By Chuck Dixon, Larry Hama, Mike Costa, and Christos N. Gage (writers), Robert Atkins, Tom Feister, and Antonio Fuso (artists), Andrew Crossley and Chris Chuckry (colors)

What You Get: Three short stories that serve as teasers for three upcoming series from IDW: G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe: Origins, and G.I. Joe: Cobra. One story takes us back to the beginning where the Joes hear the first iteration of a new terrorist group, Cobra. The second story shows us how Duke is recruited onto the Joe team and gains his call sign. And the last story features a covert op by one of the more obscure characters in Joe lore, Chuckles!

What’s Good? There’s a lot of potential here. Larry Hama knows Joe history inside and out and even after all these years he shows he still has what it takes. I love how all the writers keep the exposition to a minimum while the acronyms and military terms are properly used with no explanations given whatsoever. It’s called “not talking down to the reader” and I appreciate that. All three writers (and artists) make out well given the small workspace they’ve been given and this issue is a great example of how to get readers excited about the new G.I. Joe series.

What’s Not So Good? I realize that there’s a G.I. Joe movie coming out next year and Hasbro rapes comic book publishers with the licensing costs, but having three series out next year is too much too soon. Comics are expensive as it is — does IDW really think people are going to buy all three titles at $3.99 a pop? Do we really need cardstock covers?

Conclusion: At $1.00, buying this issue’s a no-brainer. Granted the production values are excellent and the stories conveyed here seem to have genuine promise, but like most of IDW’s titles the prices of these forthcoming G.I. Joe series cannot be possibly justified (unless they’re 48 pages each). As excited as I am to read these on-going series, I’ll be holding out for the inevitable trades.

Grade: B+

– J. Montes