Following its reboot of the Transformers franchise earlier this year, IDW is now hitting the reset button on G.I. Joe. The old continuity that began in the 2008 Chuck Dixon series is gone, as is the shared Hasbro universe that once connected the Joes to other properties like Transformers, Rom and MASK. For a franchise that’s been trapped in a perpetual identity crisis for years, this fresh start is just what the Dr. Mindbender ordered.

The first time around, IDW made the mistake of trying to find a happy medium between the classic G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comics and a more grounded tale of military espionage. That combination never fully clicked. And particularly once IDW revived Real American Hero and let writer Larry Hama continue where he left off in 1994, the core G.I. Joe books never felt all that essential. IDW’s one real accomplishment in its rebooted Joe-verse was the graphic novel Cobra: The Last Laugh, which is quite possibly the finest G.I. Joe story in any medium.

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