Transformers vs GI Joe #6
Story: Book 6: The Iron Fist
Release date: January 2004
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
The treacherous Baroness disposes of her leader and Starscream in order to achieve Destro's aims!
The battle is commencing; Superion is shielding humans trapped on Cobra's island from attack taking shell after shell, all the while Grimlock, Bumblebee, Roadblock and Stalker are coming up on the island to mark their assault. As shards fly from Superion's massive structure troops are flung from their safe positions and into the sea. Lucky for the Joes they have Wheeljack and Hound to help them out of the water.
Elsewhere Lady Jaye and the unconscious Duke are washed ashore only for them to come into contact with the Dreadnok mercenaries. Their suggestive remarks don't please her, then again and neither do they enjoy her smashing them out. Flint helps her take the last man out and then tells Jaye not to throw her wooden spear, but let him punch his lights out instead. The ruse does not last long, as Jaye realises that Flint would actually trust her throw, and this man is an impostor - Zartan. Trusting her own throw, Jaye lunges the wooden spear at him.
Pouncing on the Decepticon, Skywarp, as he rises up through the rock shore, Optimus asserts himself on to the battlefield. He and the others have now made an impression on the battle and Prime realises he can't allow the Decepticons' tyranny to reign on Earth, as he is responsible for their arrival. But they still need to face Megatron first.
Megatron and Cobra commander are discussing the exhausted Shockwave. He needs to be repaired, but Cobra Commander cannot do it and nor will he permit Megatron to do so, and Megs' tries to persuade him to use the Matrix - clearly hoping to use the opportunity to steal it. The two witts are evenly matched and stalemate ensues.
Scarlett and Snake Eyes come ashore and race up the side of the Terrordrome, only to be greeted by the colossal sight of Bruticus. He is the awesome creation of Starscream and Destro but not yet alive. With both their enemies falling they realise now is the time to release him from his shackles. First there is one more conspiracy to play, from the shadows, comes the Baroness, expertly placing a shot on Starscream in his only weak spot. Starscream ceases to function, and Destro and the Baroness can now complete their plan and come out on top. Destro releases Bruticus, as the Baroness goes in search the Matrix.
The earth trembles as Bruticus carries out his orders to destroy man and machine. Cobra commander is toppled from his airy throne by the tremors, and partially buried under rock. The Autobots and Joes are now witness to Bruticus and Grimlock tries in vein to stop the juggernaut. There is only one action to take, they must find the Matrix. Up the peak of the island, a fallen Cobra commander holds it. The Baroness mocks her fallen commander as she takes it from him but she doesn't have time to bask in her glory it is snatched from her by Scarlett and Snake Eyes. Optimus nears punching out the imposing Megatron - his only hope is for Snake Eyes to smash the Matrix to kill Bruticus. Tossing it into the air, Snake Eyes catches it in Bruticus' path and it smashes. All Autobots and Decepticons fall leaving only the humans remaining to inherit the Earth.
Having spent a fair time reviewing the plot and how the action works out in this series of reviews, I'm now going to talk about characterisation. Transformers and GI Joe are both toy lines with a diverse range of characters, and it can be hard enough to give them any characterisation without trampling someone else's. Now we have combined the two lines in this property there are even more characters to play with.
Setting the series in WW2 era works well because it means Reiber can get away without needing to flesh out the main protagonists as much. By transporting it to this new timeframe we are quite happy to see simple interpretations of our old characters and the new setting is enough to keep it fresh. In the end only a few get a decent degree of characterisation, figures like Snake Eyes and Grimlock (played like a slightly more intelligent version of his cartoon self). The plotline of this final issue holds up thanks to the foundations Reiber laid in previous issues. He even portrays Megatron in a slightly different light using more of his wits to get what he wants instead of brawn. Its also a fitting war story ending with heroes rising from where tyrants have fallen.
For his part Lee does well on the art, as he has throughout the series. I only wish it could have been showcased more instead of drowned out in the atmospheric colouring - still his human figures were really good throughout I just really wanted to see him get his hands on a transformer more though.