SDCC2014: ANGRY BIRDS Meets TRANSFORMERS in New IDW Series
Angry Birds / Transformers #1 cover by Marcelo Ferriara
CREDIT: IDW Publishing
The Transformers have faced all sorts of threats in crossover comics before, from G.I. Joe to Marvel heroes – but they’ve never faced anything like what they’re about to. This fall, IDW is publishing an Angry Birds / Transformers comic series. Announced earlier today at Comic-Con International: San Diego’s IDW & Hasbro panel, Angry Birds / Transformers will see the all-too-familiar birds and pigs of the hit video game series Angry Birds transformed into, well, Transformers. Written by John Barber with art by Livio Ramondelli and Marcelo Ferriera, the series starts in a classic battle between the Decepticons and the Autobots but ends in a surprising way.
“Megatron and his forces attack Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and bunch of other Autobots who are carrying the AllSpark, the source of the Cybertronians' power (to put it simply). As usually happens, Starscream's ambition and arrogance get the better of him and he messes things up--and the AllSpark tumbles into space as their ship quantum jumps away. The AllSpark tumbles through reality and lands on Piggie Island, where it gets changed into the EggSpark,” Barber tells Newsarama. “Meanwhile--the Pigs have stolen the Angry Birds' eggs, and as they're struggling to get the eggs back, Chuck--who's a hot-headed, reckless bird, manages to mess things up with HIS ego. Into the midst
of this, the EggSpark starts changing everybody into half pig or half bird half Cybertronian. But the pigs and birds don't just get the Cybertronian ability to change forms, they get pieces of Cybertronian personalities, too--and that's where the real craziness begins. When a pig used to following King Pig's orders suddenly finds himself imbued with Starscream's powers and psyche, or when Chuck suddenly finds himself not hotheaded and reckless but friendly and thoughtful like Bumblebee... Well, the feathers will fly. Also, something something bacon pun.”
Barber says that all of the Angry Birds cast will appear, from Chuck, Red, the Blues, and even Stella. On the Transformers side, the writer/editor says the classic Autobots – Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Bumblebee – will be joined by Drift, Arcee, and even Heatwave. On the Decepticon side, in addition to the aforementioned Megatron and Starscream, the monotone Soundwave will also show up.
IDW’s Angry Birds / Transformers miniseries follows a string of crossovers between the two franchises in video games and other media. Barber, who also serves as an editor for IDW, says that pairing the two together in comics was “a natural fit.”
“There's a sense of fun to both Transformers and Angry Birds, and the playful mechanics of both have maybe a similar appeal,” says Barber. “But what's more interesting is the differences--a lot of time, the Transformers adventures are very serious. Even on a series like The IDW More Than Meets the Eye comics, where there's a lot of humor, the stakes are usually very dire. So mixing that with the antics of the Birds and Pigs creates a different set of expectations--and from that, humor is born!”
For this series mixing robots and farm animals, and he thought it best to bring in one of Transformers’ signature artists, Livio Ramondelli, to draw the opening scene with the Transformers.
“Livio Ramondelli is one of our best Transformers comics artists—as we speak, he and I, plus Mairghread Scott and Sarah Stone, are working on a big new Transformers story called “Combiner Wars,” and we just wrapped a very serious Transformers comic on the Madefire motion app, a series about the darkest of actions that war brings out,” Barber explains. “So getting to switch that up and play up how real and serious Livio can help play against what happens when we hit Piggie Island--Livio's just doing the straight Transformers part of the comic.”
When the story switches to the Angry Birds’ reality, so does the art; Black Dynamite artist Marcelo Ferriara is stepping in for the more comedic side of the story.
“Marcelo’s got the ability--the rare ability--to do serious Transformers, plus be able to morph his skills to work on a funnier environment, while still keeping the same cool dynamics,” says the writer/editor. “He's amazing, and I'm lucky to get to work with him on the bulk of the series.”
Barber says, overall, that Angry Birds / Transformers will be a “fun, funny comic” bringing the two franchises together, with the added bonus of “some Easter eggs (no pun intended).”