Go-Bots #5 Review (Series of the year contender)
Tom Scioli's Go-Bots may end up being the Best Mini-Series released in 2019. It's heads and shoulders above any Mini released from the big two with the exception of possibly Marvels Killmonger and is about 95% of my pull list.
This series has been better than I could have ever imagined and has one of the best concluding chapters I've ever read in a comic, period. From a design perspective, there are some page and panel layouts in this issue that are simply genius.
At one point in the comic, I stopped reading and had an audible reaction to the pages depicted below. In the scene, Turbo Pulls into the Go-Bots base and makes a desperate attempt to save his friend, Scooter.
The page begins with a diagram of the base being infiltrated. This is for the reader, not the character.
Turbo is situated in the bottom left corner. As the assault beings, Tom gives context clues from panel to page so you know exactly where Turbo is in relation to the base and to his goal of reaching the top floor.
The two-page spread is amazing and gave me vibes relating to Tim Burton's Batman "89" as well as any number of Video Games that have also used similar devices. The tactic is just as effective here and even more so because it takes advantage of comics as a visual medium. This segment is essentially a comic book as a visual diorama.
There are also various allusions to other stories that I picked up on in this issue. There are probably several more that I didn't catch. There is a nice nod to Frank Miller's Dark Knight, Planet of the Apes, and there are hints throughout the issue that the Go-Bots are the progenitors of the Transformers.
This may be a meta-commentary on the fact that the Go-Bots line of action figures debuted in the real world 5 months before Transformers, and ended up fading into relative obscurity while Tranformer's became one of the most popular franchises of the 80s.
The "Endings" for this issue are open to interpretation and you can endlessly speculate as to happens next. I saw an article mentioning a possible sequel but based on conclusion I think the ending here is definitive.
The series is also great in that it makes you want to know more about the lore and characters. In issue #4 a massive Go-Bot makes an appearance in the shape of a T--Rex. The Go-Bot's name is Zod and it seems totally out of place with the rest of the series. After reading the book I was curious about the character and after a few keystrokes I found out that the character was real and I managed to find him for a pretty reasonable price on eBay (Steal!).
I had a similar fascination with the lead Villain Cy-kill, who may also end up being one of the top villains of the year. He's evil and his eerie unexplained fascination with humanity elevates him to another level.
We're given clarity regarding Scooters madness and we also get to see Turbo literally slide into the role as de facto hero of the series.
It would be criminal for a series like Go-Bots to fade back into obscurity after the masterclass that Tom Scioli puts together on this series. The comic is ripe to be adapted into an animated series or movie. I'd love to see a live action adaptation of this material but that may be hoping against hope.
I mention expanding the Ip in light of the dire financial straits that IDW Publishing apparently finds itself in. This week I finished Dick Tracy: DOA and also follow Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles faithfully. TMNT, in particular, is my favorite ongoing series and has been for quite awhile now.
It's a damn shame that IDW is facing these issues with the amount of talent available to the publisher.
I'm not sure if the situation is as bad as the reports are making it out to be but I would strongly suggest leveraging the talent available into the creation of original IP.
Tom Scioli is clearly a master storyteller. Kevin Eastman and Tom Walsh are producing epic content monthly and The Allred's are just as imaginative in 2019 as they were when they did a complete teardown and rebuild of Marvel's X-Force.
The talent is there and actively working for the company. The leaders just need to start "Eating their own Dog Food" and be the success I know they can be.
Lowering the pricing point of monthly offering and spending money on developing a legit social media presence would also go along way in strengthening the line.
Go-Bot's was a great experience. I'd devastated if its one of the last harrah's of the publisher.
Issue Rating A+
Series Rating A