C2E2 2018: IDW Reveals Rick And Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons, Talks Transformers: Unicron, And Revives Classic TMNT

by Noah Sharma

IDW assembled a lineup of their best and brightest for the final day of C2E2 including David Hedgecock (Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief), Andy Price (My Little Pony), Magdalene Visaggio (Transformers vs. Visionaries), Andrew Griffith (Transformers, ROM, Micronauts), and Jim Zub (Samurai Jack, Dungeons & Dragons).

The panel began with Sonic the Hedgehog, hyping the new incarnation for the blue blur at IDW and inviting fans to join the Sonic Comic Squad facebook page.

Andy Price talked about his upcoming issue of My Little Pony, #65 written by Thom Zahler. The concept is that once a year Princess Celestia goes undercover as a normal pony to keep in touch with her subjects. Price called it a very Shakespearean conceit. Asked how many pages of Ponies he’s drawn, Price answered that he knows that it’s a stack “this tall” holding his hand above the table so that it was roughly even with his nose. He says that his favorite stories that he’s worked on so far are “Reflections” in the volume #5 trade and My Little Pony: Friends Forever #38, which was the first issue he wrote and drew.

Jim Zub has been writing Dungeons & Dragons since 5th edition launched and now he’s working on a miniseries called Evil at Baldur’s Gate, each issue a one-shot story looking at one of the main cast with a different artist. Issue #2, a caper with Krydle & Shandie will feature Zub’s Wayward companion Steven Cummings on art. Issue #3 will take us to Mechanus and pits Delina against the Modrons, a personal favorite for me. That issue will be drawn by Harvey Tolibao.

Magdalene Visaggio spoke about discovering Visionaries, a show that aired when she was one. Unlike Transformers, which for any added complexity is toy commercials that pits the “heroic” Autobots against the “evil forces of the Decepticons”, Visionaries, from the outset, had morally ambiguous characters and that was really the core idea for Visaggio. The goal is to have characters making rational decisions for themselves and their cause that will still cause conflict and lead to war.

Transformers vs. Visionaries leads into this Summer’s Transformers: Unicron event. The book will be written by longtime Transformers: Robots in Disguise writer and continuity expect John Barber and drawn by Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye artist Alex Milne with colors by Sebastian Cheng. Milne joined the panel, along with frequent TF artist Brendan Cahill.

Unicron has been in the works for about two years, as the Transformers writers started to wonder what an ending to the IDW Transformers universe would look like. It turned out that Barber and James Roberts had been thinking about that concept for a while and the event grew out of those ideas.

Alex Milne designed the robot mode for the IDW Unicron based on a planet mode that had already been revealed. That art demonstrated Unicron’s ability to build itself up using the materials from planets it devours so that became a central design feature, but Milne also had some ideas of his own that he wanted to add. Basing his take on a fusion of the G1 classic and the Transformers: Prime design, Milne wanted Unicron to be able to keep chomping on planets even in its robot mode, necessitating the placement of its ‘mouth’ on its chest. The other concept that Milne seemed particularly excited about is that Unicron is actually so big that it has it’s own atmosphere so it is constantly encircled by clouds.

The panel also debuted an enormous interlocking cover by James Raiz and a variant cover by Francesco Francavilla.

Griffith spoke about his upcoming Transformers: Bumblebee miniseries. The series will be a prequel to Bumblebee: The Movie and will be a “Sixties spy thriller”, something Griffith has been dying to do for a long time.

TMNT: Body Count is a brutal, classic Turtles story by Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley. It’s been out of print for a long time but there will be a hardcover collection coming soon.

The third, Image Comics published, volume of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic will also be returning, in color for the first time, as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends. Not only that, the run was never completed, so IDW will be bringing the original team of Gary Carlson and Frank Fosco back to finally conclude the arc.

The panel also announced a Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one shot for July to open this new era of TMNT.

David Hedgecock revealed the creative team for the new Big Hero 6 ongoing series, based on the Disney XD television show, in July. Hannah Blumenreich will be writing with art by Nicoletta Baldari. He wanted to say more but unfortunately we’ll have to wait

Over a year ago, Sarah Gaydos called Jim Zub to say ‘we have a crazy idea’. Zub was skeptical, but today IDW announced Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons from Patrick Rothfuss, Zub, and award winning cartoonist Troy Little. Zub called it a “nihilistic love letter” to all things fantasy and promised some deep cut references to both Rick and Morty and classic D&D. Don’t forget to check the backgrounds for references. The series will launch in time for Gencon this August and will run as a four-issue miniseries.