Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Saturday, November 24th, 2018 12:09PM CST

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Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are our opinions so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.


Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

The title says it all. In light of one of the most significant eras of Transformers comics ending last wednesday, I thought of concentrating on the comics side of the brand and looking at all the beauty that adorned them throughout the years.


10. Transformers UK 322 By Stewart Johnson

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

For those who do not know, issues in the US were split up in the UK. For instance, issue 75, which dealt with the autobots vs Unicron was split up into 4 issues. And all those issues get their own cover. the finale, issue 322, has this wonderful shot of us inside Unicron looking at Optimus about to enter it's mouth using the Matrix to light their darkest hour. It makes for a truly awesome shot that I find much more impressive and evoking than most of the more recent Unicron themed covers we have gotten.


9. The Transformers #60 by José Delbo and #67 by Jim Lee

When looking at classic Transformers covers, you will come across a lot from José Delbo, who I truly believe is on of the best of that era. And of course, there is Jim Lee, who I don't think needs an introduction. I had a hard time choosing between both these shots since I love them for the exact same reason: both use perspective to show the Decepticon threat. With Galvatron, you feel the hopelessness that all is lost while with Bludgeon you can feel the dread of the autobots where the fight seems already pretedermined even if they are higher in number (and include Grimlock!!).

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time


8. Transformers vs G.I.Joe #2 By Jae Lee and June Chung

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Jae Lee is an incredible artist and as someone who has seen him draw live, it is truly mind boggling that the lifelike quality he brings to drawings can be done with no reference and no digital effects. That's why even the smallest of Transformers (Ravage in this case) can look so nightmarish and immense. While he has drawn characters who may be more popular in higher profile books he is very proud of his work on this book to this day and it is hard not to see why.


7. Transformers: Till All Are One #10 by Sara Pitre Durocher

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

While Sara Pitre Durocher is a fine monthly artist, her cover work is just on another level as you can see above. She is like the Transformers' equivalent of Alex Ross and Marko Djurdjevic. While the cover above is my favourite of the lot, the whole arc run is a very good lesson in composition and the effect of symmetry.

6. Transformers: Unicron #3 by Nick Roche

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

We have the best Transformers artist we have ever had on the books right now. However when it comes to covers, many put just too much. While that amount of detail on any Alex Milne Unicron cover is astounding, a simpler composition can be more striking and eye catching, as we saw in the fist Unicron cover mentioned on this list. Nick Roche, another all star, defied the conventional standard by giving us as much if not more detail than any modern day cover artist but in a clean and smart composition, making this one of the most eye catching and awe inspiring covers of all time. It is a great companion piece to the Stewart Johnson shot from above by focusing on a different angle, making this as epic as possible.

5. The Transformers: Windblade #3 by Sarah Stone

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

This was one of the favourite covers of my mentor on this site and I will leave you with his succint review:
This one will always hold a place in my spark casing. - Va'al


4. Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #28 by Alex Milne

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Not only does this cover show us of Megatron's new allegiance (WHAAAAAAT????) it did it in the most playful and fun way. That cover is an homage to Roche homaging Maguire (DC's Justice League), as Milne signed it.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Which was then subsequently re-homaged by Roche (homaging Milne homaging Roche homaging Maguire) and then by Jack Lawrence.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Its a great cover layout too, giving you a sense of all the main players in the team.


3. All Hail Megatron #1 by Trevor Hutchison as well as Casey Coller and Josh Burcham.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

This storyline has its fair share of dislike from the community, deserving so, but you have to give credit where credit's due, it had incredible covers. Two of the all time most eye catching covers in the history of the brand were used for the first issue. I adore the standard propaganda-esque poster which just sums up perfectly what the series aspired to be: the story where Megatron finally wins. Peace through Tyranny never looked so good.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

For those not in the know, one of the greatest comic book covers of all time (if not THE best) is Brian Bolland's cover for Batman: The Killing Joke and it perfectly recreated with Megatron and Reflector. Both Brian Bolland and Casey Coller hold a very special place in my heart in terms of their art so seeing the product of both truly is a treat. It's crazy to think that both awesome Transformers covers described here happen to be for the same issue, that means I can cover two entries in one go!


2. The Transformers #80 by Andrew Wildman

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time

Marvel US issue #80's Andrew Wildman cover is just about as perfect as it gets. It represents all the hopelessness of knowing it's the end, but despite another hero being in the foreground about to get cut down by Bludgeon, there's that shadow of Prime in the background that always feels like it arrived just at the right moment. To this day, this cover gives me chills. Circumstances have been just plain bad for months in the comic for the Autobots and our other heroes, including you because for the last year only very few shops were sporadically getting in new issues. Despite being a little bit lost about the totality of events, among all that darkness and ruin you see that shadow back there. In some form, in some way, Optimus Prime is going to show up and save the day. It all might be about to end, but the bad guys are finally going to get what's coming to them. - Scotty P


1. The Transformers #5 by Mark Bright

More than three decades later and this comic cover still stands unrivaled and has only kept growing more iconic. With only one character on the cover, we can gather what happened (or what will happen). Just the smoke coming from Shockwave's cannon tells us that all hope is lost. The fact that the artist replicates many mechanical details from the toy but in a pose impossible for said toy to be in adds a great sense of realism to this image which is enhanced by the textured feel of the cover thanks to the mixture of light and shadow. This gave us the best sense of what Shockwave would look like in the real world, where we would have no chance of defeating him. I can keep talking but I fail to see the point when all you need to do to see that this is the greatest cover of all time is just to give it a glance.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time
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Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995245)
Posted by mentre83 on November 24th, 2018 @ 12:36pm CST
Number 1 was a given, also having at least one of from All Hail Megatron, since they were probably the only real reson to buy those comics back then.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995246)
Posted by Caelus on November 24th, 2018 @ 12:40pm CST
I still have a fondness for some of the G2 covers, though I imagine that's more sentimentality than anything.

A standout in my memory though was a Dreamwave cover showing Jazz through a ventilated Insecticon. The Jetfire vs Sunstorm cover was memorable too, but I think that's just because it had an unusually (for Transformers) superheroey feel to it.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995247)
Posted by william-james88 on November 24th, 2018 @ 12:46pm CST
Caelus wrote:I still have a fondness for some of the G2 covers, though I imagine that's more sentimentality than anything.

A standout in my memory though was a Dreamwave cover showing Jazz through a ventilated Insecticon. The Jetfire vs Sunstorm cover was memorable too, but I think that's just because it had an unusually (for Transformers) superheroey feel to it.


Yeah, thats a cool one

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Can you post the Jazz one you reffer to?
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995251)
Posted by Seibertron on November 24th, 2018 @ 1:59pm CST
These would have to be some of my favorites ...

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Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995260)
Posted by Emerje on November 24th, 2018 @ 3:03pm CST
Issue 5 seemed like the obvious choice for number one, but I always get nervous going down the lists and wondering if my opinion is in the minority. :lol:

Honorable mention really should have gone to G2 issue one with its already striking foil cover, but also the gate fold door with more art underneath (which I can't find a picture of anywhere, I guess nobody wants to open it all the way and risk damage).

I'm also very partial to the Revolution toy covers.

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Emerje
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995262)
Posted by Ultra Markus on November 24th, 2018 @ 3:10pm CST
is this limited to g1 or idw i thought this was epic
coverlg.jpg
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995302)
Posted by Easy Tiger on November 24th, 2018 @ 6:43pm CST
william-james88 wrote:
Which was then subsequently re-homaged by Roche (homaging Milne homaging Roche homaging Maguire) and Milne again.

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I hadn't ever picked up on the composition homaging before, but I think that last cover's actually by Jack Lawrence.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995304)
Posted by william-james88 on November 24th, 2018 @ 6:48pm CST
Easy Tiger wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
Which was then subsequently re-homaged by Roche (homaging Milne homaging Roche homaging Maguire) and Milne again.

Image

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I hadn't ever picked up on the composition homaging before, but I think that last cover's actually by Jack Lawrence.


Of course it is! Gonna go change that now, thanks.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995309)
Posted by william-james88 on November 24th, 2018 @ 7:34pm CST
Ultra Markus wrote:is this limited to g1 or idw i thought this was epic
coverlg.jpg

There has been so many covers, of course you may not see your favourite on this list. That's why there arent any honourable mentions, the entire comments section is the honourable mentions for this list :) I tried to make it diverse per artist and era and book. I even asked 2 other big comic book fans to join me in this and their pics are there (one went for G1 era while the other went IDW). And Dreamwave isn't ignored, its there through that Jae Lee cover for the GI Joe crossover.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995312)
Posted by Caelus on November 24th, 2018 @ 7:51pm CST
william-james88 wrote:
Caelus wrote:I still have a fondness for some of the G2 covers, though I imagine that's more sentimentality than anything.

A standout in my memory though was a Dreamwave cover showing Jazz through a ventilated Insecticon. The Jetfire vs Sunstorm cover was memorable too, but I think that's just because it had an unusually (for Transformers) superheroey feel to it.


Yeah, thats a cool one

Can you post the Jazz one you reffer to?


I can't find it - maybe it was a splash page? Promo art? Or I'm crazy. Would have been from vol 3 around issue 7-9.

Though in looking for it I did find this cover I'd forgotten about:


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Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995320)
Posted by Caelus on November 24th, 2018 @ 9:24pm CST
Aha! I found the picture in the depths of my computer. I guess it wasn't a cover after all.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995337)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on November 25th, 2018 @ 2:26am CST
I dunno. I love the Shockwave cover but the others don't do much for me (I'm really not into ones that are just obvious homages/rip-offs of well known covers either, I tend to find those lazy and cheesey). I'm much more into Geoff Senior covers, particularly these that relate to the content inside too (there were more but 10 attachments is the limit) and these are just limited to the Marvel UK G1 era but I like a lot of his other stuff particularly many of the alternate covers to Regeneration One (about the only series I regularly bought from IDW, as I didn't care much for their own continuity).

MarvelUK-117.jpg
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Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995368)
Posted by Seibertron on November 25th, 2018 @ 10:42am CST
Carnivius_Prime wrote:I dunno. I love the Shockwave cover but the others don't do much for me (I'm really not into ones that are just obvious homages/rip-offs of well known covers either, I tend to find those lazy and cheesey).


I agree with this, especially once I find out that it's an homage cover. One of the more popular covers, the Megatron with Reflector Joker rip-off cover, has always been one of my least favorites for the very reason you mentioned above. It's not original.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995377)
Posted by bluecatcinema on November 25th, 2018 @ 1:57pm CST
I always did like that Justice League homage cover.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995410)
Posted by ScottyP on November 25th, 2018 @ 8:53pm CST
Seibertron wrote:These would have to be some of my favorites ...

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That's an iconic cover, but I've never been a big fan of it. Giant Optimus squishes Starscream while Gears flies in front. Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan's disembodied head floats in the background laughing. Nightmare fuel! :lol:

TF UK #1 got a much cooler cover:
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Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995414)
Posted by Seibertron on November 25th, 2018 @ 10:17pm CST
ScottyP wrote:
Seibertron wrote:These would have to be some of my favorites ...

Image
That's an iconic cover, but I've never been a big fan of it. Giant Optimus squishes Starscream while Gears flies in front. Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan's disembodied head floats in the background laughing. Nightmare fuel! :lol:

TF UK #1 got a much cooler cover:
Image


Man, no wonder Hasbro and Takara are so screwed trying to please fans. I've never been a big fan of that TF UK #1 cover. It's OK, but oddly places Soundwave against Optimus and just looks like a typical "this guy fights this guy" cover instead of something unique like the paint Marvel TF #1 cover that is just so iconic to me, laughing Dad or no (which I just always interpreted as a smiling father with his son, just enjoying life). I'm surprised that I'm not that keen on that cover because I absolutely love when the Transformers are drawn in their toy styles instead of their animated models. For whatever reason, it's one of my favorite art styles of vintage Transformers (i.e. Find Your Adventures Junior Novels have some of my favorite Transformers art of all places).

Maybe it's the age gap and I have years of nostalgia behind that book. My first Marvel TF book was issue #4 which my Dad bought for me at Perry Drugs in Michigan, back when comics were on those spinning comic racks that you rarely see anywhere anymore. I started buying the Transformers comics monthly from there on. Going to the drug store, grocery store, and later comic book stores, on a regular basis was a monthly life ritual from 7 years old (1984) to 14 years old (1991). I ended up buying Marvel Transformers #1 at a flea market in South Carolina circa 1987 or 1988 for about $20. It was the most expensive comic book I owned for years, a hallmark of my comic book collection as a kid. To this day, it's still one of the most valuable single issue comics that I own.

Value aside, I will always love that cover. It's iconic and tugs firmly at my nostalgic heartstrings.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1995458)
Posted by ScottyP on November 26th, 2018 @ 8:18am CST
Seibertron wrote: I'm surprised that I'm not that keen on that cover because I absolutely love when the Transformers are drawn in their toy styles instead of their animated models. For whatever reason, it's one of my favorite art styles of vintage Transformers (i.e. Find Your Adventures Junior Novels have some of my favorite Transformers art of all places).

Maybe it's the age gap and I have years of nostalgia behind that book. My first Marvel TF book was issue #4 which my Dad bought for me at Perry Drugs in Michigan, back when comics were on those spinning comic racks that you rarely see.
The toy look is extremely fun when it helps Transformers feel alien. See: Man of Iron

I remember the spinner racks! Plenty of my old books came from one particular rack at a Winn-Dixie.

Speaking of old books, this is funny timing for this article since I just rescued them from eventual ruin by my nieces over Thanksgiving weekend. Couldn't find the G2 Halloween special but could find the Spiderman one from the same year which was very frustrating!
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Speaking of #80's cover:
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It's in bad shape because it has been read. A lot. Good times :)
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1996812)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on December 3rd, 2018 @ 11:03am CST
The word "best" is subjective, so I'll just say this is a list of my top 10 FAVORITES, in no particular order:

US Generation 1 issue #18, "Bridge to Nowhere"

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To me this says "warring giant alien robots" much more than the cover of the first issue. And the story itself, started in the previous issue, is one of my favorites as well. And though I also don't care for homage covers, the one IDW did with Starscream and Windblade referencing this one was pretty cool.

US Generation 1 issue #48, “Underbase: The Flames of Boltax”

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I love this cover because it shows Megatron in a triumphant light for the first time in the comics. Also, when I first saw it, I thought “Finally! He’s back!” I mean, I liked Scorponok, but at the time in the story the Decepticon leadership was kind of in a shambles, no one knew who the leader really was. It was in a February when my friend who also liked Transformers gave me a copy of this issue, I think I was about 10 years old. It was in 1993, so the comic wasn’t brand new, obviously, but it was the first time I had ever read it. I remember it was snowing outside, and we took turns reading it sitting on a sled, while the other one pulled it. Another good childhood memory involving Transformers.

US Generation 1 issue #71, "Surrender"

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Not sure why, but this one got to me when I first saw it, and still does to this day. My jaw dropped at the image of the "mighty" Optimus Prime "giving up." Maybe it's the sharp lines and colors, or the look on Prime's face...

US Generation 1 issue #72, "Civil War 2"

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The very next issue, 2 of my favorite Decepticons in what I think is one of the best fights in the comics, ever. Maybe Megatron vs. the Predacons in issue #25 is as good, as well as Prime vs. Thunderwing in issue #66, but they're not better. As for the cover, I like how the purple and yellow pop against each other. When I was younger and first read it, I wanted Scorponok to win, but as I got older, I became more of a Shockwave fan, and now I wish he did, and he would have, if Circuit-breaker hadn't interfered.

US Generation 1 issue #78, "Savage Circle"

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Again, maybe it's the popping blue and purple colors, or the image of Galvatron facing down his inferior(?) self, or maybe both. When this issue came out, I loved it so much I actually bought 2 copies of it, one of them never read or handled outside of a plastic baggie. That's how much I liked it.

Armada issue #18

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IMO the best comic cover featuring Unicron, ever. Unfortunately, the story didn’t live up to it.

ReGeneration One issue #81 (tie)

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I love both of these, because of what they represent: the return of my favorite continuity. The B cover was just pure feels art-wise, while the A cover gave me chills as far as expectations story-wise. The 1st arc didn't disappoint, but unfortunately it kinda lost quality from there on until the 4th arc. If the A cover had been done in the art style of the B cover, it would have been perfect.

ReGeneration One issue #84

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I always liked covers that feature close-ups and stare-downs. Considering the story of Ratchet and Megatron throughout the entire run of the G1 comics, I really thought this cover was great. It would have been perfect if Starscream wasn’t in the middle.

ReGeneration One issue #96

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My favorite cover from the ReGeneration One series. Yes, it’s a ripoff/homage of a G2 cover, but I like it better because of the artist, as well as because it’s my favorite shot of Rodimus’s face from any comic book.

Lost Light #12

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I like this cover because of how Defensor is shown to be an immediate and overpowering threat to Getaway. Unfortunately, the story once again didn’t live up to the cover.

That’s my 10, but I liked a lot more of the G1 covers, as well as some of the Dreamwave covers, whether the G1 series or the War Within. I like some of IDW’s covers as well, but not as much as the originals. To me, the art is just more appealing. Most of IDW’s covers look like someone printed them off a computer. The older covers actually look like they were hand-drawn, even if computers were used in printing them. It’s just not the same.

I don’t have any honorable mentions, because I like too many other covers to list. But these 10 were my all-time favorites.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1996816)
Posted by william-james88 on December 3rd, 2018 @ 11:32am CST
Seibertron wrote:Man, no wonder Hasbro and Takara are so screwed trying to please fans.

Your telling me, check this:

Seibertron wrote:
Carnivius_Prime wrote:I dunno. I love the Shockwave cover but the others don't do much for me (I'm really not into ones that are just obvious homages/rip-offs of well known covers either, I tend to find those lazy and cheesey).


I agree with this, especially once I find out that it's an homage cover. One of the more popular covers, the Megatron with Reflector Joker rip-off cover, has always been one of my least favorites for the very reason you mentioned above. It's not original.


Followed by:

bluecatcinema wrote:I always did like that Justice League homage cover.


But thats ok, its our different tastes that make this hobby so diversified in its offerings.
And I am glad that we all admit that whether original or not, there is no denying how popular some of these homage covers are. And if they are popular, its because people do like them, me included.

Rodimus Prime wrote:I don’t have any honorable mentions, because I like too many other covers to list. But these 10 were my all-time favorites.


That was an awesome list Rodimus Prime, thanks for sharing. I especially like that one of Rodimu holding Bludgeon's head.
Re: Top 10 Best Transformers Comic Book Covers of All Time (1997047)
Posted by bluecatcinema on December 4th, 2018 @ 1:51pm CST
Rodimus Prime wrote:Armada issue #18

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IMO the best comic cover featuring Unicron, ever. Unfortunately, the story didn’t live up to it.


Another classic comic cover reference, this time to a cover from Uncanny X-Men's "Dark Phoenix Saga".

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