First, the official description from IDW:
G.I. Joe’s mission at a Comic Convention comes to a close, only to reveal a new, intriguing enemy that may share a history with the Arashikage clan. Meanwhile, Darklon remains a prisoner of the Joes… until an attempt to transfer him from the Pit goes horribly awry! What is the Machiavellian arms-dealer’s nefarious plot and how is Destro involved in it? Secrets are unveiled in this pulse-pounding issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero!
I’d like to comment about the artwork, but its consistent for G.I Joe. It sells the point across, but it never feels like its pushing the boundaries or taking chances to demonstrate itself. A Real American Hero is purely about the plot and story.
As for the story, its interesting, yet retaining the espionage and subtle themes that G.I Joe is known for. Following on from the more action packed previous issue, A Real American Hero #181 wraps up the events at comic-con, whilst following the capture of Darklon in prison.
Of course, having one of the current main villains sit in a cell would be far too boring. The issue hints at trouble early on, with scientists mentioning how his helmet, which is surgically attached to his face, includes transmitters that couldn’t possibly transmit their signal from underground. I respect a good piece of foreshadowing, but this was a little bit too obvious. Needless to say, things don’t go to plan.
What is interesting, however, is that both sides seem to be in on it. Darklon and his associates seem content on escaping, and the Joe’s seem content to let them. The second half of the issue explores this theme. It flips between either side, showing twist after twist through the dialogue. It starts off effectively, but after hinting at so much and showing so little, it makes for a lot of unrewarding reading. Regular Joe fans probably won’t mind this, as it certainly adds interesting developments on the situation none the less.