For a series that often struggles to flip between reality and aloof, over-the-top fun, G.I Joe: A Real American Hero #209 really knows how to tow the line. For every serious threat it tries to present with one hand, it teases some ridiculous notion with the other
The official description from IDW:
The secrets and true dangers of the Revanche Corporation have become clear to G.I. JOE… but will this new threat keep G.I. JOE from uncovering COBRA’s newest plot? The mysterious pile up as time runs out in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #209.
This issue is coherent, yet at the same time fragmented. We have a general plot line – no real action and it’s slow, but there’s some clear progression – while future events are simply teased. While Cobra spies and the like play in to the aspects we’ve come to know and love about A Real American Hero, other areas feel like padding, or are otherwise difficult to grasp.
As an example, the main issue here is the giant eye plotline, which Larry Hama builds on by making the situation more and more unreal. Juxtapose this with the rest of the issue and you have a title that’s struggling a little with it’s identity. It’s not a bad read, but Hama is beggining to juggle more than he can carry. The sacrifice made, this time at least, is the plot. A Real American Hero #209 simply feels too slow from start to finish.
Visually, this really is the same old feeling. S L Gallant is an acomplished artist, as his pencils clearly demonstrate, yet this slow storyline gives him nothing to experiment with. The lines are solid, but there’s nothing we haven’t seen before here. Similarly, J. Brown’s colors add variety to the pages, but this is an issue that needs to be read rather than looked at.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed this issue, but that’s where it ends. I don’t love it and neither do I have an urge to re-read it anytime soon.