The Transformers (IDW Publishing)

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The Transformers
Composite of Stormbringer covers drawn by Don Figueroa
Publication information
Publisher IDW Publishing
Schedule Bi-weekly
Genre
Publication date October 2005 onwards
Number of issues 228 (including 4 New Avengers and 2 CVO crossovers; 1 zero and 1 recap issue; 12 eight-page issues)
Creative team
Writer(s) Simon Furman
Eric Holmes (Megatron Origin)
Shane McCarthy (All Hail Megatron)
Artist(s) E. J. Su
Don Figueroa (Stormbringer)
Alex Milne (Megatron Origin)
Guido Guidi (All Hail Megatron)
Nick Roche (Maximum Dinobots)
Creator(s) Hasbro

The Transformers is a comic book series by IDW Publishing, based upon Hasbro's Transformers characters and toy line.

Following Dreamwave Productions' bankruptcy in 2005, IDW picked up the rights and hired long-time Transformers writer Simon Furman to craft a rebooted Generation 1-based continuity, similar to Ultimate Marvel.[1] An issue #0 was published in October 2005, and the ongoing series began in January 2006.

The series is marketed as various limited series for each story,[2] in published order as The Transformers: Infiltration, Stormbringer, Escalation, Megatron Origin, Devastation, Revelation, All Hail Megatron, Maximum Dinobots, Last Stand of the Wreckers, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Drift, Infestation and Heart of Darkness. The series also has a sister title of ongoing one-shots entitled The Transformers: Spotlight which began in September 2006, each focusing on a particular character and affecting the storyline of the main title.

Starting in November 2009, an ongoing series of the Transformers was launched and ended in December 2011. After that, two new ongoing series started in January 2012, Robots in Disguise and More Than Meets the Eye. A digital Transformers comic also became available titled Autocracy, consisting of 12 eight-page issues.[3][4] A sequel to Autocracy titled Monstrosity started publishing in March 2013.[5]

Publication[edit]

Dreamwave Productions shut down on January 4, 2005, and announced they would cease publication of all their comics, leaving Transformers: Generation One and its prequel series, Transformers: The War Within incomplete.[6] Chris Ryall, editor-in-chief of IDW Publishing, leaped at the chance to bid on the property.[7] On May 19, 2005, Hasbro announced they had awarded the licensing rights to IDW Publishing, with plans for an issue #0 in October 2005 and an ongoing title entitled The Transformers: Infiltration to begin in January 2006.[8] Beforehand, Ryall met up with long-time writer Simon Furman.[9] Furman aimed for a contemporary version of the Generation 1 incarnation to appeal to new and old fans alike. They both cited a focus on the "Robots in Disguise" element of the characters, aiming to bring back their "myth and majesty".[10] Overall, Furman described it as, "This was, at last (after 20-plus years) MY take on Transformers."[11] Furman also aimed for a real time approach,[12] using maps to help guide his stories.[13] Infiltration's issue #0 sold 100,000 copies in pre-orders, a record for the company.[14] Furman focused the story on Autobot medic Ratchet and broke new ground for G1 based storylines by excluding the Ark crash storyline, to give proper intent to the Transformers being on Earth,[10] thus separating the fictional universe from the Beast Wars one.[11] E. J. Su was hired as the artist, and was given free rein to re-design characters slightly.[15]

Infiltration received mixed reviews. Furman's decision to put leaders Optimus Prime and Megatron on the sidelines divided fans,[12] as did the slow pace[11] and the use of human characters. Furman and Ryall responded positively, promising to make both fans and critics happy after reading various message board comments.[16] The Transformers: Stormbringer followed in July, set around the same time frame as Infiltration, and had art by Don Figueroa.[17] The four issue tale was intended to be a weekly event, but Diamond Comic Distributors' resistance meant it became monthly.[18] Furman had planned to visit Cybertron later on, but the fans demanded a human-less story, and Stormbringer was written. Most importantly, the story revealed Cybertron to be dead, giving the saga a darker feel and explaining the status quo of Autobots and Decepticons spread out and fighting pocket wars.[19] Furman intentionally wanted a larger scale and "took Cybertron out of the equation" to shape the overall arc.[11] The story also allowed him to reinvent Thunderwing and the Pretenders, which he felt was one of the sillier concepts.[19]

In September, the companion series, The Transformers: Spotlight was launched, set to last for five issues.[20] Furman drew upon classic stories for Shockwave,[12] re-created the personalities of Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus, and wrote Sixshot for the first time.[11] Nightbeat's story laid a vital seed for future stories,[21] as well as allowing him to re-invent the Micromasters.[11] In November The Transformers: Escalation began, a direct sequel to Infiltration. It put Optimus and Megatron center stage, and brought in characters from the Spotlights.[12] The Spotlights expanded as IDW accepted Furman's willingness to write for any character. This has even included Wheelie,[18] a character he has personally voiced criticism of in the past.

Furman took a break from the main storyline in June to allow Eric Holmes to write the prequel, The Transformers: Megatron Origin over four months. Holmes conceived the tale for his favorite character, Megatron, and to explore the beginnings of the Autobot-Decepticon war,[22] collaborating with Furman to further tie-in the story into the existing continuity and taking historical inspiration from the decline of the Roman Empire.[23] In addition, Furman allowed Nick Roche to write and draw a Spotlight for Kup, and Roche also wishes to create another one for Rumble.[24] Furman returned for The Transformers: Devastation, which will be affected by Galvatron's Spotlight (itself spinning out of Nightbeat's), before leading into The Transformers: Revelation.[21] Galvatron was re-invented as a separate character from Megatron, and Optimus Prime himself received a Spotlight, with both one-shots including major revelations that will affect storylines beyond Revelation.[24] Devastation had a faster pace and explored rebellion in the Decepticon ranks, similar to the early Marvel stories.[25] With the conclusion of Devastation, Revelation began in June. However, this series had a different format to that seen previously, and consisted of four interrelated Spotlight issues that brought several of the elements of the storyline thus far, most notably the Dead Universe storyline, to a conclusion.[26][27] The arc following Revelation was a twelve-issue limited series, later expanded to sixteen issues, titled All Hail Megatron which began in July 2008, taking place a year after the end of Devastation and focusing on an Earth conquered by the Decepticons without the Autobots around to stop them, this time written by Shane McCarthy.[28] A planned storyline, Expansion, has now been canceled, although some of the themes the series would have dealt with may still appear.[26] A new mini-series by Furman, Maximum Dinobots, spun out of Spotlight: Grimlock and featured the Dinobots, Sunstreaker, and the Machination, beginning in December after the conclusion of Revelation,[29] with art by Spotlight artist Nick Roche.[30]

For the future, Furman has completely ruled out Unicron,[31] the Quintessons,[11] (this is no longer accurate, as the Quintessons appeared in a wall painting in Spotlight: Wheelie, as well as one named Pentius physically appearing in Monstrosity), and the Liege Maximo.[18] Furman has also expressed interest in re-inventing Japanese-exclusive characters[18] and female Transformers, exploring the challenge of rationalizing sex/gender in giant robots.[11] Furman addressed the issue of gender in Transformers in a Spotlight issue on Arcee, rationalizing them as a failed attempt to introduce gender into the Transformer race by Jhiaxus.[32] Elita One and a few other female Transformers later appeared in the Megatron Origin mini-series.

Plot[edit]

Creation[edit]

The origins of the Transformers as a race are as yet clouded in legend; however, according to the personal beliefs of the relatively ancient Cybertronian Cyclonus, it happened like this:[33]

In the beginning, there was only Primus, the god of light and creation, who had been brought forth by Cybertron itself as the counterpart to another, unnamed being. Deeming that his power was too great to be contained by himself alone, he split his potency into five beings, including of course himself, and also Solomus, who possessed great wisdom; Epistemus, who was a fount of knowledge; Adaptus, who could alter his shape into an infinity of forms; and Mortilus, the embodiment of death, the necessary end of life. For a time, these five entities, known as the Guiding Hand, led life on Cybertron to heights of harmony and creation, but eventually Mortilus tried to change the course of life so that the Cybertronians would become a Universe-conquering army. What followed was a veritable war of the gods, which ended in tragedy and devastation. Mortilus himself perished, but not before dealing severe and irreversible damage to the other members of the Guiding Hand. On the verge of death, Primus withdrew into the planet itself, communicating from then on through the supercomputer Vector Sigma; while the other three only survive as relics which are essential to the Cybertronian race. Solomus' essence had been imprisoned by Mortilus in a crystal container, but he managed to change it into a vessel which would let those who were worthy partake of his undying wisdom. In this form he is known as the Matrix of Leadership, which also provides a link to Primus and thus to life itself. Epistemus and Adaptus had been shred down to their very cores, but now became the first blueprints for the two most basic components of all Cybertronians from then on, namely the brain module and the transformation cog. With the death of Mortilus himself, a Cybertronian's life force would be immune to the ravages of time, rendering them effectively immortal. After their creators passed into the mists of time, but having been bestowed by them life itself, intelligence, knowledge, the ability to change their form and virtual immortality, the Transformers set out to create their own destiny; a chivalrous order dedicated to defending peace and harmony with honor was formed, the so-called Knights of Cybertron, and they travelled out into the Universe aboard vast, self-aware vessels known as Metrotitans.

To modern, rational Cybertronians, of course, this account is little more than a myth; but some, like Omega Supreme, know which parts of it are fact.

Civil War[edit]

During the Golden Age of Cybertron, Nova Prime wishes to expand the influence of Cybertronians throughout the galaxy. His Chief Theoretical Strategist Jhiaxus experiments with six volunteers to combine them into a superior being, but the experiment fails, resulting in Monstructor. At some point he also experiments with gender in Transformers, creating Arcee, who grows deranged with hatred for her creator due to this.[34] Sometime later, the Ark-1 is launched into space under the auspice of exploration, but in reality an attempt to expand Cybertron's influence. The crew includes Nova Prime and Galvatron.[35] When passing through a black hole, the ship enters a "Dead Universe", altering the crew, and is presumed lost.[31] With Nova Prime and Jhiaxus gone, Omega Supreme imprisons Monstructor.[35]

Later, hard times follow, with the Autobots becoming a corrupt galactic police force. While shutting down an Energon-mining operation, they incite a riot by beating an outspoken miner to death. The riot is extinguished, resulting in the miners either dead or imprisoned. A surviving miner, Megatron, manages to take over a prison shuttle and hide it in Kaon, the seediest city on Cybertron.[36] Megatron makes a name for himself in the underground gladiatorial matches, learning to enjoy the kill.[37] He recruits the Seekers, Soundwave, and the future Cassetticons to perform acts of terrorism throughout Cybertron. Megatron rallies a large group of gladiators and proposes for them to unite under the same badge, but they are caught and arrested by Sentinel Prime's police force.[38] However, this is part of Megatron's plan, as Starscream kills the Autobot Senate. Megatron kills Sentinel Prime, and the newly forged Decepticons take over the city-state of Kaon, heralding the beginning of the war.[39] The populace at large is distracted by mass sports race games, with racers like the arrogant but talented Blurr becoming celebrities.[40] Early on during the war, both Autobot and Decepticon try to recruit Blurr to their cause, with a young Optimus talking Blurr into saving the life of Zeta Prime from Starscream's assassination squad.[40] A rookie Tracks is saved from the elite Predacons by special ops soldier Jazz. In later years, Tracks passes on the story of the lone Autobot to boost morale in times of crisis.[41]

Around this time, a third group of Cybertronians form who are opposed to the war and both sides of it. They leave Cybertron and are never seen again.[42] The war eventually devastates the planet, and a Decepticon scientist named Thunderwing suggests to graft Transformers with protective organic shells, which Megatron rejects. Thunderwing experiments on himself, becoming a beast who devastates Cybertron.[43] The Decepticons recover more quickly and stage a new offensive against the Autobots, who suffer the loss of the charismatic Blaster, the voice of the Autobot resistance: he is shot and set adrift in space by a traitor.[44]

With their home world dead, the Transformers continue their war on other planets.[45] The Decepticons escalate tensions on planets by replacing important people with loyal clones called facsimiles, allowing the worlds to destroy themselves before they move in for the energy resources,[46] and send Sixshot to finish off the planets.[47] Nonetheless, the two sides agree to the Tyrest Accord, in which they will not supply weapons to less advanced cultures. Scorponok violates this treaty on Nebulos, creating "transformable men" with the help of Mo Zarak's corporation, but an attack by Ultra Magnus forces him to flee.[48] Badly damaged with only his decapitated head remaining, he arrives on Earth at some point and establishes the Machination, an organization dedicated to acquiring Transformer technology for their own ends.[49]

Ore-13/Super Energon[edit]

The Decepticon scientist Shockwave begins the secretive Operation: Regenesis — seeding Energon on various planets, including Earth. While stabilizing Earth's seeding, the Dynobots attack Shockwave, and they are all buried in molten lava for thousands of years.[50] Bludgeon is assigned by Megatron to investigate Operation: Regenesis and Soundwave is told to spy on him. In 1984, Soundwave learns to his horror that Bludgeon intends to use the Ultra-Energon on Earth to re-animate Thunderwing, but is silenced and put into stasis-lock in his cassette player mode. The following year, an organization named Skywatch find Laserbeak[51] and Ravage's bodies.[52] Starscream and his unit later come to Earth, discover Shockwave's Energon and mine it in Nebraska. When they exhaust this supply in 2006, they move to Oregon, entering siege mode to protect their discovery.[53] As part of their plan to acquire a Transformer, an agent working for the Machination takes a photo of a Decepticon transforming and locates the original Decepticon base.[54] As a response he is targeted and killed by Thundercracker, Runabout and Runamuck. Before his death, his laptop with the photo is stolen by a girl named Verity Carlo and she is taken to the Autobots - inadvertently leading the Machination straight to them via a homing device in the laptop.[55]

In the meantime, Bludgeon returns to Cybertron and reawakens Thunderwing, believing that Thunderwing's destruction of planets will appease and revitalize the spirit of Cybertron.[45] After Nebulos is razed,[56] Bludgeon is driven insane by a failed bonding attempt and Thunderwing is taken down by Optimus Prime. Thunderwing's corpse is placed under guard. Prime sets a course for Earth as he learns vague details of Regenesis, heavily suspicious due to Ironhide's call regarding Starscream breaking into siege mode.[43] Megatron already takes action, exploring the Nebraska base.[57] Having anticipated Megatron's course of action,[54] Starscream imbues himself with "ore-13 resin"[53] and battles him. His super-powered body is still no match for Megatron, and he is severely wounded. Optimus arrives on Earth to join Prowl's unit, aware that Megatron's presence on Earth has caused it to become the main battle front. The Machination also observes the Autobots entering their Lake Michigan base.[58]

War on Earth[edit]

Prime decides to send Verity and her two friends Hunter and Jimmy home. Ironhide and Sunstreaker are given this task, but the Machination strikes and seemingly destroy Sunstreaker and Hunter.[59] Ratchet realizes that Sunstreaker's corpse is a fake and that he and Hunter have simply been kidnapped.[46] Megatron uses the Ore-13 to give him the rare ability of mass-displacement to transform into an earthen pistol,[60] and decides to stay on Earth to escalate tensions, using a human facsimile to stir up a war between the United States and El Jira.[46] The Autobots, with newly arrived allies, battle the Decepticons in the Russian breakaway state of Brasnya[60] where the super-powered Megatron beats Prime to near death. Prime manages to recover and puts Megatron to flight.[52] However, the facsimile Georgi Koska[61] arrives dead at the Autobot base.[52]

The Machination performs a successful surgery on Hunter,[61][62] and Ironhide is seemingly killed in an explosion set up by them. They now begin to manufacture their own army of Sunstreaker bodies.[52] Shockwave and the Dynobots are excavated up by archaeologists in Eureka, Nevada[50] and Skywatch takes over the area.[61] In Oregon, two young humans wonder whether to buy Soundwave, still trapped in cassette player mode.[51] Megatron calls Sixshot to come and speed up Earth's destruction, and the Reapers follow,[52] eager to have Sixshot join their attempt to rid the universe of war-like species.[47] Elsewhere on Earth, Ramjet's grandiose plans for a coup against Megatron fail when the Decepticon leader kills him in one-on-one combat.[63]

Elsewhere, Galvatron emerges from the Dead Universe, destroys an alien observatory and crushes Hound's unit on Cybertron to retrieve the body of Thunderwing.[31] While unconscious during his battle with Megatron, Prime encountered the presence of Nova Prime, and he meets with Nova's once-associate, Omega Supreme. Monstructor escapes his prison and seeks revenge against Omega. He finds Omega along with Prime, and after battling him, Prime leaves Monstructor to be tended by Jetfire.[35] Elsewhere, Blaster's body is recovered from space. After more assassination attempts he discovers the traitor is an unwilling Beachcomber, controlled by Soundwave and Bombshell's cerebro shell. Angry, he vows to hunt down Soundwave.[44]

Back on Earth Nightbeat puzzles out the links between the Machination's various actions. The returned Prime attempts to get proactive by moving the location of the Ark-19, but it is shot down by Sixshot, though the crew survive.[64] The subsequent battle between Prime and Sixshot exposes the Transformers to the world at large and forces the military to call in a carpet bombing strike. The Autobots escape, but Verity and Jimmy are seemingly killed.[65] Elsewhere, Hot Rod and Wheeljack set out to recover Ironhide's body, but are confronted by the Machination's Headmaster army, only escaping due to Wheeljack's gadgets. Hunter escapes his captors and discovers the decapitated but still living head of Sunstreaker.[66] Sunstreaker reveals his mind is being used as the hub for the Machination's army, and Hunter opts to fight back, becoming a Headmaster himself. The Reapers arrive at Earth, attacking the Decepticon base and forcing Megatron to recall Sixshot,[65] while Nova Prime (now known as Nemesis Prime), concerned at the pace of events, dispatches Galvatron to Earth.[67]

Elsewhere, the Autobot penal facility on Garrus-9 is attacked by the Combaticons, who escape with the Monstructor component Transformers, forcing a reluctant Fortress Maximus to dispatch Arcee to track them down.[34] Learning of this, Prime pulls Prowl's detachment away from Earth to help contain the problem,[68] though Hot Rod elects to stay to learn Sunstreaker's fate. Nightbeat also suspects someone has tampered with his memory.[49] Elsewhere, Sixshot, having encountered and felt a kinship with the Reapers before,[47] defects to their side, but is taken out by a returned Starscream (revived by the other Decepticons to stand up to Megatron), leading to a full scale battle between the Decepticons and Reapers. The Decepticons win, with aid from Galvatron, who escapes with Sixshot's body as the US military locates the Decepticons' base. Scorponok merges with the human Dante into a new body, but is unable to prevent Hunter, now merged with Sunstreaker's mind in a copy of his body, from escaping. In the Dead Universe Nemesis Prime, Jhiaxus, and Galvatron agree the endgame is about to begin.[49]

Expansion[edit]

On Cybertron Cyclonus, dispatched from the Dead Universe on a mission to activate the Nega-Core, inadvertently alerts the Autobots to his presence, but is still able to activate the Core, as well as its lethal guardian Thunderwing. On Garrus-9 Prime calls in the Wreckers to deal with the escalating situation as Nemesis Prime leads the forces of the Dead Universe from the Benzuli expanse.[69] Meanwhile, Hardhead accompanies Nightbeat to Gorlam Prime in an attempt to find his missing memories. Attacked by Micromasters, Nightbeat is taken control of by Jhiaxus and Hardhead reluctantly eliminates him, before disappearing into the dimensional portal. A furious Nemesis Prime realizes he must do Nightbeat's job of eliminating Optimus Prime personally. The Wrecker's assault on Thunderwing proves futile, while Arcee teams up with Banzai-Tron to track down the escaped Monstructor, and Jetfire prepares to use Thunderwing's technology to enable other Autobots to survive the effects of the Benzuli expanse.[70] Dealer's attempt to retrieve the Magnificence for himself backfires when a suspicious Hot Rod uses it to confirm his doubts about Dealer, who is promptly killed. Hot Rod then uses the Magnificence to locate the other Nega-Cores and their guardians, (Sixshot and Monstructor), and passes the information on. Jetfire then formulates a plan to override Jhiaxus' control of them via taking over their mental link.[71] Nemesis Prime attacks Optimus on Garrus-9 personally, but is betrayed and killed by Galvatron, who is then tossed into a solar pool by Prime. Jetfire's plan works, as Cloudburst's team, now equipped with Thunderwing's technology, is able to dispose of the Nega-Cores in the Dead Universe, closing it off completely. Jhiaxus is hunted down on Gorlam Prime by Arcee and Hardhead (now undead like the Dead Universe's inhabitants), where his immortality means Arcee can kill him over and over. On Earth, Sideswipe, having beaten Straxus and Grindcore, decides he has proven himself and leaves without Sunstreaker. Over the following years, Gorlam Prime evolves into a new Cybertron, and its inhabitants evolve into beings like Transformers. But on Garrus-9, Galvatron still lives within the solar pool.[72] In the aftermath of this, the former Decepticon assassin Drift, his outlook changed by meeting the legendary third faction of Cybertronians, attempts to rescue Autobot captives from a Decepticon ship, and ends up crossing path with Kup and the Wreckers. An impressed Kup, believing everyone deserves a second chance, offers him a spot on his new commando squad.[42]

Machination Empire[edit]

Skywatch, having lost control of Ravage and Laserbeak[65] due to interference from Soundwave, reactivate Grimlock to use against the increasing Transformer activity.[68] Due to Machination sabotage Grimlock escapes and is approached by Scorponok, who proposes an alliance. Grimlock refuses and is out gunned in the battle, but teleports to the Dynobot ship before Scorponok terminates him, still buried after the battle with Shockwave, vowing to bring the Machination down. Skywatch reactivate the other Dynobots, unaware the Machination are manipulating them into killing Grimlock.[73] Finding the Skyfire, the Headmasters attack and manage to teleport Grimlock to Fallon, Nevada, in the midst of a pitched battle. Skywatch respond by moving in the other Dynobots as both Hot Rod and the combined form of Hunter and Sunstreaker locate the Machination.[74] Hot Rod is almost killed by Scorponok, but kept alive as a witness to the Headmaster's plans. The battle in Fallon devastates the town, but the Dynobots are able to reassert their personalities. Scorponok sends in his Headmaster army as Skywatch head agent Red, now suspicious of the repeated control failures on the Transformers, confers with Shockwave,[75] fitting him with a bomb and directing him to eliminate the Dynobots, Ravage and Laserbeak. In Fallon, the infighting Dynobots manage to fight off the Headmasters with aid from Grimlock's allies the Monsterbots. Hot Rod manages to escape as Sunstreaker and Hunter locate the main Machination facility, while Shockwave locates the stasis locked Soundwave,[76] making a deal with him to deactivate the bomb in his head in return for freeing Soundwave from stasis lock. Sunstreaker saves Hot Rod (who then sends a distress call) but is blasted by Scorponok as the Dynobots and Monsterbots launch a full scale assault on the Machination. Outclassed by the sheer numbers of Headmasters, they are saved when a grieving Hunter pulls the plug on Sunstreaker's original head, seemingly killing him and disabling the Machination forces. However, a vengeful Scorponok and the newly arrived Shockwave attack as Ultra Magnus, still searching for Scorponok, receives Hot Rod's signal.[77] Shockwave and Scorponok battle each other. The Headmaster loses but Grimlock, finally accepting responsibility for his actions, battles Shockwave, and the other Dinobots aid him. Scorponok is permanently taken out when Hot Rod and Swoop disable his original head. Grimlock brings down the Machination compound on top of him and Shockwave as Magnus arrives to clean up the situation. Grimlock is arrested along with Shockwave and Scorponok, but the other Dinobots are no longer under suspicion, and repair the Skyfire to leave.[78]

Invasion[edit]

In the aftermath of the Machination's attempted takeover, Sunstreaker and Hunter are successfully separated by Ratchet. Hunter has a happy reunion with Verity and Jimmy,[78] but Sunstreaker, angry over what has been done to him, abandons his former partner.[79] After the initial battles on Earth, the Decepticons lie low, experimenting with creating new life and eventually creating the Insecticons to take advantage of a now captured Hunter, as well as thousands of failed experiments eventually dubbed the Swarm. As the Autobots have reinforced their position on Earth, the Decepticons lure them into a trap by planting disinformation about a Decepticon trap with the help of Sunstreaker, who is convinced that he is in fact helping Starscream kill Megatron. His motives are darker than merely helping the Autobots win by disposing of Megatron - he asks the Decepticon to kill all the humans in revenge for what was done to him.[79] Armed with the disillusioned Autobot's knowledge, unified and with their new weapon - Devastator - the Decepticons decimate the Autobots. Planning to dispose of them through a portal to Cybertron, Prime manages to fight them off long enough for his troops to escape through the portal, though at great cost - Prime is heavily damaged and rendered comatose by the damage he takes, and the Autobots are marooned on Cybertron.[80]

With the Autobots gone, the Decepticons launch a full scale assault on New York City, randomly annihilating buildings and causing mayhem as part of a simultaneous galaxy-wide assault. The initial human aerial counterattack is annihilated.[81] Even opposed by Colonel Daniel Witwicky, the Decepticons decimate all further military assaults and destroy all bridges and tunnels leading into the city.[82] The Decepticon assault moves to other cities in the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., as the Constructicons begin to build in what was once Manhattan.[83] On Cybertron, the dispirited and beaten Autobots begin to fall apart as Ironhide clashes with Prowl over the traitor in their midst. Another group of Autobots under Kup's command crashed on the planet after the Decepticons gained the access codes,[84] where it is revealed that the situation is grave: Megatron has taken the Matrix. The humans attempt to send in a small commando team to assassinate Megatron, but the party is killed by Ratbat before even making across the river - all save their commander Spike.[85] As the Decepticon assault spreads to other parts of Earth, the Decepticons begin to fall apart internally, with even Megatron worrying about the leadership challenges he will face now they have no enemy. The slaughter in Israel and Beijing worries other nations enough for them to contemplate using nuclear weapons on New York. On Cybertron the Swarm emerge, forcing the Autobots to flee once more.[86]

As the Autobots flee, the tensions within the group boil over, and Ironhide beats Mirage, whom he believes is the traitor, near to death.[87] He is wrong, as Sunstreaker's guilt finally overtakes him and he confesses everything to Ironhide, before sacrificing himself to halt the Swarm's pursuit by destroying a vital bridge. On Earth Starscream again plans a coup, with help from the Insecticons, who have experimented on the real reason the Decepticons were able to access the Autobot codes and systems - a captured, dissected but still living Hunter.[79] Spike links up with the remnants of the human resistance, aiming to kill Megatron with a prototype weapon made from Shockwave's gun arm, killing Rumble in the process. His efforts are for naught, as the other world nations still aim to bomb New York. On Cybertron, Prime is revived, managing to quell the dissent amongst the other Autobots.[88] They are almost overwhelmed by the Swarm, but are saved by the timely arrival of Omega Supreme, who transforms and takes the Autobots to Earth. On Earth Starscream begins a coup against Megatron, gathering the Insecticons and Constructicons to his side. Megatron battles back and avoids being killed by Devastator as the United Nations begin a determined aerial counterstrike.[89] As Starscream realizes that Megatron has orchestrated his coup to weed out the weak in the Decepticons, the Autobots arrive and attack. In the midst of the battle, Megatron reveals his strategy. More of his troops are hidden, disguised, among the humans, including the carrier for the UN nuclear bomb. With this, Megatron intends to wipe out the humans.[90] However, with the intervention of a disgruntled Thundercracker the European Union is prevented from nuking New York City, though he pays for his "betrayal". Megatron is severely damaged by the combined efforts of Optimus Prime and Spike, but is saved by Starscream who determines that the only way he could become the leader of the Desepticons is by taking the leadership from Megatron and not for it to be offered to him. The Decepticons retreat from Earth leaving the Autobots amongst humans hostile toward any Cybertronians. Sideswipe discovers the captive Hunter, who had been tortured by Bombshell's experiments, and euthanizes him.[91]

Two years later[edit]

As the Decepticons retreated from Earth, with a critically injured Megatron, it created a void among the Desepticon ranks. Many of Megatron's former generals take turns trying to gain power. Others go rouge, like Overlord as he takes control of the Garrus 9 penal facility and turns it into an extermination camp. A new team of Wreckers is sent by Prowl to retake the prison. They manage, however, at a heavy price with most members dead or critically wounded.[92]

Meanwhile, back on Earth, with their members running low on energon and slowly being captured by Skywatch, tension is high amongst the Autobots. After a rescue raid led by Hot Rod results in Ironhide's death, Optimus Prime gives up his position as leader and surrenders to Skywatch,[93] causing a schism between the Autobots, who split into two groups: one led by Hot Rod, who, taking the name "Rodimus", joins forces with a group of Decepticons fronted by Swindle in an effort to build a ship and leave the planet, and a second who elect Bumblebee as their new leader,[94] and are soon joined by Ultra Magnus, who determines to arrest Rodimus for treason. More Autobots, fearing they will be arrested by Magnus, also go AWOL, but most of them are captured by Skywatch and used as a bargaining tool by Spike Witwicky to force information out of Optimus Prime.[95] Thundercracker, having been shot down by Skywarp three years previously, starts to develop admiration for Earth and its inhabitants.[96] Although Bumblebee was elected as Autobot leader, he gets little respect, as Autobots strike out on their own or disrespect his authority. A rogue faction within Skywatch contacts the Autobots and sets up a meeting with Bumblebee to enlist the Autobots' help in capturing Decepticons. Bumblebee agrees and the bots are fitted with special badges to cloak them from the main Skywatch force, but when the Colonel orders the capture of Blurr and resentment ensues, the Autobots learn that the badges also have the ability to immobilize them.[97] Meanwhile, Magnus arrives at Hot Rod's camp and attempts to capture Swindle, but is stopped by Hot Rod. He also fails in trying to get Hot Rod to disassemble the ship his party is building to get off Earth. In the battle that follows, Swindle betrays Rodimus and reveals his new creation, Menasor,[98] but the day is saved thanks to Skywatch, with whom Optimus Prime has brokered an alliance, and some timely side-switching from the disillusioned Thundercracker. The disgraced Rodimus flees Earth alone, and the Autobots rally under Bumblebee.[99]

Working with Skywatch, the Autobots begin helping them deal with Transformer-related crises around Earth, finding themselves caught between the Combaticons, allied with North Korea, and the Predacons, working for China.[100] Disenchanted Skywatch operative Sandra broadcasts footage of his battle to the world, exposing Skywatch's secret alliance with the Autobots; when Bumblebee tries to hold a press conference in response, he is grievously injured by a human agent of anti-Transformer movement Earth's Children, wielding Cybertronian weaponry surreptitiously supplied by the Decepticons.[101] This heralds the return of the rebuilt Megatron, who launches a devastating attack on Skywatch and the Autobots but is eventually defeated by Optimus Prime and surrenders to his custody.[102]

Meanwhile, on his sojourn in space, Rodimus manages to recover the Matrix of Leadership from Starscream.[103]

Chaos[edit]

New era[edit]

Chronological Comic Order[edit]

This is a chronological listing of the comics in which the timeline of events developed.[104][105][106]

1-4. Megatron Origin #1-4

5. Spotlight - Orion Pax
6. Spotlight - Blurr
7-18. Autocracy #1-12
19. Spotlight - Thundercracker
20-23. Monstrosity #1-4
24-27. Primacy #1-4 (#2-4 unpublished)
28. Spotlight - Shockwave
29. Spotlight - Cliffjumper
30. Spotlight - Wheelie
31. Spotlight - Hot Rod
32. Spotlight - Sixshot
33. Spotlight - Ultra Magnus
34. Spotlight - Soundwave
35-38. Infiltration #0-3
39-41. Stormbringer #1-3
42-43. Infiltration #4-5
44. Stormbringer #4
45. Infiltration #6
46. Spotlight - Kup
47-50. New Avengers/Transformers #1-4
51-52. Escalation #1-2
53. Spotlight - Nightbeat
55-57. Escalation #3-6
58. Spotlight - Ramjet
59. Spotlight - Galvatron
60. Spotlight - Optimus Prime
61-64. Devastation #1-4
65. Spotlight - Blaster
66. Spotlight - Arcee
67-68. Devastation #5-6
69. Spotlight - Mirage
70. Spotlight - Grimlock
71-74. Revelation #1-4 (contains Spotlights on Cyclonus, Hardhead, Doubledealer & Sideswipe)
75-79. Maximum Dinobots #1-5
80. Spotlight - Drift
81. All Hail Megatron #15
82. Spotlight - Metroplex
83. Spotlight - Jazz
84-98. All Hail Megatron #1-14 & 16
99. Continuum
100. Spotlight - Prowl
101. Last Stand of the Wreckers #1
102. Transformers #1
103-104. Last Stand of the Wreckers #2-3
105. Transformers #2
106. Last Stand of the Wreckers #4
107-108. Transformers #3-4
109-112. Bumblebee #1-4
113-114. Transformers #5-6
115. Last Stand of the Wreckers #5
116-119. Ironhide #1-4
120-121. Transformers #7-8
122-125. Drift #1-4
126-127. Heart of Darkness #1-2
128-129. Infestation #1-2 (Transformers series)
130-134. Transformers #9-13
135. Spotlight - Megatron
136-142. Transformers #14-20
143-144. Heart of Darkness #3-4
145-153. Transformers #21-29
154. Spotlight - Bumblebee
155-156. Transformers #30-31
157. Transformers: Death of Optimus Prime
158-160. More Than Meets the Eye #1-3
161-163. Robots in Disguise #1-3
164-165. More Than Meets the Eye #4-5
166-167. Robots in Disguise #4-5
168. Spotlight - Trailcutter
169. Spotlight - Hoist
170. More Than Meets the Eye #6
171. More Than Meets the Eye Annual
172-173. More Than Meets the Eye #7-8
174-178. Robots in Disguise #6-10
179-183. More Than Meets the Eye #9-13
184. Robots in Disguise Annual
185-190. Robots in Disguise #11-16
191-192. More Than Meets the Eye #14-15
193-196. Robots in Disguise #17-20
197-203. More Than Meets the Eye #16-22
204-205. Robots in Disguise #21-22
206-217. Dark Cybertron #1-12 (contains Dark Cybertron #1, More Than Meets the Eye #23-27, Robots in Disguise #23-27 & Dark Cybertron Finale)
218-223. More Than Meets the Eye #28-33 (#33 unpublished)
224-228. Robots in Disguise #28-32
229-232. Windblade #1-4
233-235. More Than Meets the Eye #34-36 (unpublished)
236-239. Robots in Disguise #33-36 (unpublished)

240-243. Drift - Empire of Stone #1-4 (unpublished)

Collected editions[edit]

The Transformers has been collected in nine volumes roughly in chronological order. The first eight volumes, under the title Transformers: IDW Collection, collect most of the series in between Infiltration and Heart of Darkness, including Spotlights.[105] Starting with the issue Death of Optimus Prime, the Transformers are collected under the title Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two, of which one volume has been published. The Autocracy series has also been collected in print form.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]