Transformers #3 Review

Transformers #3 Advance Review

Daniel Warren Johnson has delivered everything that I could ask for from a modernization of the G1 era for the Transformers. Johnson has honored the franchise and what that era means while taking things in a new direction. Particularly with Starscream taking the lead of the Decepticons we’ve seen new life brought on to the rivalry with the Autobots. We got the chance to check out an early copy of Transformers #3. Find out how it turns out with our advance review.


Writer & Artist: Daniel Warren Johnson

Colorist: Mike Spicer

Letterer: Rus Wooton


“Outnumbered and overpowered, it’s time for the Autobots to stand their ground, as Optimus Prime goes toe to toe with Skywarp!” – Skybound


Transformers #3 solidifies this series as having the best integration of a world with warring factions of giant robots on Earth. When you have protagonists and antagonists of these sizes it is tough to hide, especially during battle. Seeing the instant reaction that the Autobots and Decepticons draw is what is elevating this story beyond just being Transformers.

Picking up where Transformers #2 left us with Carly learning her father died at the hands of Starscream gave immediate momentum to this issue. The death of Carly’s death was an extremely dark moment and fully put over Starscream as the main antagonist. Starscream’s action is given even more weight here with how Carly reacts. It is a tough moment to see a character have to go through.

Adding to this is how in Starscream killing Carly’s dad it did not just impact one of our lead characters. That act becomes a flashpoint moment for this series with how humans view all of Transformers. No one other than Carly and Spike knows that the Autobots are good guys and Decepticons are the villains. All they see are giant robots who appeared out of nowhere suddenly appearing.

Transformers #3 Nick Dragotta Cover
Nick Dragotta variant cover for Transformers #3. Credit: Skybound Entertainment

By providing this context Daniel Warren Johnson gives greater depth to how humans and Transformers interact with each other. There are moments where you wish humans would chill out and properly assess what is said and going on. But given where we start Transformers #3 there is a degree of understanding the role humans take in this issue.

It all works to multiple planes of action when things do escalate to get out of control between the Autobots and Decepticons. The hero’s journey for Optimus Prime and the other Autobots is much different this time around. Johnson has found a great way to ground these characters without them losing their scale in the process. Which also provides an avenue for Carly and Spike to help the Autobots and take on roles we haven’t seen them take before.

There are also some intriguing sub-plots brought up in Transformers #3. There is a bigger story being developed on both sides of this conflict. The references thrown out by certain characters do build out several mysteries in the Energon Universe.

On the artwork side of things at this point we know what Johnson’s strengths and weaknesses are as an artist. He is at his best when drawing the various Transformers and the action they are involved in. The problems come in when the human characters are the focus as the art is very messy. Which does make Transformers #3 be the worst looking issue as the human characters carry the two thirds of this issue. Luckily, we got the Autobots and Decepticons here to remind you of Johnson’s strength as an artist.


Transformers #3 takes the shocking ending of the previous issue to deliver an excellent, emotionally charged third chapter to this series. The conflicts in this story are escalating at a natural pace with the humans brought in ways that add layers to the Autobots vs Decepticons war. The ending creates even more weight to what happens next, setting up 2024 to be even bigger for the Energon Universe.

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10