IDW Limited Danger Girl/G.I. Joe review and recap

IDW’s landmark new program, IDW Limited launched it’s exciting Danger Girl/G.I. Joe volume yesterday to great fanfare.  I posted a thorough preview over at, and frequent contributor Russ Sheath, a writer for Aint It Cool News also very kindly agreed to let me share in his review of the book.  You can jump over on the IDW Limited website to order the book in either Red Label or Black Label, depending on your preference.

Check out his coverage of Danger Girl/G.I. Joe on AICN directly, or after the jump and a huge thanks as always to Russ for his contributions to GeneralsJoes!  Please note that this article is reproduced with the writer’s permission.

AICN COMICS: Russ Sheath checks out the new DANGER GIRL/GI JOE Hardcover from IDW Publishing!

Hey folks, Russ Sheath here with a look at the new DANGER GIRL/GI JOE Hardcover being released from IDW Publishing. No self respecting GI JOE and DANGER GIRL fan should miss this exciting collection. The IDW Limited Edition of DANGER GIRL/GI JOE is a hard cover edition collecting DANGER GIRL/GI JOE issues 1 to 5 and is available to pre-order from Diamond today. Published in two strictly limited editions, the most dangerous of all is the IDW Limited BLACK label and is amazing.

Limited to just 50 copies, the BLACK label edition features a fully pencilled and inked sketch by series artist John Royle and is signed by Danger Girl creators Andy Hartnell, J. Scott Campbell and Royle. Produced to the exacting standards fans have come to expect including: A limited edition tray case. Hardcover Portfolio edition containing the original John Royle art.

The RED Label edition is limited to 175 editions and simply comes signed by Hartnell, Campbell and Royle and is presented in a limited edition, custom designed slipcase.

Both can be ordered here.

Here’s my review of the book below.


Writer: Andy Hartnell
Artist: John Royle
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Reviewer: Russ Sheath

DANGER GIRL/GI JOE is a hard cover edition collecting DANGER GIRL/GI JOE issues 1 to 5 published by IDW. DANGER GIRL/GI JOE is one of those books that causes the reader to slap themselves upside their own head and cry ‘OF COURSE’! Some things are simply born to go together and in an effort to forgo a cliche list of examples that proves my point, rest assured DANGER GIRL/GI JOE sits atop that list of ‘matches made in heaven’.

Unbelievably, DANGER GIRL made its debut in comic book stores 16 years ago and became a smash hit with readers as the title bore all the hallmarks of a classic Image book, a ‘high concept’ and dynamic, crisp visuals. Created by Wildstorm alumni, writer Andy Hartnell and artist J. Scott Campbell, Danger Girl wore it’s influences on it’s sleeve by drawing from a host of references that included the creators shared love of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, James Bond and above all, GI JOE.

Rather than a single person, Danger Girl actually refers to a team of all female secret agents headed by Adventurer Abbey Chase with sidekicks Sidney and Sonya Savage and the ‘Charlie to their Angels’….Deuce (looking suspiciously like a certain former Bond actor). Since that first outing there have been numerous adventures for Danger Girl both solo and in team ups with the likes of Army of Darkness and even Batman, however Danger Girl’s greatest asset also seemed to be it biggest curse in many ways.

Superstar artist J. Scott Campbell provided pencils for the original DANGER GIRL series back in 1997 and left shoes that anyone would find difficult to fill. The duo of Hartnell and Campbell had provided readers with the definitive Danger Girl and anything else would simply seem, second best…..until now!

Firmly embedded in the Larry Hama fuelled 80s version of GI JOE, DANGER GIRL/GI JOE finds the team of Danger Girls proving more than a match for Duke, Snake-Eyes and Scarlett as the Joes are forced to look to outside help to rescue two of their own from the clutches of Cobra.

Hartnell, the unsung hero of the Danger Girl creative partnership, reminds readers of what made them fall in love with GI Joe and he ably joins the very short list of great GI Joe writers, reintroducing readers to the characters that they loved as kids and to this day. They all make an appearance in this book from Quick Kick to my find personal favourite Joe, Outback. And with enough cameos to make even Joss Whedon feel insignificant, Hartnell manages to play to each characters strengths so that none feel forced into the storyline, as each character plays to their skill set.

It is to Andy Hartnell’s credit that he uses the super stars of the GI JOE universe sparingly as Cobra Commander, Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow all appear quite a way into the book, building anticipation for their inevitable appearance and letting other characters take the spotlight without the need to force them into every panel.

In DANGER GIRL/GI JOE it also seems that Hartnell and readers alike have finally found an artistic visionary worthy of the title in British artist John Royle. Without a doubt the first post-Campbell artist to make Danger Girl his own, John Royle combines his clean, crisp lines and a penchant for drawing hot female characters with the stylings that made Campbell a superstar.

It is perhaps the similarities in style that make Royle such a perfect fit for Danger Girl, returning to the big screen set pieces that defined the original DANGER GIRL series while ushering the title into a new era. Naturally a shared love of pretty girls possessing impossible vital statistics combined with nefarious criminal organisations with world conquering machinations help, but Royale also captures the fun and the spirit of both DANGER GIRL and GI JOE.

With John Royle already hard at work on the follow up, this time minus GI Joe, in DANGER GIRL: TRINITY I really hope that this is the beginning of a resurgence for Danger Girl and that in the absence of Campbell, the Hartnell/Royale partnership becomes a force to be reckoned with. In DANGER GIRL/GI JOE you have the best of what made readers love both titles in their respective heydays, combined with a new world of possibly, especially for Danger Girl. And I for one am very excited to see where this new launching point could take Abbey, Sidney and Sonya.

If you are looking for a classic good vs evil adventure that features sexy girls and everyone’s favourite real American heroes or just a well written, fantastic looking, fun comic book then DANGER GIRL/GI JOE is without a doubt for you.

If you enjoyed the preview art, check out John Royle’s website and original art store here:

Check out my interviews with DANGER GIRL/GI JOE creators, John Royle and Andy Hartnell.

Follow IDW here @IDWPublishing and look for DANGER GIRL: TRINITY by Hartnell and Royle out now from IDW.

You can follow Russ Sheath’s blog Russwords here and @russellsheath on Twitter here.

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