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G.I. Joe #1 - Homefront, Part 1 of 5 Review

3

G.I. Joe has gone public. How will this affect the joes?

The Good

Duke announces, to the world, that G.I. Joe exists. This creates a new world of the celebrity soldier. The Joes go to Ohio to investigate a town where members of Cobra are spotted. Things aren't always what they seem, though.

I'm a bit down the middle on the Joes being outed to the public. I think this is going to make a very interesting book because of this move. While they have a bigger budget now because of marketing and merchandising, the whole covert part of this book is gone. People will know who they are. They will learn their real names and where they're from. It brings a new sense of danger to this book because at any point in time now, their lives are in danger, not just when they're on a mission.

Writer Fred Van Lente does a fine job here with dialogue, especially with Shipwreck, who quickly became my favorite character in this issue. He's grizzled and funny, just the way I like him. Van Lente does a great job with this character here, who continuously states he'd rather be called something else other than "Shipwreck."

The art is another thing about this book I'm down the middle on. The book was penciled by teve Kurth, inked by Allen Martinez, and colored by Joana Lafuente. There are some fantastically put together pages in this issue, like when Duke is talking to General Colton inside the headquarters about the new Joe team. The pencils, inks, and colors are fantastic here, and what I found to enjoy the most was that the artists worked really well in remaining consistent with where the light sources were coming from. That remains a constant throughout the issue. The amount of light, hitting a character's face, and where it is coming from stays the same. It's a big plus to the book.

The Bad

I really don't like the character Hashtag, mainly because it dates the book. It makes the character extremely topical, which down the line, won't have the same readability which it does now. Also, she's incredibly annoying. It's like they put a female version of me in a comic book, and I'm annoying regardless of my sex.

One thing I've always loved about G.I. Joe is that they were covert. The public knew nothing about this team, and now everything has changed. I, like most comic fans, deal with change very differently than most people. You feel a tad hurt. But my biggest problem is that one of the things I loved about this property was that no one knew who they were. However, it's best to remain optimistic with the book, even if you don't like one of the changes, especially with Van Lente running the show, since he's awesome.

When it comes to art, there's a lot of inconsistencies. Sure, the light source stuff looked great, but I had a few problems with some other things: perspective being one of them. There's a scene where Hashtag is kneeling down and Shipwreck is in the background talking. Hashtag looks like a giant. It actually takes a minute to register that Shipwreck isn't standing next to her. There's no sense of depth in the panel. In addition, the inking outlines get pretty heavy towards the end of the issue. It looks like someone else inked it, and it becomes distracting, and while the final page of this issue looks fantastic, the pages leading up to it get pretty sloppy.

The Verdict

This new volume of G.I. JOE turns everything up-side down and not necessarily in a bad way. Sure, the team is now public, which I'm not too sure about, but I am sure it will make for interesting stories in the future.While I like the story here, the G.I. Joe fanboy in me is having problems with the team going public. Van Lente does a lot of solid work here with story and dialogue, and he's given me a new book on my pull list. The art was down the middle here though.

It was a tad inconsistent, and there was a big problem with perspective and showing depth. I found myself really disliking the character Hashtag, although the rest of the team was pretty awesome.

Overall, I give this book a mild recommendation.

4 Comments
Posted by jsphsmth

I was a little worried with Chuck stepping down from the main Joe series, now I am very worried. I still have high hopes for the other two relaunched.

Edited by Avenger85

F** yeah. Thank god Marvel doesnt do GI Joe anymore.

Duke is a badass. But Snake Eyes is the best IMHO.

Posted by yeahbowen

Part of "The Bad" is a character named Hashtag because the name won't make sense in the future? You know we grew up with DialTone right? How is Stalker's name holding up to the test of time? Snowjob isn't really a term we hear anymore. Silly names are a part of what makes G.I. Joe GI Joe. Shoot, how many people know what G.I. stands for nowadays?

Posted by KnightofSteel

Not only do I find the idea of another GI Joe series relaunch from IDW odd, I found this issue rather odd as well. The whole idea of GI Joe going public and not being covert in this book is a bold move, however I think it won't help this new series moving forward. The whole premise just seems to be out of character for well, the Joe characters.

And the art I found rather inconsistent. Some panels looked great while others looked off.

Hopefully by coming out of the gate with these hiccups won't dissuade too many people to pick it up, as the issue was fun read. And also I hope subsequent issues will kick up the "wow factor".

I am definitely not gonna miss the upcoming new Special Missions series.. Paul Gulacy on art is gonna be awesome.