Skybound’s Energon Panel at SDCC and Robert Kirkman Interview – Everything You Need to Know and What Comes Next: The Comic Source

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Skybound’s Energon Panel at SDCC and Robert Kirkman Interview – Everything You Need to Know and What Comes Next

The Comic Source


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There was an equal mix of nostalgia and excitement during the Skybound Energon panel at San Diego Comic Con on Saturday afternoon. Onstage you had the writers of G.I.Joe and Transformers, Joshua Williamson and Daniel Warren Johnson (who is also handling art duties), respectively. Alongside these creators were Skybound’s Editor in Chief Sean Mackiewicz and founder Robert Kirkman rounding out a line-up of creative minds who have deep connections to these properties that they loved as children.

Williamson had the least to say about his work on the upcoming comic book series. Not through any desire of his to keep things close to the vest, but simply based on the timing of the announcements made on the panel and the way this years long development cycle is playing out. The Void Rivals series, which is actually the comic that kicked off this new shared universe, was not announced as having anything to do with the Hasbro properties with it was solicited. Skybound did let retailers now about a month in advance to allow for Void Rivals #1 to be ordered in sufficient quantities, rumored to be around 100,000 copies. Surprisingly, news about the unexpected cameo of Jetfire in Void Rivals #1 nearly held until it’s release date.


A lot of what WIlliamson wanted to say, simply couldn’t be shared at this time for the same reason Kirkman and Skybound wanted to have the Jetfire appearance remain under wraps. Purely for the fun and surprise which happens so rarely in comics currently. What we do know is that the return of G.I. Joe in the Energon universe will play out with the origins of the Joe organization itself. Simultaneously, Cobra will begin it’s rise as well with both Duke and Cobra Commander getting 4 issue limited series written by Williamson with Tom Reilly handling art duties for the Duke series and Andrea Milana illustrating Cobra Commander. It was mentioned by both Williamson and Kirkman that Duke will be faced with a crisis of faith that leads to everything that comes after. Could it be the death of someone close to him by a giant robot that has him calling into question what he previously thought about a more grounded reality?


As for Cobra, Williamson stated several times that the genius of Cobra Commander is he ability to manipulate anyone and everyone. He called back to the bickering you would see between the characters in their various iterations either on the big screen or small and even in previous comics. Yet despite many of the followers of Cobra and its allies actively disliking the Commander, they follow him. Despite being able to provide any more detail about what’s to come, it certainly seemed that Williamson is heavily invested in these stories and looking forward to when he can talk about them in more detail.

Daniel Warren Johnson had much more to say about his Transformers series which is much closer to it’s release date. Johnson talked about about his artistic process during the panel stating that, despite this characters being robots and thus having a lot of straight lines, his art works best when he lets things flow more freely and puts away the ruler. He spoke extensively about his love for these characters and how much they were a part of his youth. Perhaps the most interesting and revealing comment Johnson had was in response to an attendee question about how the Transformers might interact with the natural world. This led to the reveal of a line of dialogue from an early issue where a Transformer observes where he comes from, he doesn’t leave footprints like he does on earth. A very clever way of developing the character through acknowledgement of consequences.


What is clear from both the panel and the interview with these creatives after, is the Void Rivals is the start. If you want to follow this universe, that is what you should be reading now as it will lead directly into Daniel Warren Johnson’s Transformers, which in turn will lead directly into Joshua Williamson’s G.I. Joe. Two more G.i. Joe mini-series and an ongoing will follow but details on those are being kept secret for now. Based on the information given during the panel on the development process and dedication the Skybound team has shown for these properties, there is every reason to believe this endeavor will be successful and may even result in Void Rivals joining the line-up of Hasbro toys.


You can hear the full interview from the Energon press event below and find links to other Energon related announcements.


For more Energon related Skybound news check out these related articles.


Robert Kirkman & Lorenzo De Felici’s VOID RIVALS #2 Is An Instant Sellout And Earns Second Printing

First Look: Robert Kirkman & Lorenzo De Felici’s VOID RIVALS #3 Continues the Energon Universe with New Characters

Skybound And Hasbro Debut Epic Energon Universe Trailer

Skybound And Hasbro Unveil Covers For The Highly Anticipated DUKE#1, COBRA COMMANDER #1

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