Most of G.I. JOE: Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #3 isn’t spent with Snake Eyes, although we do get some of Chameleon feeding the former JOE intelligence to help his search, but instead the story is mainly focused on his target: the former Cobra Commander’s son. We get a long look at Billy’s life off the grid in Thailand with Ronin his only friend and protector.
Along with a look at Billy‘s nomadic current lifestyle G.I. JOE: Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #3 also gives readers a glimpse of his life as Cobra Commander’s son. The only big action scene takes place during one of these flashbacks showing us why Billy has turned his back on the life he was born into.
Although lighter on action than last month’s issue, after Billy steps in to commit a foolishly heroic action things go from bad to worse as both assassins and the Arashikage Clan send men after him setting up what you would assume would be an action-heavy fourth issue. And of course we still have a Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow confrontation to come before the series concludes. Worth a look.
Not seen nor heard from in two years since his fall from grace with G.I. JOE and his apparent death at the hands of Storm Shadow way back in Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #20 Snake Eyes finally returns. IDW relaunched (and eventually cancelled) an entire slate of G.I. JOE titles (including some issues written by Mike Costa) without one of the franchise’s favorite characters over the past couple of years so I’m excited to see the character finally be brought back into play, although I never expected it to be as an agent for Cobra.
The comic itself is vague about how long Snake Eyes has been missing or how long it has been since he signed on with Cobra. What is clear is his current mission which includes rescuing Destro from custody. The mini-series is set to run for five-issues suggesting that Snake Eyes’ time with Destro and Cobra may be limited (and one has to ask is that even Snake Eyes under the mask?). The promise of Storm Shadow’s appearance in the series and yet another confrontation between the two should answer several questions about Snake Eyes’ short and long term future. But for now we can just be happy he’s back in action once more. Worth a look.
“The Fall of G.I. JOE” continues as the fate of the military organization is discussed in Washington various forces, each working with limited information and at cross-purposes, head into Galibi. As the small force of Flint, Roadblock, Mainframe, and Helix search for the terrorist base of Grigor Rashidov, Tomax learns of the defection of Siren‘s militant son to the group. Complicating matters even further leads Tomax to hire non-Cobra agents, which turns out be Duke, to retrieve the boy through byzantine means providing only the vaguest information about the situation. However, given the fast-approaching JOE hit-squad to the camp had Tomax left the situation alone it would have solved all of his problems.
Choosing his mission, and the life of a boy who he believes is a hostage not a whackjob Cobra believer, over that of his former comrades, Duke warns Rashidov of the arrival of an American hit squad. The ramifications of his actions muddy the waters of the new series even further and might very likely lead to more trouble between the JOEs and their former commander. For fans.
After discontinuing the company’s various G.I. JOE titles earlier this spring, IDW launches a new series where a changing world threatens G.I. JOE. With Cobra renouncing its terrorist ties and becoming a peace-keeping organization Washington debates whether or not an organization like the JOEs need to exist.
As Cobra attempts to broker peace between Schletteva and Galibi, Scarlett is stuck in Washington attending Senate hearings defending her organization now that their primary threat has apparently seen the error of its ways. The question about what Cobra is really up to, with the help of Siren who continues to rebrand Cobra to the outside world, is left hanging as the first issue comes to a close but we do know not every Cobra soldier is happy in their new roles.
New York Times best-selling author Karen Traviss begins to lay a foundation for the series here but by the nature of the story is forced to be unnecessarily vague about the real intentions of all the players. The art on IDW’s JOE books has always been hit-and-miss. Steve Kurth’s work matches Traviss expositional storytelling but a little more traditional comic style would go a long way to help sell the storyline. For fans.
By any definition Transformers vs. G.I. JOE #1 is a mess – one hell of a god awful mess. Written by Tom Scioli the story (such as it is) is a non-linear attempt to throw in as many characters from both franchises into a single comic without any attempt at all to create plot to tie the various panels together. Jumping wildly from one set of characters to another the comic reads like a giant finger to actual storytelling or some kind of poorly designed logic puzzle the creator actually needs your help to solve. In fact the comic makes so little sense IDW felt the need to include writer’s notes for every single page (taking up far too many pages of a $4 comic book) in an attempt to explain what the hell is going on.
If the story is crap the visuals aren’t that much better. Although I don’t have an issue with John Barber’s nostalgic throwback-style art of some of my favorite characters from both franchisees, I was very much distracted by the attempt to make the comic look like faded newsprint of an 80s comic on glossy current comic stock. The attempt to make the comic feel vintage actually makes it look incredibly cheap and (even more) half-assed. Pass.