Transformers vs GI Joe #5
Story: Book 5: Trenches
Release date: December 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
Synopsis:By Ian Arrowsmith
War allies Duke and Optimus refuse to believe Snake Eyes is dead.
Arising from the water and in to the fog, Snake Eyes carries his mortally wounded brother, Stormshadow. Struggling from last issues shark attack, he asks to die with honour. Climbing the cliffs back to his original objective, Snake Eyes finds his sword. Ravage tries to attack him, having lied in wait, but Snake Eyes flips over the robotic panther and plunges his sword into his exposed circuitry causing him to shut down.
Flint, now captured, is getting a special interrogation in the Terrordrome's purpose built room. Baronesss is taking him to task over the Joes' plans. Flint is feeling the pain, but not letting slide yet. The second Joe strike team at the airfield are engaged in battle with Frenzy, and one they will lose unless they run and think. Leaving some dynamite behind him Beach Head gets the rest of his unit to fire, setting of a chain of explosions, first the dynamite, then the nearby planes and finally Frenzy. But the mini Decepticon is a chunk of metal alloys and he doesn't get blown up so easily as human constructions.
Above, almost 6,000 ft above, Lady Jaye is trying to use her commandeered plane's radio. Someone is on her 6, using her wits she pulls off a slow turning manoeuvre. Coming back round on him guns blazing leaving him in a plume of flames. This sight quickly pale though for what Lady Jaye sees next. Snake Eyes, the remaining members of the second Joe strike team, and she, bear witness to the awesome size of Superion.
Now all the parties are reunited, all the Joe's and all the Autobots are together. Optimus agrees to take the Joes the island of their attack, but wont let his forces be drawn into the attack yet, not unless they are provoked. Recalling Superion, Optimus learns of Cobra's plan, to use his many prisoners as a human shield. This is something he can't accept. The Joes fight is now the Autobots fight, all together against Cobra's reluctant Decepticons.
Despite the thin dialogue the individual plot lines, such as Snake Eyes, are all being weaved back together for the bigger story. There are a few exceptions, we haven't caught up with Destro and Starscream's plan but anyone familiar with either of these personalities will expect it to involve deceit and betrayal.
It is all very well wowing us with art but comics are about combining the two to create a strong story. The double page spreads are really stunning but I just felt they needed some narrative to round them off. Which brings me on to my other point about Jae Lee's art it looks really good and atmospheric with its darkened colouring but I really got sick of backgrounds full of fog by the end of the issue. Sure they had different colours and textures but essentially they were the same thing, it makes a good fog of war that adds to the setting I just thought that it was a bit overdone in this issue. This was mainly due to so many panels and scenes being set with skyscrapers as backgrounds, dogfights in the sky, looking up at Superion and looking off the edge of sea cliffs. I do think that it is a good way to add to the feel to the book, I just thought by the end of the issue they could have used a new trick.