GI Joe & The Transformers #4

Somebody get Superion a sandwich!

G.I. Joe & The Transformers #4

FINAL ISSUE

Marvel Comics (April, 1987)

“…All Fall Down!”
WRITER: Michael Higgins
PENCILER: Herb Trimpe
INKER: Vince Colletta
COLORIST: Nel Yomtov
LETTERER: Joe Rosen
CONSULTING EDITOR: Donald Daley
EDITOR: Bob Harras

The Autobots, Joes, and Cobra have united against their common foe, the Decepticons. While arguing over the potential status of Alpha as a lifeform they finally decide on an attack plan; keep the Decepticons busy at their island base while Scarlett, the Baroness, and Goldbug (the rebuilt Bumblebee) plant explosives on Alpha. Dr. Mindbender uses his high-tech helmet to take control of the station which the Baroness has set the explosives to go off once it reaches space. Thus the alliance ends and the three groups go their separate ways. A gunman shoots Senator Larson and Anthony is back to normal (not that we the audience know what normal is for him, mind you.)

What they got right: The ending is wrapped up satisfactory.

What they got wrong: But not how they got there. There are so many missteps it’s sad. The art quality has dropped again but it’s the story that makes so many errors. The dialog is stiff for everybody, the Larkin subplot was again unnecessary (I’m not convinced she knew enough about Cobra to be a threat), but the big errors are Transformers continuity. Among the Decepticons repelling the attack are Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp, who have been held damaged and imprisoned since The Transformers #19. Higgins forgets to list Scrapper among the Constructicons. Somebody among the editor and consulting editor didn’t pay attention to those details.

Then there’s the whole business of Power Station Alpha being a lifeform like the Transformers. The Decepticons don’t have access to the Creation Matrix now that both Optimus and Megatron are dead so how could it be a lifeform. And even if it was now a he, it’s not like Alpha was going to be reasoned with. The station was a threat and I shouldn’t be agreeing with Cobra (although the Baroness’s reason may be to protect Cobra’s involvement and I don’t know why she cares if they know or not) about blowing it up. Blaster (who for some reason seems to have taken charge since Optimus’s death and will also not be brought up in the series) shouldn’t be this foolish.

Other notes: On the Transformers side, I have to admit that Budiansky drops the ball on this badly in later stories. After these events, the military is well aware not only of where the Autobot base is, but that the Autobots are on the side of the good guys. Yet in the series, RATT still goes after them, and it’s not until many issues later that Barnett and Forsythe realize the truth. Higgens has the groups depart on less than peaceful terms but wouldn’t the Joes confirm what Blackrock has been saying? Or the other military officials directly involved? And if they are still dumb enough to believe the Autobots are also a threat, why doesn’t RATT ever end up on the Ark’s doorstep? Outside of Bumblebee now being Goldbug and having a new body nothing here affects events in the main series and I find that to be a misstep on  Budiansky’s part.

Final Analysis: A weak ending to a mildly decent story. It might have been better served as a stand-alone story like the later crossovers rather than keeping it in continuity. I’ll do a review on the series as a whole next weekend for Reviewers Unknown.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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