For those of you that haven’t been reading G.I. Joe, here’s the absolute basics you need to know about what’s been going on:
Devil’s Due Publishing took over the G.I. Joe comics license in July of 2001 and essentially continued the 182 issue run done by Marvel Comics in the 80s. It featured the return of Cobra as a much more ruthless terrorist organization and the series was accessible and could easily fit into the “real world.” At the end of Devil’s Due Publishing’s first
Real American Hero run, we saw the destruction of Cobra Island and the death of major characters such as Lady Jaye.
The series picked up with
G.I. Joe: America’s Elite, one year after the events in Issue 43 of
Real American Hero. For the last 18 issues we have seen a shoddy command structure amongst the ranks of G.I. Joe as their new commander, General Joseph Colton, the original G.I. Joe has taken over for the paralyzed Hawk. During this time the presidential aide/Cobra Commander in disguise, Garrett Freedlowe has convinced the president to form a new elite squadron called the Phoenix Guard. This new group was led by Presidential lapdog General Rey and consisted of undercover Cobra Operatives. While the Phoenix Guard effectively incapacitates the G.I. Joe unit, we learn that General Colton has secretly imprisoned the Baroness, and during the Phoenix Guard raid, she is set free. Things look grim for G.I. Joe but their long lost (and often questioned) field commander knows of the impending attack and Duke is going solo against the Phoenix Guard to rescue his teammates.
I’ve been raving about this title for weeks on my personal site, the raving continues in this latest issue which features the long awaited return of Cobralalala! The Phoenix Guard gets their butts kicked by the Baroness, who is obviously still very upset with Cobra over the incarceration of Destro and the death of their child. General Rey seems to start slipping into madness after realizing his hand-picked and trained team turned out to be Cobra mercenaries. My only question is what their mission really was, to wipe out G.I. Joe or to free the Baroness; I wonder this because the Baroness beats the hell out of Zarana before stealing a helicopter and taking off. Duke also makes his triumphant return to the ranks he throws an incendiary grenade on top of Wild Weasel, saving a number kidnapped Joes. Duke has been one of the most troubled characters of the Joe team, his leadership constantly in question but his true character shines through, shooting down Wild Weasel and then devising a strategy for taking down the rest of the Phoenix Guard. When the dust settles, Cobra Commander reveals himself to the President and reveals his ruse, posing as the Presidential aide. General Colton also asserts his position and feelings on G.I. Joe, reorganizing and restructuring the team. Cobra Commander also prepares for the triumphant return of Cobra, with a twist… an heir apparent. This is one of the best titles you can spend money on.
The art is also fantastic; Josh Medors clean but edgy and gritty style is perfect for a military thriller. You won’t find yourself lost in sloppy artwork but you will find yourself indulged in the story which is only made even better due to the book’s art. There is very little disappointing about this title besides the fact that not everyone is reading it.