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IDW Loses the G.I. Joe and Transformers Comic Licenses

The publisher will still make comic books based on Hasbro's Dungeons & Dragons and My Little Pony.

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Optimus Prime looms behind Snake Eyes in his ninja gear, as well as Duke and Roadblock in WWII uniforms.
Inset of Transformers Vs. GI Joe: Tyrants Rise, Heroes Are Born cover by Jae Lee
Image: IDW Publishing/Hasbro

IDW Publishing became the fifth-most popular comic book publisher in America on the strength of adaptations of beloved franchises like Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Orphan Black, and CSI. But now two of its most popular series are being taken away: The company will lose both the Transformers and G.I. Joe licenses at the end of this year.

The two franchises have been cornerstones of IDW’s body of work for the bulk of the last two decades. The company acquired the Transformers license in 2005 and G.I. Joe in 2008, and since then have published over 75 separate series, miniseries, and one-shots for them (the Transformers make up the vast majority of those books). It’s a major blow for IDW, which already lost the rights to make all-ages Star Wars and Marvel series last year.


But it’s not all bad news. IDW still has a year’s worth of Joe and Transformers content to put out, including G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #300, the comic written by Larry Hama which originated over at Marvel in the mid-1980s. Plus, The Hollywood Reporter reports (in Hollywood) that IDW will be keeping other Hasbro-owned IPs, including Dungeons & Dragons and My Little Pony.

You might think that the two comics would head to Marvel, given that Hasbro already has an incredibly close relationship with the company since it makes merchandise based on the publisher’s superhero comics and Marvel Studios’ live-action work, and both companies also work in tandem with Lucasfilm. But last we heard, Hasbro was talking to The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment about potentially taking over the two franchises.


If you’re a fan, don’t worry, because someone will be making more Transformers and G.I. Joe comics eventually. Just not IDW.

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