Not a huge amount of information is currently available beyond the franchises involved (Action Man?) and that it won't negate current continuity for those series that are already up and running like Transformers.
But based on the current info both there and in Chris Ryall's tweets today:
This will be achieved in a way that will make sense of obvious disparities like G.I. Joe not noticing All Hail Megatron (so some sort of multiple realities meshing has to be the only likely explanation).
After the biweekly series is over, Ex-RID will be reverting to issue 1, MTMTE will be "Relaunched" in some other way (? It's a garbled tweet tbh due to trying not to reveal too much), but Till All Are One will be carrying on without an almost immediate reboot. Indeed, as Sara Pitra-Durocher had to send an email to Chris Ryall after the announcement to check she was still in work (as possibly did the Micronauts artist as there was a reassuring tweet about him as well) it looks like that book is being kept completely out of the loop.
It will then carry on like the Marvel Universe (you know, the one that partly removed Transformers from its continuity because there's no way giant alien robot invasion wouldn't have become everyone's top priority) with the characters from all the franchises running into each other every so often.
It all feels... a bit driven from on high by Hasbro and possibly without much advance notice (launching a new ongoing right before the Big Push rather than with it seems odd) and whilst there's been no Captain America fandom style reaction there is a lot of mild confusion and worry. Especially with the (unintentional?) tone of a lot of James Roberts tweets lately (about how Dying of the Light would make a good finale, how he's looking forward to full disclosure interviews when it's over...).
My main worry here is simply that most of the Big Events IDW have tried with Transformers haven't been very good and that the only one of these properties with any real weight to it beside TF's is the one that does regular crossovers with it anyway.
'All these things exist together. That's what the fans want to see'. Like f*** they do.
I feel really sorry for Scott in this situation. She's already had one series torpedoed from the off by a terrible toy-selling event that meant it never really cemented its own identity, and now her second full series is having to contend with *two* potentially Godawful pieces of crap subsuming it within the first six months of its debut. I mean, give her a break.
The overwhelming desire to make absolutely everything part of a shared universe is one of the Top Sixteen Things I Hate About Modern Culture, You Won't Believe Number 7.
Especially as so many of them (including this one) seem to miss what made the Marvel films succeed with the general public: They didn't assume prior knowledge and gave each of the main heroes at least one film to establish themselves so that there would be anticipation for their big team up.
Rushing straight into the mesh up with some characters that a large part of the audience aren't going to care about (presumably it's not going to be the version of Action Man who is actually in G.I. Joe as it mentions him as a separate thing, so is it "Yay, we can vicariously live the thrill of killing Germans!" 70's take? Hunter from Gladiators take?) is like going straight to orgasm without foreplay.
Do Serious Joe fans still look down on Transformers? This'll give them kittens.
*Agreed with Mr. Flammery about Stone's poor luck.
And surprise, surprise, Ryall is throwing around that terrible recent article equating all fandom concerns and criticisms with overly demanding entitlement. If he hadn't earned my contempt with his previously-exhibited lack of talent and inability to keep any continuity straight, this has cemented it.
A cry of 'read it and judge, don't condemn out of hand' when applied to an obvious marketing scheme trying desperately to jump on the shared world gravy train is a far more entitled attitude than any I've seen made by fans so far in response to this announcement. They're going to have to do a lot more than this terrible press release to convince me that this event is worth any of my money.
I missed that tweet, odd as Ryall was perfectly pleasant to me. Guess the sheer number of tweets has overwhelmed him? Certainly the reaction from fans I've seen has been puzzled and worried but not angry.
And yeah, you can't really complain about people pre-judging your series when the entire purpose of this PR piece is to try and get people to pre-judge it in favour of buying.
I can see some of these working in the same universe (IIRC they already said that M.A.S.K. was going to be a G.I. Joe spin-off anyway) but only if they were STARTED that way and were planned that way from the ground up.
Throwing them together in a Crisis on Infinite Earths style storyline is not going to help them in the long term however IMHO. Chances are it will hurt all the properties because:
A) I think people are getting sick of shared movie and TV show universes.
B) No other than Marvel and the people running the DC TV shows on the CW have figured out how to it right.
C) The problem is that all the previous continuities with The Transformers and G.I. Joe that IDW already has done and inherited from other publishers, and the fact that neither of those properties have ever worked well together without being completely bat-shit insane stories or just plain awful.
I have no interest in crossover stuff. I cant speak for the actual comics that Marvel o but the movies have worked because as said, they have been built that way. Everything has been done to link them up. This wouldnt be the case and while I know its all toy brands and a bit silly really, you cant have MASK and GI Joe and the Transformers in the same universe.
Mask would come across so low rent compared to GI Joe in terms of size and scale so why bother - You could just make up a mini-series about a small Joe Squad vs a small cobra squad and it would pretty much replicate MASK v Venom. As for Transformers, at the point Ex-Rid is at, GI Joes take would seem so low-fi not just to the Cybertronians but also to the current Human army. And this would all mean that GI Joe and Mask would have to acknowledge that aliens are real.
I've probably already given this more thought than Ryall would seem to.
I can only seeing this killing my interest in the books. At this point I'm already considering cancelling my orders for everything except MTMTE once sins ends and while that may seem unfair to Scott, fact is the windblade second series wasnt great and the thoughts of MORE starscream vs windblade doesnt fill me with any joy.
I'm not shocked, just ... previous form shows this has never worked out well.
And why is it necessary? Its not like comics are selling in their millions to make this a worthwhile exercise. If it suddenly meant Hasbro's various properties become the next mega-franchise, then fair enough.
Hmmm... a publisher that releases comics based on toys is given an order by the maker of toys to tie all of their toy comics together, and people are shocked?
Not shocked, just disappointed.
Look, being absolute honest here, I love MTMTE. Even with a dodgy issue its IMO the best TF comic by far ever. The last five years have been mostly great and I'd like to see it concluded to some degree in the manner Roberts intended. Its clearly very much a personal piece for him and while I wont discount that someone could do a better comic or could take the same characters and premise and make it better, my gut feeling is that when he calls it a day many of the MTMTE fans will go with him.
Ex-RID is very up and down and while I dont like the idea of crossovers, i reckon that book could handle it but I really would hate to see the lost light story have to divert for some crossover bullshit. And sure, its Hasbros stuff and they can do what they like with it but I kinda hoped we would get to the end of roberts tale before the big hand interfered in such an intrusive way.
I can't really chime in here with any great authority, as I'm only just really starting to get into the IDW stuff - I know a lot of you guys have stuck with it for ten years and are more emotionally invested in it than I am.
One thing that put me off Marvel stuff is the constant hyperlinking to other books, like "Oho, Dr. Insane, I thought you perished in the volcano in Thor #274", "No, you're wrong! I was rescued by the alien Zog in Web of Amazing Spectacular Spider-Man #12, and then given a new body in Uncanny West Coast X-Factor #72. Oh, and if you'd read Ultimate New New Mutants Volume 3 issue 7, you'd know I prefer to go by the name Dr. Mega-Insane now!!!"
I'm worried that if I see Action Man pop up in a TF book and mention some previous meeting, the OCD in me will want to go buy all the Action Man trades just so I get the full story, know what I mean? Gah, I'm a marketing man's wet dream, falling right into the trap.
The cynic in me says that Transformers is being used as a crutch to support things like ROM or Micronauts which don't really have the same global appeal. This can be a good thing - if not for the success of the Avengers films we may never have gotten Guardians of the Galaxy, so maybe by piggybacking on Transformers we may get a decent Action Man strip that could surprise a few people.
Count me in as cautiously optimistic, especially as someone who used to love MASK back in the day. I recognise that people are fearful that it might bugger up Transformers, but I guess we won't know if it'll be a success until it happens.
I pity the poor wiki editors who have to sort all this lot out [reads entries for G1 Wheelie and G1 Tracks again, then compares the word-count of the Ian Rimmer article to that of the David Willis article], oh, actually no I don't.