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Review: Scarlett’s Strike Force #1

They’ve fought back invasions from home and afar-now, they’re back on Earth, and ready to take on the wildest, weirdest threats out there! It’s Scarlett’s G.I. Joe team, the Strike Force, against a brand-new Cobra Commander, a revitalized Cobra, and everyone else trying to conquer Earth… or destroy it!

I haven’t focused on Aubrey Sitterson‘s G.I. Joe run too much, instead reading IDW Publishing‘s Transformers run and the other “Hasbro” titles when I need to. With the shitstorm and (undeserved) rage around Sitterson, I’ve become more interested in what he’s been doing and decided to take a look.

Scarlett’s Strike Force #1 features a pretty easy entry point for the series and world of G.I. Joe as a new direction is taken with the series. And, based on this first issue, I’ve generally been missing out on fun.

Lets face it, there’s two ways to go with G.I. Joe. There’s the serious nature of its military roots or the rather silly nature of the toy line and the colorful characters of the world. It’s clear Sitterson is going with the latter here as we get a Cobra attempting a plan to increase CO2 and Global Warming and using Army Ants as a force. Yes, the obscure Hasbro toy line is now cannon in G.I. Joe. The idea of the Joes fighting alongside a Transformer, member of M.A.S.K., and against Cobra and Army Ants has my inner kid jumping for joy and downright entertained. This is the exact battle I put together with my toy collection and much like the recent First Strike storyline, recreates my childhood in a way that it’s hard to not laugh and enjoy the ride.

And whether you appreciate that will be where you lie in Sitterson’s run and this first issue. The comic leans more towards the goofy larger than life characters later in the toy line than the more grounded characters earlier on. This is about “go big or go home.”

Nelson Daniel‘s art helps that in some ways. Daniel delivers the characters in a more cartoonish style emphasizing that over a more serious look we see in other series. This is primarily is a toyline and cartoon and the look Daniel brings reminds us of that. At times it is hard to see exactly what’s going on but overall the design works well with the story Sitterson has weaved together.

The first issue’s a fun one that leans heavy on the goofier nature of G.I. Joe and delivers a take on the classic franchise that’s absolutely different than what IDW has presented in earlier runs. While those had a more grounded style (which works) this one celebrates the wild characters and brings it all together with Hasbro’s franchises (there’s a Jem reference!). This feels like an over the top world, exactly the type of story so many of us told with our toy collection growing up. And with that, it brings a smile to my face.

Story: Aubrey Sitterson Art: Nelson Daniel Cover Art: Harvey Tolibao
Story: 7.85 Art: 7.65 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review