Interview with Beast Hunters Comic Writers Mairghread Scott and Mike Johnson

{mosimage} We here at the have recently had the chance to talk with Mairghread Scott and Mike Johnson about their upcoming Transformers Prime Beast Hunters comic series for IDW! The two talk about how the series will fit within the framework established by the cartoon, and touch on how they're looking to expand the universe beyond the previous fiction for the Aligned Continuity. It sounds like they are very much excited by the opportunity to do so!

Check out the interview by click here

Then discuss what they had to say right here

 1) With the comic freed of the budget constraints that the show is under, how can we expect the comic and its characters to differ from the show? Is there a chance that a number of the non-show/toy only characters might make an appearance?

Mairghread Scott: Absolutely. We fully intend to explore a bigger world in the comics than the TV show which means more Cybertron, more characters and a much larger sandbox to play in. We still have the same great, intense storytelling people love from the animated series, but we know fans have been clamoring to see their favorites make a appearance and we want to start that process here.

Mike Johnson:  What's great about comics is that there is no budget for big movie stars, huge sets, expensive special effects. So the possibility always exists for new characters to show up. We It's really only limited but what we can think up for the artists to create. are lucky to have a great one working for us, Agustin Padilla.

2) What kind of transition will there be between the second season of the Transformers Prime show and this Beast Hunters comic? The second season of the show ended with the Decepticons destroying the Autobot base with Optimus Prime left inside. That's an…interesting start for a comic series!

MS: Don’t think of us as shadowing the show like most TV comics. We’re not writing ‘lost episodes’ that could be dropped somewhere into Season 3 without changing anything. Instead we’re telling our own story that will eventually link up with Season 3 to expand the Transformers Prime universe.

MJ:  The goal is to have stories in the comic that are unique enough in their own right so they don't re-tread stuff we've already seen in the show, but at the same time the comic will be able to dovetail nicely with what's on screen wherever necessary.

3) A few of the Predacons and other characters tied to the Beast Hunters story have already appeared in IDW's Rage of the Dinobots comic series. Will these characters (such as Ser-Ket and Backbite) make a return in Beast Hunters? Will there be an explanation as to why they look similar to the new Predacons? (Ser-Ket looks like Ripclaw and Backbite like Skystalker)

MS: There are definitely long-term plans for the Predacons in our series, beyond that we can’t say too much more until the series unfolds. Don’t worry fans! While Predacons aren’t our first storyline, we have not forgotten how cool a dino vs. dragon fight is.

MJ:  We definitely want to embrace the fact that we have the words "Beast Hunters" in our title, so don't be surprised if the Predacons (or other dangerous beasties) show up in the comic.

4) Will the history of the Predacons be explored further?

MS: To an extent, but the past is always much less interesting than the future.  

MJ:  All I can say is that we will learn more about the various nefarious schemes Shockwave has cooked up over the years.

5) We've already seen a few different treatments for the Predacons cloned by the Decepticons – one where they are unruly beasts that escape from Shockwave's custody, and another where Shockwave has trained them in order to hunt down the Autobots. How will the Predacons be treated in the comic?

MS: Like all good characters, Predacons evolve. Our story will explore that evolution when the time is right. Remember there was a long time between Rage and Beast Hunters and time has changed a lot of characters, for better and worse.

6) How closely is IDW working with Hasbro Studios when it comes to coordinating the comic story with the cartoon story? How closely will they sync up? How will the comic story be integrated with the cartoon and vice versa?

MS: It’s very important that the comics work with and for the show, but we’ve worked hard to craft our own, unique stories. So, like Rage of the Dinobots, instead of linking up as ‘lost episodes’ of the show, the Beast Hunters comics are going to explore the same concepts and problems as the TV show but in a totally new light. If you don’t watch the show you won’t be a step behind, but if you do watch the show you’ll see some interesting foreshadowing, just like you did with Rage.

MJ:  It's very helpful that Mairghread and I have both written for the show, so we already have relationships on that side of things. We don't hesitate to make sure things will vibe with the show, and vice versa. It helps the comic feel like a genuine part of the larger universe, rather than a side project that doesn't "matter". It matters!

7) A commercial for the Beast Hunters cartoon teases that there will be a new Prime as Optimus talks with Smokescreen. What can you tell us about that?
(There's no harm in trying to get an answer, right?)

MS: As they say in The Prisoner, “That would be telling.” I won’t ruin the show’s fun on that one.

MJ:  It's all hush hush. There are Decepticon spies everywhere. There's one right behind you as you read this!

8) What other information can you share with us about the Beast Hunters storyline?

MS: We’re being true to where we left off in Rage. The Dinobots promised to stay behind and protect the survivors still on Cybertron and they’ve been good to their word. But being a good warrior and being a good leader are two different skill sets and we’ve having a great time playing with the Dinos on that front. We hope we make it on your pull list for May.

MJ:  We'll continue to see how Grimlock evolves both as a leader, and as a soldier coping with the "beast" within, so to speak. And we want to give each of the other Dinobots moments to shine, so their unique personalities come through.

Thank you for this opportunity, we greatly look forward to this comic series! Thanks for taking your time to answer the questions!

MS: Thank you, and remember: you can always reach me on Twitter at @MairghreadScott or Tumblr at

MJ: Thanks! I'm not on Twitter or anything, but if you shout really loudly I might hear you. Hope you enjoy the book!