I feel like these reviews sort of write themselves. Anyone who has read the blog before knows I love Larry Hama, I love G.I. Joe: Real American Hero. Nothing new to see here.
So instead of going into the many reasons I love this book (like the pitch perfect nostalgia, exciting modernized art, or long-form, continuing story), I will recap some of the high points in this trade.
Lots and lots of Joes get a few moments to shine in this collection. With pretty much the entire Joe team captured at the end of last issue, it is great seeing Hama put a rescue team together. Made up of the dregs of the team left behind at the Pit, pickings are mighty slim when it is time to send help to Sierra Gordo.
The Relief Team call-signs are as follows: Clutch, Cross Country, Lightfoot, Alpine, Spirit, Charbroil, Ace, Wildcard, and Hit & Run. It says something about the strength of characterization Hama has accomplished that the team is a mix of pet characters that have had moments to shine (like Ace, Spirit, and Clutch) along with near ciphers like Alpine, Lightfoot, Charbroil, and Hit & Run. It’s always fun seeing the vehicle drivers mix in with the more outlandish troops too.
After they head out, it is time to defend the Pit. That’s up to the tiny team of Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Lt. Falcon, Mainframe, and Psyche Out. I’m worried that having this command team capably repel a Cobra invasion effectively makes the villains seem helpless. I mean, if a five person team can do that, does Cobra have a chance when there are dozens of active Joes?
The fight does get exciting in Sierra Gordo, though. Roadblock takes one for the team, and Stalker’s recon team has to get creative in order to face down the super-Bats Cobra has stocked in the country. The story has some nice moments for Polly and Junkyard too; Joe pets are silly, but man, that’s part of the gig!
Shannon Gallant’s action scenes steal the show in this trade. There are all sorts of shootouts and action sequences, and the story is always clear. As always, I love his modern takes on the classic Joe costumes. I will say the faces and features seem a bit blurry on a fair amount of the cast. I’m not sure if this is a reproduction issue (do faces look better in floppy format?) or if it could be from blowing up Gallant’s art from a smaller size.
In any case, this remains one of my favorite comic. The top 3 has been entrenched for some time now; G.I. Joe Real American Hero, Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, and BPRD. All GOOD comics on the rack.
Am I the only one getting a flashback with that cover?