Friday, October 6, 2017


Written by Josh Blaylock
Pencils by Mike S. Miller | Inks by Cory Hamscher & Armando Durruthy
Letters by Dreamer Design | Colors by Lynx Studio with HI FI Colour Design
Edits by Mark Powers

The Plot: G.I. Joe attacks Cobra Island while Autobots and Decepticons do battle there as well. Meanwhile, the president approves use of nuclear weapons on the island. Megatron coerces Doctor Mindbender into using the energy satellite to create a near-limitless supply of Energon for his forces. Devastator reinforces Cobra against the Autobots' attempt to break into Megatron's commandeered hideout, while Snake-Eyes battles Starscream.

Eventually Optimus Prime smashes through Megatron's defenses, takes out his troops, and begins a duel with the Decepticon leader. Meanwhile, the Joes, Wheeljack, and Bumblebee take out Devastator while Hawk receives word of the imminent nuclear attack.

Out at sea, a U.S. submarine prepares to launch missiles.

Continuity Notes: The U.S. president here appears to be drawn to resemble George W. Bush, who was, of course, president when this mini-series was originally published.

G1 References: Energon is stored in cube format, as per the original G1 cartoon series.

Body Count: Hound is blasted in half by Devastator, and Trailbreaker (not Optimus Prime, as the cover suggests) is decapitated by Storm Shadow. However later in the issue, Optimus Prime punches a hole through Soundwave's chest while declaring that he will avoid his "vital circuits", leaving him alive. So who's to say which -- if any -- of these Transformers are actually dead?

Oh, Prime also "crunches" Ravage in his fist, which looks positively quaint when one remembers his live-action movie incarnation ripping out the Decepticon feline's spine in the first Michael Bay movie.

My Thoughts: I'm not a fan of wanton Transformer violence. I've never understood the attitude of creators, ranging all the way from Simon Furman to the afore-mentioned Michael Bay, believing that it's okay to kill off Transformers apparently simply because they're robots. Yes, technically you could find a way to bring them back, but gratuitous death is still gratuitous death. I suppose this really all started back in 1985, when Hasbro wanted to kill off their entire first year of characters in TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE to make way for new ones. They viewed the characters as "product" and nothing more, but they soon learned better.

Anyway, I've gone a little off-track, but my point is that carelessly killing or maiming Transformers adds nothing to a story. A dramatic, noble sacrifice is one thing. Cutting off Trailbreaker's head in the middle of a heated battle is something else entirely. Even Dreamwave got this right in their otherwise abysmal debut TRANSFORMERS mini-series -- Wheeljack and Superion both appeared to die there, but both went out with grand, dramatic gestures. For all its faults, that initial Dreamwave outing didn't feature any gratuitous Transformer death.

All that said, as noted above, it's possible Josh Blaylock doesn't intend Trailbreaker and Hound to actually be dead. But the way the Autobots react makes it seem like they are, and if that's the case, then I'm one hundred percent against the idea.

One last note: I should at least admit to the fact that I mainly only get perturbed when characters I perceive as "important" are treated this way. Kill off any of the 1984-85 and even '86 Autobots, and I'll accuse you of gratuitous violence. Kill off any of the post-86 characters, especially the minor ones, and I'm generally okay with it because if they weren't on the Sunbow cartoon series, they really don't matter that much to me. So yeah, I have a double-standard going on here, but that's just the way it is.

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