Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio

Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 11:38am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 34,151

Topic Options: View Discussion · Sign in or Join to reply

We have yet more information on the upcoming Hasbro and IDW Publishing co-effort in creating a shared universe for several of their licensed properties, in the REVOLUTION event this September. Via ComicBookResources, we get an interview with writers John Barber and Cullen Bunn, and artist Fico Ossio, touching upon some of the major points of interest about the crossover. We also get a first look at some of the main and variant covers for the titles, with art by Tradd Moore, John Byrne, Adam Riches, Guido Guidi, Ken Christiansen, and James Biggie!

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 News: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio

Transformers News: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio

Transformers News: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio

Transformers News: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio

Transformers News: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio

Transformers News: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio

Credit(s): CBBR


News Search

Got Transformers News? Let us know here!

Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794394)
Posted by Stuartmaximus on June 2nd, 2016 @ 11:46am CDT
BTW anyone know if that Optimus Prime figure can transform?
coz I couldn't see anything in the article as to whether it could or not
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794398)
Posted by Ironhidensh on June 2nd, 2016 @ 11:51am CDT
Stuartmaximus wrote:BTW anyone know if that Optimus Prime figure can transform?
coz I couldn't see anything in the article as to whether it could or not

........... That's just a comic book cover.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794401)
Posted by Va'al on June 2nd, 2016 @ 12:02pm CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:
Stuartmaximus wrote:BTW anyone know if that Optimus Prime figure can transform?
coz I couldn't see anything in the article as to whether it could or not

........... That's just a comic book cover.


Art based on the MP10 Optimus Prime toy. So the answer is both 'no' and 'yes'.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794407)
Posted by Kurona on June 2nd, 2016 @ 12:15pm CDT
Is there a reason Scarlet's being pushed so much beyond the likes of even Snake-Eyes; as if she's the main representative of GI Joe on equal footing as Optimus? Does she have her own series in IDW's Joe books or something?
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794408)
Posted by Randomhero on June 2nd, 2016 @ 12:19pm CDT
Well I hope this puts some of the accusations that this is Hasbros doing to rest. John is very vocal with saying its IDWs thing not hasbros decision.

If it can work then fine. If they're really going to play with "it's always been this way and GI joe has always been in the background of the transformers IDW-verse then okay. I have faith in John. I always have.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794417)
Posted by Randomhero on June 2nd, 2016 @ 1:50pm CDT
Cullen Bunn?! I'm fine with this. 90% of his deadpool books were good. I'm no longer concerned
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794436)
Posted by Doctor McGrath on June 2nd, 2016 @ 3:04pm CDT
Kurona wrote:Is there a reason Scarlet's being pushed so much beyond the likes of even Snake-Eyes; as if she's the main representative of GI Joe on equal footing as Optimus? Does she have her own series in IDW's Joe books or something?


I know little to nothing about GI Joe but I'd assume she will be the new Windblade/Arcee for that property. Gotta have a strong female lead..

Also, I know Barber said Hasbro had nothing to do with this but man...IDW just happened to brainstorm this "fresh" idea of combining properties mere months after Hasbro announces they are doing it with the movie stuff. Now that's what I call coincidence!
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794440)
Posted by Kurona on June 2nd, 2016 @ 3:29pm CDT
Doctor McGrath wrote:
Kurona wrote:Is there a reason Scarlet's being pushed so much beyond the likes of even Snake-Eyes; as if she's the main representative of GI Joe on equal footing as Optimus? Does she have her own series in IDW's Joe books or something?


I know little to nothing about GI Joe but I'd assume she will be the new Windblade/Arcee for that property. Gotta have a strong female lead..

Also, I know Barber said Hasbro had nothing to do with this but man...IDW just happened to brainstorm this "fresh" idea of combining properties mere months after Hasbro announces they are doing it with the movie stuff. Now that's what I call coincidence!

To be fair, it's not exactly something unique happening with Hasbro. Comics have a long history of creating shared universes, and ever since Marvel's movies managed to pull it off and make it popular a ton of companies have been trying to do it regardless.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794450)
Posted by Doctor McGrath on June 2nd, 2016 @ 4:14pm CDT
Kurona wrote:
Doctor McGrath wrote:
Kurona wrote:Is there a reason Scarlet's being pushed so much beyond the likes of even Snake-Eyes; as if she's the main representative of GI Joe on equal footing as Optimus? Does she have her own series in IDW's Joe books or something?


I know little to nothing about GI Joe but I'd assume she will be the new Windblade/Arcee for that property. Gotta have a strong female lead..

Also, I know Barber said Hasbro had nothing to do with this but man...IDW just happened to brainstorm this "fresh" idea of combining properties mere months after Hasbro announces they are doing it with the movie stuff. Now that's what I call coincidence!

To be fair, it's not exactly something unique happening with Hasbro. Comics have a long history of creating shared universes, and ever since Marvel's movies managed to pull it off and make it popular a ton of companies have been trying to do it regardless.


No, it's not unique at all. That's what makes the timing so "coincidental".
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794489)
Posted by padfoo on June 2nd, 2016 @ 7:23pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:I feel like this is one of those things, were if I truly express my feelings on the matter, the annoyance, the frustration, the disappointment; I'll get taken to task for being short-sighted.
These were some of my gut feelings. Distilled into just one word, it was "dread", more specifically, it was really the fear of loss.

Counterpunch wrote:I suppose I'll just wait for the material and make up my own mind. If I'm wrong, I'll happily admit it. If the fears come to pass, someone should really be held to the fire for spoiling something great.
I think in a year's time we're going to mark down January 2012 - Sometime in the second half of 2016 as that One Perfect Summer for Transformers comics that just won't be recaptured anytime soon, and will never be duplicated. That said, I'm also going to try and keep an open mind here, and hope that the good stewardship of the brand that we've seen to date will continue. History isn't kind to Transformers in these types of situations though, so we'll have to see if this can buck the trend.

Onto some other things that are not replies to Counterpunch's excellent post. First, It'll be interesting to see how "Team MTMTE" gets shaken up (if at all), because exRID hasn't really been great for a year and Scott's stories just don't interest me. If they break up that band, there better be a damn good reason. Or hell, add Nick Roche to the team as a writer and sometimes artist and wait and see if I complain (I won't.)

A second point I wanted to bring up is my feelings towards bringing other brands in to a (currently) flourishing licensed comics property. I can't say I mind the stuff that's just really started up again like Micronauts, ROM, and even MASK being involved. A lot of circumstantial evidence in both the toyline, corporate press releases, and exRID have been pointing to that and these could be logical fits into this universe with only minimal backtracking from John "Continuity" Barber required. These could be neat if done right (stuff like Circuit Breaker or Death's Head in G1) and not as a one-off crossover brand circle jerk (Transformers vs The Avengers, most of Infestation).

Those franchises really don't bother me, not at all. I'm annoyed as hell that we have to bring GI Joe into this universe. It's like Hasbro dumped the rotting corpse of that franchise onto IDW.

I know that sounds harsh, but as someone that's never been able to admit to being much of a Joe fan, that's exactly what it looks like. I don't care about the characters, I don't care about the fiction, and I don't want them in what's been the "main" Transformers continuity for me for years. A lot of those characters are freaking attention magnets. Hope you're ready for four pages per twenty page book of Duke, Cobra Commander, Zartan, Baroness, Scarlet, Snake Eyes, and Roadblock and Destro and others if they're going to be any kind of fixture in this overall universe, because that's what you're gonna get. Gotta get Bumblebee back in to hang out with POOP GI Joe Paratrooper Steve or whoever other boring military guy character is even though he's super dead so we can have our A-Listers interacting and Protect the Brands :BANG_HEAD:

I don't blame IDW for that, it's just a shortsighted Hasbro mandate. If you're into GI Joe and excited for that, I think that's wonderful. That franchise just isn't for me and I think it would have been better left out to it's own pasture to survive or advance on its own.

Blegh, I got going on a rant and that probably mostly came out with a tone I didn't intend. Screw it, here's another way of putting it a bit shorter and wittier:


:MATTEL:


:lol: that was hilarious!
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794565)
Posted by Cyberpath on June 3rd, 2016 @ 1:31am CDT
Dr Va'al wrote:
Image


They used the knock-off. :\

Image
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794621)
Posted by StarfireDelta on June 3rd, 2016 @ 8:42am CDT
Everybody wants to be Marvel. We shouldn't be surprised, but the success rate of other companies that have tried to jump on that particular bandwagon has not been terribly impressive so far. Similarly, every games company wants its World of Warcraft, but there's only one World of Warcraft. Lightning doesn't tend to strike twice. So we'll see how well this does. I just hope it doesn't spoil the good thing we've had going with Transformers comics for the last few years.

Which reminds me, I seriously need to get caught up...

ADDENDUM: I echo the sentiments of Insurgent, personally. I have no interest in Hasbro's other properties, with the exception of My Little Pony. And I really don't want to see a Transformers/MLP crossover. Not a serious one, with lasting repercussions for both franchises, anyways. Fortunately, MLP is set in a completely fictional fantasy world, rather than a fictional version of the real world, so that doesn't seem likely. Still the prospect of another giant crossover with titles that don't interest me is what cooled my interest in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics last year in the run up to their second MegaMan crossover and I haven't read them now for over a year now. I'm rather worried about the same happening with Transformers.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794836)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on June 4th, 2016 @ 12:24am CDT
Cyberpath wrote:
Dr Va'al wrote:
Image


They used the knock-off. :\

Image

Like that Vegas Statue of Liberty Stamp?

Well...that could make the cover one of those cases of two wrongs making a right, since an undersized KO could explain the scale issue (I'm guessing the toy's a full size KO, but bear with me), and be one hekuva springboard for a Crisis of Infinite I.P. crossover:

OP: "Scarlett, I come from an unlicensed universe that's about to be consumed by the antimatter! Using the Matrix of Reverse Molding, passed down to me from Faith Leader, I was able to contact Pariah and Harbinger after they decided to cut their losses with the Dawn of Justice universe..."
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794910)
Posted by Va'al on June 4th, 2016 @ 2:18pm CDT
In even more IDW Publishing comics news, we have some further info directly from the creators involved in September's REVOLUTION event - with the tagline 'Take a Stand' - courtesy of a clip from IGN. It's only four minutes long, and the various people involved, including Transformers regulars John Barber and Mairghread Scott, alongside Cullen Bunn, Chris Ryall and more, touch upon the various series involved in the event: MASK, Transformers, Action Man, Micronauts, ROM, GI Joe.

Check it out below, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub! It looks like The Transformers might actually lead to the Big Thing after all...

http://www.ign.com/videos/2016/06/03/idw-creators-talk-revolution-transformersgi-joerom-crossover
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794954)
Posted by Batfan007 on June 4th, 2016 @ 5:17pm CDT
StarfireDelta wrote:Everybody wants to be Marvel. We shouldn't be surprised, but the success rate of other companies that have tried to jump on that particular bandwagon has not been terribly impressive so far. Similarly, every games company wants its World of Warcraft, but there's only one World of Warcraft. Lightning doesn't tend to strike twice. So we'll see how well this does. I just hope it doesn't spoil the good thing we've had going with Transformers comics for the last few years.

Which reminds me, I seriously need to get caught up...

ADDENDUM: I echo the sentiments of Insurgent, personally. I have no interest in Hasbro's other properties, with the exception of My Little Pony. And I really don't want to see a Transformers/MLP crossover. Not a serious one, with lasting repercussions for both franchises, anyways. Fortunately, MLP is set in a completely fictional fantasy world, rather than a fictional version of the real world, so that doesn't seem likely. Still the prospect of another giant crossover with titles that don't interest me is what cooled my interest in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics last year in the run up to their second MegaMan crossover and I haven't read them now for over a year now. I'm rather worried about the same happening with Transformers.


In comics we've had punisher and Archie together and more recently Archie met the Predator. So a Transformers / my little jabroni comic seems inevitable when one company owns the license to both brands, and both are really popular.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794955)
Posted by Poyguimogul on June 4th, 2016 @ 5:20pm CDT
Lotta people think this will be the death of the transformers comics, but it's way bigger then that. the books you love will continue, and still be very intimate. This is for broader spectrum. I agree, G.i. Joe is w/e Ish, at this juncture, but the micronauts and M.A.S.K. aspect is flipping dank. love those two franchises so much. (like I love gobots) [and a crappie ton of other things] idw needs a Transformers / Pirates of Darkwater xo.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794969)
Posted by Windsweeper on June 4th, 2016 @ 7:12pm CDT
I always thought Rom was a Marvel character
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794970)
Posted by RevTibe on June 4th, 2016 @ 7:27pm CDT
Windsweeper wrote:I always thought Rom was a Marvel character

Last time I checked, the situation was that the rights to Rom the character are owned by Hasbro (although they took a winding road to reach them!), but the rights to the villains and setting remain with Marvel. It's comparable to how the Transformers featured in Marvel comics while the rights remained with Hasbro, but some of the Marvel comics characters, like Circuit Breaker, wound up being Marvel's property.

Not sure if IDW have mentioned how that situation's being handled.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794971)
Posted by Poyguimogul on June 4th, 2016 @ 7:29pm CDT
Windsweeper wrote:I always thought Rom was a Marvel character


he was before Hasbro abducted him. idw just utilized a resource.
Re: Declassifying IDW and Hasbro's Comics Merge: Revolution - With John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio (1794973)
Posted by Kurona on June 4th, 2016 @ 8:08pm CDT
Basically the way it works is the rights to ROM's character itself was owned by the company that created them; then eventually Hasbro got ahold of them. However... as there was nothing to ROM itself, not even a back-of-the-box blurb, when Marvel came around to creating their series around him, they basically made everything up. So it's less accurate to say Marvel owns ROM's villains, and more to say that Marvel owns literally everything about ROM rather than ROM himself. So... yeah. Pretty funny situation with the rights.

Featured Products on Amazon.com

Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Legends Class Autobot Tailgate" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Leader Evolution Optimus Prime" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Deluxe Class Dinobot Swoop" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Studio Series 09 Voyager Class Movie 2 Thundercracker" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Deluxe Class Dinobot Sludge" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: Generations Power of The Primes Deluxe Class Dinobot Slug" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Studio Series 11 Deluxe Class Movie 4 Lockdown" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Studio Series 07 Leader Class Movie 4 Grimlock" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Generations Titans Return Autobot Twinferno and Daburu" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers: The Last Knight Premier Edition Voyager Decepticon Nitro" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Voyager Class Onslaught Figure" on AMAZON
Buy "Transformers Generations Titans Return Titan Master Monxo and Wolfwire" on AMAZON
Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #268 - Call Me 2020
Twincast / Podcast #268:
"Call Me 2020"
MP3 · iTunes · RSS · View · Discuss · Ask
Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

New Items on eBay

Buy "Transformers Dark of the Moon Legend Class Bumblebee cyberverse" on EBAY
Buy "Hasbro Transformers Dark Of The Moon Jetwing Optimus Prime Amazon Exclusive MISB" on EBAY
Buy "transformers vintage lot Hightower, Grimlock, Rollbar (used/incomplete with Box)" on EBAY
Buy "Transformers Studio Series 57 Offroad Bumblebee" on EBAY
Buy "Transformers Universe Armada Unicron with minicon Dead End 100% Complete" on EBAY
Buy "Original G1 Transformers Constructicon Scrapper Laser Pistol Weapon Lot" on EBAY
Buy "Transformers Dark Of The Moon Megatron Robo Fighters Figure 2011 NEW IN BOX" on EBAY
Buy "Transformers Dark Of The Moon Mechtech MUDFLAP Autobot Intermediate Level 2" on EBAY