02nd Jul2019

‘Transformers/Ghostbusters: Ghost of Cybertron #1’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Erik Burnham | Art by Dan Schoening | Published by IDW Publishing


This was a title I just couldn’t resist picking up. Although I love my superhero stuff, my Vertigo stuff, my ‘mature’ graphic novels, there will always be a part of me that is a sucker for any pop culture crossover. When I was a kid I remember loving it on Scooby Doo when guest stars would appear, like Batman, or the Blue Falcon and Dynomutt (full disclaimer, I still do). Logic and a coherent story were generally thrown out the window to be replaced by just a fun mash up. You can understand, then, when I saw IDW had decided to have a little fun by combining two of the biggest pop culture brands around, I had to take a look see. So, let’s take that look see.

We kick off with a quick look at the Transformers history and their world, Cybertron, where, if you are not up on Transformers, is where a civil war raged between two factions, the Autobots and the Decepticons. The Autobots left, and a powerful being called the Traveler destroyed Cyberton and seemingly with it all the Decepticons. So, one thousand years later, the nomadic Autobots are mystified when a Cybertronian signal reaches them from a small, insignificant planet called Earth. Optimus Prime sends a new autobot, Ectotron, to check it out. Ectotron manages to set down in Brooklyn, where the Ghostbusters team are currently in action fighting an apparition. He disguises himself as the Ghostbusters car, Ecto-1, which made this 80’s fanboy smile way more than he should have.

When the Ghostbusters finish crossing the streams and getting rid of their current ghostly presence, they suddenly find they have two Ecto-1 cars. Hmmm. And, what is that huge ghostly robot figure babbling about talking to Autobots? We know it seems to be Starscream, but the ‘Busters don’t. When in doubt, suck it into the ecto storage containment box, right? Which they do. Egon, though, notices the readings of this entity are way different to the norm, and Winston points out ‘what’s an Autobot?’ anyway. That question is swiftly answered, as Ectotron (Eck?) reveals himself to the team. For a group of guys used to dealing with all sorts of ghosts and ghoulies, nice to see a huge talking robot can still spook them. We’ll have to wait till next time to see how it all shakes out.

As I hoped this was fun. Nice 80’s nostalgia, perfectly pitched and presented. As Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening are the regular Ghostbusters team, you would expect their writing and art on those characters to be superb, which is it, but they also do a fine job on the Transformers too. Burnham’s dialogue and banter is perfectly delivered. Although the book was obviously more of a setup and primer than anything else, it had enough about it to entertain and to keep fans of both franchises happy. Schoening’s art made this feel like a late 1980’s cartoon crossover, of which I am particularly fond as mentioned earlier, which ramped up the nostalgia and fun aspect. The simple lines and seemingly simple layouts of the art almost hide a very strong style, with plenty of detail on the Transformers especially. Loved the final two page spread too. Very nice.

If I wanted to be hyper critical, I could say that it was a very quick read, but that’s probably as much me speed reading it through these nostalgia lenses as anything else. It was fun, and there’s not enough of that around these days. I enjoyed it, and I think a lot of others will, because when the creators are obviously having fun, that carries over to the reader.

When you want a hearty slice of nostalgia and fun, who you gonna call?

Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening of course.

**** 4/5

Transformers/Ghostbusters: Ghost of Cybertron #1 is out now.


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