IDW Publishing/Dynamite Entertainment 2018
Written by Ryan Ferrier
Pencilled by SL Gallant
Inked by Brian Shearer
Coloured by James Brown
Lettered by Robbie Robbins
Cobra’s terror across the globe reigns. A new world peace accord, to be signed by several world leaders will soon take place on the neutral Frisian Islands. Hawk and his finest G.I. Joe operatives prepare themselves for what could be a monumental shift in the fight against Cobra Commander’s venom. Meanwhile, America’s most advanced secret agent, Steve Austin, continues OSI’s silent war against evil. Now armed with revolutionary bio-mechanical upgrades, the “Six Million Dollar Man” descends into the darkest corner of Siberia.
Okay this one took me by surprise, even though I’d seen something about ages ago. I love when that happens because that excitement is genuine and can’t be faked so it’s like the first night of Channukah! Also they couldn’t have assembled a better team to work on this series either. That fact is utterly amazing too and it’s so nice to see Gallant’s work on the Joe’s! The story Ryan brings us here is so deliciously exactly what it needs to be and it’s extremely well told. The way this book is structured and the whole ebb & flow of how it’s presented made it seem like this is how this world has always been and that alone is worth the price of admission.
So not only does Steve’s presence and his encounter with Cobra on a mission in Siberia play out the way we saw it coming it’s a great opening! It catches your attention and says hey this is why your going to read this and then of course fully enjoy every well crafted moment of it. The introduction of the Joe’s who are travelling with a few World Leader’s and a quick who’s who of those travelling on this mission almost has all the usual characters only missing Shipwreck (he and Lady Jaye are my favourite Joe’s). Then mix in what Cobra is doing and viola you’ve got the whole trinity covered nicely.
Cobra’s plot to take over the world is timed with near perfection and the speed in which they operate in this issue shows why they truly are a force to be reckoned with. I love seeing them portrayed as a real threat and not a joke so what Ryan does here not only with the story but the characterisation of those involved is utterly marvellous. This is the kind of story where things start off bad and go directly to worse and that’s the situations you want to see your heroes encounter. This is what makes them them and why they are considered heroes, it’s not about what the situation is it’s how you handle it that sets you apart and Ryan handles that as well as anyone in the business.
Gallant’s interior pencils lay down some fine work. I love the way the art team works together to bring us these fantastic pages and panels. The attention to detail here is great to see and the use of page layouts with how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a strong, seasoned eye for storytelling. The instant recognition of the characters is great, the use and weight of the linework here is wonderful to see. There is some good utilisation of backgrounds happening in these pages that show this world and expand what we need to know nicely.
So from the first page to the last we get a fantastic first issue that doesn’t waste any time getting right into it. There is no need for background information and instead Ryan just goes with the whole idea that this inter-company crossover is just a normal every day occurrence. That kind of confidence in his writing makes this as spectacular as it is.
Strong, bold and perfectly done this is the kind of story we all want to see!