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I know I haven’t been posting many reviews lately for the IDW titles, even though I’ve been enjoying them much more than I had recently.  I figured I should change that for G.I. Joe #18.  Written by Chuck Dixon with art by SL Gallant, the main G.I. Joe title started off quite slowly, and has taken a while to build…but it has been building.
There are spoilers in this review, so click the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to check it out.

First of all, I’ll say that I can anticipate some complaints with this issue, because as much as the story has been charging forward, this one takes a total detour, bypassing the Cobra MASS Device storyline for a focus instead on a G.I. Joe training mission gone bad.  Cover Girl, Downtown, and Tripwire are the main characters involved here as they participate in a training mission led by Stalker.  However, that training mission is interrupted by a pair of Cobra desert troopers who show up just in time to make things interesting.
The issue has a great flow, with some terrific art by Mr. Gallant.  While the Joes are all running around in generic black shirts and camouflage pants, the Cobra desert troopers look remarkably like the Rise of Cobra Desert-Vipers, which is a very cool touch.  The helmets are slightly different, but beyond that, the look is quite Rise of Cobra, without being directly tied to that movie universe.  I think that’s a neat touch, and I like seeing them integrate characters that have actual toy representations.
The dialog is written very well, intermixing military jargon seamlessly without seeming overdone.  There’s some suspense built within this issue, and all in all it was a great “one off” type of story that proved to be a very entertaining read.
Of course, many may complain that, like usual, the story doesn’t really end up any further along than it was with the last issue, but at the end of the day, the issue was fun and a brisk read and I enjoyed it, regardless of how far it progressed the universe.  Cobra is built up to the max as they have been in issues past (to the point where you wonder just how G.I. Joe can possibly stop them) but all in all, it was a fun comic this month, and I’m looking forward to #19.  Some images can be found below.

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