Home > Devil's Due Publishing > G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (2001 Series) #32

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (2001 Series) #32

July 24, 2007

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Players and Pawns Part Five & Fathom Part Two

Cobra plots to go after Destro – and G.I. Joe is ready for them.

Writer: Brandon Jerwa
Pencils: Tim Seeley & Talent Caldwell
Backgrounds: Jason Millet
Inks: Cory Hamscher & Jason Gorder
Colors: Brett R. Smith & Christina Strain
Letters: Dreamer Design
Editor: Mark Powers
Cover Art: Tim Seeley, Cory Hamscher & Val Staples (Cover A); Talent Caldwell, Jason Gorder, Peter Steigerwald & Christina Strain (Cover B)
Publisher: Devil’s Due

When Cobra learns that G.I. Joe will be transporting the captured – and very cooperative – Destro, they plan a daring ambush to take him from the custody of the Joe team and into their own.

Meanwhile, Snake-Eyes and Scarlett set out to rescue Claymore from Overkill, and the leaderless splinter group called The Coil finds a new home. And Duke, dressed down last issue for insubordination, tries to bury the hatchet with Hawk.

The culmination of this issue, simply put, blew me away. There have been some fantastic battles in this series, most notably the gigantic three-way war between the Joes, Cobra and The Coil in issue #25. But this issue contains, quite possibly, the greatest hand-to-hand combat scene I’ve ever read in a G.I. Joe comic. And yes, I’m including the various Snake-Eyes/Storm Shadow duels in that statement. The conclusion of this issue has that epic feel, like the first time you saw Optimus Prime and Megatron slugging it out in TransFormers: The Movie. You just knew this fight was different somehow, you knew that something huge was going to happen, and you get the same feeling here. And it pays off. I’m a little miffed that this issue ended with a “to be continued,” since it’s labeled as the last issue of a storyline, but it’s such a fantastic cliffhanger that you can’t be mad about anything other than the fact that you have to wait to see what happens next.

Jerwa and Talent Caldwell continue their “Fantom” back-up story. The mercenary named Wraith has been hired to spring two Cobra agents from G.I. Joe custody. This is an oddity – on the one hand, you don’t want the bad guys to win, but on the other hand, Wraith is one of those characters that is just so cool you want to see how far he can go.

Caldwell also contributes fantastic artwork, as well as a fantastic cover. Tim Seeley’s artwork on the main story is also really solid – Overkill is suitably grotesque, and this is one of the few times ever that Duke and Hawk are really distinct from one another visually, mainly because Seeley gives them each a different hair texture. Finally, I can look at the two of them and tell who is who without having to check the dialogue and guess.

This is a great issue, the best since Brandon Jerwa took over this series from Josh Blaylock, and it’s one that has some serious consequences. G.I. Joe has always been distinct from other titles, in that characters can die without warning and you never know that anyone is safe. Even so, the end of this issue left my jaw on the floor. Fantastic.

Rating: 9/10

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