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Review – G.I. Joe #268 (IDW Publishing)

Overall
8.8/10
8.8/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #268

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Netho Diaz
Colorist: J. Brown
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Cover Art: Robert Atkins
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: November 13th, 2019

The G.I. Joe team scrambles after the unexpected kidnapping of Sean Collins. COBRA is trying to secure their high-value target while the Joes try to rescue one of their own. 

Take to the Skies in G.I. Joe #268

One of the great benefits of the medium of comics is that it provides a perfect playground for a creative dreamer. Mind-bending dimensions and the reaches of outer space are easily handled, compared to most other mediums. Even with that advantage, though, it doesn’t mean that more traditional stories are not told. Although action elements typically exist throughout the medium, it is less common for a writer to go all-in on an action story. Compared to film, or even television, it is not as easy to build the tension. Part of the reason for this is because the pulse-pounding special effects are not as in-your-face on page as on screen. With that said, though, that is not to say that comics based on pure action cannot exist. Not surprisingly from a series focused on military heroes, G.I. Joe #268 takes this approach from beginning to end. 

Writing

G.I. Joe #268 (IDW Publishing) cover A by Robert Atkins
G.I. Joe #268 (IDW Publishing) cover A by Robert Atkins

Larry Hama has the writing responsibilities in G.I. Joe #268. The decision to go full-on with action can be a risky one in comics.  It can go over relatively well or sort of fizzle out if the pacing isn’t right. It is, for sure, not going to depend on strong characterization or strange, mind-bending concepts. Hama proves that he has what it takes to get this right. As an experienced writer, he has written his fair share of these kinds of stories, and he manages the pacing, action sequences, and dialogue as well as one could hope. This also ties into the twelve-issue story arc, and so, despite being a primarily action-oriented issue, this still gives the reader some basis for the bigger picture. 

Art

The genre of action is likely the most difficult in terms of comic art. As some genres allow for free rein of the artist and others don’t even have a huge effect on the story, if the art in an action story is not right it can ruin the whole experience. With Netho Diaz as the artist and J. Brown on colors, that is not the case here. Though this issue reads fast, that is actually a compliment to the artist. The fact that the art doesn’t get in the way of the fast-paced storytelling means that it is a success. For those that might re-read this issue, they will notice great detail in all of the military vehicles in addition to the state-of-the-art operations rooms. That this issue succeeds is due in large part to the art team, though at first glance the art doesn’t pop out. 

Conclusion

This was a fun issue. It is not very layered and there is no focus on characterization. This is an action-based aerial chase action sequence that plays out over an entire issue. It is not very deep in terms of material but anyone looking for a fun read will find it here in G.I. Joe #268.


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