Idea and Design Works, LLC, founded in 1989, currently owns the Transformers comic book license as of May 2005, following the financial collapse of the previous license holder, Dreamwave Productions, at the tail-end of 2004.
IDW's flagship storyline is a rebooted Generation One continuity, written by longtime Transformers scribe Simon Furman and told through a succession of mini-series and one-shot Spotlights. IDW has also been authorized to re-release trade paperbacks published by Dreamwave, such as the War and Peace mini-series and The War Within and The War Within: The Dark Ages. In May 2008, IDW's relationship with Hasbro proved to be quite healthy indeed as they snapped up the G.I. Joe comic book license as well.
The main IDW continuity is mostly overseen by Simon Furman, who has taken a fresh approach to the Generation One story. All the familiar faces are present, but a more sophisticated universe is unfolding around them. (Initial ideas for IDW's Transformer line included a Crisis on Infinite Earths-style story and a G1/Cybertron crossover that would start off two ongoings in the respective continuities )
Instead of an ongoing civil war on Cybertron which spills over to Earth by accident, Furman presents us with an interstellar cold war between the Autobots and Decepticons, a war of Codes of Interplanetary Conflict and alt-form-and-dagger covert operations, with energon the prize and whole planets at stake. A surprising development on Earth heats up the war and turns our planet from just another proxy battleground into the ultimate prize.
The general order of publications to date is as follows:
- Infiltration (2005–06) Establishes the presence of the Transformers on modern-day Earth and re-establishes the theme of "robots in disguise" as central to the new continuity; a seven-issue story arc (issues #0 to #6).
- Spotlight (2006–present) Series of one-shot stories focusing on a single Transformer per issue; this series has no fixed publication format and is ongoing.
- Stormbringer (2006) A four-issue miniseries tie-in to Infiltration, establishing Cybertron's current situation in the re-boot and focusing squarely on the Transformers.
- Escalation (2006–07) Sequel to Infiltration; a six-issue story arc.
- New Avengers/Transformers (2007) A collaboration between Marvel Comics and IDW featuring the first ever crossover between the Transformers and New Avengers. Though it will have minimal effects on the overall universe, it is specifically designed to fit into continuity between Infiltration and Escalation.
- Megatron Origin (2007) A four-issue story arc detailing the events surrounding Megatron's rise to power and the founding of the Decepticon faction.
- Devastation (2007–08) Sequel to Escalation; a six-issue story arc.
- Revelation (2008) Sequel to Devastation; composed of 4 Spotlights.
- All Hail Megatron (2008–2009) A twelve-issue maxi-series chronicling the aftermath of the defeat of the Autobots and the Decepticon conquest of Earth. The publication schedule will overlap with Revelation and Maximum Dinobots.
- Maximum Dinobots (2008–2009) Will take place chronologically between Revelation and All Hail Megatron (which it will be published concurrently with).
- Transformers (2009–present) Takes place after the events of All Hail Megatron. This is the first ongoing Transformers series for IDW.
- Last Stand of the Wreckers (2009–2010) Takes place after the events of All Hail Megatron and before the new ongoing series. The five-issue story arc follows the Wreckers as the investigate the current status of Garrus-9.
- Transformers: Bumblebee (2009–2010) Takes place after the events of "Transformers:Ongoing #1" and #6. The four-issue arc follows bumblebee as he assumes an new position among the Autobots."
- Transformers: Ironhide (2010-present)
Taking place within the Beast Wars cartoon universe, this line eschews the previous 3H fan club comics that previously continued the show's story to strike out in a new direction, focusing mainly on the non-show toy characters.
- Beast Wars: The Gathering (2006) A four-issue mini-series marking the 10th anniversary of the Beast Wars franchise.
- Beast Wars: The Ascending (2007) A four-issue sequel to The Gathering that began publication in October 2007.
- The Beast Wars Sourcebook profile series is currently (November 2007) being published.
A series of Elseworlds-like stories that exist in their own separate continuities, each taking different takes on Transformers. Only one has so-far been produced. (Reportedly, Hasbro has asked IDW to hold back on Evolutions as to not confuse customers looking for merchandise based on the 2007 film.)
- Hearts of Steel (2006) Places the G1 Transformers in the American West during the Industrial Revolution.
- Transformers: Movie Prequel (2007) A four-part series detailing the lead-up to the 2007 Transformers movie.
- Transformers: Movie Adaptation (2007) A four-part comic adaptation of the film, released weekly in June 2007.
- The Reign of Starscream (2008) IDW's official sequel to the 2007 film, continuing where the Movie Adaptation left off. It began in May 2008.
- Saga of the Allspark (2008) Reprinting the UK Movie comics from Titan Magazine.
- Movie prequel: Alliance (2008-2009) The prequel to Revenge of the Fallen. The first of two parts.
- Transformers: Defiance (2009) The prequel to Revenge of the Fallen. The second of two parts.
- Generations – Reprints old Marvel Comics issues. Due to copyright issues regarding Spider-Man and Circuit Breaker, issues #3, #9, #22-23, #46, #68, #72-#80 can not be reprinted.
- Target 2006 (2007)
- Best of UK: Dinobots (2007)
- Best of UK: Space Pirates (2008)
- Best of UK: Time Wars (2008)
- Best of UK: City of Fear (2009)
Due to copyright issues with regards to Death's Head, several Transformers UK stories can not be republished in the United States, most notably "Galvatron: Wanted Dead or Alive" and "The Legacy of Unicron".
- Transformers: The Animated Movie (2006) A four-issue adaptation of the original Transformers film, 1986's The Transformers: The Movie; marks the film's 20th anniversary and new DVD release.
- The Best of Simon Furman
- The Best of Don Figueroa
- The Art of IDW's Transformers
- The Transformers: The Premiere Collection, Volume 1
- Greatest Battles of Optimus Prime and Megatron
- Transformers: The Ark — A Complete Compendium Of Transformers Animation Models
- The Ark II— A Compendium of Japanese Character Designs
- Balancing Act