Hasbro Announces 'Transformers' Relaunch

The Transformers are officially starting from scratch -- in the world of comics, that is.

The Hollywood Reporter recently announced the franchise's new comic book relaunch, which will be arriving next spring from IDW Publishing. The relaunch, which is simply titled Transformers, will begin long before the war on Cybertron that usually kick-starts the franchise's story.

From writer Brian Ruckley and artists Angel Hernandez and Ron Joseph, Transformers tells the story of Cybertron before the war, and of the mysterious death that ended an age of peace on the planet. The series will publish twice a month, with a roster of characters that will include Bumblebee.

The first two issues of the series will be available in March, with both issues featuring multiple covers by artists including Gabriel Rodriguez, Freddie E. Williams II, and Jeffrey Veregge. Hernandez and Joseph will also provide covers.

“We are eager to begin this new chapter in Transformers storytelling,” Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s VP of Global Publishing, said in a statement about the new series. “We are excited to begin a tale that will be accessible and appealing to readers unfamiliar with Transformers lore, while still providing the depth and drama that our longtime fans expect. It’s a big responsibility, but we’ve got the right team and the right characters to do it.”

"[Writing this series is] a real privilege,” Ruckley added. “Just as important, it’s an amazing opportunity for new readers to discover and explore one of the biggest universes — and one of the best casts of characters — that science fiction has to offer, and to get in right at the start of a truly epic saga.”

This comic relaunch comes at a particularly interesting time for the larger Transformers franchise, with the film adaptations taking a similar sort of "back to basics" approach. Bumblebee, which lands in theaters this week, will give fans a unique take on the war on Cybertron, which will probably pique interest for this comic adaptation. And while the film franchise might not be officially referring to itself as a "reboot", it sounds like fans can expect some new stories on both the page and screen.

“Reboot, I always hate that word because, for one, I’m not sure I really understand what it means,” Bumblebee producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura said in a recent interview. “We are going to do another big Transformers movie. It is going to be different than the ones that we’ve done before.”

“It’s not like we look at the elements of what we did before and go, ‘Well, let’s not do this’ or ‘Let’s not do that,’” Di Bonaventura explained. “It’s more about how do you evolve the experience for the fans. Let the fan have a new experience.”

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Transformers #1 will arrive in stores in March of 2019.