This book was a very fun ride that merged two iconic franchises from my childhood. Did I just date myself? Cavan Scott and Juan Samu do a fantastic job making the mashup seamless as though they were destined to converge. If you are looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane, are a fan of either franchise, or just want a lighthearted escape from reality then this book should be on your list. Do not expect too many deep themes or major allusions to societal issues unless you consider giant vehicles that turn into robots enslaving the planet through time travel a potential threat to the world. The lessons that could be derived from this story include being careful who to trust, people can redeem themselves, and more can be accomplished when working together as a team.
The Decepticons live up to their namesake throughout the book. They prove time and again that humans cannot trust them, and they cannot even trust themselves. Their plight can be attributed to their consistent betrayal of allies, unreasonable cruelty, and underestimation of their opponents. In many modern comics the true villain is not always clear. Often the villain can be sympathized with such as the case with Erik Killmonger in the Black Panther movie or Magneto in most of his print, animated, and live action appearances. However, the Decepticons, led by Megatron, are clearly your classic evil villains. They probably would not be recognizable to most fans otherwise, although I would be interested in reading a story told from their POV.
Although Megatron and most of the Decepticons are inherently evil, this is the only story I am aware of in which a Decepticon switched sides, and he is easily a crowd favorite in his first appearance. Giggawatt is a transformer that can turn into a DeLorean equipped with a flux capacitor and all. Although Doc’s original DeLorean is how Piledriver was able to change the course of history, Giggawatt is equally important to fixing it.
Also, if we are going to discuss current and former villains from the Transformers franchise, then it is only fair that we mention Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future franchise. Biff has a great opportunity early on to have a redeemable moment, but you can only guess how that turns out. Of course Biff is going to be a traitor, but will he betray the Decepticons or the human race? Is there any chance of him surprising us, perhaps more than once in this book?
Marty, Doc, and the Autobots work well together as their morals seem well aligned. Unlike the Decepticons and Biff who consistently ridicule and demean each other, our heroes are able to work together as a team and depend on each other. Without teamwork, any hope of restoring the timeline would be completely futile. Along with Giggawatt, another new character is critical to their success and is a cool addition. Skilz is an Autobot that was hiding out as a skateboard in this alternate reality Hill Valley. Can you possibly think of a better team up for Marty and Doc than a transforming skateboard and the aforementioned transforming DeLorean?
Having been unfamiliar with the comic book versions of each of these franchises, I must say that I was rather entertained and am definitely interested in seeing more crossover adventures. This is definitely a child friendly story, but also one that gives an aging millennial or xennial (I believe that is the term) a chance to escape reality for a moment and revisit his childhood. I almost forgot to mention how ecstatic I was to recognize another 80s pop culture reference to one of my other passions, retro gaming.
This book would also be a decent place to start for parents trying to instill a passion for comics in their children. Perhaps I can follow up on that when my own is old enough to read. Great Scott!
“The space-time continuum is full of infinite possibilities and alternate timelines. These include events and histories that could happen, have happened, have been erased from existence or exist entirely as conjecture. How then do we classify this tale? For now, suffice to call it entertainment. As a physicist, I can speculate no further.”
-Dr. Emmett L. Brown