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A monthly Generation 1 series published by IDW Publishing, which picks up the story threads from Transformers: All Hail Megatron three years later and moves the story forward. The series is written by Mike Costa, with monthly art by various artists including Don Figueroa, Alex Milne, Nick Roche and Guido Guidi. Notable for having Optimus Prime resign from active leadership, Bumblebee being put into his place as head of the Earth-based Autobot unit, and Megatron rebuilt into a new, more powerful form. A running theme of the series contrasts the static, unchanging Transformers with the inventive and constantly moving-forward human race.

The series started in November, 2009. Issues 22 and 23 were written by James Roberts of Transformers Last Stand of the Wreckers fame and focused on Prime and Megatron's history. The series ended with issue 31 (December, 2011), along with Costa's tenure on the franchise. Two new titles will take its place, one written by James Roberts and the other by John Barber.


  • Above Good and Evil: How Galvatron views himself. He does things that we the reader would judge as both good and bad, but in his own words he considers himself just "The only future that matters". He wants to save Cybertron but he's perfectly happy to kill, torture and brainwash to do it and he doesn't remotely care about any non-Cybertronian life.
  • Axe Crazy: Arcee, who spent over three years killing Jhiaxus over and over again purely for pleasure.
    • And Menasor, as the result of Swindle's pirated Combiner technology leads to all of the Stunticon personalities being active, instead of the combiner having one unified mind.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Bad boy Spike goes for a spin in a disabled Breakdown and apparently uses the Stunticon's auto mode to pick up chicks, judging by the scantily-clad woman whose house he is seen leaving in issue 2.
  • Anyone Can Die: Sort of. Scrapper is actually dead. Several characters have been at the brink of death but have continued to live, including Bumblebee, Hot Rod and Soundwave. Ironhide dies in the first issue, and the Ironhide that is revived in his own mini-series is not the same character, since his memories come from a backup made thousands of years earlier. The story is written in such a way that major G1 characters appear to be just as vulnerable as any other cannon-fodder C-lister, though most of them are only "near death" and not actually killed off.
  • Big Bad: Swindle is behind many of the things that have happened on Earth that trouble the Autobots, and Spike has been working with him for some time.
  • Call Back: In the first story arc of the ongoing, to Swindle and Ultra Magnus's rivalry, with Swindle being such a crook that even the Decepticons wouldn't have him and Ultra Magnus being a "by the book" space cop.
  • Dangerous Deserter : Thundercracker. Hot Rod also qualifies.
  • Death Is Cheap: Galvatron and his army were all dead at one time or another and have all been ressurected by the "Heart of Darkness" respectively.
    • Generally averted however. Most Transformers that have died over the course of IDW's Transformers comics have remained dead. The "resurrected" Ironhide is actually a backup of his memories from millions of years ago, and it's not clear if Hot Rod/Rodimus was dead or just very badly damaged.
  • Depending on the Artist: A major complaint from readers was that the model for any given Transformer would change depending on who was drawing the book. This was a deliberate editorial choice, but has now changed so that character models are consistent, while allowing for differences in artistic style.
    • Continuity seems to take a hit on this too, making one wonder where the editorial focus was on. Hot Rod/Rodimus is shot by Megatron in his new body, with the Matrix still attached to him as he's drifting in space. But in a recap by a different artist, Megatron is drawn with his classic gun body while the Matrix is blown off Rodimus.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Megatron was a lowly miner, and poet until he was abused by Whirl of Autobot Police Force.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Megatron delivers one to Prime, asserting that the only reason Prime isn't a nobody is because of the war and implying that the only reason Optimus has never killed him when he had the chance is because he wouldn't know what to do without a war to fight and Megatron to stand against.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Where there are Autobots, Decepticons will follow. Where there are Decepticons, Autobots will turn up. Where both are, death and destruction always follow. Despite their best efforts the Autobots can't shake off the stigma off warring monsters humanity, heck, most of the galaxy, sees them as.
  • Hope Spot: Issue 21. After increasingly grim events on Earth, this issue sees Optimus finally get the Matrix back, dead/lost Autobots return to the fold and they learn that Cybertron, their homeworld, is once again habitable after millions of years
  • Humans Are Bastards: How Megatron views the human race and how he's desperate to make Optimus view them as well, even setting up a highly complicated plan just to try and make Prime lose faith in humanity.
  • Humans Are Special: A major theme of the ongoing series. Transformers live for millions of years and only change and adapt very slowly, while humans are constantly changing and moving forward. Both Thundercracker and Optimus Prime have expressed this idea.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Variation. This Galvatron has no relation to Megatron or Unicron, even though he's been used in every other continuty as Megatron's powered up form.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Skywatch has become very good at taking down Tranformers by reverse-engineering Tranformer technology either scavenged or captured. Megatron himself was nearly killed by Spike using a weapon created in this way, leading to an entirely new body as the only way to save his life.
  • Jerkass: Spike Witwicky, who has been involved in (so far) unrevealed unpleaseant procedures performed on captured Cybertronians and murdered a wounded and surrendering Decepticon in cold blood, despite the fact it wasn't actively trying to harm humans, purely for revenge. Yet he's perfectly happy to pretend to be the Autobot's friend, despite the fact he's only interested in getting their help to hunt down Decepticons.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: This, coupled with extensive redesigns from artist Don Figueroa, resulted in splash crowd pages featuring identifying captions for all characters present.
  • Merchandise-Driven
  • Shrouded in Myth: Alpha Trion, a near legendary Transformer and almost borderline religious figure is revealed to be...a self righteous, manipulative, cowardly braggart who uses other Cybertronians for his own goals. His only redeeming feature is that he does genuinely want to help fix the mess that has been made of Cybertron but the way he goes about it, using and manpulating other Transformers is disturbingly simmilar to Galvatron's methods. Ironhide gets so fed up with his arrogance that he actually hits him.
  • Start of Darkness: Megatron: Origin was meant to be this for Megatron, though sadly despite the occasional good bit it was NOT well received. Issue 22/23 of the Ongoing serve as a new Start of Darkness for Megatron, tying in with Megatron Origin while expanding and improving on it.
  • The Igor: Jhiaxus was this to Nemesis Prime and has now become this to Galvatron, handling the technical and scientific matters that Galvatron himself has little interest in attending to. He even has a hunchback in the IDW continuity in what is surely a reference to this trope
  • Theme Naming: The Chaos issues were named after biblical books (Lamentations, Numbers, Kings, Genesis)
  • Utopia: the Cybertron and associated Transformer worlds from the future, as seen in "Pax Cybertronia"
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Megatron's excuse for the endless parade of horrific crimes he's commited, claiming that when his Decepticons rule the universe he intends to create a new order where there is no war, poverty or inequality with him as it's ruler.
    • Though it should be noted that that's only for CYBERTRONIANS. He views the rest of the universe as inferior, and believes that the Cybertronians should rule over them.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: "Peace through tyranny."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: As we already knew from Megatron Origins, the war got started because Cybertron in its so called "Golden Age" was anything but, with a priveleged few lording it over the rest with casual cruelty. Cybertronian society resembled the last days of Imperial Rome or more disturbingly, the early days of fascist Germany. And then Megatron came onto the scene and lead a bloody and brutal revolution, despite originally being interested in less violent means of social change. Up until his friend Impactor (Later to become one of the "Heroic" Autobots) and the casual cruelties of the Auobots convinced him that violence was the only solution. So essentially the Autobots have themselves to blame for creating one of the most ruthless world conquering war criminals in the universe AND for starting a war that destroyed their home planet.
    • And it's hardly limited to Impactor, as the Autobot controlled Cybertron was also apparently a place wherea kind of Apartheid was in place for a LONG time. And oh yes, the Autobot recruits got their jollies by bullying and beating others because they could get away with it.
      • While all of this is a fair indictment of the Autobot regime, it doesn't free Megatron from moral culpability for his later brutal actions (most notably is that the Decepticons don't conquer planets in this continuity, they |pillage them and then burn them to the ground). Issue 22 shows that even then, Optimus Prime was a fair-minded and just individual who didn't agree with his government on every issue. Megatron's writings made an impact on him. Sadly, Whirl's cruelty was what Megatron chose to respond to rather than Optimus Prime's reasonableness. He didn't have to make that choice.
    • Then there's Spike Witwicky, who cold bloodedly murders Scrapper. It's rapidly becoming clear that Spike is in fact no hero at all.
    • Whirl and Sideswipe's treatment of the Neutrals in the Death of Optimus Prime one-shot. (With implicit complicity from all the other Autobots except Optimus Prime.) And Prowl siccing the Decepticons on them, at the end. Rodimus points out the obvious consequences that will come of that at the end.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Prime yells this very question at Megatron after unsuccessfully trying to kill him.
    • While not outright asking him this question, Megatron does lampshade the fact that Optimus Prime is just as unkillable as he is in #22.

 Megatron: Didn't kill you, though, did it? Nothing ever does.

    • They spend the first part of the issue trying to one-up each other with these stories. Hell, the second time they met, Megatron killed thousands of Autobots while Optimus chopped of his arm.[1] They go over Megatron tearing off half of Optimus's face with an energy flail, and later trapping him in an anti-matter chamber. Then, Megatron brings up the time he was sliced in half, shoulder to crotch, a time where he was blown to smithereens by living explosions, and a time where he was stuck in gun mode for two years.
  1. "Which arm?" "The cannon arm. You always go for the cannon arm."