Are The Transformers Comics Going to Reboot?
There are a lot of shared universes in comics. Marvel, DC, Valiant, Dynamite has a superhero-verse, Black Hammer is a recent addition, and the list goes on and on. The Transformers also have a shared universe full of rich and compelling characters and relationships I’d put up against any others in the industry, but it looks like that shared comic book universe may just be getting the reboot treatment. We have a lot of things pointing toward the Transformers Comics going to reboot their universe.
The most recent big clue suggesting a reboot is the latest quote from writer John Barber. Barber was recently interviewed by FreeComicBookDay.com as part of the promotion for the upcoming FCBD title Unicron, and he had some very ominous things to say.
This is the end of the story we’ve been telling for over a decade. The IDW Transformers comics are the longest-lasting iteration Transformers characters ever—there’s more fiction in this universe than anywhere else in the history of the brand—and it all comes crashing down with Transformers: Unicron.
Yeah, if that’s not a flat out admission that Barber is destroying a universe I don’t know what is. But it could, of course, just be the promoting voice of a passionate creator. There’s more, though.
Reboots are not only all the rage, they tend to follow an editorial change up, and that’s recently happened over at IDW. As editor Chris Ryall – one of the architects of the Transformers universe as we now know it – moves on, so may the entire universe he helped create. While Ryall was also pivotal in the creation of the Hasbro Comic Universe that saw the rest of Hasbro’s action comics roll into a shared universe alongside the Transformers, it’s unknown if the overall lackluster showing from the other titles in the line had anything to do with him leaving or this possible reboot. And what about those other members of this shared universe?
IDW had big plans when they mixed G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., ROM, The Micronauts, and more together with the Transformers, but things haven’t panned out so well. They cancelled quality ongoings, didn’t follow through on events, had some crazy creator drama, and mashed the franchises together in mini-series that felt detached from the rest of the universe. While none of this points directly to a failed shared universe, it may be just another clue of a catastrophic event about to undo or redo the whole thing.
IDW may have made some missteps and missed some opportunities with the whole Hasbro Comic Universe thing, but there’s still a ton of potential with a shared universe containing all of these amazing franchises. The repercussions of a reboot are saddening. IDW’s current stock of Transformers books are amazing! Optimus Prime is a political thriller full of intrigue, and Lost Light is like a weekly sitcom with the depth of Game of Thrones. They’re some of the most entertaining and diverse comics currently available, full of rich and authentic characters, and it will be interesting to see where things go from here.
We’ll have more in-depth discussion on this topic on INSTRUMENTS of DESTRUCTION, Outright Geekery’s Hasbro Comic Book Podcast.