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Friday, 05 February 2010

G.I. Joe / Transformers Crossovers

 A team-up between the 1980s' most popular properties -- G.I. Joe and The Transformers -- was probably inevitable. Both were based on toy lines from Hasbro, both had their own Marvel Comics series and both appeared in their own daily cartoons produced by Sunbow (usually shown back-to-back when aired in 1985-1987). Over the years, they have appeared together in comics a number of times, with mixed results. Here's a brief look at each of these crossovers.


  G.I. JOE and the Transformers - 1987

  In 1987, Marvel's G.I. Joe / Transformers crossover was released as a four issue miniseries. The story centered around an advanced power station that both Cobra and the Decepticons want to get their hands on. The Joes are charged with protecting it, and eventually join forces with the Autobots after the two groups are at odds. The story suffers because of the attempt of the writer (who never wrote for either series) to fit each issue into the current storylines of the two regular series, making it unnecessarily convoluted. Because of this, much of the series is without Cobra Commander and Destro (presumed dead in the regular series), and coincidentally, Megatron was missing for part of the series, as well.

  G.I. JOE: Special Missions # 5 - 1987

  In the same year of the Joe / Transformers Marvel miniseries (as well as an Action Force crossover in the UK), one Transformer made an unexpected appearance that made it seem that the Joes and the Transformers didn't inhabit the same universe. Special Missions #5 was released months after that crossover, and included a Transformer toy in the story. G.I. Joe pilot Slip-Steam gave one of his fighters' maintenance workers a Megatron toy to give to his sick son. Actually, it looks like Megatron but is referred to as Jetfire. To view the scene, click on the picture of Megatron/Jetfire.

  Action Force: Ancient Relics - 1987

  Action Force weekly printed all new stories featuring G.I. Joe's British equivalent, along with reprints from the American series. Similarly, Marvel UK also published Transformers weekly, with new and reprinted stories. The British storylines in either series didn't quite match up with the American books, so this crossover doesn't factor into the U.S. series' continuity, despite being released in the same year as the four-part U.S. series. The Joes and Autobots battle against a Megatron that may not even be the real Decepticon according to the British story arc. The story was printed in Transformers weekly #125 and Action Force #24-27. It was reprinted in Action Force monthly #1-6, which were released in America as G.I. Joe: European Missions #1-6.

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  G.I. JOE # 138-142 -

  When Hasbro decided to revive its Transformers toy line as Transformers: Generation 2, it also revived the comic series. The series actually had its origins in the G.I. Joe series which had continued years after the previous Transformers series was canceled. Unlike the previous crossover, the story took place in the Joes' regular series. It is revealed that Megatron survived the crash of the spacecraft, the Ark, at the end of the previous series when the Decepticon appears at Cobra's Silent Castle. Megatron promises to give the Ark's technology to Cobra Commander in return for a new, undamaged body. The Joes use a transmitter left behind in the last crossover to summon the Autobots, who battle Megatron and Cobra in the Cobra-controlled town of Millville. The story is more difficult to ignore than the first miniseries, since it includes the resurrection of Dr. Mindbender and the liberation of Millville. The story ends with Megatron and the captured scientist Dr. Biggles-Jones heading into space on the Ark. The story is concluded in the Generation 2 series.

  Transformers: Generation 2 -
1993 & 1994

  The second Transformers comic series' first plot line began months earlier in G.I. Joe #138-142. The final part of that story appears in Transformers: Generation 2 #2, which shows Joes and Autobots joining forces to stop Megatron from escaping with the Ark and Dr. Biggles-Jones. It's a fairly brief story and focuses more on the Transformers' perspective. A few issues later, in G2 #6, the Joes are forced to try and protect the Earth from a Decepticon attack on Washington, DC, following attacks on other major cities around the world. Optimus Prime arrives and defeats Megatron, and the Joes have little involvement beyond arguing with the Autobot leader. In reality, Hawk and Flint are the only recognizable Joes present among generic looking soldiers. It's hard to consider the story a part of the regular continuity, since a global battle against the Decepticons should have had repercussions in the Joe series. G2 turned out to be a short-lived series, and G.I. Joe's final issue was coming soon, as well. Both properties' comic adventures would again be revived nearly ten years later.

  G.I. JOE vs. the Transformers -

  After several years, both G.I. Joe and The Transformers returned to comics in their own regular series. It was soon decided that there should be another crossover, though the series were now produced by two different companies. Instead of somehow co-publishing the series, the companies made to different series, both released at about the same time. To keep from interfering in the ongoing series again, each series was set in its own separate continuity. The Devil's Due G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers series shows a young Cobra organization discovering the Ark crashed on Earth and find a way to revive and control the Decepticons and Autobots, who now transformed into Cobra vehicles. The G.I. Joe team is then formed to fight them. The Joes eventually team with the Autobots after helping to free them, and fight both Cobra and the Decepticons.

  Transformers: G.I. JOE -

  In Dreamwave's Joe/Transformers crossover, the story is again set in it's own unique continuity. This time, it's set back in the World War II era, but instead of fighting Nazi Germany, the world has to contend with Cobra's plans of world domination. The Transformers all transform into vehicles of the era, and once again it's G.I. Joe and the Autobots versus Cobra and the Decepticons. In this new setting, even the Joes get a makeover, along with their back stories, to better fit into the 1930s.

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