IDW’s new main G.I. JOE title began with a select team of JOEs being ambushed and separated in what what they expected to be an easy mission in Warrenton, Ohio, only to find themselves hunted by the locals who have all been turned by Cobra. G.I. JOE #4 will see the team finally reunited as Quick Kick and Doc work to save Shipwreck‘s life, Cover Girl frees Duke from Dr. Mindbender‘s virtual reality, and Roadblock leads the rest of the team to knock out the transmitter blocking their coms.
With Doc injured, Quick Kick does some emergency field surgery, but even near death’s door Shirpwreck manages to steal one of the comic’s best sequences as he returns the favor by saving both Quick Kick and Doc after they have stabilized his condition. We also get the teasing of a future relationship between the Baroness and Destro.
The comic ends with Tunnel Rat realizing what Cobra’s plan really is when he comes face-to-face with Scrap-Iron who has wired the entire town to blow and make it look like the entire incident was the fault of the JOEs.
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The second issue of G.I. JOE: The Cobra Files opens with the son of the original Cobra Commander awaking from a coma. After shaking the kid up a little, the JOEs send in Chameleon for the role she was born to play, bending men to her will. Realizing his role as the team’s intelligence officer into Cobra may be diminished by Billy agreeing to cooperate, Tomax makes some moves of his own by beginning to plant seeds of discord among the ranks starting with the teams technical officer Clockspring.
Although Billy has only limited knowledge of the operation, he does offer the team a target: a Tiger Team known as the Night Creepers who recently attacked a base in Los Alamos to steal “exotic materials.” Flint‘s plan for catching the group is more than a little unorthodox as he proposes hiring the team… to break into the Pentagon.
G.I. JOE: The Cobra Files #2 is a solid issue that gives us a closer look at how the team does business, and how far they are willing to go to stop Cobra. For fans.
The race for Cobra’s lost fortune continues as the Baroness‘ attempt to recover the billions Snake Eyes sunk to the bottom of the ocean becomes more complicated by the the Scarlett and the Special Mission force’s arrival on the scene, back-up JOEs on the way (along with an entire legion of Serpentor’s best warriors), and an on-board mutiny when the sailors for hire discover just what the Baroness is having them pull out of the watery depths. And Scarlett punches a shark. Twice.
Scarlett and the shark, which only take up about half a page of the comic, are really the highlight here. Chuck Dixon reminds us again just how smart and dangerous the Baroness is as she sniffs out the mutiny well-before the crew make and attempt on her life to keep the cash for themselves.
Forgive me for the water metaphor, but three issues in the storyline still feels like its treading water. I’m still interested to see where things are going, and trust Dixon to get there, but I would like events to move forward a little faster. For fans.
Most of the action in G.I. JOE #3 is set inside Duke‘s mind as Dr. Mindbender tries to break the JOE and force him to give them the all-clear code which will allow Cobra to continue their plans. Various memories of Duke from childhood through the circumstances that led to him to enlist with the JOEs are used to try and break Duke, but Mindbender and the Baroness discover the process isn’t as easy as they had hoped.
The issue is a good excuse to delve into Duke’s past and present a new look at the road that led him to being the field leader of G.I. JOE. Most of the flashbacks have to do with Duke’s relationship with the love of his life who he lost twice, once by stopping her transfer into the field, and later when her bullheadedness got her the assignment she wanted only to die in an ambush set for Duke.
G.I. JOE #3 bucks the trend of “everybody breaks” in comics and movies recently by allowing Duke to hold out and even warn the JOEs that something is wrong. Now things get interesting. For fans.
The newest of IDW’s G.I. JOE titles centers around Chameleon, a former agent of Cobra now working for the good guys in an usual JOE team which includes Flint, Lady Jaye, Clockspring, and another former member of Cobra who tried to kill Chameleon several times in the past – Tomax.
Based out of Tomax’s casino the group works covertly to take out Cobra threats around the world. In this first issue the JOEs successfully liberate enslaved children in Vietnam and then, based on Tomax’s intel, turn their attention to the former head of Cobra’s amphibious assault squadron – Copperhead. This mission doesn’t go according to plan when the Chameleon is forced to kill Copperhead and almost dies herself from the wrong end of a shotgun held by the former Cobra agent’s son.
G.I. JOE: Cobra Files assembles an unusual assortment of characters for this team. I’m not sure there’s enough to keep me coming back every single month, but I may pop in from time to time to see how Chameleon and her team are fairing. For fans.
Realizing they aren’t the only ones looking for Cobra’s sunken treasure Scarlett and Mainframe are forced to hide from other divers sent from the Baroness‘ ship who are, at least so far, clueless to the JOEs presence.
However, the Baroness is about to have problems of her own as Serpentor approaches the owner of the vessel the Baroness is using under threat of harm to the man’s grandchildren and offers his services to retrieve the children in exchange for the magnate to have his sailors turn on the Baroness and her team.
Although there aren’t any big moments here, issue #2 moves the story forward by laying the foundation of trouble for our heroes, and villains, in the form of mutiny, sharks, and Scarlett’s own nightmares being so close to her final encounter with Snake Eyes. That said, there’s certainly enough here for me to keep reading to see how the storyline plays out (and keep hoping that sooner or later Snake Eyes will make an appearance outside of Scarlett’s dreams). Worth a look.
With G.I. JOE going public in IDW’s recent relaunch of the main title, there’s still plenty of quieter jobs for a covert force to do around the globe. Written by Chuck Dixon, G.I. JOE: Special Missions focuses on Scarlett and her team dropped into the middle of the action in southern Libya while around the globe an old enemy is making plans of her own.
Discovering the location of Cobra’s sunken $40 billion treasure (the one Snake Eyes scuttled while working with the Arashikage) Cobra’s former lieutenant has gone into the salvage business. To retrieve the gold she’ll need the help of some capable sailors (the ones she doesn’t cripple in a bar fight), and to stay one step ahead of Serpentor‘s Coil soldiers (who have been dispatched to kill the traitor) as well as Scarlett’s team who heads after the treasure as well after an unorthodox extraction by Wild Bill.
I’m glad to see Dixon getting another G.I. JOE title, although the covert team is sorely missing the most covert JOE of all – Snake Eyes. We’ll have to wait and see if the still presumed dead JOE turns up or if Dixon has any plans for the masked man’s protege Helix in the coming months. Worth a look.
- Title: G.I. JOE: Retaliation
- IMDB: link
Four years after the train wreck that was G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra, the sequel finally makes it to theaters after converting the movie to 3D and shooting additional scenes to cash-in on Channing Tatum‘s increased celebrity. G.I. JOE: Retaliation doesn’t prove to be worth the wait, but it’s certainly far better than the original.
For those of you unlucky enough to have witnessed the first film, you know that the terrorist organization known as Cobra had risen. Even if they had been defeated by the American special anti-terrorism force known as G.I. JOE, one of Cobra’s own, the master of disguise known as Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), had taken the place of the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce).
G.I. JOE: Retaliation picks up some months later with President Zartan orchestrating the public disgrace and destruction of the JOEs while Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) break Cobra Commander (now played by Luke Bracey) out of futuristic prison in an overly-elaborate plan.
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Cobra has sprung it’s trap. The JOE team is divided and Duke has been captured by the Baroness and Dr. Mindbender as Cobra troops and the locals of Warrenton, Ohio, hunt down the wounded JOEs.
Roadblock, Quick Kick, and Tunnel Rat manage to keep the wounded Shipwreck safe from further harm as Cover Girl and a wounded Doc must deal with not only with the individuals hunting them but naivete of Hashtag who gives up their location to the enemy.
The action heats up in this second issue, and Cover Girl gets some nice kick-ass and wise-cracking moments, as the fractured team find themselves in enemy territory in the middle of the United States thanks to Cobra buying the cooperation of the struggling town’s locals.
Cut-off from the outside world, we’ll have to see how long the JOEs can keep fighting and how long Duke can hold out before succumming to Dr. Mindbender’s mind control. Once that happens, he’ll agree to do whatever the Baroness commands. Worth a look.
From The Loyal Subjects come these 3in. Mini-G.I. JOE figures. The figures are sold separately in blind boxes, meaning you won’t know which one of the 11 figures (which include Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Destro, Cobra Commander, Zartan, Gung-Ho, Duke, and Snow Job) you’ll get, for $13 a piece. You can also plop down a hefty $208 for an entire case of 16 figures (but with the possibility of multiple duplicates still isn’t guaranteed to get you a full set).