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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: Roots of Retaliation TPB
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IDW Publishing: G.I. Joe: Roots of RetaliationG.I. Joe: Roots of Retaliation Trade Paperback
Written by Larry Hama
Pencils by Larry Hama, Mike Vosburg, John D’Agostino, Frank Springer & Marshall Rogers
Inks by Randy Emberlin, Andy Mushynsky & Steve Leialoha
Colors by George Roussos & Bob Sharen
Letters by Rick Parker
Original Edits by Denny O’Neill & Bobby Chase
Collection Edits by Justin Eisinger & Alonzo Simon
Collection Design by Chris Mowry
Cover by Jonboy Meyers
Cover Colors by Anthony Washington
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 27, 2012
Cover Price: $14.99

Collected in this trade paperback, G.I. Joe: Roots of Retaliation, are 5 different stories all dealing with characters that are (I’m guessing here) featured heavily in the upcoming movie. Yes, we all know that G.I. Joe: Retaliation has been pushed back until Spring of next year, but know that you have all that extra time, it’s a great oppertunity to take a look back at these classic G.I. Joe issues and find out just how these characters made their debut back in the day.

This collection runs the gambit of classic G.I. Joe stories, all from the classic Marvel Comics run written by Larry Hama. It’s a great blast from the past, as we get a look back at the introduction of the Red Ninjas, Roadblock, Duke, Flint, Lady Jaye, and the original Joe, Joe Colton. Over the years, these characters have changed quite a bit, and that doesn’t even include all the different incarnations of the characters like in the cartoons, other comic series, action figure bios.

The trade starts off with the most classic G.I. Joe story “Silent Interlude.” It’s been noted many places that Larry Hama was running late with this issue, and so, running short of time, he decided to use no words in the issue. As a result, one of the most classic stories in ALL OF COMICS was born. Creators have tried again and again to mirror its success, but none have even come close to this classic issues. And, this story is officially the debut of the Red Ninjas, a group that would become legendary in G.I. Joe circles. Next up, is “Like Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust…” featuring the debut of Duke & Roadblock. Many of us don’t remember that Roadblock was originally a pacifist that didn’t want to do anything other than cook, and Duke was really mean Top Sargent called in to “make soldiers out of the G.I. Joes!”. There’s is the most impressive debut, as they single handedly take down a Cobra Rattler with machine guns. Nice touch.

Next up, is the introduction of Lady Jaye, which is a very quiet one. Her and Ripcord show up to take the place of Scarlett and Grunt, and, as you can imagine that doesn’t go very well at all. After that, we’re onto Flint’s explosive introduction in “Twin Brothers,” a story focusing mostly on, The Crimson Twins. Flint is introduced as an “old friend” of Duke’s, and wastes no time in taking his place on the team. Lastly, we have the 25th Anniversary of G.I. Joe and the introduction of Joe Colton team in “Not Fade Away.” Which is a fantastic battle between the Joes & Cobra, and one truly worthy of being the 25th Anniversary story.

These stories are all classic, and it’s nice and handy to have all these intros in one volume. Again, even though you have a great deal of time before the movie comes out, you should definitely read this, especially if your only a casual Joe fan. It’ll get you geared up for the movies release next spring.

This features stories drawn by everyone from Larry Hama himself to Marshall Rogers. What can I say? There’s some classic art in this book. Frank Springer, was probably my all time favorite Joe artist from the original run, but I have to say, there’s something about the way that Larry Hama drew issue 21, that is just magical. It really feels like it’s a different side to the G.I. Joe universe. A more seedy, creepier side. This is classic Marvel art, so there’s really not much NOT to love. What I forgot that I loved about the title is that the artists drew a LOT of funny stuff in the background city scapes. Everything from fake movie titles on marquees to names on delivery trucks, it’s all done with a wink and a nod. These artists were having fun DRAWING, and it shows. You don’t get the feeling that they were just plowing through pages so that they could turn them in and get back to there X-Box games. Great stuff, here, people.

Whether you’re a fan with only a passing interest in the comics, but excited about the movie, or a die hard fan and this is your 5th time buying these issues in one form or another, this is a great book. It’s one that you’ll want to read now, and then revisit a week before the movie opens. Trust me, it’s well worth the cover price.

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