I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
But I went for comics after the IDW/Humble Bundle fiasco. (Neither companies are taking this seriously enough: it's a serious security issue, and I'm considering contacting someone else about this. A third party that will deal with this as the serious issue it is since other than the woman I spoke to, no one is actually taking this seriously.
Needless to say, I wanted something new and shiny to calm me down. Something funny, something that would just sweep me away. I got a Bloodshot comic, and also, well, a Revolution tie-in. As much as I didn't want to buy, or read, IDW, I really, really didn't want to read Revolution. It ties into the bundle that caused the security breach. I did not want it - and yet a new James Roberts Transformers book? One that had to do with Grimlock?
As much as I didn't want it, I really, really did. And I didn't regret buying it at all. It's a credit to Roberts skill that it had all this going against it, and I still thought it was the funniest thing I ever read. I actually even gave the Till All Are One one-shot a try. (They did one-shot tie-ins to Revolution, including More Than Meets the Eye, Till All are One and a Transformers one that Barber wrote that has to do with his regular series. Barber's is the only one I didn't get: I have to be in love with the current series and the author's handling of it for me to buy it. Given how I feel about the new Optimus Prime series, and Barber's recent run on Transformers, and how much I really hate both Revolution and giving extra money to IDW right now, I decided to skip Barber's tale. It's a shame: Barber is a decent writer. Am I going to continue with Optimus Prime? Maybe? I really want to give it a coupe more issues to allow the series to wallow in mediocracy or find its voice, but I may still be just as mad at IDW in a month. Or I may I decide I love my own reading pleasure more than I hate IDW's practices and continue to buy safely from them: from Newbury, or Comixology, which eats up their profits, but at least it's not handing them my address again.)
As you can see, I'm still angry at IDW. Like really, really angry. So I was relieved to find myself laughing out loud while I was reading this. Roberts doesn't just get meta, he gets business meta.
This brings back the crew of the WAP - including Grimlock who gets to throw a tantrum. Although it seems it may be something more to Misfire from the beginning. Misfire and Spinister have to follow Grimlock and get him back to the WAP when he breaks out. Meanwhile, Crankcase has brought everyone to Earth - where Grimlock rampages - because he's meeting his online buddy, Cons4Eva. The rest of the Scavengers have to deal with who Crankcase has befriended.
Thunderwing, the harbinger of doom. Who happens to be an alien who believes in a deity called The Brand. He wants to ascend, in a ritual called The Crossover. Keep in mind that this is taking place in the huge IDW crossover that makes it one united continuity. (Not counting media tie-ins such as My Little Ponies. It's Hasbro titles - GI Joe, Transformers, and possibly original IDW franchises that mesh well together. Look, I basically know they do the new Buffy and Transformers? I'm not actually interested in all their franchises, original or tie-ins, and I'm not in the mood to do the work and find out now.)
But then you get this line: "For the crossover to work we must reach total Brand awareness before the end of the fourth quarter."
Business. Meta. Like super detailed business meta. To the point that I was surprised that IDW would let him do this. Total brand awareness? That's what companies dream of, and if they could have it before the fourth quarter ends? Um, yes, they'll take that, all of that! If you think IDW wouldn't want this, well, then I don't think you understand how selling and business works. Roberts may be poking fun at what all businesses wants, but it's also poking fun at the company that he works for because that's part of all businesses. It's cheeky, and fun, and laugh-out loud hilarious. (Ask the people in the break room that heard me laugh out loud and then snickered when I explained why I was barking out loud.) IDW could have very easily said, 'no, thank you, pass.' They must be aware that Roberts can't do this without gently poking him, as well. (The alien looking to crossover - really commit suicide because he doesn't fit in with any of his kind - isn't pushy, so that helps mitigate this and not seem as if Roberts isn't painting all business as pushy. Furthermore, it's a smart move to publish this: it's truly funny, and it makes IDW seem gracious in that they allow this to be published despite getting meta and gently mocking their ultimate hopes. 'Look at what we're letting him do,' they seem to say, allowing it to roll of their back.)
But, guys, it gets even better. When The Crossover fails, the alien says this: "...'Cos that wasn't bad for your first Crossover. Sure, we didn't get what we asked, but I think it might be The Brand's way of telling us to make the most of this life... or as they ca it, the one shot." Touché, since this is a one-shot. I was laughing out loud again.
Every time I get mad at IDW, I think of this. I'm more likely to try Optimus Prime again, I'm more willing to keep buying from them at all, but I'm going to be super careful about any information I give them - or Humble Bundle - in the future. Because even with all that bubbling up, I can't help but chuckle over this comic.