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A Transformation Comic
is centered around a magical or Applied Phlebotinum
transformation of some sort. One variety transforms a main character for the long term, and follows the consequences of this incident; another involves repeated transformation of several characters, and a third variety mixes these. Since transformation as a primary theme tends to appeal to a niche market, most examples are Webcomics
, which can be published easily and cheaply, and usually with few or no editorial restrictions on content.
While a Transformation Comic
might have some Author Appeal
or be slanted towards specific Fanservice
and/or Fetish Fuel
, transformation can also be used to explore such themes as gender roles, racism, feelings of isolation/not belonging, and the maturation process.
Types of transformation seen in a Transformation Comic
include but are not limited to:
If one of the main characters has Functional Magic
or Mad Science
skills, even more exotic transformations may show up from time to time.
Note that the vast majority of these comics focus on involuntary transformations
— either a Curse
on a specific individual, or a few characters who transform others as a habit (or hobby).
For purposes of this page, examples should be limited to comics where the transformations are central to the storyline or themes.
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Anime & Manga
- The original Captain Marvel is a small boy who has a Plot-Relevant Age-Up when in his powered form. Every so often, the fact that he's essentially a child in a grown man's body becomes a plot or characterization point.
- Similar to Captain Marvel above, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld ages up to an adult woman from a 12-year-old girl when she visits her home dimension, due to time moving at different rates in the two universes.
- The Fly's original incarnation was basically a silver age version of Captain Marvel, a preadolescent boy who can transform at will into an adult superhero; however, the very first story played with the concept by means of a Cliffhanger ending where he didn't know how to change back; the very next story (which was part of the same issue) resolved this, however.
- Incredible Hulk: Mild-mannered doctor transforms into monstrous creature whenever he gets angry.
- Billy the Cat: A boy who is cruel to animals is punished by being (depending on the medium) transformed or put into the body of a cat. In the animated series this is more of a "Freaky Friday" Flip.
- Safe Havens: Samantha Argus is a grad student at Havens University who has unlocked the genetic code that allows her to transform anyone or anything, including herself.
- Jimmy Olsen during the Silver Age couldn't go more than an issue or two without undergoing some bizarre transformation or mutation. He experienced just about every category of transformation on the list except for Gender Bender... and he kinda-sorta made up for that omission on his own.
- Superboy actually was on the receiving end of a Silver Age Gender Bender once (among other transformations). As Superman, he went through quite even more transformations during the Silver Age, frequently under the influence of Red Kryptonite. Here's only a small selection of his many transformations: split into two people, given the head of an ant, turned into a non-superpowered giant, turned into an infant with an adult mind.
- Originally, Marvel's The Mighty Thor was mild-mannered disabled Dr. Donald Blake, who found the hammer Mjollnir and used it to turn himself into the Norse God of Thunder. (Said hammer appeared as an innocuous walking stick whenever Dr. Blake turned back.) Later, this was Retconned into Blake always having been Thor, but with his memory erased while he walked the Earth.
- Misfile. Ash is a Gender Bender and Emily has been hit with a Fountain of Youth. The former is used to deconstruct most gender bender tropes and the latter is a very subtle use of the trope as she's only "lost" two years. They just happen to have been two very important years from her perspective.
- Abstract Gender. Brian and Ryan are both on a Gender Bender; Brian (who likes it) can go back to his original form, while Ryan (who doesn't) can't, a cause of considerable irritation on the latter's part.
- El Goonish Shive: From Gender Benders to shapeshifting, magic to mad science, EGS showcases every form of transformation known to Dan. Every major character has been transformed at least once. In fact, one could even argue that a character isn't truly a main character until they've been transformed at least once (Though being transformed does not necessarily make someone a main character).
- Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki. Yuuki, of course, is a Gender Bender for the long haul. Hermod and Loki are both currently in Animal Transformation, with Loki additionally being a plushie.
- Zebra Girl. The title character is permanently stuck with the body of a demon. Probably the least Fanservice-y example of the genre — the fact that Sandra's every bodily secretion is now incredibly acidic might have something to do with that.
- They did have a quick scene where fanservice was alluded to, but offscreened, early on. Later, some more explicit fanart of the incident was drawn, but nothing too revealing.
- Urgent Transformation Crisis is surprisingly serious about its subject matter. The transformations are usually one-way, less fan-servicey than normal, and the implications are taken far more seriously than in other strips of this nature. Hard-to-reverse transformation with life-changing effects would be a crisis, after all.
- The Wotch. The title character and most other magic users in the strip tend to rely heavily on transformation spells. Interestingly, due to the nature of her powers, Anne is unable to be a Gender Bender herself. But she and her friends have undergone many transformations, some voluntarily. A number of supporting characters are permanently genderbent, with a special mention going to Mingmei, who has a trifecta of Gender Bender, Fountain of Youth and Asian Like Me. She used to have Not Himself as well, but her personality seems to have reintegrated. There are also a werewolf, a werecat , a couple who swap bodies every so often as a Running Gag (and, amusingly enough, she enjoys it and wants to keep it up), and a formerly-human centaur, just in case the gender games weren't enough.
- Cheer. A spin-off of The Wotch, featuring a quartet of Gender Bender cheerleaders, as well as an additional White Like Me Gender Bender (Peter Hall) who (unlike three of the other four) knows exactly what's happened to her. All of the Wotch regulars make appearances as well. One of the cheerleaders is fully aware of what happened, but likes herself and her friends better when they don't have excuses to be jerks.
- Troop 37 focuses on a ten-year-old boy turned into a sixteen-year-old girl for reasons that, as a rule, are not to be explained. Written by first caller.
- MSF High features frequent transformations (in which the victim always, always winds up female), mostly at the hands of the nurse, or occasionally Lovable Rogue Rainer. The victims have the option of reversing them at the end of the day, but seldom do, for various reasons. The artist of its predecessor, High School Changed Me, quit over, ahem, Creative Differences and later put a Take That in his own strip when a familiar-looking Spear Carrier wishes to be turned into a woman.
- Note that Rainer has reversed transformations for multiple reasons, and more recently, a girl has been turned into a guy. Also has an active forum roleplay.
- Discordia is a low-key strip about a man who's been transformed into a woman. A character also has the power to transform anyone but the aforementioned, but she's an innocent, albeit half-god, little girl, and mostly uses it on command. A consequence of her innocence, however, is that she can't produce a male form - even if the target started that way.
- Panthera: A webcomic about a group of high school teens who transform into Big Cats in order to help their chemistry teacher wage war on some kind of "Evil Organization".
- Sailor Sun is about an actor transformed into an actress by two unethical producers in order to add verisimilitude to his/her role as a boy transformed into a magical girl.
- I Dream Of A Jeanie Bottle by the same author is about a guy transformed into an I Dream of Jeannie-style genie with her best friend being her master.
- Accidental Centaurs is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - two scientists become centaurs after an exploding teleporter sends them to a world where centaurs are real and humans are mythical. Other transformations ensue, usually at the behest of a tame genie, and a crossover with The Wotch ended with one of the main characters getting some of her powers...and the same basic move.
- New World has a large number of magical transformations, most of which involve both genderbending and either age regression or furry transformation (or in the case of Mina, all three at once). It has since been rebooted as a straight Gender Bender comic, Spiderwebs...and then re-re-booted as New World again.
- Crossworlds began as a side story to Accidental Centaurs and is tied to The Wotch through it. While its plot isn't entirely tied into transformation, the artist uses it often enough that it seems to qualify. (That, and the artist draws transformation art on his other website seems to help.)
- Exiern is the story of a barbarian adventurer turned into a woman by a sorcerer's spell gone awry. Hilarity and Fanservice ensue in equal measure, as well as other characters transforming in various ways. The sub-comic Dark Reflections takes the same plot and spins it around as a What If? the hero didn't save the princess in time. In this version the gender-changed hero/heroine ends up mind-controlled by the Big Bad and becomes his bimbo Dragon.
- The fancomic CharCole details a Pokémon journey from the perspective of a human-turned-Charmander.
- ''Synthea is a trope-filled comic about a amnesiac woman ending up in a Stasis pod right before death being woken up in the distant future by a good Mad Scientist using experimental ancient biotech that gave her a body with the consistency of lime jello — a so called Slime-Girl. Synthea gains some powers from the shift — she can change shape at will, stretching, punching, creating mallets, etc, but her control over her body is very limited, as she oozes and drips all over the place. She even has to sleep in a barrel as when unconscious she reverts to a big puddle. She's also apparently physically immortal — she's been cut up, blown up, and vacuumed up by a sapient humanoid vacuum with little more than a headache.
- The two sets of webcomics based on Erika's New Perfume are minor forms of this, as they play on the transformations of Marie and Sarah but do not so far include any more from there.
- The Dragon Doctors - Four magical doctors, a shaman/therapist, a surgeon, a magical scientist, and a wizard all get their respective genders reversed in the first chapter while trying to cure a cursed valley that causes everything within it to be female. They wind up stuck that way, and deal with that as they continue to diagnose and cure unusual diseases, curses and other problems — their methods often involving additional transformations — in a Schizo Tech fantasy setting.
- Demon Eater has demons that change form every time they eat another demon. It's a dog eat dog world for reals. Saturno the main character has so far been in 30 different forms and counting.
- Gender Swapped is similar to Misfile and Abstract Gender in that the main characters have to deal with a form of permanent Gender Bender. There's also some age regression involved.
- She !s me (Oh no! I'm a girl!) The story of a guy who one day wakes up as a gal. Don't think of this as a funny bodyswitch comedy, but as a serious evaluation about the question "What would you really do if ...?"
- Paradigm Shift is a Buddy Cop Comic centered around werecreatures being real.
- The Good Witch begins with the former holder of the title passing it on to a transgirl named Angel, fulfilling her wish to be a genetic girl (and retconning everyone's memory that this had always been the case.) As the Good Witch, Angel has amazing transformation powers...that she's severely abusing.
- Spinnerette: A Freak Lab Accident leaves a mild-mannered grad student Multi-Armed and Dangerous; any resemblence to another costumed webslinger is purely intentional - and hilarious.
- Jet Dream concerns the adventures of a Blackhawk style Multinational Team of aviators, the Thunderbird Squadron, after being transformed from T-Birds to T-Girls.
- DreamTales comics feature growing and shrinking as well as age regression (and age progression) themes.
- The Beast Legion is completely built on the concept of transformation & magic. Most of the characters have their own pieces of armore called 'Beast Transfers' that allow them to turn into Mystical beasts with Awesome powers.
- Somewhere Different, about a boy who is run over by some scientists, who bring him to their lab to heal him but also take the opportunity to experiment on him
- T Random Watch has Grant and Amy both experience transformations, as well as one of the government agents.
- Type Trainer, a Pokémon fancomic about Ash getting turned into a Pikachu.
- Jill Trent Science Sleuth, the Remix Comic version, features a male hero transformed by the wonder element Femavium into a woman with the proportional brain cells of 58 girls.
- 1-600 is a comic about a boy who finds a mysterious number that allows you to turn into an animal once called. Read it here http://www.1-600.net/
- Witchprickers: Ilemauzer, a timid familiar bat, asks the cheery Old Scratch to turn her into a human, only to turn into a Humanoid Animal instead.
- High School Changed Me: the predecessor to MSF High. While not the premise of the webcomic, transformations into other species or genderbending were quite common.
- Skin Deep reverses the usual take on this subject since the main characters are all mythological creatures transformed into humans. In this case human is the transformation.
- The website TGComics.com (mostly NSFW) is devoted to gender transformation comics, many of which are less pornographic than you'd think. While TGComics.com focuses on original art (including a large number of works created with Poser and similar programs), sister site TGCaps.com is devoted to TG Remix Comics.
- Wereworld: revolves around Steve, a cyborg who comes to the eponymous planet looking to make his body stop rejecting the implants. The planet, Sidra, is inhabited by several species of human-animal transforming hybrids.
- Ruby's World has the main character turned into a nine foot tall giantess, though this soon becomes the least of her problems.
- Ruby Nation continues Ruby's story, as well as introducing Elise, a girl who has apparently sprouted large metal wings.
- Same New Woman follows Marita, an ordinary librarian who wakes up one morning with a hyper-muscular body and extraordinary strength. She tries to go on with her old life but finds her world increasingly out of control.
- Shifters is a Webcomic heavily involved with Werecreatures.
- Cat Nine. Myan, a cat, was given a magical collar that allows her to transform into any animal she wishes, or a catgirl.
- Crimson Flag, starting at comic #158 many of the Petting Zoo People major characters (the queen, two of the protagonists, and the main villain up to that point...) get transformed into more realistic foxes, can't even speak without magic and a hundred comics later they're still stuck like that. And earlier was a character who could voluntarily transform into a dragon or a three-eyed feral fox.