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Look at the Pretty!

So, I was catching up on comics tonight (it is Thursday, you know), and after reading a few books, I filed some away. One book that was awaiting filing was that G.I. Joe 155 1/2 I mentioned a few weeks ago. Well, it finally made its way to its home tonight. Did I put it with the current IDW Joe line? Or with my new comics in general? Oh, hell no. That bad boy went into the Marvel G.I. Joe box, right behind its predecessor, G.I. Joe #155. Oh, and you know what? The back of issue 155 1/2 announces issue 156! It's due out in July! I cannot wait! Picking up right where the Marvel line left off in 1994! And it's written by Larry Hama, the original writer! *dies*

Incidentally, I emailed this to my comic guy tonight:

Oh, and it's obvious that I want G.I. Joe #156 when it comes out, right? *grin*

A short while later, I got this response.

Larry who? But of course!

I laughed my ass off. Yeah, my comics guy knows me. It's funny, sometimes, how one can measure their life.

Okay. So everyone here knows I love G.I. Joe (comics) more than just about anything. But did you know that G.I. Joe #21 is considered by many in the comics world to be a singularly classic book? Well, now you know. And knowing is...

...oh, alright, I'll let it go.

Well, today, after getting all fired up about Joe again (that just happens sometimes), I found this scan online.

It's the last page of said issue, and it made me I remember why I love this book so much. In case you need it, what happened here is that Scarlett had been kidnapped by COBRA and Snake-Eyes rescued her. Okay, simple enough. Damsel in distress, even. Ugh. Except that Scarlett actually freed herself, but that's beside the point. The point is that it really wasn't simple. Look at the middle panel. Look at Scarlett's face. Look at what is unspoken there between her and Snakes. And what's this? A torn sleeve? Snakes has a tat? Alright then... it's easy to believe an American soldier might have a tattoo on his right forearm. Big deal. Moving on. Next panel. WHAT? The obviously evil ninja who fought Snake-Eyes at every turn and nearly killed Scarlett has the same tattoo? In the same place? Who is this masked man? And what's the connection here? Oh, and look at that posture! Look what is again unspoken. What is going on here? Oh, but we did want to know. This need to know is what built the G.I. Joe comic book line. Without issue #21 and its introduction of Storm Shadow, there is no way Joe would have survived as long as it did, and frankly I wouldn't have an all-time favorite issue of a comic book.

And you want to know the really amazing thing? G.I. Joe #21 told this story without using a single word. It told it without a single sound effect. There is not a letter one in the issue. Yet it remains to this day the Joe team's crown jewel, despite the fact that Larry Hama wrote (and drew) it in a hurry simply for this scene. (Yep, it's a case of "I have one great scene in mind and need a story to justify it." I wouldn't know anything about that...honest...*cough*) No Joe comic yet has rivaled its brilliance, and all of them can thank their existence to this book. And so I salute G.I. Joe #21, an issue without peer. 

My personal G.I. Joe origin story has a few more chapters, and that's a story for another day, but this issue is why I will never, ever hide my love for the Marvel G.I. Joe line. It truly belongs amongst the greats, and everyone knows it.

Make. Mine. Marvel.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 21st, 2010 03:28 am (UTC)
I wished you were my next door neighbor!
May. 21st, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
Well, okay, but remember the books don't go outside and you can't eat while you read them! (I do eat while reading new comics and read comics outside, but not these ones. And certainly never #21.)
May. 29th, 2010 06:19 am (UTC)
Your exchange with the CBG is, of course, both expected and classic.

That said, now I am all intrigued. I knew teensy things about Joe, but certainly not much. That page is pretty fucking awesome, though.

Pretty fucking awesome, indeed.
Where's a comic library when you need one?
May. 29th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
Well, there is the cover gallery and plot synopsis (issue by issue) over on yojoe.com (http://www.yojoe.com/comics/joe/), but I'm not sure I know of any online actual readers. Except for this one:


This is an absolutely fantastic site for reading Action Force (UK version of G.I. Joe). I still have much to read here myself.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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