Autobots Roll Out! Skybound Recruits Transformers and GI Joe
In the shocking wake of [REDACTED], the two Hasbro mega franchises fall under the Skybound banner.
Are you ready for this? Probably not, but steel yourself asap. New Transformers and GI Joe comics are rolling your way via Skybound Entertainment, now in partnership with Hasbro. We knew the classic eighties toy licenses would land somewhere new, but we were unprepared for this specific, rockingly rad collaboration.
The news comes spinning out of a particular comic book that dropped today (6/14), but we're still not comfortable spoiling that certain detail. We'll let Skybound's press release below do the dirty work for us, but we encourage everyone reading this to pick up their pulls and read them immediately. The particulars are just too good to get ruined here by us.
Skybound's new interconnected realm will be called the Energon Universe, and so far, it will consist of [REDACTED], Transformers, Duke, and Cobra Commander. Also, Skybound and Hasbro promise that Duke and Cobra Commander will be the first two of four G.I. Joe related titles. Best of all, however, are the creator teams involved, featuring two friends of CBCC.
Transformers #1 is a Daniel Warren Johnson joint. Immediately, you know we're all over this one, and if Johnson's last batch of comics (Do a Powerbomb!, Beta Ray Bill) are any indication, it's a good bet that his Transformers will rank very high in our end-of-the-year Best Of episodes. If you've been following his Friday with DDubs YouTube vids, you've undoubtedly noticed all the Autobots he's been doodling - now, we know why. In the press release, Johnson tells us to "GET READY!" We'll do our best, counting the seconds until October arrives with that first issue.
Superman's pal Joshua Williamson scripts Duke #1 and Cobra Commander #1. The two comics will detail the origins of the rival organizations, linking them to the Transformers' earthly arrival. Tom Reilly is on tap to illustrate Duke, while Andrea Milana will take on Cobra Commander's art duties.
Our comic book history is closely linked to G.I. Joe comics. Longtime Comic Book Couples Counseling listeners know that Brad's first book was G.I. Joe #103, written by Larry Hama and penciled by Mark Bright. It's not an exaggeration to say that that comic changed Brad's life, and there would be no CBCC without it. To say we're excited to see what Skybound and these creators will do with these characters is a tremendous understatement. We're beyond excited.
Read Skybound's official press release below, bask in DWJ's glorious Optimus Prime preview, and join us on the hype train.
SURPRISE! TRANSFORMERS AND G.I. JOE LAUNCH A NEW SHARED COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE TODAY!
Skybound and Hasbro Delight with Reveal of Energon Universe in Void Rivals #1
LOS ANGELES 06/14/2023 — Today, it was announced that two of the world’s most popular franchises –
Transformers and G.I. Joe – have a new comic book home as part of the historic partnership between
toy and game company Hasbro and Skybound, effective immediately.
Comic book fans who picked up their copies of Void Rivals #1 in comic shops today were the first to
learn the news, as the blockbuster Oblivion Song team of writers Robert Kirkman (Invincible, The
Walking Dead) and artist Lorenzo De Felici (Kroma), along with colorist Matheus Lopes (Step By Bloody
Step) and letterer Rus Wooton, revealed that the highly anticipated series was actually a stealth launch
of this new shared “Energon Universe” with the surprise first appearance of iconic Transformers
Three upcoming releases, alongside Void Rivals, mark the beginning of the interconnected “Energon
Universe” featuring both the characters and franchises you know and love, along with entirely new
concepts developed in partnership by Hasbro and Skybound.
“It's a tremendous honor to be able to reintroduce this world to a new audience under the Skybound
banner,” said Robert Kirkman. “I've loved these characters for most of my life and to have the
opportunity to add to the already rich tapestry Hasbro has built with the all-new Void Rivals is an
unbelievable opportunity. If you look at everything done with Transformers and G.I. Joe, you can see the
inkling of a vast universe with tremendous potential for crossovers and interaction that will enhance the
fan experience while staying true to the individual identities of both concepts. I look forward to
exploring that potential for years to come.”
“When we first discussed plan for the surprise reveal in Void Rivals #1, I never expected it would be a
secret we could keep for over a year,” said Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s VP of Global Publishing. “Now that it
is finally here, we are all excited to finally be able to talk about all the amazing stories to come from our
great new partners at Skybound.”
Launching in October, Transformers #1 begins an all-new era for the iconic robots in disguise from
superstar creator Daniel Warren Johnson (Extremity, Do a Powerbomb, DC’s Wonder Woman: Dead
Earth). Optimus Prime was supposed to have led the Autobots to victory. Instead, the fate of Cybertron
is unknown, and his allies have crash-landed far from home, alongside their enemies—the Decepticons.
As these titanic forces renew their war on Earth, one thing is immediately clear: the planet will never be
the same. New alliances are struck. Battle lines are redrawn. And humanity’s only hope of survival is
“To my readers, retailers, and fellow transformer fans: GET READY! I've only been drawing Optimus
Prime and the rest of this amazing cast since I was in FIRST GRADE,” said Daniel Warren Johnson. “This is
a dream project for me, and I'm so glad to be adding a new chapter to the decades long celebration of
robots turning into cars. Also, cab-over trucks are so fun to draw!”
The new Energon Universe expands in December with Duke #1, a limited series from Joshua Williamson
(DC’s Superman, Dark Ride) and Tom Reilly (The Thing), that tells the story you’ve never read before – the origins of G.I. Joe and Cobra in a world grappling with the arrival of the Autobots and Decepticons. When Conrad S. Hauser (codename DUKE) investigates the mysteries behind The Transformers, the answers will lead to the birth of forces for good and evil that the world never imagined.
Duke will be the first of four G.I. Joe limited series coming from Skybound, setting the stage for a fresh
new take on G.I. Joe, Cobra and the iconic characters that you only think you know!
"Childhood dreams come true! Get hyped! Tom and I are bringing you a new take on Duke and the
formation of G.I. Joe that honors all that we love about the characters but takes it into a new and exciting direction,” said Joshua Williamson. “It's been awesome working with Skybound and Hasbro to
bring this new take on the G.I. Joe franchise. For the last few years, I've been picking up all of the new
G.I. Classified figures, so I am pumped to contribute to this new world of G.I. Joe and Transformers!"
“I’m super excited to be working with Josh and the team at Skybound to usher in a new beginning for
these iconic characters,” said Tom Reilly. “The Joes have a rich history in comics, one that we look
forward to adding something new and exciting to. It’s going to be a fun ride!”
This will be followed by the launch of Cobra Commander #1 in January 2024, from Joshua Williamson
and Andrea Milana (Impact Winter: Rook). In a world where Cobra doesn’t exist, one man’s sinister plans
to utilize the mysterious alien substance known as Energon will send shockwaves across the globe.
“My first comic was G.I. JOE, and I couldn’t be more excited to unite the Transformers and G.I. Joe into
one universe,” said Sean Mackiewicz, SVP, Publisher. “This line is being guided by the best comic creators in the world and features the same action-packed, surprise-filled, emotional storytelling you expect from all Skybound comics.”
Void Rivals #1 (JAN238443) is available today at comic book shops and digital platforms including
Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.
Fans can pre-order their copies of Transformers #1, Duke #1, and Cobra Commander #1 right now at
their local comic book shops.