Today brings us the latest installment in Hama and Gallant’s fantastic continuation of the Real American Hero mythology. I’ve read the latest issue, check out my thoughts below.
GIJOE ARAH 209
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: SL Gallant
Inks: Brian Shearer
Colors: J. Brown
Letters: Neal Uyetake
Editor: Carlos Guzman
Juggling several different storylines, the Real American Hero book continues at a furious pace, trying to tell the Revanche story, the Sean Collins story, the Serpentor story, and the Crimson Guard story all simultaneously, yet trying to also weave them all together into a cohesive thread.
By and large, Larry Hama has been successful integrating all of the various elements into a decent story, though like the infamous Blue Ninja story arc, I am growing a tad bit weary of Revanche, especially after meeting the apparent head of the company here. I can bridge fantasy, science fiction, and realistic military as well as anyone else, but still seeing a cybernetic dude with a dozen robotic eyes growing from his skin takes me just a bit out of my comfort zone.
I will say, I enjoyed the inner conflict within the Joe team over the apparent attempt at resurrecting Serpentor. Most of them realize what a potential mistake it is, yet Joe and Jane seem adamant to go down that road, which will make things very interesting as they shape up.
Storm Shadow becomes a part of the story again, yet again I find myself curious as to how these Revanche cyber-ninjas could be so powerful in the last story arc, yet now, Storm Shadow can single-handedly dispose of a dozen of them with a few sword swipes.
Gallant continues his trend of classic artwork, nicely capturing the look and feel of the vintage G.I. Joe design aesthetic. The thing I love most, though is his sense of motion. Everything is very dramatic and flows nicely from panel-to-panel, yet the impact shots actually feel like they mean something. It’s an excellent bridge between realism and animation and he seems able to walk that line to perfection, which suits the G.I. Joe story well. After all, G.I. Joe itself walks that line between realism and fantasy, it’s only appropriate that the artwork follow that trend.
This was a good issue. Hama and Gallant continue to do great work bringing those classic elements forward and still telling a great tail. It was good to see characters like Airtight and Bazooka, and I would encourage the creative team to continue exploring those (slightly) less known members of the G.I. Joe team. I was a bit disappointed with the mission in Ireland featuring mostly G.I. Joe mainstays like Duke, Snake Eyes, Scarlett, and Roadblock, and I hope Hama continues to utilize the large and varied roster at his disposal.
A good next step of an issue, though as I said, I am hoping to see some wrap up of the Revanche story line soon.