Published: November 8th, 2011
Written by: Chuck Dixon, Brian Reed
Art by: Robert Atkins, S.L. Gallant, Joe Suitor
Based on: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by Hasbro
IDW Publishing, 342 Pages
Technically, this is Omnibus, Vol. 1 but, as far as I know, there wasn’t a volume two because IDW started reorganizing how they released their G.I. Joe collections after this one hit shelves. And frankly, the way they’ve released collected G.I. Joe stuff has been confusing.
This is where the IDW G.I. Joe universe begins though. And this is a straight up reboot, starting at the very early days of the Joes and Cobra. In fact, while Cobra has a presence in this hefty book, the only real members we even meet are the Baroness, Destro and Dr. Mindbender. As big as this collection is, we don’t even get to meet Cobra Commander by the end of it.
The problem with this omnibus, is that it just sort of ends. It plants a lot of seeds, lays the ground work and then leaves in the middle of the story. I get that this is an ongoing series but I feel as if some sort of story arc should have come to a close. And it’s kind of hard to just pick up where you left off by picking up Omnibus, Vol. 2 because it doesn’t exist.
The story is more or less about the rise of Cobra. Throughout the story, the Joes think it’s a wacky conspiracy theory. Snake Eyes and Mainframe have both gone AWOL and are actually wanted by the Joes. The reality is that they know Cobra is real and they are trying to expose them. On the Cobra side, the Baroness shows up to kill Destro for failing the organization. Destro is able to convince the Baroness that he is on the verge of a major breakthrough with his newest creation, the M.A.S.S. Device (a nod to the first superweapon from the original G.I. Joe cartoon series). We don’t get any real closure to either story, as this book ends in the middle of its multiple plot threads.
This is a good peak into what IDW Publishing was starting with their version of G.I. Joe and I thought that Chuck Dixon, while not Larry Hama, was handling the material pretty well from a writing standpoint. I just wish that IDW kept moving forward with the format they established with this book. However, they started releasing multiple G.I. Joe titles and the order of events became confusing, unless you used IDW’s webpage regarding reading order, as a reference.
Pairs well with: Other early IDW G.I. Joe comics leading up to the eventual Cobra Civil War mega event.