IDW Publishing 2010
Written by Larry Hama
Penciled by S.L. Gallant
Inked by Brian Shearer
Coloured by J. Brown
Lettered by Christa Miesner & Neil Uyetake
After an underwater tussle near Cobra’s old Broca Beach facility off the coast of New Jersey, Torpedo, Cutter, Deep Six and Shipwreck are ready to investigate a hidden underwater base. Meanwhile Bombstrike gets captured by the Black Major and his Red Shadows, Duke’s wife Claire heads to a mysterious rendezvous and Dawn Moreno escapes Cobra’s grasp in search of an Arashikage heirloom…..
We all know i’m a huge fan of this series after all Larry combines what made the cartoon great, all the code-names, outfits and gadgets and blends them into a real world covert/spy/action/adventure thriller that seems like it could be playing out anywhere in the world right now. He’s been the master of these characters for so long it’s second nature for him to chronicle their stories and keep bringing us twists and turns that continue to keep the series as fresh and interesting today as it was when it first debuted.
I’m interested in seeing where this Dawn story take us. With all of Snake Eyes memories and such having been downloaded into her brain there has to come a time when her own personality and his merge and become something new. In the meantime i’m going to enjoy watching her as she’s confused as to whom she is and keeps carrying on like we see here.
I’m not as familiar with Bombstrike as I possibly could be but she’s turning into one heck of an interesting character. While i’d rather see more of Lady Jaye (one of my two favourite Joe’s) having new, strong female characters is never a bad thing. Her ongoing characterization is refreshing to see and as we get to know her more she’s becoming an essential lone wolf type of character who has great promise.
Shipwreck being left topside is a shame, he’s my other favourite character, still what Cutter and Deep Six find inside the possibly abandoned sea base has my mind reeling. I think that the fact that this place exists as it does is a great way to show that Cobra never sleeps, stops building up its forces for attack and that they are constantly trying to make upgrades. When it’s quiet you have to worry the most because that’s generally the calm before the storm and that applies here extremely well.
Claire, well i’ll just smile cause I knew I was right to think she isn’t who she seems anymore. Now i’m more excited than ever to see what this is going to do to Duke. General Hawk is back and well the dialogue and characterization we get when he gets to the Pit just keeps demonstrating why Larry has always been the best choice when it comes to writing the adventures of the Joe’s.
The art team led by Gallant keeps this at that level above the best animation level that bleeds into classic comic book style. The attention to detail is fantastic and the way he uses page layouts to show the flow of the story is incredibly entertaining. Plus he doesn’t shy away from backgrounds and those plus the attention put into them really help flesh the scope, feel, tone and mood of the story out even further.
Seriously this the most fun the Joe’s have been and it seems with each issue and new arc it only keeps getting better.