Sunday, December 16, 2012

G.I. Joe: Real American Hero TPB 5

It’s really not fair to compare the main GI Joe line with the continuing saga by Larry Hama. As I’ve said numerous times, it’s amazing watching an author come back and continue his masterpiece so flawlessly. I couldn’t be happier about it. 

We expect certain things from our GI Joe comics. We want cutting edge villains and weaponry, like the Blue Ninja clan using monofilament laser swords. We want strangely named ninja strikes, and this book has plenty. We want Cobra Commander alliterating every chance he gets. And we want action, lots of it. This book delivers everything I love in my Joe comics. 

The unstoppable Blue Ninja clan has targeted Cobra for destruction, but they made the mistake of also killing Billy, Cobra Commander’s son. So that means that Baroness, Storm Shadow, and Snake Eyes are willing to make a temporary truce with the snake to wipe out these more powerful villains. The conflict takes up almost all of the collection, with Cobra’s current base in Broca Beach taking most of the damage. 

These cyborgs are unstoppable, and it is great seeing the Vipers, Techno Vipers, and Televipers try to fight them off. Dr. Mindbender and his BATS do get a pretty important plot point too, which is nice.
If I had to make a complaint, it would be that this is very ninja-focused. I like Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow pretty well, but I do have to say I love seeing more of the “normal” troops too. They don’t get enough face time for me in this one. Scarlett, Stalker, and Duke get some action, but it is really sort of tacked on to the greater conflict. 

S.L. Gallant handles the art, and he nails it. The key to making a Joe comic work is recognizing characters, and every detail is accounted for, down the padding on Psyche Out’s shirt. Gallant gets some design work too, as the Blue Ninjas look like souped-up versions of Firefly in concrete camos, and Cobra Commander’s new armor is imposing and effective.

It’s tough to read other Joe comics with this one on the stand. 



Newmie Newmz said...

I'm in full 100% agreement with you on this title. It's simply great. It may sound over exaggerated, but this title is an example of a master working his craft.

I felt the same way about the ninja's being center stage again. They seem to get a lot of face time for the top secret team of a top secret team. But it's always been obvious that Snake-eyes is to Hama, as the Knight is to Chaucer. You can't fault him for that.

However, if you have read any of the floppies following this trade, I think it is apparent that Hama needed hiatus from ninja heavy plots too.

He's been focusing on other Joes lately (ones that didn't get a whole lot of attention in the original series) bringing a better balance to the story telling.

As I said, a master working his craft.

Timbotron said...

Oh man, Nathan, this trade waiting is killing me!

Your comment doesn't help! ;)