Friday, February 1, 2008

G.I. Joe #1A "Hot Potato"

Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Don Perlin (artist), Jack Abel (inker), Rick Parker (letterer), Glynis Wein (colorist), Tom DeFalco (editor)

Feature Characters: Clutch, Hawk, Rock 'N Roll (all three next in G.I. Joe #3), Stalker, Scarlett, Snake Eyes

Supporting Characters: None

Villains: Colonel Sharif and his Guardians of Paradise (first appearance for all, Colonel Sharif appears next in G.I. Joe: Special Missions #3)

Story: A small G.I, Joe team is sent to the emirate of Colonel Sharif to retrieve proof that Sharif is being bankrolled by Cobra. Although mission orders deem the team expendable, both Snake Eyes and Rock 'N Roll disobey Scarlett's orders to leave her behind.

Review: This was the short, back-up story found in G.I. Joe #1. I had to locate my copy since the collected edition I had been using failed to reprint it. Grr...

Given the lack of story space, the villains are pretty much the stereotypical Muslim fanatics we would see a million times more in pre-9/11 American pop culture. However, we do receive a bit of character development on the Joe side. We learn that Scarlett is a bit of a ball buster yet is grateful for her rescue by Snake Eyes. Via Rock 'n Roll's unexpected soliloquy, we learn that Snake Eyes has some kind of feelings for Scarlett hence why he defied orders to rescue her. It's this sort of writing that would establish the comic as being much more than a vehicle to sell toys.

This story isn't normally reprinted along with the main story in issue #1. The first time I read it was when the issue was reprinted in G.I. Joe Digest #1. Digests, for the uninitiated, were smaller, allegedly pocket-sized comics that were often reprints of older material. Unfortunately, in order to squeeze in enough material to make the page count, some stories were edited to fit the format. Every once in a while, I'd be a bit surprised to find missing material after obtaining an issue of something I'd only read in the digest.


frozen_nd said...

" order to squeeze in enough material to make the page count, some stories were edited to fit the format."

I didn't know they did this with the digests that Marvel printed. Though I own all 13 of the digests, I've never read them (read the original comics).

Would you point out a few instances or pages where this occurred between the digests & comics.

P.S. Sweet site and commentary so far. Looking forward to reading more.

De said...

Thanks frozen_nd. I'll have to locate my copies of the digests (they're somewhere at my mom's house; she lives nearby) but I will try to do this soon.