IDW has taken on several of Habro’s properties, both old and new. G.I. Joe and Transformers are older titles that they have breathed new life into, as well as some Wizard of the Coast titles such as Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. And of course, we can’t forget their spectacular big hit My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
IDW’s interpretations of these Hasbro titles run very much on the Teen to Older Teen side of the spectrum, with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic being the only title to be definitely for Tweens and under. Transformers Prime is based on another cartoon series running on Nickelodeon’s The Hub, but from what I’ve seen of that, it seems to run higher tween to teen, possibly 12 and up.
G.I. Joe currently has 5 titles running, all of which have very different styles. G.I. Joe relaunched this year with volume 3 but is really just a continuation of the previous ongoing series. Cover Girl follows a team of Joes who are the public face of G.I. Joe after the secret team is outed by Cobra. Special Missions is a Mission Impossible style of book, with teams going undercover for missions. Cobra Files has an interesting twist as it follows a former Cobra Agent that now works for G.I. Joe, taking on the missions the Joes can’t. G.I.Joe: Real American Hero is a continuation of the original Marvel G.I. Joe series from the 80s, which IDW has also re-released as trades.
Transformers is the biggest property for IDW, with six different titles currently running and a massive crossover event in the works for all but two of them. Regeneration One, like the G.I. Joe: Real American Hero, is a continuation of the original 80s series. Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters is a tie-in with the cartoon series on Nickelodeon. The mini-series Rage of the Dinobots was a sort of prequel to the Beast Hunters, and with this new series, the comic will move more in line with season three of the cartoon. More Than Meets the Eye features Rodimus Prime who heads up a team of autobots in space. Robots in Disguise shows Bumblebee and his attempts to rebuild Cybertron. Monstrosity is about the early days of the Cybertron War and shows how Optimus Prime tried to unite Cybertron. This is the age of the monster transformers and robot cars. Spotlight is a series of one shot stories, each of which features a different Transformer. The new crossover that is starting this spring is Dark Cybertron, and it will cross over into all Transformer titles except Regeneration One and Prime.
Transformers may be the biggest property IDW has, but My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is their most successful. Writer Amy Mebberson had some tidbits about the next story arc. It will feature Luna, Princess Celestia’s sister, and stems from the first two-part episode of the series, Nightmare Moon. The story will be a little darker than the first as it looks at Nightmare Moon and its relationship with Luna. Luna fans should be very happy. The next pony from the Mane Six to get her own comic in the micro series is Rarity.
There wasn’t a lot for the Wizards of the Coast books. Dungeons and Dragons will be tying into the D & D book Cutter and will feature Dark Elves, though not necessarily the ones readers have come to know and love. Magic: The Gathering will have an exclusive card as an insert in an upcoming issue.
Questions for the panel started with a rather silly request for a massive crossover of all the Hasbro titles, similar to IDW’s previous event, Infestation, which crossed over properties such as Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Transformers and G.I. Joe. While this is not likely, it led to some speculation among the panelists, especially about how to get My Little Pony to connect to the other universes. Another Hasbro 80s property, Jem and the Holograms, was brought up, asking if it was possible to bring back as a comic in some form, either print or digital only. Several members of the panel were for this, including John Barber, editor at IDW. The problem pointed out with doing this was that it was an old property, and IDW doesn’t know what, if any plans Hasbro has for it. There was also a question about whether the fanbase was there for it as well, but several members of the audience (myself included) were certainly for it.
The panel ended on the question of the new G.I. Joe movie and if IDW would be doing an adaptation of it. John said IDW wasn’t planning on doing any more comic adaptations of movies. These were more popular before there were only a few months between release of the movie in theaters and then to home theater. They were looking to at doing more prequels and tie-ins to the properties rather than direct adaptations.