This new GI Joe title is aligned very heavily with the events of the Revolution event that consolidated and integrated several Hasbro-themed titles, including GI Joe, M.A.S.K., Micronauts, Action Man, and Transformers.
GI Joe and Revolutionaries the tent poles of IDW’s revival and consolidation of the many Hasbro-related franchises they run. It is vital that these two franchises succeed, as they will push storylines that support the growth of the movement (a meta-franchise, if you will). Marvel did this with Fear Itself and Original Sin. DC has done the same. The Big Two both chose to move other major elements of their event and its aftermath throughout various titles. IDW is following suit, but only to a certain degree.
While Micronauts, Action Man, and other titles each contribute towards moving the “Hasbro Universe” forward, it is clear that bulk of this responsibility will be carried by Revolutionaries and GI Joe.
It is fitting and proper that an event like IDW’s Revolution spawned a title like Revolutionaries – much like Fear Itself gave rise to Fearless. Marvel’s event was heavily driven by Thor and Captain America; afterwards, they continued to deal with the repercussions of the event. In a similar fashion, Revolutionaries will move the arc forward until the new “universe” is fully established. GI Joe will continue to carry a lot of expository weight in the establishment of the new universe, which will, in turn, support Micronauts, Action Man, and MASK.
In this particular issue, there are multiple plot threads moving forward. The largest piece puts together a larger team, including Roadblock, Quick-Kick and Rock & Roll (now toting a shotgun instead of his familiar machinegun). They are assigned to a direct action inside Mainland China. The GI Joes, now a global initiative, are in Mongolia (at the invitation of the government of the PRC) to re-take that territory from Crystal Ball and Drednoks, including Zandar and Zarana.
Roadblock, before infiltration, has a phone call with a shadowy figure—one who reminds him that his first loyalty is not to a Global Initiative, but to America. The ultimate meaning and significance of this call will undoubtedly be revealed later.
Another thread involves Lady Jaye (GI Joe’s undercover operative) assigned with Gung-Ho to investigate an anarchist movement in Greece. They make a surprising discovery that I won’t spoil for you.
The remaining threads take place entirely at GI Joe Headquarters. In one of them, Doc Sr. and Grand Slam are working on technology problems. They are not making much progress, still having problems getting Wraith Scanners to work. Their nominal “ally,” a Transformer, is most unhappy with their lack of progress on repairing his Teleportation Circuitry.
Perhaps the most monumental reveal in the issue is the identity of a “prisoner” being secretly held by the Joes. Known only to Scarlett, this prisoner’s secrets could change a lot in the storyline.
Sitterson’s writing is layered and complex. This is not a comic for those who want their reading to be wallpaper. Sitterson demands that his readers pay attention and become involved in the plot. Although this is only issue #2, he has already created a dense and tightly woven tapestry of interconnected plot threads. Sitterson’s ability to do this kind of work is well-documented. Although he’s probably best known for his work on Marvel’s Irredeemable Ant-Man, his work in Marvel’s Civil War, Thunderbolts, New Avengers, and X-Factor proves his ability to handle this type of work.
Giannis Milogiannis’ artwork drives on. It is unique among GI Joe artists, and unrepentantly focused on the soldiers more than the hardware, on interaction more than action, and above all, on the characters more than on the spectacle. This is definitely a must-read for any and all GI Joe fans.
Written by: Aubrey Sitterson
Illustrated by: Giannis Milonogiannis