March 10, 2010

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Trebro Tees Off: G.I. Joe Reborn

Written by Paul Jenkins and John Ney Reiber
Illustrated by Eddy Barrows, Joe Bennett, Renato Arlem, Moises Damasceno, Javier Salares, Jack Jadson, William Dias, Ruy Jose, and Andrew Pepoy
Devil's Due

I was big fan of the G.I. Joe cartoon as a kid, and I figured when I saw this in the library catalog I'd give it a try. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.

The comic is an attempt to "update" (this is almost always a bad thing in comics) the G.I. Joe story into modern times. Thus there are fierce Russian-style prisons, disaffected Americans becoming terrorists for COBRA, and Destro is a descendant of the Man in the Iron Mask. Jenkins makes this worse by having the COBRA commander be a man who failed to pay his income tax and turned into an ultra-libertarian bent on revenge.

I wish I was kidding.

The Joe side of things is not much better. The government, of course, can't react to the threat of COBRA, so a dedicated man must take people off the grid to deal with the fight. They're a hot red head who loses her family to a COBRA-released virus, a doctor that throws smoke grenades, and of course military men who hate the ineffectual military system.

That's right, instead of being the best of the best against the worst of the worst, we get a set of characters who make Dick Chaney look like a member of Greenpeace who either turn good or evil depending on who they meet first.

Maybe I've just outgrown the concept, but it just feels like they tinkered too much and tried to make things more complex than they need to be. There wasn't a need to give COBRA a reason to exist. They just want to rule the world--who cares about the state of the local economy!

I don't even care that there's a cliffhanger on this one, I just care to warn anyone with a hint of nostalgia for these guys to steer far clear of this thing.
J.I. Joe has been better served in other comics. Give this one a pass.