Review: Transformers/Back to the Future #1 (of 4)
IDW Publishing has been having fun lately bringing together properties you’d never expect. Much has revolved around the Transformers who have had recent comic miniseries featuring My Little Pony and Ghostbusters. And, both of those have been great with a fun spin on the properties and a crossover that works. The latest adventure for the Transformers takes them through time as Marty McFly and Back to the Future takes center stage. Transformers/Back to the Future #1 kicks things off with a story that works, makes sense, and uses the strength of both properties.
Written by Cavan Scott, Transformers/Back to the Future #1 is the setup to the familiar ending where Marty is told he needs to go and fix the timestream to save everything. The debut issue is full of the familiar in both winks and nods and it’s storytelling. There are scenes directly lifted from the original Back to the Future but done in a way that it sets up what happens and helps introduce that classic film to new readers.
What’s interesting is that Scott just blends the two worlds. This isn’t a story where they’re part of a multiverse or some weird portal like the My Little Pony crossover. Instead, it’s 1984 and the Decepticons and Autobots are on Earth like the classic television series and comics. It just so happens Marty and Doc Brown also live on the world as well and doing their thing. It’s just a simple solution to bring the two properties together and avoids a messy explanation. It also plays a bit with what feels like the original crossover with the Transformers and G.I. Joe. They just so happen to be on the same planet.
Scott delivers a straightforward concept for those that enjoy Back to the Future and the direction from the first issue is simple. And keeping it simple is a good thing. With time travel it can get complicated and here it’s not with motivations that make sense for all. We’re left with similar questions from other films, what needs to be done to fix the timestream and how did it get messed up in the first place? That’s all part of the fun to come.
The art for Transformers/Back to the Future #1 is interesting. The style takes its queues from IDW’s Back to the Future comics with a more comedy/comic style to it. Juan Samu delivers exaggerated characters in the humans which creates a cartoon-like quality about it all. David Garcia‘s colors add to that with an end result that feels a lot like the Back to the Future cartoon. That works for the most part but with the more “serious” aspect of the Transformers, it’s at times a weird mix that leads to some tonal issues for the comic. There’s some comedy but then there’s enslavement? It’s a weird mix and clashes in some ways.
I generally enjoyed Transformers/Back to the Future #1. There’s a fun aspect to it all where it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also knows its material and feels like it revels in switching up some of the roles and aspects in Back to the Future to fit the Transformers in. It’s what comics should be, fun. For fans of both properties, it’ll get you to want to buckle up and go back in time.
Story: Cavan Scott Art: Juan Samu
Color: David Garcia Cruz Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review