Today we’ve got three advance reviews of IDW titles for you - two G.I. Joe titles, and one Doctor Who. Geronimo, yo joe, and mild spoilers ho:
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #175 - Sure, half of the issue is taken up with some sort of thing going on with The Baroness, Destro, and Cobra Commander, but the real draw here? In all but name, you’ve got Ninjas vs. Terminators. And you can’t really get more awesome in comic books than that (okay, maybe if it was in medieval times).
But seriously, folks, what Lara Hama and the rest of the team do so successfully here is continue to do what they’ve done for decades: deliver classic G.I. Joe tales in as fun and simple a manner as possible. Here, you basically have one long fight scene with Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes trying to elude a Terminator-lite robot. Does he have a weakness in the eye area? Will they be triumphant, but probably have to fight a hundred more robots next issue? Sure. And that’s what keeps us coming back.
Plus, what other comic book has a character shout that someone, “Just got defenestrated!” That’s just great stuff right there, and I mean that seriously. Lots of comic books go for a classic feel... By getting THE classic G.I. Joe team, IDW is creating (or rather continuing) a classic in just the right way.
G.I. Joe #10 - On the other hand, you have the new, ongoing G.I. Joe series, which is in the middle of a crossover with the other titles in the line. Not only does it have modern continuity and ongoing plots, but you’re dealing with part four of a nine part storyline. Not the most new reader friendly of books, and unfortunately not nearly the best of the line (that would be the new Cobra book).
What G.I. Joe does have down is military language, and for those who like their books full of technical specs, they’ll have a field day with this issue. Probably not a literal field day, but they will enjoy it. You get what I mean.
Still, the crossover - which finds Cobra deciding to just up and destroy a country, with the Joes unable to stop them in time, is an exciting one. And if you’re reading the rest of the crossover, there’s a couple of crucial bits here you’ll probably want to check out. For the rest of us, we’ll just head over to the next issue of Snake Eyes for the ninja fights.
Doctor Who #14 - New series writer Joshua Hale Fialkov continues his “Silurians in Casablanca” arc with this issue, and like the last one, he nails the Matt Smith Doctor’s voice perfectly. There’s not a lot here that we haven’t seen with the recent Silurian episodes in the TV show (though the Casablanca setting is a fun one), and Amy and Rory seem a bit under-utilized at this point (as the kid in the Princess Bride might say, there’s a bit too much of the “kissing stuff,” and not enough action).
But Matthew Dow Smith lends a pleasing sketchiness to the art chores, (no, he’s not the guy who plays the Doctor on TV), reminiscent of Andy Kuhn’s great work on Firebreather. If you’re a fan of the Doctor, these are solid adventures well told; if not, well, this is a fun way to get into them without the commitment of having to watch five seasons... Though you should do that anyway.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #175, G.I. Joe #10, and Doctor Who #14 all hit comic book stands on February 1, 2012 from IDW.