The Joes have fended off the first incursion of Earth by the Decepticons and have launched their own invasion of Cybertron. The Joes, led by Scarlett and her Star Brigade are relentlessly carpet bombing Cybertron with Green Bombs until they run into Trypticon and the Decepticons.
Will the Joes be able to survive against the “Giant Homicidal Robots?” More importantly, is it good?
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #2 (IDW Publishing)
Writers Tom Scioli and John Barber give the reader information overload — especially one who is brand new to both the G.I. Joe and Transformers’ worlds; Decepticons and Autobots, not to mention more Joes than you can count on both hands are thrown at the reader and some will have to continually flip back to figure out which Autobot and Decepticon is which. Although some stand out (Trypticon mainly because he is a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex as well as Scarlett because she is the only female Joe) the flooding of characters makes things difficult to remember — though on the plus side it also creates the idea this is a real war and there are a ton of soldiers on both sides.
One of the additions Scioli uses is sine waves when the Transformers are communicating between themselves with a Joe present. Don’t worry, it is not over used and at one key point in the story he uses the nifty asterisk and translates their speech. At other times, there is no translation, but the frequency of the wave conveys the Transformers’ tone whether it is shock or frustration.
The Joes are the cause of both of these feelings, with plenty of high-flying action including Scarlett parachuting from her destroyed shuttle on to the back of a gatling gun-toting motorcycle. The most exciting scene is when Wild Bill takes it upon himself to single handedly go after Devastator! A YEEHAW is in order!
Tom Scioli’s artwork is vintage 80s. The Transformers are very blocky and his use of faded colors highlights the roots of the comic. However, the colors of certain Transformers, especially the Decepticons look a little too similar at points — adding to the confusion previously mentioned with the character overload. He also reuses his gunfire art to depict billowing smoke from the back of one of the Joe’s planes; upon first glance it appears as if the Joes are launching a massive strike when in reality they are crashing.
Scioli adds an interesting dynamic between the Joes and the Autobots. As far as the Joes are concerned all of the robots are giant and homicidal, while the Autobots believe the Joes to be eco-terrorists. Both sides end up with prisoners. Will they be able to reach common ground or will the Joes fight both the Autobots and the Decepticons?
Is It Good?
The book overloads the reader with characters as they try to figure out who is doing what and this really takes away from the action sequences. However, the 80s style artwork adds a uniqueness factor that is not seen in today’s modern comics.
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