IDWs formal announcement of an upcoming miniseries crossing over the continuities and aesthetics of Star Trek: The Animated Series and the first generation of Transformers is already chock full of pants-wetting nostalgia material. With four months until the actual release, fans of both franchises are left drowning in potential the likes of which haven’t been seen since the heyday of livejournal.
The four-issue miniseries will be written by John Barber (Optimus Prime, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Back to the Future, IDW EIC) and Mike Johnson (Star Trek, Star Trek: Countdown, Starfleet Academy, Boldly Go) with art by Philip Murphy (Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, Powerpuff Girls) and colors by Leonardo Ito (The Witch Book).
It’s easy to see what to expect on a superficial level. The two properties have a lot in common. With high-concept sci-fi and low-budget animation, they’re as Saturday morning as it gets. But the wider themes of the two franchises have a different underlying current. Trek gets to have this glowing backstory behind it: that mankind has overcome all its current obstacles and is spreading prosperity across the universe. Transformers doesn’t get this. The whole franchise is conceptually based around this ongoing fight between Autobots and Decepticons (gotta love theme songs that recap the plot) and that they keep ending up on Earth because their civil war wrecked their planet.
The gimmick of having a robot that can turn into a vehicle is a straightforward for the toys Hasbro wanted the show to sell, but being robots in disguise means being fish out of water wherever they are. The jumping-off point for Trek is always: “We did it! Go humanity!” but for Transformers it’s: “We really screwed up.”
But no worries kiddos, your auntie Grace has your back. As an expert (citation needed) on both Trek and Transformers, with literal hours worth of inside looks into the busy world of comics, I can next to promise you that the series will at the very least contain the following:
- Out of frustration McCoy will yell “I’m a Doctor not an ambulance.” Ratchet will give the audience a knowing wink.
- After being bombarded with Tribbles, Megatron will summon Kremzeek and spend a month smelling nothing but burnt hair.
- After seeing Starscream in action, Sulu and Chekov will conclude that he can’t actually pilot for shit.
- An intensive discussion on whether the Enterprise’s computer counts as a consciousness, that will drop off once the writers remember “The Quality of Life” aired in 1992.
- Prowl will spend a solid 20 minutes staring into the airlock reflecting on the Witwickys.
- As a communications officer, Uhura will lose her shit over meeting a Cityspeaker (Windblade better not just be there for decor, my guys).
- Scotty and Grimlock share a heartfelt duet about buffoonery.
- Multiple fender-benders in the Enterprise corridors.
- Rand, Uhura, Arcee, and Windblade will all loudly commiserate about how there only ever seems to be one lady around at any time on both teams.
- After meeting M’ress and Arex, Perceptor quietly files a Starfleet complaint about the ship’s humanoid to alien crew ratio.
- Any pages featuring Jazz and Spock will be printed on velvet to emulate their smooth-ass vocal stylings.
- A whole lot of coloring errors. You know, to keep with the spirit of the originals.
- A benevolent celestial being that looks kinda like Len Wein.
- Optimus Prime and Captain Kirk will both simultainiously start sage monologues about how at heart no two species are all that different. Each will try to say theirs slightly louder.
- IDK, Bumblebee will try and teach Spock to play basketball or some shit.
So hunker down and start stockpiling your sugary cereal of choice.
Keep watching the web for cover previews, we’ve already got one from W@W favorite Derek Charm (Starfleet Academy). Prepare for all of the wackiness of a childhood dream crossover while wondering just what the metal titans who couldn’t get it together are going to make of the pint-size organics who did.