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The Marvel Comics continuity is the series of stories set in or extrapolated from the Transformers comic books published by Marvel Comics. The basis of the story as published in the US consists of:
- The 80 issues of the original Marvel Comics series
- The 4-issue G.I. Joe and the Transformers limited series.
- The 4-issue Headmasters limited series.
Though these 88 issues are not without the occasional internal retcon or alternate future, they form a single long and mostly cohesive story.
The Marvel Comics continuity is not a single timeline, however. Several different media have added to or continued the story in differing and often contradictory ways:
- Marvel UK concurrently reprinted the Marvel US stories, and also created new "filler" issues to fit in between events of the original US material. Some contradictions exist between the UK and US material, and the US crossover with G.I. Joe, though reprinted much later, was ignored in favor of a different set of stories. Unique to the UK material is an ever-evolving future, due to the actions of rampant time traveling characters; that future was eventually negated by events in the present, forming an alternate branch timeline. The later Marvel UK material is also home to a second major timeline divergence, namely the Earthforce stories.
- Marvel US's Generation 2 comic book series, published in the early 1990s, directly continued the story of the original Marvel US series. Again, differing material in the UK was published, but these two series are mostly irreconcilable, if very similar.
- Beast Wars is seen by many fans to take place in the far future of the Marvel Comics continuity. Beast Wars was the first non-Marvel Comics material to reference the creator-god Primus, and although Beast Wars and its sequel Beast Machines mention mostly Generation One animated continuity events, it has been stated by the writers that the Generation One that occurs in the Beast Wars's past is a unknown mishmash of previous material. (Suffice to say that most Generation One continuities seem to move towards Beast Wars.) For the purposes of this wiki, Beast Wars is always separated under its own continuity header.
- Most recently, the Classics fiction created by Fun Publications takes place in the Marvel Comics continuity, but it ignores both the Marvel UK material and the Generation 2 comic books, creating yet another divergent splinter timeline.
An attempt to establish a clear chronological timeline for both the US and UK material is here.
Below is the desired hierarchy layout for use in the Fiction sections on character pages.
Marvel Comics continuity
- (Note: Events from UK-only stories are in italics.)
The very first Transformers fiction, this series begins with the original 28 Transformers characters crash-landing on Earth 4 million years ago, to be awoken in the present day by a volcanic eruption. Their war continues on Earth, centering at first on the search for fuel resources. Eventually the conflict spreads to space, the Moon, Cybertron, and various alien worlds; dozens of characters join the fight on both sides. The coming of Unicron to Cybertron marks a climax of the series, which ends soon afterwards, with the Decepticons retreating into exile.
- (Note: The Earthforce stories are part of a divergent timeline branching from the middle of the Marvel US/UK material.)
"Another Time and Place" UK text story
Generation 2 (US)
This series attempted to revive the moribund Transformers franchise, 2 years after the toys had left shelves in America. It directly continues the G1 series with Bludgeon's Decepticons returning and numerous references to the old series. It introduces a new faction, the "second generation" Cybertronians, who form a threat to both the Autobots and Decepticons, as well as the Swarm, a formless mass that threatens to consume all Transformers.
Generation 2 (UK)
- (Note: Classics ignores both the Marvel UK material and Generation 2.)