comic by Marvel was the first and arguably the best known Transformers comic. Although it was originally intended to be a 4-issue limited series, it expanded into an ongoing series, which ran for 80 issues before being cancelled.
The final cover read "80 in a 4 issue limited series". Issues #5–15, 17-32, 35-42 and 44-56 were written by Bob Budiansky
, with Marvel UK writer Simon Furman
taking over for the remainder of the comic. The comic did not attempt to follow the show and some elements and characters were completely absent. Most notably was the absence of characters from season 3 like Ultra Magnus
and the Quintessons
(with the exception of a stand alone issue which adapted "The Big Broadcast of 2006
"). The comic started much the same as the show; a crew crash landing the Ark on Earth in the distant past. They are befriended by Buster Witwicky
. His brother Spike eventually joins the cause as Autobot leader when he became the head of commander Fortress Maximus
. There occurs a considerable amount of fractioning and in-fighting in both the Autobots and Decepticons. However the series climax occurs when both sides, Autobots and Decepticons, form an uneasy peace to defend Cybertron from Unicron
. Simon Furman
himself says the final issues of the US Transformers comic are his favourite.
A few of the early issues were reprinted by Marvel in a digest sized magazine called The Transformers Comics Magazine
that ran 10 issues from 1987-1988.
Marvel had also reprinted some of these early issues in 1985, as the Transformers Collected Comics
which ran 2 issues.
In latter years, when various other companies were able to obtain the license for the Transformers
, they were able to gain access to the Marvel series and reprinted a lot of the issues. From 2001-2003, Titan Books
reprinted numerous Marvel issues in a series of 14 trade paperbacks.
Years later they were able to do more reprints but only in the U.K market. IDW Publishing
(the current rights holders to the Transformers comic property) reprinted numerous Marvel issues as well, as part of the Transformers: Generations
series that ran 12 issues
and a collected trade paperback from 2006-2007.
Issues were also reprinted in The Transformers Magazine
, that ran four issues
in 2007, while other collections were published (most notably the Classic Transformers
collections) in 2008 and 2009.
Another new volume called Transformers Classics Vol. 1
was published in June 2011
while a 100 Penny Press: Transformers Classics #1
mini edition was also published in June 2011.
Some issues were also reprinted in the hardcover book Transformers: The Best Of Simon Furman
in July 2007.[