By Ryan Penagos and Greg Draudt
As announced at New York Comic Con, Earth's Mightiest Heroes are preparing to meet the Robots in Disguise for a major crossover this summer in NEW AVENGERS/TRANSFORMERS. Launching July 5th, alongside the premiere of the big-budget blockbuster "Transformers" movie, the four-issue comic crossover is being brought to life by writer Stuart Moore and penciler Tyler Kirkham. Here's the 411 on the series.
"NEW AVENGERS/TRANSFORMERS will star the Transformer characters that readers have come to know in the new series that IDW launched last year," explains series editor Bill Rosemann. "We're following the tone set by IDW -- a modern 'Ultimate' style of storytelling that also provides a classic take on the Autobots and Decepticons."
"It's a great combination of characters," says writer Stuart Moore. "The take-no-prisoners, military tone of NEW AVENGERS fits perfectly with the new, bigger-and-badder-than-ever TRANSFORMERS. The science fiction angle is right up my street, and I'm also very psyched about writing a huge, planetary-scale widescreen action comic. I haven't really done that before."
With so many factors involved, keeping a project like this together is a bear. Luckily, Rosemann has it on lockdown. "We are creating and publishing it on Marvel's side, however, we are working very closely with Chris Ryall at IDW. He's been with us every step of the way as far as the Transformer characters go, and all that is being overseen by Hasbro to make sure that their characters are being portrayed properly," says Rosemann. "Even though it's a jointly produced project, our aim is to approach it as a Marvel book using Marvel creators, so it will be interesting to see creators you don't usually associate with these characters, that haven't had a chance to do these characters and to also see our characters interact with them."
"Stuart Moore has a lot of experience writing sci-fi flavored projects, which is how we're approaching this," explains Rosemann. "He's done a lot of interesting indie sci-fi books and he also has experience writing Marvel characters. Stuart has also written WOLVERINE and last years' NEW AVENGERS military special, so he's familiar both with our characters as well. We're approaching this as serious as you can get when it comes to superheroes and giant robots, sort of an espionage-flavored, military-themed, sci fi combination. Our characters experience these huge robots and they don't know who they are, or whether they're allies or enemies. The New Avengers are confronted by vehicles that can transform into giant robots and that can be kind of scary."
"Tyler Kirkam, who is part of the Marvel/Top Cow connection, has done some really intense, detail-driven work on The Darkness, the Darkness/Superman crossover and recently for Marvel he penciled X-MEN: PHOENIX - WARSONG. When you look at that last issue, you can really see the emotion and drama that Tyler brings to the table. We're not approaching this as a kiddie cartoon. We're not watering this down. We're gonna make this kind of scary and intense. It's going to be an intense collision between these two groups, and Tyler is really going to bring the heat."
While all details are yet to be revealed, there are a few juicy tidbits to talk about. "We are approaching this as a shared world," notes Rosemann, "but the Transformers, you know, as the famous tagline says, they're robots in disguise. They've been here the whole time. If you've read the first two Transformer story arcs, you know they don't take place in New York City, where the Avengers seem to spend most of their time, so these characters just haven't met each other yet. We're framing this story as taking place between the first two NEW AVENGERS story arcs and the location is actually the border between the nations of Symkaria and Latveria -- so we're considering it a Marvel story that counts in continuity."
"It's the New Avengers cast from the early issues of that book, before CIVIL WAR -- Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Cage and Wolverine, with some help from the Falcon and Ms. Marvel," adds Moore. "On the Autobots' side, it's pretty much the team established in the IDW miniseries INFILTRATION: Prowl, Ratchet, Jazz, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, who's just arrived to lead the team. There are a lot of Decepticons, too...after all, they have twice as many heroes to fight! And since the action takes place in and around Latveria, it's just possible that a certain Doctor is involved somehow. But I'm not saying."
Look for much more on this project as we get closer to the launch, including details on the NEW AVENGERS/TRANSFORMERS story, artwork and much more. Keep up on all our New York Comic Con coverage
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