Overview

G.I. Joe: A New Beginning #0

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G.I. Joe: A New Beginning #0

Credits

  • Words: Chuck Dixon, Larry Hama, Mike Costa & Christos M. Gage
  • Art: Robert Atkins, Tom Feister, & Antonio Fuso
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Andrew Crossley, Tom Feister, & Chris Chuckry
  • Story Title: ?One Word?, ?In or Out??, ?Deep Cover?
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $1.00
  • Release Date: Oct 22, 2008

The G.I. Joe team comes back to comics with a bang – figuratively and literally!

IDW Publishing has been growing recently with a number of licensed properties and now G.I. Joe joins the ranks. The characters have a long and venerable history from toys to cartoons to a Marvel comic book run followed by a rebirth at publisher Devil’s Due. IDW, however, is putting a lot of push behind this comic – launching not one but three separate titles and getting a host of respected and fan favorite writers to pen the tales. They care and consideration pays off in this zero issue which provides a very tasty taste of what is to come…

In the first story, "One Word" by Chuck Dixon, a four-man Joe team is assigned to stop a boatload of weapons smugglers. Things, of course, do not go smoothly, but even worse, the Joes get their first inkling that there may be more here than meets the eye. In the second tale, by Larry Hama, readers get a sneak peek at how Duke was actually recruited into the G.I. Joe team. It may not be what people expect… And finally, in "Deep Cover" by Mike Costa and Christos M. Gage, one Joe agent deals with the pressures and unexpected twists of deep cover espionage.

Perhaps the best thing about this issue is that it lives up to the title on the wrapper. Even if you know nothing about the previous G.I. Joe comics or the cartoons, you can jump right in on this issue and feel comfortable. The writers really are both taking the characters back to their roots and at the same time subtly adjusting them for a 21st century world view. There is also a new edginess here that with other writers would probably seem a lame attempt to be "hip" or "modern" but with these four writers it feels natural and logical.

This comic also reflects a canny marketing move on the part of IDW. With launching three separate G.I. Joe titles, each story represents the style and subject matter of each of the titles. This allows readers to sample each of the three offerings and decide which, all, or none of the titles to pick up – and all for one low price. And make no mistake; there is plenty of bang for your (literal) buck here.

Dixon, Hama, Costa and Gage are each well known and respected for their ability to deliver stories backed with action, adventure and tension within a military mode. While this is still fiction, the writers strive and succeed to keep each small story grounded and real. The writers also accomplish another amazing task in the process – they produce full, satisfying stories in a short amount of pages and also communicate the tone and direction they intend to take on their respective titles.

As for the artists, again, IDW has sought out and found the perfect trio to go with these authors. Robert Atkins, who is also responsible for redesigning the characters’ looks, produces a terrific, grounded style that perfectly echoes the more "real world" feel that Dixon is pushing here. Even more, Atkins plays also realistically with light and shadow ably abetted by his colorist Andrew Crossley. Tom Feister chooses more of a study in contrasts; he makes his figures very sharp, clean-cut, with chiseled features but then uses softer coloring and lighting effects to make the whole exchange between Duke and General Hawk seems dream-like. Finally, there is Antonio Fuso, whose style is the most different from the other two. His work is stripped down and heavily shadowed and lends a gritty feel to a story about a shadowy, gritty job. You can’t get a more perfect match than that.

Even if you’ve never looked sidewise at G.I. Joe before, if you are a fan of action-adventure with a little military flair, or a fan of covert espionage stories, then this issue is a sure-fire pick-up. For fans old and new there are three terrific stories and a perfect sample of each of the three titles to come. There is a little something here for nearly everyone!

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