More new thoughts about comics released in 2014-15!
Tom Scioli’s G.I. Joe v. Transformers was another reminder that interesting and experimental stories can be found in any medium and genre, even comic books based on licensed toys. I love the efforts to play with the superhero genre in books like Grant Morrison’s Multiversity, but the formal innovation in G.I. Joe v. Transformers felt more unsettling and transgressive. Scioli’s approach to storytelling (down to the characters posed like action figures) evoked the childhood ritual of using action figures to remix pop culture brands. Scioli does more than stage battles between recognizable toys, he blends the mythologies that have developed around both properties while adding in layers of inventive madness inspired by the subtext and themes of the original. We get an unsettling (but unsurprising!) US coup staged by General Flagg and an epic battle between Duke and Destro on Megatron’s head. It was a reminder of a childhood spent telling stories about G.I. Joe members joining forces with the Ghostbusters and the Superfriends to combat the combined forces of Darkseid, Cobra, and the Deceptions during endless Saturday afternoons.