Friday, December 10, 2010
So IDW's first big crossover event will apparently involve putting Zombies into Transformers, GIJOE, Ghostbusters and Star Trek. You're probably thinking, "wow! Zombies and Transformers make as much sense as a Star Trek and Highlander crossover". And you'd be right. These crossover events at any comic company are designed solely to help boost sales by making you buy all the extra stories. Marvel's already done a bunch of zombie stories where their Universe was consumed by zombies (in an alternate universe setting, naturally). Apparently IDW's brain trust couldn't even muster up something vaguely original and just settled for ripping them off.
Crossovers happen all the time in fanfic but that doesn't mean they should happen in official sources. Name one instant where even a Transformers/GIJOE crossover was compelling and made any sense. Simply put, there aren't any. One side always gets more spotlighting and we end up rehashing plot points like Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadow or something about Unicron and the Matrix.
I have no idea if IDW's zombies will involve characters from any of the concepts directly interacting or just have zombies as a commonality between them. Either way, zombies simply don't belong in three of the concepts (you could make a point for using them in Ghostbusters but not the others).
In the end, given IDW's track record, I can also pretty much guarantee these stories won't even entertain readers on any level. They'll be exercises in wasting time with some lame-ass action thrown in. Then they'll do the collected TPBs and maybe even a hardcover collection to catch the suckers that waste money on those.
Instead of zombies (what's next? Vampires?) why doesn't IDW hire some competent writers for their comics and let them craft some worthwhile stories. GIJOE already has Chuck Dixon and Larry Hama--why can't Transformers get some good writers on it too? And while they're at it, why don't they try to make some interesting stuff happen? I'd love to cover some new territory but they only seem to be interested in appealing to the nostalgia crowd. The people that go "hey! Transformers! I remember those from when I was a kid!" instead of trying to cultivate a serious following, which TFs do have and would appreciate some good stories for a change.
But, no. Bring on more half-baked crap like International Incident and All Hail Megatron instead. IDW currently reminds me of Image Comics in its heyday. They sold millions of comics, all based off their pretty artwork. The concepts were all derivative though--Spawn was Ghost Rider, Savage Dragon the Hulk, Youngblood ripped off X-Force, etc. Over time, much of their comics have all but disappeared off the map. IDW has curried whatever originality and popularity they initially had and mined it to snap up as many licensed properties as they can find (similar to how Marvel had all that crap in the 80s). The reason Marvel's Transformers and GIJOE worked, though, is that they had reasonably good writers that gave a damn about telling their stories. Does anyone remember Marvel's He-man comic? Or their Sectaurs? Or Crystar? Of course not. Because they all ultimately sucked.
Will anyone care if IDW eventually loses their license for Transformers? Not likely. IDW will have made it's quick buck and the fans will mostly be indifferent to their collection of stories. Sadly, IDW had a real chance to put their stamp on the concept but they've failed miserably. Instead of establishing an interesting story continuity, they throw stuff in willy-nilly and hope something will stick. Letting fans/so-called professionals with no idea how to write a story take a crack and/or letting anybody and everybody draw a story (would it kill them to keep one damn artist on a title for more then two issues?)
So, yeah. Bring on the zombies. Bring on the vampires, the werewolves, and whatever other crap you have lined up. It might sell a few more comics but in the end it won't make your terrible product any better then it was.
That takes something they don't seem to have: focus and talent.