Manga (漫画, まんが) is the Japanese word for comics and print cartoons. Manga is usually black and white comic book which read from right to left. They are published in Japan by various comic magazines, such as TV Magazine and Comic Bom Bom. The Transformers have almost always had a consistent manga series in every line.
Transformers manga series and specials
- Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers
- "Full Throttle Scramble Power!"
- The Transformers (featuring Transformers 2010 characters)
- Transformer Big War
- "Great Decisive Battle of Planet Beest!" (Transformers/Beastformers special)
- The Headmasters
- Super-God Masterforce
- The Battlestars
The Generation One manga acts as both a supplement to the television series as well as an alternate telling, depending on the line. "Fight! Super Robot Lifeform", "2010", "Headmasters", "Zone", "Battlestars", "Generation 2", and "Kiss Players" take place in the animated universe, expanding and continuing its story.
Conversely, "Masterforce" and "Victory" are alternate tellings of the storyline and do not take place in the same animated universe.
"Headmasters" is somewhat unusual, with a relationship to the cartoon that would best be described as being similar to the relationship between the US Marvel Comics and their UK counterpart - it is a universe in which the majority of events from the animated series take place, but with some extra stories and some differences... most notably, an alternate depiction of the beginning of Daniel and Sixshot's friendship and the presence of Stepper and Artfire. Stepper and Artfire's appearances were later retconned via toy bios to avoid contradiction, though the wackiness with Daniel and Sixshot still remain.
"Generation 2" is also a bit strange. The story pages and mini-comics by Hidetsugu Yoshioka take place within the confines of the animated universe, continuing the storyline after Battlestars and Operation Combination. The Comics Bom Bom manga special, "The Earth is in Danger", is a separate continuity from the Hidetsugu Yoshioka-produced works. It takes place in its own universe with the events happening in the year 199X (basically, some time in the 1990s).
The Beast Wars mangas are all alternate timelines from the television series, although the events of Season 1 of Beast Wars took place in the Beast Wars Metals Manga.