Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
GI Joe A Real American Hero #157
Hama & Padilla
Larry Hama’s second issue of the revisiting of the old Marvel GI Joe title falls into more familiar territory than the previous issue. This issue continues the slow burn approach that IDW comics follow with regard to storytelling as the Joes continue to regroup and form some sort of organization in the face of disorganization. The issue reintroduces a couple of familiar characters and tries to establish some sort of a plot for the long term development of the series. It’s an okay issue but it is not as strong as the last one.
The issue opens with the continuation of the Stalker being stalked by a sniper storyline. I wouldn’t expect there to be any sort of blatant cold blooded killing but I was surprised that the fight between the two fell into more cartoon like antics with no one drawing blood and cheesy dialogue on both sides like “I’m quaking in my boots.” There is a fine line between funny dialogue and cringe worthy dialogue and this may have gone slightly over the top.
One of the better aspects of the issue was Destro’s interaction with Dr Mindbender as they monitor Billy with Baroness. Mindbender reveals something through this observation that may play more into an overall plot with regards to mind control. It’s worth following closely. However, this scene is opened with the worst part of the issue with regards to the handling of Cobra Commander.
One thing that DDP had done with Cobra Commander was turned him into a ruthless, tangible threat. This issue, with two panels, reduces him back to the cartoon character he was in the Marvel run. By telling Destro to give his head a good buffing and referring to GI Joe as “those pesky Joes” Cobra Commander sounds like boob again. I was sorely disappointed by this but I understand that this probably a very common version of the character.
The best part of the issue was Cobra’s chase of Rock N Roll and how Rock N Roll gets himself out of the predicament. Another good part of the issue was the tracking of Snake Eyes by Storm Shadow. Hama proves he knows those two characters better than any other.
The artwork felt like it had thicker line work. This made the issue have a bit of a darker appearance than the last one. I’m not saying it took anything any from the issue but it just didn’t pop off the page like the previous issue. Then again this issue didn’t have any ninjas on fire like the last one did. The art had plenty of emotions and action throughout it. These elements are essential for a great GI Joe book.
The comic book has some elements that could potentially make this issue and series great. The series has definitely grown in a good direction since the Marvel days. However, turning Cobra Commander into something that can’t be taken seriously is not a good thing. This issue is a good one and depending on how you like your GI Joe stories you may love it. Either way I think if you followed the old Marvel series you should pick this up and give it a look.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles