Who doesn’t love G.I. Joe? Well, I guess some people probably don’t but G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #275 is a big deal and I’ve been reading the series off and on for the last bunch of years. Last issue, COBRA kidnapped a man named Sean Collins, who they think might be the original Snake Eyes and they want to brainwash him to work for them. It sounds like something that might have happened in one of the old cartoons.
But wait, there’s a big twist with the issue that I didn’t see. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #275 calls back to another issue from many years ago, issue 21, or, “Silent Interlude”, in that there are no words. No dialogue. No caption boxes. That means we, the readers, have to piece it together from the art. In removing the dialogue and taking out of my mind the voices of these characters that have been ingrained in it, it actually makes for a rather pleasant read…or viewing.
I think one of the most interesting things about this is that series writer Larry Hama continues to do innovative things with these characters. When I picked up this issue, I had no idea it would be silent. But what is lost in words, this issue certainly makes up with in action. Non-stop, no-holds-barred, all guns blazing. You pick it, it’s what it is. All the big Joes and Cobra guys and gals just blasting each other all throughout a hospital. And it was something you could follow. Does it bug me there’s no dialogue? Eh, not really. I do feel that it would add something substantial to the experience, but having this issue be a silent one does also make for a memorable issue.
The art team on this issue of G.I. Joe had to do a lot of work. Tony Atkins and Netho Diaz create a great action sequence of an issue. I think they do satisfying work on the title. But on a silent issue, the art has to do so much more work to keep the reader invested in what they see and I feel it was mission accomplished in that category. And what’s more, I love seeing their renditions of so many classic characters that I grew up with.
Overall, an issue like this can hit a few different ways. I thought G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #275 was one of the better issues with no words I’ve read. It got me from point A to B and sometimes, or in this case, part 9 to part 10, and what a way to wrap a story. It’s not a perfect issue, but it’s a good one that, I think, pays off for those who have followed Hama’s G.I. Joe comic. It’s not one I’d recommend to a new reader.
Story: Larry Hama Art: Robert Atkins and Netho Diaz
Ink: Brian Atkins and Maria Keane Color: J. Brown Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Good for those who follow the series but not for new readers
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics