Gary Collinson reviews G.I. Joe: Special Missions #6….
“G.I. Joe has tracked a downed Cobra satellite to the lair of a vicious gang of motorcycle marauders called The Dreadnoks! The bad news keeps coming with the re-appearance of Zartan as the leader of the biker maniacs and they have three G.I. Joe members captive! It’s up to Roadblock and Spirit to rescue their brother warriors and stop Zartan before he turns himself into a weapon of mass destruction.“
The last we saw of our Special Missions team, Beachhead, Tripwire and Hard Drive had found themselves taken captive by Zartan and the Dreadnoks, having ventured to the Australian Outback to retrieve a downed M.A.R.S. Industries satellite, which has also fallen into the hands of the vicious motorcycle gang. So, that’s two missions for Scarlett’s team, and both have went wrong from the get go… seeing as these missions are so special, you’d think the Joes would put a little more emphasis on intel gathering and planning…
Anyway, this middle chapter of ‘Operation Deadfall’ gets underway with Spirit and Roadblock picking up the Dreadnoks’ trail and setting off across the desert in pursuit of their buddies. However, the main focus here is on the bad guys themselves and while Ripper, Torch and company have a little fun with their captured Joes, Zartan goes into exposition mode, revealing a little about his IDW backstory to his lover Heartwrencher, as well as hinting at his end game (clue – it involves a hard drive containing his DNA, a teenaged Thrasher, and a Cobra lab).
While this isn’t a bad issue, much like the middle section of the previous arc, it’s not particularly spectacular either. I think one of the main problems for me is that the Joe characters all seem so generic; aside from Spirit and his tracking skills, you could substitute all five of the Joes and it really wouldn’t make the tiniest bit of difference to the way the book is written. Still, with much of the emphasis being on Zartan – who, along with Heartwrencher, is written very well – it’s not too much of a problem here, but if these Special Missions stories are going to span multiple arcs with rotating rosters then we really need to take some time to get to know the characters beyond them calling each other “bro” every other panel.
All in all, G.I. Joe: Special Missions #6 is a serviceable enough issue, which does a decent job of setting up the inevitable all-guns-blazing showdown between the Dreadnoks and the Joes and throws in a sprinkling of action to keep us entertained amongst the exposition. The highlight is the interaction between Zartan and Heartwrencher, and I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes in the next issue.
Gary Collinson is a writer and lecturer from the North East of England. He is the editor-in-chief of FlickeringMyth.com and the author of Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen.