IDW’s Transformers Chronological Reading Order Checklist

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IDW's Transformers Chronological Reading Order Checklist

Since 2005 IDW Publishing has excelled with their Transformers comics. Using the concepts the classic Generation 1 canon as their base, IDW took the classic characters and concepts and made it their own while still staying true to what makes Transformers so good. I would even argue that they’re far superior to the Michael Bay movies.

But with multiple series, dozens of one-shots, different timelines and so many transformable characters, IDW’s Transformers comics can appear to be an impenetrable wall. But it doesn’t have to be!

To help make sense of the world’s most loved robots I have put together the Transformers Chronological Reading Order Checklist. In it, I’ve put together a reading list in chronological order of events in the Transformers comics. Well, actually it’s two lists. I’ve broken it up by the single issues and then by collected editions for those who prefer reading in that format.

But before we dive into the lists, here a few questions answered for clarity.

Which Comics Does The Reading Order Include?

IDW have done a lot of different types of Transformers comics, but the ones I am focusing on are the ones that are part of the IDW Generation 1 continuity. So this means comics such as Regeneration One, Transformers Vs G.I Joe, Marvel/Dreamwave reprints or anything that ties in to movies/tv shows are not included in this.

Do I Have To Read Everything?

No.

If you don’t want to you don’t have to. I have listed everything for those who are interested in reading everything. For those who don’t want to take the plunge into the entire run then you can start anywhere you see a bold issue. These are intended to be jumping on points.

What Is The Difference Between Phase 1 and 2?

There are two destinct phases in IDW’s Transformers comics.

  1. Phase 1 is mostly based on Earth and is concerned with the war between the Autobots and Decepticons.
  2. Phase 2 is based on Cybertron and focuses on what happens when the war between the Autobots and Decepticons has ended.

Where Can I Find These Comics?

Transformers comics can be found at any good comic book store as well as on Comixology.  You can find out more about where you can buy comics on this handy guide.

Transformers Escalation #1 cover by E.J. Su.

Phase 1

This is where it all begins! As I mentioned before, Phase 1 mostly consists of the conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons on Earth, although there are some stories set in the early days of the conflict on Cybertron.

In the early days IDW released the Transformers comics in range of miniseries which built up on each other. These were then supplemented by various one-shots which gave the spotlight to a particular character.

Megatron Origin #1

Megatron Origin #2

Megatron Origin #3

Megatron Origin #4

Spotlight: Blurr

Spotlight: Cliffjumper

Spotlight: Shockwave

Spotlight: Hot Rod

Spotlight: Soundwave

Spotlight: Ultra Magnus

Spotlight: Nightbeat

Hearts of Steel #1

Hearts of Steel #2

Hearts of Steel #3

Hearts of Steel #4

Infestation 2 #1

Infestation 2 #2

Infiltration #0

Infiltration #1

Infiltration #2

Infiltration #3

Infiltration #4

Infiltration #5

Infiltration #6

Stormbringer #1

Stormbringer #2

Stormbringer #3

Stormbringer #4

Escalation #1

Escalation #2

Escalation #3

Escalation #4

Escalation #5

Spotlight: Sixshot

Escalation #6

New Avengers/Transformers #1

New Avengers/Transformers #2

New Avengers/Transformers #3

New Avengers/Transformers #4

Spotlight: Ramjet

Spotlight: Kup

Spotlight: Mirage

Spotlight: Optimus Prime

Spotlight: Galvatron

Spotlight: Blaster

Spotlight: Arcee

Devastation #1

Devastation #2

Devastation #3

Devastation #4

Devastation #5

Devastation #6

Spotlight: Grimlock

Spotlight: Wheelie

Spotlight: Cyclonus

Spotlight: Hardhead

Spotlight: Doubledealer

Spotlight: Sideswipe

Maximum Dinobots #1

Maximum Dinobots #2

Maximum Dinobots #3

Maximum Dinobots #4

Maximum Dinobots #5

Drift #1

Drift #2

Drift #3

Drift #4

Spotlight: Drift

Spotlight: Metroplex

Spotlight: Jazz

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #1 cover byy Klaus Scherwinski.

All Hail Megatron

All Hail Megatron is set a year after the previously listed comics in which the Megatron and the Decepticons have won the battle on Earth. No Megatron rules the Earth and who is going to stop him?

This is a good jumping on point if you do not want to read the previously listed comics.

All Hail Megatron #1

All Hail Megatron #2

All Hail Megatron #3

All Hail Megatron #4

All Hail Megatron #5

All Hail Megatron #6

All Hail Megatron #7

All Hail Megatron #8

All Hail Megatron #9

All Hail Megatron #10

All Hail Megatron #11

All Hail Megatron #12

All Hail Megatron #13

All Hail Megatron #14

All Hail Megatron #15

All Hail Megatron #16

Transformers #1 cover by Don Figueroa.

Transformers Ongoing

Set three years after the conclusion of All Hail Megatron, this ongoing series (and it’s supplemental miniseries) is another good jumping on point.

The Transformers #1

The Transformers #2

The Transformers #3

The Transformers #4

Bumblebee #1

Bumblebee #2

Bumblebee #3

Bumblebee #4

The Transformers #5

The Transformers #6

Last Stand of the Wreckers #1

Last Stand of the Wreckers #2

Last Stand of the Wreckers #3

Last Stand of the Wreckers #4

Last Stand of the Wreckers #5

Spotlight: Prowl

Infestation #1

Infestation #2

The Transformers #7

The Transformers #8

The Transformers #9

The Transformers #10

The Transformers #11

The Transformers #12

The Transformers #13

Megatron: Spotlight

The Transformers #14

The Transformers #15

The Transformers #16

The Transformers #17

The Transformers #18

Ironhide #1

Ironhide #2

Ironhide #3

Ironhide #4

The Transformers #19

The Transformers #20

Heart of Darkness #1

Heart of Darkness #2

Heart of Darkness #3

Heart of Darkness #4

The Transformers #21

The Transformers #22

The Transformers #23

The Transformers #24

The Transformers #25

The Transformers #26

The Transformers #27

The Transformers #28

The Transformers #29

The Transformers #30

The Transformers #31

Phase 2

We have no entered Phase 2 of the Transformers comics! The war is over and it’s time to return to Cybertron and rebuild society.

Transformers: Autocracy #1 cover by Livio Ramondelli.

Autocracy/Monstrosity/Primacy

This trio of miniseries are set millions of years in past at the start of the war and follow after the events of Megatron Origins. These series were originally digital-first and were later released in print.

Spotlight: Orion Pax

Autocracy #1

Autocracy #2

Autocracy #3

Autocracy #4

Autocracy #5

Autocracy #6

Autocracy #7

Autocracy #8

Autocracy #9

Autocracy #10

Autocracy #11

Autocracy #12

Monstrosity #1 (NOTE: Monstrosity was originally 12 digital chapters and was then collected into 4 print comics. I have included the print comics in this list.)

Monstrosity #2

Monstrosity #3

Monstrosity #4

Primacy #1

Primacy #2

Primacy #3

Primacy #4

Spotlight: Thundercracker

Transformers: The Death of Optimus Prime cover by Nick Roche.

More Than Meets The Eye/Robots In Disguise

With the war over the surviving Transfomers return to Cybertron to rebuild society, but just becuase the war is over doesn’t mean that there isn’t any conflict.

This era of Transformers comics kicks off with an introductory one-shot that helps you get up to speed then pushes the story forward. Going forward the Transformers comics are primary broken up into two ongoing series More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise. The latter focuses on dealing with what is happening on post war Cybertron. The former focuses on the crew of The Lost Light, who are on a quest to find the mythical Knights of Cybertron.

Chris Sims of Comics Alliance has done fantastic series of write-ups on this era of comics called The Transformed Man. It’s definitely worth the read if you have the time.

Death of Optimus Prime

More Than Meets the Eye #1

More Than Meets the Eye #2

More Than Meets the Eye #3

Robots in Disguise #1

Robots in Disguise #2

Robots in Disguise #3

More Than Meets the Eye #4

More Than Meets the Eye #5

Robots in Disguise #4

Robots in Disguise #5

Spotlight: Trailcutter

Spotlight: Hoist

More Than Meets the Eye #6

More Than Meets the Eye Annual

More Than Meets the Eye #7

More Than Meets the Eye #8

Robots in Disguise #6

Robots in Disguise #7

Robots in Disguise #8

Robots in Disguise #9

Robots in Disguise #10

More Than Meets the Eye #9

More Than Meets the Eye #10

More Than Meets the Eye #11

More Than Meets the Eye #12

More Than Meets the Eye #13

Robots in Disguise Annual

Robots in Disguise #11

Robots in Disguise #12

Robots in Disguise #13

Robots in Disguise #14

Robots in Disguise #15

Robots in Disguise #16

More Than Meets the Eye #14

More Than Meets the Eye #15

Robots in Disguise #17

Robots in Disguise #18

Robots in Disguise #19

Robots in Disguise #20

More Than Meets the Eye #16

More Than Meets the Eye #17

More Than Meets the Eye #18

More Than Meets the Eye #19

More Than Meets the Eye #20

More Than Meets the Eye #21

More Than Meets the Eye #22

Robots in Disguise #21

Robots in Disguise #22

Transformers Dark Cybertron #1 cover.

Dark Cybertron

The first crossover between More Than Meets The Eye and Robots in Disguise.

Dark Cybertron #1 – Part 1

More Than Meets the Eye #23 – Part 2

Robots in Disguise #23 – Part 3

More Than Meets the Eye #24 – Part 4

Robots in Disguise #24 – Part 5

More Than Meets the Eye #25 – Part 6

Robots in Disguise #25 – Part 7

More Than Meets the Eye #26 – Part 8

Robots in Disguise #26 – Part 9

More Than Meets the Eye #27 – Part 10

Robots in Disguise #27 – Part 11

Dark Cybertron Finale – Part 12

Post Dark Cybertron

More Than Meets the Eye #28

More Than Meets the Eye #29

More Than Meets the Eye #30

More Than Meets the Eye #31

More Than Meets the Eye #32

Robots in Disguise #28

Robots in Disguise #29

Robots in Disguise #30

Robots in Disguise #31

Robots in Disguise #32

Windblade #1

Windblade #2

Windblade #3

Windblade #4

More Than Meets the Eye #33

More Than Meets the Eye #34

More Than Meets the Eye #35

More Than Meets the Eye #36

More Than Meets the Eye #37

More Than Meets the Eye #38

Robots in Disguise #33

Robots in Disguise #34

Transformers #35 (NOTE: Formally known as Robots in Disguise)

Transformers #36

Transformers #37

Transformers #38

More Than Meets the Eye #39

More Than Meets the Eye #40

Drift – Empire of Stone #1

Drift – Empire of Stone #2

Drift – Empire of Stone #3

Drift – Empire of Stone #4

Punishment

More Than Meets the Eye #41

More Than Meets the Eye #42

More Than Meets the Eye #43

More Than Meets the Eye #44

Transformers: Combiner Wars cover.

Combiner Wars

Another Phase 2 crossover which involve Transformers (formally known as Robots In Disguise) and Windblade.

The Transformers #39 – Opening Salvo

Windblade (volume 2) #1 – Part 1

The Transformers #40 – Part 2

Windblade (volume 2) #2 – Part 3

The Transformers #41 – Part 4

Windblade (volume 2) #3 – Part 5

Transformers #42 – Epilogue

Windblade (volume 2) #4 – Epilogue

Post Combiner Wars

Combiner Hunters (NOTE: Combiner Wars Fallout)

Transformers #43

Transformers #44

Windblade (volume 2) #4

Windblade (volume 2) #5

Windblade (volume 2) #6

Windblade (volume 2) #7

Sins of the Wreckers #1

Sins of the Wreckers #2

Sins of the Wreckers #3

Sins of the Wreckers #4

Sins of the Wreckers #5

More Than Meets the Eye #45

More Than Meets the Eye #46

More Than Meets the Eye #47

More Than Meets the Eye #48

More Than Meets the Eye #49

Transformers #45

Holiday Special

Redemption

Transformers #45

Transformers #46

Transformers #47

Transformers #48

Transformers #49

Transformers #50

Transformers #51

Transformers #52

Transformers #53

Transformers #54

Transformers #55

More Than Meets the Eye #50

More Than Meets the Eye #51

More Than Meets the Eye #52

More Than Meets the Eye #53

More Than Meets the Eye #54

More Than Meets the Eye #55

Till All Are One #1

Till All Are One #2

Till All Are One #3

Till All Are One #4

Titans Return

Titans Return – Part 1

The Transformers #56 – Part 2

The Transformers #57 – Part 3

More Than Meets the Eye #56 – Part 4

More Than Meets the Eye #57 – Part 5

NOTE: Revolution (see below) takes place between these issues.

Till All Are One #5 – Part 6

Till All Are One #6 – Part 7

Till All Are One #7 – Part 8

Till All Are One #8 – Part 9

Revolution #1 cover by Tradd Moore.

Revolution

Revolution is a comic book crossover which not only involves The Transformers but all of the other Hasbro properties that IDW has. This include series such as G.I Joe, Micronauts, ROM and others. This story has ramifications for the Transformers comics and will launches new comics in it’s conclusion.

Read the Revolution Reading Order Checklist.

As Nik has pointed out in the comments, Revolution takes place in the middle Titans Return story. I’ve put it afterwards in this list for a cleaner read.

Post Revolution

Optimus Prime #1

Optimus Prime #2

Optimus Prime #3

Optimus Prime #4

Optimus Prime #5

Optimus Prime #6

Lost Light #1

Lost Light #2

Lost Light #3

Lost Light #4

Lost Light #5

Lost Light #6

Revolutionaries #1

Revolutionaries #2

Revolutionaries #3

Revolutionaries #4

Optimus Prime #7

Optimus Prime #8

Transformers Annual 2017

Optimus Prime #9

Optimus Prime #10

Spotlight: Salvation

Til All Are One #9

Til All Are One #10

Til All Are One #11

Til All Are One #12

Lost Light #7

Lost Light #8

Lost Light #9

Lost Light #10

Lost Light #11

Lost Light #12

Revolutionaries #5

Revolutionaries #6

Revolutionaries #7

Revolutionaries #8

First Strike

Similar to Revolution, First Strike is a Hasbro crossover which involved The Transformers, G.I. Joe and other Hasbro characters.

Hasbro: First Strike Reading Order

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 3 cover by E.J Su.

Collected Editions

If you prefer reading your comics in a collected editions then I’ve put together a reading order for you too! The way this has been put together is by putting together with the fewest in print collections available.

Phase 1 Collected Editions

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 1

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 2

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 3

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 4

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 5

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 6

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 7

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 8

The Transformers: The IDW Collection Compendium Volume 1 also exists which covers roughly the same comics as Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 1-2.

If you want a more affordable collection, which collections a large amount of comics then the Transformers Phase One Omnibus will give you a good taste of these comics.

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 1 cover by Sarah Stone.

Phase 2 Collected Editions

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 1

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 2

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 3

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 4

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 5

Revolutionaries #4 Volume 6

Robots in Disguise Volume 6

More Than Meets the Eye Volume 6

More Than Meets the Eye Volume 7

Robots in Disguise Volume 7: Combiner Wars First Strike

Drift – Empire of Stone

More Than Meets the Eye Volume 8

Combiner Wars

The Transformers Volume 8

Windblade: Distant Stars

Sins of the Wrecker

More Than Meets the Eye Volume 9

The Transformers Volume 9

The Transformers Volume 10

More Than Meets the Eye Volume 10

Titans Return

Till All Are One Volume 1

IDW is still rolling out volumes of Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 and these will replace smaller collections when they become available.

View more Reading Orders

Have Your Say On The Transformers Comics!

Have you read any of the Transformers comics? Let me know in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.

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Trevor Van As

Trevor Van As is the founder of How to Love Comics and has loved comics all his life. When he's not reading or talking about comics he can be found eating frozen yogurt and dancing like no one is watching.

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Comments (29)

  • How can I buy these? My youngest son likes to borrow the graphic novels of the movies from the library, but I think he would love to have ownership of his own graphic novels. He is now 8 and has loved Transformers since before he was 2. I grew up watching the 80’s Transformers and so in the 90’s my husband and I bought Beast Wars and Beast Machines for our oldest and even the DVDs so my youngest has been watching those and has taken those toys for his own as well as the toys for the movies that were bought for his twin brothers who are 3 years older than him. He loves Transformers and I think he will never not like them. Thank you!

  • can someone help me out, i’m reading through the collected volumes and its hard to make sure i don’t miss any, what with all the one shots and renaming of titles, so i’ve just read Till All Are One Vol2 and it talks about vigilem/carcer like were supposed to know who they are, like they are old characters, and i don’t remember reading about them before. did i miss a book?

  • I think that Heart of Darkness comes after The Transformers #20 because issue 4 of Heart of Darkness recalls events from issues before #21, and the end of Heart of Darkness says the story continues in issue #21.

    Other than that, this list has really helped because the one on tfarchive doesn’t go past MTMTE and RiD

  • Wow…thank you so much for this! I started with The Death of Optimus Prime and read mostly everything up until Till All Are One #2. This list has been super helpful for me, coming into IDW Transformers for the first time!

  • Hey buddy thanks for the list. I have recently started reading Transformers comics and I started with Last stand of the Wreckers. Such a great work. Now reading first five issues of More than meets the eye and must say stories and arts are really gripping. I was wondering what to read and from where to start. This reading order will help me a lot. 🙂

    • No worries, Swapnil. Glad you’ve found the list helpful and have been enjoying the Transformers comics so much!

  • Hi. Can I read say….. more than meets the eye from issue to issue without reading robots in disguise in between. Or do I have to abide by the list for the story to make sense… if you know what I mean 😀

    • Hi! Great question. You can read Robots in Disguise independently for the most part. It tells its own stream of the story. The only time you’ll be required to read anything else is when there is a crossover.

    • I believe Hearts of Steel and Infestation 2 should be included now with the recent events in the comics revealing that they’re canon to the IDW timeline.

    • Monstrosity was originally 12 digital chapters and was then collected into 4 print comics. I have included the print comics in this list. I chucked a note in there to avoid confusion.

    • Hi! Great question. It appears all of those, were missing from the list. I have since updated them. The Megatron and Bumblebee spotlights can be found in the Transformers ongoing section, while Orion Pax and Thundercracker are in the Autocracy/Monstrosity/Primacy section.

  • Hey,
    thank you so much! You did a good job here 🙂
    Are you going to continue the reading guide with the new ongoing series?

    Greeting from Germany

  • Your order for Combiner Wars is wrong.

    Transformers #39 is “Opening Salvo,” (not CW part 2)
    Windblade Vol 2 #1 is CW part 1
    Transformers #40 is CW part 2 (not part 4)
    Transformers #41 is CW part 4 (not part 6)
    Transformers #42 and Windblade #4 are both “Epilogue”

  • Till All Are One #5 and #6 are part of Titans Return and come before Revolution. Also #56 & #57 of the other 2 series should be read together, not apart.

      • Trevor, actually they changed it and added a page to explain why now Till All Are One #5-8 (Which is the conclusion of Titans Return) come after Revolution, although originally they were planned to be before.

      • So Revolution now takes place in the middle of Titans Return, rather than after in between Part #4 and Part #5.