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Brian Reed on “G.I. Joe Special: Helix”

by  in Comic News Comment
Brian Reed on “G.I. Joe Special: Helix”
G.I. Joe Special: Helix
“G.I. Joe Special: Helix” on sale now

This week, IDW Publishing introduced readers to the newest G.I. Joe operative, a woman with such dangerous specialized skills that she does not officially exist. “G.I. Joe Special: Helix,” a one-shot written by Brian Reed with art by Joe Suitor, sees Agent Helix missing in action, with Duke dispatched alone to bring her home. CBR News caught up with Reed to discuss the issue.

At its most basic, Helix’s ability involves seeing the world in data sets and solving calculations with inhuman speed, but the skill has impressive practical applications in hand-to hand combat. Operating undercover, Helix was dispatched to Tokyo to infiltrate a possible Cobra crime ring, but that mission seems to have been compromised.

“Once it looks as if Agent Helix may have been taken prisoner by Cobra, Duke is brought in to track her down,” Reed told CBR. Unlike some of the regular G.I. Joe missions, “G.I. Joe Special: Helix” focuses on a small covert force, with Duke and Helix fighting alone against a dangerous Cobra plot. “It’s a chance to really explore an individual character,” Reed continued. “When you have a whole squad in action, invariably you end up with most of them becoming background characters while the leads do the heavy lifting. Here Duke and Helix are our only characters and thus our only focus.”

Helix was created for the “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” video game, which Reed was involved with writing in the early stages. “Agent Helix got her name from Double Helix, the game’s developer. She was a character they wanted to create, but they really just had a name and an in-game look for her,” he explained. “The comic issue developed separately save for the name and some obvious video game parallels.”

With G.I. Joe bumping through so many different media — starting in toys, moving on to the classic cartoon series in the 1980s and comics, now film, video games and so on — one version still stands out in the writer’s mind. “I knew them from the ’80s cartoon and toys when I was growing up, so to me that’s always going to be G.I. Joe,” Reed said. “That said, the latest comics have been a lot of fun, and I’ve enjoyed playing around in their universe.”

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