GI JOE: The IDW Collection, Volume 2 Review
I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by the writing in GI JOE: The IDW Collection, Volume 2. The characters are all really fleshed out, with the story focusing on mostly one team member throughout multiple-issue arcs.
GI JOE: The IDW Collection, Volume 2 starts out with a story about Mainframe – he is badly injured on an intel recovery mission and forced to spend months in the ICU recovering. To keep him busy, Scarlett supplies him with a ton of recovered data to sift through, and he soon becomes obsessed with finding the link between some shady deals being made in third-world countries and the clandestine organization known as COBRA. When his superiors won’t listen to him, he decides to take matters into his own hands, and quickly becomes a target of the Joes.
The story arc that takes up the bulk of GI JOE: The IDW Collection, Volume 2 revolves around Charmer, showcasing just how deep undercover he’s willing to go to reveal COBRA’s secrets. He’s forced to do terrible things while working as a double agent, and the guilt and shame that weighs on him after having to take innocent lives really makes his character a sympathetic one. The whole story really reminded me of movies such as The Departed. Unfortunately, while this long stretch is intriguing and gives the Charmer character a lot of depth, it takes a while to get going and doesn’t feature much action, which will disappoint some fans.
The very last story in GI JOE: The IDW Collection, Volume 2 tells the origin story of The Baroness, and features a visually striking, very unique art style. The artwork varies quite a bit over the course of the collection, but it is strong throughout, with great pencils and vibrant coloring. The dialogue is witty and sharp – much more solid than what was found in the pages of the first collection. The pages are housed in a sturdy hardcover, featuring an awesome painting of The Baroness on the front.
Overall, GI JOE: The IDW Collection, Volume 2 is easy to recommend for fans that favor a solid narrative and character depth over action, though there’s still a respectable amount of gunfights and explosions for a Joe book.