IDW Ties a Bow on 13 Years of Storytelling with Transformers: Historia
IDW ended their current iteration of Transformers continuity in November, with the universe shattering event, Unicron. In a comics landscape where Crises and Secret events under-deliver on threats to all of existence, it was a rare, true ending to 13 years of storytelling.
In Tranformers: Historia, Chris McFeely (editor of the Transformers wiki) chronicles the entirety of 13 years of IDW Transformers comics. It’s a useful companion to make sense of a complicated timeline of events crafted by dozens of contributors over those years.
It’s also weighty task, because… well… things got buck wild:
The “monster” was, in fact, the Functionalist-ruled Cybertron from the alternate universe Team Rodimus had previously visited, which the Functionalist Council had transformed into a giant robot form.
Props to any writer tasked with crafting that kind of summary.
This iteration of Transformers produced some of the best moments in the history of comics, particularly in the hands of scribes John Barber and James Roberts.
Barber and Roberts pulled off one of the biggest status quo shakeups in the medium by taking Optimus Prime and Megatron off the board, and ending the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. They stripped away the entire basis of the Transformers universe, and it worked. The comic line became an insightful exploration of how a society built around war deals with peace (but also a comic where a crazed giant robot dinosaur fights a city that is also a transforming robot).
Transformers delivered the expected “transforming robots fight and things blow up” in spades. It also offered genuine laugh-out-loud moments. It made us catch feelings over space robot romance. It contained the only literal “jaw dropping moment” I’ve ever experienced in my 25+ years of reading comics. A comic based on a 30+ year old toy line had no business being this good, but it was.
They weren’t all winners. IDW wove together G.I. Joe, ROM, Micronauts, and a bunch of other toy properties into one universe, much to the expense of Transformers storytelling. Hunter O’Nion happened. We can argue over whether All Hail Megatron was any good. Historia doesn’t pass judgement, content with chronicling everything.
Transformers: Historia is an outstanding summary for the Transformer fan trying to makes sense of a complicated continuity. McFeely deftly navigates time travel, alternate universes, quantum duplicates, and retcons, crafting a definitive history at the end of a universe.
Transformers: Historia is in stores now.