Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review- CLASSIC G.I. JOE VOL. 11

CLASSIC G.I. JOE VOL. 11 (IDW, 2011; Softcover)
Collects G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero Nos. 101-110 (cover dates June, 1990- March, 1991)
Writer: Larry Hama
Artists: Mark D. Bright, Ron Garney, Lee Weeks, and others.
G.I. Joe isn't very realistic at this point in the title, with the far flung fantasy elements (science fiction, ninjas) getting as much attention as the military elements of the series. I was admittedly a sucker for this back when I played with the toys and read the comic books. I was no longer buying comic books when these issues were originally published, so these were all new to me. There is a sense of fun amidst all of these goings on. There is also a sense of reality, as seven Joes meet their maker in issues 109-110. And no, I'm not referring to Hasbro. 
Larry Hama's writing is a precursor to modern comic book storytelling. Unlike his contemporaries, Hama did not use third party narrative captions to set scenes. He would list a location or a time and then cut to the dialogue. This is pretty much standard operating procedure at Marvel over the last decade, but Hama might very well be the first to have done it. I'm not a comics historian so I can't say for certain. The artwork is done by a rotating crew, and is solid throughout the book. Clear, concise, competently done artwork. Mark D. Bright does the bulk of the book (101-106 and 108), and I enjoyed his run on Iron Man
This was a fun escapist read. I'll admit that G.I. Joe is pure nostalgia for me, as I played with the toys, watched the cartoon series, and read the comic books in the '80s. I left Star Wars for G.I. Joe in 1983, which seemed like a big deal at the time but now seems funny to me. Star Wars is so much cooler than G.I. Joe, but it had run it's course by late 1983. 
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- There is a marked improvement in the overall restoration in this book over previous volumes. While there are a few IDW-created typos found in the word balloons, greater care seems to have been taken this time around than with the previous volumes. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of pixelated lines. The strangest thing is the uneven lines on the top of the panels on some of the pages. My best guess is that these were scanned from floppies that were stored in extremely humid conditions and had the rippled warping that accompanies said humidity. 
Notice the "warped" appearance at the top of the panel. I'm not speaking about the curve from end to end (which is due to the book flexing), I am talking about the actual warping of the line. Very strange.
The computer recoloring seems to be handled better throughout the book, although the crappy airbrushed-looking gradients still mar the overall reading experience for me. Issue 110 has the worst linework and color restoration in the book. Your mileage, as always, may vary.
The paper is super thick, super shiny coated stock and is as smooth as a baby's bottom. It has sweet smelling toxic Korean ink, likely printed on virgin Amazon rainforest paper. There is significant glare if you read this under incandescent or fluorescent light, but there is almost no glare if you read it by natural light or sunlight, as long as it is not directly under the sun. Who cares, you ask? You do, if you're reading about this stuff in a section called The OCD zone!
Linework restoration rating: 3.75 out of 5.
Color restoration rating: 3.75 out of 5.
Paper rating: 4 out of 5.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4 out of 5.

Follow my blog on Facebook.
Join my Facebook group, DC Collected Editions Fans Who Want Sewn Binding and Books That Lay Flat, a watchdog organization dedicated to top notch production values in DC's collected editions.

1 comment:

  1. If I saw that cover I would just walk past that book. Thankfully the inside looks much better. I'll still pass. That's great that Arcade made an appearance in the book though.