With a series like this, what else is there to say? Each issue gets more and more jam-packed and Transformers vs G.I Joe #4 is no exception. I’ve read it more than a couple of times now, just to try and take everything in. Not that that’s strictly a good thing, mind you…
The official description from IDW:
THE WAR AT HOME! But whose home-and whose war?! Interstellar war has never been so cosmic!
There is a strong sense of value with this issue but, at the same time, it feels very chaotic and cramped. Subsequent readings are needed to understand what’s going in and this raises a lot of the title’s main flaws, which are often linked in with its biggest strengths.
The writing, for instance, offers so much, yet this makes the pacing horrible. Tom Scioli and John Barber know their Transformers and G.I Joe, which is why so many characters make an appearance, but this is simply rushing into things. There are too many cameo appearances, plot points and twists within this issue to make sense. What it gains in action it lacks in coherency. Scioli and Barber jump from point to point far too often.
Similarly, the visual treatment often gets in its own way. Scioli’s artwork definately captures the retro look and feel of the older comics, but the sense of scale and over-the-top grandeur here simply ensures there’s too much going on to every make sense of. Every panel is crammed and, when there’s less to see, the dull palette of colors ensure its seldom eye catching.
Still, I know there are many who enjoy this comic for its playful fun charms and this issue doesn’t dissapoint. If you’ve been reading until now, this one isn’t going to let you down. For new readers who like either Transformers or G.I Joe, there are better options.