Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more

Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 1:19pm CDT

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Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal   Views: 23,634

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When it comes down to the Revolution and how everything is going to work, John Barber is the man to call. "Mr. continuity" will be one of the spearheads for the upcoming Revolution comics, and Luke Owen got the chance to interview Barber on the upcoming comics. You can find the original source HERE.

Today sees the release of IDW’s Action Man #1, which kickstarts a Hasbro expanded universe that brings together several of their other properties including The Transformers, G.I. Joe, Micronauts, M.A.S.K and more. Sadly, My Little Pony is not part of it. To celebrate the comic’s release, we caught up with the man who is spearheading this series – John Barber.

Barber is a man who has been hailed as ‘The God of Continuity’, and has previously worked with Marvel before jumping to IDW and writing for Transformers – both the Michael Bay movie tie-ins and IDW’s on-going series. But now he’s moving into a slightly less known territory of Action Man. So, why use him over more established characters?

“Well, it goes without saying that Action Man is the biggest character in the Hasbro stable,” Barber jokes. “No, I love Action Man, but I kid. [He’s] got a great set of fans, don’t get me wrong, but this comic is really about introducing the character to readers while honoring his history. The lead-up to Revolution is part of the DNA of the book Paulo Villanelli and John-Paul Bove put together. We’re not going to hit you over the head with it on page one, but Action Man is really the first book we’ve launched post-plans about the shared universe—I guess Rom #0 was the first, but Action Man was in that book in preview form, anyway. And Action Man absolutely plays a key role in Revolution—in fact he’s the first character you see in Revolution #1—but we’ll start to see these characters interacting in most of the comics leading up to Revolution (I say “most” as Micronauts is in another universe and More Than Meets the Eye is in deep space so we’re not cramming anything in that isn’t organic to the story).”

Is it going to be difficult to bring in characters from G.I. Joe, Transformers, etc?

“In a way, even though you don’t have to be reading Transformers,” he claims. “Revolution grows from the events in the Transformers comic Andrew Griffith and I do. Optimus Prime has declared Earth is under his protection, whether it wants to be or not. And for a lot of people, “not” is the answer. So when something starts going wrong with Ore-13—a substance Transformers can convert to energon, their food—signs point to the Transformers.”

[......]

IDW is no stranger to the world of crossovers, having brought Green Lantern to the world of Star Trek and countless team-ups between Transformers and G.I. Joe. There have also been connecting comics like Infestation, which tied together their on-going comics for Ghostbusters and Transformers but never saw the characters interact.

“IDW’s done really cool, really fun stories where they put together some great characters, like Star Trek/Green Lantern. And Tom Scioli (and slightly me, but Tom deserves all the credit) did absolutely amazing stuff on Transformers ss. G.I. Joe,” Barber says. “Then there have been line-wide stories like Infestation and Conspiracy where there’s a central spine and tie-in comics from different series, but the characters from one series don’t necessarily interact with each other—just with the central spine. I love those stories, but they’re very self-contained – that’s got advantages, of course. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe wouldn’t have the personality or impact it had if ten comics tied into it. But I think with the right project, it’s really great to have an event with big consequences in the comics crossing over.”

[.....]

Barber has been hailed by fans as ‘The God of Continuity’, which makes him the perfect man to take on something like Revolution – as it not only brings together these characters but does so without compromising the stories already told. Is ‘The God of Continuity’ a fitting moniker?

“I don’t know about that,” he says laughing. “When I came on to Transformers, I sort of approached it as an archeologist. I dug in and read everything and took notes and thought about things and tried to see what resonated and what I could build on. I think I got too into the woods with that in places, but it created the worldview I have on some of the characters. Like, I looked at how Soundwave or Prowl were handled, and they were both written really differently by different writers over the years, and I thought through—what would make somebody be like that? What if they really did act all those different ways, what’s their deal? And that led to—I hope—richer characters.”

[.....]

But the real question is: who would win in a fight between Bay’s Optimus Prime and IDW’s Optimus Prime…?

“The Bay Prime is more vicious, but I think Optimus in the Transformers comic is more tactical in his thinking at this point, and he’s not exactly a pushover,” he says. “I think the comic book one wins.”

When Revolution was announced earlier this month, there was a large vocal outrage from fans who felt that this ‘cash in’ was going to ruin the stories they’d liked in G.I. Joe: Real American Hero and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. IDW editor Chris Ryall spent a long time on Twitter answering fan queries and concerns, and told them all to trust the process.

“I used to edit Wolverine. I’m used to the internet reaction being negative,” Barber jokes.

But one has to wonder, did that level of negativity have some effect on the plans for Revolution?

“Nope. The plan is the plan and the plan is awesome,” Barber emphatically states. “I mean, there’s pressure, of course – Cullen and Fico and editor David Hedgecock and colorist Sebastian Cheng and I all feel a lot of pressure to not let people down, and to do justice to the characters, and to build a strong foundation to this world. Telling a story has it’s own pressure! A nice pressure, I’m not complaining – it’s great! But I don’t feel any additional pressure based on anybody’s initial reactions.”

[.....]

“Transformers is going to change – the grand, over-arcing story I’ve been telling is still totally in place, now with cooler pieces making Earth a richer, more interesting place,” Barber says. “But the actual title will have a couple big changes.”

Credit(s): Flickeringmyth.com


This article was last modified on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 2:26pm CDT

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Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1799667)
Posted by 1984forever on June 22nd, 2016 @ 4:19pm CDT
Speaking as a human being in the IDWverse, if the Earth was just attacked by aliens, and one of those aliens offered protection against further attacks by his kind, why would we refuse?
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1799720)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on June 22nd, 2016 @ 8:06pm CDT
1984forever wrote:Speaking as a human being in the IDWverse, if the Earth was just attacked by aliens, and one of those aliens offered protection against further attacks by his kind, why would we refuse?

We hate all aliens
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1799722)
Posted by Ironhidensh on June 22nd, 2016 @ 8:11pm CDT
1984forever wrote:Speaking as a human being in the IDWverse, if the Earth was just attacked by aliens, and one of those aliens offered protection against further attacks by his kind, why would we refuse?

Most of the time we hate each other to the point of genocide, why would we ever be cool with aliens?
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1799739)
Posted by 1984forever on June 22nd, 2016 @ 8:48pm CDT
Now it all makes perfect sense.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1803926)
Posted by Va'al on July 8th, 2016 @ 4:39am CDT
With (some versions) of Transformers: Till All Are One #2, a short story part of Road to Revolution has started setting the grounds for Action Man and G.I. Joe's roles in the wide IDW crossover of its Hasbro franchises - Revolution. [Other readers found a preview for ROM the Spaceknight #1, instead.] If you have read the short extract, let us know what you make of it in the Energon Pub!

Meanwhile, we also have the reading list for Revolution as it happens, this coming September. Check it out below.

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Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1803930)
Posted by ZeroWolf on July 8th, 2016 @ 5:16am CDT
Hopefully IDW have have been paying attention to Marvel/DC and the newest kid in the block in comic terms, Valiant, in how to handle shared universe.

I personally love shared universes, where it always feels like something is happening but communication between those working on the comics is key.i also reject the notion it hampers creativity as there is always a way.

In fact it takes great skill to pull something like this off, and have it work. Saying that, I hope they keep mega events to a minimum instead of the marvel/Dc method of one a year.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1803936)
Posted by Randomhero on July 8th, 2016 @ 6:47am CDT
Well it will all be run by John Barber. He is the master of continuity, whether it's retconning stuff to make sense or just making sure what's happened isn't forgotten so I'd say this is all in good hands. The 4 page preview in the back of till all are one this week gave me enough trust to believe that everything will be alright.

People just need to calm down and stop thinking that gijoe will be in every mask comic or mask will be in every issue of transformers or Rom will be in every mtmte and everything in between. That's not how it's going to go. Will there be cameos? Yes, big epic events with everyone probably. Will it ruin everything? No, only person that can do that is the fans that think it will.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1803958)
Posted by Va'al on July 8th, 2016 @ 8:46am CDT
Yes, that short piece was good enough to do a 'we were really busy doing things, ok?' set-up for the non-involvement of the Joe universe in the ation/AHM era. And nice sliding into the EDC, too.

Who do you think the off panel voice is?
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1803962)
Posted by Randomhero on July 8th, 2016 @ 9:17am CDT
I've only read transformers from IDW and my only speculation is Hunter. I don't know a lot of about GI joes IDW universe except from the broken summaries on Wikipedia(always promised to buy the trades but never did) so if I had to speculate it's Hunter. Not to quote Star Wars but he's machine than man by the end so I could believe that he was brought back very quickly after sideswipe turned off his support once he was found.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1806483)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on July 18th, 2016 @ 9:54am CDT
From Preview World we get another look into the upcoming Revolution storyline that is about to span several different IDW storylines, this time in the form of an interview with artist Fico Ossio, who will be the artist for the main Revolution titled comics, which will be released starting in September. Head to the site for the full interview by clicking the link above.

PREVIEWSworld: Tell us what you’re on point to do for Revolution. What creative chores have you accepted?

Fico Ossio: I´m doing pencils and ink. And I get to do the characters redesigns, for all the G.I. Joes. And I´m having the first crack at the M.A.S.K. vehicles, which is awesome. I used to own all the toys.

I took some liberties with the Transformers, as well as Action Man. It does all serve the purpose to have them all stand together and have a cohesive look.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1809026)
Posted by Va'al on July 25th, 2016 @ 1:59pm CDT
From the technicolour wizard Josh Burcham over on Twitter, we have a clean look at the Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Revolution tie-in issue cover variant - Nick Roche on the lines, Burcham on the colours of course - due this November (check out the full timeline in the update over here). Feast your optics on Grimlock, a M.A.S.K. character... and ROM the Spaceknight. (In colour and process images!)

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Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1809033)
Posted by Kurona on July 25th, 2016 @ 2:05pm CDT
Nice to see they're having a bit of fun with it.
If Grimlock's in it a little, I guess we're seeing the Scavengers at some point?
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1809036)
Posted by Ironhidensh on July 25th, 2016 @ 2:10pm CDT
I think the M.A.S.K. agent is Ace Riker.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1809039)
Posted by Va'al on July 25th, 2016 @ 2:12pm CDT
Kurona wrote:Nice to see they're having a bit of fun with it.
If Grimlock's in it a little, I guess we're seeing the Scavengers at some point?


You made me go look for an article - which turns out wasn't posted! Working on it now, but yes, the Scavengers are the focus of the Revolution MTMTE issue.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1809047)
Posted by Va'al on July 25th, 2016 @ 2:22pm CDT
Dr Va'al wrote:
Kurona wrote:Nice to see they're having a bit of fun with it.
If Grimlock's in it a little, I guess we're seeing the Scavengers at some point?


You made me go look for an article - which turns out wasn't posted! Working on it now, but yes, the Scavengers are the focus of the Revolution MTMTE issue.


Said article: http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/ ... iew/35965/

James Roberts: Well, MTMTE gets in on the action with a Revolution tie-in featuring the Scavengers, who are kind of the alternative main cast. That’s an Earth-based story. Nick Roche and I are co-writing for the first time since 2010’s Last Stand of the Wreckers, so even if we weren’t getting an opportunity to pit the world’s worst Decepticons against the likes of MASK and GI Joe, it would still feel like an event for us.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1809204)
Posted by MGrotusque on July 26th, 2016 @ 12:38am CDT
I really dislike the image of ROM layin down some laser fire on Grimlock. I'd like to think those two dudes would get along.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1809811)
Posted by Va'al on July 28th, 2016 @ 9:04am CDT
Artist Fico Ossio, who will be providing the main linework for the upcoming Revolution event (though not the single series issues) has been sharing on his DeviantART some teaser peeks at his black and white artwork in preparation for the big thing - featuring Transformers, Action Man, Micronauts and soon M.A.S.K. joining the roster. Check them out below, as Optimus features twice, too!

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Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1810033)
Posted by o.supreme on July 28th, 2016 @ 5:08pm CDT
Gretings All...

ok so I just got my monthly comics. Please forgive me but after looking at the schedule for Revolution...I am totally confused. I've been trying to keep up with the articles, but apparently I haven't been doing a good job.

I know that in Sept both the self titled TF & MTMTE will stop at #57 and the next month, October with Revolution go back to #1 (MTMTE will be renamed "The Lost Light"). But will the "Revolution" be each titles #1, or are there Revolution #1's, and individual TF #1's ...(if that makes sense).

Also...is TAAO going to reset after only 4 issues?...seems kind of silly, but oh well.

I know I probably am putting myself through more trouble than its worth, but I am a fan of linear continuity. all these stupid restarts always get on my nerves. IN my world, the Titans return one shot is issue #300 of an ongoing series, and for the most part I've been able to keep track despite all the curveballs that IDW throws, but this one has me perplexed. Its nice they are always providing jumping on points for new fans, but I guess they really don't think much of us that have been around since Infiltration #0 .

If anyone can list it all out for me, this would be appreciated. Also, is it just me or does it seem the timing of Revolution is a bit off. This would have been a good thing to start in January 2017, when both ongoings had a solid 5 year run behind them, and Titans Return could have been fleshed out a bit more rather than forced through 5 issues.
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1810046)
Posted by Va'al on July 28th, 2016 @ 6:00pm CDT
o.supreme wrote:Gretings All...

ok so I just got my monthly comics. Please forgive me but after looking at the schedule for Revolution...I am totally confused. I've been trying to keep up with the articles, but apparently I haven't been doing a good job.

I know that in Sept both the self titled TF & MTMTE will stop at #57 and the next month, October with Revolution go back to #1 (MTMTE will be renamed "The Lost Light"). But will the "Revolution" be each titles #1, or are there Revolution #1's, and individual TF #1's ...(if that makes sense).

Also...is TAAO going to reset after only 4 issues?...seems kind of silly, but oh well.

I know I probably am putting myself through more trouble than its worth, but I am a fan of linear continuity. all these stupid restarts always get on my nerves. IN my world, the Titans return one shot is issue #300 of an ongoing series, and for the most part I've been able to keep track despite all the curveballs that IDW throws, but this one has me perplexed. Its nice they are always providing jumping on points for new fans, but I guess they really don't think much of us that have been around since Infiltration #0 .

If anyone can list it all out for me, this would be appreciated. Also, is it just me or does it seem the timing of Revolution is a bit off. This would have been a good thing to start in January 2017, when both ongoings had a solid 5 year run behind them, and Titans Return could have been fleshed out a bit more rather than forced through 5 issues.


From what we know so far:

- MTMTE ends in title as such with #57, part of Titans Return, with The Transformers.
- Revolution is a 5 issue event, with TAAO, TF and MTMTE each having an extra issue by themselves as tie-ins to the main Revolution issues. They will be TAAO Revolution #1, TF Revolution #1 and MTMTE Revolution #1. This is not the beginning of the renumbering!
- Post-Revolution, MTMTE becomes Lost Light #1 (instead of MTMTE #58; Roberts still considers it the same book), TF becomes Optimus Prime #1 (instead of TF#58), TAAO - as far as we know - goes back to its numbering pre Revolution, so from #5 onwards.

Does that make more sense?
Re: Exclusive: IDW’s John Barber talks Revolution, Action Man, Transformers, Michael Bay and more (1810314)
Posted by o.supreme on July 29th, 2016 @ 9:14am CDT
Thank You. Yes it makes sense in that now I know what to look for at my local shop, and wont be missing any issues. It still doesn't make sens from a business point of view, but whatever. They can number the issues however they want. I just wish maybe in the inside, maybe even on the back page they could put a number in the corner like #301, #302 etc...for those of us that are keeping an overall tab on things. ;)

So...Basically Titans Return is 5 issues (The Titans Return one shot plus MTMTE #56, 57, and TF #56 & 57) . And TAAO #3 and 4 are basically doing there own thing...you'd think it would be part of Titan wars as well but...


Oh and one more question... So...for example in October will there be a TF MTMTE Revolution #1 AND Lost Light #1, or will TF MTMTE Revolution #1 be October, then Lost Light #1 in November?

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