Go-Bots No. 2 review: The war begins


The Go-Bots war for control of Earth is underway, who will win, man or machine?

Go-Bots No. 2, cover by Tom Scioli (Courtesy Hasbro, published by IDW)

I got to end 2018 on a comic book high note with issue two of Tom Scioli’s Go-Bots comic. It almost didn’t happen though, three shops in my neighborhood didn’t bother to stock it. Sadly, it seems that people are sleeping on this great series. I had to hustle all over town to find a copy, but it was worth it.

Issue one of Go-Bots ended with Cy-Kill thoroughly trouncing Leader-One and declaring war on their human creators. Now Leader-One has been sentenced to death by trash compactor and the insurrection is in full swing. Over seven panel-packed pages we’re witness to the renegade Go-Bots taking over the city, and along the way inflicting a number of atrocities on its flesh and blood citizens.

Meanwhile, plucky teen A.J. Foster and her loyal Go-Bot buddy Scooter team up with racing duo Matt Hunter and his sportscar Turbo. They rush to the Tonka Tower in hope of finding a software patch to end the nightmare. They learn the disturbing truth from a nameless scientist who blankly assures them that there is no fix, “We gave them independent thought and the ability to judge. We made them like us. They found us lacking.”

Go-Bots No. 2, by Tom Scioli (Courtesy Hasbro, published by IDW)

The issue is packed with exceptional sequential storytelling: high-speed chases, fights between robots, montages of citywide destruction, battles between robots and humans, and disturbing revelations delivered like apocalyptic sermons. Turbo gets a great spotlight, trading blows with a top hat wearing limousine. It peaks with a fun homage to the famous Wolverine “Now it’s my turn!” panel from Uncanny X-Men 133.

Go-Bots No. 2, by Tom Scioli (Courtesy Hasbro, published by IDW)

Scioli doesn’t just stop at physical conflict, Scooter is subjecting to dehumanizing (or derobotizing to be more accurate) treatment by his fellow mechanical beings: He’s forced to lick the boot [tire] of one, and then driven against his will by C-Kill. Eventually, Leader-One escapes the junkyard and rallies the human-loyal Go-Bots, even as man’s army indiscriminately attacks both sides.

In a climax that is both viscous and cerebral, Cy-Kill losses the fight, but also seems to have wormed his way into Leader-One’s mind. The military robot plucks pilot Nick Burns from his cockpit, cradling the inert human tenderly in his arms. Is he dead? We don’t know.

Tom Scioli Makes Go-Bots Mean Something!. dark. Next

We also don’t know if the jet-bot will stick with his creators as Scooter wants, or take up the baton of the renegades and crush humanity. Or, is there a third way? The cover for Go-Bots’ next issue–previewed on the last page–gives us a hint of hope and something to look forward to next month, in the third part of this five-issue series.