Thursday, December 02, 2004

G.I.Joe Reloaded 1 - 9

There are two things that I really, really like about this series and neither of them really have too much to do with the actual story... well, they do, but they play minor roles. These two things are the lack of "arcs" and the use of reference boxes. Do you remember reference boxes? It seems like so long since I've seen a new comic come out that uses them. They're those neat little boxes that refer to an asterisked portion of dialogue or exposition and tell you when what is being talked about happened so that way if you're a new reader you can go back and find that issue to catch yourself up. Yeah, they're amazing and I don't know why they're so seldomly used now... oh wait, no, I do know why they aren't used--it interferes with making trade paperbacks because the tpb will reference another comic and *cough* Marvel *cough* want all of their tpb's to feel self-contained. Well poop on you Marvel because I like continuity, and this series from Devil's Due embraces the continuity it is setting up. There are no self-contained story arcs. This is an ongoing series in all senses of the word.

Ok, now that I got that out of my system, I can settle down a little bit. G.I.Joe Reloaded is Devil's Due's attempt at updating the G.I.Joe mythos to align more with current day events instead of the convoluted and somewhat lame mythos set up in the 80's. If you want to live in that realm of G.I.Joe, then go pick up the straight up G.I.Joe title, but if you want something a little more mature (but not so mature the kiddies can't buy it) and cohesive to the workings of today's world, go with Reloaded.

In these first 9 issues, we are reintroduced to the team (both sides were initially introduced in their respective one-shots that came out before this series) and thrown right into Cobra's first terrorist activity--stealing chemical weapons. Failing to keep them from doing that, the Joes redouble their efforts to squash Cobra's next move--stealing the Declaration of Independence. After defeating Cobra's sleeper agents and protecting that precious document, the Joes are given a break from all the military action to do some training. Well, things just don't let up as Cobra takes over a missle launch facility that they want to use to launch the chemical weapons they stole way back at the beginning of this series into a populated US city. The Joes manage to foil the launch, but Cobra still has control of the missle facility, and that's where this run of issues ends.

As you can probably guess, this series would be hard to pick up right in the middle and it would be best if you started from the beginning because of the strong use of continuity. Also, what I described are only the overarching plots. I didn't even touch upon all of the subplots going on in each issue. Really, when you think about it, there's a third thing I really like about this series--things happen! There's no decompression here. There's no padding. There's no filler issues. Every issue has a ton of things happening and because of that, it's worth every dollar.

For those of you wondering about the art, well, it's pretty indistiguishable from the rest of the G.I.Joe titles. No matter what artist is drawing an issue, each feels like it is following a strict art style that was defined when the first G.I.Joe series from Devil's Due came out a couple of years ago. I'm not saying that's a bad thing because the art is clean and feels appropriate, but it would be nice to have some different styles every now and then.

Art: 3.25
Story: 4
Overall: 3.75

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