Transformers, G.I. Joe and MASK Unite in Massive First Strike Cover

IDW Publishing saw success from 2016's Revolution event, a crossover which united its licensed Hasbro action properties -- Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Micronauts, ROM and Action Man -- into one shared universe.

RELATED: Hasbro Crossover First Strike Aims to ‘Destroy all the Transformers’

Of course, one crossover begets another, and thus the publisher has First Strike on the way in August. The main series of First Strike is written by Mairghread Scott & David Rodriguez, with art by Max Dunbar, and encompasses characters from Transformers, G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K.. To commemorate the story, veteran comics artist and Image Comics co-founder Whilce Portacio illustrated a triptych cover that will be published as retailer incentive covers for issues #1, #3 and #5 of First Strike -- and CBR has the first look at a black-and-white version of the massive image.

EXCLUSIVE: Whilce Portacio's triptych cover for First Strike #1, #3 and #5.

The covers will be available to retailers who order 50 copies or more of each First Strike #1 and #2 (both scheduled for release in August).

The First Strike story picks up with Earth about to join the Cybertronian Council of Worlds. That seemingly peaceful event is interrupted by Cobra, as Baron Ironblood — historically the British counterpart to Cobra Commander — has targeted all Cybertronians for termination, clearly putting the Transformers in serious jeopardy. The G.I. Joes, led by Scarlett, and the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, stand in the way in the face of extinction — enlisting help along the way from, apparently, an unlikely ally in the form of Soundwave of the Decepticons.

“One man attempts to dominate, one woman stands against him,” Mairghread Scott said in a statement to CBR. “Watch as Scarlett leads her G.I. Joes on a daring mission to save all of Cybertron from their gravest threat yet. First Strike is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, and deeply personal character story set against the backdrop of intergalactic war with all the giant robots, cyborg ninjas, and massive explosions you could ask for.”

First Strike #1 is scheduled for release on Aug. 9, and will run for six issues in a twice-monthly shipping schedule.

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