IDW Shares Information About “Chaos” and “Death of Optimus Prime”

{mosimage} Recently, IDW held a special press event covering the upcoming Transformers comics that will finish out the rest of 2011. Of major note were the comics that will comprise the "Chaos" miniseries as well as the "Death of Optimus Prime" one-shot. Also commented on were the 2012 ongoing series "More Than Meets the Eye" and " Robots In Disguise" which will kick off next January.

The event started with Anna Maria White, IDW's Marketing and PR representative, and John Barber, IDW's new lead editor for Transformers, discussing the backgrounds for the upcoming stories as well as displaying various artwork (which you can find throughout this article).

"Chaos" is Mike Costa and James Roberts' way of tying together the strands laid out thus far in the ongoing Transformers comic.  "Mike's been sorta playing the long game for this story", says John Barber. "A lot of piece really fall into place in 'Chaos'." The basic story is that Galvatron seeks to stop a mysterious plot that he believes he has discovered. The crux of his plan, however, is destroying Cybertron, an action that he believes is key in stopping this nefarious scheme. The Autobots don't share Galvatron's outlook and rush back to their battle-torn home world to put an end to Galvatron and his destruction. Armies clash in the skies and on the ground as the Autobots struggle to gain the upper hand against a hoard of innumerable Sweeps – the grunts of Galvatron's forces. As the battle rages,  the Decepticon leader reveals his greatest surprise. By his command, the Sweeps begin to combine. That's all of the Sweeps. Hundreds if not thousands of them. They are joined by the rest of the Decepticons on the planet's surface. Soon all are one and what Barber refers to as the "Decepti-God" is born. "You're familiar with the combiner Transformers, such as the Constructicons that form Devastator. This is sort of the ultimate version of that with all of the Sweeps and all of the Decepticons forming together into one massive unbelievably sized Transformer." Is Megatron the only Transformer who can stop Decepti-God? Or will it be his last stand?

The story isn't all Cybertron battles though. In "The Last Story on Earth"/ "Police Action", the Autobots are beginning to realize that the allies they have made amongst the humans aren't as they have presented themselves. Which leads Ultra Magnus and Bumblebee to launch an investigation into the humans, and particularly Spike Witwicky. "They realize that he [Spike Witwicky] executed a Decepticon in cold blood and the investigation into that matter has led them into even darker territory." Darker indeed. Barber goes on to explain that at the end of the story arc, the humans will betray the Autobots causing the robots to flee Earth for good.

After all this and the all the battles are over, the fate of Cybertron is sealed. What will that be? It seems to have fared pretty decently. The end of "Chaos" and into "Death of Optimus Prime" will tell the story of other Transformers returning to their home world. These are civilians, more or less, who fled the planet during the wars that ripped Transformers society apart. Now, however, they are back to resettle the planet. Instead of thanking the Autobots for defending Cybertron, they accuse them of being all that the Decepticons are. Just another warring faction that has destroyed their home. Now Optimus Prime has to decide what kind of leader he is. Is he a commander of an army defined by the war? Or can he usher in a new era of peace by compromising with the Decepticons left on Cybertron? And then he dies. Should the title of the book be taken literally.

These events lead directly to "More Than Meets The Eye" and "Robots In Disguise". These two titles will be the ongoing series for 2012 and deal with a new set of problems as the Autobots try to handle the civilians and Decepticons alike.

With the overview over, John Barber started the Q&A. A couple of the questions were asked about how the IDW comics correlate to the movie and toy franchises, suc h as the relation between Spike and Sam and how Optimus' death would affect the movies and toys. John Barber and Michael Kelly from Hasbro explained that they were separate continuities, essentially parallel universes. Just like the current Batman comics don't affect the current Batman movies.

This led to another question about comics and toys. Citing Drift, the question asked if there were any other comic-based character or design that was likely to receive a Hasbro toy. The specific example was IDW's armored Megatron. Michael Kelly explained that although he wasn't part of the "toy world" he did not believe that any were currently planned.

Wrapping it up, Barber and Kelly wanted to emphasize how closely Hasbro works with IDW to get the comics made. Hasbro isn't a rubber stamp just there to okay the stories as they come across their desks. They're actively involved int he partnership and aid in shaping the fiction.

Michael Kelly had this to say on the matter, "Hasbro's view on these kinds of things is that we go into a partnership with a companies like IDW because we believe in what you are doing and we believe that you know what you're doing. Certainly we have our own goals and wants for how the story goes and obviously I'm involved in that level in making sure that certain things happen."

"A lot of these things come from you guys as well. It's really fantastic…Michael's got a great story-sense and I trust him implicitly on this stuff." John Barber added.

With that the event came to an end. We would like to thank IDW, Anna Maria White, John Barber, and Michael Kelly for taking the time to share with us all of this great information and artwork! We hope you enjoy it as well!

Written by Michael Costa and James Roberts
Art by Livio Ramondeli

Written by Michael Costa
Art by Brendan Cahill and Marcelo Matere

Written by John Barber and James Roberts
Art by Nick Roche

Written by James Roberts
Art by Nick Roche

Written by John Barber
Art by Andrew Griffith

Also, check out the list of upcoming comics by clicking the links below:

IDW Announces The Death of Optimus Prime
Upcoming IDW Comics Sept-Dec 2011