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Tom Scioli's Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation is B-A-N-A-N-A-S

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Tom Scioli's <i>Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation</i> is B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Writer/Artist: Tom Scioli
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: March 22, 2017

STL036544.jpeg One of the most off-the-wall critical and artistic successes of recent years was Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, an IDW series written by John Barber and co-written and illustrated by Tom Scioli. Jack Kirby’s influence runs deep in Scioli’s bones, but in this series he merged that sensibility with an indie-comics feel to create an unpredictable, exuberant and unique read. IDW calls it “The most bombastic crossover this universe has ever seen,” and it’s hard to argue with that hyperbole.

Scioli has returned to this massive epic with a strange twist: Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation is a comic tie-in to the movie version of the original comic…only the movie doesn’t exist. That ambitious concept allows for a welcome encore and one last chance to watch the artist play with these toys.

The plot is compressed but simple: Transformers’ mech planet, Cybertron, hurtles toward Earth, G.I. Joes invade Cybertron, robots and humans align, hijinks ensue. This reads like a satire of the original series, and of big-budget actions movies: every punch, physical and emotional, is milked for maximum, widescreen impact. It even ends on a cliffhanger, since you just know if this were a real movie it would already have a sequel in the works.

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Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation Interior Art by Tom Scioli

Scioli plays up the cinematic aspect of the book by creating extra materials, including interviews with actors and an article on the “special effects.” DVD-style commentary was a welcome part of the original series, but it makes even more sense here.

It’s hard to say how someone who hasn’t read the original series might react to Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation. I found myself making constant comparisons between the two stories, while also imagining the nonexistent film in-between. I occasionally wanted more from this story, but then I thought, Doh, I can reread the original 14-issue comic.

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Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation Interior Art by Tom Scioli

To a fresh reader, this one-shot might come off as the greatest thing ever, a big pile of impenetrable weirdness or merely a tantalizing appetizer. But like it or not, there’s no denying the particular artistic vision here. Along with the creators of the terrific Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye (now Lost Light), Scioli has raised the bar for the property’s comics higher than even Optimus Prime could have imagined. Issues like this prove that, licensed comic or not, there is no excuse for giving less than 110%.

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Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation Interior Art by Tom Scioli

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Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation Interior Art by Tom Scioli

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Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation Interior Art by Tom Scioli

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