Friday, October 20, 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: G.I. Joe thwarts a Cobra arms deal while Cobra Commander meets with Destro. The Commander has gotten wind of a private lab in Boston which has used Cybertronian technology to open a wormhole to Cybertron. He convinces Destro to help him steal the device. G.I. Joe's undercover agent, Chuckles, reports this new scheme to headquarters as he escapes Destro's mansion.

Eventually the Joes burst in on Cobra as they attempt to harness the wormhole tech. Joes and Cobras alike are transported to Cybertron, where the wormholes go wild and send several Transformers back to Earth at various points in the timestream. Aided by Ultra Magnus and Perceptor, groups of Joes and Cobras are transported back in time to recover the missing robots.

In the California Bay Area of the 1970s, Lady Jaye, Storm Shadow, Snake-Eyes, and Zartan recover Jazz, Bumblebee, Hot Rod, and Blitzwing, and return to the present. Meanwhile, the Baroness, Roadblock, Beachhead, and a Cobra Viper appear in another timeframe in the middle of a skirmish between two groups of mobsters.

Continuity Notes: We're told that it's been two years since the previous G.I. JOE VS. THE TRANSFORMERS miniseries. In that time, the Joes have integrated Transformer technology into their own gear. We see two of the large mechs left behind by the Autobots when the prior story ended, and the Joes have a number of smaller enhancements as well, such as portable force shields.

Also modified by alien tech are the Dreadnoks, Zartan's cronies who sat out the previous story. Here, Torch, Buzzer, and Ripper have their signature weapons attached to their bodies as bionic implants.

Starscream is still in the Night Raven mode from the previous miniseries, which means he still basically looks like Skywarp. Cobra Commander has somehow won Starscream's obedience since last we saw the duo.

G1 References: We're told that upon their return to Cybertron, the Autobots found it had been conquered by Shockwave -- a status quo pretty much ubiquitous in all versions of the GENERATION ONE continuity.

Optimus Prime has assumed a Cybertronian mode here which strongly resembles his look from Dreamwave's WAR WITHIN stories. He also finally has blue eyes!

Perceptor seems to be colored to resemble his G1 comic book self (red and dark blue) rather than his toy or animation look (red and black/gray).

My Thoughts: This story is a lot of fun so far, and -- for my money -- does an even better job of capturing the Sunbow characters' "voices" than the previous miniseries. In fact, Dan Jolley seems to be a better scripter overall than Josh Blaylock. Blaylock's work, though I liked it, had lots of weird expositionary bumps that occasionally sounded unnatural or, at the least, awkward. That problem is virtually nonexistent in Jolley's work.

That said, I do have a small issue with his writing -- I counted two "damns" and two "hells" peppered into the dialogue, and that sort of cursing just doesn't work for me in G.I. JOE (or TRANSFORMERS* -- for some reason Jazz uses the phrase "where the hell", which is totally wrong for him). That sort of language might fly in a more modern reboot of G.I. JOE, but in my opinion, if you're doing an homage to the eighties cartoons or comics, it sucks a lot of the charm out of the work.

This issue's artwork, by E.J. Su and Tim Seeley, is an improvement over Dan Norton's stuff in the previous series too, and the colors by Jeremy Roberts are delightful adding an "animated" type of look -- reminiscent of Dreamwave's TRANSFORMERS comics -- to everything. But I must note for the record that Lady Jaye is still wearing her incredibly impractical midriff-baring uniform.

All this, and Jazz transforming into a seventies-era pimp's Cadillac! This series is off to an excellent start.

* Yes, I'm well aware of the swearing in the original TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE -- Sunbow forever, remember? But those words pull me straight out of that film as well.

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