If you stuck around to the end of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, then you got to witness a very unexpected twist as the movie teased a future cinematic shared universe with G.I. Joe. Fortunately, fans excited by the prospect of such a team-up won’t have to wait years for Paramount to make that team-up happen. Comics publisher Skybound just released a trailer on Twitter for their upcoming Transformers and G.I. Joe comics coming out later this year, all of which are in a shared continuity known as the “Energon Universe.”
Previous G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossovers
As veteran fans of both Transformers and G.I. Joe know, this is hardly the first time these iconic franchises have crossed over. The original animated shows for each franchise occasionally made reference to each other, such as an older Cobra Commander popping up (going by the name “Old Snake”) in a 1986 episode of Transformers.
Skybound Entertainment now has the license to Transformers and G.I. Joe, and they are coming out of the gate with a shared Energon Universe linking these franchises together.
That was the same year that Marvel launched a comic book miniseries called G.I. Joe and the Transformers, and this led to future comic crossovers, including in Transformers: Generation 2, where it was revealed that Cobra gave Megatron a new coat of paint and the ability to transform into a giant tank rather than a pistol.
Eventually, Marvel lost the license to both Transformers and G.I. Joe, but it wouldn’t be long before they were reunited. In 2005 (the same year, incidentally, that the iconic 1986 Transformers animated film takes place), comics publisher IDW snagged the license for both franchises. This led to 17 years of cool crossovers and great comics, but IDW lost the license to each franchise at the end of 2022.
And that brings us to the present day: publisher Skybound Entertainment now has the license to Transformers and G.I. Joe, and they are coming out of the gate with a shared Energon Universe linking these franchises together. Another part of that shared universe is the comic Void Rivals, which was created by Skybound founder and Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman.
For longtime comics fans, this has caused a bit of deja vu: after all, IDW also tried to create a sprawling universe of its own licensed properties, joining Transformers and G.I. Joe with Micronauts, Action Man, and even Rom the Space Knight.
According to the motion comic shared by Skybound on Twitter, we’ll be getting a Transformers comic starting in October and a G.I. Joe comic titled Duke (named after G.I. Joe’s “first shirt” and erstwhile leader in the field) in December.
Meanwhile, Cobra Commander will be getting his own standalone (or should that be “ssss-tandalone”) comic in January of next year. We don’t know much about how Skybound will approach these franchises, but the motion comic implies that the Transformers comic will begin with the Autobots awakening on Earth and then having to keep the Decepticons from conquering the planet.
Ultimately, put us down for “cautiously optimistic” when it comes to this latest comic collaboration between Transformers and G.I. Joe. The original Marvel comics set a high bar, and once the publisher managed to hit its stride, IDW set that bar even higher. Only time will tell whether Skybound helps each franchise reach its full potential or fans end up throwing their issues in the pile of forgotten comics from previous franchise publishers like Dreamwave and Devil’s Due.