or Transformers completionist, but it is by no means essential reading, and for a more traditional fan, the IDW editorial veil may not sit well. It has fights, but also politics; it has references, but also new characterisations; it has an audience, but we're not sure who that is, essentially.

Do not expect Barber, Roberts, or Scott levels of writing: the exploration of the grey shades between the factions is done much better in later series, including the very current Lost Light and Till All Are One, but most of all, the flashbacks in Optimus Prime. Do expect cheese: it's what Dille does best, and Metzen is mostly there for the assist in world building of a world that already existed. Don't @ me if you like it more or less than I did: I'm just noting down thoughts on a series that happened over three years ago, as I had some time over the weekend and there are no new comics for me to review.

*insert 1986 movie reference here to come full circle*
Credit(s): IDW
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Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863778)
Posted by Insurgent on March 1st, 2017 @ 3:31pm CST
Kurona wrote:
Insurgent wrote:I skipped these stories, but I may pick up the trade. What are people's views on these stories? Any good?

In my opinion... just alright. If you're invested in this universe (which I am) and want to see some more backstory to it (which I did), then these really aren't bad. Could be a lot worse, but they don't really affect anything in the wider universe other than some recent goings-on in OP and a little more possible insight into Hot/Rodimus' character.
Pick 'em up if you really like the universe and you can, but you're not missing much if you don't.



Hmmm. I do love the IDWverse. If it pops up in my local comic shop, I may pick it up.



Or I just read Va'al's post and learn the outcome of the stories. Doing a brief overview is one thing, but why tell all the outcome plot points of the stories in the thread where you are saying hey, this book is out! Go pick it up and read it if you haven't already read them?
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863779)
Posted by Va'al on March 1st, 2017 @ 3:34pm CST
Insurgent wrote:
Kurona wrote:
Insurgent wrote:I skipped these stories, but I may pick up the trade. What are people's views on these stories? Any good?

In my opinion... just alright. If you're invested in this universe (which I am) and want to see some more backstory to it (which I did), then these really aren't bad. Could be a lot worse, but they don't really affect anything in the wider universe other than some recent goings-on in OP and a little more possible insight into Hot/Rodimus' character.
Pick 'em up if you really like the universe and you can, but you're not missing much if you don't.



Hmmm. I do love the IDWverse. If it pops up in my local comic shop, I may pick it up.



Or I just read Va'al's post and learn the outcome of the stories. Doing a brief overview is one thing, but why tell all the outcome plot points of the stories in the thread where you are saying hey, this book is out! Go pick it up and read it if you haven't already read them?


I realise that they might count as spoilers, but it's also three years late! I'm sorry if that ruined the book for you, I wasn't considering the retro-spoiling. :-?

Y'know what, edited the post. :D
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863780)
Posted by Insurgent on March 1st, 2017 @ 3:42pm CST
I know it's a few years old. I also didn't realise this was the actual primacrocy discussion thread, I posted from the news article. It was just with the story being re-released, seemed a bit daft to post the story outcomes right there.
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863781)
Posted by Va'al on March 1st, 2017 @ 3:43pm CST
Insurgent wrote:I know it's a few years old. I also didn't realise this was the actual primacrocy discussion thread, I posted from the news article. It was just with the story being re-released, seemed a bit daft to post the story outcomes right there.


'a bit daft' doesn't even begin where my mind is this week :HEADHURTS:
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863847)
Posted by ScottyP on March 1st, 2017 @ 9:49pm CST
My post history for the past few days can back up the lack of time I've had to do site things, but I did have time to read this just now and man, most excellent! Peak Va'al, perhaps? ;)
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863873)
Posted by Va'al on March 2nd, 2017 @ 5:40am CST
ScottyP wrote:My post history for the past few days can back up the lack of time I've had to do site things, but I did have time to read this just now and man, most excellent! Peak Va'al, perhaps? ;)


Given how I used peak Dille, I wonder if that is a compliment or not.

I'LL ALLOW IT.
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863877)
Posted by YoungPrime on March 2nd, 2017 @ 6:54am CST
I really enjoyed the first 2 arcs... Though Primacy felt like a rush job. Plus you got more bang for your buck with those $0.99 issues online IMO. Primacy was a full comic book issue with a lot of empty panels. They all had their ups and downs but not as bad as some make it out.


Overall I give the whole thing a B-.

Wouldn't mind more if they gave it the treatment that they gave the first 2 arcs.
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863884)
Posted by Va'al on March 2nd, 2017 @ 8:03am CST
YoungPrime wrote:I really enjoyed the first 2 arcs... Though Primacy felt like a rush job. Plus you got more bang for your buck with those $0.99 issues online IMO. Primacy was a full comic book issue with a lot of empty panels. The are had it's ups and downs but not as bad as some make it out.


Overall I give the whole thing a B-.

Wouldn't mind more is they gave it the treatment that they gave the first 2 arcs.


Oh, probably much much lower for me. The enjoyment was very much hindered by the boring ending, the overly cheesy dialogue, and the not much happening overall. But I don't like scores, so there. :-P
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1863895)
Posted by LE0KING on March 2nd, 2017 @ 8:44am CST
To be fair I didn't even know about tf comics before they started packing them in with the generations line. My first one was spotlight trailbreaker. Needless to say, I fell in love. But I didn't want to start something this cool in the middle. I've never been that into comics to start with, but I liked these enough to find the entirety in either digital or paper. I found a list of the chronological order and started with Megatron origins, then on to these.

This was the second comic story I've ever read (the first being origins) so they seemed really good to me. And I still recommend them.
Re: Revisitocracy - A Seibertron.com Retrospective on IDW Publishing Autocracy, Monstrosity, Primacy (1928165)
Posted by Va'al on December 26th, 2017 @ 3:49am CST
This week, we have a whole list of new comics releases from IDW Publishing in their Transformers roster, some of which we'll only showcase as previews - starting with the latest re-release of another format of the Autocracy trilogy, the pre-war stories that collect Autocracy, Monstrosity and Primacy, and lead almost directly into the current arc of the Optimus Prime ongoing via the Redemption of the Dinobots stories.

Check it out below, and let us know if you'll be dipping into the book this time round!

Transformers: Autocracy Trilogy
Chris Metzen, Flint Dille (w) • Livio Ramondelli (a & c)
Follow the early days of Optimus Prime and Megatron on their paths to leadership. Before Optimus became a Prime, he fought for order. Before Megatron became a conqueror, he fought for freedom. In the early days of the war on Cybertron, two leaders–one Autobot, the other Decepticon–start down their paths towards destiny. Collects the Autocracy, Monstrosity, and Primacy series into one volume.
TPB • FC • $29.99 • 336 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-074-1


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