There have been many publishers of a books (some with accompanying audio cassettes) bearing the name Transformers
based on the toy lines
of the same name. Most common are Ladybird Books
and Kid Stuff
Autobots' Lightning Strike
Autobots' Lightning Strike
is a children's book and companion audio cassette. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Mike Collins and Mark Farmer. It was published in 1985.
The Autobots are amazed by the power of a thunderstorm
and Optimus Prime
to build a collector to store the energy given off by the next storm. Laserbeak
discovers the lightning rod
and informs the Decepticons, but Soundwave mistakes it for a giant transmission antenna. Although Starscream
and Rumble attempt to destroy the object, Megatron
stops them and leads the Decepticons to the object in hopes of learning what message the Autobots are sending, and who they are contacting. Once inside the base, the Decepticons are caught in the energy of a storm and are forced to retreat. The Autobot plan to use the energy to help them repair their ship and eventually return to Cybertron
, leaving humanity with the technology to collect energy from lightning.
Bluestreak, Gears, Hound, Huffer, Jazz, Laserbeak, Megatron, Mirage, Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Ravage, Rumble, Sideswipe, Soundwave, Sparkplug Witwickey, Spike Witwickey, Starscream and Sunstreaker.
- As with all of the Ladybird titles (with the exception of the movie adaptation), the illustrations of the Autobots and Decepticons look more like the toys and box art than their animated series counterparts.
- Ravage is referred to as a mechanical hound, not a jaguar.
- Spike was noted to be a young engineering student in this story.
- Rumble was depicted in toy-accurate red and black colors.
- Optimus Prime's laser rifle is depicted as being gold in colour compared to its usual black or dark blue.
Megatron's Fight For Power
Megatron's Fight For Power is a children's book and companion audio cassette. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Mike Collins and Mark Farmer. It was published in 1985.
Whilst on a routine recon mission, Laserbeak
detects a solar power
research station. The Deceptions attack the station, siphoning the power to fill their energon cubes. Starscream
makes an unsuccessful attempt to oust Megatron
as leader. The Autobots arrive and battle ensues. The Decepticons are defeated when Spike sabotages the solar collector, destroying the energon cubes.
- Transformers also featuring in this story include Gears, Mirage, Huffer, Soundwave, Ironhide, Rumble and Hound.
Autobots Fight Back
Autobots Fight Back
is a children's book with companion audio cassette (as with the other titles in the series, the book was also available separately). It was written by John Grant, illustrated by Mike Collins and Mark Farmer and published in 1985.
to spy on the Deceptions.He overhears Megatron
and the other senior Deceptions discussing the fact they need space to test their ship's new ion-drive. Bumblebee is chased from the area by Ravage, ironically leading him to an abandoned railway tunnel
that exactly suits the Decepticons' purposes. The Autobots manage to locate the Decepticons' position by monitoring their radio waves and Spike
suggests they take advantage of a car rally being held nearby. Spike and Jazz
enter the rally and manage to slip away and locate the Decepticons. As the Autobots launch an attack, Spike and Jazz send an old wagon train
crashing through the tunnel, destroying the Decepticons' ion drive.
- Other Transformers featured in the story include Soundwave, Starscream, Hound, Trailbreaker, Ironhide and Ratchet. One of the illustrations depicts a character who appear to be Rumble.
- Spike makes a comment that suggests he and his father live with the Autobots: he notes that unlike Autobots they need to eat and they seem to rely on them for transport.
- One of the illustrations appears to contain a mistake in that in the final battle Jazz is depicted standing alongside Optimus Prime and the other Autobots when the text states he is at the other end of the tunnel with Spike. (The illustration also features another Autobot who isn't seen clearly enough for a positive identification but might be Bluestreak.)
- This was the last of the original three books released and ends with Optimus Prime and Spike debating whether or not the Decepticons survived the destruction of the tunnel. However, a fourth title would soon follow.
is a children's book and companion audio cassette. It was published 1985.
to learn more about the humans, despite Starscream
's protests that humans were weak and insignificant. Observing a windmill
, Laserbeak came into contact with power lines, became trapped in cassette form and was found by some humans. Both the Decepticons and Autobots monitored Laserbeak's radio report. Hound
were sent to investigate. When they discovered the Decepticons observing the windmill, they called for backup. Optimus Prime
assembled a battle unit of Ironhide
and Cliffjumper, leaving Ratchet
in charge of their headquarters. Meanwhile, Laserbeak was taken to a disco
, where playing him re-energized his circuits and he flew off to rejoin the Decepticons. Sparkplug
explained to the Autobots the windmill's technology, as Megatron was interested in a mechanical device that didn't generate a magnetic field. A battle broke out over the windmill, in which Starscream panicked when he learned the windmill was immune to his null rays. Rumble
destroyed the windmill during the battle and the Decepticons retreated, with no new technology to take. Optimus Prime expressed his regrets over the destruction that occurred. However, Spike points out that no-one had any idea about the battle that occurred as the local paper reported that a freak storm had destroyed the windmill.
In this story's accompanying book Cliffjumper
was depicted in his yellow variant, not his usual red one.
Galvatron's Air Attack
Galvatron's Air Attack
is a children's book with optional companion audio cassette.It was published in 1986.
With the Autobots running low on supplies of the Cybertronian metals they need for repairs, Kup
suggests visiting the scene of an old battle between them and the Deceptions to see if anything was left behind. However the search is halted by an ambush by the Decepticon planes
. Worried about how Galvatron
knew where they were, Ultra Magnus
sends out first the Aerialbots
, discovering the Decepticons have three shielded satellites which can monitor the whole of the Earth's surface. The Autobots use an artificial Northern lights
to cut out communications then send a fake message that causes the three satellites, unable to see each other, to collide, destroying them. The Autobots then salvage the metals they need from the wreckage.
- For the second series of two books, an extra paragraph was added to the prologue explaining how Galvatron had travelled back from the 21st century to take over from Megatron as Decepticon commander and following the "strange disappearance" of Optimus Prime Ultra Magnus had arrived from Cybertron as the Autobots' new leader. This does not match any scenario in the comic or animated series continuities.
- In addition to the "New Leaders", these books brought in several of the other newer characters such as the Special Teams.
- Blitzwing is referred to as commanding one of the Decepticon stations. Intriguingly, there is nothing to indicate he survived its destruction.
is a children's book with optional companion audio cassette. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Graham Potts. It was published in 1986.
The Decepticons launch a surprise attack on the Autobot base, leading the Autobots to realise they have established a base close by. Bumblebee
follows a Decepticon recovery crew to an abandoned warehouse on a nearby industrial estate
. At the suggestion of Spike's father
, the Autobots take up position in a neighbouring building then, when the estate is closed for holidays, launch an attack on the Decepticons. Ultra Magnus
end up in single combat and when Galvatron appears triumphant Spike
strikes him with a wrecking ball before bringing a wall down on the Decepticons, causing them to retreat.
- Other Transformers featured in the story include Hot Rod, Mirage, Hound, Huffer, Onslaught, Brawl, Swindle and Grapple.
- The illustrators had obviously given up on sourcing characters to appear as background figures since some illustrations are drawn so as to make the characters unrecognisable.
- As in Laserbeak's Fury, it is stated the Autobots have a rule that the property of Earth people must not be harmed, hence they rebuild the damage done to the industrial estate before the humans return.
Decepticons at the Pole
Decepticons at the Pole
is a children's book with optional companion audio cassette. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Barry Rowell. It was published in 1988.
Seeking a new energy source, the Decepticons decide, on the advice of their Nebulan
partners, to build an energy convertor at the pole and harness cosmic energy via Nebulos' magnetic field. The Autobots discover the plan and realise that interfering with the energy flow will doom the planet. When Cyclonus
refuses to listen to reason, they launch an attack and destroy the energy pyramid. The Decepticons then make a second attempt, by moving Scorponok
and the entire Decepticon force to the pole and then establishing a more complex energy converter. The Autobots launch an attack during which Kup
manage to melt the permafrost
under the converter and collapse it.
- Another new prologue is added, referring to the Transformers relocating to Nebulos. The books now focus solely on the Headmaster and Targetmaster characters.
- In this book and the subsequent one, the Autobots are shown to be led by Hot Rod and the Decepticons by Cyclonus. Again this seems to place them firmly outside either TV or comic continuity.
- Other Transformers featured in the book include Brainstorm, Highbrow, Crossfire, Hardhead, Scourge, Apeface, Skullcruncher, Triggerhappy and Slugslinger. Misfire is also mentioned.
- Nebulans mentioned include Vorath, Arcana and Aimless. Curiously, Hot Rod's partner is referred to as Sparks, as in the comics, as opposed to Firebolt as in the toy line.
- Scorponok is here portrayed as simply a transforming Decepticon base (base to scorpion and back again) of limited intelligence, with no mention of his robot mode.
- Oddly, although Brainstorm is referred to in the text as leading the first Autobot attack one of the illustrations depicts Hot Rod among the group.
Autobots Strike Oil
Autobots Strike Oil
is a children's book with optional companion audio cassette. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Barry Rowell.It was published in 1988.
The Autobots are running low on oil so Hot Rod
to investigate a Nebulan
legend about underground oil reserves. The pair locate an oil lake, unaware they are being observed by Weirdwolf
. Under Brainstorm's
direction, the Autobots construct a pipeline
between the lake and their base. Cyclonus
and the Decepticons attack and damage the pipe. Kup
repair the pipe, better concealing it in the process, but come under attack from the Decepticons. However, they manage to defeat them by luring them into the gulley full of spilt oil, causing them to lose their footing.
is a children's book with optional companion audio cassette. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Glenn Stewart. It was published in 1988.
Nothing has been heard of the Decepticons for some time so Optimus Prime
sends out patrols to find out what they are doing. Soon all of Nebulos has been searched except the Nebulos Triangle, an area of electronic interference. A patrol comprising Quickswitch
is sent to the area and, after encountering difficulties with navigation and a whirlpool, they uncover an underground Decepticon base. After a chase through the tunnels, Scoop manages to block off the base's surface exit and Quickmix finishes the job by coating the rocks with rapid-set concrete
- In this book and the following one, the Autobots are led by the Powermaster Optimus Prime.
- Other newer characters, such as the Double Headmaster and Targetmasters, were introduced.
- Other Autobots featured in the book include Kup, Highbrow and Brainstorm. Among those depicted in the illustrations appear to be Hosehead as well as Grapple and Hoist, neither of whom is usually depicted amongst the Transformers on Nebulos.
- Oddly no Decepticons are named in the text but the illustrations appear to feature Fangry, Crankcase and Squeezeplay.
is a children's book with optional companion audio cassette. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Glenn Steward.It was published in 1988.
While on solo patrol, Highbrow
is captured by the Decepticon Tentakil
sends a message to the Autobots
promising to release him if Optimus Prime
gives himself up. Optimus Prime surrenders but also smuggles Hosehead
into the Decepticon base. As expected, Scorponok fails to keep his side of the bargain but the two Autobots manage to free both Optimus Prime and Highbrow and after a brief battle they make their escape.
- The Decepticons are now shown to be led by Scorponok, who is portrayed closer to his cartoon and comic counterparts.
- Other Transformers featured in the story include Kup, Spinister and Cindersaur. The only Nebulan referred to by name is Cambo.
- Although unnamed in the text, the two Decepticons who capture Optimus Prime are depicted in the illustrations as Dreadwind and Darkwing. Another illustration features an Autobot who appears to be Scoop.
Satellite of Doom
Satellite of Doom
is a book and audio story. It was published in 1985.
In the 1985 audio and book adventure Satellite of Doom Megatron
kidnap thousands of humans and force them to bury tons of coal in the desert. Sealing the humans in the cave they set off high temperature explosives that turn the carbon in the coal and humans into a gigantic diamond lens that they plan to launch into space. Bumblebee
discovers the Decepticon launching site and Optimus Prime
to take it out, but he fails. Megatron launches the lens into space and uses it to focus the sun's rays and melt the shale in the Rocky Mountains into oil. Optimus again sends Skyfire to stop the lens and Prowl
to build extra fuel tanks for the Autobot jet's trip to space. Despite his best efforts the diamond is unharmed and Skyfire burns up on reentry of Earth's atmosphere. As the boiling oil threatens to kill millions on the West Coast, the Autobots build a mile long mirror to reflect the lens rays back on it, shattering it. The Autobots launch an assault on Megatron's base, but the Decepticon leader and Soundwave escape in their drilling mole machine.
- During this adventure Jetfire is known by his animated series name Skyfire. He is also depicted in his animated series form, not that of his toy.
- During this story Skyfire is killed.
The Lost Treasure of Cybertron
The Lost Treasure of Cybertron
is a story and coloring book published by Marvel Books in 1986. It is written by Sonya Black Woods
and illustrated by Frank Springer
and Phil Lord.
While out on a leisurely drive, the Autobots and Daniel stop to rest and eat. While relaxing, Kup
tells them the story of the lost treasure of Cybertron - a supply of energon cubes
which were loaded on the Ark before it left Cybertron. A supply which was lost in the crash. Hot Rod
decides they should try to find the energon, and the other Autobots agree. Laserbeak
, who has been spying on the Autobots, flies home to let Galvatron
know about the cubes. Ultra Magnus
leads the Autobots Arcee
, Hot Rod, Kup, Sideswipe
to Mt. St. Hilary. Meanwhile Galvatron leads the Decepticons Bonecrusher
, Laserbeak, Ramjet
to the other side of the mountain. They discover each other and fighting ensues. During the fight, Rumble accidentally unearths the crate containing the energon. During the struggle the crate is broken open by Grimlock and then Starscream shoves most of the energon into his mouth, and declares himself leader of the Decepticons. He fights with Galvatron, and the Autobots leave.
This book is clearly written by people who have not seen the Transformers movie yet, but had models and notes about the characters. It features several characters who seemingly died in the movie working along side ones created in the movie later. In this book, Daniel's father seems to be Buster Witwicky from the comics, not Spike.
In this book Galvatron's starship is called "Cyclonus", but appears to be a giant version of Scourge's vehicle mode. Oddly, Scourge is among the Decepticon troops inside the ship. Cyclonus himself does not appear in the story.
Rumble, who is illustrated on the cover, follows his toy-accurate colors of red and black, not his colors from the animated series.
Autobot City, as illustrated in this book, appears as a futuristic space city, looking nothing like Autobot City from the movie.
Frank Springer, one of the illustrators credited for this book, was also a regular artist for the Marvel Comics Transformers series.
With the revival of the Transformers comics by Dreamwave Productions
in 2002, a new trilogy of novels (Hardwired
) appeared written first by Scott Ciencin
and later by David Cian
. The first book was written by Ciencin, while the latter two are written by Cian. In this period, a short story anthology entitled Legends
, edited by Cian and Steven Roman, also appeared.
Set in the Dreamwave continuity at a point between their first and second Generation One miniseries
followed Prime, Megatron, Jazz and other Transformers as they were abducted by a mysterious alien race known as the Keepers and forced to fight in gladiatorial combat. On Earth, Starscream
took command of the Decepticons and took over Las Vegas
, leaving Grimlock
(not trusted due to his actions in the first miniseries) to lead the remaining Autobots to stop him. The novel ended with the abducted Transformers returning to Earth - with Bluestreak
and several humans possessed by the Keepers.
, Megatron attempts to reclaim his leadership of the Decepticons, but is defeated by Starscream and Devastator
as Prime attempts to rally the Autobots. Megatron walks out of the Decepticons with a band of devoted followers to ally with the Autobots against the Keepers (who now possess many of the Autobots and Decepticons). They defeat them, but Megatron claims his "favor" for helping the Autobots - to become the next Matrix
, Prime gives Megatron the Matrix, unwilling to break his word of honor, as the possessed Autobots and Decepticons return to normal. However, the Keepers are not yet defeated and plan to return to Earth via a warpgate as the US military tries once more to destroy all the Transformers. In the end, the Keepers are defeated when Megatron's reprogrammed Omega Sentinel
, turned good by exposure to the Matrix, sacrifices itself and Devastator to close the gate.
A short story anthology edited by Cian, Legends offered 13 short stories from all eras of Transformers up to that point - G1, Beast Wars
, Beast Machines
and Transformers: Armada
. Written by such writers as Simon Furman
, David Bischoff
, John Miller
and others, the stories included an amnesiac Starscream learning what it means to be an Autobot, a first person viewpoint of Megatron
's actions in Beast Machines, and a special story where Optimus Prime, the first and third series incarnations of Optimus Primal
and Armada Optimus Prime
meet in a limbo realm (interpreted as a bar) during their various deaths.
Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday
To promote the upcoming live action movie
, Ballantine books released a prequel novel set in 1969. The plot revolved around a human craft reverse engineered by examination of the frozen Megatron
being sent into space and encountering the Autobots and Decepticons. Originally scheduled to be written by Cian, the novel was written instead by Alan Dean Foster