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IDW’s Transformers (2005 Continuity) Chronological Reading Order Checklist

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Since 2005 IDW Publishing has excelled with their Transformers comics. Using the characters and concepts of the classic Generation 1 canon as a base, these comics take the classic characters and concepts. While there are new ideas throughout, it still stays true to what makes Transformers such as love franchise. I would even argue that they’re far superior to the Michael Bay movies.

However, with multiple series, dozens of one-shots, different timelines, and so many 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, it’s actually two lists. I’ve broken it into single issues and collected editions to give different readers different options.

Table of contents

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

Which comics does the reading order include?

IDW has 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 2005 continuity. So this means comics such as Regeneration One, Transformers Vs G.I Joe, Marvel/Dreamwave reprints or anything that ties into 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’s the difference between Phase 1, 2, and 3?

There are three distinct 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.
  3. Phase 3 is is a mixture of action Cybertron and Earth. One of it’s distinct features is that it crosses overt with a number of Hasbro properties.

Where can I find these comics?

IDW’s Transformers comics can be found at any good comic book store as well as on Amazon/Kindle, eBay, and Google Play. You can find out more about where you can buy comics in this handy guide.

PSA: IDW is losing the Transformers license

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter in January 2022, IDW will lose the license to Transformers (as well as G.I. Joe) at the end of 2022. This means there will be no new Transformers comics and collections from the publisher from 2023 onwards.

IDW’s Transformers comics/collected editions will start to be hard to come by for those who prefer to read in print as everything goes into an “out of print” status. The back issue bins and eBay will become the go-to place for finding the comics you need.

Digital comics readers will want to buy whatever comics they’re missing before the end of the year. IDW will lose the ability to sell the comics digitally and, as a result, will likely be removed from digital marketplaces.

It is possible whoever picks up the license in 2023 could sell the IDW material, similar to how IDW did with the Marvel and Marvel UK comics. However, it’s likely to not be a seamless transition, and the comics may not be available for a time.

In short, pick up the IDW Transformers comics you need sooner rather than later.

Transformers Reading Order (Issues)

Below is a reading order for all of the comics for the Transformers 2005 continuity broken down by single issues. This is the best way to read everything if you’re the kind of person who wants to read everything in its entirety.

This is broken up into the different phases (1-3) and then by different parts of those phases to distinguish the crossovers.

Jump to: Phase 1 | Phase 2 | Phase 3

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

Transformers: Autocracy #1 cover by Livio Ramondelli.
Transformers: Autocracy #1 cover by Livio Ramondelli.

Autocracy/Monstsrosity/Primacy Notes

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

Note: Spotlight: Orion Pax is part of the Dark Prelude of the Dark Cybertron crossover. It fits here in the chronological reading order.

Spotlight: Blurr

Autocracy #1

Autocracy #2

Autocracy #3

Autocracy #4

Autocracy #5

Autocracy #6

Autocracy #7

Autocracy #8

Autocracy #9

Autocracy #10

Autocracy #11

Autocracy #12

Spotlight: Wheelie

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

Note: Spotlight: Thundercracker is part of the Dark Prelude of the Dark Cybertron crossover. It fits here in the chronological reading order.

Spotlight: Cliffjumper

Spotlight: Shockwave

Spotlight: Hot Rod

ROM vs Transformers – Shining Armor #1

ROM vs Transformers – Shining Armor #2

ROM vs Transformers – Shining Armor #3

ROM vs Transformers – Shining Armor #4

ROM vs Transformers – Shining Armor #5

Note: ROM vs Transformers was published during Phase 3 of the Transformers comics but fits here chronologically.

Hearts of Steel #1

Hearts of Steel #2

Hearts of Steel #3

Hearts of Steel #4

Infestation 2 #1

Infestation 2 #2

Spotlight: Sixshot

Infiltration #0

Infiltration #1

Infiltration #2

Infiltration #3

Infiltration #4

Infiltration #5

Infiltration #6

Stormbringer #1

Stormbringer #2

Stormbringer #3

Stormbringer #4

Spotlight: Soundwave

Spotlight: Kup

Spotlight: Nightbeat

New Avengers/Transformers #1

New Avengers/Transformers #2

New Avengers/Transformers #3

New Avengers/Transformers #4

Note: This was a collaborative crossover between Marvel and IDW during a time when both the Transformers and New Avengers series were red hot. Due to licensing issues, this one can be hard to come by.

Escalation #1

Spotlight: Ultra Magnus

Escalation #2

Escalation #3

Escalation #4

Escalation #5

Escalation #6

Spotlight: Ramjet

Spotlight: Optimus Prime

Spotlight: Galvatron

Spotlight: Blaster

Spotlight: Arcee

Devastation #1

Devastation #2

Devastation #3

Devastation #4

Devastation #5

Devastation #6

Spotlight: Grimlock

Spotlight: Cyclonus

Spotlight: Hardhead

Spotlight: Doubledealer

Spotlight: Sideswipe

Maximum Dinobots #1

Maximum Dinobots #2

Maximum Dinobots #3

Maximum Dinobots #4

Maximum Dinobots #5

Spotlight: Metroplex

Spotlight: Drift

Spotlight: Jazz

Spotlight: Mirage

Drift #1

Drift #2

Drift #3

Drift #4

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

Buy All Hail Megatron comics on…

Transformers #1 cover by Don Figueroa.
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 (2009 series) #1

The Transformers (2009 series) #2

The Transformers (2009 series) #3

The Transformers (2009 series) #4

Bumblebee #1

Bumblebee #2

Bumblebee #3

Bumblebee #4

The Transformers (2009 series) #5

The Transformers (2009 series) #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 (2009 series) #7

The Transformers (2009 series) #8

The Transformers (2009 series) #9

The Transformers (2009 series) #10

The Transformers (2009 series) #11

The Transformers (2009 series) #12

The Transformers (2009 series) #13

Spotlight: Megatron

Note: Spotlight: Megatron is part of the Dark Prelude of the Dark Cybertron crossover. It fits here in the chronological reading order.

The Transformers (2009 series) #14

The Transformers (2009 series) #15

The Transformers (2009 series) #16

The Transformers (2009 series) #17

The Transformers (2009 series) #18

Ironhide #1

Ironhide #2

Ironhide #3

Ironhide #4

The Transformers (2009 series) #19

The Transformers (2009 series) #20

Heart of Darkness #1

Heart of Darkness #2

Heart of Darkness #3

Heart of Darkness #4

The Transformers (2009 series) #21

The Transformers (2009 series) #22

The Transformers (2009 series) #23

The Transformers (2009 series) #24

The Transformers (2009 series) #25

The Transformers (2009 series) #26

The Transformers (2009 series) #27

The Transformers (2009 series) #28

The Transformers (2009 series) #29

Spotlight: Bumblebee

Note: Spotlight: Bumblebee is part of the Dark Prelude of the Dark Cybertron crossover. It fits here in the chronological reading order.

The Transformers (2009 series) #30

The Transformers (2009 series) #31

Buy Transformers (2009 series) on…

Phase 2

We have now entered Phase 2 of the Transformers comics! The war is over and it’s time to return to Cybertron and rebuild society.

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

More Than Meets The Eye/Robots In Disguise

With the war over the surviving Transformers return to Cybertron to rebuild society, but just because 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

Note: Spotlight: Trailcutter and Spotlight: Hoist are part of the Dark Prelude of the Dark Cybertron crossover. It fits here in the chronological reading order.

More Than Meets The Eye #6

More Than Meets The Eye Annual 2012

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 2012

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.
Transformers Dark Cybertron #1 cover.

Dark Cybertron

The first crossover between More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise. This comic book event has a specific reading order, which can be found below.

Part 1: Dark Cybertron #1

Part 2: More Than Meets The Eye #23

Part 3: Robots In Disguise #23

Part 4: More Than Meets The Eye #24

Part 5: Robots In Disguise #24

Part 6: More Than Meets The Eye #25

Part 7: Robots In Disguise #25

Part 8: More Than Meets The Eye #26

Part 9: Robots In Disguise #26

Part 10: More Than Meets The Eye #27

Part 11: Robots In Disguise #27

Part 12: Dark Cybertron: Finale

Post Dark Cybertron

Read on to find out what you should read after the Dark Cybertron event.

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 (2014 series) #1

Windblade (2014 series) #2

Windblade (2014 series) #3

Windblade (2014 series) #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

From issue #35 onwards, Robots In Disguise has been renamed The Transformers so the comic does not get confused with a toyline and animated series that was set to be released in 2015.

As there is an earlier comic book series with the same name, I have dubbed this The Transformers (2014 series).

The Transformers (2014 series) #35

The Transformers (2014 series) #36

The Transformers (2014 series) #37

The Transformers (2014 series) #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

The More Than Meets The Eye #41

The More Than Meets The Eye #42

The More Than Meets The Eye #43

The More Than Meets The Eye #44

Transformers: Combiner Wars cover.
Transformers: Combiner Wars cover.

Combiner Wars

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

Opening Salvo: The Transformers (2014 series) #39

Part 1: Windblade (2015 series) #1

Part 2: The Transformers (2014 series) #40

Part 13 Windblade (2015 series) #2

Part 4: The Transformers (2014 series) #41

Part 5: Windblade (2015 series) #3

Epilogue: The Transformers (2014 series) #42

Epilogue: Windblade (2015 series) #4

Post Combiner Wars

The Transformers (2014 series) #43

The Transformers (2014 series) #44

Combiner Hunters

Windblade (2015 series) #4

Windblade (2015 series) #5

Windblade (2015 series) #6

Windblade (2015 series) #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

The Transformers (2014 series) #45

The Transformers (2014 series) #46

The Transformers (2014 series) #47

The Transformers (2014 series) #48

The Transformers (2014 series) #49

The Transformers (2014 series) #50

Till All Are One #1

Till All Are One #2

Till All Are One #3

Till All Are One #4

The Transformers (2014 series) #51

The Transformers (2014 series) #52

The Transformers (2014 series) #53

The Transformers (2014 series) #54

The Transformers (2014 series) #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

Titans Return

Another Phase 2 crossover, this time between The Transformers (2014 series) and More Than Meets The Eye. Take a look at the reading order below.

Part 1: Titans Return

Part 2: The Transformers (2014 series) #56

Part 3 The Transformers (2014 series) #57

Part 4: More Than Meets The Eye #56

Part 5: More Than Meets The Eye #57

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

Part 6: Till All Are One #5

Part 7: Till All Are One #6

Part 8: Till All Are One #7

Part 9: Till All Are One #8

Buy Transformers Phase 2 comics on…

Revolution #1 cover by Tradd Moore.
Revolution #1 cover by Tradd Moore.

Phase 3

The final phase of the 2005 continuity sees a whole new slate of Transformers comics and has them interact with other Hasbro properties.

Revolution

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

This is the third and final phase of the IDW’s Transformers comics. As part of this, there’s a greater focus on the Transformers crossing over with other Hasbro properties.

Revolutionaries #1

Revolutionaries #2

Revolutionaries #3

Revolutionaries #4

Revolutionaries #5

Revolutionaries #6

Revolutionaries #7

Revolutionaries #8

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

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

Til All Are One Annual 2017

Lost Light #7

Lost Light #8

Lost Light #9

Lost Light #10

Lost Light #11

Lost Light #12

Hasbro: First Strike Reading Order Guide.

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

After First Strike

Optimus Prime #11

Optimus Prime #12

Optimus Prime #13

Optimus Prime #14

Lost Light #13

Lost Light #14

Optimus Prime Annual 2018

Transformers vs Visionaries #1

Transformers vs Visionaries #2

Transformers vs Visionaries #3

Transformers vs Visionaries #4

Transformers vs Visionaries #5

Requiem of the Wreckers

Optimus Prime #15

Optimus Prime #16

Optimus Prime #17

Optimus Prime #18

Optimus Prime #19

Optimus Prime #20

Lost Light #15

Lost Light #16

Lost Light #17

Lost Light #18

Optimus Prime #21

Lost Light #19

Lost Light #20

Lost Light #21

Lost Light #22

Lost Light #23

Lost Light #24

Transformers: Unicron

This is the final saga of IDW’s Transformers until they do something new with it. The series ends everything, while Optimus Prime and Lost Light wrap up all the threads that have been running in those series.

Optimus Prime #22

Transformers Unicron #0

Transformers Unicron #1

Transformers Unicron #2

Transformers Unicron #4

Transformers Unicron #3

Optimus Prime #23

Optimus Prime #24

Transformers Unicron #5

Transformers Unicron #6

Optimus Prime #25

Lost Light #25

The Transformers Phase One Omnibus cover by Klaus Scherwinski.
The Transformers Phase One Omnibus cover by Klaus Scherwinski.

Collected Edition Reading Order

I’ve put together a reading order for those who prefer to read the collected editions. Below is a list of all the collected editions you’ll need to read if you want to read all of the Transformers comics. I’ve listed the most common collection but have notes for alternative collections where possible.

Jump to: Phase 1 Collections | Phase 2 Collections | Phase 3 Collections

Phase 1 collected editions

Take a look below at all of the trade paperbacks as part of Phase 1 of the Transformers comics.

The Transformers: Megatron Origin
Collects: Megatron Origin #1-4

The Transformers: Autocracy
Collects: Autocracy #1-12

Note: The Transformers: Autocracy was also reissued in a smaller format under the name The Transformers: Rise of the Autobots.

The Transformers: Monstrosity
Collects: Monstrosity #1-4

The Transformers: Primacy
Collects: Primacy #1-4


Note: Autocracy, Monstrosity, and Primacy are also collected together in The Transformers: Autocracy Trilogy.

The Transformers: Autocracy Trilogy
Collects: Autocracy #1-12, Monstrosity #1-4, and Primacy #1-4.


The Transformers: Spotlight Volume 1
Collects: Spotlight: Shockwave, Spotlight: Nightbeat, Spotlight: Hot Rod, Spotlight: Sixshot, and Spotlight: Ultra Magnus

Rom vs. Transformers: Shining Armor
Collects: Rom vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #1-5

The Transformers: Hearts of Steel
Collects: Hearts of Steel #1-4

Infestation 2
Collects: Infestation 2 #1-2, Infestation 2: Transformers, Infestation 2: Dungeons and Dragons, Infestation 2: Team Up, Infestation 2: TMNT, Infestation 2: G.I. Joe, and Infestation 2: 30 Days of Night

The Transformers: Infiltration
Collects: Infiltration #0-6

The Transformers: Stormbringer
Collects: Stormbringer #1-4

The Transformers: Spotlight Volume 2
Collects: Spotlight: Soundwave, Spotlight: Kup, Spotlight: Galvatron, Spotlight: Optimus Prime, and Spotlight: Ramjet

New Avengers/Transformers
Collects: New Avengers/Transformers #1-4

The Transformers: Escalation
Collects: Escalation #1-6

The Transformers: Spotlight Volume 3
Collects: Spotlight: Blaster, Spotlight: Arcee, Spotlight: Mirage, Spotlight: Grimlock, and Spotlight: Wheelie

The Transformers: Devastation
Collects: Devastation #1-6


Note: Infiltration, Escalation, and Devastation have also been collected together as part of the Transformers Phase One Omnibus.

Transformers Phase One Omnibus
Collects: Escalation #0-6, Escalation #1-6, and Devastation #1-6


The Transformers Spotlight: Revelation
Collects: Spotlight: Cyclonus, Spotlight: Hardhead, Spotlight: Doubledealer, and Spotlight: Sideswipe

The Transformers: Maximum Dinobots
Collects: Maximum Dinobots #1-5

The Transformers: Drift
Collects: Drift #1-4

The Transformers: All Hail Megatron Volume 1
Collects: All Hail Megatron #1-6

The Transformers: All Hail Megatron Volume 2
Collects: All Hail Megatron #7-12

The Transformers: All Hail Megatron Volume 3
Collects: Spotlight: Blurr, Spotlight: Jazz, Spotlight: Drift, Spotlight: Cliffjumper, and Spotlight: Metroplex

The Transformers: All Hail Megatron Volume 4
Collects: All Hail Megatron #13-16


Note: The entire All Hail Megatron was available in a single hardcover called The Complete All Hail Megatron.

The Complete All Hail Megatron

Collects: All Hail Megatron #1-16, Spotlight: Blurr, Spotlight: Jazz, Spotlight: Drift, Spotlight: Cliffjumper, and Spotlight: Metroplex


The Transformers Volume 1: For All Mankind
Collects: The Transformers (2009 series) #1-6

The Transformers: Bumblebee
Collects: Bumblebee #1-4

The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers
Collects: The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers #1-5 and prose stories

Infestation Volume 1
Collects: Infestation #1, The Transformers: Infestation #1-2, and G.I. Joe: Infestation #1-2


OPTIONAL: Read Infestation Volume 2 if you want to know how it ends.

Infestation Volume 2
Collects: Infestation #2, Star Trek: Infestation, and Ghostbusters: Infestation


The Transformers Volume 2: International Incident
Collects: The Transformers (2009 series) #7-12

The Transformers Volume 3: Revenge of the Decepticons
Collects: The Transformers (2009 series) #13-18

The Transformers: Ironhide
Collects: Ironhide #1-4

The Transformers Volume 4: Heart of Darkness
Collects: Heart of Darkness #1-4

The Transformers Volume 5: Chaos Theory
Collects: The Transformers (2009 series) #19-23

The Transformers Volume 6: Police Action
Collects: The Transformers (2009 series) #25, 27, 29, and Spotlight: Prowl

The Transformers Volume 7: Chaos
Collects: The Transformers (2009 series) #24, 26,, 28, 30-31

Buy Transformers collections on…

Phase 2 collected editions

Take a look below at all of the trade paperbacks as part of Phase 2 of the Transformers comics.

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 1
Collects: The Death of Optimus Prime, and More Than Meets The Eye #1-3

The Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 1
Collects: Robots In Disguise #1-5

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 2
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #4-8

The Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 2
Collects: Robots In Disguise #6-9

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 3
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #9-11 and Annual 2012

The Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 3
Collects: Robots In Disguise #10-11 and Annual 2012

The Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 4
Collects: Robots In Disguise #12-16

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 4
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #12-16

The Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 5
Collects: Robots In Disguise #17-22

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 5
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #17-22

The Transformers: Dark Prelude
Collects: Spotlight: Orion Pax, Spotlight: Thundercracker. Spotlight: Megatron, Spotlight: Bumblebee, Spotlight: Trailcutter, and Spotlight: Hoist

The Transformers: Dark Cybertron Volume 1
Collects: Dark Cybertron #1, More Than Meets The Eye #23-25, and Robots In Disguise #23-24

The Transformers: Dark Cybertron Volume 2
Collects: Robots In Disguise #25-27, More Than Meets The Eye #26-27, and Dark Cybertron: Finale


Note: Dark Cybertron has been collected all together in a single hardcover.

The Transformers: Dark Cybertron
Collects: Dark Cybertron issue #1, More Than Meets The Eye #23-27, Robots In Disguise #23-27, and Dark Cybertron: Finale


The Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 6
Collects: Robots In Disguise #28-32

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 6
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye#28-33

The Transformers: Windblade
Collects: Windblade (2014 series) #1-4

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 7
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #34-38

The Transformers: Robots In Disguise Volume 7: Combiner Wars First Strike
Collects: Robots In Disguise #33-34, The Transformers (2014 series) #35-38

The Transformers: Drift – Empire of Stone
Collects: Drift – Empire of Stone #1-4

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 8
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #39-44

The Transformers: Combiner Wars
Collects: The Transformers (2014 series) #39-41 and Windblade (2015 series) #1-3

The Transformers Volume 8
Collects: The Transformers (2014 series) #42-45

Windblade: Distant Stars
Collects: Windblade (2015 series) #4-7

The Transformers: Sins of the Wrecker
Collects: Sins of the Wrecker #1-5

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 9
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #45-49

The Transformers Volume 9
Collects: The Transformers (2014 series) #46-49

The Transformers: Till All Are One Volume 1
Collects: Till All Are One #1-4

The Transformers Volume 10
Collects: The Transformers (2014 series) #50-55

The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 10
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #50-55

The Transformers: Titans Return
Collects: The Transformers (2014 series) #56-57, Titans Return one-shot, and More Than Meets The Eye #56-57

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Phase 3 collected editions

Take a look below at all of the trade paperbacks as part of Phase 3 of the Transformers comics.

Revolution
Collects: Revolution #0-5

Revolution: Transformers
Collects: Revolution: Till All Are One, Revolution: The Transformers, Revolution: More Than Meets The Eye, and The Transformers Holiday Special

The Transformers: Till All Are One Volume 2
Collects: Till All Are One #5-8

Revolutionaries Volume 1: Crisis Intervention
Collects: Revolutionaries #1-4

Revolutionaries Volume 2: Power and Glory

Collects: Revolutionaries #5-8

Transformers: Optimus Prime Volume 1
Collects: Optimus Prime #1-6

Transformers: Lost Light Volume 1
Collects: Lost Light #1-6

Transformers: Optimus Prime Volume 2
Collects: Optimus Prime #7-10 and Transformers Annual 2017

The Transformers: Till All Are One Volume 3
Collects: Till All Are One #9-12 and annual 2017

Transformers: Lost Light Volume 2
Collects: Lost Light #7-12

First Strike
Collects: First Strike #0-6

First Strike: Champions
Collects: Micronauts: First Strike, Optimus Prime: First Strike, G.I. Joe: First Strike, Rom: First Strike, Transformers: First Strike, M.A.S.K.: First Strike.

Transformers: Optimus Prime Volume 3
Collects: Optimus Prime #11-14

Transformers: Lost Light Volume 3
Collects: Lost Light #13-18

Transformers vs Visionaries
Collects: Transformers vs Visionaries #1-5


Note: Requiem of the Wreckers approximately fits here in the Transformers reading order. However, there isn’t a dedicated trade paperback for the one-shot. Instead it is available with the Wreckers limited series as Transformers: The Wreckers Saga.

Transformers: The Wreckers Saga
Collects: Last Stand of the Wreckers #1-5, Sins of the Wreckers #1-5, and Requiem of the Wreckers


Transformers: Optimus Prime Volume 4
Collects: Optimus Prime #15-21

Transformers: Optimus Prime Volume 5
Collects: Optimus Prime #22-25

Transformers Unicron
Collects: Unicron #0-6

Transformers: Lost Light Volume 4
Collects: Lost Light #19-25

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

The IDW Collection

Trying to track down all of the above collected editions is not an easy task! Luckily IDW has also collected their Transformers comics in nice hardcover editions known as The IDW Collection. These are collected in roughly chronological order (some may disagree with some of the placements of the comics) and are an easy way to read everything in a collected format. Again, these are grouped into the different phases.

Jump to: Phase 2 | Phase 3

Phase 1

These hardcovers collect all of the Transformers comics up to the end of the 2009 ongoing series.

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 1
Collects: Megatron Origin #1-4, Spotlight: Blurr, Spotlight: Cliffjumper, Spotlight: Shockwave, Spotlight: Nightbeat, Spotlight: Hot Rod, Spotlight: Soundwave, and Infiltration #0–6

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 2
Collects: Stormbringer #1-4, Escalation #1-6, Spotlight: Sixshot, Spotlight: Ramjet, Spotlight: Ultra Magnus, Spotlight: Kup, Spotlight: Mirage, and Spotlight: Optimus Prime

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 3
Collects: Spotlight: Galvatron, Spotlight: Blaster, Spotlight: Arcee, New Avengers/Transformers #1-4, Devastation #1-6, Spotlight: Grimlock, and Spotlight: Wheelie

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 4
Collects: Spotlight: Cyclonus, Spotlight: Hardhead, Spotlight: Doubledealer, Spotlight: Sideswipe, Maximum Dinobots #1-5, Drift #1-4, Spotlight: Drift, Spotlight: Metroplex, and Spotlight: Jazz

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 5
Collects: All Hail Megatron #1-16

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 6
Collects: The Transformers (2009 series) #1-6, Bumblebee #1-4, Last Stand of the Wreckers #1-5, and Spotlight: Prowl

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 7
Collects: The Transformers: Infestation #1-2, The Transformers (2009 series) #7-18, and Ironhide #1-4

Transformers: The IDW Collection Volume 8
Collects: Heart of Darkness #1-4, and The Transformers (2009 series) #19-31

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

Phase 2

These hardcovers collect all of the Transformers comics from The Death of Optimus Prime to the Titans Return crossover.

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 1
Collects: The Death of Optimus Prime, More Than Meets The Eye #1-5, and Robots In Disguise #1-6

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 2
Collects: Autocracy #1-12, Spotlight: Trailcutter, Spotlight: Hoist, Robots In Disguise #7-9, More Than Meets The Eye #6-9, and Spotlight: Orion Pax

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 3
Collects: Spotlight: Thundercracker, Spotlight: Bumblebee, More Than Meets The Eye Annual 2012, Robots In Disguise Annual 2012, More Than Meets The Eye #9-13, Robots In Disguise #10-11, and Spotlight: Megatron

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 4
Collects: Monstrosity #1-12, Robots In Disguise #12-18, and More Than Meets The Eye #14-16

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 5
Collects: Primacy #1-4, Robots In Disguise #19-22, and More Than Meets The Eye #17-22

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 6
Collects:
Dark Cybertron #1, More Than Meets The Eye #23-27, Robots In Disguise #23-27, Dark Cybertron Finale, and Windblade (2014 series) #1-4

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 7
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #28-34 and Robots In Disguise #28-34

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 8
Collects: More Than Meets The Eye #35-40, The Transformers (2014 series) #35-38, Punishment one-shot, and Drift – Empire of Stone #1-4

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 9
Collects: The Transformers (2014 series) #39-43, Windblade (2015 series) #1-5, and More Than Meets The Eye #41-44

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 10
Collects: Windblade (2015 series) #6-7, The Transformers (2014 series) #44-45, Combiner Hunters, Sins of the Wreckers #1-5, More Than Meets The Eye #45-49, and material from The Transformers Holiday Special

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 11
Collects: Material from The Transformers Holiday Special, Redemption, The Transformers (2014 series) #46-50, and More Than Meets The Eye #50-55

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 2 Volume 12
Collects: The Transformers (2014 series) #51-57, Till All Are One #1-4, Titans Return, and More Than Meets The Eye #56-57

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Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 3 Volume 1 cover by Sara Pitre-Durocher.
Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 3 Volume 1 cover by Sara Pitre-Durocher.

Phase 3

These hardcovers collect Transformers comics from Revolution onwards.

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 3 Volume 1
Collects: Revolution #0-5, The Transformers: Till All Are One: Revolution, The Transformers: Revolution, Action Man: Revolution, The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye: Revolution, The Transformers: Till All Are One #5-8, and Revolutionaries #1-4

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 3 Volume 2
Collects: The Transformers: Till All Are One #9-12, Optimus Prime #1-6, and The Transformers: Lost Light #1-7

Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 3 Volume 3
Collects: Revolutionaries #5-8, The Transformers: Lost Light #8-12, Optimus Prime #7-10, Transformers Annual 2017, and The Transformers: Salvation

Note: IDW Publishing is still rolling out volumes of Transformers: The IDW Collection Phase 3.

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How About The 2019 Series?

In March 2019, IDW and Hasbro rebooted the Transformers comic book continuity. So far, it has been an enjoyable comics which is a good place to jump on if you look at the above and decide it’s too messy for you.

Because that series is part of a new continuity, I haven’t included it in this reading order. I suspect there will be a need for a reading order for that continuity in the future, but at the moment it’s pretty clean.

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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Comments (64)

  • It may have taken me a couple of months but I’ve finished ALL OF IT. So I just wanted to drop by and thank you, Mr. Van As, I wouldn’t have made it this far without your list!

  • Just a small observation, I believe the order for the final Unicron Saga is a little off, since Unicron #0 happens between pages 13-14 of Optimus Prime #22, and Unicron #1 happens right after it. The Unicron issues should start being read after Optimus Prime #22 I think, not before it. This is because the context for those Unicron issues are established in Optimus Prime #21 and #22, such as why Bumblebee is alive again (#21) and Optimus’ plan with Caminus that’s established in #22. Other than that, great list! This got me through the quite convoluted continuity.

  • Sorry! I realize that wasn’t very specific – I’m looking to just get The Transformers issues 39-42, but there doesn’t seem to be a volume anywhere with just those that I can find.

  • Hello,
    I have the volume Windblade: The Last City, but according to the list it’s missing several parts of the Combiner Wars series. I would rather not buy the Combiner Wars books, since they also contain the Windblade Series. Do you know if there’s a way to just get the Combiner Wars issues? Thank you!

  • Hi there, thx for the list is completely identical to mine, im reading the serie, im really disappointed about the gender matter introduced in TF, i understand that the brand should have had a twist, too much childish the manga storyline, but the last arcs about the lost light is the straw that broke the camel’s back… in my opinion, even the odyssey about Megatron, the feelings about Ravage… and i think that’s the reason cuz they rebooted everything, hoping the new story won’t be ruined… if you happen to post the new chronological order, due to the many series they won’t to introduce, even these series will be mini-serie, A BIG THANKS!

  • Can I just say this list is brilliant! I am a massive fan of transformers, always have been, always will be but I have never before come across just a simple “this is the order, now READ” kind of website but that is exactly what this is! Thank you sooo much!

  • Doesn’t Stormbringer take place between Infiltration #5 and #6? At the end of Stormbringer, Optimus is told he has a message from the Autobots on earth, and then he goes there. At the end of Infiltration #6 Optimus is on Earth. I think it should be changed to Infiltration #1-5, Stormbringer #1-4, then Infiltration #6.

  • Thank you so much for this list, I’ve been going through start to finish and am blown away by how much I’ve been missing. This made it easy to know where to start and what to read when! Thank you!

  • I’ve been collecting up the comics sporadically for awhile (buying binges on sale) and kept accidentally getting some completely out of order. Thank you for this list, I’ve put the comics I have in order but there are a few that aren’t in the list.

    If you still read this, I have a comic collected miniseries called “Police Action” but the book is Chaos. I think these might come in the issues after Heart of Darkness near the end of Phase 1? The collected mini-books are really bad about telling what issues they were originally.

    Also does Regeneration One fit anywhere in these timelines?

  • Hi and thanks for this list. There is also the ongoing series Transformers (2019). Because I haven’t read it yet I’m not sure where is its place

  • Thank you for this comprehensive list! I started reading series in order and then I managed to get the IDW Phase 1 and Phase 2 collections, all 8 volumes in each, and I just started reading it that way. Even though I’m a seasoned comic guy of 43 years it was quite overwhelming to get into TF comics from IDW in early 2019 when they have been doing this property since the early 2000’s. They have done so many series and one shots, yet they all connect either directly or chronologically. I hate reading series out of order so getting all that I could only to find out I missed a series here and there, very frustrating. Once again, thank you for this list and for also having more information about these comics, like why this and why that, instead of just the issue #’s in order. Very helpful!

  • I feel like the reading order in the Unicron section is wrong.

    Optimus Prime #21 seems to precede Unicron #0 and #1, and maybe Optimus Prime #22 and Lost Light #1 and #2 do as well.

    • It’s not part of the IDW canon and ties in with the Bumblebee: Win If You Dare graphic novel released in September 2018.

  • Where does Starscream: The Movie fit into this timeline? It is an IDW publication that covers a lot of important backstory.

    • Hey Derrick, good question. It was originally released digitally as 12 issues before being collected.

  • Minor errors:
    -Blurr starts before and ends just after Orion Pax
    -Nightbeat happens just before Escalation
    -Ultra Magnus coincides with Escalation #1 (though the flashbacks are to right after Soundwave)
    -Sixshot takes place sometime before Infiltration
    -Kup follows indirectly from Stormbringer
    -ROM Annual and ROM vs TF occur in the 19th century, a few decades before Hearts of Steel
    -New Avengers/Transformers occurs before or during Escalation, not after
    -Mirage takes place during the timeskip between Maximum Dinobots and AHM
    -Wheelie begins between Autocracy and Monstrosity (but time-travel so eh)
    – Drift is set “centuries ago” according to Empire of Stone (but ends during the timeskip between AHM and TF’09)
    -The flashback in Jazz is set between Shockwave and Cliffjumper (though the frame is right before AHM)
    -Combiner Hunters takes place around the same time as TF’14 #44
    -Till All Are One #1-4 take place during/before TF’14 #51
    -Revolutionaries and the other Reconstruction series take place entirely before Optimus Prime #1

    Source: TFWiki IDW Timeline

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