CLASSIC G.I. JOE VOL. 12 (IDW, 2011; Softcover)
Collects G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero Nos. 111-123 (cover dates April, 1991- April, 1992)
Writers: Larry Hama and Herb Trimpe
Artists: John Statema, Rod Whigham, Herb Trimpe, and Andrew Wildman.
I love what Larry Hama did on the title when I was growing up. It pains me to write this, but I have an obligation to be honest and to call them as I see them. This title has gone from lovable fun to loathable stupidity. Gone are nearly all of the semi-realistic military angles, in are high fantasy elements such as the G.I. Joe Ninja Force and Battle Force 2000. Not to be outdone, Cobra has Slice and Dice, a pair of evil ninjas.
|The worst artwork that the world has ever seen was done in 1990s comic books.|
Longtime fans will be happy with the reintroduction of Zartan, Tomax, Xamot, and Billy (Cobra Commander's son). Undoubtedly inspired by the the events of Operation: Desert Storm in January, 1991, the Joes become involved in conflicts in the Middle East in fictitious countries such as Quagmahr, Benzheen, and Abysmia. I got a kick out of those names.
Storm Shadow gets a Wolverine claw for his right hand during the all-out ninja stupidity. Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander get new costumes without any fanfare or acknowledgment. It's like Hasbro sent them the new action figure designs and then they were integrated. The clearest sign of this title “jumping the shark” is the introduction of the Eco-Warriors, which are the dumbest elements introduced into the G.I. Joe universe thus far.
|New costumes for Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander are unveiled here with no mention of how or why.|
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2 out of 5.
The OCD zone- In true IDW fashion, this collection is lacking. The G.I. Joe Dossiers from Issue 111, 113-118, 120-123 (2 pages each), are omitted. You would think that they would've included those in the back of the book as DVD style extras, but no. IDW has repeatedly dropped the ball with this line of trade paperbacks, from omitting issues that crossed over with G.I. Joe Special Missions to the poor restoration in many of these volumes.
|Tight gutters abound. There is plenty of excess white border space on the pages. All they would have had to do is some slight cropping and move the image out 1/8 of an inch.|
Linework restoration rating: 3.5 out of 5. The restoration is really hit or miss. It's decent and readable but doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy like I do when I read a Marvel Masterwork. I like to have that definitive, high-def BluRay expereince.
Color restoration rating: 2 out of 5. Ugly gradient shading, done by letting the computer fill in the shapes rather than doing them by hand on the computer. Cheesy airbrushed gradient effects make my blood boil. The original issues did not have that, so I perceive it to be an abomination.
Paper rating: 4 out of 5. Super heavy duty coated stock paper. This book weighs a ton for a softcover, clocking in at a chunky 280 or so pages. It's a high gloss stock which makes the colors look garish.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glue in a cardstock cover. It doesn't creak when you fan through it and should hold up over time.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4 out of 5. This has a medium thickness wax coating on the cardstock cover. It seems durable with repeated handling, and should fare well over a lifetime on your bookshelf.
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