Today, Transformers enjoy immense popularity, being great icons of popular culture across all forms of media, And then there are the toys, oooh the toys.
Since the 1980s, the living robots from Cybertron have amazed children and adults alike, whether in comics, cartoons, movies, video games, and of course the toyline.
But there is another giant in the entertainment industry that was key to the explosion of these characters, Marvel Comics. And answering the main question,
Are Transformers Marvel?
No, Transformers are not part of the Marvel Universe, but there were some comics published by Marvel and some interesting crossovers.
Let’s take a look at these 2 media giants, how the history between them started, and how their paths have intertwined as they grew to what they are today.
Transformers Beginnings at Marvel
In 1983, Hasbro found their next star product in Takara’s “Car Robots” and “Micro Change” toys. After reaching an agreement with the Japanese company, they launched the toys in the United States.
But one crucial ingredient was still missing to make them popular among children: a story. That’s why Hasbro, replicating the formula it took with its G.I Joe line, entrusted Marvel to create a comic book universe for its new flagship line of figures.
Jim Shooter, editor at Marvel at the time, Dennis O’Neil (who later abandoned the project but created the Optimus Prime name), and Bob Budiansky made Hasbro’s idea a reality, publishing a Transformers comic book series and animated TV series in late 1984, which ended up catapulting them to success.
Transformers on Earth 616
During those years, the Transformers existed in the main Marvel universe where their Autobots and Decepticons coexisted with all your favorite comic book heroes. This was in the comics, since the Transformers cartoon, although based on the characters in the pages, took another direction detached from Marvel products, even launching a movie.
However, Marvel never ended up taking advantage of the full potential of the Transformers, as they focused on developing their most popular characters during a period of high growth of the superhero comics.
Between 1984 and 1995, years in which the Transformers were published in Marvel, passing through two generations of their characters, they barely crossed paths with Spider-Man and Nick Fury (Transformers #3), a story in which the friendly neighbor web-slinger, in that time wearing the black suit of the symbiote, helped the Autobots to ruin a plan of the Decepticons.
This was the first occasion in which the Transformers and Marvel Universe crossed paths…
Crossovers on Earth-7642
After ending its relationship with Marvel, the Transformers comics would pass into the hands of Dreamwave Productions, which gave a new air to the series, which lasted from 2002 to 2005.
Later, IDW would take over the rights, maintaining them until the present day.
But in those years, the Transformers would face main series Marvel characters again on Earth 7642, better known as the Crossovers universe, where DC characters have also made an appearance.
The New Avengers/Transformers comic book, published in 2007 in a four-issue limited series, set on this Earth. A story arc in which Megatron stole technology from Dr. Doom to start a war.
Likewise, he kidnaps Spider-Man to do experiments on him, discovering that the mutagen that gave him his powers was more powerful than Energon. Because of this, he managed to adapt it to make himself and his Decepticon companions stronger.
As always, the Autobots had to stop them, and with the help of the Avengers and Dr. Doom, they faced their eternal enemies, especially Iron Man, who created the Transformer armor to fight hand-to-hand with Megatron.
In the end, the good guys triumphed by consuming the same mutagen, causing the Decepticons to flee, although one of them stayed on Earth and took the form of the Avengers’ Quinjet.
In the toys section, they made their last collaboration with Marvel by launching the “Ultimate X-Spanse” figure in 2021, which transforms the Blackbird jet from the X-Men: The Animated Series into an Autobot with the costume of that famous team of heroes. Likewise, the package includes a Wolverine figure and a Sabretooth figure.
Previously, they made minor collaborations adapting some Marvel heroes to Transformers figures, such as Captain America, Ghost Rider, Spider-Man, Hulk, etc. Although that toy line was discontinued years ago.
Final Words On Transformers In The Marvel Universe
The Transformers were part of the Marvel Universe but the “Robots in Disguise” did not have great relevance with the rest of their characters. However, on several occasions, they have crossed paths, especially thanks to the success of the Hasbro toy movie franchise, which made Marvel realize the potential in their stories.
Surely, we will see more encounters between the alien robots and the fantastic heroes and villains in the future, and as the theme of the Multiverse has been trendy these last few years, who knows if the next epic crossover will be in a live-action movie?