The Revolution will be toy-shaped and action-packed!

An Answer-Man Quick and Dirty Review of IDW’s Revolution #0

With thanks to Brandon Easton, an IDW staffer​ for sharing the teaser!

Late last year IDW revealed they would be creating a shared universe with a number of Hasbro’s properties sharing one world and one history. Their description:

In September, IDW Publishing embarks on one of its most ambitious ventures in its 17 year history… REVOLUTION! This massive, multi-title crossover will reinvent and re-imagine the IDW-Hasbro Universe of tittles into a single shared Universe. Imagine the possibilities as some of IDW’s most popular comic characters find themselves in an all-out war! G.I. Joe, Transformers, ROM, Micronauts, Action Man, MASK: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.

Welcome to the Revolution

Diving immediately into the 16 page teaser, the story starts with a briefing describing the deplorable state of the world, a backstory presenting us with a brief history of the world as redefined with these diverse properties sharing one traumatic history.

I don’t think it undoes the previous stories continuities per se, it simply takes them to a logical and terrible conclusion that humanity is a much smaller piece in a much bigger game. Only a rare element found used in the creation of Energon gives Earth any prominence at all. (In fact, I found it suspiciously like arguing over oil in the Middle East with the Autobots as the United States and the Decepticons as the Russians/Soviets.)

Autobots and Decepticons

The Autobots, as part of an immense galactic community, have the most effect on the world destabilizing it long enough for subversive forces to rise and cause the second greatest problematic social collapse since the first Autobot/Decepticon War.

The fact that war plays out and destroys over a billion lives is catastrophic, leaving a world that should be barely functional and now being told they are being forced into a Galactic community as part of the Cybertronian Agenda which no one on Earth understands.

Cobra and GI Joe before the Nanzhao nuclear event which shocked an already devastated world.

Now, with former shadow organizations as powers in this new world order, former riends become strange enemies with mysterious agendas unshared… I mean really, what could the Cybertronians want with Earth given its current state; war-torn, possibly starving, technologically underwhelming, why should they want to bring such a pitiful Earth into the galactic community?

Meanwhile on Earth, enemies become allies, perhaps because for the first time, because humanity is truly confronted by a variety of Others, the Cybertronians, the Micronauts (whom we see teased but not fully mentioned) and the Space Knights (whose presence is also not yet fully revealed but I love the redesign of ROM) and the world is in a state of traumatic transformation. So many players, so many different factions, who is really looking out for the little guy in all this? I wonder if we will get to see the world the way normal humans will see all of this going on and what does this mean to the way of life for people world-wide?

ROM Spaceknight, the Micronauts, the nefarious Baron Karza

While Issue #0 is packed full of information and names for people who are unfamiliar with the separate stories, I am hopeful the later stories will move at a pace allowing the unfamiliar an opportunity to become part of this very complicated and presumably intense shared universe.

The artwork is fantastic, evocative and yet clearly paying respect to the work that has come before. The coloring is simply fabulous. This teaser is an excellent introduction to IDW’s Revolution.

This teaser promises the seeds of greatness. Let’s see what mighty oaks grow from their efforts.

While the connection to the teaser lasts you can read it here: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/idw-publishing/r/revolution/00-prelude/revolution-00-prelude.pdf

The Answer-Man’s Archives are a collection of my articles discussing superheroes and their powers in relationship to their respective universes. We deconstruct characters, memes, profiles and how superheroes relate to real world culture. You can find other Archives on Quora and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange or at The World According to Superheroes.

Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. You can follow him on Twitter or support his writings on Patreon