The search for Destro continues as Scarlett, Mainframe, and Helix track their escaped prisoner Copperback to a bizarre location in Russia known as Beaver Falls made to look like a small American town. Here they will discover the secret of Destro’s new B.A.T. experiments as the group walks right into a demonstration Destro has planned for Cobra Commander and high-ranking Russian officers secretly providing the criminal organization with their base of operations.
By the end of the issue the pressure on Destro continues to build as the JOEs outperform his new weapons and even decide to turn his new prized soldier back on his master.
I’m hoping the inclusion of Helix to the Special Missions team continues after wrapping up the current “Destro Must Die” arc next month. Aside from finally forcing both Scarlett and Helix to deal with each other and the loss of Snake Eyes it would also add another kick-ass female character to a team that at times has lacked some star power. Worth a look.
As with the last issue, G.I. JOE #13 continues the forced pairing of the Baroness with Cobra’s newest asset Siren who has a talent for spinning a tale to fit a particular time and situation allowing Cobra to boast about the ancient organization’s shrouded history with everyone from Somali Pirates to the Yakuza.
As with G.I. JOE #12, Along with Alex Cal doing the art for Siren and the Baroness’ movements in the present the various tales the Siren spins are each presented by a different artist which continues to give the comic the feel of an anthology not dissimilar to Dynamite Entertainment’s current Legends of Red Sonja comic, and the last of which teaches the Baroness a valuable lesson about being careful what you ask for.
How much truth each of the Siren’s stories actually contains is kept purposefully vague, but its obvious the woman has a gift that Cobra has no intention of giving up anytime soon as she learns a valuable lesson as well when Cobra finds the perfect pressure point to force Siren to continue her work. Worth a look.
The search for Destro continues as Scarlett and her team continue to shadow Copperback hoping the former Cobra agent will lead them straight to the weapon designer’s new base of operations.
Most of G.I. JOE: Special Missions #11 focuses on the Special Missions team keeping Copperhead under surveillance while doing their own research to Destro’s location (which turns out to be a good thing when Copperhead gives Scarlett and the JOEs the slip in an international airport).
Along with a few panels of Destro’s latest B.A.T. testing involving a promising but questionable new subject, the comic also ends with Scarlett calling in a little help once the JOEs locate the weaponer’s likely home.
The introduction of Helix, and the possibility of seeing the still MIA Snake Eyes‘s two lady friends attempt to work together despite their history, adds a nice wrinkle to the storyline as the search for Destro continues. Worth a look.
G.I. JOE begins a new arc with the introduction of Cobra’s latest agent, Siren. Allowing for a story that offers a chance for multiple artists to try their hand at the adventures of previous Cobra Commanders over the terrorist organization’s long history, writer Paul Allor introduces a character who uses storytelling and the spoken word to reshape and control the thoughts of her enemies.
Because the focus is all on Cobra and so much of the story is flashbacks to tales Siren offers various targets the Baroness (who doesn’t understand what Siren does or why Cobra Commander shows faith in her) puts in front of her, G.I. JOE #12 is very different than any other issue of the series.
Focused on telling the legendary and bloody history of former Cobra Commanders, the latest issue fills in readers to just how long Cobra has been operating. It also reminds us that not all of Cobra’s attacks come with a H.I.S.S. Tank, M.A.S.S. Device, or a gun. Worth a look.
G.I. JOE: The Cobra Files comes to a close with a very talky final issue. Tomax, in the role of Bond villain, is given most of the issue to strut and share his genius with Chameleon. However, unlike Bond films, in this issue (and the series overall) the villain really does win.
As Tomax remarks, I’m not sure where the end of the comic leaves Chameleon who would be seen as untrustworthy (at best) by both Cobra and G.I. JOE following her defection to the JOEs and her unintentional role in the destruction of Flint‘s team.
Although we know Flint, Tomax, Chameleon (and possibly Lady Jaye) all make it out before the JOEs base is reduced to rubble the final fate of the rest of the team is far less certain, including the computer expert Clockspring whose development much of the series centered around. It’s not a great final issue, but it does wrap-up the major storyline and leave the door open to new possibilities for all of these characters (at least the ones who aren’t buried under tons of rubble). For fans.
Rather than move forward to immediately deal with the fallout from the “Threat Matrix” story arc, the latest issue of G.I. JOE takes a look back at the circumstances behind how Roadblock became a member of the team. The issue begins with the Roadblock dealing with the apparent death of his cousin (terrifically portrayed by artist Steve Kurth).
Despite being told Heavy Duty died on a top secret operation, the soldier begins to suspect his cousin may still be alive which leads him to hunt down an IP address, break into a secret military facility, and headbutt Snake Eyes (an awesome sight that does not go unnoticed by Scarlett). His ingenuity and toughness not only lead him to find his missing cousin but get recruited to join Heavy Duty as a member of the JOEs. Worth a look.
Giving us a look at the origins of not one but two JOEs (and a cameo from Snake Eyes) G.I. JOE #11 is a very good single issue break from the title’s ongoing storylines. Worth a look.
The new four-part arc of the JOE’s Special Mission Force focuses on taking down Destro before he finishes perfecting his deadly new version of B.A.T. To do so Scarlett decides to pull Copperback out of maximum-security prison and enlist her help to track down the man responsible for killing Copperback’s father. Of course it doesn’t take long for the former Cobra operative to turn on Scarlett and her team and the ruins of Destro’s former stronghold.
I’m all in favor of a Destro-centric arc, and G.I. JOE: Special Missions #10 does a great job of selling me on the dangerous wild card Copperback represents. However, I am a bit confused when exactly the arc takes place as Destro just fell out of favor with Cobra (in fact Cobra Commander himself just led a raid of the weaponer’s home).
Despite the timing and continuity problems (why is the Baroness all of the sudden wearing a completely different version of her basic costume?), I’m looking forward to see where writer Chuck Dixon takes things from here. Worth a look.
The latest issue of G.I. JOE: Special Missions centers around one of the least heroic members of the team, Bildocker, whose uncanny ability to scavenge, locate, and trade for necessary ordinance and intel is matched by the overweight desk jock’s lack use in the field that certainly separates him from his more heroic teammates.
With Dial Tone along for the ride, Bildocker soon finds himself in way over his head in the bayou’s as a trip to an old friend to get what Roadblock and Mainframe need for their latest mission gets the pair attacked by Cobra troops and in a fight for their lives far from any back-up.
G.I. JOE: Special Missions #9 is an interesting issue because it reminds us that there are many jobs various JOEs are called on to do and not all of them are as heroic as those on the front lines. He may not fit the mold, but Bildocker is a vial member of the team. Although we only get a single issue for his story, I wouldn’t mind seeing Bildocker pop-up again sometime down the line. Worth a look.
Here’s my look back at the ten best single comic issues from the past year. Including ongoing series, one-shots, and mini-series, the only limitations I put on this list was that the comic had to have been released in 2013 (no reprints) and I limited myself to only a single issue from any one title. Because I was focusing on standout issues rather than consistently strong comics every month several of my favorite series missed the cut, but, if time permits, I may work up my regular list of best comic series of the past year as well.
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“Threat Matrix” comes to an end as Duke confronts the Mad Monk, the Special Missions team hunts down the JOE leader who Cover Girl believes may be Cobra’s mole, and the Baroness is forced to make a choice between Cobra and Destro when Cobra Commander and his troops invade the arm seller’s home.
By the end of the issue the JOEs will stop the Mad Monk’s plan and save Duke’s comatose wife whose chest the villain’s wife and daughter strapped the bomb to. It’s not a complete win as Monk gets away and questions linger about Duke’s unexplained wealth (which we learn about in the issue’s final flashback).
The split between Destro and Cobra opens up new possibilities for the character and I’m happy to see the series sticking with the relationship between the Baroness and her silver-headed boyfriend. The flashbacks certainly give Duke a feet of clay which I have mixed feelings about as I do with Monk getting away to cause more trouble for the JOEs in the future. For fans.