I was looking in my basement for some tools and stumbled upon a white rectangular cardboard box with a lid. It hadn't been opened in some 10 years or so but the black sticker with the bold words G.I.JOE in red, white and blue told me all i needed to know. This was my collection of Marvel's original G.I.Joe series that lasted from 1982-1994. I grew up in the 1980's which was a golden time for comics and i purchased the usuals: Batman, Spiderman, X-Men, The Avengers, The Punisher and so on but the only comic I had to collect every month was Larry Hama's outstanding G.I.JOE. It was simply one of the biggest sellers of the decade with great writing and art, a fantastic, continuas storyline and deep characters with complex histories and emotions. While kids like myself could certainly enjoy it, it wasn't until i was a little older that i began to realize that the comic was for the older, more mature crowd then the cartoon show was with more realistic violence and themes. I took the lid off the box and browsed some of the covers, flipping through them and pausing when i came across a really cool one. Issue #46 with Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes striking an awesome pose together was still my alltime favorite. I took #13 out of its plastic case and started reading and was floored! 25 years or so had passed and i was still intrigued by my old friends Stalker, Scarlett, Snake Eyes and the rest. I had stopped reading comics around 1991 or so but I suddenly felt the need to check in on my old friends and see what they were up to. Had they finally stopped the diabolical Cobra Commander for good? Had Destro retired from being the world's greatest arms dealer and settled down with the Baroness? And most importantly, what was the great Larry Hama, the creator of the G.I.JOE universe, up to these days? I did a search on Amazon and came up with lots of G.I.JOE comics and graphic novels by Devils Due and IDW. It was good to see that it was still popular today and that the man himself not only had a new G.I.JOE comic out but had recently penned a graphic novel prequel to 1982's G.I.JOE #1! I double clicked on the image for DECLASSIFIED and saw the original JOE's looking back at me. Hawk, Snake Eyes, Steeler, Zap, Stalker, Grand Slam and Short Fuze looking as defiant and determined as ever. The reviews for it were very positive as old fans like myself gave it 5 star reviews and i knew i had to read it and see if the magic was still there. Well, I just finished reading it and i'm gonna read it again! From the first splash page i was back in the familiar jungles of Sierra Gordo doing recon with Stalker, Grunt, Zap and Rock'N Roll. The writing is as fluid and crisp as ever with Hama's trademark humor and military terminology popping up all over and the artwork is spectacular with great penciling and vibrant colors that stay faithful to the original specs while updating them. Fantastic. DECLASSIFIED is a great prequel to the G.I.JOE universe. We are given the back story to how some of the original JOE's were picked for the elite unit, witness Hawk's meeting with a good humored govt. agent who would later join the team, witness the early stages of Cobra and introduced to future team members Airborne and Wild Bill. The debut of an original, highly classified team member is a great addition to the JOE universe. I really liked how the ongoing feud between the motorpool crew (the JOE's) and the chaplain's assistants at Fort Wadsworth was already in gear and how it still had the power to make me laugh. This is an excellant buy if you like G.I.JOE and if you are a newcomer and you're reading this review then pick it up, i highly recommend it! Thank you Mr. Hama for another great story and thanks too for the artists who labored over this i really enjoyed it.