Transformers vs GI Joe #3

Story: Book 3: Trial by Fire
Publisher: Dreamwave
Release date: October 2003
Cover variants: One cover
Cover price: $2.95
Writer: John Ney Rieber
Artwork: Jae Lee (pencils) Benjamin Lee (letters) June Chung (colors)
Rating: Art / Story


By Ian Arrowsmith

Cobra Commander uses a fragment of the Matrix to bring a petulant Megatron back into line!

The Ferra Islands Summer 1939. The second G.I. Joe strike team await contact from the others; it has been a long time coming. Up in the sky up there, war machines of death fly over, the seekers transforming from plane to robot, flexing their muscle, luckily the Joe's aren't there target. Breaker wants to call the fleet in now, Flint the voice of reason lets him know the fleet isn't coming in until they have made sure the islands communications and defence systems are down. Elsewhere a survivor from the first Joe strike team, Stalker, starts to mop up left over Cobra troopers while wondering where on earth the other Joe's have got to. A plane flies overhead, then lands gracefully beside him, just close enough to miss his foot.

Stalker doesn't want to get in its way, it being an Aerialbot. As more Autobots appear Stalker finds he isn't so far away from the other Joes as he thought. Now it seems Snake Eyes is the only one absent, but no ones going to believe that until they see a body. At the heart of the island chain, Megatron ordering Cobra troopers to ferry his energon around the island exceeds his authority. His alliance with cobra has outlived its usefulness, now he wants to teach Cobra Commander a lesson. But much to his distaste he can't, for Cobra commander still has a piece of the Matrix to bargain with and inflict pain on Megatron. The Decepticon leader must accept the inevitable for now.

Snake eyes is now up against it, from the cliff face Ravage is coming down upon him. Showing as little mercy as a machine does. Snake eyes offers the same, manoeuvring himself to fall last and dropping a grenade with him he deals with ravage in an explosive manner. Righting himself to the top again, he sees he is surrounded by gunmen and takes them out with his pistol, leaving himself unarmed to face Stormshadow. Using martial arts they fight until Stormshadow flees to use a machine gun, he thinks he has won and that snake eyes is weak to have no killed him, until in an instant he sees the grenade about a foot from his face, kaboom, if the others wanted a signal that was it.

Breaker hears the explosion too, he gets absorbed in it and then becomes someone else, and his face has been stolen. The stand in manages to do just enough to fool Flint as he orders a message to go out. Elsewhere Roadblock and Grimlock are having a good time fighting against the cobra forces, they are making short work of it. All but one of the Cobra soldiers have retreated or been killed but one likes it rough and he likes to rumble.



Well in this issue it all gets started, in the first two issues we are introduced to the characters and now Reiber starts actually using them well to make things happen, and you can now actually imagine some of the things happen. The story still seems a bit patchy because I cant tell where its going to go, not that that is a bad thing its just that it seems like its being thrown together on a whim, I suppose at the end I will know if it has all come together well.

Reiber does write the action sequences well though, especially the fight between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow and the monologue between them. This is ably assisted by Jae Lee's art which makes an effort with all the combat poses, throws and punches, which look right. But best of all he captures that moment when Storm Shadow realises he has been ousted by a grenade so well. It was a great ending to the almost three-issue fight sequence. It could only have been made a bit better by Stalker killing his enemy with a different method rather than a grenade. Then the impact of Snake Eye's grenade would have been that much greater.

I find myself slightly annoyed and pleased with the book's dark colour palette. While I would have really liked to see more detail I don't think a brighter look would have suited the book.

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