Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
GI Joe A New Beginning #0
Dixon, Atkins, Hama, Feister, Costa, Gage & Fuso
Is it possible to write an unbiased review about a story that you generally don’t agree with the overall direction? Nope. I hate the idea of a reboot. This review will surely reflect that. However, this comic was definitely met with the possibility to win me over. It didn’t. I hope future issues will, but I am not sure that is going to happen.
This issue gives three short stories, each leading into its own series sometime down the road. The issue also includes some character sketches, explanations for the design changes and an interview with the creators. It’s a decent issue for $1. It’s has a lot of content considering some of the series wont start for a few months. However, the issue doesn’t stand up.
The first story has Duke, Flint, Torpedo and Beachhead infiltrating an illegal operation at night on a boat in a covert operation. It’s a nice little story except I can’t tell the difference between Flint and Torpedo. Once they are in the water I can’t tell any of them apart (I assume Beachhead is wearing the mask). Not only that, but the dialogue spoken tells me nothing about the characters as it feels indistinct and boring. From this story we learn that there is something out there called “Cobra”.
The second story is the worst of the three. Duke is enlisted in GI Joe by Hawk. Hawk walks Duke through one of Duke’s heroic missions. This sets up the idea that Duke joins the Hawk organization by “dying”. Duke eventually accepts and Hawk then baptizes him “Duke”. This story had a great chance to develop two characters. Instead it drops the ball. Hawk names Duke. This eliminates the prospect of learning something about the character through the names they take, because someone else picks the names for them apparently. All we learn about Duke with regards to his name now is that Hawk thought he looked like a Duke. Hawk, comes across as General Flagg did in the previous series. This isn’t really developing a character, its reassigning an old one.
Finally, we have Chuckles running around in a cloak and dagger mission. Personally, I wouldn’t have led with a Chuckles story. I missed the point of this one entirely.
I appreciate the sketches in the back, but are we assuming that Roadblock and Heavy Duty are now one character? That’s kind of lame.
Now, it’s impossible to destroy this comic because it gives a lot of stuff for such a low price and the artwork is really good, except the direction to make all the Joes look alike in the first story. However, it falls far short of a good mark because the story has done nothing to make me a) forget about how great the previous series were or b) get excited for the reboot. If the stories aren’t meant to win over the old fan base then fine, I’ll punch out now. But if the expectation is to carry over the general Joe fan base then this comic is a painful reminder of what a mistake it was to reboot the line.
Even if we just go off of what the creative team has stated about the reboot this issue falls way short of what they claim they want to do. One of the items they mention was separating Duke from Hawk. That’s a great idea, except in the two stories Duke appears in his character isn’t even established a little bit. In fact, I’d argue he’s all over the place and shows signs of no direction.
If you are a real GI Joe fan I hope you like this more than I did. I really don’t care if Hama’s name is attached to it, but the reboot is a mess already. This comic is all over the place and looks like a train wreck
waiting to happen. At $4 a comic for three different titles means they will have a small window to reel in and retain readers.
2 out of 5 geek goggles