(W) John Barber & Mike Johnson (A) Philip Murphy (C) Josh Burcham
Over the last few years, IDW has been churning out some of the best crossover comics on the market. That’s partly because they have such an expansive list of franchises under their banner, allowing for a bizarrely fun mix-and-match (The Mars Attacks event from 2013 still being a high point), and partly because they’re able to bring on the tried-and-true writers of those franchise comics.
Such is the case with Star Trek vs Transformers, which brings together long-time Transformers scribe John Barber and his Trek-comics counterpart, Mike Johnson. The two know what they’re dealing with, writing in cute nods to each individual series’ characteristic lines and plots without ever straying into anything too unfamiliar.
Not that the comic is beholden to any canonicity. Philip Murphy on art mimics the original 1984 Transformers cartoon and Star Trek’s brief foray into animation in 1973, tying the series into these classic incarnations without restricting the storyline. It’s a new playground with all the best toys – I love the idea from issue #2 that the ’84 line of Autobots decided to bounce from earth during the Eugenics Wars.
Last issue was where the miniseries found its footing (after an admittedly slow start) and featured Captain Kirk wiring his brain to control a USS Enterprise version of Fortress Maximus – er, “Fortress Tiberious.” Seeing a transformed Federation vessel is joyful – seeing it beat the crap out of Trypticon is bliss. Issue #4 relishes in that battle of the titans as Kirk struggles to maintain control over Maximus and not break Starfleet Order 2 (prohibiting the taking of intelligent life). Meanwhile, Megatron chastises his Klingon partners as the Autobot-Federation alliance proves fantastically effective.
But then the plot takes a turn, thanks to Starscream’s inevitable betrayal, and slows for a scene change before the final showdown. It’s perhaps a bit convoluted for a rather simple romp – the series so far feels like it could’ve been a bit tighter (and a bit shorter).
Nevertheless, there’s enough light fun here to keep any Transfan (once the preferred nomenclature, believe it or not) or Trekkie happy. But for readers not invested in either property, I’d skip – you just won’t get as much out of it.
Star Trek vs Transformers’ final issue is scheduled to drop Feb. 20.
- Goofy crossover fun
- Rife with references
- Not for the uninitiated