G.I Joe: American Hero #192 is one of those issues that tries to be two different things, arguably failing at both as a result. Half of this issue is the typical stuff you would expect whilst the other feels far too gentle and peaceful to warrant any reason or sense.
The official description from IDW:
G.I. JOE has held the upper hand for too long… now, it’s COBRA’s turn! COBRA COMMANDER is ready to launch an offensive strike that will bring G.I. JOE to its knees. The mighty shall fall and COBRA will rise again in G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #192!
The better half of this issue seems to focus on Scarlett and Snake Eyes having a holiday in the mountains – that’s it. Nothing happens, there’s no foreshadowing and no major character development get’s done. Maybe long time readers might find meaning and joy in it but, in all honest, it falls far too flat. For the amount of pages it takes up, it doesn’t offer much in the way of satisfaction. The other half is typical G.I Joe foreshadowing, with plenty of speeches, which gives the issue a mixed feeling when you take in both sides.
There’s no major fault with Larry Hama’s writing. The story being told in Real American Hero #192 is just bland. It feels natural where it can, reading like any G.I Joe script, but the story itself is simply lacking. The whole ‘story’ with Snake Eyes and Scarlett ends in just a reference to past adventures. One for the long time fans, sure, but a big build up to a minimal (and somewhat forced) reference.
The art again is the usual G.I Joe staple, although at times it too is a little off. Sergio Cariello offers the usual standard of art (with J. Brown on colors) for most of the issue. When it comes to Scarlett, however, everything seems odd. She doesn’t look like her usual self (let’s not even get on to the whole issue of Snake Eyes basically disguised as a lumberjack), with a much more colorful appearance, including lighter hair. The whole approach to these segments reminds me more of Archie than G.I Joe.
In short, this issue confuses me. I’m sure it’s teasing a lot, but why this is entwined with a pointless story about a walk in the countryside is beyond me.