Robert Kirkman Launches Surprise GI Joe and Transformers Shared Universe

Skybound and Hasbro Delight with Reveal of Energon Universe in 'Void Rivals' #1

Skybound and Hasbro Delight with Reveal of Energon Universe in 'Void Rivals' #1

Robert Kirkman Launches Surprise GI Joe and Transformers Shared Universe

Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead and Invincible, has launched a surprise G.I. Joe and Transformers rebooted shared “Energon” comic book universe.

The big reveal first came in a stealth launch with those who picked up Kirkman’s latest comic book from his Skybound imprint in a partnership with Hasbro with Void Rivals #1 which has art by Lorenzo De Felici.

The issue is now available and has gone back to a second print and a preview for the next issue can be found below.

robert kirkman gi joe transformers shared universe

Energon Universe

Three upcoming releases, alongside Void Rivals, mark the beginning of the interconnected “Energon Universe” featuring both the characters and franchises from G.I.Joe and Transformers, along with entirely new concepts developed in partnership by Hasbro and Skybound.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be able to reintroduce this world to a new audience under the Skybound banner,” said Robert Kirkman. “I’ve loved these characters for most of my life and to have the opportunity to add to the already rich tapestry Hasbro has built with the all-new Void Rivals is an unbelievable opportunity. If you look at everything done with Transformers and G.I. Joe, you can see the inkling of a vast universe with tremendous potential for crossovers and interaction that will enhance the fan experience while staying true to the individual identities of both concepts. I look forward to exploring that potential for years to come.”

“When we first discussed plan for the surprise reveal in Void Rivals #1, I never expected it would be a secret we could keep for over a year,” said Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s VP of Global Publishing. “Now that it is finally here, we are all excited to finally be able to talk about all the amazing stories to come from our great new partners at Skybound.”

Transformers #1 launching in October

The details for the new shared “Energon” universe include Transformers #1 launching in October which begins an all-new era for the iconic robots in disguise from superstar creator Daniel Warren Johnson (ExtremityDo a Powerbomb, DC’s Wonder Woman: Dead Earth) and colorist Mike Spicer (Stillwater).

Optimus Prime was supposed to have led the Autobots to victory. Instead, the fate of Cybertron is unknown, and his allies have crash-landed far from home, alongside their enemies—the Decepticons. As these titanic forces renew their war on Earth, one thing is immediately clear: the planet will never be the same. New alliances are struck. Battle lines are redrawn. And humanity’s only hope of survival is Optimus Prime.

“To my readers, retailers, and fellow transformer fans: GET READY! I’ve only been drawing Optimus Prime and the rest of this amazing cast since I was in FIRST GRADE,” said Daniel Warren Johnson. “This is a dream project for me, and I’m so glad to be adding a new chapter to the decades long celebration of robots turning into cars. Also, cab-over trucks are so fun to draw!”

Energon Universe expands in December with Duke #1

The new Energon Universe expands in December with Duke #1a limited series from Joshua Williamson (DC’s SupermanDark Ride), Tom Reilly (The Thing) and Jordie Bellaire (W0rldtr33), that tells the story you’ve never read before – the origins of G.I. Joe and Cobra in a world grappling with the arrival of the Autobots and Decepticons.

When Conrad S. Hauser (codename DUKE) investigates the mysteries behind The Transformers, the answers will lead to the birth of forces for good and evil that the world never imagined.

Duke will be the first of four G.I. Joe limited series coming from Skybound, setting the stage for a fresh new take on G.I. Joe, Cobra and the iconic characters that you only think you know!

“Childhood dreams come true! Get hyped! Tom and I are bringing you a new take on Duke and the formation of G.I. Joe that honors all that we love about the characters but takes it into a new and exciting direction,” said Joshua Williamson. “It’s been awesome working with Skybound and Hasbro to bring this new take on the G.I. Joe franchise. For the last few years, I’ve been picking up all of the new G.I. Classified figures, so I am pumped to contribute to this new world of G.I. Joe and Transformers!”

“I’m super excited to be working with Josh and the team at Skybound to usher in a new beginning for these iconic characters,” said Tom Reilly. “The Joes have a rich history in comics, one that we look forward to adding something new and exciting to. It’s going to be a fun ride!”

Launch of Cobra Commander #1 in January 2024

This will be followed by the launch of Cobra Commander #1 in January 2024, from Joshua Williamson, Andrea Milana (Impact Winter: Rook) and Annalisa Leoni (Oblivion Song). 

In a world where Cobra doesn’t exist, one man’s sinister plans to utilize the mysterious alien substance known as Energon will send shockwaves across the globe.

“My first comic was G.I. JOE, and I couldn’t be more excited to unite the Transformers and G.I. Joe into one universe,” said Sean Mackiewicz, SVP, Publisher. “This line is being guided by the best comic creators in the world and features the same action-packed, surprise-filled, emotional storytelling you expect from all Skybound comics.”

Skybound also announced G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero with Larry Hama.

Void Rivals #2 preview

After the jaw-dropping reveal in the debut issue, everything Darak and Solila thought they knew about the Sacred Ring’s never-ending war has changed. To deliver the truth back home, they must first get off this deadly planet—by any means necessary.

Void Rivals #2 (Diamond Codes listed below | $3.99) will feature a main cover by De Felici, along with a stacked lineup of variant covers by some of the top talent in comics today.

The issue will be available at comic book shops and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Google Play on Wednesday, July 19.

The full list of covers is below:

  • Void Rivals #2 Cover A by Lorenzo De Felici (MAY230290)
  • Void Rivals #2 Cover B by Nick Robles (APR238109)
  • Void Rivals #2 Cover C (1:10 Copy Incentive) by Mindy Lee (APR238110)
  • Void Rivals #2 Cover D (1:25 Copy Incentive) by Karen S. Darboe (APR238111)
  • Void Rivals #2 Cover E (1:50 Copy Incentive) by Tula Lotay (APR238112)

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