Denes F. House
This is a dream come true for kids of the 80's. Two of our favorite cartoon show franchises together in one book. It's a whole lot of fun. The action in "Art of War" is chiefly on Cybertron, focusing on the battle between Optimus Prime and Serpentor for the matrix of leadership. Along the way, the question of what it takes to be a good leader comes front and center.
The artwork in this volume is quite good - better on the Transformers than on the humans, with the people coming across as manga-style cartoony, and the Transformers coming across as huge and cool.
Eugene M. Roby
Growing up in the 1980's and 1990's I was a huge fan of GI Joe. In fact GI Joes were the toys I most predominantley played with. My friend's had Transformers, but due to the fact that Tranformers were (and still are) pretty expensive, I never really had any of them growing up, and I never watched the cartoon. I was a " Joe purist."
The concept of a GI Joe/ Transformers crossover is nothing new. In the 1980's Marvel did a few crossover comics between the true franchises, I have not read thses so I cannot attest to their quality or sucess. In the early 2000's Dreamwave Comics did a crossover comic between the two franchises, as an elseworlds story set in a WWII era. Although it contained, the essential characters from both franchises, the interpretations of these characters were far different from the "G1" Tranformers, and "Larry Hama" GI Joes we all grew up with. In 2006, Devil's Due Publishing, took a stab, and this comic is part of that series.
Overall this comic is pretty cool. I like the artowk. In fact I bought this volume because I wanted the iconic, Snake Eyes and Optimus Prime cover. Instead, I got the Serpentor cover, and was quite dissapointed. Even though it is set in a continuity of it's own, due to the fact it is a crossover, the characters have a very familiar feel. Optimus Prime is "G1" Optimus Prime, and Snake eyes wears a black jumpsuit, has a visor, wields swords, and shoots his UZI. I think the story is pretty decent, and takes cool elements from both, GI JOE and Tranformers, universes. Reading this book, has made me more interested into exploring more of what this crossover series has to offer.
There are a lot of "Joe" and "Tformer" purist, who see any crossover as a pure abberation of nature, and sacrilege. I think such beliefs are narrow minded. The two franchises go hand in hand, small soldiers fighting along with huge alien robots, is pure "Geek Awesomeness." I would have had so much fun as a kid, if I had played this way as a kid. In fact, when Michael Bay made the Tranformers Movies, he payed homage to the crossover by including the Special Forces/ NEST solidiers, as key players throughout the series ( I am not sure if I gained any ground by saying that, with Transformer fans but oh well). My point is give it a chance, I cannot promise that it is better, than the GI Joe and Tranformer "pure" comics, but it definetely isn't garbage. I also think, it might be a nice way for a pure Joe Fan or Transformer fan, to branch out. I know after reading this, my interest into picking up some Transformers comics, has defenitely increased. IDW, the current publisher of both GI Joe and Transformers, has not done a crossover, or announced a crossover, as of yet. I hope they do, I love what IDW is doing with GI JOE, and I think they would knock a crossover out of the park.