Writer and Artist: Tom Scioli
The third issue of Tom Scioli’s Go-Bots is a major departure from what came before it, reading like the start of an almost entirely new series. Human astronauts and their go-bot craft, Spay-C, stumble upon the alien world. There, they discover the grim outcome of Leader 1 and Cy-Kill’s war. The time jump between issues #2 and #3 feels more than a little jarring. But the book was always more focused on its premise than its characters. And so the start of what’s essentially a new plotline is easy to accept. Go-Bots #3 also doubles down on the meta humor and nostalgic references. As always, Scioli’s dedication and competence make these enjoyable as opposed to just lazy.
Issue #3 capitalizes on the similarities between Go-Bots and their more popular transforming counterparts. The book is now set on the sprawling Gobotron, a mechanical world apparently inhabited entirely by the original go-bots and bizarre descendants. However, Scioli uses those Transformers similarities to play with the readers’ expectations. Even
However, Go-Bots‘ bold new direction dashes any hopes of the book properly developing its non-mechanical cast. The new human astronauts introduced are mainly used as a narrative device. They’re just as confused and surprised by the situation as the reader. It makes them perfect for working in exposition but not suitable for anything else. However, their presence is necessary for the sort of story Scioli is now telling with Go-Bots. The gradual, at times emotional reveals the book now relies on aren’t really possible without outsiders like the astronauts. Even then, it is unfortunate that Go-Bots lacks the strong characterization found in Scioli’s other work.
Scioli’s art is no less impressive than it was at the start of the series. With only the Go-Bots left to populate the story, the comic now fully commits to their interesting depiction. The art’s clumsy, toy-like but nonetheless enthralling energy no longer has to depict as many humans. While Scioli can draw more realistic figures just as well as the more cartoony ones, the absence of the contrast between the two improves the look of the book considerably. At the same time, those clashing approaches gave Go-Bots a very unique air. Even then, Scioli has given such an overlooked property more development than I thought possible.
Go-Bots #3 takes the book into uncharted territory but Scioli is still moving in the right direction.