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We’ve known for a while that the main IDW G.I. Joe title was wrapping up it’s first “season” after issue #24, and that a likely new “season” would be catapulted onto comic shelves early in 2011.  But what has remained a mystery was just how IDW was going to make this all happen.
Well, we now have a clear idea of how we’re moving from Season One to Season Two and it’s an event of monumental proportions, certainly to be felt throughout all IDW titles for months to come.
Warning!  There are SPOILERS abound in this post.  If you have not yet read G.I. Joe: COBRA #12, consider yourself WARNED.  The rest of this story will be posted after the jump to avoid spoiling upcoming story details.

G.I. Joe: COBRA #12.  Cobra Commander is dead.  Long live Cobra Commander!
In a shocking twist at the end of G.I. Joe: Cobra #12, Chuckles finally takes his chance and guns down Cobra Commander.  An AK-47 shot to the head…tough to argue that point.  But where do we go from here?  How can Cobra exist without Cobra Commander?  How can Season Two keep up this crazy pace?
Coming In April
G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #0
Chuck Dixon, Mike Costa (w) • Javier Saltares, Antonio Fuso, Agustin Padilla (a) • Tom Feister, Fuso, Gabriele Dell’Otto  (c)
COBRA CIVIL WAR BEGINS HERE! The Commander is dead! Long live… Cobra Commander?! But the questions is, who will BE the NEXT Cobra Commander?! The role of Commander must be filled—now the most lethal and cunning Cobra operatives will COMPETE TO REIGN SUPREME. The winner—he who kills the most G.I. JOES—will take the reins of COBRA! Bonus: Ninja Force!!!!! Yeah, baby! 30 big pages of story at regular price! This is the place to jump on board and see what everyone’s been talking about!
*3 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1-to-1 basis
FC • 40 pages • $3.99
Expected in-store date: 4/6/11

  • The next great G.I. Joe storyline begins here!
  • The hunt for the new Cobra Commander will run through all three new G.I. Joe series beginning with next month’s three debuts: G.I. Joe #1, Cobra #1, and Snake Eyes #1!

G.I. Joe: Cobra Commander Tribute 100-Page Spectacular
Mike Costa & Christos N. Gage, various (w) • Antonio Fuso, various (a) • Fuso (c)
Featuring a new cover by Fuso, this issue reprints the instant classic: G.I. JOE: COBRA #12—The Death of Cobra Commander! It also contains new insights from major Cobra and G.I. Joe players on what the demise of the Commander might mean for them and the world, creator interviews, and more, along with classic Cobra Commander tales from the past! Contains bonus poster of the Kill Shot!
FC • 100 pages • $7.99
Expected in-store date: 4/6/11

·      The unexpected kick-off to Cobra Civil War began in G.I. Joe: Cobra #12, now hard to find and much talked about. And reprinted here!

  • 100 pages, including many new file pages that give insight to the coming Cobra Civil War, for a low price!
  • Best of Cobra Commander TPB offered as a free incentive

These two issues will lead directly into three separate #1 issues launching in May.  The three titles as they stand are:

  • Snake Eyes
    • Writer: Chuck Dixon
    • Artist: Robert Atkins
  • G.I. Joe (Main title)
    • Writer: Chuck Dixon
    • Artist: Javier Saltares
  • G.I. Joe: Cobra
    • Writer: Mike Costa
    • Artist: Antonio Fuso

The following covers are a sampling of the #1 cover variants that we will be seeing with the #1 issues.  There will be 9 total variant covers (3 for each #1 title).
G.I. Joe

no images were found

Snake Eyes

no images were found

G.I. Joe: Cobra

It’s important to note that Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero title will stay as is, and will not “relaunch” or go away with this new perspective.
As part of IDW’s announcement of this event, they held a press conference and Q & A session so we could get some more details about what is sure to be a crazy new direction in the G.I. Joe comic universe.  The following details were gleaned from the questions and answers:

  1. The overall IDW G.I. Joe universe will be “tightening”.  In the past, you could feasibly read one title, but not the others, and not have to worry about it.  While IDW won’t necessarily require you to read every single title, there will be a clearer continuation from one title to another.
  2. The premise for the Cobra Civil War is that Cobra agents will be competing to become the next Cobra Commander.  A high Cobra “Council” determines the order of succession, and Cobra agents will compete to fill the role.  The main goal?  To kill as many G.I. Joe agents as possible.  The winner gets the throne.
  3. The variant covers will be drawn by Zack Howard
  4. This is not a “gimmick”.  IDW has had this goal in mind for a long time and has been building to this.
  5. Yes, G.I. Joe agents WILL die.  There will be drastic ramifications of these events.
  6. Yes, the Cobra Commander that was shot is the REAL Cobra Commander.  Not an imposter, not an android.  The real deal.
  7. It’s quite possible that “top tier” Joes will end up dead.
  8. Expect Snake Eyes to obviously be very visible in his own title, and remain as he has been in the ongoing.  Appearances here and there, but will not take over the whole book.
  9. There will be 7 candidates vying for the role of Cobra Commander.  Serpentor is NOT one of the candidates, but he plays a huge role in the events.
  10. IDW would not comment on whether or not the new Cobra Commander would have a new appearance.  I would guess that means “yes”.
  11. Part of the events of the Cobra Civil War involves a large scale invasion of The Pit.  Expect many more very large scale battles in the series involving lots of personnel and hardware.
  12. The MASS Device storyline will be tied up, and the MASS Device itself will not be a part of the next ongoing series.
  13. Because the main story elements of the next run is more military and less science fiction, expect the overall tone of the book to perhaps dial down the science fiction and fantasy elements just a bit.  It will still have a place, as well it should in the G.I. Joe realm, but the tone of the story will dictate its involvement.

I think that’s about it.  From the sounds of it, we’re in for an exciting ride in April!  I want to thank IDW for letting me be involved in the Press aspect of this, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here!