This crossover featuring two of Hasbro’s biggest toy and media franchises is such an insane idea that it really shouldn’t work. Yet, in the world of comic books, no matter how crazy the crossover idea is, it is no reason to not at least give it a shot. And there’s been countless examples of bizarre crossovers that have been superb – with one great and utterly bizarre example being the recent Archie vs Predator, which pits the intergalactic hunter against the teens of Riverdale, with surprisingly gory and fatal results.
Still, Archie vs Predator this is not. With a cutesy style that does great work in giving the Autobots and Decepticons a makeover that ensures they fit with the kawaii style of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic universe, it’s clear that we’re at the family friendly end of the crossover spectrum with this series.
When evil, vengeful Queen Chrysalis – the Queen of the Changelings in the pony-filled world of Equestria – seeks to call forth Changelings from other worlds, she inadvertently creates a space bridge that reaches out to another dimension – one in which the Transformers exist. The noble Autobots, attempting to stop the Decepticons from using the space bridge for nefarious purposes, are drawn through the portal – where they encounter the slightly the good ponies of Equestria. Meanwhile, the nasty Chrysalis has discovered Megatron – and they begin to discuss how they can help each other out…
Though that’s the crux of the main story’s beginning, there’s a backup strip too – which is a bit more focused on the Transformers than the ponies, with a smaller scale battle between Starscream and the heroic Arcee, along with a few quadrupedal friends.
As there’s not likely to be many fans familiar with both franchises, the issue starts with a straightforward roll call to introduce both casts of characters. It’s incredibly useful!
Despite the somewhat odd couple nature of the crossover – with the one common element being Hasbro’s ownership of both properties, making the idea seem initially like a bit of a cynical cash in – I have to admit that I thought both stories were incredibly fun. They’re written with a real, knowingly self-referential wit (the first scene begins with a character complaining about the crossover they’re reading in a comic book making no sense in continuity) and the artwork is absolutely wonderful. It’s bright, bold and brilliantly colourful – I especially liked seeing the chrome font used to tell us we were in Equestria, as well as the cute, pony-style font for Cybertron. The characters really do fit together seamlessly thanks to the style employed by the artists in each story (Tony Fleecs in the first and Jack Lawrence in the second – though I was surprised to learn that the same artist wasn’t responsible for both stories!).
To top it all off, there’s a beautiful cover gallery showcasing some absolutely wonderful variant covers at the end of the issue. I never thought I’d be saying this, but I genuinely can’t wait to catch up with the rest of the series (which was so popular that it’s already spawned a sequel – the first issue of which has just been released). It’s a fun, fast-paced and amusing crossover that’s a lot better than I ever imagined it could be.
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