It’s not often that I review a licensed book from a franchise started during my childhood, but I’m actually enjoying G.I. Joe for the first time since Hawk was crippled during Devil’s Due’s stint with the license. The strange thing is that we’ve inadvertently covered the new “Cobra Command” storyline from the beginning. You may Eric’s review of the conclusion of the new Cobra Commander and then last week Carl’s review of Snake Eyes. Well this is part three and I may even go back and review part one so that we’re all caught up. This is the first series I’ve read that wasn’t written by Chuck Dixon, which is probably why I enjoyed it a bit more. Mike Costa concludes the battle between the Avatar/Aliens machines and Snakes Eyes with this issue. Frankly I tend to like stories that literally run from one issue of a series into another. After Snakes Eye’s and the white-haired chick bring down the fleet they skedaddle on out of there. This leaves Cobra to look at the surveillance videos of their newest tech being destroyed by one “blind man with a sword.” Bludd is full of great lines as he bashes on Cobra and their operations that is until the Baroness kicks him out of the room.
I can’t say that I have a good feel for the new Cobra Commander and having no idea how the original was acting prior to being dethroned, I can’t say if he’s cooler or not. I will say that he comes across a lot like the Devil’s Due Commander was, which was no-nonsense and all business all of the time. I think that’s what has always being jacked up with the Joes, everyone thinks of the bumbling Cobra Commander from the cartoon that had to lose every week in order to continue being appropriate for children. Now with the comics, everyone wants Cobra to be the dominating force and they make them too big and too strong.
Right now Costa and IDW have a good balance. Cobra seems strong, but sort of like Hydra was in Secret Warriors. They have this large hidden infrastructure, but all it takes is the Joe’s getting organized and kicking their ass to win. Costa does a great job with the dialog, everyone is pretty sharp with their tongues but not in an annoying way. Also it’s important that every not sound the same and Costa manages that. My only grip is that there is really no sense of the voice for the new Cobra Commander. Left to my own imagination I just pictured him sounding like a British guy from Star Wars… why not right?
The book looks good for the most part; there are a few hiccups in art department but nothing major. There is something actually entertaining about this book. It’s mindless and full of one-liners and explosions, but is still pretty good. At the very least it’s better than that shitty trailer for the second movie coming out this year. Lastly, you don’t really need to have read the first two parts to know what’s going on, but it would probably help in the long run of the story line.
Writer: Mike Costa Artist: Alex Cal Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/18/12