Comic Publishers

April 7, 2011

IDW Reviews: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #164 Review

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #164
Publisher: IDW
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: S.L. Galant
Cover: Herb Trimpe

The Dark Snake Eyes” arc wraps up in this issue as things come to a head, and some truths are revealed. Snake Eyes straps himself into the Brainwave Scanner, but Billy is able to stop him from discovering his secret and Snake Eyes remains under Cobra’s control. Billy sends him to hunt and kill Stormshadow, who has gone over to the Joes in hopes of freeing his sword brother from the brainwashing effects of the machine. Meanwhile, Baroness has been able to transmit the location of the Joes’ base while captured, and a platoon of B.A.T.S. along with Destro, Zartan, and his Dreadnoks are very close to finding and destroying it.

This issue is something of a mixed bag in my eyes. On one hand it’s got all of the elements that make G.I. Joe: ARAH a fun and exciting read. Then on the other hand, there are times when I feel like everything about this title is still stuck in the 90s and hasn’t evolved yet. The entire plot to use Snake Eyes against the Joes is pretty good, and I especially liked how Hama displayed Baroness’s cunning in this issue. She made the Joes look like idiots from her cell, and that was just a great set up. What didn’t sit right with me was the fact that with the appearance of the Dreadnoks, no one assumed that Zartan was anywhere in disguise when things started to look a little suspect. Also Cobra Commander being pulled along in a rickshaw by a Viper shouting orders just seemed a little too comedic for my tastes.

Galant definitely holds his own in this issue, and I especially liked the fight at the PIT and the skirmish between Snake Eyes and Stormshadow. He even made the B.A.T.S. look pretty cool and a bit intimidating when they arrived on the battlefield. However, as much as I enjoyed some of his work, I actually miss seeing Agustin Padilla’s work which gave an edgier look to the story. I also noticed that he drew Sneak-Peek, and if I recall he’s a Joe that died a while back in this series. Sure it’s been awhile since it happened and he’s an obscure character to begin with, but it kinda threw me when I read the book for a second time.

Early in the relaunch of G.I. Joe: ARAH, the story seemed to be going in a completely different direction than what we see now, or at least the tone has changed. The part of me that loves the return of this series and the nostalgia is fighting the part that wants the story to return to that. So I’m still on board, but only time will tell for how long.

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Infinite Speech



  1. Eli

    This story sounds interesting, I might give this title a try. I never have read a GI Joe book.

  2. Starting with this series might not be the wisest move if you’ve never read a Joe book Eli. Unless you’re picking up the trades that IDW is putting out now, starting here might confuse you a bit since this is a continuation of the series that Marvel was putting out about 15 years ago.

  3. […] take away from what’s going on, either. I’m finding that’s my main issue with the other Joe title from IDW. My only complaint would be the amount of “new” Joes introduced just for the […]

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