Overview

G.I. Joe: America?s Elite #11

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G.I. Joe: America?s Elite #11

Credits

  • Words: Joe Casey
  • Art: Nelson Blake II & Pat Quinn
  • Inks: Dan Davis & Mark Englert
  • Colors: Daniele Rudoni
  • Story Title: Reunited
  • Publisher: Devil's Due Publishing
  • Price: $2.95
  • Release Date: May 10, 2006

The Joe team quickly find themselves on their heels when the trail of a missing C.I.A. operative leads them to Mongolia…and a confrontation with two former allies.

Still reeling from the death of Snake-Eyes and the mysterious theft of his body, the G.I. Joe team is dispatched to Mongolia. Their primary objective is to gather information regarding a missing C.I.A. agent, but General Colton has tied this mission to a more personal one. Each member of the team has a device that monitors and tracks their vital signs…and Snake-Eyes’ has suddenly reactivated, moving from Kazakhstan to Mongolia. Little does the G.I. Joe team know, the notorious Red Ninja Clan is waiting for them…along with two former Joes who have switched allegiances. Meanwhile, General Colton investigates Major Bludd’s claim that death has claimed at least one of the Joe reservists.

Love them or hate them, ninjas – and the comic book mysticism associated with them – are a major component of the G.I. Joe mythos. Done sparingly and with the right touches, their inclusion can make exciting epics (Larry Hama’s issue #21 of the Marvel series being a prime example). Done wrong or too frequently…well, there’s been plenty of pale imitators to the classic silent issue. As the penultimate chapter in this arc, it’s difficult to gauge which side of the line Joe Casey’s story will land on. This issue doesn’t offer any answers to the strange goings on of recent months, but does leave the reader with many tantalizing mysteries. Why has T’Jbang betrayed his former allies? What has happened to Snake-Eyes? And just where is Sei Tin through all of this? Casey has set up some intriguing plot points, and hopefully next issue will provide more clarity. "Reunited" may not provide readers with a complete narrative, but in theme and tone, Casey hits the mark. The Joe team has seen more than its share of loss and tragedy in the past eighteen months, and this issue reflects that state. No longer operating as an elite military unit, this Joe team reacts, scrambles and blunders from crisis to crisis in this issue, never allowed to get off the back of their heels. Casey lets readers know this team has fallen a long way, and if recent teases are any indication, there may be much further to go. In setting up the next issue, Casey has laid out two provocative scenarios. The first being the parallels he has drawn between Flint and Scarlett, and how he will react to the reality that she has found that lost love he never will. The other is a clever recasting of a familiar showdown – Snake-Eyes vs. Storm Shadow – this time with the Silent Master cast in the villainous role.

The artistic collaboration left me a little conflicted. In terms of style, I think this type of art suits G.I. Joe better than the stylized renderings of Stefano Caselli. Blake, Quinn, Davis and Englert give the story a darker, grittier feel, as well as invoke the more traditional artistic feel of the early/mid 1980s issues. In terms of actual quality, I don’t think this gathering is anywhere near as polished as Caselli. For all the texture the quartet gave to the figures and characters, the actual environments and backgrounds were very sparse. All too often panels relied on plain colored backgrounds, making it very difficult to get a sense of setting.

Over the past 11 issues, Joe Casey has proven his ability to set up exciting adventures and compelling characters. Having set the new status quo for the Joe team, it will be interesting to see what mark he will make with imminent return of Cobra Commander.

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