The GeeksverseG.I. Joe: ARAH 2012 Annual

G.I. Joe: ARAH 2012 Annual
Published on Thursday, March 1, 2012 by

Without a ninja in sight this is a fun book.This was expected to be a good book given the amount of talent working on it.

IDW Publishing
Larry Hama, Writer
Ron Frenz, Herb Trimpe,  & Ron Wagner, Artists
Sal Buscema, Inker
Rachelle Rosenberg, Colors

Sal Buscema and Rachelle Rosenberg help tie together the art into a cohesive package, although in truth Frenz, Trimpe, and Wagner look good together. The art team seems to have drawn alternating pages but the overall effect is a cohesive book.

Larry Hama’s recent Joe: ARAH run has been fairly ninja heavy which is not surprising when you look at his Nth Man, Wolverine, or Kitty Pryde: Agent of Shield. Hama loves ninjas.

Surprisingly, the 2012 Annual is ninja free. Instead this story returns to Crimson Guard, Dreadnoks, and a small band of Joes. It is nice to see the ‘noks getting gritty. Impalement, lighting people on fire, and general nastiness is balanced against the lampoon of grape soda and donuts. This is an interesting return to the child friendly killer ‘noks.

The annual also returns to the sleeper agent Crimson Guard.  The rhetoric of these homeland terrorists is frighteningly modern. The disappearing middle class and other modern rhetoric pops in to make this feel more authentic than one might expect given the crazy outfits.

This annual only features one story. After that story is the b/w art credited to the artist so that you can see how cohesive their work is in its rougher stages. Gone are the biography pages and file cards from past annuals. Overall this is a hefty comic with extra pages in the story but it still seems highly priced at $7.99. Long time fans will still gobble it up.

3 Responses
    • Seemed more like a mini-trade for me, with the nice thick card stock cover and (I thought) higher quality pages, so I could justify the $8 price point that way. It was a pretty fun read. I’m curious to see if there will be any ramifications from Zartan’s trick…

    • Haven’t read it yet.  I was just happy to get the Hama sketch variant.

    • Ramifications from Zartan’s trick would be neat but I expect it will be dropped. The Hama sketch variant was cool. The RI variant was probably the cooler uncolored cover this go-round.

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