The cover from this year’s FCBD issue of Transformers vs. GI Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber.

I’ve been really looking forward to this book and it did not disappoint. The creators take the best of both classic Joe canons and blend them together into an exciting, artful whole. This story has a Larry Hama-esque respect for the military but the plant monster and ancient Cobra-La setting are straight out of the terrific 80s cartoon. I love the new details they added to the characters, like Bazooka’s captured Cobra trooper helmet and Hawk’s use of an actual antique tomahawk. I can’t believe nobody thought of that before now. And it’s a smart move tying Snake Eyes’ disfigurement directly to Cobra. I also really liked how they set-up the Transformers as these awe-inspiring, threatening alien presences.

All this is rendered in Scioli’s trademark Kirby-inspired style, but it’s no mere pastiche. Scioli is always expanded his techniques, and there are pages here that remind me of images from children’s books and video games. In the back matter, Scioli mentions he was inspired by Steranko, Frank Miller and Herb Trimpe as well. It all adds up to a terrific looking package, an exciting adventure story rendered in an unconventional but thrilling fashion. Looking forward to more for sure.