Publisher/Year: IDW, 2011
Artist: John Stateman, Rod Whigham, Herb Trimpe, Andrew Wildman
Writer: Larry Hama, Herb Trimpe
Collects: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #111-123
I love what Larry Hama did on the title when I was growing up. It pains me to write this, but I have an obligation to be honest and to call them as I see them. This title has gone from lovable fun to loathable stupidity. Gone are nearly all of the semi-realistic military angles; in are high fantasy elements such as the G.I. Joe Ninja Force and Battle Force 2000. Not to be outdone, Cobra has Slice and Dice, a pair of evil ninjas.
Longtime fans will be happy with the reintroduction of Zartan, Tomax, Xamot, and Billy (Cobra Commander's son). Undoubtedly inspired by the events of Operation: Desert Storm in January, 1991, the Joes become involved in conflicts in the Middle East in fictitious countries such as Quagmahr, Benzheen, and Abysmia. I got a kick out of those names.
Storm Shadow gets a Wolverine claw for his right hand during the all-out ninja stupidity. Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander get new costumes without any fanfare or acknowledgment. It's like Hasbro sent them the new action figure designs and then they were integrated. The clearest sign of this title “jumping the shark” is the introduction of the Eco-Warriors, which are the dumbest elements introduced into the G.I. Joe universe thus far.
New costumes for Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander are unveiled here with no mention of how or why.
The G.I. Joe Dossiers from Issue 111, 113-118, 120-123 (2 pages each), are omitted. You would think that they would've included those in the back of the book as DVD style extras, but no. IDW has repeatedly dropped the ball with this line of trade paperbacks, from omitting issues that crossed over with G.I. Joe Special Missions to the poor restoration in many of these volumes.