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IDW Titans Return / More Than Meets The Eye Crossover Confirmed

Transformers News: IDW Titans Return / More Than Meets The Eye Crossover Confirmed
Date: Wednesday, April 20th 2016 9:10pm CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: D-Maximus_Primal | Credit(s): James Roberts

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Views: 21,905

Remember earlier today when we showed off July Solicitations and there was a Titans Return one-shot comic included? Well, thanks to James Roberts Twitter Page we have some new information regarding the upcoming role of the Titans Return theme and how it will be fitting into the comics. The Titans Return one-shot shall be written by Roberts, John Barber, and Mairghread Scott. The theme will then spread out into other books, and Roberts confirmed that More Than Meets The Eye issues 56 and 57 will be part of the crossover. It is unclear at this time what The Transformers will do with the crossover, but it is not unreasonable to assume we will have details regarding that book soon, so stay tuned here as we gather more news on this upcoming IDW Titans Return Comic Run!

James Roberts wrote:TDOTL (The Dying of the Light) ends in #55. Next 2 issues are part of the Titans Return crossover. The TR one-shot is by Mairghread, John and me. #56 + #57 are by me

IDW The Transformers #52 Review

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
Date: Wednesday, April 20th 2016 9:57am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): IDW, Dr Va'al

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Views: 24,370

More Like Optimus Prick
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
ALL HAIL OPTIMUS part 3! OPTIMUS PRIME has declared the Earth to be his territory… but even he can’t go it alone. Now he reaches out across the galaxy to form a coalition—of old friends and older enemies.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
:D


Story

We continue the ride of All Hail Optimus, in the third chapter of this fairly long arc, as positions and setting start shifting around, after the immediate fall out - in last month's issue - of the annexation of unwilling Earth to the Council of Worlds. And that means Starscream gets to do some things too, and he does them with words.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
And others listen


What is particularly pleasing in the issue, is how John Barber uses the actions of Starscream - from whom we've come to expect manipulative behaviour - to comment upon those of Optimus himself, as he just sort of casually wanders over to other potential allies and audiences. Being all complex-y and stuff.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
*tiny violins playing*


There is another fairly intense narrative strand running alongside Optimus' manipulations - one that we might expect from the main cover, and that sees once precarious collaborators Arcee and Galvatron ..er, airing some concerns with each other. Think of it as a very heated (heh) conversation, with some more excellent writing for the former.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
Well done, Barber


The scene above is also the main source of action for the book, so enjoy it if that is your dish. For the more politics and sleight of hand and tongue inclined readers, this is a full course meal, with weaving, waving, twining and a bit of a kick to the side - and some intriguing seeding happening in between.

Art

Art duties are brought back to Livio Ramondelli, after a long break, and I have to admit I had some difficulties this time round. The linework is what we have come to expect, and I am aware some readers are not fans. We do get some interesting cinematic layouts though, and clarity in more dynamic sequences - never a bad thing.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
And Buster!


Where I had some issues was in the colouring, which, while lightening the usually fairly heavy look of Ramondelli's pages, has somewhat reduced my enjoyment of the art overall. This is not the case across the board, though, as there are some scenes that still work really quite well even in the lighter hues - but something struck me as different from the usual.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
Mustafar?


While there is little of prominent display for the lettering of Tom B. Long, sometimes that is just the mark of skill you need as a reminder of the craft. The covers, on the other hand, do something flashier, with Andrew Griffith and Josh Burcham covering Galvatron vs Arcee, Burcham all alone playing around with Age of Extinction and Skylynx, Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente homaging 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living' for Art History month, and the thumbnailed Phase6 exclusive sees a collaboration between Griffith and Naoto Tsushima, with Josh Perez on colours, as a tribute to Drift.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

If the visual side of things had me distancing myself, on first read, from appreciating the story as such, but going back to it there are some really good advancements from both a contextual and world-building perspective, and for the narrative at hand itself, too. The political intrigue of early RID is back once again, though a lot more is clearly at stake at this point in the game.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
That's just... Primes


In fact, think less Game of Thrones and more House of Cards, in how the various parts move around on the table, with some of the best Starscream and Arcee around (you know what I mean) and, I reluctantly say this, given his character, even some of the best Optimus writing for a while. To me, he never held any appeal as a leader - now, this new layer of whatever is going on with him? Yes, I want to see how far he'll go.

. :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: out of :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN:

IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight

Transformers News: IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight
Date: Wednesday, April 20th 2016 3:40am CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 19,115

While most of the details below have been covered with the reveals of the ROM the Spaceknight variant covers over the past couple of days (the stories are here, here and here), we now also have the full listings for the IDW Transformers comics coming out this July 2016! Check out all the stuff to be expected by then, including continuation of ongoings, the new Titans Return one-shot (explaining the SDCC exclusive Titan Force set, it seems), and the Sins of the Wreckers TPB.

Transformers #55
John Barber (w) • Andrew Griffith (a & c)
ALL HAIL OPTIMUS—CONCLUSION! GALVATRON vs. SOUNDWAVE vs. ARCEE vs. COSMOS vs. OPTIMUS PRIME vs. humanity!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Transformers News: IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight


Transformers #55—ROM Variant
John Barber (w) • Andrew Griffith (a) • Casey W. Coller (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
The war for Earth extends to outer space!
Ultimate victory—or final defeat? Or... both?
Setting the stage for TITANS RETURN—and beyond!
Part of IDW’s month-long variant cover program, celebrating the return of ROM!
Variant cover by Carlos Valenzuela!


Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #55
James Roberts (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)
The battle against the DECEPTICON JUSTICE DIVISION is finally over, and for the few AUTOBOTS left standing, all that's left are words. Four words, to be precise. Four terrible words, millions of years old, that gave the DECEPTICONS their name.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Transformers News: IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight


Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #55—ROM Variant
James Roberts (w) • Alex Milne (a) • Brendan Cahill (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
An unexpected ending? Or the most unexpected ending?
The crew of the Lost Light has never seen higher stakes!
Setting the stage for TITANS RETURN—and beyond!
Part of IDW’s month-long variant cover program, celebrating the return of ROM!
Variant cover by Carlos Valenzuela!


Transformers News: IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight


Transformers, Vol. 9
John Barber (w) • Sara Pitre-Durocher, Andrew Griffith (a) • Andrew Griffith (c)
OPTIMUS PRIME struggles to find his place on CYBERTRON where half the population hates him and the other half worships him. Meanwhile, on Earth, GALVATRON doesn’t care what anybody thinks. Collects issues #46–49.
TPB • FC • $17.99 • 100 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-668-3

Bullet points:
“The world of the Transformers is a complex and interesting place and it will only continue to become more epic as these tales expand.” –BigGlasgowComic


Transformers News: IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight


Transformers: Titans Return One-shot
Mairghread Scott, James Roberts, John Barber (w) • Livio Ramondelli (a & c)
THE LAST AUTOBOT! Once he ruled CYBERTRON with a brutal (and literal) iron fist... left for dead four million years ago, SENTINEL PRIME is back. But in a world where STARSCREAM rules CYBERTON, OPTIMUS PRIME has invaded Earth, and MEGATRON is an AUTOBOT—SENTINEL doesn’t like what he sees!
FC • 40 pages • $4.99


Transformers: Titans Return One-shot—Subscription Variant
Mairghread Scott, James Roberts, John Barber (w) • Livio Ramondelli (a & c)
FC • 40 pages • $4.99

Bullet points:
The story continues in TRANSFORMERS #56 and MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE #56 next month, and expands to TILL ALL ARE ONE this fall!
For the first time ever—Scott, Roberts, and Barber working together on one story!
Plus the powerful noir art of superstar Livio Ramondelli!
After OPTIMUS is hailed; after the LIGHT dies... the next phase of TRANSFORMERS comics starts here!


Transformers News: IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight


Transformers: Till All Are One #2
Mairghread Scott (w) • Sara Pitre-Durocher (a & c)
PANIC ON THE STREETS OF CYBERTRON! As STARSCREAM’S secret police continue on their rampage, IRONHIDE is caught between the BADGLESS and a population looking for retribution!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Transformers News: IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight


Transformers: Till All Are One #2—ROM Variant
Mairghread Scott (w) • Sara Pitre-Durocher (a) • Sara Pitre-Durocher (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
CYBERTRON takes center stage—can STARSCREAM hold on while power slips through his fingers?
Fan favorite character WINDBLADE tries to keep the peace!
Part of IDW’s month-long variant cover program, celebrating the return of ROM!
Variant cover by Carlos Valenzuela!


Transformers News: IDW Transformers July 2016 Solicitations: #TAAO, #SinsoftheWreckers, #TitansReturn, ROM Spaceknight


Transformers: Sins of the Wreckers
Nick Roche (w & a & c)
THE WRECKERS RETURN! Somebody’s kidnapped PROWL… but does anybody want him back? A lifetime of messing with everybody’s lives comes around to haunt him. Fortunately, he’s always got a plan. In this case… the team of brutal, broken heroes… the WRECKERS!
TPB • FC • $19.99 • 120 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-669-0

Bullet points:
“This book and its predecessor prove that it's possible to treat the Transformers franchise with utmost seriousness, as long as there's room for occasional moments of silliness and bombast.” –IGN

IDW The Transformers 55 ROM the Spaceknight Variant Cover by Casey Coller

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers 55 ROM the Spaceknight Variant Cover by Casey Coller
Date: Monday, April 18th 2016 4:56pm CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: D-Maximus_Primal | Credit(s): Newsarama

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Views: 19,759

Courtesy of Newsarama.com and following the announcement of the More Than Meets The Eye ROM the spaceknight exclusive cover, we now have our look at the ROM-themed variant cover for IDW's The Transformers 55! The cover features Casey Coller's interpretation of ROM in the Transformers universe. It is important to note that ROM has nothing to do with the ongoing and this is just an advertisement for the legendary Spaceknight as he returns to comic pages... or is it?

Transformers #55

John Barber (w) • Andrew Griffith (a & c)
ALL HAIL OPTIMUS—CONCLUSION! GALVATRON vs. SOUNDWAVE vs. ARCEE vs. COSMOS vs. OPTIMUS PRIME vs. humanity!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Transformers #55—ROM Variant
John Barber (w) • Andrew Griffith (a) • Casey W. Coller (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
· The war for Earth extends to outer space!
· Ultimate victory—or final defeat? Or... both?
· Setting the stage for TITANS RETURN—and beyond!
• Part of IDW’s month-long variant cover program, celebrating the return of ROM!
• Variant cover by Carlos Valenzuela!


Transformers News: IDW The Transformers 55 Discussion Thread

IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #55 ROM the Spaceknight Variant Cover by Brendan Cahill

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #55 ROM the Spaceknight Variant Cover by Brendan Cahill
Date: Monday, April 18th 2016 1:14pm CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): Comics Alliance

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Views: 18,722

Another exclusive for another entertainment website - this time Comics Alliance - comes in the shape of Brendan Cahill's ROM the Spaceknight variant for IDW's Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #55, which will be hitting retail this summer. You can read the solicit for the issue below, and please note that ROM has nothing to do with the ongoing - these are just part of an initiative to celebrate the Spaceknight returning to comics!

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #55
James Roberts (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)
The battle against the DECEPTICON JUSTICE DIVISION is finally over, and for the few AUTOBOTS left standing, all that’s left are words. Four words, to be precise. Four terrible words, millions of years old, that gave the DECEPTICONS their name.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #55—ROM Variant
James Roberts (w) • Alex Milne (a) • Brendan Cahill (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Bullet points:
• An unexpected ending? Or the most unexpected ending?
• The crew of the Lost Light has never seen higher stakes!
• Setting the stage for TITANS RETURN—and beyond!
• Part of IDW’s month-long variant cover program, celebrating the return of ROM!
• Variant cover by Carlos Valenzuela!


Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #55 Discussion Thread

IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #2 Covers and Details

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #2 Covers and Details
Date: Monday, April 18th 2016 9:44am CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): Comicosity

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Views: 17,272

Despite the first issue not being even close to release yet, Comicosity has received an exclusive look from IDW at the upcoming Till All Are One issue 2 covers - including the ROM Spaceknight variant - just before the new solicitations are to hit (expect them within 48 hours of this news post). Check out below where the series intends to go!

Transformers: Till All Are One #2
Mairghread Scott (w) • Sara Pitre-Durocher (a & c)
PANIC ON THE STREETS OF CYBERTRON! As STARSCREAM’S secret police continue on their rampage, IRONHIDE is caught between the BADGLESS and a population looking for retribution!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Transformers: Till All Are One #2—ROM Variant
Mairghread Scott (w) • Sara Pitre-Durocher (a) • Sara Pitre-Durocher (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

• CYBERTRON takes center stage—can STARSCREAM hold on while power slips through his fingers?
• Fan favorite character WINDBLADE tries to keep the peace!
• Part of IDW’s month-long variant cover program, celebrating the return of ROM!
• Variant cover by Carlos Valenzuela!


Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #2 Cover and Details

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #2 Cover and Details

IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview
Date: Friday, April 15th 2016 1:11pm CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): Newsarama

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Views: 15,968

The other Transformers comics update today from IDW comes via Newsarama, who have the full preview for The Transformers #52 out next week! Make sure to check out the whole thing below, and head back here for the Seibertron.com review on Wednesday.

Transformers #52
John Barber (w) • Livio Ramondelli (a) Andrew Griffith (c)
ALL HAIL OPTIMUS part 3! OPTIMUS PRIME has declared the Earth to be his territory… but even he can’t go it alone. Now he reaches out across the galaxy to form a coalition—of old friends and older enemies.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Bullet points:
· Special guest artist Livio Ramondelli takes us to CYBERTRON and beyond!
· Who will stand with Optimus—and who will turn against him?
· Part of IDW’s “Art Appreciation Month” promotion!
· Variant Cover by Priscilla Tramontano!


Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Full Preview

IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview
Date: Friday, April 15th 2016 12:03pm CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): Comics Alliance

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Views: 11,660

Via ComicsAlliance, we have the full preview for next week's penultimate issue of the IDW project spearheaded by Tom Scioli, Transformers vs G.I. Joe #12 - you can check the whole thing mirrored out below, as Defensor, Kremzeek, Cobra Empress and the return of Cobra Commander make their presence felt in these first pages!

Transformers vs G.I. JOE #12

Tom Scioli, John Barber (w) • Scioli (a & c)

WELCOME TO THE TERROR DROME! As the forces of COBRA plot a treacherous move, OPTIMUS PRIME descends in to CYBERTRONIAN hell in search of the MATRIX. They say the sun also rises… but will it be friend or foe?!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
The road to hell is paved with good intentions… and DINOBOTS!
The end is nigh, and the action has never been bigger!


Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12 Full Preview

Sneak Peek - IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #52 iTunes Preview

Transformers News: Sneak Peek - IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #52 iTunes Preview
Date: Friday, April 15th 2016 6:08am CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): iTunes

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Views: 17,928

Ready for the start of some freshly minted comics news? The preview below comes from the usual iTunes screenshots, signalling another week of wait for the full comic - but we still get a taster of the big fight that's to come: Tarn vs Megatron. Check it out!

Megatron vs. Tarn Trapped on an isolated world, knowing escape means the death of dozens of innocent organics, and betrayed by their crew mates- Radius, Megatron, and their friends prepare to make their last stand against the Deception Justice Division.


Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #52 Discussion Thread

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #52 Discussion Thread

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #52 Discussion Thread

James Roberts Interview with TMW Magazine

Transformers News: James Roberts Interview with TMW Magazine
Date: Thursday, April 14th 2016 8:54am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): TMW

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Views: 20,210

Fellow Seibertronian AdamPrime, also the editor for Toy Meets World magazine, has shared with us an interview they conducted on the publication with IDW Transformers writer James Roberts - which you can read in full below! Topics included range from writing techniques, to world-building, a relationship with Hasbro and IDW, and the possibility of a Rung toy (never, apparently). Check it out, and let us - and TMW - know what you think in the Energon Pub.



AdamPrime wrote:Hi guys and gals,

I'm the editor of Toy Meets World magazine. Recently we had the great honor of chatting with IDW writer supremo James Roberts. He's a proper gent, so I thought I'd treat you all to the full interview.

TMW issue #1 is undergoing a 'trial launch' right now, and is available at selected retailers in the south west. We're listening to feedback, and will tweak the mag slightly for the proper nationwide rollout in a few weeks' time. If anyone would like an issue, and there is plenty to read about (such as interviews with Simon Furman, Stan Bush and My Little Pony's Nicole Oliver; reviews of all the coolest toys and books; and tonnes of retro fun with TF, He-Man, Sega, Power Rangers and much more!) then please contact me and I can send one out in the post.

Anyway, on the the interview:

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer? Was it always going to be in comics, or was that something you pursued later in your career?

I’ve always wanted to write fiction for a living, but not comics necessarily. And that’s strange, I guess, because as a child I read comics to the exclusion of pretty much all else: Whizzer & Chips and Buster, then Marvel UK titles (including Transformers, of course), then 2000AD and what little Marvel US and DC stuff found its way to the Channel Islands. I was a member of an unofficial Transformers fan club – a group of pen pals, really – and even then, for most of the time at least, I contributed prose fiction rather than comic scripts. In my late teens I discovered authors like John Updike, Martin Amis, Graham Greene, George Orwell and Julian Barnes.



It's fair to say that the best TF writing has come from the Brits; previously, Simon Furman was considered the godfather of Transformers - were those big shoes to step into? Did he officially pass the torch?

Oh, I dunno – Nick Roche, John Barber and Mairghread Scott all write a mean TF story, and none of them are British. But thank you anyway! I was and am a huge Simon Furman fan – I’d hold him up alongside my more traditional literary heroes as being a formative influence – and I have him to thank for being a Transformers fan. More than the toys, more than the cartoon, more than the Marvel US material… if it wasn’t for Simon’s work on the British TF comic, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I got his autograph back in 1991, just after #75 of the American Transformers comic came out; he signed the comic for me. I got him to sign it again 10 years later, when I was promoting an unofficial TF novel I’d written; and 10 years after that, in 2011, I had him sign it a third time – and by then I was writing TF stories professionally, and he asked me (tongue in cheek, but still…) to sign something for him.


Simon’s my TF dad, really. There was no “official” passing of the torch – I’m not sure how that would even work…! – but he did give me a copy of the script to the last Marvel US issue with a lovely note that essentially invited me to carry on what he started.


When you're writing a script, how do you keep to the page count for each issue? Do you supply the script that you feel is complete, and the artist squeezes it in to 20 pages?

No, it’s more complicated – and time-consuming – than that. It’s my job to break each issue down not only into pages, but panels. I have to work out the pacing and structure of each issue, how the story unfolds, how many panels I’ll need to do a scene justice. It’s a case of ‘Page 1, Panel 1’, then a description, for the artist, of what needs to go in the panel, and then the dialog that will go inside that panel. MTMTE is a dense comic – both in terms of plot and dialog – and a huge amount of my time is spent working out how best to tell the story over 20 pages. It’s all planned down to the last detail.


Your stories are characterised by an incredible amount of world-building and backstory. You have also introduced concepts relating to Transformer anatomy and beliefs such as Rossum's trinity, the Guiding Hand and so on. Does Hasbro or IDW ever try and reign you in? Or are you allowed to add as much depth as you like to the characters and universe?

I’m encouraged to world-build – it’s almost part of the job description. IDW, Hasbro and readers (I hope) want to see the Transformers Universe expanded and enriched. I’d only be reined in – and it hasn’t really happened yet, touch wood – if I wanted to introduce a concept that was fundamentally at odds with what Hasbro felt Transformers was about, or if my editor thought, frankly, that it was a rubbish idea, or if anyone responsible for singing off my scripts feel that what I wanted to do was too… well, I was going to say “adult”, but that’s not what I mean. MTMTE has always operated on an adult level in terms of not talking down to its audience, and in terms of exploring mature themes.


MTMTE has an intriguing stance on politics, governments and social injustice. It makes for fascinating reading. Have you ever considered a place in Parliament?

I’m a political nerd and I do have strongly held beliefs about how society should be organized and how we could bring about a better quality of life for everybody. Maybe one day I’ll take the plunge and put my money where my mouth is.


MTMTE threw out the concepts of 'goodies' and 'baddies'. The Autobots and Decepticons are revealed to just be people - whether it's Rodimus' crew, the Scavengers or Deathsaurus - under the badge they're all basically the same. We're dreading the day when the war starts again - will the peace (and MTMTE as a comic) last?

You’re giving me too much credit. The decision to end the Autobot/Decepticon war was made by IDW’s editorial team back in 2010, and John Barber and I had a year in which to prepare two ongoings – John’s Robots in Disguise (now simply titled The Transformers) and MTMTE – which would explore postwar life in more detail. Neither John nor I knew how long the peace (and that’s a relative concept; there’s still lots of conflict in the Transformers Universe) would last. We didn’t know whether fans would demand a return to war, or whether we’d find it difficult to set stories in peacetime for too long. But here we are, in Year Five of each of the ongoings, and the war is still officially over.

It’s true that putting the war to bed has opened up a huge number of new storytelling avenues, most of them predicated on the idea that, once (overt) hostilities cease, and the red and purple badges are put to one side, you’re forced to see each Autobot and Decepticon as a Cybertronian – as a character defined by something other than who they used to take orders from. As I say, it’s opened up lots of new story possibilities. All that said, if the war started again – and it well might – that would mean MTMTE had to end. It would just create some interesting new tensions…


Have you petitioned Hasbro for a toy of Rung? We can imagine the packaging now - "Tranforms from ROBOT to ORNAMENT and back again!"

Ha! I’ve never petitioned Hasbro for anything. They do their thing and, from time to time, I learn that, for example, there’s to be a Minimus Ambus figure, or that another of the Lost Light crew – Brainstorm, Whirl, Chromedome, whoever – is being re-released as a toy. I would LOVE Rung to have a toy, but I damaged the chances of that ever happening when I decided, early on, that he should turn into something which happened to have a very limited play value. You see the sacrifices I make for the greater storytelling good?


With MTMTE, you've taken a few obscure characters, and a few prominent characters, and really made them your own. Characters such as Rewind, Whirl and Ultra Magnus will never be the same. Did you set out to do this from the beginning? Did you think to yourself "Now's the time for Brainstorm to shine!!"

Kind of, I guess. I deliberately selected lesser-known G1 characters, but characters I was fond of, to accompany the Big Four (Rodimus, Magnus, Ratchet and Drift) that were at the center of MTMTE Season 1. Autobots like Tailgate, Skids, Swerve, Brainstorm, Chromedome and Rewind were attractive to me principally because they hadn’t been explored in the past. They were recognizable (to more dedicated TF fans, admittedly), but they were almost blank canvasses. I knew that MTMTE – certainly in the early days – was all about secrets and hidden histories, and I couldn’t tell those type of stories with A List characters who had appeared in IDW comics for the last few years, or with characters who had very well-established personalities. I’m immensely proud of the fact that, through MTMTE, these D-listers have become well-loved and well-recognised characters in their own right.


This may sound silly, but do you take voices into consideration when writing a character? Most people would claim to "hear" the voices in their head when they read. Do you ever give it much thought?

It’s not a silly question and I do give it some thought, mainly because so many readers ask me “Who do you think X sounds like?” And I have to give a very dull – but truthful – response and say, “S/he has a British accent and sounds a bit like me.” I have an imagination deficit in this regard, because I really don’t ‘hear’ their literal voices. I do, of course, know their voices in terms of their character – what they would and wouldn’t do, what they’d say, how they’d say it, the rhythms of their speech and so on, but I don’t, say, write a line for Nautica and hear a certain actress’s voice. But I know that many fans DO, and that’s great!


Do you think that MTMTE, with its tales of space-faring derring do, has a wider appeal than regular Transformer comics? If something like Star Trek can have such universal appeal, there must be hope for Transformers. Could we see a TV version of MTMTE in the future, and would you want to be a part of it? Conversely, do you think its nature makes it LESS appealing to some Transformer fans?

MTMTE is an easy sell in terms of concept: a group of misfit Transformers head off into space in search of their mythical ancestors. It’s a traditional quest story and, as you say, very much in the Star Trek tradition. That might give it a better chance with the casual reader – the non-Transformers fan - than other Transformers comics, but I don’t know. Casual comic readers whose Transformers knowledge is informed by growing up in the 80s – people who think Transformers should be about Autobots versus Decepticons on Earth – may prefer something more in keeping with their childhood memories. I don’t know. I think many people have a preconceived idea of what Transformers is about and sometimes that dissuades them from giving IDW’s titles a chance; and unsurprisingly I wish more people would put such notions aside and pick up MTMTE or John’s Transformers, because they’d be pleasantly surprised.


Can I see MTMTE transferring to TV? I don’t know if I can see it happening, but I’d like it to. MTMTE almost reads as a TV show adapted for comics, with most of the stories being structured as if they were a 45-minute episode. And each story arc – the MTMTE fandom even calls them “seasons” – lasts about 22 issues.

If MTMTE ever transferred to the small screen I would love to be part of it. Even if I ended up hanging about making tea for the animators and actors.


TMW thanks Mr. Roberts very much for his time.

Transformers News: James Roberts Interview with TMW Magazine
Transformers News: James Roberts Interview with TMW Magazine

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #144 - Don't Touch That Dial
Twincast / Podcast #144:
"Don't Touch That Dial"
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Posted: Sunday, May 15th, 2016