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Transformers Legends by David Cian

Transformers Legends

by David Cian (Editor)

Other authors: Donald J. Bingle (Contributor), David Bischoff (Contributor), Sean P. Fodera (Contributor), Simon Furman (Contributor), John Helfers (Contributor)8 more, John J. Miller (Contributor), Alexander B. Potter (Contributor), Jean Rabe (Contributor), Jenifer A. Ruth (Contributor), Robert N. Skir (Contributor), Brandie Tarvin (Contributor), Tim Waggoner (Contributor), J. Steven York (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Some decent stories a few 'dream' like stories, which I find useless. ( )
  DCavin | Jun 29, 2017 |
This is going to be long enough without images, so there won’t be any. Transformers prose anthology, so, yeah, I loved this despite the unevenness in the stories. Surprisingly, the continues and characters that I liked the most seem to have been done the most injustice, too, sometimes. Oh, also, know almost all of your Transformers continuities before you read this. It spans them all with the notable exceptions of the Bay-verse, the Aligned continuity, and the IDW-verse. And the latter are my favorites!

A Meeting of Minds by Simon Furman

First of all, before being introduced to James Roberts works, Furman was my favorite Transformers writer, so I was going into this with high expectations. It’s a Beast Wars story that delves into Megatron’s struggle for power, and it was drawn with loving care to details and characterizations. I had expected that this would be my favorite story given the author, but it wasn’t. It was one of the better stories, but not my favorite.

Collect and Save by Tim Waggoner

I’ve been a fan of Waggoner’s work for a while now, but didn’t realize that he would be in this anthology when I purchased it. I was thrilled! This takes place before the movie - the original, animated movie - and it takes place on Junkion. It was a thrill to see Wreck-Gar, and I never really got a good feel for Junkion, so truthfully, it was nice to get a little backstory on the planet.

Waggoner continues to entrance me, and this is one of the better stories in this collection. Which is a shame, because from these two very strong starters we go to...

Paddles by Jean Rabe

Paddles is, and I don’t say this lightly, an abomination. Paddles is a Dinobot. However, Paddles whole character is based upon him not acting like the other Dinobots. Which makes me think we had a fan who liked the concept of the Dinobots - or dinosaur robots who breathed fire - but didn’t like their personalities, so wanted to make a new one whom they liked better.

No. No, no, no, no. If you’re going to write him as a Dinobot, why change him that radically? It doesn’t make any sense, and as a massive Dinobot fan myself, it’s infuriating. I wanted to punch Paddles in the face. I still do. I don’t care if my hand will shatter against his metal skin, and I certainly don’t care that he’s fond of humans. Actually, him being like, ‘humans, they’re so preeeetty!’ just makes me want to punch him in the face more. And then kick him in his dino-crotch. Yes, Swoop and Grimlock seemed kind to Daniel and Spike and Carly in season three of the original animated show, but they didn’t get all gushy about them. (And I would argue that season three changed the Dinobots pretty drastically from the original two seasons, so I’m not sure I would buy the ‘it’s seasons three Dinobots’ anyway.)

So angry at Paddles. So, so angry. I pretty much won’t touch anything Rabe has done, or will do in the future, with a fifty foot pole. Unless it’s another story in another Transformers anthology, because I’ll hope the sexiness of non-Rabe stories will make the way the characters are completely misread in the one Rabe-story worth it in the end.

Yeah, y’know, I thought I’d be less angry when I wrote this review, but I’m not.

Redemption Center by Alexander Potter

Redemption Center takes the absolutely fascinating concept of an amnesiac, broken Starscream being taken in by the Autobots. He learns to trust them, and they learn to trust him, at least to some degree. He learns to find comfort in the way they treat him with respect, in their compassionate nature, because he can’t remember what an insubordinate, egotistical, power hungry dick he is. (Just so we’re clear, I like Starscream as an insubordinate, egotistical, power hungry dick, because he’s sexy that way. I’m just honest about both him being that way, and it turning me on like crazy.)

However, the sudden, ‘oh, I remember, yeah, going now’ moment doesn’t work for me. Nor does the power hungry dick trying to use lessons of compassion against Megatron in a bid for power. Those two, ah, they don’t normally mesh! Mostly, it just seems like there’s too much of a dissonance, and it’s a pretty hardline take on nature vs. nurture. (His programming - nature - bypasses all the new feels he has, or things he learned from the Autobots - nurture. Pretty depressing, as once you’re programming kicks in/gets reset, you can’t do anything at all to change it.) As for the dissonance - why would you go back to someone who constantly belittles you, to people who would stab you in the back, all the while going, ‘gee, the Autobots make me feel so comfortable and safe’? Does not compute.

This would be amazeballs if it had been a little more convincing.

Something Robotic This Way Comes by John J. Miller

Stupid Mini-Cons. Stupid continuity. But, yes, please make it even stupider with your ridiculous Halloween plot.

I don’t want to talk about this anymore. This story makes me want to get blackout drunk. Or rock in a corner and cry. I hate the whole fraggin’ Unicron trilogy. Hated this story the most. With the fire of a thousand suns.

Two for the Price of One by Brandie Tarvin

Swindle! I love me some Swindle, and he was written to perfection here. Also, Carbombia is a great reference from the G1 series. This is a nice little human espionage story, set aside Swindle, well, swindling. Great action, great humor, great characterizations. One of the stronger pieces in the anthology.

Joyride by Jennifer A. Ruth

Joyride is another G1 story about some dudes who steal Bumblebee, and get taken for a ride. After all, Bee has to have some fun of his own when Spike is in school!

It’s short, it’s cute, it’s true to the original G1 spirit where no one gets hurt, but a moral is definitely made clear. Again, one of the stronger stories in this anthology.

Lonesome Diesel by David Bischoff

Did I mention how much I hate Mini-Cons, and the Unicron trilogy? Yes? Get ready for Lonesome Diesel, another story set in the Unicron trilogy. Poorly written, poorly edited, and just plain boring. I also didn’t buy the Transformer miraculously healing some dude and his dog. Whaaat? When has that ever happened in the Transformers universes?

Prime Spark by Sean P. Fedora

A mixing of continuities to, I don’t know, convince Optimus Prime to go on fighting or whatever. Which is never explained. I could say so many things about this story. It’s inexplicable, and remains so to the end. It’s plodding, and one of the reasons it took me so long to finish this anthology is that I couldn’t get up enough energy to read one more page of this for weeks on end.

Also, confusing, and it uses the dreaded Unicron trilogy as one of the continuities. Womp, womp.

Parts by Donald J. Bingle

Parts was well written when the author stuck to Megatron and original characters. Once he started in on Prowl and Optimus Prime, I was facepalming at how out of character they were. It could have been decent, but, nope.

Healers, Fighters, and Transformers by J. Steven York

While no mention is made of specific continuity, this has the feel of a G1 story. It’s surprisingly moving, and all about Ratchet. The G1 medic is far from my favorite characters, so I was like, ugh, at the beginning.

His interactions with a broken - in body and spirit - field medic is touching, as they both end up healing each other a little, and double team to save a woman. (It’s especially poignant because Ratchet is on a mission to save many other lives and at first says he doesn’t have the time or know-how to save the woman; it’s the human who reminds him of his responsibility as a medic, and this turns out to be his saving grace.) I’m actually tearing up as I write this. My favorite story by far, which was a massive surprise to me. I hope this author gets involved in this fandom somehow, and if there’s another anthology, his name will be the first I look for when deciding if I buy it or not. (I will. Even if the stories are all called something equivalent to “Mary Sue’s Sparkly Day with Optimus Prime!!!!!”)

Fire in the Dark by John Helfers

I’m so enraged by the lack of internal logic and lack of research. Shattered Glass universes have good Decepticons and evil Autobots. So, I get it, you got confused, or wanted to change them, so the Decepticons are Autobots - and thus good - while the Autobots are now the evil Decepticons.

But think this through. You present their descendants, the Maximals and Predacons. The Maximals are clearly good, and the Predacons are evil. And yet, evil future Megatron takes his name from present day good Megatron and good future Optimus Primal is inspired by present day good Optimus Prime. Which makes me wonder how much time you took thinking this through.

Fail. And I love Shattered Glass. I wanted to love this so much. Why do you make me not love you, story? Whyyyy?

Singularity Ablyss by Robert N. Skir

Excellent study of Megatron during Beast Machines. Absolutely mindblowing, and you have to love the balance of the book starting out with a Beast Wars Megatron story and ending with a Beast Machine Megatron story. Perfect, David Cian, and I tip my hat to you for this.

Everything is well defined, well thought out, and well played. Megatron’s desperate need for power, the fact that you give this the possibility of him continuing beyond the series finale which makes him as creepy and deadly as in the series. His thoughts about Cheetor - he hates Nightscream from driving him from the Grand Mal Megatron head and Cheetor, “because... well, because he’s Cheetor.” His silent and constant unvoiced barbs against Rhinox - or Tankorrhinox at one point - are pitch perfect.

Rhinox is also, well, Rhinox-y. All the characters are in character. It’s amazing, and a close second favorite story. (So close to tying with York’s, but I find myself drawn to the medics a tad more than to this story.)

Anyway, recommended but only if you’re a Transformers fan who’s into pretty much all the continuities. It's a favorite book of mine. It just is, because Transformers prose, and the excellent stories are truly excellent. So it's getting four stars. People who aren't as into the fandom, or robots, as I am probably won't rate it as highly, or like it as much. ( )
  All_Hail_Grimlock | Oct 25, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cian, DavidEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bingle, Donald J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bischoff, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fodera, Sean P.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Furman, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helfers, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, John J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Potter, Alexander B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rabe, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ruth, Jenifer A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Skir, Robert N.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tarvin, BrandieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waggoner, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
York, J. StevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, EvanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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