Reading G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #177 made me feel like a kid again. And it’ll do the same for you. Yes, comics have come a VERY long way since the days when the G.I. Joe comics were first being published, but the creative team has realized that and updated their execution to make the perfect blend of past and present.
Reading a Larry HamaG.I. Joe book is like reading a Stan Lee Spider-Man book. The man created pretty much the whole G.I. Joe universe as the world at large knows it. Sure, there were fans of G.I. Joe when he was a 12-inch soldier going on adventures, but it was the 1982 version of G.I. Joe against Cobra, the enemy, that made children all over the world stand up and take notice. And it’s nice to see that 30 years later, it still feels like I’m reading the same comic. Actually, I am. Reading this comic made me realize how LITTLE action that there is in today’s comics. From cover to cover this is a full-out battle issue. Guns, swords, grenades, it’s amazing. There’s also TONS of story going on in this issue, in fact, too many to list here. Hama has the unique ability to further about five plots at once, all during the thick of an all out war between the Joes and Cobra.
Artwise, you have Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema. I could end this part of the review with that sentence right there and it would be enough. But, c’mon people!!! Not one, but TWO of the most classic artists of all time! What more could you want? They give the book a real retro feel, all the while keeping it set in modern times. It’s the perfect team for this book and I hope they continue. Frenz’s facial expressions are perfect when an unsuspecting guard runs into a mask-less Snake Eyes. And the battles are drawn perfectly in that they aren’t hard to follow and you know what exactly is going on.
I gotta tell you, this is one terrific comic. If you’re a G.I. Joe fan, you’ll be beside yourself with happiness. If you’re not a Joe fan, it’s still nice to be able to pick up a comic that is packed with story, action, and great art. Read this issue and then read something else that came out this week. The difference will indeed shock you — in the best of ways.