Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Booknote: G.I. Joe, Volume 1: Homefront

Fred Van Lente, G.I. Joe, Vol. 1: Homefront. San Diego (CA): IDW, 2013. ISBN: 9781613777053.

This is a new G.I. Joe. The team is no longer fully covert, thanks to a Wikileak of all things. To make matters worse, Cobra is now attacking on American soil. The team gets word that Cobra is planning an attack on a small American town and off they go. But things are not as simple as they seem, and the Joes may be headed to a trap. It seems the town is not only already in Cobra hands, but the townspeople are actually collaborating with the enemy. Now, the Joes have to rally, find out the truth, and defeat Cobra.

This was a pretty good and entertaining comic. Fans of this comic should be pleased. With G.I. Joe out in the open, Americans behave as typical Americans do: they either feel all warm and fuzzy about their heroes, or they whine that their soldiers are more trouble than they are worth. You cannot miss the social commentary here. The comic does offer plenty of action. The only detail I disliked was the addition of a new team member, codenamed Hashtag. She is a young, ogly-eyed journalist in love with all things that are social media. She goes on to "pull a Geraldo" in the battlefield. Thinking she is being helpful, she tweets and facebooks her team's position hoping other Joes will come to their aid. Guess who else uses social media and sees the messages as well. That amount of stupidity was just annoying, especially since the main reason she's embedded with G.I. Joe, besides the Army wanting to make good PR, is that she is a higher-up's daughter (I will leave it to readers to find out who she is related to). The author could have done without this comic relief character. That aside, this is a good comic overall.

If you have read and enjoyed G.I. Joe comics before, you'll probably like this one. For new readers, this is an adequate entry point, but I would suggest also seeking out other comics in the series. The art is good and consistent for the series.

Overall, I'd give this a 3.5. out of 5 stars.

The disclosure note to keep The Man happy is that I read this book via NetGalley, provided in exchange for an honest review.

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