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Old 2011-10-20, 06:45 PM   #1
Default Transformers More than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise Comics Coming In Jan 2012!

TFW2005 was fortunate enough to sit in on a web based press conference yesterday held by IDW regarding their 2 upcoming ongoing Transformers books. Transformers More Than Meets The Eye and Transformers Robots In Disguise. Michael Kelly, Director, Global Publishing, Global Brand Licensing & Publishing, Hasbro and John Barber, Senior Editor, IDW gave a rundown of the new direction and answered some questions.

Read on for a full breakdown of the new series, images for the covers, and QnA info! Caution - Spoilers ahead...

SPOILER! (select to read)
After the Death of Optimus Prime (IDW #125, due in December), the "War for Cybertron" is officially over. The Autobots have won and took control of the planet. They are starting to rebuild. There is a choice though - stay or go. This is where the split into 2 books will happen. More Than Meets The Eye will follow Rodimus and his team, as they choose to leave Cybertron. Robots In Disguise will focus on the new leader, Bumblebee, and how he leads the remaining Autobots (and Decepticons, all Transformers for that matter), on Cybertron. Two books, one universe.

In More Than Meets The Eye, Rodimus will lead at least the following bots - Ultra Magnus, Drift, Ratchet (they are seen on the multi cover images). We will follow them and whomever goes with them in space as they search for the "Knights of Cybertron" a legendary band of bots. They are not even sure if they are real. They supposedly have the power to return Cybertron to the "Golden Age" before the war. This group will run into remnants of the Great War on planets and locations that aren't yet aware it is over, as well as other conflicts. So even though the war is over, it is still an action book.

Robots In Disguise will focus on Bumblebee and his attempts to rebuild Cybertron's society. Bots staying with 'Bee will include at least Ironhide, Prowl and Wheeljack. Thousands of neutral Transformers are returning home knowing the war is over. Cybertronians that fled the planet eons ago without choosing sides. Left over Decepticons are also present and need to be dealt with, re-integrated. Bumblebee doesn't want to return to the past; rather, he wants to forge a new future for their race. Here and now, moving forward. Managing all these factions and points of view is hard and we will follow his journey through that.

So basically - it is a philosophical difference between groups of Autobots after the war. Do they look to the past and try to rediscover it, or move away from it look to the future. We follow each view point in the 2 books.

At first, there will be some cross over in the books. But after the "split" officially happens (I assume Rodimus rolls out with his crew to go planet hopping), the books will be relatively independent of each other. There will be themes that may cross over, and Rodimus' crew members may "call home" every so often. But otherwise, independent.

The way this is being pushed is that if you are new to the IDW universe, new to Transformers, or just want to jump back in, this is a good point to do so. It's a reboot without losing the rich continuity they have built over the last 3 years.

Each issue ships with 5 variant covers, each shows the major players in each group, connected art covers. Will have Auto/Decept tattoos as well when they ship. 4 variants and one by series artist.

With that general back-story, I'll post brief QnA info from the event below. All paraphrased.

MTME/RID Questions

RE: Talent
No set time for arcs, writers, artists. Ongoing. Alex Milne, Guido, Roche, Wildman, Furman, all involved in something right now.

RE: Reading CHAOS first
Chaos - don't need to have read it, but reading Chaos will enhance the RID/MTMTE experience.

RE: Underused characters
Yes. Name tossed out - Metalhawk. Will still continue with core recognizable characters, but secondary guys will be worked in.

RE: Profile books (IDW Verse)

RE: Decepticons
Starscream role in RID. Cyclonus even though in IDW not a Decept.

RE: Mini Series
Mini series to spin out from these series like Ironhide or Drift - not right now. Infestation and Original G1 are secondary books right now. Possible down the road.

RE: Furman on main continuity books
Loves work, but for now, he's on original and main is staffed well.

RE: Switching artists every 6 months
Not exact, but switch outs will happen.

RE: Cybertron modes
Wait and see.

RE: Decepticons
Play role - yes. Population of Decepticons in RID. Finding a place for Decepts in new world is a difficult challenge to overcome. Different way in MTMTE.

Non MTMTE/RID Questions:

RE: Last Stand of the Wreckers
Plans to continue - no chance right now.

RE: Legacy of Rust
Looking into it.

RE: Autoacrity
Expect announcement later. Set in past. Part of universe. Surprising revelations. Print/Digital - talk later.

Re: Prime Comic
No comment right now.

RE: Writing
Easier to write for these characters? - Always a challenge, but no different than other properties.

RE: G1 Collections
Will IDW continue to release G1 Marvel, collect full series, and will they do G2 in same way?
- Moving ahead, more coming, wait and see on where it goes. Not his personal dept so not 100% sure.

RE: Animated Comics
Not at the moment.

RE: Joe/TF Crossover
Not planned, but Infestation 2 is coming out.

RE: Release schedule
MTMTE week 1, RID week 3, etc - At first yes. Eventually, could change due to overall IDW scheduling. Also will try not to do 2/3 books of a single series in a row etc.

RE: Toys
Not his dept. .

RE: Vetoing IDW ideas
Veto not a good word. Like to see all ideas, go nuts. If Hasbro needs to, will reel back in. With 1/2 exceptions, never vetoed idea. More of a collab, try to go back and forth until ideas work for everyone.

RE: Exodus/Exiles
More Novels? Stay tuned.

RE: Killing more characters
Not for an event just to sell books, but otherwise, no one is safe.

RE: Universes
Novels fall into current Prime Universe, Movie is own verse, and then IDW "G1" is another one.

RE: Other continuities
Right now - no plans to expand other continuities.

RE: War for Cybertron
Are the WFC games considered part of Prime continuity - YES. Quick and decisive answer.

RE: War for Cybertron Comics
WFC comics - no comment, don't read too much into that. Focus of this event is MTMTE/RID.

More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise Issue #1's and their respective 5 covers each go on pre-order this Friday, make sure to add them to your pull lists or grab subscriptions how you normally do. They should be in stores this January.

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Old 2011-10-20, 07:13 PM   #2
Ulcrain's Avatar

And now I think there dozens of us punching hands up into the air about the plans to continue LSOTW.
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Old 2011-10-20, 10:55 PM   #3
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I'm still cynical, but it all sounds promising.

Decent core cast, though. And it looks like More than Meets the Eye will be going to Team Roberts & Roche. Good to know. Anxious to see how Roberts will write Ratchet, of course.

...Okay, I'm more than a little anxious. Shut up.
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Old 2011-10-21, 01:33 AM   #4
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Well I'm sold, really looks like a nice fresh start for the TF world.
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Old 2011-10-21, 03:18 PM   #5
inflatable dalek
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Red face

So the Rocharts book is going to be lumbered with
SPOILER! (select to read)
Drift, the great white elephant of the IDW Universe
? Most of that sounds underwhelming, and the identity of who'll be leading the Autobots in the other book is deeply stupid
SPOILER! (select to read)
Which characterisation are IDW using for Bumblebee now anyway? The sneaky pragmatic spy from the early issues or the "BAWAHAHAHA Humans hate us???!!! Whyyyyyyyy? SOB" tosser from AHM Coda?
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Old 2011-10-22, 02:13 AM   #6
Red Dave Prime
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I kinda agree with inflatable one. That choice of leader (I assume also, main character) seems quite off. But its quite a shake up so lets give them a chance. IDW have certainly earned that, right?


IMO, I feel that they could have just moved certain characters to the back instead of such a definitive statement. I get why they are going in the direction they are going - mostly underused but popular characters means (hopefully) much new and different ideas but anybody worried that the two "leads" (and I know I am making an assumption there) are probably IDWs two biggest mess-ups in terms of consistent character?

Anyway, best of luck...
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Old 2011-10-22, 10:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
So the Rocharts book is going to be lumbered with
SPOILER! (select to read)
Drift, the great white elephant of the IDW Universe
? Most of that sounds underwhelming, and the identity of who'll be leading the Autobots in the other book is deeply stupid
SPOILER! (select to read)
Which characterisation are IDW using for Bumblebee now anyway? The sneaky pragmatic spy from the early issues or the "BAWAHAHAHA Humans hate us???!!! Whyyyyyyyy? SOB" tosser from AHM Coda?
On the bright side, the Transformers are finally going to be off Earth. No more bloody Skywatch bollocks. No more stories like "International Incident" or "Scrapper". No more bloody Spike Witwicky sucking the life and joy out of every story that he's in

And if anyone can make
SPOILER! (select to read)
at least mildly interesting I'm sure it's Roche and Roberts. After all they have a history of taking characters that had zero personality and making them cool. Ironfist, Pyro, Snare and Rotorstorm had even less personality than
SPOILER! (select to read)
before Last Stand of the Wreckers, unbelievable as it may seem that anyone could have less personality than him.

Bumblebee leading the Autobots is still what the ****-ery of the highest order though as in his time as Autobot leader the only thing he did of any importance is get shot.
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Old 2011-10-23, 03:24 PM   #8
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SPOILER! (select to read)
I'm not too concerned about the dippier ideas from the last two years, Bumblebee as elected Autobot leader and Drift in general, being carried on by the new teams. For one, those are elements that will give MTMTE and RID an identity apart from being another 1984 G1 back-to-basics rehash. Also, there is no idea that can't be made interesting with a good execution.

The mention of Cyclonus is also very intriguing. The main premise of restoring Cybertron from antiquity or forging ahead with a new direction is kind of encoded in IDW Cyclonus' character. I'm looking forward to former villains becoming heroic and protagonists becoming antagonists with this new set up.

No sign of Jazz yet. I wonder if that's significant.

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Old 2011-11-05, 07:25 PM   #9
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Here's hopeing for Springer to get out of his life support and the return of Whirl in MTMTE.
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Old 2011-11-09, 07:34 AM   #10
inflatable dalek
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Via our Transfans cousins, a nice Q&A with James Roberts (for whom my love is starting to move way beyond homoerotic):

Nothing hugely new there, but he's always worth a read. My favourite quote being this:

Q: Is continuity something that you strictly adhere to or would you play a little with it?

A: I try to strictly adhere to it, and when I don't it's unintentional. I do, however, have certain get-out clauses that I can use if something minor is really getting in the way of telling a good story. I have a Background Cameo Rule, for example. If a character appears as background fodder - especially in stories set in the past - and he looks a bit like Character A, but has no speaking part and isn't referred to by anyone as Character A, and if the events to which he is bearing witness would happen in exactly in the same way were he not Character A but, say, someone who looked very much like him, then I will decide, internally, that he is not Character A. I'm thinking here about some of the mourners at the funeral of Fastback and Bumper in Megatron: Origins. I will say no more.
An IDW writer who cares about continuity but still has common sense as well? How long before they realise their mistake and replace him with another Shane McCarthy style 1000 monkeys with a 1000 typewriters?
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Old 2011-11-09, 01:31 PM   #11
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Both James Roberts and John Barber care about continuity quite a bit, so no problem about that, then.

Roberts is also nice enough to say that 'Megatron Origin' is a good background 'even though it's made in the Dreamwave era so it doesn't fit with Furman's IDW-verse'... when really any one could see that Origin, while full of interesting concepts, is turd.

You know, I have an urge to make an IDW-timeline thing. A description of the comics from the Furman era to the McCarthy era to the Costa era to the Roberts era.
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Old 2011-11-10, 05:16 AM   #12
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Shoulden't it be the JJ era? O and just got new uptate that preety much flat out says the Dynobots are returning. Good times.
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Old 2011-11-10, 06:23 PM   #13
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And why do they keep saying that Exodus, Prime, and WFC are all the same Universe? They're not. Exodus and Prime haven't really contradicted each other yet, but WFC definately doesn't fit in either one.

No more than it does G1 or Movie-verse.
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Old 2011-11-10, 07:37 PM   #14
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Oh, and with Bumblebee being leader, the second interview adress the fact about it.
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