As a longtime GI Joe fan/reader, few storylines have had the impact as the Trucial Abysmia arc.
Death wasn’t a new occurrence in the comics as writer Larry Hama introduced and developed major supporting characters and killed them off years later. This arc was the first that killed beloved fan favorites like Doc, Quick-Kick and Breaker. I didn’t like some of Hama’s choices, but it gave a greater sense of consequences since even fan favorites could get killed in the line of duty.
For issue 263, Hama writes an especially poignant Memorial Day issue where the Joes and their allies reflect on their fallen friends.
This issue gave a strong sense of the legacy of Hama’s run as Stalker and Storm Shadow visit their Vietnam squad. Duke and Roadblock pay their respects to Gen. Flagg and encounter the family of a fallen Joe.
Clutch and Rock-n-Roll has a barbecue at Staten Island while Hawk rallies the team for a special memorial service. Easily the most emotional is Scarlett and Timber’s tributes to the fallen Snake-Eyes.
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SL Gallant returns to handle the art this issue. As the longest tenured Joe artist it was fitting to have him back for such a crucial issue. Gallant has always been such a superb storyteller that his characters display the ideal emotion and his use of perspective is always spot on.
Beyond the outrageous ninja battles and hi-tech innovations, Hama has always written the book with an emphasis on the characters so an issue like this pulls at the heartstrings for readers who’ve been around for a while.
This was a tremendous issue and a must have for longtime readers.