IDW Publishing 2010
Written by Larry Hama
Penciled by SL Gallant
Inked by Brian Shearer
Coloured by J. Brown
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
Cobra Commander, facing a tense standoff with Destro and other disgruntled Cobra agents, is saved at the last minute by his latest protege—Dawn Moreno, a Cobra youth that catches Baroness’ attention. On G.I. Joe’s side, Bombstrike prepares for a new operation, while Claire Hauser—Duke’s long-lost wife who recently returned--is contacted by suspicious terrorist sources.
Let’s hear it for the women of the Joe universe! I found myself loving every minute of this story as the focus alters off the main path and allows us to see what the women in both Cobra and the Joes are up to. Sometimes the focus is so much on the men you can tend to forget just how powerful these women are and just how gosh darn good they are at what they do. Never underestimate them and it’s great to see Larry showcasing that here.
We open up with a look at Dawn and the Baroness in action. I like this a lot because Dawn is a confident young woman and very typical of her generation. Overconfident and full of disdain at things not going her way also she too underestimates those she sees as older and slower than herself. The characterization here is wonderful! I mean love her or hate her the Baroness is one of those iconic women in comics and media that you cannot ignore but all too often is overlooked for what she contributes.
The training session is extremely well done too. There really is a creativity to it and that unexpected surprise element that keeps the character growing, evolving and ever relevant. Add in getting to see Zarana and her take well I got to say these issues do more to create a whole different level to the bigger story in terms of potential and makes you wonder why they aren’t in charge more often.
Ah Covergirl continues to be one of those characters that you can never count out and who continues to be one of those that surprises you at every turn. Though Lady Jaye might be my favourite female Joe, and do I detect a bit of flirtation there, Covergirl has been rising the list of those favourites. This just may be a day in the life kind of issue but don’t discount that as having some major characterization points involved because you can learn more about a person this way than through action alone.
Scarlett and Jinx what a great pairing that is. I love the idea behind this vignette because seeing those “underground” weapons dealers/outfitters is the kind of stuff you want to be real but aren’t sure they really exist in this manner. Also that Scarlett would take her here to do this instead of through proper channels well that’s something else entirely. Add into this mix Akane, Silent Master of the Red Ninja’s who’s come for Jinx and I cannot wait to find out why.
Finally the last part we see features Bombstrike and a few female scientists known to work for Cobra in some capacity. These are the least known to me and thanks to what Larry does here I want more. The writing, characterization and sheer audacity of the dialogue and women scream for further attention.
I’ve been saying it for a while and Gallant’s interiors and his eye for storytelling, use of pages and panels not to mention backgrounds leave me thrilled time and time again. He along with Brian and Brown really bring this to life so it highlights the past, present and future of the Joe franchise.
G.I. Joe is a staple for so many years for so many reasons and if you aren’t reading this I do recommend giving it a go. This the kind of grand sweeping storytelling that constantly keeps you on your toes and all kinds of impressed.