Finally. After what feels like delays and long, overdrawn out plots, it comes to an end… An end which thanks to First Strike, we all knew was coming.
Despite the conclusion being spoiled for us, the issue does its job of tying up the loose ends and gives us a credible and solid idea of where the G.I. Joe team is heading. It’s good to see many familiar characters, and some old characters getting a youthful or gender reboot appears to serve this continuity well and creates a large separation between this version and the long-established Real American Hero.
To call this the “Crown Jewel of the Hasbro Universe” is a bit bold, considering the shafted treatment the series got, and artwork which had its own style, but I don’t feel fit well for the grittiness the series intended to show. The cover to the final issue, drawn by Bart Sears, is the type of artwork I would have liked to see in the pages, not just a cover. For example, Salvo, now a large woman, stereotypically lugs around larger-than-life weaponry in something I would have expected on Cartoon Network.
The inclusion of a Decepticon as part of the Joe team is to maintain the link between Joes and Transformers. I imagine more Transformers may become integrated into the series as it evolves into the new title Scarlett’s Strike Force. Skywarps cold and brooding demeanor fit well, and I think the series would have benefit from more Decepticon brooding in order to properly maintain the seriousness of the plot. As serious a tone the plot was meant to be, the light-hearted and at-time comedic nature blurred those lines.
I really wanted to enjoy this first run, but all the “Crowd Jewel” did here was pave the road for MASK, First Strike, and the evolution of COBRA into something else.
This issue gets a 4 out of 5 Yo Joes, but the series as a whole gets a stinker of a 2.