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Interview - Mairghread Scott & Corin Howell Talk Combiner Wars, Combiner Hunters, Windblade, & Expanding The IDW Universe
RAC - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Comic Book Resources has interviewed Mairghread Scott & Corin Howell about the post-Combiner Wars IDW universe, Windblade, the Combiner Hunters one-shot, and much more! Scott also talks about how she used the Combiner Wars setup as a way to introduce characters from all the other TF continuities into IDW's comics- something she's been wanting to do for a long time. Click through for excerpts from the interview and character designs for Moonracer & Knock Out by Corin Howell!
One of the most interesting parts of the story so far has been the interaction between Windblade and Optimus Prime. She started off being somewhat in awe of him, but now she's starting to see his conflicts and compromises. Is she starting to see a more morally grey universe?

: IDW Transformers has been exploring this question for a while now and that's my favorite aspect of our comics. No one fights eons of war without truly believing in something and no one walks out of eons of war cleanly. Even Optimus Prime has compromised his morals at some point. And there's a really nice point of contrast here because while Windblade covered up her best friend Chromia's misdeeds, I'm not sure how she'll react to the fact that Optimus has shielded Prowl from the consequences of a lot of his actions, actions which now harm her homeworld and her people.

Regardless of her beliefs, Windblade comes from a people who worship the Primes as deities. But the longer "Combiner Wars" continues, the more Windblade is going to see Optimus as a real, flawed person. Seeing Optimus lose his "divinity" will be a real challenge for her.

And you're now joined by artist Corin Howell for the next stage of Windblade's story. How have you found working with one another? As this new storyline continues on past "Combiner Wars," what can readers expect from the series? Will the event continue to have repercussions for Windblade?

: Corin's art first appears in "Windblade" #3 (along with the great Marcelo Ferreira), and I couldn't be happier about it. Her work is incredibly expressive. Since the next arc of "Windblade" focuses on exploring other colonies, I wanted readers to instantly get a sense of who these people are and what their outlook is. Having an artist like Corin, who can balance body language with facial expressions, and humor with action, is imperative to that goal. Her characters feel incredibly alive and we're getting a lot out of each image because of that. Also, I've noticed that Corin hides fun little things in the background that that really flesh out the world, so keep your eyes peeled.

Corin Howell: It's fantastic working with Mairghread. She gives me freedom when it comes to designing scenes. Despite the fact that I have to keep to specific character designs, I have a lot of room to experiment when it comes to landscapes and camera angles. Mairghread always has a really good sense of direction on the tone of each scene, and since I like to be expressive with my characters, that really helps me pull those emotions out of them when I am putting lines on the page.

Those characters were spotlighted in July's "Combiner Hunters" one-shot. How did that issue come about?

: Several months ago, John Barber, James Roberts and I sat down to discuss how Windblade, Chromia and Nautica were a good start towards more diversity -- but that we all wanted to do more. James had plans for Nickel and a bunch of new bots showing up in "More Than Meets The Eye." John has some big plans for Transformers. I wanted to use the colonies to introduce more female Transformers but also other types of bots from different parts of the brand. It was a great start. Later, John talked to me about writing a special one-shot for this July that would introduce the new fan-built combiner.

At the time, the voting wasn't finished so we didn't know what kind of bot the combiner would be, but we knew we wanted to build a story around Arcee, Chromia and Windblade set at the end of "Combiner Wars." Once we learned that the results of the vote had created Victorion, and that she would be made up of six female characters, we realized we had a great opportunity to tell a one-shot story almost entirely about female Transformers. In fact, I had so many lady bots running around I couldn't use "she" in the script because it was too confusing to figure out which of our nine ladies I was referring to. So this summer, fans can pick up "Combiner Hunters," meet the bots who make up Victorion and get a great story that involves Windblade, Chromia and Arcee.

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