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G.I.Joe vs The Transformers III: Art of War #2
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek


It’s confirmed the Joes had no knowledge that the government had Decepticon body parts in their possession. A shame, as it might have added some tension to proceedings.

According to Cobra Commander Serpent O.R stands for Serpent Organic Robot, and it's a weapon of mass destruction. See if you can spot the little bit of political satire there.

Serpent O.R. can’t control or override Transformers as he can with other electrical systems, but he can input information into them. It’s by this means that he convinces the Decepticons he finds on Cybertron he's genuinely Megatron's “progeny”.

Bumblebee carries a “spark“ (LOL) for Arcee, it seems. I’ve a horrible feeling I’ll be writing that a lot as the series goes on. Between the Arcee love and the big close-up on Scarlett’s arse as she does the splits in mid air I expect the Baroness to show up wearing nowt but a leather thong next issue.

Also, based on the way he overreacts to just having his hand held by a girl I’d say Bumblebee is a virgin. But then we all knew that, didn’t we?

It’s not entirely clear yet how Serpent O.R. got from Earth to Cybertron... the ship Perceptor’s team used would be the best bet, but they were shown walking into the base last issue whilst whatever means Serpy used was within it. Next issue will reveal all, no doubt.

In-jokes here include Serpent O.R. saying “This I command” and Cobra Commander banging on about file cards at one point.

Optimus was originally a data clerk, as he was in Dreamwave’s War Within comic. In fact, the basic plot (super-powerful being arrives on Cybertron and uses his mojo to bring one of several Decepticon factions under his command) is more than a bit like The Dark Ages.

Grimlock is good at parties because he’s “insane”.



Hot Rod tells Optimus about the situation on Earth and the latter seems surprised by the news, even though he’s watching the events on not one but several TV screens. And if the Autobots have some sort of surveillance on the Joe base why didn’t Prime get on the phone and warn them when a large Cobra army showed up?

Isn’t it a bit premature of the Autobots to declare peace and have a big party when there are still several groups of heavily armed Decepticons out there? That’s a bit like the Allies declaring World War II over but leaving the Nazis on Jersey alone.

Serpent O.R. hates Cobra Commander, so why does he so politely wait till old hoody has finished his exposition speech before attacking everyone?

Scarlett is such a tough babe she can survive several tonnes of concrete falling on her. No wonder Snake Eyes likes her.

Cobra Commander pays his staff with cheques. Where does he bank? (Looks like a Halifax man to me.) Does he sign cheques “Cobra Commander”? Are terrorist activities tax deductible? If, as he says, the only reason he lets Zartan and Zarana try to escape with him is to get the cheque he gave them back, why doesn’t he just leave them to get captured/killed by the Joes? Surely Uncle Sam doesn’t let arrested terrorists cash cheques?

Everyone on Cybertron bar Hot Rod has a Earth mode. We’ll have to put it down to a fashion craze sweeping the planet and all factions — perhaps started by Jazz after his return home? — but then that doesn’t explain why a cool dude like Hot Rod doesn’t have one.

Issue Review

Do you hear that sound, children? It’s any potential this comic had in its first issue flushing down the toilet. This is effectively an exposition issue: nothing really happens to move the plot forward till the last few pages on Cybertron and everything else is just characters explaining things. Everything, that is, bar the handful of pages given over to a rubbish fight (and the Autobots should be ashamed for losing to a man who throws snakes, no matter what other powers he has...)

With so little happening you really need witty and memorable dialogue to make it work... unfortunately every line is horrid (Optimus Prime says “peashooters”!) and the more characters explain the plot the less it makes sense.

Still, “Art of War” is an appropriate title for a book drawn by Joe Ng, as the art is slightly less pleasing than a photo of mutilated limbs on a battlefield. Truly dire.

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