In My Little Pony/Transformers: Friendship in Disguise, the Autobots & Decepticons learn that friendship is magic as the iconic franchises meet.
Last year, My Little Pony/Transformers: Friendship in Disguise brought two of Hasbro’s most iconic toylines together for a crossover event that combined the power of friendship, magic and Energon. Despite their differences, My Little Pony and Transformers both began as toylines in the 1980s that have since evolved into global multimedia empires that include cartoons, movies, merchandise and comic books. And in the collection of their four-issue IDW Publishing crossover, the Mane Six are joined by the Autobots and the Decepticons for the kind of somewhat absurd crossover that only happened in childhood playrooms until now.
However, the worlds of Transformers and My Little Pony make for a well-suited pairing in a series with a lot of heart that finds common ground between the courage, loyalty and strength of the Ponies and the heroic legacy of the Autobots.
Written by James Asmus, Ian Flynn, and Sam Maggs, Friendship in Disguise includes eight shorter adventures that take readers on a 108-page color-popping journey into Equestria. After the machinations of the evil Queen Chrysalis and Shockwave interfere with each other, the Autobots and Decepticons are transported to Equestria. The villainous Megatron and Chrysalis team up with each other, while Optimus Prime and Twilight Sparkle bond, but not before a series of encounters that prove the ponies are more than meets the eye. Rarity, Arcee, Rainbow Dash, Windblade, and others team up against the Decepticons to teach them the power of friendship before the evil Transformers can claim the Magic of Equestria for themselves.
Despite the very different aesthetics of these two franchises, Tony Fleecs, Jack Lawrence, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Casey W Coller and Priscilla Tramontano do a remarkable job of making the harsh edges of the Transformers exist alongside the natural lines of Equestria. The vibrant colors of Fleecs, Lauren Perry, Luis Antonio Delgado, and Joana Lafuente play a big role here too, casting Equestria in soft blues, pinks and yellows against the relatively dark hues of the Cybertronians’ metal exteriors. While the page layouts are dynamic enough to keep the proceedings visually interesting, they’re designed with a focus on clear storytelling to help keep this book accessible for its inevitable younger readers.
While both franchises have massive casts that are too large to include in total here, each story gives fan-favorite characters like Fluttershy or Grimlock a few moments in the spotlight in all-ages stories that teach lessons in ingenuity, loyalty, courage, compassion and friendship.
Sprinkled with humor, spark and a whole lot of magic, Friendship in Disguise is a colorful crossover adventure that highlights just how similar the worlds of My Little Pony and Transformers are. With charm and a lot of heart, these stories make bright rainbows and explosive energy blasts a surprisingly natural pairing that makes this crossover seem like it should’ve happened years ago. With a sequel, My Little Pony/Transformers II, set for release in the coming weeks, Friendship in Disguise is a family-friendly reminder of why both of these franchises earned diverse fanbases that number in the millions.
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