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IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 12:57PM CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 19,858

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Comics and entertainment news website Newsarama had a chat with two of IDW's Transformers wordsmiths about the upcoming mini-event (announced at SDCC) Combiner Wars. Follow the link here to read the whole piece with John Barber and Mairghread Scott, and check out some very intriguing snippets below, including Metroplex's Spacebridge, Windblade, Optimus Prime, Prowl and the already established combiners like Devastator and Superion. How interested are you in where this might go..?

Next spring, a war is coming to IDW’s Transformers comics – and it’s bigger than one single robot, or even the divide between Autobots and Decepticons. It’s the “Combiner Wars.”

Combiners are the term used to describe super-robots of sorts, made out of multiple Transformers combining together into one – and they’ve been a major part of the Transformers franchise, from the Destructicons’ Devastator to Predacons’ Predaking and numerous others. In the IDW Transformers line’s upcoming “Combiner Wars,” the technology that made Combiners possible has been found and it starts what IDW Senior Editor (and longtime Transformers writer) John Barber calls a “cold war” between Transformers factions.

Beginning in March “Combiner Wars” will crisscross between the main Transformers comic series (formerly subtitled Robots In Disguise) and the upcoming Transformers: Windblade ongoing series. The crossover will be written by Barber along with Mairghread Scott, and illustrated by Sarah Stone and Livio Ramondelli.

Newsarama: Mairghread, John, what is this “Combiner Wars” about?

John Barber: “Combiner Wars” is, in the comics, the cold war between factions on Cybertron and Earth growing hot. Starscream is the (mostly) legitimate ruler of Cybertron, but not everybody thinks he should be. And when one of his ultimate goals—contact with the missing ancient Cybertronian colonies, as seen in the Transformers: Windblade miniseries—starts to come to fruition, other parties—Optimus Prime, Windblade, Prowl—see an immediate danger to the sanctity of the galaxy.

Beyond that—“Combiner Wars” is a great example of Hasbro and IDW working together and building a huge storyline that goes between toys and comics and into other media. We on the comics have worked very closely with Hasbro’s Transformers brand team, especially Mark Webber and Sarah Carroll, plus Director, Global Publishing Michael Kelly—there’s pieces that come straight out of the comics (like the new Megatron toy for next year that gives you the option of giving him an Autobot symbol, like he has in the Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye comics) and some new things coming from the toy side that we get to debut in the comics. Plus, while the comics will come out from IDW first, they’ll be packed in with select Transformers Generations toys, which will get the comics to an all-new audience that might have never had the chance to read them before.

And beyond that—“Combiner Wars” is a great chance for Mairghread Scott (writer of the amazing Windblade series) and I to work together and to team with Sarah Stone (artist on that amazing Windblade series) and Livio Ramondelli (who’s just finished the Transformers: Punishment motion comic and is in the middle of Transformers: Primacy, the story of the early days of the war) and make a big, action-packed, character-packed story with huge ramifications for the comics in 2015.

[...]

Nrama: We’ve mentioned theWindblade miniseries and ongoing series, but what about Windblade herself – how does she factor into it all?

Scott: The end of Windblade saw our heroine striking a real devil's bargain with Starscream and she's still trying to maintain that very dangerous balance. So we see a really different side of Windblade, one trying to hold her own in the shadowy political world of Cybertron (a world Starscream is the undisputed master of) while still trying to hold onto some sort of moral compass. The question for Windblade in “Combiner Wars” is really: How far can you go in the name of good until you aren't good anymore? When does the end stop justifying the means?
Credit(s): Newsarama
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Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599030)
Posted by bluecatcinema on August 13th, 2014 @ 1:36pm CDT
Ooh, goody. Up until now, Combiners have never really had much love in the comics.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599035)
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 13th, 2014 @ 1:52pm CDT
Yeesss, been wanting more info about this, so we should start to see build up to it (my guess is prowl will be heading his own faction). An Windblade ongoing? Where do I sign? :D

A question though, it mentions RiD dropping the title to just becoming the transformers...What about MtMtE? Is that going to be continuing? (I hope it is, I love what it's doing) also IDW are putting out 4 ongoings, nice :) shows that the transformers comics and IDW are doing great :)
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599041)
Posted by Va'al on August 13th, 2014 @ 2:00pm CDT
MTMTE will continue undeterred. Windblade is getting a second mini, not an ongoing as yet.
The current TF based ongoings are RID, MTMTE and TFvsGIJoe. Plus Primacy (4 issues), Windblade in 2015 (4? issues).

I'm really not sure what they mean by that RID drop. :-?
(Then again, Newsarama is not the most clued in outlet for the franchise.)
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599049)
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 13th, 2014 @ 2:24pm CDT
So it's a wait and see then, well regardless of info that may be nothing. Still can't wait till everything kicks off
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599079)
Posted by kirbenvost on August 13th, 2014 @ 4:09pm CDT
Whew, I got worried about the fate of MTMTE for a second! And I went and spoiled stuff for myself since I'm waiting for the trades to come out. :doh: Oh well, I haven't read any of Windblade yet so it doesn't make any sense right now anyway.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599083)
Posted by Va'al on August 13th, 2014 @ 4:36pm CDT
Ok, I keep re-reading that interview, and I'm still confused as to whether the second Windblade will be ongoing or mini. :-?

This is what Scott had to say a while back:

I am currently writing the 2015 Windblade series. I just finished issue 1 and am starting issue 2. That will play into an event next year called Combiner Wars and crosses over with RiD. I am also writing several tv projects which will probably air sometime in 2015/2016. One of which is Transformers: RiD. You’ll see an all-ages story I wrote in an upcoming anthology book, it’ll be out before the end of 2014. I am also writing a creator-owned comic series with Sarah Stone and just pitched another creator-owned series with another artist. I also wrote an 8-part digital comic series for Lion Forge that brings back a classic 1980s cartoon series, that should be announced soon. There’s probably more that I’m either forgetting or can’t talk about yet. No rest for the wicked.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599098)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on August 13th, 2014 @ 5:19pm CDT
I love how the article calls our mean green construction machines " The Destructicons".
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599100)
Posted by Va'al on August 13th, 2014 @ 5:26pm CDT
That should be canon. They'd love it.

Also:
Image
(via Josh Perez)
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599176)
Posted by 1984forever on August 14th, 2014 @ 4:35am CDT
IDW comics do not showcase the characters correctly. The pack-in comics have very little to do with the toys they are packaged with. Transformations during action sequences are scarce.

The comics are geared more to teens or adults. The video games do a much better job at making kids want to buy the toys, my 6 year old is living proof of this. He begged me to buy him Bayformers Drift after playing the first stage of RofTDS. I would NEVER consider buying Drift for myself. The partnership between IDW and Hasbro is clearly missing it's mark.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599177)
Posted by steve2275 on August 14th, 2014 @ 4:58am CDT
could starscream possibly have superion and omega supreme soon?
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599179)
Posted by gopalkrishnan on August 14th, 2014 @ 5:10am CDT
I can't wait to have a copy of Combiner Wars. This is a cool idea. The combiners were hugely popular in Generation 1.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599186)
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 14th, 2014 @ 7:14am CDT
1984forever wrote:IDW comics do not showcase the characters correctly. The pack-in comics have very little to do with the toys they are packaged with. Transformations during action sequences are scarce.

The comics are geared more to teens or adults. The video games do a much better job at making kids want to buy the toys, my 6 year old is living proof of this. He begged me to buy him Bayformers Drift after playing the first stage of RofTDS. I would NEVER consider buying Drift for myself. The partnership between IDW and Hasbro is clearly missing it's mark.

That's the thing, I think the pack in comics are actually to get people interested n the IDW comics rather then the other way round.

Also your first point, this is a different G1 universe then your preferred G1 toon. So characters are allowed to change and grow :) The transformation thing, I rather have them transform for a reason then needlesslly.

You do make a fair point about the games however, they should think about trying to make a game advertising that year's generation line.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599299)
Posted by 1984forever on August 14th, 2014 @ 12:39pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:
1984forever wrote:IDW comics do not showcase the characters correctly. The pack-in comics have very little to do with the toys they are packaged with. Transformations during action sequences are scarce.

The comics are geared more to teens or adults. The video games do a much better job at making kids want to buy the toys, my 6 year old is living proof of this. He begged me to buy him Bayformers Drift after playing the first stage of RofTDS. I would NEVER consider buying Drift for myself. The partnership between IDW and Hasbro is clearly missing it's mark.

That's the thing, I think the pack in comics are actually to get people interested n the IDW comics rather then the other way round.

Also your first point, this is a different G1 universe then your preferred G1 toon. So characters are allowed to change and grow :) The transformation thing, I rather have them transform for a reason then needlesslly.

You do make a fair point about the games however, they should think about trying to make a game advertising that year's generation line.

Yup, I agree. The toys should also be made available at the same time the game drops. My son was asking for Jetfire too, but I told him that Jetfire wasn't available yet so he stopped asking. I'm not going to remind him either because it's not right to push what toys I think are cool on my kid.

As for needlessly transforming.... I mean the main draw of the line is transformation. Writers need to find a way to incorporate that into their stories.

To put it bluntly, I don't think Hasbro should be working so closely with IDW. High Moon studios, Dreamwave and even Edge of Reality do a much better job with Transformers. They didn't get half as much attention as IDW does.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599306)
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 14th, 2014 @ 1:06pm CDT
I assume you mean the pack in comics? I suspect that will drop in time. Again agreed on the game, all Hasbro would have to say to high moon studios is that the game must feature these characters in this setting. Leaving the story to them.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599656)
Posted by Vectorshot on August 15th, 2014 @ 3:28pm CDT
When did the Constructicons start going by Destructicons? I missed that one.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599740)
Posted by Dead Metal on August 16th, 2014 @ 3:20am CDT
Va'al wrote:Ok, I keep re-reading that interview, and I'm still confused as to whether the second Windblade will be ongoing or mini. :-?

This is what Scott had to say a while back:

I am currently writing the 2015 Windblade series. I just finished issue 1 and am starting issue 2. That will play into an event next year called Combiner Wars and crosses over with RiD. I am also writing several tv projects which will probably air sometime in 2015/2016. One of which is Transformers: RiD. You’ll see an all-ages story I wrote in an upcoming anthology book, it’ll be out before the end of 2014. I am also writing a creator-owned comic series with Sarah Stone and just pitched another creator-owned series with another artist. I also wrote an 8-part digital comic series for Lion Forge that brings back a classic 1980s cartoon series, that should be announced soon. There’s probably more that I’m either forgetting or can’t talk about yet. No rest for the wicked.

I think it's going to be an annual mini, otherwise she would have said the Windblade series instead of the 2014 Windblade series. Kinda like what idw did in the beginning, the main series was restricted to a six part story each year, numbered as such with a smaller secondary numbering showing us its "ongoing" issue number for instance Infiltration #1 was ongoing #11.

I believe Windblade will be handled similarly getting a mini a year.


I'm really exited for this. So far idw has kinda failed at doing Combiners. Furman was taking his time with introducing the tech due to his long term plans, then those got shelved. Then we suddenly had Devastator and Menesaur, shortly after that they were removed from existence for cheap shock effect. And now it seems we're going to finally have all-out Combiner action!

Va'al wrote:Also:
Image
(via Josh Perez)

That is awesome. Man it would be so cool if that was actually going to happen, Prowl going Constructicon that is.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599749)
Posted by Tal El on August 16th, 2014 @ 7:06am CDT
Va'al wrote:MTMTE will continue undeterred. Windblade is getting a second mini, not an ongoing as yet.
The current TF based ongoings are RID, MTMTE and TFvsGIJoe. Plus Primacy (4 issues), Windblade in 2015 (4? issues).

I'm really not sure what they mean by that RID drop. :-?
(Then again, Newsarama is not the most clued in outlet for the franchise.)



Especially when they mention the DESTRUCTICONS "Devastator."

Aaaaaand I just saw that someone already mentioned that.
Re: IDW Transformers: Combiner Wars Interview - John Barber and Mairghread Scott (1599843)
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 16th, 2014 @ 5:44pm CDT
Dead Metal wrote:
Va'al wrote:Ok, I keep re-reading that interview, and I'm still confused as to whether the second Windblade will be ongoing or mini. :-?

This is what Scott had to say a while back:

I am currently writing the 2015 Windblade series. I just finished issue 1 and am starting issue 2. That will play into an event next year called Combiner Wars and crosses over with RiD. I am also writing several tv projects which will probably air sometime in 2015/2016. One of which is Transformers: RiD. You’ll see an all-ages story I wrote in an upcoming anthology book, it’ll be out before the end of 2014. I am also writing a creator-owned comic series with Sarah Stone and just pitched another creator-owned series with another artist. I also wrote an 8-part digital comic series for Lion Forge that brings back a classic 1980s cartoon series, that should be announced soon. There’s probably more that I’m either forgetting or can’t talk about yet. No rest for the wicked.

I think it's going to be an annual mini, otherwise she would have said the Windblade series instead of the 2014 Windblade series. Kinda like what idw did in the beginning, the main series was restricted to a six part story each year, numbered as such with a smaller secondary numbering showing us its "ongoing" issue number for instance Infiltration #1 was ongoing #11.

I believe Windblade will be handled similarly getting a mini a year.


I'm really exited for this. So far idw has kinda failed at doing Combiners. Furman was taking his time with introducing the tech due to his long term plans, then those got shelved. Then we suddenly had Devastator and Menesaur, shortly after that they were removed from existence for cheap shock effect. And now it seems we're going to finally have all-out Combiner action!

Va'al wrote:Also:
Image
(via Josh Perez)

That is awesome. Man it would be so cool if that was actually going to happen, Prowl going Constructicon that is.

It took me a moment to realize that prowl was in the picture :lol: