Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

GI Joe America’s Elite #33
DDP Comics
Powers, Bear, Shoyket, Quinn & Beaulieu

Part nine of the twelve issue mega-war was back to the status quo after a very lukewarm issue. No, we don’t see anyone die and I tend to doubt we will with the license seemingly about to change hands. However, we do get a lot of action and some excellent moments from some of the best characters in their stable. This issue was as entertaining as any other in this whole run. It was not without some oddities though.

I want to begin by talking about the wrap around cover. In the spirit of the cover for issue twenty-five, we get the entire Cobra array of characters splashed on both sides of the comic. Now, there are clearly less of Cobra than Joes, but this is still pretty impressive. With Cobra having taken the country over how cool would this picture have been on the steps of the Capitol?

As for the content of the issue its fabulous. I had assumed, based on last issue, that this issue would have a lot of dogfighting and mass army battles. Wrong! This issue had more of the same espionage that we’ve see all along. The whole issue is dedicated to small GI Joe units making headway in taking back the country. Well, most of the issue. We do get some Cobra Commander showing who’s boss in his family.

Cobra Commander confronts his son. He wants him to pledge his everlasting allegiance to him. Billy refuses so Cobra Commander throws him in the brig, presumably to kill him. Billy escapes the guards and looks to kill his father. His father plays a small trick on him by switching his mask with someone else. That old gag again. Cobra Commander gives a speech followed by injecting his son with some poison to kill him. We’ll see if he actually dies or not. I’m guessing he won’t.

Elsewhere, Duke and Rourke are running around New York City. The pairing of these two has gotten old. How many times do we need to hear about Rourke being untrustworthy or how if Rourke wanted to kill Duke he would have by now. This was the weakest part of the issue. Thankfully, it was saved by civilians taking up arms against Cobra and led by some Joes who we were led to believe were dead. Of course they werent really dead. Just pretend dead. The entrance by one of the Joes was particularly cool.

Other smaller parts to issue involved Snake Eyes and Scarlett reaching the General’s quarters and Stalker, Roadblock and Flint(? I really couldn’t tell from the artwork) heading to Stalker’s house in Detroit. Anyway, the Stalker household has taken in some gang bangers. This was an interesting turn of events. A couple of questions come up out of this. One, being when did Stalker’s wife begin to look old enough to be his mother? Two, when did Stalker go from having two sons to a son and girl? Moving right along.

The highlight of the issue was Storm Shadow. First, he battles Eden. This has excellent action and terrific dialogue. She tries to tap into Storm Shadow’s various side turning, but Storm Shadow isn’t biting. He keeps his cool and gets what he wants. Then he moves on and finds Destro and Baroness. He battles the Baroness, again with outstanding dialogue – trash talking. Destro intervenes and the battle takes an interesting turn. Basically, Storm Shadow gets Destro and Baronness to agree to help the Joes and Destro wraps a couple of conditions around the deal. This was a great scene all the way around.

The artwork really felt rushed. For eight issues the art has been almost all stellar and now in this issue characters are barely recognizable. I can understand that they must be under pressure to finish off this arc, but at some point things need to be easily discernible to the reader. I’m willing to balance this out with the fantastic artwork for the battles that Storm Shadow has. It’s a real highlight.

The issue moved this arc along after an issue of stalling. We have some new players in the mix and the Joes are invading the States. This has some potential to really finish with a big bang. I would like to see some of the core team get used a little bit more. For example, Shipwreck isn’t even in this issue and Scarlett and Snake Eyes only see one page.

Still I found the entire issue very entertaining. I found the characterizations of Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow, Destro and Baroness to be well worth the price of admission. This was the escalation I was looking for last issue. The big question is looming: how does this end?

5 out of 5 geek goggles.

Americas Elite #33