Ugh, I’ve been lagging again. With the furious onslaught of G.I. Joe: Retaliation news and so much other stuff happening in my personal life and the fandom, I’ve just lost step a bit with my IDW reviews, but I’m going to endeavor to get back up to speed if at all possible.
Hopefully no one thinks a lack of reviews is any indication of my enjoyment of what IDW is doing, because it is not. I’m still thoroughly enjoying the roller coaster ride of the Real American Hero title especially, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit happy to see this Blue Ninja saga coming to an end.
To read my full review of what is advertised as the “Conclusion” to the Blue Ninja saga click the Read the Rest of the Story link below.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #179
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: SL Gallant
I will admit, I was growing weary of the Blue Ninja saga like I believe many of the other readers were as well. One of G.I. Joe’s best assets has always been the ability to marry real world military with near-future technology. Well, when that technology goes totally off the rails and jumps from “near-future” to “holy crap how is this even possible” I must admit I do stutter a little bit in my all encompassing love of the story.
The Blue Ninja saga has had its own share of ups and downs throughout the story so far. While I’ve never really been in love with the whole super-futuristic ninja cyborgs, I did enjoy other elements of the story. The death of Billy and Cobra Commander’s reaction to it has been terrific… the sheer brutality of the blue ninjas as they infiltrated Broca Beach and systematically executed many family members of the Cobra agents concealed within… some pretty intense stuff. But unfortunately a lot of those mature undercurrents have been overshadowed by the almost ridiculous super-natural elements of the ninja cyborg clan, especially as we get to the end and G.I. Joe and Cobra team up against what is essentially a giant mechanized ninja cyborg spider.
In a world where Cobra gained a huge advantage by creating mindless automatons which explode when you shoot them from behind, it just seems like way too much of a stretch to have a whole clan of super-techno cyborg organisms with super-healing, camouflage, and endless supplies of fuel and energy.
That being said, the pace of the story throughout this final issue was very quick, the action was fluid, and as always, the art was just freaking stunning. SL Gallant is so awesome. Every panel is a joy to read and I feel such a kinship with the way these issues are drawn compared to the “good old days” of the 80’s. There is such an obvious tie-in to Whigham and Wagner and I cannot honestly think of an artist I would rather see on this title right now.
Even as Snake Eyes is hacking the arms of a bizarre cyborg ninja spider and my mind is wondering how the hell this all works, SL Gallant is translating the action to pure vintage awesomeness, and I couldn’t be happier for it.
It also doesn’t hurt at all that they are showcasing Cobra Commander in his uber-cool Sigma 6 battle armor, which I love seeing, too.
This latest issue was packed page-to-page with action, and the dialogue was very well written, but the concept it surrounds is one I am growing tired of. Thankfully this seems to be the final issue in this long-protracted story, so I greatly look forward to moving on to the next stage of this great series and seeing where Larry Hama and SL Gallant take us from here.
To see a sample of the work in this latest issue, check out a gallery of the preview pages below.