Review: First Strike #2

Attack on Cybertron! COBRA’s first strike is causing chaos, confusion, and a high Transformer body count! It’s up to G.I. Joe and their Autobot and M.A.S.K. allies to stop the invasion-if they can get off Earth!

The first issue of IDW Publishing‘s First Strike blew me away. Not just due to the fun action but also the mature background it set all fo that too. There’s the politics, the diplomacy, but also the motivations of the villains which is to protect Earth from the destructive Cybertronians. There’s nobility in their actions.

In First Strike #2, writers Mairghread Scott and David Rodriguez continue that adding depth and more motivation to the villains as the heroes stuck on Earth desperately figure out a way to get to Cybertron to stop them. The issue is action packed but through that we get more of the villain’s side and perspective which is altruistic in a twisted sort of way. They see the destruction that Transformers leave in their wake and don’t want to see that befall Earth, hence the pre-emptive strike. The create sympathy for the bad guy is an impressive thing and to get the reader to empathize with their motivations is even bigger.

There’s absolutely some holes in that the firepower in Cybertron has to be greater than what has been brought there and for all of the military brilliance you’re left wondering if a covert strike would have been better?

But, even with that Scott and Rodriguez blend the various Hasbro brands well and make  it all work in a way that’s smooth and effortless. This is the event we all dreamed of as kids with aliens, robots, ninjas, lasers, fast cars, and tons of action. Their ability to also split the action between Cybertron and Earth creating a feeling of desperation on Earth is solid with each having more than ample time to play out.

The art by Max Dunbar is good and much like the first issue the style blends the various brands “looks” well so that it works for all of them. IDW has created a distinctive look for each series and this event has a style that feels like it is tied into all of them, favoring none of them and in a way helping it be a product of all.

This is just a fun series that has my inner 8 year old excited and smiling at the action and to see all of these properties come together in one epic story that’s not just action but also a surprising amount of depth.

Story: Mairghread Scott, David Rodriguez Art: Max Dunbar Cover Art: Freddie Williams II
Story: 8.05 Art: 7.90 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review