IDW held an invitation only Press Conference to open discussion on the two Ongoing series starting up in 2012. The conference was directed by John Barber, Senior Editor at IDW, and Michael Kelly, Director of Global Publishing and Licensing at Hasbro. Just a warning that the following information revealed is SPOILERIFIC about the two series, so continue at your own risk.
The titles of the two Ongoing titles will be: More Than Meets The Eye written by James Roberts and drawn by Nick Roche, and Robots In Disguise written by John Barber and drawn by Andrew Griffith.
War for Cybertron is over… following the end of Chaos and the Death of Optimus Prime… now the hard part begins… there are two choices: Stay or Go.
The Autobots are faced with solving the fall out after Chaos, the war has been over, Cybertron is habitable, how do they forge a new future? But they have a disagreement, which divides them in two.
: More than Meets the Eye, is led by Rodimus who plans to search for the legendary Knights of Cybertron. Those who follow him have various reasons for doing so, all of which plan to be discovered as the series progresses. But it pulls in a bigger picture with a farther reaching vision that is not limited to Cybertron itself.
: Robots in Disguise, led by Bumblebee who stays on Cybertron. Not only are they swarmed by thousands of non aligned Transformers who have returned to Cybertron, but those Decepticons who survived the fall out of Chaos as well. Their challenges will focus on how to rebuild a new society rather than go back to a golden age and maintain control with an ever increasing population.
But on both fronts, things don't go right and as planned. It's a clean opening and a great place for anyone to jump back on board with the Transformers comics. It's not necessarily a reboot, because what has come before has lead to this point, but it is a new direction that will be unique and fresh. (And no, you will not have to have read what has come before to jump in, but this will be a great POINT to come back and see what Transformers comics has to offer.)
There were 9 covers shown in the presentation. All from Issue 1 for both titles. There will be 5 variant covers for each issue. One from the series artist, and the other will interconnect from a guest artist. More Than Meets The Eye will have a single cover from Nick Roche (not shown) and Alex Milne (shown). Robots In Disguise will have a single cover from Andrew Griffith (shown - see above) and variants by Marcelo Matere (shown). There will also be temporary tattoos shipped with the covers.
They will be focusing on a core cast.
There will be some overlap at the beginning but the two series will depart and go their own directions; however, will still be interconnected in some unique ways.
James and John are working very closely with each other to make the stories fit well.
Both writers plan to be on board for a while.
Plans to bring in other favorite artists here and there.
What's Earth? Planning to step away from their for now.
There MAY be character profile book, some interest was expressed.
There will be new characters we haven't seen in Transformers before. The name Metalhawk was name dropped.
Decepticons will continue to play a key role in story lines, a population in the RID series, Starscream and Cyclonus both name dropped.
For now they are focusing 100% on these two series. Nothing else is planned.
Autocracy is part of the universe, but set in past. (more announcements to come on this in the future.)
Classics volumes will continue as far as was known at the time.
Transformers Animated, Transformers Prime, crossovers, and other continuities continuation? Not at this time. Only Infestation 2 in Jan-March 2012.
Simon Furman is committed to the 81 continuity at this time and there are no plans of bringing him over to the IDW continuity at this time.
Logical artist switch offs and publishing release schedule projected.
Hasbro's input has been invaluable. It is a collaborative creative process with IDW.
Hasbro also said wait and see when asked about more Transformers books/novels in the future.
Preorders on these Ongoing issues will be available tomorrow.
MTMTE Covers Combined, art by Alex Milne colored by Josh Perez
Thank you IDW for including tformers in on this event, it was a real treat!