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We are officially neck deep inside IDW Publishing’s Revolution roller coaster, and just today, the G.I. Joe: Revolution One Shot hits comic shops!  It’s a Revolution story focused on the G.I. Joe side of the house, continuing IDW’s existing universe, but weaving it into this over-arcing Revolution story.

So how did it work?  Click the Read More link for the full review!

G.I. Joe: Revolution One Shot

Writer: Aubrey Sitterson
Artist: Giannis Milonogiannis
Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
Letters: Chris Mowry
Editor: Carlos Guzman
Publisher: Ted Adams

The Revolution story has certainly been an entertaining ride thus far, managing to pretty nicely integrate G.I. Joe, Transformers, Rom, Action Man, and Micronauts into a cohesive story without sacrificing existing continuity and managing to have the whole story make sense.  This infiltration of the Dire Wraiths has been handled well, and the impact to the G.I. Joe team hierarchy has been dramatic and effective.  That certainly holds true throughout this one shot.

Essentially, a small team of G.I. Joe operatives (Scarlett, Roadblock, Rock n Roll, Quick Kick, Wild Bill, and Shipwreck) infiltrate the Bikini Atol EDC facility, fearing that it may have been infiltrated by Dire Wraiths.  To make a long story short, their fears are well founded and as they hit the shore of the island, they find themselves under assault by the Dire Wraiths, but not just from the facility itself, but also from within their own ranks!

It’s an exciting story, though not perfect, and not necessarily the thrilling launchpad to a new iteration of G.I. Joe I had wanted it to be.  That may be partly due to my own expectations, however.  I have to come to understand and appreciate what the IDW Publishing version of G.I. Joe is and understand it might not dovetail with my own, and that’s okay.

The writer for the Revolution One-Shot, Aubrey Sitterson does a good job with the characters, capturing their personalities well and managing to build upon what IDW has already put in place.  I will admit I was a bit disappointed that we’re getting several of the “same old” characters (Scarlett, Roadblock, Quick Kick, and Shipwreck were all players in the most recent Fred Van Lente G.I. Joe relaunch) but I know there are certain key characters that readers latch onto and it makes sense to cater to that crowd.

Also, I know it’s always a challenge to bridge the military with the more comic book super hero aspects of the G.I. Joe universe, but I found Quick Kick especially to be woefully unequipped.  He’s infiltrating a potentially dangerous island with a spandex short-sleeved shirt and cargo pants, but no real weapons.

The action sequences were well story boarded, though there were some instances where I couldn’t necessarily tell what had happened (an issue especially in the instance with Quick Kick’s injury, because that should have been a pretty impactful sequence).  There is plenty of dramatic and dynamic action, and a surprisingly emotional scene at the end involving Rock n Roll (that I will avoid specifying for spoiler’s sake).  There’s a lot of uncertainty, a definite feeling of danger and the final few pages are as captivating an IDW G.I. Joe story I’ve read in a long time.  It has a very strong finish, to be sure.

As for the art, I find myself a bit mixed.  I have no issues with the animated style of art, and I love the sense of dramatic action from panel to panel, Milonogiannis does fabulous work there.  Scarlett’s minor uniform redesign works well, as does [[SECRET GUEST STAR REDACTED]]’s outfit at the end.  They have strong military ties, but a lot of science fiction influence, and I dig that about my G.I. Joe universe.  I do wish some of the weapons were depicted with a bit more accuracy and realism, but I know it can be tough to balance that with a more exaggerated animated style, and given my preference, I’d rather lean towards the exciting overall artwork rather than a meticulous attention to detail on the weapons.  In that way, I think the art was tremendously successful.

As a recap – I think this issue did it’s job and did it well.  There are certain persistent elements within the IDW universe as a whole that I wish could be massaged or changed, but in the context of the Revolution.  I liked the conflict within the team, the action was developed relatively well and the art was a breath of fresh air.  I think this issue showed nice promise, and I’m hoping Sitterson can continue the momentum with the G.I. Joe ongoing comic launching as Revolution wraps, things could get very interesting!