Sunday, January 27, 2019



[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Aubrey Sitterson
ART: Nelson Daniel
COLORS: Ryan Hill
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
COVER: Harvey Tolibao with Chris Allo
VARIANT COVERS: Nelson Daniel; Matt Horak with Ryan Hill; Luca Pizzari
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2017)

Marvel Comics and writer Larry Hama conceived and designed what would become the long running war-themed action figure and toy line, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, an update of the original “G.I. Joe” toy line (1964).  One of the characters they created was Scarlett, an original member of the “G.I. Joe Team.”  The members of the G.I. Joe Team are the good guys, and they fight Cobra, the worldwide terrorist organization, and its agents.

Marvel Comics even produced the G.I. Joe comic book (G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #1 – June 1982) and several related series, beginning in 1982.  Since 2008, IDW Publishing is the holder of the license to produce comic books based on the G.I. Joe property.  IDW's latest G.I. Joe related comic book series is Scarlett's Strike Force.  It is written by Aubrey Sitterson; drawn by Nelson Daniel; colored by Ryan Hill; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

Scarlett's Strike Force #1 finds a Joe's team fighting mutated insects under the control of “Cesspool,” a Cobra official.  From Cobra's hidden base, the new “Cobra Commander” initiates a plan to create Cobra's new, monstrous foot soldiers.  Meanwhile, at the underwater G.I. Joe base, Lemuria, Scarlett and G.I. Joe field commander, Roadblock, launch a new strike team to take down the new Cobra Commander.  Rock 'n Roll, Quick Kick, Skywarp, Spirit, Cover Girl, Salva, Spitfire, Gung-Ho, Doc, Lady Jaye, Spectrum, Grand Slam, Lift Ticket: who will make Scarlett's Strike Force?

According to IDW, people are calling Scarlett's Strike Force “the best action comic ever!”  Of course, what I am about to say will seem snarky, but those people must have read a Scarlett's Strike Force #1 that is vastly different from the one I read.  Scarlett's Strike Force #1 is a bad comic book; in fact, I would have to be generous to even call it mediocre.  The story is poor, but to be honest, it does have the kind of dead-ahead, breakneck pace that a good action comic book needs.

The art is bad.  It is not that Nelson Daniel cannot draw.  Of course, he can; IDW would not give him an assignment if he could not draw.  The quality of Daniel's illustrations are the problem, however; at this point, Daniel's work would be appropriate for self-publishing via print-on-demand printing.  To charge readers $3.99 for a comic book featuring Daniel's awkward, unpolished art is quite frankly dishonest on IDW's part.

Well, the lettering by Taylor Esposito is pretty good.  If this comic book convinces anyone that it contains a good action story, that is because Esposito's lettering graphically provides most of this story's spark.  By the way, I think IDW may have already decided to cancel Scarlett's Strike Force after the third issue.

2 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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