REVIEW – G.I. Joe #1 (2019)

G.I. Joe #1 (2019) - IDW Publishing

Written by Paul Allor

Art by Chris Evenhuis

Colors by Brittany Peer

Letters by Neil Uyetake

Ever since I was a kid, G.I. Joe vs Cobra was a battle that I was part of.  Piles of action figures, and the other vehicles and command centers that I was lucky enough to get my hands on.  The animated series was also must see, but there was always one constant:  G.I. Joe always won the day.  Could that day really be over?  IDW is bringing us a fresh start for the Joes, and it might be the most dire one yet.

This first issue start off in a Cobra occupied part of the United States.  That's right, Cobra is winning the war and spreading it's occupation quickly throughout the world.  Of course, G.I. Joe isn't just sitting back and doing nothing, but you find out  very quickly just what state they are in.  It's gotten to the point where they are recruiting civilians to help with the cause, and we do get to meet one of them in this book.  He doesn't exactly check all the boxes of a recruit, but we do get to see him get his hands on something that proves to be very important.  This happens (MINOR SPOILER AHEAD) at the moment of a MAJOR death in the story.  This is a character you know, and it will impact you.   I actually needed to take a minute.  There are still plenty of other familiar faces in this story, so there is still hope.  Some of them are sporting slightly new looks, so that's something to get used to.  What we are left with is the question of whether Tiger has joined the team at the best possible time or the worst possible time.

Any time you're tackling a fresh story in a franchise like G.I. Joe, there is plenty of risk involved.  That's why you get someone like Paul Allor who has done this before, and with IDW.  Allor ramps up the intensity, gives readers a couple of big moments right away in the first issue, and gives this story instant impact.  Then you get an artist like Chris Evenhuis that you know can take those impactful script moments, and present them perfectly.  I knew that this was an all-star pairing, and they did not disappoint.  That kid that I mentioned before?  Yeah the kid in me would be heartbroken and worried that this time, the Joes are in over their heads.  It feels bad, it looks bad, but the story presents hope with faces of characters that you trust from years of earning that trust.  Sometimes it's putting the spotlight on the right characters at the right times that makes all of the difference.  So the adult in me won't give up hope, and I am certainly all in for what's to come with this story.