So I realize as I prepare to write this that I’ve been taking something for granted. Month in and month out, the greatness of Larry Hama and SL Gallant effortlessly weaving their way through the G.I. Joe mythology, incorporating new things, adding some great vintage homages and generally having fun with it all. I’ve been buying it every month, reading it every month, and enjoying it every month. But it became a routine and I just kind of expected to have it there, month in and month out.
When IDW announced that SL Gallant would no longer be the primary artist on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, I have to admit, I was pretty upset. His work with Hama had become evocative of the legendary Hama/Whigham work from back in the day, a team that became so inexorably tied with the brand that it’s difficult to think of that era of G.I. Joe without picturing those particular versions of those characters in your head. The same had become true of Gallant’s time on the title, and now that I don’t have that routine anymore, it feels like a piece of that history is gone.
It’s odd because I’m typically not a fan of brands leaning on vintage nostalgia like a crutch, and I’d much prefer to see different ways that brands can evolve and stay relevant with these days rather than becoming overly reliant on trying to revisit the past…yet Hama/Gallant had just enough taste of the past to feel natural without feeling forced.
That being said, Netho Diaz has certainly made a splash and a very good impression with his work here. Keep reading for a full review.