WonderCon 2019 Panel Report: IDW Transformers

Allspark’s Exastikan also attended the WonderCon 2019 IDW Transformers Panel, featuring editors John Barber, Megan Brown, and David Mariott. Read on for our coverage of both the presentation and the Q&A session.

As the panel began, the IDW editors took the stage. Unfortunately they were short IDW Transformers veteran artist E.J. Su, who was scheduled to appear, but was unable to make it.
First on the docket was IDW’s newly relaunched Transformers book, the first two issues of which dropped earlier this month. They first gave a basic rundown of the book’s plot and concept of letting readers watch a Cybertron untouched by war fall into the Autobot/Decepticon conflict in real time without flashbacks. As such, there’s more of a focus on tension building, rather than action. Among the future stories, it was promised there would be an issue focusing on the relationship between Orion Pax and Megatron, though primarily the story will be told through the eyes of the original character of Rubble, a newborn Cybertronian. Concept art of him and Geomotus, another character created for the comic and the first Transformer to canonically fall on the autism spectrum, were shown. During this section of the panel, a video message to attendees from writer Brian Ruckley was shown.
Next up came a surprise announcement of a new series from classic Transformers writer Simon Furman and fan favorite artist Guido Guidi: Transformers ’84! Made to celebrate the Transformers brand’s 35th anniversary, Transformers ’84 will be a prequel to the classic 1980s Marvel Comics Transformers series. Not much more was said than that, but a handful of covers rendered in a gorgeously retro art style were showcased.
Moving on from that, we got some details on this summer’s Transformers/Ghostbusters crossover miniseries, from the regular IDW Ghostbusters creative team of writer Erik Burnham and artist Dan Schoening with colors by Luis Antonio Delgado. Though he’s worked on Ghostbusters for a while now, it was promised Burnham would slip in plenty of stuff for Transformers fans as well. Attendees of the panel got a special little bonus pertaining to this series: an “ashcan” preview of the book’s first four pages!
There were then a handful of smaller shoutouts to the recently concluded Star Trek vs. Transformers miniseries and Tom Scioli’s GoBots miniseries, both of which will soon be available in collected editions. Also mentioned was Synergy, a one-shot special highlighting the work female creators have done on IDW’s Hasbro books, including Transformers. Highlighted was an autobiographical story from Windblade and Transformers: Till All Are One writer Mairghread Scott.
Next came the Q&A session, which covered the following:

  • As stated in the presentation, the new comic is re-developing Cybertron from the ground-up, starting before the war. On the question of how far back into the pre-war history it goes, the pitch is Cybertron’s  first murder in many many years, which leads to the question ‘do Transformers die?’
  • The new series is not likely to have any dimensional crossover with the previous IDW continuity. However, characters introduced in the previous continuity may show up. Pay attention to Issue #3. The DJD in particular are not likely to show up, but there may be something new along those lines.
  • There are no plans for more motion comics
  • The new continuity does not have any particular name to distinguish it from the previous IDW continuity. “G2” and “Beast Wars” were jokingly suggested, but for now it’s just being called “Transformers 2019”. Fans are invited to come up with something better.
  • Transformers ’84 #0 will be a one-shot, unless you the fans demand more.
  • The Netflix show will not be based on the comic, though it will share some things. For example, both will use the same toy designs. Also, Brandon Easton of the Star Trek stories is working in writer’s room for the Netflix show.
  • On the subject of Cybertronian babies, Rubble is noted to have been around for 48 cycles, and this is as close as we’re going to get.
  • We will see cities besides Iacon. For example, Issue #2 ends in Tarn.
  • The panelists were asked what would be their dream crossover.
    • Brown would like to see My Little Pony or TMNT.
    • David wants to see Sonic TMNT or Sonic Transformers.
    • Barber would like to see Death’s head come back.

What are you looking forward to in the new IDW Transformers universe? Let us know in our Transformers forum, on the Allspark Facebook page, or our Discord server!