IDW Publishing 2016
Written by John Barber & Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Fico Ossio
Coloured by Sebastian Cheng
Lettered by Tom B. Long
Explosions rip across the Earth—and all signs of blame point to OPTIMUS PRIME and the TRANSFORMERS! G.I. JOE refuses to go quietly—and they assemble heroes big enough to stop the invaders! ACTION MAN and M.A.S.K. fight for humanity—but where do ROM and the MICRONAUTS stand?
Humans are such funny little creatures I mean Optimus Prime came back to help Earth integrate into the cosmic community and since he announced that without asking well they’ve assumed he means to take over the planet. Truth of the matter is with them here, Rom now on Earth and various alien lifeforms having taken over too many people, see infiltrating for a hostile takeover, the Earth is already in the cosmic game they just haven’t realised it yet.
Diplomacy may not be Optimus Prime’s best attribute but hopefully the people of Earth will soon learn that his intentions are good. In the meantime this issue starts things off with one man, well okay the President and Joe Colton, stirring up the Joe’s into action. There’s a method to the madness here and if you’ve been following the IDW line of books, namely Rom, then you already know why. The plot, story advancement and characterisation here is extremely well thought out and executed.
The idea to unite all of Habro’s toy line inspired books into a one universe is in my humble opinion long overdue. We’ve seen the crossover events in the past and they’ve always been fun but to have them all living, working and sharing a common world well let’s just say it’s high time that happened. That this begins with, well calling it a misunderstanding would be an understatement, what few realise is a full blown invasion of the Earth and that it’s been happening right under everyone’s noses including the Autobots and the world’s premiere security forces well that’s the kicker.
Fico and Sebastian do some absolute kick butt work on the interiors here. I love the attention to detail, the crisp clean line work and the use of backgrounds. What they manage to do is elevate the individual series they come from and make this a more realistic version of those worlds and characters. This is how I now want all the series to look because this is the kind of illustration that turns a book from great into phenomenal. The use of page layouts through angles and perspective to control the flow of the story is expertly done. This is seriously some work that is exceeding expectations and elevating my already high opinion of this book.
I like that there’s as much manipulation, subterfuge and military stylings that are going on here. With the appearance of Action Man for a moment and then Rom who silently comes in does his thing amidst the confrontation between Optimus Prime and the Joe’s well it gives off not only that air of intrigue and mystery but causes tensions to rise and escalate. The usually level headed Scarlett is a real treat to see this way here.
I can’t wait to see how this plays out through these five issues and their tie-ins. This is one time I won’t have any problems reading multiple tie-in issues because what’s established here has finally done the impossible and created something in which those tie-ins are something we’ll WANT to read not HAVE to understand all angles.