Sunday, March 18, 2012

GI Joe: A Real American Hero v3 TPB

I can’t express the joy that reading this series gives me. Larry Hama is certainly following a “greatest hits” type approach, but I’m not complaining at all. If he’s this good at recapturing the glory of his old storylines, count me in for the new Cobra Island and invasion of Sierra Gordo.

The trade opens with another savage battle based around the Joe hovercraft, the Whale. This time Cutter is assisted by Deep Six, Shipwreck, and Topside, (the team does use the SHARC sub too). The Joes go up against a bunch of Cobras on hydrofoils. The artist for this issue is my old fave Ron Wagner. For anyone wondering if he still draws those awesome EELs, the answer is yes, he does.

The next arc jumps between the arctic, where Iceberg, Frostbite, and Blizzard are facing Snow Serpents and Ice Vipers, and NYC; where Mainframe assists the original GI Joe and Jane in repelling Firefly and Crystal Ball. I never thought I’d love a story featuring Crystal Ball, but this thing is fun from start to finish. I’m not even sure I can choose a high point, although it is probably between Firefly doing a fist pump or Iceberg’s ID when he barges into a US military base. “All the info on this card has been blacked out except for the codename Iceberg!”

Subplots? You want subplots? Hama has them too. Sneak Peak has risen again, it turns out his dramatic death back in those old comics was a set-up for a top secret mission. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are ferreting out a new branch of their clan Arashikage. And Flint is busy trying to be cool and impress Lady J.

S.L. Gallant ably handles the art for the bulk of this trade, and I love his take on the classic costumes. Really, this book is so good, it actually made me stop buying IDW’s other GI Joe title. If I can get the original series and it’s this good, why get the re-make?


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