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REVIEW: GI Joe: ARAH #301

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REVIEW: GI Joe: ARAH #301

4.23/5.0 Stars
Rating if the Book Were a Movie:  PG-13

Creative Team:

Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Chris Mooneyham
Colors: Francesco Segala
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Cover: Andy Kubert and Brad Anderson
Editor: Alex Antone
Publisher: Image Comics 

Ratings:

Story: 4.3 Stars
Artwork: 4.4 Stars
Cover Artwork: 3.8 Stars
Dialogue: 4.2 Stars
Mechanics: 4.3 Stars
Editing: 4.4 Stars 

About the Book:

After a one year hiatus (and a change of publishers) the G.I. Joe team picks up where it left off. The team has infiltrated Cobra Island and is about to breach the Cobra Casino. The team is waiting for Wild Bill to transport reinforcements to help supply some heavy artillery. A failed hydraulic line on a wing might make that difficult. Inside the casino Serpentor Khan has realized that he is in a no win situation. Refusing to go down without a fight, he activates the countdown on a bio weapon located on the island.

Reader’s Notes:

I started reading G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero with issue #46 in the spring of 1986. I was instantly fascinated by the layers of plots and subplots. I couldn’t get enough. I would eagerly check spinner racks at gas stations for the newest installment every month. A used book store in town had boxes of back issues of comics that were generally around fifty cents. I celebrated every time I found a new book for my growing collection.

The years passed by and turned into decades. Over time Mr. Hama’s ability to tell a story has only become even more powerful. I loved how easy it was to fall into this story. The brief synopsis of relevant information inside the cover and the way the story is written allows the reader to go full speed ahead while still comprehending everything that has taken place.

The character development is outstanding. Especially with the evolution of Serpentor. He was always a much more complex character in the comic book than in the cartoon series. When we first met him he was a cunning leader that understood how to motivate his troops.

The megalomaniac we see in the cartoon is a shell of what he is now. This character now is something to behold. His mindset that he’d rather let the world go to hell than admit defeat is awe inspiring and frightening. He is a terrific example of why leadership around the world with access to nuclear and bio weapons should not be allowed to make decisions without checks and balances.

I loved the nod to the first issue in the original series with this homage cover. There has been so much history with this title that it’s only fitting to do it with the first issue with a new publisher 300 issues later. Hopefully in the near future we’ll get a similar one for Cobra’s key players.

There have been some amazing artists working on G.I. Joe titles over the years. The majority of the artwork has been somewhere between above average and very well done. Mr. Mooneyham’s artwork in this issue takes things to another level. Lines are crisp. The detail is phenomenal. Segala’s work on colors is the cherry on top. I enjoyed seeing Cobra Commander on a jet ski.

As a geek on a budget I truly believe that G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #301 is a fantastic read for old and new fans alike. There’s plenty of new content for the diehards, while keeping things simple enough for new readers to enjoy the franchise.

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I grew up loving all things geek. I started reading and collecting comics when I was 8. My personal collection has roughly 8,000 books in it. When I’m not doing something geek-related I love spending time with my amazing wife and kids, gaming, and working on cross stitch projects.

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