Transformers/Ghostbusters #1 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Eric Burnham, with art by Dan Schoening, colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, and letters by Tom B. Long. To celebrate 35 years of both the Transformers and Ghostbusters franchises, IDW Publishing released a special crossover series. In this alternative timeline, the classic story of how the Transformers come to earth and the events surrounding it are turned on its head. This works really well as it is used to reintroduce some classic baddies in a new and ingenious way.
When the story of Transformers/Ghostbusters #1 picks up the Autobots have fled Cybertron, accepting that the only alternative is endless war with the Decepticons. However, after the Autobots leave, the Decepticons are paid a visit from an unlikely set of intruders, who’s actions ensure this is going to be a very different Transformers tale. Meanwhile, back on Earth, we are introduced to the Ghostbusters being kept busy, as usual, keeping the Earth safe from the paranormal that would threaten it.
This change in timelines also works wonderfully as a call back to the storytelling conventions of the 80s when the Transformers and Ghostbusters series first came out. Coming up with wacky reasons for crossovers, whether they made sense within the confines of either universe were the norm. They whipped up a script and just went for it. And while I love that much of the fiction we get today is more serious, it is nice to just have some fun with a couple of franchises that have always had fun as their main goals.
The feeling of fun is thoroughly reflected in the story as well. Characters retain all their charm, or in some cases obnoxiousness, as in with Starscream, and gives an instant sense of familiarity even when situations that are present are unfamiliar. This is doubly true for the Ghostbusters as Eric Burnham nails these classic characters perfectly. Pitching banter back and forth just as they did when I used to watch, and rewatch, the original Ghostbusters movie while stretched out on my living room floor all those years ago.
While the style and tone of Schoening’s art fit the writing very well there are some issues I have with it. While I love Schoening’s renditions of the various Transformers, I cannot say the same for the look of the Ghostbusters. The designs are clear and it is not difficult to discern one Ghostbuster from another. The major I have is the designs came off as a little too cartoony. Features, such as hair and lips feel a bit exaggerated. However, this might just be a side effect of the Transformers being so spot on since they are based on their animated counterparts. And by seeing them portrayed so accurately, my brain also wants the Ghostbusters to be equally accurate, a feat obviously beyond the realm of possibility. Whatever the reason it left me a little let down when the Ghostbusters did make their appearance.
As with any series of this nature, the bulk of the book is used to get the pieces in place for future issues. This book’s ability to make me thoroughly enjoy this setup is a bonus that is wholeheartedly welcomed. If the creative team can keep this level of quality in the subsequent issues this series has the potential to be a very welcome read for fans of the classic Transformers and Ghostbusters properties.
Transformers/Ghostbusters #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
This book’s ability to make me thoroughly enjoy this setup is a bonus that is wholeheartedly welcomed.