NYCC: IDW: GI Joe and Transformers - Declassified

There was much to announce at IDW's New York Comic Con toy-centric panel as IDW's Andy Schmidt and Chris Ryall introduced creators Robert Atkins, Larry Hama, Christos Gage, Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso to an enthusiastic group of fans. At this point, the panel split into two sections, concentrating first on the coming year's Transformer titles, followed by a look at forthcoming GI Joe offerings.

The robots-in-disguise celebrate their 25th anniversary this year, meaning plenty of fanfare from IDW. Fans will see the conclusion to "Transformers: All Hail Megatron" and "Transformers: Maximum Dinobots," which will lead into the newly announced "Transformers: Coda." "Coda," will feature a wide roster of creators, including Simon Furman and Costa.

"If you liked 'All Hail Megatron,' you will like what's coming up," said Schmidt, "If you didn't like 'All Hail Megatron,' you will like what's coming up."

Generation one fans can also expect several one-shots spotlighting Jazz, Drift and the city-sized Metroplex.

For kids and the young at heart, IDW is releasing children's books based on Hasbro's "Heroes" line of kid-friendly toys. Both "Transformers: Robot Heroes" and "GI Joe: Combat Heroes" arrive in stores later this year.

IDW also rolled out it's "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen," comic book series and associated film tie-ins. Preceding TF2's weekly movie adaptation, the prequel story, "Transformers: Defiance Alliance," will set up the events of the film while taking a closer look at Starscream.

GI Joe will experience something of a comics revitalization this year with new stories establishing the "Real American Hero" universe in the modern day era. Titles include "GI Joe: Origins," by Hama and Mike Foster, "GI Joe," by Chuck Dixon and Atkins and "GI Joe: Cobra," by Gage and Costa.

The series by Dixon will tell ongoing Joe adventures, while the origins series by Hama will tell the story of how the team got together.

"It's Larry Hama writing in a way he's never done before," said Schmidt.

Gage and Costa's "Cobra" book will spotlight the Hawaiian-shirt clad Chuckles as he infiltrates Cobra...before there was a Cobra.

Much like Transformers, the "Joe" film will be covered in comics by a 4-issue prequel, "GI Joe: Rise of Power," and include a movie adaptation, "GI Joe: Rise of Cobra."

"GI Joe: Snake-Eyes," sees Ray Park, who plays the character in the movie, making his co-writing debut alongside Kevin Van Hook.

The panel rounded out its "Joe" segment by announcing spotlights for Beachhead by J.T. Krul and Klaus Scherwinski, Helix by Brian Reed and Joe Suitor, and the Baroness by Marc Andreyko and Ben Templesmith.

Fan's questions revealed a few more details on IDW's plans, including the Heavy Duty name change of Roadblock. "It's in your brain, just switch it out," said Schmidt on the re-name. There won't be a Transformers/Joe crossover until each series gets thoroughly established, Dreadknoks are coming someday, and more movie-related stories are being planned.

The panel was also asked to name their favorite character from either toy franchise, to which Larry Hama responded, "My favorite character is Snake-Eyes. You can write a story with no dialogue and still get paid the same rate."

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