Serving as another jumping-on point for new readers, the Transformers ongoing series by new writer Mike Costa launched at the start of 2010, beginning two years after the end of All Hail Megatron. As the series begins, the Autobots are attempting to figure out what to do next after the end of the war, while being hounded by the refurbished Skywatch, led by Spike Witwicky. The death of Ironhide prompts Optimus Prime to retire his post as leader, surrendering himself to Skywatch and leaving leadership split between Bumblebee and Hot Rod; the former soon takes sole command when a disastrous deal brokered with some Decepticon stragglers forces a disgraced Hot Rod to go it alone. An alliance is soon forged between the Autobots and Skywatch without the knowledge of the government, but everything soon goes wrong when the Decepticons launch a revenge attack on two fronts, assaulting the Autobots directly on the battlefield, and manipulating human minds to turn popular opinion against them.
The ongoing proceeded to transition into a more "space-based" approach to storytelling as it headed towards its final storyline, beginning with the three-part "Space Opera" storyline, and followed by the flashback-heavy "Chaos Theory", a look into Megatron and Optimus Prime's relationship penned by James Roberts. Roberts co-authored the final arc, "Chaos", in which the Autobots battle both the returned Galvatron and his army, and the true evil of the Dead Universe, D-Void. "Chaos" had originally been intended to be a separate mini-series, but was incorporated into the ongoing, which shipped bi-weekly for the duration of the storyline, with alternating issues focusing on the final story on Earth as the Skywatch alliance finally breaks down. Concluding with its 31st issue, the series was wrapped up at the end of 2011 with the one-shot "Transformers: The Death of Optimus Prime," jointly written by James Roberts andJohn Barber, who went on to author the new series that launched the following year.