Over the past couple of weeks, much of the attention of the internet world has been on G.I. Joe: Cobra (and rightfully so). It seems somewhat strange to have G.I. Joe’s flagship title somewhat lost in the shuffle, especially when it promises to end with a pretty large bang.
Snake Eyes and Helix find themselves in Station 0, neck deep in Cobra. How can they fight their way out? Read the full review after the jump.
G.I. Joe #26
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Art: Robert Atkins
First of… I love Atkins on this book. I just freaking love him. Just by having him draw these stories pulls them up several notches in my book, and issue #26 is no exception. But it’s tough for me to get a really good grasp on how to look at or review this issue. Should I just judge it based on its own merit, or do I need to look at the track record and see how it fits in the whole grand scheme of things?
I ask this question, because I find my enjoyment of the issue drastically different based on my perspective.
As an isolated, stand alone issue, it’s pretty damn fun. Snake Eyes and Helix are zapped into the MASS Device station, finding themselves surrounded by several dozen well-armed Cobra Vipers, essentially with nowhere to go, but through them. Of course, considering its Snake Eyes and Helix, that’s pretty much what they do. Guns blasting, swords slashing, John Woo style flipping and shooting. Dixon is able to choreograph the action excellently, and Atkins’ art is simply awesome.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that they scatter plenty of recognizable Cobra vehicles throughout. That always hits the nostalgia funny bone in just the right spot.
But the problem is, this isn’t a stand alone issue. It’s the penultimate issue of a long, drawn out 2-year adventure as the G.I. Joe team desperately tries to stop Cobra from fulfilling their diabolical plan. Yet all of these Joes that Dixon has spent a year fleshing out…all of these stories that have been built up and built up and built up just add up to background noise to a 15 minute John Woo shoot ’em up. Scarlett…Duke….Ripcord…Mainframe. All of these guys that Dixon spent so much time trying to develop end up being support personnel as mystery man Snake Eyes and Agent “I only made my first appearance 3 issues ago” Helix take all the screen time and shoot all the baddies. It just feels a bit empty.
As the entirety of this monstrous G.I. Joe team builds up all of this hostility and determination and angst, the two super soldiers swoop in and snatch the glory. I can’t help but feel somewhat unfulfilled.
Granted, there is still another issue, and certainly still another chance for a big battle. It’s actually leading that very direction as the Cobra’s attempt to escape en masse while the Joe team is swarming in to rescue their two teammates. But still, the objective is complete. The MASS Device is destroyed. And it seems a shame that the two people who did it were the ones we knew the least about and felt the least attachment to.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Helix as a character…but she totally came out of nowhere, and suddenly it’s “Helix! also starring Snake Eyes! and also starring… G.I. Joe.” C’mon, Chuck. You’ve got one more issue to leave me satisfied. Let’s do this.
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