• UPDATED INTERVIEW: IDW Editor Megan Brown on My Little Pony/Transformers: The Magic of Cybertron


    Hello everypony!

    We've got a special treat for you today! IDW editor extraordinaire Megan Brown sat down with Equestria Daily to talk all things pony! And giant robots! And what happens when the littlest of ponies travel to the planet of giant robots!

    That sounds like the premise for a great movie… or exclusive to Netflix animated special. I wonder if Hasbro and Netflix can make that happen…

    Anyways, the full interview can be found after the break! Now let's roll out!

    UPDATE: Our friends over at IDW Publishing just sent over an exclusive cover reveal for issue 3 to be included with this interview. I hope you are all ready to rock out with Soundwave and DJ Pon-3 in this beautiful cover by Tony Fleecs! 

    The Illustrious Q: So, given how critically acclaimed and commercially successful the first series was, at what point did you know a sequel series was definitely going to happen?

    Megan Brown: As soon as we finished the first series, we knew we wanted to revisit the fun zaniness of the crossover—so ideas began percolating fairly early, even if we didn’t begin work right away!

    TIQ: Is the creative team for this series going to be mostly the same as the last one, or is it going to be changed up?

    MB: We’re getting the gang back together, as they say, and are also welcoming the wonderful Trish Forstner aboard! We have James Asmus returning for duties on the framework story (one word: Coltchella) and interior adventures by the incomparable likes of Ian Flynn, Sam Maggs, and Tony Fleecs. All of these are going to be brought to life by the fabulous Jack Lawrence, Casey W. Coller, Priscilla Tramontano, and Trish Forstner, and perfectly colored by Luis Antonio Delgado and Joana Lafuente. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention our letterer and production designer Jake Wood, who brings the whole thing together!

    TIQ: What are some of the main differences you encounter when it comes to editing the Transformers Characters as opposed to the MLP Characters? I know they are both Hasbro properties, so I'm sure there's some overlap in the licensor approval process, but what are the differences when it comes to actually editing the book?

    MB: The main difference for me, coming at it from the Pony side of things, is working with all the iterations of Transformers—sort of like Generation 1 vs. Generation 4 My Little Pony! I have a lot of help from Consulting Editor David Mariotte (resident Transformers expert) making sure all the lore, designs, and character traits line up.

    TIQ: Speaking of editing the book, do you and Bobby have solo editing duties, or are you sharing the duties with IDW's Transformers editorial team?

    MB: We have help from Consulting Editor David Mariotte! Editing a crossover series like this is a super collaborative process, so it’s really fun to be able to work together with different folks at IDW to help bring it to life 😊

    TIQ One of the biggest points for this sequel series is that the Mane 6 (and friends) are heading to Cybertron! Could you tell us a little bit about how the ponies heading to Cybertron instead of the Transformers Characters heading to Equestria changes the overall tone of the series?

    MB: I don’t think it changes the tone too much—expect a lot of shenanigans!—but I do think it allows us the option to make things a tad more serious. Cybertron is, by its nature, darker than Equestria, so hopefully readers will be able to feel that heightened tension!

    TIQ: The solicitation for issue one gave us very little about the team-ups we're going to see in this series, but it did reveal that the Decepticons are responsible for not just bringing the ponies to Cybertron, but also unleashing a more powerful evil for Equestria. Is there anything you can tease us about this villain from Equestria? Is it someone we've seen before, or is it someone brand new for the series?

    MB: It's somepony we’ve seen before! A certain shadow-y somepony…

    TIQ: While the first issue was light on team-up details, issue two definitely is not. The issue features two stories. I'll get to the first one in a bit, but I do want to focus on the latter story right now—which seems to be a good old fashioned western high noon showdown between Applejack and Wildwheel. First, how hard did you laugh when the pitch for this story came in?

    MB: As soon as writer Sam Maggs sent this one in, I knew it was a must!! (So, definitely pretty hard.)

    TIQ: How much fun did you have editing this story where you have a giant Bot facing off against a tiny pony?

    MB: A lot of fun, for sure! It becomes a bit of a puzzle: how can these two characters interact in a believable way? Fortunately, our crack creative team is really good at coming up with answers!

    TIQ: Wildwheel is one of the newest Transformers Robots to be introduced into the franchise, having debuted in 2020 as part of the third season of the Transformers: Cyberverse cartoon. At this point, after 10 years of stories told across television, comics, and young reader chapter books, the Mane 6 are extremely well-established characters. What's it like having to edit a character who is, for all intents and purposes, brand new?

    MB: It can be both tricky and freeing! Tricky in that you don’t have a lot of canon to work off of, so you want to make sure everything feels consistent; but freeing for that same reason! Most importantly, you want to make sure new characters feel just as real and three-dimensional as any Optimus Prime or Bumblebee.

    TIQ: Is there anything with this story that you cannot wait for the readers to see that you can tease us with?

    MB: It’s a short story, so I don’t know if I can tease anything too much, but there’s a lot of good ol’ wild west fun in this one!

    TIQ: Now back to the lead in story: the team-up of Rainbow Dash (and the Wonderbolts) and Starscream (and the Seekers)! Just how fast did the pitch for this story come into your inbox after the sequel series was given the go ahead?

    MB: Writer Ian Flynn called dibs immediately!

    TIQ: Rainbow Dash is the embodiment of loyalty. Arguably even more than Megatron, Starscream is the embodiment of everything the Decepticons stand for. It could even be argued he is the embodiment of… disloyalty. How much fun was it editing these two characters in the same story when you have that dynamic in play?

    MB: Those conflicting drives lead to some great banter—and I’m always a sucker for a villain/hero team-up. (For the greater good, of course!)

    TIQ: I know Rainbow Dash and Starscream are the stars of this tale, which doesn't have a whole lot of pages devoted to it, but could you tease us a little bit about how the Wonderbots and the Seekers interact in this story?

    MB: I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s some fancy flying involved!

    TIQ: Thanks to these two stories, this issue seems to indicate that one of the biggest differences between the original crossover and this one is that we're going to be seeing the ponies of Equestria and the Decepticons teaming up instead of facing off against one another. What are some of the differences you've observed with editing stories where the heroes of Equestria are teaming up with the bad guys instead of the heroes?

    MB: Hm, that’s a good question—the overall tone might be a bit snarkier, and the overall solution might be a bit bumpier! (There’s no falling into any easy friendship like Arcee and Rarity did, for example.) But ultimately, the heroes and villains are on the same page for this battle: they have to save Cybertron, after all!

    TIQ: With that in mind, could we potentially see team ups/face-offs between the good ponies and the bad Bots, like for instance Pinkie Pie and Megatron, in issues three and four?

    MB: I think fans will definitely be pleasantly surprised with some of the stories and teams we have planned! (Not to mention we’re going to be revisiting some favorites from the first series, Friendship in Disguise.)

    TIQ: What is the one thing you are looking forward to the most with this series?

    MB: I’m most looking forward to taking the ponies out of their element; it’s really fun to remove them from what they know and see how strong and capable they are. But maybe I’m a bit biased!

    TIQ: Is there anything else you would like to talk about?

    MB: Just want to give a huge shoutout to the fans who have received this series so warmly and made a sequel possible! We’re really excited to bring you more MLP/TF action, and hope y’all have a good time with this crossover!