G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #192 Written by Larry Hama
Art by Sergio Cariello
Colors by J. Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor: Carlos Guzman
Covers by SL Gallant & Gary Erskine with colors by J. Brown, and Larry Hama IDW Publishing
Release Date: July 31, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #192 is, just like it has been since its return to publishing in 2005, a complete and totally fun read from cover to cover.
Writer Larry Hama deals with about 4 major plot lines in this issue, switching focus about every 2-4 pages on what’s going on. You might think that there’s not enough time to devote to each character or story, but this is where Hama succeeds. He brings a couple of the stories to a definite close (well, as much as you can in comics, and leaves the others ending with some great cliffhangers. What I love so much about this series is that I can’t wait for the next issue. You just don’t get that with a lot of other comics today. This series is definitely NOT “written for the trade” and that’s what’s so unique about it and so great about Hama’s story telling.
IDW’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who resumes with the Tom Baker issue of Prisoners of Time. While this fourth chapter continues some of the elemental highlights of the previous issue, there are some less-than-stellar characteristics that detract from the plot, though not enough to stop it from being an enjoyable read.
The overarching plot of Prisoners of Time looks at an as-of-yet undisclosed villain and enemy of the Doctor, who is invading moments from all 11 of his incarnations and kidnapping his companions. The motives and reasoning are not yet clear as to why he is doing this, though each Doctor will have their own issue, crowning in the 12th issue where presumably all Doctors will join forces.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #185 is the one hundredth and eighty-fifth issue of awesomeness. In a row. That’s a pretty good record, by any standards.
Writer and creator of the G.I. Joe that everyone knows and loves, Larry Hama, manages to do something that no other writer does: makes a completely believable, viable, military comic with soldiers dressed in the most RIDICULOUS outfits ever imagined. OK, so, everyone of my generation thought (and still thinks) that those fatigues are awesome, but, in reality, if any kind of soldier wore those clothes he would be shot and killed immediately. Probably by members of his own team. But, I digress. This issue continues the three main story lines and even introduces a couple more into the mix. PLUS-ZARTAN!!!!!! And, there’s a couple other surprise appearances that I won’t spoil for you. But, this is another solid issue of excitement and adventure that we’ve gotten since 1983 from this writer, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Thank God.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE IDW’s current G.I. Joe books. And I’m over the moon excited about the relaunch next year. But, once a month, I’m transported back in time and reminded WHY I love this franchise in the first place. And that’s all thanks to this book. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #184 is just another example of that. And c’mon, it’s got Roadpig and Zarana on the cover too!!
How awesome is writer Larry Hama? He’s been writing this book for THIRTY YEARS (OK, the book wasn’t published for a little chunk of that, but still) and he hasn’t lost a beat with these characters and this concept. What impresses me most about his writing is that he’s able to mix the perfect amount of real life military adventure with the right amount of sci-fi to create situations that are both believable and unbelievable at the same time.
Very few comics can pick up right where they left off 20 years ago and still maintain the level of creative goodness that G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #179 does. I believe that’s due in part to the creative team, but also to the minds of the audience. All it takes is opening the cover and you’re right back where you were a couple of decades ago. Sure, you might have a kid or two, a family, a house of your own. But inside we’re all the same 10 or 12 year old kids that loved reading this book. The book hasn’t changed. We have. A little.
Every G.I. Joe fan needs to buy Larry Hama a drink. If for nothing else, for the fact that he’s just awesome. This issue is action from cover to cover. I’ll be honest with you, there’s not much Joe action here, it’s a Cobra-centric issue as the forces of Cobra take on the Blue Ninja Clan, with the help of a Joe or two.