PLOT IS OVERRATED: ‘TRANSFORMERS VS. G.I. JOE’ CARTOONIST TOM SCIOLI REVIEWS ‘TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION’
By Tom Scioli
I love my job. I make Transformers vs. G.I.Joe comics on a monthly basis (with the help of my co-writer John Barber). As part of due diligence, it’s my duty to see Transformers: Age of Extinction. My ticket is a business expense. I’m making my comic not just for fans of Transformers and G.I.Joe, but for the rest of planet Earth, too. As a Transformers author I need to know how the larger world percieves Transformers so that I can play up to certain expectations and run counter to preconceived notions. In that capacity, I documented my observations about the film
Indeed, product placement is actually referred to in-story as product placement. Bay is a deft filmmaker, but the type of film he makes is a different game with big stakes and many masters. He’s able to negotiate that minefield. Wayne’s World was the first time product placement was handled this self-parodying way, but the comedy was much broader. Bay almost gets away with it here by going all-in. The transformium (more on that later) morphs into a set of Beats by Dr. Dre speakers. Nothing exceeds like excess, I suppose. If you’re going to have product placement, why not have it in every frame? Transformium gets rid of all limitations on Transformer shape. Unless they’re able to duplicate its philosopher’s stone qualities in real life, toy sales will suffer. Fittingly, Hasbro practically invented product placement with its ’80s cartoons based on toy products. My Little Pony makes an appearance in Age Of Extinction, teasing the eventual crossover. I shouldn’t be surprised by all the ad content. Its increasingly oppressive presence brings a narrative tension of its own.
The evil robots in this movie are cool as hell and probably exist in real life already, especially the mini-drones. I’ve been seeing some weird bugs this summer. There’s an ATM card wielding drone in this movie that is utterly terrifying.
FAN BUILDS REMOTE CONTROL TRANSFORMER TOY WITH A DRIVABLE MECH IN MIND
If you ever doubt that this world might be worth saving, consider the following: There is, right now, at this very moment, an engineer and roboticist in Japan named Kenji Ishida who is working on building a full-sized, drivable car that transforms into a humanoid robot that can shoot missiles out of its hand. If that news doesn’t cheer you up (and make you at least slightly terrified) then really, I don’t know what will.
As proof of concept, Ishida has spent the past ten years working on a small-scale version, not much bigger than a Transformers action figure, that can be driven and controlled with a wireless controller and can transform into its robot form in less than five seconds, and it is amazing
NEW ‘TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION’ TRAILER BRINGS HOPE OF HUMAN ERADICATION AT LAST
You can tell Michael Bay has had enough of entertainment websites ragging on his movies because a new trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction has just arrived online while the civilized world is meant to be asleep, dreaming of a better world where voice actor Peter Cullen isn’t made to read lines that make him sound like some genocidal grandpa. Take that, haters!
The latest trailer includes Optimus Prime moping about this and that, some invading robot guys shooting lasers from their heads (which transform into guns) and that annoying bald guy from the last movie figuring out that, hey, giant transforming alien robots are made out of some metal we don’t understand! Weird!
All we can really say is that we’re looking forward to cool new Dinobots toys or wherever, but we hope that humanity finally is wiped out completely, the Earth explodes into tiny pieces, and Trans5mers will take place in space and feature a battle with Unicron and/or Sharkticons.
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens on June 27. Despite our Bay-forged apathy, we will probably be there, attempting to make ourselves “molecularly unstable” enough to appreciate watching cigar-chomping robots-in-disguise with wiggly metal beards wince in slow-mo.
In the meantime, read some Transformers comics from IDW. Those are good.
SCOTT & STORE TALK IDW’S WINDBLADE: THE FIRST TRANSFORMERS COMIC CREATED BY WOMEN
CA: You’re the first female writer/artist team on a Transformers book. In an ideal world that might go without comment, but I’m curious to know if you’ve encountered much resistance, especially from those who might see Transformers as a “boys” franchise.
Mairghread Scott: IDW and Hasbro have been nothing but supportive of us and, although it’s not possible for the Internet to be happy about pretty much anything, the negative comments we’ve gotten have been far outweighed by the positive responses. Change in a brand — and its creators — is never easy, but it’s absolutely vital and most fans realize that. I hear far more people who see Windblade as a great step toward opening the brand to new readers and new stories than I do fans who want everything to stay just as it was. I see far more fans being excited about the fact that Sarah’s art is completely different from the other (still fabulous) books, than wishing she could just ape someone else’s vision.
Sarah Stone: I’ve been keeping my nose to the grindstone since the announcement to work on the books, so I haven’t really been looking around much. What I have seen has been very supportive and I feel very humbled by that, but my main priority is just to have the books look as awesome as I’m physically capable of making them. Hopefully the art will speak for itself, and that I’m a girl will be just a footnote.
Tom Scioli And John Barber Talk ‘Transformers vs. G.I. Joe’ [Interview]
By Chris Sims
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe is a crossover that sells it self, but the downside of that is that it’s been done often enough that it can be difficult to get excited about the next version. Unless, of course, you tell me that it’s going to be co-written, drawn, and lettered by Tom Scioli, the man who wrote the line “Robot Dracula is an efficient torturer” and rendered all other comics obsolete. If you do that, you have my attention, and that’s exactly what they did when they announced that Scioli and John Barber were kicking off an ongoing series about the two teams, set to launch with #0 on Free Comic Book Day.
To find out more about how the project came together, I spoke to Scioli and Barber about how the project came together, Scioli’s massive pitch document, and how their life-long and relatively recent love of the comics influenced their storytelling. Believe it or not, I don’t think we talk about Destro at all.
Knowing what to buy anyone during the holidays can make for a pretty dicey season of giving. But toy collectors with discerning tastes? That’s usually gift card territory. But it doesn’t have to end that way! We’re here to help with a guide breaking down some of the most awesome action figure and toy options for the young and young at heart (mostly the latter). Whatever your articulated plastic budget is this year, we’ve got recommendations sure to please. Hit the jump for ComicsAlliance’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide to Awesome Action Figures.
By Caleb Goellner
There are a million graphic designers who might fancy themselves mashup mavens, but let’s be real: most of them can’t compete with the lines or gags of Marco D’Alfonso. Akira + Ghost Rider, Green Lantern + Marios Bros., Deadpool + The Walking Dead, Transformers + Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and so many others.
By Andy Khouri
This week’s round up includes The Joker, Kitty Pryde, Wonder Woman, Elektra, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the cast of Community as Indiana Jones characters, Transformers, Breaking Bad, Louie C.K., Star Trek, Venture Bros., Sailor Moon, and several others.
By Brian Warmoth
It’s no secret artist Timothy Lim is one of our favorite things to happen to mash-up art on the Internet in the last decade. From Edvard Munch and Starscream to Calvin and Hobbes and Spider-Man, virtually everything he creates looks like it has been kissed by the AllSpark.