I was catching up on a bunch of GI Joe back issues this weekend, and it got me to thinking about Larry Hama’s A Real American Hero series as it relates to the Chuck Dixon GI Joe series of a few years ago.
I remember discussing on the podcast how Dixon’s GI Joe series was not like the cartoon--it was slower, more methodical, and more complex. The technical military jargon and the chess match of espionage between GI Joe and Cobra took a front seat in that series, while explosive action took a backseat.
When Larry Hama returned to A Real American Hero, I remember thinking that his series was much closer to the cartoon. The pace was faster, the action drove the book and the characters we grew up with felt like the characters we grew up with.
Recently however, I think that Hama’s series has really slowed down, and in some ways is very much like Dixon’s run on GI Joe.
Issue #182 involves the escape of Darklon from the Pit, and Muskrat, Ambush and Outback being sent after him. Meanwhile, Zartan is trying to forge an alliance with Cobra Commander by giving him information on the forces that conspire against him. For me, the highlight of the issue wa an appearance by Low-Light a sniper who happens to be my second favorite Joe of all time (Quick Kick being the first). The issue is very dialogue heavy, and Hama takes time to explore both of those plot points from the perspectives of all the players involved.
I can’t help but get the feeling that Hama is trying to ground the story in reality with all the technical dialogue and jargon. But when the cast features a guy named Road Pig who uses a weapon made out of a pipe and a cinder block, I think you’ve already lost that battle.
Hama’s GI Joe: RAH may always have been like this, and maybe I’m just noticing it for the first time. But I feel like the series has gotten more bogged down recently, and for me it’s losing some of its shine.
I’d like to see less exposition and more explosions moving forward.
3 out of 5 I’m Getting Sleepy’s