G.I. Joe: Deviations (IDW)

Deviations GIJoe

Rating: 4.5/5 – The World Is Cobra’s Oyster!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Dallas Fitzgerald.

Let me begin this review by admitting that this was the only book in the Deviations series that I had absolutely no interest in. It’s not that I don’t have some nostalgic feelings towards the old Joe cartoon, I just never thought that a G.I. Joe comic would really deliver what I look for in a comic. Hats off to Paul Allor and Corey Lewis for proving me entirely wrong. G.I. Joe: Deviations is a treasure of a comic; it made me laugh aloud multiple times and I felt real disappointment when I turned the last page and realized my short journey through this fantastic realization of a world where Cobra Commander finally defeated the Joes was over too soon.

This book brought Marvel’s Howard the Human (from the Secret Wars event!) to mind almost immediately, in both presentation and tone. I absolutely loved Howard the Human, so trust me when I say that’s high praise. The book is a visual dynamo, oftentimes sacrificing things like consistent anatomy or accurate perspective to display a larger than life panel full of kinetic motion. It’s a nice way to reference the cartoonish action the property is well-known for. That said, I do feel like the quality of the lines differs greatly from page-to-page and even in some cases from panel-to-panel. Faces are one of the things that I oftentimes get hung up on while reading regardless of style or artistic intent, and there are a few instances when a character’s face distracted from the (overall beautiful) panel it was contained in. Overall, I think these little distracting nitpicks are more of a symptom of Lewis’ stylized art, and they are more than made up for by the overall visual package.

Paul Allor’s writing exceeded my expectations as well, this book is downright FUNNY! I feel like everyone should have at least a basic understanding of who Cobra Commander is, he’s the bad guy who gets punched in the face when the Joes need to save the day. A maniacal, well-supplied tactical genius with an army and more technology than you can shake a stick at. But is he a bureaucrat? Can he shoulder the burden of leadership when he finally does accomplish his goal of world domination? Suffice it to say, the grass is always greener… Allor does a wonderful job of humanizing these childhood ne’er-do-wells while simultaneously maintaining a light, silly tone that’s just absolutely perfect for a book like this.

I just can’t believe that the Deviations book that I had the lowest expectations for turned out to be such a treat. This is one of the best single issues I’ve read in a few months without a doubt. If you have any affinity for G.I. Joe at all and only pick up one Deviations title, it should be this one.

Reviewed by: Dallas Fitzgerald
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