G.I Joe #5 marks a strong problem with the current set-up. I’m enjoying every issue, but it seems to be going nowhere fast. Much is spoken about, but little seems to happen. Still, there’s something in it that seems to keep me reading for the mean time.
The official description from IDW:
FALL OF G.I. JOE! Tensions escalate as new dangers emerge. What can the G.I. JOE team do to combat a COBRA the world views as heroes? As SCARLETT leads the team, former G.I. JOE agent DUKE searches for answers.
As I’ve said before, I don’t mind the new style G.I Joe – infact, I like the greater political element – but it’s lacking a certain something. Between all the political talk and dialogue, there really isn’t any action and, let’s face it, that’s when you risk crossing the line from G.I Joe to something akin to The West Wing. Both are fantastic in their own right, but I know which one I came here to read.
One of the main problems alongside this is the script’s ability to pick and choose what it wants from previous seasons of the title. While there’s no knocking Karen Traviss’s ability to pen a politically charged script, her re-shuffle of characters and their identities lacks consistancy. The last season, for instance, clearly established Duke’s wife and set up the tragic hero. Now? The wife’s dead but a lot of the other elements, such as Duke leaving the ‘Joes, is still integral. It feels as if inconvenient elements are simply killed off while other minor elements, such as Isaac, are quicky brought to the fore because it suits the plot right here, right now.
That said, I am warming up to the art more and more in each issue. When Kito Young leaves the muddy browns alone for a while, his pastel watercolor-esque palette actually helps uplift the sharp pencils from Steve Kurth. It’s a good combination and definately suits Traviss’s gritty script.
Overall, it’s an odd dialemma. I want to enjoy G.I Joe #5 and, for the most part, I do. On second readings, however, the developments appear small and the actual pay-off is continually promised over the horizon.