Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GI Joe: Real American Hero v2

What a joy. I can admit that one of my favorite things about comics is the ability to make me feel like a kid again, and boy, does this trade succeed on that count.

Larry Hama, who has written stuff since he left GI Joe (including some Joe work for DDP) never really hit that sweet spot again. His work was ok, but other than Wolverine, nothing even came close to the genius of GI Joe. And yet now, after years and years, he’s somehow re-created that tone and sense of adventure from the comics of my youth.

All the elements I want in my Joe comics are here: lots of Joes, Dr. Venom, Zartan impersonating everyone, PIT invasions, brainwashing, and lots of military jargon. And truly, this would not be a Joe comic if the Dreadnoks didn’t get some chocolate-covered donuts and grape soda.

In fact, I’m not sure how Hama could top this trade. How do you have a higher stakes ninja battle than one happening as the combatants fall off a high-rise? Hama also gives us another Rattler vs. Sky Striker fight and that PIT invasion. For those of you looking for faves, the following folks get at least a cameo (if not more) in this trade: Hawk, Stalker, Roadblock, Psyche Out, Dusty, Mainframe, Wild Bill, Ace, Tripwire, Torpedo, Tunnel Rat, Law & Order, Lady J, Clutch, and Gung Ho. I’m sure I’m forgetting some too.

I mean, those are all elements of his best Joe comics, how will he continue that run? I can’t wait to find out. It just comes down to this: as long as Larry Hama writes his fantastically awkward (yet informative) dialogue, count me in.

SL Gallant is a significant upgrade on art since the last trade. Everything looks on-model from the old days. That includes the many Joe characters who show up AND the vehicles. I was particularly pleased by the big blue Cobra transport chopper. I haven’t seen that in years.


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