The Transformers: Titans Return is IDW's tie-in to the Titans Return toyline, the second half of the Prime Wars Trilogy.
The Titans are returning! After being thought to be long dead Sentinel Prime emerges to purge the new Cybertron, which he sees as heretical and impure. Sentinel launches a one man crusade against the new age and travels to Earth, retrieving Garrison Blackrock and threatening to tear down the empire Optimus Prime has built for himself.
With Blackrock, now the Titan Master Sovereign, in tow Sentinel travels to Luna 1, home of the Titan Graveyard, to reactivate the hundred strong army of ancient behemoths and bring all of creation under his heel.
This 7 issue event was jointly written by John Barber, Mairghread Scott, and James Roberts, tying together their 3 Ongoing Transformers series and the new Revolution (2016) book.
- Absolute Xenophobe: Sentinel Prime. He views Cybertron as so polluted by "malformed" Transformers from the colonies, Decepticons and any Transformers without a standard altmode he's willing to unleash an army of undead Titans on it to "wipe it clean" of all imperfections.
- Adaptational Villainy: Sentinel Prime's modern depictions have made him less than heroic, but here, he's a full on raving monstrous lunatic dedicated to killing all he views as less than his ideal of what a Transformer should be.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Infinitus has a pair of curved energy blades that extend from his wrists.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: He lets Prowl, Cerebros and Fortress Maximus flee after their first battle, assuming they won't be able to interfere any further. He's wrong.
- Boomerang Bigot: For all of his ranting about Cybertronian Purity, Sentinel is a Headmaster bot from a race of Transformers that were hunted to extinction at least partially for not fitting the "Cybertronian Ideal" that he himself preaches about.
- Call-Back: The opening one-shot begins with a recap of Megatron beating Sentinel up back from Megatron: Origins.
- Composite Character:
- Whilst his toy markets Infinitus and Sentinel as different people, in the story Infinitus is Sentinel Prime, and the body is just a drone he controls.
- Garrison Blackrock combines his Marvel self with the toyline Titan Master Sovereign, who is himself based on Beta Maxx, Alpha Trion's previous miniature companion.
- Sentinel turns out to have had Mnemnosurgery done on dozens of unwitting Autobots back when he was in charge of the Senate's security forces, just in case he ever needed a brainwashed militia.
- While Fortress Maximus is piloting a Titan to fight the undead Titans Sentinel has unleashed, Prowl says that he's going to need a Plan P. Cerebros says he means Plan B, at which point Prowl says he knows what he said.
- Decomposite Character: in the original cartoon and comic book, Cerebros was an Autobot who formed the head of Fortress Maximus (and had Spike Witwhicky form his own head). In Titans Return, he's not a headmaster, he's just another Autobot who works with Fortress Maximus and turns into a car as his alt-mode.
- Depending on the Artist: Sentinel has two radically different designs in the series. Livio Ramondelli gave him a very complex design with muted colors and large quantities of black. Under his pen Sentinel had wings, and his headmaster gimmick worked like the Leader Class Transformers in that he was a diminutive Head that needed a helmet built into his large body to make up for the difference in size. Priscilla Tramontana drew Sentinel in a more simplified design and went more with the toy's orange. In addition Infinitus forms Sentinel's head completely without the need for a helmet.
- Depending on the Writer: Whilst Sentinel's different motivations can be easily rationalized, his personality changes radically when he's written. Barber's Sentinel is more bombastic and humorless whilst Roberts's Sentinel is Faux Affably Evil.
- Detachment Combat: Sentinel/Infinitus' body fights on its own when he's off abducting Blackrock.
- The Dragon: Both Sentinel/Infinitus and Sovereign serve as this to Onyx Prime.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When they visit Prion, Sentinel is visibly livid over Micronus's actions there, feeling that his decision to leave his people, the Minicons, was a cowardly act that lead to their destruction by the Black Block Consortia.
- Hazy Feel Turn: One of the main threads throughout Robots in Disguise/volume 2 of the Ongoing has been Prowl's gradual descent into darker and darker methods in pursuit of the destruction of all threats, eventually getting him arrested in the Combiner Wars arc - despite his insistence that he's doing it for the greater good. Here, while he's still a Jerk Ass, he's firmly on the side of the angels in stopping the far, far worse Sentinel.
- HeelFace Turn: Soundwave here solidifies the process started in Volume 2 of the Ongoing.
- Irony: As mentioned above, Sentinel keeps ranting about the purity of the Transformers race and how anything that doesn't fit his view of what the Cybertronian ideal is an abomination - despite being a Titan Master/Headmaster, a race annihilated in the distant past by Galvatron for not fitting HIS vision of what a Cybertronian should be.
- Jerkass: Aside from being a monster, Sentinel Prime is notorious for his bombastic cruelty and never having a good thing to say about anyone.
- The Load: Sentinel actually accuses Prowl of being one in the middle of a monologue, claiming part of the reason he took several million years to get back on track was all because of Prowl. It is worth noting Sentinel is nuts.
- Losing Your Head: The main gimmick of the Titan Masters, essentially identical to the Headmasters.
- Manchurian Agent: Red Alert turns out to be one for Sentinel Prime. Turns out, Red Alert's famous paranoia was actually a subconscious reaction to the programming: he knew that something wasn't right all along.
- Mythology Gag: Infinitus's body, Sentinel Prime, is a non-sentient Transector, like in the Transformers Headmasters anime, rather than the 2 man team of the American Headmasters. Essentially, his main body is a drone and his head is the mind, whilst often times the Headmaster and the body were both sentient beings.
- Not So Different: Optimus and Soundwave waste no time comparing Sentinel Prime to Galvatron.
- Off with His Head!: Infinitus slices off Alpha Trion's head and attaches himself to the neck stump.
- Properly Paranoid: Red Alert's insane levels of paranoia are shown to be partially justified - turns out Sentinel brainwashed him before the war ever started in case he ever needed a mole.
- Retcon: Sentinel Prime being a Titan Master all along as well as being Not Quite Dead.
- Your Size May Vary: Titans are supposed to be massive towering monstrosities, and an entire ship could fit quite easily into the eye-socket of Metroplex. When the army of Titans reach Cybertron, they're a lot smaller, roughly the size of Combiners, and Airazor (a normal sized bot) is the size of one's eye. It could be chocked up to size changing, a skill certain Titans demonstrated, but when Metroplex transformers, he's their size.