Transformers: EarthSpark Season 1 Review: Deep Dive Into Controversial Series Finds Cybertronian Magic

Let's set the record straight on this show for parents and fans of the franchise. This is my review of Transformers: EarthSpark and I'm going to tell you exactly what you need to know about it.
Transformers Earthspark

Yeah, yeah, I know. “Another Transformers article?” Yes, another Transformers article. Like the others, I put my heart and soul into these articles because of just how much I absolutely love the franchises we write about. For some its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For others, its Power Rangers. For me, its Transformers. And this time, its time to set a few things straight.

Late in 2022, Hasbro teamed with Paramount Animation to create a new animated show within the Transformers universe. The first show released since the end of Transformers: Cyberverse, this show held promise to be one of the best and most faithful show since Transformers: Prime. Yet, following the end of the first batch of releases, Transformers: EarthSpark suffered from major controversy regarding its depictions of certain characters.

Today, I want to set the record straight on this show for parents and fans of the franchise, so you no longer have to worry about the show and its effects on kids. This is my review of Transformers: EarthSpark and I’m going to tell you exactly what you need to know about it.

What is Transformers: EarthSpark?


Following the cancelation and ending of Cyberverse, Hasbro was at a loss for the next major Transformers show to continue to tell the stories of the Cybertronians. It wasn’t long before EarthSpark began production for Paramount+ for a 2022 release.

Released in three separate blocks of digital releases, Transformers: EarthSpark started as a Paramount+ exclusive animated series before it began normal releases on Nickelodeon in the United States and Canada in late 2022.

Telling the story of the Malto family and their relationships with the Autobots and Decepticons post-war on earth, EarthSpark follows Robby Malto (Sydney Mikayla) and his younger sister Morgan “Mo” Malto (Zion Broadnax) as they meet and teach new Earth-borne Transformers Twitch (Kathreen Khavari), Thrash (Zeno Robinson), Hashtag (Stephanie Lemelin), Jawbreaker (Cyrus Arnold), and Nightshade (Z Infante) about living in a family and protecting one another.

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With the help of their parents Officer Dottie Malto (Benni Latham) and Dr. Alex Malto (Jon Jon Briones), the Terrans fight alongside both Autobot and Decepticon allies to create a world accepting of everyone. However, standing in their way is the sketchy government outfit G.H.O.S.T. and the maniacal scientist Dr. Meridian (Diedrich Baker). Each with their own schemes and plans for the Transformers, the family must stand up for each other and the people they love.

Something Transformers Fans Can Love

Transformers Earthspark

Obviously, you can’t have a Transformers show without the biggest characters on both sides. Optimus Prime (Alan Tudyk) and Megatron (Rory McCann) have put aside their fight to work together to create a world accepting of the Transformers. Joining each is a cast of Autobots and Decepticons that every fan is sure to recognize.

Starting with the Autobots, you have the mentor to the Terrans and fun-loving Autobot Bumblebee (Danny Pudi) who has dedicated himself to protecting the Maltos and helping the Terrans protect their home. Assisting Bumblebee are his fellow Autobots, including Elita-1 (Cissy Jones), Grimlock (Keith David), Wheeljack (Michael T. Downey), and Arcee (Martha Marton) who each offer the Terrans advice that helps them on their adventures.

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Megatron also offers assistance from time to time, but this mission has put him in a traitorous position to his fellow Decepticons. Fugitives on Earth, the Decepticons include Starscream (Steve Blum), Soundwave (Sean Kenin), Shockwave (Troy Baker), Swindle (Nolan North) and the renegade Predacon Tarantulus (Alfie Allen). While more Decepticons make appearances, these are the ones that carry the most impact for the Terrans.

The Characterization

Transformers Earthspark Megatron

Now that we got the semantics out of the way, I can actually dive into the story and the characters the show has. Each character has episodes and moments that make them truly standout amongst this cast of fan-favorite Transformers. Special notes go out to Rory McCann’s Megatron, who while scarred mentally from the toll the war has taken on him, has put aside his past to help Optimus and create a new life on Earth for his Decepticons.

Many of the fan-favorite Transformers make mostly one-off appearances, relegated to guest roles on the episodes. But in these episodes that focus on their relationships with the Terrans, there are large standouts for them. Take for instance, an episode regarding Starscream. Typically depicted as a power-hungry coward, EarthSpark chooses to see who Starscream truly is even with these insults thrown his way. For the first time in what feels like forever, Starscream actually confronts his abusive relationship with Megatron. You have an opportunity to see Starscream not as a coward, but as someone who is recovering from years of abuse.

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Also late in the season is an episode pertaining to Grimlock. The episode makes heavy use of control and trauma. Grimlock went through a truly traumatic event and has to recover from it, but is blocking himself from getting the help he needs. It results in a catastrophe as he loses control of his anger and rage and begins attacking everyone. Its a powerful episode, conveying the aftermath of trauma in a way that makes it easy to see and understand.

Now…That Nightshade Character…

Transformers Earthspark Nightshade

I mentioned earlier that there was some controversy surrounding this show and a specific character and their portrayal within the show. That character was a Terran known as Nightshade, and the reason they are the subject of controversy is due to a scene in the eighth episode where Nightshade is introduced as non-binary.

Now, in today’s political landscape, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there are members of the LGTBQ+ community who are seeking representation in media as well as their fight for medical rights and their rights to love who they want. The argument has largely been focused around certain issues I will not go into here.

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However, one issue I can not ignore is the blatant disregard by both fans and non-fans of Transformers in regards to this argument. For the record, Transformers has always attempted to be inclusive. Even back in 1984 when Generation 1 began airing. It was hard for anyone to ignore the influence that Scatman Crothers brought to fan-favorite G1 character Jazz, a transformer that largely spoke in Black vernacular English.

Transformers Original Series Jazz

Inclusivity is an issue many media choose to either ignore or embrace, and it is almost always controversial. Many will argue that the choice to include and explain a non-binary character in a show made for children is crossing the line. Unfortunately for those people, in the words of Ratchet in Revenge of the Fallen, “these fools are terribly misinformed.”

The character of Nightshade was specifically included because transgender and non-binary people exist and are continuing to suffer from misinformation campaigns and constant harassment from both their families and their communities. Representation matters. People can’t continue to ignore that these individuals exist.


Transformers fans who think this is wrong are obviously not fans of the franchise. Optimus Prime himself has said it countless times. “Freedom is the right for all sentient beings.” It doesn’t matter who you are, you have the right to live, to exist, and to be represented in a children’s show.

Back To The Review

Transformers Earthspark

I apologize for the political talk. Honestly, I just want everyone to be able to live their lives without fearing for their lives because of who they are. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. No one has the right to tell you who you can and can’t be.

Transformers has always been for everyone. The battle of the Autobots for freedom and peace for all against the Decepticons who fight to enslave the universe under their rule is a story many can relate to. Our own battles to be the best person we can be are reflected by the characters we see on screen.

Transformers: EarthSpark may be controversial, but the show has shown that it not only respects its viewers but respects the franchise it was spawn from. In a show made for kids, the show contains many themes that some would consider adult. Even in the final few episodes, there are some concepts and moments that shocked even me.


I obviously can’t get into them right now, but trust me here: Dr. Meridian holds no mercy whatsoever. This show treats children not as children, but as people deserving of respect. It respects the source material, it respects its audience, and isn’t trying to push any agenda on its viewers except to treat each other with respect, protect your family and loved ones, and stay strong even in your darkest moments.

Seriously, this show knows what it set out to do. It’s a great show, one that I even believe rivals Transformers: Prime in how well done it is. Want proof? Just watch the opening battle in Episode 8. You’ll understand just how much fun this show can have with its characters.

Final Statements

Transformers: Earthspark

Transformers: EarthSpark proves that even children’s shows can carry lessons for fans new or old. It isn’t afraid to hide behind cheap gags or fart jokes. It takes its time to introduce each character, gives them all the development they need, and has a story that will entertain action fans and Transformers fans alike.

No, it isn’t forcing an agenda on you. If anything, its trying to entertain you by not trying to hide. It lets you know exactly what it is. There are kiddy moments, but they always mean something. The lessons taught are ones we all deserve to know.

Don’t ignore the show because it has a non-binary character in it. Embrace the show for continuing to teach that everyone deserves to be represented. Kids, adults, men, women, non-binary, trauma survivors and veterans. It acknowledges everyone.

And, for that, I give it 4 1/2 stars. It’s not perfect by any means, but it sets out what it means to do. Its a fun, action-oriented series about giant robots that turn into cars and tackles adult themes. To me. that’s everything it needs to be.


Anyways, thank you for reading this Transformers: Earthspark review! For future updates on Transformers news as well as news for TMNT, MCU, Power Rangers, and every other nerd show and topic in existence, follow The Illuminerdi on Twitter/X by using @The_Illuminerdi!

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