Transformers/GI Joe #4

Story: Book 4: Wolves
Publisher: Dreamwave
Release date: November 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

Bumblebee and Scarlet congratulate each other on a job well done after taking out Rumble.

In the summer of 1939 on the Fera Islands, Flint, leader of the second GI Joe strike team is having trouble trying to get Breaker to contact the navy fleet. After a few moments he realises the man he is talking to isn't Breaker at all - but Cobra's master of disguise Zartan. Flint bundles him to the ground and demands information: where is breaker, and who else knows about their operation? The fight though it progresses doesn't last long. Zartan has seen enough to copy Flint's face and now calls in Soundwave to hold on to the real Flint for good measure..

The other Joes, Beach Head, Lady Jaye, Grunt and Lifeline, have made it to the airfield. They pop a smoke grenade to get some cover from Soundwave, it works and the Decepticon leaves, he and Zartan have what they wanted, namely the battle plan. On a nearby Island, Rumble is causing a ruckus with his pile drivers and sucking the Autobots and Joes into his fault line. As the others move away Scarlet climbs aboard Bumblebee's new motorbike mode and does a flying leap over Rumble's head, dropping a grenade as she passes. It detonates dismembering the Decepticon and stopping his jackhammer barrage. In the aftermath, Grimlock is struggling to get a sure footing out of the fault line, and Roadblock (still holding on to him) gives him a rousing speech, instructing him to climb up and out of the tumbling rock. The big badass robot nearly makes it - but it falls to the Aerialbots to combine into Superion to save Grimlock from his fall.

About a mile away from the first Joe strike team, Snake eyes is struck by a mortally wounded Stormshadow, his movements are rash as they are both exhausted from their intense battle. Snake eyes has nothing left to lose, his face, voice and the woman he regards as his 'future' are lost to him now, and as they both plunge into water from the cliff, his brother is lost too. Eaten by a shark as, blood spoils the water.

At the Terrordrome: Starscream and Destro's plan is coming to fruition. All the pawns are taking their place to be eliminated and all they lack is some brute strength, but that will be taken care of by their collaboration - Bruticus. Back at the airfield the second Joe team took earlier, Beach Head is preparing to make the radio tower work. But before he gets a chance he is rampaged by Frenzy, and Beach Head uses an electricity cable to try to shock his foe. It doesn't work and the tower goes up in sparks. Seeing this, another Joe takes to the skies in a commandeered cobra plane to try and get the radio signal out.



The writing is particularly good this issue. All the scenes from last instalment are revisited so there is nothing left hanging. I thought Stormshadow had already been taken care of last issue when that Grenade blew up on his face, but I was wrong. However these few pages provide a better conclusion to the Snake Eyes/Stormshadow saga as we get more of an expose into their pasts than what had been shown before.

I also thought that Roadblock's rant to Grimlock was very rousing and believable. It was a shame when you thought Grimlock had made it to surviving only to be rescued by Superion. I thought that was a bit unnecessary and only served as an opportunity to show Superion off to the readers. I like the fact that the Joes always seem to be up against it as well that always strikes me as being the way it most likely was in warfare in that Era.

The artwork is getting more impressive, Jae lee seems to be getting used to the confines of drawing in this Dreamwave book. His Transformers are looking better but I would like to see one he has drawn without it being smothered in copious amounts of black inking. A good issue but I hope it doesn't spread itself thinly story wise much longer.

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