After the last two hectic ship-based issues, G.I Joe: A Real American Hero #190 brings the action in land. With plenty going on, where does this issue take the Joe action?
The official description from IDW:
EVERYTHING COMES TO HEAD! G.I. JOE’s high seas rescue mission has gone from bad to worse. Now, each team present must regroup and rally in hopes of stopping the BLACK MAJOR and his RED SHADOWS once and for all. The action heats up in G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #190!
The most notable aspect of this issue, right away at least, is that A Real American Hero #190 doesn’t follow directly on from #189. Sure, the plots related, but we’ve jumped from a sea-based action piece to some exotic in-land location where a bridge is suddenly important. Maybe some ‘debriefing’ could of stopped this from being so abrupt, but there’s enough here for readers to be interested in, mostly Major Bludd.
As for the actual writing, I can’t fault Larry Hama. The writing itself is solid, if a little cliche. My main complaint is that this issue forcibly switches to this new locale and drama, yet its quite good once you get past that part. Hama gets the ‘big oppressive force vs peaceful locals’ down well, and it makes for smooth reading. At the very least it highlights the good vs evil aspects that capture both G.I Joe and Cobra respectively.
As for the visual appeal, this is your standard G.I Joe style. S. L Gallant offers plenty of definition, whilst the inks courtesy of Gary Erskine and Tom Simmons do more than enough to bring the vibrant location alive. It’s a lot brighter than the stormy sea of the past two issues, and its certainly a welcome change that mixes things up a little; good to see the artwork knows when to make the aesthetic changes.
All in all, this isn’t that bad an issue. Its not perfect, and definitely serves to, less than subtly, segue into a new part of the story, but it can be forgiven for its faults.