Go-Bots No. 4 review: The dark heart of Gobotron


There are human savages living under Gobotron, and more mysteries await at the planet’s core in the latest issue of Go-Bots!

Go-Bots No 4 cover by Tom Scioli (Published by IDW, courtesy of Hasbro)

Each issue of Tom Scioli’s Go-Bots has topped itself in strangeness and mystery. Far in Earth’s future, humans have been conquered by our robotic creations. Under the stern eye of Leader-1, the planet has been terraformed into a metal utopia for robot life. It is a utopia for all those who obediently follow Leader-1’s unquestioned rule.

With nearly all opposition to his leadership laid to waste, Leader-1 now travels to the core of Gobotron, on a divine mission urged on by visions of the Go-Bot God Courageous. Leader-1 seeks the Lazer Lance, a mythic weapon with which he can kill Zod, the gigantic (even by Go-Bot standards) robo-beast that terrorizes their world. The jet robot must confront the sins he committed to rebuild the world for Go-Bots, as he and his loyal allies descend further into the core of their planet, back to Earth.

This is Tom Scioli‘s most information-dense issue so far. In one 24-panel sequence, we’re given the unsettling reunion of Leader-1, Turbo, and Scooter. In the past, Scooter was forced by Leader-1 to kill his friend A.J, when her human freedom fighter insurgency became too much of a nuisance–an order that drove the human-loving Go-Bot mad. We’re finally given a full introduction to the Rock Lords, the transforming rock beings made by the God Courageous itself. They are spiritual beings who seek oneness with their planet and guard its deepest secrets.

Go-Bots No 4 by Tom Scioli (Published by IDW, courtesy of Hasbro)

Scioli brings back Cy-Kill again, who seems to have completely forgotten what humans are as he pokes and prods the de-evolved savages, demanding they convert their form and combine to bigger beings. The motorcycle-bot is also mad, obsessed with his own perfection, and with besting Leader-One beyond any logic.

Go-Bots No 4 by Tom Scioli (Published by IDW, courtesy of Hasbro)

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It’s all sincerely disturbing. The sense is, that the whole Go-Bot world has been built on madness, and it has affected each Go-Being in a different way. They crash themselves into each other, against their enemies, against the planet, over and over again, unconsciously hoping for their own destruction. Scioli’s storytelling is excellent, despite all the ideas and battles that fill this issue, everything comes at a pace that makes sense and flows–even if it is a very quick pace. Seeds sprinkled across previous issues come back in relevant and unexpected ways. The mysteries of this comic continue to reveal themselves, even as it unveils new layers.

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Issue five of Tom Scioli’s Go-Bots is scheduled to be the final of the series; even in this installment, he has upended the foundations of the story, leaving readers wanting to know where it will go next.