IDW Publishing has lost the publishing rights to Transformers and G.I. Joe and will conclude its run with both series in 2022. The American publisher has held the rights to Transformers for 17 years and G.I. Joe for 14 years, but has lost both to an unnamed rival competitor. However, My Little Pony and Dungeons & Dragons comics, based on the Hasbro brands, will still be published by IDW.
The news first broke via a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter.
“At the end of 2022, IDW will bid a fond farewell to the publication of G.I. Joe and Transformers comic books and graphic novels. We’re exceedingly proud of our stewardship of these titles — 17 years with the Robots in Disguise and 14 years with A Real American Hero — and thank the legion of fans for their unwavering support, month in and month out. We’re also eternally grateful to every one of the talented creators who helped bring these characters to four-color life through our comics.”
While the identity of the new publisher remains unknown, rumors have suggested that Robert Kirkman’s Skybound has been in talks to acquire the properties. Kirkman, who is known to be a major fan of the toy brands, is said to have personally been involved in the discussions but will not write any of the new comics.
IDW still plans to put out a year’s worth of stories and comics centered around the two franchises. The monthly Transformers series and Transformers: Beast Wars will conclude by the summer, with two new miniseries set to follow. The company will also publish a special project that commemorates the most memorable Autobots and Decepticons.
The publisher will also release G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #300 with writer Larry Hama, who originally launched the Joe brand with Marvel. The franchise will also return to the beloved 80s cartoon in the spring with a G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – Saturday Morning Adventures miniseries. Several special projects celebrating G.I. Joe’s 40th anniversary are also in the works.
IDW’s business plan has heavily focused on licensed properties but the company will need to shift its focus after also losing its all-ages Star Wars and Marvel comics.
What are your thoughts on both franchises leaving IDW at the end of this year? Let us know in the comments section below.