To save an entire world, James T. Kirk and Optimus Prime must join their forces.  But can they overcome their differences and survive?  Your Major Spoilers review of Star Trek Vs Transformers #3 awaits!


Writer: John Barber & Mike Johnson
Artist: Jack Lawrence
Colorist: Josh Burcham
Letterer: Christa Miesner
Editor: Chase Marotz & David Mariotte
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 5, 2018

Previously in Star Trek Vs. Transformers: Klingons and Decepticons lay siege to a remote Federation dilithium mine-and the only thing holding them back is the shaky alliance of Captain Kirk and Optimus Prime.  But what dark secret is buried beneath the ground…  and can this uneasy partnership withstand the revelations?


The Autobots and the away team of the Enterprise have been driven to ground and separated by the alliance of Klingons and Decepticons, with half the team (including Captain Kirk) trapped below ground in the dilithium mines and the other half (including a gravely wounded Optimus Prime) on the surface under bombardment by Starscream’s warriors.  Things look grim on both sides, until Ratchet completes a device to allow for the transfer of information into/out of Captain Kirk’s mind.  Kirk learns the truth about the endless Cybertronian battles, while Ratchet gets critical information: The complete specs of the U.S.S. Enterprise, whose every bolt and plate are stored in Kirk’s mind.  On the surface, Spock realizes that his team is outgunned, and logically decides to surrender to Starscream, with Prime supporting the decision.  Sadly, their appeal to ‘Scream’s better nature falls on deaf ear-flange-thingys (What are those things on his head, anyway?), and he prepares to execute them all…

…until the Enterprise bursts from the Earth’s crust, phasers firing wildly to scatter the Decepticon invaders!


Artistically speaking, this book is a marvel (lowercase m, mind you), using a visual style that perfectly mimics the designs and cel-shading of the 70s/80s cartoons, worrying not about real-world likenesses but the animation models.  As such, it’s a pretty amazing achievement, but the reveal on the last page is what sells the entire thing for me, as Ratchet and Kirk’s secret weapon stands revealed.  This issue’s dialogue is also strong, allowing one to hear the voices of Chris Latta, Scatman Crothers and Leonard Nimoy as the various characters take center-stage.  As someone who has seen every episode of both cartoons multiple times, it feels like a celebration of the best (and even the worst) of those shows, but there’s nothing here that would force a reader to know what I know in order to enjoy it, especially when the Enterprise begins… to transform!


When it comes to licensed properties, there are a lot of pitfalls that you have to avoid, and when you’re crossing over two worlds as different as those of Star Trek and Transformers, you have a whole new set of possible complications.  Star Trek Vs. Transformers #3 showcases the brilliance of using cartoons to tell a cartoony story without being embarrassed by the source material, leaning into the madness to have fun with a simple story full of clever character bits, earning 5 out of 5 stars overall.  Even if the thought of Scotty and Jazz hanging out and having adventures doesn’t fill you with joy, the fact that it very clearly fills these creators with joy is the best selling point.

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Saturday Morning Fun

Crossing over in more ways than one, this book feels like a lost episode of the goofy, energetic, over-the-top old-school cartoons it's reviving. Plus: Fortress Tiberius!

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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