This penultimate issue of the Revolution crossover event begins with Snake-Eyes infiltrating the Autobot city.
The GI Joes, M.A.S.K, Rom, and the Micronauts are almost allied to protect Earth (and the Microverse) against the Dire Wraiths. The Wraiths have heavily infiltrated Earth’s defense organizations and have done great damage to it. The GI Joes and Autobots clashed. M.A.S.K has allied with the Joes, except that they have been infiltrated by Miles Mayhem (who has allied himself with both the Wraiths and Baron Karza.
The plot is complex, but it is all starting to come together. There is a rare mineral on Earth, Ore-13, which has unexplored and unknown but vast power. Whoever controls it has a significant strategic advantage over their enemies. For evil or for good, each faction wants that control. In this issue, the hidden plots and alliances of the bad guys begin to fall to naked power grabs, and the heroes discover who their allies truly are as battle lines are drawn and the final battle begins.
Cullen Bunn’s writing skill is evident here. He excels at writing long and involved story arcs, and while he is undeniably brilliant at off-beat characters (think of his work on Deadpool!) he handles straightforward characters exceedingly well.
Ossio’s artwork is challenged here. He is working with several different franchises here, and although the styles are generally similar (semi-realistic characters based on toy/TV/comic series-all with a semi-futuristic, high-technology flair), they are different enough to be challenging. Maintaining sense of perspective between Micronauts, Autobots, and all sizes between them is a challenge Ossio has handled well.
In many ways, the next-to-last issue of a miniseries represents a unique challenge. The authors have two different tasks. They must balance between the reveals and exposition needed to set up the final issue – without giving it all away. At the same time, they must present enough backstory for new readers to figure it all out – all while increasing the action towards the climactic final issue.
Like most miniseries, the format has both advantages and disadvantages. The authors have created a dense plot which brings all of these franchises together in a believable and engaging fashion. It is complex and intricate without being convoluted. There are no cheap shortcuts here. Everything has been plausibly constructed to bring readers to this point without making it all obvious. At the same time, the writers depend on readers to come to the comic with a significant amount of background knowledge on multiple franchises. There is insufficient time/space for the exposition needed on every topic. While this is a strong and well-crafted comic, this is no ‘jumping on point.’ If you have not been following the story, you need to either go back and buy the back issues or wait for the trade paperback.
Either choice is well worth it. This miniseries is a celebration of many great franchises.
Written by: Cullen Bunn & John Barber
Illustrated by: Fico Ossio