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Comic Book / Revolution (2016)

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It's time to come together.

"The world just keeps getting stranger."
"That's not a bad thing, Matt. It just means we'll always have something to do."

What do you get when you cross the likes of Transformers and G.I. Joe, but instead of giving them to the guy behind American Barbarian, you throw in Action Man, ROM, Micronauts, and M.A.S.K.? Odds are you'll wind up with Revolution.

Revolution is IDW Publishing's first step into taking all of the Hasbro properties it has (well, almost all of them) and having them set in the same universe.

After current Action Man, Ian Noble, witnesses an explosion of Mt. Olympus caused by Ore-13, a vital substance to the Cybertronians, the word gets through to the U.S. Government, who after putting up with so many of the Transformers' recent shenanigans, decide to resurrect the organization known as G.I. Joe to combat the Transformers once and for all. However, the Transformers and the Autobot leader Optimus Prime find out about the Mt. Olympus explosion themselves and agree that they had nothing to do with it. That said, Optimus is quick to deduce that the humans will think the incident was their doing and roll out into action themselves.

Meanwhile, the Space Knight known as ROM is still hard at work destroying his longtime enemy, the Dire Wraiths. However, when his mission collides with the conflict between the Joes and the Cybertronians, the result proves to be... catastrophic. Not only that, but a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits from Microspace (a subatomic realm) dubbed the Micronauts are drawn into the conflict too, as is their enemy Baron Karza...

Reading Order:


  • Revolution #1
  • ROM: Revolution #1
  • Revolution #2
  • M.A.S.K.: Revolution #1
  • Micronauts: Revolution #1



And for the record, this miniseries has absolutely nothing to do with the similarly-named live-action TV series Revolution.

This miniseries contains examples of these tropes:

  • Actually a Doombot: Revolution #1 makes it seem that ROM murdered General Joe Colton, but ROM's tie-in issue (and any knowledge about the character) reveals that the General Joe Colton he killed was a Dire Wraith posing as Colton.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Seeing as this is now a shared universe, a number of the villains have been tied together in different ways.
    • Cobra was birthed from the terrorists acquiring the Ore-13 crystals that Shockwave seeded, making the Decepticons responsible for their creation.
    • Miles Mayhem, and V.E.N.O.M. itself, came from the M.A.S.K./"Project: Spectrum" initiative started by GI Joe and the EDC to combat the Transformers.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: G.I. Joe certainly think this to be the case for the Transformers and ROM, but the real bastards are the Dire Wraiths and Baron Karza.
  • Alien Invasion: The recent events caused by the Transformers are what triggered G.I. Joe to spring back into action, thinking the former are in the process of it. But neither of them notice that the Dire Wraiths are the real invaders...
  • All Your Powers Combined: In the end, it takes Windblade lifting Autobot City out of the way, Rom's link to the Spacebridge, the Micronauts' ability to enerchange with it, Soundwave calculating the frequency of the crystals, Matt Trakker's Spectrum mask, and Mainframe making the connection to save the day.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Jazz's arm gets shot off by G.I. Joe after Rom shows up. And Jazz liked that arm.
    • Thundercracker loses an arm during his fight with a Dire Wraith. Jetfire had just replaced it, too! However...
      Thundercracker: Hey, watch out, that's where I keep the ammo. That burning arm.
      Dire Wraith: YOU MECHANICAL OGRE, I'LL- ... ...ammo?
  • Big Damn Heroes: G.I Joe during the final battle with Karza.
  • Backdoor Pilot: The miniseries serves as this for IDW's ongoing M.A.S.K. series.
  • Bond One-Liner: Subverted. It looks like Thundercracker was going to do one when he defeats a Dire Wraith, but actually he was just making a comment on its biology.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the Till All Are One one-shot for the crossover, Pyra Magna casually name-drops a "Vigilem" when talking about Titans. This name became important a few issues down the line in that series.
  • C-List Fodder: Obscure Joes Red Zone, Hi-Tech and Wreckage all get replaced by Dire Wraiths and killed by Rom.
  • Composite Character: Here, Miles Mayhem (or "Manheim") from M.A.S.K. is merged with the unnamed "Sea Adventure" G.I. Joe figure from the 70s, who was part of Joe Colton's Adventure Team.
  • Conflict Ball: Scarlett spends the early part of the story clinging to one for all it's worth, refusing to see the Autobots as anything but evil monstrosities. Then Rom goes and kills General Colton.
  • Continuity Nod: Used to better explain how it's possible for all the adventures that have been going on to take place in the same world. It helps that one of the heads, John Barber, is famous for using this trope to his advantage.
    • Soundwave tells a member of G.I. Joe that after elephants, humans are his favourite Earth inhabitant. Back in over Robots in Disguise, Soundwave spent time hanging around elephants in issue 38.
  • Crossover: Between Transformers, G.I. Joe, ROM, Micronauts, Action Man, and M.A.S.K.
  • Depending on the Artist: In Revolution proper Miles is in good shape and was a redhead in his youth. In the M.A.S.K. series, Miles is out of shape and seemed to have grey hair when he was younger as well. (Perhaps that was after his days in the Adventure Team?)
  • Distressed Dude:
    • Blitzwing gets captured by G.I. Joe and stripped to pieces to reverse-engineer his tech for the M.A.S.K. vehicles.
    • Kup gets captured thanks to M.A.S.K. (fortunately, Action Man frees him).
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Miles, like you wouldn't believe. To train future members of M.A.S.K., he first breaks them down, implanting discipline, self-criticism, and demoralizing them to make them malleable. He deliberately sabotages a training exercise, leading to the death of 2 recruits he saw no potential in and in his final test he engineers a no win hostage scenario on an unstable train that kills at least a dozen civilians. All of this tragedy he uses to mold his team into the ultimate loyal soldiers in the fight for earth.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Thundercracker's dog Buster can sniff out Dire Wraiths instantly.
  • Eviler than Thou: The Dire Wraiths betray Mayhem when it suits them, then they get out-done by Baron Karza.
  • Fantastic Racism: Rom doesn't think too highly of the Autobots, thanks to their species' poor reputation.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • Carried over from other IDW titles, the Autobots have some serious PR issues. They may cause damage, but they get blamed for things that they had no connection to.
    • ROM, also carried over from his Marvel version. Seemingly vaporizing people at random is a tough thing to come back from.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Everyone who takes Miles Mayhem at his word. Matt Trakker's father Cornelius gets the worst of it, since it's all but outright said Mayhem killed him.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A Dire Wraith winds up impaled on the Washington Monument by Thundercracker.
  • It's Personal: Revolution #2 has Optimus Prime going after Rom after the latter killed 3 random G.I. Joe members and General Joe Colton seemingly in cold blood.
  • Jerkass: The U.S. President, continuing with her depiction in The Transformers proper, berates Marissa Fairborne for things she didn't do, didn't approve of, or had no control over.
  • Killed Off for Real: General Joe Colton (or rather, a Dire Wraith posing as him) dies at the hands of ROM. Likewise, Wild Bill in the G.I. Joe one-shot.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Snake-Eyes is noted to have been out of contact with the Joes when he returns. This is of course a reference to the events of his miniseries, and last IDW Joe product pre-Revolution, where he was out of contact with them.
  • Mad Scientist: In case there were any doubts about Miles Mayhem, in the M.A.S.K. one-shot, he gets help from Doctor Mindbender.
  • Mistaken Identity: G.I. Joe are under the impression that Rom's Cybertronian (despite being much smaller than they are), so when he kills (an imposter of) Joe Colton, it's enough reason to declare war on the Transformers.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Miles Mayhem getting help from Mindbender isn't completely out of the blue. In 2008, the Joe toyline had released a new figure of Matt Trakker; his filecard claimed V.E.N.O.M. was a subdivision of Cobra (which does explain the name); the card also said that M.A.S.K. was a subdivision of the Joe Team, which happened here, too.
    • Colton's profile in issue 2 mentions Sergeant Savage, of the very short-lived G.I. Joe spin-off Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles.
  • Obviously Evil:
    • Miles Mayhem. And yet both Scarlett and Matt Traker don't see anything suspicious about him. In Matt's case, even when Miles has summoned a freaking army of Dire Wraiths, Matt is still confused as to what he's doing.
    • His underlings, Sly Rax and Venessa Warfield as well.
  • Oh, Crap!: General Joe Colton immediately orders the G.I. Joe to focus their attacks at ROM when he shows up. He was actualy a Dire Wraith.
  • One-Winged Angel: Karza uses his "Enerchange" ability to absorb a couple of Ore-13 enhanced Dire Wraiths, turning him into a giant monster. It ultimately took Soundwave, Matt Trakker, the Micronauts, Mainframe and ROM working together to take him down.
  • Out of Focus: Though he's the first character to appear in issue #1, and returns for the big battle at the end, Action Man doesn't have a big role in the crossover outside of his one-shot. The other series, by comparison, are integral to it.
  • Precursor: Micronus Prime created the Microverse millions of years ago, then took a nap.
  • Pungeon Master: Action Man loves cracking terrible puns, and is upset when Mayhem's goons don't give him an opportunity to make one.
  • Shared Universe: This miniseries kickstarted the revelation that the worlds of Transformers, G.I. Joe, ROM, Micronauts, Action Man, and M.A.S.K. are actually one and the same. Word of God also confirms Jem as a part of it, though it will not be advertised as such, though Word of God from Jem's specific writers is that it isn't a part of it, so the exact status is complicated.
  • Spotting the Thread: G.I. Joe's Doc figures out that the Joes Rom killed were Dire Wraiths when she takes a good look at their remains.
  • Torture Always Works: In the first issue of M.A.S.K. Miles tells Matt of a time he was taken behind under enemy lines and tortured to reveal information. He states that he gave up nothing, but in reality he ended up cracking under the pain. His intel lead to the death of some of his friends, whereupon he broke free of his bonds and murdered his torturers. He's ashamed of this past mistake viewing himself as weak because of it.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Transformers themselves. M.A.S.K. steals their tech to make their vehicles.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Baron Karza turns out to have a wife, Lady Shazraella- an insane woman with a fondness for torture.