Regardless of whether you’re a fan of the G.I. Joe franchise, you should be reading this comic book every month.

GI Joe 5
Written by Paul Allor
Art by Chris Evenhuis

Coming off what I thought was a fantastic ISSUE last month, writer Paul Allor manages to find a way to top himself with the latest issue of his all-new, all-different GI Joe comic book.

This is a book about a resistance team trying to fight back against a terrorist organization that managed to take over the United States – reversing the power structure of the original concept. But the main focus of the book has been less about the actual fighting of the war. Allor has spent the first five issues of the series introducing readers to his new versions of these classic characters.

Here, he turns his attention to fan-favorites Zartan and his band of Dreadnoks. Originally cast as a group of mercenaries working for Cobra Commander, this new iteration doesn’t have the same affinity for things that slither. Instead, the new Dreadnoks are a small community of people who survived Cobra’s attack on Indianapolis, protecting their own and taking potshots at the country’s new leaders. The Dreadnok community here reminded me of some survivor groups on The Walking Dead: earn your keep and you can stay.

Even the Dreadnok leader is changed significantly. Zartan was a diplomat from Sierra Gordo (another classic GI Joe reference) in town on business when the Cobra strike happened. It stranded him in Indiana and gave him the chance to reinvent himself, as the leader of this new community.

We get a lot of exposition on the Dreadnoks when Joes Stalker and Jinx infiltrate the group and get a history lesson. The ‘Noks aren’t exactly a good group of people, but Allor makes them a lot more sympathetic than they’ve likely ever been portrayed before.

GI JOE has been at the top of my “must-read” pile since the first issue, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.