Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review- CLASSIC G.I. JOE VOL. 14

CLASSIC G.I. JOE VOL. 14 (IDW, 2012; Softcover)
Collects G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero Nos. 135-145 (originally published by Marvel Comics, cover dates April, 1993- February, 1994)
Writers: Larry Hama (except 143)
Artists: Andrew Wildman, Chris Batista, and others.
Wow. Things go downhill so fast that they should have sold this book with a parachute to prevent injury. For starters, the title of the book temporarily changes to G.I. Joe Starring Snake Eyes and Ninja Force. That alone should tell you how kewl and !!!extreme!!! things get here. Andrew Wildman's artwork deteriorates here, getting all scratchy and unfocused like the Image brethren. Who thought that this style of artwork was appealing in the first place? What was the matter with you people in the '90s?? 
The first chunk of the book is basically Destro and ninjas battling it out with Cobra Commander for a castle. Then there's a Transformers crossover that does little to help things out. Issue 143 is an inventory story obviously thrown in because of a missed deadline. Then we get a retelling of Snake Eyes' origin in 144. Phil Gosher takes over the art in 145, and he sucks even worse than Wildman's Image-flavored crap.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2 out of 5.
The OCD zone- What happened? Was IDW disappointed that Volume 13 was mostly readable? 
Ugly, ugly pixelation. Look at the outline of that word balloon. I lost a full night's sleep over that.
Linework restoration rating: 1 out of 5. Things start out decent, but it's almost like the budget ran out and they cut corners for the rest of the book. This is the worst pixelation that I've seen in any collected edition in the last 10 years. This is inexcusable. 
IDW must have hired a first semester intern to do the restoration here. They should feel embarrassed.
Color restoration rating: 3 out of 5. Some of the issues have more muted colors, probably an attempt by the colorist to try and replicate the more subdued color of pulp paper. It doesn't look bad, but other issues look terrible. I don't understand how both the coloring and the linework restoration quality can vary from page to page within the same issue. One page will look okay, the next will have pixelation or crappy airbrushed looking gradients.
Paper rating: 4 out of 5. Heavyweight, bright white coated stock that gives too much glare.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glued binding. Nothing to get excited about here.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4 out of 5. Not bad, should hope up over time. The corners are a bit soft and can be easily dinged.

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