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Thursday, April 16, 2020

G.I. JOE: Sierra Muerte (War) (Graphic Novel)

by Michel Fiffe  

Publisher: IDW Publishing (August 27, 2019)

Softcover, 104 pages

Normally I’m skeptical of anything G. I. Joe not written by Larry Hama. There’s been a lot of mediocre material printed in the past, by people wanting to “put their stamp” on the material, or who just didn’t know how to write the Joes - a team fantasy of a small tactical force of highly trained personally fighting the good fight over seemingly overwhelming odds, where each member plays their part. Rather than the unstoppable individual fighting against everyone. We see this when the writers focus of Snake Eyes, who when done properly is about subterfuge and demolitions, rather than running at people with swords. Or the current Mary Sue they keep shoving down everyone’s throat, Agent Helix.

However, I was more than pleasantly surprised by this three issue mini-series. It isn’t canon to the Real American Hero series, but maybe it should become so. What I appreciate much is that the series has absolute respect for the original series. Each issue has a history portion of what had come before in the A Real American History, including one of Snake eyes, and the fictional geography of the countries the Joes have had conflicts in, and an interview with Larry Hama. This story takes place in the fictional South American country of Sierra Muerte, which translates roughly to Death Mountain. A place mentioned several times in G. I. Joe, but never actually seen.
Some people didn’t like the art, which is not really indicative of a war comic. The technical details are realistic, the combat can look bombastic at times, and the story varies wildly away from previous Joe stories, yet for me it works out well. While it looks different, the interplay between Joes and Cobra, and the internal politics of both are exactly on point. It’s fast and fun. Just what you want.
   For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst.

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