G.I Joe: Special Missions #8 offers a bit of a one-shot this week, but you seldom need grand-sweeping arcs to find it interesting. From start to finish, this issue is a refreshing read. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good standard.
The official description from IDW:
A peace-promoting diplomat is gunned down and barely escapes with his life. The world watches as the man lies at death’s door in a high security facility. COBRA is watching as well and mounts an all-out cyber-assault to take their target down once and for all. Mainframe and Dial-Tone are the last line of defense in a deadly chess game with COBRA’s entire cyber-war division. The Joes pray for peace but program for war in DENIAL OF SERVICE!
This issue starts and ends quickly, but it is a breath of fresh air for the most part. The goal is outlined very quickly – G.I Joe want one guy a live and -surprise- Cobra want to do bad things and kill someone – yet this only lets the action start earlier. Everything is planned out relatively smoothly, but thats partially because the majority of action here takes place behind desks and computers, which balances nicely with the actual physical developments that do take place.
A lot of this is down to the writing, although Chuck Dixon does rely on some classic tropes. It does suit the story in a way, but its hard not to bawl at the idea of hackers on different sides making silly insults and remarks at each other. It adds to tension, sure, but it loses the impression of experts trying to concentrate during a delicate situation.
Visually, this issue is has a bit of a change-up in the team but the end result still looks good. S L Gallants pencils have detail and dynamic elements that work well with the fast paced nature of G.I Joe and his focus on faces and people ensures even wider panels don’t turn into simple blurry stick-men. Aburtov and Juan Foo provide suitable colors – I’ve noticed more emphasis on lighting this month, such as screen-glare and other elements. It’s a nice touch that, of course, works rather well in an issue such as this.
In short, this is a stable entry for the series. It doesn’t build on anything much, but its useful to have breaks in-between bigger arcs.