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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #192
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #192G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #192
Written by Larry Hama
Art by Sergio Cariello
Colors by J. Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor: Carlos Guzman
Covers by SL Gallant & Gary Erskine with colors by J. Brown, and Larry Hama
IDW Publishing
Release Date: July 31, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #192 is, just like it has been since its return to publishing in 2005, a complete and totally fun read from cover to cover.

Writer Larry Hama deals with about 4 major plot lines in this issue, switching focus about every 2-4 pages on what’s going on. You might think that there’s not enough time to devote to each character or story, but this is where Hama succeeds. He brings a couple of the stories to a definite close (well, as much as you can in comics, and leaves the others ending with some great cliffhangers. What I love so much about this series is that I can’t wait for the next issue. You just don’t get that with a lot of other comics today. This series is definitely NOT “written for the trade” and that’s what’s so unique about it and so great about Hama’s story telling.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #4
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cGt2099   |  
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Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #4Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #4
Script by Scott & David Tipton
Art by Gary Erskine with thanks to Mike Collins
Colors by Charlie Kirchoff
Covers by Francesco Francavilla and Gary Erskine
IDW Publishing
Release Date: April 17, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

IDW’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who resumes with the Tom Baker issue of Prisoners of Time. While this fourth chapter continues some of the elemental highlights of the previous issue, there are some less-than-stellar characteristics that detract from the plot, though not enough to stop it from being an enjoyable read.

The overarching plot of Prisoners of Time looks at an as-of-yet undisclosed villain and enemy of the Doctor, who is invading moments from all 11 of his incarnations and kidnapping his companions. The motives and reasoning are not yet clear as to why he is doing this, though each Doctor will have their own issue, crowning in the 12th issue where presumably all Doctors will join forces.

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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #185
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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G.I. Joe #185G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #185
Written by Larry Hama
Pencils by S L Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor: Carlos Guzman
Cover by Ron Frenz & Sal Buscema
IDW Publishing
Release Date: December 5, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #185 is the one hundredth and eighty-fifth issue of awesomeness. In a row. That’s a pretty good record, by any standards.

Writer and creator of the G.I. Joe that everyone knows and loves, Larry Hama, manages to do something that no other writer does: makes a completely believable, viable, military comic with soldiers dressed in the most RIDICULOUS outfits ever imagined. OK, so, everyone of my generation thought (and still thinks) that those fatigues are awesome, but, in reality, if any kind of soldier wore those clothes he would be shot and killed immediately. Probably by members of his own team. But, I digress. This issue continues the three main story lines and even introduces a couple more into the mix. PLUS-ZARTAN!!!!!! And, there’s a couple other surprise appearances that I won’t spoil for you. But, this is another solid issue of excitement and adventure that we’ve gotten since 1983 from this writer, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Thank God.

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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #184
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #184G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #184
Written by Larry Hama
Art by S L Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J. Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Covers by Ron Frenz & Larry Hama
IDW Publishing
Release Date: November 14, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE IDW’s current G.I. Joe books. And I’m over the moon excited about the relaunch next year. But, once a month, I’m transported back in time and reminded WHY I love this franchise in the first place. And that’s all thanks to this book. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #184 is just another example of that. And c’mon, it’s got Roadpig and Zarana on the cover too!!

How awesome is writer Larry Hama? He’s been writing this book for THIRTY YEARS (OK, the book wasn’t published for a little chunk of that, but still) and he hasn’t lost a beat with these characters and this concept. What impresses me most about his writing is that he’s able to mix the perfect amount of real life military adventure with the right amount of sci-fi to create situations that are both believable and unbelievable at the same time.

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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #179
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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IDW Publishing: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #179G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #179
Written by Larry Hama
Art by SL Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J. Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Covers by SL Gallant, Herb Trimpe & Larry Hama
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 6, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Very few comics can pick up right where they left off 20 years ago and still maintain the level of creative goodness that G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #179 does. I believe that’s due in part to the creative team, but also to the minds of the audience. All it takes is opening the cover and you’re right back where you were a couple of decades ago. Sure, you might have a kid or two, a family, a house of your own. But inside we’re all the same 10 or 12 year old kids that loved reading this book. The book hasn’t changed. We have. A little.

Every G.I. Joe fan needs to buy Larry Hama a drink. If for nothing else, for the fact that he’s just awesome. This issue is action from cover to cover. I’ll be honest with you, there’s not much Joe action here, it’s a Cobra-centric issue as the forces of Cobra take on the Blue Ninja Clan, with the help of a Joe or two.

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Comic Review: Star Wars Omnibus: The Other Sons Of Tatooine
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Star Wars Omnibus: The Other Sons Of TatooineStar Wars Omnibus: The Other Sons Of Tatooine
Written by Jeremy Barlow, Mike W. Barr, Paul Chadwick, Michael A. Stackpole, Randy Stradley, Rob Williams
Art by Brandon Badeaux, Christian Dalla Vecchia, Gary Erskine, Davidé Fabbri, Wil Glass, Douglas Wheatley
Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Chris Chuckry, Neziti Domenico, Davidé Fabbri, Dave Nestelle
Cover Art by Kilian Plunkett and Brad Anderson
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Cover Price: $24.99

There have been countless additions to the stories in the Expanded Star Wars Universe over the last couple of decades, and Dark Horse has long touted some of the finest comic stories of the galaxy far, far away. However, very few come along that have the power and potential of being so good that it could be conceivable to imagine a film or television version of the tale. The compendium represented in The Other Sons Of Tatooine is one of these rare pleasures, showcasing some of the exceptional storytelling focusing on Star Wars.

The conception behind The Other Sons Of Tatooine is simple: to focus on the characters from Tatooine other than Luke Skywalker who have had major impacts on the in-universe history of the saga. The first, an obvious selection to adapt, is Biggs Darklighter, first performed by Garrick Hagon in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The second, a creation within the Expanded Universe, is Janek Sunber aka Tank – who does not appear in A New Hope, but is mentioned by Mark Hamill in the scene where the Lars Farm purchases the droids.

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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #174
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #174G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #174
Written by Larry Hama
Art by S L Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Covers by S L Gallant and Gary Erskine, Herb Trimpe, and Larry Hama
IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

I gotta tell you, once a month when I read G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, I feel like I’m a kid watching the G.I. Joe cartoon after school. And nothing is as fun as that! I’m really surprised that sales on this title don’t eclipse the sales on the other G.I. Joe books, because this is what Joe fans have always wanted.

I almost wish there were two books set in writer Larry Hama‘s Real American Hero universe. I would LOVE a Larry Hama Snake Eyes solo book. I mean, who wouldn’t? The best bits in this comics come from the Snake Eyes story and also from the Cobra Commander story.

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Comic Review: Cobra Annual 2012: Origin Of Cobra Commander
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Cobra Annual 2012: Origin Of Cobra CommanderCobra Annual 2012: Origin Of Cobra Commander
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by S L Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Covers by menton3 and Robert Atkins
IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Cover Price: $7.99

I was very nervous about reading Cobra Annual 2012. Wasn’t looking forward to it at all. I’m a big fan of non-origin origins. I liked that in the Marvel Comics’ G.I. Joe series, all you knew about Cobra Commander was that at some point in his life, he was a used car salesman who went off the deep end. Another great non-origin was that of He-Man. All we needed to know about him, he told us in the cartoon’s opening. In the back of my mind, I was really worried that the new Cobra Commander would be a tortured soul who’s mother never loved him, his father beat him, and on and on.

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Comic Review: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #172
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #172 coverG.I. Joe A Real American Hero #172
Written by Larry Hama
Art by S L Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J. Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Covers by S L Gallant & Gary Erskine, Herb Trimpe & Larry Hama
IDW Publishing
Release Date: November 16th, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

Every month, G.I. Joe A Real American Hero makes me feel like I’m 10 years old again. And I mean that in a good way. Back in the early 2000s, Devil’s Due Publishing got Larry Hama to write a G.I. Joe title and it was met with…let’s just say, less than enthusiastic reviews and sales. So, what happened in the last 10 years to change everything? I’m guessing Larry Hama went and trained with the Arashakage Clan. It was either that, or IDW & Hasbro said, “Hey, you’re Larry Hama! Write whatever you want!” And now, we get to enjoy the results every month.

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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #171
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #171G.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
IDW Publishing
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.

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