When it comes to conflicted antagonists, it seems as though Marvel may have cornered the market. You can see this in three of their biggest movies. In Black Panther, Erik Killmonger is nothing what he seems. We find out that he’s T’Challa’s cousin, and by the end of the movie, audiences were as conflicted as he was. In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the Manadarin is a father who longs for his dead wife. It’s a grief that pushes him to unleash an ancient evil. In Thor: Love & Thunder, Gorr The God Butcher, doesn’t kill because of sheer hate, but out of grief, when a God denied him the right to bring his daughter back to life.
Comic book fans will tell you that there’s so many great villains to discover in comics. There is more than a variety of characters that cannot be painted into being a hero or a villain. Take for instance Storm Shadow, from G.I. Joe whose journey in comics is very complex. He was an assassin for Cobra than came to be a soldier for Joe. Just like Snake Eyes, his first true allegiance is to the Arashikage ninja clan. In this collection of stories, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Best of Storm Shadow, we find out just what makes him such a fan favorite.
In “Judgments”, Storm Shadow is in a moral quandary where he disagrees with the rest of COBRA on a prisoner, eventually betraying and helping the prisoner escape. In “The Tenth Letter”, Storm Shadow helps G.I. Joe liberate a Gulag where Snowjob is kept captive. In the next story, through a diabolical plan of Copbra Commander, they weaponize the one man who they did not have an answer for, Snake Eyes. In the last story, we get an origin story about Snake Eyes before there was G.I. Joe, as we get a picture of a complex ma, who found it hard to assimilate to infantry life.
Overall, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Best of Storm Shadow is a collection that actually highlights two of the best characters in this classic franchise. The stories by Hama are fun. The art by the different creators are gorgeous. Altogether, a collection that will have fans wanting to watch old episodes of the 80s cartoon.
Story: Larry Hama Art: Rod Whigham, Ron Wagner, Agustin Padilla, Andrew Lee Griffith
Ink: Andy Mushynsky, Randy Emberlin Color: George Roussos, Bob Sharen, J. Brown
Letterer: Rich Parker, Joe Rosen, Chris Mowry, Neil Uyetake
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review