Comic book publisher IDW announced plans today to make its upcoming super-mega-crossover event First Strike accessible to readers, sending shockwaves throughout the industry.
Traditional wisdom holds that comic book super-mega-crossover events should be as impenetrable as possible, repelling readers with jacked up prices, dozens of tie-in issues, companion series, one-shots, and an intricate publishing timeline that requires every book ship on time lest cascading delays screw up the resulting line-wide relaunch. However, in a press release sent out to comic book websites this morning, IDW boldly proclaimed that the reason they are ending the "seasons" of all their Hasbroverse titles, as Bleeding Cool reported along with the publishing schedule for the event and its tie-ins last week, is so that readers can more easily follow the story in one place:
"The premiere season of post-REVOLUTION titles are heading towards their natural conclusions to make room for First Strike so fans can enjoy the action in one place (and go easy on their wallets during the event)! In addition to the main series, six additional one-shots will set the stage for the second season of the Hasbro comic universe, where fans will witness their favorite characters forming new alliances, paving the way for exciting adventures to come."
"It's unprecedented for a comic book publisher to attempt to make a crossover event reader-friendly," said world renowned Comic Book Crossoverologist at the prestigious Trump University, Professor Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms. "The goal of comic book crossovers has always been to punish readers for declining sales by forcing them to purchase an average of seventeen five dollar comics in a single month just to understand what's happening in the one monthly ongoing they usually read that's been swept up in the event."
"This is a huge risk for IDW, as no one really knows how happy comic book readers will act," Professor Puffinbottoms warned. "All of the science so far has concentrated on studying how readers react if you make them angry. The results here will be completely unpredictable."
The press release also shared the creative teams for each of the one-shots, joining Mairghread Scott, David A. Rodriguez, Max Dunbar, and Ander Zarate on the main series:
"Look for Micronauts: First Strike, by Christos Gage and Chris Panda, G.I. Joe: First Strike, by Aubrey Sitterson and Ilias Kyriazis, and Optimus Prime: First Strike by John Barber and Guido Guidi in September.
M.A.S.K.: MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND.: First Strike, by Aubrey Sitterson and Ilias Kyriazis, Rom: First Strike, by by Christos Gage and Chris Panda, and TRANSFORMERS: First Strike by John Barber and Guido Guidi will follow in October."
But the more things change, the more they stay the same, as IDW Editor-in-Chief David The Hedgehog did commemorate the press release with a ceremonial hyperbole-laden statement promising that First Strike will change the IDW universe forever:
"This is what REVOLUTION has been building towards over the past year. It's been an exciting first season of action in the Hasbro shared universe which laid the foundation for all-new stories and adventures, but now with FIRST STRIKE, we're shaking things up and, once again, disrupting the status quo forever. It's a perfect time for readers, new and old, to jump on board and join us for one raucously fun ride!"
First Strike begins in August and will finish in October, at which point we know that new series will start up at IDW, including GI Joe: Unmasked, Rom & The Micronauts, and a secret classified title that we don't know the name of yet.