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Friday January 16, 2009 9:08 pm
Although growing up I was more into Transformers and Voltron, I’ve always been a GI Joe fan. I think the Marvel series had some of the best stories and most compelling characters in comics history, and was thrilled when Devils Due not only revived, but continued the story begun by Larry Hama. Last year when Devils Due lost the license they ended the story begun by Larry, allowing the new license holder, IDW to reboot the franchise. I can honestly say after reading IDW’s GI Joe # 1, I can relate to Superman fans after their favorite character rebooted in 1986’s The Man of Steel - I have feelings of both excitement and skepticism.
The GI Joe team presented in this book is familiar and unfamiliar. Don’t get me wrong, Duke is still Duke and Snake-Eyes is still Snake-Eyes, but there are a couple of significant changes that differentiate IDW’s Joe from Classic Joe. One of the most significant changes is in IDW’s universe, to be a Joe you give up your civilian life and are confined to a base under the Nevada desert. A different take on the top secret nature of the team that, unfortunately, takes away the personal lives of the characters that made us sympathize with so many of them. Another significant change is that Scarlett is now the team leader. Sure she answers to General Hawk, but when the team files reports on a mysterious new threat called Cobra, she is the one they report to. Which brings me to the most significant change - the nature of Cobra.
Unlike the original series (an overtly, ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world) Cobra is a shadowy organization who’s agenda is unclear. No Cobras even appear in this issue and the only thing the Joes know about them is the name and that they are up to no good. They are an enigma that will unravel in future issues with the Baroness prepped to show up next issue.
GI Joe # 1 is a “set-up” issue in every sense of the word and Chuck Dixon (who wrote Devils Due failed attempt at a reboot, GI Joe Reloaded) does a good job of getting the characters where he wants to be and establishing the threat of Cobra. I’m going to hold off for a couple of issues until I pass judgment on whether this is a good series or not.
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