Friday, September 15, 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: While Cobra conducts tests on their Transformers, the newly formed G.I. Joe team discusses strategy. Elsewhere, two Autobots, Wheeljack and Bumblebee, have remained free of Cobra's control, and Wheeljack determines where the terrorist organization will likely strike next.

On Cobra Island, Doctor Mindbender has difficulty controlling Optimus Prime. Meanwhile, at NSA headquarters, an analyst named Mainframe is handed some important files. At G.I. Joe headquarters, Snake-Eyes demonstrates his skills to his teammates, but the sparring match is interrupted when Hawk, General Flagg, and Lady Jaye arrive with a Cobra defector named Mercer, who reveals that Cobra's "Battle Android Troopers" are actually sentient alien robots.

Destro arrives on Cobra Island and Mindbender demonstrates the Transformers' abilities to him, then reveals his newest accomplishment: Soundwave.

Continuity Notes: We learn this issue that Cobra needs energon to power their Transformers, and that Megatron, trapped in gun mode by Cobra Commander but allowed to retain his free will, has been helping them gather the ingredients.

The Joe team's ranks have swelled this issue, and they have a bunch of cool-looking vehicles in their headquarters. Among the more notable Joes seen are Scarlett, Doc, Roadblock, Rock N' Roll, Shipwreck, and Quick Kick. Duke is also name-checked (Sergeant Conrad Hauser) and glimpsed late in the issue with no dialogue.

G1 References: Wheeljack and Bumblebee being the sole free Transformers may be a nod to their being the very first characters seen onscreen in the original Sunbow cartoon series.

G.I. References: It's revealed that Snake-Eyes' parents and twin sister were killed in their car during Cobra's attack last issue. This is a nod to Snake-Eyes' comic book origin, which featured them also killed in a car crash -- only there, they were hit by a drunk driver who happened to be Cobra Commander's brother. (Larry Hama's stories were rife with such coincidences, but somehow it all worked anyway.)

My Thoughts: I'm mostly enjoying the artwork in this series, but I have to take some issue with Mike Miller here. G.I. Joe has always pushed the boundary of military protocol with regards to uniforms, and that's fine. But Lady Jaye's outfit in this issue is ridiculous. Mind you, I love cheesecake, and L.J. has been known for decades as the female Joe who typically keeps her shirt unbuttoned pretty low -- but really? This is just absurd:

That said -- it's another issue of setup, and aside from a quick and friendly skirmish between Snake-Eyes, Quick Kick, and Roadblock, there's no action to be found. But Blaylock is moving his story along, at least, setting characters into place for something. There's enough happening here that none of it feels terribly padded or decompressed, even as the issue breezes by pretty quickly.

And now it's time for one of those moments where I get kind of weird and pedantic: Why do Optimus Prime and Soundwave have yellow eyes in this series? Yes, their original toys had yellow eyes. But the TRANSFORMERS cartoon series established that (nearly) all Autobots have blue eyes and (nearly) all Decepticons have red eyes. That's the way it's been for decades. Every so often, Hasbro releases an updated version of one of these characters and gives it yellow eyes, but that's just them being dumb. Takara always gets it right. Optimus has blue eyes and Soundwave has red eyes. It's just a fact of life, and I'm irrationally irritated when I see it any other way!

We now return to our regularly scheduled review series...


  1. It's completely unrelated to pretty much everything you said but can we take a second to admire that cover? That is what Rob Liefeld's work would look like if he tried a little harder. It even makes that hideous costume design look a tiny bit better.

    Art Adams definitely has a cult following but it's always bothered me that he never gained the popularity level of the Image guys

    1. Hi, Unknown -- I'm guessing you meant to post this to the MARVEL FANFARE #13 review rather than this one, so I'm going to copy/paste it over there (but I'll leave this here as well, for posterity).