Alien vs Predator. Freddy vs Jason. Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Masters of the Universe vs Thundercats. We’re living in an era of crossovers that blow the minds of ’80s kids everywhere. Yet, the oddest of these crossovers was released this past week by IDW Publishing: Transformers/Ghostbusters.
While both are popular franchises from the ’80s that continue to find success three decades later, it’s a strange pairing on paper. After all, one is about robots fighting intergalactic wars, while the other is about wise-cracking ghost hunters in New York City. Turns out the creative team of Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, and Luis Antonio Delgado have formulated the sweetest cocktail of oil and water here in Transformers/Ghostbusters #1.
In part one of “Ghosts of Cybertron”, the Autobots leave their home planet, Cybertron. Time passes by when they receive a Cybertronian distress signal from Earth, so the ‘bots head off to check it out. It’s here that Optimus Prime and his team meet the original Ghostbusters (Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, Ray Stanz, and Winston Zeddemore). And in case you were wondering, yes, one of the Transformers takes the guise of the Ecto-1 in a moment of sheer geek joy.
Created as a celebration of 35 years of Transformers and Ghostbusters, the miniseries works as it captures the peaks of both franchises. In this case, it’s The Transformers cartoon and the first two Ghostbusters movies—all released in the ’80s.
Speaking to IDW, Burnham said, “I like a little comedy with the action, and I was wondering if Hasbro was going to ask for a very stoic interpretation of the Transformers property, leaving the silliness to the Ghostbusters…but no. I get to have fun with the bots! Nothing wildly out of character, mind you, but Optimus Prime is gonna be as able to crack a joke as [Peter] Venkman, if the situation arises. It’s gonna be about fun. Lots of fun.”
Burnham wasn’t lying when he said it’d be a lot of fun, because that’s exactly what the first issue is all about. It feels as if it’s an adventure that could’ve come straight from the imagination of children who adored both franchises. It isn’t only playing on nostalgia, but there’s a genuine excitement to see how these two opposing worlds co-exist and where the story goes.
It’s still early days but if Transformers/Ghostbusters becomes successful, it’s more than likely that future crossovers will take place. Perhaps even in other mediums. Just imagine an animated film featuring the animation style of 1984’s The Transformers with 1986’s The Real Ghostbusters. Be still, our beating geeky hearts!