WC: IDW Movie Comics

IDW Publishing's Denton Tipton was on hand with "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Alliance" writer Chris Mowry and "Star Trek: Countdown" writing team Mike Johnson and Tim Jones at San Francisco's WonderCon to discuss their comic books based off movie licenses. Tipton kicked off the panel by asking who in the mostly full room liked G.I. Joe His question was greeted with a big cheer. Then Tipton asked who liked Transformers and got an even bigger cheer. When Tipton asked who liked Star Trek, the entire room exploded in cheers and applause.

The first book on the agenda was Mowry'sTransformers book, "Alliance." "It deals mostly with the humans and the Autobots and their relationship," said Mowry.

The next title in the prequel saga is entitled "Defiance," and will also be written by Mowry. Set before the first "Transformers" film, it details the great war between the Autobots and Decepticons.

Also mentioned at the event was the fact that Simon Furman ("Annhiliation: Ronan") is writing the "Revenge of the Fallen" comic book adaptation, which will be available in May.

Josh Nizzi will be supplying covers for all three "Revenge of the Fallen" comics, and Tipton announced they will be collected in a cover gallery book. The book will also contain some of Nizzi's concept art that he worked on for the "Revenge of the Fallen" movie.

If that wasn't enough, June will see Tipton and Shane McCarthy ("All Hail Megatron") writing "Transformers Spotlight: Cliffjumper" a one-shot set in regularTransformers continuity. Robby Russo will illustrate.

In the G.I. Joe section of the presentation, Tipton unveiled some of Joe Corroney's covers for the "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra" movie prequel written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by SL Gallant. Tipton will also be writing the "Rise of Cobra" comic book adaptation.

Following the movie's release, actor Ray Park will delve further into his character of Snake-Eyes by co-writing a "Snake-Eyes" miniseries with Kevin Van Hook ("Superman and Batman Versus Vampires and Werewolves"). The book has been scheduled, but no release date was announced.

Johnson and Jones let slip that "Star Trek: Countdown" will tie the "Next Generation" characters into the universe of J.J. Abrams' forthcoming "Star Trek" movie. The writers are devoted fans of "Next Generation," and worked with the new film's writers to find a way to involve the "Next Gen" crew with the story. Johnson and Jones stressed that "Countdown" is not a farewell to the "Next Gen" crew, saying, "They're very much involved. They're responsible and important for things played out in the movie."

The floor was then opened up for questions. One fan asked if the Star Trek license would allow IDW to explore the expanded universe. "We've been talking to Peter David about it," said Tipton, who added that more "Next Generation" comics will be forthcoming, regardless of whatever continuity developments come out of the new movie.

Another fan asked what the writers and editors look for in an artist for a licensed comic - such as a knack for drawing celebrity likenesses. "Depends on the book," said Tipton. "For 'Transformers,' we don't have the likeness rights to Megan Fox, so it's not so important in that book. But we look for the same thing as any other book, which is good visual storytelling."

Other fans expressed concern about the "unusually colloquial" dialogue in "Star Trek: Countdown." "We're not going to pretend it's not different, but we've also never ran across a Romulan mining group before," said Johnson, referring to Nero, the new movie's time-traveling villain. "And they're not going to talk like the characters on the Enterprise."

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