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Warning – There are Spoilers abound in this review!  If you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading.
As I sit down and read through this issue, it suddenly occurs to me.  We are well over a year into G.I. Joe’s run through the IDW universe, and we haven’t even seen Storm Shadow yet.  How is that possible?  Or did I just miss it somewhere along the way?
I don’t have a clue why I suddenly thought of that as I was reading the issue…perhaps it was seeing Snake Eyes meditating in the darkness as Scarlett welcomed him back to The Pit in a sort of awkward non-conversation.  I don’t know whether I should commend Chuck Dixon for holding off that long, or if I should ask “what the #@$ are you waiting for?”  Granted, there really hasn’t been a place for Storm Shadow to fit in yet, but part of me does hope they don’t just reserve the “Origins” book to show all of the…you know…  origins.  I mean, something like that has to happen in the main title, right?
G.I. Joe’s flagship book continues to move at a decent pace, though I’ve grown a bit weary already of the “Destro in the gulag” storyline.  It at least takes a step in the right direction this time around, and it was cool to see him have some direct (sort of) interaction with Cobra Commander.  I find myself really digging Cobra Commander’s “look” in this universe, and part of me hopes maybe this is a new evolution of the character.  As comfortable as we all are in his typical battle helmet or hood, this fanged faceplate is growing on me.  It would be neat to see this look in Renegades as well.
We get a small taste of Destro’s ancestry in this issue, too, which follows pretty typical norms as his Scottish ancestor uses grenades to scatter a French invasion force just prior to the events of Waterloo.  Gallant’s art continues to have a great flow and feel in this issue, and he draws landscape scenes and action with similar energy.  I find myself consistently reminded of Mark Bagley, and I enjoy that style of art, so I have no issues with that whatsoever.
The issue wraps up with a possible cameo of Cobra Island, as the Joes look to pay a little visit to this mysterious piece of green forest in the middle of the ocean.
As I said, the pace continues pretty steadily this month, and things actually continue to happen.  Action was mostly concentrated in the gulag, but it looks like that could potentially change next month as the Joes crawl into enemy territory.  It does continue to surprise me that we have a glaring lack of certain core characters, but there’s always something to look forward to.  One just hopes they don’t wait a little bit too long.

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