Monday, June 29, 2009

More Than Meets The Senses

I never played with the toys, and I haven't seen either movie, but Marvel's Transformers comic was something I read from time to time. I didn't pick it up monthly like I did with Star Wars, and I didn't enjoy it as much as G.I. Joe, but the book had some sort of appeal to me. I suspect, however, if I cracked open one of my back issues after reading this I would be less than impressed.

I never understood the fanatics when it comes to this franchise. I know a lot of people who love the movies without having been exposed to anything else. I also know plenty of people who can quote episodes of the cartoon. The Transformers comic book, though, seemed different. When talking about the Marvel series, giant robot fans don't seem to get excited about it, though they all agree they were fond of it when they were reading. (I also suspect those people, if honest, would have a different view of it if they read those back issues now). If memory serves me correctly, it was supposed to be a limited series that grew into a series because of a large fan base.

A few years ago comics reintroduced the transforming money makers and comic fans responded kindly. This led to many discussions of the old Marvel series, though I don't recall anyone referencing any storyline, and I realized I couldn't remember one, either.

So what is it about these robots that invokes such passion?

Giant robots that destroy things are cool. Giant anythings that destroy things are cool. But these robots are treated like Godzilla in some circles. They are sacrosanct. (I remember one fan being upset that I wouldn't read his Transformers fan fiction. Jesus, why would I do that?) I suppose the Transformers are our Gundam, which also has a feverish fan following in Japan. To me, however, the whole franchise seems kind of lackluster and -- get out the boards and nails -- silly.

I don't begrudge anyone their love of this juggernaut. I like a lot of things that society would deem less than worthy. I'm just saying I don't see the hype. Maybe I'll go dig up some of my old issues and see if I change my mind.

I have my doubts, though.

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