CBR News: Was this spin-off project always part of the Revolution plan, or did it develop as you all were putting the pieces together?
John Barber: What became “Revolutionaries” really started at the retreat when we were planning out Revolution and what came next. We all had plans for our individual series, but there wasn’t a book that had an overview of the whole post-Revolution world. I think Cullen Bunn and Mairghread Scott had a couple of big ideas — there were a lot of great writers there, so forgive me if I’m misremembering, everybody was throwing out ideas. I think Cullen suggested Action Man was in a position to look over the whole world, and Mairghread got really specific and brought up the Warren Ellis series “Global Frequency,” where Ellis and a bunch of different artists told stories about an international group of problem-solvers. The genesis is really the three of us throwing ideas around the room, and it became clear I was in a position where maybe I should write it.
What brings the Revolutionaries together? Did, say, the Transformers or G.I. Joe suggest their respective members, or did they volunteer?
Barber: There’s an event in the country of Kalistan — which is a deep cut for G.I. Joe fans — that mutates a bunch of people. G.I. Joe sends in a team to investigate, but the event occurred at a facility owned by a British company, so Action Man beats them there and — as we’ll see in “Action Man: Revolution” — Kup is hanging out with Action Man at this point. So those two worlds collide, and Garrison Blackrock — who’s a Steve Jobs-style industrialist — was involved because at the center of it all is an ancient artifact he thinks can help him learn about his Cybertronian heritage. Because, oh yeah, Blackrock is actually a Cybertronian who’s had memories implanted to think he’s human.
Once they all wind up together, without giving everything away, a series of events occur that draw the four principle characters in, and that opens up a mystery — what is this artifact code-named The Talisman? — and that draws all the other Hasbro characters into their orbit. Every answer asks a new question that makes the story more personal and — in terms of the universe — more expansive.
On that note, this book will introduce some new characters into the IDW Hasbro-verse. Do you all have some personal favorite deep-cuts you’re looking to bring to the party?
Barber: Well, the first issue reprints — for the first time — the Joe Kubert “Sgt. Savage and His Screaming Eagles” G.I. Joe mini-comics. That’s a set of characters I don’t really have a personal connection with, those came out while I was, let’s say, between ages where I was into G.I. Joe toys. I don’t know what people think of those characters, but it’s really bonkers stuff. I mean, they had little in-pack comics and they got Joe Kubert to write, draw, color and letter them. The legendary Joe Kubert! The premise of Sgt. Savage is pretty nuts, but within that storyline is a group called I.R.O.N. — the International Robotic Operations Network — who show up in issue one of “Revolutionaries.” Meanwhile, in “G.I. Joe Extreme,” there was the Iron Klaw, and in “Action Force” there was Baron Ironblood. Is there a connection?!?
Ossio: I’m quite excited to draw these new, re-designed characters we did with John and David. I think it’s gonna be fully exploited in a great way. Plus it’s got these cool things to his design. I wanted to be very rational on how these characters were supposed to look and how to make that work, so I can’t wait to play with that on the page.
The Transformers may have been around for more than three decades, but Zhang Yuchen, general manager of Hasbro China, the parent company of the brand, believes that the popularity of the iconic toy figures are just about to hit its peak, especially with four Transformers films set to hit the silver screens by 2025.
Zhang is optimistic that with the surge in nostalgia for the toys and the growing profitability of selling peripheral products from a movie in China, 2017 could very well be “the year of Transformers”.
“It’s been very exciting because over the last decade, the movie universe has given old fans something new and brought in a whole new generation of Transformers fans. That is probably one of the biggest forces driving Transformers in China,” said Zhang.
“We now expect to see explosive growth in the sale of Transformers products in China with the upcoming series of movies,” he added.
The second installment of the movie franchise, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen broke the 12-year box office record set by Titanic to become the most-watched foreign movie in China.
In 2014, the fourth movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, generated 300 million yuan ($45 million) in China, contributing to almost one-third of the global revenue. The upcoming one in the franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, is scheduled to be released in 2017.
Mark Wahlberg stars alongside Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Isabela Moner, Laura Haddock, Jerrod Carmichael, Gil Birmingham and Anthony Hopkins. Santiago Cabrera will co-star as Merlin, and many of your favorite Autobots and Decepticons will return as well.
Seibertron.com wrote:Cabrera was a regular in British series Merlin (hmmmm concidence?).
We are very pleased to welcome artist Sara Pitre-Durocher to the Chicago guest list this year.
Sara has worked on IDW’s Combiner Hunters one-shot, The Transformers 46, 47 and 49, and is now the primary artist on the new ongoing comic book Till All Are One. While she will be attending all weekend, details on her signing times and where to get prints and commissions will be announced at a future time.
TFcon is proud to announce that Richard Newman will be appearing as a guest at this years convention in Chicago. Known to Transformers fans as the voice of Rhinox in Beast Wars, Tankor in Beast Machines and Vector Prime in Transformers Cybertron. Mr. Newman will be taking part in Q&A panels and signing for the attendees of the America’s largest fan-run Transformers convention all weekend long.
Due to the high demand for TFcon Chicago 2016 the Hyatt Regency O’Hare has added additional rooms to our hotel room block. If rooms become not available at the host hotel you will have the option to book down the road at the Aloft Chicago O’Hare.
Just for the record, here’s who we’re looking at on this one:
Soundwave, from Transformers, the big blue occasional boombox.
Laserbeak, a part-time cassette tape who lives in Soundwave’s chest.
Zartan, Cobra’s master of disguise from GI Joe, best known for having a color changing action figure and for leading a group of bikers who are definitely Australian despite living in Florida.
The Manta, my personal favorite car from MASK, a purple ’85 Nissan 300ZX that can turn into an airplane with laser beam headlights. In the original series, it was driven by Vanessa “Not Quite The Baroness” Warfield
The Jackhammer, an armored back Ford Bronco with a pop-up missile launcher, driven by bare-knuckle boxer Cliff “Blaster” Dagger.
The Piranha, a motorcycle that is also a submarine, driven by Sly “Wrecker” Rax.
And a few other MASK vehicles floating around in the background.
CBM: How did you get involved with Combiner Wars?
Amy Johnston: "I got involved with Transformers: Combiner Wars through Bat in the Sun whom I had worked with previously on their show "Super Power Beatdown".
CBM: Were you a big Transformers fan growing up?
Johnston: "I have definitely been a Transformer's fan so when I found out about the role of Maxima I was super excited! How cool to have my own Transformer character! I love her!"
CBM: How did you find the right voice for Maximia?
Jonston: "Maxima was described to me as a strong female character who had a relationship wtih Windblade so I made sure to give her strength and passion yet retain a femininity about her."
Is there a challenge that's inherent to doing something like this? When you look at web series, you have a lot of like "Okay, we just grew up this property that you like" and it's mostly played for laughs. Is there a challenge to doing this seriously and not feeling like another kind of web series that's trying to take a fun?
The great thing is, both Machinima and Hasbro, they have never used that word with me. They said "You are making a series." They always put it at a higher level, and the show is budgeted, and distributed in a very sophisticated way, that to me, is not like a webseries at all.
So I think about this as an adaptation, I just go "Hey, it's my job as a creator to make the best work I can" and I don't think about "Oh it's only for this category so let's have fun", I want to tell this combiner wars story, and I'm going to tell it in 40 minutes. That's almost a movie, so I really treat it like that. There's act breaks, there's a solid structure to the character development, there's resolution. That's what I'm worried about.
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