The History of Transformers Cross-Overs

The History of Transformers Cross-Overs

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006 10:10pm CDT

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The Transformers franchise has been involved with cross-promotions in the last year with more to come. The cross-over most fans are familiar with are the Transformers and G.I. Joe cross-overs since there have been so many. In the West (the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, and Europe) G.I. Joe is not the only franchise to have a tie in with the Transformers. A few other properties have joined forces in with our favorite robots in disguise in the past. Meanwhile, there are still some joint ventures in the present that appear will be being carried on into the future.

Marvel Comics - Part One

Transformers #3 Marvel Comics featuring Spiderman!The first ever cross-over or team up with the Transformers occurred early when the Transformers franchise was just beginning when Marvel Comics began publishing the Transformer in 1984. In the third issue of the Transformers, "Prisoner of War", one of Marvel’s most popular characters web slung his way into the Transformers comic book. Spiderman only appeared in the one issue. The appearance of Spiderman would later seem odd since the Transformer Universe would get separated from the rest of the Marvel Universe. However, the introduction of everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spiderman in the third issue would start a trend that is continuing today, Transformers and cross-overs. Spiderman and the Transformer though have never crossed paths since.

The next franchise to team up with the Transformers would be the most famous cross-over to date, and one that has been done many times since. The G.I. Joe franchise was the next brand that joined with the Transformers franchise. This move made a lot of sense at the time of its conception. Hasbro owned the rights to both Transformers and G.I. Joe. Another factor that helped bring both Transformers and G.I. Joe together was the fact that Marvel was publishing comics for both franchises. Also at the time both were wildly popular.

The first comic book team up of the Transformers and G.I. Joe occurred in 1987 when Marvel comics released a four part mini-series. This series was important for many reasons. It placed both Transformers and G.I. Joe squarely in the same Universe. What took place in the mini-series had an effect on what happened in later issues of both G.I. Joe and the Transformers.

Later in 1987 Marvel UK launched their own five part series entitled "Ancient Relics" witch had the Transformers join forces with the United Kingdom’s G.I. Joe counterpart at the time, Action Force. Action Force, led by Flint, would team up with Centurion, and the Autobots Blades and Grimlock to take on a crazed Megatron who had suddenly returned. (It is later revealed that it was not the real Megatron but a clone Megatron inhabited by Straxus.)

The next time Transformers and G.I. Joe would combine forces would be in 1993. In 1993 Marvel began to publish a new Transformers comic titled Transformers: Generation 2, G2 that would pick up where the previous run left off. Before the new comic started the reintroduction of the Transformers would take place in the G.I. Joe comics 138 through 142. During this run Megatron made a deal with Cobra Commander. Cobra would rebuild and upgrade Megatron, in return Megatron would provide Cobra with Cybertronian technology. The result ended with Megatron having a new body, his G2 form. A small group of Autobots would team up with G.I. Joe to try and stop Megatron. These events would lead directly into the Transformers: Generation 2 comic with some members of G.I. Joe appearing.

Transformers Meets A Real American Hero. Again.

The next cross-over would not occur for another ten years. In 2003 both the Transformers and G.I. Joe comics were no longer published by Marvel comics. G.I. Joe was and is currently published by Devil’s Due. In 2002 the Transformers started to be published by Dreamwave Comics. In 2003 both companies would take their own shot at doing a cross-over involving the two brands.

The first to publish the cross-over was Devil’s Due. Devil’s Due put together a six issue series that started in June of 2003 and ended in December of 2003. The series was titled simply "G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers". The series rewrote the entire history for both G.I. Joe and the Transformers. Both of the continuities were merged from the beginning with this mini-series.

Not to be out done Dreamwave released their own mini-series. In September of 2003 Dreamwave launched a six issue run call "Transformers/G.I. Joe". The saga would end in March of 2004. Dreamwave took a different approach then Devil’s Due. "Transformers/G.I. Joe" took place during World War II. The story took place in its own continuity and did not have any impact on the existing continuities.

In 2004 both Devil’s Due and Dreamwave would publish follow ups to their earlier Transformers and G.I. Joe team ups. Devil’s Due started to publish "G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers II". This was a direct follow up to "G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers". The series lasted for four issues.

GIJoe Transformer PrototypeIn September of 2004 Dreamwave was planning to publish their last Transformers and G.I. Joe cross-over. The mini-series was titled "Transformers/G.I. Joe Volume 2: Divided Front". The "Transformers/G.I. Joe Volume 2: Divided Front" story was set to be told in a total of five issues. Like "G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers II" was a follow up to "G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers", "Transformers/G.I. Joe Volume 2: Divided Front" was a follow up to "Transformers/G.I. Joe". Dreamwave’s take on the Transformers and G.I. Joe was scheduled to end in February 2005 but, only one issue was ever published before Dreamwave went out of business.

In March 2006, Devil’s Due started to publish their third and latest installment of their G.I. Joe and Transformers saga. It is titled "G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers III: The Art of War" and is a direct follow up to G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers II". The series is set to span five issues.

G.I.Bots The Cartoon

G.I. Joe has had an influence on Transformers outside of the realm of comic books. In season three of the original Transformers cartoon a couple of G.I. Joe related characters made appearances. The first to do so was Marissa Fairborn. Marissa Fairborn is the daughter of Dashiell Fairborn. Dashiell is a member of G.I. Joe and has the code name Flint. Marissa appeared in seven episodes in Transformers season three. She first appeared in "Five Faces of Darkness" parts 3, 4, and 5, episodes 68-70. Marissa Fairborn then showed up in episodes 71, "The Killing Jar", 76, "Forever is a Long Time Coming", and 90, "Money is Everything". Her last appearance was in episode 92, "The Burden Hardest to Bear".

The other G.I. Joe character to appear in the Transformers cartoon in season three was none other then Cobra Commander. He appeared in episode 88, "Only Human". In this episode Cobra Commander helped capture Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Springer, and Arcee and removed their minds from their bodies and placing them in human bodies. He would then try to use the Autobots' robot bodies to attack Autobot City and destroy the other Autobots. Ultimately the plot was foiled.

Transformers and G.I. Joe have never had any official toy cross-overs with the exception of one prototype from the early 1990s. In 2004, however, G.I. Joe would have an impact on the Transformers toy line at the time, Transformers Energon. The first figure inspired by G.I. Joe was the Decepticon Snowcat. The G.I. Joe Snowcat was the inspiration for both his alternate mode and name. Energon Snowcat was released in different colors in 2005 as Transformers Universe Snowcat. Energon Kicker is another figure inspired by G.I. Joe. He was made in the same fashion as the 3 ¾ inches G.I. Joe figures of the time.

Marvel Comics - Part Two: Other Characters

Another popular character who had a cross-over with the Transformers was Death’s Head. He appeared in over thirty-one issues of Marvel UK Transformers. His first appearance was Marvel UK’s Transformers 113- "Wanted Galvatron Dead or Alive (part 1). Death’s Head would play a role in helping defeat Galvatron when he went back in time and later Unicron in the story arch "Legacy of Unicron".

Transformers #133 Marvel UK featuring Death's Head!There has even been a case when a character from the Transformers has made an appearance in another comic. A lesser known Transformer character Circuit Breaker, Josie Beller, is one such character. Even though she was not an Autobot or Decepticon, Circuit Breaker was an important character in Marvel’s Transformers. Her origins began in the Transformers issue 5-"The New Order". She would end up playing an important role in the Marvel Universe which was odd because by this time Marvel’s Transformer Universe was supposed to be separate from the rest of the Marvel Universe. Circuit Breaker would convince the Beyonder, who was taking control of all the multiple Earths down to their molecular level, to relinquish control in Secret Wars II issue 3. She was able to do so when she met the Beyonder and praised him for his rule. While doing so, she told him she did not like robots because they had no free will. This caused the Beyonder to rethink his actions and release control of the Earths.

Star Wars Transformers - A New Hope

The newest franchise to intermingle with the Transformers is the very popular Star Wars brand. This was unexpected by many fans. Hasbro has combined the two franchises in a sense in a toy line called Star Wars Transformers. The line is base on Star Wars vehicles that transform into characters from the Star Wars Universe. Thus far the line has been popular and there are more releases planned.

Both brands will soon be doing battle with one another in Hasbro’s Attacktix series. Starting in August 2006 Transformers Attacktix figures will be available to go along with the currently available Star Wars Attacktix figures. Hasbro will also be releasing special Attacktix Star Wars vs. Transformers Intergalactic Showdown Pack that will include six figures including both Darth Vader and Optimus Prime.

The Future Of Transformers Crossovers

What the future holds as far as cross-overs and Transformers goes no one knows for sure. One thing is for sure, there are bound to be some more down the line and as long as they are successful. Hasbro will continue to pair the Transformers with other brands as long as there is an audience to be reached. So keep your eyes open, you never know who the Transformers will cross paths with next.

I would like to thank the following sources: Vector Sigma Database, Hasbro, and

This article was last modified on Thursday, April 13th, 2006 1:17pm CDT

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