Review: Transformers VS G.I. JOE #1

Review of: Transformers VS G.I. Joe #1
Product by:
Tom Scioli & John Barber

Transformers VS G.I. Joe #1

Reviewed by:
On July 23, 2014
Last modified:July 22, 2014


Transformers VS. G.I. Joe #1 is a comic you can hardly explain, it’s something that just has to be experienced.

SPACE WAR I! Earth makes contact with an alien race—and G.I. JOE is on the front lines of first contact! But when the TRANSFORMERS arrive—their version of “peace” does not match our own…

After an impressive introduction in a #0 issue during Free Comic Book Day, Transformers VS. G.I. Joe officially gets underway this month with the release of issue #1. The story is written by John Barber and Tom Scioli with art, colors, and lettering by Scioli. The 0 issue was a wild and utterly crazy thrill ride from beginning to end, but can the first issue keep up that pace?

Transformers came to earth during a big battle between the Joes and the forces of Cobra, and it didn’t go so well. Snakeyes narrowly escaped with his life, and got a disfigured face in the process. The first issue opens up not too long after that battle as we see how the Joes have moved on. Snakeyes is off on his own, essentially taking a vow to not get involved in Joes business again. Now a giant asteroid is approaching earth and the public is panicking. The Joes know that it’s not an asteroid though. The first battle was just a dress rehearsal, now Cybertron is making first contact with Earth and it’s up to the forces of Joe to welcome our visitors and determine whether they are friend or foe. A Joe is always prepared, but is there really any way to prepare for Decepticons? What sort of weapon could you possibly use against a giant robot from space?

Barber and Scioli write another fitting insane and cool issue. This is just pure 80s joy that surpasses anything you thought up while you were playing with your G.I. Joe and Transformers toys. Once again there is an unbelievable amount of story going on in these 20 pages and it feels like a double-sized issue in a lot of respects. I don’t know if it’s possible for a comic to have swagger, but this one pulls it off somehow. There are a ton of references to the respective comics and cartoon series for both the G.I. Joes and Transformers. The duo manage to craft a great story that sets up even bigger ideas than the zero issue teased. The final page seems to be showing us what the main idea for this series is, and it’s rather surprising. Scioli’s art has some heavy Kirby and Steranko influences from the panel layout to the composition, from the crackle of the explosions to the way the word balloons interact with the art. This entire series is hard to sum up in words, but it’s just retro fun. Scioli offers up stunning visuals and then takes things up another notch with the yellowing pages and psychedelic coloring.

Bottom Line: Transformers VS. G.I. Joe #1 is a comic you can hardly explain, it’s something that just has to be experienced. Scioli and Barber are absolutely crazy, but it’s a great kind of crazy that makes for a comic you’ll want to share with your friends. Whether you’re a Transformer fan, a G.I. Joe fan, or just a fan of retro goodness, this is one for you. 5/5

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