Transformers’ Final Battle Proves It Should Always Have Been R-Rated

Transformers may be based on a children’s toy-line, but a recent storyline from the comics shows that there is room for more R-rated approaches to the robot fights. Transformers: Last Bot Standing purports to tell the “last” Transformers story, which is appropriate, given that it will be publisher IDW’s swan song for the property.

Making their debut in 1984, the Transformers have always had their roots in comics. When Hasbro decided to import toys from the Japanese Microman and Diaclone lines, they hired Marvel Comics to come up with a storyline to explain their new transforming toys. Thus the world of Cybertron and the endless conflict between the Autobots and the Decepticons was born, birthing a franchise that has seen countless action figure lines, animated series and motion pictures released over the course of its near forty-year history. While Marvel published Transformers comics into the 1990’s, the iconic toy property has been in the capable hands of IDW Publishing since 2005. Recently, it was announced that Hasbro had decided to pull its properties away from IDW, which will lose the license at the end of 2022.

Taking its cues from similar works like TMNT: The Last Ronin, Transformers: Last Bot Standing purports to be the “last” Transformers story; which is somewhat fitting, as it will be one of the last Transformers comics published by IDW. Written by Nick Roche and with art by Roche and E.J. Su, Last Bot Standing takes place in a far-future world. The Autobots and Decepticons have essentially wiped each other out in a cataclysmic war, leaving only a few Transformers left alive and now roaming the universe. One-time Autobot leader Rodimus Prime is in hiding on the planet Donnokt, a frontier-like world on the verge of industrialization. It is here we meet the young Shib Walkis, struggling to maintain her delivery business with her animal-drawn carriage against the steampowered automobiles that are coming into fashion. Trouble starts when a band of surviving Cybertronians arrive, with sinister plans to turn the denizens of Donnokt into biofuel to replenish their depleting power supplies. In order to prevent the destruction of Donnokt, Rodimus comes out of hiding to protect Shib and her people and fight against his own kind…

Rodimus Finishes Off His Enemy in R-Rated Fashion

It’s a classic set-up, having an aging gunslinger put on his gun-belt one last time to help those in need, seen in everything from the aforementioned TMNT: The Last Ronin and even The Dark Knight Returns. What’s even more impressive about the series is its unflinching approach to violence, as we see Rodimus dispatch his enemies throughout in quite brutal fashions. Because they are robots and not flesh-and-blood, Roche and Su are able to portray the ’bot-on-’bot action in all its splattery glory. Instead of the pulse-pounding blows resulting in blood and guts, we get oil, gears and other technological detritus flying every which way, and the results are suitably glorious to behold. In this way, the franchise is able to get away with levels of violence that other toy tie-ins would normally shy away from.

Transformers Should Have Always Had R-Rated Fights

The future of the Transformers comics might be uncertain at the moment, but the R-rated fights found in IDW’s last published effort will live on forever in the franchise.