Did I miss where it was established that Beach Head has amnesia. There are some comments dropped about it in this issue, and I really don't remember seeing it before. I guess it will be explained more in an upcoming issue of Origins, but man, that came out of nowhere for me. I hope Chuck Dixon doesn't do something silly and make him really Firefly or something!
This issue featured two of my favorite toys from my childhood. I always loved how Tripwire was so clumsy and silly when not dealing with high explosives, and heck, how could Beach Head not be the coolest with that mask? They both come off well here, they're tough and perfect Joes. But Tripwire is a bit more of a fratty type, with lots more "bros" and such than I would have expected. He's much "cooler" than the character used to be. Plus he's missing the great helmet! Beach is awesome, as usual. I hope he doesn't get killed soon, unfortunately I'm starting to worry he's the right level of character that could get whacked and seem really important but whose death wouldn't derail the Joe-verse.
Dixon has a lot of fun in this, with lots of Hama-ish tricks. Tripwire uses high tech methods to ambush some drug dealers, but he also just sets his cell phone in a hallway to lead them off the scent. Overall, this would have made a good hour of TV in a Joe program. Dial Tone, Tunnel Rat, and Scarlett also pop up briefly so that it still feels like an ensemble book, even though two guys get the starring roles.
Robert Atkins returns on art, and I've missed him. His affection for the old costumes is palpable. That's why I'm so surprised at his Tripwire redesign. Where's the old awesome helmet? In truth, the storytelling is clear and the character designs are actually more realistic, so I shouldn't complain. I never disliked S.L. Gallant's issues, but I think he's a better fit on Origins. Keep Atkins churning out classic material here for the next few years at least.