• Baraka

Transformers/Ghostbusters: Ghost of Cybertron #4 Review - Mini-series shouldn't feel this padded

Erik Burnham (Writer) • Dan Schoening (Pencils-Variant)

Luis Antonio Delgado (Colorist) • IDW Publishing (Publisher)

• Get it Now from Green Brain Comics

Transformers/Ghostbusters isn't a bad series. I think I would be safe recommending it to anyone that grew up on either franchise. Although I can only give the series a tepid recommendation, the book also highlights some of the biggest problems of the comic book industry, padded stories with bad pacing, poor editing, decompression, and writing a series for the trade paperback.

A good editor could have condensed Ghost of Cybertron down to two or three issues. I'm guessing that IDW padded the mini-series like this in order to push the multiple variant covers and retailer incentives. Because of these publishing schemes, publishers like IDW don't really have any incentive to tell a tight or concise story.

This issue has it's moments but ultimately suffers due to the lack of story progression. The novelty of seeing the two franchises interact has also gotten old because the creators don't do anything cool aside from letting the characters play off of each other. The series feels more like an extended episode of "The Real Ghostbusters" animated series than a true mashup playing to the strengths of each franchise.

The story follows up on the cliffhanger of the previous issue. Starscream has either escaped or has been set free from the ghost trap and the combination of Ghostbusters and Autobots needs to track him down. The heroes have shifted locations from the firehouse to a warehouse to give the Autobots more legroom.

The first half of the book focuses on the Ghostbusters and Autobots getting familiar with each other and the Ghostbusters working on Transformer sized Ghosthunting gear. Peter trades jokes with Optimus Prime before Egon eventually obtains Starscreams spectral signature. The heroes rollout to catch the ghostly Decepticon. Unfortunately, Starscream has some powerful allies that make capturing him a lot more complicated this time around.

The first half of the comic is solid but ultimately feels like it could have happened off-panel. The second half is too wordy and midway through the action setpiece the fighting stops and we get another exposition dump. It totally kills the momentum of the comic.

The cliffhanger of the comic was telegraphed in the first issue. The problem is that we've already been shown that the Decepticons aren't really a match for the Ghostbusters technology so I'm not sure how climatic the conclusion can be. I'm honestly not expecting much. It's is a shame because a little bit more focus could have made this series great.

Rating 7/10