Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

GI Joe: America’s Elite #34
DDP Comics
Powers, Bear, Shoyket, Quinn and Beaulieu

Part 10 of the epic saga that is World War III. This issue gets back to basics. It has fast moving plot pieces. It has some evil plotting and some counter plotting. It has some interesting reveals. It has some action, but not a ton. There are a couple of problems that do hamper this issue, but they have been true the last couple and I sense they may be related to the rush to get this done before the license gets yanked. I’m not sure I can deduct under those circumstances. I actually liked the issue. Hopefully the overall series ending wont make for a corny ending to this story arc.

Contrary to what I thought, once it was determined the license was changing hands, a character did get killed off. Cobra Commander’s son seemed to have been killed last issue. This issue confirms it with his body swinging from the flag pole with a sign on it. Major Bludd describes it to spare us the visual, but I was dead wrong about the series ending very tame.

Then, showing up at the Joes secret base in Idaho is Storm Shadow with Destro and Baroness. It’s an excellent entrance. Destro is without his mask and he still portrays the confidence and arrogance you’d expect. Storm Shadow shows again that he can do basically whatever he wants. It’s a very cool scene.

What follows is a bit awkward. The Joes give a good tongue lashing to Destro about all his weapons he gave over to Cobra. This is a bit light and not very believable. However, it is possible, simply because the Joes need Destro to stop the weapons. As weird as it all plays out I cant completely discount the conversations that take place. They seem plausible. Throw in an obscure comment to Scarlett from the Baroness (that is also an older reference to a past issue) and you have the characters staying in character. The only odd part of this is that Destro puts his mask back on. Why?

There is one page that reunites Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. This was probably the highlight of this entire arc for me. I have been eagerly awaiting this for many issues. I, personally, thought Storm Shadow was going to flip over to Cobra for this arc. I would say this scene ends that notion.

Other parts of this issue has the Red Shadows break Dela out of prison (there’s a shocker) and Destro giving over information to Firewall and Sparks. One interesting scene sees Destro’s son react to his “Baroness” and his new found power. It’s good use of growing this character into something more real than the whiner he had been.

GI Joe learns of Cobra Commander’s scorched Earth plan and counters. At the same time, Cobra Commander executes his next part of the plan.

The issue ends with the reveal of one of the Joe plants inside Cobra and the Joes deploying to some secret locations to begin their counter offensive.

Let’s begin with the negative. The art suffers severely in this issue. It’s rushed and it shows. Not every page synchs up. It’s disappointing, but understandable given DDP’s predicament. Another negative is the ease with which the Joes move around the US and the way they fly off to London, Antarctica and the Amazon. If Cobra has a hold on the country and all communications then how does GI Joe get planes off the ground? One last item to complain about is The Plague. Cobra’s elite is becoming annoying. Why is that they now seem to have the personality that Cobra Commander had in the 1980s cartoon? It’s really a distraction in this title.

The positives far outweigh the negatives. There are only two issues left and I get the sense that this arc will end with Cobra still in firm control. This is okay with me. I like that the Joes will try to stop total devastation but the damage is already done around the world. This issue really follows the pattern that we saw the first five or six issues of this arc and it is very, very good. We still don’t know who the other Joe plant in Cobra is. I’m going to take a wild guess that it is either Grunt or Kamakura.

My faith in this title was restored with this issue. I no longer feel that the story is going nowhere or that it will just end with the Joes winning in a clean sweep at the end. There are still more layers here. Some won’t get uncovered before the series ends, but some will and that will be enough to make this arc end on a real high note. I enjoyed this issue as much as any other in this arc.

5 out of 5 geek goggles.

G.I. Joe Americas Elite #34