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IDW Brings on the Death of Optimus Prime

Posted by Luke Brown On September - 22 - 2011

Yesterday IDW got together with a small group of comics journalists to discuss their Transformers line, and how every comic in the line has been leading to this single moment – The Death of Optimus Prime.

“In order to save the universe, Galvatron is seeking to destroy Cybertron,” stated senior editor John Barber. “That’s basically the impetus for the story ‘Chaos’ that’s begun now.” Catching us up with what’s currently happening in Transformers, Barber laid out some current plot points. The Decepticons have returned to Cybertron to confront Galvatron and his Sweeps. The Autobots are questioning their human allies on Earth after an investigation into Spike Witwicky. All of “Chaos” is leading up to the final fate of Cybertron, and Barber promises it won’t be what people are expecting.

“The Autobots will be utterly betrayed by the humans, and leave the Earth,” Barber says. It’s not called “The Last Story on Earth” for nothing apparently. This is all leading to the reason for the press conference, the story Transformers: The Death of Optimus Prime. Coming out of “Chaos” the lives of all the Transformers are going to be drastically changed. Barber related that TDoOP would be a great entry point that also bridges the gap between where the IDW comics came from, and where they’ll be heading next year. Though Barber was tight-lipped about what exactly would be happening to Optimus Prime in The Death of Optimus Prime, he made sure to enforce the point that the comic universe was much different than the movie universe. “When Batman goes back in time,” Barber started. “Christopher Nolan doesn’t have to deal with that in Batman 3.”

At the conclusion of “Chaos,” the war between the Decepticons and Autobots will be over. Optimus Prime has always been a leader during wartime, and in TDoOP, he questions whether or not he’s the right leader for all the Transformers in times of peace. Complicating things further is the return of thousands of Transformers who fled Cybertron during the war between Autobots and Decepticons. Barber was quick to point out that these returning Transformers don’t view the Autobots as good, or the Decepticons as evil. The two factions are merely opposing races, and many of those refugees are pretty fed up with both sides. “They don’t differentiate between Prime and Megatron,” Barber says of these homeward bound robots.

Hasbro’s Michael Kelly jumped in, and was elated about the artists currently working on “Chaos” and The Death of Optimus Prime, Livio Ramondelli and Nick Roche. Kelly pointed out there’s a level of excitement and freshness brought to the universe by these artists, and people who aren’t reading the books are missing out. Reiterating Barber’s idea of TDoOP being a great jumping on point for new readers, Kelly added, “Now’s the time. There’s always room for more.” Spinning out of TDoOp will be two new Transformers ongoing titles, Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye and Transformers: Robots in Disguise. Transfomers:MTMtE will be written by James Roberts, and drawn by Nick Roche. Transformers: RiD will be written by John Barber, with interior art from Andrew Griffith.

It appears IDW is excited about where the Transformers line is headed, but we’re still a few months away from finding out ourselves. Transformers: The Death of Optimus Prime is due out this December, and both new titles will be kicking off in January. We’ll be keeping tabs on where all of this is heading, but what say you loyal Transformers fans? Can the franchise live without its most recognizable character? Or does the death of Optimus Prime mean the chance to tell new and different stories?

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