Review – Revolutionaries #1 (IDW Publishing)

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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Fico Ossio
Release Date: 18th January 2017

At this point, it’s safe to say that IDW Publishing’s “Revolution” event has been, let’s be honest, a bit of a mixed bag.  On paper the idea was magnificent; a shared “Hasbro-verse” featuring the likes of the Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Action Man, ROM and the Micronauts?  What’s not to like? Sadly however, the execution has ended up being fairly uneven, with the quality of the numerous tie-ins varying wildly from month to month and book to book.

Well, it’s my sad duty to report that Revolutionaries – which features the formation of a new team made up of a motley crew of characters from some of the franchises listed above – falls somewhere on the lower end of that quality scale.  This first issue sees a G.I. Joe unit led by Ayana Jones (AKA Mayday) moving in to investigate an apparent Dire Wraith attack in Schleteva, only to find their paths crossing with the likes of ROM, Action Man, Garrison Blackrock and Kup.

I should point out that all the ingredients are definitely there for a cracking story.  Writer John Barber tends to thrive on these sort of titles, and in spite of the overly cartoony cover, the interior artwork from Fico Ossio is actually pretty damn solid, buoyed by some impressively rich colours from Sebastian Cheng.  It all just feels a little forced and unnecessary, with waaaaay too many moving parts for any of the events of this first issue to really mean anything at all.  “Hey, here’s G.I. Joe to fight the Wraiths!  Oh look, ROM’s here to help, let’s explore a litt—hang on, is that Action Man fighting Blackrock? Let’s all team up!  We can find out exactly what—oh, just a second, here comes Major Bludd and the Oktober Guard! Let’s fight!”  It’s all a bit much to be honest, and is bogged down even further with countless references to previous events that don’t really impact the current story in any significant way.

Ultimately then, in spite of the strength of its premise, Revolutionaries is completely and utterly suffocated by its reliance on exposition and its dangerous overcrowding, with what should be a fairly straightforward first issue ending up as a bloated, jumbled mess as Barber struggles to keep all his plates spinning at once.  It’s not unreasonable to predict that things may pick up once the series is given a little time to breathe, but for now, there are far better Revolution-based titles on IDW’s slate for you to throw your money at.

Rating: 2/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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