Review - Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1

"The long winter is coming, Snake Eyes. Better smarten up."

Some would argue that being a child in the 80s was the best time to do so from a cartoon perspective. There were so many great shows on that viewers could pretty much pick and choose just about anything. Two of the bigger shows were Transformers and G.I. Joe, both of which were awesome in their own right. One of the biggest fantasies of fans of the shows was a crossover, which seemed outlandish at the time. Now, in a day where transmedia is all the rage, comics especially are getting into some of these crazy stories and IDW is looking to cross those two over in Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1. The issue is written by Tom Scioli and John Barber and illustrated, colored and lettered by Scioli.

Decepticons have arrived and they're greeted by G.I. Joes. What starts as a pretty simple peace process quickly devolves into an all-out firefight, pitting the familiar soldiers against the familiar Transformers. The thing is, all sides involved have a few tricks up their sleeves that will make the war a little more complicated than it would appear on its surface.

The mythos behind both G.I. Joe and Transformers is extremely well established, which Scioli and Barber use to their advantage. There are a few instances where they call out the characters on the page, but by and large, all characters in the book are readily familiar to just about anyone with a penchant for the two properties. Having said that, the writers blend them together extraordinarily well, offering up a very cohesive plot pitting the invaders from Cybertron against the defenders of the free world of Earth. Each side has their own agenda and means of fighting the war and the fact that both sides seem to contrast so sharply is very interesting.

Scioli's illustrations hearken back to a different time in comics. In fact, the illustrations do an excellent job in reminding the reader of what the cartoons the book is based on looked like. Each page is jam-packed with tons of characters and they blend together in a way that you would expect when Joes fight Transformers. Some people might be turned off by the style, however, as it feels a little old-fashioned. And--admittedly--it would've been really cool had Scioli relied on a more modern art style for a book about the two factions in conflict one another. That's definitely not to say what Scioli illustrates is bad; rather, it's appropriately dated.

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1 is a very worthy crossover that hits all the right notes for both properties. The book moves along at a very impressive pace and puts multiple things in position for a solid series. Scioli and Barber work very well in tandem for a story that offers a pretty tantalizing cliffhanger, giving the reader a scenario they may not have expected. Scioli's illustrations are very sharp and reminiscent of many childhoods in a very nostalgic way. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1 is the start of what's poised to be a very good series that offers a lot of fun trips down memory lane for the reader.

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1 is in stores now with interiors below.