May 5, 2010

IDW Publishing Reviews: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #155 1/2

Publisher: IDW
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Agustin Padilla
Cover: Herb Trimpe, Glynis Wien, & Agustin Padilla


“A Real American Hero”: Around fifteen years ago, Marvel’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero came to an end with the 155th issue, and since then various publishers have released their vision of the franchise.  Some were worth their weight, while others fell so short that calling them “bad” would be a compliment.

Well, in 2009 IDW picked up the ball and has been doing quite well with their main Joe book simply titled G.I. Joe, along with the sleeper hit G.I. Joe: Cobra and the various other spin off titles.  So imagine my surprise when I heard that on FCBD (Free Comic Book Day) G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #155 1/2 would be picking up where the original series left off all those years ago, and would be written by the man himself, Larry Hama.  No renumbering or another reboot, but a legit continuation of the series that helped define a decade.

I will say that even though this was a free book, it was definitely not some thrown together piece of work that contained a few pages of story along with a lot of ads for the series.  We get a story here that begins to help bridge the gap, and focuses on Cobra and its operatives as they make their move through various sleeper cells and government plants.  And as always, we get a look at the always fluctuating internal problems that Cobra has with its various operatives and the scheming that is going on.  This is clearly evident when Billy leaps from a helicopter to attack his father (Cobra Commander) after being recalled early from a mission that he, Baroness, and Storm Shadow risked their lives on.  Also, Dr. Mindbender has found a virus in the infamous Brainwave Scanner, but has only told Destro in secret; but unknown to both is that Storm Shadow and Zartan have overheard the conversation.  Why even try to keep secrets when you have a ninja and a master of disguise lurking around the base?

Hama still has a story to tell, and starting with Cobra on the cusp of accomplishing their goal with no G.I. Joe team to stop them (they were disbanded) is a pretty good place to start.  There seems to be an actual focus here that the original series had begun to lack, and I’m hoping that Hama’s vast experience with the characters at this particular point helps to redeem that series.  Now maybe this is just the nostalgia talkin’, but from what is shown here he hasn’t lost a step, and he even provides a bit of a recap of some past events which are integrated into the story.  The character interactions are fluid

Padilla’s visuals are pretty good, though I found myself laughing at Destro’s costume (I used to think it was cool) and how huge he would draw the gem on his necklace in a couple of panels, but overall I liked what I saw.  That two-page spread of the Commander rolling up on the battered Capital pretty much set the mood for what might be on the horizon.  Even his Cobra Commander ripping through Herb Trimpe’s classic cover was just brutal!

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero officially starts in July, and so begins the tying up of way too many loose ends, and what I’m hoping is one of the better G.I. Joe ongoing titles to be released over the years.

Infinite Speech



  1. Billy

    Man I miss that show…wait, I own 3 of the first DVD sets! Hooray!!!

  2. I’m thinking of just picking up the entire series in that foot locker set! But I really loved this series and the fact that Hama could really tell a story and had so much military detail that made the comic a LOT better than the cartoon in my eyes.

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