Writers: Tom Scioli & John Barber
Artist: Tom Scioli
As anyone who’s been reading the series can tell you, there is no such thing as a “slow” or “breather” issue of Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe, at least not in the fashion most people would define such a thing. Every issue since the first has moved at a breakneck pace, and seemingly will continue at it. I’m not an invested fan of either franchise by any means, but Tom Scioli and John Barber have done a fantastic job of putting time and care into building the shared world inhabited by both sets of characters. Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe is completely unlike any iteration of the franchises, and it knows it.
The last issue ended with the bizarre cliffhanger that the war on Cybertron, the entire world of Joes and Autobots is a fiction created in the mind of the classic Joe: Scarlett. While the issue’s plot isn’t an all out gung-ho war anymore, the tone becomes that of a psychological thriller akin to The Prisoner, or One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The issue also does a successful job of giving a creepy representation of how the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises could look in the “real world” in order to cause Scarlett’s break from reality.
The issue does a very nice distillation of just what has made this series so amazing to read. While it isn’t a war between two worlds as in previous issues, there’s also plenty of references to the creepy undertones that’s often unseen in the violence necessary for the franchise to exist. The ruthlessness of the Joes, and the anatomical inhumanity of the Autobots are both represented here with Scarlett’s trials in this issue, as well as just how closely robots are starting to resemble the Autobots.
While the series is ostensibly part of long-running franchises, Tom Scioli’s artwork does an extreme amount of work in differentiating it from the rest of the other Transformers or G.I. Joe books on the market, without it, the series might not have reached the heights it has. The tone of this series, the whiplash between psychological horror, and back to all-out cosmic war wouldn’t work without someone as deliberate as Scioli on the pencils creating a uniform order to all the chaos and characters running around in the series. That being said, the series is absolutely worth the 3.99 and more. There’s more work in these 20 pages than most books can put out in double the count, even if you’re not a fan of either franchise, the craft on this book alone merits the credit.
5 out of 5 microchips
Review by Slewo