Via Newsarama, covering pretty much all of the information revealed in today's NYCC 2015 IDW panel, we have an interview with current creative team on The Transformers ongoing series, as they explain what is about to happen in issue #50, and where the stories will lead after that turning point - starting with the All Hail Optimus arc.
There are some spoilers for the current series, so be warned before you continue to read some extracts below, and the full interview right here.
Optimus Prime and the Autobots have always had a peaceful relationship with the people of Earth -- but in 2016 that's going to change.
In a new arc kicking off with February's Transformers #50, Optimus Prime is annexing Earth to be a part of Cybertron's Council of Worlds. Humanity is up in arms, not to mention the Decepticons, in this arc titled "All Hail Optimus."
Announced just before IDW Publishing's New York Comic-Con Panel "IDW & Top Shelf: Best Panel Of All Time", the creators of Transformers talked with Newsarama about this shocking event, from what it means to where it goes for the Robots in Disguise and the humans like you and I.
Newsarama: John, Andrew -- what can you tell readers about Transformers #50?
John Barber: Transformers #50 is the biggest thing we’ve done. It’s called "All Hail Optimus," and Optimus Prime annexes planet Earth to become to become part of Cybertron’s Council of Worlds—he takes control of Earth to protect it from invasion. Meanwhile, Optimus has thousands of Cybertronian followers who view him as the “True Prime”—they see him as having a power above any elected office, above any “normal” being—and now Optimus is using the power they’ve handed to him. And he’s using it for good—at least as far as he sees it. Not everybody agrees with him.
It’s a powerful move on Optimus Prime’s part, and one that there’s no moving back from. The humans know the Cybertronians are there, are among them, and the people of Earth are forced to become part of a cosmic community.
Andrew and I started working together about… six years ago? And we’ve never stopped. Most of that time’s been on this Transformers series, and this storyline brings together everything we’ve started. It’s amazing to get to work on something so big, and get to collaborate with somebody for so long. It’s been a long, great trip—and it’s about to get even better!
Andrew Griffith: Yeah, what's great to me about getting to this point is that while a landmark issue like #50 is usually a climax of a story, in our case it's the start of a new storyline that also serves as natural culmination of events that have been building in both Transformers and Windblade.
And I also see it as a bit of a landmark in my time working with John. So hard to believe we and colorist Josh Perez have made it to #50 as the core creative team along with Livio, Casey, Brendan, Guido, Sara and all of the other contributors to the series. Quite a feat in today's comics industry. And the same can be said of Transformers.
Nrama: Who's on Optimus' side in all this?
Barber: The team of Autobots on Earth—at least the ones who’ve survived to #50—are all with him, plus a new character named Aileron—she comes from Caminus and is amazing to be around this world of Primes and of grand cosmic events. Victorion—the new female Combiner we introduced this summer will be playing a big role. Is she on his side? That’s a complex answer. Sunstreaker will play a role, and so will the ancient Alpha Trion.
But his biggest supporters are the Colonists who’ve arrived on Cybertron, who’ve lived their whole lives thinking Primes were a myth—and now here they are standing on the same ground as one. And many are willing to do whatever he says—which isn’t something Optimus Prime has been comfortable with in the past.
Griffith: It's always nice to be able to draw familiar favorites like Optimus Prime, Sideswipe and Arcee. But it's even better sometimes to get to work with new characters to our book like Sunstreaker and Victorion. I know Josh and myself are particularly excited to get to help establish new characters like Aerlion, Victorion and the Torchbearers. I'm really happy that our cast can consist of childhood favorites like Optimus Prime while also embracing the newest and most diverse of characters to join the continuity.
Now the important question is: We have Sunstreaker coming up. What about Bob?
Nrama: John, I noticed Jonathan Hickman is listed as doing a cover. Can you talk about Hickman's involvement in the title and at IDW?
Barber: I’ve known Jonathan Hickman since he started writing comics, and he’s great—I love his writing, but I also love his drawing and his design sense. I talked to him at Comic-Con International: San Diego last summer, and he’d been doing some variant covers, and I asked if he’d do one for Transformers, and he said yes!
That’s all there really is to it, but years ago, I did make him listen to my Transformers plans in a bar. He’s probably blocked that memory out.
Griffith: Jonathan Hickman's doing a cover for our book? How rad is that? Can't wait to see it!
During the Hasbro panel at NYCC2015, of which you can see our gallery here, Machinima and IDW took the stage to give some further detail on the upcoming animated series for Combiner Wars. The biggest selling point for the Seibertron.com team is that it will be a Japanese anime-style series, with a focus more on the adult side of the fan base. No artwork or trailers were shown in slightest, and we expect all of the missing information to be revealed at the next Toy Fair. In the meantime, check it out embedded below!
Main speaker is Eric Calderon, producer on Aeon Flux and Afro Samurai among others; he underwent 'Transformers boot camp' to understand the franchise.
Windblade will be the main character/perspective, as was for the comics
Not really a children's cartoon, something not really attempted previously
Trying to appeal to new and old fans alike
The series will be standalone, using previous fiction as sources rather than basis
'Combiners have to fight each other'
IDW editor John Barber talks briefly about Titan Returns, and the re-emergence of Sentinel Prime from the IDW continuity
Barber, James Roberts and Mairghread Scott will be on writing duties again, creating one overarching story
We've had preliminary images from the Hasbro panel at New York Comic Con 2015, revealing some of the Titan Returns figures such as Sentinel Prime and Infinitus, but thank to the hard work of site owner Seibertron we can now bring you a full gallery of the panel in its entirety, showing Titan Returns as the second chapter in the Prime Wars Trilogy - is that a Fort Max we see?
We've selected a small number of images to give you a taste, but click on any of them below to view the full set. Are you as excited as most of us here at Seibertron.com - let us know in the Energon pub, and watch out for a video coming up soon, too!
In addition to the press release reporting on the announcement of Hasbro's multimedia Prime Wars Trilogy project, Seibertron sends us directly from NYCC 2015 the trailer to accompany the new venture - which you can find embedded below for your viewing pleasure!
We have one new figure reveal to show you guys this evening. Arriving alongside Galvatron in the 1st wave of Titans Returns is Voyager Class Sentinel Prime and Infinitus. Sentinel Prime is a triple changer with a spaceship and train alt mode. You can almost smell an Astrotrain repaint sometime in the future. Check out the images from the Hasbro panel below.
Much like for Titan Returns, after the preview night at NYCC 2015, Hasbro has uploaded the CG renderings and official stock photography for the upcoming Warrior, Legion and Minicon class toys from the Robots in Disguise line.
Included in the images mirrored below are Fracture, a different Megatronus than what we've already seen, Optimus Prime in 'Arctic Camo', Stealth Drift, Thunderhoof, Quillfire, Night Strike Bumblebee; Legion class Blizzard Strike Optimus Prime (totally different from Arctic Camo, we swear) and Ratchet; Minicons Windstrike and Blu. Check them out, and compare them to the galleries from the event right here!
And of course, Seibertron.com's team from NYCC have also already shared the images from the Hasbro preview night for Robots in Disguise, and we now bring you the updated galleries, fitting our usual standards, quality and sizes!
Check out below a selection of the updated Robots in Disguise gallery, a click on any of them to view the full cropped and resized selection.
While Seibertron and the rest of the field team from NYCC have already shared the images from the Hasbro preview night, we now also have ensured that the galleries that were uploaded fit our usual standards, quality and sizes!
Check out below a selection of the updated Titan Returns gallery, a click on any of them to view the full cropped and resized selection.