Wednesday 28 April 2010

Transformers 'origins' novel announced

Taken from Suvudu:
Del Rey, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, announced today that Del Rey Books will publish TRANSFORMERS: EXODUS. Telling one of the most important stories in the TRANSFORMERS canon, this novel explores and expands upon the origins of the supervillain MEGATRON, leader of the evil DECEPTICONS, and the rise of OPTIMUS PRIME to leadership of the heroic AUTOBOTS. TRANSFORMERS: EXODUS will be written by Alex Irvine and will release in Summer 2010.

In an exciting year for the telling of this important origins moment in the TRANSFORMERS story, TRANSFORMERS: EXODUS takes fans deep into the secret lore of the TRANSFORMERS universe, charting the creation of the DECEPTICONS and the AUTOBOTS—and chronicling the civil war that divided them. At the center of this thrilling history are OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON, the ultimate hero and the ultimate villain, whose destinies are entwined with that of their home planet, CYBERTRON. Developed in close partnership with Hasbro, this is a canonical TRANSFORMERS tale that also relates to, and expands on, the story being told in the upcoming video game, TRANSFORMERS: War for Cybertron, from Activision. Fans will not want to miss all of the details, that can only be told in novel form, the moment OPTIMUS gains “PRIME” status, MEGATRON becomes his arch enemy and leader of the DECEPTICONS and their great civil war begins.
After being forced to watch Michael Bay completely disregard the rich history of the Transformers universe and failing to take advantage of numerous exciting possibilities (something I've touched on before) it's good to see a book aimed firmly at exploring this history in more detail. I don't know much about Alex Irvine, but as a long-time Transformers fan I'm certainly interested in checking this book out.


Adam Whitehead said...

This story has been told many times times before though, in the original Marvel comics, in the original cartoon series, in the WAR WITHIN series for Dreamwave and more beyond that.

So whilst this new novel will be 'canonical' for the new WAR FOR CYBERTRON timeline, it won't be canonical for any of the other timelines, which continue to be their own things.

Salt-Man Z said...

What Adam said. There are enough G1 sub-continuities (80s cartoon, Marvel comic, UK comic, Dreamwave comic, current IDW comic) that the addition of The War For Cybertron is perfectly acceptable. But to pimp this book (which has been listed on Amazon for the past 2-3 months, by the way) as the "never-before-seen" origin of the Transformers' war is rather presumptuous and/or insulting.

Still, as a TF fan (and official TF novel completist) this is definitely on my wishlist.

James said...

Was this story told in the original cartoon series? I've got the full first series of G1 and it's not told there. Seen most of the other series for G1 and don't remember any origin stuff in there either...

Salt-Man Z said...

The Sunbow cartoon didn't touch on the pre-Earth war much that I recall, but the Season 2 episode War Dawn shows the creation of Optimus Prime and the start of the (current) Autobot-Decepticon war.

The comics trod this ground pretty completely, though. The Marvel UK comics started it. Dreamwave had 3-4 miniseries devoted to this time period, and IDW did a Megatron: Origin miniseries. And it does sound like the new book draws heavily from all of the above.

Adam Whitehead said...

Yeah, WAR DAWN shows Megatron starting the war, injuring the worker Orion Pax along the way who then gets rebuilt by Alpha Trion as Optimus Prime. The war in all its glory then unfolds.

In the comics, the UK annuals started the process (WAR GAMES! shows Megatron and Ravage executing the old council which held the pre-war factions together and the war commences after that), whilst WAR WITHIN showed it in far more detail (although the Dreamwave continuity is separate).

Paul D said...

I love the continuity of the Simon Furman US comics. I know he did a lot of British work, is it of the same quality, and is it availalbe in North America?

Lagomorph Rex said...

since I'm not sure its physically possible for this book to be worse than the ones that Scott Scicen and David Cian wrote in the early part of the decade.. I'm sure it will not be badly written... comparatively..

But it really does need to be taken for what it is, a tie in to the new video game and nothing more.. all of this stuff has already previously been covered.. multiple times.. and every new thing that gets released just seems to be an even more amalgam product than the last.

Paul: Most of the larger UK marvel storylines are available via IDW in their " Best of UK " trade paperbacks. But even with these, or the more comprehensive TITAN TPBS from a few years ago.. there are still about 40 early stories total that have not yet been reprinted..

Personally, I recommend the Titan Reprints over the IDW reprints anyway.

Adam Whitehead said...

"I love the continuity of the Simon Furman US comics. I know he did a lot of British work, is it of the same quality, and is it availalbe in North America?"

I'd say the quality is as strong, maybe better, but Furman did have an enormous canvas with his two-year US mega-arc that was very impressive. Definitely worth a look is his informal 'Galvatron/future history' cycle that began with TARGET: 2006 and continued through WANTED: GALVATRON, LEGACY OF UNICRON, SPACE PIRATES, TIME WARS and a whole bunch of other stories I'm no doubt forgetting.

Some of Furman's early stuff is also excellent, like CRISIS OF COMMAND, DINOBOT HUNT! and IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST.