Transformers Comics Reading Order: Where to Start With Transformers Comic Books?

My media history with Transformers did not set me up well for enjoying Transformers comic books. The 90’s Transformers animated TV series always had some cool visualizations but suffered from “Not Batman or X-Men” syndrome. Then came a flurry of Michael Bay / Shia Lebeauf action concussions, and although I’ll stand by early Shia in the first movie, it’s never a good sign when you can only tell one robot apart because he’s yellow.

The more I’ve gotten into comic books, though, the more I realized Transformers is an exciting and varied mythology, that has been handled extremely well by IDW publishing.

Below you’ll find a reading order for Transformers comics published by IDW. As always, if you have suggestions for the order, let me hear about them in the comments and I’ll take a look.

Enjoy the comics!

Transformers megatron comic books

Transformers Comics Reading Order

The IDW Transformers Collections

While I lay out each storyline in order below, I’ll first note that IDW has several larger, hardcover collections that make the Transformers reading experience much smoother. These tend to be more expensive, but they also look great on a bookshelf and easily collect the below storylines.

I’ll list each hardcover collection prior to the trade paperbacks that contain the same storylines. Just be aware you don’t need to buy both as they overlap in collected comics.

Transformers: Infiltration through Devastation (Phase 1)

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 1

Collects: Megatron Origin #1–4, Spotlight: Blurr, Spotlight: Cliffjumper, Spotlight: Shockwave, Spotlight: Nightbeat, Spotlight: Hotrod, and Infiltration #0–6

The Transformers: Infiltration

IDW’s Transformers comics launch with a number of core mini series, and no actual long-running ongoing single comic. As a result, Phase 1 of the Transformers comic book experience is broken up across mini events like Infiltration, which runs from issues #0 to #6, before Transformers jumps to a new comic book title for the next most relevant series.

The core sequence of events for this period is Infiltration –> Escalation –> Devastation.

The Transformers: Megatron Origin

Chronologically, you can make the case for reading Megatron Origin prior to the Infiltration, as it details flashbacks to Megatron’s rise.

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 2

Collects: Stormbringer and Escalation, as well as Spotlights: Sixshot, Ultra Magnus, Kup, and Soundwave

The Transformers: Stormbringer

The Transformers: Escalation

The Transformers: Spotlight

The Transformers: Spotlight Vol. 2

The Transformers: Spotlight Vol. 3

The Transformers Spotlight series consists of a collection of one-shots highlighting individual characters in the Transformers universe.

New Avengers/Transformers

You can skip this, pretty much without question, but I find it endlessly fascinating that Transformers crossed over with the Brian Michael Bendis New Avengers of Marvel Comics fame. This will be more interesting to those of you following along in the Complete Marvel Reading Order.

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 3

Collects: Devastation, as well as Spotlights: Galvatron, Ramjet, Wheelie, Blaster, Arcee, Grimlock, and Mirage

Transformers: Devastation

Revelations (The Transformers: Spotlight)

All Hail Megatron

IDW Transformers After Devastation – All Hail Megatron!

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 4

Collects: Maximun Dinobots and the four-part Drift story, as well as Spotlights: Cyclonus, Hardhead, Doubledealer, Sideswipe, Drift, Metroplex, and Jazz

Transformers: Maximum Dinobots

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 5

Transformers: All Hail Megatron Volume 1

Transformers: All Hail Megatron Volume 2

The Transformers: All Hail Megatron, Vol. 3

The Transformers: All Hail Megatron, Vol. 4

Transformers war within by Mike Costa

Transformers: New Ongoing Series Launch (2010)

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 6

Collects: Transformers #1 to #6 by Mike Costa and drawn by Don Figueroa, Bumblebee #1 to #4 by Zander Cannon and Chee, Last Stand of the Wreckers by James Roberts and Nick Roche, and Prowl Spotlight

Transformers Vol. 1: For All Mankind

Transformers: Bumblebee

Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 7

Collects: Drift four-issue series, Infestation Volume 1: Transformers #1–2, and Ongoing issues #7–18

Transformers Volume 2: International Incident

Transformers: Complete Drift

Transformers: Ironhide

Transformers, Vol. 3: Revenge of the Decepticons

Infestation, Vol. 1

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 8

Collects: “Heart of Darkness” and issues #19-31 which starts off with the “Chaos Theory” storyline and leads into the final “Chaos” arc of the ongoing series

Transformers Vol. 4: Heart of Darkness

Transformers, Vol. 5: Chaos Theory

Transformers Volume 6: Chaos

More than Meets the Eye comic book series

Transformers Phase 2 – More Than Meets The Eye  and Robots in Disguise

Transformers: Autocracy Trilogy

The Transformers; Autocracy Trilogy collects the Autocracy, Monstrosity, and Primacy miniseries. These were all published during Phase 2 of IDW’s Transformers comics, and although chronologically they flashback to earlier times, I prefer them at the beginning of the Phase 2 material.

Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 1

Collects: Death of Optimus Prime, More Than Meets The Eye issues #1–5, and Robots in Disguise issues #1–6

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 1

Note that this first collection from James Roberts and Nick Roche also includes the Death of Optimus Prime one-shot.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 1

Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 2

Collects: Autocracy mini-series, Spotlights: Trailcutter and Hoist, Robots In Disguise issues #7–9, More Than Meets the Eye issues #6–8, and Spotlight: Orion Pax

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 2

Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 2

Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 3

Collects: “More Than Meets The Eye” #9–13 and the 2012 Annual, “Robots in Disguise” #9–11 and the 2012 Annual, plus the Thundercracker, Bumblebee, and Megatron Spotlight issues

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 3

Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 3

Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 4

Collects: Monstrosity mini-series, Robots in Disguise #12–18, and More Than Meets the Eye #14–16

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 4

Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 4

Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 5

Collects: Transformers: Primacy, Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19–22, and Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #17–22

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 5

Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 5

Dark Cybertron transformers event

Dark Cybertron Event Through Revolution

Transformers: Dark Cybertron

Reading Order: Dark Cybertron #1, More Than Meets the Eye #23, Robots in Disguise #23, More Than Meets the Eye #24, Robots in Disguise #24, More Than Meets the Eye #25, Robots in Disguise #25, More Than Meets the Eye #26, Robots in Disguise #26, More Than Meets the Eye #27, Robots in Disguise #27, Dark Cybertron #2

Transformers: Windblade

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 6

Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 6

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 7

Transformers Volume 7: Combiner Wars–First Strike

Transformers: Combiner Wars

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 8

Transformers Volume 8

Transformers: Distant Stars

Transformers: Sins of the Wreckers

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 9

Transformers Volume 9

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 10

Transformers Volume 10

Transformers: Till All Are One Volume 1

Transformers: Titans Return

transformers revolution

2016 IDW Expanded Universe

Transformers vs. GI Joe

Revolution

Revolution: Transformers

2 Replies to “Transformers Comics Reading Order: Where to Start With Transformers Comic Books?”

  1. I was just about to leave a message somewhere on here about transformers comics. Specifically the Roberts and barber stuff leading to revolution. More than meets the eye is an amazing series, and has seriously interrupted my civil war 2 reading (I’m way behind now.)

    Anyways, if you have never seen the original animated movie, you should. Honestly, while rewatching most of this stuff with my son, tf comes out a lot stronger than batman animated and xmen. Don’t get me wrong, when I was younger I would have disagreed. But the movie ranks up there (animation wise) with Rene laloux IMO. Maybe it’s because jlu and all that seems to overshadow batman animated?

    If u are a fan of cosmic operas like annihilation or planet hulk, then starting with “death of Optimus prime” and mtmte and rid are for u

    1. More Than Meets the Eye blew me away. I did not expect to care, and found myself falling in love with these characters and the Transformers mythology. It’s incredible comic book storytelling, although I still have a hard as hell time telling Transformers apart (my biggest knock on the art, although it’s frequently done very well).

      I’ll need to check out the animated movie, that’s high praise!

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