The second issue of the relaunch is here. The first issue offered plenty of action, a new look and a lot of potential. With that in mind, how well does G.I Joe #2 manage to keep up the good record?
The official description from IDW:
HOMEFRONT! The G.I. Joe team battles Cobra to the death on American soil! COVER GIRL, DOC, and the newest member, HASHTAG (yes, HASHTAG) have been separated from the rest and have to fight their way through hundreds of kill-crazy COBRA sympathizers—with a teammate’s life hanging in the balance! Plus: The BARONESS has DUKE in her clutches. So why isn’t DESTRO happy about that?
This issue is certainly action packed. Where as the last issue had the trouble of setting things up, G.I Joe #2 gets straight into the thick of things. There’s a lot to take in, from the inner-city fighting to Duke’s capture (teased as last issue’s cliffhanger). For a second issue, G.I Joe #2 doesn’t pull its punches, and it should be commended for that at least.
As for the writing itself, the action is fluid and the more serious scenes well thought out, but the new level of humor gets a bit tiresome at times. Maybe I spend too much time online, but the constant meme references and social media references get a bit too much. Take the dialogue out and you have a solid issue; somehow the constant meta-4th-wall-breaking-references continue to lessen the experience. Whilst I did get a laugh out of some of these reference’s, Fred Van Lente continues to over-use them. They run a very good risk of dating the issue. When “Gangnam Style” becomes forgotten about, this issue will make less sense.
Writing aside, Steve Kurth‘s modern take on G.I Joe continues to impress. Its realistic and detailed where it needs to be, but its not without the usual G.I Joe charm and style. Of course, the large layouts and paneling make good use of this, in addition to big explosions colored by Joanna Lafuente.
Cheesy dialogue aside, this is still a good issue. The art holds up and handles the action well, giving readers plenty to sink their teeth into. If you’re a new reader, this is still a great time to jump aboard.