G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #171
Written by Larry Hama
Art by S L Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J. Brown
Letters by Neil UyeTake
Covers by Larry Hama, S L Gallant, Gary Erskine, Herb Trimpe
Release Date: October 19, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99
Rest easy, GI Joe fans, you CAN go home again. At least, as far as the GI Joe comics are concerned. I really believe IDW should get some kind of special recognition for bringing BACK 20-year-old continuity in a time in comics where continuity barely holds up from one issue to the next.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #171 might frustrate some newer or younger comics readers, simply for the fact that this IS a continuation of a 20-year-old series and it’s written like it. Storytelling in comics is a lot different now than it was then. What I love about this comic is that it IS written as an old school comic. You get a brief recap within the first few story pages, but other than that, author Larry Hama assumes that you’ve read previous issues and know what’s going on, and it doesn’t hurt the book one bit.
The only complaint I have with the issue is that every page follows a different Joe team. I’ve never been a big fan of that storytelling device, and I really can’t decide if it works here or not.
S L Gallant does a great job, as usual, handling the art chores. In my opinion, he’s got it a lot easier than the artists who are drawing the other IDW GI Joe books, as in the ARAH era, all the Joes are dressed quite differently, so it’s very easy to make the characters distinguished from each other. This issue is pretty dialogue heavy, but he manages to squeeze some action and interesting angles into each page.
All in all, this is an average issue of a great series. Even though there’s a lot happening, you can tell that this is a bridge issue and that the next couple are going to be chock full of high action and events.