Transformers: The Reign of Starscream

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Transformers: The Reign of Starscream
#1 cover by Gabriel Rodriguez
Publication information
PublisherIDW Publishing
Publication dateMay–August 2008
No. of issuesFive[1]
Creative team
Created byHasbro
Written byChris Mowry
Chris Ryall
Artist(s)Alex Milne

Transformers: The Reign of Starscream is an IDW Publishing comic book, a sequel to their adaptation of the 2007 live action Transformers film. The comic follows Starscream. The first issue was released in May 2008.


The first issue follows the story of the film from Starscream's perspective, with him organizing his team to follow Megatron to Earth. During the battle in Mission City, Starscream is enraged by Megatron's uncaring attitude towards the death of his comrades. Following his leader's death, Starscream meets with a wounded Barricade (whom Ironhide caused to crash into a barrier and thus miss the battle) and is told the dead Frenzy had important files on Sam Witwicky and the All Spark. Starscream tells Barricade to carry on his role as his spy on Earth, while he flies to the Hoover Dam to recover Frenzy.

In the second issue, Starscream retrieves Frenzy but is injured, and he is forced to return to Mars in F-22 Raptor form. He explains to Thundercracker he likes his Earth form though, admitting he admires the humans for killing Megatron and destroying the All Spark. The two Seekers decide to return to Cybertron, using Frenzy's data to recreate the All Spark. They begin transmitting the data to Cybertron, and prepare to enter a Space Bridge. Starscream is confident with Optimus Prime on Earth, no one can stop his conquest of their home planet, unaware an Autobot team (consisting of Arcee, Cliffjumper, Air Raid, Camshaft, Smokescreen and Cosmos) are about to attack.

The third issue opens with the Autobots being engaged by a swarm of drones. They easily rip through them, even killing Hardtop, but are put on the defensive as Thundercracker arrives, killing several of them. Arcee, furious at history repeating itself as her colleagues fall, manages to badly wound him, but it is too late: a recharged Starscream arrives and kills all but her. The Decepticons return to Cybertron, with Ramjet having prepared things for his new lord. The data transmitted has been used, and a new All Spark is now under construction, with Autobot slave labour doing the bulk of the work.

Starscream becomes more and more obsessed with not repeating the mistakes of Megatron and Prime and broods over Sector Seven Data showing Wreckage to be alive and working with them. Arcee arrives on Cybertron, having stowed away on the Decepticon ship, and falls in with the Autobot resistance led by Crosshairs and Clocker, who are considering a suicide strike to destroy the new Allspark and rescue the other Autobots. Starscream plans to use the Sparks of his Autobot captives (and an unfortunate Crankcase) to power up the new Cube. However, it inexplicably fails as Dreadwing betrays Starscream in an attempt to claim its power. A three-way battle breaks out between Dreadwing's drones, Starscream's forces and the Autobots. Dreadwing attempts to escape in a ship, travelling through the Space Bridge to Mars - unaware Starscream has followed him. The Decepticon leader rips out the traitor's Spark and vows to regain control as he gazes at Earth.

Links with other stories[edit]

The series is consistent with Target Corporation's second prequel comic to the film with Wreckage being killed by humans upon arriving on Earth. However, the third issue refers to the torture of Bumblebee's squad (including Arcee) by Megatron, an event which took place in the first issue of the original prequel series, which seemingly takes place in a different continuity. The Transformers use spaceships, the absence of which in the film is explained by the Decepticons parking theirs (the Nemesis) on Mars before flying as protoforms to Earth.

Starscream's story is directly followed up on in Transformers: Alliance, the first comic prequel to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, as is the Wreckage subplot from this story.


When announced at the 2007 Comic-Con International, the series was entitled The Search for Starscream.[2] Chris Mowry explained readers knew where Starscream disappeared to in the film, so it was an odd choice for a title even if the Autobots were searching for him.[3]

Regarding canonicity, Chris Ryall wrote, "Doing sequels to movies that nevertheless don't affect any coming sequel have a long tradition in comics [...] and we've been having a lot of fun with this one."[4] Hasbro advised Mowry on the story, leading to four script drafts. They rejected his idea to make the series introduce characters for the next film (which Alex Milne designed), making it into a wrap-up to the first film.[3] However, when discussing the official prequel to the sequel film, it was mentioned that Transformers: Destiny would reference The Reign of Starscream. Ultimately, the 2018 prequel film Bumblebee, which is set around 1980, declared the prequel to be non-canon, as it features a different version of Cliffjumper, who is killed during the film, while the comic featured Cliffjuper among the Autobots that attack Starscream.

The first issue's "B" cover is modeled after Marvel Comics's The Transformers (USA) #5, where Shockwave stands against "Are All Dead" graffiti.[5]


  1. ^ Bill Radford (2008-03-23). "Starscream transformed into comic book". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  2. ^ Matt Brady (2007-07-27). "SDCC '07: IDW PANEL REPORT". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
  3. ^ a b Josh van Reyk (2008-03-12). "Interview with Chris Mowry". IDW Publishing. Archived from the original on 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  4. ^ Chris Ryall (2008-03-09). "Reign-y Sunday". Ryall Time (blog). Retrieved 2008-03-10.
  5. ^ Rich Johnston (2007-12-24). "Swipe File". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2008-01-21.