Home > Devil's Due Publishing > G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (2001 Series) #30

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (2001 Series) #30

May 29, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Players and Pawns Part Four

Barrel Roll is trapped on Cobra Island! Cobra Commander makes an offer to the Baroness! And Destro’s scheme continues!

Writer: Brandon Jerwa
Pencils: Tim Seeley
Backgrounds: Jason Millet
Inks: Cory Hamscher
Colors: Brett R. Smith
Letters: Dreamer Design
Cover Art: Tim Seeley, Andrew Pepoy & Tony Washington
Publisher: Devil’s Due

As you can tell from the triple teaser, this is a really packed issue, with lots of interweaving plotlines going on at once. Out of all of them, only the Destro subplot seems to suffer from the clutter. As he tries to set up an alliance with a Central American dictator, the Joe team gets in good with his enemy. Most of the action in the book is involved with this subplot, and most of it is good, but the storyline here isn’t quite as cohesive as the other bits.

Meanwhile, last issue we left Barrel Roll being held at gunpoint by a mysterious figure who wants him to get them off Cobra Island together. We find out who it is this issue, but the identity of the assailant isn’t really spectacular enough to justify all the mystique. It’s a clever bit, though, one that works perfectly well with what the writers have done with these characters since the series was relaunched a few years ago, and it gives the new member of the Joe team a needed chance to show off.

Finally, we’ve got Cobra Commander trying to determine where exactly the Baroness’s loyalties lie now that Destro has split off from the fabled “ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.” He makes her a very intriguing offer. The decision she makes is certain to impact the characters for quite some time.

And that’s not all. Hacker, one of the newer members that Jerwa has introduced, is put to great use in this issue, and every page is overflowing with plot as the book rolls on to next issue’s conclusion.

Tim Seeley’s artwork, as always, is fantastic. His action scenes are second to none, and Brett R. Smith’s coloring work really stands out. They do lighting effects and shadows equally well, really making the atmosphere of the various scenes work depending on the environment. The only problem with artwork, for some reason, is one that G.I. Joe artists have had since the earliest days of the franchise – with a book where so many of the characters are the square-jawed, dusty-haired All-American Good Guys, several of the characters look just too much alike. When characters aren’t in uniform or you only get a headshot, Hawk, Duke and Ripcord are virtually indistinguishable from one another.

Jerwa’s first major storyline ends next month, and he’s doing a really good job. He just needs to be able to smooth things out – in a book with a cast this big, accessibility and cleanliness of plot are key.

Rating: 7/10

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