Review: G.I. Joe #3

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Publisher: IDW
Writer: Karen Traviss
Art: Steve Kurth
Colours: Kito Young
Letters: Tom B. Long

Three issues into the new G.I. Joe series, and we still haven’t seen any real action from the Joes, or from anyone else for that matter. Like we said in our review for the second issue, this iteration of the G.I. Joe comic is different from the one you might have expected. It deals more with covert espionage and the politics of war, rather than OTT comic-book conflict. The first three issues have been about gathering the many players and watching the tension build. It’s been a slow-burner, then, but with this issue the story is in danger of fizzling out before it gets cooking.

There’s still plenty to enjoy about G.I. Joe #3. The story of the separatist leader Rashidov has been growing in complexity. Scarlett has ordered a Joe unit to “remove” Rashidov. Cobra have also commissioned a mercenary team to infiltrate Rashidov’s camp. Those mercenaries happen to include Duke, former leader of the Joes. Meanwhile, Josh Spinetti of U.S. organisation Operational Support is acting shady. He appears to be informing Rashidov of the Joe’s movements. How much further will he go to aid Rashidov?

There are a lot of gears turning in this comic, which can be both a strength and a weakness. There are a lot of characters to keep up with. Anyone who is not versed in recent G.I. Joe history may not understand the motivations of some key members of the cast. Still, there’s an intelligence and cunning to the plotting, and it can be gripping. It’s G.I. Joe by way of The West Wing and The Wire.

At this point, though, it feels like something needs to happen. There can only be so much tension before a release. Steve Kurth’s art is fantastic as always, and he does a lot with scenes of dialogue and exposition. It’s serious stuff, which can be another weakness: the comic can be too heavy-going at times. This isn’t the strongest issue of the series so far, but we like where it’s heading. It feels like the narrative needs a little shaking up, though.


See the preview for G.I. Joe #3 here