CCI: IDW's Hasbro Panel

At Comic-Con International in San Diego last Friday a squadron of IDW's most talented creators met with fans to discuss their plans for "Transformers," "G.I.Joe" and "Dungeons & Dragons." The panelists included Larry Hama, Robert Atkins, Mike Costa, Alex Irvine and Denton Tipton. IDW Senior Editor Andy Schmidt moderated the panel.

The panel opened with a brief rundown of their ongoing "Transformers" series, noting that after "Transformers" #13's stand-alone story, the Autobots will journey to outer space for the return of the Decepticons and reunite with the Autobot Hot Rod, who has been in space since issue #6 of the series. This story arc will run for five issues.

In September, IDW will release "Transformers: Drift," a four-issue miniseries that will run bi-weekly. The miniseries is written by Shane McCarthy and illustrated by Alex Milne and will feature the origin of the Autobot Drift and introduce the Decepticon Lockdown.

"Transformers: Last Stand Of The Wreckers" will be rereleased as a trade paperback, collecting the five issue miniseries and featuring all new back matter.

"Transformers: Sector 7" by John Barber and Joe Suitor will also debut in September, focusing on the Simmons family and the dawn of the Transformers.

The "Transformers Prime" graphic novel will be released in October and feature all-new material by Mike Johnson and various artists.

"Dungeons & Dragons" editor Denton Tipton revealed that the ongoing "Dungeon & Dragons" series would debut on August 11 with a specially priced $1 zero issue. Written by John Rogers and Alex Irvine and illustrated by Andrea Di Vito, the comics will feature both a story set in the traditional D&D universe and a story set in the cult-favorite Dark Sun gaming universe. Issue #1 of "Dungeons & Dragons" will be released in November and a "Dark Sun" miniseries by Alex Irvine & Peter Bertins with covers by Andy Brase will follow shortly thereafter in January of 2011.

Schmidt nicknamed September's "G.I.Joe Origins"#19 "Silent Crescendo" as it features a silent Snake-Eyes story by Larry Hama and Joe Benitez. Hama noted that he actually choreographed the fight sequences for the layouts with weapons from his own collection. IDW will also release a recolored reprint of the classic G.I.Joe story "Silent Interlude" with a new cover by Ashley Wood as a retailer incentive.

"G.I.Joe Origins" #20 in October by David Lapham and Werther Dell'Edera will feature "Sedition By Numbers," a story that introduces a new character and "a horrifying insight into the Cobra organization."

In the last week of September, IDW will publish "G.I.Joe Cobra Special" by Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso that will feature fan favorite character Erika Le Tene in "The Trial Of Erika Le Tene." The story will pick up where the events in IDW's "G.I.Joe: Cobra" left off while "G.I.Joe: Cobra" Issues #10 through #13 by Christos Gage, Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso finishes the Cobra Commander & Chuckles trilogy. The subsequent storyline of the series will feature the origin of the Croc-Master.

Schmidt joked that the storyline in issue #23 through #27 of the ongoing "G.I.Joe" series by Chuck Dixon and Robert Atkins would be entitled "Critical Mass...or Mass Destruction" and noted that the storyline not only concluded "Season One" of "G.I.Joe" but also introduced Storm Shadow to current Joe continuity.

The panel then opened for questions which were started off with one fan asked about the possibility of "Transformers Spotlight" relaunching. Schmidt replied that they are trying to "hone in" on continuity instead, by focusing on a small cast.

When asked which monsters would be featured in "Dungeons & Dragons," Tipton joked, "zombies and robots," and said that he couldn't actually give an honest answer to the question.

A fan asked about the next appearance of the Transformer Punch/Counterpunch and Schmidt answered that a miniseries entitled "Legacy of Rust" was in development.

when the Scientology riffs in "G.I.Joe: Cobra" were enquired about, writer Mike Costa revealed that he was actually going to get audited for research, but his room-mate talked him out of it.

A fan asked about the direction of some of the Transformer designs in the IDW's "Transformers" books and Schmidt confirmed that they would be going with Don Figuroa's designs, noting that Figuroa himself would be returning with issue#14 of the ongoing "Transformers" series.

When asked about "The Thirteen" original Transformers, both Schmidt and Costa mysteriously replied, "No comment."

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