Friday, February 26, 2010

COMIC REVIEW: GI Joe: Operation Hiss # 2 (IDW)

One of the strengths of great G.I. Joe Comics, is that regardless of how absurd the set-ups or plot twists or technology involved in a particular story, the characters generally acted like no nonsense military personnel. They most often made the smart, level-headed decisions that revealed their professionalism, dedication, and training.

In IDW's continuation of the Rise of Cobra based continuity, G.I. Joe: Operation HISS, somebody somewhere forgot this lesson, forgot that soldiers and especially officers are not, frankly, idiots.

On what do I base this review? The fact that in an attempt to infiltrate a private military corporation believed to be linked to Cobra, Hawk sends one of the people he can't possibly send. A person nearly any highly placed person in Cobra is going to be able to make a positive identification of. A soldier who might possibly have been engaged to one of Cobra's top agents. Who was in the US military with Cobra's Commander.

Right. Duke. How is this even possible? How is Duke even considered?

Sure, sure, you can maybe claim I'm just being the fanboy picking apart the book. But on this indefensibly stupid decision...the kind of decision no previous incarnation of Hawk would even have considered...the book falls apart for me. Some might say that with Destro, Baroness, and Cobra Commander in custody (something the first issue of the miniseries breaks out an Exposition Fairy moment to remind us of) this doesn't matter as much. Nonsense; anything connected to Cobra is still going to have too much easy access to information that will allow them to positively ID Duke.

There are things to like about this book; it introduces Dataframe (although, frankly, why it introduces a new character to do what was Breaker's job in the movie is something I don't quite understand). The art has a sharp style that I tend to like, heavy on the ink, but interesting to look at, with clearly defined and flowing action. Major Bludd is appropriately cutthroat and an interesting 'new' villain for the movie continuity, and I love his updated character design (though it could do, perhaps, with a touch less black). If you really enjoy the movie continuity, you probably won't be disappointed by this book.

Maybe Duke is front and center because, in the movie continuity, Duke simply must be front and center. Ultimately that doesn't change my central point; a G.I. Joe book in which Hawk has no critical thinking ability is not one I want to read. I wanted to like this book, and I really enjoy its art. But I can't recommend it.

Dan Ford
Staff Reviewer

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