EXCLUSIVE: 'Transformers: Rising Storm' Comic Preview & Interview - Official 'Dark Of The Moon' Prequel!

Transformers comicWe still have a few months before "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" hits theaters, but fans of Hasbro's famous robots in disguise don't have to wait that long for a taste of what's to come in Michael Bay's third installment of the blockbuster movie franchise.

IDW Publishing brings not one but two official "Dark Of The Moon" prequel comics to shelves this week, and we have an exclusive preview of one of them, "Transformers: Rising Storm," and an interview with "Transformers" editor Andy Schmidt.

The first issues of both "Transformers: Rising Storm" and "Transformers: Foundation" hit shelves today, so read on for a brief interview with writer Andy Schmidt and an exclusive seven-page preview of "Rising Storm."

MTV NEWS: What guidelines were you given for the series in order to make it gel with the movie’s continuity?

ANDY SCHMIDT: We were asked to do what we would want to do anyway, which is tie-in with the universe as established and lead into the movie in a meaningful way.

MTV: Do the comics take place right before the film starts, years before it starts, or something else entirely?

SCHMIDT: There are two prequel series: "Foundation" takes place long before the events of even the first film. The second prequel is "Rising Storm," and that one leads directly into the opening of the new film. It takes place in between the second and third films, sort of bridging the two.

MTV: Will we see any of the new Transformers in the prequel comics?

SCHMIDT: Yes and no. "Transformers" is such a huge franchise that even within the movie universe, there are some characters who have appeared only in novels, or as toys, or in our comics. We’re making use of almost all of them between the two series—and adding one or two new ones into the mix while we’re at it!

Click on the panel below for an exclusive preview of "Transformers: Rising Storm" from IDW Publishing. Our interview with Andy Schmidt continues after the image.

Transformers comic

MTV: How much input do you get from the studio as the comic is being created?

SCHMIDT: We work directly with Hasbro. They communicate with the studio and Hasbro gives me any and all notes, so I only have to work with one partner who funnels it all, which, frankly, is very nice for me. It’s a fairly smooth process and it seems to keep the continuity in check very well.

MTV: When you’re creating a prequel comic like this, what do you see as the goal of the story? Is it simply to reacquaint people with the characters, or get people ready for new elements, or tell a story that ties together the prior and subsequent films, or a mixture of everything?

SCHMIDT: For every story I work on, the goal is to get the audience invested in the characters. Sometimes those are characters who only appear in this story, and sometimes it means characters who will appear in the new movie as well. We tell complete stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. They tie-in or lead into another story often—in this case, the new film—and hopefully, anyone who reads our stories will go into the new movie with more characters that they care about. The stories should be entertaining and emotional on their own, and if we really do our jobs right, they’ll make the movie that much more enjoyable too.

"Transformers: Rising Storm" and "Transformers: Foundation" #1 arrives on shelves today, February 23. "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" hits theaters July 1.

Let us know what you think of the "Transformers" interview and preview in the comment section or on Twitter! You can also follow me, Splash Page editor Rick Marshall, on Twitter!