G.I. Joe #3 - IDW Publishing

I'm still not 100% sure about where IDW is going with this main title, but things are starting to at least take shape, and I think the first three issues are actually working relatively well. Issue #2 was fairly slow without much really happening, and in a funny way, Issue #3 was the same way, only there was a whole lot more action crammed between the covers. Really, the third issue did not progress the story at all. There was basically a twenty-five page battle that was probably an hour in length, but we got some decent cameo's, some great action, and plenty of bullets flying. Nothing wrong with that.

Basic Plot

The previous two issues basically led up to this... some mysterious high tech device has been brought into The Pit for examination and testing, only there's a hidden activation switch which brings the robotic killer to life and sends it on a rampage through G.I. Joe's secret headquarters. A single android quickly turns into several smaller ones and launches their attack. That all happened in the first two issues, so now we have a full-fledged barrage of gunfire from the robotic monstrosity, and return fire from various members of the G.I. Joe team. We've seen a lot of the action in the 5-page preview, but the two-page spread is just too cool to not repeat here.

Beachhead, Duke, Rock n Roll, and several other lower wage-scale recruits pepper the beast with gun in one area while Hawk holds another defensive stand under attack. As we saw in the previous issue, these robotic weapons are being controlled by operatives in Destro's Scottish castle. As they control the automated assailants, a new Joe recruit named Brainstorm (introduced in Issue #2) uses some unconventional methods to confuse and distract the robotic attackers, while other Joes team up and fight them off.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Destro's operatives are getting frustrated while Destro himself continues an impromptu meeting outside.

Destro and the Baroness continue their introductions, and it ends in confrontation as the arms dealer calls upon his guard dog to even the odds a bit.

Back in The Pit, the Joes continue to do battle.

Brainstorm makes his way back to where the devices were originally stored and figures out that the source of the attackers is the odd mechanical item that they retrieved in an earlier operation. He also discovers that there are five remaining and even though they are in the Pit, the Pit has a GPS masking system that is preventing the attackers from revealing their location. Brainstorm suddenly seems to figure out what's going on and the team rushes out of the storage area, only to be confronted by one of the robots. But Scarlett arrives just in time to pull their fat out of the fire.

As Scarlett finishes off the robot, Brainstorm reports that most of the attackers were merely decoys and the real target is their server farm. The Joes disperse and pursue the robotic creatures, taking them down one-by-one. Duke, Brainstorm, and Beachhead reach the servers and find one the critters jacking into the console, attempting to broadcast the location, but Beachhead halts that progress as only he can.

However, even though they've stopped the download progress, the robot breaks loose and begins climbing towards the surface. Brainstorm announces that if the device gets outside of the GPS blind spot, it will be able to reveal The Pit's location. That's where issue # 3 ends.


Issue #1 seemed to be a perfect blend between action and story progression. Issue #2 went for a more direct story progression and left a bit of the action behind. Issue #3 then cranks up the action and we essentially get a twenty-five page battle sequence with a bit of dialogue and plot tossed in. Ultimately, I liked it. So many comics are written these days with the Trade Paperback format in mind, and that can sometimes cause the individual issues to suffer, and I think that will end up being the case here. I think that once this hits TPB status the story and plot will flow very nicely and the end result will be a satisfying story, but in individual issues, with month-long breaks between them, the progress can be a bit jarring. Dixon still does a nice job with the feel of the dialogue, mixing in military jargon, joking back-and-forth, and much more normal speaking tendancies. I'm really appreciating the plot, too, with the Joes and MARS sort of fighting a technology battle. Destro seems to be quite interested in what the Joes know about this cutting edge tech, which is an interesting dichotomy, considering it always seemed to be Destro and COBRA who had the technology edge in times past.

As for the art, I can't say enough about Robert Atkins. He has evolved before our eyes, and the art style here is crisp, clean, really well-proportioned and not at all cartoony, yet still quite dramatic. I could easily draw some parallels to Mark Bagley, who seemed able to walk the line between highly stylized and "animated" art, but still retain some realistic looking stuff as well. The large splash page was fantastic, and even some smaller images with the Joes firing the weapons comes across great. I have a pet peeve for artists on Joe books who don't know how to draw real weaponry, and Atkins is doing fabulous work not only drawing well, but drawing right.

Character cameos by Rock n Roll and Hawk were very welcome, and both were immediately identifiable by look and by action. I love Hawk's more "bad ass" attitude, even if his one-handed rattling off of a heavy machine gun stretched the "realism" lines a bit. I do love the fact that he's a four-star General who isn't afraid to jump into the "fire" so to speak. Good stuff.


Even with an obvious Trade Paperback pacing, issue #3 rolls along swiftly and features some welcome cameos and lots of dramatic action. Great art, solid dialogue, and an intriguing storyline so far. I'm definitely still along for the ride, I think once the first arc is done and I sit back and read it all in one sitting, I could enjoy it even more.

GRADE: out of 5