TFW2005 was fortunate enough to sit in on a web based press conference yesterday held by IDW regarding their 2 upcoming ongoing Transformers books. Transformers More Than Meets The Eye and Transformers Robots In Disguise. Michael Kelly, Director, Global Publishing, Global Brand Licensing & Publishing, Hasbro and John Barber, Senior Editor, IDW gave a rundown of the new direction and answered some questions.
Read on for a full breakdown of the new series, images for the covers, and QnA info! Caution – Spoilers ahead… After the Death of Optimus Prime (IDW #125, due in December), the “War for Cybertron” is officially over. The Autobots have won and took control of the planet. They are starting to rebuild. There is a choice though – stay or go. This is where the split into 2 books will happen. More Than Meets The Eye will follow Rodimus and his team, as they choose to leave Cybertron. Robots In Disguise will focus on the new leader, Bumblebee, and how he leads the remaining Autobots (and Decepticons, all Transformers for that matter), on Cybertron. Two books, one universe.
In More Than Meets The Eye, Rodimus will lead at least the following bots – Ultra Magnus, Drift, Ratchet (they are seen on the multi cover images). We will follow them and whomever goes with them in space as they search for the “Knights of Cybertron” a legendary band of bots. They are not even sure if they are real. They supposedly have the power to return Cybertron to the “Golden Age” before the war. This group will run into remnants of the Great War on planets and locations that aren’t yet aware it is over, as well as other conflicts. So even though the war is over, it is still an action book.
Robots In Disguise will focus on Bumblebee and his attempts to rebuild Cybertron’s society. Bots staying with ‘Bee will include at least Ironhide, Prowl and Wheeljack. Thousands of neutral Transformers are returning home knowing the war is over. Cybertronians that fled the planet eons ago without choosing sides. Left over Decepticons are also present and need to be dealt with, re-integrated. Bumblebee doesn’t want to return to the past; rather, he wants to forge a new future for their race. Here and now, moving forward. Managing all these factions and points of view is hard and we will follow his journey through that.
So basically – it is a philosophical difference between groups of Autobots after the war. Do they look to the past and try to rediscover it, or move away from it look to the future. We follow each view point in the 2 books.
At first, there will be some cross over in the books. But after the “split” officially happens (I assume Rodimus rolls out with his crew to go planet hopping), the books will be relatively independent of each other. There will be themes that may cross over, and Rodimus’ crew members may “call home” every so often. But otherwise, independent.
The way this is being pushed is that if you are new to the IDW universe, new to Transformers, or just want to jump back in, this is a good point to do so. It’s a reboot without losing the rich continuity they have built over the last 3 years.
Each issue ships with 5 variant covers, each shows the major players in each group, connected art covers. Will have Auto/Decept tattoos as well when they ship. 4 variants and one by series artist.
With that general back-story, I’ll post brief QnA info from the event below. All paraphrased.MTME/RID Questions
No set time for arcs, writers, artists. Ongoing. Alex Milne, Guido, Roche, Wildman, Furman, all involved in something right now.
RE: Reading CHAOS first
Chaos – don’t need to have read it, but reading Chaos will enhance the RID/MTMTE experience.
RE: Underused characters
Yes. Name tossed out – Metalhawk. Will still continue with core recognizable characters, but secondary guys will be worked in.
RE: Profile books (IDW Verse)
Starscream role in RID. Cyclonus even though in IDW not a Decept.
RE: Mini Series
Mini series to spin out from these series like Ironhide or Drift – not right now. Infestation and Original G1 are secondary books right now. Possible down the road.
RE: Furman on main continuity books
Loves work, but for now, he’s on original and main is staffed well.
RE: Switching artists every 6 months
Not exact, but switch outs will happen.
RE: Cybertron modes
Wait and see.
Play role – yes. Population of Decepticons in RID. Finding a place for Decepts in new world is a difficult challenge to overcome. Different way in MTMTE.
RE: Last Stand of the Wreckers
Plans to continue – no chance right now.
RE: Legacy of Rust
Looking into it.
Expect announcement later. Set in past. Part of universe. Surprising revelations. Print/Digital – talk later.
Re: Prime Comic
No comment right now.
Easier to write for these characters? – Always a challenge, but no different than other properties.
RE: G1 Collections
Will IDW continue to release G1 Marvel, collect full series, and will they do G2 in same way?
– Moving ahead, more coming, wait and see on where it goes. Not his personal dept so not 100% sure.
RE: Animated Comics
Not at the moment.
RE: Joe/TF Crossover
Not planned, but Infestation 2 is coming out.
RE: Release schedule
MTMTE week 1, RID week 3, etc – At first yes. Eventually, could change due to overall IDW scheduling. Also will try not to do 2/3 books of a single series in a row etc.
Not his dept. :).
RE: Vetoing IDW ideas
Veto not a good word. Like to see all ideas, go nuts. If Hasbro needs to, will reel back in. With 1/2 exceptions, never vetoed idea. More of a collab, try to go back and forth until ideas work for everyone.
More Novels? Stay tuned.
RE: Killing more characters
Not for an event just to sell books, but otherwise, no one is safe.
Novels fall into current Prime Universe, Movie is own verse, and then IDW “G1″ is another one.
RE: Other continuities
Right now – no plans to expand other continuities.
RE: War for Cybertron
Are the WFC games considered part of Prime continuity – YES. Quick and decisive answer.
RE: War for Cybertron Comics
WFC comics – no comment, don’t read too much into that. Focus of this event is MTMTE/RID.
More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise Issue #1’s and their respective 5 covers each go on pre-order this Friday, make sure to add them to your pull lists or grab subscriptions how you normally do. They should be in stores this January.TFW2005 would like to thank IDW and Hasbro for passing along this information and involving us in the event.
Make sure to discuss this on the forum by clicking the appropriate links below!