G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Annual #1
Written by Larry Hama
Art by Ron Frenz, Ron Wagner, and Herb Trimpe
Inks by Sal Buscema
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by Shawn Lee
Released February 29, 2012
I said plenty of times how much I am loving IDW’s line of G.I. Joe comics and one of the things I love the most is the Real American Hero series, which picked up from the end of the classic Marvel comics run, and wisely brought back G.I. Joe writer Larry Hama to bring back some of the old magic. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Annual #1 is a great one-off story that perfectly captures the feel of those old stories and speaks straight to the 10-year-old in me.
This issue deals with a former member of Cobra’s Crimson Guard who had taken on a normal life with a normal job, until he’s fired. Now he has dusted off his old uniform, and he has a plan to make a big statement at an amusement park. There are two problems that he has to deal with: 1) The Joe team gets wind of his plan and sets out to stop him, and 2) Cobra Commander gets wind of his plan, and isn’t too thrilled for someone to perform a terrorist act that he didn’t plan. So what we get is two different groups trying to stop a terrorist for different reasons, with everyone not being a fan of anyone else. It’s kind of a goofy story, but it totally captures the feel of the stories that I used to love. Larry Hama is such an old hand with these characters that he can do whatever he wants with them and give the readers an entertaining story. This isn’t a flashy story, it doesn’t do anything new with the medium, it’s just a lot of fun.
Adding to the fun is the art by the trio of Ron Frenz, Ron Wagner, and Herb Trimpe, along with the inks of Sal Buscema that really bring a uniform look to the book. This is a collection of artist that has a lot of experience under their belts, and it shows in their work here. They all have a very classic 80’s style that fits perfectly with this book. They just add to the nostalgia factor that goes along with this book. Much like the story, it’s nothing flashy, but it just feels right.
My only problem with this Annual is the price tag. At $7.99, it’s a little pricey, even being 40 pages long. I wish there had been a few more extras included with the issue. Anything would make that price a little easier to swallow. Still, this is a fun issue that longtime fans of G.I. Joe will want to pick up. I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5.