Tuesday, 10 January 2017

G.I. Joe #1 - IDW Publishing

G.I. JOE No. 1, December 2016
Considering it was printed “in the wake of IDW’s Revolution crossover event”, it is perhaps not unsurprising that “IDW Publishing” desperately tried to peddle “The Crown Jewel Of The Hasbro Universe” as something ‘explosively innovative’ upon its release in December 2016. After all, hadn't the San Diego-based publisher literally ramped up the “Real American Heroes” mission into a global one by creating a comic book universe which comprises “of not only the Transformers and G.I. Joe properties, but also all-new properties Micronauts, Rom, and Action Man, as well as the launch of a long-awaited M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand series?”

Sadly however, Issue One of “G.I. Joe” falls disconcertingly short of any such grand aspirations, with Aubrey Sitterson’s choppily childlike narrative concerning multi-limbed ninjas running through the streets of Tokyo, and Roadblock requiring the assistance of transformer Skywarp to rescue his out-matched strike team, giving the periodical a decidedly amateurish quality. Indeed, when the arguable highlight of a script, written by someone who has apparently worked “for almost every major American comic book publisher”, is a canteen scene depicting naval expert Shipwreck serving his colleagues “a spirulina-enriched plankton patty” for dinner, then it seems somewhat dubious that “one of the most iconic intellectual properties in American history” is actually in ‘safe hands’, and certainly clear that very few of its readers would have had their “mind busted wide open by all the awesomeness of the preceding twenty pages.”

Admittedly this franchise’s loyal followers will have been pleased by a plot which includes almost the entirety of the G.I. Joe International Peacekeeping Initiative’s roster in it, with notables such as Scarlett, Rock’N Roll, Quick Kick, Doc, Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye, Gung-Ho and even Grand Slam, all being given something to do. But the vast majority of these ‘appearances’ are minimal at best, as proceedings emphatically follow the organisation’s “new leader”, its troubled machine gunner and its latest field commander; “You’re making me regret promoting Roadblock… Or just regret making you captain of the Nemesis.”

Just as disagreeable is “the amazing Giannis Milonogiannis artwork”, which genuinely appears like the amateurish interior work ordinarily only seen within the covers of an adolescent home-made fanzine. Undisciplined and scratchy, the Greek penciller’s substandard breakdowns are so far from him “firing on all cylinders” that its incredible Editor Carlos Guzman allowed this “brave new world” to be printed in its current form… Let alone allow a somewhat egotistical-sounding Sitterson to nonsensically spout at the end of this comic that, partially owing to his own “stunning writing”, “G.I. Joe is the best book on the stands today.”
Writer: Aubrey Sitterson, Artist: Giannis Milonogiannis, and Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski

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