Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Will Rosado
Release Date: July 17, 2013

GIJ_SM_05-pr_Page1A Cobra satellite hits ground in the Australian Outback and there is only one team to bring it back…but how does Zartan factor into the equation?

Chuck Dixon spins a good old fashioned G.I. Joe adventure in Special Missions #5, building an interesting situation with a classic villain we all know and love (hate?). Dixon’s Zartan is brooding, calculating, and fierce. He’s a fantastic foil for the Special Missions squad and by far and wide the strongest written character in this issue. The dialogue between the Joes themselves is a little shaky throughout, but the cold, calculating nature of Zartan drives this story from start to finish. Dixon keeps the tone light at points with some solid Roadblock comedy, but the issue does play out in a pretty predictable fashion. The plot has a fair number of paths it can go down, especially with respect to solidifying Zartan as a power player in the G.I. Joe universe, and the issue moves along at a brisk pace. This is definitely not a “talking heads” comic, with the script channeling a serious Larry Hama vibe, and readers of Real American Hero will feel right at home here.

Will Rosado’s pencils are a compliment to Chuck Dixon’s script, and they suit the tone well. There aren’t any jaw dropping pages within this comic, but the art is consistent throughout. The layouts are pretty standard in the issue, which felt like it could have used a couple splash pages to change the flow of several pages that in a row that were presented in a very similar fashion. At points the thick inking and dark colour tones melded which lead to some panels that were harder to fully see what is occurring within.

This is a decent read for long time G.I. Joe fans, or those who are looking for a classic, straightforward comic, but doesn’t add a whole lot of value for readers looking for their G.I. Joe stories to dig a little deeper. In the end this issue is a standard set up for further stories going forward, only time will tell what Dixon & Rosado do with the seeds they have planted.

Verdict: 6.0/10


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