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G.I.Joe vs The Transformers III: Art of War #3
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek


Serpent O.R. should have had failsafes stopping the Megatron downloads becoming the controlling force, but they seem to have failed through Meg’s sheer force of will. He has access to an information web vastly superior to the Internet that specialises in Military history. The name originates from the scientists thinking the Cybertonian technology was as tempting as the snake that offered Eve the apple (and yes, naming your project after something that seemed to good to be true that promptly went badly wrong is a stupid idea. No doubt if they were building a boat they'd have called it Titanic...)

They mystery of how Serpent O.R. got to Cybertron last issue is explained here: there is a spacebridge terminal at the Joe's base. How it got into its damaged state here though is yet to be explained (did Serpent O.R. rig up a explosion to go off after he went through?)

One of the Cannibalizers seen here has Shockwave's arm — an unusually subtle (for this comic) way of confirming he did indeed die at the end of the last mini. Or at least is mostly armless now anyway...

It is possible the death of Bumblebee is leading up to an appearance by Goldbug, but Serpent O.R's sarcastic remark before delivering the killing blow ("Perhaps with some medical attention he could recover") and the fact he senses something leave Bumblebee's body (his spark, no doubt) suggest a more permanent death.

Serpent O.R. now has just about every combiner and triple changer in his ranks (except the Combaticons, oddly enough) including Reflector.

When faced with certain death Snake Eyes and Scarlett face their feelings and snog like no tomorrow. Awwwwwww. Hawk and Roadblock politely ignore whatever they do when the camera pans away from them and talk about Tyra Banks instead.

Omega Supreme seems to be the main defence for Cybertron's Capital City.

For this issue fellow Dreamwave refuge James Raiz (mostly recently seen on Death's Head 3.0, mediocre failure that it was) helps Ng with the pencilling. No pages are credited but he almost certainly did the pages of the Joes in the box.

This issue has not one, but two almost identically worded adverts for a competition to get taught self-publishing by Josh Baylock (one in the Devil's Due News). I mention it because one of the things entries will be judged on is effective marketing ideas, which presumably would include not running the same advert twice in one comic…


Bumblebee drives right into Predaking’s leg seemingly without seeing two giant combiners and four Stunticons standing right in front of him until he bashes his brain out. I suppose it’s possible Serpent O.R. is using his amazing stealth technology to hide them from Bumblebee until it’s too late — but Perceptor detected roughly twenty movement signals, a total that only makes sense if it includes the nearby Decepticons.

Similarly the New Decepticon army is able to get right to the centre of Capital City even though there’s no indication the stealth tech makes them invisible — did none of the hundreds of Autobots on the street see them before they opened fire?

Springer and Sandstorm’s speech bubbles are swapped making it look as if Sandstorm is talking about himself in the third person. Also, when Divebomb shouts out to Tantrum that Hun Grrr has insulted him, Headstrong runs over [Headstrong is just very protective of his fellow Predacons]. Did Ng even bother reading the script?

Generally the art is awful, from Scourge doing the Highland fling on the cover right the way through to Astrotrain having a different colour scheme on the back cover advert for next issue to the one he actually has in the comic. As can currently be seen in this discussion thread the vast majority of discussion about this issue was give over to debating who half the people in it were. It shouldn’t take someone with a fairly decent knowledge of TF’s five minutes to work out that yes, it is Sixshot looking fat leading the airbound Decepticons. Other bad art highlights include the Autobot with mad blue eyes who needs to switch to decaf and Arcee’s bizarre expression when tied up by Energon bonds. Does bad art count as a goof? In this case I say it does because this would be so much better without the modern day versions of Jose Delbo and Nel Yomotov handling art and colouring chores…

Issue Review

After last issue I’d decided this title had jumped the shark fully and stood no chance of becoming as enjoyably camp as the first issue. So I was in for a pleasant surprise when this turned out to be a vastly improved read — still not as good as the inaugural issue but it seems that, having got the dull exposition stuff out of the way last month, this has settled down into being a fun romp fight.

It isn’t quite all roses though. The Arcee/Bumblebee interaction reaches a new low with him chasing for a kiss (but at least that ceases to be a problem here) and lots of dodgy dialogue abounds, especially in the Scarlett and Snake Eyes getting it on scene.

Rather amazingly though, there’s also some great stuff here. Bumblebee’s death is genuinely unexpected and rather nasty (let's just hope he stays dead). The idea of the Decepticons venerating Megatron as an almost mythical legend they’d do anything for is fantastic, and such a pleasant change from the infighting we normally see. In fact this is the best comic portrayal of Megs in a long time and he’s only in the comic for one panel!

If it keeps up this momentum then it could win a “Most fun TF comic of 2006” award — let's just hope the quality doesn’t nosedive again next month. And Shockwave's arm rocked, frankly.

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