In the latest of our galleries celebrating the best covers of the year, we're looking at the best covers from IDW.
IDW maintained its impressive and diverse line of licensed properties in 2016, from Ninja Turtles to Little Ponies, as well as ambitiously expanding and collating its Hasbro properties under the "Revolution" banner, and reviving and reinventing the Micronauts, M.A.S.K., and Rom.
IDW's Revolution crossover might be coming to a close, but that doesn't mean that things are slowing down for the Hasbro properties that have all been thrown into the same universe. In March, the Revolutionaries are faced with Cobra Commander, the secrets behind the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand will finally be revealed, the crew of the Lost Light are trapped with no choice but to save the universe (again), and --- perhaps most importantly --- we're finally getting to see Art Baltazar and Franco do a story with Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes.
That's right, y'all: Revolution is getting the Aw Yeah! treatment with a story where Micronauts foe Baron Karza reads a bunch of GI Joe comics and then finds out that Snake Eyes is very real. Check out all the IDW/Hasbro solicits for more information!
Much like my colleague Chris Sims last year, I have recently become converted into a fan of the Transformers and now I can't get enough of the robots in disguise. While I'm behind somewhat from the current day, IDW's current Revolution crossover event is proving a perfect jumping on point and the publisher has provided us with an exclusive first look at John Barber and Andrew Griffith's Transformers: Revolution #1!
Two issues into IDW's Revolution event, and while the purpose of the event is to combine most of the various Hasbro toy properties into a single, unified world and not to keep score on who's winning the big fight, I think we've found a pretty clear leader. Rom The Space Knight, who returned to comics after a thirty year absence, is mopping the floor with everybody else in this book.
Seriously, in the first issue, he interrupted a stalemate between the Transformers and GI Joe by taking out four Joes all by himself, and in the second issue, he straight up judo-flips Optimus Prime into a creek. All the other teams have at this point is a missing arm and somebody who wants to quibble over the definition of "decimate." Like I said, there's a clear leader, and you can see it for yourself in an exclusive preview below --- but be warned, there are some pretty big spoilers if you haven't read the first one yet!
Aubrey Sitterson and Giannis Milonogiannis are stepping up to take the Joes in a new direction in GI Joe: Revolution. To find out more, ComicsAlliance spoke to Sitterson about leaning into the sci-fi aspects of the book, the characters he's chosen for the team, and when we'll see Destro. We also have a first look at some brand-new pages from issue #1!
More than anything else I can think of in recent memory, IDW's Revolution is a comic book that suffers from the crushing weight of expectations. In a lot of respects, it's also the easiest sell to come down the pike in a long while, taking most of Hasbro's toy properties --- with the notable exceptions of My Little Pony, Jem and the Holograms, and Dungeons & Dragons --- and combining them all into a single universe, bookending it all with the return of Rom, the Space Knight. The thing is, in doing that, it's not only attempting to create a new foundation for a shared universe that will involve all of those properties interacting with each other and also pursuing their own storylines, it's competing with everyone who grabbed two different action figures at once and banged them together as a kid.
That puts a ton of pressure on Cullen Bunn, John Barber, Fico Ossio, Sebastian Cheng, and Tom B. Long, but they've found a pretty elegant solution: Just straight up overloading the reader with action in a first issue that opens with a mountain exploding and ends with one of the more surprising deaths in recent memory.
Over the past few months, I think I've been so excited about IDW's upcoming Revolution event --- which, as you probably know by now, is the big reboot that combines Transformers, GI Joe, MASK, Micronauts, Action Man and Rom The Space Knight into a single universe full of the crossover potential that some of us have been waiting thirty years for --- that I'm not sure if I've ever stopped to consider what's going to happen next. I mean, presumably we'll see Snake-Eyes fighting Megatron at some point, but beyond that? I hadn't even considered the possibilities.
Now, however, we know that at least one of the things we're going to be getting comes in the debut issue of John Barber and Kei Zama's Optimus Prime, in which the leader of the Transformers is going to be fighting a giant corkscrew from space. No, that is not a typo, and yes, I am into it. Check out all three covers for Optimus Prime #1 below!
Here's a fun fact about me: My dad once told me that he was late for work every day for a year because I refused to leave the house until MASK was over. Clearly, that show was my entire, all-consuming jam circa 1986, and even though I'm pretty excited about seeing a rebuilt IDW universe that involves GI Joe, Transformers, Micronauts, Action Man and ROM The Space Knight all coming together, the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand is the one that's really got me hooked.
And now, we're finally starting to see it come together --- and folks attending September's Granite State Comic Con in Manchester, New Hampshire are going to get a pretty awesome look at it in the form of Ben Bishop's awesome variant cover for Revolution #1.
The thing about doing comics based on toy properties is that eventually you're going to want to play with all the toys, and today, it looks like that's exactly what IDW has set out to do. After years of keeping them separated into their own universes --- with exceptions like the senses-shattering, soon-to-be-finished Transformers vs. GI Joe --- IDW is combining almost all of its Hasbro toy properties into a single universe.
The shakeup comes in a biweekly event called Revolution, co-written by Cullen Bunn and John Barber, with art by Fico Ossio, which will combine GI Joe, Transformers, MASK, ROM the Space Knight, Action Man and Micronauts into one permanent shared universe.
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