Author Larry Hama began the G.I. Joe A Real American Hero (ARAH) comic in 1982 in coordination with Marvel comics and Hasbro. The original series ran 155 issues with Marvel and spawned spin-off Special Missions series and crossovers with Transformers.
Decades later other creators including Josh Blaylock continued on and took these beloved heroes and villains on other adventures.
Then Larry Hama returned with IDW and published a special issue for Free Comic Book Day numbered 155 1/2. This was a bridge to reboot/rejoin the story just after issue 155. The IDW run ran through the end of 2022, culminating with Issue 300.
It was announced mid 2023 that Robert Kirkman and Skybound Comics had acquired the license.
And Larry Hama is back continuing the tale right where he left it off on a cliffhanger in issue 300.
On to the issue
We begin Issue 301 with an intro talking about G.I. Joe and letting new and returning readers catch up on the characters.
Then we get another page which does the same for Cobra:
And we are reminded that a new iteration of Serpentor was added towards the last few issues leading up to 301. Serpentor Khan was cloned/produced from the remains of Genghis Khan, not the other famous Khan from Star Trek II.
Then we are right back into the action showing the Joe C-130 transport plane piloted by Wild Bill in REAL trouble.
Without expert flying and a bit of luck, the Joe’s are headed down for the count.
Meanwhile at Dr. Mindbender’s lab near the Cobra Casino on Cobra Island, Serpentor Khan and Dr. Mindbender are discussing the mutant Zombie bio-weapon that Serpentor Khan had activated at the end of Issue 300. There are also Joe’s just outside, as well as Cutter and the WHALE. Throughout the issue there is a ticking clock countdown because of the mutant Zombie bio-weapon.
Cutter calls for them to fall back as he believes the C-130 is going to crash.
Wild Bill explains that although the plan appears to be in a death spiral, the centrifugal force is squeezing hydraulic fluid out along the wings and may help them regain control.
Serpentor Khan tells Dr. Mindbender he should think of this as the beginning of a new adventure. Dr. Mindbender blurts out “or the ending of a sad story.”
The Joe’s in the WHALE are wondering why Wild Bill does not pull up, as they continue to try to fall back and retreat into the Gulf of Mexico.
Stalker points out they are too low to bail out. Serpentor Khan tells Mindbender he can’t run fast enough to get out of the blast radius of the bio-weapon.
Wild Bill and Duke seem to be getting hydraulic pressure again and are desperately trying to pull up.
Cover Girl signals Shipwreck that the Joe’s in the WHALE need to get out of there. She mentions there are messages going on the Cobra communications network about a specialized virus bio-weapon bomb about to go off.
But we get a “Yee-Haw!” from Wild Bill as he and Duke seem to be regaining control of the C-130. They might pull out of the nose-dive yet!!
They pull up just in time to avoid hitting the Cobra Casino and the joe’s in the WHALE just outside.
But the countdown clock is till ticking down…!!!
I’m trying to keep this spoiler free, but an important character appears to meet their end at the end of the issue. More on that when we get to issue 302.
At the very end of the issue is a few multi-page spreads of character mini-bio’s bringing us up to speed on their profile. Very cool!
There is more, but I encourage you to get a physical or digital copy for yourself to see what happens next!
…oh wait…that bio-weapon went off. Ugh. It’s grisly….
Now go buy that comic!!
Issue 301 showed the continuation of the conflict between G.I. Joe and Cobra, and between Cobra and itself. The fighting continues, and intrigue is underway!
(all photos are courtesy of Skybound Comics and are used with the expressed intent for review purposes and to encourage you to purchase this book and then add the series to your pull list through your LCS or purchase/subscribe digitally. We thank Robert Kirkman for his investment in our beloved franchise and for Larry Hama continuing to serve us new stories moving forward. YO JOE!! These photos are part of the teaser solicit for November 2023 and are linked here: https://www.skybound.com/announcements/ … n-hero-301)
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Now You Know – a little more about:Issue 301 Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments or on Twitter or Instagram @yorktownjoe.