SPACE WAR I! Earth makes contact with an alien race—and G.I. JOE is on the front lines of first contact! But when the TRANSFORMERS arrive—their version of “peace” does not match our own…
Or maybe it does..?Story
On a completely different note, artistically, thematically, tonally, from the concluding issue of Windblade
... This week also marks the beginning of a new Transformers vs G.I. Joe ongoing from the mind and hands of John Barber and Tom Scioli, co-plotting and co-writing the whole run (as far as we know, at least). We've seen issue #0
, but come along for a look at the actual start of a new thing right below here.
[Credit: Tigertrack is remotely helping out with this review, though all conclusions are my own.]
The Seibertron Comics staff
It's still completely out there. Nothing has shifted since Free Comic Book Day, as Barber and Scioli plot the arrival of Cybertronians onto Earth, as the Joes set out to meet a Decepticon delegation headed by Soundwave and the cassettes. Where is Cobra? Oh, they're there. Where are the Autobots? Do is it really matter at this point, with Soundwave taking centre stage?
Bay or Liefeld?
Plot-wise, there's a simplicity which might turn some people off the book, almost going back to the original cartoon plots from the two series - but in comics form, revelling in the creative spaces left from a stripped down narrative. There are sight gags, wordplay moments, slapstick, and some quite good action sequences, too.
The countdown sequence in particular is well thought out, and really shows the decompressed, almost slowed down to the bare minimum approach that the writers are taking. And we end up picking up a plotline started in issue #0, almost to its conclusion, along with what I think is an extremely intriguing ending to the book. Both of them.Art
Ok. So Tom Scioli is taking care of absolutely everything here, from layouts to lines to inks to colours to lettering, this is his book definitely a lot more than Barber's, and it's his vision of the two franchises that we're seeing, with his artistic tendencies and influences coming into it - and that will work two ways with readers: yes, or no.
A divisive issue
I can't see a middle ground, to be honest, the style does not allow for it. And I have to say, after getting my head round issue #0, I've come to enjoy this one a lot more than jumping into the cold deep end straight away - though I think another one to fully enjoy it. Credit note: even with Scioli on everything, I do want to make a note towards Chris Mowry's production work on this, especially the page design, and Carlos Guzman on editing, which cannot have been easy.
A sight to behold
As SDCC is coinciding with the launch of the new series in this first issue, multiple variant covers were to be expected; here's a list of what you can get: Rob Liefeld with Romulo Fajardo Jr, James Stokoe, several Tom Scioli ones, Jamie Tyndall with Ula Mos, interlocking, single, blank, GI Joe dominant, TF dominant - you name it! It's Liefeld and Fajardo in the thumbnail, in case you were wondering.ThoughtsSpoilerish ahead
As we said in the double-team review of issue #0, this series is setting itself up to be completely bonkers, with a method in the madness. I can't stress this enough: it's not for everyone, it does not take itself seriously, but it does it with such a charm and clearly heartfelt research and execution of styles, references and planning that it will at least crack a smile.
I am still ambivalent about the artwork, as much as I do like the darker hues and overly filled panels, but it does fit the entire concept of the book from what I take from it - and my opinion quite definitely is not that of the entire comics staff! But if you're into your nostalgia pandering, your cosmic sagas, celebrations and parodying in parallel, this is definitely an issue for you - TF or Joe fan alike.
NOTE: There will be no 'rating' for this series, unless I change my mind drastically next month.