I never really watched or played with G.I. Joe as a kid - that was more my brother's thing. (Though 4 year old me did have a Saturday morning routine to watch He-Man with my dad. I called it "Me-Man", he called it "He-Man and the Bastards of the Universe" which I would promptly correct and scold him for getting wrong. Side story.)
Anyway... I never got into the whole G.I. Joe thing, but when I saw this at my local store, and saw that it was by Max Brooks, I had to get it. I mean, I just really like Max's style, and I think that he's one of a short list of authors who make me want to read everything they've written.
I really like how he brings a realism to his writing that I wish was a little more present in writers today. World War Z may be about a fictional zombie war, and may be categorized as horror, but at its heart, it's a story of people, humanity, society, and life. The zombies are just the window that we open to see it.
So coming back to this little graphic novel, I expected the same type of thing, only with the window dressed up in fatigues instead of as the hungry undead, and that's just what I got (though I was a little surprised that it wasn't a story, but rather a series of character snapshots). This graphic novel is 126 pages and covers 13 different members of the G.I. Joe or Cobra factions. Each little vignette offers an insight into the character, and does a fantastic job of it. With each one, you can see a little glimpse into their life, and extrapolate from there as to the rest of it, if one so desires.
Having not known these characters since I was a kid, I don't know if they are true to their original character traits or not. But, I think I enjoyed it all the more for not knowing, because they rang true to me, and their humanity (and sometimes lack of it) felt real.
I liked this quite a lot, and I'm glad that I gave this a chance, despite not being a G.I. Joe fan.
I also really enjoyed the artwork in this, and will definitely need to check out more of these artists' work.