Wednesday, April 12, 2006
KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE
If I had to guess, I’d suspect I’ve probably used that gag before.
G.I. JOE #7-9
Written by Joe Casey and Drawn by Stefano Caselli and Nelson Blake II
Published by Devil’s Due
Comics’ longest running military soap opera continues its re-launch, as Casey works to try and find ways to satisfy readers who’ve been following the team for years as well as make the book simple enough to follow for the new readers Devil’s Due is hoping to bring to the title. His efforts are a mixed bag, but for the most part, the series remains steadily entertaining.
When last we left the Joes, they had taken vacation to go on an off-the-books rescue mission. Scarlett had been captured by classic baddie Destro, and with the government declining to support their efforts to get her back, the team was granted some shore leave to do with what they wanted to. Unfortunately, their efforts bring about the seeming demise of the most popular Joe, Snake Eyes, so no one is very happy when they get back home.
Now, if you believe that Snake Eyes, the Joes’ equivalent to Wolverine in popularity, is actually dead, then you probably believe that Iraq was behind the immigration marches of the past couple of weeks. And your lips are moving as you read this. However, if you have a couple of brain cells to rub together, you can probably guess that there’s a resurrection ahead for the silent guy in black. The key is for Casey to at least present the illusion of change, no matter how temporary, because that’s the way that a soap opera keeps fresh over time. The illusion of change keeps a series like G.I. JOE feeling vital; it can incorporate bits and pieces from the real world and maintain a zippy connection to us all, and giving the audience a vicarious thrill is always what successful soaps have done well.
G.I. JOE will never, ever, be Shakespeare. But thanks to a large number of trade paperbacks and back issues, it will always be a comforting presence for your inner thirteen-year old boy, and for many a reader, that’s more than enough.