After the set-up in last month’s issue, G.I Joe: Special Missions #11 dives into the current plot, looking to restore some of the thrill seen when the series first started – but is a simple cat and mouse story enough to sustain interest?
The official description from IDW:
Destro Must Die, Part Two! Copperback is on the loose! The Joes recruited the devious diva to lead them to Destro but the hunt turns into a chase across the globe with Destro’s life on the line and a killer new B.A.T. program that will shift the balance of power to Cobra’s favor.
As I’ve already said, this issue is very much a game of cat and mouse, yet Special Missions #11 is wise enough to not play this out for too long. The pacing is quick enough that it swiftly moves onto to further developments and twists as it needs to, ensuring it’s never a boring read. It’s not specifically witty, but its thought out well and has a sense of escalation that always helps, even if it is mostly achieved by thrusting in a sub-plot about a cyborg.
Chuck Dixon does his best to write plenty of suspense and build-up, but this is sometimes ruined by the overdose of Scottish in this issue. I get Copperback is Scottish – in fact, the accent helps define the character – but this is somewhat marred by Destro’s voice bouncing back and forth. For the most part, it’s a character often associated with sophistication and, while he is from the country, doesn’t use the same colloquialisms Copperback does. In this issue, Dixon can’t make his mind up and a few scenes don’t quite fit in as a result.
In terms of how it looks, I’m warming to Paul Gulacy’s pencils, although I still hold doubts over faces. Something about the bugs me, such as Destro’s elongated face in close-ups. That said, his overall understanding of the human body works well in the longer shots and action sequences, giving more variety to the title. Likewise, the colors from Aburtov and Graphikslava make use of Special Missions #11‘s varied locations.
All in all, this issue is shaping the current story well, despite its hiccups. Special Missions has always struggled a little to define itself, but stories like this are definitely a push forward in the right direction.