Review: G.I. Joe #4

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

Slow and steady wins the race. This new series of G.I. Joe may be slow to get going, but so far the quality of the book has remained high. We’ve been moaning about the lack of action in the last few issues, but we’re talking about the kind of action that involves explosions and… flamethrowers and stuff. This iteration of G.I. Joe is more interested in stealth and espionage. It’s a grounded, modern take on G.I. Joe.

Right now, everything is revolving around Isaac Craft. The son of Cobra’s P.R. Flak Siren, Isaac has deserted Cobra to join the separatist leader Rashidov. A team of Joes are closing in on the separatist group, while former Joe leader Duke has been unknowingly hired by Cobra to hunt Isaac down before he gets into more trouble. Isaac is already in too deep, having orchestrated the bombing of a Schletevan council building. Since he is at the centre of it all, it helps that Isaac is an interesting character. He is loyal to Cobra, but not Cobra as it currently exists. Nowadays Cobra is, on the surface at least, a peacekeeping outfit. Isaac wants to go back to the days when Cobra were, in essence, a villainous group of scumbags. For all his efficiency, Isaac has something of a troubled mind.

With so many gears turning, there’s a lot to take in with this version of G.I. Joe. No doubt about it, these issues are packed with detail and dense dialogue. Karen Traviss’s plotting is complex and desires your full attention. At times the dialogue can be too much; the characters circle around the point so often it can make you dizzy. For all our talk of the lack of action, there are still fun moments. The coolest member of the Joes, Agent Helix, gets a small moment in the sunshine this week. More moments with the Joes would be appreciated all round. Despite the title, we never spend much time with the G.I. Joe unit. That’s a nit-pick, though. G.I. Joe #4 is cool, calm and centred. Maybe we’ll get some explosions in the next issue.


See a preview for G.I. Joe #4 here