G.I Joe_S4_1_cover

G.I Joe #1 Review

G.I Joe_S4_1_cover

G.I Joe_S4_1_cover 2Well… after a short lived season 3, G.I Joe #1 marks the start of season 4. If the first issue is anything to go by, everything’s decided to go grim and depressing.

The official description from IDW:

DOES THE WORLD NEED G.I. JOE? Cobra had become an international peacekeeping force… and the future of G.I. JOE looks bleak. SCARLETT leads what’s left of America’s ultimate fighting force—but will she be able to keep hew team together? Real-world action and politics collide… and nothing will be the same.

Straight away, this issue diverts from the norm. I’ve come to expect a certain amount from G.I Joe, and an issue that focuses on politics and conversations in moody places (toilet, office with the blinds down..) is not it. The whole thing feels like a poor television show… it captures the look and feel, but not the atmosphere. I like what it’s trying to do, but it feels as if it’s strayed too far from what G.I Joe is.

This problem primarily lies in the writing. Within the first few pages, Karen Traviss introduces a number of ‘Joes sitting around talking. Throw in a few hearings and a conflict between some generic countries and you have the most exciting element of the issue. Traviss teases action, but most G.I Joe readers are more than use to it. The last series had plenty of action, but Traviss seems to be wiping the slate clean and getting deep into gritty political aspects. Do I like it? In a way, yes, but as a continuation it’s not rewarding at all.

On the visual front, there are other problems too. I love Steve Kurth’s pencils. He seems to understand the human figure, even if his over-gratuitous shots of the Baroness reduce her to nothing more than eye-candy. His pencils would be ideal in art situations, but even well drawn artwork lacks appeal if it isn’t dynamic. Likewise, Kito Young’s colors are certainly detailed, but the moody shadows, browns and yellows help set the tone… and I’m not sure it’s the tone that best fits G.I Joe. Everything looks like a poor man’s West Wing.

All in all, while it is early days, an issue like this should look to set an example, not promise one in the future. I appreciate what they’re doing, but this issue jumps straight into the deep end of boring. If it took time to re-cap events, or set the situation up, I might enjoy it more but, as it is, I feel it was rushed and poorly thought out.

  • + Great Pencils!
  • - Moody color
  • - Slow and lackluster plot
  • - Dialogue everywhere!

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