Published: February 17th, 2016 Written by: John Ney Rieber Art by: Jae Lee Based on:G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero & The Transformers by Hasbro
IDW Publishing, 136 Pages
It’s kind of strange that I didn’t know about this until recently but once I saw it pop up on Comixology Unlimited, I added it to my queue.
I’m a big Jae Lee fan so the fact that he was doing the art for something associated with G.I. Joe was enough to get me to check this out.
This is a crossover between the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises but since they both exist in the same universe, it’s not the first time this has happened.
However, this is unique, as it takes place during World War II and with that, it was kind of a fresh way to cross these two properties over again.
The story was decent and I enjoyed it, as all the characters came off as pretty close to how they should be.
The art was really what put it over the top, though. I loved seeing Jae Lee do WWII era stuff and being able to mix that aesthetic in with two properties I love was pretty damn cool. In fact, this is now one of my all-time favorite looking G.I. Joe and Transformers stories.
Published: March 14th, 2018 Written by: John Barber, Christos N. Gage Art by: Alex Milne Based on:Transformers by Hasbro; ROM the Spaceknight by Bing McCoy, Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema
IDW Publishing, 121 Pages
I liked occasionally reading ROM the Spaceknight comics when I was a kid. I was never a huge fan of the character, though, but I still thought he was kind of cool and I really liked the art in the original Marvel run.
It’s been decades since I’ve read ROM but since he’s made his way back into comics and Hasbro wants to make a crossover movie universe with ROM, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Micronauts and M.A.S.K., I figured I’d get reacquainted with him and his mythos.
So what better way is there to experience what Hasbro wants to do on a cinematic scale than experiencing it in the form of a crossover comic featuring both the ROM and Transformers franchises?
I thought the art here was pretty good too. And the story was decent but not great. I liked seeing these two properties merge, though, and they did it in a way that made sense for both universes.
This is also written like it was the first part of a planned crossover event that would’ve kept going. However, there doesn’t seem to be a proper follow-up to this tale.
This primarily follows a small group of Transformers characters that don’t include leaders like Optimus Prime or Megatron. This is basically a “first contact” sort of situation where these two universes meet for the first time and it seems like something much bigger should come out of it.
The leader of the Decepticons in this story is Starscream, where the Autobots have Ultra Magnus.
That being said, I thought that Ultra Magnus’ character was really off from his personality and it made me question if the writer really knew the source material. Since one of the writers is Christos Gage, I was more perplexed by this, as he’s done solid work with other Hasbro stories, previously.
Ultimately, this was an enjoyable read but some things left me scratching my head and because of that, this wasn’t as great as it could have been. And maybe that’s why there hasn’t been a sequel and also why Hasbro hasn’t really been able to get the crossover plans off the ground and into the mainstream like they had hoped.
Rating: 6.25/10 Pairs well with: other IDW Transformers and ROM comics.
Published: March 3rd, 2021 Written by: Simon Furman Art by: Guido Guidi Based on:Transformers by Hasbro
IDW Publishing, 130 Pages
I got a little hyped up when this series was first announced, as it was supposed to serve as a prequel to the original Transformers – Generation 1 comic book canon from the ’80s. I used to read those when Marvel was pumping them out and when Transformers was one of the hottest toy franchises of the time.
Sadly, I found this to be a bit underwhelming, as far as the story goes. Everything was told in flashback through narration like it was a distant legend. That’s fine and all but it didn’t need to do that and it kind of wasted time setting up the story each issue. Time that could’ve been used to tell a richer, deeper story in a more direct fashion.
The story itself was just okay and there wasn’t much in it that was surprising and all that interesting. It just read like a generic prologue where most of the events within it were fairly predictable. It’s not a bad story. it’s just not a very exciting or inspiring one.
Now I did dig the art. It was pretty much akin to what you would’ve seen in the old Marvel Transformers comics of the mid-’80s, even down to the color schemes of the characters, which differed from their cartoon and toy counterparts.
This was a fairly cool throwback but at the same time, if more Transformers stories were done in this style, I don’t think that I’d be quick to pick them up.
Rating: 6.25/10 Pairs well with: other Transformers comics, as well as other comics based off of Hasbro toy lines.
Also known as: Transformers: Generation 1, Transformers G1 (informal titles) Release Date: September 15th, 1986 – November 11th, 1987 Directed by: various Written by: various Based on:Transformers by Hasbro and Takara Tomy Music by: Johnny Douglas, Robert J. Walsh Cast (voices): Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Chris Latta, Michael Bell, Corey Burton, John Stephenson, Jack Angel, Casey Kasem, Scatman Crothers, Charlie Adler
I wanted to review this portion of the classic Transformers television show separate from the first half of the series, simply because these two seasons take place after the cinematic film, which completely changed the landscape, characters and settings of the franchise.
In this era, Optimus Prime is dead and the Autobots are led by Rodimus Prime, formerly Hot Rod. Many other Autobots died, as well. And the same can be said about the Decepticons, who are now led by a suped up Megatron renamed Galvatron, as well as Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps, as opposed to Starscream and the Seekers.
Additionally, Spike is older, married and has a son named Daniel, who is a big character on the show.
We also see just about every episode taking place in outer space, as opposed to Earth. The overall landscape and scope of the series has grown much larger and there is a new villain group that often times plays the Autobots and Decepticons against each other like chess pieces.
When I was a kid, this was my favorite era of the series and aesthetically, it still is. I do really enjoy the better episodes but unfortunately, there are some really bad ones too. The one with the musical aliens is nearly unwatchable. But the good things still greatly outweigh the bad.
I like the altered mythos, the newer character designs and the show just feels darker and more bleak. Granted, by the end, Optimus Prime does come back and there is even a moment of peace between him and Galvatron.
This stretch of the show also has some cool Easter eggs that officially connect it to G.I. Joe in the animated series canon. One major human character is the daughter of Flint and Lady Jaye. We even get a cameo from Cobra Commander, as an aged weapons dealer, no longer with an army to rule over.
The end of this era also debuts the Headmasters and Trigger Masters concepts. While the show didn’t continue on beyond their debut, it was a cool way to end the show. Especially, for those of us that were still buying the toys at that point.
Rating: 8.5/10 Pairs well with: The other Marvel/Sunbow Transformers and G.I. Joe stuff.
At this point, the classic Marvel G.I. Joe comic had gotten so bad that I’m pretty sure the publisher knew it. And I really hate besmirching the great Larry Hama but I really don’t think he was giving a shit about these characters anymore.
So I guess going ninja heavy wasn’t enough to keep kids interested, so this volume went ahead and threw the Transformers franchise into the mix, as well.
Now it’s been pretty well-known since the beginning, really, that both of these franchises exist in the same universe. However, how they come together and fit has always been a bit wonky and inconsistent.
In this one, Cobra helps a disheveled but vengeance seeking Megatron get his mojo back. As part of this sinister partnership, Cobra is given Cybertronian tech to give them the edge in their quest for world domination. The story featuring some of the Transformers characters is fairly short, though.
This collection of issues, the penultimate collection in the original series, features multiple story arcs. None of them are all that interesting, sadly. Even seeing Megatron and Cobra Commander working together just didn’t do enough to peak my interest and redeem the series.
I’d say that this was a bit better than the previous volume but it was still mostly bad.
Well, only one more to go. I hope Hama at least goes out with something good. Probably not, though.
Rating: 4.5/10 Pairs well with: Any of the original Marvel G.I. Joe and Transformers comics.
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