REVIEW: ‘Star Trek vs. Transformers’ Issue #4

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Star Trek vs Transformers #4

Star Trek vs. Transformers #4 is written by John Barber and Mike Johnson, illustrated by Phillip Murphy, lettered by Christa Miesner, and colored by Josh Burcham. If you are baffled by the title and have no idea why this is even a thing, don’t fret! Published by IDW Publishing, Star Trek vs. Transformers is a limited series that continues the Autobots and Deceptions long standing tradition of crossing over their Cybtroning issues to other properties.

In the past, we have seen the Transformers crossover with the likes of G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Marvel’s Avengers, My Little Pony, and even Angry Birds. No stranger to crossovers, Star Trek has had its own adventures with the likes of the X-Men, Doctor Who, and the Green Lantern, so surely the seeing the Federation battling the Decepticons shouldn’t be too far fetched, right?

Three of my favorite things from the previous issues that might catch your attentions are: transforming Star Ships, Spock Mind-Melding with Optimus Prime (featured above), and Bones saying, “Damnit, Jim. I’m a DOCTOR, not a MECHANIC”. If any of that peaks your curiosity, this mini-series might be for you.

In the series, artist Murphy and colorist Burcham seamlessly blend of art styles that feature the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the 1973 Star Trek: The Animated Series and the usual cast of Transformers who are sporting their Generation 1 designs from the 1984 cartoon. Issues one through three of the “Prime’s Directive”, a very fitting crossover title, are very straight forward and gets the reader right into the thick of it. The Federation encounters the Decepticons on the mining planet Cygnus Seven after answering a distress call. As would come as no surprise, a battle ensues as the crew of the Enterprise defends themselves from the attacking them. With the help of an injured Optimus Prime and the orbiting Enterprise, the Decepticons retreat.

In their retreat the Decepticons find the homing signal of the infamous Typticon, their titian/fortress which fans of the Transformer series know is a deadly force in its Tyrannosaurus Rex form. To their surprise, Typticon is in fortress mode and is occupied by the Klingons, who are led by their Federation-hating Commander Kuri.

What follows is a fairly basic story that one might expect: Decepticons and Klingons band together to destroy the AutoBots and the Federation as the Transformers continue their eon long struggle over the control of energon.

Star Trek vs. Transformers #4 picks up right where the action left off in issue three. Captain Kirk continues to battle Trypticon in its Tyrannosaurus Rex form while Kirk pilots the titan Fortress Maximus, the AutoBots’ titian/fortress, which has adapted to the configuration of the U.S.S. Enterprise through a two-way neural connection.

As ridiculous as that sentence is to write, it is really where this issue and the series thus far shines. This series is all but devoid of a thought provoking plot that one might expect from the Star Trek franchise. However, as the thin plot is already established in the previous issues,Star Trek vs. Transformers gives the reader the most exciting aspects from both series – a good and evil struggle, giant robots fighting each other, the Enterprise crew taking on the most challenging task to win the day, and cheesy one liners – all without having to say how we got here.

Writers Barber and Johnson have laid the foundation enough in previous issues to make what is happening in issue four not seem too out of the realm for either universe. The missions of the opposing parties and their need to form alliances work. The Enterprise transforming into a Transformer works. Kirk controlling a Fortress Maximus and being the lone human to handle the mental strain works. This is truly due to the writers understanding the properties that they are dealing with and not bogging down the book or issue four with convoluted backstory story when dealing with two franchises that are decades old.

The issue feels like it is meant to be fun and issue four really is that pay off. Captain Kirk has his own struggles controlling the sentient Fortress Maximus. In the midst of the two titans Trypticon and Fortress Maximus dueling, we are left with panel after panel of interactions with members of opposing teams having their own battle while shooting off one liners that would make a fan of either series proud. The later part of the issue introduces new twists and turns with Deception-Klingon alliance that should keep readers interested in the series as it concludes in issue five.

Star Trek v Transformers #4 can be found anywhere comic books are sold.

Star Trek vs. Transformers #4
5

TL;DR

Star Trek vs. Transformers feels like it is meant to be fun and issue four really is that pay off