CBR spoke with the creators involved in the five-issue unifying series, not only to find out how it came about, but also to learn what -- if any -- relationship it has to the film side of things, as well as what it is that will bring these various groups together.
CBR News: John, you've been involved on the editorial side of things for these books for a while. How did you feel about bringing the universes together?
John Barber: I'd always thought if I could go back in time, I'd make sure the IDW G.I. Joe comics took place in the same universe as the Transformers comics.
How did the decision to combine the contents of those boxes come about?
Barber: One day, the IDW editors were brainstorming ideas, and this notion of doing a crossover came about -- but I'm never totally sold on big crossovers that don't impact the subsequent status quo. Like, it's fun to cross over two properties and see how they interact, but I mean, if you're getting a lot of characters together, it has to have some impact on the world. Meanwhile, I think what Tom Scioli -- and me, a little -- did on the "Transformers vs. G.I. Joe" comic was great, really fun stuff. But that story was ending; Tom and I had it all planned to wrap up.
Then I remembered something Andrew Griffith, who draws "Transformers," suggested one time: the IDW G.I. Joe comics could fit in between big Transformers comics events. At the time, it wasn't anything we were really serious about, but now -- I started thinking about that. Did that actually kind of make sense?
This effort seems to reflect a similar plan for Hasbro's big screen adaptations. Do you have any communication with the people working on the films?
Barber: Hasbro Studios is very aware of what we're doing, and there's some back and forth sharing of information and ideas. I don't think there's been any big thing where we've seen things one way and they've seen things other ways. We've been remarkably in sync, I think it's fair to say. There've been some characters that have specifically come from the studio here and there -- some of these brands have been dormant for a while, and there are new angles they have on characters that they've shared with us, like Phenolo-Phi in "Micronauts." They have some amazingly talented people working in that writer's room -- like, seriously extraordinary people who have done amazing film, comics and television. The few I know personally are great human beings, too.
The funny thing with this was, it wasn't like a mandate came down and said, "Do this." Totally the opposite. IDW Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall and I flew out to Hasbro headquarters in Rhode Island to try to convince them to do this, because we really wanted to have this universe exist. And it turned out we were all on the same page. It was great, the people running the brands at Hasbro were all very into this and really supportive, and offered great ideas and angles on what we could do.
Fico, how is it for you bringing all these different characters who come from various backgrounds and realities together into one cohesive look?
Ossio: It sort of built up from my first take on G.I. Joe. David and John asked me to work on a cover/pinup of the characters and gave me license to give them an "upgrade."
I didn't want to really stray too far from the original cartoon, which I watched as a kid and loved. I had a bunch of G.I. Joe toy,s as well, so I wanted to just take those uniforms and give them more of a body armor look. Especially considering these guys were about to clash against 10-foot-tall robots. I could't grasp the concept of keeping them in regular army outfits or spandex -- sorry Snake Eyes. I think it works, because they still look true to their original design, but with a modern and updated look. Then, I took the new design of Action Man and applied the same as I did on G.I. Joe.
Next was Transformers. A lot of artists had worked on Transformers, and I found most of the designs Andrew Griffith had done were great. I respect his designs and pushed to make them more complex, with new, flexible parts and more of an organic look, which I thought would bring them closer to the combined universe. I also wanted to bring some of the elements from the movies. Except for Optimus. I couldn't help myself, and with him I pushed as far as the guys would let me.
As "Revolution" kicks off, what kind of threat or event is it that's big enough to bring all these different groups together? And what was the design process like developing that individual or force?
Story continues below
Barber: The background is, Optimus Prime has publicly declared Earth to be under his protection and part of Cybertron's Council of Worlds. This isn't Dark Optimus; he's doing good things -- at least from his point of view -- but the people of Earth are naturally going to be concerned about this turn of events.
Now, one of the reasons Earth has been important to the Transformers is this substance called Ore-13. This has a long history in the Transformers comics, but the short version is it can be converted to Energon, which is the Transformers' fuel source. That means the Earth is one of the few places in the galaxy where Transformers can live -- it has a food source, basically. But Ore-13 has always had other properties -- an ability to supercharge Cybertronians, for one.
Something starts happening to Ore-13 around the world, making it unstable, and all signs point to Optimus Prime, who has no idea why this is happening. That sets the stage for "Revolution."
How will your own ongoings look different after the events of "Revolution?"
Barber: Lots of the Transformers comic I write will be different, including the title. But at the same time, it's building the same story I started writing five years ago. You don't need to know all that stuff, but if you do, rest assured this is all part of the big story we've been telling. It's an unexpected benefit -- I mean, 2011 John had no inkling that Rom or Scarlett or Acroyear or Windblade or Action Man would be there, but this all fits into the tale Andrew Griffith and I set out to tell.
But coming out of "Revolution," there are some big changes. Lots of stuff is going to happen between now and November, when "Revolution" ends.
TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS Now Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android Devices
Players Must Align with the Autobots or Decepticons to Determine Earth’s Fate
in New Real-Time Combat Strategy Game from Hasbro, Backflip Studios and Space Ape Games
BOULDER, Colo. – June 2, 2016 – Hasbro Inc., Backflip Studios and Space Ape Games today released TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS, a new real-time combat strategy mobile game featuring the most iconic characters in the Transformers universe. Published by Backflip Studios (DragonVale, SpellFall, Paper Toss) and developed by Space Ape Games (Rival Kingdoms, Samurai Siege), TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS breaks new ground for the genre, pairing authentic Transformers storytelling with fast-paced gameplay, beautiful 3D animation and hundreds of characters with diverse strengths and abilities. The game is available now for free download on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on Google Play for Android devices.
“The Transformers franchise is one of the most iconic in the world, so it is exciting to include these characters in such a compelling mobile gaming experience,” said Julian Farrior, CEO of Backflip Studios. “We are thrilled to partner with Hasbro and Space Ape Games to launch TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS and think that Transformers fans are going to love teaming up with their favorite Autobots or Decepticons in these highly engaging mobile battles.”
Inspired by Hasbro’s “Transformers Generations Prime Wars Trilogy,” TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS players must choose to fight with Optimus Prime and the Autobots or Megatron and the Decepticons in a battle to decide the fate of planet Earth. Once allegiance has been sworn, gamers assemble a powerful team of playable characters, raid enemy bases for Energon stockpiles, and construct the Space Bridge to add reinforcements from Cybertron, all while playing in real-time against other players around the globe.
The game also features notable storytellers and voice actors from the Transformers franchise, including dialogue written by comic legend Simon Furman and voice acting from Peter Cullen, the original voice of Optimus Prime, and Frank Welker, the original voice of Megatron.
"TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS offers players an engaging storyline and incredible gameplay experience,” said Mark Blecher, Senior Vice President, Digital Gaming and Corporate Development at Hasbro. “The game harnesses the unique strengths and abilities of hundreds of characters from Transformers lore, which really helps it to stand above existing real-time combat strategy games and delivers on the Transformers promise of More than Meets the Eye.”
“With TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS, our team was dedicated to making a high quality, hand crafted experience that fans of both mobile games and Transformers will enjoy,” said John Earner, CEO of Space Ape Games. “We’re really excited about the finished product and can’t wait to help grow and support the community around this game.”
TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS is FREE to download andwill feature in-game purchases, and is available worldwide excluding Japan and China on Android and iOS. Please note that a WiFi connection is required to play.
About Backflip Studios
Backflip Studios develops and publishes absurdly fun mobile games for iOS and Android devices. The company's portfolio of top ranked games, which include hit franchises such as DragonVale, Paper Toss, NinJump, Spellfall, PlunderNauts, and Army of Darkness Defense, have been downloaded over 400 million times. The company is based in Boulder, Colorado. Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) has a majority ownership stake in Backflip Studios.
About Space Ape Games
Founded in 2012, Space Ape Games is a mobile games studio based in Central London made up of games veterans and key people behind the biggest gaming companies and the biggest social games on the web. Space Ape's hit strategy games Rival Kingdoms and Samurai Siege, available on iOS and Android devices, are played by more than 20 million players worldwide. Space Ape Games won the 2015 TIGA Award for Best Independent Studio and for Game of the Year for Rival Kingdoms, plus the 2014 Develop Award for Best New Studio and the 2015 Develop Award for Best Independent Studio For more information, visit http://www.spaceapegames.com.
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global company committed to Creating the World's Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including LITTLEST PET SHOP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, PLAY-DOH and TRANSFORMERS, and premier partner brands. From toys and games, television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and lifestyle licensing, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection with children and families around the world. The Company's Hasbro Studios and its film label, ALLSPARK PICTURES, create entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film, digital and more. Through the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families. Learn more at http://www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
Just got some information on this, the 1st release of this figure was basically only made available to Toys R Us and Hasbro everyone else was allocated ridiculously small numbers. We are going to do our best to get it in so if you want to get it from us keep a close eye on the site this week and we may have it in a small quantity. But good news is we are getting a ton of them in for the second release in October where there will be no shortage in quantity and it will be less expensive than this time around.
50% die-cast metal
LED lighted eyes
Approx. figure height: 15 inches
For full product details: click here
This is a PRE-ORDER item.
Estimated release: August 2016
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