Duke #2 Review

Duke #2 Advance Review

Duke had a strong debut in his mini-series that takes place in the Energon Universe. The first issue acted as a spinoff to the current Transformers comic book series rather than G.I. Joe. They created a connection between the Transformers and G.I. Joe. However it is a connection that Conrad Hauser may not like as he has found himself in the middle of a conspiracy because of it. We got a chance to check out an early copy of Duke #2. Find out how things turn out with our advance review.


Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Tom Reilly

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Letterer: Rus Wooton


“CODENAME G.I. JOE CONTINUES! Conrad Hauser, aka “Duke,” is on the run from the very government he trusted, investigating secrets that may be More Than Meets The Eye. Now, he’s about to meet the last person any G.I. JOE fan ever expected! Are they friend, foe, or in it for themselves?” – Skybound & Image Comics


Duke #2 is exactly how to make sure to keep the momentum from a big debut issue. As important it is to make sure to bring in readers, new and old, with a strong debut it’s just as important to keep them. Joshua Williamson and Tom Reilly showed this by making sure the reader maintained an investment in every character involved.

The best part of Duke #2 is how Williamson and Reilly have a “show, don’t tell” approach to the storytelling. When a G.I. Joe character gets involved in the story you learn through how they interact with Conrad Hauser, aka Duke. There is trust placed on the reader to get who characters like Clutch are by their dialogue. It allows the story to keep moving forward at a natural pace.

Duke #2 Codename G.I. Joe Preview
Preview of interior artwork by artist Tom Reilly and colorist Jordie Bellaire for Duke #2. Credit: Skybound & Image Comics

Focusing on characters who naturally interact with each other made it easy to learn more about these characters. Especially with how quickly things escalated at the end of Duke #1 there was a need to assess what was going on. We got that with the focus on Duke and Clutch’s interaction for the opening of this issue. The balance between developing Duke and Clutch’s dynamic with the spy thriller aspects was well done. We get a clear idea of the relationship and why Duke would go to Clutch as soon as things went south for him.

Duke and Clutch’s dynamic makes it so when other G.I. Joe characters get involved you care even more when things pop off. The action choreography by Reilly puts over the different skills each G.I. Joe member brings to the table. While they have a particular specialty there are other things they also do well.

All of this works while Destro continues to be built up from the shadows. Just like the previous issue Williamson and Reilly make sure Destro is presented as the big antagonist of the story. There is no rush to get to him. His presence is such that you are left anticipating what Destro’s move is going to be. That becomes even more intriguing by the major character who appears at the end of this issue. Where they appear creates yet another layer for Williamson and Reilly to approach the story.


Duke #2 delivers a strong follow-up to the spy/action thriller set-up by the first issue. Joshua Williamson and Tom Reilly build on the investment in Duke’s character journey through his interactions with other G.I. Joe characters. These interactions build towards a memorable ending that makes you want to read the next issue right away.

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10