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.