There are so many things wrong with this comic book that I am trying to find something nice to say to begin. But I cannot. First off, there are 11 variant covers. I don’t mind an occasional variant cover to entice retailers to order a certain number of books or to make a quest item for collectors. However, printing 11 variant covers reveals the greedy nature of a publisher who wants to deliberately and sadistically punish its fans by creating so many books to buy.
Second, the writing on this book is awful. Really, there is no better description for it. First, I will recount the terrible dialogue. Gung Ho calls Tomax and Xamot Sigfried and Roy. Duke can’t find his wallet with all the pouches on his bandolier (well, that was kinda funny). Ravage refers to guns as “boom sticks” like he was some primitive pygmy in an Amazon tribe. Now, here’s the plot. The Decipticons arrive and the G. I. Joes greet them. A battle ensues, and they fight. The Decepticons get roughed up and find solace with COBRA. There’s a surprise ending which I won’t spoil, but it really doesn’t hang one from a cliff. Everything about this plot has been done in past crossovers, and nothing comes off as cool or amazing or slightly entertaining.
Finally, the art. When I was a tyke in school, I dreamed of such a crossover. Pages of my notebook became the battlegrounds where Joes and Transformers clashed. My school doodles look way better than the art in this comic. Granted, I know that there’s a ‘throwback’ theme at play. But the action looks so one-dimensional and silly that readers will get the feeling this book was penciled by children. To top it all off, little identification placards like the ones found on the back of the action figures pop up in the comic. Gung Ho’s reads “Beware his spicy Canjun gumbo.” No, I’m not joking.
To maintain the nostalgic styling blemishes intentionally appear on select pages. And the colors used include oversaturated tones that assault the eye. The resulting effect makes the comic feel like it is a joke on the reader. If one purchases this book and the eleven variants, he or she will feel like I did when I bought Total Justice (a toy advertising Justice League book)—cheated.
I admire trying to be stylistically different with this approach to the mega toy crossover. However, this style ended when the 80s ended. No one liked it, and this is just a reminder of something bad like the lingering aftertaste of spoiled milk.
Please don’t pay the $4 for this comic book. Save your money or donate it to charity.
Writers: Tom Scioli and John Barber Art: Tom Scioli Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/23/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital