REVIEW: Danger Girl/G.I. JOE #1

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G.I. JOE, a real American Hero. Abbey Chase, danger girl. Smash two popular franchises together, and what do you get? A lot of explosions if it is done correctly.

DANGER GIRL/G.I. JOE #1
Writer: Andy Hartnell
Artist: John Royle
Inker: Phillip Moy
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: John Barber and Scott Dunbier
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Danger Girl/G.I. JOE: If James Bond and Indiana Jones created a girl, it would be Abbey Chase, treasure hunter and gun for hire. G.I. JOE, toy line turned multimedia franchise that has made a name for itself in comic books. They two titles have never crossed over… until now

MILITARY MEETS SOLDIER OF FORTUNE

Far over LOCATION REDACTED, the G.I. JOES are in the middle of ensuring an air transport reaches its destination safely.  As expected, the JOES are attacked by Cobra. Pages of plane to plane combat ensues, before Flint and Scarlett are forced down in LOCATION REDACTED. As with any military failure, the government is going to look for someone to blame, and instead of singling out any one member of the JOES, the President suspends the entire G.I. JOE force. To make matters worse, Madame President has prohibited the JOES from going after their down teammates until after an initial investigation has started.

What are the JOES to do?

If you are Cover Girl, you ring up a handsome stranger you met on a C-130 transport some years ago – Jonny Barracuda, International Badass.

It’s at this point the two universes merge with one another, as Johnny agrees to get his friend Courtney the help she needs in tracking down her missing pals. It’s a scene that happens so quickly in the book that little time is given to the Danger Girl side of the crossover –  save for the final page reveal that makes the reader sit up and say, “NO WAY!” followed quickly by, “OH… wait… HA! I see what is going on now…”

Fortunately for this series, Andy Hartnell is on board to bring just the right bits of both series together. One of the problems I always have with any series readers may not be completely familiar with is the over use of every characters full name just to make sure the reader knows who is who. There’s nothing wrong with it from the information standpoint, but I think I’d much rather have a text call out next to each character. My biggest complaint with the first issue is a large amount of time is spent in the plane to plane combat sequence that downs the JOES. It just seems very drawn out from my standpoint, but I can understand where some people will really enjoy the eleven page sequence. If I can find anything great about the battle its that there wasn’t a single Cobra parachute to be seen.

ARTING J. SCOTT CAMPBELL

I really had to do a double and triple take when reading this issue to make sure J. Scott Campbell wasn’t the artist. John Royle really nails Mr. Campbell’s style and with Phillip Moy on inks the issue is visually appealing. I don’t know if it is easy to mimic this particular style or not to be honest; perhaps one only needs to figure out the J. Scott Campbell nose, and extremely thin waist on female characters to make it all work.

Though there are some points in the story where everything feels slow, the art keeps the story interesting, and the way Mr. Royle uses the page to reveal the important moments works well to keep the reader turning the page.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH A LOOK

Twenty years ago I was a super fan of the Danger Girl franchise, and though I still enjoy reading the adventures of Abbey and her friends, it’s not a title that usually finds its way to the top of my reading stack. I know a lot of people like G.I. JOE, but I’m not a fan of the property. That being said, there are some engaging and interesting moments that Mr. Hartnell and Mr. Royle bring to the series that I think work well. The two properties are merged in a believable way, and I think Danger Girl/G.I. JOE #1 is worth checking out, earning 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆