Ponies, Ninjas, and Giant Robots – Hasbro and IDW at SDCC

Jacob Dadon writes for Bleeding Cool:

San Diego Comic Con thundered on into Friday, bringing us the panel detailing the partnership between toy company Hasbro and comics’ own IDW, covering a slew of properties from My Little Pony to Transformers. The panel was jam packed with talent, more names than I could keep up with in fact. Some of the faces included John Barber (writer, Transformers: Robots in Disguise), Katie Cook and Andy Price (writer and artist, respectively, My Little Pony), Mike Costa (writer, G.I. Joe: Cobra Files), and Phil Jimenez (artist, Dark Cybertron).

20130719_133002The panel kicked off right into discussion of the My Little Pony line of comics. I’m gonna be honest, I’m not exactly a fan of this property, so a lot of what was said went over my head, but I’ll try to relay it as best as I can. For the main title, they touted a focus on Big Mac in upcoming issues. They claimed he’s a very fun character to write and promised shenanigans at a festival. They also announced the next Micro Series from the line, one featuring the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and another starring Spike, as he searches for a new pet. Sea beasts were mentioned, described as something like sea monkeys, and hijinks will ensue. Finally they touched on the upcoming Equestria Girls comic, which will act as something of a prequel to the movie that is also on it’s way.

20130719_13330720130719_133624Moving on from ponies to the realest of American heroes, the company delved into its’ G.I. Joe line, starting with the main title by Fred Van Lente and Steve Kurth, showing off the return of Snake Eyes! They promise that his apparent resurrection will be explored in the upcoming arc, Threat Matrix. G.I. Joe: Special Forces is touched on briefly, then we move on to G.I. Joe: Cobra Files, right as writer Mike Costa arrives late to the event. He claims he’s really enjoyed writing the characters, made of former Cobra operatives, and goes into some detail on their operations within the universe of G.I. Joe. It certainly sounds like the darker counterpart to the main series, the Scarlet Spider to G.I. Joe’s Amazing Spider-Man, if you will. Finally, the newest sister title, G.I. Joe: Real American Hero, is quickly previewed, but not many details on the series are discussed.

20130719_134246The panel then quickly shifts to the Wizards of the Coast portion of the presentation, first touching on Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten RealmsCutter. Written by R. A. Salvatore, the comic ties into the novel series, also written by Mr. Salvatore. They promised more details soon. Magic the Gathering was next, announcing a new series, Theros, which ties into the upcoming block. The comic will be released shortly after the set debuts, in November.

20130719_13472220130719_134828Finally, we move on to the big showpiece, the Transformers line. Starting off with the Regeneration One series, an issue 0 is touted as the beginning of the countdown to issue 100, the finale of the series. Moving on to Transformers: Prime – Beast Hunters, a Dinobot centric title, Mairghread Scott, writer of the series, takes a few moments to pimp out her book. She claims that the dystopian world the story takes place in is “too cheerful” for Grimlock and his crew, so things will be getting darker. Next up was Monstrosity, the follow-up to the digital-first Autocracy series. The story was touted as a prequel, and promised to explore how Optimus and Megatron drifted apart. Oh, and Trypticon. Big ol’ Trypticon takes center stage.

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye was brought up briefly, with the focus mostly lying on Ultra Magnus due to events in recent issues. When they finally get to Transformers: Robots In Disguise, Barber gets up to discuss the next big Transformers crossover, Dark Cybertron. Co-written by both Barber and Roberts, with Phil Jimenez on main art duties, the event promises to redefine the Cybertronian universe yet again and lead to some big changes in both books. It was also announced that issues of the comic will come packed with select 30th Anniversary toys. More Spotlights were also promised, but not until after Dark Cybertron had wrapped. To close out this section, a few panels from the event were flashed by quickly on the screen, most moving too fast to make out much, but I did see Starscream doing his thing, the Dinobots in action, a bot I didn’t recognize getting something nasty done to his face, and the final shot resting on Megatron’s scheming face.

20130719_13492020130719_13515720130719_135515To close the panel out, IDW Limited showed off some of its’ product, including an upcoming My Little Pony collection that they seemed particularly proud of. Claiming that 6 months of work was spent on making it work, each one contains over 1000 pieces of art and is themed to a particular pony. The book is available to order on the IDW site on July 29th. Finally, they touched a potentially interesting new venture, the My Little Pony Micro Comic Fun Packs. These packs are all “pocket-sized”, and each one contains different stickers, mini posters, temporary tattoos, and a full 22-page comic. The idea is to introduce new readers to the world of comics through these packs, and I honestly thought it could be rather intriguing, if applied to a property I actually cared about (come onnnnn Transformers).

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