New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died?

Friday, December 11th, 2015 2:16am CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Company News
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 37,013

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In a sneak preview to news announced today on the usual, other comics websites, IDW Publishing have uploaded a quick interview with editor in chief Chris Ryall, introducing their new comics event 'Deviations', a type of 'What If' five-week mini-series, with one spotlight on the Transformers... in a world where Optimus has never died. Check out the interview below, and head back here to Seibertron.com for more news as it happens!

Without giving too much away, what exactly is Deviations?

Deviations is, basically, a look at some of the bigger properties we publish, all of which have had many big, notable moments in their history, where we explore a divergent path in those storylines.

What led to you wanting to do this type of event?

All of the titles that make up this 5-week event have featured stories that have led to fun fan debates over what might have happened if a big event had gone another way, whether in past comics, TV series, or movies. So this is taking a big, fan-favorite moment and spinning that story in another direction to explore what could’ve been.

What series will be involved?

The series, and the catalyst for the stories, are:

Ghostbusters: “In a world… where the Ghostbusters NEVER crossed streams!”
G.I. JOE: “In a world… where COBRA turns the table on G.I. JOE.”
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: “In a world… where Shredder leads the Turtles.”
Transformers: “In a world… where Optimus Prime never died!”
The X-Files: “In a world… where young Fox Mulder was abducted by aliens!”

What’s your favorite “What If…” comic?

I was always a big fan of Frank Miller’s take on “What If Elektra Had Lived?” from the original series. In most of those old comics, the “what-if” story always ended far worse for the characters than in the regular series. Whether that was just to do big, explosive things in those comics or to assure readers things like “See? It’s much better that Phoenix DID die,” they usually all ended very badly. Miller’s Elektra tale, not so much—he took things in another direction entirely, and handled it all in unique fashion. Which is the goal here—anyone can play “what if?” games with stories but we’re really striving for these comics to do surprising, unexpected things. And who knows, if they go over well enough, maybe they could lead to entirely new series of this divergent timeline.

Credit(s): IDW


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Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747179)
Posted by MemphisR56 on December 11th, 2015 @ 3:17am CST
I love what-if scenarios.

I always think they're some of the best parts in videogames and comics.

It'll be interesting to see what event they change in order to make him not die.

It could be quite controversial, if they choose to have Hotrod not jump in during the climax of the battle for autobot city.

I wonder if it means we'll get to see prime take on Unicron.

Maybe they never abandon earth in the shuttles when Galvatron attacks, meaning they never go to Quintessa or Junk and never meet the Junkions (OR WHEELIE! :BOWDOWN: ).

There's so much potential in that story right there.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747182)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 11th, 2015 @ 3:34am CST
Now this is an interesting idea. Though I can see it ending badly for prime as galvatron would if still arrived to try and grab the matrix and if they weren't on junkion, probably wouldn't be as easy to piece prime back together ;) though at least hot rod would of got less hate.


Come to think of it, this might go more along the lines of the original concept for the movie and transform cybertron to battle unicron. ..
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747183)
Posted by MemphisR56 on December 11th, 2015 @ 3:46am CST
ZeroWolf wrote:Now this is an interesting idea. Though I can see it ending badly for prime as galvatron would if still arrived to try and grab the matrix and if they weren't on junkion, probably wouldn't be as easy to piece prime back together ;) though at least hot rod would of got less hate.


Come to think of it, this might go more along the lines of the original concept for the movie and transform cybertron to battle unicron. ..
Has Primus ever actually transformed in the G1 continuity before?
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747186)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 11th, 2015 @ 4:01am CST
Primus hasn't but it was in the original plans of the movie for cybertron to transform, at that point though furman was yet to coin the name primus (well this is as far as I'm aware).
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747199)
Posted by Shumi Nagaremono on December 11th, 2015 @ 6:54am CST
This sounds *really* fun. I know there have been a few rough patches, but IDW has really knocked it out of the park so many times with their TF books. Hope they swing for the fences with this one.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747204)
Posted by Starsaber468 on December 11th, 2015 @ 7:16am CST
Yay time for hot rod to get less hate :D
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747212)
Posted by bluecatcinema on December 11th, 2015 @ 8:00am CST
Things may actually have gone worse if Prime lived. Galvatron was stronger than Megatron, so he'd have the edge on OP in a straight fight (not to mention Optimus would have still been pretty banged up from the battle with Megatron). Galvatron could have torn right through him and taken the Matrix.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747222)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on December 11th, 2015 @ 8:58am CST
Not a big fan of IDW's TF comics but this story sounds like it could be fun. :)
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747230)
Posted by o.supreme on December 11th, 2015 @ 9:25am CST
Sounds cool. I honestly fan fictioned that idea about 17 years ago. In fact I had a whole series of stories.

There was this TV show in the early 80's called Voyagers!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyagers!

Basically about a man and kid who went through time fixing various disruptions in history. I created a team of Autobots & Maximals that basically did the same thing in the multiverse. One of their most difficult missions was to go to Earth in 2005, and ensure the Death of Optimus Prime, because his continued living would result in the destruction of Earth & Cybertron.

I hope whoever does this story, can do it justice, as I'm sure its something that fans have always wanted to see. Additionally that Idea with GI Joe (where COBRA turns the tables) has already been done. It was called Renegades, and despite its ugly animation style, it was a very well written show, and a shame it didn't get more than one season.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747263)
Posted by Va'al on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:02pm CST
We have some more news on the - now confirmed - one-shot featuring the Transformers in the IDW Publishing Deviations series, thanks to Newsarama. Brandon Easton will be taking up writing duties, while Priscilla Tramontano will work out the art, and they've both been interviewed about the issue - find out more below, and read the full piece here.

In March, IDW Publishing is revisiting classic moments from it's most popular franchises in a series of thematic one-shots subtitled "Deviations," and for the Transformers it doesn't get any bigger than the original Transformers: The Movie. Transformers: Deviations revisits the classic G1 era to ask "what if Optimus Prime didn't die and was there to stand against Unicron?"

Transformers: Deviations is by writer Brandon Easton and veteran Transformers artist Priscilla Tramantano, and we spoke to them about this unique opportunity -- and oh yeah, we talk about that epic soundtrack as well.

Newsarama: Brandon, what is Transformers: Deviations about?

Brandon Easton: This is a spin on the extremely popular alternate universe concept seen in sci-fi stories and graphic novels for decades. The idea that we get to peek into a different continuity where events took a strange turn and a whole new reality is born is difficult to resist. In Transformers Deviations, we speculate on the one of the biggest moments in Transformers history – the death of Optimus Prime from the classic Transformers: The Movie (1986).

The story explores the events of the original Generation One Transformers timeline if Optimus Prime had not been critically injured by Megatron in their fateful battle in Autobot City. Anyone who knows the movie and the subsequent stories from the third season of the classic TV series knows that Optimus’ death was a central point in the saga and if he survives a wholly divergent and complex wall of dominoes tumble erratically. We get a universe that deviates from the original timeline in a very interesting way.

So in a nutshell, it’s “What if Optimus Prime survived?”

[...]

Nrama: Who are the characters that take center stage in this one?

Easton: Without ruining too much, I will say that Optimus, Hot Rod and Starscream get a lot of “screen time.” There’s a lot more I could say, but I’d rather have people check out the book when it hits the stores.

Tramontano: Grimlock is a favorite of mine and he plays a big part in the movie so it'll be cool to revisit that. But I'm looking forward to the Starscream coronation gag. It´s such an iconic scene, probably my favorite scene out of the 1986 movie, and I want to see how fans will react to this new spin Brandon gave to it!

Nrama: And is there anyone you wish you could have drawn but didn't?

Tramontano: Well, I love Galvatron but sadly he won't be in this.

[...]

Nrama: This is an interesting concept -- the idea of an alternate history. What does this offer for you two as a writer and artist respectively, and do you see potential for doing it more with Transformers?

Tramontano: As a fan, it's very common for us to play within established universe, drawing fan art, writing fanfics and so on. Imagining what could have been if something had happened differently is part of the fun. I like this idea a great deal. Now, as an artist, things get more complicated because you're dealing with something that people love with all their hearts and you have to be able to tell them you're not trying to replace the original material but just add a new version. I sincerely hope people are open-minded about this book and like the result. Reading Brandon's script, I know I did (as an artist and as a fan).

Easton: Alternate history stories are a sub-genre of speculative fiction and they’re great ways to explore socio-political concepts without alienating readers. I would point to the works of Harry Turtledove or Bryce Zabel to see some compelling takes on how different the world would be if a critical moment in history went in another direction.

Personally, as a writer of speculative fiction and a former U.S. History teacher, I adore alternate histories because they allow us to engage in a different kind of world-building exercise that forces us to work within grounded constraints while still pushing the boundaries of what is/was possible.


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Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747267)
Posted by o.supreme on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:13pm CST
bluecatcinema wrote:Things may actually have gone worse if Prime lived. Galvatron was stronger than Megatron, so he'd have the edge on OP in a straight fight (not to mention Optimus would have still been pretty banged up from the battle with Megatron). Galvatron could have torn right through him and taken the Matrix.


There would have been no Galvatron, because Prime would have killed Megatron. Sure Unicron could have resurrected him as he did the dead seekers and insecticons, but its doubtful the Autobots would have allowed Soundwave to collect Megatrons body if he was already dead, (since they would not have been rushing to Optimus' aid).

Still to your point, and my fanfic idea, things will probably go bad, but not for the reason you are thinking.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747273)
Posted by misfire19d on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:32pm CST
Maybe Unicron will create Hook, Line and Sinker in this timeline?
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747277)
Posted by Dr. Caelus on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:43pm CST
o.supreme wrote:Still to your point, and my fanfic idea, things will probably go bad, but not for the reason you are thinking.


Unicron comes to Earth, first, to take Prime et al. by surprise?

Or Unicron attacks Cybertron, and makes Shockwave his herald? Or worse... Bumblebee.



Plotting things out a bit (cause and effect) -

Galvatron wouldn't kill Starscream, which means no Immortal Spark/Ghost of Starscream. That has repercussions going all the way out to Beast Wars (e.g., Rampage would never exist).

There'd be no slave rebellion on Quintessa, and no grandiose trap involving Optimus's reanimated corpse, which wouldn't be brought back to Earth to spread the Hate Plague, and the Matrix wouldn't be emptied to stop the hate plague.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747280)
Posted by ScottyP on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:48pm CST
Sounds like a fun one-off piece, as long as it doesn't take itself too seriously (which it sounds like it doesn't.) Wouldn't mind seeing re-works to this scene put to bed after this though, given Autocracy also re-wrote it. Yeah, that's not the same continuity, but it still had 90%* of the movie's dialogue.

*Not an actual statistic.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747283)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:55pm CST
o.supreme wrote:
bluecatcinema wrote:Things may actually have gone worse if Prime lived. Galvatron was stronger than Megatron, so he'd have the edge on OP in a straight fight (not to mention Optimus would have still been pretty banged up from the battle with Megatron). Galvatron could have torn right through him and taken the Matrix.


There would have been no Galvatron, because Prime would have killed Megatron. Sure Unicron could have resurrected him as he did the dead seekers and insecticons, but its doubtful the Autobots would have allowed Soundwave to collect Megatrons body if he was already dead, (since they would not have been rushing to Optimus' aid).

Still to your point, and my fanfic idea, things will probably go bad, but not for the reason you are thinking.

Actually I think Optimus would let them take megs body away. You know prime being prime and letting his compassion get in the way.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747291)
Posted by bluecatcinema on December 11th, 2015 @ 1:21pm CST
Well, that Newsarama interview just made it a moot point. But it'll still be interesting to see where things go.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747292)
Posted by Megatron Wolf on December 11th, 2015 @ 1:31pm CST
Not a fan of IDW but i might have to check some of these out, sound pretty interesting.
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747293)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 11th, 2015 @ 1:37pm CST
Ah I missed that bit...-_- well still, wonder how screamers coronation will go...and if it still gets gatecrashed
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747300)
Posted by DeadCaL on December 11th, 2015 @ 2:03pm CST
I know a few people who'll read this and not like it because it doesn't align with their head canon :lol:
Re: New IDW Comics Mini-Series 'Deviations' - What if... Optimus Never Died? (1747311)
Posted by Supreme Convoy on December 11th, 2015 @ 2:52pm CST
Oh wow. This sounds like a good cool take. I'm a big fan of What If? and Elseworlds so I'll give it a shot.

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