Go-Bots No. 5: An ending that calls for more


Leader-1 is dead, what will be the future of the Go-Bots?

Go-Bots issue 5 art by Tom Scioli (Courtesy of Hasbro, published by IDW)

Tom Scioli knows how to write a finale. His ending to 2014’s Transformers vs. G.I. Joe saw planet Earth come to life, and the Joes embracing a transhumanist future. Go-Bots issue five finds a way to top that, and the final chapter of the journey opens as many doors as it closes.

Cy-Kill has killed Leader-1 and taken over the Go-Bot Command Center, where the former ruled Gobotron with a literal iron fist, brainwashing and destroying his enemies. Turbo has reached his breaking point, and storms this “castle,” battling his way through Cy-Kill’s minions, and his own memories. Both are hard to confront and get past. When Turbo finally kills Cy-kill, we learn the “flaw” in the motorcycle robot’s programming: where the other Go-Bots were built to serve humanity, he was commanded to serve other Go-Bots. He couldn’t help but try to stop the oppression of his fellow beings. Another brief flashback shows the circumstances behind Scooter’s lobotomy, and gives us an idea how many times both he and Turbo were subjected to abuse at Leader-1’s hand.

Go-Bots issue 5 art by Tom Scioli (Courtesy of Hasbro, published by IDW)

After the battle, the reconciled factions return to the surface of Gobotron, leaving Earth behind to take care of itself. Some of the humans Spacy-C brought with him choose to stay and raise up their devolved ancestors, but the space shuttle robot and a couple of the other ancient astronauts decide to take the risk of traveling back in time, to try and change this future.

This detent isn’t the finish of the story though. Before the end of this issue, we’ll see the end of Dr. Braxis, A.J’s mentor from issue one, who has managed to survive these eons into the future. There is also the appearance of a mysterious Go-Bot truck, who has journeyed Gobotron, uniting many of the planet’s disparate inhabitants. It is implied that this mythical leader may be an ancestor of the Transformer universe!

Go-Bots issue 5 art by Tom Scioli (Courtesy of Hasbro, published by IDW)

As with the previous chapter, the pages of this issue are dense with panels and information. Scioli’s artwork is in top form, probably the best of the five-issue series. It is full of confident linework, and page composition executed with clarity and flair. Even though he introduces many new robots in this issue, they’re all drafted with strength and character. Conveying emotion with the cast of Go-Bots would be a challenge for the best artist, many of them have blank windshields for heads—one of them has only a tank cannon for a face! Scioli does his best, the body language of the characters is great, but even his confident hand can’t always overcome the designs he has to work with.

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Even though this issue does a great job of wrapping up the story Scioli set out to tell, he seeded plenty of ideas that I’d like to see explored in a sequel. I don’t know how well Go-Bots was received, and I don’t know what Tom Scioli‘s next project is, but I hope we get more from the world he’s created here. If you haven’t bought Go-Bots in individual issues, I encourage you to pick up the inevitable trade paperback.