If you are like me, you pick up this series to see all your old favorites. So here’s a list of the major players in this collection; Hawk, Duke, Scarlett, Stalker, Mainframe, Destro, Baroness, Darklon, Zartan, Zaranna, Road Pig, Pale Peony, Dr. Mindbender, and of course, Cobra Commander. The list of active Joes out on missions includes Clutch, RocknRoll, Dusty, Air Tight, Tunnel Rat, Ambush, Muskrat, Outback, and Low Light. That’s a pretty good list!
This trade isn’t quite as good as the last few because it is the middle chapter in an ongoing plot. Darklon is still out to sell the nuke codes he stole from Destro in the last collection and different player are making that difficult for him. I don’t know Darklon at all, but he’s turning out to be a good antagonist for the book. He’s pretty capable, and while he still hasn’t killed anyone, he certainly seems like a credible threat. It looks like the next story has Hawk sending Lt. Falcon, Spirit, Zap, and Leatherneck are getting in on this plotline.
Pale Peony, Zaranna, Road Pig, and Zartan are trying to muscle their way in (ever since the Comicon issue awhile back). I guess Peony is an old figure too? In any case, Hawk is giving Snake Eyes some time off, and I think Jinx is coming on stage to deal with this.
In my favorite story, Cobra Commander is relocating his base from the wonderfully named “Broca Beach” on the East Coast to “Luck” in Northern California. Fear not, Larry Hama is up to his old tricks, it seems the gated community of Rancho Corba. Ever subtle. I love it. Clutch and RocknRoll might be in a spot of trouble in this arc, and so far I don’t see Hawk sending in anyone to help.
SL Gallant and Ron Frenz handle the art in these issues, and it is no surprise I love the artwork. Frenz is a veteran, and Gallant draws like one. More importantly, they draw EVERYONE IN COSTUME. Unlike IDW’s other Joe titles where everyone looks the same, you can always tell each and every character in RAH. And once again, Gallant keeps up the continuity to old storylines with Cobra Commander’s disguise; it is the same as the one from the Joe comics from the 80s. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate the little artistic touches like keeping out of “costume” Joes in street clothes generally matching the color of their uniforms.
So even when the book isn’t QUITE as good as I hoped, it is still pretty darn