I recently picked up the two G.I. Joe paperbacks currently on the market two days ago. The first is G.I. Joe: Above and Beyond, the prequel to the movie and, of course, the novelization of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
G.I. Joe: Above and Beyond takes place four years prior to the events of the movie and gives some important background information regarding the G.I. Joe team and Duke's impact into events that will become essential to the film.
As everyone probably knows b y now, Duke and the Baroness (Ana) had an early relationship, with Duke and Ana having been engaged. This story delves into what drove them apart and sets the stage for important character development for the movie - primarily Ana's brother, Rex.
Overall, it's a fun read. Lots of excitement, things blowing up, covert missions and an excellent introduction to the already established G.I. Joe team. They have been in existence for years are shadow Duke's military missions for greater purposes.
I won't let out too many spoilers for this book. Again, it's a fun book to read. It definitely is over the top in it's depiction of the action sequences, in the spirit of the silly cartoons from the 80's in which these characters first came to life.
There are some great battles between Stormshadow and Snake Eyes that should prove to be exciting on the big screen. I'm a little worried about Snake Eyes' transition to the big screen. I hope his "silent" character comes across just fine in the film.
The Doctor character is extremely interesting and how he becomes who he becomes is pretty cool! Not the used car salesman, but still a pretty decent origin. James McCullen's transition at the end is cool, but I would have preferred to see the "mask" much earlier in the film.
Cobra Commander and Destro are established at the end of the book/movie and I look forward to seeing more from them in full character mode in subsequent films. On that note, I hope that G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra does well enough to warrant at least a couple more films.
The very end of the book was a great turn of events, one that I saw coming earlier in the book, but it should still play out nicely on the screen and lead to some serious problems for G.I. Joe in future movies.
I read both books in just two days - I'm excited! I've been a G.I. Joe fan all my life, probably playing with my first G.I. Joe when I was around 6 or 7. I loved playing with the big guys when I was a little kid and I loved the Real American Heroes line from the 80's when I was a bigger kid. The toy line for the film looks incredible as well!
Now, as a 46 year old kid, I can't wait to see the movie during the weekend of August 7th. I don't think I'll make it for the opening night, but I'm making plans for August 8th!
A hearty Yo JOE to all G.I. Joe fans everywhere. Come out and support this film! This can set up the brand and keep it alive for a huge event in the future - G.I. Joe's 50th anniversary!