REVIEW: Danger Girl/G.I. Joe #4 (of 5)

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Or – “Skin-Tight Catsuit Fiesta!”

The mean-spirited part of my mind wants to call this event “The Biggest Crossover of 1999!”  Luckily, I don’t listen to him, as he sounds like Neil Goldman and hates everything on principle, and *I* embrace change, experimentation and exuberant celebrations of things that comic creators loved in their youths.  Will Danger Girl and G.I. Joe mesh well enough to make this issue sing?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

DANGER GIRL/G.I. JOE #4
Writer: Andy Hartnell
Penciler: John Royle
Layout Assist: Jeff Moy
Inker: Philip Moy
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: John Barber & Scott Dunbier
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Danger Girl/G.I. Joe #4:  G.I. Joe is the code name for America’s daring, highly trained special mission force. Its purpose: to defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world!

Freelance Operations is the code name for the world-spanning daring, tight-pantsed all-girl special mission force. Its purpose: to defend human freedom against The Hammer Empire, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world, and to look darn good doing it!  They are the Danger Girls!

Now we’re up to speed.  Let’s rock…

WORKING HARD TO EMULATE J. SCOTT CAMPBELL…

The issue opens with a fascinatingly cheesecakey shot of Abbey Chase falling through a skylight, her bulbous buttocks lovingly rendered and centered in the shot as the focal point of the image.  Given that it’s the first thing we see in this issue, it’s kind of a harbinger of what we’re about to see.  Abbey immediately ends up crossing swords with Zartan, having gone undercover as an agent of Cobra in the first three issues.  The appearance of Flint and Scarlett make it clear where this falls in G.I. Joe continuity, squarely in the 1980s Sunbow cartoon series.  Scarlett gets a big high-kicking cheesecake moment of her own, before Abbey strips naked and declares herself to be “DANGER GIRL!”  There some Macguffin about nuclear weapons, but the basic gist here is all about action scenes, rounded female forms and snappy ironic dialogue (all done pretty well, I might add.)  Roadblock appears halfway through the issue, and his dialogue hilariously references his appearance in an internet meme a few years ago, while the usual suspects caper about.  Major Bludd and his awful Aussie accent are here, and every female Joe from Jinx to Lady Jaye and back show up in the issue as well, which is something I very much appreciate.

ALL THE STARS ARE HERE, WAITIN’ FOR YOU.

I was a little bit surprised to find that there is a new member of Danger Girl floating around, as well, having not read any of the spin-off minis since about 2002, but Sonya Savage (traitorous Sydney’s little sibling) fits seamlessly into the narrative without breaking a sweat.  This book is clearly a labor of love for the creators, as Andy Hartnell’s script shows off what is most awesome about both franchises, even ending the issue with the promise of a Storm Shadow/Snake-Eyes battle in the next issue.  The art tries really hard to be J. Scott Campbell, but even so, Royle & Moy never drop the ball on consistency or expressiveness, and the bits of G.I. Joe & Cobra tech seen in the issue are note-perfect and accurate.  As a single issue, it’s a fun, breezy reading experience that doesn’t overwhelm you with plot or exposition.  As a fourth chapter cliffhanger setup, it’s very effective as well, leaving the fate of half our cast in jeopardy while the other half races to save them from a doom they don’t know is coming.

THE BOTTOM LINE: SORTA CHEESY, BUT NOT UNPLEASANTLY SO.

It’s easy to dismiss a comic like Danger Girl as being nothing but inessential cheesecake, but to do so would be a huge disservice to a fun reading experience.  The history of Danger Girl plays a part in this issue (though I don’t know if it’s in Abbey’s “official” canon, presuming there even IS such a thing after her third publisher) as do bits and pieces of Joe lore, which makes the book fun for someone who is a casual fan of both Danger Girl’s book and G.I. Joe’s cartoon.  (I’m a bit more hardcore about G.I. Joe comic continuity, but that’s a very different beast, in most ways.)  Danger Girl/G.I. Joe #4 sticks the landing, looks good and doesn’t distract me with the female form (though mileage can certainly vary), earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  It’s an above-average chapter of a book that wants only to entertain you, and what could be wrong with that?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!

Reader Rating

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