TRANSFORMERS/G.I.JOE COMICS FROM DEVIL'S DUE
G.I.Joe vs The Transformers III: Art of War #1
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek
For the moment this doesn't seem to be following up on the cliffhanger Cobra-La/Unicron team up that ended Volume 2 (though as Megs has memories of Unicron and Optimus has a new Earth mode there may well have been a missing adventure in-between.)
Bumblebee obviously really liked his Volkswagen alt mode as he's returned to it between series — Grimlock presumably also prefers his dinosaur mode to his original tank body.
The designs Don Figueroa did for Megatron and Soundwave during the War Within
comic are used for the flashbacks. Ironically the second mini used entirely new Cybertronian designs for the characters seen in it.
Megatron having memories of Optimus Primal suggests that they may have met at some point in this continuity — either a result of time travel escapades or something as mundane as Primal being created several million years earlier in this timeline.
It seems, based on her "I get that a lot" comment that Arcee is the only female Transformer in this continuity à la the Marvel comics. For the most part, however, this is following the cartoon setup ૼ with Transformers created by the Quintessons and "Autobot Matrix of Leadership" rather than "Creation Matrix".
Since the last mini the few remaining dedicated Decepticons have been driven back to the Gladiator zones. It's not stated if Shockwave and Starscream survived Cobra Commander's bomb from the end of Volume 2 — but considering ol' one eye can't seem to stay dead I'd imagine he did.
In-between series Cobra have developed B.A.T.s that can combine en masse to form "Cobratron", a foe so fiendish and strong it takes all of five minutes to defeat him.
Unlike with the previous crossovers the company holding the Transformers licence (now IDW) has not put out a corresponding crossover of their own (and hopefully won't be, as one a year is more than enough.)
It's somewhat naive of Optimus to expect the US Government to meekly hand over all the Cybertronian tech in their possession. Equally the Government is daft for letting the Autobots visit the base they're hiding Megatron and Soundwave.
The base is no doubt one of the top security installations on US soil, surrounded by all sorts of surveillance equipment, but Cobra Commander can march a large army right up to the front door and no one notices until he opens fire.
Bad page layout makes what is a flashback (to Megatron trapped in gun mode on Cobra Commander's belt in the first mini) look like it's part of the current action. Similarly the drawing accompanying the "Worlds of Junk" caption is a little odd- It only includes one
world and Unicron — and you'd think Serpent O.R. would focus on the latter if he's after power (unless Unicron has been defeated and the Junkions have moved into his dead body...)
Why does Optimus have a new Earth mode when he clearly has no intention of ever visiting the planet again? Did he like being a 1920's truck so much in the last mini he thought he'd go for the latest model?
The preview pages weren't promising — the Arcee/Scarlett conversation is so embarrassing as to induce vomiting and Cobratron is about as menacing as Barry Chuckle. But surprisingly the rest of the comic is good old fashioned pulpy fun that's best read with the brain off for maximum entertainment. It could still turn out to be a disaster if it starts taking itself seriously, and it won't be giving IDW a run for its money for title of best TF comic of 2006, but is still worth a look. Scarlett comes across as a right slapper when she's trying it on with Snake Eyes though (especially as that's the longest conversation they've had to date in these crossovers!)