HomeBooksReview: Duke #1 (Image Comics)

Review: Duke #1 (Image Comics)

Crossovers can be unpredictable, as evidenced by the attempts from IDW, with Revolution and later a bizarre psychedelic version which proved to be very devise among fans.

However, Duke #1 instantly puts all fears to rest and delivers a thrilling, action-intense opener which fans of both G.I. Joe and Transformers will flock to. 

Conrad Hauser, known by his codename Duke is thrown into the Energon Universe in a trial by fire. Or napalm. His story did not begin here, but in the second issue of the new Transformers series. In that issue, Duke and his co-pilot Frosting are diverted from their original flight path to intercept an unknown hostile enemy. This turns out to be the maniacal Starscream continuing his rampage. He swats them out of the air, killing Duke’s comrade like one would clasp a fly. Duke escapes, but his world is shattered. 

This is where the inaugural issue of Duke begins. Mentally broken, Duke has been M.I.A. on a personal mission to uncover the big conspiracy with the shape-changing robots. He is dubbed as the “Perfect Soldier,” likely a title he is no longer comfortable with. Despite warnings, he vows to continue his hunt.

There are appearances from other characters in the G.I. Joe universe, such as Dr. Adele Burkhart, a known associate from the original A Real American Hero series. The path of a lone soldier is a dangerous one, but thanks to Dr. Burkhart he gets the needed information which leads him to another familiar name, M.A.R.S. known to many as a front for another major character from the Cobra side, Destro. A few other characters are shown, some are named, all tied together to bring G.I. Joe, and Cobra for that matter right into the Energon Universe. 

Writing the series is Joshua Williamson, with artists Tom Reilly and Jordie Bellaire presenting a tense environment, kicking this series off into high gear with action and suspense. They keep the tone grim, suspenseful, while at the same time gradually pulling back the hood to reveal more of who is involved and the possible directions the story can go in. Clearly at this point we are led to believe Duke is linking M.A.R.S. to the attack, not realizing what, or who, is really out there. It is my guess Williamson has a lot more in store if this is just the opening salvo. The latest entry into the Energon Universe will no doubt be one to keep reading. 

Duke #1 is now available at your local comic book retailer.


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