For a title that has defined itself in a much more grounded, realistic approach, G.I Joe #6 demonstrates many of the benefits and drawbacks of such an approach. The more realistic tone makes the title easier to follow, but does it lose a little of what makes it G.I Joe in the first place?
The official description from IDW:
THE FALL OF G.I. JOE! COBRA stands tall, but will SCARLETT and her G.I. JOE team manage to turn the tables? Political intrigue collides head-on with military action as the darkest chapter in G.I. JOE history unfolds!
This issue, arguably, feels the most like a political thriller. There’s very little action and the plot dances around the themes of peace talks and negotiations. While this is definately interesting, it’s a song that’s been sung for a fair few months now, with no apparent end in sight. As a backdrop to something larger, this would be fine, but we’re six issues in and there doesn’t seem to be any strong direction.
As I’ve said before, Karen Traviss is taking bold steps to define this era of G.I Joe. While she tries to keep somethings the same, such as a strong sense of character, the actual lack of focus on either G.I Joe or Cobra is worth noting. Isaac Craft is not strong enough to hold the plot on his own, even as a plot McGuffin.
Visually, G.I Joe #6 keeps it grim and muddy. While Steve Kurth still offers decent pencils with a good sense of facial features and proportions, the idle nature of the story gives him little chances to show off. Similarly, while Kito Young offers natural, earthly tones, the lack of vibrancy means many pages start to bleed together after a second reading.
All in all, this isn’t strictly a bad issue, but it does mark half a year of not-a-lot happening. Reading this, than reading 2 or 3 issues previously, its hard to pick up any sense of progression.