G.I Joe #7 starts the beginning of the second arc. The first introduced a lot and paved the way, even if the plot was somewhat shallow. This may be somewhat of a retroactive comparison however, because this issue is deep. There’s character, action and a great example of exposition.
The official description from IDW:
COBRA TAKES MANHATTAN! It was inevitable once the G.I. JOE team relocated that COBRA COMMANDER would put the Big Apple squarely in his sights. But the BARONESS and DESTRO are cooking up some schemes of their own… the question is: will those schemes make them allies to DUKE and company?
In short, this issue offers the set-up for the next arc without being dull or wasting time. What it lacks in explosions it more than makes up for in cliffhangers, suspense and a general all round sense of tension. G.I Joe #7 is very confident in the direction it wants to take itself and the reader – that’s a very good thing. It’s also considerate to new readers. Whilst older Joe fans are familiar with the Baroness and Destro plotting away in some castle or another, this issue makes sure to introduce the concept.
The pacing is excellent. Fred Van Lente opens up on the comic equivalent of an anecdote then introduces the elements. Each is interesting enough in it’s own right, but the scenes interact and relate to each other. It’s not jumping from one aspect to another to attempt to woo the reader. The story is being told naturally and it makes for a very smooth and easy read.
Likewise, Steve Kurth’s pencils offer plenty of definition. Even amongst the smaller panels, it’s easy to tell who is who, or what is simply going on. The poses are dynamic when they need to be and, for the very most part, don’t exaggerate or become slightly ridiculous. Combined with the colors of Joana Lafuente and the inks of Allen Martinez, the issue is striking and bold where it needs to be, but darker and constraint when it also helps.
That’s about all I can say without spoiling the plot or contents of the issue. Is it the most unique story in the world? no, but it’s very complex, told well and works well with the current small-scale cast of G.I Joe, as well as the larger setting.