G.I Joe_10

G.I Joe #10 Review

G.I Joe_10

G.I Joe BannerThe final issue of the current arc is here. Things have been shaping up for a tense conclusion, so does G.I Joe #10 deliver on its promises or simply flunk out?

The official description from IDW:

THREAT MATRIX CONCLUDES! It’s DUKE versus MAD MONK for all the marbles! ‘Nuff said! (Wait. Wrong company.)

Aside from a few bumps, this issue is a highly enjoyable read. It’s got plenty of action and suspense but, more surprisingly, it boasts plenty of character. It focuses on only a handful, but it sets up much more emotion or depth, transcending the title beyondG.I Joe_10 “this guy is good, that guy is bad, explosions!”. My one complaint was the way the cast from Special Missions were handled as nothing more than a deus ex machina.

Fred Van Lente’s understanding of character really shows through in the writing. The interaction between Duke and Madmonk is the classic ‘friends turned rivals’ at the heart of many a great story, which really comes into its own here. Lente understands that background such as this makes a much more intimidating villain than the personality-void, faceless Cobra Commander. The end scenes with Madmonk alone add depth and leave the audience wanting more – it’s not just a ‘villain of the week’ approach.

Writing aside, the high visuals really support G.I Joe #10. As a story that hones in on a few individuals, the art gives way to broader panels and close-ups courtesy of Steve Kurth’s pencils – although there are still wide shots for all the impressive angles and switch-ups. Likewise, the vibrant colors of Joanna Lafuente make it a delight to look at, the action becomes much more tense when everything is well defined. It’s not even that heavy on the blue/orange contrast – a rare thing for a comic these days.

All in all, this is a strong issue from the series and definitely something the creative team should be proud of. If this is the direction G.I Joe is going in, I’m all for it.

4.5/5

fourhalfstar

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