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G.I.Joe vs The Transformers III: Art of War #5
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek


Serpent O.R. is specifically referred to as Serpentor Prime once he has the Matrix... whether Cobra Commander and Hawk also deserve the distinction I'll leave up to you, gentle reader.

The exact nature of Dr. Knox's mind control chair is left unspecified, bar the fact it operates through a device placed on Serpent O.R back in the first issue. It's most likely the product of Cybertronian technology Cobra got their mitts on in Volume I.

The idea that the Matrix brings out the better nature of the bearer was established in the Generation 2 comic, and the concept it could have long term effects on organic life even after being separated from it was seen in the Matrix Quest arc (Marvel US issues #62-66.) This, however, is the first time we see a human wielding the power, and the long term effects on Hawk are unclear bar the glowing eyes. Optimus does think he'll go onto lead humanity into a new golden era though.

Bumblebee, against all expectations, is indeed as dead as a parrot. He has a rather badly drawn statue built in his name though, which prompts Arcee to cry.

The Autobots are more than happy to turn a blind eye to Grimlock torturing a prisoner for information. Though ironically they ultimately don't need the stuff he prises from Runamuck in order to find Prime once the Matrix light show starts.

Overkill has fantasies of a harem full of blue and red "Girl-Bots", killing any claims of asexuality the Transformers might have in this continuity.

Cobra/Serpentor Prime states that Starscream is indeed dead.

The appearance of Cobra La is another reference to the cliff-hanger of the second volume, but thankfully just seems to be a sly reference to those who care rather than a serious suggestion there's any plans to follow up on this. Indeed, the ending seems to be fairly closed- Though volume IV is in the works at the time of writing.


Octane is not only all purple, he seems to be hanging out with the Combiner leaders.

Once again Snake Eyes is easily able to kill advanced outer space robot people by stabbing them with a sharp bit of metal. Though at least it stops Overkill going into too much detail about his sexual fantasies.

Someone needs to point out to Grimlock that if he went through on his threat to remove Runamuck's head the poor Battlecharger won't be able to tell him anything (though considering how sexed up these Transformers are Big Grim might well not mean the head on his shoulders...)

Where did Hawk buy that nice cloak from on Cybertron? Why do none of the Joe's seem that fussed about going home?

Throughout the preceding issues Serpent O.R's name has been constantly spelt that way- Here he's suddenly changed it to the plain Serpentor even before he gets the Matrix (for consistency's sake the above review sticks to Serpent O.R throughout, but Serpentor Prime for the super version.)

Issue Review

There's no depth or subtlety here, it's just a big "Everyone fights!!!" issue. It is, however, a worthy climax that entertains as long as you don't think about too much — an almost perfect conclusion to the entire series. Good points include Bumblebee staying dead, and permanent changes being made to characters like Hawk which will have to be followed up on in the next mini. Bad points include a non-humanoid cassette having sexual fantasies about "Girl Bots" which conjures up disturbing Transformers/Animal Farm crossover imagery and that most of the main cast bar Optimus and Serpent O.R being sidelined. All in all though, a surprisingly good climax to a surprisingly good crossover.

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