Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reviews: Classic G.I. Joe Vol. 9 & Vol. 10; Robert Bloch's Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper

CLASSIC G.I. JOE VOL. 9 (IDW, 2010, softcover)
Collects G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero Nos. 81-90 (cover dates December, 1988- September, 1989)
Wow, the restoration in this volume is pretty bad. Can't IDW work out something with Marvel to borrow the stats or film or files from the original issues or something? There's really no excuse for the obliterated linework and spell-checked word balloon errors like we see here.
The stories are increasingly silly, with G.I. Joe veering more into Dreadnok/sci-fi territory. These are all still fun reads, but if you are looking for a 'serious' military comic book then you should look elsewhere. Issue 85 is something of a sequel to issue 21, Larry Hama's infamous 'silent' issue, with no dialogue or word balloons. Groundbreaking at the time, modern day writers have aped this stuff ad nauseam now.
I really wish that IDW had gone back and inserted the non-reprint portions of the G.I. Joe Yearbooks where they should have originally have been based on publication date. I guess that you can blame Marvel because they didn't insert them within the original 5 trades, but IDW should have lumped those in with Volume 6.

CLASSIC G.I. JOE VOL. 10 (IDW, 2010, softcover)
Collects G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero Nos. 91-100 (cover dates October, 1989- May, 1990)
At last! IDW figured out how to properly restore and remaster this series! There was a typo or two, but the linework looked good.
High art this is not, but G.I. Joe is a fun read. High energy, non-stop action. It was a thrill to see Snake Eyes return to prominence, and also the sheer number of reveals. Snake Eyes' real face, Destro's real face, even Cobra Commander's real face...all revealed! If you were a child of the '80s, this was a blast...if not, it's probably still a lot of fun. I just wish that IDW would break the tradition of putting crappy artwork on the cover by people who didn't even do the original series. Marvel started that when they did the first 5 volumes in the early Aughts, but there is no good reason to keep on keepin' on with it, in my opinion.

Collects Robert Bloch's Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper Nos. 1-3 (cover dates June- August, 2010)
This is an adaptation of Robert Bloch's story written Joe & John Lansdale with artwork by Kevin Colden. This is very well done stuff, and I like the fact that the coloring is so sparse. Kind of an off-blue/gray color with plenty of red thrown in for effect. This story has an interesting take on the Jack the Ripper mythos. Like the Kennedy assassin(s), the true identity of Jack the Ripper is likely lost to the mists of time. According to the biography in the back of the book, Robert Bloch also wrote the novel Psycho.


  1. 'Wow, the restoration in this volume is pretty bad'
    This is getting silly - if you want good restoration, buy the single issues and bind them!

  2. ...OR, IDW could stop doing a half-ass job! These aren't comics from the 1940s. My $50 scanner could do a better job than IDW did. If they didn't get the first semester intern who took Photoshop 101 to do the restoration, maybe I wouldn't have to complain. Binding is for chumps, anyhow.

  3. '...OR, IDW could stop doing a half-ass job!'
    And then they'd just cancel the trades - which would get all the fans annoyed who like what they're doing with the trades. BTW: have you actually bound anything?

  4. Right, because every other publisher that DOES do a good job is out of business, right?

    As for binding, I admire David Banks and the other hardcore binders out there, but could never bring myself to "destroy" perfectly good comic books. My OCD forbids me from doing that. If I *were* ever to bind something, it would be something that would never be collected, i.e Shogun Warriors.