The original Transformers run ended in 1991. In 1993 the Transformers were back but on the pages of G.I. Joe, Issue 138. Written by long time G.I. writer Larry Hama. The art was provided by Wildman and Baskerville. That was an extra added bonus to any Transformers fans reading the book at the time. So what the hell is going on? Let’s try and figure it out together. But first, Let’s check out this cover art. (It feels good to say that again.)

I like this cover. Wildman does such a good job with the Baroness and Destro here that I didn’t realize the significance of the background until after I read the issue. The background does invoke an M. C. Escher feel. It’s the perfect effect for Destro’s base. I also really love how Snake Eyes is rendered int he upper left character box. It feels like 3D to me. written at the bottom of the cover is “APW After MCE”. I take this to mean that the cover is inspired by another cover or his homaging another cover. If it is, I haven’t been able to find which one it’s homaging. If someone knows please let me know and I’ll happily update this post.

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It’s clear from the get go we’re jumping into a pre-existing story line. Waking from a nightmare, Scarlett is trying to come to terms with her apparent recent killing of Stalker and Hawk. An effort required of her to maintain her cover within Cobra Command.

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Moments after waking up an alarm goes off within Destro’s Castle where she and Cobra are. Having blasted a hole into the castle’s secret passage, Scarlett is recruited to flush out the Baroness and Destro. Cobra Commander believes they are hiding somewhere in the castle.

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Within the secret passage, Destro and the Baroness are executing a plan to meet up with a G.I. Joe to extract them from the castle.

We transition to Hawk and Stalker who are very much alive. They are prepping Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow on their mission to extract the Baroness and Destro.

Avoiding traps within the Castle, Scarlett and Biggles-Jones continue the search. The Baroness and Destro have made it to the center of the castle. There they set the castles controls in such a way that the castle its self-maintains a state of constantly shifting between two forms. This serves as a distraction that the G.I. Joe Ninjas can use.

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While escaping, Destro and the Baroness run into Scarlett and Biggles-Jones. They fire at each other before Destro and the Baroness make an escape.

Scarlett and Biggles-Jones make their way to the control room. They fear that if the castle does not stop shifting it will collapse in on itself. The lever to stop the castle is stuck.

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We then cut to two silhouette figures talking to each other about the Transforming castle. They suspect it could be one of their own.

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Alerted to the G.I. Joe’s actions, Cobra sends Slice and Dice to deal with them. The Baroness and Destro cross paths with Cobra Commander and his group just before they make it outside. Having stopped the castle from shifting, Scarlett spots them. The two still manage to make it to the top of the structure where they meet Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow. Just before they can be extracted, Scarlett catches up with them and Snake-Eyes stabs Scarlett, just missing her heart.

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Hawk later reassures Snake-Eyes that Scarlett would understand. In the next scene she confirms this with a smile.

Cobra and others make it to the roof. They still are very suspicious of Scarlett. One of Cobra’s team even suggests they let her bleed out. But before much can be done about anything Megatron arrives. He is not happy to discover that the transforming castle is not sentient. Cobra Commander makes contact with Megatron.

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My Thoughts On This Issue

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Note: G.I. Joe 138 came bagged from Marvel with a trading card.

What I would have given to be one of those kids who read G.I. Joe issue 138 when it was released and see a battered and beaten Megatron investigating Destro’s base. I can only imagine the shock and joy of fans who read this issue not knowing what was in store. But one thing was certain. The Transformers were coming back.

I would very much enjoy hearing from readers in the comment section below who did happen to read this issue when it came out. What did you think? What went through your mind? Maybe in a future issue of G.I. Joe they will print some letters of people’s reactions?

This issue has given me an appetite to read more G.I. Joe comics. Will it happen anytime soon? I doubt it. But It’s on my list of things to do before I die.

One question that keeps coming back to me is why reintroduce the Transformers in a G.I. Joe comic? Did a lot of old Transformers fans switch to reading G.I. Joe? Is it just because they are both Hasbro properties? Maybe there was a bigger plan in store where G.I. Joe and the Transformers would interact with each other more often?

It was a good comic. I really enjoyed reading. I didn’t feel lost coming in half way through a G.I. Joe story arc. It’s an issue that you can pick up and hit the ground running with.

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Youseph

The host of the YOSHICAST and TRANSMISSIONS Podcast. Transformers enthusiast and comic book collector.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Thanks for the review. Definitely a nostalgia trip for me. I remember first seeing this issue at the comic store, and learning that the Transformers were coming back, at a point when I honestly never expected to see them again. I wasn’t really a Joe reader, but I sure did grab up all of the issues of this particular crossover reintroducing the Transformers.

    My recollection of the time, unfortunately, is that Joe fans didn’t appreciate the crossover as much. There seems to be a subsection of Joe fandom that felt that Joe was getting too far into sci-fi or fantasy field with the inclusion of giant robots from another planet. Since I’m not really a Joe fan, I could be wrong.

    I’m perhaps jumping the gun a bit, but my main disappointment, really, was that after seeing Andrew Wildman handle this book, he was suddenly *absent* for the rest of the TF crossover. The man most associated with Transformers at the time, and he *just* misses handling their reintroduction. As I recall, he also did a few panels on one of the early G2 comics (issue 2, I think), but those panels were almost entirely robot-free, as well. I’ve never understood that.

    I assume that the “MCE” referenced in the cover art is, in fact, M.C. Escher, who you yourself noted was the inspiration for the background. Not an homage of some other artist’s cover, but an homage nonetheless.

    1. As I read the last couple of issues of the G.I. Joe / Transformers crossover I’m really missing Wildman. It takes a turn in the last couple of issues and it isn’t for the better, unfortunately. I sure would like to know what happened.

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