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I know I’m dragging a little late with this particular review, but with all of the toy news and the intel about the Super Bowl TV spot I hadn’t really had time to make it happen.  Well, I’m rectifying that this morning!

Click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below to check out the full review.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #175

Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: SL Gallant

I’ve been praising this title for several months now, and the praise will continue on this month, though there is a storyline going on here which is kind of rubbing me the wrong way.

A chunk of issue #175 focuses on the Iron Grenadiers, and that’s probably my favorite aspect of this issue.  Seeing The Baroness and Destro interact with the rest of the Iron Grenadier teams in Castle Destro, using a Cobra Hurricane for transport.  There seems to be an interesting dynamic going on here, too, as The Baroness sneaks out with some weapons, and seemingly intent on exacting some revenge for Billy’s death, in spite of her insistence against that fact to Destro.

The bulk of this issue focuses around Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes tracking down a robotics lab tied to the Blue Ninjas, and that’s where I’m a little iffy on the whole direction this story is going in.  Certainly, with Battle Android Troopers we’ve seen our share of advanced robotics mixed into G.I. Joe, but these Blue Ninja’s and their cybernetic enhancements almost take it too far.  We saw a Blue Ninja with cognitive thought and free will made entirely of robotic parts earlier in this story, and here, we see the two ninjas go against another fully robotic guard, which moves fast, seems to be smarter, faster, and much more capable than the more traditional B.A.T.’s.

Cobra gets in on the act as well, as Cobra Commander shows some disturbing brutality with one of the cybernetic ninja leaders and moves in to take his pound of flesh.

I’ve been on record for a while saying I’m not a big fan of the B.A.T.s and would much prefer the more human elements of the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra mythology.  I don’t mind the use of cybernetics in places throughout the line (hell, Lt. Stone is one of my favorite characters for that reason) but this fully robotic soldier that has advanced intelligence just is rubbing me a bi the wrong way.

In spite of my minor issues with the story direction, I continue to have no problems with the art.  Gallant’s classic art style is fully intact here with nice, clean lines, great action storyboarding, and an emphasis on character throughout.  His use of nice classic vehicles (like the Cobra Hurricane and the Cobra Transport helicopter) is fantastic, and only serves to further inject this new story into the vintage Marvel Universe.  I love it.

Things do appear to be heating up with Cobra, the ninjas, and The Baroness all possibly heading on a collision course, and I’ll be there the whole way, but I am looking forward to seeing this robotic enemy resolved and see things move on to a more human enemy.  But maybe that’s just me.  Check out the 5-Page preview for a sample of story and art below.

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