IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review

IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 2:21pm CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 45,926

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In Which Duke Drives Optimus Through a Sea of Quintessons
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
IT GETS CRAZIER! The biggest space battle ever grows to universal proportions! Will the G.I. JOE team and the AUTOBOTS make peace—before COBRA and the DECEPTICONS end the war… the bad way?!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review
One Woman Army


Story

I realise we have fallen behind on reviewing this series, and we will come back to fill in on the missing issues of the first volume of Transformers vs G.I. Joe. However, after a decent hiatus, the cosmic series by Tom Scioli and John Barber is back with its fifth issue, and we're here to remind you how amazing it is!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review
Maximize!


We're on Earth and Cybertron, as the latter moves closer to the former at the hands of Megatron, and G.I. Joe and Cybertronians alike are attempting to deal with the impending catastrophe - although each in their own way, with suspicion, and not all plans are working together, at all.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review
Who nose what might happen


One of the main storylines we follow is that of Rodimus, as the attempts to regain control of Metroplex and the Autobot troops, his clash with one of the G1-est Grimlocks in a while, and the consequences of giant robot egos meeting each other's match, Megatron included, for the first time seen as potentially fallible.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review
Clash of Kings


The writing is fantastically scattered across the pages and cosmic stage that Scioli and Barber have set up, and even then, there is a lot more coherence than in the first couple of issues. The interactions and uncomfortable alliances between humans and Cybertronians lead to both amusing and fairly tense scenes, and definitely worth following around.

Art

Tom Scioli's double act as writer and artist still delivers in a fantastic correspondence between, arguably, intention and execution. He is not trying to do anything, he is not attempting to capture elements of *something* - this is his style, heavily influenced by early comics art, and it is something to amaze at, every time.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review
Have a Metropolygon


Every corner of every panel, even the round ones, has something going on, from the little tags identifying new characters to the Quintesson vinetacles, to the sheer amount on miniature scenes taking place across a single page, plus all the colour work, you can spend hours on an issue alone.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review
Three Are One


The addition of Chris Mowry's stellar lettering and design work make sure that all is in its place and with its own voice, too, and that the package matches the contents, with echoes of those comics art influences showing up in the book as book. Plus, to catch eyes from everywhere, we get an impressive array of covers by Scioli, Nick Pitarra/Megan Wilson on Soundwave and Slither and the thumbnailed Derek Charm [plus a slightly more questionable one by Jamie Tyndall/Ula Mos].


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The marvellous incoherent cohesion of the multiple overlapping scripts and plots is what makes this series so appealing to many readers who are not generally into Transformers or G.I. Joe fictional universes. It's fine to get lost, we're actually invited to do so, and there's more to gain from it, if you want to.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review
Laughing one's head off


We get references to Transformers lore, battles of wit, humour and ridiculous amounts of action, and it still feels as though we're being pulled through a story that doesn't care whether we're paying attention or not - much like the rest of the universe. This is a series that does exactly what it wants, and what it wants is to have fun with the medium and the casts. We're along for the ride, so buckle up.

. :COBRA: :COBRA: :COBRA: :COBRA: out of :COBRA: :COBRA: :COBRA: :COBRA: :COBRA:

Credit(s): IDW


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Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1649283)
Posted by dragons on February 10th, 2015 @ 4:51pm CST
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if art in comic diditn make feel i was something from newspaper comic i buy it but art turns me off i know saying can me differnt for transfromer toy but comics differnt entirly, and most of alien transfromers that are bigger than humans are same size, few feet taller in animte series there bigger twice there size of humans
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1649286)
Posted by Va'al on February 10th, 2015 @ 4:55pm CST
I'm not sure what you're saying, could you rephrase that please?
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1649400)
Posted by morphobots on February 10th, 2015 @ 11:17pm CST
I believe he's saying one thing that really bugs him is the human/robot scale in the art.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1649428)
Posted by Va'al on February 11th, 2015 @ 2:26am CST
morphobots wrote:I believe he's saying one thing that really bugs him is the human/robot scale in the art.


Ah, in true Transformers fashion. :D
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1650204)
Posted by Darth Jumpy on February 12th, 2015 @ 4:19pm CST
I thought this issue could have used some more focus. I get that it is this series' style to have an entire story encapsulated on one or two pages, but it seems like they kept on skipping the climaxes to the stories. Like the stories that were presented in this issue shows the set up, and then skips right to the aftermath. The Joes fight Blackarachnia, and then it skips to Fort Max being fine. The Joes have to fight their mind controlled pets, but then it is later said in the issue that everyone is fine. Grimlock and Hot Rod fight, and the next scene Grimlock is somewhere else entirely. There are a ton of moments like that in this chapter. I usually enjoy this series, but this was by far the weakest issue. There are even some events that I did not get even after reading the commentary.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1650218)
Posted by Va'al on February 12th, 2015 @ 4:41pm CST
Darth Jumpy wrote:I thought this issue could have used some more focus. I get that it is this series' style to have an entire story encapsulated on one or two pages, but it seems like they kept on skipping the climaxes to the stories. Like the stories that were presented in this issue shows the set up, and then skips right to the aftermath. The Joes fight Blackarachnia, and then it skips to Fort Max being fine. The Joes have to fight their mind controlled pets, but then it is later said in the issue that everyone is fine. Grimlock and Hot Rod fight, and the next scene Grimlock is somewhere else entirely. There are a ton of moments like that in this chapter. I usually enjoy this series, but this was by far the weakest issue. There are even some events that I did not get even after reading the commentary.


Yes, re-reading for the fifth (fourth) time makes me realise how scattered the focus actually is, compared to #3 and #4, for example.

I still really enjoyed it though. :D
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1670623)
Posted by Va'al on April 3rd, 2015 @ 3:25am CDT
It's been a while since we marvelled, jaw agape, at Tom Scioli and John Barber's cosmic effort in IDW Publishing Transformers vs G.I. Joe - but the wait is over, and thanks to comics website ComicsAlliance, we have a full preview for next week's issue #6. Check it out below! We'll have a Seibertron.com review up by the date of release, Wednesday, too, so head back here then.

Transformers vs G.I. JOE #6

Tom Scioli & John Barber (w) • Scioli (a & c)

THE SMASH HIT OF 2014 BECOMES THE GREATEST COMIC OF 2015! If you thought the war between G.I. JOE and the TRANSFORMERS was out of control before… well, brothers and sisters—wait’ll you get a load of issue 6!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
Heroes fall, but heroism triumphs!
One small step for the G.I. JOE team—one giant fall for the TRANSFORMERS!
Variant Cover by Antonio Fusso!


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Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1670632)
Posted by Windsweeper on April 3rd, 2015 @ 4:25am CDT
How the hell is this thing an ongoing? I like the robot designs but it's utter crap.

Thank you IDW. Once again you've failed me. Waited 20 years for Regeneration and it was a disappointing limited series.
Then they give us this and that angry birds crap.
Marvel and Dreamwave never disappointed like this.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1670659)
Posted by dragons on April 3rd, 2015 @ 8:26am CDT
This art style I use to draw as kid it's bad feel I'm in Napoleon dynamite movie art sucks make comic stop art is turn off
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1670669)
Posted by jogunwarrior on April 3rd, 2015 @ 8:43am CDT
Every time I consider how terrible my own art is, I look at this book and am shown a glimmer of hope that there is still a chance to make in the comic book industry.
Thanks, IDW!
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1673163)
Posted by MrBlack on April 9th, 2015 @ 10:32am CDT
Every issue of this book is more insane than the next. Scioli is really building something unique (and blasphemous), and I can't stop reading.

The last page of #6 was fantastic.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1687634)
Posted by Va'al on May 19th, 2015 @ 6:18pm CDT
In other IDW Transformers comics news, the extravagant architect of the Transformers vs G.I. Joe ongoing series - Tom Scioli - was interviewed by comics website Comics Alliance, about the world he is building for the series, the approach to the universes, layouts and the general madness of it all. Take a look below for some selected quotes, and read the whole piece here.

ComicsAlliance: The first thing I want to talk about is pacing. Jumping into Transformers vs. GI Joe #5, which is the start of the second paperback if people are reading it that way, they’re getting a comic that moves so fast that it is often hard for me to keep up.

Tom Scioli: Well, issue #5 would be the one, because issue #5 is where it really accelerates. I just find that so many comics have a lot of redundancy, a lot of over-explaining, a lot of images of basically the same thing, so part of the approach is to just eliminate redundancy and just give you the things you need to move the narrative forward. I sort of crossed a point of no return with it, I think, and where that came from is that I wrote a script for a Transformers vs. GI Joe movie adaptation.

You know, the movie doesn’t exist yet, but I made a comic as though I was adapting a movie, and how movie adaptations are. There are chunks missing, and jumps because of the time it takes to take an hour and a half movie and put it into a comic, you’re going to have to cut some things out. I wrote something with that sort of style in mind, and after I did that, I realized that’s a tool I could use any time. It doesn’t have to be restricted to this particular conceit, it’s just a tool in my arsenal now. It was really effective in that script, which hasn’t come out yet, but it was just a really intense reading experience.

[...]

CA: The interesting thing about that to me is that, like you said, there have been Transformers and GI Joe team-up books before, and now you’re doing it as an ongoing series and using the entire cast of both books, as they have existed for thirty years. There’s not a whole lot left on the table.

TS: That’s one thing I noticed. I was sort of going through all these characters and throwing them in, and now I’ve sort of reached the point where it’s like, “Oh, what Decepticon villain can show up?” and most of them are there already, pretty much. There’s an endless number of jets that I can go to, but most of the really resonant ones have shown up, so now it’s just getting weird, which is actually interesting. Now we’re getting into the Pretenders and the Predacons, all the weirder corners of the mythology.

CA: That’s something I wanted to bring up, because you’re at the point now where you’re creating new stuff.

TS: I want to go more in that direction. I thought doing a comic like this, that’s an established thing, would be easier — having a universe that’s already established that I’m just building up. But I’m seeing the limitations of it. I really do want to just create more and add more to it. It’s not so complete a cosmology that there’s a character for every season. I thought there would be a character for every occasion, and in a lot of cases there are. I needed a character who was a chef, and, okay, Roadblock is a chef, I can use him. But there are a lot of holes in the mythology that I’m trying to fill in.

That last Transformers movie… they went nuts. It almost wasn’t even Transformers anymore, it was this infinite universe of every kind of creature you can imagine, and that freed me up too, realizing that I could make this universe whatever I wanted it to be. It doesn’t have to just be giant robots that turn into cars or dinosaurs, it can be a universe.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1688117)
Posted by shajaki on May 20th, 2015 @ 7:35pm CDT
If you've read Part 1 of Tom Scioli's interview with Comics Alliance, you're not going to want to miss the second half! Tom Scioli and John Barber‘s are of course the masterminds behind IDW's Transformers vs. GI Joe, and have brought quite a nutty flavor to the book. See the mayhem behind the scenes in the interview right here, some snippets below, and stay tuned to Seibertron.com for all your Transformers News!

To say that Tom Scioli and John Barber‘s Transformers vs. GI Joe is an unusual comic is underselling things quite a bit. On paper, it’s a natural fit, an ongoing series that follows in the footsteps of earlier books that have combined the two toy lines into one massive interplanetary battle. In practice, though, it’s something a lot bigger, a comic that almost assaults the reader by cramming in as much big, wild stuff as it possibly can — a toy comic so weird, and so great, that it almost feels like it shouldn’t exist.

With the book’s second storyline well under way, throwing in everything from Vikings to old gods to Dinobots (and a new printing of his amazing American Barbarian on the way this summer), I talked to cowriter, artist and occasional ComicsAlliance guest contributor Tom Scioli about the series. Today, he talks about building a history for a universe that’s even more important than our own, the two-page Free Comic Book Day story, and why his book isn’t a paean to Snake Eyes. You can read the first part of this interview here.

[...]

CA: The next specific scene that I wanted to talk about was the first page of #6. Every time I think this comic can’t get any wilder, it gets bigger and weirder in a way that I find really enjoyable. This comic opens with Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden by floating Transformers with laser swords.

TS: Yeah.


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TS: It’s a universe. It’s a whole universe. My thought is that the Transformers vs. GI Joe universe is the most important universe there is, and while you’re reading it, it’s even more important than our universe. There’s an Alpha to that universe and there’s an Omega to that universe, and what you were witnessing was Roadblock’s reading of the Cobra Bible, the Decepticobranomicon, so what you’re reading may well be an actual accounting of what happened. It might be mythology. It might be disinformation. It could be any number of things. There’s a deep history to this world.

CA: I’ve said this before, and I mean it in the best way possible, but I’m always surprised this book exists.

TS: Right. [Laughs]
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1693380)
Posted by Va'al on June 2nd, 2015 @ 3:38am CDT
In other IDW Publishing news, this week also sees the release of the next issue in the Tom Scioli (with some Barber) Transformers vs G.I. Joe ongoing series - what space-wide madness awaits in issue 7? Find out in the full preview below, and check backin later this week for the Seibertron.com review!

Transformers vs G.I. JOE #7
Tom Scioli & John Barber (w) • Scioli (a & c)
THE WORLD AS THEY MAKE IT! Alliance are forged! Enemies are enraged! The war burns on Earth and Cybertron! And now… now the real battle begins.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:
If you’ve ever liked anything, you’ll love this!
If you’ve never liked anything—this will be the first thing you love!
Variant Cover by Kody Chamerlain!


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Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1693406)
Posted by BumbleDouche on June 2nd, 2015 @ 5:24am CDT
Good God, these are hideous. Honestly, the worst thing about old comics, in my opinion at least, was the crummy artwork and the cheap paper they were printed on. Trying to emulate that look in this day and age makes no sense to me, other than appealing to a sense of nostalgia in older fans. I can't imagine any kids flipping through this on a comic book store shelf and being impressed. It's like using a broom to clean your floor when you have a vacuum cleaner handy... The vacuum does the job faster, more efficiently and you get a better result, so why stick to "old technology?" But hey, whatever floats your boat, I guess.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1693408)
Posted by MrBlack on June 2nd, 2015 @ 5:35am CDT
Well, this has taken an interesting turn. One of the things I love about this comic is that I legitimately never know what is going to happen from page to page or issue to issue.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1693421)
Posted by RhA on June 2nd, 2015 @ 6:25am CDT
The comic still looks horrid. I do like the colors. And that cover looks nice.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1693454)
Posted by Downbeat on June 2nd, 2015 @ 8:27am CDT
Whoof, this is getting dark.
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1693507)
Posted by President-prime on June 2nd, 2015 @ 11:43am CDT
You know, this art was weird at first, but it's rather entertaining. In fact, I went back to my comic store and bought all of the earlier issues. I also collect covers so I bought all the different versions of it. For those criticizing the art work, just read a couple of issues without reservations or bias and you might find that it's more thoughtful and more creative than the newer ones. The art is actually more complicated than what's on the surface. Each panel is layered with other elements of art. Frat job Tom Scioli and John Barber!
Re: IDW Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 Review (1693558)
Posted by Amelie on June 2nd, 2015 @ 1:31pm CDT
MegaDump wrote:Good God, these are hideous. Honestly, the worst thing about old comics, in my opinion at least, was the crummy artwork and the cheap paper they were printed on. Trying to emulate that look in this day and age makes no sense to me, other than appealing to a sense of nostalgia in older fans. I can't imagine any kids flipping through this on a comic book store shelf and being impressed. It's like using a broom to clean your floor when you have a vacuum cleaner handy... The vacuum does the job faster, more efficiently and you get a better result, so why stick to "old technology?" But hey, whatever floats your boat, I guess.


Two points

- You clearly don't do much housework or have pets. A broom gets things out of wool rugs that a vacuum cleaner simply can't. Different tools. Different jobs. In the case of art - pencils and pens for sketches and inks can be a much more efficient tool. Depends on the style and the artist.

- Its not just nostalgia notes the art hits - it has quirky details and is dynamic in a way that the current pseudo-anime style used in the mainline can't accommodate. It is art and its quality is purely subjective. Whats in vogue now could suddenly look very tired and 'bad' in a few short years and Tom Scioli might look like a progressive genius. Besides which I'd hardly dare call old comic artists like Ditko or Kirby 'crummy' simply because of age or an art-fashion change. ;)

Still gutted I can't easily get my hands on these. I'll have to trawl eBay next month and catch up, if money allows.

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