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Free Comic Book Day: Energon Universe Special #1
Image Comics

Comic Books

‘Free Comic Book Day: Energon Universe Special’ #1 review

Paves the road for future Transformers and G.I. Joe stories thanks to a roster of all-star creators.

The Energon Universe is many things. It was a legit surprise in a day and age where social media can ruin a great plot twist. It’s a well written take on the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises, pulling in a number of top shelf creators. It’s also proof that licensed comics can tell a good story, they don’t just have to be advertisements for action figures or TV shows. So I was pretty ecstatic when the Energon Universe Special #1 was announced for this Free Comic Book Day.

Energon Universe #1 consists of three tales. There’s a Transformers story written by Daniel Warren Johnson, illustrated by Ryan Ottley and colored by Annalisa Leoni. Void Rivals comes from the ongoing creative team of Robert Kirkman, Lorenzo de Felici and Matheus Lopes. Finally, G.I. Joe is written by Joshua Williamson, illustrated by Jason Howard, and colored by Mike Spicer.

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It’s the Transformers story that’s the biggest draw, since it finally answers the question: What happened to Megatron? The Decepticons’ leader had been missing, until it was revealed that he was in Cobra-La during the Cobra Commander miniseries; Johnson decides to explore the events that led up to that. Since this is a Megatron-led story, fans can expect violence and threats of retribution (one Transformer, in particular, is in for a very very bad time). They can also expect some intense action, courtesy of Ottley – while this isn’t as bloody as his work on Invincible or Hulk, it’s still packed with enough dismemberment and eye gouging to make you wince. He also draws a fight between Optimus Prime and Megatron that almost made me weep with joy.

The G.I. Joe story serves as a coda of sorts to Williamson and Tom Reilly’s Duke miniseries, as Duke is assembling his new G.I. Joe team. Like Johnson, Williamson knows when to throw the reader a curveball and how to write an engaging story. It also helps that he’s joined by Howard, who can draw a hell of an action sequence. Ninjas leaping from the shadows, Duke gunning his motorcycle, an airplane carving through the air; there’s enough for even the most hardcore adrenaline junkie.

The only story that didn’t really click for me was the Void Rivals one. That’s not to say that Kirkman and de Felici haven’t been doing a good job, rather it’s that unless someone read the Void Rivals ongoing they’d be lost. The story mainly serves as the introduction for a fan favorite Transformer, whose big reveal does make an impact thanks to Kirkman’s slow burn script and Lopes’ use of shadows. De Felici also has the visual language of the Transformers universe down pat, to the point where some panels actually feel like they were ripped from the G1 animated series.

Energon Universe Special #1 paves the road for future Transformers and G.I. Joe stories thanks to a roster of all-star creators. I can’t wait to see what’s down the line, as these comics have been one of my favorite reboots in recent years.

Free Comic Book Day: Energon Universe Special #1
‘Free Comic Book Day: Energon Universe Special’ #1 review
Free Comic Book Day: Energon Universe Special #1
Energon Universe Special #1 paves the road for future Transformers and G.I. Joe stories thanks to a roster of all-star creators. I can't wait to see what's down the line, as these comics have been one of my favorite reboots in recent years.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Daniel Warren Johnson and Ryan Ottley deliver a brutal blowout of a story that answers what happened to Megatron.
Joshua Williamson and Jason Howard are setting the stage for a great new take on G.I. Joe.
All star creators that prove you can make a compelling story out of licensed comics.
Should be a great hook for longtime Transformers/G.I. Joe fans or newcomers to either franchise.
The Void Rivals story builds on previous issues, and isn't quite as reader friendly as the other two.
9
Great

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