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Comic Book / My Little Pony/Transformers: Friendship in Disguise!

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Friendship's about to Roll Out!

"Finally, a series for mature readers."

My Little Pony/Transformers: Friendship in Disguise is a four-issue mini-series comic that, exactly as it says, is a crossover between My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and The Transformers.

Queen Chrysalis has decided that since she and her army are outnumbered by Equestria's heroes, she'll call in help from changelings in other dimensions to even the odds. However, her summoning spell accidentally connects to a Cybertronian Space Bridge, bringing dozens of Autobots and Decepticons into Equestria. Robots from both sides of the conflict end up scattered across the land, and Spike finds himself stranded on Cybertron as well. Twilight and her friends quickly get on good terms with the Autobots and fend off attacks by Megatron's troops, leading up to a final confrontation in which Megatron and Chrysalis make their bid to take over Equestria.


Each issue presents two half-length stories. Writers include Ian Flynn, Sam Maggs, and James Asmus; and art is provided by Tony Fleecs, Jack Lawrence, Sara Pitre-Durocher, and Casey W. Coller.

A sequel, subtitled "The Magic of Cybertron", was released in April 2021. This time, the ponies are brought to Cybertron as Megatron seeks to harness their power for his own ends. However, things go sideways when Twilight accidentally triggers the revival of King Sombra, who proceeds to brainwash numerous inhabitants of both Cybertron and Equestria, including Megatron and half of the Mane Six, to serve as his minions and aid him in conquering Cybertron. Thus, everyone else is forced to team up to put a stop to Sombra's ambitions.


My Little Pony/Transformers: Friendship in Disguise provides examples of:

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  • The Cameo:
    • Quibble Pants shows up at the start of the first issue complaining about an in-universe comic crossover between Daring Do and the Power Ponies and how it doesn't explain where along the timeline it is for both series.
    • All the Manehattan staff of Rarity Carousel Boutique (Coco Pommel, Plaid Stripes and the three nameless interviewees from "The Saddle Row Review") are shown polishing Starscream in "Shine Like a Diamond".
    • Derpy Hooves, DJ Pon-3, Octavia Melody and Dr. Hooves can be seen in the audience for Pinkie's Show Within a Show in "They Eat Ponies, Don't They?"
    • "The Flyin' Fox Trot" shows obscure Autobots (or rather, Maximals) Mach Kick and Battle Unicorn as competitors in the race. Probably because their alternate modes are both equines.
    • In "Strength in Numbers", Discord summons a plethora of Apple family members to help repel the Insecticons.
    • During the final battle of "Finale", Maud Pie, Sugar Belle, Owlowiscious, Starlight Glimmer, Trixie, Tempest Shadow, Shining Armor and the Cutie Mark Crusaders appear as part of the reinforcements against the Decepticons and Changelings. On the Transformers' side of things, Prowl and Ironhide appear amongst the Autobots, while Crasher appears amongst the Decepticon ranks.
    • The sequel opens up with Breakdown (in his Prime design) getting into a little spat with Frenzy, Reflector and his multiple clones guarding the space bridge, Mindwipe and Skullcruncher (in their Titans Return designs) snagging up creatures from Equestria, Airachnid and Shadow Striker stealing a critical component from Equestria, Spinister and Skytread/Flywheels watching the Wonderbolts exit from the space bridge, and Scourge's Targetmaster partner Fracas locking them up. Later, Sludge and Ratchet are seen in the medical bay, while Hot Rod, Sureshock, Hot Shot, Flareup, Gauge and Rubble show up to play with Scootaloo. Later still are Jazz, Ironhide, Brawl, Swindle, and Hound amongst Sombra's victims, and even later still do we see both Quickstrike and Skids. Finally, the last issue includes cameos from Ultra Magnus, Jetfire, Blades, Ruckus, Squeezeplay, Cosmos, Clampdown, Afterburner, Doublecross and Rumble.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Giant robots who transform into different vehicles with magical pastel colored equines (and a dragon). How can this not be awesome?
  • Crossover: Of course, it's the main hook of the series.
  • Lighter and Softer: Downplayed, yet notable with the Transformers — with a side-order of Denser and Wackier. It's not a directly parodic take, but compared to other incarnations (and especially other IDW comics incarnations) this incarnation is a lot more comedic and light-hearted, with cartoonier violence, in order not to clash too hard with the ponies.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • Devastator gets one in "Inspiring":
      Devastator: Prepare for EXTINCTION, Dinobot!
    • Another one from Shockwave in "They Eat Ponies, Don't They?"
      Shockwave: Ponies. I believe in your vulgar parlance, you would say I am here to... spice things up.
    • And in the sequel, Thundercracker gets one. Not that Slipstream was happy about him blowing their cover.
      Thundercracker: Little ponies! If you surrender all magical items with no resistance—the show will return after these messages!
      Slipstream: Ugh—Thundercracker, this was supposed to be a stealth mission!
  • The Power of Friendship: Common on the My Little Pony side of things, but one of the main themes of the comics is how the Equestrians befriend the Autobots. And a Decepticon.
    • In Pet Sounds, Fluttershy shows off her kindness to take care of the Mini-Cassettes to the point that when Frenzy attacked her, Ravage, Laserbat and Rampage attack him and Discord shows how dangerous friendship can be when he transforms himself and Fluttershy's animal friends into robots to maul Soundwave. He wisely backs off and admits "Friendship Superior", agreeing to stop attacking and get along with them. Discord's threat to turn them into ponies helped.
    • In "Finale", Twilight and Optimus combine this power with that of the Matrix to blast the Decepticons back through the spacebridge to Cybertron.
  • Weird Crossover: It's a crossover featuring giant fighting robots and color coded ponies with both having wildly different demographics to boot. Honestly, it's a wonder why it didn't happen sooner, not to mention it happened to come out the same year that the Autobots met with other major franchises that are more in-line with the typical tone of Transformers. This is even lampshaded in the first page when Quibble Pants is questioning a Daring Do/Power Ponies crossover (though he's more concerned with the continuity than anything else).

     First Series 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • In the original toyline, the Deluxe Insecticons were multiple vibrant colors. Here, they share the same black/yellow/purple color scheme as the original Insecticon trio.
    • In his cameo appearance in "The Flyin' Fox Trot", Mach Kick trades in his original color scheme of red and gray for a new technicolor color scheme of blue and purple to better fit in with the inhabitants of Equestria.note 
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Grimlock, the most brutal of Autobots, is a lot nicer this time around, showing genuine mentorship to Spike, in comparison to the usual Dinobot who wouldn't even listen to Optimus Prime on a good day. He's even verbally disappointed that his friends left him behind from the initial battle (albeit accidentally on their part), which is especially egregious considering he usually doesn't consider the Autobots his friends.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Nothing has been firmly established concerning the exact timing of the crossover. The presence of changelings supporting Queen Chrysalis suggests it's set before their Heel–Race Turn in Season 6, Season 7 at latest as there were still renegade changelings until then. But Spike has wings which he grew in Season 8. The final story also includes appearances by the Young Six, who didn't debut until Season 8. This was lampshaded by Quibble Pants in the very first page.
    • Additionally, overlapping with Alternate Universe on some level, it's not entirely clear which Transformers universe the Autobots hail from, other than it's very obviously a cartoon-inspired Generation 1 series. It has the usual staples—Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, etc.—but it also has newer characters like Windblade and Gauge, Megatron turns into a tank instead of a gun, Bumblebee turns into a generic sedan instead of a Volkswagen, and the Decepticons even have Crasher on their team. Then again, seeing as previous comic crossovers usually had cartoon-esque G1 Autobots and Decepticons exist in the confines of those respective series, it can be assumed this same rule is at play here.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: In "Inspiring", Spike was able to learn enough of the Autobot language and how to operate the Ark's engines (with books three times his size) before learning how to use a computer to turn the Ark on and incinerate Devastator in it. Guess being Twilight's Number 1 assistant has rubbed off on him.
  • Barrier Warrior: Rarity conjures up a diamond shield to protect Arcee from the Seekers’ attack.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The second story of the last issue sends the Autobots and ponies into an all-out battle against the Deceptions and changelings on the outskirts of the Crystal Empire.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: A Villain Team-Up between Megatron and Chrysalis serves as villainous force.
  • Came from the Sky: The Autobots and Decepticons end up dropping out of the sky over Equestria after Chrysalis summons them from Cybertron.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • There are a few characters who appear on the covers of certain issues that don't actually appear at all in the series. Examples include Blitzwing appearing on the cover of "Transformation Is Magic", Beastbox on the cover of "Pet Sounds", and Princesses Celestia and Luna on the cover of "Finale".
    • In a story specific example, Megatron, Starscream and Soundwave appear on the cover of "The Flyin' Fox Trot", but aren't featured in that story.
  • Crossover: Of course, it's the main hook of the series.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In "Inspiring", the Constructicons try to attack the Autobots' Ark but are curb-stomped by its lone guardian: Grimlock. The Constructicons proceed to combine and form Devastator, and then Grimlock is the one on the receiving end. And then, Spike's ingenuity saves the day when he scurries inside the Ark and ignites the ship's giant engines to one-shot Devastator with the combined jet blasts.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Fluttershy mistakes the Mini-Cassettes as animal companions and goes out to see them. The cover of her story even has Fluttershy gasping at seeing Laserbeak, Ravage and Beastbox (who doesn't appear in the story proper for some reason).
  • Darker and Edgier: Very heavily Downplayed. My Little Pony is no stranger to dark storylines, but this story features the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons coming to Equestria’s doorstep.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In "Pet Sounds", Soundwave decides to make a truce with Fluttershy and Discord after Discord and the robot-transformed animals beat the stuffing out of him and Frenzy. That and Discord's not so subtle threat to turn Soundwave and Frenzy into ponies. He even disobeys Megatron's orders to rejoin his forces to stay with the ponies for a while.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Downplayed, as Arcee is initially all business during and soon after her battle with Starscream, only to quickly correct herself and properly introduce herself to Rarity, who can't help but gush and Lampshade Arcee's shift from battle-hardened warrior to a "tender, delicate" soul.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Grimlock tries fighting the Constructicons by himself. He does a decent job against them, until they combine into Devastator. He quickly realizes his mistake.
    Grimlock: Grimlock and Grimlock's big mouth.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • Happens to Starscream twice. Once at the beginning where Bumblebee interrupts Starscream by crashing into his face in vehicle mode, then again in Manehattan where Arcee races up in vehicle mode, then transforms into robot mode before delivering a kick to his face.
    • During the climax, Megatron and Chrysalis' villain speech is suddenly interrupted by Spike and Grimlock falling from the sky to punch Megatron and crush one of Chrysalis' monsters. (Spike is wearing a transformable Exosuit.)
  • Fist Bump: Arcee and Rarity do this after they drive off Starscream and his flunkies.
  • Foreign Queasine: In "They Eat Ponies, Don't They?" Pinkie Pie invites Gauge onto her Show Within a Show, "Preppin' with Pinkie", to share recipes in the spirit of cultural exchange. Pinkie, naturally, decides to make cupcakes. Gauge's choice? Iron filling casserole. The audience is decidedly put off by the sight. At the end of the story, Pinkie and Gauge try each other's dishes... only to learn the hard way that Cybertronian and Equestrian tastes in food don't even remotely overlap.
  • Framing Device: "Inspiring" is based off of Spike writing a letter to Twilight Sparkle.
  • Friend to All Living Things: In "Pet Sounds", Fluttershy proves herself as the Element of Kindness by befriending the Mini-Cassettes (who she mistook as real animals) and they in turn defend her from Frenzy when he knocks her down. Discord even brings this up to Soundwave who heavily underestimated her.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Rainbow Dash and Windblade in "The Flyin' Fox Trot".
  • Frying Pan of Doom: In "They Eat Ponies, Don't They?", Gauge and Pinkie sandwich Shockwave's head between two frying pans.
  • Girly Bruiser: Rarity and Arcee bond over the fact that both of them are this, complementing each other's talents and adventures.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In the fourth and final issue, the Insecticons raid Sweet Apple Arces with only Applejack there to try and fight them off while they consume the farm's apples. Just when it looks like she can't stop them, Discord arrives and uses his magic to summon the entire Apple clan to help fight them off.
  • If I Can't Have You…: During the final battle, Chrysalis tells Twilight that she will never reverse the spell that brought the Autobots and Decepticons to Equestria. Her reasoning is that if she can't rule Equestria, then she'll just let it get torn apart by the Transformers' war. It ultimately backfires on her when Spike (who's been stuck on Cybertron the whole time) rigs up a portal from his end, allowing him and all the Transformers to return to their respective homes once the Decepticons give up.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Brought up in the second issue when Pinkie Pie has Autobot Gauge as a guest on her cooking show. She advises Gauge overcome her nervousness by pretending the audience is in their underwear. Aside from the fact that most ponies don't wear clothes in the first place, Pinkie also gets sidetracked by wondering if robots wear underwear.
  • Human Resources: More like "Pony Resources", but Shockwave's plan to convert ponies into Energon still counts.
  • Insistent Terminology: When Fluttershy sees a "boo-boo" on Ravage's nose, Frenzy gets annoyed.
    Frenzy: Hey, we don't get "boo-boos"! That's...battle damage!
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Spike states that Grimlock can fight off all challenges...and the next panel shows the Dinobot getting curb-stomped by Devastator.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After the Constructicons are defeated thanks to Spike's ingenuity, they decide to cut their losses and retreat.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The comic opens up with Quibble Pants complaining about comic crossovers causing Continuity Snarl over when in the series they're supposed to be set, only to be told "it's just supposed to be fun", which applies to this comic's questionable time placement in the My Little Pony continuity.
  • Lighter and Softer: For Transformers, the story is more lighthearted than IDW’s mainline series, more akin to the original cartoon, with zero casualties for the Autobots and Decepticons.
    • Shockwave in particular stands out, in most incarnations he's typically a coldly logical Mad Scientist and The Dreaded among Autobots and Decepticons alike. While his appearance here does have him attempt to use the ponies as an energy source, he also spouts puns and goes after the ponies using cooking utensils.
  • Misguided Missile: Rainbow Dash and Windblade defeat Misfire and the Rainmakers by redirecting their heat-seeking missiles back at them.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Perhaps unintentionally, but Bumblebee smacks into Starscream as he's monologuing, meaning that he interrupted his SPEECH!
    • The crown and cape that Starscream dons when he takes over Manehattan are the same that he briefly wore in the original movie.
    • Gauge is established as the newest Autobot.
    • Soundwave gives off his usual "Superior" catchphrase, only with his name replaced with friendship.
    • During the final battle, Spike wears the same kind of Exosuit the Autobots' human ally Spike and his son Daniel wore in the movie.
    • Twilight uses her magic to place an orange cap over the barrel of Megatron's fusion cannon. This is a nod to how the original G1 Megatron toy (which transformed into a gun) became more difficult to release over time, as western toy standards later required that toy guns have orange caps over the barrels in order to keep them from looking too much like real guns.note 
  • Not Me This Time:
    • When Soundwave arrives in front of Fluttershy's cottage, Fluttershy immediately questions if this is Discord's doing. Discord states that even he couldn't think this up.
    • Likewise happens in the fourth issue when Discord arrives at Sweet Apple Arces and Applejack thinks the Insectoids are one of his pranks. He cites it as "too mundane" for him before showing that he actually came there with reinforcements to help her combat them.
  • Oh, Crap!: A two-fold in the same issue.
    • Grimlock gets this when the Constructicons he had defeated decide to merge into Devastator.
    • Devastator has this look when he sees the Ark's engine on and its exhaust about to incinerate him.
  • One-Hit KO: Spike delivers one against Devastator by blasting him with the exhaust from the Ark's engines.
  • Orphaned Punchline: "Pet Sounds" opens up with Discord stating a tale to Fluttershy about why you don't eat oranges in his dimension.
    Discord: —And I said, "That's why you don't eat oranges in my chaos dimension, buddy! Sometimes, the fruit bites you!"
  • Papa Wolf: Do not hurt Fluttershy in front of Discord. Soundwave learned this the hard way when Discord transforms himself and Fluttershy's animal friends into robots to maul him.
  • Pie in the Face: Pinkie Pie delivers one to Soundwave before he can launch his cassettes in "Finale".
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Played with. When not using combat magic, the My Little Pony side of the conflict always has the Autobots save them from the Decepticons with the exception of Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Spike, painting Transformers as the more effective combatant. Discord being in a passive role and the Royal Sisters and Pillars being absent is also a major reason. This is not surprising, given the franchises' respective genres. However when the alicorns (Twilight and Cadance) step in during "Finale", their magic allows them to fight the Decepticons on even footing.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In "Pet Sounds", Fluttershy does this when she sees the Mini-Cassettes:
    Fluttershy: It [Soundwave]. has. Pets?!
  • Sequel Hook: The Decepticons are defeated and forced back to Cybertron. The Autobots soon follow and destroy the spacebridge to keep the Decepticons from going back to Equestria. It's a total loss for the villains, but Shockwave reveals if they can't return to Equestria, then maybe they can look into bringing some of their magic into their realm. He reveals he pinpointed the source of the magic, showing Megatron an image of Twilight's castle as the comic closes out.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Skywarp when Rarity gets him and Starscream tangled up in midair:
    Skywarp: This is stupid! I'm out! [teleports away]
  • Shout-Out: In "Strength in Numbers", Discord brings every Apple family member to Sweet Apple Acres via a series of portals. This is similar to the scene in Avengers: Endgame where The Cavalry arrived to aid in the final battle against Thanos and his forces.
  • Show Within a Show: Pinkie's cooking show, "Preppin' with Pinkie".
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Arcee is quite complimentary of Rarity's fashion prowess, but even more so when the fashionista summons a diamond shield to protect Arcee as the Autobot takes out Thundercracker with her blaster.
  • Squee: Spike totally loses his marbles over Grimlock.
    Grimlock: Does tiny Spike have any questions for Grimlock?
    Spike: How did you get to be so cool?!
    Grimlock: Grimlock already strongest Autobot. Make sense to also be greatest dinosaur.
    Spike: [with stars in his eyes] AAAAAAH! SO! COOL!
  • That's Gotta Hurt: Pinkie says as much when Gauge bashes Shockwave over the head with a cookie tray. Lampshaded by Gauge, who notes that "such language is universal".
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Grimlock has this moment when he taunts the Constructicons into combining into Devastator.
    Grimlock: Grimlock and Grimlock's big mouth...
  • Title Drop:
    • In Issue 2, Spike states the title of his story at the end.
      Spike: He [Grimlock] called me... me... inspiring...
    • In Issue 3, Rainbow Dash brings up the Flyin' Fox Trot maneuver, which is the title of her story.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Spike is able to save Grimlock by reading through two Autobot guidebooks (which are three times his size) then somehow learns how to use a computer to activate the Ark's engine to incinerate Devastator.
    • Later, during the final battle against the Decepticons and Changelings, Spike and Grimlock arrive to help, but Spike is wearing a transformable Exosuit to fight alongside Grimlock, and the first thing Spike does is deliver a huge punch against a surprised Megatron. No wonder Grimlock says he became inspired by the little dragon!
    • Fluttershy does not show any fear around Soundwave or Frenzy and even states that Frenzy is nothing more than a bully after he attacked her.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Soundwave's threat assessment on Fluttershy when she comes to greet him end up as negative and he's focused more on Discord. However, he changes his tune when he sees Fluttershy's kindness endear her to the Mini-Cassettes (sans Frenzy) and it's this kindness that motivates Discord to really let loose.
  • Villain Team-Up: Chrysalis and Megatron naturally start working together no sooner then they meet one another.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: In "Inspiring", Spike brings down Devastator by blasting him with the Ark's engines.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In the final issue, when Chrysalis orders her army to retreat, she gets grabbed by Megatron who demands what she promised him. But after Megatron is blasted by Optimus and Twilight and sent back through the spacebridge, we don't see what became of Chrysalis.
    • There are also a handful of Decepticons seen in Equestria throughout the crossover who do not appear in the final battle, such as Skywarp, Thundercracker, Misfire and the Rainmakers.
  • Wingding Eyes: Spike has stars in his eyes when he starts gushing over Grimlock. When Spike tells Grimlock to take cover (because the little dragon is planning on attacking Devastator with the Ark's engines), Grimlock has an 'X' for an eye.
  • The Worf Effect: Shockwave is hit HARD by this, managing to lose to Gauge and Pinkie Pie in "They Eat Ponies, Don't They?". He"s bizarrely limited to kitchen implements instead of his usual arm cannon.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Grimlock, of all 'Bots, gives one of these speeches to Spike at the end of "Inspiring", praising the little dragon for his ingenuity and yet-untapped potential.
  • Your Other Left: A variation: In "They Eat Ponies, Don't They?", Pinkie tells Gauge to go to stage left at the start of their battle with Shockwave. When Gauge asks the pink pony to clarify:
    Pinkie: You go right, I go left!
    Gauge: But you said left!
    Pinkie: That's showbiz, baby!
    Gauge: We may never understand each other!

     Second Series 
  • Actor Allusion: Auntie Lofty and Arcee teaming up references how Susan Blu voiced both characters in their respective debut films, which were both released in 1986.
  • Adaptational Sexuality:
    • Arcee is in a relationship with Greenlight, like with the 2019 IDW continuity.
    • Likewise, Knockout explicitly describes Breakdown as his "better half", more akin to their relationship in the previous IDW Continuity.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Like with the first series, Spike is able to use his skills and take down Superion. This time, he manages to get under their skin by playing to their own personal issues using the analogy of how to order a pizza with one's friends. Since Combiners can't maintain their forms when the limbs are at each other's throats, this causes Superion to come apart.
    • Grimlock tries (and initially fails) to invoke this trope on Spike when he introduces him to the rest of the Dinobots.
  • Back from the Dead: King Sombra is revived though he claims he wasn't destroyed by Twilight and her friends. Rather his essence was scattered throughout Equestria, reforming into a dark crystal. Twilight blasting the crystal allowed Sombra to restore his body.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Megatron, villainous overlord of a warring faction of alien robots and one of the most feared beings on all of Cybertron, ends up being placed under mind control by King Sombra. This also includes half of the Mane 6, and capable Autobot and Decepticon warriors alike (i.e. Ironhide, the Combaticons, and even Superion).
    • The Dinobots noticeably struggle against Superion, since, unlike the rampaging Devastator, he's much more intelligent. It takes Spike pegging the individual components on to get him to fall apart.
  • Badass on Paper: Spike is this, which causes a few problems when Grimlock introduces him to the rest of the Dinobots and they aren't impressed at all by what they see. They all change their mind after they see Spike taking down Superion using just "his tiny words" as Grimlock says.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • When Megatron accidentally awakens an ancient evil, it appears to be Unicron, complete with his " destiny!" line from The Transformers: The Movie. Then it turns out to be King Sombra, all to set up a Pun of him being a unicorn instead of Unicron.
    • Smolder is comically introduced and hyped up through the roof as a way stronger, cooler and popular version of Spike during the Dinobots chapter, but the moment she tries to save the day she's immediately taken down and it's up to Spike to (again) save everyone.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: At the climax of the second volume, Ratchet has worked out how to channel the magic of friendship from the Equestrians while Shockwave developed suits that allow them to transform into weapons so the Cybertronians can beat Sombra's mind control out of his victims.
  • Bowdlerize: Wildwheel's gun is replaced with a whip.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Autobot, Decepticon, and Pony alike end up under King Sombra's thrall, including Megatron himself! It takes Ratchet, Wheeljack, and Rarity to make mechanized transformable suits for the Mane Six to use their powers to snap everyone out of it.
  • Call-Back: When Rainbow Dash and the rest of the Wonderbolts team up with Starscream and his Seekers, the egotistical commander boasts of his superiority. Rainbow Dash is quick to point out that last time they encountered the ponies, Starscream was beaten (by his own cape no less!). He doesn't react very kindly to this.
  • Camp Gay: Knock Out, who's confirmed in a relationship with Breakdown, is just as stylish and flamboyant as ever.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: King Sombra is this compared to Queen Chrysalis. The latter unwittingly brought the Cybertronians to Equestria in search of more changelings, allied with Megatron willingly but with a hefty dose of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork on both of their parts, and only sought to conquer the ponies' home. The former was accidentally freed, placed half of all the Cybertronians and Ponies under his control rather than willingly work with anyone, and used his powers to try and enslave all parties so he can take over both worlds.
  • Closet Geek: Frenzy is a fan of Equestrian culture, but he initially hides it so he doesn't get in trouble. Breakdown catches him, leading the cassette to chew him out for wanting a little downtime.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Ocellus reacts this way when Soundwave sends out Ravage.
    Ocellus: Kitty!
  • Darker and Edgier: While the prior series was set on colorful and cheery Equestria, this one is set on the bleak and war-torn Cybertron. King Sombra's immediately proves a more dangerous villain mind controlling heroes and villains alike forcing them into an Enemy Mine. Sombra and his mind-controlled forces pose an active, ever-present threat unlike the prior series which was largely wacky antics.
  • Demonic Possession: Sombra's end game revolves around possessing the body of the ancient Titan Scorponok. As "Sombranok", he intends to enslave entire universes.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • The Wonderbolts come across a portal in the sky and they all just... decide to see whats on the other side with no regard for caution. They end up in Cybertron, right in front of the Decepticons, and are instantly captured.
    • Likewise the Mane 6 chase Starscream through the portal intent on stopping him. It's only when they're on Cybertron and confronting an army of Decepticons that they forgot a little detail. Lampshaded by Fluttershy of all ponies.
    Twilight: Oh, no!
    Fluttershy: Oh... right... Following them through the portal meant following them... to their world...
  • Enemy Mine: Basically the whole premise of the sequel. After the Decepticons' plot to gain Equestrian magic ends up reviving King Sombra who then puts Megatron, most of the Decepticons, and half of the Mane 6 under his control, the remaining Decepticons are forced to work with the remaining ponies and Autobots to see off his threat.
  • Equippable Ally: In the final issue, the Cybertronians create special suits for the ponies and Spike to wear, allowing them to transform into weapons that channel their magic. Applejack becomes a hammer, Rainbow Dash an Axe, Fluttershy and Rarity shields, Spike a flamethrower, Twilight a sword, and Pinkie a gun (which fires confetti).
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Knockout doesn't take Sombra's control of the Cybertronians that seriously, until he sees Breakdown under the unicorn's control, and immediately changes his tune.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Knockout may be an opportunistic Decepticon, but he's outraged that some of Cybertron's markets charge outrageously expensive prices for fashion items.
    • After the Decepticons are released from Sombra's control, Megatron decides to cease all hostilities against their saviors, citing that they fought for his freedom and he would be a monster if he didn't assured their own.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ratchet places a bomb on Knockout's shoulder to get him to cooperate, but it turns out it was just a harmless tracking device. Even in war, he wouldn't dare act so barbaric on another being.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Twilight Sparkle was brainwashed in the first story and is snapped out in the final one where it's stated she was out, and thus the entire series was set over, "About twenty minutes."
  • Face–Heel Turn: Wildwheel's bio indicates that, like his Transformers: Cyberverse counterpart, he was an Autobot who defected to the Decepticons. However, unlike with Cyberverse, it's not entirely clear why.note 
  • Fantastic Slur: Skywarp calls one of the ponies a "flying glue bottle".
  • Foreshadowing: When Scorponok is summoned, it's mentioned he was deliberately sealed by his former masters. This Scorponok was based on his Earthrise toy in the War For Cybertron series, which appeared in the Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy cartoon as a former slave of the alien Quintessons. Guess who shows up at the end of the series, revealed to have been watching over everything?
  • Full-Potential Upgrade: Superion is able to curbstomp the Dinobots (and Smolder) without any problem because Sombra's mind control keeps Superion's mind completely focused on his task, without the typical flaws caused by joining five Transformers into a single Combiner.
  • Hazy-Feel Turn: After Sombra is bested, the Decepticons stand down and don't go back to fighting the Autobots immediately, and agree to establish a peaceful coexistence with Equestria. Megatron does have some shred of honor, but it's difficult to say if he'll go back to fighting with Prime again, considering how long the war between both sides has lasted. At least the rest of his troops seem more excited about the prospect of a cultural exchange.
  • Honorary True Companion: Spike is made an honorary Dinobot by Grimlock for saving the group from Superion.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: When Sombra finally posseses Scorponok's giant body he has no idea how its weapons system works, so ponies and Transformers alike must rush to stop him before he can figure it out.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Knockout gives a Rousing Speech to snap Breakdown out of Sombra's control (with Rarity's help). It works, and Breakdown is quite touched by it.
    Knockout: "Listen to me, you big hunk of metal—I need you to snap out of it. Right now. Not just because I don't want to hurt you—but because you're the strongest bot I know. And if you can't break free of that spell—no one will. But also because... because you're my better half. And frankly, if I have to fight to keep this world from falling into a grim, unicorn dystopia—and we lose—I'd hate to spend eternity on a scrap heap next to anyone else."
  • It's All About Me: Starscream still sees himself as the true leader of all Cybertronians, and has an Imagine Spot of him in his kingly garb. He gets visibly shocked when he sees everyone—including Skywarp and Thundercracker—cheering for Rainbow Dash and her efforts.
  • Logical Weakness: Transformers lore has established that Combiners, as powerful as they are, are only as strong as the bond between their individual components. Get them to fight in any way, and the gestalt falls apart. Spike is able to recognize this by egging on Superion's individual parts so the big guy can't hold himself together, saving the Dinobots in the process.
  • Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders: The tall and strong Dinobots cannot understand why their taller and stronger leader is friends with such a tiny and puny creature like Spike.
  • Made of Iron: Smolder is swatted out of the sky by the giant Superion, and suffers no serious injuries from it.
  • Might Makes Right: Averted. Since Grimlock is an Adaptational Nice Guy this time around, he noticeably doesn't have this belief. Rather, he praises Spike for being a true warrior not by being the strongest, but using his own analytical skills to bring down Superion when the powerful Dinobots couldn't.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • As King Sombra is revived, he utters Unicron's lines from The Transformers: The Movie to make is seem as if the Chaos Bringer has returned to haunt Cybertron once again.
    • The space bridge is ring-shaped, like in the first IDW continuity.
    • Many of the Decepticons in this series utilize their designs from War For Cybertron: Siege, which itself was the basis for their appearances in Transformers (2019) and the Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy.
    • When the ponies and the Decepticons end up under Sombra's control, "All Hail King Sombra!" is uttered instead of "All Hail Megatron!"
    • Scootaloo's outfit is that of Daniel Witwicky's (though with an S instead of a D)
    • All of Scootaloo's friends happen to be various Kid-Appeal Character types from previous Transformers continuities, including Hot Rod, Hot Shot, Sureshock, Flareup, Gauge, and Rubble.
    • Applejack's encounter with Wildwheel features two other characters who've been involved with the Wild West—Beast Wars Fuzor Quickstrike (who distinguished himself with his Southern accent— basically described his characterization as a robot version of Yosemite Sam) and G1's own Skids (who got into a Western-Style duel with Megatron in the Marvel Comics).
    • A good chunk of Cybertron hews close to IDW's 2019 reboot, including an array of organic life and the presence of dormant Titans.
    • When Knockout grabs one of Ratchet's gadgets from him, the medical officer cries out, "I needed that!" That line hails as a Running Gag from Transformers: Prime, from which Knockout originated in, and had Ratchet in a prominent role.
    • Superion attacking Sludge and causing his eyes pop out in a cartoonish way homages the scene from The Transformers: The Movie where Devastator did the same thing.
    • Like with the Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy animated series, Scorponok was once enslaved by alien masters.
    • This isn't the first crossover where the Autobot's allies are given custom-made, transformable suits of armor. Star Trek vs. Transformers, the first of the many crossovers before this one, gave Starfleet personnel transformable Class-7 Shuttlecrafts the crew of the USS Enterprise used as piloted mecha.
    • After Megatron is freed and Sombra is beaten, he stands down and agrees to a truce, being a twofold reference. First, this homages "The Return of Optimus Prime" from the original series, where Galvatron agrees to a truce when Prime frees him and everyone else from the Hate Plague the villain unleashed. The other series referenced is Prime, where Megatron is freed from the influence of an Eldritch Abomination and accepts Prime's famous saying that "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" by standing down. Bonus points for said being pulling a Bait-and-Switch by initially appearing as Unicron, who was responsible for his Heel Realization in Prime.
    • During the final battle, Pinkie's exosuit allows her to turn into a literal party cannon (to Megatron's bemusement).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Twilight Sparkle fires a random blast at a mysterious crystal, which revives King Sombra.
    • Ratchet designs a device that can channel the pony's power of friendship into a weapon capable of breaking Sombra's control. Unfortunately for him, the unicorn happened to see it in action, and decides he can use that to his advantage in the next issue by digging up and reactivating Scorponok for his own purposes.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Starscream tries offing Megatron with a weaponized Rainbow Dash the first chance he gets. All this does is get Megatron freed and leads the Decepticon leader to trying to kill him when Sombra is bested.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Unlike the other Seekers, which use their traditional Generation One appearance, Slipstream is shown with her Transformers: Cyberverse design.
  • Not Helping Your Case: While Grimlock is trying to play up Spike's talents to the other Dinobots, Spike adds that he's a "good listener". The other Dinobots are far from impressed.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • In the sequel, Frenzy is seen reading a book from Equestria. Breakdown chews him out over him until the cassette lays into him for wanting to have a little break from all the endless war. Breakdown backs off (and asks if he could read it later).
    • One of the variant covers has Starscream playing with My Little Pony dolls as Megatron walks in on him. The Seeker Commander is having a blast—Megatron is quite shocked at what he sees.
    • In the comic proper, Starscream is trash-talking with Rainbow Dash when the fliers go up against a Scorponok-controlled Sombra.
  • Odd Friendship: Knockout and Rarity, due to their shared interest in fashion and making things look more beautiful. The two are also outraged at how shockingly expensive their designer parts/clothing can get at various stores.
  • Outside-Context Problem: King Sombra is this for Cybertron. While already powerful and dangerous in Equestria, even the Transformers lack knowledge and defenses against his mind control, and thus even the most powerful like Megatron and Superion are vulnerable.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • The Decepticons are convinced to spare all the ponies and Cybertronians under Sombra's control in spite of Starscream's orders, simply because the Seekers recognize having potential new slaves to control makes them more valuable.
    • Wildwheel doesn't attack Applejack and even proposes a team up, since Sombra's brainwashed Cybertronians are clearly more of a threat.
    • Soundwave, upon realizing that Megatron is out of commission, works with the ponies to free him, recognizing that it's better to work with his enemies to fight a greater threat.
    • After having failed twice to obtain powerful magic, Megatron finally admits that it's ill-suited for the Decepticon's plans for Cybertron.
  • Running Gag: Once again, Spike defeats a giant Transformer Combiner.
  • Sequel Hook: It's revealed that the Quintessons were watching the whole time and are now taking an interest in Equestria.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Rubble appears in the series and lives, when his work of origin had him murdered by Quake early on.
  • The Starscream: Take a wild guess who tries pulling this. He uses Rainbow Dash to try and kill Megatron the first chance he gets, but it ends up freeing him from Sombra's control instead. Naturally, Megs tries to repay him after the battle is over.
  • Theme Naming: Probably unintentional, but when Grimlock makes Spike a honorary Dinobot, Spike's name follows the theme of the other Dinobot names (Sludge, Slag, Snarl and Swoop) which all start with the letter "S".
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Ratchet isn't thrilled to work with Knockout, seeing him as a coward and thief. Knockout isn't exactly happy about it either but willing to go along with Rarity and him. Mostly for any goods to knick but also because Rarity and he share interests in beautification. Though seeing Breakdown under Sombra's control does motivate him to get serious.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Starscream is not particularly pleased about having to pull an Enemy Mine with the ponies.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: It seems Frenzy's encounters with the ponies last time have really stuck, as he's much more open to both them and their culture. In fact, when Sombra is bested and the ponies invite the Cybetronians to come visit, he's the most excited about the prospect.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After being forced out of Scorponok, Sombra's mind is utterly shattered, leaving him in a vegetative state.
  • Villain Respect: Wildwheel is impressed by Applejack’s sharpshooting skills, and decides to team up with her to get her home.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Spike is not the strongest dragon around, lacking a lot of the more impressive features his companion Smolder has. But what does have is skills in paying attention and using Awesomeness by Analysis, which he does by egging on Superion's individual components with their own personal problems. This causes them to fall apart and be freed from Sombra's control, leaving Grimlock proud of how Spike showed his own prowess as a warrior.
  • Wham Line:
    Quintesson: "These little "ponies"... such compelling creatures... so different... so powerful... so... innocent."
  • Wham Shot: It seems like both Cybertronians and Equestrians have earned their happy ending. Sombra is defeated, Megatron has agreed to stand down, and both Autobots and Decepticons have established a peaceful coexistence with the ponies. Then it's revealed someone is spying on them...and that someone is the Quintessons!

Alternative Title(s): My Little Pony Transformers