I was recently over at my local awesome shop perusing their box of comics and I stumbled across one I hadn’t heard of before; Camelot 3000.

The cover to my copy of Camelot 3000 #12.

All they had was Issue #12, which was the last issue of the limited run. It was actually one of DC Comic’s first experiments with direct marketing and dubbed a “maxi-series” (thanks, Wikipedia). Since the last issue is the only part of the story I have read I can’t consider myself capable of really reviewing everything as a whole, but on the other hand I do recommend it based on what I read. So that’s why this is a “Retro Transformation Watch.”

My general impression is that the story/concept seemed interesting enough, the art was well done, and the magical punishments in the final issue warrants any transformation fan’s investigation. Fans of transgender characters will also want to take a look. If that is enough to sell you on it, and you don’t want any possible spoilers, just move along or feel free to follow the ad to Amazon where you can pick up the TPB.

But if you need a little more information, and don’t mind some spoilers, read on.

Issue #12 starts out at the siege of Morgan Le Fay’s alien stronghold. Since I’ve studied Arthurian Legend it wasn’t hard for me to catch up with what was going on; Modred is pissed at Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot have started shacking up, and everything pretty much rests on finding Merlin. Spaceships, laser guns, and insectoid aliens mixed things up a bit but overall the gang was all there.

Including Sir Tristan. Each knight has been reincarnated, and something funky happened with Tristan; he came back a she. Fans of transgender characters will want to take note, as Tristan’s acceptance of his new female body seems to be an important part of Camelot 3000’s story. And it doesn’t hurt any that by the end of Issue #12 (s)he and the still-female reincarnated Isolde re-affirm their (clothed) love on a bed of rose pedals.

Regarding transformations, things don’t go well for Le Fay and her henchwoman after Merlin is freed. He immediately transforms Le Fay’s henchwoman’s head into one big mouth, which then strangles her with its own tongue. Merlin implies this is revenge via irony.

Le Fay’s punishment is a little less clear (perhaps readers of Issues #1 – 11 will know better). Merlin says that Le Fay’s own evil will do her in, and she partially transforms into a pile of multicolored rocks – which then seem to transform into all sorts of nasty beasties. Merlin then proclaims Le Fay dead, but shortly after she awakens and turns herself into a sort of spider/drider creature. She is clearly part arachnid, but shadows block the portion of her body that would display the transition.

And shortly thereafter Arthur kills them both by using Excalibur to slice an atom in half and cause a nuclear explosion. So, yeah, not much time with Le Fay in that form. But kudos on the merging of legend and science.

Once again, my time with Camelot 3000# has only been spent in Issue #12, but based on what was revealed there I’d still be very interested in reading the other 11 issues that lead us here. I especially feel that the transformations Merlin inflicts would be all the sweeter with a more educated understanding of what has transpired.