The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

 
  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers forum
Old 2014-11-09, 01:44 AM   #1
Red Dave Prime
Assistant Comic Reviewer
 
Red Dave Prime's Avatar
 
Ireland
Default Comic Review - Transformers vs GI Joe #0


The Transformers vs GI Joe #0

"Original Release Date"
Written by: Tom Scioli and John Barber
Art by: Tom Scioli
Colours by: Tom Scioli
Edited by: Carlos Guzman
Cover price : Free! (Can be downloaded for free from Comixology)

Synopsis:

In space the Decepticon Starscream pursues the Autobot Bumblebee. Starscream forces Bumblebee to crash land on Earth, near the headquarters of the sinister Cobra army.

Their timing could not be better as the base is under siege from the heroic GI Joe forces led by Hawk alongside the charismatic Snake Eyes. Overcoming not just the Cobra forces but also the creeper vines created by one of Cobras mad scientists, the Joes fail to notice the two alien robots fighting amongst them, mistaken them for Cobra robot drones.
Seeing his army crumble, the Cobra Commander makes to escape but is pursed by the Joes. Seeing his chance to take out the head of the enemy once and for all, Snake eyes disobeys orders and goes straight for the commanderís plane. Breaking through the cockpit, he succeeds in stabbing the Commander with his sword but suffers a full force blast to his face from the Commanders pistol. All while this is going on Starscream final captures Bumblebee.

In the aftermath of the battle, Snake eyes is revealed to be recuperating from his wounds but with his face fully bandaged. This doesnít deter the affections of Scarlett who had previously promised to marry the man who brought her the helmet of Cobra Commander in vengeance for the death of her parents.

On the planet Cybertron, Starscream presents the head of Bumblebee to his Lord and master Megatron.



Characters featured [in rough order of appearance]:
Bumblebee, Starscream, Soundwave, Megatron, Straxus, Optimus Prime


Notes:

This issue was released for free as part of the free comicís day. My local Forbidden Planet didnít seem to think I was worth the free copy but did feel free to push the 1st and 2nd issues into my account. The gits. So basically I viewed this through a cbr file. But free is free, right?
*post review, I discovered that you can freely download this from comixology. Nice! So no excuse not to try it.

I havenít listed the Joe characters in the ďfeaturedĒ section because first off, this is a Transformers website and secondly a lot of characters appear mostly for a quick cameo before disappearing. If you wish to know whoís who in these issues, go to the wiki.

This issue (as others will) features a page by page account from Scioli and Barber. Itís a really nice touch and adds depth to what initially seems a simple comic.

Starscreams alt mode is based on the Nemesis from the Cartoon series. Bumblebee is piloting a variation on the Ark model that also featured in the cartoon.

The transformers speech is represented by a Sine Wave in a speech bubble, with a translation often accompanying it. The general rule for the series is that when a scene involves only Transformers there will simply be English but when humans are present so will the Sine Wave, to indicate that the Humans donít understand what is being said.

While on Earth, Starscream and Bumblebee have their more familiar G1 alt modes but there is no indication of when they changed or why they picked the modes they did.

The early dialogue between Bumblebee and Starscream seems to indicate that Megatron and the Decepticons rule Cybertron. Not only that, but flight seems to be purely a Decepticon privilege.

Many of the Joes are rookies at this point in the story.

My knowledge of GI Joe is a bit limited but Snake eyes is in his original outfit design, not the more popular ďvisorĒ model

Even with my limited Joe knowledge I can spot loads of toys here. Hell, I may have even had one or two. Some scenes even look like they are battle scenes from the old toy catalogues.

Despite his apparent death, the body of Cobra Commander is not recovered by the end of the mission.

Quote Unquote:
ďYouíll scream to the stars themselves when Iím done with you!Ē - Youíll never guess who said this.

ďThe Joe who brings me Cobra Commander shiny chrome helmetÖ Iíll marry that Joe!Ē Ė Scarlett is a though lady to impress.

ďMy arm, my eye, Get help before I dieĒ Ė Introducing Major Bludd, GI Joes answer to Wheelie.

ďMegatron is a kind and generous GodĒ Ė Starscream pays homage to his lord.


Review:
Two words before we begin. Jack Kirby. Now, to some of you that name may mean a lot but I will be honest, to me they mean very little. I have a vague knowledge that he is responsible for some Marvel classic characters and is revered by many in the know of the comic world. But to a casual fan like me, he doesnít mean a lot. That said, it is very clear from the Story Commentary (an excellent addition to this and other issues) that Mr Kirby has had a massive influence on the style Scioli wanted to achieve with this comic. So if you want to know about all those Kirby moments, do read the Story Commentary. For these reviews though, Iím approaching it as someone who is simply reading a Transformers comic.

Only, this isnít really a Transformers comic. Itís very much a GI Joe comic with the Joes taking centre stage and being the emotional heart of the issue. Itís their characters that are established and their plots that are weaved. The brief bit of Transformers action is very much background, at least up until the wonderful final page. More on that later, but for the most part this is very much a GI Joe comic. And thatís no bad thing, because the Joes make for a more sensible human foil to transformers than regular humans ever could. We donít need a contrived reason for why they meet and continue to be involved with Giant Alien robots. Theyíre a special military force. Thereís a natural symmetry to the two groups intersecting. Also, as an added bonus, they arenít kids.

So issue 0 is mainly setting the stage for things to come and playing about with some of the tropes of both toy lines. While we get a twist on the origin of Snake Eyes losing his face, a bigger twist is the apparent death of the Cobra Commander right of the bat. And for the Transformers, we get a few more loops as Bumblebee seems to be offed from the outset Ė something it took RiD 27 issues to do. We also get a set-up more closely associated with the Beast Machines era as Cybertron is firmly under the rule of a Lord Megaton. So the comic achieves the effect of being familiar and new, nostalgic and fresh.
Itís impossible to not notice the art with this comic and while itís understandable that some find it a little off putting, I found it matched the frantic pace of the story perfectly. Itís cluttered, busy and more than a little rough at times. Normally I donít enjoy this, especially given the precision most of IDWs work has (note that I said most) but in this case it conveys the chaos and sheer speed of the story to such a degree that I canít imagine this book done any other way. Initial thoughts on a page can be dismissive of a simple, almost childlike style, but further examination reveal lots of tiny little details and information that help build the world of the Joes and Cobra in a way that only a comic can. The colouring is also really eye-catching and while I am in no way indicating that this is a style I would want to see in other Transformer titles, here the colours and pencils combine with the writing perfectly. From the insanity of a battlefield being smothered by creeping vines to the visual representation of sound, it simply works.

Best of all, when he really needs to, Scioli can achieve impact with this art style. Two page in particular carry wonderfully solid impact. The first is that of Snake eyes getting shot while stabbing Cobra Commander. Somewhat oddly, the most ludicrous scene in an already exaggerated battle is given the most realistic representation and the more sombre colours of the page, coupled with no dialogue or sound effects provide an eye catching splash page that ranks as one of the best Iíve seen, transformers comics or otherwise.

The second page of note is that final page and itís more so because along with the opening pages itís the only real bit of transformers in the comic (Bumblebee and Starscreams battle is nearly exclusively consigned to the background of the Joe / Cobra conflict). Here we get a lot of nuggets as to what kind of world these Transformers inhabit. We see Starscream bowing to Megatron, while in the background Soundwave and Straxus can be seen. And of course, we also get Bumblebees head wired up to Soundwaves computers. Itís a great image, feeding the imagination of what could possibly be to come. The dialogue as well tells us more Ė Megatron is referred to as a God, Bumblebee was a close confidant to Prime and his death is a powerful blow against Optimus. What more is to come? Well, more and better according to the footnote of the page.

There is no doubt that this comic will not appeal to everyone and its style and tone is likely to be the TF equivalent of marmite Ė you either love it or hate it. But I would really recommend that everyone gives at least this and the first issue a try as there is a real feeling of freshness and passion to the comic and itís a much nicer contrast to MTMTE than RiD or the other in-cannon series that IDW are currently running.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
 
Red Dave Prime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-11-09, 04:12 AM   #2
Blackjack
Unashamed Movie Fanboy
 
Blackjack's Avatar
 
Smile

Apologies if I'm not keeping up on uploading reviews, be it comics or toys. Been absolutely busy IRL over here. Will try to work down some of the backlog later today if life permits.

I personally think that this is a horrible title that tries too hard on the retro look, but I'm not badmouthing anyone who likes this title -- I think I made my opinion quite clear in the two or three threads in the comic forums. I don't like this comic, but more power to you if you do. Though I do still think that issue 0 was done quite well and not quite the massive jerky mess that was the series proper.
 
Blackjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-11-09, 11:55 AM   #3
Red Dave Prime
Assistant Comic Reviewer
 
Red Dave Prime's Avatar
 
Ireland
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
Apologies if I'm not keeping up on uploading reviews, be it comics or toys. Been absolutely busy IRL over here. Will try to work down some of the backlog later today if life permits.

I personally think that this is a horrible title that tries too hard on the retro look, but I'm not badmouthing anyone who likes this title -- I think I made my opinion quite clear in the two or three threads in the comic forums. I don't like this comic, but more power to you if you do. Though I do still think that issue 0 was done quite well and not quite the massive jerky mess that was the series proper.
Oh don't worry about that. I am miles behind on the comic reviews.

Regarding Joes v formers, I really enjoyed issues 0 & 1 but I do wonder if its pace and style can be sustained past a mini or maxi series. As I say though, issue 0 is free so no excuse not to at least give it a look.
 
Red Dave Prime is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
 
 
[the-hub.co.uk]
[transfans.co.uk]
[oneshallstand]
[unicron.com]
[counter-x.net]
[ntfa.net]
[allspark.com]
[transformertoys.co.uk]
[tfu.info]
[botchthecrab.com]
[obscure_tf]
[tfradio.net]
 

[TFArchive button]
Link graphics...

BOOKMARK US
Or in FF, hit Ctrl+D.