It’s the end of an era.
Late last week, it was revealed that IDW Publishing will be losing the comic book licenses for both Transformers
and G.I. Joe
at the end of the year. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news
, with a story that included a statement from IDW reading, in part, “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.”
The loss of both properties is a big deal for IDW, but that’s especially true for Transformers, which holds particular historical significance for the publisher. Not only was a Transformers title the first IDW release to break 100,000 copies sold – 2005’s Transformers #0, released just months after IDW gained the license and specially priced at 99 cents – but there’s an argument to be made that it was the success of its Transformers comics that made it a destination for IP owners looking to bring their properties to comics.
When asked if, considering these developments, the company would be moving away from licensed material in the future, a spokesperson pushed back pretty definitively. “IDW remains the #1 leading publisher of licensed comics in the world, from Sonic The Hedgehog to My Little Pony, Godzilla to Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Dungeons & Dragons, and everything in-between[*],“ I was told via email. "We’ll be announcing new publishing partnerships throughout the year, and let’s not forget that our 2022 will be packed with new offerings from Transformers and G.I. Joe, as well.”