The GeeksverseG.I. Joe vs Cobra #4 “Mission Brazil II”-Review

G.I. Joe vs Cobra #4 “Mission Brazil II”-Review
Published on Saturday, December 3, 2011 by

Front toward the enemy. G.I. Joe vs Cobra #4, “Mission: Brazil II” is the Fall 2011 Joe Convention Exclusive comic from Fun Press Comics. It is slightly less exclusive now that select comic book shops are distributing the fan comic. Like Rising Sun, the Fun Press Convention books showcase an interesting niche of the G.I. Joe community, this comic highlights international Joe members Sparta and Claymore and the diabolical Steel Snake Cobra de Aco.

Joe vs Cobra “Mission: Brazil II” is not a comic for casual Joe fans, instead it is a neat treat for fans of international Joes or completest collectors. As a convention give away or ticket promotional item I would have lavished this book with praise. Unfortunately, the $4.95 price tag does tend to force another type of look. This is a fun book but readers that are less than fanatical should spend their Joe comic money on IDWs current run instead.

This is a fun read. Like the Rising Sun comics, the Fun Press installments are consistent in the inconsistencies. G.I. Joe vs Cobra #4 “Mission: Brazil II” is a fun story. It pits Claymore, a Joe based on an international repaint, against his nemesis Cobra de Aco. Claymore comes out of retirement to mount a special mission to save a hostage. Along the way Claymore teams up with Sparta, Leatherneck, Wet Suit and Main Frame. While this comic has a fairly small Joe roster it does not skimp on Python Patrol operatives and bad guys. It is a story that is told well with the small band of Joes breaking into three sections coming back together in the end. Sparta, the undercover operative slips away, slips in, and slips back as one would expect an undercover agent. The four man team is separated and pushed into two two men teams. The story flips between the two teams nicely without losing the focus of the rematch between Claymore and Cobra de Aco. In the broad strokes this is a great story.

In the minutia this story starts to suffer. The broad strokes of the plot work and work well. Overall the pacing is appropriate. From the opening with a TV broadcast to the action sequences this book happens when the reader would expect it should. The pacing keeps the pages flipping. The dialogue is suffer-able throughout but some of it is a bit hard to take at times. Some of the exposition is forced. Most of the time the balloon placement works against smooth dialogue which only exasperates the problem of flabby dialogue. A bit more editing and parsing of the dialogue would have been helpful. This fan based comic does avoid the early Marvel oddity of having characters continually announce their names and what vehicles they are driving. Instead the character names are introduced smoothly and the discussion of vehicles feels more organic. So, while the story and the name announcing are quite adept the dialogue does detract. In a free comic two of those out weigh the other, in a limited run expensive comic the third does need to be considered before making a purchase.

No Zombies. No Vampires. No Ninjas. This is a straight forward globe hopping G.I. Joe adventure book. Writing David S. Lane, Greg Sepelak and S. Trent Troop delivers a much tighter story in this book than in the JoeCon ’10 “Flint’s Vacation.” This series is showing improvement. “Mission Brazil II” does make me look forward to the next convention comic to see what JoeCon ’12 in Louisiana holds. Being a swamp adjacent convention I’m hoping for ‘noks but that is pure faboy speculation on my part.

G.I. Joe vs Cobra #4 “Mission: Brazil II” could be connected to the Devil’s Due Press A Real American Hero “Disavowed” continuity. Although it works well as a stand alone issue without needing a familiarity with the DDP era of the Joe-verse.

Story – David S. Lane
Writers – Greg Sepelak & S. Trent Troop
Pencils – Sheldon Goh
Inks – Jase Isenberg
Colors – Josh Perez & Jesse Wittenrich
Letters – Jesse Wittenrich
Managing Editor – Pete Sinclair
Editor in Chief – Brian Savage
Creative Director – Lanny Lathem
GI Joe Con Edition Cover: Tim Seeley, Colors – Evan Guantt

Interior art is decent. Penciller Sheldon Goh and inks by Jase Isenberg work well overall. Like the story it does have some detail issues that are balanced out by other detail greatness. Seeing this much Python Patrol is fun. Seeing the background details is even more fun. Again, the art in this book may not be the same caliber of the current IDW run but looking through any Joe collection we can find worse. The art is improved from the ’10 convention comic “Flint’s Vacation” too.

Virtual high fives go out to the retail cover art team of Tim Seeley and Josh Perez. While I would have preferred the cover featuring the Cobra trio, which was the ’11 JoeCon exclusive program cover, the Diamond direct retail cover featuring the three Joes is hillarious. Claymore holding a claymore seems tongue and cheek. Sparta with “front toward enemy” also seems funny given the “sign” being held beside of her. My wife was immediately concerned about Scarlett’s probable back pain when she saw the cover. My explanation that that isn’t Scarlett but instead Sparta an undercover operative did little to stop the eye rolling. Oh well. Both covers work well together. Unlike a few of the previous JoeCon retail and exclusive covers these fit well together. Completests beware because both are cool enough to send some to Ebay or Crave to wrangle both versions.

Overall, this is an expensive limited release comic. It isn’t perfect, but it is improved over previous offerings which is hopeful for the future. Go Joe! Check it tut and discuss on the Pryde forum.

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