To say that Tom Scioli and John Barber‘s Transformers vs. GI Joe is an unusual comic is underselling things quite a bit. On paper, it’s a natural fit, an ongoing series that follows in the footsteps of earlier books that have combined the two toy lines into one massive interplanetary battle. In practice, though, it’s something a lot bigger, a comic that almost assaults the reader by cramming in as much big, wild stuff as it possibly can — a toy comic so weird, and so great, that it almost feels like it shouldn’t exist.
With the book's second storyline well under way, throwing in everything from vikings to old gods to Dinobots (and a new printing of his amazing American Barbarian on the way this summer), I talked to cowriter, artist and occasional ComicsAlliance guest contributor Tom Scioli about the series. Today, he talks about building a history for a universe that's even more important than our own, the two-page Free Comic Book Day story, and why his book isn't a paean to Snake Eyes.
To say that Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs. GI Joe is an unusual comic is underselling things quite a bit. On paper, it's a natural fit, an ongoing series that follows in the footsteps of earlier books that have combined the two toy lines into one massive interplanetary battle. In practice, though, it's something a lot bigger, a comic that almost assaults the reader by cramming in as much big, wild stuff as it possibly can --- a toy comic so weird, and so great, that it almost feels like it shouldn't exist.
With the book's second storyline well under way, throwing in everything from vikings to old gods to Dinobots (and with a new printing of the amazing American Barbarian on the way this summer), I talked to cowriter, artist and occasional ComicsAlliance guest contributor Tom Scioli about the series. Today, in the first part of the interview, he talks about the exhausting process of fitting it all into 20 pages, and reveals the adaptation he wrote for a Transformers vs. GI Joe movie that does not actually exist.
If you were just going by what was on the covers when you grabbed your Free Comic Book Day titles on Saturday, you might have missed one of the best comics on the stands. I almost did --- as much as I've been enjoying IDW's Transformers comics now that I'm finally reading them, I haven't had much of a chance to watch the new cartoon, and as a result, I skipped over the FCBD tie-in comic when I picked mine up.
It wasn't until I flipped through it later that I realized there was a short story from Tom Scioli and John Barber in there, tying into their GI Joe vs. Transformers ongoing series. And it's amazing.
If you haven't been reading Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs. G.I. Joe series from IDW, you may be somewhat confused by the images you're about to see. The series is a beautiful, weird thing of beauty that does virtually nothing that a longtime comics reader might expect from a licensed comic book featuring two of the biggest franchises in movies, cartoons and comics.
Instead of focusing on years and years of continuity, Scioli and Barber take these toys out of the toybox and play with them as if that's what they are, filtered through a lens of Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko and lots of other Silver Age artists. It opens up incredible avenues for storytelling. That's what makes it great.
Okay everybody, time to panic: According to GeneralsJoes.com, the Mayor of Springfield, Illinois has given Cobra Commander the Key to the City, effectively handing over control of Abraham Lincoln's hometown to the same organization responsible for attempting to destroy the Aurora Borealis with an Ion Attractor, attack our nation's military with cloned dinosaurs, and steal the state of Alaska from the federal government.
Yesterday we exclusively unveiled the new Marvel series Star Lord And Kitty Pryde by Sam Humphries and Alti Firmansyah. Today it only seems fair that we add this recent super-couple to our list of comics' greatest couples, in what may be the final round of our poll. This is your chance to vote on Superman and Wonder Woman, Snake Eyes and Scarlett, and more --- and next week we'll tell you how all these couples stack up.
In today's polls: Tough love. Whether it's Jessica Jones and Luke Cage breaking through each other's tough shells, or the Baroness finding her way under Destro's skin, sometimes the best love stories happen when someone learns to let their guard down and invite someone else in. Of course, these can be high pressure relationships, especially when that special someone is the only man on the island or the last man on Earth.
I try to keep it pretty quiet, but I love GI Joe. At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, I especially love their enemies, the forces of Cobra. I mean, sure, the Joes are America's daring, highly trained special missions force, but Cobra? That bunch of ruthless capitalists has a cadre of evil ninjas, a transforming castle and a dude who can telepathically control crocodiles. What's not to love? Aside from the part where they want to blow up the world, I mean.
In any case, my love of Cobra has made me pretty excited about Adam Riches' variant cover for IDW's GI Joe: A Real American Hero #212, drawn for Clearwater, Florida's Emerald City Comics, which features every single member of the evil organization from its thirty-year history. Yes: all of them.
On the one hand, the live-action G.I. Joe movies that we've already gotten are, to put it charitably, not very good. On the other hand, the first one gave us President Zartan and a straight up brutal ten minute fight scene between two nine year-olds, and the second had the RZA from the Wu Tang Clan shouting "STORM SHADOW! JINX! PREPARE FOR BATTLE!" and ended with Cobra Commander hanging out in South Carolina. At the end of the day, as bad as they are, I can't bring myself to not kind of love them, if only because they insist on being as weird as they possibly can.
Now, it seems like the third one is slated to get even weirder. HissTank.com, owners of the best possible URL for a G.I. Joe site, are reporting courtesy of FilmDivider that the villains for the third movie will be none other than the psychically linked twin commanders of the Crimson Guard, Tomax and Xamot. And if that's not enough, it's also rumored that the movie will feature Matt Trakker, leader of the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, M.A.S.K., from the beloved (by me) but also pretty terrible '80s cartoon of the same name. In other words, G.I. Jo3 is gonna be bonkers.
Q: What '80s or '90s cartoon do you think has the single best Christmas episode? -- @UncannyJay
A: Given the things I tend to write about in this column, it pretty much goes without saying that I absolutely love cartoon Christmas specials. I even wrote about a few of my favorites last year for ComicsAlliance, including the truly bizarre Christmas Comes to Pac-Land, in which a visit from Santa Claus makes it abundantly clear that Pac-Man's living nightmare of eating dots and being menaced by the vengeful spirits of the damned occurs on some kind of demi-plane that exists outside of the sight of God. That one has to be in my top three.
But beyond those three, there's definitely one Christmas episode in particular that I absolutely love: G.I. Joe's "Cobra Claws Are Coming To Town!"
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