Friday, December 2, 2011


Writer: Larry Hama

Artist: S.L. Gallant

Some kids grew up reading titles like Superman, Spider-Man, or The Uncanny X-Men. I wasn't one of those kids. It was not that I didn't like those comics, but I was more interested in the war stories like Fightin' Army and Fightin' Marines. Those comic books really appealed to me and my love for those comics grew when I discovered G.I. Joe

It was November 1982 when my parents purchased G.I. Joe #4 for me as a gift. That's right folks, this was the Marvel era. I think it might have been a first communion gift, but that issue was my first G.I. Joe comic book. After reading that issue I was a regular reader of the series due to the fantastic stories by Larry Hama, who has been the man for this title for over four decades. His work was (and still is) great and he did a fantastic job developing many great tales of the Joes and COBRA. By the late 1980s my priorities had changed and I stopped reading comics. I recall selling my issue of G.I. Joe #4 at a garage sale for $.25 circa 1989. Ah, stupidity.

My comic book interest returned during the mid and late 1990s when I was in college, and I wanted to see what happened to G.I. Joe. The title had moved from Marvel to Dark Horse and for some reason I can not recall, I was not interested. Fast-forward to 2001 where I decided to get back into the G.I. Joe title when it was published by Image Comics. The stories were good, but for some other unknown reason, I stopped reading. I blame my Generation X slacker genes for dropping the ball.

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking around my local comic book store and noticed IDW was publishing G.I. Joe. I had not read the title in years, but decided to give it a try because Larry Hama was back at the helm as the lead writer. I immediately picked up issue #172 and was excited to see what was going on in the world of G.I. Joe.

As a fan that has been away from the title for a long time, I knew I was jumping right into the middle of a story where I was going to be lost. When I read issue #178, I was introduced to a group known as The Blue Ninjas and had a blast from the past with Darklon. What I liked about this issue is that we had The Blue Ninjas in Brooklyn taking on Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes, their sensei, and Billy. I'm doing my best to remember Billy, but their battle in Brooklyn is really exciting. Also, we have the Joes with a captured but wounded Darklon aboard a helicopter headed for the USS Flagg. Lady Jaye is also wounded and the helicopter may have been damaged while capturing Darklon and they are forced to make a crash landing.

Hama's writing is great because he's the mastermind of the G.I. Joe universe. We have an action-packed but well-paced comic book where we go back and forth from the helicopter about to crash to the battle in Brooklyn. Hama has been great at writing military themed comics due to his Army background and his knowledge of the martial arts is the perfect touch for this comic. S.L. Gallant's artwork is excellent and there is nothing more that I can say about this great series. 

OK, I'm back to reading G.I. Joe. I need to get back to the comic book store and do my best to get caught up with this series. Additionally, I need to jump in to the COBRA: Civil War series as well. Excellent work, Mr. Hama.

TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.

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