Transformers Daily News Source for Transformers 5, Titans Return, Robots in Disguise, Combiner Wars, Generations, Third Party, G1, Beast Wars, Reviews, Comics, Games & More Than Meets the Eye!
TFormers Transformers News and Reviews
facebook twitter Pinterest Tumblr Google+ youtube podcast rss
Generation 1
John Barber - Transformers: Robots in Disguise #11 Interview
Jack - Thursday, November 22, 2012


Which of the two TRANSFORMERS comics released today by IDW and Hasbro has the biggest shock on page 22? The official TF page is not giving you an opinion but they did sit down with TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE writer (and IDW Senior Editor) John Barber to talk about the past year on Cybertron. TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #11 (guest-penciled by superstar Guido Guidi) will be at comic book stores and online worldwide! Read the interview below.

Q: Hi John. Robots in Disguise is almost a year old now. Has everything panned out as smoothly as you had hoped in the story you are telling?

JOHN BARBER: Hi! Well, we’ve stuck pretty close to the original ideas. New things have definitely cropped up, new ideas pop in all the time, but the essential story Andrew Griffith and I set out to tell over the first year or so has gone according to plan. Along the way there’ve been some nice synchronicities, some characters have asserted themselves in ways that either made them bigger characters or that changed the way the story unfolded, but overall, yeah.


Q: You’ve been trying to make sense of some continuity issues that have cropped up. Is this something you really wanted to try in fix from past TF comics?

JOHN BARBER: It’s not really that I set out to fix things as much as sometimes little continuity things suggest interesting stories or directions. Like, with Metalhawk—when More Than Meets The Eye writer James Roberts and I were working on The Death of Optimus Prime, James had come up with the notion of having a character be the de facto leader of the neutral Cybertronians who were returning home. I thought it’d be cool to use an existing Transformers character that we hadn’t seen yet—somebody that would have resonance with some fans, but it wouldn’t be essential that anybody know who he is.

We bounced some ideas between us and Andy Schmidt, who was the editor then, and to Michael Kelly at Hasbro. Eventually, James suggested Metalhawk. A quick internet search showed that Metalhawk had appeared in one panel in the Drift limited series. Or, anyway, somebody that looked an awful lot like Metalhawk was there. Alex Milne had drawn him in as, basically, a random ’bot. Nobody called him Metalhawk, he didn’t do anything particularly important. And it would have been pretty easy to just ignore that. And, honestly—and I know some fans vehemently disagree with what I’m about to say—I think it would have been fair to just write that off as “somebody that looks like Metalhawk” if it got in the way of the story.

But it got me thinking, and I thought it could be kind of cool if that were Metalhawk, and even though he’s only got that one panel in the Drift comic, that battle had actually been a key part of Metalhawk’s life. And that created an opportunity to bring Turmoil (who I think is an awesome character who deserved more of an on-panel life) back and have it mean something personal to somebody that Turmoil was around. So that panel just suggested some depth to the then-just-being-developed-in-current-continuity Metalhawk.

Hopefully, in practice, it doesn’t matter to the RID reader if they ever see that panel, but I think it’s fun that that panel is there. It creates a wider, more coherent tapestry of stories, without being obtrusive or stopping us from moving forward.



Q: After seeing all of the previous TF work, how hard did you find it get into the characters heads and come up with their voices and point of views?

JOHN BARBER: Well, over my life I’ve spent a fair amount of time with these characters—reading the comics, watching the cartoons and movies, playing with the toys when I was young—so I had some thoughts about the characters. There were some that, over the years, had been portrayed in ways that didn’t exactly match up all the way, which is just the reality of what happens when you have an ongoing comic book universe with different writers and artists playing in the same sandbox.

But, again, that was an opportunity. Real people do contradictory things, real people change their approaches over the years. We react differently to different situations. So I tried to use those different reactions and figure out what might make these particular iterations of these guys tick.

I tried to give the characters distinct points of view and voices based on what we’d seen them do over the course of all the IDW-published comics, and also what the sort-of “classic” versions of the characters are. I like using the big characters, and some of them have developed really interesting backstories, but that’s mostly how I view the previous stories, in practical storytelling terms. I mean, not that my stories are better, I just mean that as a writer, you have to focus on the story you’re telling, not a previous story. As a reader, you shouldn’t need to know the details of the character’s lives to follow what they’re doing now, or to enjoy them as characters… but if you do want to know about their life stories—a lot of it’s been published!



Q: Can you say much about your grand plan when you started writing RID? Did you have this time of peace on the re-born Cybertron well plotted out?

JOHN BARBER: Yeah, the big arc of the first year or so, definitely. It’s really about 16 issues that will get you a big climax to the story begun in issue 1. But not an end to the RID saga, I should add. That definitely keeps going!

Like I said, some of it changed a little, but the broad strokes are the same.

There were certain stories I wanted to hit—RID was never meant to be only about the political struggle. I wanted to have a story about somebody coming home trying to fit in on this world; a wilderness story; a story about the city surviving the changed environment of the planet. I feel like we did pretty well hitting those stories and still moving forward with a big, macro story about the power struggle in Iacon.



Q: Have you had to change or adapt how you write the stories, maybe based on something you’ve seen coming up in maybe an issue of More Than Meets the Eye (RID’s sister title)?

JOHN BARBER: We toss ideas back and forth all the time, James and I. So yeah, we’re constantly affecting what each other are doing. We’ve managed to not screw each other up, though, with our stories. If that’s what you mean.



Q: Have you found it difficult to keep a track of events in RID, especially with issues such as the time travelling space ship causing chaos (at least for the characters)?

JOHN BARBER: Yeah… it’s funny. I really intentionally focused in on five key players—Bumblebee, Ironhide, Prowl, Wheeljack, and Starscream—with Metalhawk playing a huge outsider role for most of the series. But as the series went on, a lot of other characters became important, too. So keeping track of where everybody is and where they wind up by issue 16 has been constantly on my mind.

Issue 10, with the time-traveling space-ship… that was it’s own beast. That was hard to keep track of on a totally different level. And I’m happy people came along for that ride.



Q: Is there any one stand-out moment from the first year of RID that you are most proud of over the others?

JOHN BARBER: Yes, but I can’t say what it is yet without giving things away.



Q: A certain character re-appears in issue 11 of RID. Had the return of this character been in your mind right from the very start?

JOHN BARBER: Yes, absolutely. Don’t miss today’s issue! Everything changes here.



Q: Between writing RID and editing the books across the TF license, would you say its one of the most challenging jobs you’ve done in comics?

JOHN BARBER: Sure, yeah. I mean, I edit more than just the Transformers comics, too—I work on G.I. Joe with Carlos Guzman, and on Dungeons & Dragons, and on a few other comics, too. So it’s a lot of good stuff to get to do. There’s definitely a lot of Transformers comics across a lot of timelines, but it’s a good challenge.



Q: Anything you can say about season 2 of RID? Can you say about possible happenings or characters that may reappear?

JOHN BARBER: Two words: purple reign.

We are dedicated to being to be the best resource for all your Transformers news and reviews every day. Keep your browser dialed to Tformers.com for updates as they happen.

Facebook Social Comments

TFormers Member Comments

NO COMMENTS YET - Start the Coversation by Posting Yours Now!

»  POST A COMMENT ON THIS STORY - CLICK HERE!  «
     (Membership Required)

More Generation 1 News
We've got a little more left to show from Summer Wonderfest yet! Autobase Aichi has delivered a gallery of some of the licensed Transformers works, mostly focused on Prime 1 Studios statues including Optimus Primal, G1 Optimus Prime and Megatron along with a Nemesis Prime redeco, and several more movie based ones, including Shockwave. We also get a good shot of Ultimetal Ultra Magnus, though only in its basically fully assembled state. Click through to see the mirrored photos.
We've still got Transformers coming in from San Diego Comic Con tonight. Our team at the show has just sent over a gallery of photos from the prime 1 Studio display, showing off their new G1-based Optimus Prime statue. Highly detailed and featuring interesting restyling, this statue shipping between July and September of 2017 is set to run $999, making it ideal for the most hardcore Optimus Prime collector. Keep reading to see our gallery below!
THE TRANSFORMERS -THE MOVIE 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION Featuring All-Star Voice Cast of Peter Cullen, Eric Idle, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Frank Welker and Orson Welles as UNICRON Renowned Classic Animated Movie Adventure Remastered FROM A BRAND-NEW 4K TRANSFER OF ORIGINAL FILM ELEMENTS and Debuts for the First Time on Blu-ray™! Collectible LIMITED EDITION 30th Anniversary Steelbook,Special Two-Disc Blu-ray™ and DVD Arrive in Stores Everywhere September 13, 2016 From Shout! Factory
Just out of SDCC 2016 is the IDW & Hasbro revolution panel that gives us an overview of what's coming in the epic project that combines the universes of Transformers, GI Joe, ROM, Micronauts, and MASK. Read on about the expansive story where many characters converge and expand.
Finally we have from today';s SDCC reveals the official images for a new wave of Alt Modes figures. The small SD style figures feature a clever switch-activated auto transformation turning their bodies between tiny vehicles and tiny robots. This lineup will feature characters like Sideswipe, Hound, megatron, and of course a new Optimus Prime variant. Keep reading to see the images!











Facebook @TFormers
SDCC 2016 Transformers News

Galvatron Cannon Adapter
Generations Titans Return Shapeways Third Party Upgrade
Galvatron And Nucleon
Generations Titans Return Voyager Class Figure
Titans Return One-Shot
Generations IDW Comics Review
The Transformers Issue #55
Generations IDW Comic Book

Cybertron Con 2016 - Titan Class Trypticon Prototype Reveal

The Transformers Issue #55 Full Comic Preview - All Hail Optimus

Transformers Earth Wars Update Adds Squad Selection Feature In Time For "Roll For It" Weekend Event


RADIO FREE CYBERTRON

Twitter @TFormers




ENI
About
Entertainment News International (ENI) is the popular culture network for fans all around the world. Get the scoop on all the popular comics, games, movies, toys, and more every day!
Sites
Action Figures
Classifieds
Entertainment
Marvel
 
Podcasts
Star Wars
Superheroes
Transformers
Links
Support
© 2016 Entertainment News International - All images, trademarks, logos, video, brands and images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies and or owners. All Rights Reserved. Data has been shared for news reporting purposes only. All content sourced by fans, online websites, and or other fan community sources. Entertainment News International is not responsible for reporting errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and or other liablities related to news shared here. We do our best to keep tabs on infringements. If some of your content was shared by accident. To have it removed right away, please [ Contact Us ].