IDW First Strike #2 Review

Previously on First Strike…
Barron Ironblood aka General Joe Colton leads a team of the Hasbroverse’s top baddies in an assault on Cybertron while the GI Joe team searches for answers in the Swiss Alps!


Thoughts and Synopsis

Forgive me readers, for missing out on a review of First Strike #1. One gets into certain habits and I skimmed over the First Strike listing when searching for Transformers-related titles that week. So I’ll start off with a very quick summation of my thoughts on the crossover’s debut issue: I loved it. Revolutionaries sinks deeper into parodying (or is it parroting?) Marvel’s formula.
First Strike, on the other hand, felt like it had its own identity. My only real complaint is that Revolutionaries #7’s delay meant that the dramatic reveal at the end of that issue was ruined by First Strike #1. That’s not First Strike’s fault though. So onto the second issue…
Scarlet, Roadblock, Doc, Quick Kick, and Lady Jaye find themselves beset on all sides by a horde of red shadow “cyberninjas.” Meanwhile Barron Joe Colton’s plan for Cybertron is revealed. He and his team of Hasbroverse evil-doers plan on using the Talisman to poison all of the naturally occurring Energon on Cybertron. Colton thinks this will severely cripple the Cybertronian race, if not kill them all outright. He is, in his own mind, fighting for Earth. And doesn’t see any other way to save it from getting stuck in the crossfire of another Cybertronian civil war. Which he feels is inevitable.
Our GI Joe team is stuck on Earth, and needing to find a way out of Colton’s Swiss Alps death trap. To do that they’ll have follow Colton’s lead and recruit some fellow travellers to their cause. It’s a good thing Matt Tracker and the Torchbearers are available…

Final Thoughts

This issue kept the pace up from the first. Learning the extent of Colton’s plans raises the stakes, and the story doesn’t drag. The art by Max Dunbar remains characterful, with the action scenes clearly laid out.
My main compliment from issue one also carries over. This is what a Hasbro shared universe comic should feel like. I’ve tried to stay positive with Revolutionaries. I truly have. And I remain happy with much of it. The full package though? It does less and less for me each issue. First Strike, on the other hand, has kept me interested for two straight issues with its fast-paced narrative and proper team-up continuity nods.
John Barber will always be the king of all things continuity, but Mairghead Scott and David Rodriguez have provided a fresh voice to the “shared” portion of the Hasbro shared universe. I wouldn’t mind them taking the lead on all crossover-related material now that Till All Are One is, more or less, wrapped up.
What did you think? Join us at the Allspark forums to share your thoughts!