Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron

Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 9:52pm CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 15,254

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And finally in comics news today, we have a lengthy interview with IDW Publishing writer John Barber, courtesy of Previews World's Vice Brusio, on the upcoming Unicron event in the Transformers comics - one that will bring the current narrative universe to an end, and Lost Light and Optimus Prime ongoing series with it.

The two touch upon a number of general points from the mini-series, including what it means for the comics in general, and the mythos of Unicron up to this point, plus what we're to expect from the event. The article also showcases the covers revealed so far by Alex Milne and James Raiz (see the latter's full piece here), so take a look below, and join the conversation in the Energon Pub!

Vince Brusio: The cover page for IDW’s section in the May PREVIEWS touts how Transformers: Unicron “marks the end of the Transformers universe as we know it.” That’s a bold statement. The history behind Transformers at IDW is considerable. New characters like Windblade have been introduced. Countless stories have been collected in trade paperback. And now we’re told it can all get wiped out? Can you give us some details on how Unicron is going to live up to such hype?

John Barber: This is going to be the conclusion to the story — and the universe — that IDW launched back with Transformers: Infiltration #0 in 2005. IDW and Hasbro still have plenty more to say with Transformers — don’t misunderstand that! — but for this particular history, it’s all over. Now — whether that history gets wiped out or gets a nice happy ending for everybody? That’s the part that is playing out in the Unicron event.

I’m incredibly proud of the work that’s been done on this universe. Simon Furman and EJ Su started it, and I’ve had a hand in it for over six years, working alongside Transformers greats like James Roberts, Mairghread Scott, Kei Zama, Jack Lawrence, Andrew Griffith, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Livio Ramondelli, Priscilla Tramontano, Brendan Cahill, Guido Guidi, Shane McCarthy, Nick Roche, and so many more. For me, I started writing Transformers: Robots in Disguise back in 2012. I’ve written more Transformers comics than I ever thought possible, and I loved every minute of it. Working on the same set of characters, the same universe, for so long has been the most rewarding creative experience of my life, and one I really doubt that I’ll ever be able to duplicate.

So, for me — and for Unicron artist Alex Milne, who’s been with Transformers longer than me — we both feel that if we’re going to do an ending for this, we’d best make the greatest ending we can.

[...]

Vince Brusio: An unlettered preview page is featured just below the cover of issue #1 in the May PREVIEWS solicitation. Tell us what we’re seeing on this page. How is it a window into understanding the consequences of this storyline?

John Barber: That’s page one from issue #1. In it, we see the legendary history of the great creator, Primus, and his opposite — Unicron, the Chaos-Bringer. These are characters that run deep in Transformers history — back to the original runs of the comic books and animated series. Over the years, in different media, Primus and Unicron have usually been portrayed as primal cosmic beings locked in an endless struggle. So, here, on this page, we’re seeing the legend — the story Cybertronians have passed down for millions and millions of years.

The thing is, now that Unicron is here, the facts don’t match the legend... so Optimus, Windblade, and Starscream are all asking the question, “How much of this is true and how much was just a bedtime story?"

[...]

John Barber: Ooooh, we did a lot of drafts. When we settled on doing Unicron, I got on the phone with James Roberts, Mairghread Scott, Nick Roche, and then-Transformers Editor (and still-good friend) Carlos Guzman, and we talked at length about the possibilities of the story. We had a lot of really good ideas, some of which worked, and some didn’t. We all wanted this to have meaning, and to have this even actually be about something — not just be empty spectacle. If you know the IDW Transformers comics, you know they’re about character first and foremost. We like to tackle big themes and big emotions, and it was important to all of us to keep that foregrounded. Which is a long way of saying that there’ve been a lot of drafts.

We’re about halfway through as I type this, so we’re pretty deep in. We’re double-shipping for the start of the event, but we’re back to regular schedule for the end, in something of an effort to not kill Alex, who is doing the work of his career here. And that is saying a lot!


Transformers News: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron

Transformers News: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron

Credit(s): Previews World


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Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1962961)
Posted by william-james88 on June 4th, 2018 @ 8:55am CDT
Va'al wrote:And it's done in such a way that will allow several readers to really want to get into the main story come July, while not relying on senseless shock value twists or carnage for its own sake (yes, we all know what I'm referring to here).


I am in the dark here, what is Va'al referring to?

Also, why does no one know unicron? I unerstand them not believing he exists but I thought he was still part of the lore and mythos.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1962964)
Posted by ZeroWolf on June 4th, 2018 @ 9:29am CDT
Va'al is referring to tf vs visionaries and possibly lost light. There's also conflicting tales of the tf creation story in idw, neither of them featured unicron but given that he was awoken by a signal sent by cybertron, I think the normal story is going to be turned on its head.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1962990)
Posted by sol magnus on June 4th, 2018 @ 12:12pm CDT
Not that I want to see this continuity go away, I find it pretty excellent that I can fit the entire run in one long box without using sleeves (as I have every issue published by IDW under this continuity).

Guess I'll have to start another long box of whatever they come up with after Unicron wraps.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1962993)
Posted by starfishy on June 4th, 2018 @ 12:38pm CDT
Sometimes it seems like Unicron and senseless shock value go hand in hand though. :-P
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1963027)
Posted by AlphaBass on June 4th, 2018 @ 3:50pm CDT
I guess the cover reveals who survives the fight between Victorion and Devastator.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1963068)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on June 4th, 2018 @ 8:04pm CDT
TF-fan kev777 wrote:
SynchroBunny wrote:Wasn't there that G.I.Joe guy whose name escapes me, from the Scavengers issue? I recall him ending up going through a portal at the end.


If you mean MP3, actually, I think it was the opposite, the Scavengers ditched him and went through the portal (If I remember correctly).

No one went through that portal. The Scavengers left the planet, and MP3 merely put a letter of resignation through there to go to Scarlett, but then tried to get it back after the Scavengers left him.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1963216)
Posted by ScottyP on June 5th, 2018 @ 1:09pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
Va'al wrote:And it's done in such a way that will allow several readers to really want to get into the main story come July, while not relying on senseless shock value twists or carnage for its own sake (yes, we all know what I'm referring to here).


I am in the dark here, what is Va'al referring to?

Also, why does no one know unicron? I unerstand them not believing he exists but I thought he was still part of the lore and mythos.


ZeroWolf wrote:Va'al is referring to tf vs visionaries and possibly lost light. There's also conflicting tales of the tf creation story in idw, neither of them featured unicron but given that he was awoken by a signal sent by cybertron, I think the normal story is going to be turned on its head.
Despite not being Va'al, I can say with 100% certainty he is referring to Kup's death in TF vs Visionaries #1
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1963263)
Posted by Va'al on June 5th, 2018 @ 5:52pm CDT
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964015)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on June 9th, 2018 @ 12:14pm CDT
Thanks to a heads up from comic watchdog Sunstar, we have news that yet another new cover for IDW's Unicron #1 has been revealed. This new cover, done by IDW Till All Are One artist Sara Pitre-Durocher, is a callback to the original Transformers: Issue 1 cover from the very first issue back in 1984. The cover still has the giant Optimus Prime, but the remaining cover characters have been replaced with Bumblebee, Shockwave, Starscream (in a different spot than the original), Aileron, and the Mistress of Flame. The cover was found on comics site Previews World

Check out the new cover below, and prepare yourself, for Unicron #1 comes next month!

Image
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964025)
Posted by Sabrewing on June 9th, 2018 @ 12:39pm CDT
...That's beautiful. And amazing, and sad.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964051)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on June 9th, 2018 @ 2:22pm CDT
While it's not original, I still like it. And even though I have lost interest in pretty much all the IDW books, the series intrigues me as well. Depending on the level of Shockwave's involvement, I might read it. I'm still waiting to see how Lost Light ends.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964078)
Posted by bluecatcinema on June 9th, 2018 @ 4:20pm CDT
A nice little homage to the classic comics. And fitting, considering this story is supposed to close out the current continuity before IDW reboots everything.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964118)
Posted by Quint on June 9th, 2018 @ 9:25pm CDT
Riffing on the Marvel #1 cover for a final issue is becoming something of a cliché.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964143)
Posted by BumbleDouche on June 10th, 2018 @ 2:38am CDT
Meh... What's going on with that right arm/shoulder? Come to think of it, the left isn't that great either... For starters. From my lofty position as a talentless hack, I think this cover seems rather sloppy, by modern standards.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964164)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 10th, 2018 @ 7:13am CDT
Can't say I'm a fan. Then again, I didn't like the original either. Considering this is Unicron's story he is barely noticeable as more than background colouring.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964546)
Posted by ScottyP on June 12th, 2018 @ 8:17am CDT
Quint wrote:Riffing on the Marvel #1 cover for a final issue is becoming something of a cliché.


BumbleDouche wrote:Meh... What's going on with that right arm/shoulder? Come to think of it, the left isn't that great either... For starters. From my lofty position as a talentless hack, I think this cover seems rather sloppy, by modern standards.


AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Can't say I'm a fan. Then again, I didn't like the original either. Considering this is Unicron's story he is barely noticeable as more than background colouring.
I'd like to point out that this is the Retail Incentive "C" cover, meaning at best a shop can order one copy of it per 25 copies of Unicron 1 they order.

In other words, there won't be a lot of them in circulation and those that are will likely run $20 minimum.

Edit: it's a 50 copy incentive. Good luck to those that want it! It's gonna be expensive.
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964723)
Posted by Va'al on June 13th, 2018 @ 4:13am CDT
Via comics retailer on Facebook Stadium Comics, we have another variant cover to show you today, for the upcoming IDW Publishing Transformers Unicron mini-series - the one that will End the Universe, as far as these stories are concerned - made specifically for their store, courtesy of Alex Milne and Josh Perez.

And fans of old, be it Unicron, Transformers, or just jumping it with all the buzz, will recognise this one for sure from a poster for a certain 1986 movie. Check it out below, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub discussion boards!

YOU'VE GOT THE TOUCH! We're excited to announce our next Stadium Exclusive Variant for TRANSFORMERS: UNICRON #1 by series artist Alex Milne, paying tribute to the poster art of the 1986 Transformers movie! Only 500 of these will be printed and pre-orders start at 11am eastern time June 13th at https://


Image

Image
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964728)
Posted by ZeroWolf on June 13th, 2018 @ 5:28am CDT
I always find it funny when looking at the 1986 movie poster that the only glimpse of hot rod you get is in his rodimus prime winabago alt. Surprised no one then complained of bait and switch
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964730)
Posted by Randomhero on June 13th, 2018 @ 5:49am CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:I always find it funny when looking at the 1986 movie poster that the only glimpse of hot rod you get is in his rodimus prime winabago alt. Surprised no one then complained of bait and switch


The internet didn’t exist yet for grown men to complain about such things
Re: Interview with IDW Transformers Writer John Barber on Unicron (1964746)
Posted by Rodimus Knight on June 13th, 2018 @ 8:00am CDT
I'd like to get this cover, but I'm guessing it will be a costly pain in the butt to get.
I also like that Arcee is the only character duplicated in the same position.

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