Friday, September 22, 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: Destro inspects Cobra's Transformers and prepares to take them out for a mission. Meanwhile, G.I. Joe makes plans to defend the control center for a prototype energy satellite from an attack Mercer has told them is imminent.

Soon, Destro, Zartan, and Firefly lead an assault with several Transformers as their weapons. The Joes surprise the invading Cobras and fight back, with Wheeljack and Bumblebee soon coming to their aid. But Zartan and Firefly manage to steal the stallite's control module and blow up the building. Cobra escapes, but G.I. Joe makes peace with Wheeljack and Bumblebee.

Wheeljack inspects a bizarre e-mail sent out to hundreds of accounts a few days earlier and realizes that it's Optimus Prime fighting back against Cobra's conditioning. Using Prime's code, Wheeljack sends a signal to Cobra Island which releases the Transformers from their enslaved states. As the Constructicons make trouble for Doctor Mindbender, Optimus Prime confronts Cobra Commander.

Continuity Notes: For some reason Flint and Lady Jaye still don't have their codenames like the rest of the Joes. Maybe they're still informal observers...?

Mutt and Quick Kick (and presumably Mutt's dog, Junkyard) are severely injured when Cobra destroys the satellite control center.

Duke receives some lines this issue in his capacity as G.I. Joe's field leader.

G1 References: Rumble displays his G1 cartoon ability to morph his arms into piledrivers and create an earthquake.

G.I. References: Zartan turns invisible, which seems to be a nod to his original comic book counterpart's ability to holographically blend in with his surroundings (though Firefly does the same thing here, and both of them are able to pull it off thanks to Transformer technology).

My Thoughts: First, a retraction: It seems someone from 2003 Devil's Due read my screed last week about Soundwave's yellow eyes, because they're now a beautiful shade of red and he looks like he's supposed to. Unfortunately, Optimus Prime's optics are still yellow, so hopefully that will soon be fixed too.

I recall that one of the selling points for this series was how cool it would be to see the Transformers change into Cobra vehicles and equipment. And it is a cool idea, but the execution is a little odd. For example, Optimus Prime changes into a red HISS tank -- which looks pretty neat and makes sense since he's traditionally a red character. However in prior issues, Starscream changed into a Cobra Night Raven, which is a black jet -- and Starscream is colored black in this series to match the classic Night Raven. But Skywarp is usually black, see, so Starscream winds up looking like Skywarp every time we see him.

This issue gives us Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, who are typically red and yellow, respectively, changing into Cobra STUNs -- and both are colored black like that vehicle's traditional depiction. Now they're still recognizable as the characters they're meant to be thanks to their heads, but they just look wrong "dressed" all in black. I think they would've looked much cooler as a red and a yellow STUN instead.

While we're on the subject of character design, let's address one last thing that kind of bugs me about this series: for whatever reason, Devil's Due and/or Mike Miller have opted to draw most of the Joes and Cobras in the outfits they wore for the then-ongoing G.I. JOE series. So you get Flint in a bomber jacket, Quick Kick in a Bruce Lee style martial arts jacket, Doctor Mindbender in a long purple lab coat, and so on. I feel like this series might have been better served by putting all these characters back in their original eighties looks instead. For the modernized relaunch, updated outfits were fine. But this is, in a way, even more of a nostalgia project than the ongoing series.

Oh well -- at least Bumblebee and Wheeljack look more or less like they should!

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