We now present you with an advanced review for GI Joe Retaliation Prequel #1 by IDW Publishing, scheduled for release tomorrow, February 15th 2012!
GI Joe Retaliation Prequel #1
John Barber (w) o Salvador Navarro (a & c)
Snake Eyes and Roadblock. Perhaps the most dangerous of all the Joes–their combination of stealth, cunning, power and raw courage is nearly unmatched. But what unspoken bond do they share? Find out their never-before-revealed secrets in this prequel to the summers most anticipated action movie!
We’ve also attached the preview images. Forewarning: our review may contain slight spoilers! Read on to see how this issue turned out and preview it! GI Joe Retaliation Prequel #1 Review
- Writer: John Barber
- Artist: Salvador Navarro
- Colorist: Esther Sanz
- Letterer: Chris Mowry
- Editor: Carlos Guzman
- Cover A: Art by Salvador Navarro, colors by Esther Sanz
- Cover RI: Art by Salvador Navarro
The preface states:“GI Joe is the world’s premiere elite multi-national military squad. But in the days before the rise of their archenemies, Cobra, the Joes struggled to define themselves as the agency they would someday be.”
Now this story takes place in Borovia “several years ago”, which begs the question, is this meant to be before Rise of Cobra, or after?
That issue aside, it doesn’t take long at all for the action to heat up. Some of the Joes, which includes:
- Snake Eyes
Are attacked by Red Ninjas while traveling in their Blackhawk. There’s a lot of suspension of belief going on, as the Red Ninjas are able to jump on top of this helicopter and take it down, with swords and bows and arrows. Pretty over the top. A neat thing is that the Charbroil and Flash designs are the same as the ones from the Rise Of Cobra toyline.
Very early on, you can tell that this series will primarily focus on Roadblock and Snake Eyes. Some of the Joes are killed, 1 is captured, fate unknown, and Roadblock is pissed. Roadblock does not like leaving any Joe behind. An F-35B Lightning II shows up for an immediate EVAC. However, a plane arrives in the PIT later on(VTOL landing), and I wonder, are they supposed to be the same?
Or perhaps the artist got the references crossed? The plane landing in the PIT and those on the flightline all look like Sky Strikers with stealth control surfaces(all angular), meanwhile the cockpit looks the same as the Sky Striker. Now those of you who know aircraft, know the silhouette of a Sky Striker(modified F-14 Tomcat), is far different from that of an F-35. Note: neither an F-35B nor a retooled Sky Striker made an appearance at Toy Fair. Movie spoiler? Either way it’s cool to see the Joes use more real-world military equipment like the F-35 and Blackhawk.
Roadblock’s determination not to leave any Joe behind brings him into conflict with General Hawk. BTW General Hawk is now shown to be blonde, not brunette, nice nod to the Marvel books. Hawk makes contact with an unnamed Joe(assumed to be Joe Colton), for advice, and Snake Eyes has a plan with Roadblock in mind.
This book comes off as a fast read. The action heats up very quickly and doesn’t stop with the Red Ninjas. I guess it’s meant to be that way as this series is bi-weekly. Aside from the aforementioned Joes, Doc, Scarlett, Sgt. Stone, and possibly Duke, Ripcord and Cover Girl(the last 3 aren’t named in the book) show up. So maybe this takes place before ROC, with the movie taking place after ROC?
The characters from ROC mostly share the same costumes as the movies. However, Snake Eyes sports the costume he has from Retaliation. Also, the Red Ninjas, Storm Shadow and Zartan look different. Zartan makes a brief appearance in civilian clothes(but definitely runs things), and the Red Ninjas look more like the Sideshow Red Ninja figure. Meanwhile, Storm Shadow looks completely different from his ROC appearance. His costume is reminiscent of the original 1984 figure with arm wraps over his metal forearm armor. The ROC costume and the Retaliation wave 1 figure look nothing like this design. Also this isn’t the straight up original 1984 costume, it is different, however it is closest to that design than anything else. It is also different from Robert Atkins’ design of him.
Months back we heard that Storm Shadow might don a new costume in Retaliation(we’ve only seen the ROC costume in the trailers so far). Is this it? If so, most fanboys will be happy. Either way, I want a figure of this design.
The overall feel of this book reminds me of the Sunbow cartoon, in a good way. Roadblock rhymes, which adds the campy aspect, the Red Ninjas are over the top, and the plot, while simple, works. This is an entirely different feel compared to ROC. For example, if you were a fan of GI Joe and haven’t been into it since the 80’s, this book will feel familiar. Roadblock doesn’t really come across any differently than how he was portrayed in the 80’s. You don’t have to watch ROC, nor any previous incarnation of GI Joe to know what’s going on in this book. While it builds on what has been established, it’s new without feeling unfamiliar.
This is a good starting point for both new readers and those who haven’t read/seen GI Joe since the 80’s.
Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable read that was quick paced. I definitely look forward to more. I’m hoping what I saw in the PIT was indeed, a stealth Sky Striker. I also hope we get a figure of the Storm Shadow shown. It would be a shame if that costume is limited to just this book. As a fan, I think it has way more appeal than the costume worn in ROC. It’s a modernized take on an iconic design. It would be a shame if we didn’t at least get a figure of it. Kudos to the designer of it as well.
If you’re itching to watch Retaliation, or merely curious, definitely pick this issue up. I like the direction it’s going and love how it doesn’t feel out of place. Though it’s a movie book, it still feels like GI Joe.