Review: G. I. Joe: Hearts & Minds by Max Brooks

How did I get it: The library.

Why did I get it: I’ve been curious about this graphic novel so I checked it out.  I really enjoy Max Brooks’ World War Z so I figured at least I could flip through his graphic novel before returning it to the library tomorrow.

How would I rate it: 4 out of 5 stars.

My Summary:
This graphic novel acts as an anthology or maybe series of brief visual bio-pics with each section telling the story of one of ten characters either affiliated with Cobra or with G. I. Joe. Learn more at GoodReads or Amazon.

My Review:
Overall the graphic novel does a great job pairing of text and pictures with the text being very dependent on the panels while the pictures could probably tell the story entirely on their own. The text, I think, helps to clarify and explain the emotional charge behind the panels depicting loss, isolation, pride, angry, and resignation, but the art by Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso is really what makes this graphic novel such an engaging read.

While each section was uniquely riveting with clever if mildly predictable outcomes to each narrative, my favorite section was for “Spirit,” a Native American soldier named Charlie who has Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I really am still impressed by the way the panels reflect the way this condition changes the way a person sees the world and just how Max Brooks explains so much so precisely with so little words.

I wonder if perhaps my enjoyment of this graphic novel was only a result of having that awful Rise of Cobra movie inflicted on me last year, but I doubt that’s the only reason I liked it. And having only a vague notion of what any of these people do or who any of these people are, I can only assume that this book would make the week or day of an actual G. I. Joe fan.


About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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