If you’ve read the new Skybound title Void Rivals today, then you know it’s actually part of a bigger Energon Universe launch — a universe that includes both G.I. Joe and Transformers.
Last seen in comics in 2022 as IDW wrapped up their work on both properties, early rumors and speculation mentioned Skybound as a potential new home. Now, through a license with Hasbro, Skybound has launched them in a way that only the company who once put out fake solicitations to keep the ending of The Walking Dead a secret could — as a surprise. Surprise!
“It’s a tremendous honor to be able to reintroduce this world to a new audience under the Skybound banner,” said 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.”
In addition to Void Rivals, Skybound has plans for three additional titles, including a Transformers title written and drawn by Daniel Warren Johnson of Do A Powerbomb and Beta Ray Bill fame.
Here are the details from 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) and colorist Mike Spicer (Stillwater). 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 Optimus Prime.
“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 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!”
Skybound also has plans to launch four G.I. Joe miniseries, starting with one in December focused on Duke by Joshua Williamson (Superman, Dark Ride), Tom Reilly (The Thing) and Jordie Bellaire (W0rldtr33):
The new Energon Universe expands in December with Duke #1, a limited series from Joshua Williamson (DC’s Superman, Dark Ride), Tom Reilly (The Thing) and Jordie Bellaire (W0rldtr33), 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.
“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!”
Williamson will also write a Cobra Commander miniseries that will launch in January, with artists Andrea Milana (Impact Winter: Rook) and Annalisa Leoni (Oblivion Song).
“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 and publisher at Skybound. “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.”