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Interview - John Barber, Cullen Bunn, & Fico Ossio Talk #IDWRevolution, Its Impact, & Its Origins
RAC - Thursday, June 02, 2016

ComicBookResources has posted an interview with some of the principal players behind Revolution - the IDW event that aims to set up a shared universe with Action Man, GI Joe, Micronauts, ROM, and MASK. In it Barber lays to rest several of the concerns that ExVee had (and I shared) about the scope and the origins of the event. Keep reading for excerpts and mirrored images of some of the covers for Revolution #1!
This effort seems to reflect a similar plan for Hasbro's big screen adaptations. Do you have any communication with the people working on the films?

(John) Barber:
Hasbro Studios is very aware of what we're doing, and there's some back and forth sharing of information and ideas. I don't think there's been any big thing where we've seen things one way and they've seen things other ways. We've been remarkably in sync, I think it's fair to say. There've been some characters that have specifically come from the studio here and there -- some of these brands have been dormant for a while, and there are new angles they have on characters that they've shared with us, like Phenolo-Phi in "Micronauts." They have some amazingly talented people working in that writer's room -- like, seriously extraordinary people who have done amazing film, comics and television. The few I know personally are great human beings, too.

The funny thing with this was, it wasn't like a mandate came down and said, "Do this." Totally the opposite. IDW Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall and I flew out to Hasbro headquarters in Rhode Island to try to convince them to do this, because we really wanted to have this universe exist. And it turned out we were all on the same page. It was great, the people running the brands at Hasbro were all very into this and really supportive, and offered great ideas and angles on what we could do.

As always, Michael Kelly, Senior Director, Global Publishing at Hasbro has been with this project since the day we thought of it, and he interacts with the brand teams in Rhode Island and the studio in Los Angeles, coordinating with IDW and all of us.

(Cullen) Bunn: As John mentioned, the folks working on the cinematic versions know what we're doing, and we've been kept apprised of some of their plans. That said, I don't think our stories are following similar paths at all. The folks from Hasbro have been so supportive of us when it comes to creating a universe that stands on its own.

Was it difficult trying to figure out how they can all co-exist in the same world?

I wrote a little prologue story that we're going to be giving away that sort of outlines how the history of Transformers and G.I. Joe and a little bit of Micronauts, Rom and Action Man. M.A.S.K. is coming directly out of "Revolution," so it's a little mind-bending, but in terms of continuity, it all fits in.

There's a thing I always bring up: Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips did a comic called "Sleeper" that was my favorite comic for a while. "Sleeper" was a noir spy drama set in the Wildstorm Universe, which was populated by superheroes. The characters in "Sleeper" had powers, but it was all very low-key and grounded. During the run of "Sleeper," the super-team, the Authority, took over the world. And in "Sleeper," the only time the fact that superheroes were now running the planet was even mentioned was a line like -- I'm saying this from memory, so I might be off -- "with the new administration in place, there will be different protocols."

I'm comfortable with compartmentalizing and allowing for scale. Like, I've always been okay with the idea that Daredevil can be fighting a mugger and that can mean everything in that story, even though in that same universe Thanos might be invading a galaxy. I think putting all these characters together only increases the possibilities of storytelling, it doesn't diminish it. "G.I. Joe" can be a radically different style than "M.A.S.K." or "Rom," and they can still interact.

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