This Wednesday the action-packed first issue of IDW’s newly rebooted G.I. Joe releases, where everyone can be a Joe, even you!
The G.I. Joe comic franchise has been published by multiple companies throughout the years, but in 2008 it landed in IDW’s hands, finding great success. Luckily none of the franchise’s history needs to be known to enjoy the 2019 rebooted G.I. Joe. As the Joe’s recruit everyday citizens, it seems IDW is trying the same tactic with everyday readers.
YO JOE! MINOR SPOILERS BELOW!
Now We Know (The Story)
G.I. Joe #1 begins with a world already in the middle of a widespread war with Cobra. Throughout the planet only a few places stand untouched by the Joe’s classic nemesis. Acting as totalitarian regime, Cobra’s propaganda against the known members of the insurgent movement named, G.I. Joe has caused them to become fugitives, or villains in some eyes. This all may sound confusing or a lot to go over in its first issue, but writer Paul Allor makes the information flow easy in G.I. Joe #1.
This ease of access comes in the form of central character Rithy Khay, code name: Tiger. The majority of G.I. Joe #1 is seen through the eyes of Tiger, whose job is that of a carrier in specialty and narrative. On what seems like just another run, Tiger finds a flash drive that G.I. Joe member Duke had tossed in a trashcan. Grabbing the flash drive, Tiger follows Duke as he is chased by Vipers and Major Bludd. After a funny back-and-forth between the enemies, (SPOILERS HAPPEN!!!!).
After you read the book, come back and comment below to discuss plot points.
Much of G.I. Joe #1 comes as a surprise, but a welcome one. Allor doesn’t hold back on the drama, cheesy dialogue, or fresh ideas as the new concept of the Joe’s being formed of everyday civilians is a great way to draw in a myriad of readers. This idea is emphasized with one of the hardest hitting moments of Tiger learning that G.I. Joe member, Frontier was just a substitute teacher, or when Roadblock nets his first kill and freaks out.
Army of Art
G.I. Joe #1 focuses on a serious story matter that contains realistic, brutal situations that theoretically could happen in the real world. This realism is where artist Chris Evenhuis life-like penciling comes in. Evenhuis’ style of art never strays far into the fantasy or exaggerated, as each movement he shows is something you can do yourself. This theme of fluid, human-like drawing bodes well with the story of having everyday citizens become one of the G.I. Joe. Essentially pushing the fact that anyone can, in fact, be a Joe.
For a few panels during a fight, the background goes white with a purple brush highlighting the action. Or in another more dramatic moment, the characters are colored completely black with a white background. These moments of simple backgrounds occupied with an opposite color helps draw the readers eyes towards the violent moments. This simplicity of coloring helping moments pop comes courtesy of colorist Brittany Peer. For a world overrun by an organization such as Cobra, Peer makes the colors of the world bright and homely. Making you feel like the world may not be so bad; granted the world is still dark, and overrun by Cobra.
It seems the use of brighter, more vibrant colors were used not to scare away the new crowd of readers. With its color scheme feeling akin to that of a cartoon, and more inviting. Luckily the colors never feel too bright at the most emotional scenes, or when the plot becomes darker.
Letterer Neil Uyetake bubble placement works well within the heavier dialogue moments, as it never feels like it’s covering the art. While also giving a flow through the panels helping your eyes glide through. The one problem being throughout is the lack of sound effects. In some cases, it’s used to stylize the fighting, or moment with silence, but in a few where there should be sound, the panel is void of noise. One great instance is when Tiger throws a Molotov cocktail and a building that explode but has no sound.
G.I. Joe Team Building
G.I. Joe #1 may not allure to those not already interested in the franchise. But Allor’s new take in G.I. Joe #1 is fresh and fun while retaining a serious demeanor, with some cheesy dialogue mixed in. Those moments combined with Evenhuis’ realistic art and Peer’s brightly colored palette makes G.I. Joe #1 a great start for new readers.
Memorable Quote: “…I can slip past them like…like a thing that’s slippery.” – Tiger
Damn, Tiger just has a way with words!
And Knowing Is Half The Battle
With this first issue being pretty new reader-friendly, what did you think? Comment below.