My favorite comic book being published right now is Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. No, seriously. Somehow James Robert and Alex Milne took a book about plastic robots and gave it heart, romance, adventure, comedy, and tragedy. It’s spectacular and you really don’t need to care or know much about the Transformers ahead of time.
IDW Publishing is currently offering a Humble Bundle which contains digital copies of most of More Than Meets the Eye plus a ton of other stuff, for $8 (though you’re welcome to pay more - the money goes to charity!).
[Go get it!]
Got it? Good. the bundle lets you download PDF copies or .cbz files. CBZ is a file format used for reading digital comics. On iPad I like Chunky Comic Reader. On iPhone, Comic Zeal works well. The reason I like Chunky is it syncs with iCloud, Dropbox, and more, so you can download the files on your Mac, copy them over, and then they’ll all sync to the iPad using the little cloud button at the top right of the app.
There are a lot of files in the Humble Bundle. I recommend that you just jump right into More Than Meets the Eye and read from volume 1 to volume 9. Tha said, the completist in me has to catalogue the full, proper reading order. There are a few items not included in the Humble Bundle but you can buy them from comiXology.
Transformers: More than Meets the Eye Reading Order
- Last Stand of the Wreckers by Nick Roche and James Roberts. Both the Aequitas storyline and the villain, Overlord, come up in MTMtE. Do not skip the prose stories! (Not part of the Humble Bundle. Buy it here.)
- “Chaos Theory” by James Roberts and Alex Milne from Transformers 22 and Transformers 23. This two-part story coverts the first meeting between Optimus Prime and Megatron. The characterization of Megatron as a Marx-like figure whose early idealism came from genuine problems within Cybertronian society becomes essential to later story developments. I have no idea why it’s not included with volume 1 of the series. (Not part of the Humble Bundle. Buy it here and here.)
- James Roberts co-wrote “Chaos,” which sets up the events of MTMtE and Robots in Disguise, but you can safely skip it.
- MTMtE volumes 1-2.
- Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax by James Roberts and Steve Kuth. Not whatsoever essential, but I’m including it for the sake of completeness.
- MTMtE volume 3.
- Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter and Transformers Spoitlight: Hoist. Again, not essential, though the Trailcutter story comes back later.
- MTMtE volumes 4-5
- Dark Cybertron volume 1 and volume 2. This is a crossover between MTMtE and sister title Robots in Disguise co-written by the two series’ authors, James Roberts and John Barber. I don’t know why the Humble Bundle doesn’t include it. Buy it here and here.
- MTMtE volumes 6-9.
- “Transformers Holiday Special” is, again, not essential, but it’s cute and it’s one of the last stories before “The Dying of the Light.”
- Volume 10 of More than Meets the Eye comes out next week. The individual issues are already available for sale on comiXology.
- The “Titans Return” story concludes MTMtE. It consists of a one-shot, Titans Return, issues 56 and 57 of Transformers, and 56 and 57 of MTMtE.
- The “Revolution” series IDW is publishing right now will have one tie-in issue for MTMtE written by Roberts which will feature the Scavengers. I think it will be self-contained enough that you don’t have to read the main Revolution series.
With 57 and the Revolution tie-in, More Than Meets the Eye comes to a close but its story will continue in Transformers: Lost Light, out in December.
Humble Bundle Reading Order
Here’s the order to read just the Transformers books in the Humble Bundle.
- Transformers: Infiltration
- Transformers: Devastation
- Robots in Disguise and More Than Meets the Eye volumes 1-5. They don’t cross over between each other, so you can alternate or just read one and then the other. They cross over after volume 5 of each series in “Dark Cybertron”, but it’s not included in the bundle.
- After Dark Cybertron MTMtE stands alone from 6-9.
- RiD volume 6.
- RiD volume 7
- “Combiner Wars”
- RiD volume 8
- Windblade “Distant Stars”
- RiD volume 9
- All the “Revolution” issues (if you bought the $15 tier bundle)