These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Adaption Displacement: This comic's portrayal of several characters are much more well-known and popular than their usual interpretations. Notable examples include Swerve, Tailgate, Whirl, Chromedome, Rewind, and Cyclonus.
Base Breaker: While the comic is almost universally loved by IDW fans, the recent revelation of Ultra Magnus!Minimus Ambus has a number of fans upset, however it's still nowhere near as bad as other fandoms, or the reaction Drift caused when introduced under Shane McCarthy.
Star Saber being a violent religious zealot. Though it comes as no surprise to readers of Robert's TFMUK stories, some fans see it a poor Alternate Character Interpretation of a well-liked character from Japanese fiction.
The art of Issue 22, or rather, the inking, which makes the issue awfully dark and gloomy, even though it's a lighthearted issue.
Bit of fridge there; the comic is normally done in a highly stylized manner, but issue 22 is a movie, and has a more "realistic" style.
Pharma gradually becomes one, though wasn't always this way.
Crack Ship: Brainstorm/Atomizer seems bizarrely popular, despite the fact that the two have never even spoken to each other.
Misfire/Fulcrum is also surprisingly popular even though Misfire is kind of a dick to Fulcrum in the comic.
Crazy Awesome: Whirl is very likely insane, and his impressive amount of jerkassery and insanity gets him through the day. When beaten, impaled and then threatened by a crazy Shell-Shocked Veteran, Whirl's response is to taunt him in cruel and amusing ways, diffusing the situation, and then impaling the guy when things heat up again. Rewind casually mentions that Whirl punched himself in the face to prove that he's super-invincible, and apparently introduces himself by saying he has no known weaknesses. He solves the problem of moving Ultra Magnus by having everyone's avatar jump on him till he transforms.
Then in issue 10 Orion Pax flies down from the sky out of nowhere and slams down on top of the guy attacking Chromedome and Prowl. Chromedome assumes that he probably jumped off a random rooftop to do this but isn't sure...
Brainstorm's "My First Blaster" gun that he gave Swerve. It's an obscenely large gun that's apparently designed for children judging by the design. If you get a direct hit with it, it makes a little jingle and says "You got a direct hit!" like a toddler's toy.
In issue 20 when the Killswitch hits Constancy and starts affecting Krok, Spinister, and Crankcase, if you look in the background you can see that Grimlock (still mentally disabled from whatever happened to him on the Worldsweeper) is playing pengu with some toy blocks.
Swerve, typically a rarely noticed background character in other continuities, has quickly become popular due to his fast talking, smart-assed, hilarious, and very personable portrayal in this storyline.
Roberts' character Rung has also picked up a posse of fangirls, due to his awkward, adorably gangly design, and matching adorkably geeky personality.
Tarn, the leader of the Decepticon Justice Division, if simply for looking really badass and having several cool gimmicks going for him.
Whirl has also become one, if for no other reason than being totally Crazy Awesome. In fact when the promotions of issue 6 made it out as if Tonight Someone Dies, most of the comments on them consisted of "I'm cool as long as Whirl makes it".
Cyclonus also has a share of fans, in part because he matches Whirl's badassness on the field and his Tsundere personality.
Getaway became a huge hit with the fans after his introduction scenes in issue 20.
MTMTE is the rare series where essentially the entire cast is a bunch of Ensemble Darkhorses of a larger franchise. It could also be considered an Ensemble Darkhorse in itself.
Escapist Character: Tailgate, or rather the persona he'd established as the bomb disposal expert of the Primal Vanguard, being a crew-member on the original Ark, and all that other stuff that Ultra Magnus mentioned when Tailgate first applied to join the Autobots. Truth is, he was just a Waste Disposal 'bot (4th Class) working on the Ark-1 and is so hurt that no one cared or even noticed he was missing-for six million years-that he created this persona so that he won't ever be forgotten again.
Evil Is Sexy: Overlord is just about this personified, with his handsome (for a giant robot) looks and campy, charismatic, and theatrical mannerisms. (Doesn't make him any less scary or creepy, however.)
In fact, one defining trait of Overlord has been his luscious lips. Possibly lampshaded by IDW themselves with the alternate cover for issue 15 which is basically a close-up of Overlord's lips. This was later confirmed by the creators, where they indicated they based his looks on the Roman/Greek busts of old, pout and all, hence the luscious lips.
Fan Nickname: "Domey" for Chromedome after Rewind referred to him as such for one line in issue 9.
"Gay Robots In Space" or some other variation for the series as a whole in reference to both the canon couple and the huge amounts of Ho Yay in the series.
With Drift being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, people are pretty much done calling him Poochie and calling him Dorito-kun instead. "Weababe" also crops up from time to time. "Driftaboo" is an older one, but it's used a bit more affectionately than it used to.
Before his identity was revealed, the person responsible for Overlord being on the Lost Light was called "The Conspirator" by fans.
The "Lost Lighters" for the crew of the Lost Light.
"Trailguy" for Trailbreaker, due to Executive Meddling forcing the writer to call him Trailcutter, complete with an issue being devoted to explaining this.
Fridge Logic: Whirl's upset about his lost hands which he used for making watches and he wants them back. Ratchet has shown to be able to make new hands, and even offers to give his to Whirl should he die, there was a question as to why he could not make Whirl some new ones even Shockwave replaced his claws with a hand and a gun. Whirl addresses this in issue 19, he keeps the claws by choice.
"Life's messed up. I'm messed up. I've done bad things and I continue to do bad things, because the voice telling me not to...? He's not said much for a while. And y'know what keeps me going? Anger. Anger's an insulator. Stops life getting too close. If I got myself "fixed," maybe the anger would leave me—and then I really would be screwed."
Who coined "Wreck n Rule"? Impactor or Whirl?
Ironfist confirms that Impactor was the one who coined it in Last Stand Of The Wreckers, but Ironfist only states that Impactor was the first one to use it as a Wrecker. The phrase might predate Impactor and might actually be Whirl's seeing as it was scribbled in the walls of his cell, before Impactor became his cellmate.
Friendly Fandoms: With Doctor Who. Transfans and Whovians have always gotten along somewhat, but this comic pretty much cemented it due to the writer being a fan of Doctor Who and Overlord's personality being based off of the Master (specifically the Eric Roberts version).
"Sound Bombs" are actually possible. There are studies that have shown cephalopods suffering massive trauma caused by noise, in some cases causing the nerves inside their heads to explode, leaving gaping holes in their heads.
In "Shadowplay" the Senator refers to his students as "outliers". An outlier is a math term for a number in a large collection of numbers that is different from the rest.
The Scavengers' ship is called "The Weak Anthropic Principle", a philosophical belief that claims that observations of the physical universe must be compatible with the conscious life that inhabits it.
"Omega's Conundrum" is filled with allusions to the notorious Schrödinger's cat paradox.
The title of Trailbreaker's spotlight issue is a reference to the classical novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid.
There is a principle of cybertronion biology called "Rossum's Trinity", a reference to the 1920 Czech science fiction play "Rossum's Universal Robots", which introduced the word "robot" into the English language.
In the 2012 annual we're given a quote from Megatron that paraphases a quote from Karl Marx; "Religion is the opiate of the people".
Issue 9 is titled "Post Hoc" a term that refers to the examination of data in search of patterns after an event. The issue includes a reference to a place called Apophenia, a word which refers to the experience of seeing connections in meaningless or random data.
Thunderclash's ship is called the "Vis Vitalis", which is the name of a classical alchemical principle of a "life force" possessed by living creatures.
Tyrest's failed "two-city state solution" is a reference to the fabled "two state solution" in Israel and Palestine's peace process.
Chief Justice Tyrest is designed to resemble a Principality a member of the highest order of the Third Sphere of angels in the Christian angelic hierarchy.
Issue 19's title is taken from R. D. Laing's The Divided Self, a seminal work on understanding madness.
Empurata is an anagram of the Latin word "amputare", meaning "to cut away". In ancient times, amputare was often used to punish criminals, marking them as lawbreakers and publicly humiliating them by removing specific digits or limbs. Sure enough, Empurata is given a similar purpose here.
Ununtrium is indeed a real synthetically created element.
The "Ambus Test" is a reference to the Turing Test, a scientific test designed to test when human-engineered "artificial intelligence" in computers has reached the level of sentience.
Cyclonus belongs to a religious order called the Clavis Aurea. "Clavis aurea" is a 16th century theological term that refers to the means by which hidden meanings in texts may be discovered; it means "golden key" in Latin.
Gorn: There can be some especially jarring scenes of violence, and/or torture. Like Ambulon being graphically cut in half lengthwise or heads exploding in some messy fashion.
Harsher in Hindsight: The Shadowplay arc sheds some new light on many of the actions of Shockwave. Specifically, when he feels emotions in his spotlight and Maximum Dinobot comics, he discovers rage, how to feel anger and hatred and use that to his advantage. He expresses wonder and intrigue at these feelings, which we have just learned he was stripped of before the war.
Remember how funny it was that Tailgate got stuck transforming? Well, issue 17 revealed that it's because he has cybercrosis and is rotting from the inside, with the damage including his transformation cog.
And then we learn that he was only online for about 2 weeks prior to being trapped under rubble and put offline until found in modern times. He's an infant dying of old age. Makes his baby holo-avatar a lot darker.
Ultra Magnus' Super OCD tendencies are pretty funny, right? Ha, he thinks skewed Autobot symbols are tantamount to mutiny. Well, turns out his Super OCD is because he's having a full-on nervous breakdown because he can't handle peacetime. And it turns out his boss Chief Justice Tyrest found out about it and was not amused.
Even worse, his Stat-O-Vision in the annual, when he looks at his reflection reads laughingstock.
Heartwarming In Hindsight: In issue #6, Rewind is busted for storing recordings of graphic deaths in his head, basically being the equivalent of snuff films in the Transformers-Verse. Issue #12 shows why he does this- he's looking for a friend that he lost millennia ago, and is looking for any evidence of where he went or what happened to him.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Swerve asking Skids if he's an ex-wrecker when they first met. He's from the Diplomatic Corps, another autobot special ops team, seen as a foil to the Wreckers.
There is an episode of Futurama in which Professor Farnsworth builds a "Death Clock" that functions almost exactly like the Death Clock Ratchet has. To top it off, in both Futurama and this comic the local Naïve Newcomer is shown to have a very short time to live by the respective Death Clocks.
Ho Yay: There's a healthy dose of it between Chromedome and Prowl in the flashbacks during issues 9-11. Issue 1 shows though that if there was any sort of nice vibes in their "relationship" they are definiately gone now.
Rodimus and Drift to a lesser degree, notable in one panel in issue 13. Cyclonus and Tailgate too.
I Knew It: Many fans correctly guessed that Prowl was responsible for Overlord being on the Lost Light. Many also correctly assumed that Brainstorm was in on the whole thing. Drift being the real conspirator was much less expected though.
LGBT Fanbase: This series has gotten a lot of attention from the LGBT community for featuring the first official homosexual couple in Transformers in the form of Chromedome and Rewind. Which is rather ironic considering Cybertronians don't technically have different genders (per say) and due to their nature aren't capable of sexual intercourse.
Social Justice Tarn. note Explanation: A running gag amongst the fandom, portraying the Big Bad, Knight Templar Tarn as a stereotypical Malcom X-style social crusader for Decepticons.
Courage Rodimus. note Explanation: Rodimus is insanely reckless at times and fans love pointing out his insane leaps in logic such as making medics fight on the frontlines or allowing a Shell-Shocked Veteran to walk around with a loaded gun.
Moral Event Horizon: Overlord undoubtably crossed it years before this series. It would be easier to describe the moments he isn't crossing it. However the moment he loses all possible likability is when he horrifically murders Pipes for no reason at all, then goes off to do the same to everyone else on the ship.
Star Saber crossed it in the backstory when he tried to commit genocide against everyone in the galaxy that didn't believe in Primus.
If that didn't do it than him murdering Dai Atlas definitely did.
Tyrest crosses it when he activates the Universal Killswitch.
Pharma crosses when he murders Ambulon just to prove that he is a better doctor than Ratchet and win the "contest".
Rewatch Bonus: This comic is practically the poster boy of this trope. It takes multiple rereads to get the loads of subtle jokes, references, bits of continuity, and foreshadowing.
When Tarn fights the Scavengers, he changes modes the most, he disembarks the ship, transforms, then transforms again to go to the container, while everyone else just walks the short distance. When Grimlock attacks the DJD, Tesarus pounds on him, but Tarn transforms to run him over with his treds. When Crankcase gets a mechsuit Tarn transforms to shoot him, instead of just shooting him. In a previous issue, Pharma does mention that the leader of the DJD was addicted to shape changing. It's never drawn attention to in the comic, but one can figure it out on their own.
Everything involving both Shockwave and the "Conspicuously-Unnamed Senator", after the revelations of Issue #11.
A lot of scenes involving Whirl take on a lot more relevance once you learn in issue 6 that he's a Death Seeker. Ditto for Rewind after the stuff we learn about him in issue 12.
A bit of a cross-title one, but the fact that Swerve isn't actually best friends with Blurr is actually foreshadowed in the RID comics when you realize that despite apparently being such great friends, Blurr never talks about or mourns Swerve's apparent passing with the rest of the Lost Light crew, or ever mentions him to Ironhide while being talked into reopening Maccadams.
The flashback in issue 15 will make a lot more sense if you reread it after what you learn in later in the issue and in issue 17. You're witnessing Overlord's birth.
Tailgate's green inner energon from issue 12— is because its curdled up from the cybernecrosis, as Ratchet points out.
Whirl overdosed on Berzerker Buttons and flipped out when someone asked him the time. Whirl was a watchmaker, a job that he enjoyed until the empurata it seems to be his Berserk Button.
Everything about Ultra Magnus, after he reveals that he's Minimus Ambus.
The conversation between Swerve and Ultra Magnus in issue 13 foreshadows a lot of developments about the characters that come up later. Ultra Magnus actually straight up admits to working for Chief Justice Tyrest at one point, but because he's drunk and he doesn't say Tyrest's name, Swerve just ignores him.
Issue 16, with all the close calls Ultra Magnus goes through makes us rewatch all the previous issues, as it gives us Ultra Magnus' Freudian Excuse for being the bot he is, as in, no smiles, no funny quips, hating dirt and crooked autobot badges. Turns out it was all a Red Herring after Issue 18 and 19 flip all that and reveal that Ultra Magnus is a Legacy Character, and we were actually watching the death of an Ultra Magnus every single time!
A comment Skid made on Ultra Magnus, about remembering him to be more cheerful in the past. That's because it was a different "Ultra Magnus".
Skids:Well, I think it's sad. The Ultra Magnus I remember was always so cheerful. He'd make all these little quips whilst bludgeoning you over the head and dragging you to the cells...
In issue 2, Skids notes that he feels like he's running away or escaping from something. As Chromedome later notes, he wasn't experiencing the need to run away, he was trying to remember Getaway.
Tailgate's naïve behavior makes a lot more sense when we learn in issue 21, that he's only two weeks old mentally. It most likely also explains why his subsconsciously-generated holomatter avatar back in issue #13 was an infant.
Issue 14 has Tailgate crafting something, with Hoist and Skids trying to figure out what it is. Issue 21 reveals it's Cyclonus' missing horn.
Spiritual Licensee: This comic captures the spirit of Star Trek better than any of the actual Star Trek comics. It even has some similar character archtypes (reckless captain, The Comically Serious second in command, grouchy medic, eccentric engineer, etc.).
Cyclonus as well. In-Universe, he is known for having been Galvatron's right hand man, and having killed many 'bots during his assault on Kimia. Even after he pulls a Heel-Face Turn that saves Cybertron, and helps Optimus stop Galvatron, he still gets mislabeled as a Decepticon, others openly reject him because they knew some of his victims at Kimia. Out of Universe, he's loved for his evolving relationship with Tailgate, being a honorable bot, and matching Whirl in badassness. This eventually culminates in him being more accepted by the crew following the Remain in Light arc.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: As the Transformer Wiki points out, in issue #21, Rodimus allows himself to be strapped to a cross-shaped table so that he can use the power of their creator deity to wipe away the consequences of Tyrest's sins, at the possible cost of his own life. The cables connecting him to the killswitch even make it look a little like he has a crown of thorns around his head.
The Woobie: Tailgate. Guy's just woken up from missing six million years of war, and as such is incredibly naive about what has transpired. He spends an issue walking around an Autobot ship declaring that, based on the history Cyclonus has shared with him, he wants to be a Decepticon, and invites mistrust upon himself before being subjected to a brutal montage of Decepticon atrocities. Add to that Cyclonus beating the crap out of him in issue #4, leaving Tailgate a quivering wreck curled up in the fetal position, and you just want to give him a big hug. In issue 13 he becomes even more Woobie-licious when we find out, he's not a crewmember of the Ark 1 like he said he was. He's just a garbage man who fell while swapping out the ship's coolant and lied because he just wanted someone to actually care about him. Not only that, it turns out that he's dying of cybercrosis from all the radiation he received while in stasis for 6 million years, and before he went missing, he had only been alive for 2 weeks.
Thanks to Issue #11, Shockwave. of all people. One of the few decent members of the corrupt, pre-War senate, he sacrifices himself to save Roller's life. He is mutilated, and has his personality completely inverted, changing from an outspoken, affable benefactor to a cold, emotionless scientist. He's portrayed with such depth prior to this transformation that we really feel for him, despite the fact that years later, he's one of the Decepticon elite.
Cyclonus in issue 17.
Ultra Magnus is developing into one.
Chromedome becomes a bigger woobie with each passing issue. Especially after Rewind dies.