Friday, December 8, 2017


Written by Tim Seeley | Pencils by Joe Ng, James Raiz, & Alex Milne
Inks by Rob Ross, M3th, & Alan Tam | Letters by Brian Crowley
Colors by Kevin Yan, Rob Ruffalo, & Tom Liu | Edits by Mike Sullivan

The Plot: Optimus Prime drives around, rescuing Autobots during the Decepticon assualt, until he's cornered by Menasor and Reflector, who put Prime in communication with Serpentor. Prime agrees to surrender to the Decepticons if Serpentor releases his captives. Meanwhile, on Earth, Cobra Commander and his science advisor, Doctor Knox, are up to something.

Serpentor has a chat with Hawk on the nature of war and needing something to fight for, then Snake-Eyes and Scarlett break free of their cell and bust out Hawk and Roadblock as well. Meanwhile, Hot Rod rallies the Autobots to invade Serpentor's headquarters and rescue their friends. Inside, Optimus Prime is brought before Serpentor, but quickly breaks free and attacks the diminutive warlord. On Earth, the assembled G.I. Joe team prepares to travel to Cybertron and join the fight.

Continuity Notes: Cobra Commander at one point refers to "Mindbender and his lobster-wearing friends." This is presumably a reference to Cobra-La, who captured Mindbender at the conclusion of the previous mini-series, and it seems to imply that Cobra is aware of Cobra-La's existence, at least to some extent.

Ratchet is seen among Hot Rod's team still sporting the modifications he acquired during his two years fighting in Earth's future in G.I. JOE VS. THE TRANSFORMERS II.

Storm Shadow is seen among the assembled Joes on the final page, implying he's switched sides since the events of the first mini-series.

G1 References: Nothing of note.

G.I. References: Doctor Knox appeared in a single issue of the original G.I. Joe series -- a fill-in not written by Larry Hama -- but she was revived by Devil's Due years later for their ongoing JOE series.

Snake-Eyes uses the "Arashikage mind set" (though it's not named here) to scramble Stunticon Breakdown's mechanical brain, turning him against his fellow guard. The mind set was a frequent deus ex machina employed by Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow in the original G.I. JOE comics.

Body Count: Breakdown, possessed by Snake-Eyes, appears to kill one of the Seacons (I've never been very clear on which Seacon is which).

My Thoughts: First and foremost, why is Hot Rod giving inspirational speeches and, presumably, orders, to a group of Autobots that includes Prowl and Ultra Magnus? Both outrank Hot Rod (as would, I believe, Ironhide and Kup, who are also depicted among the team). This isn't Rodimus Prime, remember -- it's plan old Hot Rod. Years later, in TRANSFORMERS: REGENERATION ONE, Simon Furman would present the idea of Optimus Prime mentoring Hot Rod to eventually take up the mantle of leadership. That may be what Seeley intends here as well, but it's not stated at any point -- and without some explanation of what's going on, it's really weird to see Hot Rod giving orders to these more seasoned Autobots.

Also, what's Cobra Commander up to? He disappeared partway through issue 2 and didn't appear at all in issue 3. If Cobra had simply been the catalyst to get this series off the ground, then disappeared to plot for another day, I think that would've been fine. The story is engrossing enough already with the struggle between Serpentor, Hawk, and Optimus Prime. We really don't need another faction at this point -- but I suppose we'll find out in the finale whether or not Cobra's continued involvement is worth it.

Beyond that, this issue is a nice recovery from the last one. Stuff is happening here, but none of it feels like going through the motions, as was the case in the prior installment. All the action here is genuinely fun to read, and bits like Snake-Eyes possessing Dead End and Prime easily (and dramatically) breaking out of the chains in which the Decepticons have imprisoned him are really cool.

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