The Sequential Chronicles: The New Avengers/Transformers Journey

If you’re someone who has a particularly large comic collection what do you do? Apparently you come up with the idea of talking about your collection on the Internet. In my weird magical adventures online I have always searched for an article that screams me. The Sequential Chronicles seems to be fitting. How strangely appropriate that I’m going to talk about New Avengers/Transofrmers for my first piece in this journey. These won’t really be reviews in any normal sense of the word. Just me talking about my experience and my adventure with it. The journey will be a little strange and weird on occasion but roll with it. In this inaugural piece let’s see how the New Avengers and Transformers get along. On with the roller coaster ride! The thrills, chills, and some giant robot fun along the way.  Time to have some fun.

If you have ever seen my Twitter you know giant robots are part of my aesthetic. How appropriate that New Avengers/Transformers starts me on my collection journey.

New Avengers Transformers #4 Cover

I have had these four issues in my collection for awhile after discovering them at my local Half Price Books. Somehow these books slipped by me back in the day. I knew nothing about the story outside of some fun covers. I note the covers because there are some cool talents on them, Jim Cheung on #1, Jason Pearson on #2, Ed McGuiness on #3, and Tom Raney on #4, which are all fun to see. It’s weird that not much has been said about it outside of an old interview Stuart Moore gave for IGN back in 2007 and that’s it. It must not have done that well as I couldn’t find anything on the Comichron for it in 2007. I guess it has become obscure over the years. Strange huh?

It’s hard to believe that none of the comic sites have done something with this. Crazy huh?

Now the creative team for this book is as I mentioned Stuart Moore, who wrote the entire miniseries. Then this is where I get a little amused. New Avengers/Transformers is a Marvel and IDW crossover but then in issue three the art is done by Top Cow Productions, Inc. as artist Tyler Kirkham and inker Sal Regla worked there. Which technically means three different companies were involved in this. Yes I know Top Cow was just helping on art but I get a kick out of seeing three companies involved in this. Annette Kwok is the colorist for the series with Blond assisting on issue two and Todd Klein handles the lettering here. It’s a solid team overall but prepare yourself as we dive into the story. It’s going to get weird from here kids.

Two points to make already with New Avengers/Transformers: A solid team on paper but it gets a little messy on some aspects. Second point is that the story really is a mess but worth it, strangely enough.

I mean bless Stuart Moore’s heart in having to deal with a crossover story like this, these are not easy to pull off. That this works as much as it does is amazing in its own right. The first issue is sort of your litmus test for the story. The New Avengers are acting all sorts of out of character and not going to lie, it was jarring. You are thrown straight into the story with the Avengers in Latveria and left trying to figure out what is happening. The characterization is a mess for the first and second issues as to how the Avengers relate to each other. Spider-Man and Iron Man are the only two that have some sort of consistent character throughout the first part of the story. It makes reading the first two issues frustrating.

Prepare yourself if you dive into this as it is a frustrating read for at least two issues. Though Spider-Man and Iron Man are fine so that’s cool.

New Avengers Transformers Iron Man Cool Giant Robot Suit

Of course when you learn the reason why the team is acting so weird it all makes sense. It’s caused by some sort of Psycho-Prism that Doctor Doom had in his lab as to why the Avengers were so off kilter. It’s strange and kind of silly but hey it works. That’s how the Transformers come into play as the Autobots help in getting everyone calmed down. Then that’s how you learn why the Decepticons are here. They are trying to get Energon and the Autobots are trying to stop them. Then there’s the threat of war hovering around them as this is going on. A lot of moving parts to this crazy crossover.

You know even trying to streamline the story of this crossover is crazy in its own right.

As this is all happening Spider-Man gets captured and Megatron uses his abilities to supercharge the Decepticons for reasons not made very clear. I’m not going to spoil too much but you do get Iron Man in a cool giant robot suit and that’s neat. The Autobots have their battles with the Decepticons in this too and Doctor Doom plays a role in a confusing but fun way. I think Moore was throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what stuck which fits for this story. I can only do this so much justice as some of this you just need to experience for yourself. Embrace the madness.

Isn’t this a cool splash page?

New Avengers Transformers Splash Page Issue 1

Yeah I think it is a cool splash page by golly.

No I’m not going to spoil it all for you as well, I don’t think I could do aspects of this justice. It’s such an odd story that I was hesitant if I was going to make it through with issue one. Yet by issue four it wasn’t too shabby. Not too shabby at all.

Now if you’re wanting a detailed look into art and so on, Kirkham’s art ranges from kind of rough to solid when it comes to drawing the robots especially. Regla’s inking helps a lot in smoothing out the rough edges of Kirkham’s pencils for sure. Kwok’s coloring is strong throughout the four issues along with Blond’s assist for  #2 and Todd Klein’s lettering is amazing as always. As the story itself serviced in bringing these properties together in a disjointed but fun way, at least by the end. Stuart Moore did well in making this work and also being sure to let the fellow members of his creative team shine via his script. It’s a mess at points but a worthwhile adventure if I do say so myself.

Yeah I’m not writing these to replace the issues here. This is a loose summary into the four issues. Fair warning, Starscream isn’t in this as I read in the IGN interview he was dead at the time. After we get past the lack of Starscream, I say give these a look. You won’t find them on any digital market so you are either going to go back issue bin diving or buying them online at any fine online comic book store. The trade is out of print but you can find it via online sellers, I saw it for under $15. The single issues are the way to go here in my opinion, they are easy to get your hands on.

I cannot state this enough, go with the single issues if you can unless you find the trade for cheaper than $15. If you find this trade for ten bucks, sure go for it but otherwise stick with the singles.

This is the first of The Sequential Chronicles so let me know what you think out there in comic land. Tell me what works and what doesn’t and so on. I’m still working out some stuff with this so any feedback is appreciated. Leave me a comment below, say hi to me on Twitter, and I will catch you all in the next part of this journey. Because the next part of this is an adventure into 80’s cartoon wonderland, see you then.

(Side note: This is so my weird iCandy piece once more too. As in I’m likely the only person even remotely diving into this. This is my life.)

 

 

 

 

 

Wes Reads Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1: The Childhood Dream Come to Life!

Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 Cover

Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 mixes two things I adored from my childhood, Street Fighter and G.I. Joe. I played a ton of Street Fighter II in all its forms in the arcade and at home and I still have a sizable G.I. Joe collection from my childhood. I even own the Street Fighter G.I. Joe toys for goodness sake. In my mind trying to give a formal review for this was going to be difficult to say the least. So I decided, let’s go for the casual review format of the Wes Reads. As Street Fighter x G.I. Joe made my inner child happy from the name alone. With my comic book now in hand, I was fully prepared to lose my mind and full admission, this made me happy. This is one moment where I am glad I don’t have a rating system. One initial title for this was F’yeah Comics: Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 because this was the kind of comic where I said F’yeah many times. It’s a pure joyous fight comic at its core and it doesn’t hide that either. It’s story mixed in with lots of endless action and tons of fun. Of course some of you may stop here as you already know I am a happy Wesley right now. Yet, I compel you to read on if you’re not totally sold on why you need Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 in your life, because in all honesty, you really do need this book.

Aubrey Sitterson writes this in such a way that you can’t help but embrace the energy he puts into this comic. Emilo Laiso’s art takes the energy from Sitterson’s script and cuts loose with killer coloring work from David Garcia Cruz. Even Robbie Robbins lettering works with the video game and cartoon energy that Street Fighter x G.I. Joe has. It all works to bring this glorious comic to life. Sure you are thrown into this with little to no exposition but before you know it you’re learning what is going on and why the Street Fighter characters are fighting the G.I. Joe team. You have eight characters with four from Street Fighter and four from G.I. Joe. It’s Crimson Viper, Hakan,  Rufus, and Ryu for Street Fighter with Snake Eyes, Baroness, Roadblock, and Jinx for the G.I. Joe side. The reason why I got why I dig everyone involved before I dived into story is simple, all the creators make this grouping of warriors work. You even have M. Bison and Destro watching the festivities like Mil Muertes on his throne in Lucha Underground, yeah I really loved this a lot. I’m really not hiding my love for Street Fighter x G.I. Joe at this stage of the game.

Roadblock Giant Gun

Sitterson’s staging is what you can’t help but dig, he really gives Laiso and Cruz as an art team a lot to work with. Lots of bright colors, high excitement, and great action are peppered throughout the first issue. Sitterson makes a point to explain the basic idea of what is happening here, gives you info on the characters, and then onward into another fight and it works. The story and the fights flow into one another seamlessly, set up in such a way that you feel like you are in a video game that happens to be in the pages of a comic book. Even the G.I. Joe characters get their own special moves similar to the Street Fighter characters at points. In overkill fighting game glory Roadblock gets out a giant gun in his fight and it is amazing as he flashes a wicked smile as the bullets are flying, it is just too cool. Put it this way, every fight in the comic will have a moment where you are smiling ear to ear. It’s why I will say Emilo Laiso and David Garcia Cruz outdid themselves here, capturing the liveliness of a video game is tough and the team worked in harmony with Sitterson’s script, I really can’t help but love all of this to pieces.

Street Fighter x G.I. Joe is pure unadulterated fun. The back matter of the book fills in the back story of the comic too, as in the fights you missed. You even get G.I. Joe style file cards for the characters too, which I adore. I do say I would have loved more issues detailing the fights mentioned in the back but it’s all good as I still dig this. You get a solid plot with a ton of action, how cool is that right? Yes there are going to be fans who may not dig this as much but for me, Street Fighter x G.I. Joe hits the spot. It’s simply put a comic that truly earns my original title for this, F’yeah comics. If you enjoy Street Fighter, if you enjoy G.I. Joe, or if you just like fun, make Street Fighter x G.I. Joe a part of your life immediately.