Cobra is now in command. Duke is dead. Can new recruit Tiger help the Joe team pull it all together? Your Major Spoilers review of G.I. Joe #2 awaits!
Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Chris Evenhuis
Colorist: Brittany Peer
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: Octboer 16, 2019
Previously in G.I. Joe: With Cobra ascendent across the globe, the G.I. Joe program takes on new recruits to fight back. Are the recruits, everyday people determined to fight for their country, ready for the realities of war? Or will Cobra root out and destroy the initiative before it has a chance to launch?
“THE UNITED STATES HAS SURRENDERED TO COBRA.”
After the shocking events of last issue, the remaining members of the G.I. Joe team have brought new recruit Tiger home to their training center. The issue actually opens with Scarlett putting Duke’s picture on what is a clearly full wall of fallen soldiers, while Hawk talks to an unseen someone about his teams new status quo, admitting that acceptance of the new world is the first step to surrendering to Cobra. The Joes aren’t all sure of the new kid in their midst, especially Jinx (who is still a kick-butt martial artist, but not, apparently, a ninja) and much discussion is made over whether he’s actually ready for the role. Tiger himself has questions about that, so when Scarlett chooses to use him as her partner (read: victim) in combat training, he doesn’t take it well. Not only does he get a beatdown, but he returns from the infirmary back to Scarlett, insisting that he’s not gonna leave until he gets in one single punch. While the other fresh Joes (an interesting use of Roadblock and a new character called Frontier) go through code-breaking, field operations and other important steps to becoming a Joe, Tiger just gets his face kicked repeatedly. Finally, the others come to find him, but a rash word from Jinx causes an all-out brawl, giving Tiger his one shot, after which we find that Hawk is talking to the team’s new weapons supplier: James McCullen Destro!
AN INTERESTING ALTERNATE REALITY TAKE
I’m not gonna lie, that last page shook me a little bit, as an old-school G.I. Joe fan. I’m not usually that into alternate takes or realities, though the ‘World War III’ event a few years ago was a winner. This issue takes an interesting tack in focusing almost entirely on Scarlett’s grieving process and Tiger’s self-esteem issues, with other Joes passing in and out just long enough to give us an impression: A metalhead Clutch, a hipster Rock & Roll with a well-oiled beard, a Cover Girl who has no patience for nonsense or gossip. It’s interesting to see so many familiar names in unfamiliar places, and also worth noting that big names like Snake-Eyes, Stalker and Duke are either off the playing field or dead. The art is just spectacular here, as well, especially the “sparring” sequences (the air quotes are because they’re really ritual beatings), which are done in a hazy, panel-border-free sequence that is remarkably good storytelling (and beautiful to boot.) The final page reveal that Destro is now involved makes me wonder about the rest of the landscape of this world and the ambiguity of Jinx vs. Scarlett is fascinating. Was it all a ruse to make Tiger feel needed? Or is there really bad blood? Were they in it together, or did Jinx set it all up? Did Scarlett? I don’t know, but I want to.
BOTTOM LINE: A TRULY IMPRESSIVE LAST-PAGE REVEAL
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited for a new G.I. Joe comic, but G.I. Joe #2 puts together a near-perfect balance of interesting characters, new situations for the Joe team and truly lovely art for a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall. I really love the work of Chris Evenhuis, aided and abetted by a fun color palette with pops of red and pink and some impressive graphic design work. I’d read it even if the story weren’t this intriguing, but thankfully this book is the total package.
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G.I. JOE #2
It's a whole new take on G.I. Joe, in a world where they're the defeated underdogs, and the combination of interesting character takes and mind-blowing art makes for a winner of an issue.