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G.I. Joe #1 Review

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So, a new G.I Joe title from IDW, huh? Its not a spin-off either. The fact that its aptly and abruptly named G.I Joe should suggest this is a big title that’s here to stay. Whilst it continues the current continuity and plots, it also takes some different and unusual choices. So, with G.I Joe #1, is it any good?

The official description from IDW:

YO JOE! The truth is out: the world knows the G.I. JOE team is real. Now Duke leads his squad directly into the public eye, confronting COBRA on American soil! The best of the best just got better, as Fred Van Lente and Steve Kurth lead the charge and we roll out one new G.I. Joe title a month for the next three months!

The first thing noticeable about this series is that it builds on the public outing of the Joes. As such, there is obvious room to take the title in new directions. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be happy with the direction chosen. The comic is instantly self-referencing and ‘meta’. So much dialogue is tongue in cheek about the G.I Joe franchise I’m not even sure if the 4th wall is still structurally safe. How bad is it? The dialogue on code names and use of social media are one thing, but the jokes about G.I Joe toys? Sometimes the humor is in the subtlety; neither of which can be found here.

This a shame, because the plot itself at least holds some promise. Its a very ‘home-soil’ storyline by the looks of things, with the action kicking off straight away in America. It instantly opens up to traditional ideas of ‘Cobra vs G.I Joe’, although very little of Cobra is seen. There are robots, and much is suggested, but nothing is seen so far.

It should also be quickly mentioned that the artwork itself is just pretty. Everything is well defined, and the inking does a good job of adding definition and depth. This is G.I Joe, after all, the explosions need to look the part.

Finally, as much as I like a new series, I hate feeling shoe-horned or pressured into buying sister titles. Next month and the month after see similar titles from IDW. I’m fine with sister titles, in some ways I look forward to reading Special Missions and The Cobra Files, its already clear that both may need to be read to understand the plot better. This is great for big G.I Joe fans, but sometimes you just want to pick up one title and not need to do any research to understand what happened.

3.5/5

S#!T Talking Central

  • GeneralsJoes

    From my understanding, reading the other sister titles is not a necessity during normal circumstances. They do occasionally have “cross over” events, but that’s not going on at this point, so you don’t really have to read Cobra Files or Special Missions to understand what’s going on in the main G.I. Joe title.

    • Edward

      You have a fair point. Without trying to load the review with spoilers, my main concern was the inclusion/reveal of Baroness at the end. The editorial afterwards as much as confirmed that’s a back-story to be explored in a sister publication, when it seems to be heavily influencing the ‘main’ title already. It doesn’t disrupt the story, but being influenced to pick up another title straight after reading issue #1 isn’t the best.

      I’m looking forward to Cobra Files and Special Missions; I don’t need to be pushed. Not everyone has the money for three titles; sometimes somethings gotta make the cut when money is low.

      To be fair, G.I Joe and IDW are usually good at this sort of thing, juggling various related titles without making them all dependent upon each other. I really enjoyed the Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow mini series, as it didn’t always rely on the other title. They shared narratives, but you got a decent idea of what was happening, and it was an enjoyable read in and of itself. No doubt Cobra Files and Special Missions have the potential to be similar.

      Anyway, thanks for the input, you raised a very valid point.