Saturday afternoon at WonderCon 2019 in Anaheim, California IDW Publishing gathered for a conversation about the Transformers line of comics. The panelists present to talk about the property included IDW’s Editor-in-Chief John Barber who hosted the panel, Transformers editor David Mariotte and Assistant Editor Megan Brown. Artist E.J. Su was not present at the beginning of the panel and Barber teased that he may be coming later on during the panel.
The focus shifted towards the core Transformers title, which launched a second installment this past Wednesday. Mariotte teased that artists Andrew Griffith and Sara Pitre-Durocher, who drew the last continuity, are returning to the title. Barber stated the series is set before the war.
Mariotte introduced the concept that the title is focused on the period of time before the Transformers war. Mariotte also introduced Rubble, a new character created for the Transformers 2019 series. “Bumblebee is going to be showing him the ropes,” said Mariotte. The editor announced that readers can expect more from Windblade in future issues. The editors stated Issue #7 is the start of the second arc for the series.
“It’s not that often as a reader you get to be on the ground floor with something like this” teased writer Brian Ruckely in a video segment of the panel. “I hope there are some twists on storylines perhaps you think you already know,” he continued. Ruckley stated that some of your favorite Transformers characters could be coming up in future issues. Mariotte joked that Ruckely wasn’t allowed to be in attendance due to the harsh bi-monthly publishing schedule.
Barber stated Ruckley started wrote a Rogue Trooper comic with IDW which is how they were introduced. He elaborated that a number of different individuals were pitching to be the writer on the Transformers 2019 comic book, and that Ruckley’s pitch had a Shakespearean element between Optimus Prime and Megatron. “I think you can see [the scope] pretty well in the pages by Cachét Whitman,” teased Mariotte.
The editors teased even-numbered issues will feature geographic poster variant covers within the Transformers Universe. The covers will be drawn by Jeffrey Veregge on from #2-12. Anna Malkova is a brand new artist that drew a cover for the series. Mariotte showed off a concept design from Angel Hernandez featuring Rubble and another new character, Geomotus. Mariotte stated Geomotus is the first openly-disabled Cyerbtronian who is set to debut in issue #3. Barber jokingly asked E.J. Su, who still had not made it to the panel, what it was like to contribute pencils to the series. Mariotte and Barber talked about how E.J. had drawn the first cover for the previous Transformers series and even drew a cover for the new Transformers series.
Barber then introduced Transformers ’84 #0, which is a prequel to the Marvel comic featuring legendary creator Simon Furman and longtime artist Guido Guidi. Later on in the panel, the editors clarified Transformers ’84 #0 is a one-shot only. The panelists also revealed there will be 35th-anniversary covers by Guidi on the main Transformers title, which will be on odd-numbered variants from #3-11.
Mariotte teased Transformers Ghostbusters #1. Barber stated that WonderCon attendees are getting an ashcan of the first four pages of the title. “It’s really about the new character Ectotron who is getting a toy” teased Mariotte. The panelists even stated that the title will reveal his true name.
The Barber and Mike Johnson-written Star Trek vs. Transformers is being published soon in a trade paperback. The panel described the work as a love letter to both properties. Barber stated Go-Bots by Tom Scioli is going to be available in trade paperback this June. Assistant Editor Megan Brown teased the Synergy series from IDW featuring the female protagonists from IDW properties including Transformers before the panel wrapped up and segued into fan-based questions.
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