Destro Supplies Another Great Joe Comic: Single Minded for June 19th, 2024

Time for more Single Minded! Today Rob's got a few comics from this week he'd like to talk to you about and convince you to pick up at your local comic shop or favorite digital device!

It goes without saying these aren't the only books I read this week, but they are the ones I most wanted to talk about. So what registered on my radar? Let's find out...


Destro #1
Written by Dan Watters
Line Art by Andrei Bressan
Color Art by Adriano Lucas
Letters by Rus Wooten
Published by Skybound/Image

Arms are his business and business is very good for Destro, the latest leader of his Scottish Clan. Fresh off an uneasy partnership with the Cobra Commander and manipulating global affairs, Destro is ready to take the next steps to ensure his place of power. But he's not the only game in town and the competition is deadly in this premiere issue that sets up my favorite Cobra character of all time perfectly.

Series writer Dan Watters, in his afterwards, refers to Destro as someone who "does it all dressed like a pro-wrestling vampire" and I absolutely love that description. While many of the characters in the GI Joe Universe have iconic looks, Destro's shiny face, which unlike Cobra Commander's, can emote at the same time it obscures, is just so much fun to look at, whether it's cartoons or comics.

Line artist Andrei Bressan gets that and ensures that at any given moment, we can know exactly what Destro is thinking, just by looking at him. While other characters may try to hide their emotions, Destro lives by them. Perhaps it's his Scottish blood? Either way, I came away from this issue really impressed with how well Bressan draws Destro's expressions to assist with the portrayal Watters is going for. 

Unfortunately, I couldn't find an official preview image with Bressan drawing Destro, but the cover picture gives you a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. Destro sits on a throne of weapons, grinning from ear to ear, feeling confident that he is the best there is at being a weapons dealer and that getting into bed with Cobra is only a way to ensure he remains the unquestioned master of the field, just as his ancestors (in an awesome set piece) would have wanted it. 

But it's not just Destro that Bressan gives strong emotions to. Check out the looks on these soldiers' faces when they realize they're on the wrong side of the arms race, with what they're looking at as the second image:

This is some great storytelling work from the artists. We first get an introduction to the tech, which gets a schematic style coloring background from Adriano Lucas, then we see that it's going to be nearly impossible for them to take the android down. 

That's about when they look up to see the second image, which is a seemingly limitless number of androids coming out of the sky, which is colored in such a peaceful sunrise/sunset pastel from Lucas, nicely contrasting with Brissan's endless figures of death.

Those men are screwed and they know it. (Oh and check out how the color backdrop really pushes your eyes towards those expressions!) What makes this comic really stand out, since "badass war machine" isn't exactly a new concept, is just how well the art is selling the plot and dialogue of Watters.

It doesn't hurt that this is a great plot and set up. Destro appears to be getting everything he wants, but it's already clear that in his arrogance, he may be overestimating his ability to control the situation. The Cobra Commander is not the leader of a third world country or one who operates within the international laws that Destro clearly excels at exploiting. There's a saying about governments fighting the previous war and it looks strongly to me like that may be Destro's problem. By the end of the issue, he looks to be relishing the challenge presented to him, but that might just be his own undoing.

Then again, knowing Destro, he'll find a way to give himself a shot at remaining on top. Finding out how he does - or perhaps doesn't! - do so is going to be a fun ride. As with Scarlett, I really love how Watters is working within what we know but still creating something new. These Skybound GI Joe books are off to an extremely strong start and I can't wait to see how they tie it all together.