There is a flurry of announcements coming out San Diego Comic Con, this is some of the news that’s been revealed so far from the largest comics convention Continue reading San Diego Comic Con News & Things 7/21/2017 Part Two
IDW’s Transformers vs GI Joe continues to be a fun romp extending the wild space cowboy by way of Jack Kirby narrative established by past issue’s while exponentially expanding on the scope of laws of it’s universe. Issue #2 is extra fun as it switched up the narrative of both what we’ve seen in the book past as well as these properties where the Joe’s end up on Cybertron while sticking to the script where all hell breaks lose. It’s an interesting three way conflict being created where the Joe’s, Autobots and Decepticon’s are all fighting each other with varying motivations. Scioli’s art rocks as it continues to bring all of that to vibrant life in his own style which is part hyper detailed, part super cartoony and part super goofy in all the right ways. His Kirbyesqye visual narrative is as fun and dynamic here as his best past work like Godland & American Barbarian while you can just feel the fun he’s having in drawing all these larger then life characters and worlds. It’s kind of unbelievable that this is what we are getting out of comic about two properties from toy companies fighting each other but I seriously wish that it could go on forever. When so much of corporate comics is this very cynical sell you anything to get money or this stock post Watchmen edgy/brooding nonsense to have a series like this feels so refreshing and exciting. Transformers vs GI Joe didn’t have to be anything as it’s title pretty sells it to it’s highest potential but they went and made it as cool as possible anyway and that is beautiful thing.
As a kid I would play with my Transformers and G. I. Joe toys, imagining an epic adventure in which the two toy franchises would combine (along with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) to save the world. Snake Eyes and Optimus Prime would work together to stop Skeletor… well, I’m digressing, but my point is that I had a lot of fun imagining the joint adventures of these characters, unrestricted by the constraints of story continuity and free to craft raw, creative adventures that could only come from the mind of a child.
The first issue of IDW’s Tranformers vs. G. I. Joe reminded me of those fun childhood fantasies. Artist and writer Tom Scioli (with co-writer John Barber) creates a dynamic, distinctive vision for the adventures of these two popular toy franchises. The comic book is unlike any other licensed toy comic you have ever read. Scioli’s unique art (clearly influenced by Jack Kirby’s art style) channels pure imagination onto the comics page, throwing idea after idea at the reader. The Joe’s believe that they have finally destroyed the enemy terrorist organization Cobra, but a new, mysterious Cobra leader hides in the shadows. The Joe’s attempt a peaceful first contact with the aliens from the planet Cybertron, but unfortunately the team has to negotiate with Decepticons. And then things get wild when Snake Eyes decides to get involved…
Transformers vs. G. I. Joe #1 is a fabulous, fast, fun first issue that finally gives readers the wild adventures that they always knew were possible with a G.I. Joe/Transformers mash-up. The only fault that I found with the issue was that it didn’t have Skeletor in it, but nothing is perfect.
Tom Scioli has been a hero on the alt comix scene for the last few years with his highly influential self published Satans Soldiers, Final Frontier & American Barbarian along with the his Image Series Godland with Joe Casey. His style is pure Jack Kirby pastiche in the best way possible with concepts and execution that looks right at home with comics of the mid to late 1970’s. Editor and co-writer John Barber has made clear that this comic is all Scioli as he’s essentially there to shepherd the comic into existence without offending Hasbro too much. As such Transformers vs GI Joe is as Tom Scioliesque as you are going to get from direct market comic in the best way possible as he’s able to apply his sensibilities and style from his self published work on a comic that’s a crossover of intellectual property from a toy company. Which is to say this comic is like 100% ass kicking fun from start to finish as we see the GI Joes take on Cobra while Decepticons hunt down the Autobots in hopes of universal dominance all in Scioli’s style that’s essentially a modern application of what Kirby did on his fourth world work with DC which essentially is totally fucking awesome. All that being said this may be difficult for readers that aren’t used to seeing this style or were expecting the type of crisp illustrations that you are used to seeing from modern comics. Scioli may be working with a large company here and the paper stock may feel like the type of comic you could buy anywhere but the aesthetic is pure Scioli self published with rough lines, pure illustrations and colors/inks that look as if they were done right on pencil and paper as opposed to modern digital technology. This is going to be a turn off for some people and that’s fine but if you’re a fan of comics of yesteryear or if you’re looking for something that is as much a throw back as it is forward thinking you really can’t do much better than this at your local comic shop. It’s some of the strongest talent that underground comics has to offer taking a work for hire assignment and making it completely his own. You may have watched these movies, seen these TV shows, owned the toys or even read the comics but you’ve never seen anything like this.