Published: January 28th, 2014
Written by: Chuck Dixon
Art by: Will Rosado, S.L. Gallant, Jamal Igle
Based on: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by Hasbro
IDW Publishing, 124 Pages
Wait! Are those the Dreadnoks on the cover?! I’ve been waiting on my favorite group’s first appearance in IDW’s G.I. Joe universe for far too long! I mean, we had Zartan in a few stories but he wasn’t the Zartan we all knew and loved from the ’80s. But here, on this cover, he definitely looks like the traditional version of the character.
This story picks up just after G.I. Joe: Special Missions, Vol. 1. And like that previous volume, this one is also written by Chuck Dixon, my second favorite G.I. Joe writer of all-time. It doesn’t follow the same team that was led by Scarlett in the previous book though.
Here, we see Beachhead, Roadblock and a few others go to the Australian Outback to locate a crashed Cobra satellite. They run into the Dreadnoks and we soon discover that the satellite holds all the DNA data that was transferred with the M.A.S.S. Device from the earliest IDW G.I. Joe stories. Zartan wants it because it holds his actual DNA and the memories he lost, as his current form is a recreated clone of the original Zartan. He even hints at using the data to manufacture an army of shapeshifting clones of himself.
This collection is made up of five issues. Only the first three issues deal with the Dreadnoks part of the story, which was a bit disappointing. But at least the Dreadnoks felt like the Dreadnoks and there is even a little deception within their ranks. Although, they aren’t considered to be an actual segment of Cobra in the IDW universe. And ultimately, the Joes really just want Zartan and what he has extracted from the satellite. I hope that they return but I feel like this was just a one-off appearance for them.
This book ends with a tale that brings Dial Tone (who is a female in the IDW universe) and Bildocker (a fat bumbling douche idiot that somehow got into G.I. Joe) to the Florida Everglades. I geeked out a bit when Dial Tone name dropped Bonita Springs, FL, as that is the town that I live in. Although, based off of her reference, the geography of where they were didn’t make much sense. Anyway, it was a fairly amusing story but ultimately just a bit of filler.
G.I. Joe: Special Missions, Vol. 2 was an enjoyable read but the Dreadnoks story was over too quickly and the rest of the book was really just mediocre compared to Dixon’s other stories.
Pairs well with: The story before it, G.I. Joe: Special Missions, Vol. 1. Then the other two series that ran along side this: Cobra Files and the third standard G.I. Joe title from IDW.