Rebellion can be difficult when your friends work for the evil overlords.  Your Major Spoilers review of G.I. Joe #6 from IDW Publishing awaits!

G.I. JOE #6

Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Chris Evenhuis
Colorist: Brittany Peer
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 27, 2020

Previously in G.I. JoeA mission to smuggle vital intelligence to Free Canada goes sideways when Fadeaway confronts someone from her past working in Cobra.

The bonds of friendship are tested when lives are at stake!

DEBRIEFING COMMENCES

This issue begins with Scarlett interviewing field team members after a mission, with Tiger, Frontier, Fadeaway, Roadblock and Jinx each explaining their perspective on what happened.  The flashbacks show us a mission near the Canadian border, as the team boards a train under the watchful eye of the Cobra regime, attempting to deliver a new anti-Cobra weapon to a lab.  Unfortunately, Fadeaway (who used to work in Cobra R&D) is recognized by one of her former colleagues, who reveals that she, too, is ready to defect to the rebellion.  It’s a shocking moment, made more shocking as the team jumps the train and makes their way to a cabin in the frozen wilderness.  As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Scarlett and Jinx are not on the same page, and haven’t been since the mission began, and as Cobra surrounds their location, things are looking grim for the Joes.  That’s when they realize that Fadeaway’s friend is wearing a subcutaneous tracking device…

THIS ART IS FASCINATING

I really enjoy the clean, almost art deco stylings of Evenhuis’ G.I. Joe work, as it really helps to emphasize the strange, new world of Cobra’s occupation and stylistically reminds me of WWII propaganda, which is perfect for the tone of this book.  The reversing of the traditional G.I. Joe/Cobra dynamic is great for drama, and this issue really makes it clear how hard the decisions of an underground rebel army would truly be.  The shocking moment at the end of the book precludes another as Jinx is summarily dismissed from the team for insubordination and returns home to her dojo where she meets up with a familiar face to G.I. Joe fans (and one that I’m excited about.)  For me, though, the best part of the issue was the hard choices faced by Fadeaway and the extraordinary response to it (which I don’t want to spoil fully, but you really need to check out, especially if you’re a fan of classic G.I. Joe.)

BOTTOM LINE: VERY TOPICAL, VERY INTERESTING

It’s hard not to read a book about a fascist takeover of the world without seeing parallels to real-world politics, but G.I. Joe #6 handles it all with aplomb, even leaning into those comparisons in skillful and effective ways, combined with unique art for a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall.  I had been kind of on the fence with this book, but each issue so far has been excellen and they’re clearly playing a long game.  I’m enjoying the very real drama in these pages.


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G.I. JOE #6

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It's a complex and difficult story that underlines just how much this is not the G.I. Joe I grew up with... and I really love it.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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