Home > Dreamwave > TransFormers/G.J. Joe #6

TransFormers/G.J. Joe #6

April 3, 2004

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: The Iron Fist

With Bruticus on a rampage, only the the Autobot Matrix can save the world… but at what price?

Writer: John Ney Rieber
Art: Jae Lee
Colors: June Chung
Letters: Ben Lee
Cover Art: Jae Lee
Publisher: Dreamwave

While the initial premise for this series was great – the G.I. Joe and TransFormers titles reimagined in a World War II setting, in execution the book has suffered from extremely slow pacing and issues that felt padded. If this had been done in four issues instead of stretching it to six, many of which were quite late, it would have read better and more satisfying.

This issue features the long-awaited final battle, which delivers for the most part, focusing on the odd friendships that have bonded between the characters – Stalker, Roadblock, Grimlock and Bumblebee make for an intriguing foursome. By contrast, you see the distrust and venom between Cobra Commander and Megatron, Destro and Starscream. The villains are every bit as dastardly as the heroes are noble.

One of the things that makes an alternate timeline setting like this appealing is the freedom of doing things to characters that couldn’t be done in-continuity for fear of damaging the continued marketability of the property. Rieber takes full advantage of that freedom, but I think he actually goes a bit too far, sealing off the storyline so much that any potential to return to the setting is almost voided. Not that this is a book screaming for a sequel for me, but I do think there’s a lot of potential in the basic idea, and the character designs are great.

Jae Lee did a great job reimagining these characters for a 1940s setting, particularly the Autobots. Seeing Grimlock as a tank and Bumblebee as a motorcycle were nice twists, and the huge, imposing Optimus Prime was a highlight of the book. The only downside to the artwork is that I never felt we got to see quite enough of the robots to totally envision them, although I suspect a toy line would be a best seller. June Chung’s color scheme employs grays and dark greens and browns almost exclusively, giving the whole series a dark, stormy mood that’s appropriate for the story but extremely gloomy for the reader.

In the end, out of the two crossover series these properties have shared in the past year, this one may have been the most anticipated but just wasn’t as good as Devil’s Due’s G.I. Joe Versus the Transformers. This one didn’t use the potential of combining the two favorites to its fullest potential, but that potential is still there, and if they ever decided to revisit this world, I for one would at least take a look.

Rating: 6/10

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