GI Joe is one of those series, that I describe as a “check in”. Meaning every now and then I just need to pick one up to see what antics Cobra Commander is getting himself into. Maybe it’s because I’m an 80’s kid and my playtime revolved primarily around that and Transformers and Rambo but I continue to feel a strong pull towards the GI-verse and continually report to duty every now and then. I’ll give you two examples of this: GI Joe: The Fall of GI Joe and GI Joe VS Transformers. Two very different looks at the Joe team, one is 80’s nostalgia at its finest the other is a bleaker, more real world Joe; but both are excellence.
This issue of GI Joe: Real American Hero is special prelude issue with one purpose: to get readers up to speed before the Cobra World Order story line commences in the next regular issue #219 if you’re counting. Crazy, over 200 issues! That’s a feat in this comic day and age. This prelude, for cats like me, who last picked up a copy of GIJRAH around issue 70ish, this is a lifesaver…
The nuts and bolts of this issue are this: Duke meets the new head of the Joe oversite committee at “the Pit” and explains who the players are in the Joe’s VS everyone game is. He goes the Cobra Commander’s history; his break-up with Destro and the Baroness; his creepy nip-and-tuck army; and overall goal to rule the world. “EXCELLENT!” Also Duke explains there’s other players in the game, like: Revanche and Zartan. Some brief Joe info is gone over, chiefly about Snake Eyes. Overall it’s a solid recap of the Joe-verse with a few chuckles along the way.
For me the best part of the book was an interview with Larry Hama-the godfather of Joes-in the back of the book. That isn’t to say the story and art weren’t solid, they were. Just Big Hama is royalty to this nerd! Seriously, if you’re in GI Joe you can’t miss the interview, lots of history.
So did this prelude to take me from weekend warrior to active duty? Maybe, it’s really close. I know I’ll be dropping cash on the first issue of the six-parter next month, so mission accomplished I guess.