G.I Joe 11

G.I Joe #11 Review

G.I Joe 11

G.I-Joe-Banner.jpgAfter a satisfying finish to the big arc last month, G.I Joe #11 switches to a one-shot between arcs this month. These can be hit and miss for any title, so does G.I Joe succeed of fail?

The official description from IDW:

THE ORIGIN OF ROADBLOCK! How did a humble army chef become the man-mountain we know and love? (Hint: It wasn’t through home cooking!)

This is a back story for Roadblock and, honestly, it kinda does its job fairly well. For one issue, it’s never going to get into anything deep, but it offers a little insight and a charming story. There’s no ‘big baddy’ or anything this month, but its a delightful story from start to finish. G.I Joe 11Considering the large story the title has just worked through, this is rather refreshing and I’m sure regular readers will find a light piece of reading refreshing.

As usual, Fred Van Lente demonstrates excellent skill in both his writing and his understanding of characters. The story gets straight to the point, skipping over the boring sections and keeping it engaging and fast. It might not be the most subtle but that adds to its charm, telling a story that simply likes to be told, rather than trying to redefine anything. The end result doesn’t add anything significant, but focusing on a core character once in a while is never a bad idea.

Visually, this issue has similar strengths. There isn’t much in the way of action or visually menacing bad guys this time, so Steve Kurth uses the opening video-game scenes to get away with big robots and other over-the-top art. It doesn’t make any difference, yet if you’re going to show something, why not be a little creative? Likewise Joana Lafuente’s colors give the panels depth with a range of warm and cold atmospheres that contrast well, adding to the issue’s charming style.

Over all, this is exactly what most one-shots should do. Rather than looking for shock revelations or retconning half a universe, this back story simply adds weight and meaning to a characters actions, something that will always prove useful in future issues.

4/5

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