Friday, November 10, 2017


Written by Dan Jolley | Pencils by E.J. Su, Tim Seeley, Emiliano Santalucia, & Guido Guidi
Inks by Andrew Pepoy & Sean Parsons | Letters by Dreamer Design
Colors by Jeremy Roberts & Val Staples | Edits by Mark Powers

The Plot: On Cybertron, the Joes and Cobras, having escaped from Shockwave's clutches, discus their options. Since Transformer sensors don't find anything of interest in organic material, it's decided that Lady Jaye and Roadblock should strip to their underwear and infiltrate Decepticon headquarters. There, while Roadblock distracts the enemy, Lady Jaye reactivates the time portal which Shockwave had disabled. The final Joe/Decepticon group returns from prehistoric times with the Dinobots, who quickly rout Shockwave's forces.

Later, the Autobots send the Joes and Cobras back to Earth, while elsewhere, Starscream pleads with Shockwave for his life. But when a recorded message from Cobra Commander plays from inside Starscream's cockpit, warning anyone against dealing with the traitor, Shockwave turns on him.

Three months later, on Earth, Doctor Mindbender is released from prison by the NSA and flown to a secret faclity. But the agents aren't what they seem, and Mindbender finds himself in the clutches of Pythona and the forces of the Kingdom of Cobra-La.

Continuity Notes: Grimlock explains that he and the Dinobots were reformatted to fit in on prehistoric Earth. There's no indication of what they looked like prior to their time jaunt. This version of Grimlock seems a little primitive, but has more conventional speech patterns than his typical incarnations.

Cover Girl and Storm Shadow appear to form a bond, making googly eyes at each other as they part ways in the story's finale.

G1 References: When the denizens of Cobra-La make their dramatic appearance on the final page, they're surrounded by a number of icons and artifacts depicting Unicron.

G.I. References: Cobra-La was, of course, the much maligned hidden kingdom introduced to the G.I. Joe mythos in G.I. JOE: THE MOVIE. They're represented here by Pythona, Nemesis Enforcer, and a couple of Royal Guards.

Body Count: Shockwave and Starscream appear to get blown up by C-4 planted in Starscream's cockpit by Cobra Commander, but their ultimate fate is unclear.

My Thoughts: In retrospect, some aspects of this series feel poorly plotted. The first issue featured Ultra Magnus bursting in dramatically with Perceptor to aid the Autobots and Joes on Cybertron. He then spent two issues hiding inside a force field, and is completely absent from the final installment. Similarly, Cobra Commander and Destro feel like they're going to be important players in issue 1, but they're relegated to background roles upon arriving on Cybertron. I can't help feeling a smaller core cast would have helped this series feel more cohesive and polished.

It's also notable that there's no sign of Hawk, Duke, or Flint, the alpha male trinity of G.I. Joe, in the entire four issues (aside from future cyborg Duke in two pages of issue 3). Typically one would expect one of those guys to be leading the Joes, but it's actually Scarlett who appears to be in command in issue 1, though Lady Jaye seems to take over for the remaining chapters on Cybertron. It's actually a refreshing change of pace to see none of those three -- not to mention very little of Snake-Eyes -- in the series.

The artwork is mostly great throughout, and any shortcomings the series suffers from are more or less wiped away by the final couple pages. I'll speak more about Cobra-La when we actually get to them in the upcoming fourth mini-series, but for now I'll just note that while I feel they have little place in a more grounded comic book version of G.I. Joe, I think they work fine in the animated world and in a sci-fi interpretation like this. I'm a sucker for lost civilizations, and tying Cobra-La in with Unicron is a really fun idea. I can't wait to remember where the upcoming stories go with this angle.

No comments:

Post a Comment