Friday, August 3, 2012

G.I. Joe Real American Hero TPB 4

Goodness gracious, do I love Larry Hama’s GI Joe comics. He continues playing new variations on his greatest hits. This issue features a handful of missions featuring different characters in different settings. If you have a favorite character or type of story, rest assured that Hama will get there. What a wonderful trip.

This trade has the following storylines.

Flint, Roadblock, and Lady Jaye (with Recondo, Wild Bill, and Lift Ticket) are sent on a mission to grab Cobra flunky Darklon. This is classic GI Joe action, the blend of military and heroic action fans love.

Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, and Billy take on the new threat of the Blue Ninjas. It’s tough bringing in believable foes for the Joe ninjas, but these guys work. They’re cyborgs with cutting edge tech, and each time they go up against our heroes, the outcome actually feels a bit in doubt!

In a flashback, we see Sneak Peek (who faked his death back in Special Missions) explaining to Dusty and Chuckles how he discovered Darklon’s secret bunker. I don't remember Darklon, but he's got that Hama-villain swagger, so he works well in the role.

Hama always gives a throwaway character piece, and here it’s Steeler, Cover Girl, Wild Card, and Cross Country in a Mauler teaming up with the Oktober Guard to battle a legion of Hiss tanks. Tank battles like this seem like fun (to contrast with Garth Ennis’ Battlefields: The Tankies, which I read the same day.) These vehicle-based missions are another staple of Hama's original run; I'm glad to see he's still doing them. They work just as well now as they did in the past. How long till we get the SEALS doing something cool?

Shannon Gallant and Ron Wagner sure seem to be enjoying themselves. Every costume looks like it came out of an action figure package. The consistency in weaponry is nice too, great attention to detail.

I get so much joy seeing Hama write the same way he always has. I’ll keep saying it as long as it’s true; you can go home again.


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