Transformers/G.I. Joe is a six-part miniseries published by Dreamwave Productions in 2004. The book is set in its own mini-continuity, placing Transformers and G.I. Joe characters in a World War II setting, with alternate modes based on the period.
|Transformers/G.I. Joe issues:|
|#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6|
The story opens on late-1930s Earth, which teeters on the brink of global war. The forces of Cobra uncover the Matrix and use it to rouse the dormant Decepticons, using them to ravage Europe. America deploys a new rag-tag special operations team to stop them -- G.I. Joe.
New alternate forms were designed for many characters by Don Figueroa, with the Autobots assuming the forms of Allied vehicles and the Decepticons taking Axis forms. Sadly, most of these new forms were largely obscured by the art of the finished series.
The series has been heavily criticized by some fans for being difficult to follow. The heavily stylized art could be described as gritty, evocative, and beautiful... and to an equal extent, murky, underlit, and incomprehensible. The art makes the entire story seem to happen at dusk or night, in a world filled with clouds, fog, dust, smoke and shadow. The art appears stylized to emulate World War II propaganda posters, an interesting choice but one that hurts the telling of the story.
Narrative compression and expansion likewise adds both drama and obscurity to the story. Important events such as Major Bludd actually seizing the Matrix, or the downing in battle of Mirage, Wheeljack and Hound, are vaguely implied between panels or mentioned only in dialog, while splash pages (such as an entire two-page spread sans dialog in issue #5) do almost nothing to advance the plot (One can surmise that the second Joe team who had only encountered hostile Transformers were horrified at the prospect of facing the massive Superion). While this series is hardly alone in making such choices, combined with the heavily inked art, the end result is a story that is difficult to comprehend at times.
Bottom line, the art isn't bad, per se, it just hard to follow.
The series was followed by a second miniseries set in 1985, and drawn in a contemporary style. However, Transformers/G.I. Joe: Divided Front only had one issue produced before cancellation due to Dreamwave's bankruptcy.