Writer: Karen Traviss
Art: Steve Kurth
Colours: Kito Young
Letters: Tom B. Long
If you’ve been following our reviews of IDW’s latest G.I. Joe series, you’ll have noticed a pattern. We’ve remained positive about the book, but we’ve also had some concerns about the slow pacing and lack of traditional G.I. Joe action. These problems persist in issue #5. At times it feels like the story is forever circling around a pivotal plot-point, but never getting there. Our recap of issue #4 would still describe what happens in issue #5. On the other hand, everything we like about the book is present too. In the end, it’s all a matter of expectation.
When you really dig into it, the plot is moving forward, slowly but surely. The Joes are still in pursuit of Rashidov’s separatists, but when they catch up with with their old leader Duke, some of the puzzle pieces start to slide into place. Meanwhile, we’re beginning to see more of the true Cobra behind the new peacekeeping facade. Baroness Cobra herself is wonderfully devious this issue; it’s almost a relief to see her get her hands dirty after several issues where she barely features at all. Her actions seem to set up why this story is called The Fall of G.I. Joe. Things are going to get hairy for the Joes; we just hope it happens fairly soon.
Despite our reservations, this is still a great book. Art-wise, Kurth is on point, as always. The colours are a big improvement over recent issues, far less drab than it has been. Traviss’s plotting is intricate and complex; all of her characters are caught in an endless web of intrigue. With all the betrayals and compromises, it feels like no one is in control of their own situation. That makes for a pretty thrilling story. It’s definitely not an action comic, though. Not yet, anyway.