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I’m not sure how I feel about the whole “season” breakdown when it comes to comics, but it does help keep things straight, especially when three major restructurings have happened over the past few years.  Considering IDW has been keeping the same continuity, the only way things can really be divided is by “Season” so in that regard I think it makes sense.

Issue #1 worked towards building this new “universe” so to speak, and now that G.I. Joe is in the thick of it, this issue serves to continue moving the story along a bit, while also trying to build some of these new personalities.

Click the Read the Rest of the Story link below for the full review.

G.I. Joe (Season 3) #2

Writer: Fred VanLente
Penciler: Steve Kurth
Inker: Allen Martinez
Colorist: Joana LaFuente
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Consulting Editor: Carlos Guzman
Editor: John Barber

As we join the G.I. Joe team in a small Ohio town, Cobra has fully invaded, captured Duke, and enlisted civilians to their cause, creating even more obstacles for the G.I. Joe team, who is obviously unwilling to engage in direct combat against American citizens.  The first few pages of this issue are pretty fantastic, showcases Cobra’s ruthless invasion of this American town.  We see Baroness, Darklon (with Iron Grenadiers looking just like the 2012 Con versions!), Firefly, and Croc Master.  I love seeing these cameos, and this version of Cobra seems suitably more ambitious and engaging than we’ve seen in previous versions of the flagship G.I. Joe title.

The Baroness is attempting to make an example out of Duke, trying to get him to admit to the G.I. Joe plan while recording the video for YouTube.  Her plan doesn’t seem to be working as Duke shows his resistance… and speaking of resistance, Roadblock, Tunnel Rat, and Quick Kick are doing their best to get a wounded Shipwreck to safety while being nearly overrun by a town full of Cobra influenced civilians.

As they get Shipwreck to relative safety in the junkyard we move to Cover Girl, Doc, and Hashtag who remain holed up in an abandoned building, trying to stay concealed.  This attempt does not last long due to a logistical error by Hashtag, who is so eager to ask for help via Social Media, she doesn’t stop to think about the fact that her location tagging gives them away to the natives of the town.  Quick conflict ensues, with American civilians taking the fight to the trio of G.I. Joe operatives.  They do their best to counter-attack using non-lethal means, but when the former Mayor of the town gets the upper hand on Cover Girl, Hashtag needs to react, and the results are devastating.

Meanwhile, Roadblock, Tunnel Rat, and Quick Kick think they’ve found out where Cobra is blockaded, and make a plan to bring the fight to them.

While the first issue built a foundation for this new jumping off point, the second issue really kicks the action and suspense into high gear.  The first several pages were exceptionally well done, I thought, and perfectly lead the reader into the rest of the story.  We’ve seen the whole Cobra invading a small town angle several times, but this is the first time it’s really explained in full detail, and the detail makes sense.  Without getting too political, there are a lot of people out there struggling, and many entire towns (or cities) probably feel like they have no where to turn.  It almost makes a certain amount of sense for Cobra to come across as a benefactor to lure these people in.  The conflict that the Joes face in needing to defend themselves, yet not wanting to kill any innocents is a prevailing theme throughout this issue, all the way until it comes to a head at the end with Hashtag.  That event with Hashtag was done extremely well, though throughout the issue I found myself wondering why she would be embedded with G.I. Joe.

Certainly she serves a purpose, and the need for a public face is important with this new concept, but at the risk of the safety of the other members of the team?  I’m still not 100% sold on that.

Steve Kurth’s art was serviceable throughout the issue, yet remains somewhat inconsistent.  There were excellent sequences (the aforementioned Hashtag being one of them, with great composition, layout, and impact) but there were others that seemed to suffer a bit from the 90’s era over-detail in some places and too little detail in others.  There remains some body position and proportion wackiness in certain spots, but for the most part, the art works.  Kurth is great with motion (I loved Quick Kick’s attack on the WORMS for instance) and impact (Tunnel Rat blowing the gas main) but I just feel that there are some areas for improvement when talking about basic body position and movement.

All in all, though, I was extremely impressed with issue #2.  The action has fast-paced, the characters felt authentic to their G.I. Joe heritage, and there was a sense of partnership and comaraderie which was sometimes missing throughout earlier versions of the main G.I. Joe title.  Good work on this one.  If the art can come together a little bit better, the book will be a true winner.

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