G.I. Joe #5 Review

by Jay Hill on February 12, 2020

Written by: Paul Allor
Art by: Chris Evenhuis
Colors by: Brittany Peer
Lettered by: Neil Uyetake
Published by: IDW Publishing

Cobra has taken control of America. On their rise to power, they chose to make an example out of Indianapolis. In this issue, we get to see what was left in Coba's wake, or rather, who was left.

Like some of the earlier issues, this one feels like a one-off episode. Hopefully, that doesn’t sound like a negative thing because it isn’t. That framing for a story can do things others can’t such as establishing a setting and giving it a feeling of closure. And, that is one of the things best about this issue. More of this Cobra controlled world gets fleshed out as we visit the ruins of Indianapolis, now dubbed Dreadnokistan by the Dreadnok gang that inhabit it. Undoubtedly, what this comic does to the lore of G.I. Joe is one of its biggest draws and this issue exemplifies that. Zartan, the leader of the Dreadnoks, is warned by the visiting Joes of Cobra’s plan to finish what they started in Indy. Throughout the issue, we get a look into the interesting tribal-like environment of the Dreadnok survivors which opens many paths for the issue to ask and display philosophical and ideological questions. 

This is something I applauded the previous issue for, but unlike that one, this issue never reaches a point where those ideas are explicitly addressed so that it resonates through the story. What we do get to see is the comparison of how the Dreadnoks react compared to how the Joes have chosen to act. The reveal of what happened in Indy along with the plans for the future add more context and content to the ongoing story. Although, I wouldn’t have minded more elements of the past or plans for the future to have been detailed. Throughout, the characters are crafted very well and the variety in personalities and outlooks made this an engrossing read. The event at the end took me off guard. It sort of happens fast (could say rushed) so I wasn’t given much time to react, but what goes down is quite substantial. In hindsight, it’s a pretty solemn end and leaves two Joes with a new view on things.

Chris Evenhuis is back on art with the style that cemented this series’ attitude for me. His great character illustrations and use of silhouettes are as gorgeous as ever. With a fair amount of action in this issue, there are a handful of scenes that are filled with excitement. And, in an issue that take serious turns, the later scenes convey that tone perfectly. Britany Peers’ colors and palette are still great and matched up to art that highlights that. Her way of shading matches the shape of Evenhuis’ with great cohesion.

This series of G.I. Joe continues to take me by surprise with its choice of stories. The exploration in this issue is unique and unlike anything I was expecting for the book. However, if the ending was given more time and the themes expressed clearer, this may have hit home even harder.

Our Score:


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