There are a lot of amazing things about Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, and one of the most amazing is that it somehow keeps getting weirder. I mean, it's been a pretty wild ride since day one, to the point where the fact that it even exists continues to be surprising, but next week, it looks like the bizarreness of a book that's already brought us the Serpentress is going to hit critical mass in an issue that opens with Snake Eyes and Duke -- who is wearing a t-shirt that says DUKE -- battling it out against Robothulhu.
Yes: The Joes are fighting a multi-faced tentacle monster floating in hot pink space, and it is amazing. Check out a preview below!
Listen, there was no way that Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra wasn't going to be my favorite comic of the week. I mean, my love of G.I. Joe has been chronicled pretty extensively here at ComicsAlliance, and the two parts of that franchise that I love with an almost overwhelming fervor are Destro and Snake Eyes, the two characters who take the spotlight in this issue. The only way it could be closer to what I wanted out of a comic would be that if it involved Batman and pro wrestling, and since DC already put one of those out last month, it's as close as we're going to get.
But while I've been in the tank for this series since it came out, I can tell you that it's great for reasons that go beyond the starring characters. It's the continuation of a smart, slick take on the G.I. Joe franchise that kicks off with a premise that's inherently exciting. It just happens to also involve two of the best characters ever.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Ten Lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
Under normal circumstances, I don't think that even I could recommend a $20 hardcover collection of one (1) 22-page comic book. Fortunately for me -- and unfortunately for my wallet -- "Silent Interlude" is a comic that has nothing to do with normal circumstances.
Originally released back in 1984 as G.I. Joe #21, the story is pretty uncontested as one of the all-time classics of modern comics, a "silent" story told with no dialogue, where Snake-Eyes infiltrated Destro's castle on a deadly mission to rescue Scarlett, who was busy breaking out at the same time. It's a pivotal moment for the series, setting up connection between Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes that would become one of the driving forces of the franchise, but more than that, it's a really great comic, and this week's IDW's putting it out in a special hardcover, along with Larry Hama's original breakdowns.
Q: Hey Chris, what's the worst story from the best writer? -- @starr226
A: I've gotten this question a few times over the past few weeks, and it's one that's really interesting to me for a few reasons, the most important of which being that nobody in the history of comics has a perfect record. Once you put out more than, say, four comics, everyone from Jack Kirby on down has stunk up the room at least once in their career, and it can be really fun looking at something to try to figure out exactly why something doesn't work, when everything else from that particular creator works so well.
For me, though, as easy as it would be to hit a soft target like Alan Moore and Scott Clark's Spawn/WildC.A.T.S: Devil Day, the biggest and most surprising drop will always be Larry Hama and Scott McDaniel's surprisingly terrible run on Batman.
With the possible exception of those Sailor Moon toys that I dropped two hundred bucks on, Transforrmers vs. G.I. Joe #1 was the most exciting purchase I made last weekend at San Diego's Comic-Con International. It was pretty much guaranteed to be that way, too -- the #0 issue that came out on Free Comic Book Day and set up the ongoing story that Tom Scioli and John Barber would be telling was easily one of my favorite comics of the year so far. It was bright and engaging and weird, in exactly the way that a comic based on taking two toy properties and smashing them together to make one big story should be.
As far as weirdness goes, though, this first issue outstrips it by a long shot, and it does it by taking the high concept that I think we all expected from another Transformers vs. G.I. Joe story and turning it upside down, launching it into an entirely new echelon of strangeness. And it is great.
Q: G.I. Joe: Where do I even begin with their myriad continuities? -- @Eric_R_Wilson
A: I've spent the past few weeks catching up on recent G.I. Joe comics with a stack of paperbacks that I picked up at HeroesCon, and while I've been really interested in seeing all the changes and new characters that set the IDW books apart from the original Marvel series, I'm still pretty surprised by this question. I mean, yes, there's a lot of G.I. Joe out there and a lot of different takes on that core idea, but when you get right down to it, it's no more complicated than your average superhero comic.
Which is to say that it's actually very complicated. Especially when the ninjas start getting involved.
When Paul Allor's "secret history of Cobra" story was first announced by G.I. Joe comics publisher IDW, I immediately took notice. The idea of a long history for Cobra that would see ninja and pirate versions of Cobra Commander was something so amazing that I was shocked it had never been done before. It turned out, however, that this long history was only a part of what Allor would get to do, moving from that complicated secret history into a lean, thrilling adventure for the G.I Joe team.
Now, with Allor's run alongside artists Steve Kurth, Alex Cal, S.L. Gallant, Shawn Lee, Robert Atkins and Chris Evenhuis being collected this week in a paperback called G.I. Joe: Siren Song, we spoke to Allor to find out about how much of Cobra Commander's secret history was true, why he built the story around a mother trying to save her child, and just what it was about Big Boa that needed a comeback.
If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he dives into comics history to explain why you're wrong and he's right.
This week, a reader wants to know why Chris, who is often so opposed to romanticizing villains, loves Destro so much. What is it about an arms dealer who supplies a terrorist organization bent on world domination that makes him different from other villains -- and makes him so easy for us to identify with?
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