IDW loses GI Joe, Transformers license at the end of the year
IDW Publishing is losing the rights to famous toy-turned-comedy stars from Hasbro, GI Joe and Transformers at the end of 2022.
It’s the end of an era for G.I. Joe and Transformers at IDW Publishing.
IDW loses the rights to two of Hasbro’s top properties at the end of 2022. “We are extremely proud of our stewardship of these titles – 17 years with Robots in Disguise and 14 years with A Real American Hero – and thank the legion of fans for their unwavering support, month after month,” the publisher said in a statement to THR. “We are also eternally grateful to each of the talented creators who helped bring these four-color characters to life through our comics.” IDW will continue to release new comics based on Hasbro’s ownership My little Pony and Dungeons & Dragons Properties.
IDW started publishing Transformers comics in 2005, after the closure of Dreamwave Productions. Between 2005 and 2018, IDW published over 400 comics as part of an overall project Transformers continuity, the largest and oldest in the history of the property. At present, the company continues to release regular installments in both the reboot Transformers series, which debuted in 2019, and Transformers: Beast Wars, which launched in 2021. IDW will complete both series by summer 2022, making way for two Transformers– centered miniseries events.
On the G.I. Joe before, IDW regained the license in 2008 after the Devil’s Due series of ownership ended. At first, the company created a rebooted continuity that encompassed multiple titles, updating characters while bringing back the iconic G.I. Joe writer Larry Hama. Then, in 2010, IDW brought back GI Joe: A True American Hero, which continued the numbering and continuity of Marvel’s original series. Now in issue #288, the title will end with its 300th celebratory comic later this year.
Although IDW loses the publishing rights of G.I. Joe and Transformers, fans are unlikely to miss new content for too long. The Walking Dead Co-creator Robert Kirkman is reportedly interested in securing the rights to both properties and bringing their stories to Skybound Entertainment, an imprint of Image Comics. Previously, Image Comics collaborated with Devil’s Due to distribute its G.I. Joe and Transformers comics in the early 2000s.
In October, then-acting CEO Rich Stoddart doubled down on Hasbro’s growing pop culture presence, explaining that the “Brand’s Blueprint” involves creating more cross-media productions in the future. Shortly after this statement, Hasbro announced that it had recruited acclaimed actor LeVar Burton as the host of a Trivial Pursuit program based on the board game of the same name. In total, Hasbro currently claims 30 different brands in various stages of development for film, television, and video game projects.
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