Three words: Prime gets slimed.  Your Major Spoilers review of Transformers/Ghostbusters #3 awaits!


Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Dan Schoening
Colorist: Luis Antonio Delgado
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor:David Mariotte & Tom Waltz
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 7, 2019

Previously in Transformers/GhostbustersEctotron came to Earth and found a situation far more complicated than he was expecting, which means Optimus Prime is going to need to be brought into the picture.  But until Optimus can arrive, Ectotron takes the opportunity to join the Ghostbusters on a case and observe the paranormal.  And don’t forget about the ghost of Starscream!


As we open, Ectronymous Diamatron, having taken on the form of Ecto-1, is trying to come to grips with life on Earth, especially matters of scale and “not smashing all the fixtures to pieces.” He finally gets his new alias of Ectotron (thanks entirely to the impatience of Janine Melnitz), while Peter Venkman has a heart-to-heart talk with Starscream, who is now somehow dead? When the Decepticon starts threatening Dr. V, though, he learns the hard way about the containment traps that have made Peter a ghost’s worst nightmare since 1984. With a little help from Egon, Ectotron gets a message to the Autobot ship, but has to go on a ghost-catching run with the Ghostbusters, since he’s technically their car now. (“Let’s… just agree to NEVER speak of it”, he says about the experience of humans riding inside his compartments.) The ghost ends up being much more powerful than they expected, forcing Autobot and ‘Busters to work together to modify their equipment and capture it, but as soon as they return to the fire station, they’re confronted by Optimus Prime…

…who has been tagged by graffiti artists.


This issue’s story is pretty amusing, but it feels like we should be further along in the story, since we’re already 60% of the way through this series. There’s some nice back-and-forth dialogue here, as well as a couple of choice Venkman moments, but the story doesn’t seem to have a goal or any sense of urgency in finding one, leading to an issue that sort of just… meanders. The visual of Optimus Prime covered in spray-paint is a cute one (especially since the graffiti all has double-meanings, like the big “84” on his chest-window) and seeing the Ghostbusters dealing with the idea of a sentient car makes for some fun, but nothing really seems to happen. There’s clearly a tie between the electric ghost and what has happened to Starscream (who, by the way, is missing by the end of the issue) but the issue doesn’t really tie them together in any meaningful way. I like the design of Ectrotron and the robot components of the art are top-notch, but this issue uses the designs of the Ghostbusters from the IDW ongoing series, leading to a strange juxtaposition of cartoony human faces and hyper-detailed and painstakingly drawn Autobots. It’s altogether weird to see them on the same page.


At this point in a five-issue series, I expect that we’ll be transitioning into a third act and preparing for a big climax, but Transformers/Ghostbusters #3 defies that expectation, which hurts the overall presentation, and even some strong dialogue can’t quite overcome the feeling that nothing much is going one, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  I like the art overall, I like Ectotron, I like the basic premise, I just feel like there should be higher stakes and more story than we’re getting here.

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Something Strange

In Your Neighborhood

The robots look great, and the two continuities are meshed as well as they can be, given their diverse natures... Plus, more Grimlock!

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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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