I do have to admit that it seemed as if the Cobra Civil War kind of came to a sudden and grinding halt in mid-stream. I mean, the storyline progression made a certain amount of sense, but I never really felt this culmination to a thrilling finale or anything, it just kept on steamrolling ahead, and then suddenly it was over.
I did like the end resolution, and I agree with the promotion of that particular character to the Cobra Commander role, but I just felt like it just suddenly ended.
Even with that in mind, I did feel more invested in the IDW universe post Cobra Civil War than I had before it, and found myself looking forward to the whole Cobra Command storyline to see where things go from here. I tried to hold my enthusiasm in check, since the main line G.I. Joe title isn’t my favorite, but it turns out, I came away quite impressed.
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G.I. Joe (Season 2) #9
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Alex Cal
IDW is trying something pretty unique with the Cobra Command storyline, keeping the same creative team throughout the entire story, even as it crosses over from G.I. Joe to Snake Eyes to Cobra. That’s something that hasn’t been done before, and it’s a neat experiment. I immediately found myself liking Cal’s artwork throughout this issue as well. He’s got a unique style that seems to border that realistic and animated aesthetic, but does it in a very cool way. Certain things are exaggerated, but you can definitely see an element of hard-edged realism there, too.
If I have any complaints it’s that some liberties were taken with color deco’s of the characters and vehicles, which I think takes away a bit from the Cobra look and feel. Heck, near the end the use of camouflage on a particular character almost had me convinced it was someone else entirely, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
But as far as the G.I. Joe title goes, my issues have always been with the plotting, and Dixon seems to have his legs under him already, early in the story. Cobra launches a daring invasion on a foreign country, and doesn’t hesitate to use aggressive violence in overthrowing the nation’s government. My favorite parts, as one might guess, from the whole invasion progression was the great use of real world Cobra hardware like the Mamba and the HISS V, as well as a more toy accurate Cobra Viper.
We also get a great look at the new Cobra Commander, and an interesting peek at a new female character with a very interesting look. I’m not sure where she came from, but I do like how she looks, and it makes sense that this particular Commander might bring some of his friends along for the ride to the top.
Another cool angle to the beginning of the Cobra Command is the fact that the Joe team has been drastically undercut as a result of the Civil War. Reduced to a very small, more mobile team brings the G.I. Joe concept more in line with what we’re used to, and we find ourselves out of the whole super-tech underground city realm, and back into a small, elite strike force. I dig it.
We also get some other nice peeks into some of Snake Eyes’ history, which is pretty cool. We see some hints of his ties with Storm Shadow, even just the barest glimpse, and I’m glad we’re finally getting introduced to the backstory between the two Sword Brothers.
A much crisper, more hard-edged writing style mixed with the unique artistic talents of Alex Cal have provided a very cool kick off to the Cobra Command storyline, and I’m excited to see where this thing is headed. I really think IDW improved their game drastically in 2011, and it looks like 2012 will be more of the same. Bring it on.
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