Despite seeming to be an unholy mash-up of properties that are only being smooshed together to make money from two normally separate fanbases rather than one, I found the first issue of My Little Pony/Transformers to be an unexpectedly charming and fun read. It had witty, self-aware writing and beautifully colourful, cartoony art that felt consistent despite the fact that the two properties couldn’t be more different – their main point in common being that they’re both owned by toy/game/entertainment empire Hasbro.

It helped that, rather than opt for a big, character-stuffed saga – of the type that can rapidly become confusing to more casual readers, and is the most common approach with this type of crossover – instead a more accessible format was used: two short stories, each preceded by character profiles to give a quick overview of each tale’s principal players.

The same approach is taken in the second issue (why fix what’s not broken, eh?), the first story of which sees Equestria’s little Royal Advisor, the cute dragon Spike, encountering Grimlock, a gruff, no-nonsense but well-meaning Dinobot who can transform into a T-Rex. Their meeting is cut short by the Constructicons, a team of Decepticons who can combine to form the aptly-named giant evil robot Devastator. Little Spike’s faith in Grimlock – as well as himself – is put to the test in this cute opening story.

The second tale places readers in the studio audience for the recording of Pinkie Pie’s cookery show, with female Autobot Gauge – a relatively new addition to the Transformers cast – joining her for a peek at the culinary delights from both Equestria and Cybertron. Interrupting their culinary cultural exchange is nasty Decepticon scientist Shockwave, who is keen to find out if he can use Equestria’s citizens as a food – and therefore power – source.

Once more, the quality of the writing and art is first rate – with no need for the exposition in the first issue, we’re basically thrust straight into the action here. It’s all good, clean, only mildly threatening fun for all ages of reader – and it is definitely a comic that fans of both franchises should enjoy immensely.

Rounding out the issue is a preview of another IDW Transformers crossover – Transformers vs The Terminator. Though apt because it’s another Transformers crossover, it’s a little jarring to turn from the beautifully illustrated cover gallery that follows the main stories and be confronted with the dark, skull-like visage of the T-800 under Optimus Prime’s armour.

I can’t find fault with the actual story content of My Little Pony/Transformers, however. It’s cute, it’s fun and it’s really well put together – I didn’t think I’d enjoy it half as much as I have so far, and I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the third issue.

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