22 October 2008

G.I. Joe #0

When I was a kid, I was all about G.I. Joe and Transformers. I liked the Transformers toys better, but G.I. Joe had the more interesting characters and the better comics and cartoons. Even today, I couldn't tell you much about Transformers, but I'll never forget The Weather Dominator or Silent Interlude.

That said, I could not wait to buy G.I. Joe #0 when it came out today. It is a taste of the three G.I. Joe titles coming to the comics store next year. The first story is a typical G.I. Joe mission where the team takes down a couple of arms dealers. The second story is a flashback of how Duke was recruited onto the team. Finally, the third story introduces us to Chuckles, an undercover agent assigned to infiltrate COBRA. The comic also includes a sketchbooks of the updated character designs as well as an interview with all of the writers of the titles.

The best thing about the comic, though? It only costs a dollar. $1 for three good stories and some warm, nostalgic feelings sounds like a bargain to me.

Recommended for: people who loved the toys, comics, or cartoons; Call of Duty and Rainbow Six players.
Not Recommended for: anyone who doesn't like soldiers or ninjas.

Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares

Premise: When is upgrading to version 2.0 not a good idea?

For the last few years, Iron Man has been one of my least favorite heroes. Also, I am not as impressed with Matt Fraction as comics fans seem to be. Yet, some of the best comics to come out this year were the Iron Man comics written by Matt Fraction. Go fig.

In December, a collection of Fraction's first six issues of Invincible Iron Man will be released, and it is a perfect companion to the film. Many of the themes that the film touched upon are present here: modern warfare, corporate responsibility, and foreign relations. Also, Fraction brings the playful banter between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts back into the comics after a decades-long absence. Fraction also does an excellent job of highlighting the differences between events as they were depicted in the film as opposed to the comics. Finally, Fraction succeeds in making a character with roots planted firmly in the Cold War relevant in the 21st century.

Even the best comic scripts can be ruined by sub-par art, so Marvel was wise to pair Fraction with Salvador Larroca, who has been doing consistently great work for the last decade. He marries fantastic technology with photorealistic people seamlessly.

So if you missed the comics when they came out, do not hesitate to pre-order this graphic novel at your local comic shop (if you want it in time for the Holidays) or Amazon (if you'll be buying it with Christmas money).

Recommended For:
People who enjoyed the movie, people who keep tabs on current events.
Not Recommended For: rabid MMORPG players, fans of the Open Source Movement (neither of these groups are depicted in a very favorable light).