You know, for a series that’s had its share of ninjas, gadgets and robot super soliders, its hard to imagine something like G.I Joe: A Real American Hero #211 being any more silly/bold (delete as appropriate) with its sense of scale. Well, that might be changing…
The official description from IDW:
THE RETURN OF SERPENTOR! G.I. JOE’s plan to control an unknown force goes awry, and the former Cobra Emperor now commands a powerful weapon that even G.I. JOE might not be able to stop. The reign of SERPENTOR begins again in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #211!
Straight away the main focus on this issue is about large scale weapons. We already know about the underground eye – which, by the way, still isn’t explained other than ‘we found it here’ – and the issue still tries to deal with the ethical issues regarding the use of Serpentor. However, even the other threads are now merging into a revelation or two in this issue. Put together, there’s a very obvious sense of escalation, with ideas that I don’t think quite fit into the nature of G.I Joe.
That isn’t to say its not enjoyable. As I’ve said before, I do enjoy the moral complexity regarding Serpentor and the lines the Joes are willing to cross. Despite other shortcomings, writer Larry Hama still keeps this issue at the fore, if only for foreshadowing later events. Outside of this, we have plenty of solid action and set-ups, so this still feels like a typical issue of Real American Hero.
Visually, again, there’s more of the same. S L Gallant is a talented artist, and I think these new introductions give a little freedom, although for the most part there’s plenty of regular soliders to look at. Add in a decently-varied palette from J Brown and this issue is a strong, yet typical, example of the series.
At the end of the day, I guess this is a problem for something as long running as Real American Hero #211. How do you keep things fresh? Eventually you run out of ideas, or start to think far outside the box.